On Monday, February 26, some of the golf industry’s very best clubs, resorts and individuals gathered at The Grove for 59club’s 8th annual ‘Service Excellence Awards Ceremony’.
The awards, which recognise the leading golf venues that consistently achieve ‘service excellence’ across all areas of the business – sales, service, operations, retail, golf course, food & beverage and management – are based on actual scores collected from an independent visitor panel who evaluate the experience afforded to both visiting golfers and prospective members, all in accordance with 59club’s detailed and non-subjective benchmarking criteria.
To ensure venues of all sizes are recognised for their outstanding levels of achievement, 59club introduced two categories for selected individual and team awards, thus segmenting clubs who charge an average green fee of either above or below £75. This ensures clubs of all sizes and budgets have the chance to receive the credit they deserve, based on the market segment they have chosen to compete in.
The climax of the night for many is when the 59club Industry Benchmark – the Gold, Silver and Bronze Flag Awards – are bestowed on the finest member clubs and commercial venues that not only achieve the required standard of service as part of the benchmarking criteria, but also provide excellent facilities for golfers to enjoy.
The ‘Oscars’ of the golf industry saw 59club present 16 Gold Flags, which included, Celtic Manor Resort, Dubai Creek, Emirates Golf Club, Forest of Arden, Foxhills, Gleneagles, Monte Rei, Rockliffe Hall, Roehampton Club, Royal Golf Club, Bahrain, Son Muntaner, Stoke Park, The Belfry Resort, The Grove, Trump International, Dubai and Yas Links.
Four ‘Silver Flag’ winners were also announced on the night – Alcanada, The Duke’s – St Andrews, The Mere and Woodhall Spa, while ‘Bronze Flag’ Awards were presented to nine clubs, namely Breadsall Priory, Castelconturbia, Gullane Golf Club, Kingswood Golf & Country Club, Royal Automobile Club, Slaley Hall, Son Vida, St Pierre and The Buckinghamshire.
Gleneagles, the iconic Scottish hotel and global luxury destination, scooped one of the highest prized awards of the evening, earning them the enviable title – ‘The Ultimate Golf Resort’.
Gary Silcock, Director of Golf at Gleneagles, said: “Providing an outstanding guest experience is our number one priority – and listening and responding to guest feedback is an important way of facilitating this. We have worked with 59club for a number of years now to ensure we receive real insights into customer satisfaction, so it is particularly pleasing to know the fine-tuning of the consumer journey that we have made over the last 18 months has helped us enhance the overall experience.
“However, this award does not mark the end of our ongoing development, as we continue to invest in the golf operations team and undertake an internal renovation of The Dormy Clubhouse and pro shop. This investment will help us celebrate our rich heritage within the game and enable us to remain a glorious playground for golfers for many years to come.”
Dubai Golf, which manages two of the leading golf clubs in Dubai – the Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek – claimed an impressive eight service excellence awards. Dubai Creek was crowned the ‘Ultimate Members Club’ of the year and Dubai Golf also scooped the ‘Golf Group of the year’ Award.
In addition, they claimed two ‘Gold Flags’, and Dubai Creek won the ‘Golf Membership Sales Team of the year’, while the same award went to their Leisure counterparts who earned ‘Leisure Sales Team of the year’.
Stephen Hubner (Dubai Creek) was crowned ‘Golf Manager of the year’ in the over £75 green fee category, while Cian Hurley (Emirates Golf Club) received the Award for the ‘Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance’.
Christopher May, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Golf said: “Working with 59club has assisted us to continually exceed Customer expectations; it’s what we live and breathe by within Dubai Golf.
“We are naturally delighted to have received eight awards, which tops the team’s success last year. We are driven by progression, so going that step further in the award stakes means great thing for our customers, and also confirms that the staff who we depend upon are indeed delivering some of the very best experiences in golf – award winning experiences – and that’s something of which I am extremely proud to put our name to.
“The night was a great success, I can’t thank our staff and 59club enough for their commitment and achievements, we look forward to advancing our customer experience further, with our focus as always firmly fixed on service”
The Marriott Golf Group was also left revelling on the night as they too received eight awards. The Forest of Arden received ‘Gold Flag Status’, ‘Golf Sales Team of the year’, and in the over £75 green fee category they won ‘Golf Operations Team of the year’ with Simon Howell claiming the ‘Golf Retail Manager of the year’ award.
Worsley Park was awarded ‘Golf Operations Team of the year’, while Stephen Hindle received the ‘Golf Retail Manger of the year’ accolade, both in the under £75 green fee category. Breadsall Priory and St Pierre were also awarded ‘Bronze Flag Status’
Rockliffe Hall received three awards, namely a ‘Gold Flag’, whilst in the under £75 green fee category Jon Wyer went head to head with Ashburnham GC, Breadsall Priory, Forest Pines, The Belfry Resort (PGA National) and The Mere which saw Wyer claim the ‘Greenkeeper of the Year’ title, their second award. Jon Stacey then proceeded to win ‘Golf Manager of the Year’.
Other venues celebrating on the night were Monte Rei, which received a ‘Gold Flag Award’ and also saw Bruno Flores receive the ‘Food and Beverage Manager of the Year’ Award in the over £75 green fee category.
Graziano Sem of Castelconturbia fended off tough competition this year from, Bolton Golf Club, Dunston Hall, Ladybank, Rockliffe Hall and Spey Valley, which saw Sem hailed ‘Food and Beverage Manager of the Year’ in the under £75 green fee category. Castelconturbia also received ‘Bronze Flag’ Status.
The Belfry Resort saw Angus Macleod receive the ‘Greenkeeper of the Year’ award in the over £75 green fee category for the Brabazon Course, the resort also claimed a ‘Gold Flag’.
Graham Auld (formally Linden Hall, now Slaley Hall) went on to retain his title having received the ‘Leading Golf Sales Performance’ accolade.
Simon Wordsworth CEO at 59club commented, “The night was a credit to our client clubs who work tirelessly to advance industry standards. These clubs are fully committed to delivering the very best customer journey; a competitive advantage that will always see them reap the rewards for their labour.
“The proof is in the results, 59club delivers real honest sales & service benchmarking statistics, with proven protocol and training support to turn underperforming clubs around. Success stories are evident at each and every club we are fortunate to work with – big and small.
“I am delighted to congratulate our Award Winners, Nominees and indeed every club we work with for their dedication and unerring desire to provide the very best service across all spectra.”
Top picture Winners from the 8th annual 59club Service Excellence Awards Ceremony
59club ‘Service Excellence’ Award Winners;
Leading Individual Golf Sales Performance: Graham Auld (formally Linden Hall);
Golf Sales Team of the Year: Forest of Arden;
Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year: Dubai Creek;
Leading Individual Golf Membership Performance: Cian Hurley (Emirates GC);
Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year: Dubai Creek;
Golf Operation Team of the Year (<£75 green fee category): Worsley Park;
Golf Operation Team of the Year (>£75 green fee category): Forest of Arden (Arden course);
Golf Retail Manager of the Year(<£75 green fee category): Stephen Hindle (Worsley Park);
Golf Retail Manager of the Year (>£75 green fee category): Simon Howell (Forest of Arden);
Food and Beverage Manager of the Year (<£75 green fee category): Graziano Sem (Castelconturbia); Food and Beverage Manager of the Year (>£75 green fee category): Bruno Flores (Monte Rei); Greenkeeper of the Year (<£75 green fee category): Jon Wyer (Rockliffe Hall);
Greenkeeper of the Year (>£75 green fee category): Angus Macleod (The Belfry Resort, Brabazon); Golf Manager of the Year (<£75 green fee category): Jon Stacey (Rockliffe Hall);
Golf Manager of the Year (>£75 green fee category): Stephen Hubner (Dubai Creek);
Golf Group of the Year: Dubai Golf;
Bronze Flag: Breadsall Priory; Castelconturbia; Gullane GC; Kingswood GCC; Royal Automobile Club; Slaley Hall; Son Vida; St Pierre; The Buckinghamshire;
Silver Flag: Alcanada; The Duke’s – St Andrews; The Mere; Woodhall Spa;
Gold Flag: The Grove; Celtic Manor Resort; Dubai Creek; Emirates Golf Club; Forest of Arden; Foxhills; Gleneagles; Monte Rei; Rockliffe Hall; Roehampton Club; Royal GC, Bahrain; Son Muntaner; Stoke Park; The Belfry Resort; Trump International, Dubai; Yas Links; The Ultimate Members Club: Dubai Creek; The Ultimate Golf Resort: Gleneagles.
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