Sunshine Tour

Umhlali Country Club is voted SA's Club of the Year

Management team of Umhlali Country Club and Golf Estate (Supplied)
Management team of Umhlali Country Club and Golf Estate (Supplied)

Cape Town - Umhlali Country Club and Golf Estate on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal is South Africa's 2019 Club of the Year after being awarded this prestigious title by the Club Management Association of South Africa (CMASA).

The CMASA Awards recognise the top management at South Africa's sport and recreation clubs and are the pinnacle of achievement within the industry. The criteria for the awards were revamped completely in an intensive process in partnership with RCA Consulting in order to deliver an even more objective and transparent awards for the industry.

"Winning this award is a tremendous feather in our cap. It shows that even the smaller clubs can be right up there with the biggest in the country. All the hard work put in and the guidance from CMASA in all the areas has paid off," said Derick Reinke, the General Manager of Umhlali Country Club and Golf Estate.

"It's been an incredible process to go through. The way that CMASA has structured the Club of the Year award now serves as a checklist in all areas to see if and where we comply."

Umhlali Country Club and Golf Estate also received R50 000 from main sponsor Jonas Africa, the leading club management software provider in South Africa.

Under the new criteria, the awards recognise the efforts of the collective club and not just its outstanding individuals.

Umhlali Country Club and Golf Estate scored an overall 96.5% in the seven pillars of Benchmarking and Finance, Training, Legal Compliance, Environment Sustainability, Transformation, Guest Experience and Member Satisfaction, and Communication and Participation.

"It was a very close contest this year, and I think what is particularly satisfying for Umhlali Country Club and Golf Estate is that what made the difference for them was the Member Survey and Mystery Guest Audit, which forms part of our new criteria. As a club, the experience of your members and guests is ultimately what you want to be judged on, and also a reflection of the high standards we want to set as an association," said Janyne Marais, General Manager of CMASA.

"Our aim in terms of re-examining our awards criteria is to ensure that we reward the collective club and its staff for its efforts, and not just an individual. This is part of our focus of helping to develop holistically progressive clubs in South Africa. To this end we introduced Badges of Distinction whereby clubs are recognised for excellence within the seven criteria where they may have achieved very well. Any club that achieved over 75% in the Member Survey and Mystery Guest Audit automatically received a Badge of Distinction."

Rob Arnold, the Director of Operations at RCA Consulting, said the revamping of the awards also serves a greater purpose for the club industry.

"We are confident that the methodology used has produced a winner that is truly deserving of CMASA's Club of the Year. The objective going forward is to enable clubs to use the feedback coming out of the audit process to make significant strides towards cultivating a greater value proposition to their respective members and guests."

Tracey King, the Operations Manager for Jonas Africa, congratulated Umhlali Country Club and Golf Estate as well as CMASA for their role in the ongoing effort to raise the standard of club management in South Africa.

"Andrew Carnegie said that teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision, the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives, and the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. Umhlali Country Club and Golf Estate's dedication, enthusiasm, commitment and insight are inspiring. Jonas Club Software is very proud to have been part of this initiative that CMASA has set up for the clubs to be able to showcase their ongoing commitment to the industry."

- Michael Vlismas Media

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