Golf pro Mahoney’s ‘dream job’ in Vietnam

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Mahoney is the director of golf at the King's Island Resort, a 54-hole complex near Hanoi, which includes the BRG Group's Nicklaus course, and he also helps the company in looking at potential sites for new golf projects.

After spending time working at Glendale, Credit Valley and Hamilton Golf and Country Club as an assistant professional and then several years at the Owen Sound Golf and Country Club as the head professional, Mahoney said he just got tired of winter.

It was then that a friend suggested there were opportunities for Canadian golf pros in Southeast Asia.

A couple of interviews later and the Hamilton native was off on a life changing adventure that would see him help develop and promote the game in Vietnam.

"It was May of 2010, around the time the government of Vietnam announced that they would permit up to a hundred golf courses to be built by 2050," says Mahoney, who now works for the massive BRG Group, which has built multicourse golf complexes in four areas of the country and has plans for more.

They also have the first Jack Nicklaus designed course in the country and in late 2016 signed a deal with Nicklaus to build more courses for them.

The BRG Group, which is chaired by Madame Nguyen Thi Nga, stands for Banking, Real Estate and Golf and Mahoney says she is absolutely passionate about the game.

Mahoney is the director of golf at the King's Island Resort, a 54-hole complex near Hanoi, which includes the BRG Group's Nicklaus course, and he also helps the company in looking at potential sites for new golf projects.

The King's Island Resort actually doesn't have a hotel. It's currently just golf. Still, Mahoney oversees a thousand employees, including 460 caddies.

Mahoney says it's been an interesting challenge right from the start because virtually everyone he hired knew very little about the game and that meant a lot of training.

"I want my caddies, as well as the golf operations staff and the starters and martials to be the most well versed on the rules of golf. And we want to provide first class service," says Mahoney. "We do things like delivering cold towels to the players out on the golf course."

Golf has really taken off in Vietnam. It's to the point where Mahoney says 60 per cent of his play is domestic with the bulk of the rest coming from Japan and Korea.

In the eight years he's been in Vietnam, Mahoney married a Vietnamese woman and they have one son. He says he gets back to Hamilton every year for a visit with family and friends.

And as for moving home permanently?

"Let's put it this way," he says. "In winter here we might put on a sweater and wear long pants, so I have no desire to move home."

"I do believe I have landed the dream job as a golf professional here with BRG at King's Island," he added.

Tag: golf in vietnam vietnam golfing vietnam golf even mahoney king island golf

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