Billy Casper Golf expands player development programs, adds two courses

Billy Casper Golf recently announced three player development initiatives that it will mandate at it’s 125-plus golf facilities, making the world’s fourth largest golf course operator the “leader in grow-the-game initiatives.” The Vienna, Va.-based company also added two courses recently.
“Billy Casper Golf is 100-percent committed to ‘Get Golf Ready,'” said Peter Hill, Chairman and CEO of BCG.  “Breaking the barriers of entry is an obstacle the golf industry faces, and meeting it head on ensures a healthy future for the sport.”
BCG, a Founding Contributor of “Get Golf Ready” when it launched in 2009, is now expanding the program and launching “Golf Fore Women,” an adaption of Get Golf Ready, but exclusively for women. It is also promoting a “Kids Play Free” program at its courses nationwide.
“If you look at the [golfer] trends, it is kind of alarming,” said Bill Rehanek, senior vice president of BCG. “Somebody has to do something. This is our way of leveraging what we do well.”
Rehanek said BCG is putting all of its initiative behind these programs and will track players, so it can measure success. He said BCG has more facilities enrolled in Get Golf Ready than any other company.
Get Golf Ready, which was created by the World Golf Foundation, targets adults who have never played golf, have minimal previous connection to the game or need rejuvenation after a hiatus. BCG rolled out the program at 50 courses and hopes to generate 4,000 new golfers in 2011. He said Get Golf Ready programs show 80 percent retention after one year, and 75 percent retention after two years.
“Kids Play Free” is designed for busy families to spend time together and is an opportunity for golfer parents to affordably introduce the game to their children.  Each junior golfer plays free with each paying adult. The program has been in existence but will now be pushed as a revenue generating initiative.
“We want to get kids into the game, to get the family involved and alleviate some of the time crunch,” Rehanek said. “This is about family time.”
Billy Casper, the company’s namesake, is invested in teaching youth.
“The great game of golf must live on,” says Casper, who turned 80 in June.  “Our company is leading the way by teaching golf-swing mechanics and character-building traits of honesty, respect and camaraderie.”
BCG also recently added two courses — Chestnut Ridge Country Club in Lutherville, MD north of Baltimore, and Alvamar Golf and Recreation Facility, home to the University of Kansas men’s and women’s golf teams, in Lawrence, KS.
Chestnut Ridge is an upscale private club, which has hosted U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur qualifying tournaments. 
 “Returning Chestnut Ridge to its glory days is Billy Casper Golf’s job No. 1,” says Peter Hill, Chairman and CEO of BCG.  “The golf course and club amenities are among the best in Baltimore, making for a fun golf and social atmosphere.”
Chestnut Ridge is BCG’s 29th course in the Mid-Atlantic.  In 2011, the company has assumed operation of four private clubs and 10 public golf courses.
Chestnut Ridge is a family-friendly club with three sets of tees to provide challenges for all types and ages of golfers. Expansive practice facilities with driving range, putting green and chipping augment golf instruction by PGA Professionals
Alvamar Golf and Recreation Facility is a36-hole public and private facility
The Championship Course was named one of America’s top 75 public courses by Golf Digest and the Members Course was included in the “Best in State” ranking by the Kansas Golf Association. Both are considering among the most popular courses – public or private – in the greater Topeka and Kansas City area.
BCG now has 36 courses in the Midwest.
“Billy Casper Golf shares the same vision we do for Alvamar and we’re excited about the partnership,” says Bob McKinney, Chairman of the Alvamar Inc. Executive Committee.  “The company’s success managing public-private clubs will benefit membership growth and member-guest experiences.”


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