YAS LINKS, ABU DHABI RISES TO THE TOP AT 59CLUB MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Thursday 24th March 2022

YAS LINKS, ABU DHABI RISES TO THE TOP AT 59CLUB MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARDS

High-profile venues across the Middle East & Africa recognised for service excellence

in ceremony hosted at The Els Club, Dubai.

The finest golf properties across Middle East & Africa saw their teams descend on the Els Club, Dubai, on Wednesday March 23rd, 2022, with the hope of claiming an industry ‘Oscar’ at the annual 59club MEA Service Excellence Awards.

A day which started with a 9-hole Team Scamble, ended in a glittering awards ceremony as the market-leading performance-management specialist continued to honour its best performers across the region for having achieved the highest standards of sales & customer service excellence across 2021. 

The winners in the 59club MEA 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 over a period of 12 months.

On the night, 59club MEA presented 23 awards, recognising ‘service excellence’ across all areas of the businesses – Sales, Service, Operations, Retail, Golf course, Food & Beverage and Membership. 

And, for one property, there was special celebration as Yas Links, Abu Dhabi  gained four awards after scooping Golf Agronomy Team of the Year, Golf Operations Team of the Year, Gold Flag Designation and the leading award of the night, the Ultimate Service Excellence Award. Attached picture from left to right: Daniel Wright, Corey Finn, Lee Waggott and Santos Montes.

Speaking of their winning performance, Matt Waters, Group Director of Golf, said; “We are extremely proud of the teams amazing efforts in achieving four superb awards at this year’s 59club Middle East & Africa Awards. We strive to deliver the best possible customer experience at both golf clubs and with the support of Troon and 59club, we have been able to continually improve to deliver some great results. I believe that the awards we have received this year are a true testament to the hard work and commitment from all team members over the past couple of years. Thank you to 59club Middle East & Africa for organising a fantastic awards afternoon and evening to allow all clubs the opportunity to celebrate their successes.”

Other Teams honoured on the night were Saadiyat Beach Golf Club who were awarded Golf Retail Team of the Year, the Els Club, Dubai who claimed Golf Membership Team of the Year and Montgomerie Golf ClubDubai having scooped Food and Beverage Team of the Year.. 

While Trump International Golf Club, Dubai repeated their success from last year to receive the My59 Service Excellence Award for their continued commitment to engage, analyze and enrich their member and guest experience, utilizing a collateral of survey tools across 59club’s software platform. 

The final awards of the evening and always a highlight of proceedings saw 59club MEA present their Industry Benchmark of excellence, it’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Flag Designations. These highly prized accolades recognise properties that provide excellent facilities for golfers to enjoy, as well as having achieved the required standard of customer service throughout the year. 

This year, 59club MEA presented 9 ‘Gold Flags’, the deserving winners were: Abu Dhabi Golf Club; Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club; Emirates Golf Club; Jumeirah Golf Estates; Royal Golf Club, Bahrain; Saadiyat Beach Golf Club; The Els Club, Dubai; Trump International Golf Club, Dubai and Yas Links Abu Dhabi. Whilst 6 ‘Silver Flags’ went to Abu Dhabi City Golf Club; Al Hamra Golf; Club; Al Zorah Golf Club; Arabian Ranches Golf Club; Dubai Hills Golf Club and Montgomerie Golf Club, Dubai and 1 ‘Bronze flag’ to Meydan Golf.

Of this year’s awards, Mark Bull, Director at 59club MEA, commented: “ It is always a pleasure to host the industry at our annual service excellence awards and recognise the hard work and commitment of all membership and operations teams in the region. Special thanks to our host venue, The Els Club, Dubai and all of our partners and sponsors on the day. Congratulations to all nominees and winners on the night, the high levels of service and quality of facilities at all venues is fantastic and we are very proud of the part we play in supporting the industry in measuring and benchmarking to maintain these standards”. 

Full list of 59club MEA ‘Service Excellence’ Award Winners 2022

Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year, sponsored by Worldwide GolfThe Els Club, Dubai

Golf Retail Team of the Year, sponsored by Luxury Carts Group:  Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Dubai

Food and Beverage Team of the Year, sponsored by African & Eastern:  Montgomerie Golf Club, Dubai

Golf Agronomy Team of the Year, sponsored by Delta Turf Care/Toro:  Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

Golf Operations Team of the Year, sponsored by Golf Genius:  Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

My 59 Service Excellence, sponsored by Sunset Events Production: Trump International Golf Club, Dubai

Ultimate Service Excellence Award, Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

Bronze Flag Designations:

Meydan Golf

Silver Flag Designations: 

Abu Dhabi City Golf Club; Al Hamra Golf; Club; Al Zorah Golf Club; Arabian Ranches Golf Club; Dubai Hills Golf Club and Montgomerie Golf Club, Dubai

Gold Flag Designations: Abu Dhabi Golf Club; Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club; Emirates Golf Club; Jumeirah Golf Estates; Saadiyat Beach Golf Club; The Els Club, Dubai; Royal Golf Club, Bahrain; Trump International Golf Club, Dubai and Yas Links Abu Dhabi.

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Notes for journalists:

About 59club Middle East and Africa:

59club Middle East and Africa is the market leader in providing bespoke mystery shopper performance measurement programs for the Golf, Leisure, Retail, Spa, Events, F&B and Hotel Industries. Specifically designed to elevate sales and service standards, 59club provides ‘Mystery Shopper Audits’, ‘Customer Satisfaction Surveys’, and ‘Training Services’, empowering venue managers to analyze their entire visitor and member experience, enabling them to set targets, monitor performance and ultimately make informed decisions to advance. Based out of Dubai, Directors, Neal Graham and Mark Bull have over 25 years’ experience in the region, working in the golf and hospitality industries, supporting venues and organizations across 7 countries. 59club operates in four other different regions, UK, Europe, Asia and USA.

For further information on 59club contact:

Mark Bull: mark@59clubmea.com +971 50 538 4841

Neal Graham: neal@59clubmea.com +971 50 553 7989

■ For more information on 59club MEA, visit www.59clubmea.com

59CLUB MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA ANNOUNCES NOMINEES FOR THE 3rd ANNUAL SERVICE ‘EXCELLENCE’ AWARDS

59club Middle East and Africa is delighted to announce the nominees ahead of its 3rd Annual Service ‘Excellence’ Awards Ceremony, as the market-leading performance management specialist continues to honor those responsible for delivering the best customer experiences across golf, retail & hospitality.

This year’s awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at the Els Club, Dubai. A 9-hole Texas Scramble competition will proceed the evening’s Gala dinner and Awards presentation.

The nominees for the Service ‘Excellence’ titles are determined by scores collected from an independent panel of mystery shoppers, utilizing 59club’s unique, non-subjective benchmarking criteria.  Measurements to qualify for these highly recognized industry accolades includes a series of year long audits that focus on the property’s service levels, sales performance, staff attitude, internal processes and facility standards.

Els Club

Leading the way with nominations this year is Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, with a total of 4 nominations across the 7 categories.  There are also nominations for a number of clubs in their first full year of working with 59club, including Al Zorah Golf Club, Dubai Hills Golf Club & Montgomerie Golf Club, Dubai.

The night’s proceedings will also see venues honored for their commitment to engage, analyze and enrich their member and guest experience, utilizing a collateral of survey tools across the my59 software platform.

59club’s coveted industry benchmark of excellence – its gold, silver and bronze flag designations will also be awarded on the night to those venues that have delivered the most consistent golf experiences, as 59club MEA continues to recognize properties that provide excellent facilities for golfers to enjoy, as well as having achieved the required standard of service throughout 2021.

Mark Bull, Director of 59club Middle East and Africa commented: “At a time when the golf industry is experiencing continued growth, the 59club MEA Service Excellence Awards, recognizes the industry’s most successful venues for delivering the highest levels of customer service and facility standards across the region in 2021.

“The year long 59club audits continue to provide essential and invaluable data for our clients to develop and evolve their customer service standards and anticapte the needs of their guests.”

Full Categories and Nominees

Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Els Club, Dubai, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

Golf Retail Team of the Year: Al Zorah Golf Club, Dubai Hills Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Trump International Golf Club, Dubai

My59 Service Excellence: Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Emirates Golf Club, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Trump International Golf Club, Dubai

Food and Beverage Team of the Year: Els Club, Dubai, Montgomerie Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Trump International Golf Club, Dubai

Golf Agronomy Team of the Year: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Els Club, Dubai, Emirates Golf Club and Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

Golf Operations Team of the Year: Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Royal Golf Club, Bahrain, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

Ultimate Service Excellence Award 2022: Nominees and winner to be announced on the night.

59club MEA’s 3rd Annual Service Excellence event takes place on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at the Els Club, Dubai. Tickets are on sale now, to secure your place at the Awards Ceremony & Golf Day, please contact Neal Graham for further details at neal@59clubmea.com

event partners

59club MEA Service Excellence Awards

The Els Club will host the 3rd annual 59club MEA Service Excellence Awards ceremony, in March, as the leading performance management specialists return to host its prestigious ‘Golf Industry Oscars’, an event that has also become renowned for its educational and networking opportunities in addition to being a celebration of 59club’s clients’ achievements across the year.

The highlight of the evening ceremony remains the awarding of 59club’s renowned industry benchmark awards – the bronze, silver and gold flags – 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.

A number of individual, team and manager titles which recognize the very best sales and
service experiences within the hospitality industry will also be up for grabs on the night, and the event will also see venues rewarded for their commitment to engage, analyse and enrich their member and guest experience, utilizing a collateral of survey tools across the my59 survey software platform.

The evening ceremony precedes a series of inspirational education seminars, plus the 59club golf event; as the industry come together once again to celebrate Customer Service Excellence.

For all enquiries and to secure your tickets for the education seminar, golf event and awards ceremony taking place on March 23rd, 2022, please contact Neal Graham for further details at neal@59clubmea.com

Why Troon Golf’s The Els Club, in Dubai hails 59club as an essential service provider

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.

59club selected to provide unbiased audits to quantify service standard & sales performance for Troon International

Troon International, a division of Troon, the world’s largest golf management company, has selected 59club to afford its venues full access to their market-leading ‘performance management’ products & services. 

Based from their corporate office in Dubai, Troon International works with clients across Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia. 

Mark Chapleski, President of Troon International, explained: “Troon International has recognised the benefit 59club products bring to its venues. Existing General Managers and Directors of Golf have embraced the external mystery shopping audits and utilised the feedback to improve the customer experience, develop associates, improve financial performance and help provide valuable data in setting out their long-term goals and objectives.

“This enhanced service will allow each of our properties – outside of the Americas – to utilise 59club’s product portfolio, should they so wish.”

The catalyst for the new agreement was centred around 59club Middle East & Africa’s existing successful support of nine Troon International properties in the Middle East The Els ClubDubai Hills GCAddress MontgomerieArabian Ranches GC, and Meydan Golf, in Dubai; Abu Dhabi GCYas Links, and Saadiyat Beach GC, in Abu Dhabi; the Royal GC, in Bahrain and 59club’s long standing relationship in the UK with The  Grove.

These venues already utilise 59club’s wide range of mystery shopping products, including the golf visitor experience; golf membership sales enquiry; group golf enquiry call and integrity audits. They have also adopted the my59 survey platform to measure their member experience; custom-fit service, with 59club delivering onsite staff training which is supported by the recently launched ‘My59 Mentor’ virtual training platform. 

59club MEA director Mark Bull explained: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with Troon International on a firmer footing worldwide and, although not mandatory, this allows access to 59club’s full portfolio of products, should the General Managers and Directors of Golf choose to use them.

Troon International venues taking up this opportunity will be provided with a minimum of four mystery shopper audits per year, focussed on both their visitor and member-experience, and will benefit from the additional service & support provided by their local 59club division and the new virtual Mentor training platform.

This partnership will also see Troon International venues eligible for entry into 59club’s Annual Service Excellence Awards, regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the golf industry, as 59club recognise individuals, teams, venues and management groups for delivering the very best member and guest experiences. 

Winners honoured at 59club MEA Service Excellence Awards supported by Golfbreaks

FINEST SERVICE PROVIDERS HONOURED AT 59CLUB MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARDS SUPPORTED BY GOLFBREAKS

High-profile venues across the Middle East & Africa recognised for service excellence in glitzy ceremony hosted at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai.

The finest golf properties across the Middle East & Africa saw their teams descend on Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, on Wednesday May 26, 2021, with the hope of claiming an industry ‘Oscar’ at the annual 59club MEA Service Excellence Awards.

A day which started with a 9-hole Team Shamble on The Earth Course, ended in a glittering awards ceremony as the market-leading performance-management specialist continued to honour its best performers across the region for having achieved the highest standards of sales & customer service excellence across 2020/21. 

The winners in the 59club MEA 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. 

On the night, 59club MEA presented 16 awards, recognising ‘service excellence’ across all areas of the businesses – Sales, Service, Operations, Retail, Golf course, Food & Beverage and Management. 

And, for one property, there was double celebrations as Abu Dhabi Golf Club saw two of its teams honoured after scooping Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year and Golf Agronomy Team of the Year.  Pictured from left to right: Scott Sellars, Golf Operations Manager of Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Clinton Southorn, Cluster Director of Agronomy.

Speaking of their winning performance, Francisco de Lancastre, Cluster General Manager said; We are delighted to receive these two awards, as it is a testament to the hard work and effort demonstrated by the team over 2020. Working with 59club MEA throughout the year assists us to monitor customer service data and constantly strive to improve and evolve our renowned service and facility standards”.  

Other Teams honoured on the night were Abu Dhabi City Golf Club who were awarded Food and Beverage Team of the Year, Emirates Golf Club who claimed Golf Operations Team of the Year and The Els Club, Dubai having scooped Golf Retail Team of the Year. 

While Trump International Golf Club, Dubai went on to receive the My59 Ultimate Service Excellence Award for their continued commitment to engage, analyze and enrich their member and guest experience, utilizing a collateral of survey tools across 59club’s software platform. 

The final awards of the evening and always a highlight of proceedings saw 59club MEA present their Industry Benchmark of excellence, it’s Gold and Silver Flag Designations. These highly prized accolades recognise properties that provide excellent facilities for golfers to enjoy, as well as having achieved the required standard of customer service throughout the year. 

This year, 59club MEA presented 8 ‘Gold Flags’, the deserving winners were: Abu Dhabi Golf Club; Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club; Emirates Golf Club; Jumeirah Golf Estates; Saadiyat Beach Golf Club; The Els Club, Dubai; Trump International Golf Club, Dubai; and Yas Links Abu Dhabi. Whilst 2 ‘Silver Flags’ went to Abu Dhabi City Golf Club and The Track, Meydan Golf. 

Of this year’s awards, Mark Bull, Director at 59club MEA, commented: “ It was an honour and privilege to host the first service excellence awards outside of the UK, special thanks to our host venue, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Golfbreaks for their support of the event, as well as all our event partners.  Congratulations to all nominees and winners on the night, all of whom can be proud of the levels of service provided throughout 2020 and we look forward to continuing to support the industry in driving standards forward.

59club MEA ‘Service Excellence’ Award Winners 2020/21

Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year, sponsored by Worldwide GolfAbu Dhabi Golf Club

Golf Retail Team of the Year, sponsored by Sunset Events:  The Els Club, Dubai

Food and Beverage Team of the Year, sponsored by African & Eastern:  Abu Dhabi City Golf Club

Golf Agronomy Team of the Year, sponsored by Toro/Delta Turf Care:  Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Golf Operations Team of the Year, sponsored by Golf Genius:  Emirates Golf Club

My 59 Ultimate Service Excellence, sponsored by Club Car: Trump International Golf Club, Dubai

Silver Flag Designations: Abu Dhabi City Golf Club and The Track, Meydan Golf.

Gold Flag Designations: Abu Dhabi Golf Club; Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club; Emirates Golf Club; Jumeirah Golf Estates; Saadiyat Beach Golf Club; The Els Club, Dubai; Trump International Golf Club, Dubai; and Yas Links Abu Dhabi

59CLUB MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA ANNOUNCES NOMINEES FOR THEIR UPCOMING SERVICE ‘EXCELLENCE’ AWARDS

Dubai, UAE: 59club Middle East and Africa is delighted to announce the nominees ahead of its Service ‘Excellence’ Awards Ceremony, as the market-leading performance management specialist continues to honor those responsible for delivering the best customer experiences across golf & hospitality.  

This year’s awards ceremony; supported by Golfbreaks.com and our Event Partners will take place on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at Jumeirah Golf Estates. A 9-hole Texas Scramble competition will proceed the evening’s Gala dinner and Awards presentation. 

The nominees for the Service ‘Excellence’ titles are determined by scores collected from an independent panel of mystery shoppers, utilizing 59club’s unique, non-subjective benchmarking criteria.  Measurements to qualify for these highly recognized industry accolades includes a series of audits that focus on the property’s service levels, sales performance, staff attitude, internal processes and facility standards.

Leading this year’s nominations for these illustrious accolades are Abu Dhabi Golf Club; Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club; and The Els Club, Dubai, who all feature in 3 of the award titles, with Abu Dhabi City Golf Club; Jumeirah Golf Estates; and Yas Links, Abu Dhabi all receiving multiple nominations. 

Other venues also nominated for a Service Excellence Award include; Emirates Golf Club; Trump International Golf Club, Dubai and The Track, Meydan Golf.

Despite a condensed auditing schedule, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 59club MEA continued to deliver the necessary quota of mystery shopper audits across their affiliate properties, further cementing the shared commitment between 59club and its client properties to realise the very highest levels of customer service across the region.

The night’s proceedings will also see venues honored for their commitment to engage, analyze and enrich their member and guest experience, utilizing a collateral of survey tools across the my59 software platform.

59club’s coveted industry benchmark of excellence – its gold, silver and bronze flag designations will also be awarded on the night to those venues that have delivered the most consistent golf experiences, as 59club MEA continues to recognize properties that provide excellent facilities for golfers to enjoy, as well as having achieved the required standard of service throughout 2020/21. 

Neal Graham, Director of 59club Middle East and Africa commented: “The 59club MEA Service Excellence Awards, recognizes the industry’s most successful venues for delivering the highest levels of customer service and facility standards across the region. 

It’s even more prevalent than in previous years for us to continue honoring great team achievements realized, despite the challenging circumstances we all faced as an industry throughout 2020. And, as customer expectations continue to evolve, the data 59club MEA continues to provide, will assist clubs to shape their service standards moving forward.”

Full list of Nominees: – 

Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year:

Abu Dhabi Golf Club

The Els Club, Dubai

Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

Golf Retail Team of the Year:

Abu Dhabi City Golf Club

The Els Club, Dubai

The Track, Meydan Golf

My59 Service Excellence  – Ultimate Award:

Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Trump International Golf Club, Dubai

Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

Food and Beverage Team of the Year:

Abu Dhabi City Golf Club

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club

The Els Club, Dubai

Golf Agronomy Team of the Year:

Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club

Jumeirah Golf Estates

Golf Operations Team of the Year:

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club

Emirates Golf Club

Jumeirah Golf Estates

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About 59club Middle East and Africa:

59club Middle East and Africa is the market leader in providing bespoke mystery shopper performance measurement programs for the Golf, Leisure, Spa, Events, F&B and Hotel Industries. Specifically designed to elevate sales and service standards, 59club provides ‘Mystery Shopper Audits’, ‘Customer Satisfaction Surveys’, and ‘Training Services’, empowering venue managers to analyze their entire visitor and member experience, enabling them to set targets, monitor performance and ultimately make informed decisions to advance. Based out of Dubai, Directors, Neal Graham and Mark Bull have over 25 years’ experience in the region, working in the golf and hospitality industries, supporting venues and organizations across 7 countries. 59club operates in four other different regions, UK, Europe, Asia and USA.

For further information contact:

Mark Bull: mark@59clubmea.com +971 50 538 4841

Neal Graham: neal@59clubmea.com +971 50 553 7989

59club Middle East and Africa partners with the Coffee Club

THE COFFEE CLUB HAS NO GROUNDS FOR CONCERN

AFTER PARTNERING WITH 59CLUB MEA

One of the UAE’s most-popular all day dining café has partnered with the market-leading performance measurement and management specialist, 59club MEA, to ensure it maintains the highest possible service standards across its branches.

The Coffee Club has engaged 59club MEA (Middle East and Africa) to measure and refine its customer ‘journey’ at 23 of its restaurants in the UAE: 9 in Abu Dhabi, 10 in Dubai, 2 in Al Ain and 2 in Ras Al Khaimah.

Since launching in Brisbane, in 1989, The Coffee Club has become Australia’s largest home-grown café group, with around 400 outlets in nine countries, delighting more than 40 million dedicated customers, with more than 20 of those stores located in the UAE.

Ravi Chandran, CEO of parent company Liwa Minor Food and Beverages, explained: “Like most hospitality businesses we have our core standard operating procedures and staff are measured against those. 

“However, we were hugely impressed with the data and information gathered by 59club MEA during its initial visits to our stores and it became clear to us that its testing procedures were far more thorough and beneficial than anything else we had seen previously.

“The company has an impressive track record in ensuring high-service standards across its client portfolio and this is a further guarantee to our customers that the experience they enjoy at The Coffee Club will be second to none.”

59club MEA’s directors, Mark Bull and Neal Graham had an appetite to demonstrate to the brand how its proprietary mystery-visit data can highlight areas of service which might otherwise be overlooked.

Chandran was so impressed with both the quality of ‘live’ information supplied and the initiative of the pair that The Coffee Club signed a one-year contract for 59club MEA to evaluate their outlets’ service performance. 

Graham explained: “Previously, 59club’s reputation in UAE – and beyond – has been built upon its work within golf and leisure clubs, but this arrangement is testament to the ability of its products across other sectors, including pure food-and-beverage operations. 

“Each of the outlets will receive four ‘casual dining’ visits through the year and each visit will be based on what we call the four pillars of the test: attitude; facility; process; and sales. 

“59club’s reputation is based upon the ability to drill down into each of those areas to ensure the test is not a mere ‘tick-box’ exercise – it’s an in-depth analysis of both the good and the bad of the customer experience. 

“It’s not about pointing fingers; it’s designed to help staff improve – maybe even in areas where they didn’t realise they were lacking – to provide direction for further training where required, and to ensure The Coffee Club continues to be known as the most customer connected café experience by being personalized, easy and rewarding.                     

59club MEA is one of six 59club divisions worldwide, with more to follow. It was created in 2019, initially to service existing clients within the region’s golf industry following the company’s strategic approach to measure, train and support its client properties to elevate sales and service standards from a dedicated local office. 

The subsequent agenda was to introduce its ever-evolving product range – Mystery Shopping, Customer Satisfaction Surveys, Employee Training and Management Development Programmes, plus Financial Operational Comparison Tools – to an emerging audience across the region’s diverse hospitality industry. 

And, as the new partnership with The Coffee Club demonstrates, its expertise and specialist tools are equally effective in a number of other leisure spheres – membership clubs, spa, hotels and F&B are just four sectors into which 59club MEA has expanded in little more than a year.  

■ To discover more about 59club MEA visit 59clubmea.com, email enquiries@59clubmea.com or call 050 553 7989.

Troon Abu Dhabi courses recognize the importance of utilizing Covid – 19 Golf Visitor Experience Audits

During these challenging times, Troon Abu Dhabi Courses –  Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Yas Links have continued to work closely with 59club Middle East and Africa, as an independent partner, to ensure that their members and guests continue to enjoy the high levels of service and great facilities on offer, in a safe and comfortable environment. 

59club MEA have adapted the new Covid – 19 Golf Visitor Experience Audits to assist venues in evaluating the measures that have been put in place, such as pre-arrival safety information,  thermal image screening, social distancing markers, availability of hand sanitizer and staff awareness. Independent feedback helps management to constantly review the practices in place and provide additional feedback where applicable.

Complementing the adapted Covid – 19 criteria, the audits continue to provide feedback in 4 key areas, Staff Sales, Staff Attitude, Staff Process and Facility.

Matt Waters (Group Director of Golf) explained: “Since the beginning of April we have been working through a number of adaptations to promote a safe, socially distanced environment for our Members and Guests to experience and enjoy. By measuring our teams performance in these specific areas via 59club Middle East and Africa, it has allowed us to consistently review and improve our TROON standards and customer experience throughout all areas of the facilities. Managing change will always come with its challenges however, when you can present genuine and trustworthy feedback from a customer, the explanation of “why” we need to change or improve, suddenly becomes a lot easier to understand and implement.”

59club Middle East and Africa collaborating with the Els Club, Dubai and providing innovative benchmarking and customer experience solutions.

Under the management of Troon International and its promise of delivering extraordinary guest and member services, Troon offers unmatched amenities, exquisite dining, the finest playing surfaces, and an uncompromising attention to detail. The Els Club Dubai is no exception and is committed to deliver on the mission statement with forming collaborations and associations in the industry.

Forming a collaboration to implement 59club’s expertise, and the customer experience enhancement in relation to golf, the team at The Els Club has greatly benefitted from the best-practice guidelines received from them.

Els Club General Manager, Tom Rourke, explained “The benchmarking has not only assisted to guide the team to deliver an improved experience, this has also resulted in a positive membership acquisition leading up to some exciting new enhancements which includes the opening of the new extension. This multi-story facility, is the much awaited expansion at The Els Club Dubai and is now in its final phase. The 5-star leisure facilities boast an urban-chic gym, a stunning restaurant, & 2 swimming pools accompanied by a pool bar including a kid’s pool.”

In addition to the year-round exquisite condition of the award winning Els-Design Golf Course, the Members, Guests and staff alike have been appreciative of being a part of the club, which continues to enhance its offerings to the community of Dubai Sports City. 

 59club MEA Director, Mark Bull, added “We ensure that we are fully aware of our client’s immediate and long term goals.  By doing so we can then assign our applicable products and services to help their team deliver an unrivalled experience for members and guests.”

59CLUB LAUNCHES NEW VIRTUAL MENTOR EXPERIENCE


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

59club Middle East and Africa announces inaugural Service Excellence Awards Winners supported by Golfbreaks.com


Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club

Dubai, UAE: 59club Middle East and Africa is delighted to announce the winners of its inaugural Service Excellence awards supported by Golfbreaks.com.

The presentation of the awards was due to take place at a gala dinner ceremony in the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa this month. However, due to the outbreak of COVID –19, the ceremony had to be cancelled.

The awards criteria was based on mystery service audits data, which was captured and benchmarked across 18 golf venues that 59club MEA supports in the region during 2019. The awards recognise the most successful venues across the region in sales performance, staff attitude, internal processes and facility standards.

Gold, Silver and Bronze service excellence flags are also awarded to venues that have delivered the most consistent golf experiences throughout 2019, rewarding the overall team effort across each element of the 59club mystery testing report.

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club managed to scoop an unprecedented total of five awards including Golf Operations Team of the Year and Golf Manager of the Year won by Michael Major

On receiving the awards, Julian Danby, Commercial Manager at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club said: “We are thrilled to have been recognised by 59club Middle East & Africa Service Excellence awards. This represents fantastic achievements across each area of our operation and rewards our team for the drive and passion they continually show in helping to deliver the highest of golf experiences for our members and guests.”

The Royal Golf Club, Bahrain also won two awards including Best Greenkeeper of the Year, William Evans and Food and Beverage Manager of the Year, Kim Marshall.

Neal Graham, Director 59club Middle East and Africa commented: “The Service Excellence Awards recognises the delivery of high levels of customer service and facility standards provided by venues across the region. Our non-subjective criteria assist clubs to constantly review and evolve their customer journey experience.”

Full list of Winners and Nominees:

Leading Individual Golf Membership Sales Performance:-
Winner: George Wearden, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club
Nominees: Rhys James, Emirates Golf Club and Khay-Gin Aniciete, Trump International Dubai

Golf Membership Sales Team of the Year:-
Winner: Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club
Nominees: Emirates Golf Club and Trump International Dubai

Golf Retail Manager of the Year:-
Winner: Gregorio Gonzales, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club
Nominees: Ervin Cabiles, Trump International Dubai and Alex Heler, Abu Dhabi City Golf Club

Golf Manager of the Year:-
Winner: Michael Major, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club
Nominees: Phil Waine, Trump International Dubai and Cian Hurley, Emirates Golf Club

Golf Operations Team of the Year:-
Winner: Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club
Nominees: Trump International Dubai and Jumeirah Golf Estates

Food and Beverage Manager of the Year:-
Winner: Kim Marshall, Royal Golf Club, Bahrain
Nominees: Pattabi Raman, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club and Andy Heath, Trump International Dubai

Greenkeeper of the Year:-
Winner: William Evans, Royal Golf Club, Bahrain
Nominees: Ben Griffiths, Trump International Dubai and Matthew Perry, Emirates Golf Club

Gold Flag Winners
  • Abu Dhabi Golf Club
  • Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club
  • Emirates Golf Club
  • Jumeirah Golf Estates
  • Royal Golf Club, Bahrain
  • Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
  • The Els Club, Dubai
  • Trump International Golf Club, Dubai
Silver Flag Winners:
  • Abu Dhabi City Golf Club
  • Education City Golf Club, Doha
  • Yas Links Golf Club
About 59club Middle East and Africa:

59club Middle East and Africa is the market leader in providing bespoke mystery shopper performance measurement programs for the Golf, Leisure, Spa, Events, F&B and Hotel Industries. Specifically designed to elevate sales and service standards, 59club provides ‘Mystery Shopper Audits’, ‘Customer Satisfaction Surveys’, and ‘Training Services’, empowering venue managers to analyse their entire visitor and member experience, enabling them to set targets, monitor performance and ultimately make informed decisions to advance. Based out of Dubai, Directors, Neal Graham, Mark and Sally Bull have over 30 years’ experience in the region, working in the golf and hospitality industries, supporting venues and organizations across 7 countries. 59club operates in four other different regions, UK, Europe, Asia and USA.

For further information contact:
Mark Bull: mark@59clubmea.com +971 50 538 4841
Neal Graham: neal@59clubmea.com +971 50 553 7989

59Club accelerates expanion with launch of 59Club Middle East and Africa


59club cements its position in the Middle East and Africa with establishment of local office and formation of dedicated ‘MEA’ division amidst international growth

United Arab Emirates, 13th October, 2019: 59club, the world’s leading specialist customer service & sales analysis and training provider, has enhanced its rapidly accelerating global footprint with the opening of a dedicated office in Dubai, signalling the official launch of 59club Middle East and Africa.

Already, 59club has established and developed relationships with 14 well-known golf resorts in the region, including Dubai Golf, Aldar properties in Abu Dhabi and resorts in Mauritius and Seychelles. Today’s announcement cements 59club’s commitment to the region and recognises its success there by creating the structure for an unrivalled, on the ground service for existing and new clients. It follows the launch of 59club Asia in November 2018 with additional offices set to open in emerging destinations worldwide as demand for 59club’s expertise and intel reaches an all-time high.

As well as a local presence, the development of new spa, F&B and Hotel products will allow 59club MEA to enhance performance within the ever-growing, high-end leisure market the region is famed for. Its market-leading software and assessment criteria provide the resources to improve and maintain ‘sales & service’ etiquette, increasing customer satisfaction, revenue and profits in the process.

The 59club MEA team will consist of Neal Graham and Mark and Sally Bull, who collectively boast more than 30 years’ experience working in the region. During this time, they have established important relationships with key stakeholders within the Golf, Spa and Hospitality industries, which will be pivotal to future success.

Of the launch of 59club Middle East and Africa, 59club CEO, Simon Wordsworth, said: “I’m delighted to announce the launch of our Middle East and Africa division and hugely excited to have Neal, Mark and Sally on board at the helm.

“Boasting some of the finest leisure destinations worldwide, 59club’s growing profile in the UAE and Africa presents the opportunity for operators to enhance their offering even further and ensure the region’s reputation for service is extended. For our clients, this also means business growth and I anticipate an immediate impact under the leadership of our 59club MEA team.”

59club Middle East and Africa Co-Director, Neal Graham, added: “We are excited to enhance the service and offering to our current and potential new clients within the region. The expansion of our products into the Spa and Hospitality areas represents an exciting development and will enable us to utilise the powerful management tool to identify areas of concern and assist clients with training and support. 

“For the first time, it will provide operators with the tools to benchmark their standards against competitors, the industry and some of the leading venues worldwide, which is going to have a tremendous impact on performance.”

Over the past ten years, 59club has taken the industry by storm by providing data-driven solutions and industry benchmarks to address issues of sub-par sales and service performance, to which many leading venues have aligned their principals. 59club’s overarching influence within the Middle East and Africa will drive standards, advance experience and generate greater profitability for each and every commodity within the service industry.

For further details and enquiries, please email: enquries@59clubmea.com

59Club business interface now available for Concept Customers


Concept has partnered with 59club to provide its golf, leisure & spa clients with new service analysis intelligence to measure customer satisfaction levels within their businesses via its high-end operations software suites.

Concept users can now benefit from 59club’s expertise, mechanism and freedom to independently deliver customer satisfaction surveys using their industry specific benchmarking assessment criteria, flexible survey templates and automated software.

The new partnership enables the auto-generating functions to remain switched on for mutual affiliated clients – meaning that each time member and guest data is entered into their operations software, 59club will auto-invite the customer to complete the venues bespoke satisfaction survey based on their recent encounter – for example after having joined the club, paid to play, visited the spa or F&B outlet or having relinquished their club membership. The functionality can even track a customer’s experience at significant landmarks during their journey, auto-generating a series of questionnaires, in sequence at set intervals as programmed by the venue, measuring a new member’s experience over a set timeframe as a guide.

With a wealth of survey templates that cover all areas of the hospitality industry and as a result of the two software giant’s new pairing, club staff can now save valuable time delivering surveys, avoiding additional data entry, and elements of human error or resistance are eradicated.

The new interface will go live at one of the most prestigious properties in The UK; The Belfry – with other leading Golf Groups such as Dubai Golf and premier clubs and resorts that includes the likes of Old Thorns, Celtic Manor, Stoke Park, Ramside Hall and Dalmahoy also set to win as a result of the new pairing, with concept looking to roll-out the update to all of its clients very soon.

Chris Reeve, Director of Golf at the Belfry Hotel & Resort, said: “The 59club surveys have been a huge success for us and we are just about to introduce a link between our EPOS [Concept] system which will talk directly to 59club’s software [my59] and provide a survey to anyone that plays a round of golf at The Belfry with a few key questions. This is going to open new doors for us and gives us even more insight into what our customers are looking for and allows us to retain our number one position as the best golf resort in the UK”

The new partnership has been forged to assist venues to improve and maintain sales and service quality, in addition to comparing their internal customer satisfaction levels against 59club’s benchmark; the industry average and the best performing venues globally. Ultimately venues stand to capture more consumer insights than ever before.

Simon Wordsworth, 59club CEO, said: “Our recent partnership with Concept is hugely exciting for 59club. Linking our customer satisfaction survey software with the complete enterprise solution for the world’s leading resorts couldn’t be a better match. Both companies have a focus on being in control; whether that’s assisting clients managing memberships, reservations, POS or business intelligence.

“The addition of ‘real-time’ customer service analysis sees the essential day to day operation of golf, leisure & Spa venues worldwide get a whole lot smarter. As 59club continues to grow with new operations in America, Asia and Europe, I’m looking forward to seeing our collaboration with Concept continue to advance service excellence standards across the industry globally”.

Concept, a Shiji Group Brand, offers its users with leisure software for spas, clubs, resorts, and golf courses. The Concept Golf product is a complete enterprise solution for the world’s leading golf resorts and venues and caters for all software needs for golf operations.

Malcolm Rennie, Commercial Manager of Concept, said: “This new relationship and integration with 59club is so exciting for us. The cross-over between our mutual clients is staggering and we were delighted to see so many of Concept’s customers being recognised at 59club’s annual awards ceremony. We can’t wait to rollout this integration to new and existing clients and see the positive results.” 


For more information on 59club, visit: www.59club.com
For more information on Concept, visit www.concept.shijigroup.com