The team at Chesterfield’s Stanedge Golf Club are celebrating, after being shortlisted in the ‘Club of the Year’ category at the 2021 England Golf Awards.
The event features seven award categories in total, which recognises clubs, counties, volunteers and players. This year’s judging panels were drawn from the ranks of England Golf staff and the board as well as featuring industry and media colleagues.
The awards ceremony will be live-streamed on YouTube at 6:30pm on Thursday, 3rd June so people can tune in to see if Stanedge can clinch the prize ahead of three other nominees.
Stanedge Golf Club owner and former PGA professional, Fame Tate, told us she was delighted that their hard work has been recognised: “I purchased Stanedge Golf Club in February 2019 and that now seems a very distant memory.
“At that time, it was important for me to create and continue to create a niche around our services and have a thorough understanding of our target market. I have spent many hours looking at market segmentation and demographic research and the first step that I had to take was to build and create a new brand. I had to give the club a new identity and literally raise awareness that we were actually open.
“For the first six months I can’t even hazard a guess or give you a figure how many people drove down the lane, past my office window and the clubhouse and turned around in the car park and went back out again. They just wanted to see what was going on and if the golf club had actually reopened.”
“I was mindful from the start that everyone needed to see change quickly in order to reinstate faith and confidence back in the club and me and that is what we have done. In the first 12 months we transformed the club in SO many ways. I used to call the clubhouse “my little scout hut” but now it is so much more than that. We have undergone a complete refurbishment internally and externally which has gradually taken place over the last two years and will continue.”
“As a business we are prepared to change in order to improve and form a new business strategy in order to compete indirectly with our competitors.”
Fame added that the Chesterfield business community has also played its part in bringing the club back to life: “Throughout all of the changes and renovations, I have sourced local tradesmen and businesses to meet our needs. I think it is hugely important to support other local businesses particularly during these very tough times.”
“As a new business, we too have experienced the support of other local businesses through hole and score card sponsorship, with Il Mondo Travel being our headline score card sponsor.
Back in 2019 there was no golf shop at the club, just a very small area in the corner of the clubhouse that sold a few staple items. As a consequence of this we joined the Foremost buying group, which enabled our members to buy products online.
“I also approached Glenmuir and Srixon as I was looking for a reliable supplier of high quality golf apparel, hardware, balls and gloves that could to tailored to meet our member’s buying preferences. Since that time, we have added a workshop where we can carry out club repairs and a re-gripping service as a certified Golf Pride grip centre.”
Charlotte Dalton from Glenmuir commented: “It has been a pleasure to work with Fame and the team at Stanedge since 2019 and especially to see the club grow into the friendly, welcoming and quality venue that it has become today. In many ways the core values that Glenmuir holds dear as a business are the same as that of Stanedge Golf Club and this has enabled our joint relationship to flourish. From everyone here at Glenmuir, we would like to congratulate Fame and her team for the nomination of the England Golf ‘Club of the Year’ Award – this is well deserved and we look forward to working with Stanedge Golf Club for many more years to come.”
Fame also thanked the members of the club for their support of the club since it’s reopening and throughout the covid-19 pandemic: “I have always instilled from day one to my team the importance of providing excellent customer service and a customer centric experience. I want everyone who walks through our door to feel welcomed and special. They aren’t just a member or a golfer, they are someone who is vitally important to our business.
“We have created a deeper level of connection with all of members and guests. All of members are greeted by their first names. All of the team take the time out to get to know our members. We take pride in the fact that we remember all of their names, what they like, their favorite food and drink and such like, which for me are all vital “touch” points. I also operate an open door policy for the office, so all of the members know that if they have any questions or queries I am there.”.
“The golf club is a business and it is run as a business but I want it feel like a home. All of the changes and decisions that we have made and continue to make are for the best interests of the members, visitors and club structure, whilst retaining our core values and beliefs.
“Being nominated and shortlisted for this award, being one of only four clubs in the country fills me with a huge sense of pride. I know that it has been challenging twelve months for us all but this national recognition makes all of the tireless hard work and the adversities that we have faced all worthwhile. I would like to congratulate and thank all of my team for all of their hard work and support. We have achieved things together at Stanedge that none of us could have achieved alone.
“To me this is much more than a business venture……it is my life. It is something that I am hugely passionate about and more importantly care about. In doing all of this, we have created a community and a culture; breaking barriers and changing people’s perception of what a “typical” golf club is like and we have certainly shaken the tree within the golfing industry particularly within the locality.”
Stanedge Golf Club supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.