Coming Full Circle
N A RECENT SUNDAY, a Pelican Hill Golf Club™ regular marveled over the day’s pin positions. As her group approached the first green, she gave the out-oftowners in the foursome the backstory. “Ever since our new general manager took over,” she explained, “he’s been choosing cup locations I’ve not seen in all my years here. It’s added an entirely new dimension to the playing experience, and I love it.”
Rob Ford has been hearing this sort of feedback since September, when he took over as general manager of golf operations at The Resort at Pelican Hill.® “We now rotate through nine pin placements, as opposed to six,” he says, adding that attentive golfers will notice that the pins are equally divided between difficult, medium and easy locations.
While the praise may be fresh and exciting for Ford, helping to perfect the Ocean North and Ocean South courses at Pelican Hill® is nothing new. The Detroit native was originally brought on in 1991 as one of the Resort’s first assistant PGA professionals. “When we opened, our pro shop was in a really nice trailer,” says Ford, who worked his way up to director of golf over a six-year period.
After spending the next five years as opening general manager of the Stonewall Golf Club at Lake Manassas in northern Virginia, Ford was promoted to vice president, and then president, of Western Golf Properties. When he heard about Pelican Hill Golf Club’s top job opening, he threw his hat in the ring. “I’d come to a point where I thought about what makes me happy, and being at the Resort was the answer. I’ve always loved this place, and have now come full circle. It brings me back to my roots.”
Ford is focusing on two priorities during his initial year. The first is course conditioning. “We keep both courses at an optimal level with firm and fast greens, water management practices and well-manicured turf, he says. “The holes play differently under different weather conditions. Our goal is to make small but important adjustments so that we maintain conditions at their best throughout the year.”
The second priority is to ensure a steady, fast pace of play. “Our 10-minute tee-time intervals space the groups nicely and minimize wait times, and our new on-cart GPS helps, too,” he says. “We monitor pace of play from the clubhouse. The player assistants and our food-and-beverage cart staff are able to monitor this as well. We even arm player assistants with new golf balls and if they see someone looking for a ball, they hand them a new one. Staying on top of the pace of play keeps everyone happy, from players to staff.”
Having experienced Pelican Hill golf from inside and out over 26 years, Ford is attuned to what players really want. “When you decide to tee it up at one of the Pelican Hill courses, you expect the very best,” says Ford. “And we intend to deliver on that.”
To book a tee time, please call the pro shop at 877.624.6035.