Morné Botha – General Manager
Pecanwood Golf and Country Club
|Golf Think Tank with Morne and Kevin|
|What led you to becoming a PGA Professional?
|I played most of my junior golf at Zwartkop Country Club, at the time Brian Hayes was the local professional. I always thought Brian had the best job in the world – teaching his members, selling golfing equipment and just being around golfer all day long. At the age of 16, I already knew I wanted the same life!|
|How long have you been in your current position?
|18 months in current position|
|What does your job entail?
|I manage all business units on the estate which include, the golf club, boat club, a gym, two restaurants and all sport facilities – tennis and the village green.
The financial management of these business units.
I also manage our marketing and communications for the whole estate including events.
I manage the green-keeping contract and the marina operations contract.
|Do you have any environmental or sustainability goals that you have met and would like to share?
· Removal of Mexican waterlily, Salvinia, Coons tail, yellow iris, and the control of bulrush in all our internal lakes – the goal was to be free of any invasive water plants.
· Installation of Bat hotels and Owl boxes for rodent and mosquito control – being next to a large dam we need to manage the mosquitos.
· Construction of floating wetlands and the placing of the floating wetlands in internal lakes to aid in the filtration of water and increasing biodiversity on the estate.
· Installation of pumps and water features to aid in aeration.
· Managing of compost yard in a way that “waste” from the estate are returned as compost for flower beds and topdressing for lawn areas.
· Changing of flower beds around the clubhouse to waterwise plants to aid in water saving.
· Control of algae in all internal lakes via chemical, manual and mechanical means.
· Motivating homeowners to change to waterwise gardening.
· Recycling initiatives at clubhouse and on estate.
· Revived a natural wetland on the 5th hole.
· Approved plan to replace large percentage with native grass.
· Shoreline remediation and cleanup of invasive species.
Sustainability Goals – our motto: do more with less!
· Realized direct cost savings – worked with accounting team to reduce costs.
· Increased customer loyalty and attraction – creating a demand was key, creating memories, service excellence and differentiation through adding value.
· Reduced risk and increase positive returns – implementation of King IV code and ISO 19600 standards assisted us in controls, risk management and good communication to all stakeholders.
· Improved relationships/image – with all stakeholders (suppliers, contractors, members, visitors, residents, and associations)
· Improved overall branding – positioning Pecanwood as a top brand again especially in the eye of the public, through social media and PR relationships we are building.
· Increased employee relations – we strive to function as a unit through cultivating an ethical culture, to do what is right even if no one is watching. As a leader I set the tone in exercising ethical and effective leadership.
· New or enhanced innovation or technologies – this is my strength! I am always at the forefront with new technologies and innovation which will assist us in cost saving and increased revenues for the future!
|Please give us a brief outline of the path you took to lead you to your current position||I started my career with Adrienne Thorne at Metropolitan Golf Club in 1999 – Adrienne was an exceptional mentor! I then joined World of Golf in 2000 as a teaching professional. In 2001, I started my own golf academies with Andries Oosthuizen and qualified under Andries in 2002. I continued my teaching career at Woodhill Country Club and worked with Dave Usendorff and Paul Marks. During my time at Woodhill, I got involved in technology development with a focus in golf. Co-founder of GolftimeSA (which was later sold to MoreCorp), founder of Corporate Golf Magazine and founded International Golf Pro News (managing communication publishing for PGA’s of Europe). I got involved in genetic brain profiling technology and launched a program for schools in India. For the first time I worked outside of the golf industry, it thought me a lot but the biggest thing I learnt was – I belong in the golf industry. My family and I moved to Pecanwood Estate in 2018. In 2019 I applied for General Manager position at the beautiful Pecanwood and started in April 2019. I am also currently heading up and managing the E-learning platform for FlightScope international.
|Why do you feel that you would be a good candidate to win this award?
|Pecanwood Golf and Country club has a bad history of unsuccessful operators, difficult owners to deal with and financial constraints. I saw this as an opportunity to turn this around into a positive. In the last financial years, we also faced a pandemic which made it even more challenging. However, with these challenges we achieved the following the past financial year:
a. Golf Membership – 174% growth (from 277 to 480 members),
b. Golf Days – 410% growth (11 corporates to 45 corporates),
c. Golf Rounds – 80% growth (27 000 to 33 500),
d. Pro Shop sales – 93% increase,
e. Marketing – 290% increase in website traffic,
f. Financial – Our HOA, Golf and Country Club runs as one entity and managed to have a substantial surplus in previous financial year,
g. Successfully launched an online retail store
h. Biggest members club prize-giving – 1300 attendees with The Parlotones as entertainers, i) Improved corporate governance and compliance including controls to assist sustainability.
It will be a huge honor to win this award as this would be testimony of a very successful year.