A Fitting Center in Centerfield: It’s October and baseball is on the mind of many, including golfers. Despite a winning record on the road and at home, MLB’s Seattle Mariners narrowly missed out on the playoffs. However, a major victory in the 2018 season came when the team announced a partnership with Honma Golf and Washington-based businessman Josh Williams, owner of Homestead Farms Golf Club in Lyden, Washington. The collaboration brought to life a new clubfitting experience located inside Safeco Field, where the Mariners play their home games. The Honma Experience Golf Studio is the first clubfitting center built inside a Major League ballpark.
“The idea is to leverage the popularity of other professional sports to help drive interest in the game of golf,” says Williams, who has worked for multiple golf equipment manufacturers over his career. “Before we even began, we teamed with the Mariners to perform an in depth study of their fan base. We learned that twothirds of their fans have shown some level of interest in golf. That ranges from recreational play to having purchased golf equipment or apparel, or having visited an off-course facility like a driving range or Topgolf.” On average, 26,000 fans attend each Mariners game at Safeco Field. For Honma and Williams, they represent thousands of new potential golfers or existing players looking for exciting new ways to engage with the game.
Building a Range Membership Program: David Pursell currently serves as the CEO of Pursell Farms – a beautiful and vast resort property in Sylacauga, Alabama. He is also a renowned artist whose portrait pencil drawings adorn the halls of Pursell Farms as well as Butler’s Cabin at Augusta National and the Clubhouse at St. Andrews.
It’s fitting that the practice range at the FarmLinks Golf Club at Pursell Farms is a work of art in its own right. It’s majestically manicured, features well placed target greens, bunkering and looks to have leapt off the canvas rather than have been shaped by the land.
And like fine art, it’s meant to be enjoyed by all.
The facility offers four different of Practice Membership Packages that make the range and a number of other perks available to those who select the affordable membership deals. With the highest rate being $399 annually, the packages all include some combination of unlimited range balls, PGA Professional instruction, golf shop discounts, discounts on green fees for members and guests and/or complimentary rounds of golf. The Practice Membership Packages have been a strong source of supplemental income for the facility, while the Family Membership has been an invaluable growth of the game tool – helping to introduce more women and juniors to the game.
Doubling Down: On October 5, Topgolf opened its second location in New Jersey, but its first in the Delaware Valley (and 48th worldwide), allowing the company to enter the sizable Philadelphia market. The new facility is located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, approximately a 30-minute drive from Center City Philadelphia. The 65,000-square-foot venue includes multiple bars, private corporate / meeting rooms available for rent, game rooms with billiards and Wii Connect, and offers memberships, PGA Professional administered lessons and tournaments, in addition to the company’s normal range experience and Toptracer offerings.