British Columbia resort Predator Ridge gets GM gem in Whistler steal
Most golf pros and general managers are unremarkable to mediocre. That’s the way it is in almost every profession - golf writers included. Unfortunately, you tend to remember the truly bad ones most too - the pro who puts his own game ahead of his customers, the GM who acts like he has a no-show job on The Sopranos. But every once in a while, you come across someone in the golf industry who’s great at their job. Rod Cochrane is one of those golf lifers who tries a little harder, cares a little more and preens a lot less. When I played Chateau Whistler when Cochrane was running it, you could tell the staff had the kind of service training that only on-the-ball managers give. Everyone from the clubhouse attendants to the bag boys called golfers by their names. This didn’t seem to be just a show for the golf writer either. And every time you needed something, someone was there. Yet the marshals didn’t act like they’d been deputized as local sheriffs and encouraged to hassle duffers. That service turned an already great British Columbia course into a spectacular experience few golfers forget. That’s a priceless boost. And it’s obvious, it came from Cochrane’s direction. Now Whistler’s loss is the Okanagan’s gain. Cochrane is moving on to become the GM at Predator Ridge Golf Club, an upscale spot in the middle of crazy nature in Canada’s version of Napa Valley. I must admit I was a little disappointed when I’d heard the maverick Paterson family of golf characters at Predator Ridge had recently sold off their family business to the corporate Wesbild Holdings Ltd. Even if it does mean that one of Predator’s sometimes infuriating quirks - unfairly difficult and often ridiculously impossible pin set ups - will likely be tempered. But hearing that Cochrane is going to lead the golf department at the 27-hole facility shows that Wesbild knows what it’s doing and cares about its customers. Predator Ridge just got stronger and Whistler golf lost a guy who actually worried about the average golfer. In this business, that’s too rare.
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