Tagmarshal, the market leader in golf course optimization technology, is delighted to announce its partnership with 59club UK. This collaboration presents an exciting opportunity for Tagmarshal to engage with and elevate the experiences of Golf professionals across the region.

Tagmarshal’s state-of-the-art technology provides golf courses with full, real-time operational oversight and reporting. Through an innovative combination of advanced GPS technology and powerful algorithms driven by data from over 50 million rounds, managers can optimize on-course operations, with tools to effectively manage pace and flow of play, enhancing the player experience, increasing efficiency through automation, and generating additional revenue.

The partnership with 59club UK includes  educational roadshows, participation in awards  and club studies, as well as the sharing of educational opportunities such as online webinars and expert sessions.

“Affiliation with 59club UK is of significant importance to us, showcasing our dedication to elevating the golfing experience. We’re excited about the chance to offer members of 59club UK insightful, analytics-driven guidance to assist them in achieving their goals,” says Stephen Knoop, Managing Director, Tagmarshal International

”59club UK welcomes the opportunity to partner with organizations who share the goal of delivering exceptional Member and Guest experiences. Our aim is to provide high quality data to Owners and Managers to support their decision making, and we know from the mutual clients which we currently share, that Tagmarshal is an outstanding product which supports golf operations and enhances player experience,” says Will Hewitt, General Manager, 59club UK

The partnership with 59club UK builds on Tagmarshal’s existing partner network, which includes several partners, such as the GCAE (Europe), PGA of Alberta, PGA of British Columbia, NGCOA Canada, Metropolitan PGA, Southern California PGA, Pacific Northwest PGA, South Florida PGA, as well as the National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA Magazine and the CMAA Carolinas Chapter.

Tagmarshal partners with private, daily fee, public and resort courses, including 35 of the Top 100 US courses and more than 500 courses globally, as well as several golf management groups. Partners include UK courses like The Grove, Hanbury Manor, Carnoustie, Ballybunion, Hogshead, Lahinch, Old Head, Turnberry, Foxhills  and many £30 to £50 green fee courses, which are seeing excellent results. Tagmarshal offers a range of golf cart tracking devices, as well as solutions for walking groups.

To learn more about the impact optimization will have at your course, please contact Stephen Knoop, Managing Director, by mailing stephen.knoop@tagmarshal.com or calling +353 86 052 5077. Alternatively, watch our short demo at tagmarshal.com/demo.

UK & Ireland’s Leading Properties celebrate success at 14th Annual 59club Service Excellence Awards

More than two hundred of the finest Venues, Teams and Individuals from many of the leading Resorts and Clubs across the UK and Ireland came together, as 59club UK recognised their very best customer service providers of 2023. As the 14th annual celebration of service excellence, descended on the iconic Titanic Hotel in Liverpool on February 29th, 2024.

59club’s prestigious accolades are determined by scores collected from their impartial mystery shopping audits, which evaluates the experience afforded to Guests, Club Members and Prospective Members all in accordance with 59club’s objective benchmarking criteria.

With awards spanning 18 categories, that recognise service excellence across all areas of the hospitality business – including management, sales, service, operations, retail, spa, golf course, plus food and beverage – 59club continue to honour the very best performances regardless of venue size, scale and profile, by segmenting the main individual accolades into 3 categories based on a venues average green fee rate.

Will Hewitt, General Manager of 59club UK, commented; “There are many factors which impact the ability to deliver great service consistently, and it is therefore essential that we celebrate those who go above and beyond to look after their Members and Guests. It is hugely satisfying to see a number of first-time award winners and nominees, but I also have deep admiration for the venues and individuals whose names are up in lights year after year, clearly illustrating their passion and commitment for what they do.”

The flag was flying high for Ireland after both Ballybunion and Mount Juliet collected the coveted and highest prized title of the evening; namely the “Ultimate Member Club” and “Ultimate Resort” of the year respectively, with Eddie Devane adding to Mount Juliet’s success after being named one of the Food and Beverage Managers of the Year.

Multiple winner: The Belfry, saw Chris Reeve named Golf Manager of the Year, Angus Macleod, Greenkeeper of the Year, and Chris Rippon made it a hattrick for the resort when he collected the Leading Golf Sales Experience award.

Branston Golf and Country Club enjoyed a double-dose of celebrations after both their Leisure Membership Team & Golf Membership of the Year claimed the Team of the year crystalware.

Jack Heginbotham and Glenn McNaughton both of Long Ashton Golf Club claimed the Golf Retail Manager and Food and Beverage Manager of the Year award respectively – Glenn retaining his crown for an incredible 5th consecutive year.

Meanwhile, Ian Orrell and his team at Wychwood Park were also celebrating after winning Golf Manager and Golf Operations Team of the Year.

Special mention must be reserved for Matt Aplin, Golf Course Manager at Goring and Streatley, who fought off incredibly fierce competition to be named a Greenkeeper of the year for an astounding 6th consecutive year.

The ceremony culminated with the presentation of 59club’s Gold, Silver & Bronze Flag Designations – The ultimate recognition for clubs & resorts who strive to deliver the best facilities and service offering to their Members and Guests.

In addition to 59club’s UK & IRE Awards Event, the global Customer Service Management Specialists, will host six additional ceremonies during 2024 – which started in the UK, before heading off to Europe, MEA, Asia, USA and Canada, before finally finishing their annual celebrations in Australia – as 59club continue uniting the world of golf & hospitality around their commitment to deliver customer service excellence.

A full list of award winners from the 2024 Service Excellence Awards are featured below:

Leading Spa Experience: Eden Hall

Leading Individual Corporate Golf Day Sales Performance: Chris Rippon (The Belfry Resort)

Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance: Pamela Neeson & Hamish Mills (Cameron House)

Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year: Branston G&CC

Leading Individual Golf Sales Performance: Brad Cannings (Macdonald Hotels)

Leading Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance: Becky Chard (The Vale Resort)

Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year: Branston G&CC

Food & Beverage Manager of the Year

Green Fee Over £131: Eddie Devane (Mount Juliet Estate)

Green Fee £130 – £61: Danielle Jones (Newport GC)

Green Fee £60 & Under: Glenn McNaughton (Long Ashton GC)

Golf Retail Manager of the Year

Green Fee Over £131: Simon Hilliard (The London Club)

Green Fee £130 – £61: Andrew Crerar (Panmure GC)

Green Fee £60 & Under: Jack Heginbotham (Long Ashton GC)

Greenkeeper of the Year

Green Fee Over £131: Angus Macleod (Belfry – Brabazon course)

Green Fee £130 – £61: Mike Bush (St Mellion Estate)

Green Fee £60 & Under: Matt Aplin (Goring & Streatley GC)

Golf Operations Team of the Year

Green Fee Over £131: JCB Golf & Country Club

Green Fee £130 – £61: Golf at Goodwood

Green Fee £60 & Under: Wychwood Park

Golf Manager of the Year

Green Fee Over £131: Brad Gould (The Grove)

Green Fee £130 – £61: Chris Reeve (The Belfry Hotel & Resort – PGA National)

Green Fee £60 & Under: Ian Orrell (Wychwood Park)

Bronze Flag Resort 2024

Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf & Spa; Macdonald Spey Valley Resort; The Vale Resort

Silver Flag Resort 2024

Barnham Broom; Belton Woods Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort; Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort; Cameron House; Carton House; China Fleet; Slaley Hall Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort; Slieve Russell; St Mellion Estate; The K Club; Wychwood Park

Gold Flag Resort 2024

Fairmont St Andrews; Foxhills Club & Resort; Gleneagles; Mount Juliet Estate; Rockliffe Hall; The Belfry Hotel & Resort; The Grove; The Mere Resort & Spa

Bronze Flag Members Club 2024

Goring & Streatley Golf Club; Goswick Golf Club; North Foreland Golf Club; Richmond Golf Club; Royal St David’s Golf Club; Teignmouth Golf Club; The Astbury; Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club

Silver Flag Members Club 2024

Branston Golf & Country Club; Clevedon Golf Club; East Herts Golf Club; Filton Golf Club; Harpenden Golf Club; Hickleton Golf Club; Hollinwell; Ladybank Golf Club; La Moye Golf Club; Moor Park Golf Club; Redditch Golf Club; Stanton on the Wolds Golf Club; Woodsome Hall Golf Club

Gold Flag Members Club 2024

Ballybunion Golf Club; Conwy Golf Club; County Louth Golf Club; Crail Golfing Society; Dunbar Golf Club; Edgbaston Golf Club; Frilford Heath Golf Club; Golf At Goodwood; Gullane Golf Club; Hanbury Manor, Marriott Hotel & Country Club; JCB Golf & Country Club; Long Ashton Golf Club; Newport Golf Club; Panmure Golf Club; Royal Dornoch Golf Club; Royal Dublin Golf Club; The London Club; The Royal Automobile Club

The Club Company partners with 59club UK

The UK’s largest golf & country club operator, The Club Company, has enlisted the services of leading customer service analyst and training provider, 59club UK, as they endeavour to further enhance the member and guest experience across their portfolio of 15 clubs. In addition to significant financial investment to both the on and off course facilities, The Club Company is keen to ensure that service levels are elevated to match.

The Club Company will benefit from 59club’s industry leading benchmarking and insights, allowing them to identify the strengths and opportunities across their operation. These insights will then be used to deliver a bespoke programme of training and support within each club encompassing Golf Operations; Food & Beverage; Hotel and Membership sales & retention.

Matt Rollinson, Regional Operations Director highlighted his reasons for engaging with 59club; “Product, Sales, Service and Retention are all pillars of our overall group strategy and are areas that our newest partnership with 59club will support us with as we continue to improve and develop.

“A programme of detailed mystery shopping across all clubs will provide invaluable data to help us better understand the experience we offer, but more importantly the subsequent follow up training will empower us to make meaningful changes to improve the service offered to members and guests”.

Will Hewitt, 59club UK General Manager commented; “We are delighted to be starting this journey with The Club Company and look forward to supporting the teams in aligning their customer service experience with some of the very best venues in the industry. The Account Management team at 59club UK are all excited to build relationships with the General Managers and Operational Teams within this fantastic group of clubs”.

Golf’s Customer Service Management Specialists expand operations as 59club Nordic launches

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!”  

  • 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’s 2023 Award Nominations have been announced

59club will bring together their network of partner venues from across the UK, Ireland and Southern Europe as their 13th Annual Service Excellence Awards Ceremony comes to Hilton St. Georges Park on the 2nd of March 2023.

The nominees for the prestigious accolades, which recognise those outstanding Venues, Teams and Individuals within the industry who consistently deliver outstanding experiences to their members and guests are determined by scores achieved through a detailed and objective mystery shopping programme, measuring the experience afforded to Members, Visitors and Prospective Members across Golf, Leisure and Spa. 

With an ever expanding and diverse range of partner venues, 59club continue to reflect the very best performances regardless of a venue’s size, scale or profile, with five of the main titles further segmented into three categories based on the average guest fee charged.

A number of the UK’s finest Golf Resorts receive multiple nominations this year, with 59club’s 2022 “Ultimate Resort” Gleneagles joined by The Grove, The Belfry, Celtic Manor Resort, Delta Hotels – Forest of Arden and the Vale Resort.

Member orientated clubs are also well represented with JCB, Panmure, Long Ashton, Gullane, Harpenden, Belvoir Park, Clevedon, Branston Golf and Country Club and The Bristol Golf Club receiving nominations across various categories.

The West of England features particularly strongly this year with Long Ashton Golf Club achieving four nominations, including Glenn McNaughton defending his crown of F&B manager of the year for the fourth consecutive year.  Elsewhere, both Ryan Crowley (Golf Retail) and Sarah Arnel (F&B) of Clevedon Golf Club appear in the nominations listing, with further contenders for the F&B Manager coming from The Bristol Golf Club and The Kendleshire. St Mellion, in their first year of working with 59club receive a nomination for Golf Course Manager Mike Bush in the highly contested Greenkeeper of the Year category. 

Staying with Greenkeeping, all eyes will be on serial winner, Matt Aplin of Goring and Streatley, who is looking to retain his Greenkeeper of the Year title, defending an incredible winning streak now into its 5th consecutive year.  

As the 59club network continues to expand globally, the UK will once again look forward to welcoming many of Europe’s leading venues to the Annual Service Excellence Awards, with Finca Cortesin, Camiral Golf and Wellness, Quinta do Lago, Golf Son Muntaner, Club de Golf Alcanada and Royal Park I Roveri all hoping to take home awards. 

Looking ahead to the Awards, Will Hewitt, General Manager, 59club UK said: 

“The 59club awards is always a fantastic opportunity to get together and celebrate some incredible achievements and recognise the significant effort which goes into delivering exceptional member and guest experiences each and every day. The list of nominations is a true testament to the talented teams and individuals within our partner venues. With a growth during 2022 of over 20% in the number of venues being measured, being nominated and winning awards this year is truly something to be proud of”. 


Leading Individual Golf Sales Performance
Alice Kozlowski (The Grove); Chloe Stewart (The Bristol GC); Leighton Williams (Formby Hall)
Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance
Michell Birchall (Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club); Philomena Wilkinson (Delta Hotels Forest of Arden Country Club); Simon Joyce (Branston Golf & Country Club)
Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year
Branston Golf & Country Club; Delta Hotels Forest of Arden Country Club; The Mere Golf Resort & Spa
Leading Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance
James Flesher (Dunston Hall – Q Hotels Collection); Neil Rees (Celtic Manor Resort); Rebecca Chard (The Vale Resort)
Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year
Branston Golf & Country Club; Celtic Manor Resort; The Vale Resort
Leading Spa Experience Performance
Eden Hall; Hoar Cross Hall; Rockliffe Hall
Leading Individual Corporate Golf Day Sales Performance
Ben Tomlinson (The Belfry Hotel & Resort); Cameron Dhir (The Astbury); Max Cornes (The Mere Golf Resort & Spa)
Food & Beverage Manager of the Year
F&B Team (Bristol GC); F&B Team (Harpenden GC); Glenn McNaughton (Long Ashton GC); Houssem Belabed (Gleneagles); Jacques Hobson (The Belfry Hotel & Resort); Phil Bragg (The Kendleshire); Sarah Arnel (Clevedon GC); Steven Marshall (Gullane GC); Stuart McDonald (Belvoir Park GC)
Golf Retail Manager of the Year
Andrew Crerar (Panmure GC); Anthony Moore (Oulton Hall – Q Hotels Collection); John Howells (JCB Golf & Country Club); Retail Team (Barnham Broom); Retail Team (Harpenden GC); Russell McIntyre (Gullane GC); Ryan Crowley (Clevedon GC); Simon Howell (Delta Hotels Forest of Arden Country Club); Tom Hughes (The Belfry Hotel & Resort)
Greenkeeper of the Year
Aaron Small (Belvoir Park GC); Andrew Smith (West Herts GC); Angus MacLeod (The Belfry Hotel & Resort – Brabazon Course); Brendan Hegarty (Slieve Russell); Callum Wark (JCB Golf & Country Club); Chris Dyson (Woodsome Hall GC); Gary Nicoll (Panmure GC); Ian Brawn (Delta Hotels Worsley Park Country Club); James Braithwaite (Long Ashton GC); Jim McKenzie (Celtic Manor Resort – 2010 Course); John Plummer (Carton House); Matt Aplin (Goring & Streatley GC); Mike Bush (St Mellion); Phil Chiverton (The Grove); Scott Fenwick (Gleneagles)
Golf Operations Team of the Year
Celtic Manor Resort (2010 Course); Delta Hotels Forest of Arden Country Club (Arden Course); Foxhills Club & Resort; Long Ashton GC; North Foreland GC; The Belfry Hotel & Resort (Brabazon Course); The Belfry Hotel & Resort (PGA National Course); The Grove; The Vale Resort
Golf Manager of the Year
Brad Gould (The Grove); Brian Duncan (Celtic Manor Resort); Chris Reeve (The Belfry Hotel & Resort); Fraser Liston (Delta Hotels Forest of Arden Country Club); Gareth Morgan (Long Ashton GC); Ian Orrell (Wychwood Park); Matt Sandercock (Mount Juliet Estate); Noel Werner (The Vale Resort); Sean Graham (Foxhills Club & Resort)

On behalf of our Host Venue, Sponsors & Industry Partners, we look forward to welcoming you to our 2023 ‘Service Excellence Awards.’

59club, the global force in Customer Service Management opens eighth division serving Australia & New Zealand

The CX Management Specialist has today announced its global operations have expanded into Australia & New Zealand. Bringing with them over 15 years of global customer service intel, plus a wealth of industry leading mystery shopping audits, satisfaction surveys, and employee education pathways.

Golf, Leisure & Hospitality Businesses within the region, can now look forward to enjoying the ‘richest’ rewards of their labor, as 59club’s proven formula of supporting club’s to elevate customer service standards and deliver improved profits is rolled out.

The latest opening serving Australia & New Zealand passes to Sam Hughes, the former Club Operations Manager at Glenelg Golf Club, Adelaide. Hughes’ experience at Glenelg Golf Club – widely regarded as one of the best Golf and FunctionVenues in all of Australia, boasting a string of awards to boot – coupled with his passion for delivering customer service excellence, will serve him well in his new role.

At the time of launch, Hughes was preparing to represent 59club at the Golf Business Forum / PGA Expo in Melbourne and went on to say; “It’s a privilege to be part of 59club’s global operations, and to be able to support neighboring club managers to integrate 59club’s proven formula to achieve the greatest service standards and financial successes.

“We’ve got off to a great start, planning and delivering a series of trial audits for club managers up and down the country, igniting their passion and desire for achieving service excellence, and I am excited to see our following grow after more trials and contracts are shared and exchanged in the months ahead.”

Hughes is not alone on this journey, and benefits from the support of 59club founder, Simon Wordsworth and his fellow Directors, along with the experience of seven other Regional Managing Partners spanning the UK & Ireland, USA, Canada, Middle East & Africa (MEA), Asia, with two others based in continental Europe.

The Customer Service Specialists are proud to work with hundreds of clubs world-wide, of all sizes and profiles, with customers who include the likes of TPC Network, Marriott Golf, Troon International, European Tour Destinations, Sawgrass, Emirates Golf Club, The Belfry Hotel & Resort, Gleneagles, Le Golf National and Marco Simone to name just a few.

Many of the greatest names in the industry credit 59club for their properties success, having worked with them to measure, train, support & reward their workforce, as they achieve sales & customer service excellence, while elevating customer acquisition, satisfaction and profits. Head to 59clubau-nz.com for more information, or to sign up to receive a product demonstration; please contact sam@59clubau-nz.com

59club Spotlight on Service as told by Karl Hepple of Stoke by Nayland

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 expands operations into Canada with perfect Club Study pairing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to 59clubcanada.com for more information.

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


The very best individuals, teams and venues have been unveiled for 59club’s 12th Annual Awards Ceremony, celebrating excellence across sales, service, operations, retail and management, with some of the highest-profile and best-loved venues in the running for a hospitality industry ‘Oscar’.

The glittering affair, hosted by BBC’s Dan Walker will be staged at The Belfry Hotel & Resort, 3rd and 4th March 2022, and will once again provide an opportunity for the industry to come together to honor individuals, teams, and venues for their outstanding performance throughout 2021.

The accolades are determined by scores collected from 59clubs impartial mystery shopping team, who evaluate the experience afforded to visitors and prospective members in accordance with 59club’s objective benchmarking criteria. 

Each venue is judged on its performance in the following areas: sales, service, operations, retail, facilities, food & beverage and management. 59club continues to reflect the very best performances, regardless of a venue’s size, scale or profile and as has been the case in recent years, five of the main titles will be further segmented in to 3 categories based on the average guest fee charged.

Leading the nominations this year is The Mere Golf Resort & Spa who are vying for awards across 8 categories. The Mere have displayed particular strength in the Sales arena with 6 of their nominations spanning the Golf & Leisure Membership Sales departments & Corporate Golf Sales categories. Following closely, The Belfry Hotel & Resort, The Grove and The Vale Resort, are all competing for titles across 7 awards.

It is not unusual for the Resort properties to be leading the nominations but reflecting the changing nature of the 59club UK family, the world of Member Clubs is well represented with Branston Golf & Country Club securing 5 nominations, closely followed by JCB Golf & Country Club and Long Ashton GC with 4 nominations each and 3 nominations for Royal Dornoch GC, Panmure GC and Harpenden GC.

A number of venues, teams and individuals are looking to defend the titles which they collected 12 months ago.

Special recognition must go to Glenn McNaughton of Long Ashton GC who aspires to be named Food and Beverage Manager of the Year for the third consecutive occasion, whilst Goring and Streatley GC are hoping to see Matt Aplin scoop the Golf Course Manager of the Year for a fourth consecutive year.

59club’s diversification into Spa Experience and Corporate Sales (Meeting & Events and Golf), sees the dawn of two new awards categories, with Eden Hall, Foxhills Club & Resort, Hoar Cross Hall, Rockliffe Hall, The Belfry, The Mere and The Vale in the running to be named “Leading Spa Experience”, while Bernadette Turner (Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club) Ella Faller & Marc Brooks (Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club),  Elliott Brown (The Grove), Max Cornes (The Mere), and are competing to be crowned “Leading Individual Corporate Golf Sales Performance”.

Looking ahead to the Awards, Will Hewitt, General Manager, 59club UK said: “We are delighted to be returning to a live event to celebrate the 12th year of our awards, bringing the 59club family together to reward the outstanding venues, teams and individuals who have delivered excellence in spite of the well documented challenges faced during 2021. The Awards nominations illustrate some outstanding displays of consistency from many of our longest standing partner venues but also some incredible experiences delivered by many of those who have recently come on board. 59club Awards are always hard earned and we look forward to recognizing the highest standards in our industry with an event to remember”.

Other UK venues to receive multiple award nominations include Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Celtic Manor Resort, Edgbaston GC, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Foxhills, Gleneagles, Portmarnock GC, Rockliffe Hall and Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club.

With Bulbury Woods GC, Burnham & Berrow GC, Crane Valley GC, Farleigh GC, Gullane GC, Mount Juliet Resort, Radyr GC, Stoke by Nayland GC, The Bristol GC and West Herts GC all nominated.

The night’s proceedings will also see 59club bestow accolades upon venues for their commitment to engage, analyse and enrich their member and guest experience, utilising a broad range of survey tools across the my59 software platform. Nine venues will be recognised within this category, including: Ashford Manor GC, Farleigh GC, Foxhills, Henbury GC, Langdon Hills GC, Long Ashton GC, Radyr GC, St Austell GC and Stoke by Nayland GC. These venues will all compete to win an Ultimate Service Excellence accolade.

The award ceremony – sponsored by; 3d ifs, Albatross Digital, Asbri Golf, BRK, Club Car, Comesto, Dragon Golf, Golf Genius, Golfbreaks.com, Golf HR, Kennet Leasing and Toro – will also see 59club’s Industry Benchmark, its Gold, Silver and Bronze Flag Awards presented to golf resorts and private member clubs which have demonstrated distinction against broad criteria for both customer service delivery and the quality of their facilities.

To watch the highlights of our previous ‘live’ awards ceremony click here

Leading Individual Golf Sales Performance

Andy Todd (Panmure GC); Chloe Stewart (The Bristol GC); Joel Westwell (The Grove); Tom Gregory (The Grove)

Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance

Alice Cox-Cooper (The Mere Golf Resort & Spa); Ashley Freeman (Rockliffe Hall); Becky Chard (The Vale Resort); Philomena Wilkinson (Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club)

Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year

Forest Of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club; Rockliffe Hall; The Mere Golf Resort & Spa; The Vale Resort

Leading Individual Leisure Membership Sales Performance

Alice Cox-Cooper (The Mere Golf Resort & Spa); Becky Chard (The Vale Resort); George Wainwright (Branston G&CC); Neil Rees (Celtic Manor Resort)

Leisure Membership Sales Team of the Year

Branston G&CC; Celtic Manor Resort; The Mere Golf Resort & Spa; The Vale Resort

Leading Spa Experience Performance

Eden Hall; Foxhills Club & Resort; Hoar Cross Hall; Rockliffe Hall; The Belfry Hotel & Resort; The Vale Resort

Leading Individual Corporate Golf Day Sales Performance

Bernadette Turner (Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club); Ella Faller & Marc Brooks (Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club); Elliot Brown (The Grove); Max Cornes (The Mere Golf Resort & Spa)

Food & Beverage Manager of the Year

Ali Zrayer (Portmarnock GC); Craig McKinlay (Panmure GC); Dan Orchard (Branston G&CC); Eddie Devane (Mount Juliet Estate); F&B Team (Bulbury Woods GC); F&B Team (Harpenden GC); Glenn McNaughton (Long Ashton GC); Greg Smith (Edgbaston GC); Houssem Belabed (Gleneagles); Jacques Hobson (The Belfry Hotel & Resort); Lianne Harrison (Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club); Susan Robb (Royal Dornoch GC)

Golf Retail Manager of the Year

Andrew Crerar (Panmure GC); Brad Smith (Royal Dornoch GC); David Coles (Harpenden GC); David Haines & Graham Coombe (Burnham & Berrow GC); John Howells (JCB Golf & Country Club); Jack Heginbotham (Long Ashton GC); James Lambert (Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club); John Eyre (Woodsome Hall GC); Retail Team (Crane Valley GC); Simon Swales (Radyr GC); Tom Hughes (The Belfry Hotel & Resort – Brabazon Course); Tom Minshull (The Grove)

Greenkeeper of the Year

Andrew Smith (West Herts GC); Angus MacLeod (The Belfry Hotel & Resort – Brabazon Course); Callum Wark (JCB Golf & Country Club); David Wyborn (Foxhills Club & Resort); Eoin Riddell (Royal Dornoch GC); Gary Johnstone (Portmarnock GC); Ian Brawn (Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club); Jake Field (Edgbaston GC); James Braithwaite (Long Ashton GC); John Smith (Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club); Kenny MacPhail (Farleigh GC); Matt Aplin (Goring & Streatley GC); Neil Robson (Harpenden GC); Phil Chiverton (The Grove); Stewart Duff (Gullane GC – #1 Course)

Golf Operations Team of the Year

Branston Golf & CC; Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club; Foxhills Club & Resort; Gleneagles; JCB Country Club; Long Ashton GC; The Belfry Hotel & Resort (Brabazon Course); The Belfry Hotel & Resort (PGA National Course); The Grove; The Mere Golf Resort & Spa; The Vale Resort; Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Golf Manager of the Year

Andrew Jowett (Gleneagles); Brad Gould (The Grove); Brian Duncan (Celtic Manor 2010); Callum Nicoll (Rockliffe Hall); Chris Reeve (The Belfry Hotel & Resort); James Clark (JCB Golf & Country Club); Karl Hepple (Stoke by Nayland GC); Noel Werner (The Vale Resort); Sean Graham (Foxhills Club & Resort); Simon Joyce (Branston Golf & CC); Stephen Hindle (Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club); Tom Lawton (The Mere Golf Resort & Spa)


At a time when golf clubs might well cite the pandemic as mitigation for a drop in standards, it’s all the more creditable that so many venues across UK and Europe were recognised for their service quality with the annual award of 59club’s coveted ‘golf flag destinations’.

Remarkably, at a virtual ceremony hosted by presenter and broadcaster Dan Walker, 13 clubs received the highest accolade of a gold flag – the benchmark of excellence – for standards in customer service.

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

Introducing the awards, Walker said: “59club’s industry benchmark of excellence, its bronze, silver and gold flags, is an annual tradition across the golf industry. ​They recognise commercial venues and member clubs that have achieved the required standard of customer service, as determined by 59club’s impartial mystery shopping audits, with additional recognition for providing the very finest offerings for golfers to enjoy.

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

“This year, we have witnessed innovation, diversity, and a determined attitude across 59club’s affiliate properties. We have seen scholars earn additional qualifications, dining experiences honoured by the finest associations, with facilities and courses positioned among some of the very best in the industry.

“Above all else, the level of engagement achieved with members and guests demonstrates a beacon of light to the future prosperity of the golf industry.”

Host; Walker then congratulated the winners of the awards before confirming the launch of a summit that will see clients from all 59club territories compete in the inaugural ‘World hospitality service excellence awards ceremony’ in 2022.

The 13 venues celebrating the ultimate gold flag in 2021 – and, presumably, harbouring hopes of success in next year’s new worldwide ceremony – were Celtic Manor Resort, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Foxhills Club & Resort, Gleneagles, Gullane Golf Club, Rockliffe Hall, Stoke Park, The Belfry Hotel & Resort, and The Grove, in the UK; Mount Juliet Estate, in Ireland; Club de Golf Alcanada and Golf Son Muntaner, in Mallorca; and, from Portugal, Quinta do Lago.

The following venues were honoured with a silver flag designation; Burnham & Berrow GC, Farleigh GC, Frilford Heath GC, Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Le Golf National, The North Berwick GC, The Mere, and Woodhall Spa. 

And finally, the properties celebrating bronze flag status were Harpenden GC, Kingswood GC, Ladybank GC, Long Ashton GC, Panmure GC, Porters Park GC, Royal Dornoch GC, and Slaley Hall.

The 59club industry awards signify the benchmark of excellence and can be seen proudly on display at some of the very best establishments around the world.

Starting with its mystery shopper experiences in UK golf clubs back in 2009, 59club has built a proud reputation and an enviable client list, and is no longer limited to golf clubs – or just the UK.

It remains headquartered in the UK, but now has several divisions across America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and multiple offices serving Europe. It now also has a diverse offering that has the brand firmly established in hotels, restaurants, leisure clubs and spas, in addition to its heartland of golf.

Each division is delivering market-leading performance analytics and resources to measure, train and support properties in their region, while also feeding worldwide sales and service performance data into a central database.  That vision, teamed with 59club’s expertise, is the winning formula that has been driving the hospitality industry to become more customer centric, and, ultimately, more profitable.

With Thanks for our 59club Sponsors & Partners