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Vietnam Golf, Profile of Robert Bicknell, PGA Professional, Gaming and Leisure Magazine, Winter 2011


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Status of Golf iin Vietnam
Profile of Robert Bicknell, PGA Professional
Gaming and Leisure Magazine, Winter 2011

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Vietnam Golf, Profile of Robert Bicknell, PGA Professional, Gaming and Leisure Magazine, Winter 2011

  1. 1. PRESORTED STDU.S. POSTAGE PAID Fargo, NDPermit No. 684
  2. 2. 32 “Obsoleted.” Adj. What your casino floor could be by year’s end Agilysys is the recipient of the 2010 G&L 50 Technology Impact Award. GOLF Golf Growth- A profile of Vietnam at Present what’s out Learn more about the recipients what’s Bill Healey interviews Robert Bicknell, General Manager, and Director of in and awards on page 32. golf at the Tam Dao Golf Resort. The SAS protocol you use today won’t be supported after this year. That means the products on your floor will be using obsolete technology in a matter of weeks. Good news is, GSA protocols are ready now to help keep you as innovative as ever. Maybe even more. Find out how you can keep from being obsoleted today at 48 CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY 38 2010’s IT Mantra: More for Less Cut backs in the past couple if years have given rise to G&L New & Cool a new mantra being chanted around the executive Earth Payments white paper, and Cymphonix®, Platinum Members water cooler: more for less. Secure Web Gateway solutions 42 Native American Update 48377 Fremont Blvd. | Suite 117 | Fremont, CA 94538 | Tel: +1.510.492.4060 A recap of TribalNet 11 G&L COMMUNITY Must Attend Tradeshows.......... 67 52 G&L Community Products & Services ................. 71 Aruze Gaming, G&L Business Partners ............ 75 Bally Technologies, IGT, G&L Business Cards .................. 76 Konami, & WMS Gaming Winter’s hottest games. G&L Business Briefs ................. 80 2011 34 EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVES Candid insight from the leaders that shape the face of the gaming and hospitality industry.For subscriptions, change of address, back issues, permissions, contact information and or advertising; go online to Gaming and Leisure (G&L) is published four timesannually. Product and or company names mentioned herein might be trademarks of their respective owners. G&L or it’s agents assume no liability for any said information that is misrepresented. Reproduction in whole or in partwithout express written permission is strictly prohibited. © 2011 Caruso Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved. Gaming & Leisure Resort and Entertainment Technology ® is a registered trademark. Reg. US Pat and TM OFF. SUBSCRIBE FREE AND YOU COULD WIN $1000! SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS. 3
  3. 3. GOLF Bill Healey GOLF GROWTH A PROFILE OF VIETNAM AT PRESENT During my time traveling night we watch cartoons or read together, which Also, Fitness is a huge part of playing better golf, through, and living in SE is the best relaxation prescription ever invented although most people don’t realize it. The PGA Asia, I’ve had the pleasure and she always runs to get me whenever golf is Tour players are good, not just because of their to visit Vietnam on several on TV. She already has a pretty good swing form skills with a club, but also due to the hours they occasions. As an American, from watching the LPGA. spend in the PGA Tour Fitness Trailers on site at I have always been well I turned professional in 1978 and moved to every event. So, not only are those guys good, received and have enjoyed Asia full-time in the early 1980’s. I was invited they’re also in excellent physical condition. each of my visits to Hanoi to build a golf course in Vietnam in 1992 and and Ho Chi Minh City, and have been here ever since. It’s been a wild ride Fitness is something that can help players at all many coastal towns along the way. and I don’t regret one moment of it, despite the levels, so instead of just fixing their swings as in ups and downs. the past, I am now concentrating on helping I’ve recently had a chance to catch up with a each player build a better “machine” for produc- long-time contact, Robert Bicknell, recently the G&L: What positions do you currently hold? ing that swing. General Manager and Director of Golf at the Tam Dao Golf Resort and currently General RB: I am currently the General Manager for G&L: What is your history with the Vietnam Manager at California Fitness in Hanoi. California Fitness & Yoga in Hanoi. Prior to this PGA? How does that involve educating other I was General Manager / Director of Golf for golf professionals in the country? G&L: As an American in Hanoi, how did you Tam Dao Golf Resort in Vinh Phuc province, get your start in golf? And how did that take one hour from downtown Hanoi. However, hav- RB: At present, there is no official PGA organi- you into Vietnam? ing been in Vietnam for almost 19 years, I have zation in Vietnam; however this is something been either directly or indirectly involved with that is currently in the works and will fall under RB: I started playing golf when I was five years most of the clubs in the country at one time or the authority of the Vietnam Golf Association old as my family was founding members of two another in either a management or advisory and the Ministry of Sport. We hope to have all clubs. My father was always working, so weekends position. the paperwork finished within a few months as were the only time we could spend time together. doing most anything involving the government When that young, I thought that golf was fun, I am also a columnist for the Sunday Vietnam takes a bit of time, especially with a sport like but the important thing was being with my father News, Golf Today, and Vietnam Golf Magazine. golf it is still rather unknown to many. and knowing there would be ice cream afterwards. Now that I have a four year old daughter of my G&L: Why Fitness? Have you stopped your G&L: How large is the golf market? (i.e. num- own, I bring her to the club as often as I can so she involvement in golf? ber of clubs, golfers, etc). can play in the grass, hit plastic balls at the range, and “drive” the buggy with me. RB: Not at all. I still teach golf for the Hanoi RB: There are currently 26 clubs operating in Junior team, but I wanted to step back from golf Vietnam, and around seven more licensed or cur- Despite working over 70 hours a week, I make management for a while and take a position that rently under construction. At one point there the effort to spend a lot of time with her. At allows me to spend more time with my family. were as many as 150 golf projects “announced” Amazingly enough, the global economic crisis hasnt really impacted the golf tourism market in Vietnam all that much because the vast majority of tourists come from neighboring countries, so the cost of airfares arent outrageously high.50 GAMING & LEISURE WINTER 2010 702.547.4545
  4. 4. A PROFILE OF VIETNAM GOLF AT PRESENTfor Vietnam until the government put the kibosh on RB: Vietnam is no stranger to technologicalmost of them and rightly so until a national plan can advancement. Ever since the end of the US-ledbe put together. embargo in 1994, Vietnam has rushed to catch up to the other nations in this regard with a lotG&L: The global economy has been down for the of success. Most all clubs are using advancedpast year. How has that affected golf tourism in booking and accounting software. Internet book-Vietnam? ings are mostly done through the club’s website or through e-mail.RB: Amazingly enough, the global economic crisis Some clubs have recently changed webhost sohasn’t really impacted the golf tourism market in they can provide each member with their ownVietnam all that much because the vast majority of club e-mail address and, more importantly,tourists come from neighboring countries, so the employ a “live chat” system so the members cancost of airfares aren’t outrageously high. Secondly, contact reception directly in writing. This willthe airlines and hotels have taken steps to lessen the greatly reduce any misunderstandings due to dif- Robert Bicknell, first PGA golf pro-impact by offering special packages, as did the ferences in language. fessional in Vietnam.respective golf courses. Half a loaf is better thannone. community and often acts on their suggestions in G&L: Do you see that technology can assist clubs in many different areas. managing their profitability, managing revenuesTo give you a better idea of the current situations, through tee times, etc?most clubs in the country are reporting more rounds Positive growth of the nation is the primary goal forin the 1st quarter of 2009 than during the same all of us and, judging from the results, the govern- RB: One of the problems in Vietnam cannot beperiod of the 2008. Tam Dao in particular was 1500 ment’s methods have been correct. solved exclusively through booking software simplyrounds higher than the previous year. In 2010, the because quite a few players simply ignore the sys-figures continue to rise nicely. I’m not complaining. G&L: You’ve had some rather well-known golfing tems, show up when they want – usually late and guests – both political and sporting figures. Who almost never call to cancel. Software cannot solveG&L: What challenges does the golf market face, are some that are best known or of special note? this problem, but it CAN help clubs to identify andand how are those challenges being met? track players who do this most often, so they can RB: In the past, Lee Trevino, Nick Faldo, and take corrective action.RB: The biggest challenge is reigning in unrestrict- Greg Norman have visited Vietnam to design However, on the positive side, modern softwareed growth. In Asia, many people are far too eager to golf courses. However, I would prefer not to systems let managers track almost everything in thejump on the bandwagon without first doing due name names when discussing political or busi- club, amount of rounds played by each member anddiligence and careful planning. They try to build as ness VIPs as that would breach confidentiality, guest, player’s favorite food / drink, shirt sizes, ball,many golf courses as possible without understand- but it is safe to say that we have hosted many handicaps, birthdays etc. This allows the club to being the marketplace. The result can be disastrous for prime ministers, presidents, sultans, and royalty finer tuned to the needs of the members and guests.both clubs and the environment. from different countries over the years. On the other side of the coin, the software allows us Vietnam has the advantage of looking at other US Presidents George H.W Bush, Bill Clinton, to reduce expenditures by showing us areas whichcountries and seeing the mistakes that were made so and George W. Bush have all visited Vietnam in the are wasteful.they can avoid them. A good example is Thailand past, mostly for political events and, sadly, didn’t The more information managers have at their fin-which is considered “golf heaven” due to over 200 have time to play golf. gertips, the more accurately they can maximizecourses and a thriving tourist industry. However, it profits and reduce “golf heaven” for the players, but golf hell for the G&L: How prevalent is technology in Vietnam I’d like to thank Robert for contributing to thisowners as only 20% of the clubs are relatively prof- Golf? Specifically, in regard to Club Management profile on Golf in Vietnam. I’d also be one of the firstitable. The others are sucking wind while they try to and internet golf bookings? to encourage foreign golf tourism into Vietnam.stay open. Vietnam used to be a food importing nationbefore the embargo was dropped in 1994, but isnow one of the leaders in agricultural exporting,especially rice and coffee. Thus, the government is restricting the use of Human beings read 250 words per minute. That’s about 9agricultural land for golf courses and rightly so. hours to read this issue. You know the decision makers forSacrificing food security for golf makes no sense to your products and services read G&L. How much time doanyone and protecting the environment has becomea major issue as well. you suspect they have to read anything else? Join us today! At present, the Vietnam Government has been 702.547.4545 or these issues with industry leaders andprofessionals to find the best path for growth. Spend wisely.Despite many misinformed comments by some, thegovernment takes the time to listen to the business SUBSCRIBE FREE AND YOU COULD WIN $1000! SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS. 51