Golf News – April 14, 2020

Club Champion Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

WILLOWBROOK, IL – One decade down, many to go! Club Champion officially turns 10 years old in April of 2020. The nation’s #1 club fitter and builder entered its tenth year in business riding the high of clocking over 100,000 appointments the year prior, among many other achievements.

In the last four years alone, the innovative custom club fitter has grown from a regional three-studio fitting business to a trusted club fitting expert with over 70 locations nationwide. The Tour-level experience offered at Club Champion includes over 45,000 hittable head and shaft combinations, the industry’s most highly trained fitters and builders, and cutting edge technology throughout both the fitting and building processes.

Club Champion’s business model revolves around the idea that everyday golfers should have access to the same breadth of equipment options as Tour pros. Within that model, Club Champion is able to make the best brands and latest technology accessible to anyone with a desire to play better golf.

In the last ten years, Club Champion has:

  • Earned Golf Digest Top 100 Club Fitter honors since the inception of the list
  • Been honored as a National Golf Foundation Top 100 Business in Golf
  • Completed 100,000 fittings per year
  • Expanded over 2,000% nationwide
  • Signed brand ambassadors like Jordan Spieth, David Leadbetter, Cam McCormick, Michael Breed and Paige Spiranac
  • Expanded to a 22,000 square foot headquarters, including a state-of-the-art build shop

“Our ideal customer is any golfer who wants to improve,” says Joe Lee, CEO. “We went from a Chicagoland staple to a flourishing brand because we saw the huge difference fitted equipment can make in a golfer’s game and we’re making that improvement available to everyone through our expansion to markets across the U.S.”

Visit Club Champion here:

Club Industry Bands Together to Support Hospitals, First Responders

ORLANDO, FL – World Golf Hall of Famer, 2019 Presidents Cup Captain, and PGA Tour golfer Ernie Els has issued a challenge to his fellow professionals and club golfers everywhere:

Become the captain of your club, adopt a local hospital, and marshal club resources to deliver greatly needed supplies to those on the frontlines during this unprecedented international health crisis.   

That’s the essence of ClubsHELP, a 501(c)7 foundation created to connect clubs with hospitals in their local areas to provide critically needed support for health workers as they care for victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The sense of community generated in each market has been stronger than ever. Now, this collective energy, along with club resources, are being deployed where they are needed most—at the local level.

How does this new initiative work?

A member steps up to be her/his club’s “captain.” The club then adopts a local hospital and the adopted hospital appoints a captain. Working cooperatively, the captains identify the most pressing needs at the adopted hospital. Then club members, companies, and individual donors pitch in to gather, collect, and deliver the most necessary items and resources to the hospital.

David Bachman, General Manager of Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown, N.J., got the idea from one of his members and her daughters who wanted to become actively involved and help their local hospital, Morristown Memorial. The club is now an ongoing supplier of food, beverages, and PPE equipment to its adopted hospital.

When news of Spring Brook Country Club’s efforts to assist its community hospital surfaced in the media, Rob Goulet, CEO of Entertainment Sports Partners, and manager to Els, reached out to Bachman suggesting they turn this local program into a national campaign by engaging the always-charitable minded golf community. In the process, ClubsHELP Foundation, a 501(c)7 organization, was born.

The team leapt into action last week and quickly assisted hospitals in beleaguered northeastern states—New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. ClubsHELP companies like Clif Bar and AT&T are already supplying Mt. Sinai and Bellevue Hospitals in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The assistance of golf’s premier organizations, including the National Club Association and Golf Writers Association of America, and leadership have pledged to jump start the ClubsHELP program and make a swift and meaningful impact in communities throughout the United States. Additionally, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) have alerted their memberships that golf clubs across the country are activating.

Once again, the golf industry is demonstrating its charitable strength and largesse in a time of crisis. Els, a member of Old Palm Golf Club Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has partnered with Jupiter Medical Center, a partner of the Els for Autism Foundation.

Visit Clubs Help Foundation here:

Several Branson Golf Courses Remain Open; Price, Protocol, and Best Practices Vary by Venue

BRANSON, MO – Several Branson golf courses are open for play, with adjusted hours, greens fees, and other variables as follows.

Big Cedar Golf
Ozarks National, Mountain Top, Buffalo Ridge and Payne’s Valley are open. Buffalo Ridge costs $115 to play 18 holes, Mountain Top is $50 for its 13 holes ($30 if you play a different Big Cedar course before playing it), and Payne’s Valley is $195 for its 13 holes. For the Ozarks National greens fee, call or go to the website: https://bigcedar.com/golf/ozarks-national-course/

Thousand Hills
The course is open to the public. Tee times are at 15-minute increments, and only one player is allowed per cart. The grill and pro shop are closed, and the course is only taking payment by credit card.

Branson Hills
The golf club is closed on Monday-Thursday, open Friday-Sunday (1 pm is the last tee time when open). Golfers must pay online when booking. The cost for 18 holes is $79. Players are directed not to touch the flagsticks, and all rakes have been removed from the course. The clubhouse is closed, and no F&B is currently being offered. The on-course restrooms remain open. Guests are asked to remove all trash from the golf carts at the completion of play.

LedgeStone
The golf club is closed to the public until May 1; that will be reviewed on April 24. The course is open to members, with revised policies pertaining to payment, play, and checking in. See www.LedgeStoneGolf.com for details.

The Pointe
The golf club is also currently closed to the public, with member only play.

Visit Explore Branson here:

Michael Feland
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