The Pro's Cor­ner

Ja­son Lowe Oc­cu­pa­tion—gen­eral Man­ager, Nick­laus North Golf Course Lo­ca­tion--whistler, Bri­tish Columbia

Golf Today Northwest - - News - By CLIF­FORD COW­LEY

Ja­son Lowe comes from a hard work­ing fam­ily. His fa­ther worked in the soft wood lum­ber in­dus­try and his mother a nurse. He grew up in Okana­gan, Bri­tish Columbia where he played com­pet­i­tive hockey, “and just about any sport that in­volved be­ing out­side,” he says. Of course, be­ing from Canada, ski­ing was a nat­u­ral past-time as well. He didn’t re­ally play golf un­til he was around twenty years old. “Un­less you count the times my dad would take me to a lo­cal sports field to hit whif­fle balls,” adds Ja­son. Like any young kid, he was re­ally into skate­board­ing which led to snow­board­ing in high school and even­tu­ally to a pas­sion for surf­ing. Once he got the bug to surf, he was nat­u­rally drawn to tak­ing trips to the warmer wa­ters of the trop­ics and re­mote lo­ca­tions around the world. So, what does all that have to do with Ja­son de­cid­ing to be in­volved with golf? “Easy,” he says with a nat­u­ral grin. “Golf is a sum­mer ac­tiv­ity. Work­ing in the sum­mer at a golf course al­lows me to take my win­ters off to snow­board in the moun­tains and surf in the trop­ics.” Nat­u­rally.

CA­REER PATH

Ja­son at­tended Selkirk Col­lege in the Koote­nays, Nel­son BC (Nel­son is known for its qual­ity of snow--yes, ski­ing was in on the de­ci­sion), where he re­ceived a di­ploma in Golf Op­er­a­tions Man­age­ment. Ja­son started his ca­reer with Golfbc, who owns and op­er­ates first-class golf cour­ses in Canada and the Hawai­ian Is­lands. His first job was in food and bev­er­age at Furry Creek Golf and Coun­try Club. While there, he com­pleted a Bach­e­lor of Com­merce De­gree from Royal Roads Univer­sity part-time and on­line. At Furry Creek, Gen­eral Man­ager, Sarah Cruse, took no­tice of Ja­son’s sports ori­ented per­sona and his mind­set for de­tail. She took him un­der her wing and helped him learn the ropes of run­ning a golf course fa­cil­ity. In a short five years, he was asked to be Golf Op­er­a­tions Man­ager and pro­gressed into Sales and Mar­ket­ing Man­ager. “My goal was al­ways to be a Gen­eral Man­ager, and I was very for­tu­nate to have Sarah’s lead­er­ship to help me.” says Ja­son. Golfbc then ap­pointed Ja­son to look af­ter the Sales and Mar­ket­ing for Olympic View Golf Club and Ar­bu­tus Ridge Golf Club, and he has served as Ar­bu­tus Ridge’s Gen­eral Man­ager for the last nine years. Re­cently, he has moved to the Nick­laus North Golf Club as their GM. “Golfbc is great com­pany to work for,” states Ja­son. “Andy Headley, our Vice Pres­i­dent, has been fan­tas­tic in the last many years. I can’t say enough how the com­pany has pro­vided tremen­dous sup­port and guid­ance since I started with them eigh­teen years ago. It’s been a great re­la­tion­ship,” he says proudly.

BUSI­NESS PHI­LOS­O­PHY

Ja­son be­lieves there are cer­tain keys to golf that brings cus­tomers to cour­ses and every­thing he does in the golf busi­ness is tied to those things. “It’s re­ally a com­bi­na­tion of all the as­pects work­ing to­gether to build a cus­tomer base and bring in new play­ers,” he says. “First is player sat­is­fac­tion. You can’t ex­pect peo­ple to pay money to be frus­trated with their game. Pro­vid­ing qual­ity in­struc­tors and cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy to help play­ers im­prove their game is a must of any golf fa­cil­ity. Se­condly, the so­cial as­pect is key to main­tain­ing a cus­tomer base. Pro­vid­ing mem­ber so­cial pro­grams to all age groups is es­sen­tial. The top two rea­sons peo­ple play golf is so­cial com­bined with a dose of ex­er­cise in an out­door en­vi­ron­ment. We have to have in­no­va­tive, well thought out so­cial pro­grams with a goal of cre­at­ing a wel­com­ing at­mos­phere that builds mem­ber par­tic­i­pa­tion and brings in new golfers. Pro­vid­ing pro­grams for ju­niors and ladies are also key to grow­ing the game mov­ing for­ward. Ad­di­tion­ally, re­search shows that if peo­ple don’t play much golf be­tween the ages of 19-39, they are less likely to play reg­u­larly when they get older. Pro­gram­ing for this age group is crit­i­cal in my opin­ion.”

TEAM BUILD­ING

When I asked Ja­son what makes a good em­ployee, he an­swered quickly with, “I look for the right dy­namic in build­ing a team. Ev­ery­one can’t have all the same strengths, and it’s the com­bi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent strengths that makes a good staff, but if some­one truly cares, is open minded, per­cep­tive, or­ga­nized, and in­no­va­tive with good com­mu­ni­ca­tion and prob­lem solv­ing skills, I get pretty ex­cited. I like to broad­cast to our team that we all work hard, but it’s crit­i­cal that we have fun, which is in­fec­tions to the guest.” Carry on, Ja­son.

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