The second of four regional Boot Camps being held by the Golf Range Association of America (GRAA) was held last week at Mistwood Performance Center and Golf Club in Romeoville, IL. At these boot camps, PGA Professionals, owners, managers, superintendents, and operators (about 30 at each event) share ideas and trends in golf to stay up-to-date and bring fresh ideas to their facilities. Their mission is to harness the combined power of the staff at all types of facilities to grow their revenues, enhance their careers, and grow the game of golf. Lester George, ASGCA member and Golf Course Architect with 25 years of experience designing and building golf practice facilities, was the featured speaker at the Boot Camp.
“The recent GRAA Boot Camp at Mistwood Performance Center, outside Chicago, opened the eyes of the golf professionals in attendance about how to create a better practice environment for their members and customers,” said Ryan Gingrow, PGA Magazine and Golf Range Association of America Northeast Relationship Manager. “Lester’s presentation inspired and educated and provided real solutions for the challenges many professionals face. We look forward to having him at our final Boot Camp at The Landings Club, Savannah, in November.”
George’s goal is to inspire these professionals to create imaginative practice facilities that they otherwise might not have considered. “Working with PGA professionals on their facilities means varying budgets, logistical challenges and space limitations. Each presents a unique set of circumstances,” George explained. “You start your planning as if you have no boundaries. Then you create your facility based on needs, financial feasibility and operational imperatives that are customized to enhance the teaching curriculum of that facility.”
Gingrow added, “Now more than ever, the practice range is the ‘hub’ of golfer development programs and serves as an entry point for those who have not been introduced to the game. Lester has provided excellent solutions for creating practice areas for all facility types to bring new golfers to the game and to keep the core player as well.”
“I can’t emphasize enough the growing need for genuinely educational practice facilities at clubs and courses throughout the country,” said Lester George. “Sometimes, the difference between a good facility and a great one can be something as simple as offering real practice options for players that simulate conditions on the golf course to prepare them for their round. PGA professionals are where most initiatives to grow the game begin. The ASGCA and George Golf Design want to do whatever we can do to help them evaluate, reevaluate and repurpose their facilities because that will benefit the game of golf.”
Shannon Fisher, V.P. Communications, George Golf Design, 804-314-3268