By Kent Gray
Troon International’s recent acquisition of Yas Links has given the Middle East division of the global course management company a stranglehold in one of the hottest golf destinations on earth. Selling that under-rated proposition to the world is one of the key tasks now entrusted to Francisco de Lancastre David.
Group Director of European Tour venue Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Ladies European Tour stop Saadiyat Beach Golf Club since May 2018, de Lancastre David has just been promoted to Cluster General Manager of the three Abu Dhabi clubs owned by Aldar Investments.
“I am extremely excited with the opportunity that our ownership group and Troon have extended to me,” de Lancastre David said. “I understand the responsibility that this role carries, and I am looking forward to delivering the vision that we have set for all three clubs.”
The addition of Yas Links – rated No. 44 in Golf Digest’s most recent Top 100 courses ranking – takes Troon International’s Middle East portfolio to 17 venues. Globally-honed expertise in areas such as course conditioning, food and beverage and recruitment will help de Lancastre David lead the push to sell the trio of Abu Dhabi courses to a wider audience.
“Our main short-term goal is to consolidate operations at all three clubs and ensure that members and guests start benefiting straight away from the synergies created by this,” he said.
“Longer-term we want to increase the visibility that golf in Abu Dhabi has on the international stage and drive up visitor numbers, by providing extraordinary guest and member experiences and by having a passionate dedication to quality, financial performance and development of our associates.”
Troon International President Mark Chapleski said de Lancastre David’s success at Abu Dhabi G.C. and Saadiyat Beach G.C., and before that at venues including The Els Club, Dubai, led to the promotion to the newly created cluster role.
“The addition of Yas Links to our portfolio is a testament to the quality of work that Troon has done in Abu Dhabi in recent years. With three of the top clubs in the region now under one ownership group, our primary goal is to make sure they are running as efficiently as possible and at the same time work with Aldar’s hotels to create amazing golf packages that drive Abu Dhabi as a must play destination for golfers from around the world,” Chapleski said.
“In order to maximise productivity across the three clubs, we have promoted Francisco de Lancastre David to the role of Cluster General Manager due to his proven success at both Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and prior industry experience at clubs such as The Els Club Dubai and Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Spain.”