This year we are excited to be celebrating our 15th year in delivering excellence! We are so grateful for all the support and loyalty we have received over the years from our advertisers, sponsors and golf friends. Our passion is golf and helping to enhance the sport of golf for others. Our philosophy has always been to deliver more to our customers than we promise.
In looking back over the years, the idea of producing a high-end golf guide was never in the picture. We started with a crazy idea of developing a premier “Stay and Play” hotel and golf package in Northwest Indiana that would involve several White Lodging hotels, namely The Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza as the main one, along with a few of their other top hotels. Our vision included sourcing 6 to 9 local premier golf courses that might be interested in being a part of our hotel golf package. Armed with this great idea, we called upon our good friend and avid golfer, Mike Williams, who at the time was the Regional Manager for White Lodging Hotels, to see if this would be something he would be interested in pursuing jointly with us. He loved the idea, and we shared the courses that we felt would be a good fit to start the package, and we discussed the marketing strategies that would be important to promote this package initially. We also agreed to manage the package from the execution standpoint to create a seamless process for the golfers. We started with developing a small website, a color brochure with the courses and hotels, and discussed various ways we could promote the package
throughout the hotel as well as through organizations that we were involved in who might have an interest. The “small” brochure ended up being a 25-page “golf guide” with a few articles along with a full golf directory. Hence, the “Stay and Play” package and “GOLF NOW! Chicago” were born, with many options to grow and expand into a viable marketing and advertising business focused on driving business and increased revenues back to the hotels, golf courses and other advertisers.
As with any start-up endeavor, the road was filled with many bumps and turns and changes to our initial direction that are too numerous to name. The Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza continued to work with us through the years as we worked to refine the package along with improving the quality of the golf guide. We were even approached by one of the incoming General Managers to see if we would be interested in putting a digital sign in the lobby of The Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza that would be part of their guestroom and lobby renovation at that time. We were so excited! That sign was a constant in this convention and leisure hotel for so many years. So it was a bittersweet feeling when the doors of The Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza closed forever on December 31, 2016 and we sadly came in to remove our sign from the lobby on that day.
The Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza and our friends at White Lodging were key in helping us get started, as well as the 6 golf courses we initially began working with – Innsbrook Country Club, Briar Ridge Country Club, White Hawk Country Club, The Course at Aberdeen, Brassie Golf Club, and Whittaker Woods Golf Club. We owe them so much for their help and support. While we were saddened to see the hotel close, we know that good things are on the horizon, as a brand new hotel will be built in its place starting this year. Change is inevitable, and we’ve seen it in our own business
over the years. As a result, we’ve incorporated various marketing and advertising options that our clients can choose from, including print, digital, direct mail, web, email blasts, e-newsletters, and social media just to name a few. However, our success lies mainly in our relationships and connections to so many organizations where we spend the time educating, promoting and providing great resources for others as it relates to golf, golf events and professional tournaments.
While our business is mainly marketing, advertising and publishing, we also have developed an “event planning” aspect to our business. With a background in hotels, event planning, golf and delivering service excellence in the past, we saw a need to provide these types of services for our clients, as well as concierges, meeting planners and others who plan golf events for their clients. We have now become the “go to” source for these groups when it comes to golf knowledge and support. We have planned and executed many golf events in the past including the Accenture Alumni Outing and the annual Concierge, Hospitality and Event Planners Golf Invitational – to name a few. Several years ago, we were awarded the “Endorsed Partner” honor by the National Concierge Association and continue to be actively involved in the Chicago Chapter of the NCA.
We also helped to bring the LPGA FUTURES Tour to Innsbrook Country Club and Northwest Indiana, wherein they hosted this new tournament for 3 consecutive years. Lost Marsh then took it over for an additional 3 years. We worked closely with the board of directors at that time and suggested the tournament would be a good fit for Northwest Indiana and Innsbrook Country Club. In looking back over the years, this tour has flourished into becoming the top developmental tour of the LPGA. Here is a flash back of the money list at that time. Hard to believe!
We have also had the pleasure of working with many of the top PGA and LPGA tournaments to include the PGA Championship, BMW Championship,
Senior PGA Championship, U.S. Women’s Open, Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, LPGA International Crown, Encompass Championship, LPGA Symetra Tour, Web.com Tour and various amateur tournament groups as well. This year, we are excited to be again working with the BMW Championship at Conway Farms, as well as the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club as our major partners.
Thank you, most of all, to our loyal golf fans and followers for allowing us to serve you. We are excited for the future of golf and hope to see you on the golf course this season!