x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

The man in charge of Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Meet the man who runs the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, and what it takes to keep the club up to par.

Ken Kosak, the general manager at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, makes it a point to greet staff before guests arrive.
Ken Kosak, the general manager at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, makes it a point to greet staff before guests arrive.

Ken Kosak is the top man at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, although he rarely sets foot on the links. The general manager at the home of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship explains how he keeps the club up to par:

About 5.45am

I'm up but trying to get a 2-year-old up is a little bit more challenging. I have two young kids.

About 7.15am

I really make it a point to walk around the golf club first and say good morning to the staff that are on duty. Our tee times start at 6.30 so we have staff coming in at 5.15 to get things ready. I'm certainly one of those managers who believes in management by walking around.

About 8am

I'll spend a couple of hours in the office. We use various statistical models and matrixes in our particular industry, so I'm checking daily revenue reports, signing cheques and annual leave forms, and getting back to not only clients but vendors we may be using.

Lunch

I'll try to sit down and have lunch with members or guests, or catch up with our team to see how they're doing. We have various department heads who manage their respective areas: golf operations; anything related to grass or plants; food and beverage. I'm the guy who puts everything together.

About 12.30pm

A lot of people think I get to play a lot of golf. Unfortunately, that's not the case. We spend a lot of time on staff training. On Sunday, we did two sessions of CPR and first-aid training. There's a session taking place tomorrow, which will relate more towards interpersonal skills and dealing with conflicts, where a guest receives something other than what they ordered, and in terms of making it right for the customer.

2pm

A strategy session on growing business takes place every Wednesday. We're looking for opportunities for food and beverage events: what are we doing for Mother's Day in the US next month? Summertime is coming - are there any promotional rates we may put out in the market? What are we doing to stay competitive from a membership perspective? There is competition in the marketplace now, both with our sister club at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club as well as Yas Links. Strategy sessions get the creative juices flowing.

About 4.30pm

I'll typically try to spin around the course in a cart with our superintendent, just to clear the head and get some fresh air.

Evening

I can be here anywhere from 6pm to 10pm if we have a function taking place or it's a busy evening.

Late evening

Play with the kids: bathtubs and pyjamas and books.

About 11pm

I love to read. James Patterson is one of my favourite authors. I'll read for half an hour to 45 minutes. That's a pretty sure way to get me to go to sleep. One recent night was a late one with the Masters on. That was a 2.00 morning. I couldn't hold out to 3am.

nparmar@thenational.ae