CEO of Sandhurst Club Tim Gledhill runs one of Melbourne’s largest and most successful clubs.
While Sandhurst Club cannot be compared with the majority of clubs, the sheer scale of its facility dwarfs most others.
It boasts two championship 18-hole layouts, members’ bar, café with an outdoor piazza, restaurant, function centre, health club including a fully equipped gym, indoor pool and sports centre with tennis and basketball courts, as well as a residential estate with 1400 homes.
And with 100 staff and 1350 golf members, Gledhill runs a tight ship.
Keeping a finger on the pulse of every aspect of what makes a club of this status tick cannot be easy but Gledhill, who joined the club in December 2020, is well qualified to do so courtesy of a background in sport, recreation and leisure.
Previously he worked in Events Management, was the Commercial Manager of Football NSW, the Head of Marketing, Commercial and Communications at Cricket Victoria and CEO of Peninsula Leisure in Frankston City Council, that managed Peninsula Aquatic Centre and Pines Forest Aquatic Centre.
As Sandhurst Club boss, he employs a style of management that encourages the heads of departments to take ownership of their own areas.
While he is always there to provide support where needed, he is clearly in touch with what the membership expects and how best to keep the staff motivated and focused on delivering success at Sandhurst.
“My approach is to create a way of working that empowers all the specialists in the business,” Gledhill said.
“I aim to ensure that every person in the business knows how their role and effort helps deliver success and that they have the resources and support to deliver.
“I’m not an expert in course maintenance, food and beverage, golf shop operations, but what I can provide is all the tools and support they need, because they are the experts.
“Ultimately, I give them the freedom to deliver.”
What has surprised and impressed Gledhill in the short time he has been at the club is the level of engagement of the members.
“Whether they are a golf or residential member, they are passionate and absolutely love the experience and lifestyle that Sandhurst provides,” he said.
“They get the most out of their membership and are incredibly active and enthusiastic about what they want the club to be now and in the future.
“Whilst it’s a challenge because you can only do so much and not every idea is possible, I do love the level of passion and optimism.”
Gledhill said Sandhurst Club had a bright future.
“It’s an exciting time to be here because the board and management are focused on Sandhurst being more widely recognised as a premier club,” he said.
“The golfing experience at Sandhurst is outstanding and has improved significantly over the past 15 years. We are now working in the background to deliver new course, club and estate improvements that will further elevate Sandhurst’s premier standard in the years to come.
“I’d like to think in the future that Sandhurst is regarded as a premier golf club with two great courses, amazing facilities and that our members are the most satisfied in the industry.”
Like most clubs, Sandhurst Club has welcomed a number of new members with the resurgence of interest in golf since COVID.
“With an influx of new highly engaged and active members, the challenge is finding the balance between member and visitor rounds played,” Gledhill said.
“We are at a point where we want to further increase, not decrease the membership experience.
“We want every member to feel the highest level of satisfaction and we know that if members are actively engaged, satisfied and are taking pride in the club, then they will remain members for a long time.
“Importantly satisfied members will help spread the word and attract visitors and new members to the club.”
Born and bred in Sydney, Gledhill takes a keen interest in rugby league and is a proud supporter of the Canterbury Bulldogs.
And in the AFL he barracks for the Sydney Swans.
When Gledhill first moved to Melbourne a decade ago, he joined Devilbend Golf Club and currently plays off a handicap of “eight or nine”.
“I get around okay, but like everyone’s challenge I think I should be playing better than I am.
“I hope I am a better CEO than a golfer, but I do really enjoy it and try to play every Saturday morning.
“Golf is one of the ways I unwind, along with being active and exercising regularly.
“We have a great program at Sandhurst where the staff get together at lunchtime four times a week to exercise.
“Training is important to me and so is spending my downtime with my family.”
A trip to Sandhurst is well worth the visit. Sandhurst Club is a 40km drive southeast of Melbourne. For full details visit www.sandhurst.com