RANCHO SANTA FE — Recognizing the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club’s excellent experience for its members, the club was awarded the Distinguished Emerald Club award from BoardRoom magazine.
“It was quite a surprise. I had no idea we had been nominated,” said Al Castro, general manager of the club.
“When I got the letter indicating we had been nominated, I did a little research and learned it was an award recognizing the member experience,” he said.
Castro said two inspectors were sent to the club to observe the operation and to determine if the methods were in place to ensure an outstanding member experience from every aspect, from golfing to dining to shopping.
“They spent about six hours with us,” he said. “Then I got another letter that we had been awarded the Distinguished Emerald Club award.”
When he got the word Castro said he sought out his staff.
“I announced it to the staff to let them know what a wonderful job they had done and how their hard work was recognized,” he said.
He then told the Association board.
“They were quite surprised and happy,” Castro said.
“We are very proud to be one of only five California clubs and one of 18 clubs nationwide to be honored with such a prestigious award,” Castro said.
“Our board of governors, staff and department managers are truly a dedicated and outstanding team.”
He said the club will be given a plaque that will be displayed “proudly” in the lobby of the golf club.
Mike Irvin, the board president, was also recognized as an outstanding governor and for his leadership according to Castro.
“We’d like to congratulate Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club for earning Distinguished Club status,” said John Fornaro, publisher of BoardRoom magazine. “Special recognition also goes out to Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club General Manger Al Castro, as well as the club’s board of directors, its department heads, and entire staff for their efforts in providing an excellent member experience.”
Fornaro said in a news release that “Member Experience” is that special combination of “qualities” that a private club provides its members.
“Whatever you call it, it is that ‘X’ factor that separates two clubs that both provide superlative Member Experience, but where one is a great club, while the other is the most prestigious of memberships.”
Castro was hired eight months ago and one of his tasks was bringing new life to the club.
“I am amazed how quickly time passes. It’s already been eight months. Where does the time go?” he said.
The next event at the club will be a Fat Tuesday event beginning at 6 p.m. Feb. 12.
“We will celebrate with a traditional mardi gras party with masks and hats for those attending and a band named Bayou Brothers,” Castro said. “It’s going to be a fun party.”
This will be the first of its kind and Castro said he hopes it will become a tradition at the club.
Then on Valentine’s Day, there will be a romantic dinner held in the dining room.
“Our new chef has put together a wonderful meal paired with wine,” he said.
Reservations are strongly suggested for both events.
BoardRoom Magazine is the top trade publication covering all aspects of private clubs.