April Drill: Benjamin Tan Ching Wei – General Manager (Tanjong Puteri Golf Resort)

AprilDrill: Benjamin Tan Ching Wei – General Manager (Tanjong Puteri Golf Resort) 1

Benjamin Tan has over 27 years of experience in golf resort & country club management and 12 years’ experience in senior management positions. Experienced in managing sizable projects, Benjamin has spearheaded the renovation and construction of 2 golf courses and clubhouse projects. Having managed both member and proprietor club, his knowledge of golfing and hospitality industry is evident with Tanjong Puteri undergoing refurbishments and emerging as a renewed competitor in the scene.  Benjamin strongly believes in walking the talk and that a good leader must adjust his leadership style to the situation as well as to the people being led.

Developed in 1990, has Tanjong Puteri Golf Resort undergone many changes?

Although, Tanjong Puteri was developed over 25 years ago, it has expanded its offerings both in terms of software and hardware. Most recently, we have commenced renovation and upgrading works to our 34 Villas, and are in the process of enhancing our signature golf course; the Plantation Championship course. Our members and regulars enjoy the unique Clubhouse heritage infrastructure and ambience, so we’ve retained the traditional structure whilst improving areas selectively within the Clubhouse to maintain its unique golf & family resort identity. We believe in being relevant to the current and newer generation’s trend and preferences especially in the area of facilities and services.  With that in mind, we are constantly brainstorming new ideas to cater to our customers’ needs.

In fact we will be doing a very special launch of a “Family & Golf Now!” package early next month. This is a very attractive package with a view to let golf and families get together and unwind in a nature-infused escapade at TPGR. However, this promotion is for a limited period only.

AprilDrill: Benjamin Tan Ching Wei – General Manager (Tanjong Puteri Golf Resort)What are the current refurbishment works being done?

Tanjong Puteri offers a variety of facilities to its Members and Guests. Aside from the 3 x 18 hole golf courses, it has Accommodations in the form of Clubhouse Rooms, Villas and Bungalows. The current projects are to refurbish one of the golf courses, namely Plantation Course and work includes the construction of new greens and bunkers, re-turfing selected tees and addition of subsoil drainage pipes.  The objective is to bring back a signature championship golf course that will be challenging, enjoyable but also a unique golfing paradise for members to invite their guests for a golfing good time. On top of that, we are taking the opportunity to refurbish all the Villas and Function rooms.  The design theme is “Back to Nature” therefore, the interior design works for the Villas are very much based on nature, with light colours and we’re using plants as the basic of focus in the décor. This will allow us to expand our offerings into hosting bigger events, dinners and weddings.

Situated in Pasir Gudang, how do you remain competitive when you are located much further than the other golf resorts?

Whilst we are located further than those within the city limits, TPGR is actually not that far away. It is accessible via the EDL and a mere 30 minute drive from the Causeway check point. Our returning regular golfers over the last 2 decades are a testimony that the traffic is not an issue to get here. Being an integrated Resort, we offer a variety of facilities that is catered to all members of the family. We also offer good value packages to stay competitive. Visitors and guests usually do not have to get out of the Resort as we can meet their needs in the Resort.

How is the golfing scene?

The golfing scene has been on the decline or at least slowed down for some time now.  The older generation of golfers although some “die hard” groups are there, but many others have retired from the scene altogether. The generation of golfers who played regularly in the 1990s are in their 70s or even 80s now, thus they do not play as often. On the other hand, the younger golfers coming into the scene are not as many as before so basically there is a gap when it comes to replacements.

If the younger generation doesn’t fancy the game, what do you think will be the future of golf?

I still believe there is potential in the golfing scene. Recognition for outstanding individuals, good support and sponsorships are critical. If the younger generation can see that there is a future in it, then they will be interested. The Koreans, Japanese and even the Thais have done it, so, why not us?

What are the available facilities at Tanjong Puteri?

Besides the 3 Golf Courses, we have an Olympic Size 50M Swimming pool, 2 Children fun pool, 4 Tennis courts, 2 Squash Courts, a 52 Bay Driving Range, 21 Clubhouse rooms, 32 Bungalows and 34 Villas, a Horse Riding School, 8 Lane Bowling alley, a Sandy Volley Ball court, Campfire site, Futsal & Football fields, Team Building facilities, Children’s playground and a Khatulistiwa Spa to unwind. More importantly, we are not just a resort facility – we are an integrated family and golf experience, very ideal for a weekend escapade to rejuvenate.

What is your view on Iskandar Malaysia?

I like what I see being planned, done and built at Iskandar Malaysia.  It is generally good for Johor and Malaysia as a whole.  The only setback for us at this time is that most of the happenings are located on the Northern and Western side of Johor Bahru.  We, being on the Eastern front have not fully experienced the full benefits of the implemented plans but we are eagerly waiting for what is in store as more can be done on this end.

How often do you receive complains and how do you address them?

While we do not receive many complains nor are they often, we do get feedbacks every now and then. I see feedbacks as necessary and useful as they can help us improve ourselves. Normally, we will try to get into the root of the issue as quickly as possible and work from there to prevent problems from recurring and at the same time evaluate our own performances. We seek to provide service from the heart – by listening to our guests’ needs so we can constantly improve on our offerings.

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