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How many staff to run a Malaysian golf course?

Posted by mynormas on July 5, 2011


It won’t be long now golf courses in Malaysia will have to take another hard look at their staffing needs. Using foreign labour can’t go on forever and local staff salary will be going upwards due to inflation and higher cost of living, regardless of the impending minimum wage act.

So the question that needs to be asked is; how many staff is needed to maintain an ordinary Malaysian golf course? What is the minimum requirement?

When we say golf course maintenance most people remember or see only the part where the grass is cut, the bunkers are raked, the pins are moved etc. But apart from the routine things there are also other important maintenance things such as irrigation (majority of Msian clubs do not have automatic irrigation), landscaping maintenance, mechanics, storekeepers/admin clerks, technicians (spraying/fertilzing). Some clubs put buggies, landscaping at the clubhouse/hotel on the shoulders of the maintenance dept too, all this will increase manpower. Not forgetting too; installation/repair of drainage or renovations and other occasional maintenance work (hollowtine, dethatching etc).

I have managed a golf course with as few as 7 staff and as many as 42 for 18 holes. But the best figure I have came up with is 18 staff; a mixture of educated locals (minimum SPM, but majority holds a Certificate in Agriculture from IPM) and some foreign workers. I do not differentiate between male and female workers. And for the most part; the female graduates from IPM did not disappoint.
In all three instances (7, 18 or 42 staff) I would still need to have an additional 5 landscapers, 3 mechanics and 2 admin staff. When there were only 7 staff, I was the spraying/fertilizing technician. Otherwise, I would pick the brightest of the staff to be trained as techs.

I maintained the course with 7 people for only about a few months. It was tough on everyone when it came to irrigation (we had to do it manually) and other repair works.

 

I did not save money reducing staff from 42 to 18. I could afford to pay less staff better (they’re better qualified, remember) and I expected them to do better than the 42 almost all-foreign workers on the previous payroll.

I also practiced a policy where all staff are cross-trained to do almost everything. that helps a lot.

In futre we will discuss this topic in detail. I will stop here for now.

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