Sunday, May 20, 2018

Billy Casper Golf to Provide Operations and Marketing Consultation to The Windham Club

(RESTON, VA) – Billy Casper Golf (BCG) – the highly respected and innovative manager of golf courses, country clubs and resorts – has been selected to provide marketing and operations consultation to The Windham Club in Windham, Conn.

The main focus is on marketing strategy, planning and overall revenue management with support in social media, graphic design, website promotion, data analytics, surveys and campaigns.  Secondary counsel is on staffing and training toward enhanced member and guest experiences and making The Windham Club a “must play” in Windham County.

The Windham Club represents BCG’s fifth golf course in Connecticut.  Others include the Pete Dye-designed Wintonbury Hills Golf Club (Bloomfield, CT) that annually ranks No. 1 in Golfweek’s state rankings, and the 36-hole Lyman Orchards (Middlefield, CT) with acclaimed layouts by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Gary Player.

“Billy Casper Golf’s hands-on and sophisticated marketing ways are exactly what we need,” says Bob Cusumano, Owner of The Windham Club. “Its data-driven approach is poised to prompt acquisition of new members and guests, and support even better player retention.”

Approximately 30 miles east of Hartford, The Windham Club features an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, driving range and short-game practice area. Opened in 1922, it was an exclusive, private haven for more than 80 years before recently accepting limited public play. In 2014, new ownership invested in a multi-million dollar renovation to update the classic course design.

The new parkland-style, championship layout winds through stands of old growth pine and deciduous forest, and rewards precision as well as length off the tee. There are no forced carries and all but the shortest holes are built to gracefully receive good shots. The course plays fast and firm, is void of target golf given fairways roll with the natural lay of the land, and greens typically roll true at a speed around 10.

Windham’s grill and event spaces with indoor and outdoor seating are popular among individuals as well as tournament and outing golfers for its creative pub fare.

“The Windham Club product has dramatically improved the past few years,” says Peter Hill, CEO of BCG. “It’s our job to give the club the tools to raise awareness and drive member and golfer usage which contribute to its fiscal well-being.”

More information: www.windhamclub.com, 860.456.4211

Friday, May 18, 2018

USGA Accepts More Than 2,700 Entries for 39th U.S. Senior Open Championship

Eleven past champions scheduled to compete at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, June 28-July 1

(LIBERTY CORNER, N.J.) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced that it has accepted 2,738 entries for the 39th U.S. Senior Open Championship, scheduled for June 28-July 1, 2018 at The Broadmoor (East Course) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Eleven past champions are among the 75 players who are currently fully exempt into the championship.

“The U.S. Senior Open is considered senior golf’s most coveted championship and there is once again great interest in competing for the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “As The Broadmoor celebrates its centennial, the East Course will provide an ultimate test for the players and an outstanding venue for fans to witness the game’s greats.”

The U.S. Senior Open is open to professional golfers, and amateurs with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4 who are 50 years of age at the start of championship play.

Sectional qualifying will be played over 18 holes at 34 sites across the United States between May 21 and June 11. There are qualifying sites in 26 states, including five in California, three in Florida and two in Pennsylvania and Texas. In addition, places in the 156-player field are reserved for eligible winners of official PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions events in the weeks remaining before the 2018 U.S. Senior Open.

The USGA accepted entries from golfers in 48 states, including 106 from Colorado, and the District of Columbia, as well as 27 foreign countries. The record for entries was established in 2002, when 3,101 golfers applied to play.

Kenny Perry, the 2013 and 2017 champion, and 10 other Senior Open champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Olin Browne (2011), Brad Bryant (2007), Roger Chapman (2012), Fred Funk (2009), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000), Peter Jacobsen (2004), Bernhard Langer (2010), Jeff Maggert (2015), Colin Montgomerie (2014), and Gene Sauers (2016).

There are six U.S. Open champions among the 75 exempt players. They are: three-time champion Irwin (1974, 1979, 1990), two-time champion Lee Janzen (1993, 1998), Steve Jones (1996), Tom Kite (1992), Corey Pavin (1995) and Tom Watson (1982). There are also eight U.S. Open runners-up entered. They are: Miguel Angel Jimenez (2000), Tom Lehman (1996), Davis Love III (1996), Rocco Mediate (2008), Montgomerie (1994, 1997, 2006), Loren Roberts (1994), Jeff Sluman (1992) and Watson (1983, 1987).

This will be the third U.S. Senior Open in Colorado and the second at The Broadmoor. Eduardo Romero won at The Broadmoor in 2008, defeating Funk by four strokes. Romero became the second Argentinean to win the Senior Open, joining 1980 champion Roberto De Vicenzo. In 1993, Jack Nicklaus won by one stroke over Tom Weiskopf at Cherry Hills Country Club, in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.

The Broadmoor is hosting its eighth USGA championship. Two of the greatest players in golf history have earned titles at the acclaimed resort. Nicklaus won the first of his two U.S. Amateurs in 1959 while Annika Sorenstam captured the first of her three U.S. Women’s Opens in 1995. The Broadmoor also hosted the 1967 U.S. Amateur (won by Robert B. Dickson), 1982 U.S. Women’s Amateur (won by Juli Inkster), 2011 U.S. Women’s Open (won by So Yeon Ryu) and the 1962 Curtis Cup Match.

For the eighth consecutive year, only online entries were accepted, beginning on March 7. Wesley Pacheco, a 52-year-old amateur from Jacksonville, Fla., submitted his entry 2 minutes and 37 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on May 16. Gary Albrecht, a 61-year-old amateur from Denver, Colo., was the first entrant.

More information about the U.S. Senior Open before, during and after the 2018 championship at The Broadmoor can be found at www.usga.org.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

New Balance Golf Offers Gift With Purchase for Father's Day

Buy a Pair of New Balance Golf Shoes and Receive a Free Pair of New Balance Sandals

(Boston, Mass.) - Just in time for Father's Day, New Balance Golf is offering a  gift with purchase promotion through the end of June. Golfers who purchase a pair of New Balance golf shoes will receive a free pair of New Balance slide sandals. The promotion runs through June 30, 2018.

The New Balance promotion is available with the purchase of any pair of New Balance golf shoes including its recently introduced Minimus Tour and Minimus SL. The New Balance slide sandals are an excellent after golf sandal. They feature an ultra-soft footbed and lightweight, durable outsole. New Balance slide sandals are available for both men and women with a retail value of $30.00.

The New Balance gift with purchase promotion will be available at all participating golf shops, golf specialty stores and internet retailers through June 30, 2018. At the time of purchase, customers will receive a redemption coupon to submit for a pair of New Balance slide sandals.

To learn more about New Balance, visit www.newbalance.com.

LIVIN’ THE GOOD LIFE SHOW on the TEE IT UP RADIO NETWORK Welcomes REKS as a Sponsor

(WOODLAND HILLS, CA) - GOTT Entertainment, creators and producers of the largest independent golf, travel & lifestyle radio network announced the sponsorship support of REKS eyewear for their 13th annual Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament that benefits FOLDS OF HONOR, October 29, at WOODLAND HILLS CC. All players will receive a new pair of REKS sunglasses.

“To find an eyewear company that delivers superb style, with an unbreakable frame, at a fraction of the going rate is what we have been looking for to get behind for our listeners and supporters,” stated Adam Gottfried, co-host and co-founder of GOTT Entertainment. “Consumers have long paid artificially high prices for quality eyewear. REKS eyewear’s polarized lenses bring together innovative frame technology and superior lens manufacturing to offer best-in-class optics at popular prices. We are thrilled to have them as a valued supporter.”

“We’re excited to partner with Al and Adam on the Celebrity Invitational golf tournament this year and support the wonderful efforts of Folds of Honor” said George Granoff, president of REKS. “To make our high-quality sunglasses at affordable prices, we bent a few rules, turned accepted ideas about eyewear upside down, and embraced innovation as engine of change. Because we believe that top-quality fun should be easy: easy on the wallet, easy on the eyes, easy on the care.”

REKS sunglasses are available in six iconic frame styles with three lens options offered in a multitude of stylish colors including classic and mirror finishes. The frame styles all include REKS SOFT TOUCH rubberized finish that provides an extra measure of comfort.

REKS now offers HD digital prescription lenses providing a 30% wider field of view and a 20% increase in clarity over traditional lens manufacturing techniques. “We paid close attention to customer feedback over the past two years and the most frequent request we received was whether we could provide prescription lenses in our unbreakable frames,” added Granoff. “Our team has met this challenge and now offers prescription lenses featuring the industry’s best technology at excellent prices, true to REKS tradition of packing a punch with style, comfort, quality and value.”

Visit REKS.com to learn more. For more information on LIVIN THE GOOD LIFE on the Tee It Up Radio Network, visit www.LTGLshow.com.

KemperSports Introduces Next Generation of Award-Winning Customer Service Training

Upgraded TrueService Rolls Out to All Properties

(NORTHBROOK, Illinois) – KemperSports has unveiled the next generation of TrueService, its proprietary, self-developed customer service training program. The latest iteration of the program includes on-demand, online learning – a feature that enables all new KemperSports staffers to be introduced to the company’s customer service training on day one of employment so they can immediately begin to deliver exceptional customer service and understand the service culture that has led KemperSports for 40 years. Since its launch in 2012, TrueService has helped KemperSports achieve and maintain a consistency of customer service that ranks among the highest measured guest satisfaction scores in the hospitality industry.

“Happy, loyal customers are at the center of everything we do,” Gary Binder, executive vice president, KemperSports said. “TrueService is how we spread a consistent, high level of customer service training to every nook and cranny of the company – from Benton Harbor, Michigan, to Streamsong, Florida. We want staffers to embody its philosophies from day one and the upgraded program will help us do just that.”

KemperSports staffers initiate their TrueService training with a new on-demand, online course that introduces the basic program tenets in their choice of language. From there, they participate in a series of in-person, facilitator led classroom modules that bring together staffers from different departments for interactive sessions that challenge them to work through common customer service scenarios and give them tools and best practices to deliver genuine, helpful and friendly service to their guests.

“You can see TrueService at work across our property every day in the little things like a staff member greeting a customer by name or asking them about their day,” said Derek White, general manager of Desert Willow Golf Resort. “The program is powerful and it’s easy for the staff to embrace because its themes – like being genuine, helpful and friendly – are simple but memorable.”

Thanks to TrueService training, in 2018 eight KemperSports properties received the National Golf Foundation’s coveted Loyalty Awards, which are given to the facilities with the highest customer satisfaction index scores based on surveys fielded through NGF's Golfer Survey Program. The company’s annual average Net Promoter Score across its facilities also routinely ranks above that of comparable industries. But the program’s impact can be seen in other ways as well.

“Everyone from the staff at our property to the executives in KemperSports’ home office has a welcoming, can-do attitude that has really turned Deerpath Golf Course into a gathering place for the community, said Sally Swarthout, director of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry in Lake Forest, Illinois. “I can’t say enough about the level of customer service the KemperSports team delivers – it’s outstanding.”

Since its launch in 2012, every KemperSports staffer at its managed and owned properties, in its regional offices and at its corporate headquarters has participated in TrueService training upon joining the company.

For more information about KemperSports, visit www.kempersports.com.

GolfNow, GolfBook Make Golf More Accessible and Easy to Book Online and Via Mobile Devices

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Making golf more easily accessible to those that play the game, GolfNow today announced a multiyear partnership with tee-time booking platform GolfBook, allowing continued integration into the suite of GolfNow technology products and industry-leading marketplace of tee times.

GolfNow is building partnerships across a global industry to strengthen technology offerings to better serve golfers and golf courses, ultimately, making golf more easily accessible to those that play the game and the millions interested in taking up the sport. This partnership with GolfBook is one of several similar partnerships GolfNow is announcing this week.

“As a progressive company, GolfNow always is looking for new and innovative ways to make it easier for golfers to play more often and help grow the game – which is what GolfNow is all about,” said Will McIntosh, executive vice president, Strategy, Golf Channel. “This partnership with GolfBook will assist us in that mission, as well as provide more visibility for the thousands of tee times our golf course partners offer every day.”

GolfBook will continue to have direct-integration access to the full line of GolfNow software packages, including GolfNow Connect, GolfNow Reservations, Open Course, as well as its newest cloud-based G1 technology, which can combine all software and operating systems utilized by a golf course facility into one platform. The partnership also allows GolfBook to sell all GolfNow golf course partners’ tee times by integrating the GolfNow marketplace into GolfBook’s web, mobile-web, and mobile-app technologies.

“We are thrilled to further our relationship with GolfNow and their full suite of tools,” said Gene Pizzolato, president and CEO of GolfBook. “GolfNow has been a great partner of ours in the past, and that relationship continues today and into the future. Selling the GolfNow marketplace tee times within the GolfBook platform is a natural progression for GolfBook as we help golfers activate their game with the support of CBS Sports Digital and provide the greatest golf-course tee times choices.”

More than 8,000 golf courses around the world have chosen GolfNow as their preferred partner. They are able to benefit from GolfNow’s leading technology, support and marketing services – which have facilitated more than 32 million rounds of golf over the last two years – to increase operating efficiency and allow more staff time to dedicate to customer service.

Coinciding with the growing trend of tee times being booked via online sources and mobile apps, recent studies by the National Golf Foundation reveal the number of people interested in taking up golf has nearly doubled over the past five years. The NGF also has reported that GolfNow users tend to play golf more often and play a variety of new courses each year as a result of using GolfNow.

USGA Launches Digital Experience to Bring 117 Years of U.S. Open Championship Golf History to Life

First-of-its-Kind Interactive Timeline Includes Historic Videos, Photos and Statistics

(LIBERTY CORNER, N.J.) - Building on a track record of innovative “firsts” in the digital presentation of its most renowned championship golf property, the USGA, in association with Rolex, has launched the U.S. Open History Experience, a fully immersive timeline that brings 117 years of U.S. Open Championships to life on usopen.com.

The timeline allows fans to engage digitally with one of the sports world’s most storied championships while celebrating the U.S. Open’s legendary champions, signature moments and iconic venues. Unlike any other digital property in sports, the experience features a user-driven journey through time by immersing fans in carefully curated videos, photos, articles, championship scoring and player statistics.

To create the U.S. Open History Experience, USGA researchers tapped the archives of the USGA Golf Museum, including publications, periodicals, magazines, daily newspapers and personal correspondence from as far back as the first championship in 1895. The result is a one-of-a-kind digital timeline that will be of interest to golf fans, sports fans and researchers alike.

“Whether it is Ben Hogan’s 1-iron at Merion in 1950 or Tiger Woods’ putt at Torrey Pines in 2008, the U.S. Open has supplied many of golf’s signature moments,” said Navin Singh, USGA head of Global Content and Media Distribution. “We are excited to launch this immersive history experience in a year when we return to one of our founding clubs, Shinnecock Hills – the only club that has hosted this championship in three different centuries. Fans will have a place to not only relive the four previous championships at Shinnecock but immerse themselves in all 117 years of golf’s ultimate test.”

Users can relive moments that are not only significant to the game but also hold personal and sentimental meaning. From Jack Nicklaus’ 1-iron on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach in 1972 to Payne Stewart’s putt to seal victory at Pinehurst in 1999 to Corey Pavin’s 4-wood approach on the final hole that clinched his win in 1995 at Shinnecock, the U.S. Open History Experience offers the opportunity to reflect on the past while anticipating the drama of future championships. Celebrating the U.S. Open’s return to Shinnecock Hills, the USGA produced new content for the experience, including reflections by the three living champions from Shinnecock Hills: Raymond Floyd (1986), Pavin and Retief Goosen (2004).

With archival video content dating to Ted Ray’s victory in 1920, fans can explore and navigate in a variety of ways to access highlights from U.S. Open history, featuring legendary champions, iconic venues and signature moments from the championship.

Golf enthusiasts will also be able to view full-field hole-by-hole scoring data from more than 60 U.S. Opens, going all the way back to the 1897 championship. Hole-by-hole scores are available for all 117 U.S. Open champions. Optimized across all devices, the timeline will also feature detailed player statistics, including driving distance, putting and greens in regulation, from select U.S. Opens as far back as 1940.

The mobile responsive timeline also integrates multiple social sharing functions that allow fans to post directly to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To learn more, visit usga.org.