As reported by The NationNews September 28, 2006
by SHERRYLYN A. CLARKE
AS SANDY LANE BARBADOS prepares to host the 2006 World Cup Golf Championships in December, management believes this is the catalyst which will help to drive its reputation as a world-class golf facility.
This was revealed by chief executive Michael Pownall during a media briefing at Sandy Lane Country Club on Tuesday to provide an update on the progress being made to stage the Professional Golf Association event in December.
"If you hold any international event where you attract some of the very best players in that particular sport, it gives credibility to the destination, it gives credibility to the course.
"We might have always said in our publicity, in our brochures, how wonderful the golf experience at Sandy Lane is, but that is just us saying it. The testimony really to powerful public relations is when you get some of the world's top players playing at your facility and the exposure that will give."
To this end, they will be making full use of the opportunity to market and promote the hotel in a new way.
"Outside of the plans purely on the course, the logistical set-up and the clubhouse here as well, the other side of things is the opportunity it has given us overseas, in particular, to market and promote Sandy Lane in a slightly new way.
"Sandy Lane, through its history back to 1961 when it first opened, has certainly got a fantastic brand around the world. It has never really been known for the golf side of the business.
"Over the last nine months and the lead-up to the event itself, we are exploring every opportunity we can to get publicity, to get Press coverage, to get the travelling district talking about Sandy Lane from the point of view of it being a golf resort as opposed to purely being seen traditionally as a luxury resort with a great beach and great hotel facilities."
Pownall said this would be important for Sandy Lane and the other local properties which offer golf, as well as attracting more golf visitors to Barbados.
He said the golf market was one that could be tapped to boost the traditionally low months of June and September.
Over the past nine months, there have been numerous changes to bring the Country Club course up to international standard, making it more challenging for the world-class players who will be here later this year for the US$4 million event.