Mon | Nov 11, 2019

Caymanas Golf offering free lessons to boost business

Published:Sunday | October 20, 2019 | 1:30 AMKarena Bennett - Business Reporter

was during the 1960s and 70s.

“We’ve rebuilt our corporate membership but if it’s one complaint I have it’s that we don’t have enough corporates playing golf. Days gone by, Wednesdays were very popular days for various executives especially the bankers and insurance guys,” Lindo told the Financial Gleaner.

“I think it could be the ageing of the population; a lot of the youngsters don’t play golf but we are certainly willing to give people an opportunity to learn the game with some free lessons,” he said.

Caymanas Golf & Country Club The club has been around for 61 years and is owned by the Urban Development Corporation, a state agency.

The 18-hole sits on the wider Caymanas Estate, a more than 10,000 acre property, for which the UDC has been executing a master plan since 2009 that covers a mix of residential, commercial and light industrial developments.

Objectives set by Caymanas Acquisition under the takeover included bringing the golf course back to its former glory, getting the membership up and increase revenue inflows.

Lindo says CAG has increased membership by 33 per cent since taking control in 2017; that the golf club has an annual turnover of about $140 million but CAG hopes to increase revenue inflows by 25 per cent next year from partnerships with hoteliers and cruise operators.

Caymanas Golf & Country Club continues to suffer losses, according to Lindo, who nevertheless says those losses – the size of which were not specified - are expected to be minimised with its expansion to accommodate up to 1,000 guests for events and its build out of another wedding venue on the property to double up on revenue.

Since the start of the year, the Club has already hosted 70 weddings and a myriad of corporate events on the weekends. The venue remains a sweet spot for corporate companies looking to host Christmas corporate parties, according to Lindo, but the property is underutilised during weekdays.

“We are definitely attempting to attract more women members with two complementary lessons to get them started. It’s just a matter of scheduling, but weekdays around 4 pm are usually a good time,” he said.

“If you come by yourself you might get frustrated, but if you bring a girlfriend you both can share the pain of the learning and eventually you’ll begin to enjoy it and even challenge each other,” he continued.

Over the years Caymanas Golf & Country Club has hosted a number of retreats and meetings for long-time corporate customers Wisynco Group, Hi-Pro Farm & Garden and the Lasco group of companies, all of which are in proximity to Caymanas Estate in St Catherine.

The venue has also seen an uptick in business clients from both Kingston and the western end of the island, which Lindo believes is attributable in part to the development of the North-South Highway and the widening of roads along the Mandela Highway, which connects Kingston to St Catherine.

karena.bennett@gleanerjm.com

Caymanas Acquisition Group Limited, CAG, the private operator of Caymanas Golf & Country Club, has introduced free lessons to women on weekdays as a sweetener to get more Jamaicans playing golf and using its facility.

The initiative comes 2 ½ years after the golf club was divested by way of a lease to CAG and a $30- million spend on upgrades to the 141-acre property located in St Catherine.

CAG, which holds a 10-year operating lease for Caymanas secured in early 2017, embarked on an ‘Escape the City’ campaign one year after taking over the facility to get more corporate companies using its space for business meetings or retreats.

It’s a target that General Manager Peter Lindo believes the club is slowly achieving, and as the numbers trend upwards, management has turned its focus to repositioning Caymanas Golf & Country Club as the centre point of social activities, as it once was during the 1960s and 70s.

“We’ve rebuilt our corporate membership but if it’s one complaint I have it’s that we don’t have enough corporates playing golf. Days gone by, Wednesdays were very popular days for various executives especially the bankers and insurance guys,” Lindo told the Financial Gleaner.

“I think it could be the ageing of the population; a lot of the youngsters don’t play golf but we are certainly willing to give people an opportunity to learn the game with some free lessons,” he said.

Caymanas Golf & Country Club The club has been around for 61 years and is owned by the Urban Development Corporation, a state agency.

The 18-hole sits on the wider Caymanas Estate, a more than 10,000 acre property, for which the UDC has been executing a master plan since 2009 that covers a mix of residential, commercial and light industrial developments.

Objectives set by Caymanas Acquisition under the takeover included bringing the golf course back to its former glory, getting the membership up and increase revenue inflows.

Lindo says CAG has increased membership by 33 per cent since taking control in 2017; that the golf club has an annual turnover of about $140 million but CAG hopes to increase revenue inflows by 25 per cent next year from partnerships with hoteliers and cruise operators.

Caymanas Golf & Country Club continues to suffer losses, according to Lindo, who nevertheless says those losses – the size of which were not specified - are expected to be minimised with its expansion to accommodate up to 1,000 guests for events and its build out of another wedding venue on the property to double up on revenue.

Since the start of the year, the Club has already hosted 70 weddings and a myriad of corporate events on the weekends. The venue remains a sweet spot for corporate companies looking to host Christmas corporate parties, according to Lindo, but the property is underutilised during weekdays.

“We are definitely attempting to attract more women members with two complementary lessons to get them started. It’s just a matter of scheduling, but weekdays around 4 pm are usually a good time,” he said.

“If you come by yourself you might get frustrated, but if you bring a girlfriend you both can share the pain of the learning and eventually you’ll begin to enjoy it and even challenge each other,” he continued.

Over the years Caymanas Golf & Country Club has hosted a number of retreats and meetings for long-time corporate customers Wisynco Group, Hi-Pro Farm & Garden and the Lasco group of companies, all of which are in proximity to Caymanas Estate in St Catherine.

The venue has also seen an uptick in business clients from both Kingston and the western end of the island, which Lindo believes is attributable in part to the development of the North-South Highway and the widening of roads along the Mandela Highway, which connects Kingston to St Catherine.

karena.bennett@gleanerjm.com