‘We just want to make our customers have a more enjoyable experience,’ says the new owner of Hawkestone golf course
Trehaven Golf and Country Club is now in its second year of new ownership.
Charles Xiao purchased the Hawkestone golf course last April. He moved from China to Canada in 2010 to be with his daughter, who was attending the University of Waterloo.
“After she graduated, my daughter decided to stay in Canada,” he explained. “So, I decided to stay, too.”
Xiao decided leaving his business and family life behind in China was worth the risk, and he said it was time for him to find his new endeavour.
“I couldn’t just stay at home and do nothing,” he said. “I needed a project to do.”
Xiao came across an ad for the sale of Trehaven Golf and Country Club and saw it as an opportunity.
“I enjoy golf and enjoy life here in Canada,” he said. “This is very comfortable for me.”
The goal for Xiao is to make golfing at Trehaven a better experience for all players.
“I believe that when people join the golf course, they hope to enjoy the environment,” he said. “People want better grass conditions, better fairways, better tee boxes, better bunkers, and all the outside stuff.”
To improve the course conditions, Trehaven has been using better products, and it’s paying off, he says, with better conditions.
Customer service in the pro shop and bar area has also been a point of emphasis for Xiao since taking over. He wants all golfers to feel welcomed and happy with their golf experience. Every morning, complimentary coffee and muffins are provided for all customers.
The course has also initiated more activities and a higher competitive level with different incentives. There are free daily draws to win free golf and discounted rates. Players can also win rewards for sinking holes-in-one, birdies and even pars on designated holes.
“We just want to make our customers have a more enjoyable experience,” he said. “We like giving everyone a chance to win something.”
It has led to better reviews both online and in the clubhouse.
“People keep coming back,” he said. “We are glad that our customers are enjoying the environment, the exercise, and having fun golfing here with the chance to win something back.”
Xiao’s long-term goal is to keep the course as friendly and inclusive as possible for everyone, especially seniors and beginners.
“I’ve been to other courses where the green fee with a cart costs around $90,” he said. “We want to keep our prices close to $60, even on weekends. Every day is like a senior rate for people who come here to play.”
Xiao also recently acquired Horseshoe Valley Golf Zone, which is equipped with a variety of golf simulators.
“It’s a place where people can play golf in the winter,” he explained. “After the 2022 golf season here, we will open that up around November or December.”