Sahi's ClubLink Update

My phone rang on Friday and the call display showed a number and area code I wasn’t familiar with. Turns out it was [photopress:sahi.jpg,full,alignright]Morguard real estate baron, and current ClubLink CEO, Rai Sahi calling from his Florida retreat. Rai had been alerted to my blog postingabout the departures of senior ClubLink execs Murray Blair and Jim Molenhuis. Murray had been hired by former ClubLink CEO Bob Poile to run member services, while Molenhuis was in charge of new course construction.

I always enjoy Rai’s candor. He tells it exactly as he wants to — not skirting the issue at hand. Such was the case with Blair, who he characterized as “a good guy,” but one without a real role at ClubLink. He said Blair’s skills weren’t a match for the needs of ClubLink and therefore after two years the former Fairmont golf director was let go. Molenhuis, in essence, didn’t have a job after ClubLink stopped building new courses — something that won’t change in the near future, Sahi confirmed.

So what’s ClubLink’s plan? Sahi said the company is interested in expanding by acquiring existing golf facilities, but only if the price is right. Otherwise he’ll stay put. He said many of the public courses that are perceived to be struggling are actually well capitalized. That means we shouldn’t expect a lot of Mystic GC affairsout there, though Sahi confirmed ClubLink made a bid for the failed Ancaster area club.

As for taking the company off of the public markets, Sahi said that wasn’t a priority. He said between his holdings and that of company insiders, about 85% of ClubLink shares are privately held. With so few shares on the market, Sahi said he feels no need to privatize the business.

Lastly, he said there are no plans to develop the actually golf courses ClubLink has. Sahi added he is investigating real estate opportunities on access roads to courses and other areas of unused real estate.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Not very exciting strategically. He’s showing his real estate smarts, but his service industry naivety. Clublink’s in both businesses. Improving profitability through reducing costs and upping fees will work in the short term, but kill a service focussed company in the long run. Maybe he’s got a short term exit plan?

  • Clublink is counting on members not to give up their memberships, they will continue with their bad service, overpriced food and lower tier golfing experience.

    I think it will come to a sudden stop in the next year or two if they don’t start offering a value proposition to keep their customer base!

    Oh! yes we are not members! Just paying units!

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