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Surpassing Expectations

FPG Billy Caldwell golf course

Difficulties at Major Metro Golf Portfolio

From the late 1990’s to 2002, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County golf courses, in the Chicago area, lost money:
• declining rounds • decreasing revenue • deteriorating course conditions • waning customer satisfaction

The ten courses and two driving ranges needed serious renovations and revitalization.  The FPDCC contacted professional golf management firms for proposals. Billy Casper Golf could see enormous potential, so our operations team set up shop in Chicago to evaluate each facility and to determine how we could help. We recognized the huge opportunity to manage one of the largest municipal golf course portfolios in the country. BCG got the job.

Aggressive Strategy, Fast Action

Billy Casper Golf put its comprehensive action plan into place:
• Hired and trained new service-oriented staff
• Developed long-term agronomic goals
• Rebuilt greens and tees, and re-grassed fairways
• Revamped and outfitted golf shops
• Purchased kitchen equipment
• Painted clubhouses inside and out
• Invested in golf cart and equipment fleets

To bring golfers back and to lure new ones, we re-branded each course, began marketing the portfolio, and launched proprietary marketing programs:
• FPG Card – reduced rates for frequent customers
• Kids Play Free – complimentary green fees for kids with a paying adult
• PLAY – Public Links for Area Youth initiative to revitalize junior golf
• Get-In-the-Game and Golf FORE Women programs – bringing in new golfers
• Mystery Shops – measuring customer satisfaction at every course

Customer Satisfaction and Financial Success

The courses opened under the Billy Casper Golf flag in March 2003. Golfers discovered:
• Fully-stocked golf shops
• New snack bars and grills
• On-course beverage service
• 24/7 reservation service
• Customer-oriented staff
• Improved course conditions