59club Eminent Collection

Thursday December 1, 2022

59club are the industry’s leading customer service management authority, dedicated to advancing the customer experience across Golf & Hospitality.  

Our Eminent Collection includes those individuals and properties responsible for consistently delivering the finest levels of service within our global network, since the inception of 59club. 

Eligibility is based solely on achievements across the 59club Service Excellence Awards; with individual, team, and property accolades all contributing towards the Eminent Benchmark of Excellence.  

Independent non-subjective scrutiny underpins the integrity of The Eminent Collection. 

The individuals and properties within the collection are held in the highest regard, they are an outstanding example of high-performance leadership.  

The Belfry Hotel & Resort
The Celtic Manor Resort
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Emirates Golf Club
Forest of Arden
Foxhills Club & Resort
Gleneagles
Golf Son Muntaner
The Grove
Rockliffe Hall
Trump International Golf Club Dubai
Yas Links Abu Dhabi

Andrew Whitelaw GM/COO, Aronimink Golf Club
Anna Darnell
Resort Director, The Grove
Barney Coleman
Club Manager, Emirates Golf Club
Bernat Llobera
Area Golf Director, Arabella Golf Mallorca
Chris May CEO
Dubai Golf
Gary Silcock
General Manager, Murrayshall
Stuart Collier
Director of Golf, Stoke Park

Brad Gould Director of Golf, The Grove
Chris Reeve
Director of Golf, The Belfry
Fraser Liston
Director of Golf, Forest of Arden
Sean Graham
Head of Golf Operations, Foxhills
Stephen Hindle
Golf Manager, Worsley Park
Stephen Hubner
Club Manager, Jumeirah Golf Estates

Angus Macleod Director of Golf Courses & Estates, The Belfry
Craig Haldane
Golf Courses Manager, Gleneagles
Jim Mckenzie MBE
Director of Golf Courses & Estates, Celtic Manor
Jonathan Wyer
Golf Course Manager, Rockliffe Hall
Phillip Chiverton
Golf Course & Estates Manager, The Grove
Rob Rowson
Golf Course Estate Manager, Forest of Arden

Jacques Hobson Food & Beverage Outlets Manager, The Belfry

Simon Howell Golf Operations Manager, Forest of Arden
Tom Hughes
Head of Golf Retail & Operations, The Belfry

59club expands operations into Canada with perfect pairing

59club, the industry leading sales & customer service analyst, has today announced its global operations are expanding into Canada.

The new opening signals great opportunities for the Canadian golf & hospitality market, as 59club’s signature performance management tools and global intel are now made available to businesses within the region.

59club has driven a data revolution within the industry, and are famed for their insightful customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping audits and employee education pathways. Their expertise and industry insight into global sales performance and customer service standards are well documented, and many of the greatest names in the club industry credit 59club for their properties success, working with them to measure, train, support and recognize their workforce as they achieve sales and customer service excellence, while elevating customer acquisition, satisfaction and profits.

Headquartered in the UK and firmly established in golf, hotels, leisure, spa and restaurants, 59club now has seven divisions across the USA, Middle East & Africa (MEA), Asia, two in Europe, with the latest opening in Canada.

With customers who include the likes of TPC Sawgrass, Bobby Jones Links, Emirates Golf Club – Dubai, Thai Country Club, The Belfry Hotel & Resort, Gleneagles, Le Golf National and Marco Simone to name just a few, alongside hundreds of other properties. When it comes to driving sales and customer service excellence, 59club are proud to work with venues of all size and profile, supporting club management to deliver unprecedented service experience whilst simultaneously driving revenues and profits.

And the front man behind 59club Canada is Club Study owner and PGA member Ryan Tracy. Commenting of the new opening, Simon Wordsworth Founder of 59club said; “Ryan will be a great ambassador for our brand, and we are all excited to begin working with him and his existing clients as we introduce our products and services to the wider hospitality business community across Canada. We champion ‘service excellence’, and with this new division, golf as a global entity only serves to become bigger, better and stronger, with enhanced services and greater experiences tailored to the discerning golf & hospitality enthusiast, engineered from real live intel and expertise”.

Tracy added; “I have been fortunate to serve the golf industry in Canada for the last 20 years, specifically with Club Study providing customized pools of operational data in club management over the last two years. When a mutual client made an introduction to Simon, conversations over our shared passions and subsequently the similarities between the two entities made the decision for us to work together a natural progression. I realized immediately that the insight that 59club creates will help operators in Canada, and I am excited to bring these resources to market”.

And now as Club Study falls within the 59club armory, the pair can deliver even more industry insight as the bi-weekly national surveys, which had previously been connecting Club Managers in Canada & US, are now made available to the entire 59club global network.

Head to 59clubcanada.com for more information.

Clubs in Canada can sign up now for a Demo and to unlock a Free Trial by contacting ryan.tracy@59club.com 

CMAE Spotlights 59club Case Study: INFINITUM, 31 March 2022

Agustin Garcia is chief business officer at Infinitum (formerly known as Lumine), in Tarragona, on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. It offers exclusive seafront homes, three golf courses, and top-quality facilities and services

We partnered with 59club 2 years ago and have been reaping the benefits ever since.

The ‘mystery shopper’ exercise is a fantastic, authentic way to review the standard of experience we deliver to every guest. Each visit we’ve received has helped us to identify where we need small tweaks to improve.

One important opportunity the exercise identified, is how we can bring forward our best-in-class guest experience, so that, from the resort’s very first touchpoint, even before booking, we set the standard for a seamless travel experience that invites guests to embrace their holiday mentality before they even set foot in the resort. 

We understand our guests are seeking the very best experience, and that begins from the first contact they have with the INFINITUM brand. For our team, this initial engagement is often via a phone call or through our digital channels, and, ultimately, sets the tone for the entire guest journey.

Undoubtedly, our work with 59club has allowed us to better understand this initial experience and how we can use it to elevate the entire guest journey to ensure we deliver excellence at every opportunity.

And we will continue to work on elements of the business highlighted by 59club’s data. At the heart of a world-class guest experience is the team, and we are committed to ensuring our dedicated professionals across the resort are fully equipped to deliver this inspired experience wherever our guests come into contact with our brand.

We pride ourselves on our overall guest experience, delivered through our entire team’s extensive knowledge and dedication, but we are always looking for ways to improve and that is where working with 59club has been really beneficial.

We will, therefore, continue to support our staff with innovative, industry-leading training plans incorporating 59club’s expert guidance, to ensure we remain at the forefront of guest experience, as we continue to evolve and strive for growth throughout the resort. 

That relationship with 59club has allowed us to identify the many strengths of the resort and how we can use them as an opportunity to go above and beyond our current offering.

This benefits the resort in two ways: firstly, it helps to elevate the experience of our guests, which remains at the forefront of every decision at INFINITUM; and, through building on our strengths, we can generate upselling and growth opportunities, which we are pleased to say have already driven value for the resort.  

I see no reason why facilities like ours should not work with 59club. Because we’re always open to understanding how we can better improve our product to provide all our guests with leading service, our work with 59club has created an honest space to reflect on our guest experiences.

I would encourage others to search out such feedback with an open mind when it comes to finding new ways to improve.

Source:
59CLUB CASE STUDY: INFINITUM – Club Management Association of Europe (cmaeurope.org)

Leading Clubs & Resorts honoured at 12th Annual 59club Service Excellence Awards

From L-R: Pablo Guerrero Jaureguizar of Infinitum Golf, Luis Filipe from Quinta do Lago, Francisco Ruíz from Golf Son Muntaner, Marco Aquilino & Riccardo Russo of Royal Park I Roveri.

A welcome return to a “Live Event”, saw the very best Venues, Teams and Individuals from across the UK, Ireland and Europe South assemble at The Belfry Hotel and Resort on March 3rd 2022, ahead of 59club’s annual Service Excellence Awards.

Festivities began with a full day’s education provided by Gregg Patterson of Tribal Magic, and Lora Cavan, having flown in from the US and Canada respectively.  And as night fell, aspirations of being recognised with a 59club Service Excellence Award grew, as the curtains opened on the ceremony that has long been regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the golf & hospitality industries, since the 59club’s honours list began some 12 years ago.

The 2-day event, a pinnacle fixture in the golf business realms recognises the finest customer service providers for having achieved the highest standards of excellence in 2021. 59club’s illustrious accolades are determined by scores collected from their impartial mystery shopping audits, which evaluate the experience afforded to visiting golfers and prospective members, in accordance with 59club’s objective benchmarking criteria.

On the night, 59club UK and Europe South presented awards across 29 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.

The Awards was a great showcase for Quinta do Lago, after they claimed 3 of the 5 Awards presented for the Europe South region, including European Golf Operations Team of the Year. Luis Filipe, Corporate & Leisure Relationships Manager at Quinta do Lago, commented:

“Quinta do Lago has a long-term commitment to delivering the best possible customer experience across all our golf and lifestyle facilities to our residents, members and guests, and receiving this award is deserved recognition for the hard work our all staff, especially in the difficult circumstances of the last two years. This year, Quinta do Lago marks its 50th anniversary and its semi-centennial year of unique history, so we are very proud to see how Quinta do Lago has become a truly timeless destination in which residents and guests can enjoy a clean and secure environment.”

For two of our most recent client venues there were also celebrations on the night; Infinitum Golf saw Vicky Farriol recognised as European Food & Beverage Manager of the Year, while Riccardo Russo of Royal Park I Roveri was present to receive his European Greenkeeper of the Year award.

Of this year’s awards, James Beesley, Regional Director of 59club Europe South, commented;

“It was an honour to recognise and celebrate our leading service providers in person this year. Even more so to share the stage with our sister company, 59club UK, who laid the foundations for this annual celebration. It’s been an incredible pleasure to see our regional venues, who came on board in the last 18 months, presented with their awards amongst some of the UK’s golf legacy venues.

59club Europe South and our client venues share our passion for delivering the very best customer experiences, and this evening’s celebrations have certainly done all the nominees and winners justice!”

Will Hewitt, General Manager of 59club UK, commented:

“Golf has been incredibly fortunate to benefit from a significant surge in demand, and it is extremely encouraging that more venues than ever before are choosing to work with 59club to focus on their service offering and sales levels whilst working to engage and keep this new audience. 59club’s focus will remain the provision of objective and accurate performance data, providing greater market insights and a supportive network of likeminded professionals which will further aide performance enhancement”.

Celebrations continued into the night, as 59club’s industry benchmark of excellence, its 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 2021.  

This year, 59club Europe South presented 2 “Gold Flags”. The deserving winners were Club de Golf Alcanada and Son Muntaner Golf, ‘flying the flag’ for the island of Mallorca.  

3 “Silver Flags” went to Quinta do Lago (IT), Infinitum Golf (ES), Royal Park I Roveri (member club, IT), worthy representatives from across all 3 active countries under the Europe South regional division.

59club ‘Service Excellence’ Award Winners 2021/22:

Gold Flag Designations: Club de Golf Alcanada & Son Muntaner (both Mallorca, ES)

Silver Flag Designations: Quinta do Lago (PT), Infinitum Golf (ES) & Royal Park I Roveri – Member’s Club (IT)

European Golf Manager of the Year: Brian Evans (Quinta do Lago, PT)

European Greenkeeper of the Year: Riccardo Russo (Royal Park I Roveri, IT)

European Food and Beverage Manager of the Year: Vicky Farriol (Infinitum Golf, ES)

European Golf Retail Manager of the Year: Carla Bica (Quinta do Lago, PT)

European Golf Operations Team of the Year: Quinta do Lago (PT)

59club releases “live feedback App” for members, boards and managers

59club’s performance management tools have proved hugely beneficial for clubs across the globe – but now clubs can go one better in their efforts to streamline operations management and evaluate and advance member experience; by utilising the new mytell App.

This multi-functioning App captures live performance data submitted by the management team, employees and club members, supporting the venue to make informed decisions to elevate standards, satisfaction levels, retention, and profitability.

The management team through their use of the App can log observations during their daily departmental evaluations, both on and off the golf course.

With technology and convenience at the forefront of development, managers store data within measurable pre-set categories – spanning golf course & practice area presentation, maintenance & amenities, retail & front of house management and employee behaviour and well-being – meaning paperwork, email trails, group chats and the constant transferring of images becomes a thing of the past.

Complete with the ability to share live performance reviews with the team, set targets, track accountability, and monitor progress over time, the App fulfils every need.

A number of UK industry professionals supported the development of the new App, and they were all quick to praise 59club for the benefit the App would bring to the industry, as well as to them personally.

One of those individuals was General Manager of Teignmouth Golf Club, Martin Hucklesby who said;

“Managing a golf club, in my view, is like any other service industry; it should be driven by its standards.  The vastly different areas of expertise required to be able to measure, manage & record ‘a score’ to these standards has always been something that as a General Manager I have done via a spreadsheet as I have walked through the club & course. Now with myTell, and using technology I am able to do this via an App. It is brilliant, highly recommended and is on the front page of my phone!”

And it’s not just management who stand to benefit; the App also controls member feedback across golf, health & recreation when it comes to the club’s culture & community, the facilities & member services, its food and beverage outlets, and a huge part of ‘club life’, its people.

Whether a club chooses to invite all club members, or they prefer to limit its users exclusively to those within the management team/board/committee or perhaps they want to go one further and create an engineered focus group; this clever little App will store and channel feedback along with supplementary ratings, comments & images to the relevant department.

59club Director and the technical brain behind the App’s content and development, Mark Reed, said:

“This is a step-change for club operations, anyone who is responsible for the daily delivery of club standards and ensuring member and guest satisfaction – from Golf Course & Estates Directors to Spa Managers – will tell you that paper trails and breaks in communication detract from getting the job done, and serving customers well, but now with the launch of our new myTell App; we believe, we have the solution!

“But it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution: each venue can create its own bespoke, white-labelled experience, ensuring it retains control over which elements of the business its users can submit data around. And the App also contains the facility to create and customise subsidiary outlets, if, for example, the property has more than one golf course, fitness studio, or restaurant.

“From a member’s perspective it gives them an unprecedented opportunity to give praise where it’s due and highlight where they feel they are not getting value for money. The mutual benefits are numerous”.

The easily navigable App – available on both Android and iOS platforms – tracks trends, monitors patterns of performance, whilst generating statistics for periodic reviews. With feedback received within a secure dashboard, away from the public eye and with total confidentiality.

For further information on the myTell App, or any area of 59club’s industry-leading service, please contact your regional 59club manager.

Working with 59club EN

Friday September 10, 2021

Independent Mystery Shopping Audits

59club will call on their team of Mystery Shoppers to deliver the agreed agenda of mystery tests. 59club monitor proceedings and deliver a comprehensive and completely impartial online report. The report is measured against 59clubs industry leading benchmarking criteria, confirming your sales etiquette & customer service levels against the best performing venues and the industry average. The audit will provide clear action points that assist you to succeed in line with industry standards.

Service Excellence Awards

Venues who receive the required number of audits per product, qualify for 59club’s acclaimed Service Excellence Awards – famously regarded as the Oscars of the Industry. The Awards are designed to reward individuals, teams and clubs for delivering great service within their respective fields.

Venues who offer the very best service and facilities are honored with 59clubs coveted Gold, Silver or Bronze Designation Flag Award.

My59 Customer Satisfaction Survey Software

My59 contains industry leading Customer Satisfaction Survey Templates, for managers to utilise the online platform independently as they work proactively to succeed.

The golftell member app, also included within the my59 software, creates a channel for club members (and their guests) to privately communicate their views directly with club management, from the convenience of their mobile device.

All survey products empower venues to measure their customer satisfaction against the best performing venues and the industry average.

Training & Education

59club’s training modules has assisted hundreds of venues worldwide to excel and perfect their sales & service offering. Training can address weaknesses highlighted by mystery shopper audits and customer satisfaction survey feedback, ensuing clear action points are addressed.

Additional 24/7 education is provided by 59club’s interactive online training platform, with built in push notifications linked to your performance data.

Service Excellence Guaranteed!

59club affords venues the complete ‘Quality Assurance’ package to achieve Sales & Service Excellence.

Help is just a phone call away, contact us today, we look forward to working for you…

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Thursday September 9, 2021

59club, the Industry leading Customer Service Analysts and Training Provider, operates within Europe, UK, USA, Asia, Middle East & Africa.

With a wealth of ground-breaking Customer Satisfaction Surveys, Mystery Shopper Audits, Financial Comparison Tools and Employee Training Programs; 59club UK provides performance management solutions and global data to the Golf, Leisure, Spa, F&B and Hotel Industries, to elevate Sales Performance and the Customer Experience across their respective client properties.

59CLUB GOLF FLAG OF HONOUR MARKS QUALITY FOR LEADING CUSTOMER CENTRIC PROPERTIES


The 59club Golf Flag virtual ceremony hosted by presenter and broadcaster Dan Walker, which recognises venues across Europe, UK & Ireland for their service quality

13 clubs received the highest accolade of all, 59club’s coveted ‘Gold Flag’ designations.

What’s more, they were joined on the virtual podium by eight silver and eight bronze award winners, illustrating that despite everything that has plagued the UK & European golf industry since early 2020, many clubs refuse to allow their standards to drop.

The designations recognise commercial venues and member clubs that have achieved the required standard of customer service, as determined by 59club’s impartial mystery shopping audits, along with additional recognition for having provided the very finest facilities and services for golfers to enjoy.

Employee qualifications, restaurant accolades, member communication, and environmental accreditation, are just some of the additional determining factors within the qualifying golf flag criteria.

Huge congratulations to all of our deserving Golf Flag bearing properties, we trust you enjoy the presentation and as you enter into the spirit of the awards, please be reminded that you are a beacon of light to the future prosperity of the golf & hospitality industry.

And finally, we are delighted to confirm that preparation is under way that will see all 59club territories invited to compete in the inaugural ‘World hospitality service excellence awards ceremony’ taking place in 2022-23…

Thank you to our Award Sponsors

3D-IFS   Albatross   Asbri   olf   BRK   Club Car   Comesto   Eagle   Golfbreaks.com   Golf Genius Kennet Leasing   Kinsey   Tacit   Toro

59club’s Spotlight on Service Featuring Kristoff Both of Club de Golf Alcanada.

Kristoff Both at the 2021 Service Excellence Awards
From L-R: Dan Walker (BBC Presenter), Kristoff Both (General Manager CdG Alcanada), Mark Reed (Director 59club), & Simon Wordsworth (CEO 59club)

Kristoff Both, the director of Club de Golf Alcanada, on the holiday island of Mallorca, tells all about his time working with 59club, the success it has borne, and the many customer-service accolades celebrated during their seven-year engagement.

We all think, as golf managers, that we know our product; that we don’t need anybody from the outside to tell us if the grass is green or not, because we play golf and we see most of it from the outside.

But there are certain procedures that, sitting in your office, you don’t always get to grips with – that might be the different touchpoints: the restaurant, the pro shop, the caddymaster or the halfway house, where we need to know about the friendliness and professionalism of the staff.

So, for us, 59club’s mystery shopping audits are really productive – plus it takes me out of the line of fire! It’s not me who is saying to somebody ‘I don’t think you’re doing this or that’, it’s somebody independent and it’s there in black and white in front of them.

Once or twice a year, we also receive an on-site teaching seminar with a member of the 59club team whose experience in the industry speaks for itself, so it’s also very convincing and constructive for the team here. You have a professional helping them who’s been there and implemented that practice in the industry.

Most of the seminars or further education we can get here in Spain are not specific to golf, it’s for customer service in general. But to have somebody talking about retail skills, tee-time management and the overall customer experience in golf makes it more entertaining, hands-on, and relevant to the team.

As a consequence, the team is more conscious of things like upselling and cross-selling, and, while we’re some way from being on it 100 per cent, it’s a constant reminder that we have to do these things, and we have to do them better.

The comparison tool, where we can measure our service levels and sales aptitude against our competitors, is very useful and insightful. It’s not a race, but it’s beneficial to be able to demonstrate and ask ‘Why others are performing so much better?; what are they doing differently? Or what are they offering that is different or perceived to be better?’ Learning from others is another way we can progress as a team and as a facility.

I believe the biggest change we have implemented since working with 59club is in our booking procedure, which is now far more professional.

When you look at the results of the mystery shopper audits alongside some of the other venues, it has to be borne in mind that some venues have staff dedicated to simply taking bookings, so they have different procedures to the staff here who are answering other telephone calls and dealing with customers in the shop. But our written confirmations and practices are now more thorough in terms of the information within.

I also believe there’s been a noticeable improvement with the caddymasters in the way they interact with customers. Indeed, everything around the customer touchpoints has evolved down the years we have been working with 59club, and the results from the audits have been instrumental in that evolution.

I’m looking forward to working closely with the new southern Europe 59club division, headed by James Beesley. I was pleased to learn that they will be providing documentation translated into Spanish, for the Spanish market. To be able to give my team access to the system, instead of me having to translate everything, will make it a lot easier.

For the staff who do not have the ability to read English it would be hugely advantageous, and beneficial for Alcanada as a whole, to have everything in Spanish. And I imagine that goes for clubs in all other countries, too, to be able to work in their native tongue.

The history of our relationship with 59club speaks for itself – we have been working with 59club for seven years and we’re very happy. They’re very professional and very helpful in all aspects. And you only have to look at the range of products they continue to introduce to see that it’s not a company that is standing still. They’re progressing and, as their client, we can progress too.

The service excellence awards began as a nice little extra, but as more and more clients become eligible and, as 59club becomes more international, the awards will quickly become the ‘Oscars’ of golf in Europe; just as they have been regarded in the UK for some time now.

It’s always nice to receive recognition for the hard work you have done, so we do appreciate the 59club awards. There’s also an element of competition between colleagues at other venues who’ve known each other for some time, so that adds to the allure.

It’s encouraging for the staff to be honoured with an award – Alcanada is currently a 59club gold-flag destination, the highest accolade available for a venue’s performance. It’s a great achievement for us to be mentioned in the same breath as venues which are regarded as at the top of the game.

I’ve been in the business for some 20 years, and in my 18th year at Alcanada, so it’s very important for me not to be standing still, and products from 59club help me stay alert and abreast of what’s happening and available in the industry.

We need to continue looking for ways to improve and change things, and 59club helps me to do that. It encourages me to look around corners and not to do things the same way they’ve always been done.

If I had to sum up 59club in one word, it would be ‘progressive’: it’s always progressing and pushing the boundaries, and that, in turn, pushes its clients to achieve more, which is of benefit to the whole golf industry.

Addendum: One year after working with 59club, Alcanada received a silver flag in recognition for its service excellence, and has, subsequently, been recognised every year since, culminating with a Gold Flag designation.

For those wanting a proven strategy to retrain and upskill their workforce, measure in-house standards, elevate customer acquisition, satisfaction, and profits, there has never been a better time to engage with 59club.

Visit 59club.com for more information.

59CLUB PUTTING THE SUCCESS IN SUCCESSION

59club, the leading sales & service analysts and training provider, have today announced its exciting new personal development program, ‘Succession’. www.succession.digital

The initiative is open to all managers, their deputies, and other rising stars within their business, whether they work with 59club or not. It is designed to support you to reach your full potential within your current role, whilst expanding learning opportunities, career progression and personal growth. What’s more, annual membership is priced at just £59 per annum per person. The key contract holder at any 59club client venue will receive access to Succession at no cost throughout 2021.
59club CEO Simon Wordsworth said; “59club’s mantra is to ‘Measure-Train-Support’, and Succession delivers on the latter two core elements. By making it affordable and open to all managers/prospective managers, it allows us to engage with the forward thinkers in our industry, people that want to learn and improve”.

Taking on many forms, in its simplest guise Succession contains 3 core elements; ‘In the ether’ acts as a hub that connects individuals with the goal of developing fresh ideas and new perceptions. Learning is supported by an extensive library furnished with video, audio, and documents, plus access to online monthly panels and live webinars hosted by experts from differing industries. These learning vehicles centred around relevant topic matter, are designed to expand an individual’s performance and their ability to make an impact. 59club has worked with a number of contributors to develop unique e-learning courses that are creative, interactive, and truly relevant to either the manager or the team under them. This area of the platform will grow significantly over the coming months.

To give a flavour of what’s to come; a small soft launch pre-Christmas saw a number of 59club associates join England Manager, Gareth Southgate as he led a seminar around ‘leadership styles & changing cultures’. An earlier panel were also invited to join Harry Redknapp as he discussed his 34 years experiences managing at all levels of professional football, with Succession aiming to take much of its inspiration from other sports & leading individuals from outside the world of golf. When Succession launches on Monday, January 18th, it will host a really insightful piece based on “leading teams” with England Cricket Captain, Joe Root just before he flew to Sri Lanka.

Succession’s second element ‘On the road’; will include a number of live events throughout the year. The first ‘learn and play’ event, subject to COVID-19 measures being relaxed will be hosted in April, at England’s National Football Training Centre, St George’s Park, conceived around a morning of education of the highest quality, a tour of the venue, and in the afternoon, a walking football tournament with training from LMA ambassador managers.

Finally, but by no means least, the ‘On the course’ activities will see business leaders and golf loving sports personalities quizzed around their life lessons & achievements, in a regular spot called ‘Buggy Banter’ and ‘Mower Mayhem’ – supported by 59club partners; Club Car and Toro of course!!

Wordsworth added; “Succession aims to build upon the talents and qualifications that managers already possess, by providing a vault of additional information, learning resources and unique opportunities to further enhance those prerequisite skills.

“We’re looking to expand the horizons of those in managerial positions, assisting them to thrive within their existing role, whilst supporting them and their deputies to succeed throughout their chosen career paths.

“We have built Succession with your time in mind, so you consume it at your pace, when and wherever you wish. One of the best examples of this ‘time focus’ is the ‘tombola’ carousel where each week managers will be able to access a 30-minute staff training session of bitesize learning. As a manger, you want to learn and should do, but you simply have no time – Succession will help.

“We’re not going to sit there and teach you how to analyse a P&L or complete a VAT return, we’ll leave that to other bodies. Succession is here to top up, add the finishing touches to you as an individual”.

Succession is a credit to the collaboration between 59club and its long-term major partners Club Car, Golf Genius and Toro, plus 3dIFS and CGI Insurance. For more information either visit www.succession.digital or reach out to your regional 59club Manager today.

JAMES BEESLEY LEADS 59CLUB’S EUROPEAN EXPANSION SERVING SPAIN, PORTUGAL, ITALY & GREECE

James Beesley, Regional Director 59club Europe South

59club, the industry’s leading Customer Service & Sales Analysts and Training Provider, has today announced additional growth across the South of Europe with the formation of a dedicated regional team supporting golf and leisure clubs, hotels, restaurants and spa destinations to drive customer service & sales performance across their respective properties.

The new division is led by James Beesley, whose previous experience at Monte Rei Golf & Country Club (Portugal) and current role at Finca Cortesin Hotel & Golf Resort (Spain) – two of Europe’s leading luxury resorts – will further strengthen 59club’s position within the wealth of golfing hotspots across Spain, Portugal, Italy & Greece.

James joins with an educational background in Business, Marketing & Sports Management, and as a member of the PGA and Club Managers Association of Europe. Venues across the region will also benefit from James’ practical expertise, having heightened sales performance and customer service standards as a client of 59club at multiple venues.

Commenting about his new venture, James said; “As a client of 59club I have experienced first-hand the incredible insights and benefits of their products and services, applying their analyses to decision-making and witnessing the improvement in both operational as well as financial results! I’m thrilled to be able to take on this additional role and looking forward to working together with our regional team, whose local knowledge and expertise will provide a dedicated and personalised service to our current and future customers!

With leading venues such as PGA Catalunya (Barcelona), Finca Cortesin (Marbella), Quinta do Lago (Algarve), and Verdura Resort (Sicily) – all listed amongst the top 20 Resorts in continental Europe – enjoying long-standing prosperous relations with 59club, local standards are set to rise as more properties are attracted to the appealing advantage of enhanced customer satisfaction and acquisition and increased revenues and profits – described by many as the ‘59club effect’.

Long standing 59club client, Julián Romaguera, General Manager at Los Naranjos said; “We were referred to 59club by La Manga Club during the PGA show, and within 30 minutes of our meeting we had signed up. For me, it was important to have an external tool to identify our strengths and weaknesses, and whilst you may have the perception that you are good at something, this tool keeps your feet on the ground and lets you know exactly what you have to focus on, what are the urgencies, and what needs to be prioritised. 59club has to be shared between the staff and by the management at the same time, so that everyone is engaged and dedicated to working together to advance the high levels of service we are committed to achieving. We are using the tools to become more hospitality orientated, moving away from just golf, to introduce a more personalised service. 59club allows you to understand how others work, and you can benchmark your sales & service performance against them.”

Of the announcement, Simon Wordsworth 59club CEO said; “We are so excited to be working with James on expanding 59club across the South of Europe. These are difficult times; regardless, those venues who afford the best service experience across golf and hospitality will always win. James and the team are the perfect fit to assist venues who strive to progress as they bring our performance management tools and employee training services to a wider market”.

Those interested in a proven strategy to measure, analyse and elevate staff performance, overall customer experience, and, consequently, operational outcomes, are urged to visit www.59clubeurope.com or reach out to james@59club.com for more information.

For all media queries, please contact: Marielle Meulenberg, Regional Sales Manager – marielle@59club.com

ADVANCE EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION & ENGAGEMENT WITH 59CLUB’S NEW HR SURVEY SUITE

59club, the industry leading Customer Service Analyst and Training Provider has launched three Human Resource Survey templates that address all areas of the employment roster, from measuring the New Employee Experience, general Employee Satisfaction, plus an Employee Exit Survey.

When it comes to customers; satisfaction surveys have been a vital part of 59club’s mission to drive the member and guest experience across our industry. If the reality is that ‘happy employees equals happy customers,’ then it’s high time we also prioritise employee well-being. As J. Willard Marriott famously said, “Take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back”.

The new survey templates can be used to quantify employee wellbeing, engagement & satisfaction levels.  The venues management team will also be able to identify what motivates individuals and how they can support their employees continued growth within their existing role, also providing clarity and vision over personal career progression.

The Employee Satisfaction Templates are available right now and ‘free to use’ for all my59 Survey licence holders, alongside a wealth of Golf & Hospitality Member & Guest Satisfaction Templates.

The question templates are available to all in English immediately and will be rolled out in other languages across all 59club territories shortly. To enquire about owning a my59 Survey Licence, please visit www.59clubeurope.com.

The intelligent software can be adapted and moulded to suit every differing properties persona, meaning that the industry can now gain valuable Human Resource data from inside their own four walls, complete with the ability to make direct industry comparisons to monitor and advance their employee experience. 

Simon Wordsworth, 59club CEO and Founder said; “Your staff are your number one asset, if they are nurtured, allowed to develop and progress, there are nothing but positives for the business, cost savings throughout and without doubt greater revenues and repeat clients. As a business we have always been involved with measuring staff performance and providing training solutions to remedy those weaknesses, this new development allows the employee, manager, and the employers performances to be evaluated and improved.

“In this current climate, with so much insecurity, staff “out of position” and undertaking new and multiple roles, we need to ensure that we boost morale and prioritise employee satisfaction. As a business and industry, we will be able to harvest and retain talent to better service our customers and drive the enjoyment factor within the game we all love.

“If you have access to my59mentor, our online virtual training platform, as the industry’s needs start to evolve as a result of the data, we and our partners will be able to work together to strengthen our offering to educate your team in situ”.

To discuss your business needs and how 59club can assist you to achieve Service Excellence utilising a variety of Satisfaction Surveys, Mystery Shopping Audits, Financial Comparison Tools & Employee Training Programs; contact your local 59club Area Manager – and make a positive change today to realise your greatest potential. 

For more information, visit: www.59clubeurope.com

Golf Business News Interview with Paul Armitage, partner in 59club Europe West and North Africa

Paul Armitage, new COO of Open Golf Club and managing partner for 59club Western Europe & North Africa

Golf Business News Interview with Paul Armitage, a partner in 59club Europe West and North Africa, covering France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Morocco and Tunisia and recently appointed COO of Open Golf Club

GB Paul, your new roles must involve you in a lot of travelling. How are you coping in the COVID-19 crisis?

PA  Well, we can still travel around in France, which is most important for the new job because we have got golf courses dotted around all over the country.

GBN How many courses are in the group?

PA Owned and operated there are 11 – one of them is in Belgium and ten are in France – and then we run a ‘marketing network’ in addition. Golf courses have been brought in under the banner of Open Golf Club and we actively promote them in exhibitions and IGTM. There are about 40 at the moment, all over Europe.

GBN You previously spent six years as Managing Director at Le Golf National, host of The Ryder Cup Matches in 2018. You must look back on that period with enormous pride and satisfaction because it all went so well.

PA  Yes, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s time to move on. When I was first employed back in 2014 I was handed a lot of missions and all those boxes have been ticked. I could have chosen to run all the day-to-day operations at the Club but I’m the sort of person that  needs a challenge. I like to be able to change things. That doesn’t mean I need full autonomy so I can do what I want – no – but I like to have an objective and to go through it from A-Z, changing things on my way to succeed.

GBN Who has been appointed as your successor?

PA When I announced my resignation, which was in December last year, I wrote a letter to my boss suggesting that he should give my deputy manager a chance. Philippe Pilato has been at Le Golf National for 25 years, almost since the day it opened.

He was a golf pro and he looked after the Academy. I thought we’ve got ‘a hidden gem’ here because we needed to implement customer service and a lot of tender loving care to put into what we were going to serve out to customers in the immediate future.

We were going to raise the bar, raise the prices and bring in a new experience. To get that to a successful end you need somebody who’s got a lot of empathy and love.

I said to Philippe look I think you are going to have to change jobs. He looked a bit down, thinking oh I’m going to get the sack here and I said no, no, you’re going to have to go home and think about this but I would like to identify a director of customer service for Le Golf National. Why do I want one? Because the Club needed someone who every day gets up and thinks about how they can give a wow or a great experience to customers. There was nobody in particular on the staff who was doing that.

He came back a few days later and said yes, let’s do it.

So that’s where he came from and he’s been a very, very, extremely good customer service manager. Then last year I took him up to Director of Operations – golf operations – and now he is GM!

GBN What have been the benefits to Le Golf National from hosting The Ryder Cup? Is there a payback for the huge investment of time, money and people?

PA There has definitely been a pay-back especially in the case of Le Golf National. First, the Ryder Cup obliged the French Golf Federation and Le Golf National to change, to not consider itself as a local pay-and-play public golf course but as a world class destination. I think we have created something there which is unique as a model because it’s probably, even at 150 euros or 175 euros, the cheapest round of Ryder Cup golf in the world. And it’s open. It’s not like many major golf destinations where you have to be invited by a member or you can’t get on. And the third thing is that we’ve got an extremely good standard for those who come from those kind of places where they’ll not be too surprised to come in and they’ll have customer service and a team, badged up and  welcoming, and bag-drops and buggies and everything you need at a world-class major tournament destination.

So I think that’s the major benefit. We have repositioned Le Golf National completely keeping at the same time a local, regional and national customer base happy.

GBN And what about golf in France generally?

PA  I think that this year everybody is struggling to have a normal year. I think COVID has knocked that on the head. There’s a lot of golf being played this year but there’s not a lot of normal golf, if you know what I mean: people travelling, playing in as many competitions as they have done in the past.

I think that France is resisting well though – official golfer numbers are down by around 3% this year.

The Ryder Cup in France also delivered as far as the media is concerned. Although we didn’t get live coverage on free to view terrestrial TV, we got a lot of media coverage, much more than we would have got from a French Open, so golf was definitely in the spotlight thanks to the event.

Now, when you talk to anybody about golf in France, there is the demystifying process which has been started so it looks and feels less elite. People in France definitely identify themselves more easily with golf.

A lot of people this September are coming into Open Golf Clubs for our ‘Golf Discovery Days’. They started last weekend and participation and sales have been quite good, in fact very, very encouraging for a COVID year when everything is supposed to be doom and gloom.

GBN  And then golf is coming in the Paris Olympics in 2024?

PA  Yes. I actually think that the Olympics could do even more good for golf in France.

We will get public TV coverage because it’s public television which has the rights to show the Olympics so there’s absolutely no reason why they should not put golf on TV. It’s almost definite that France will have both boys and girls in the Olympics. We probably won’t get a medal, but It won’t be like a Major Championship, at least we’ll have participation. I mean this month in the US Open there were four French players and I think that’s a record.

So from a ticketing point of view there should be a younger public coming to the Tournament because the ticket price will be very much accessible and it’s more of a general public environment. So, I think that the Olympics could do even more good for golf in France and is definitely great for French Golf 6 years after the Ryder Cup.

GBN Right, let’s talk about 59club because soon after you wrote your letter to your colleagues at Le Golf National in December, you must have been making your decision about getting involved with the 59club. We announced that in Golf Business News back in February.

PA Yes, indeed. I did everything the right order and there was absolutely no surprise to anybody about 59club. It was all talked through with the Federation and the staff and hopefully they will be using some of the 59club tools soon too. And the same with Open Golf Club.

There was absolutely no issue either with 59club because Open Golf Club will use the tools and are interested in the success of 59club. My role at 59club is to set up the business with Simon Wordsworth and our associate partner in France called Sylvain Marcati who comes from customer service in another industry to golf. I was determined to get this product on to the French market from 59club which helped me hugely at Le Golf National from 2017 onwards to improve our standards.

I think we were capable of improving them ourselves but we weren’t capable of benchmarking to know if we were doing enough and getting there quick enough and moving things in the right direction and also the training aspect of 59club, the tool is very powerful. I wanted the French market to benefit from the wealth of products which only Le Golf National and another golf club called Terre Blanche were using. Now we’ve got nearly 30 golf courses working on it already.

If golf in France wants to survive we have to stop, and this is important to say, we have to stop playing just the price game. We have to stop just using price as the way of satisfying the customer and getting new customers through the doors.

We have to use the service quality aspect to get results as well and get the prices up because golf has an insatiable thirst for investment in machinery and staffing. It costs a lot of money to run a golf course. So yes, if we all get on the bandwagon of customer service and improving our standards then there’s no way a customer can say, why did you put the price of the green fee up by a pound or two?

And that’s why I brought it in. So we’ve gone through quite a few weeks of translating it. COVID came along and to be honest it’s put us back half a year or a year on our business plans but I’m not bothered because it actually came at a perfect time to get it just right. So we have spent ‘lockdown’ getting the tools translated correctly into French and now German. They will be going into other languages soon.

GBN  Yes, because you’re involved in other countries too, aren’t you? Not just France?

PA Yes. We have created a company which will look after all of Western Europe apart from Spain and Portugal. We also have Morocco and Tunisia. We’ve got France, Germany, Austria, Holland, and Benelux so we’ve got a lot on our plate. A lot of it is taking shape right now and we are even looking at other European markets as we speak.

GBN Your objective to move away from concentrating on price, has that gone a long way?

PA  There were a lot of golf courses just communicating price and not service or standards. Online prices were going, and in fact are still going, way too low because if you start with a rack rate of £40 for a green fee and then you offer 50% off that price; or you are in a network  and you’re offering 50% off with a loyalty card then there’s not much left for the operator after commissions and you’re paying VAT. There’s probably only £15 a round left for you.

Out of that you’ve got to cut the grass, you’ve got to pay the staff to smile and you’ve got to get them in on a Sunday, which can be costly and difficult to recruit in France, etc., etc.

We should train up every single general manager in France, England, wherever about yield management. There’s no shame in saying we don’t know how to do it. Why would you sell a green fee on a Sunday morning for 15 euros? Well some people are doing it because they think that it’s the right thing to do. They think that if they don’t do it they won’t have a customer.

Well that’s not yield management, that’s shooting yourself in the foot. So, yes, I’m heavily into the business of helping managers to increase their customer satisfaction and their customer service which automatically, according to the lessons learned from Le Golf National, will turn into turnover.

People will come back. Repeat play thanks to quality is a reality. Customer service will do that once people have had a chance to compare. Word of mouth is still your best advertisement!

So all of that has gone through my thought process over the years.  I have moved away slightly from discounts without thought process. Which doesn’t mean that I don’t do it at all, but I have really professionalised my attitude towards yield management. I still do reductions, but I want to do them when I have a good chance of increasing my revenues! Not lowering them!

GBN What is the impact of COVID on golf in France?

PA  We’re pretty much back to what I would say is going to be normal as far as golfing is concerned.

GBN  Normal or better than normal? There’s been a lot of talk about an increase in rounds played during July and August.

PA  Oh yes, in terms of business July and August have been record months. They have been record months on a few Open Golf courses.

GBN  Just a few moments left so can we talk about The Open Golf Club specifically? That’s the most recent announcement we’ve had about your career to date. You have been appointed as COO, I believe.

PA   Open Golf Club is highly respected company here in France. They have been under the radar for quite a while. It’s a family business which today is still family-owned. Laurent Boissonas has taken up the reins. He wants to try and keep the spirit of a family company, but he definitely wants to modernise process and operations.

We have some wonderful facilities. They are premium places like Le Touquet with the hotels and 45 beautiful holes and then 30 minutes up the road is Hardelot, which is a European Tour qualifying stage venue – although not this year because there won’t be any, thanks to COVID, but next year I guess. Hardelot has 36 magnificent holes, very, very well-known to the Brits but not so well-known to the French.

Then we’ve got a van Hagge like Le Golf National at Seignosse, which is a magnificent golf course just north of Biarritz. In the mountains behind Cannes we have two golf courses and then around Marseille we have three and then in Paris we have two.

So we’ve got some wonderful sites. These golf courses are not desperate for investment either because the family have always kept high capex levels on the courses and they are pristine but we need to look at positioning the chain even more in the higher end of the golf market, making sure people know who we are and what we are about.

There’s a definite objective to do more customer service, modernising our approach by using modern tools such as online booking services. We also run all of the restaurants and hotels and we have a strategy there with some out of the box thinking.

So we will be coming up with new concepts in 2021, bringing in new lifestyle concepts.

The 9 hole concepts and the 6 hole concepts, they have a reason to be – there’s no doubt about it – but it’s still a lot about having a day out with friends or corporate friends. but you may need to do a couple of hours of work or an hour of work and deal with your emails before you go for the beer after a day of golf or after breakfast. We’re looking at that kind of aspect.

So yes there is lots of work to be done at the golf courses we own and then the other part of my job with Laurent is we’re going to kick off some new business revenue flows and we’re also going to be looking at good opportunities to grow.

GBN  Within France or beyond?

PA I think we would look beyond but not too far.

GBN  You are a very busy man, Paul.

PA  I just love it and my family know it. I just love to be thinking and creating. I like to get into the office early and jot things down. It gives me a couple of hours before everyone else comes in just to formalise ideas. It’s exciting working on new concepts and when I’m happy at work I also perform better at home.

GBN  That’s great Paul, thank you very much. Is there anything else that you would like to tell our readers?

PA  Yes. Stay safe during the COVID crisis but come over to France as soon as it’s over and play some golf!

59CLUB LAUNCHES NEW VIRTUAL MENTOR EXPERIENCE


59club the leading sales & service analysts and training provider, have today released my59 Mentor, their intelligent virtual learning experience, safeguarding clients triumphant return to golf.

The new virtual platform features 59club’s acclaimed sales & service training programs – from membership sales and retention strategies, to perfecting corporate sales enquiries and advancing the overall guest experience – across golf & hospitality.

Venues can take advantage of the virtual mentor experience to expand their existing knowledge, educate new staff, upskill relief staff and providing personal development pathways for all aspiring individuals. Additional white papers, videography and supplementary contributor content from the likes of the infamous Gregg Patterson, are also accessible within the platform, available now 24/7 at staff member’s convenience.

The platform also acts as the perfect vehicle for venues to store and communicate all in-house company policies and training manuals direct with their team, also providing the technology to build online training courses, verify learning outcomes and track liability acceptances within one user-friendly, easily accessible and white-labelled virtual platform.

Simon Wordsworth 59club CEO said: “We recognised the need for organisations to have control over their online learning experience, so we built a platform that our partners can manage without any knowledge of coding. My59 Mentor has been developed with simplicity in mind; its clean, intuitive design makes the platform a user-friendly experience for admins and students across all devices.

“During this difficult time, we understand the challenge of motivating staff and the need to enhance personal development, and for this reason education has to remain a priority. Our entire educational content is waiting to be discovered within the platform, what better way to engage staff and build momentum, ensuring they are on top of their game and raring to go.

“There isn’t a single golf club, restaurant or hospitality venue on the planet that will, in the short term, continue to operate as usual. Each club or venue will have acute and significant challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic – problems my59 Mentor can alleviate.”

Intelligent push notifications will link directly to a venue’s mystery shopping and survey performance data, directing the member of staff to the relevant lesson within the platform, as My59 Mentor instinctively acts to upskill staff and address any shortcomings.

Venues can build their own in-house digital education programmes and customise the appearance of the platform. Host staff handbooks and support files to communicate knowledge & company policy direct to the team, while collating all existing digital and paper content into one media library. The platform also provides an efficient way for managers to communicate with their staff around their initial COVID-19 policies and procedures, and phased protocol thereafter.

Within my59 Mentor there is an integrated ‘Quiz’ function which tests knowledge both before and after courses to evaluate progress. Upon completion, individuals can download certificates to authenticate their achievement. This process will naturally lend itself to organise and communicate new COVID-19 operating procedures efficiently, demonstrating that all staff members throughout the operation have read and gained a clear understanding of any new policies as they come into force.

Paul Armitage will lead the expansion of 59club (customer satisfaction services) across Western Europe, Morocco and Tunisia.

Thursday March 26, 2020

59club continues its growth with the creation of the Western Europe and North Africa division in order to improve sales and services, by increasing customer satisfaction, turnover and profits

January 30, 2020: Golf and leisure clubs, hotels, restaurants and spa destinations can now benefit from an in-depth vision of their operational successes and areas in search of improvement thanks to the formation of a division dedicated to France ; Belgium; The Netherlands; Swiss; Germany; Austria; Morocco and Tunisia.

The new division will be managed by the highly decorated Director General of Golf National in Paris; Paul Armitage, who, alongside his other commitments, will also co-own and lead the expansion of 59club in Western Europe and North Africa. It is the latest addition to the world’s leading customer service specialists – currently operating across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the United States. United.

59club is renowned for their performance management tools, customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping audits, while training and education services are widely regarded as the best in their class in the industry. industry.

With many world leading sites, 59club offers an acclaimed path to measure and develop levels of customer service and sales performance for staff. Their know-how and expertise hold the key to growth, which considerably increases the acquisition, satisfaction, loyalty and profitability of companies of all sizes.

59club has been present across Europe for over 10 years after engaging with many leading golf and hospitality sites, including European Tour Destinations; Le Golf National, Terre Blanche, Diamond Country Club and Golf Club St Leon-Rot alongside Monte Rei, Alcanada and La Manga among many others. With a dedicated local presence, the grip of the 59club in the region is ready to perfect the golf, leisure and hospitality experience offered to consumers while pushing the club’s revenues to new heights.

59club’s online dashboard allows these managers to compare results to the industry benchmark, top performing properties and even direct competitor sites of their choice, making it one of the the only way for sites to measure their performance within their market.

After the launch of 59club Western Europe and North Africa, 59club CEO Simon Wordsworth said: “We are absolutely delighted to expand our range of services in Europe and North Africa and to start with launch of this new business. 59club is a people affair, we could not ask for better partners to lead this division than Paul Armitage and Sylvain Marcati who will drive our expansion in the region. We have the utmost confidence in both of them. Our data collection and analysis tools will help golf clubs and other hotel establishments get the most out of their activities and put customer service back at the forefront of club and resort management. It’s great to see our product now available in French. “

Paul has worked in the golf industry since 2003. He held several site manager positions before joining group headquarters and successfully developing brands such as LeClub Golf.

Paul joined the French Golf Federation in 2014 to help prepare Le Golf National, not only to host the 2018 Ryder Cup, but also to elevate levels of service and experience to resemble those of other golf destinations in major tournaments around the world.

Working with 59club tools to help improve standards and with Paul’s knowledge of the needs of modern golfers – it’s a combination for success. So it was an obvious choice for Paul to help bring 59club to wider markets across Western Europe, Morocco and Tunisia.

“Customer service must be the number one priority of all golf and hotel managers,” said Paul Armitage, partner at 59club Western Europe and North Africa. “In today’s world, competition is fierce. Once you lose a customer because of poor service, it’s likely they’ll never come back. This is why 59club was created. It is the only benchmarking tool specific to golf, leisure and hospitality in the world that provides this type of objective analysis, ensuring that operators make informed decisions to increase customer loyalty.

“I am extremely proud to have excelled with the help of tools provided by 59club to the Golf National, and just as enthusiastic about the idea of ​​generating the same important successes for my peers across the region, as an association with 59club offers. ”

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LEADING SERVICE PROVIDERS HONOURED AT 59CLUB’S 10TH ANNUAL INDUSTRY OSCARS


High-profile venues across the UK and Europe recognised for service excellencein glitzy ceremony at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club

The golf industry’s very best clubs, resorts and individuals descended on The Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, on Thursday March 12, 2020, with the hope of claiming an industry ‘Oscar’ at 59club’s 10th annual Service Excellence Awards.

A day which started with a series of inspirational educational seminars, ended in a glittering awards ceremony honouring the finest customer service providers for having achieved the highest standards of excellence across 2019.

59club’s illustrious accolades are determined by scores collected from their impartial mystery shopping audits, which evaluate the experience afforded to visiting golfers and prospective members, in accordance with 59club’s objective benchmarking criteria. On the night, 59club presented 64 awards across 27 categories, recognising ‘service excellence’ across all areas of the businesses – sales, service, operations, retail, 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 based on a venue’s average green fee rate, of either above or below £75 per person.

Stoke Park and The Belfry Hotel & Resort picked up the highest prized awards of the evening, The Ultimate Members’ Club, and The Ultimate Golf Resort respectively, withThe Belfry retaining their title for a second consecutive year and Stoke Park having claimed The Ultimate accolade previously in 2015.

Stuart Collier, Stoke Park Director of Golf, said; “It’s a huge honour for the entire team at Stoke Park to be awarded the prize of Ultimate Members’ Club at this year’s 59club annual awards dinner. We have worked very closely with 59club since 2011 and this has enabled us to review, develop and improve the overall member and visitor experience at the club.

“At Stoke Park we are blessed to have world class facilities but we feel the interaction with the staff is the most important element of any visit and we rely on the 59club to provide us with real feedback to monitor, manage and improve this”.  

In addition to being crowned The Ultimate Golf Resort, The Belfry’s celebrations continued, as Chris Reeve retained his Golf Manager of the Year title (>£75 category) with Jacques Hobson crowned Food & Beverage Manager of the Year (> £75 category).

Upon collecting numerous awards personally and on behalf of The Belfry Hotel and Resort, Chris Reeve, Director of Golf, said: Having received crowning glory from 59club once is truly an honour, to maintain the highest prized accolade 2 years in a row across our entire operation amplifies the teams solidarity for delivering the greatest experiences in golf, cementing our position as Europe’s Ultimate Golf Resort. 

“It was fantastic to see Jacques Hobson crowned Food & Beverage Manager of the Year, and retaining the Golf Manager of the Year title is a personal highlight in my career – as we continue to deliver the unforgettable member and guest experience that The Belfry is synonymous with, we all have a lot to celebrate”!

59club’s Industry Benchmark of excellence, it’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Flag Designations, are always a highlight of proceedings. 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 2019.

This year, 59club presented 14 ‘Gold Flags’. The deserving winners were: Celtic Manor Resort, Club de Golf Alcanada, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Foxhills Club & Resort, Gleneagles, Golf Son Muntaner, Los Naranjos Golf Club, Monte Rei, Mount Juliet Estate, Rockliffe Hall, Roehampton Club, Stoke Park, The Belfry Hotel & Resort and The Grove.

The Foxhills Collection were left revelling on the night having been awarded Golf Group of the year, with Foxhills Club & Resort achieving Gold Flag status, Golf Operations Team of the Year (> £75 category), and Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year. Further celebrations saw Sophie Whitmore honoured for her Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance, and Sean Graham crowned Golf Retail Manager of the Year (>£75 category).

Marriott Golf also boasted numerous successes on the night, with Forest of Arden seeing Fraser Liston crowned Golf Manager of the Year (<£75 category), with 2 further team awards recognising their Golf Operations and  Golf Sales departments, the latter having been retained for the 4th consecutive year, as well as the venue retaining their Gold Flag status. Tudor Park provided more reason to celebrate after Rachel Palmer was honoured for her Leading Individual Group Golf Sales Performance. St Pierre continued the winning streak having scooped the Golf Membership Sales Team accolade, with Hanbury Manor achieving Silver Flag Status.  

Of this year’s awards, Simon Wordsworth, CEO at 59club, commented: “Forest of Arden was the perfect host for our 10th annual awards ceremony, and my unerring congratulations go to our nominees, tonight’s winners, our supporters and everyone involved with 59club for their commitment to perfecting service standards across our industry. 

10 years ago tonight, we celebrated our first award winning performances, and as I look back at that wealth of data, I am privileged to have witnessed 59club quite literally reinvent member and guest experiences across Golf & Hospitality using technology & data to measure, train and support our clients to achieve service excellence.

Our promise to our clients, and to those just embarking on their journey with 59club – as 12 Franchises take hold around the world servicing golf, leisure, spa & hospitality providers – has always been to continue supporting their customer journey, with new tools and more intel, to equip our most ambitious companies in their pursuit of excellence. The first half of 2020 sees ‘Business Metrics’ and our ‘Education Platform’ launch simultaneously, with many more progressive tools waiting in the wings”.

Other prestigious award winners on the night included Matt Aplin of Goring & Streatley who retained his Greenkeeper of the Year title (<£75 category), with Scott Fenwick & Craig Haldane from Gleneagles crowned Greenkeepers of the Year in the over £75 category.

Jonny Dye of Rockliffe Hall was hailed Golf Retail Manager of the Year (<£75 category), whilst the Food & Beverage Manager of the Year title (<£75 category) was presented to Glenn McNaughton of Long Ashton Golf Club.

Five-time winner, The Vale Resort was awarded Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year, and Alice Cox-Cooper from The Mere was recognised for her Leading Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance.

8 ‘Silver Flags’ went to Golf Club Castelconturbia, Frilford Heath Golf Club, Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club, La Manga Club, Le Golf National, The Duke’s, St Andrews, The North Berwick Golf Club and Woodhall Spa.

A further 7 ‘Bronze Flag’ Awards were presented to Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, Gullane Golf Club, Porters Park Golf Club, Royal Automobile Club, Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Sandy Lodge Golf Club and Slaley Hall.

To recognise venues which have shown continued commitment to engage, analyse and enrich their member and guest experience, utilising a collateral of survey tools across 59club’s software platform, 13 ‘Service Excellence’ designations were presented on the night. Recipients included Aldenham Golf & Country Club, Branston Golf & Country Club, Celtic Manor Resort, Cotswold Hills Golf Club, Edgbaston Golf Club, Goring & Streatley Golf Club, Long Ashton Golf Club, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, Moor Park Golf Club, Mount Juliet Estate, North Middlesex Golf Club, The Scandinavian and Vale Resort. Radyr Golf Club and Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa received distinction in this category achieving the Ultimate Service Excellence honour.

Celebrations continued the following morning as guests re-assembled for the 59club golf day, sponsored by Golf Genius which teed off on the Arden Course, and saw the winning individual Phil Rowsell of Asbri Golf – 59club’s most recent industry partner – claim the Claret Jug, with an individual score of 40 points. The winning team consisted of Eryl Williams, Richard Dinsdale both of Asbri Golf, Chris Dowrick of Foxhills Club & Resort and Will Hewitt, 59club who led a 3-point team victory.

For more information on 59club, visit www.59club.com

Full list of award winners can be seen in the table below.

59club ‘Service Excellence’ Award Winners 2019/20:

The Ultimate Members’ Club: Stoke Park

The Ultimate Golf Resort: The Belfry Hotel & Resort

Golf Group of the Year: Foxhills Collection

Gold Flag Designations: Celtic Manor Resort, Club de Golf Alcanada, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Foxhills Club & Resort, Gleneagles, Golf Son Muntaner, Los Naranjos Golf Club, Monte Rei, Mount Juliet Estate, Rockliffe Hall, Roehampton Club, Stoke Park, The Belfry Hotel & Resort and The Grove.

Silver Flag Designations: Golf Club Castelconturbia, Frilford Heath Golf Club, Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club, La Manga Club, Le Golf National, The Duke’s, St Andrews, The North Berwick Golf Club and Woodhall Spa.

Bronze Flag Designations: Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, Gullane Golf Club, Porters Park Golf Club, Royal Automobile Club, Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Sandy Lodge Golf Club and Slaley Hall.

My59 Ultimate Service Excellence Award: Radyr Golf Club and Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa

My59 Service Excellence Award: Aldenham Golf & Country Club, Branston Golf & Country Club, Celtic Manor Resort, Cotswold Hills Golf Club, Edgbaston Golf Club, Goring & Streatley Golf Club, Long Ashton Golf Club, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, Moor Park Golf Club, Mount Juliet Estate, North Middlesex Golf Club, The Scandinavian and Vale Resort.

Golf Manager of the Year (<£75 green fee): Fraser Liston (Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club – Aylesford Course)

Golf Manager of the Year (>£75 green fee): Chris Reeve (The Belfry Hotel & Resort)

Greenkeeper of the Year (<£75 green fee): Matt Aplin (Goring & Streatley)

Greenkeeper of the Year (>£75 green fee): Scott Fenwick & Craig Haldane (Gleneagles – Kings Course)

Food and Beverage Manager of the Year (<£75 green fee): Glenn McNaughton (Long Ashton Golf Club)

Food and Beverage Manager of the Year (>£75 green fee): Jacques Hobson (The Belfry Hotel & Resort)

Golf Retail Manager of the Year (<£75 green fee): Jonny Dye (Rockliffe Hall)

Golf Retail Manager of the Year (>£75 green fee): Sean Graham (Foxhills Club & Resort)

Golf Operations Team of the Year (<£75 green fee): Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club (Aylesford Course)

Golf Operations Team of the Year (>£75 green fee: Foxhills Club & Resort

Leading Individual Group Golf Sales Performance: Rachel Palmer (Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club)

Golf Sales Team of the Year: Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance: Sophie Whitmore (Foxhills Club & Resort)

Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year: Foxhills Club & Resort & St Pierre Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Leading Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance: Alice Cox-Cooper (The Mere)

Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year: Vale Resort

PAUL ARMITAGE TO DRIVE 59CLUB’S EXPANSION OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SERVICES ACROSS WEST EUROPE, MOROCCO AND TUNISIA

59club continues growth with formation of West Europe & North Africa division to improve sales and service etiquette, increasing customer satisfaction, revenue and profits

January 30, 2020: Golf and leisure clubs, hotels, restaurants and spa destinations can now benefit from an in-depth vision into their operational successes and areas in need of improvement thanks to the formation of a dedicated division set to cover France; Belgium; Holland; Switzerland; Germany; Austria; Morocco and Tunisia.

The new division will be led by the highly decorated General Manager of La Golf National; Paul Armitage, who alongside his commitments with the club will also co-own and drive 59club’s expansion into Western Europe & North Africa, the latest addition to the world’s leading customer service specialists – currently operating across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the USA.

59club are famed for their market-leading performance management tools, their customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping audits, whilst their training and education services are widely regarded as best-in-class across the industry.

Trusted by many of the world’s leading venues, 59club delivers an acclaimed route to measure and develop customer service levels and staff sales performance. Their intel and expertise hold the key to drive growth, providing a significant increase to customer acquisition, satisfaction, retention & profitability within businesses of all sizes.

59club has been trading across Europe for over 10 years having engaged with many of the leading golf & hospitality venues including European Tour Destinations; La Golf National, Terre Blanche, Diamond Country Club and Golf Club St Leon-Rot alongside Monte Rei, Alcanada and La Manga amongst many others.  With a dedicated local presence, 59club’s hold in the region is set to perfect the golf, leisure and hospitality experience afforded to consumers whilst driving club revenues to new heights.   

59club’s online dashboard allows these managers to compare results to the industry benchmark, elite-performing properties and even direct competitor venues of their choice, making it one of the only ways for venues to measure how well they are performing within their market.

Following the launch of 59club West Europe & North Africa, 59club CEO, Simon Wordsworth, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to extend our scope of service into Europe and North Africa and hit the ground running, with the launch of this new business. 59club is all about the people, we couldn’t ask for better partners to lead this division than Paul Armitage & Sylvain Marcati who will drive our expansion within the region. We have the utmost confidence in them both. Our objective data-collection and analytical models will help golf clubs and other hospitality properties to achieve more out of their operations and begin to put customer service at the forefront of club and resort management once again. It’s great to see our product now available in the French language.”

Paul has been working in the golf industry since 2003. He has filled several roles as GM and building brand reputation and business in various golf facilities, and also as Managing Director for one of Europe’s leading Golf Networks.

Paul joined the French Golf Federation in 2014 to help prepare Le Golf National, not only to host the 2018 Ryder Cup, but also to raise the levels of service and experience to resemble that of other major tournament golf destinations around the world. 

Working with 59club tools to help improve standards, and with Paul’s knowledge of the needs of modern golfers – it has been a recipe for success. It was therefore an obvious choice for Paul to help bring 59club to wider markets across Western Europe, Morocco & Tunisia.

Customer service has to be the number one priority for all hospitality providers” said Paul Armitage, Managing Partner of 59club Western Europe & North Africa. “In today’s world, competition is fierce. Once you lose a customer to poor service, they are likely never to return. That’s why 59club was created. It’s the only golf, leisure and hospitality-specific benchmarking tool in the world that provides this type of objective analysis, ensuring operators are making informed decisions to increase customer retention.

“I am extremely proud to have excelled under the armoury of tools provided by 59club at La Golf National, and equally as excited to drive the same significant successes for my peers across the region, that an association with 59club delivers.”