WLG LAUNCHES NEW BENCHMARKING PROCESS
New Mystery Test and Research Partner in St. Andrews installed to improve client feedback
For more customised testing and benchmarking procedures, World of Leading Golf has engaged the services of a new research and benchmarking partner: St Andrews-based International Golf Research (IGR).
One of the core activities of WLG – and a prime determiner of the standards required to maintain active membership – is the sophisticated testing and benchmarking system applied anonymously to each member. To improve the testing and the informative value of the results the organisation provides back to its member clubs, a new approach will be undertaken by the new partner, IGR.
International Golf Research is a partnership and joint venture of World of Leading Golf and Braemar Golf, a golf services company based in St Andrews, the Home of Golf. Braemar offers advisory management services to owners and developers of golf properties on an international basis.
Keith Haslam, managing director of Braemar Golf, said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the WLG team on its enhanced benchmarking service. Braemar has been working with high-quality golf clubs for 17 years and we understand the need for clubs to deliver exceptional services and experiences and, importantly, what this looks and feels like. We look forward to working closely with WLG to help them deliver this vital feedback to their member clubs.”
While changes were already underway in 2016, with the rating scale from one to four replaced by a more flexible one-to-10 rating, WLG has also adapted the kind of questions and extended the questionnaire working with IGR. The assessment now allows for further comments and photographic evidence in cases where values are rated six and below – all of which is designed to recognise more the specific characteristics and the regional backgrounds of individual venues.
To ensure objectivity, the test will still be carried out more than once per year.
WLG CEO Claus Feldt added: “Our member venues’ goal is to exceed clients’ expectations, creating the desire to return. They need more than neatly designed and well-kept golf courses, they need to be different in style and ambience. We want to help our clients achieve that.
“Of course, we will also evaluate the general concept of the golf course, the maintenance and the associated facilities and services, but we must recognise, that intangible factors – such as first impressions and emotions – are just as important for a successful management. This is the reason we have challenged ourselves to deliver improved and invaluable feedback and advice from our quality and customer-oriented questionnaires and reports.”
While the first results are being accumulated, WLG is installing an internet tool enabling clients to log into their own online account and study the evaluations and results of the different tests. In addition, the data therein offers a wealth of information, suggestions and comments.
Meanwhile, WLG continues to create new benchmarking tools for its clients, which it hopes will offer further value and be of interest to individual management teams.
Feldt explained: “Members will be offered the opportunity to participate in benchmarking focused more on the commercial performance of the business. We will ask for certain commercial date to allow us to produce reports on a range of key performance indicators (KPIs) for the golf and club business.
“Of course, we recognise this is sensitive information and no individual club’s data will ever be published – and group information will be based on a minimum number of clubs to protect the data. But the subsequent possibilities for specialised information, market-related findings and internal improvement activities are excellent.”