Service Excellence means that it is not about exceeding the expectations of customers, but primarily about “delivering what is promised and dealing well with any problems and queries that arise”. In the golf club industry, service excellence is paramount for success and in this day and age, it takes on a whole new meaning as Service Excellence is becoming a significant advantage and performance differentiator.This is a topic that will take the front and centre spot at the 2018 Asia Pacific Golf Summit (APGS 2018) that is scheduled to be held in the throbbing Thai capital of Bangkok on November 1 – 3, 2018 at the brand new Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit.Service Excellence will be part and parcel of the theme for APGS 2018 which is “Engagement” and the Summit, which is now in its 12th year, is crafting a programme that will help chart a pathway to show how golf clubs in the region can engage with new trends to help become more responsive to the needs of the marketplace.To help deliver the key message on Service Excellence, the organisers have reached out to one man who has been the embodiment of this practice for almost all of his professional life. This professional is Michael Leemhuis, President of Ocean Reef Club in Florida. It is arguably the largest private club in the world with revenues in excess of US$110 million a year, 1100 associates, 17 restaurants/food outlets, an airport, a medical centre, three world class golf courses, a marina, a hotel and a stunning beach. “It is a very special facility that delivers a unique way of life,” declared Leemhuis.
Besides managing a world class facility Leemhuis would easily rank amongst the elite in club management experience. This is borne out by the fact that he served as the President of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA). Before moving to Ocean Reef, he was the general manager of the famous Congressional Golf Club from 1999.
“There isn’t a single aspect of club operations that Michael is not an expert in – he is without doubt the total, consummate club manager extraordinaire!” said Mike Sebastian, chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific Golf Group, the owner and producer of APGS 2018.
“Michael is a very busy man and to pull him away from the mini city that he runs at Ocean Reef is really a stroke of luck for us,” Sebastian explained. “Michael is such a wealth of experience and know-how and it is indeed an honour for APGS to have him come and address the Summit this year.”
Leemhuis has a very impressive global track record having spoken at various industry events on topics ranging from latest trends in the management of golf clubs to disaster recovery at clubs and virtually everything else in between.
He conducts himself professionally with a fascinating motto which he describes as follows: “I make sure I am ready to attack the next day. That means reviewing my schedule, making adjustments, and leaving my office space prepared for the next day.” This commitment to a state of total preparedness is how Leemhuis has become known as one of the very best in the business!