Highlighting the annual awards, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grand Cayman, has been named Golf Property of the Year. In addition to exceeding customer expectations, exceptional retail presentation and revenue per round, the property displayed an unmatched commitment to philanthropy, backed by its golf charity event which generated more than $70,000 during the 5th Annual Ritz-Carlton Invitational. Proceeds benefited The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, Meals on Wheels of the Cayman Islands, Save Our Youth and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Scholarship Fund. This year’s event is scheduled to be held May 26. Some of the many award criteria for Golf Property of the Year include: performance excellence for current and previous years in various categories including golf sales, round improvements, turf grass conditions, innovative program development, customer satisfaction, and personnel training & leadership.
“The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grand Cayman is a Caribbean gem and the entire golf staff is truly deserving of this recognition,” said Claye Atcheson, vice president, Marriott Golf. “From delivering dynamic golf programming, to sustaining a turf maintenance program to supporting philanthropic initiatives, their commitment to always exceed expectations is inspiring.”
A 20-year veteran of the golf grounds team at Starr Pass Golf Club, Salisbury was recognized as Golf Grounds Manager of the Year. Salisbury is responsible for maintaining the 27-holes layout at the scenic JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. Under Salisbury’s guidance, the property achieved top ratings for course conditions, as their commitment to environmental stewardship is always a top priority. Salisbury’s team consistently demonstrates a high degree of quality through environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, water conservation and water quality management. Some of the criteria for this award include: overall turfgrass condition, successful large scale renovation or construction projects, member and guest satisfaction scores, employee satisfaction scores, loss prevention efforts, staff development, financial management, and continuing education with active pursuit of certification from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
“We have some of the finest golf course superintendents in the world, and Mark Salisbury deservedly joins an elite group of award winners,” said Robert Waller, senior director, grounds, Marriott Golf. “Mark’s commitment to maintaining an immaculate golf course, while utilizing eco-friendly course maintenance practices, is both impressive and refreshing.”
Cole was recognized as an individual who consistently performs and exceeds in areas of sales and profit, supplier program compliance, rounds improvement, leadership in staff development, sales and marketing initiatives, and customer loyalty. With Cole leading the golf operations, the club enjoyed a significant increase in both rounds played and revenue, as well as member participation and programming. Additionally, Cole helped implement several course enhancement projects that led to improved overall golfer satisfaction, while the property also served as a host venue for PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) programming, an introductory golf program for military Veterans with disabilities. Consideration for this prestigious award is based on performance excellence for current and previous years.
“Since assuming the General Manager of Golf position at Stone Mountain Golf Club, Mike Cole has been instrumental in the reinvigoration of the golf club and its programming,” Atcheson said. “It’s an honor to recognize Mike as our Golf Professional of the Year.”