Gleneagles, the Grove and Monte Rei are just some of the big-name golf venues vying for accolades at the sixth annual 59club Service Excellence Awards to be handed out on 29th February.
The event, to be held at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, rewards the highest-achieving golf venues across all business elements – sales, service, operations, retail and management. And 59club’s industry benchmark, the Gold and Silver Flag Awards – recognising the finest membership clubs and commercial venues – will also be presented.
Compered by Georgie Bingham, host of the Weekend Sports Breakfast show on talkSPORT and presenter for Premier League TV and Eurosport, the event will celebrate the achievements of the very best individuals, teams and venues within the golf industry.
Up for seven awards, the team at Stoke Park lead the nominations, while Dubai Golf will be looking to retain the title of ‘Golf Group of the Year’, having been nominated again along with Arabella Golf, three-time winner Marriott, Exclusive Golf and Foxhills/Farleigh.
Some awards will see different categories of golf venues competing for top honours – including pay-and-play courses, exclusive members clubs and international resorts.
The ‘leading individual golf sales performance’ will be hotly-contested with 10 individuals named in the list of nominations, including three from Marriott venues: Natalie Clarke (Breadsall Priory), Billie Mckenna) (Tudor Park), and Mireille Hanshaw (Hollins Hall) and three from QHotels: Lisa Harmon (Belton Woods), George Crawshaw (Mottram Hall) and Richard Tidy (Dunston Hall). They are up against Ashley Dale (Rockliffe Hall), Emma Hargreaves (Stoke Park), Nicola Smith (Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa) and Oliver Peel (Addington Golf Club), who are also contenders for the award.
To ensure venues of all sizes are recognised for their outstanding levels of achievement, 59club has, this year, introduced two categories for each of the four following awards: ‘golf retail manager of the year’, ‘food and beverage manager of the year’, ‘greenkeeper of the year’, and ‘golf manager of the year’.
The decision to segment clubs by an average green fee of either above or below £75 per person, ensures clubs of all sizes and budgets have the chance to win based on their market positioning. Venues such as Worsley, Dibden and Tudor Park all receive multiple nominations in these new categories.
Not every venue will win a major award, but 59club will be recognising the efforts being made by all clubs by presenting the ‘striving for excellence’ award to every venue attending the ceremony.
The 59club awards’ evening – sponsored and partnered by England Golf, The PGA, World of Leading Golf, Club Car, Golfbreaks.com, Tacit Golf, golftell, Fluid Productions, Kennet Equipment Leasing, CGI Insurance, Colt Mackenzie McNair, Pro Shop Europe, GMé, and Golf Retailing – is often labelled the ‘Oscars’ of the golf service industry, and its awards are all highly prized.
Simon Wordsworth, chief executive at 59club and a fellow of the PGA, explained: “The event offers a great opportunity for those within the industry to get together and recognise the best individuals and teams for their outstanding performance over the past 12 months.”
The ceremony will once again illustrate how the 59club awards are like no other – recognising all venues, irrespective of size – for the level of service consistency they deliver to members and visitors. And it’s all judged objectively and quantifiably, as the results are based on real data collected by 59club’s team of golf mystery shoppers throughout 2015.
Previous 59club award winners include the Belfry; 2010 Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manor; Dubai Golf; De Vere; Wentworth; Stoke Park; Close House; and Goodwood, among many others.
59club will also be awarding the highly valued Gold Flags, for which only six UK venues – including this year’s host, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club – managed the required standard at the 2015 award ceremony. Other awards to be presented on the night include: ‘golf sales team of the year’ ‘membership sales team of the year’ and ‘golf operation team of the year’
The awards’ evening will be the culmination of a day of seminars, open to all golf/leisure staff and club managers, on the theme of ‘membership sales and retention’, with speakers including world-renowned presenter Gregg Patterson.
59club 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.
To book a place at the seminars, the awards’ evening, or both – taking place on Monday, 29th February – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org . Prices start at £75pp plus vat. For more information contact email@example.com
Full list of award nominations:
Leading Individual Golf Sales Performance: Ashley Dale (Rockliffe Hall), Billie Mckenna (Tudor Park), Emma Hargreaves (Stoke Park), George Crawshaw (Mottram Hall), Mireille Hanshaw (Hollins Hall), Natalie Clarke (Breadsall Priory), Nicola Smith (Hill Valley), Oliver Peel (The Addington), Richard Tidy (Dunston Hall), Lisa Harmon (Belton Woods).
Most Improved Golf Operation Team of the Year: Foxhills, Linden Hall, Son Muntaner, Portal, Stonebridge.
Most Improved Golf Sales Team of the Year: Hill Valley, Mannings Heath, Stoke Park, Forest of Arden, St Pierre, Tudor Park.
Golf Operation Team of the Year: Dubai Creek, Forest of Arden, Monte Rei, Stoke Park, The Grove, Tudor Park.
Golf Sales Team of the Year: Forest of Arden, Hill Valley, Mannings Heath, Rockliffe Hall, Stoke Park, St Pierre, The Manor House.
Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year: Breadsall Priory, Dubai Creek, The Emirates, Herons’ Reach, Rockliffe Hall.
Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year: Celtic Manor, Cranleigh, Dubai Creek, Stoke Park, The Vale.
Golf Retail Manager of the Year (average green fee above £75 per person): Alan Soutar (The Belfry), Phil Scott (Dubai Creek), Ayden Roberts-Jones (The Duke’s St Andrews), Simon Howell (Forest of Arden), Marisa Rosa (Monte Rei), Tim Harris (Stoke Park).
Golf Retail Manager of the Year (average green fee below £75 per person): Paul Smith (Dibden), Murray Urquhart (Spey Valley), Philip Hoye (Stonebridge), Greg Owen (Tudor Park), Daniel Young (Woldingham).
Food and Beverage Manager of the Year (average green fee above £75 per person): Rebecca Blackith (Close House), Margaux Park (The Duke’s St Andrews), Serina Bahrey (Forest of Arden), Richard Welnitschuk (Gleneagles), Bruno Flores (Monte Rei), Andre Fredrich (Wentworth)
Food and Beverage Manager of the Year (average green fee below £75 per person): Ellie Gray (Dibden), Paul Maysey (Goodwood), Samantha Sinden (Hill Barn), James Haddow (Linden Hall), Sarah Allen (Tudor Park).
Greenkeeper of the Year (average green fee above £75 per person): Angus McLeod (The Belfry – Brabazon), Stephen Blakely (Close House – Colt), Jim McKenzie (Celtic Manor – 2010), Craig Haldane (Emirates – Majlis), Rob Rowson (Forest of Arden – Arden), Mikey Dorrice (Gleneagles – King’s), Alex Millar (Stoke Park) Graham Matheson (Wentworth – West).
Greenkeeper of the Year (average green fee below £75 per person): Paul Hopkins (Ashburnham), Craig Sanderson (Hollins Hall), David Gibbs (Kingswood), Martyn Anthony (Sprowston Manor), Ian Brawn (Worsley Park).
Golf Manager of the Year (average green fee above £75 per person): Will Hewitt (Celtic Manor), Derek Robson (The Duke’s St Andrews), Fraser Liston (Forest of Arden), Anna Darnell (The Grove), David Shepherd (Monte Rei), Stuart Collier (Stoke Park).
Golf Manager of the Year (average green fee below £75 per person): Steve Turner (Breadsall Priory), Alan Tait (Dalmahoy), Davy Cuthbertson (Rockliffe Hall), James Ibbetson (Tudor Park), Adam Moule (Worsley Park).
Golf Group of the Year: Arabella Golf, Dubai Golf, Exclusive Golf, Foxhills/Farleigh, Marriott Golf.