Not only did it take the award for ‘Golf Group of the Year’, but Alan Mackenzie, from Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club – one of Dubai Golf’s three clubs – won the award for ‘Golf Manager of the Year’.
Plus Dubai Creek and Emirates GC both secured coveted gold flag status in the members’ clubs category.
The event, compered by BBC sports presenter Dan Walker and held at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, is designed to reward the top golf venues across all business elements – sales, service, operations, retail and management. And 59Club’s industry benchmark, the Gold and Silver Flag Awards recognise the finest membership clubs and commercial venues.
In total 14 awards were given out, celebrating the achievements of the very best individuals, teams and venues within the golf industry, while another 17 golf venues saw their commitment to continued quality recognised with the award of a prestigious ‘flag’.
Celebrating the group’s success, Mackenzie – who collected all the awards on behalf of his employer – said: “It was a complete shock (to win the individual award). It’s great to receive it; it’s a cliché, but, although it’s my name on the award it’s a team success. The managers are front of house some of the time but it’s the reservations staff, the bag drop, the driving range … it’s those guys that get the feedback and the accolades we’ve got here. This award has to be for them.
“I did notice that we were nominated in the group award, but when you’re up against the Marriotts of this world then it’s difficult. Dubai Golf is still on quite a small scale in terms of operation, but to come out on top of that one was very special – it’s arguably the best award. Our bosses will be very happy with that. It says a lot about how far we’ve come – it’s very special.”
Looking at the awards spread out in front of him, a smiling Mackenzie added: “I may have to pay for some extra baggage on the way home. I’ve not figured out how I’m going to do that. A couple of the trophies are quite sharp looking … so I’ll need to put on my charming face at check-in.
“The more we’re with 59Club the more we get out of it. We use it a lot now for KPI setting, finding and rewarding our stand-out team members and finding out where we’re strong. It’s been a real positive for what we’ve been trying to do. It’s been very worthwhile. When you consider what the guys behind it have achieved it gives it an instant validity. These guys have been there and done it.”
Simon Wordsworth, chief executive at 59Club and a fellow of the PGA, said: “Once again we had a tremendous evening which allowed us to not only recognise the efforts of people within our industry, but also to network and meet them on a social level. As always there is a lot of congratulating going on but it’s clear that those present were impressed and, often, inspired, by the success of their peers.
“It’s a great honour for 59Club to be able to host this event which is now a fixture in the industry calendar and very popular with those working in golf.”
59Club is fast becoming the industry standard for measuring and comparing customer-service levels and analysing all key revenue streams for golf venues, and is committed to the on-going development of club managers and PGA professionals.
The unique benchmarking and training service has already benefited hundreds of PGA members and golf course operators. The services include a series of mystery shopper recorded-enquiry calls and live visits, followed up with regular analysis and training to ensure venues can identify trends and compare, improve, or maintain, service standards.