High-profile venues across the country were recognized for service excellence at glitzy ceremonies in Calgary and Toronto

Some of the golf industry’s very best clubs and Operators descended on The Glencoe Club and The National Club over the last week with the hope of claiming an industry ‘Oscar’ at 59club Canada’s first Service Excellence Awards. 

A couple of days that started with some insight on members followed by an impressive panel, ended in a glittering awards ceremony honouring the finest customer service providers for having achieved the highest standards of excellence across 2023.  

59club’s illustrious accolades are determined by scores collected from their impartial mystery shopping audits, which evaluate the experience afforded to visiting golfers and prospective members, in accordance with 59club’s objective benchmarking criteria. On the two nights, 59club presented 11 awards across different categories, recognizing ‘service excellence’ across all areas of the businesses – sales, service, operations, retail, golf course, food & beverage and management. With 59club continuing to reflect the very best performances, regardless of a venue’s size, scale or profile. 

Kudos to clubs or courses with multiple nominees including Credit Valley Golf & Country Club with seven, Sarnia golf & Curling Club with six and Oshawa Golf & Curling Club, Carleton Golf & Yacht Club, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club and Fairmont Banff Springs all with four a piece. 

It was a pleasure to see some large teams from Carrying Place Golf & Country Club, Fairmont Banff Springs and Mickelson National there to celebrate the evening. Some awards are individually awarded but more often than not they’re shared among the entire department. Team spirit is what these evenings are all about. 

59club’s Industry Benchmark of excellence, it’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Flag Designations, are always a highlight of proceedings. These highly prized accolades recognise member clubs’ and resorts that provide excellent facilities for golfers to enjoy, as well as having achieved the required standard of customer service throughout 2023.  

This year, 59club presented three ‘Gold Flags’. The deserving winners were: Donalda Club, Oshawa Golf & Curling Club and Credit Valley Golf & Country Club while Silver Flags were captured by four clubs; The Club at North Halton and three Fairmont properties: Jasper Park Lodge, Chateau Whistler and Banff Springs. 

Of this year’s awards, Simon Wordsworth, CEO at 59club, commented:

“The Glencoe Club and The National Club were perfect hosts for our first-ever awards ceremony in Canada, and my unerring congratulations go to our nominees, tonight’s winners, our supporters and everyone involved with 59club for their commitment to perfecting service standards across our industry.   

Just over 13 years ago, we celebrated our first award winning performances in the UK, and as I look back at that wealth of data, I am privileged to have witnessed 59club quite literally reinvent member and guest experiences across Golf & Hospitality using technology & data to measure, train and support our clients to achieve service excellence.  

Our promise to our clients, and to those just embarking on their journey with 59club – as 12 Franchises take hold around the world servicing golf, leisure, spa & hospitality providers – has always been to continue supporting their customer journey, with new tools and more intel, to equip our most ambitious companies in their pursuit of excellence.” 

Other prestigious award winners on the night included Andrew Hart, Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, who took home the Superintendent of the Year award and Steven Young was congratulated with the Golf Manager of the Year award.  

Gavin MacIver was hailed Golf Retail Manager of the Year, while the Food & Beverage Manager of the Year title went to Michael Binns from Credit Valley Golf & Country Club.  

Individual experience awards were issued to Pinebrook Golf & Country Club for Best Overall Experience, Oshawa Golf & Curling Club for best F&B experience, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for the best Retail Experience as well as the Highlands Golf Club and Oshawa Golf & Curling Club splitting the Best Individual Golf Course Experience award. 

To recognise venues which have shown continued commitment to engage, analyze and enrich their member and guest experience, utilizing a collateral of survey tools across 59club’s software platform, a ‘Service Excellence’ designation was awarded to Hamilton Golf & Country Club. 

For more information on 59club, visit www.59club.com  

Full list of award winners can be seen below;

Gold Flag Designations

Donalda Club, Credit Valley Golf & Curling Club, Oshawa Golf & Curling Club 

Silver Flag Designations

The Club at North Halton, Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Fairmont Chateau Whistler  

My59 Service Excellence Award

Hamilton Golf & Country Club 

Golf Manager of the Year

Steven Young, Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Club 

Superintendent of the Year

Andrew Hart, Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club 

Food and Beverage Manager of the Year

Michael Binns, Credit Valley Golf & Country Club

Golf Retail Manager of the Year

Gavin MacIver, Oshawa Golf & Curling Club

Golf Operations Team of the Year

Credit Valley Golf & Country Club 

Leading Individual Golf Course Presentation (tie)

Highlands Golf Club & Oshawa Golf & Curling Club

Leading Individual Food & Beverage Experience

Oshawa Golf & Curling Club 

Leading Individual Overall Experience

Pinebrook Golf & Country Club

Leading Individual Retail Experience

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club

Stay up to date with all 59club development on social media on @59club Canada LinkedIn, or @59club_Canada on Instagram 

Experts or Generalists?

The Einstellung Effect – Knowing too much can be a problem…

In a world full of people trying to become experts, it’s hard to appreciate generalists. Expertise establishes instant credibility, and, we can easily see it and identify it – a PhD or gold medal, a plus handicap, a mechanic, programmer or pianist… the list is endless of people we can appreciate.

But knowing too much about a given topic or trade can be hazardous, enter the Einstellung Effect.

In 1942, Abraham Luchins laid out a challenge, which you can find by clicking here, that tasked participants with filling a large jug using smaller, varying sized jugs of water. I won’t break down the process or solution in hopes that you’ll give it a try but essentially the takeaway was that the deeper your knowledge on a given subject or problem, the more likely you are to revert to your old habits and ways of doing things to solve problems that arise. For those familiar with the Dunning-Kruger Effect, if we were staking boundaries, we’d have the Einstellung Effect on one end and the Dunning-Kreuger Effect on the other.

One of my favourite quotes by Charles H. Brower states “People are more comfortable with old problems than new solutions.” There’s some thick irony within this quote today as we live in a world of striking innovation and technology. We have the ability to be more self-aware than we’ve ever been. It was so much easier to be blissfully unaware in the past. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. There is so much potential to increase our self-awareness, personally and professionally, using what seems like an infinite amount of ways to collect data. This can get us to the ideal state of knowing what we don’t know. The challenge lies in avoiding assumption, regardless of your level of expertise, experience or knowledge on the subject. Start from scratch. Heed the generalist, tackling a problem with an open mind, because they are malleable, adaptable. Use appropriate tools to acquire rich data, ones that generations before us wish they had when faced with old problems, to get the info you need on a road to making better decisions. Eventually, specialists will have a chance to enact their expertise, but this has to happen after exploring all of the options and avoiding the vicious “that’s the way we’ve always done it” trap.

#Generalists #Measure #Train #Support