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Cardinal Creek Golf Course: Help make it a success story

Jim Stevenson lines up his shot at the Cardinal Creek Golf Course, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 6, 2014. Stevenson has been a course member since 1981and visits Cardinal Creek a few times a week. (U.S. Air Force photo/Angelina Casarez)

Jim Stevenson lines up his shot at the Cardinal Creek Golf Course, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 6, 2014. Stevenson has been a course member since 1981and visits Cardinal Creek a few times a week. (U.S. Air Force photo/Angelina Casarez)

Ed Weisner successfully putts at the Cardinal Creek Golf Course, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 6, 2014. Weisner has been a course member since 2002 and recently retired from Scott.   (U.S. Air Force photo/Angelina Casarez)

Ed Weisner successfully putts at the Cardinal Creek Golf Course, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 6, 2014. Weisner has been a course member since 2002 and recently retired from Scott. (U.S. Air Force photo/Angelina Casarez)

Ed and Linda Weisner play a game of golf at the Cardinal Creek Golf Club at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 6, 2014. The Cardinal Creek re-opened its doors April 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo/Angelina Casarez)

Ed and Linda Weisner play a game of golf at the Cardinal Creek Golf Club at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 6, 2014. The Cardinal Creek re-opened its doors April 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo/Angelina Casarez)

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Mark Gardiner, plays a game of golf at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 19, 2014.  He is an avid member of the Cardinal Creek Golf Course since 1998.  During his 26 year career in the Air Force he played on the Air Force golf team 13 times and the U.S. Armed Forces team 11 times and recently participated in the U.S. Senior Open.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Angelina Casarez)

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Mark Gardiner, plays a game of golf at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 19, 2014. He is an avid member of the Cardinal Creek Golf Course since 1998. During his 26 year career in the Air Force he played on the Air Force golf team 13 times and the U.S. Armed Forces team 11 times and recently participated in the U.S. Senior Open. (U.S. Air Force photo/Angelina Casarez)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Since the grand re-opening of the Cardinal Creek Golf Course March 28, the course professionals have programmed a number of events, enhancements and features to help attract customers, all with a focus on keeping the course viable for years to come.

Col. Kyle Kremer, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander, said, "We are doing everything within our power to make the course an enticing experience, but we still need the assistance of the local golf community to increase play."

Course managers have performed extensive financial analysis resulting in a revamped greens fee schedule. Furthermore, ongoing marketing efforts have offered numerous specials to attract patrons and increased the number of tournaments and events at the clubhouse.

The golf course was closed last winter to accomplish renovations due to flood damage. With an eye toward lowering maintenance costs, the changes included revamping some holes to feature fewer sand traps and better define fairways with higher growing "rough" areas. The changes reduce mowing and maintenance costs, while maintaining the challenge and level of play.

The golf course has many services and attractions which add to the experience, including the driving range, pro shop, and Cardinal Creek Café. Additionally, the 375th Force Support Squadron has offered many new programs to afford a broader audience the opportunity to learn what is available at the course. In July alone there were at least five special golf activities, including golf lessons, family golf Sundays, free golf for dormitory residents and various tournaments.

Experienced golfers such as retired Chief Master Sgt. Mark Gardiner, a member of the Cardinal Creek Golf Course since 1998 and amateur participant in the U.S. Senior Open, said he enjoys the course and plays there regularly. "I play with a good group of friends and there's always availability," he said.

In addition to everything the course has to offer, Thomas Rector, 375th FSS community services flight chief, believes that the most important benefit of the Cardinal Creek golf course is the sense of community. "The best attribute of playing golf here is the tradition of camaraderie and customer loyalty. You're playing [golf] with your Air Force community," Rector said.

Ladies Professional Golf Association and Cardinal Creek staff member Abbey Reif had her first golf lesson here. "I've seen and played many golf courses nationwide--Cardinal Creek stands out as one of my most memorable!" she said.

Reif provides golf lessons to all ages and skill levels, training individuals on their swings, course management and golf psychology.

The major revenue generator for the course is greens fees from rounds played, but the level of the revenue is not yet where it needs to be to sustain Cardinal Creek for the long term.

"This is where we need your help. We still need to increase the number of rounds played to ensure we set the course on a path to success," Kremer said. "I recently played the course and it is in amazing shape. We simply ask that the members of Team Scott come out play the course. It sells itself. Play it once and you will come back."

"We are committed to making the course a success, but want to make sure everyone is aware of how we're doing. We look for feedback on what else we can do to increase business," Rector said.

Although several courses throughout the Air Force have closed their doors, leadership at Scott hopes to avoid that situation.

"Our team continues to work diligently to do everything within our control to make it [Cardinal Creek] viable to support our entire Team Scott family. We need our local military community to determine the future of the course...to come and vote with your golf rounds. Together, we can make Cardinal Creek a success story," Kremer said.


For more information or to provide feedback on helping us to improve the golf course
for success, email 375fss.golf@375fss.com.