IMG PRESTIGE Q&A WITH MARK BATES FROM LAGUNA NATIONAL
IMG Prestige Q&A with Mark Bates
1 – Singapore has been one of the best countries in the world on dealing with the pandemic over the last 12 months. Is that factor having a big impact in the number of new joiners and rounds played at Laguna National?
We have definitely seen an interest in new membership uptake, but more noticeably, our current members are playing more golf. With our members being “grounded” in Singapore, the number of people having more flexibility in their work schedule and golf being one of the safest activities to partake in, demand for golf has certainly been at its peak. It has been great to see our members being more active and also seeing some renew their love and activity in the game. With the addition of the Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore, the urban resort is one of kind in Singapore which increases certainly the attractiveness of our membership offers.
2 – You have recently opened a new superb hotel, which offers fantastic views to the golf course and is directly connected with the clubhouse. How is it all going since the hotel opening?
Yes, the Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore opened for business on December 4th. While there are certainly challenges related to the ongoing pandemic, it has been very encouraging to see the interest from domestic “staycations”, the positive reviews from our guests, and strong interest from overseas guests that are just waiting for travel to begin again. Our resort is completely unique in Singapore and we are excited to see how things progress in 2021 when we are able to open up to international travellers. We are continually working to add new and unique guest experiences to make our resort stand out from the rest, so it is a very exciting time.
3 – IMG recently did the re-design of the Classic Course. Did you have much feedback from members and guests on the new design?
The re-design which was completed at the end of 2017 has been very well received by both our members and visitors. IMG did a wonderful job of preserving the original character of the Classic Course, while adapting it into a course that can truly be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities. We have seen a noticeable increase in play from our esteemed members and their guests, telling us that the average golfer is able to navigate the new layout better than before. At the same time, the Classic has also tested the region’s elite amateurs in the 2019 Singapore Open Amateur Championship and we look forward to hosting professional events in the future.
4 – The Club is an important member of the IMG Prestige reciprocal programme. How important do you feel the network is for your club members?
Singapore, being such a hub for international commerce and home to people from all over the world, means that Laguna National has an eclectic membership which travel a great deal. Having access to some of the world’s best golf properties through IMG Prestige is definitely a benefit that they enjoy. Some members are happy to be able to look up a course they can play while out on a business trip, while others look at the network and plan golf retreats around the clubs they are able to access. With the introduction of the Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore, we are also looking forward to providing IMG Prestige members from around the globe with the warm hospitality they deserve when traveling to Singapore and playing golf at Laguna National.
5 – The Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore is not just about golf…what other facilities are on offer that is attractive to travellers?
Accompanying the 198 well-appointed rooms and suites, we have a wide range of facilities for those that are not accomplished golfers. For those that are just getting into the game, we have a state-of-the-art practice facility – Laguna Practice. Here, you can take lesson programs with Leadbetter Golf Academy or have a bit of fun on the simulators at the only Toptracer Range facility in Southeast Asia. For the non-golfers, we have 3 swimming pools, tennis programs with Savitar Tennis Academy, and a first-class fitness centre. Dusit Thani and its signature Deravana Wellness also gives a new dimension to well-being to the destination. On top of this, we have over 4,000 sqm of indoor and outdoor event space of varying sizes to accommodate small parties up to larger events such as weddings and MICE events. There really is something for every kind of traveller and we look forward to welcoming them all.