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NGCOA Names Kapalua Resort, Legends Club Top Courses for 2006
Flick, Welling Recognized for Long-lasting Contributions
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Dec. 5, 2006) – Despite their spectacular settings and acclaimed designs, winners of two of the National Golf Course Owners Association’s top awards for 2006 say it’s their people who really distinguish their facilities.
The Kapalua Resort in Lahaina, Hawaii, received the Jemsek Award, named in honor of the late Joe Jemsek, owner of Chicago’s Cog Hill Golf Club, one of the nation’s best – and toughest – public courses. The Jemsek Award honors the world’s top championship-caliber golf courses that have established reputations as outstanding destinations.
The Legends Golf Club in Prior Lake, Minn., was named the 2006 Course of the Year. The Course of the Year award goes to an NGCOA member facility with exceptional quality and superior management. The course’s contributions to the game and support of its community are also determining factors. Legends qualified for the award after being named the NGCOA’s Midwest Course of the Year.
NGCOA awards are determined by a panel of golf course owners and operators.
The Legends Golf Club, sculpted out of 360 acres of natural limestone and featuring an abundance of lakes, wetlands and native grasses, is a masterpiece enhanced by nature and a popular destination for Minnesota’s voracious golfers. Steve Dowling, director of operations for Tradition Golf, which manages the Legends Golf Club, says the staff of 17 fulltime employees is as important to the club’s success as the course’s natural beauty and collection of stellar par 3s. “We hire someone for his or her technical expertise in their jobs, but also for their ability to translate what they do into a positive experience.”
Kapalua is located on 23 acres on west Maui – the “most beautiful place on the planet,” according to Gary Planos, senior vice president-Resort Operations of the 31-year-old resort that sits amid Maui’s only working pineapple plantation. The breathtaking scenery that forms the backdrop for three courses, including the Plantation Course, which hosts the PGA Tour’s Mercedes-Benz Championships, is an inspiring complement to the work a staff of nearly 200 does to stay one step ahead of guests’ ever-increasing expectations. “We all understand that we’re here on this earth to serve,” Planos says. “If we ever get the attitude we’re here to be served, we know we’re in the wrong business.”
The NGCOA’s 2006 awards also recognize golf instructor Jim Flick, as the Award of Merit winner; and European golf course owner Marcel Welling, as the Don Rossi Award winner.
Flick, who has been helping high-handicappers as well as PGA Tour pros improve their games for more than half a century, was singled out for significant and long-lasting contributions to the game of golf. Flick, 77, was director of instruction for Golf Digest from 1976-2000 and in 1999 was named one of the Top Ten Teachers of the 20th Century by Golf World magazine.
Welling, who is CEO of Amsterdam-based BurgGolf, which owns 30 courses in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and Spain, received the Rossi Award based on his support of the NGCOA and his key role in strengthening the European Golf Course Owners Association. “Marcel has been an enthusiastic ambassador for golf,” said Mike Hughes, CEO of the NGCOA. “His business acumen is changing the model for golf course ownership in Europe.”
The association of golf course owners and operators this year established the Paul Porter Award to recognize an NGCOA member who left an “enduring mark on a chapter or international affiliate through the highest level of commitment, service and leadership.” The honor is given posthumously to Porter, the late CEO of Poppy Holding, Inc. and the Northern California Golf Assoc., who died earlier this year.
About the NGCOA
The National Golf Course Owners Association is the leading authority on the business of golf course ownership and management. The Association represents the key decision makers with ultimate responsibility for golf courses throughout the world. Through advocacy, information resources, purchasing programs and networking opportunities, the NGCOA helps golf course owners and operators run more successful businesses.
Bill Bryant, Bryant Marketing Communications
Joe Rice, NGCOA
800.933.4262 Ext. 222