The Leading Golf Courses of Europe (LGCE), a corporation representing some of the continent’s most distinctive clubs, has joined forces with Europe’s leading golf-specific mystery shopper service, 59Club, to offer additional benefits to members and clients.
The Zurich-based ‘umbrella’ organisation has 11 member countries, which, in turn, have more than 35 individual member clubs – including Monte Rei, Turnberry Resort and Thracian Cliffs – and, as the general manager of LGCE, Claus Feldt, explained, maintaining the highest possible standards is a pre-requisite of membership.
“The ethos of the Leading Golf Courses of Europe is to preserve the golf culture and the spirit of the game, not only in rules, the dress code and etiquette, but also in attaining and maintaining the very highest quality standards everywhere at the golf club,” he said.
“Mystery shopping is one of the services we provide as the ‘parent’ organisation and, with the growing numbers of member clubs needing to be evaluated, we have to ensure this was carried out thoroughly and correctly. 59Club’s benchmarking services were recommended by a number of sources, including some of our member clubs, because of the company’s professionalism and attention to detail. In our early conversations it was clear to both parties that all associated golf clubs – be they LGCE member or 59Club client – would benefit from a co-operation.”
The idea of a Leading Golf Courses union was born in Austria, and was quickly copied in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The creation of a European ‘umbrella’ association was a natural, organic progression and it was inaugurated in 2012. It has since established itself as the leading European quality certification group, providing travelling golfers in Europe with peace of mind and a stamp of quality assurance.
It is 59Club’s ability to provide a bespoke ‘performance analysis tool’ which attracts a diverse range of clients from multi-venue groups and organisations to individual proprietary clubs. This personalised tool enables them to measure and compare standards of customer service and analyse all key revenue streams, not just against local or chosen competitors but also top-performing establishments.
Simon Wordsworth, chief executive at 59Club and a fellow of the PGA, said: “The 59Club footprint is increasingly being seen more and more across Europe these days and providing services in cooperation with the Leading Golf Courses of Europe will mean we are working even further afield as well as being able to enhance what we have to offer to our clients in the UK.”
“It’s a great testament to the diligence of our team that an organisation which has as its raison d’être the provision of highest quality, should choose 59Club to supply one of its essential services. Offering the participation in a pan-European network of club managers and business professionals by becoming a member of the Leading Golf Courses of Europe matches perfectly with our commitment to their on-going development in the UK.”
59Club, a PGA Official Supplier, is fast becoming the industry standard for measuring and comparing customer-service levels and analysing all key revenue streams for golf venues, and is committed to the on-going development of club managers and PGA professionals.
The unique benchmarking and training service has already benefited hundreds of PGA members and golf course operators. The services include a series of mystery shopper recorded-enquiry calls and live visits, followed up with regular analysis and training to ensure venues can identify trends and compare, improve, or maintain, service standards.
LGCE focuses on marketing and communication platforms for certified premium clubs in order to promote awareness throughout Europe. Print and on-line publications – such as the annual Leading Golf Courses Almanach and regular newsletters – serve as reference guides for the demanding golfer, while ‘members only’ travel offers and other advantages help deepen the relationship between the designated golfers and the LGCE member clubs.
Those 59Club clients that have attained a certain predefined benchmark level for their services, quality of courses and golf facilities qualify for admission to the LGCE. As a member of the association, they will partake in the network and get the chance to present themselves to a sophisticated target audience by making use of the association’s marketing tools.
The Leading Golf Courses of Europe www.leading-golf-europe.com