Michigan Golfer ON-LINE

Bavarian Village and partners launch Learn to Golf series

by Art McCafferty

Richard Held, vice president of marketing for Bavarian Village International Ski and Golf, has put together an imaginative Learn to Golf program that will be officially launched on May 1. The program is patterned after their very successful Learn to Ski program which brought 5,200 new skiers to the state's slopes in 1994. The goal of Learn to Golf is to create 25,000 new golfers in the state of Michigan in 1996.

Essentially, the idea behind getting this many new golfers to try the game is to provide an affordable series of lessons with a Michigan PGA pro. The price structure of $15 for a group of 4-8 people, $25 for a semi-private group of 2-3 people or a $30 private lesson has been agreed upon by the Michigan PGA membership headed up by executive director Ken Devine. Each-pay-as-you- go lesson package will include the use of demo golf equipment provided by the Michigan PGA pro, a 45 minute lesson and one free bucket of range balls.

Those that finish all three lessons will be given a "Michigan Learn to Golf" certificate signed by their PGA instructor. They will be asked to return to the nearest Bavarian Village store to fill out a new golfer questionnaire. When completing their questionnaire, the new golfers will receive a voucher for a FREE midweek round of golf at a top northern Michigan golf resort, a special Bavarian Village Bonus Savings Certificate, a Top Flite "Official Learn to Golf" 2-ball sampler pack and a Free Rules of Golf handbook. In addition, the new golfer will be automatically entered to win a spectacular golf school getaway at one of a number of Michigan's high end resorts. This will include golf with cart, lodging and lessons from the host pro.

Bavarian Village has developed partnerships with an array of major media to bring about this million dollar Learn to Golf program. Their media partners include WJR, WNIC and WCSX radio, Detroit Newspapers, USA Today, Lansing State Journal, Grosse Pointe News, Ann Arbor News, Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, Michigan Living Magazine, Michigan Golfer, Michigan Golfer On-Line and the PBS television series, Golfing the Great Lakes.

New golfers and those that are curious about the program will be able to access the Learn to Golf program on Michigan Golfer On-Line. The site will provide total information about the program, provide a list of cooperative facilities and sponsors and a map showing the locations of the Bavarian Village International Ski and Golf stores.

In addition to the information, new golfers will be able to make comments about the program on the Internet during the length of the program. Questionnaire results, the Garland Golf Academy winner and all other additional program information will be available on the year around Web site.

Golfing the Great Lakes will kick off its 6th year of programming with the introduction of the program with Richard Held and MPGA Executive Director Ken Devine. In each of the seven Michigan shows, Michigan PGA pros will give a lesson targeted for the beginner. In addition to the lesson, Bavarian Village personnel will discuss how beginners can get into the equipment side of the sport, affordably. Golfing the Great Lakes is scheduled to debut on Channel 56 on Saturday, April 27.

This program is right on the mark. In fact, it will act as a model for a national program that will be launched next year by the National Golf Foundation and many of their cooperative organizations. Research has shown that new golfers are not only important for the continued growth of golf, but that once they have learned they have a tendency to stay in the game. Research also supports the fact that many potential golfers are wary of the expense of the sport. The Learn to Golf program will allow these potential golfers to financially ease into the sport on the lesson side and also find out how to economically purchase beginning golf equipment.

Again, for further information call your nearest Bavarian Village International Ski and Golf store, watch your local newspaper for program announcements, listen to the above radio stations or get your information on the World Wide Web at http://www.webgolfer/learntogolf.

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