Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

Wednesday July 14, 2021

A unique question was posed of PGA TOUR star Marc Leishman during his 2018 BMW Championship appearance – do you know what you don’t know? The philosophical, almost Zen-like inquiry left the Aussie star perplexed and confused, but he eventually answered the riddle with charming befuddlement, stating with a chuckle “No. I don’t know what I don’t know.” Lucky him.

When it comes to their on-course game, Leishman and the rest of the PGA TOUR’s best might have the luxury of blocking out the riffraff, choosing instead to focus only on winning – the one component of their career that matters. But for the remaining 99.9 percent of golf industry professionals like course operators, hospitality managers, F&B personnel, outside service members and others who use the game of golf to make a living, knowing what you don’t know is the difference between providing a valuable golf experience or receiving an angry Yelp review. 

Golf course operators and managers cannot be everywhere at once to ensure every single element of the golf experience at their club matches the price point. But with many clubs operating at high price points, excellent customer service is not the exception. Excellence is expected, and the reason why high-profile daily fee clubs and private clubs alike rely on third-party customer-service expert consultants to figure out what they don’t know and fix it.

“An independent mystery shopper audit allows managers to view their club through the eyes of their customers,” said Mike Kelly, Managing Partner of 59club USA. “Feedback will pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, while the ability to make service comparisons to not only chosen competitors, but also the 59club industry and best performing clubs, gives operators actionable data, goals and opportunities to evaluate their tactics.”

Mystery shopping audits measure all service offerings at the club and are not solely limited to turf conditioning or bunker presentation – although that is a large component of the program. Staff attitude, sales and upselling prowess, facility management and general operating procedures also are factored into the mystery test – which gives club managers a real-time snapshot of their entire customer-service presentation. 

59club USA has helped more than 80 high-profile clubs collect customer-service data and elevate their golf experience all over the country including the TPC Network which operates 32 golf properties was one of the first to adopt 59club USA customer service benchmarking techniques, using the collected data to increase customer loyalty and provide employee feedback. But Kelly suggests the tools provided by his firm are not reserved for only high-end or private properties.

“Investment in bricks and mortar do not sustain and grow reputations,” said Kelly. “It is people who build reputations. You may or may not be the ‘biggest’ club in the area but you can definitely achieve, deliver and then maintain outstanding customer service.”

As we slowly come out of the pandemic and get back to what serves as a new normal – whatever that might mean – we have a little breathing room to reflect on silver linings. The golf industry enjoyed a mini boom over the last 15 months, drawing a large number of first-time players and overall participation not seen since the early 90s. And with that newfound reinvigoration, the game itself is in a unique position to renew its focus on elevating the game from standardized commodity to an elite-level golf experience. And it seems as though 59club might be the best way to know what you don’t know.

Friendly Conversation Starters – The F&B Upsell Engine

Friday July 9, 2021

Making members and guests feel valued and welcome is an absolute no brainer for any hospitality venue, but for golf course F&B establishments which often operate with smaller margins and lower foot traffic than traditional restaurants, the line between success and failure is razor thin. And with labor shortages and employee turnover at levels not seen in decades, the importance of increasing margins through upselling and keeping good employees has never been higher.

According to 59club USA’s industry leading proprietary data sets, the F&B customer service tactic most in need of improvement is also the least costly and happens to be a catalyst for increased margins. It also helps raise tips for servers and happens to be one of the key components of exceptional customer service – friendly conversation starters, A.K.A the upsell engine.

Customers are far more likely to purchase premium items when they have a personal connection to their server. Something as simple as a friendly introduction from the server or a well-placed engaging question can be the difference between your customers ordering the cheapest thing on the menu or opting for the larger size – and higher margin – appetizer, special of the day, beer, cocktail or dessert. Developing rapport through the friendly conversation starter tactic is something every server in your organization should strive for at the beginning of each individual interaction. And it works.  

This same tactic is also one of the driving forces of higher tips. Since most diners in the US tip a percentage of the bill, raising the final total through upselling – made easier through friendly communication – will increase gratuities and employee satisfaction and assist in lowering employee turnover.

The stats:

Clubs are simply not taking advantage of this tactic. Even at the podium levels – the best of the best – of 59club clients, only 66 percent (66%) of tests showed a server’s willingness to engage in friendly conversation starters. The industry average drops to an abysmal 40%, showing an industry wide opportunity for growth and higher F&B margins. Let’s do some math!

Club X has an average of 140 players per day of which 40 (29%) order a small beer at the end of their round. The small beer is priced at $7 with a 78% margin. The large beer is priced at $9 with the same 78% margin. If servers at Club X used friendly conversation starters to prime the pump for the upsell to the larger beer and managed to convert half of the 40 drinkers to the premium beverage, the result is a $11,534 increase in profit over the course of one year – on only one menu item – just by implementing a no-additional-cost tactic in your customer service toolkit. Win win.

Does your service staff need a tutorial on friendly conversation? Take advantage of 59club USA’s online training platform that is designed specifically for the club business.

59club USA Adds 20 Clubs to Rapidly Expanding Client Base Through Agreement With Landscapes Golf Management

Tuesday July 6, 2021

North American customer service satisfaction and benchmarking firm59club USA announced today they added Landscapes Golf Management (LGM) – a sister company to Landscapes Unlimited – to their client roster. 59club USA will use their industry-leading proprietary software and objective data analysis tools to provide mystery shopping services to help audit and improve the golf experience, membership sales, event sales and group-outing sales for 20 LGM golf properties in 13 states.

“We’re obviously thrilled to begin working with Landscapes Golf Management and their extensive list of extraordinary golf properties,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner of 59club USA. “We look forward to showcasing our world-class customer service platform and providing knowledgeable insights which will help shape future plans and achieve customer service excellence throughout their portfolio.”

With the addition of 20 LGM properties, 59club USA expands its client roster to more than 80 golf properties in 28 states across the country.

“Landscapes Golf Management invests extraordinary time, effort and resources into all levels of our organization, especially customer service and training, but we understand there is always room for improvement,” said Tom Everett, president of LGM.  “By utilizing 59club USA’s services, we will receive access to real-time, unbiased data which will help us achieve our goal of consistent customer service improvement, and continued success and growth in all customer-facing areas. We’re extremely excited to begin.”

59club is a service-based management tool and customer service provider which uses objective data points and images to measure, improve and then maintain standards of customer service, in turn increasing visitor and member retention. Results of on-site testing from 59club are a boost to customer satisfaction, revenues and profits for clubs who use their services such as customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping services and employee training – both virtual and on-site.

Already, 59club USA has established and developed relationships with more than 80 well-known golf clubs and resorts in North America including 14 TPC Network properties, Reynolds Lake Oconee, The Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda, Haig Point in South Carolina, Bobby Jones Links, and now Landscapes Golf Management – two of the world’s largest golf management companies.

59Club USA Adds Bret Garrison as Regional Director of Sales to the Team

Monday June 21, 2021

59club USA announced today Bret Garrison is joining the team as Director of Sales. Garrison will work remotely for 59clubUSA and manage new client sales operations, client retention strategies and strategic marketing initiatives.

“Bret joins us with more than 15 years’ experience in operational and sales management roles and his experience will be instrumental in 59club USA’s sales strategies moving forward, ” said Mike Kelly, Managing Partner for 59club USA. “As our business grows, we will continue to put a premium on hiring dedicated and talented individuals to lead our company into the future.”

Garrison gained experience at several high-end properties including Boar’s Head Resort & Club, The Club at New Seabury, Lexington Golf & Country Club and Up to Par Management.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to join the 59clubUSA team,” said Garrison. “The opportunity to join a growing company that is committed to raising the bar in the golf and hospitality industry really appealed to me.”

59club USA has established and developed relationships with more than 50 well-known private golf clubs and resorts in North America including 14 TPC properties, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club in Scottsdale, Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee, Fenway Golf Club in New York , The Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda, Haig Point in South Carolina, Ruark Golf Properties in Ocean City, Maryland, and Bobby Jones Links – one of the world’s largest golf management companies.


59Club USA Adds Steve Munch as Regional Director of Sales

Friday May 21, 2021

59club USA announced today Steve Munch is joining the team as Director of Sales . Munch will immediately assume the new position at 59clubUSA and manage new client sales operations, client retention strategies and strategic marketing initiatives.

“We are extremely excited to have someone with Steve’s experience join our fast-growing team,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner, 59club USA. “He is perfectly situated to assist us in our immediate growth and we look forward to a bright future with Steve’s involvement.”

Munch has been a PGA member for more than 30 years with 16 years of experience within the TPC Network serving as general manager for two clubs in the network. Recently, Munch completed eight years as general manager of Victoria National where he helped lead a market repositioning campaign and a successful sale to the Dormie Network.

“I’m thrilled to join the 59club USA team,” said Munch. “I firmly believe 59club’s products and services are a perfect match for any club who wishes to take their guest services to a new level. Had 59club been available to me as a general manager, I would have jumped at the idea.”  

59club USA has established and developed relationships with more than 50 well-known private golf clubs and resorts in North America including 14 TPC properties, Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, , Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee, Fenway Golf Club in New York, The Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda, Vanderbilt Country Club in Naples, Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Pinnacle Peak Country Club in Scottsdale,  and Bobby Jones Links – one of the world’s largest golf management companies.

59CLUB USA PROVIDES COMPLIMENTARY EMPLOYEE SURVEY TOOLS, HELPING CLUBS IDENTIFY STAFF NEEDS DURING CHALLENGING TIMES

Wednesday April 8, 2020

59club USA announced today the company will provide its finalized employee survey tools to golf clubs and other hospitality venues amid the COVID-19 crisis for free. The employee survey tools capture employee challenges, concerns, and potential opportunities all in one easy-to-use snapshot. 59club USA has previously made available survey tools intended for club guests and members. The complimentary survey tools will be available throughout the current crisis.

“Many clubs are asking themselves if surveying their employees is appropriate during this time,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner, 59club USA. “The long-term implications of mismanaging employee needs are insurmountable, and there is data available that shows employee feedback and direct communication is not only appropriate, it’s necessary during this crisis. Top-performing clubs consistently search for ways to make themselves and their employees better.”

59club’s proprietary survey tools enable club managers to identify both employee and guest needs, strengthen customer retention and recognize a clear direction on ways to improve the overall experience at their respective clubs. The smart dashboard allows clubs to analyze data in a clear and concise manner and provides demographic filters to further segment information from employees, creating a comprehensive, manageable and immediate snapshot of employee opinion and attitude. 59club has created COVID-19 specific survey templates as part of their free offering of their survey tools. Managers and decision makers have the freedom to create additional custom questions of their own to better fir their needs and goals using the software.

“Effective feedback, both positive and negative, is very helpful anytime,” said Kelly. “It may be more important now than ever during these ever-changing times. Top performing clubs are top performing clubs because they consistently search for ways to make their best even better. Top performing clubs are not only good at accepting feedback, they deliberately ask for feedback. And they know that feedback is helpful only when it highlights weaknesses as well as strengths.”

Click here to gain complimentary access to this important tool

59CLUB USA PROVIDES ADDITIONAL COMPLIMENTARY SURVEY TEMPLATES, CONTINUES SUPPORT OF HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM INDUSTRY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Tuesday March 31, 2020

59club USA announced today they will offer additional complimentary COVID-19-specific survey templates amid the ongoing global crisis. Additional survey templates include two direct-member communication surveys – dependent on whether the respective facility is currently open or closed for business – as well as two golf instruction templates also dependent on the current state of the respective business. Golf clubs and other hospitality venues may use the complimentary survey tools to communicate directly to their membership and identify member and guest needs through May 31, 2020.

“We’re doing everything we can to empower those in our industry that have been so greatly affected by the pandemic,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner, 59club USA. “These special COVID-19 survey templates include insightful questions covering all aspects of a venue’s professional services. Right now, it is absolutely imperative club managers open efficient and consistent communications channels with their members and guests to accurately identify their needs to plan and respond accordingly.”

The complimentary COVID-19 survey tools now include four specialized and unique approaches to direct member communication including “club member: facility open,” “club member: facility closed,” “golf instruction: facility open,” and “golf instruction: facility closed.” These surveys accurately reflect the differences between clubs in different regions across the country which have adopted different rules based on their specific circumstances.

59club’s proprietary survey tools enable club managers to identify member and guest needs, strengthen customer retention and recognize a clear direction on ways to improve the overall experience at their respective clubs. 59club will provide specific COVID-19 survey templates as part of their complimentary offering of the survey tool. Managers and decision makers can use this service to pick and choose from pre-set questions already available within the platform, and/or choose to add custom questions of their own. The ability to gather data from one’s own members and make direct comparisons based on the current situation facing the industry will provide clarity and vision on a global scale when its needed most.

Click here to sign up for complimentary survey tools.

59CLUB USA PROVIDES COMPLIMENTARY SURVEY TOOLS, HELPING CLUBS IDENTIFY MEMBER NEEDS DURING CHALLENGING TIMES

Tuesday March 31, 2020

59club USA announced today they will offer complimentary use of their proprietary survey tools amid the current COVID-19 crisis. Golf clubs and other hospitality venues may use the survey tools to communicate directly to their membership and identify member and guest needs through May 31, 2020.

“Obviously, the tourism and hospitality industries have been greatly affected by the pandemic,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner 59club USA. “We want to help these clubs communicate with their members and guests so they can be best prepared to accommodate special circumstances until things get back to normal. We’re in this together. We want to do our part and help as much as we can.”

59club’s proprietary survey tools enable club managers to identify member and guest needs, strengthen customer retention and recognize a clear direction on ways to improve the overall experience at their respective clubs. 59club will provide specific COVID-19 survey templates as part of their complimentary offering of the survey tool. Managers and decision makers can use this service to pick and choose from pre-set questions already available within the platform, and/or choose to add custom questions of their own. The ability to gather data from one’s own members and make direct comparisons based on the current situation facing the industry will provide clarity and vision on a global scale when its needed most.

“These are extraordinary times. Many managers are trying to figure out if their club should remain open or what, if any, services should still be available,” said Simon Wordsworth, founder of 59club. “Clubs themselves are navigating uncharted waters trying to determine what their members actually want or expect from their club. Relying only on substandard communication tools like social media and non-reply emails does a disservice to the club, its members and guests. We want our friends and colleagues in the tourism and hospitality industries to have everything they need to weather this storm.”

Click here to sign up for complimentary survey tools.

59CLUB USA FINALIZES RELATIONSHIP WITH REYNOLDS LAKE OCONEE

Tuesday February 18, 2020

59club USA to Provide Employee Survey Tools for the Exclusive Club

59club USA announced today they added Reynolds Lake Oconee to their client roster. Reynolds Lake Oconee is a private residential lake and golf community on Lake Oconee just 70 miles East of Atlanta, Georgia offering spectacular lakefront residential properties, unrivaled and adventurous sporting grounds, more than 40 distinct member clubs and six incredible golf courses designed by legendary architects like Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio and Rees Jones. 59club USA will provide employee survey tools and services for Reynolds using their proprietary software and objective data analysis tools.

“We’re excited to be assisting such a high-end club as Reynolds Lake Oconee with their employee survey tools,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner of 59club USA. “The ability to understand employee needs, set expectations and deliver necessary incentives and training is crucial to providing exceptional customer service to existing and potential members. We’re thrilled to get started.”

59club is a service-based management tool and customer service provider which uses objective data points and images to measure, improve and then maintain standards of customer service, in turn increasing visitor and member retention. Results of on-site testing from 59club are a boost to customer satisfaction, revenues and profits for clubs who use their services such as customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping services and employee training. Click here to view a complete list of 59club USA’s suite of services.

Already, 59club USA has established and developed relationships with nearly 40 well-known golf clubs and resorts in North America including 14 TPC properties, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club in Scottsdale, The Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda, Haig Point in South Carolina and Bobby Jones Links – one of the world’s largest golf management companies. Click here for a list of testimonials.

59CLUB USA INKS DEAL WITH CUSCOWILLA ON LAKE OCONEE IN GEORGIA

Thursday February 6, 2020

59club USA to Provide Mystery Shopping and Customer Service Benchmarking Tools for the Club

59club USA announced today they added Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee to their client roster. Cuscowilla is a private residential lake and golf community on Lake Oconee just 70 miles East of Atlanta, Georgia offering unrivaled lake views, true southern hospitality and Georgia’s No. 1 residential golf course designed by world-renowned architect duo Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. 59club USA will provide mystery shopping services for Cuscowilla using their proprietary software and objective data analysis tools.

“We’re extremely excited to use 59club USA’s mystery shopping services to help enhance our customer service, not only in our golf operations, but also our food and beverage operations,” said Jarrod Clark, general manager of Cuscowilla. “As a private club, we’re only as good as the service we provide to our members. We’re happy to employ these specific tools so we can continue to provide excellent service to our current and future members.”

59club is a service-based management tool and customer service provider which uses objective data points and images to measure, improve and then maintain standards of customer service, in turn increasing visitor and member retention. Results of on-site testing from 59club are a boost to customer satisfaction, revenues and profits for clubs who use their services such as customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping services and employee training. Click here to view a complete list of 59club USA’s suite of services.

“Cuscowilla is an incredible property and we’re delighted to begin working with them,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner, 59club USA. “We look forward to showcasing our world-class customer service platform and provide knowledgeable insights into their current operations.”

Already, 59club USA has established and developed relationships with more than 30 well-known golf clubs and resorts in North America including 14 TPC properties, Reynolds Plantation, The Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda, Haig Point in South Carolina and Bobby Jones Links – one of the world’s largest golf management companies. Click here for a list of testimonials.

59CLUB USA ADDS THE MID OCEAN CLUB IN BERMUDA TO CLIENT ROSTER

Monday February 3, 2020

59club USA to Provide Mystery Shopping and Other Customer Service Benchmarking Tools for the Club

59club USA announced today they added The Mid Ocean Club to their client roster. The Mid Ocean Club is a private members’ club in picturesque Tucker’s Town, Bermuda, offering exceptional amenities, private beaches and a world-class golf course recognized by Golf Digest in 2018 as one of the Top-100 World’s Greatest Golf Courses. 59club USA will provide mystery shopping and membership benchmarking services for The Mid Ocean Club using their proprietary software and objective data analysis tools.

“We’re extremely excited to use this new technology to better understand our Members’ needs,” said Austen Gravestock, GM at The Mid Ocean Club.  “We take extraordinary pride on the level of service we provide at Mid Ocean Club. We hope our partnership with 59club USA will help us understand and implement new ways to enhance the experience at our incredible club.”

59club is a service-based management tool and customer service provider which uses objective data points and images to measure, improve and then maintain standards of customer service, in turn increasing visitor and member retention. Results of on-site testing from 59club are a boost to customer satisfaction, revenues and profits for clubs who use their services such as customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping services and employee training. Click here to view a complete list of 59club USA’s suite of services.

“We’re thrilled to bring Mid Ocean Club into the 59club USA family,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner, 59club USA. “We look forward to working with their team and helping them continue their pursuit of customer service excellence.”

59club USA Inks Deal With Haig Point In South Carolina

Thursday January 23, 2020

59club USA to Provide Mystery Shopping and Other Customer Service Benchmarking Tools for the Club

North American customer service satisfaction and benchmarking firm 59club USA announced today they added Haig Point to their client roster. Haig Point is a luxurious, sea island community off the coast of South Carolina between Hilton Head and Savannah, Georgia with two Rees Jones designed golf courses, as well as tennis, equestrian and outdoor recreation amenities. 59club USA will provide mystery shopping and membership benchmarking services for Haig Point using their proprietary software and objective data analysis tools.

“Haig Point is an incredible property and we feel that our partnership with 59club USA will help us take our service to the highest level,” said Adam Martin, director of sales and marketing for Haig Point. “We’ve been self-evaluating using survey tools and comment cards, but our hope is that this software will give us instantaneous feedback and comparisons to some of the world’s top clubs/resorts.”

59club is a service-based management tool and customer service provider which uses objective data points and images to measure, improve and then maintain standards of customer service, in turn increasing visitor and member retention. Results of on-site testing from 59club are a boost to customer satisfaction, revenues and profits for clubs who use their services such as customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping services and employee training. Click here to view a complete list of 59club USA’s suite of services.

“We’re very excited to bring another unbelievable property into the 59club USA fold,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner, 59club USA. “We look forward to working with Haig Point and helping their team take the next step in elevating their membership service levels.”

Already, 59club USA has established and developed relationships with more than 30 well-known golf clubs and resorts in North America including 14 TPC properties and Bobby Jones Links – one of the world’s largest golf management companies. Click here for a list of testimonials.