Who are the real winners of the 2018 World of Leading Golf Awards?


By: September 13, 2018


As you know I am not a big fan of golf magazines’ TOP100 and of similar lists. Years passing by and my skepticism regarding their credibility is just growing.

I would like to circle back for a moment to the notion of social proofs. Many of our customers or even us are superficial and impressed (sometimes it happens unintentionally) by the number and variety of winning awards, the number of liked and shared content.

All this happens because we want to make low-risk decisions about a not so well-known service or product. I still believe that by focusing on achieving such social proofs that can drive measurable behavior, conversions, revenue, loyalty, and advocacy for your golf resort/club are the most important ones.

Have you ever measured the impact of any of your winning awards or other badges on your sales activity?

2018 World of Leading Golf Awards

2018 World of Leading Golf Awards

Recently, I came across with an interesting approach to measure the performance and the quality of the customer experience of a golf club. The World of Leading Golf came up with the idea to evaluate their member clubs (+those who would like to join the World of Leading Golf) by using mystery shopping/test solution.

The test is anonymously executed 2 – 4 times a year by testers with a handicap from 0 – 25, commissioned by the International Golf Research, a joint venture of World of Leading Golf with St. Andrews based Braemar Golf.

The World of Leading Golf Mystery Test procedure contains:

  • On-location test by 1 anonymous player per test
  • Processing and presentation of the resulting facts & figures
  • Detailed analysis and comparisons
  • Access to total results of all World of Leading Golf member clubs
  • Ranking of all clubs

This year will be the 5th year when the lucky winner member golf clubs can celebrate their success and we golfers as well since we enjoy a lot from their customer committed business approach.

For the first time World of Leading Golf will also be exhibiting as part of the IGTM.

The World of Leading Golf will announce the ultimate members & winners of 2018 in 6 different categories all based on the outputs of the above-mentioned mystery test.

In addition to this member clubs and associates will be able to participate in a special program (17/10/2018) that was created in cooperation with the Slovenian Royal Bled.

In 2017, the winner of the World of Leading Golf Awards (were held at Aloha Golf Club Marbella) were:

  1. Best Member – Finca Cortesin
  2. Best Newcomer – Celtic Manor
  3. Best Overall Impression – Penati Golf Club (Slovakia)
  4. Best Course Conditions – Golf La Moraleja
  5. Best Culinary Offerings – Golfclub Beuerberg
  6. Best Service – Royal Park I Roveri (Italy)

Customer experience measurement & the 2018 World of Leading Golf Awards

Customer experience is a fundamental differentiator and a crucial route to achieving sustained growth.

By understanding our guests and golf club members and providing them exceptional customer experience you will not just attract more people (as a result of word-of-mouth and social media) but be able to retain them as well. This will also generate a measurable financial return.

To maximize the potential of mystery testing, we should link the results to the bottom line. In other words, connect the outputs of the mystery test with the business results.

Another important task is to make the questionnaire as objective as possible (e.g. Yes/no answers work best for gathering factual observations.).

To have a very thorough picture and understanding I would combine mystery testing/shopping data with other data, such as that from customer satisfaction surveys. It will also show where investments need to be made via specific customer touchpoints.

The mystery test identifies the customers’ behavior while customer satisfaction data prioritizes what key touchpoints matter to customers.

The real challenge is finding out what matters most to our guests and golf club members.

I am sure you will find a huge number of performance indicators. They will fit into these five categories:

  1. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) – most organizations start here. This includes among the others mystery shopping/testing scores.
  2. Customer loyalty / retention / churn – typical KPIs: purchase frequency; use of multiple channels; loyalty program participation; average order size; repeat orders; and return rates. 
  3. Advocacy / reputation / brand – These metrics determine the level at which customers would be willing to recommend or endorse the product and/or organization/golf club /golf resort.
  4. Quality / operations – golf club managers need to understand their guests’/customers’/members’ expectations, needs, and desires. For this, they will need to understand the entire customer journey find answers. If you don’t meet their expectations then you will not be able to achieve your business goals.
  5. Employee engagementGartner says employee engagement is a major concern in delivering customer experience improvements.