The Dubai Golf group was the big winner at the fifth annual 59Club Service Excellence Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of the golf service industry.
Not only did it take the award for ‘Golf Group of the Year’, but Alan Mackenzie, from Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club – one of Dubai Golf’s three clubs – won the award for ‘Golf Manager of the Year’. What’s more, Dubai Creek and Emirates GC both secured coveted gold flag status in the members’ clubs category.
The event, compered by BBC sports presenter Dan Walker and held at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, is designed to reward the top golf venues across all business elements – sales, service, operations, retail, food and beverage, and management. And 59Club’s industry benchmark, the Gold and Silver Flag Awards recognise the finest membership clubs and commercial venues.
In total 14 awards were presented, celebrating the achievements of the very best individuals, teams and venues within the golf industry, while another 17 golf venues saw their commitment to continued quality recognised with the award of a prestigious gold or silver ‘flag’.
While familiar names dominated the headline awards – Stoke Park was the ‘Ultimate Members Club’ and Celtic Manor 2010 took the plaudits for ‘Ultimate Golf Resort’ – there were a number of other outstanding performers who gained recognition, with one particular group highly visible.
QHotels’ Mottram Hall secured the title of ‘Most Improved Golf Operation Team’, while Belton Woods, in Grantham – another QHotels venue – produced the ‘Most Improved Golf Sales Team’. And a QHotels hat-trick was achieved with Dunston Hall picking up ‘Golf Sales Team of the Year’. Marriott’s Breadsall Priory triumphed in ‘Golf Operation Team of the Year’, while The Manor House, in Castle Combe, took the title of ‘Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year’.
Individual winners included Ayden Roberts-Jones, at The Duke’s (St Andrews), who secured the title of ‘Golf Retail Manager of the Year’, while Davy Cuthbertson and Pete Newton collected jointly the ‘Greenkeeper of the Year’ title for Rockliffe Hall.
Simon Wordsworth, chief executive at 59Club and a fellow of the PGA, said: “Once again we had a tremendous evening which allowed us to not only recognise the efforts of people within our industry, but also to network with them on a social level. As always there was much congratulating going on but it’s clear that those present were impressed and, often, inspired, by the success of their peers.
“It’s a great honour for 59Club to be able to host this event which is now a fixture in the industry calendar and very popular with those working within golf.”
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.
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.
Most improved golf operation team: Mottram Hall. Most improved golf sales team: Belton Woods. Golf operation team of the year: Breadsall Priory. Golf sales office team of the year: Dunston Hall. Golf membership sales team of the year: The Manor House. Leisure membership sales team of the year: The Vale Resort. Leading individual golf sales performance: Leighton Williams, Formby Hall. Golf retail manager of the year: Ayden Roberts-Jones, The Duke’s (St Andrews). Food and beverage manager of the year: Valentin Popescu, St Pierre. Greenkeeping team of the year: Davy Cuthbertson/Pete Newton, Rockliffe Hall. Golf manager of the year: Alan Mackenzie, Dubai Creek. Ultimate members club: Stoke Park. Ultimate golf resort: Celtic Manor 2010. Golf group of the year: Dubai Golf.
Gold flag – resorts: Rockliffe Hall; Forest of Arden; The Belfry; Celtic Manor 2010. Silver flag – resorts: The Duke’s (St Andrews); Club de Golf Alcanada; Slaley Hall; Cameron House; Belton Woods; St Pierre Marriott Hotel & Country Club; Arabella Golf – Son Muntaner. Gold flag – members clubs: Stoke Park; Dubai Creek; Wentworth Club; Emirates. Silver flag – members clubs: Brocket Hall; Broadstone; Close House.
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