Malaysia; 6 May 2021: The Els Club Malaysia, managed by Troon International, the leaders in upscale golf course management have made two new senior appointments. The championship venue welcomes Steven Thielke as General Manager of The Els Club Desaru Coast and Sean Kinsley as Group Director of Agronomy across The Els Club Malaysia – Desaru Coast and Teluk Datai facilities. Steven and Sean replace long term Troon veterans Stephen Havrilla and Terrance Mohamed who move onto new opportunities in the USA and South East Asia respectively.
Steven Thielke joins The Els Club Malaysia and Troon International with over 30 years of golf and hospitality industry experience. In 2019, Steven successfully completed his Club Managers’ Certification (CCM) with the Club Management Association of America (CMAA), a professional qualification and the gold standard in club management.
Most recently, Steven has spent the past eight years as CEO of TPC Kuala Lumpur, overseeing the club’s transformation process, and under the South African’s management, TPC Kuala Lumpur captured the golf world’s attention through staging PGA Tour, European Tour and LPGA events annually for over three consecutive years.
Steven Thielke commented of the appointment: “It’s a true privilege to be associated with, fellow countryman, Ernie Els’ brand and to be part of the Troon International family. The natural beauty, wildlife and high-quality of golf on offer at The Els Club Desaru Coast is simply spectacular. I have yet to experience anything equal in the world of golf that offers such world class facilities with uninterrupted views and a fresh sea breeze in an authentic tropical destination.
“I’m extremely excited to be part of team at The Els Club Desaru Coast and add value to the overall growth of the club and the destination, particularly in the recovery from the past year as we look to re-open borders and welcome golfers from outside Malaysia to Desaru Coast.”
The Els Club Malaysia’s second exciting appointment, Sean Kinsley, has been a part of the Troon family for the past 13 years. He joins as Group Director of Agronomy having truly embraced the international opportunities working for the leader in golf management brings. Prior to his new role in Malaysia, he previously worked in Australia, USA, Russia, India and the UAE.
Sean joins The Els Club Malaysia from Dubai where he was Cluster Director of Agronomy across Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Dubai Hills Golf Club, and Montgomerie Golf Club Dubai. During his tenure, Dubai Hills Golf Club was awarded ‘World’s Best New Golf Course’ at the 2019 World Golf Awards, a true recognition of the high standards Sean upholds across course conditioning and presentation.
The Els Club Malaysia’s new Director of Agronomy, Sean Kinsley, expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity: “Having personally visited the location on more than one occasion I am delighted to be joining The Els Club Malaysia team. The opportunity to be involved in the management of such a strong group of courses located in such a stunning setting is one that I am eagerly anticipating. Each of the three courses is distinct in terms of style and the role certainly promises to be one that will require a varied approach when it comes to the maintenance of each property.
“Being aware of the growing portfolio of the golf courses and the recent progress made by the Agronomy team, I am very excited at the prospect of consolidating that momentum and continuing to drive and deliver further improvements in course conditioning and international recognition of each club over the years ahead.”
Managed by Troon under the Troon Golf brand and created by four-time Major Champion and World Golf Hall of Famer, Ernie Els, with the Valley Course being designed by Vijay Singh, the three golf courses across both properties at The Els Club Malaysia, in Desaru Coast and Teluk Datai, are all of the highest possible standard. Collectively, this has enabled the clubs to quickly assert themselves as one of the most talked about experiences in the golf market.
Additionally, with three clubhouses, each with their own distinguished F&B and Golf Shop outlets, as well as a dedicated team of hospitality professionals, guests are treated to five-star service from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave. With easy accessibility via road, air and sea, both destinations are growing in popularity and with the introduction of a series of luxury hotel brands it makes for an ultimate golfing getaway in South East Asia.