WHEN Peter Durham and Teresa Neeson took to the stage at The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards to receive Retailer of the Year and Small Business of the Year in November 2005, they were delighted. But the couple, who took over Hemingford Abbots G
WHEN Peter Durham and Teresa Neeson took to the stage at The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards to receive Retailer of the Year and Small Business of the Year in November 2005, they were delighted.
But the couple, who took over Hemingford Abbots Golf Complex, previously called TP Golf Management, three years ago, scooped a third, very prestigious, award that night - the company was named Business of the Year.
"We have worked very hard to establish ourselves as the premier golf specialists in the area. Receiving these awards is confirmation that we are getting it right," said Peter Durham, co-founder and managing director. "The awards acknowledge our hard work and effort and confirm we are making a difference."
When they arrived to take over the golf course and range, the operation was run from temporary buildings. The golf complex has been skilfully developed and the facilities are unrecognisable from the early days.
The business has also grown substantially, with turnover almost doubling each year.
The Hemingford Abbots Golf Complex now has a golf range featuring automated tees, Srixon two piece golf balls, short game water targets, eight outdoor turf bays and a video teaching academy with three full-time PGA teaching golf professionals. There is also a Direct Golf Superstore offering major golfing brands and a full custom fit service on all club purchases.
"We have an incredible range of equipment in our new store with over 160 sets of irons in stock, hundreds of woods and a superb clothing range. More importantly, we make a point of taking time to help our customers make the right decisions within their budget," said Mr Durham.
Every customer who is buying golf clubs is measured for shaft flex, loft, lie, length and grip size. "This attention to detail can have a huge impact on your scores," he said.
There are more developments planned this year. Eight outdoor turf bays opened in June and a new restaurant, short game area and high-tech academy are due to be completed in November.
"We've come a long way," said Mr Durham. "Our knowledge of the golf industry, especially golf retail, and our approach to customer service has been key to our success.
"In addition to our knowledge we have been prepared to work all hours to turn this business around. We continually try to exceed expectations of customers when it comes to service. I really believe customer service is the only thing that can separate you from the competition."
He added: "These awards have added enormous value to the business in a number of ways and one of the most important has been the strong sense of achievement and pride the staff feel which, in turn, is passed on to their customers. It is definitely worthwhile for companies to enter."
INFORMATION: The Hemingford Abbots Golf Complex is on Cambridge Road, Huntingdon, junction 25, off the A14. Telephone 01480 492939, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.direct-golf.co.uk