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Homestead offers free tee times

Chris Briscoe is running his own "early-bird special" of sorts this summer.

Taking a cue from the ski industry, the Homestead’s director of golf decided that he would offer free golfing to senior citizens over age 65. The move was prompted by a mandate from the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) to grow the game of golf.

"We’ve found out that it’s our fault," Briscoe said. "We’re trying to find out all the different ways to attract people that might not otherwise be interested in golf."

Briscoe, who lives in Park City, says that it seems like ski resorts that allow seniors to ski free tend to also attract more families because it makes it less expensive for an entire family to ski together. Following that logic, he figured a similar move might bring more multigenerational groups to the Homestead golf course.

"The big thing is focusing on the multigenerational part of the Homestead," Briscoe said. "We want families to play together."

The senior program is offered Monday through Thursday, beginning at noon each day. This is the first time the Homestead has ever tried a promotion like this, and Briscoe thinks they may be one of the only clubs in the state that offers a similar deal.

Free senior golf began May 1, and thus far, Briscoe said, it seems to be working. About 300 rounds of golf have already been played by the senior crowd and Briscoe expects this number to increase with summer on its way. Most of the golfers, so far, have come from Wasatch County, but Briscoe has his eye on all of the surrounding areas. He’s hoping to attract the Park City senior set, especially those who come into the area during the summer months.

Briscoe said that, of course, a foursome can show up to take advantage of the free golfing, but he is especially hoping that people will bring their grandchildren.

"Seniors do not have to play with younger golfers but we are hoping they do." Briscoe said.

The Homestead already participates with the other courses in the area to offer junior golf clinics at drastically reduced rates, and Briscoe sees this as just another way to make the game more affordable and accessible to youth.

"A lot of this is self preservation," Briscoe admits. "It’s reciprocal. This is good for everyone."

Seniors and families will be treated to a top-rate golf experience. The Homestead has been refurbishing a number of their holes over the past few years and the remodeling is finally complete. They are also the only club in the state to have GPS navigation systems installed in their golf carts. Briscoe said that this feature may be ideal for seniors, as the system allows golfers to measure distance from the pins to the hole, but also lets people order food and beverages or request medical or emergency attention if needed.

The focus on the older population also allows the historic Homestead to come full circle. The resort is 120 years old and many of the older golfers can remember swimming at the Homestead as young children. Briscoe hopes the free golf helps to further enhance the nostalgic feelings that many seniors have for the resort.

"The Homestead is a multi-generational resort," Briscoe said. "This is another tie into that."

Tee times may be set seven days out by calling 1-800-327-7220. Only greens fees are complimentary. Seniors still must pay for cart rental and any junior or adult greens fees. Seniors may walk the course for free. For more information on the Homestead, visit http://www.homesteadresort.com.


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