MULTIPLE WINNERS HONOURED AS 59CLUB INDUSTRY ‘OSCARS’ GOES VIRTUAL

Thursday March 25, 2021

The golf industry ‘Oscars’ went ‘virtual’ this year, with hundreds tuning in online to watch their contemporaries receive a coveted 59club Service Excellence Award, as the market-leading performance-management specialist continued to honour its best performers across the UK & Ireland.  

And, for two individuals, it proved doubly worthwhile, as Long Ashton’s Glenn McNaughton and Goring & Streatley’s Matt Aplin retained titles they received the previous year.

McNaughton repeated his feat of being crowned ‘Food & Beverage Manager of the Year’, while Aplin continued to bloom as one of the victorious ‘Greenkeepers of the Year’, both within their respective qualifying categories.

There were also more celebrations at the Bristol-based club, as Long Ashton was named one of the class winners in the ‘Golf Operations Team of the Year’ category, while retail manager Jack Heginbotham secured the club a third title, and the venue went on to retain its my59 Service Excellence accolade, in the virtual event hosted by presenter and broadcaster Dan Walker.

Owing to 59club’s ever increasing portfolio of affiliate venues, along with the diversity of the golf club industry, an additional tier for the 2020 awards was introduced, which saw winning performances recognised across three categories, to reflect the respective price points and the market segment each property has chosen to compete within.

McNaughton was joined in the F&B winners’ enclosure by Kingswood’s Simon Ibbotson and Stoke Park’s Christian Tarca, while Aplin’s fellow greenkeeping celebrators were Phil Chiverton, of The Grove, and Gary Nicoll, of Panmure GC. The latter three venues enjoyed further celebration when Panmure landed a my59 Service Excellence award, Tim Harris (Stoke Park) scooped ‘Golf Retail Manager of the Year’, and Brad Gould (The Grove) was crowned ‘Golf Manager of the Year’, alongside Tom Lawton (The Mere Golf Resort & Spa).

Speaking of the Long Ashton’s triumphant successes, Gareth Morgan, General Manager said: “Over the past 2 years, 59club has given us the structure and the theory to ensure everyone in the team knows what is expected of each other across multiple departments, and that has assisted us to develop our reputation for delivering great customer experiences both on and off the course. I can genuinely say there is a buzz around the place every time a mystery golfer report lands.

“The recognition the team have received this year has been well deserved in my biased opinion. Despite all of the challenges COVID has thrown our way they have each contributed to an increase in service levels, and I am incredibly proud that every possible area of the Club received a nomination for this year’s awards.

“We are already looking ahead at how we improve from here.  Because, as 59club always tell me – better never stops!”

Will Hewitt, 59club UK’s general manager, said: “This was our 11th annual Service Excellence Awards ceremony, but the first – and, hopefully, the last – we’ve been forced to host remotely.

“As always, our congratulations go out to all the winners and those who secured ‘podium’ finishes, which is still a sign of exceptional quality. But a special mention must go to Long Ashton GC for stealing the show in securing four titles.”

Stirling GC witnessed a double celebration as Kenny Monaghan scooped the ‘Golf Retail Manager of the year’, while the venue claimed the ‘Golf Operations Team of the Year’ title alongside Gleneagles.

Also landing two titles was Farleigh GC, which secured both a ‘Golf Manager of the Year’ award, through James Ibbetson, and the much-coveted ‘my59 Ultimate Service Excellence’ title for its commitment to engage, analyse and enrich its members and guest experience utilising the my59 survey tools.

Two other venues shared the ‘my59 Ultimate Service Excellence’ award: newcomer Glynhir GC, and Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa, which retained this highly prized title from 2019.

Phil Stickler (St Pierre, Marriott Hotel & Country Club), and Dan Hawkins (Celtic Manor Resort) were both victorious within the individual ‘Golf & Leisure Membership Sales’ category, with Branston Golf & Country Club claiming the ‘Leisure Membership Sales Team’ award.  

Other venues celebrating success on the day were Ashford Manor GC, Dulwich & Sydenham Hill GC, Edgbaston GC, Haydock Park GC, Highgate GC, John O’Gaunt GC, Pollock GC, Radyr GC, and Trentham Park GC.

The places in the 59club service excellence awards are determined by scores collected from its impartial mystery shopping audits, which evaluate the experience afforded to visiting golfers and prospective members, in accordance with objective benchmarking criteria. And they represent all areas of the business: sales, service, operations, retail, golf course, food and beverage, and management.

59club’s coveted industry benchmarks of excellence – its gold, silver and bronze flag designations – are scheduled to be revealed at a ‘live’ event in the summer, as 59club recognises member clubs and resorts that provide excellent facilities for golfers to enjoy, as well as having achieved the required standard of customer service throughout the year.

Watch the awards presentation now 

WINNERS (and runners-up)

My59 Service Excellence, sponsored by Golfbreaks.com 1, Ashford Manor GC; Dulwich & Sydenham Hill GC; Edgbaston GC; Haydock Park GC; Highgate GC; John O’Gaunt GC; Long Ashton GC; Panmure GC; Pollok GC; Radyr GC; and Trentham Park GC.

my59 Ultimate Service Excellence, sponsored by 3D-IFS:  1, Farleigh GC; Glynhir GC, Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa.

Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance, sponsored by Albatross: 1, Phil Stickler (St Pierre, Marriott Hotel & Country Club); 2, Philomena Wilkinson (Forest of Arden, Marriott Hotel & Country Club); 3, James Flesher (Dunston Hall Hotel).

Leading Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance, sponsored by Tacit & Eagle:  1, Dan Hawkins (Celtic Manor Resort); 2, George Wainwright (Branston Golf & Country Club); 3, Victoria Martin (Old Thorns).

Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year, sponsored by Kennet Leasing: 1, Branston Golf & Country Club; 2, Celtic Manor Resort; 3, Old Thorns.

Food & Beverage Manager of the Year*, sponsored by Comesto:1,Christian Tarca (Stoke Park); Glen McNaughton (Long Ashton GC); Simon Ibbotson (Kingswood GC); 2, Craig Sutherland (Brora GC); Jacques Hobson (The Belfry Hotel & Resort); Leanne Ray (Wexham Park GC); 3, Daisy Foster (Foxhills Club & Resort); Greg Smith (Edgbaston GC); Josie Swift (Farleigh GC).

Golf Retail Manager of the Year*, sponsored by Asbri Golf: 1, Jack Heginbotham (Long Ashton GC); Kenny Monaghan (Stirling GC) Tim Harris (Stoke Park); 2, Alyson Lilley (Gleneagles); Paul Babbage (Farleigh GC); Stuart Morrison (Tain GC); 3, Matt Lacey (Hurtmore GC); Peter Lane (Harpenden GC); Sean Graham (Foxhills Club & Resort).

Greenkeeper of the Year*, sponsored by Toro: 1, Gary Nicoll (Panmure GC); Matt Aplin (Goring & Streatley GC); Phil Chiverton (The Grove); 2, Angus MacLeod (The Belfry Hotel & Resort); Craig Parry (Edgbaston GC); Derek Hunter (Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club); 3, David Wyborn (Foxhills Club & Resort); James Braithwaite (Long Ashton GC); Terry Wharton (Haydock Park GC).

Golf Operations Team of the Year*, sponsored by Club Car: 1, Gleneagles; Long Ashton GC; Stirling GC; 2, Farleigh GC; Stoke Park; The Mere Golf Resort & Spa. 3, Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club; Porters Park GC, The Grove.  

Golf Manager of the Year*, sponsored by Golf Genius: 1, Brad Gould (The Grove); James Ibbetson (Farleigh GC); Tom Lawton (The Mere Golf Resort & Spa); 2, Gareth Morgan (Long Ashton GC); Karen Drake (Burnham & Berrow GC), Stuart Collier (Stoke Park); 3, Andrew Jowett (Gleneagles); Ruud Hercik (Gaudet Luce GC); Tom Scott (Harpenden GC).

*Three categories

NOMINEES UNVEILED AS GOLF’S ‘OSCARS’ PREPARE TO CELEBRATE EXCELLENCE

Friday March 12, 2021

While 2020 was an unpredictable year, the appetite across 59club partner venues to deliver the greatest customer experiences across golf, leisure and hospitality didn’t falter.  

59club, the market-leading performance-management specialist, will continue to honour their best performers across the UK and Ireland with a virtual recorded presentation, as their 11th Annual Service Excellence Awards Ceremony is available to watch from 4pm, Wednesday, March 24 hosted by presenter and broadcaster Dan Walker.

Despite the difficulties presented by COVID-19 and the consequent lockdowns throughout 2020, 59club continued to support their client venues to ensure the highest standards of service were maintained, whilst also introducing a virtual employee training platform to upskill performance and elevate service standards even further.

The award winners are determined by scores collected from 59club’s impartial mystery shopping team, which evaluates the experience afforded to visiting golfers and prospective members across the spectrum, in accordance with objective industry leading benchmarking criteria.

59club UK’s General Manager, Will Hewitt, explained: “Let’s not forget, 2020 was a unique year for most industries, not just golf; it was very testing and threw up unprecedented challenges to venues across the globe.

“But they weren’t closed for the whole of the year and, when they were open, our mystery shopper audits continued, enabling us to maintain our annual recognition of performance in what will be a virtual ceremony to celebrate what has become widely regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the industry.”

He added: “It’s certainly a different programme, as, this year, our awards will be split with, hopefully, a ‘live’ event in the summer to crown the gold, silver and bronze flag recipients, the 59club Industry Benchmark of Excellence. But the virtual event on March 24 will celebrate the individuals, teams and venue titles which have become so highly coveted.”

Owing to 59club’s ever increasing portfolio of affiliate venues, along with the diversity of the golf club industry, an additional tier for the 2020 awards has been introduced, which now sees winning performances recognised across three categories, to reflect the respective price points and the market segment each property has chosen to compete within.

Among the nominees aiming to become multi-award winners are four individuals hoping to retain titles they won in 2019: Long Ashton’s Glenn McNaughton, and The Belfry’s Jacques Hobson, in their respective ‘Food & Beverage Manager of the Year’ category; Foxhills’ Sean Graham, in ‘Golf Retail Manager of the Year’; and in the ‘Greenkeeper of the Year’ category; Goring & Streatley’s Matt Aplin.

Both Radyr Golf Club and Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa are also looking to retain their 2019 titles which saw them each receive the ‘Ultimate Service Excellence’ award for their commitment to engage, analyse and enrich their member and guest experience, utilising a diverse range of survey tools across 59club’s software platform.

Meanwhile, Forest of Arden, Marriott Hotel & Country Club’s Philomena Wilkinson is in the hunt for her second success in the category of ‘Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance’, having won the equivalent title in 2018.

Host Walker, who is a familiar face on TV through his work on BBC Breakfast and Football Focus, is a keen golfer himself, and said: “I’ve been lucky enough to present these awards for a number of years. It’s always a pleasure to reward venues and people who go the extra mile to make our golfing experiences as memorable as possible. It’s great to see how the event has become seen as the ‘Oscars’ of the golf industry.”

The pre-recorded awards presentation will be available to view at www.59clubuk.com from 4pm on March 24, as presenter & broadcaster, Dan Walker announces the winning individuals, teams & managers for their achievements across 2020.   

Nominations:

my59 Ultimate Service Excellence, sponsored by Golfbreaks.com: & 3D-IFS:  Ashford Manor GC; Dulwich & Sydenham Hill GC; Edgbaston GC; Farleigh GC; Glynhir GC; Haydock Park GC; Highgate GC; John O’Gaunt GC; Long Ashton GC; Panmure GC; Pollok GC; Radyr GC and Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa; and Trentham Park GC.

Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance, sponsored by Albatross: James Flesher (Dunston Hall Hotel); Phil Stickler (St Pierre, Marriott Hotel & Country Club); and Philomena Wilkinson (Forest of Arden, Marriott Hotel & Country Club).

Leading Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance, sponsored by Tacit & Eagle: Dan Hawkins (Celtic Manor Resort); George Wainwright (Branston Golf & Country Club) and; Victoria Martin (Old Thorns).

Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year, sponsored by Kennet Leasing: Branston Golf & Country Club; Celtic Manor Resort; and Old Thorns.

Food & Beverage Manager of the Year*, sponsored by Comesto: Christian Tarca (Stoke Park); Craig Sutherland (Brora GC); Daisy Ash (Foxhills Club & Resort); Glenn McNaughton (Long Ashton GC); Greg Smith (Edgbaston GC); Jacques Hobson (The Belfry Hotel & Resort); Josie Swift (Farleigh GC); Leanne Ray (Wexham Park GC); and Simon Ibbotson (Kingswood GC).

Golf Retail Manager of the Year*, sponsored by Asbri Golf: Alyson Lilley (Gleneagles); Jack Heginbotham (Long Ashton GC); Kenny Monaghan (Stirling GC); Matt Lacey (Hurtmore GC); Paul Babbage (Farleigh GC); Peter Lane (Harpenden GC); Sean Graham (Foxhills Club & Resort); Stuart Morrison (Tain GC); and Tim Harris (Stoke Park).

Greenkeeper of the Year*, sponsored by Toro: Angus Macleod (The Belfry Hotel & Resort); Craig Parry (Edgbaston GC); David Wyborn (Foxhills Club & Resort); Derek Hunter (Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club); Gary Nicoll (Panmure GC); James Braithwaite (Long Ashton GC); Matt Aplin (Goring & Streatley GC); Phil Chiverton (The Grove); and Terry Wharton (Haydock Park GC)

Golf Operations Team of the Year*, sponsored by Club Car: Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club; Farleigh GC; Gleneagles; Long Ashton GC; Porters Park GC; Stirling GC; Stoke Park; The Grove; and The Mere Golf Resort & Spa.

Golf Manager of the Year*, sponsored by Golf Genius: Andrew Jowett (Gleneagles); Brad Gould (The Grove); Gareth Morgan (Long Ashton GC); James Ibbetson (Farleigh GC); Karen Drake (Burnham & Berrow GC); Ruud Hercik (Gaudet Luce GC); Stuart Collier (Stoke Park); Tom Lawton (The Mere Golf Resort & Spa); and Tom Scott (Harpenden GC).

*Three categories