BY DAVID BIRTILL
KENNY Arnott had certainly done the rounds before his arrival as general manager at Oak Royal Golf and Country Club and Hotel.
The 36-year-old Glaswegian gained a wealth of experience working in such far flung places as Bermuda, Dubai and the United States in addition to his home country.
And his credentials are manifest in his impressive CV which details his progress from graduating at the University of Dundee through to his most recent role as hotel manager of the five star Island of Eriska resort in Argyll.
So what attracted him to the scenic Lancashire club, between Chorley and Blackburn, where a luxurious 26-bedroom hotel opens its doors next month?
“My wife Crystal is from Garstang and we are expecting our first child in September,” he explained.
“We’d met when we both worked at the St Andrews Bay Golf Resort in Fife but I always wanted to travel the world to get as much experience as possible, although the plan was always to come home.
“The Oak Royal position was too good an opportunity to miss because it meant I could bring my wife back to her old stomping ground.”
Compared with some of the exotic places Arnott has worked at in various capacities such as sales and marketing, business development and golf management and run 300-bedroom complexes, his new role appears relatively small scale.
“But it’s just as challenging,” he stressed. “My position here is different. I’m in charge of the four-star hotel with a five-star service and I’m tasked with bringing the golf side up to the same level because it’s an integral part of the business.
“Nine hole courses, like Oak Royal, are becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that a round does not have to take up most of the day. This course is fantastic and you’ll struggle to find one in the area with better greens.
“And I’m keen to buck the national trend of falling memberships by attracting more people to play here, although the club is already doing well.
“I also want players to enjoy the facilities. They will have their own bar and restaurant and if they want something more upmarket then they can use the hotel’s main dining room.”
Arnott, who plays off a 16 handicap, is also determined to maintain the club’s popularity with the local community for social events and family gatherings.
“That will all continue,” he pledged. “It’s all a big challenge but with the right team on board I’m confident it will be a success.”
Oak Royal’s golf manager Caroline Downes greets Kenny Arnott.