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Interview: Jarosław Jakubowski

August 2020 / Interview – Mr Jarosław Jakubowski, President of Lisia Polana Golf Club



Has the pandemic affected everyday business and how?

It influenced a lot when it comes to business. Lisia Polana is a golf course, hotel and restaurant. The entire facility was locked for 50 days during the lock down.

Since the field needed to be kept in good shape, there were maintenance costs and no income. To my knowledge, Lisia Polana was one of the few golf courses in Poland that did not agree to "golf walks" being an emanation of total fiction and breaking the law.

At this point, there is the phenomenon of competition at all costs ... This is already history, but we can look everyone straight in the eyes, because we were always faithful to the slogan "Lisia plays always fair".

"Life" after the pandemic?

The most important task for us is to maintain sanitary requirements. We have noticed a very positive phenomenon of returning to golf people who have not played for a long time. This is probably due to the perception of golf as a safe sport during a pandemic.

There is also a lot of interest in getting started learning golf. So, a lot of new faces appeared in Lisia Polana. This must be satisfying.

"The friendliest golf course in Warsaw". What does this mean for club members - current and potential?

We would like people not to be discouraged by the fame and stereotypes that are associated with golf in Poland.

We believe it's a sport for everyone. Golf must not be intimidating. This is a wonderful, maybe the most wonderful of individual sports. That is why we try to reach various groups potentially interested in this sport. If someone visits us for the first time, we want them to feel "at home" right away. We strive to make our guests and members feel this openness and interest all the time - by phone or e-mail, from entering the reception desk through lessons with coaches, and the first tournaments.

This is how we understand a friendly field and we want to be such a place.

Golf course in excellent condition, both fairways and greens. How do you do it?

The recipe is very simple - hire permanent employees, train them and it must bring results.

We have a well-coordinated team that is able to give a lot. We also spare no money for appropriate fertilizers and other necessary measures for grass. Only a no-limit budget works.

Return of the PGA training center last year and continuation in the current one.

Lisia Polana is widely perceived as an excellent training place. We have one the largest driving range in Poland where we play only from natural grass. Therefore, after a two-year break, the Management Board of PGA asked to continue cooperation. Lisia Polana is another year's official PGA training center. The hotel base and fully equipped conference rooms necessary for the training of golf instructors also have a significant impact on this.

The training team led by Mike O'Brien receives a lot of praise from golfers.

Mike O'Brien is a significant name among golf instructors in Poland. Collaboration with Mike has been going on for many years, with a hiatus when Mike was the coach of the Polish Junior National Team. In our opinion, he is the most professional person in Poland when it comes to learning to play golf.

Arkadiusz Rutkowski is the creator of the team and the Junior Academy in Lisia Polana. The team led by Arek has been successful in national junior tournaments for years. For obvious reasons, the junior team was supported on all levels, including financial, by the golf course management.

The FootGolf course, the only one in Warsaw and its vicinity.

I have to admit that I learned about Foot Golf from our club member who turned out to be the president of the Polish Foot Golf Association. As we had some unused space for classic golf, we as the Management Board thought it was a great idea to have this function next to a normal golf course. We made the first 9 holes. Everyone can kick a ball, football in Poland is a national game - we are convinced that there is potential in it. The customers who come to us and play Foot Golf are generally enthusiastic. However, like everything else, Foot Golf also needs promotion. If there is enough interest, we will make the second nine of Foot Golf course, so that it is full of 18 holes.

The restaurant has been famous for high-level cuisine for many years.

The restaurant is an important part of our Club. A good meal should always complement a good round of golf. I think that golfers dream of our dumplings and bbq ribs already around the 16th hole (laughs). We try to keep the level and I think we manage to keep it thanks to the hard work of the restaurant staff, headed by our chef Maciej Szweche.

High land taxes.

Due to the huge area needed to create an 18-hole golf course, the property tax is one of the most important items in the golf course budget.

As there are no legal regulations regarding large-area sports facilities, the amount of taxes is determined individually by municipalities. So far, no one has actually dealt with the issue of regulating such a tax, and among golf course owners there is no will to cooperate and everyone tries to act individually in this matter. I would like to emphasize that our relations with the Pomiechówek Commune are perfect and model. We can always count on the favor of the commune authorities, which we have been experiencing for many years.

Short and long-term plans.

I would like to say with full force that our ambition is to make Lisia Polana one of the best golf courses in Poland. This is both a short-term and long-term goal. Undoubtedly, we are already distinguished by quality and the fact that the field is well prepared practically throughout the season. In the near future, we plan to build a few water obstacles and redesign the 18th green. Works on closing part of the golf shelter and creating a year-round studio for learning golf, including simulators, are already advanced.

From the non-golf plans, we are thinking about a new arrangement of the club restaurant.

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