By Michael Davis

AT just 33 years of age, Jake Solomon is relatively young to find himself in the general manager’s chair at Eastwood Golf Club.

But with experience at Cranbourne, Woodlands and Commonwealth in senior financial positions, the Eastwood committee was very comfortable giving the personable young man the nod when he walked in the door last October.

“I’ve been in the golf industry for close to nine years, most recently at Commonwealth,” Jake said, adding that his first three months at Eastwood had been exceptionally challenging because of the unseasonal wet weather which wrought havoc on Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The course has come back really well and the club benefited significantly from drainage work undertaken in the previous four or five years. But it had presented him with a huge challenge almost from the moment he took the GM’s post.

“I had worked in the accounting sector in business before golf. So my financial expertise was the skill set that I brought across.”

Jake lives a stone’s throw from Eastwood in the nearby suburb of Boronia, in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, east of Melbourne.

“I knew about the place and what a good facility it is. It’s a very community-based club. The members are really passionate about the club and a large number of our members live within five to 10 kilometres. It is very much a club to our members. It’s not just a place to come and play golf. 

“You can feel that as you move around the place in the bar serving a couple of drinks or answering queries. You really notice that atmosphere and culture. It was one of the things I noticed and one of the things that excited me to come on board. I grew up in the area, a suburb across from Kilsyth. 

“I think this club is very well suited to what I can bring and offer. I like to think it has been as good a fit for me as it has been for the club.”

Jake Solomon has settled into the GM’s role at Eastwood. 

Apart from his back of house financial skill set, Jake feels he is bringing a wealth of experience from the three clubs at which he has worked.

“All of them were very different. I have seen what the resource stretched clubs are up against right up to a club like Commonwealth which is highly resourced.”

Jake said his passion for golf prised him away from the humdrum, day to day job as an accountant.

“Literally, one day I realised accounting was not the career I wanted.

“I’m not a very good golfer but I do enjoy it. When I had a chance to work a Cranbourne, I realised it was what I wanted to do. I always wanted to get to general manager level. Fortunately, Eastwood have given me a shot.”

The club is very aware of where it sits and is not trying to be something it is not. “But
there is a real opportunity to grow the business. Not many people realise or know that we are here. Casual visitors always express their surprise.

“And not just about golf here We have a bowling club, a bistro and pokies. We are open to the public and have a beautiful dining room open for weddings and functions.”

As for the course, it is very challenging and tricky. You can’t bully it. Very good golfers playing it for the first time often come away perplexed because they have not treated it with respect. 

“You need an understanding of course management and to be able to see your second and third shots from the tee,” the proud GM said.

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