In glittering style, the 7th annual ‘Service Excellence Awards Ceremony’, hosted at The Belfry Resort on February 27th 2017, paid tribute to 59club’s top performing client clubs. It comes as no surprise that those honoured, and present on the night, are regarded as some of the very best clubs and resorts in golf, as they consistently strive to achieve ‘service excellence’.
The awards are designed to recognise the top golf venues across all business elements - sales, service, operations, retail, golf course, food & beverage and management - based on the actual scores they receive as part of the benchmarking process. Audits include a series of mystery calls and visits from a trained 59club tester, who evaluates the experience afforded to both visiting golfers and prospective members, all in accordance with 59club’s detailed and non-subjective benchmarking criteria.
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 13 Gold Flags which included Celtic Manor Resort; Forest of Arden; Foxhills Resort; Gleneagles; Monte Rei; Rockliffe Hall; Son Muntaner; The Dukes – St Andrews’; The Grove and Yas Links within the Resort category. Whilst in the Members Club Category; Emirates Golf Club; Dubai Creek and Stoke Park also received ‘Gold Flag’ status.
Six ‘Silver Flag’ winners were announced on the night, these included Alcanada; The Belfry and The Mere in the Resort category. Gullane; Roehampton and Woodhall Spa received Member Club ‘Silver Flag’ status.
The newly introduced ‘Bronze Flag’ Awards were presented to six clubs, namely Breadsall Priory; Carden Park and Castelconturbia in the Resort category whilst Goodwood; Kingswood and The Royal Automobile Club also claimed ‘Bronze Flag’ status in the Members Club category.
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 Grove, London’s Country Estate and one of the UK’s finest golf destinations, scooped one of the highest prized awards of the evening, earning them the enviable title - ‘The Ultimate Golf Resort’.
Anna Darnell, Director of Golf & Resort Experiences at The Grove, commented: “It is an honour to receive an award that underlines our commitment to five-star customer service. It is also testament to our highly-professional, dedicated team who work tirelessly to ensure every guest receives a first class experience.”
Dubai Golf – who manage two of the leading golf clubs in Dubai, the Emirates and Dubai Creek – shone on the night, as they claimed an impressive six service excellence awards. In addition to their two Gold Flags, they also saw Craig Haldane (Emirates) hailed ‘Greenkeeper of the year’ and Barney Coleman (Emirates) ‘Golf Manager of the year’, both within the over £75 green fee category. Dubai Golf were awarded Golf Group of the year and finally the Emirates went on to be crowned ‘The Ultimate Members Club’.
Christopher May, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Golf said: “At Dubai Golf our mission is to exceed Customers’ expectations through consistent service excellence, this is achieved through our colleagues making a difference and delivering memorable moments for each and every member and guest that we host. The 59club audit process has been instrumental in developing and monitoring our performance, this, teamed with the training 59club have developed, has undoubtedly assisted us to make this happen.”
The Marriot Golf Group was also left revelling on the night as they too received six awards. The Forest of Arden received ‘Silver Flag Status’ and ‘Golf Sales Team of the year’. Breadsall Priory claimed ‘Bronze Flag’ Status whilst Debby Hollis received the ‘Leading Individual Golf Membership Performance’ award. Their track didn’t stop there, as Adam Moule, (formally) Worsley Park, received the title ‘Golf Manager of the year’ and the team at Worsley went on to win the ‘Golf Operations Team of the year’ award, both within the under £75 green fee category.
Other venues celebrating on the night were newcomers Louth Golf Club who put in an excellent performance during 2016, and as a result saw Nick Taylor crowned ‘Golf Retail Manager of the year’(<£75). Another newcomer, Yas Links, achieved both ‘Gold Flag’ status and saw Mohamed Hidhayath claim ‘Food & Beverage manager of the year’ (>£75). Rockliffe Hall were honoured with two awards as Davy Cuthbertson and Jon Wyer claimed the ‘Greenkeeper of the year 2016’ (<£75) whilst the Resort itself was further acclaimed with ‘Gold Flag ’ status.
The Arabella Golf Group also received two awards, Carmen Laguna claimed ‘Golf Retail Manager of the year’ (>£75) and Son Muntaner received a ‘Gold Flag Award’ within the Resort category. Monte Rei were also awarded two accolades, a highly prized ‘Gold Flag’ and ‘Golf Operations Team of the year’ (>£75). Castleconturbia claimed both ‘Food & Beverage Manager of the year’ (<£75) and a ‘Bronze Flag Award’. The Vale Golf Resort saw their Leisure Club receive ‘Leisure Membership Sales Team of the year’, an award that they have now taken away an impressive four times over. Herons Reach went on to claim ‘Golf Membership Sales Team of the year’, whilst Macdonald Hotels’ Graham Auld of Linden Hall received the ‘Leading Individual Golf Sales Performance’ accolade.
Simon Wordsworth CEO at 59club, “The night was a credit to our partners and client clubs who have embarked on the journey to improve industry standards with us. These clubs have the competitive edge and naturally reap market advantage. The proof is in the results, and that’s what 59club give you – real honest benchmarking statistics, teamed with training support which ultimately assists clubs to advance. Success stories are evident at each and every club we are fortunate to work with – big and small. It’s only when you begin to appreciate how good or bad you really are that you can work to excel. I am delighted to congratulate every club we work with for their dedication and unerring desire to provide only the very best in service across all spectra.”
Award Winners: Leading Individual Golf Sales Performance – Graham Auld (Linden Hall); Golf Sales Team of the year – Forest of Arden; Golf Membership Sales Team of the year – Herons Reach; Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance – Debby Hollis (Breadsall Priory); Leisure Membership Sales Team of the year – The Vale Resort.; Golf Operations Team of the year (average green fee below £75) - Worsley Park; Golf Operations Team of the year (average green fee above £75) – Monte Rei; Golf Retail Manager of the year (average green fee above £75) – Carmen Laguna (Son Muntaner); Golf Retail Manager of the year (average green fee below £75) – Nick Taylor (Louth Golf Club); Food & Beverage Manager of the year (average green fee above £75) – Mohamed Hidhayath (Yas Links); Food & Beverage Manager of the year (average green fee below £75) – Graziano Sem (Castelconturbia); Greenkeeper of the year (average green fee above £75) – Craig Haldane (Emirates Golf Club); Greenkeeper of the year (average green fee under £75) – Davy Cuthbertson and Jon Wyer (Rockliffe Hall); Golf Manager of the year (average green fee above £75) – Barney Coleman (Emirates Golf Club); Golf Manager of the year (average green fee under £75) – Adam Moule (formerly Worsley Park); Golf Group of the year - Dubai Golf; The Ultimate Members Club 2017 – Emirates Golf Club; The Ultimate Golf Resort 2017 – The Grove; Gold Flag (resorts) - Celtic Manor Resort; Forest of Arden; Foxhills Resort; Gleneagles; Monte Rei; Rockliffe Hall; Son Muntaner; The Dukes – St Andrews’; The Grove and Yas Links. Gold Flag (members clubs) Emirates Golf Club; Dubai Creek and Stoke Park. Silver Flag (resorts) – Alcanada; The Belfry; The Mere. Silver Flag (members clubs) – Gullane; Roehampton; Woodhall Spa. Bronze Flag (resorts) - Breadsall Priory; Carden Park; Castelconturbia. Bronze Flag (members clubs) - Goodwood, Kingswood and The Royal Automobile Club.
You can view (and download) all the photos taken on the 27th by going here.