59club, the specialist customer service analysts and training provider, has revealed the winners of its quarterly Service Excellence Award winners.
The designated UK & European awards focus on four categories, spanning Golf Operations, Golf Course, Retail and Food & Beverage.
The honours saw Brad Gould, Head of Golf Sales at The Grove, recognised for his outstanding performance within the Leading UK & European Golf Operation category, which saw him achieve a 3% advantage over his closest rival.
Chris Fitt (Foxhills), Christopher Reeve (The Belfry), Andrew Jowett (Gleneagles) Stuart Collier (Stoke Park) all narrowly missed out following a run of very successful audit reviews, as adjudicated by 59club in accordance with its objective benchmarking criteria.
On receiving his award, Gould said; “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of our exceptional team at The Grove, who have continued to deliver a five-star guest journey in the most trying of circumstances. We will continue to focus on how we can enhance our customer experience and rewarding staff members through the valuable feedback we receive from benchmarking within 59club visits.”
When it came to delivering the best golf course, it was a very close race, which saw Alex Millar, Head of Estate at Stoke Park, claim 59club’s Leading UK & European Golf Course Experience, with just half a percentage point between Alex and his closest competition, Phil Chiverton of The Grove.
Angus Macleod (The Belfry), Craig Parry (Edgbaston GC) and Terry Wharton (Haydock Park GC) finished third and joint fourth respectively, again with very little to separate the top performers.
Talking about his success, Millar said: “It’s a great acknowledgment for the greenkeeping crew for all their hard work this season, and to get the mark we did is very special. The 59club standards are a great way to see where you are in the industry, and what you have to strive for.”
Within the Retail category, it was Jack Heginbotham, Head PGA Professional at Long Ashton Golf Club in Bristol, who claimed 59club’s Leading UK & European Retail Experience award, with a 1-percentage point margin over his closest rivals.
Sean Graham (Foxhills) and Tom Davies (Ashburnham GC) came in joint second position, with Matt Lacey (Hurtmore GC) and Alyson Lilley (Gleneagles) claiming third and fourth respectively.
Commenting on his winning performance, Heginbotham said: “I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of my talented Pro Shop team here at Long Ashton Golf Club. Since starting our work with 59club we have learned so much relating to service, and it would be remiss of me not to thank my team for the hard work they have put in alongside me to improve our service levels and dramatically improve our mystery golfer scores across the board.”
When it came to recognising service excellence delivered within the clubhouse during a golf visitor mystery shopper experience, there was nothing to separate the leaders, which saw 59club’s UK & European Leading Food & Beverage Experience award presented to both Steven Marshall, Club House Manager of Gullane Golf Club, and previous winner Jacques Hobson of The Belfry.
Houssem Belabed (Gleneagles) was just 1-percentage point behind the joint winners, with Greg Smith (Edgbaston GC) and Simon Ibbotson (Kingswood G&CC) sharing third position.
On receiving his shared accolade, Marshall said: “It is a great honour and a privilege for me to win the Service Excellence Award on behalf of Gullane Golf Club. As one of Scotland’s most prestigious members clubs, we continually strive to provide a first-class experience for members and visitors alike. Achieving a high level of customer service is always of upmost importance to all our F&B team, especially in these challenging times.”
Joint-winner Jacques Hobson, F&B Outlets Manager, added: “I am extremely proud to be part of a dedicated team that provides exceptional customer service at every level. To be recognised for this award two years running is a privilege and demonstrates how The Belfry goes above and beyond to deliver memorable experiences for its guests. I am confident that the service and hospitality myself and my team deliver will continue to exceed expectations for years to come.”
Commenting on the success of each of the winners, Will Hewitt, 59club UK General Manager, said: “Congratulations to all award winners, and of course to all of our contenders. It’s always an extremely close race with the smallest of margins splitting the very best, as we delve into the league tables each month. Now more than ever, amid what was a challenging period for many, for us to be able to continue recognising the industry’s best customer service providers and sales performances, despite the obvious restrictions and disruptions is something we are very proud of.
“We are equally as delighted to witness that standards at our client properties, regardless of those obstacles, has remained as you would always expect, at the very highest levels observed within the industry across the board, and we have enjoyed supporting these performances.
“Well done to all those individuals, teams and managers who contributed to delivering the very best experiences in golf. Standards like these will always set you apart! Be proud, enjoy the glory & keep up the great work.”