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 May.
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
Leading Golf & Hospitality properties from across Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and the UK, have been shortlisted ahead of 59club’s Annual Service Excellence Awards Ceremony, which comes to Hilton St. Georges Park on the 2nd of March 2023.
59club’s prestigious accolades, recognise those outstanding Venues, Teams and Individuals within the global golf & hospitality industry who consistently deliver outstanding customer experiences for their members and guests.
Qualification is unbiased; and determined by scores achieved through a detailed and objective mystery shopping program, which measures the experience afforded to members, visitors and prospective members spanning Golf, Leisure, Spa and F&B operations.
A number of the finest Golf Resorts & Member Clubs in the UK & Europe receive multiple nominations this year; and leading the stakes is four-time Ryder Cup host; The Belfry with nominations realized across seven award categories.
Camiral Golf & Wellness – voted the number #1 golf resort in Spain, join 2010 Ryder Cup host; Celtic Manor Resort, Delta Hotels – Forest of Arden and The Grove as they each receive five nominations across multiple service excellence award categories.
Hot on their heels with four nominations are; Long Ashton and The Vale, both regulars in the 59club winners arena, and Quinta do Lago – also no stranger to the 59club spotlight having impressively scooped four of the main award titles in the ceremony just 12 months ago. They are all followed closely by Branston Golf and Country Club who uphold three nominations.
A newcomer to the 59club community having started their journey with the customer service specialists back in 2022; is Finca Cortesin, host of the 2023 Solheim Cup who find themselves in the running for two accolades.
With Belvoir Park, Bristol Golf Club, Clevedon, Foxhills and Ryder Cup giant Gleneagles – who famously claimed 59club’s highest accolade of Ultimate Resort in 2022 – also in contention for two accolades.
Gullane, Harpenden, JCB, Panmure, The Mere and Royal Park I Roveri – another previous winner having seen Riccardo Russo crowned European Greenkeeper of the Year – also feature double nominations.
Others hoping to receive a prestigious Service Excellence Award include a selection of 2022’s 59club Gold Flag bearing properties; Alcanada, Son Muntaner, Hanbury Manor and Mount Juliet Estate, who each feature in the Golf Retail, Greenkeeper, Golf Membership Sales and Golf Manager of the year nominations respectively.
Finally, the nominations listing see’s Barnham Broom, Carton House, Delta Hotels Worsley Park Country Club, Dunston Hall, Eden Hall, Fornby Hall, Goring & Streatley, Hoar Cross Hall, North Foreland, Oulton Hall, Rockliffe Hall, Slieve Russell, St Mellion, The Astbury, The Kendleshire, West Herts, Woodsome Hall and Wychwood Park all in contention for a service excellence award.
Looking ahead to the Service Excellence Awards, and the first for Lee Mathew Waggott, 59club Europe South’s new General Manager said: “We are extremely excited that this year’s Service Excellence Awards are now just around the corner. This day allows us to celebrate and recognize venues and teams delivering great experiences from across the continent. Additionally, with colleagues attending from properties across Europe, it gives property leaders a unique networking opportunity.”
59CLUB EUROPE SOUTH ‘SERVICE EXCELLENCE’ AWARD NOMINATIONS (in alphabetical order):
Food & Beverage Manager of the Year:
Marta Castells (Camiral Golf & Wellness); Attilio Girello (Royal Park Roveri); David Maderia (Quinta do Lago)
59club, the industry leading Customer Service Analysts and Training Provider has today announced its expansion into the Nordic regions of Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden & Denmark, bringing their wealth of Mystery Shopper Audits, Satisfaction Surveys and Employee Training Programs – created specifically for the golf & hospitality industry – to the fore.
Impressive expansion plans have already seen local 59club divisions established, currently supporting hundreds of golf clubs, resorts and management groups within the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and most recently Australia & New Zealand. It was only a matter of time before the global leaders firmed up their support in the Nordic regions, as they work tirelessly to help clubs shape and develop their sales & customer service cultures.
After a long-standing engagement between 59club HQ and The Scandinavian Golf Club, alongside additional partnerships with European Tour Destinations within the Nordic regions; 59club are delighted at the prospect of having feet on the ground to further support these venues, and attract many more just like them who share the same focus of elevating customer service levels, with the desired effect of driving retention, revenues, and profits.
The new opening welcomes Sebastian Czyz Bendsen, as 59club Nordic’s Sales Manager.
Having graduated from Kent State University, OH, USA with a BA in Finance and a MA in Sport and Recreational Management, and after a well-spent career in golf – most recently in his home Country working with the Danish Golf Union – Sebastian joins 59club with a wealth of attributes and a self-confessed love of educating and guiding leaders towards innovative ideas.
Many would say he’s the perfect fit, offering industry experience and driven by his passion and excitement for connecting Golf Club’s within the Nordic regions, with the resource and global formula to excel their customer experience, and to create an even better community for their members & guests.
Of the announcement, Simon Wordsworth, 59club CEO said “Sebastian is a real go-getter, and well versed in the role that Customer Service plays in growing the game of golf and keeping players enthused and loyal to the sport. And now as he joins 59club, he’s ready to take the support and intel he can offer to clubs a leap further. Sebastian appreciates the complexities of club cultures and has worked with similar principals when supporting the US collaborations with the PGA of America, ClubCorp (now Invited), the TPC Network and Kemper Sports. All private golf corporations, and all searching for means to optimize their business, as well as recent initiatives delivered by the Golf Union.
“We are all excited about the impact that 59club will make in the region, our global benchmarking data is second to none, and as always, we are spurred on by the rewards our clients enjoy, as we deliver the roadmap to measure, train, support and reward the individuals, teams, managers and groups we work with to perfect the art of delivering Customer Service & Sales Excellence – we can’t wait to get started!”
Opening offers are now being promoted, all clubs interested in becoming the first to sample 59club’s industry leading Mystery Shopping Services, Satisfaction Surveys and Training Tools are invited to reach out to Sebastian@59club.com to sign up for a demo and to unlock their FREE trial.
59club, the industry’s leading Customer Service Management Specialist, has today announced that Lee Mathew Waggott will continue 59club’s growth across the South of Europe, supporting golf and leisure clubs, hotels, restaurants, and spa destinations to drive customer service & sales performance across their respective properties.
With nearly 15 years industry experience gained during time with Yas Links Abu Dhabi and European Tour Destination, The London Club; Lee is well suited to the role, and is no stranger to the 59club model either.
Under 59clubs direction, Lee played an instrumental role in developing the customer journey at Yas Links, realised at the 2022 MEA Service Excellence Awards, as the property scooped four gongs which included Golf Agronomy Team of the Year, Golf Operations Team of the Year, a Gold Flag Designation, and the leading award of the year; 59club MEA’s Ultimate Resort of the Year. All at a time when Yas Links hosted the 2022 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championships.
Lee went as far to say “Having used and experienced what 59club can do first hand as a customer makes me extremely excited to start my new role within Europe South. To be able to explore different visions, and support venues in the region following our Measure, Train, Support, Reward mantra, I strongly believe 2023 and beyond can truly be history making for all types of properties across the continent”.
Simon Wordsworth, CEO of 59club added; “We are all delighted to see Lee join 59club’s expanding network, representing clubs across Spain, Portugal, Italy & Greece.
“We have been fortunate to work with some incredible managers in the region over the years and have some of the finest properties in continental Europe within our portfolio. Many of whom have been with 59club from the very beginning of our overseas expansion. It was their willingness to work with the 59club brand, that led to our globalisation, and ultimately the formation of ‘local’ 59club divisions, serving its immediate community.
“That expansion from our headquarters in the UK led to openings across Europe, the USA, Canada, Asia, Middle East, Africa; and most recently within Australia & New Zealand, and we are delighted to strengthen our support in Europe South as we welcome Lee to the family.”
With leading venues such as Finca Cortesin, PGA Catalunya, Son Muntaner and Alcanada in Spain, as well as Quinta do Lago in Portugal and Marco Simone in Italy all engaged with 59club Europe South, Lee will continue to support the regions current roster of mystery shopping audits and customer satisfaction surveys, whilst introducing education pathways, networking opportunities and new innovations to Club Managers.
Those interested in a proven strategy to measure, train, support and reward staff performance to elevate the overall customer experience and operational outcomes, are urged to visit www.59clubeurope.com or reach out to Lee Mathew Waggott firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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
Trump International Golf Club, Dubai affords an exquisite championship links-style golf course, world-class golf, leisure & retail facilities, and the finest dining experience complete with the promise to exceed all members and guest expectations.
We caught up with the Director of Golf Operations at Trump International Golf Club, Phil Waine to discuss how the stunning property located in the heart of the DAMAC Hills ensures its promise of ‘excellence’ is realised.
Utilizing the feedback from 59club’s Mystery Shopper feedback over a 5-year period has enabled us to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the business at all touch points of the golfer’s experience. From here, we have been able to conduct our internal training around the areas of opportunity that have been collectively flagged within the audits. For example, upsell training in the retail department combined with product knowledge seminars and utilizing our preferred vendors such as Taylormade to conduct additional training.
We were also able to highlight potential staff shortages within certain areas of the operation and used this indicator to schedule staff amendments and instigate additional recruitment. Using the Mystery Shopper feedback, we can highlight and justify to our ownership the areas of recruitment required to ensure the Trump brand standards are provided on a consistent basis, and to also benchmark our experience against other leading golf facilities.
In addition, 59club’s mystery shopper feedback has been utilized for supporting justification around staff recognition awards such as employee of the month/quarter/year, combined with annual performance reviews.
We deliver our annual membership survey with 59club and without doubt it’s the most important satisfaction survey that we conduct each year at the facility. We deliver the survey in May each year and it is active for around a 3–4-week period. We feel it is important to provide members with a constructive communication platform to express their opinion on the membership experience at Trump International Golf Club, Dubai, and to highlight the strengths and areas of opportunity from their own personal standpoint. Members can also remain anonymous when conducting the survey which allows them to feel comfortable when expressing certain views.
Each year we have received excellent feedback and there is always a new concept or idea that appears within the comments that we have implemented into the membership experience. This can range from a new competition event/schedule, tee sheet format, additional practice facilities on the TrackMan Driving Range, golf course upgrades, menu item/pricing amendments within the restaurant outlets etc.
Once the survey is closed, the results are distributed to the membership via a newsletter communication with the summer (June – August) action plan attached. Since we launched the membership survey in 2019, we have seen an increase in overall membership satisfaction each year, with 2022 being our record satisfaction score.
On the back of the 2022 Member Survey action plan, we have outlined further facility enhancements and renovation projects for 2023 to ensure we can continue the member satisfaction trend into next year. These enhancements will not only benefit members but also visitor golfers and non-golfers from the surrounding community. In addition, we also deliver a daily guest survey, which is sent to each non-member just 24 hours after their round of golf. On completion, each participant will receive a personalized response from the golf team within 24 hours of receiving their survey response. This is an opportunity to address any concerns from the golfer, and to potentially encourage repeat play by applying a Promo Code for the next visit.
The daily visitor survey provides additional data obtained from the mystery shopper and member survey to again benchmark the golfing experience we are delivering to all non-members. We have applied incentives for guests to complete the survey to ensure we maintain a healthy capture % rate throughout the year.
In addition to the staff training, we align all satisfaction survey scores to individual and departmental annual KPI’s and include these within the annual business plan at the start of the year. All survey scores are reviewed monthly and benchmarked against the budget, prior year, and industry averages. They are included within all owner and management reports.
The action plans and training implemented on the back of the satisfaction scores from members, guests and mystery shoppers has been supported with positive trends on commercial performance year on year. We have seen growth in areas such as merchandise spend per round, membership and green fee in all non-member round segments. In addition, the Golf Club has received prestigious global accolades within the golfing industry in recent years and continues to be nominated in 2022. We feel the service provided by 59club has been a huge support mechanism to help us achieve these goals.
The 59club service excellence awards are recognition that the club is delivering the Trump brand standards to members and guests throughout the year. Working within golf facilities in the Middle East with demanding commercial targets, it is important to ensure service standards are not compromised when achieving these objectives.
The current Director of Golf role involves a lot of administration tasks and attending meetings throughout the week. Therefore, there is a limited amount of time where I can personally oversee all touch points of the operation firsthand. We operate a floodlight facility on the Par 3 Course which means we have tee times starting from 6am in the morning until 9pm in the evening with over 70 thousand rounds of golf accommodated during the year. The 59club software we implement at Trump International Golf Club, Dubai basically provides the team and I external feedback on the golf experience we delivery on a daily basis throughout the year. The information received can be measured and allows us to make key strategy decisions based on factual data received from all golf round segments.
To anyone not working with 59club, I would have to question how they are auditing their member and guest experience, and what information they are using to make key operational strategy decisions to help them advance and deliver excellence in a competitive marketplace.
59club are industry leaders in Customer Experience Management, with a wealth of ground-breaking Mystery Shopper Audits, Customer Satisfaction Surveys, and Employee Training Programs. They support many of the greatest names in the Golf, Leisure, Spa, F&B and Hotel Industries, to elevate Sales Performance and the Customer Experience across their respective client properties.
Stoke by Nayland is one of the busiest 36-hole venues in the UK with a significant membership who like to play a lot of golf.
Managing the differing needs of members, hotel residents and pay-and-play golfers represents a challenge, but also being just one moving part in a significant resort business means I have to coordinate the activities of the various elements of my own department – booking, retail, starters and marshals, greenkeeping and academy – as well as managing a relationship with key partners such as membership committees and other hotel departments, such as rooms and F&B.
I’ve worked with 59club for around 11 years – the last three here at Stoke by Nayland. Of all the many benefits we’ve enjoyed from working with 59club, I would say the most significant – and something that helps us grow as a golf club – is the ability to benchmark against other venues.
For example, how do you know that what you’re doing is any good, in comparison to other properties? The beauty of 59club is that it gives us the ability to choose a cluster of venues that are very similar to us and our operation and to see how they perform as a collective; and with that peripheral view ultimately, we’re able to benchmark ourselves in terms of where we lie in the market.
And that mystery shopper intel isn’t limited to those competitor properties either; we also benefit from insight into 59club’s industry benchmark defined by the 3 best performing venues, which is always slightly higher than the actual industry average data. So, we’re comparing ourselves constantly not only to our immediate competition but also with a range of properties, which really helps us.
I have an excellent relationship with 59club and we speak regularly, whether it is to discuss ideas related to the club, or to discuss challenges. We also use the data we receive as part of our internal induction process and ongoing staff training. We have monthly team debriefs where we use that data as the key training issue or the tool to highlight the training need.
If, let’s say, our mystery audit comes back and it appears that a retail member of staff wasn’t particularly clued up on an item of clothing they were trying to sell, that indicates, clearly, a requirement for further training for the team. Pretty much every month we’ll highlight the big downfall, for want of a better word, within any audit and we focus our training on that area over the next few weeks.
Again, the ability to benchmark our member and guest survey data against similar facilities, is absolutely vital for us. An example is where I ask the members to survey the bunkers – and we score six out of 10. To the untrained eye that score may look pretty poor, but what 59club can do for us, in terms of the survey platform, is telling us the average score that club members across the industry have rated their bunkers, and a lot of the time that industry data is not as high as you’d imagine.
In a perfect world you’re aiming for a 10 out of 10 but the ability to know that some of the better courses may only be scoring 8.8, for example, is a good tool for us to be able to manage what we’re trying to achieve. Six no longer looks as low as it might have done previously.
The benefits to staff training and planning are also manifold. It could be somebody in the halfway hut, who hasn’t greeted a guest in a particularly great manner, or the example of the retail staff. We go through a series of meet and greets and building relationships with people.
We sit down at the start of the year and one of the big things we do is we review the mission statement we have with the golf club. The mission statement doesn’t necessarily change much, year to year, but some of the measurements we use to ensure we’re on track do change.
In the last couple of years, we’ve set benchmarks in terms of the member satisfaction scores generated from our 59club surveys and a guest satisfaction score from our mystery shopper audits, and, additionally, one of the measurements we aim for has been the 59club silver flag award, which are presented to the venues that not only achieve the required standard of service as part of the mystery test audit criteria, but also provide excellent facilities for customers to enjoy… It plays quite a big role in the bigger picture.
We didn’t get to win the silver flag award we covet, so that’s something we’re aiming for this year, but we have seen multiple success at the awards based on our appetite for gathering feedback from members and guests and the effective management of the survey data we received. We won an ultimate service excellence award in 2019, being one of only two venues recognised at that standard, and again in 2020 we retained that premium title, and also in 2021, we were honoured with a service excellence award in the same category.
From a personal perspective the most important and valuable element 59club delivers for me, is the data; collecting data, helping make sense of the feedback and being able to action any kind of changes accordingly, because of what our actual customers and a panel of mystery shoppers are telling us. Ultimately, it’s a really objective measure of the performance of the golf business.
Furthermore, every year we run the members’ survey and, as a result of that, we identify the three or four lowest scoring areas, and we implement changes based on the feedback. The changes we’ve made in the past are ongoing, and we will address any further necessary changes when we complete this year’s member survey.
We deliver pretty much the same survey, annually – albeit we break it down into three different parts: you and your membership; the course and its facilities; and staff. So, we can track progress that way.
In 2020 we used the survey platform more frequently for really nuanced stuff. For example, when coronavirus hit, we surveyed the membership on its preferred choice of touch-free hole inserts and, from the golf-club perspective, it’s really factual. It’s not my decision to use option A, for example, it’s the decision of the membership, because they’ve voted on it. I’ve found it’s far easier to justify a decision with a set of data to support you.
Without doubt, if we weren’t working with 59club we’d have a really subjective view of the golf club’s performance. I would only have opinions to judge my business on, rather than truly objective measurements.
If you look at the real top-quality venues in the UK, there’s a very high possibility those venues are working with 59club and what that says to me is that 59club gives you a really good, stable platform upon which you can build your business, whether that be a service or a product.
There’s a very experienced team of people inside 59club, and, ultimately, if you follow the guidance of these guys you’re not going to go far wrong.
Knowing that, I don’t understand why clubs in our sector wouldn’t work with 59club, to be frank. It’s a tool that offers so much in terms of looking at the broader picture, as well as somebody who wants to look at minute details in terms of, for example, selling golf shirts.
It’s a no-brainer for me. I’ve worked with 59club for years and I will continue to work with them wherever I go in the future. It’s incredible value for money.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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;
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
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:
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
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
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
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’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
The management team through their use of the App can log
observations during their daily departmental evaluations, both on and off the
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:
“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
“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
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.
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
All survey products empower venues to measure their customer
satisfaction against the best performing venues and the industry
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
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…
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.
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
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.
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 &
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…
Tom Rourke is general manager of Troon Golf’s The Els Club, in Dubai. Here he explains how working with 59club has achieved an unprecedented level of membership at the facility and why he regards 59club as an essential service provider, both now and in the future.
Although I had worked with 59club previously, I hadn’t utilised the membership sales experience audit as I was previously based at a daily fee only facility. Upon joining The Els Club and better understanding the membership structure, I thought the best thing to do would be to have 59club involved with some membership enquiries and mystery shops – to go through that experience to see where enhancements could be made to improve the conversion of our prospective member show rounds.
I met with 59club MEA director Mark Bull who discussed the expectations, the history of the previous membership enquiries from past mystery shoppers at The Els Club, the benchmarking process, audit criteria, and the recommendations to get the most success out of a potential new member or membership enquiry.
Subsequently, I sat down with our membership manager, Thomas Nicolson, and gathered his feedback before we instigated the first membership related mystery shopper enquiry. After receiving the initial audit report, Thomas and I analysed the feedback and established there were quite a few areas where improvements could be made.
Thomas is a great member of the team and together we very constructively worked our way through the audit feedback; with Mark Bull on hand to provide his insightful recommendations on further measures to advance.
Thomas took all of the data and feedback within the audit on board, and, worked to improve the membership enquiry process, and the following month, achieved a near perfect show round appointment mystery audit. The process has transformed our membership sales procedures, and, after receiving this great feedback, we started to look at the membership offering and made some additional adjustments.
And it’s really paid dividends. Thomas did a fantastic job: in December we had around 30 new members sign up; in January we had 40 new members; and, in February, another 15 – so it’s been a huge success. Since working with 59club, we’ve had more new members sign up at The Els Club than ever before.
It illustrates that by reviewing the customer journey and the show-round experience, utilising the 59club tools, and doing a refresher of all the Troon Golf operational standards as well, makes a massive difference, even at an incredible property such as The Els Club. We’re delighted with the results.
With 59club, the attention to detail from the tester is incredible and, when you’re able to review recordings of the telephone call, when you’re able to analyse the sales techniques demonstrated, and in other audits the upselling measurements in the golf shop, the photographs and the reports from the agronomy perspective as well, it is hugely valuable detail.
There was already an agreement in place with 59club when I arrived at The Els Club, but I would be looking to work with them at any facility that I would go to within Troon Golf. It’s an absolute no brainer – the costs you’re looking at for 59club, the detail and information you’re going to receive, and the improvements you can make, mean you’re going to get back that investment 10-fold, with all the enhancements you’re able to identify and implement.
As a new general manager or department head, there’s great value in reviewing the previous 59club mystery shops, so you start to understand the operation with a different set of eyes. And then to be able to meet with 59club and engage with them and understand what’s happened previously, the feedback that was given, and whether any adjustments were made, is a big help.
I’m also a believer in the integrity test side of the business, especially on the driving range or areas where, maybe, there’s fewer associates, or they’re further away from the main hub of the clubhouse. It’s fundamental for department heads and the GM to study these mystery shops and integrity checks, just to have some eyes on those areas from an experience side and a security perspective.
To be engaged with 59club to monitor your business, make improvements, and for it to complement Troon Golf, is for me, just the minimum standard. After the first couple of mystery visits and the results of the integrity tests, associates begin to see things differently and take call handling, sales processes, and cash handling more seriously.
It’s really been an eye opener for the team – you always get a few shocks, speedbumps and hiccups along the way, but you start to make improvements and the revenues will start increasing. Certainly, using 59club services will only increase revenues, whether that be on membership, green fees, retail, or on the driving range. To receive that detailed feedback helps enormously.
There is such incredible value in the level of detail in the reports, it’s a set of independent eyes, seeing it through the eyes of the guest, which is so incredibly valuable. Nine times out of 10, you are going to see an increase in revenue, and that is an absolute no brainer.
The wider business goal for The Els Club is to become more of a country club and engage with the local community. The Els Club will always be, fundamentally, built on an incredible golf course – Ernie Els did a fantastic job with the design.
But we’re currently underway with the construction of two padel tennis courts, a spa, ladies hair salon and a gents’ barber shop, and, because 59club does not just specialise in golf, we will also be engaging with 59club in these areas of the business.
59club is very much across the whole area of hospitality and the business – which Troon Golf also specialises in – and it will further enhance the guest and member experience, help drive revenues and give the general manager, and his decision makers, and department heads the information they need at their fingertips.
As the flagship facility, all the fantastic standards we have within Troon Golf are at the very highest level at The Els Club. But, with 59club – whether it be SOPs, training, uniform standards, or something else – we’re just going to get additional feedback, which will only further enhance what Troon Golf has in place and ensure it is followed, consistently. We’re already at such a high standard, but it will give more information, data and feedback – and it’s always great to receive.
We can also utilise other platforms within 59club that might not be on the guest side of things, such as associate training. There’s always something, for example, upselling, that you can never improve enough. If you want to improve the engagement with the guest, improve product knowledge, and the way that information is delivered, 59club is a great partner to guide you through that process and deliver training sessions. Department heads at Troon Golf always do an incredible job, but it’s additional support, and that goes a long way.
Having a 59club division ‘on the ground’ here in the region has made a big difference. I was very fortunate, previously, to do my PGA training with (59club CEO) Simon Wordsworth, and have worked closely with both Mark Reed, Matt Roberts and Andrew Etherington, so I know it’s an incredible team; but, having Neal Graham and Mark Bull on the ground here, is a great addition to the club. They are on hand with recommendations, training, or support, and will pop over at any time.
You don’t ever feel with 59club – unlike some – as if you’re on ‘the meter’; you know you’re calling them over to have a coffee, catch up and go through some feedback. You feel they are a pure partner and that they simply want to enhance the guest journey, and the operation, and genuinely care about The Els Club as a business. Both Mark and Neal have great experience in the region and it just further complements the club.
I feel the 59club team understood our goals from the start; the key part for us is we are all about membership – so we want to hit our full membership cap of 200 members which we’re now very close to achieving. They understood that, and, also, the history of The Els Club: that the number one focus is golf. They looked at how they can assist us and give recommendations, improve that mystery shop and guest journey, so that we could attract more members. Then we looked at the F&B experience, the upselling in the golf shop, the engagement during the experience with the guests, the experience on the golf course – every part of the business. But, number one, was membership and, then, the driving range, just looking to make sure policies and procedures were being followed.
It’s an absolute pleasure to be associated with and work alongside 59club and I’m sure the relationship and support will continue to enhance and complement The Els Club and Troon Golf’s operating and hospitality standards.
This year we were delighted to receive two 59club Service Excellence Awards, in both Golf Retail Team of the Year, and, The Els Club was awarded the highest honour, the Gold Flag Designation, which is credit to the hard work and high standards we all work to achieve.
I do genuinely respect and value what 59club offers and to see it branching out now all around the world, is wonderful. It’s something golf never had previously, and I just hope everyone else values it as much as we do, and doesn’t see it as an expense line. Properties need to see their products and services as something that provides tangible value; with 59club your guaranteed to improve the overall experience, and ultimately that will make a difference to your profits.
Philippe Pilato has worked at Ryder Cup venue Le Golf National for more than 26 years and now holds the position of general manager. He outlines how 59club helped elevate the facility to a top service provider and explains how its processes can help French golf in general.
We have been with 59club since 2016, just two years before the Ryder Cup, and, at that time, we were not able to provide a good service to the visitor, in particular, to international clients. Working with 59club helps us improve our services and the quality of our services.
In 2015 and 16 we were only used to working with French visitors and members. Two years out from the Ryder Cup we started working with foreign visitors and it was clear we needed to improve the quality of our service. We needed independent analysis of our strong and weak points, which is important for both the manager and the team.
We use 59club’s visitor-experience analysis and the my59 customer survey tool, as we needed to know better the needs and wishes of our clients.
We have many different clients at Le Golf National – we have subscribers, we have players who play one or two times a week, visitors from abroad including a lot from the USA, corporate customers and day guests – and, at the beginning, we didn’t know what they needed or expected when they played here.
We segment by type of customer with the survey tool and it’s very interesting and beneficial to receive the varied feedback it gives us.
When we started with 59club, in 2016, our initial results weren’t particularly good – we’d been geared up primarily for domestic visitors until that point. When we started receiving the results of the visits we shared the information with the whole team – the greenkeepers, the welcome desk, in the back office – which was hugely beneficial and we also started staff training with 59club.
We focused on our strong points, which we knew – the golf courses and the pro shop – and the weak areas, such as the service. We’re in France and it’s very expensive to have a lot of employees. We can’t have the same number of employees on the service side of the business as our contemporaries abroad. We needed to be very strong when the customer arrives in the pro shop because this is the first contact they get with a Le Golf National employee.
Across the five years of testing we’ve seen around a 50 per cent improvement in our mark for the ‘meet and greet’ part of the test, and this comes because, thanks to 59club, we trained our staff to be focused solely on the client. Previously, employees were only focused on themselves; we showed them that the most important person at Le Golf National is not them, but the client in front of them.
We did that a lot; it remains a job we do every day as a matter of course and this is why we have improved substantially since 2016. We are much more focused on the golfers, what they expect, and why they’ve chosen to come to Le Golf National. That simple thing – and the way we were able to do it – is the reason our scores are now so much better.
We’ve also tried to be better before and after the arrival of the client. We achieved more consistency with reservations and written confirmation, and things we did not do before partnering with 59club.
We tried to train all the team to adopt a 360-degree vision – the only job on the front desk is not just to offer a smile and to welcome the golfer, you need to be focused on every point: the car park, the driving range, on the first tee, and so on.
I think encouraging staff to think outside of their own sphere and look at the bigger picture has been instrumental in our overall improvement. Indeed, overall, I believe our average rating is among the best in France. The benchmark 59club offers is showing this with our above-70 per cent averages.
We still have a lot to do when it comes to on-course service because, as I explained, we do not have a lot of people in the marshalling team, the buggy bar, the starter, or speaking to the players on the course and asking if they need anything, for example. This area, admittedly, we can still improve upon and we will improve this aspect of the customer experience. I’m not saying we will be perfect but it will be a better experience – nobody’s perfect.
Much of this can be put down to the expense of employing people in France – as I have already mentioned – but the client expects a certain level, with a starter and a marshal, and somebody to take their golf clubs for them at the end of a round. We do have wonderful employees, really, because on some days we may have 200 people on the golf course and it’s very tough for them with so much to cover, yet our customer satisfaction figures remain good.
I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of 59club because it helps professionalise the service one offers to golfers. I think we need this is France. I recently visited a golf club with three of my colleagues from Le Golf National and was astonished that of the three people at the reception desk, not one looked up and said ‘Hello’ or welcomed us in any way. And that’s the simplest thing to do anywhere in the world.
In France we need to continue to professionalise our service teams because this is often the case at golf clubs in the country. We receive a lot of feedback from visitors to Le Golf National, and, because of 59club and what it does for us, they’re saying the services and quality of service here is one of the best they’ve experienced in France.
The problem is not the people, it is a management issue. The team needs to know what it has to do and, I believe, in France, they’re not sure what they should be doing, and that comes from the management. People come in, they take the credit card and take 50€ and send them out to the course and the job is done. But there’s so much more to it than that – or there should be. Sadly, in France, people on the front desk are not sure of what they need to do, so there is much training to be done across the industry.
Working with 59club has helped me, personally, to concentrate on the right things and I think that would help many general managers in France. I think it’s a ‘magic’ tool and has helped elevate Le Golf National to where it is now.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com for more information.
For all media queries, please contact: Marielle Meulenberg, Regional Sales Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
“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
“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
your local 59club Area Manager – and make a positive change today to realise
your greatest potential.
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
your new roles must involve you in a lot of travelling. How are you coping in
the COVID-19 crisis?
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.
many courses are in the group?
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.
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.
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.
has been appointed as your successor?
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
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
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
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.
came back a few days later and said yes, let’s do it.
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!
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?
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.
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
what about golf in France generally?
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.
think that France is resisting well though – official golfer numbers are down
by around 3% this year.
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.
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.
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.
And then golf is coming in the Paris Olympics in 2024?
Yes. I actually think that the Olympics could do even more good for golf in
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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?
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.
Yes, because you’re involved in other countries too, aren’t you? Not just
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.
objective to move away from concentrating on price, has that gone a long way?
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
is the impact of COVID on golf in France?
We’re pretty much back to what I would say is going to be normal as far as
golfing is concerned.
Normal or better than normal? There’s been a lot of talk about an increase in
rounds played during July and August.
yes, in terms of business July and August have been record months. They have
been record months on a few Open Golf courses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
we will be coming up with new concepts in 2021, bringing in new lifestyle
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.
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.
Within France or beyond?
think we would look beyond but not too far.
You are a very busy man, Paul.
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.
That’s great Paul, thank you very much. Is there anything else that you would
like to tell our readers?
Stay safe during the COVID crisis but come over to France as soon as it’s over
and play some golf!
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.
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. ”
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
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.
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.
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
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”.
to being crowned The Ultimate Golf Resort, The Belfry’s celebrations continued,
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”!
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
list of award winners can be seen in the table below.
59club ‘Service Excellence’ Award
Ultimate Members’ Club: Stoke Park
Ultimate Golf Resort: The Belfry Hotel & Resort
Group of the Year: Foxhills Collection
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.
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.
Ultimate Service Excellence Award: Radyr Golf Club and Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa
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
Greenkeeper of the Year (<£75 green fee): Matt Aplin (Goring &
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 &
Operations Team of the Year (<£75 green fee): Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel &
Country Club (Aylesford Course)
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
Membership Sales Team of the Year: Foxhills Club & Resort & St Pierre
Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance: Alice Cox-Cooper
Membership Sales Team of the Year: Vale Resort
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.”
– After almost three years of unprecedented growth, David Shepherd, Chief Executive – The Scandinavian, reflects upon the power of 59club survey data and handing decision-making power back to his members.