In this edition of our Partner Spotlight, we highlight Quinta do Lago who successfully secured another Gold Flag from our recent Service Excellence Awards.
Quinta do Lago intelligently collects a wealth of data from across the resort by reviewing their customer journey including Golf, Hotel, Retail, F&B, Sports Facilities and Guest Services.
By analysing the entire journey in incredible detail, this helps teams across the resort to deliver world-class experiences consistently. We asked Luis Filipe (Corporate & Leisure Relations Director) his thoughts from working with 59club Europe South.
“At QDL we are obsessed about service and to keep improving the guest experience on the Resort.
Therefore, it is a great honor to receive this award from our partner 59club, who help us to identify areas where we can improve and to work on. We are excited to continue to work with 59club throughout 2023 and beyond.”
Quinta do Lago is nestled within the Algarve and the privacy and security of the Ria Formosa nature reserve. The resort is proud of world-class golf courses, superb restaurants, a premier sports hub, boutique hotel & an unforgettable golden sand beach.
In our continuing Partner Spotlight, Club de Golf Alcanada recently secured another Gold Flag from our Service Excellence Awards which is now their fourth in a row and an exceptional achievement.
Alcanada Golf Club proactively utilizes the in-depth data from our Golf Visitor & bespoke dining experience tools to help provide unforgettable experiences across the property. We asked Kristoff Both (Director of Club de Golf Alcanada) what it means to work with 59club Europe South.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve in every department, whether that’s in our sustainability initiatives, the quality of the golf course, or perhaps most importantly our customer service and the experience we offer to our members and guests.
After first being awarded by the 59Club in 2015, I am very proud that Alcanada has reached a level where we have secured Gold Flag Designations every year since 2020. With lots of exciting plans in place this year, we’re confident of keeping that run going in 2023”
Camiral Golf & Wellness successfully gained a prestigious Gold Flag at our recent Service Excellence Awards, not only this but Marta Castells was crowned F&B Manager of the year. Camiral uses the in depth data provided from the Golf, Hotel & F&B journey as well as the sales enquiry calls to enhance their experiences, we asked David Ashington (Director of Golf) to share his thoughts on working with 59club Europe South.
“I have been working with 59club across three properties over many years, all of different dimensions, needs and requirements. At each venue we have found a wide range of extremely qualitive points of use and quite often more than 59club actually announce as their main purpose
Firstly, having so much data to analyse at your starting point and then measuring your quest for change allows you to detail and study your strengths and weaknesses of the customer journey and most importantly in the eyes of an independent client. With so many customer check points along the journey this ensures, as a leader, you are focused in the right areas for improving. The support of having the 59club team visit you on property to then demonstrate and quantify this to your teams is invaluable and quite often enlightens the teams to areas they might not see as overly important, in equal measure it allows you to praise certain areas that they are improving in their performance levels.
Secondly, I find it invaluable to spend time on the visit to allow myself and my senior staff to brainstorm ideas and processes you might wish to implement. Given that 59club evaluate a huge number of properties worldwide they can often assist with support or valid points of view towards operating procedures that are successful (or not) which in turn can add justification to your decision making or systematic processes.
Overall, I am absolutely delighted to have been working in close capacity with 59club and can only highly recommend that other fellow Managers and Directors take serious consideration towards utilizing the benefits that 59club can offer to your venue”
Many of the UK and Europe’s leading Venues, Teams and Individuals were in attendance as 59club recognised those who delivered the very best service to their Members and Guests during 2022 at their Annual celebration of Service Excellence, which this year took place at The Hilton, St George’s Park on Thursday 2nd of March.
Delegates enjoyed educational seminars during the day, which included Olympic Gold Medal winner and now Head of Performance for the League Managers Association, Tim Foster MBE; Bestselling author of “The Habit Mechanic” and founder of Tougher Minds Consultancy, Dr Jon Finn; and former Manchester United Captain and Premier League winner, Steve Bruce.
As day moved to evening; host for the evening, seasoned presenter, Vernon Kay opened the glittering awards ceremony that has long been regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the golf & hospitality industry, since 59club’s honours list began some 13 years ago.
The event recognises the finest customer service providers for having achieved the highest standards of excellence across 2022. 59club’s accolades are determined by scores collected from their impartial mystery shopping audits, which evaluate the experience afforded to guests, club members and prospective members, in accordance with 59club’s objective benchmarking criteria.
On the night, 59club saw their UK & Southern European teams present 38 individual & team awards spanning 18 categories, recognising ‘service excellence’ across all areas of the businesses; sales, service, operations, retail, spa, golf course, food & beverage and management. With 59club continuing to reflect the very best performances, regardless of a venue’s size, scale or profile, by segmenting several individual accolades into 3 categories, based on a venue’s average green fee rate.
Of this year’s awards, Will Hewitt, General Manager of 59club UK, commented; “With a growth of over 20% in the number of venues taking our services, an award nomination this year represented an outstanding achievement across a number of hugely competitive categories.
59club awards are based on an objective analysis of the service provided at a venue, therefore recognising the venues, teams and individuals who truly do deliver world class service on a consistent basis”.
The Grove and Belvoir Park Golf Club collected the highest prized awards of the evening – Ultimate Golf Resort and Ultimate Members’ Club respectively. Both venues also achieved multiple individual and team successes; with Brad Gould and his team at The Grove collecting the enviable Golf Manager and Golf Operations Team of the Year titles (>£130 green fee category); with Alice Kozlowski adding the Leading Individual Golf Sales Performance award to The Grove’s trophy cabinet.
Belvoir Park’s celebrations continued long into the night with both Aaron Small and Stuart McDonald having been crowned Greenkeeper and F&B Manager of the Year, before rounding off the evening with the forementioned Ultimate Members’ Club Designation.
Another club seeing multiple successes was Long Ashton, who scooped Golf Manager of the Year for departing GM, Gareth Morgan; F&B Manager of the Year for a 4th consecutive year for Glenn McNaughton; Golf Operations Team of the Year; and also a coveted Gold Flag Designation. In addition to this they also claimed the Ultimate Service Excellence Award for their fantastic efforts in utilising survey data to enhance their service offering.
Both Finca Cortesin and Branston Golf Club received a double dose of crystalware after Rocio Sanchez was crowned 59club Europe South’s Golf Manager of the year; and their Golf Operations Department claimed the Team of the Year accolade. Meanwhile Branston celebrated with a my59 Service Excellence Award; and a second victory after claiming Leisure Membership Sales Team of the year.
The Awards became a landmark moment for Matt Aplin, Golf Course Manager at Goring and Streatley, who has now retained the title of Greenkeeper of the Year for an incredible 5th consecutive year – an outstanding achievement given the quality of those competing in this category.
Alcanada, Camiral Golf & Wellness and Golf Son Muntaner were flying the flag for Spain, having each secured Gold Flag Designations. Marta Castells (Camiral) claimed victory in the Food & Beverage Category, while Paco Gavira (Son Muntaner) was crowned the regions Greenkeeper of the Year.
In Portugal, Quinta do Lago continue to lead the way by also securing a coveted Gold Flag, and in Italy, Royal Park I Roveri celebrated with a Silver Flag, and a again as Fabio Vido claimed Retail Manager of the Year.
Lee Mathew Waggott, General Manager59club Europe South said; “Celebrating success is a key pillar of what we believe in and promote within 59club. Our venues across Europe South not only continue to deliver memorable experiences but are always striving to continue to develop their journeys by searching for those extra 1%’s day in and day out.
“In an extremely competitive landscape to receive a nomination and claim an award is a wonderful achievement, and the ability to share this recognition with individuals and teams across the property is incredibly important. We are extremely excited about the season ahead and welcoming even more forward-thinking & progressive properties into our Awards next year.”
Celebrations continued into the night, as 59club’s Industry Benchmark of excellence, it’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Flag Designations, were announced. These highly prized accolades recognise member clubs’ and resorts that provide excellent facilities for golfers to enjoy, as well as having achieved the required standard of customer service throughout 2022.
This year, 59club presented 28 ‘Gold Flags’. The deserving winners were: Belvoir Park Golf Club; Camiral Golf & Wellness; Celtic Manor Resort; Club de Golf Alcanada; Delta Hotels by Marriott, Forest of Arden Country Club; Dunbar Golf Club; Edgbaston Golf Club; Finca Cortesin; Foxhills Club & Resort; Frilford Heath Golf Club; Gleneagles; Golf at Goodwood; Golf Son Muntaner; Gullane Golf Club; Hanbury Manor, Marriott Hotel & Country Club; Harpenden Golf Club; JCB Golf & Country Club; Long Ashton Golf Club; Mount Juliet Estate; Panmure Golf Club; Quinta do Lago; Rockliffe Hall; Royal Dublin Golf Club; Royal Dornoch Golf Club; The Belfry Hotel & Resort; The Grove; The London Club and The Mere Golf Resort & Spa.
17 ‘Silver Flags’ went to; Barnham Broom; Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort; Branston Golf & Country Club; Carton House; Cameron House; Clevedon Golf Club; Infinitum; Ladybank Golf Club; La Moye Golf Club; North Foreland Golf Club; QHotels Collection, Slaley Hall Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort; QHotels Collection, Belton Woods Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort; Royal Park I Roveri; Slieve Russell; St Mellion; The Kendleshire and West Herts Golf Club.
And a further 15 “Bronze Flag” Awards were presented to; Conwy Golf Club; Delta Hotels by Marriott, Worsley Park Country Club; Golf Son Quint; Golf Son Vida; Goring & Streatley Golf Club; Hickleton Golf Club; Newport Golf Club; Pula Golf Resort; Teignmouth Golf Club; The Astbury; The Bristol Golf Club; The Vale Resort; Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club; Woodsome Hall Golf Club and Wychwood Park.
Gold Flag Designations 2023: Belvoir Park Golf Club; Camiral Golf & Wellness; Celtic Manor Resort; Club de Golf Alcanada; Delta Hotels by Marriott, Forest of Arden Country Club; Dunbar Golf Club; Edgbaston Golf Club; Finca Cortesin; Foxhills Club & Resort; Frilford Heath Golf Club; Gleneagles; Golf at Goodwood; Golf Son Muntaner; Gullane Golf Club; Hanbury Manor, Marriott Hotel & Country Club; Harpenden Golf Club; JCB Golf & Country Club; Long Ashton Golf Club; Mount Juliet Estate; Panmure Golf Club; Quinta do Lago; Rockliffe Hall; Royal Dublin Golf Club; Royal Dornoch Golf Club; The Belfry Hotel & Resort; The Grove; The London Club and The Mere Golf Resort & Spa.
Silver Flag Designations 2023: Barnham Broom; Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort; Branston Golf & Country Club; Carton House; Cameron House; Clevedon Golf Club; Infinitum; Ladybank Golf Club; La Moye Golf Club; North Foreland Golf Club; QHotels Collection, Slaley Hall Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort; QHotels Collection, Belton Woods Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort; Royal Park I Roveri; Slieve Russell; St Mellion; The Kendleshire and West Herts Golf Club.
Bronze Flag Designations 2023: Conwy Golf Club; Delta Hotels by Marriott, Worsley Park Country Club; Golf Son Quint; Golf Son Vida; Goring & Streatley Golf Club; Hickleton Golf Club; Newport Golf Club; Pula Golf Resort; Teignmouth Golf Club; The Astbury; The Bristol Golf Club; The Vale Resort; Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club; Woodsome Hall Golf Club and Wychwood Park.
Golf Manager of the Year (59club UK)
Brad Gould (The Grove) Over £131 Green-Fee
Sean Graham (Foxhills Club & Resort) £61-£130 Green-Fee
Gareth Morgan (Long Ashton GC) Under £61 Green-Fee
Golf Manager of the Year (59club Europe South)
Rocio Sanchez (Finca Cortesin)
Food & Beverage Manager of the Year (59club UK)
Jacques Hobson (The Belfry Hotel & Resort) Over £131 Green-Fee
Stuart McDonald (Belvoir Park GC) £61-£130 Green-Fee
Glenn McNaughton (Long Ashton GC) Under £61 Green-Fee
Food & Beverage Manager of the Year (59club Europe South)
Marta Castells (Camiral Golf & Wellness)
Golf Retail Manager of the Year (59club UK)
Russell McIntyre (Gullane GC) Over £131 Green-Fee
Andrew Crerar (Panmure GC) £61-£130 Green-Fee
Ryan Crowley (Clevedon GC) Under £61 Green-Fee
Golf Retail Manager of the Year (59club Europe South)
Fabio Vido (Royal Park Roveri)
Greenkeeper of the Year (59club UK)
Scott Fenwick (Gleneagles) Over £131 Green-Fee
Aaron Small (Belvoir Park GC) £61-£130 Green-Fee
Matt Aplin (Goring & Streatley GC) Under £61 Green-Fee
Greenkeeper of the Year(59club Europe South)
Paco Gavira (Son Muntaner)
Golf Operations Team of the Year (59club UK)
The Grove (Over £131 Green-Fee)
Delta Hotels Forest of Arden Country Club (Arden Course) (£61-£130 Green-Fee)
Long Ashton GC (Under £61 Green-Fee)
Golf Operations Team of the Year (59club Europe South)
my59 Service Excellence: Stoke by Nayland; Celtic Manor Resort; Branston Golf & Country Club; Edgbaston Golf Club; Radyr Golf Club; Farleigh Golf Club; The Vale Resort; Rockliffe Hall
my59 Ultimate Service Excellence
Long Ashton GC
Leading Individual Golf Sales Performance
Alice Kozlowski (The Grove)
Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance
Philomena Wilkinson (Delta Hotels Forest of Arden Country Club)
Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year
The Mere Golf Resort & Spa
Leading Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance
James Flesher (Dunston Hall – Q Hotels Collection)
Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year
Branston Golf & Country Club
Leading Spa Experience Performance
Leading Individual Corporate Golf Day Sales Performance