The 1997& Incentives Golden Links Advisory Board, made up of 26 PGA professionals and golf industry executives, gathered at Marriott's Orlando World Center in Orlando, FL in January to measure hundreds of golf courses against a set of criteria geared especially toward meeting groups. More than 100 facilities in the USA, Canada, Mexico, and the Atlantic/Caribbean made the grade and were named Golden Links Certified courses. These courses all meet the basic criteria for providing groups a quality golfing experience. No attempt has been made to rank courses-groups should evaluate and choose golfing facilities based on their specific needs and budgets.
Golden Links Certified Criteria * The quality of the golf course
* The quality of the golf design
* The condition of the golf course
* The quality of the pro shop
* The friendliness and capability of the pro shop staff
* The ability and cooperation of staff in hosting golf events
Tom Clary Director of Golf Northern Pines Golf Club/ Eagle Bend Golf Club Kalispell, MT
Clary is director of golf at the Northern Pines Golf Club and Eagle Bend Golf Club in the Flathead Valley of Northwest Montana. He was director of golf at Beaver Creek Golf Club in Beaver Creek, CO from 1982 to 1995. From 1989 to 1992, as well as in 1994 and 1995, he was Colorado Resort Merchandiser of the Year. He has competed in five national club pro championships.
Bill Colvin Senior Vice President Golf Watch Cleveland, OH
Colvin joined Golf Watch/SMI after nine years as a vice president in the golf division of the International Management Group (IMG), responsible for sales,, and corporate business development for the agency's 100-plus professional golf clients and 17 PGA, LPGA, and Senior PGA-sanctioned events. Before that, Colvin served in the U.S. Navy on cruisers and minesweepers, and as a nuclear engineering instructor, reaching the rank of lieutenant commander.
Mike DeLong Director of Golf, General Manager The Coeur d'Alene Resort Coeur d'Alene, ID
DeLong turned pro immediately after graduation from college in 1981. He spent nine years at Avondale Golf and Tennis Club in Hayden Lake, ID, six of those years as head professional, manager. Since November 1990 he has been head professional, manager at Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course, which opened in April 1991. DeLong won the 1990 Montana State Open.
Brad Doyle Director of Golf Grand Cypress Resort Orlando, FL
Doyle has been in the golf business for 18 years, 12 of them as a PGA member. He spent three years as head professional at Grand Cypress Resort, becoming director of golf four years ago. Before joining Grand Cypress Resort 12 years ago, he spent two years at Kemper Lakes in Chicago and two years at St. Charles Country Club in St. Charles, IL.
John W. Easterbrook, Jr. Director of Golf Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Since 1993, Easterbrook has been director of golf for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, with overall management responsibility for golf facilities, operations, products, and marketing, as well as the development and management of golf programs and professional tournaments. Easter-brook was previously a regional director of golf for Marriott, and he served as director of golf at several Marriott resort properties.
J.D. Ebersberger President The ER Group La Quinta, CA
Ebersberger is president of The ER Group, a golf course construction, acquisition, and management firm. From 1994 to 1996, he was vice president of golf operations for KSL Recreation Corporation Desert Proper-ties, including the eight courses at PGA West and La Quinta Resort & Club. Before that, he was director of golf at Mauna Kea Beach Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii, and was 1993 Hawaii State PGA Teacher of the Year. He has won 13 professional tournaments including the 1996 Inland PGA Pinehurst Championship. He was three-time Hawaii PGA Professional of the Year and, in 1991, was Golf Industry Businessman of the Year.
Don Ferrone Head Professional/Director of Golf Callaway Gardens Resort Pine Mountain, GA
Ferrone, a PGA Master Professional, has been Callaway Gardens' head pro and director of golf operations since 1977. Since 1979, Ferrone has served on the PGAas a lecturer and coordinator of PGA business schools and workshops. He received the Georgia Section-Horton Smith Award in 1988 and was named PGA Merchandiser of the Year in 1993. He has been Host Professional for the PGA Tour's Buick Challenge since 1991.
Ron Hallett, Jr. Director of Golf Ocean Edge Resort and Conference Center Brewster, MA
A Class A PGA Professional and Quarter Century Mem-ber, Hallett was assistant professional at the Inverness Club in Toledo, OH from 1967 to 1970. From 1971 to 1982, he was director of golf and head professional at Mullet Bay Beach Hotel in St. Maarten, and from 1982 to 1986 he was director of golf and general manager at Shadow-moss Plantation Golf & Country Club in Charleston, SC.
Dick Krull Chief Operating Officer Links Direct, Inc. Marietta, GA
In recent years as a golf resort marketer, meeting planner, and industry supplier, Krull has stayed at and played golf at many of the nation's golf resorts. He has served on numerous golf, resort, and marketing committees, such as the Arizona Golf Quarterly editorial board. After several years as vice president, marketing for the Jacobs Golf Group, Krull has joined Links Direct, which offers golf merchandise, travel programs, private brand products,management services and more.
Ken Hornyak Director of Golf and Golf Development Grand Traverse Resort Grand Traverse Village, MI
Since 1987, Hornyak has been director of golf at Grand Traverse Resort. In 1995 he became director of golf and golf development, overseeing the total golf operation, including development of the resort's new courses. He is vice president of the Traverse City Junior Golf Assn. and is on the Northern Chapter PGA advisory board. He earned two National Golf Foundation Public Achievement Awards and served as host professional for Senior PGA tours, Ameritech Senior Open 1990, the Japan/America Cup in 1991, and, since 1986, the Michigan Open.
Robert G. Harris Director of Golf The Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs, WV
In 1993, Harris was named Professional of the Year by the West Virginia PGA and Tri-State Merchandiser of the Year (Resorts). He was director of golf for nearly eight years at the Ponte Vedra (FL) Inn & Club, and served as tournament chairman for the North Florida PGA Open, 1985 to 1990. Harris won the 1984 Playa Dorada Invitational at Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; the 1977 Inlet Beach Open-Florida Winter Tour; and the 1976 Deltona Open-Florida Winter Tour. He was chosen the 1981 West Virginia PGA Player of the Year. In 1973, he won the Provo (UT) Open, and from 1969 to 1973, he was a member of the Brigham Young University golf team along with Mike Reid and John Fought.