Back at it: Vince Owen returns to Horizons Golf Resort

'EXCITED': Vince Owen was the pro at Horizons Golf Resort 1997-2003. He returned to the job in September 2019. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
'EXCITED': Vince Owen was the pro at Horizons Golf Resort 1997-2003. He returned to the job in September 2019. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

"Like coming home" is how Vince Owen described his return to Horizons Golf Resort.

Sixteen years after he departed the Salamander Bay-based resort to work at courses in Charlestown and Raymond Terrace, Owen has returned as the golf operations manager, a position he said he was "very excited" to be back in.

"It's just a dream to be able to do golf business at this level," he said. "When I was first here in the late 90s, early 2000s it was an elite public golf course. With the addition of the hotel facilities, it became a resort-level golf course, one of very few at the time.

"In this country there is now a lot of resort-level golf courses but they don't have the infrastructure - no accommodation, swimming pools, tennis courts. We have all that infrastructure here. We're really fortunate to have the quality of what we have in this part of the world."

Owen was the golf pro at Horizons from 1997 to 2003. In the early years, Horizons had 20 to 30 members on its books. Now it has more than 400.

"Most golf club's memberships are generally shrinking but we're growing and we're growing because we have diverse membership categories," Owen said. "We buck the trend. We're in a strong financial position to be able to keep this growth period going and that was a real drawcard for me in wanting to be back at the resort."

In addition to what the resort offered visitors and its positive membership growth, Owen said the golf course itself, the training facilities like the driving range and his team of four PGA trained professionals all made him excited to be back at Horizons.

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