General manager Tracey-Lea Tiley has a lot on her plate at Links Hope Island Golf Club.
General manager Tracey-Lea Tiley has a lot on her plate at Links Hope Island Golf Club.

AFTER 12 months at the helm, Tracey-Lea Tiley has settled beautifully in the general manager’s role at Links Hole Island Golf Club on the Gold Coast.

As the leader of a multi-million dollar business, she revels in her work and happily puts in 11-hour days to ensure the club runs smoothly.

“This is my second stint at Links Hope Island,” said Ms Tiley, who has a degree in hotel management.

“I started here in the early 1990s when I was 19 and stayed for about five years and I came back in August 2014 initially as marketing and membership manager.

“I also worked in marketing at Royal Pines Resort for nine years.

I was fortunate to have experienced through my time at Royal Pines the business of golf and gained an understanding of the complex balance of yield management and relationships.”

A stint in London working in conference and banqueting rounded out her vast experience.

Long hours are part-and-parcel of Ms Tiley’s work and each day she pulls into the car park before 6.30am to brief the staff members and ensure everyone is on the same page.

“My routine is to personally check in with each department to check that they have what they need, assess what is happening and make sure I am personally across all aspects of the business.”

For Ms Tiley, managing the transition of ownership has been demanding.

“One of the biggest challenges has been managing balance of expectations from ex-shareholders as we move to an annual membership system,” she said.

Currently, the club has 550 members – 150 of those joined in the past year.

In early 2018, Links Hope Island hopes to start construction of a world-class hotel and conference centre and once it’s completed the club plans to host an international golf tournament.
As general manger, Ms Tiley is hands-on and leads by example.

She enjoys vacating her office to work with the staff and mingle with members and guests.

Work ethics, too, is important and her mantra in business is “don’t inspect it, don’t expect it”.

“And I say if you can’t put it in writing, you shouldn’t be doing it,” she added.

“For me, business ethics is really important and I like to operate with integrity.

“Since taking on the role, we have worked on consistency is king and that’s right through from food to the surface of the course.

Attitude is everything is something we will be working on in the next 12 months.

Since Ms Tiley’s appointment, the club has made a concerted effort to reconnect with the local community.

“We started doing free community events from Christmas carols where we had 800 to 900 attend, to a Chinese New Year street festival which we were overwhelmed with when about 2000 people turned up,” she said.

“We have a free opera concert in May and an art exhibition in June.

“So, we are really trying to attract new people to the business and diversifying what we do.”

For the record, more than 60 weddings as well as conferences are held at Links Hope Island annually.

I ask Ms Tiley what makes Links Hope Island so special.

“The people,” she said. “We have some staff here from prior to opening and it just feels like family.

“There is genuine care and respect and that is important for all of our team.

“They are really committed and focused on lifting every aspect of the business every day.

“We have such a diverse team and the difference is celebrated. It’s okay if you are different or creative or a bit eccentric.

“That’s celebrated and you don’t have to feel the need to conform.

“Links Hope Island is not a stuffy environment; it’s very welcoming and new members really love that.

“It’s just a great place to be and it’s set in a beautiful location and a wonderful lifestyle.

“We make the team feel wanted and valued and we have introduced a reward and recognition program.

“Being able to say thank you and tell people they are doing a good job is important to us.”
Ms Tiley also enjoys interacting with the members and guests.

“The members are terrific and I don’t mind having a little banter with them from time to time,” she said.

“The staff and members are a great bunch of people to work with and they make the day thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable. I love it.”

Away from the rigors of work, Ms Tiley dabbles in art and even has a number of her paintings in her office.

She also happens to be a “massive foodie”.

“I’m a bit of an artist and I also love food, wine and travel,” she said.

About David Newbery

Chief writer David Newbery has been living, breathing and writing and editing golf for more than 30 years. His extensive knowledge of the game comes from covering golf around the world. Hired by Inside Golf in 2009, David previously worked as the editor of The Golfer for 25 years and before that worked for numerous daily newspapers in Australia and overseas. The Brisbane-based journalist describes his golf game as “a work in progress”, but has had the privilege of playing golf with some of the game’s best players including nine-time major winner Gary Player. David enjoys travelling, reading, music, photography and spending time with family and friends – on and off the golf course.


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