With member clubs in 16 countries and an increasing global reach, the Leading Golf Courses of Europe has rebranded as World of Leading Golf (WLG), to better reflect its burgeoning worldwide influence.
A corporation representing some of the globe’s most distinctive clubs, WLG will see its rebranding replicated in its new website and in a series of new initiatives – including the launch of an on-line tee-booking facility, a magazine, and on-line shop – and in new partnerships, such as that with Miles & More, one of Europe’s leading frequent traveller programmes.
Speaking at the annual 59Club awards dinner, at Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, England, Claus Feldt, the general manager of WLG, explained: “Perfection has become a claim too many companies use to attempt to attract guests and customers. But only a very few succeed in attracting the level of clientele they are trying to reach.
“The core of the terms of admission to the World of Leading Golf is an utter devotion to the quality and values of golf. Member clubs and potential members are tested anonymously to certify the clubs’ compliance to WLG standards. We thereby provide an objectively evaluated certification to identify the ‘best of the best’ and position them as the ‘Champions League’ of golf courses.”
He continued: “The brand and whoever is connected to it will be recognised as part of the elite of golf. As representatives of the WLG brand and associated member clubs, the management will represent members’ interests on the internet, facing the press, and at trade and consumer fairs, serving as ambassadors everywhere they go.
“Presidents, managers and the leading personnel of member clubs will profit from a diverse means of networking – online and personally – by meeting up at our varied events. Research and consultancy on the basis of the mystery-test results will help eliminate any weaknesses and raise our already high standards.
“Together, we continue to develop new and innovative activities to attract member and guest players as well as new brand partners and the media.”
The ‘mystery’ tests will be fulfilled by 59Club, Europe’s leading golf-specific mystery shopper service, and have been adapted to suit the diversity and cultural differences of members. The test is focused on maintaining the highest standards in all areas – including customer service, customer satisfaction and economic targets – but also to ensure the venues remain aspirational.
Feldt added: “The various 59Club mystery shopper tools allow measurement and benchmarking against the industry, competitors and other leading venues. And, for WLG member clubs, these obligatory mystery-shopper tests will have tangible benefits.
The idea of a Leading Golf Courses union was born in Austria, and was quickly copied in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
The creation of a European ‘umbrella’ association was a natural, organic progression and it was inaugurated in 2012. It established itself as the leading European quality certification group, providing travelling golfers in Europe with peace of mind and a stamp of quality assurance.
WLG focuses on marketing and communication platforms for certified premium clubs in order to promote awareness throughout Europe. Print and on-line publications – such as its annual almanac and regular newsletters – serve as reference guides for the demanding golfer, while ‘members only’ travel offers and other advantages help deepen the relationship between the designated golfers and WLG member clubs.