Corporate executives and meeting planners throughout Chicagoland are reaping the benefits of mixing business with pleasure on the golf course.
Golf outings are rebounding in popularity, as companies are integrating the game into meetings and seminars to strengthen relationships and to build new ones.
Arcis Golf facilities in the Chicago area• Eagle Brook Country Club (Private)
2288 Fargo Blvd., Geneva, IL
• Fresh Meadow Golf Club (Public)
2144 S Wolf Road, Hillside, IL
• Mill Creek Golf Club (Public)
128 Cedars Ave., Geneva, IL
• Ruffled Feathers Golf Club (Public)
1 Pete Dye Drive, Lemont, IL
• Tamarack Golf Club (Public)
24032 Royal Worlington Drive, Naperville, IL
• Whitetail Ridge Golf Course (Public)
7671 Clubhouse Drive, Yorkville, IL
"Golf is one of the absolute best tools to use in business," said Victor Rodarte, general manager at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club in Lemont, one of six Arcis Golf facilities in the Chicago area. "A well-organized golf event can promote a degree of loyalty with your clients and staff. By getting to know your clients in a more relaxed environment, a deeper level of partnership evolves."
Ruffled Feathers Golf Club, home to the only Pete Dye golf course in the area, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The club is well situated and equipped to host meetings and events that include time on the golf course for groups of any size and every occasion. A recent $2 million renovation has the dramatically transformed the property.
Lisa Hughes, director of tournament sales at Ruffled Feathers, said, "Whatever reason you have for hosting an event at golf venue, Arcis Golf has a team of specialists at each of our area golf courses." She added, "These professionals take care of every detail, especially the little things that often make the biggest impact on the success of your event."
Arcis Golf venues in the Chicago area offer planners a variety of special services:
• Corporate golf clinics taught by top PGA golf instructors
• Beautifully-landscaped grounds for outdoor functions
• Upscale dining and elegant banquet space
• State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment for meetings and seminars
• Professional event management services included at no extra cost
• A variety of event packages and menu options
• Custom logo merchandise for lasting corporate recognition
• Complimentary parking (which guests always appreciate)
"One of the best parts of including golf in a group event or as part of a meeting is getting their undivided attention while you are on the course," said Alex Evans, general manager at Eagle Brook Country Club, an Arcis Golf club in Geneva. "Golf provides a window of personal time to weave professional topics into conversations. You will talk business ideas, needs, solutions, successes, but a round of golf is a bonding experience on a personal level."
The Arcis preferred venues are "golf club" in name only, since their experience hosting hundreds of events each year makes them event management and catering specialists, available on-site to assist with every detail. The clubs administer everything from intimate bridal luncheons and baby showers to lavish wedding receptions, holiday parties fundraising galas. A variety of elegantly appointed indoor banquet and meeting rooms are available, as well as picturesque outdoor space accommodating events of all sizes and types.
Including golf as part of a special event has the power to build and reinforce brand image, particularly when it is the centerpiece of a fundraising event. Associating a brand with a charity golf outing can garner significant exposure for the host company and its sponsors.
"Regardless of our business or industry affiliations, we are all members of a local community," Rodarte said. "It is important to be a good neighbor in the communities in which we live, work and serve. Giving back is the right thing to do and it keeps your company top-of-mind long after the last putt of the day. Besides, no one can argue with playing a round of 18 when it's for a great cause."
"The golf event will be another representation of your brand and your business," Evans said. "Make sure you are planning a fun and memorable event that is fun and interesting for your participants. Partnering with a course that caters to your needs and makes you and your guests feel welcome, is key."
That certainly applies to annual golf outings that a company hosts for its employees. A golf outing can make everyone feel like they are on the same playing field.
"From small business meetings and team-building experiences to large corporate functions, we have the amenities and event capabilities to ensure your event is flawlessly-executed and truly unforgettable," Hughes notes.
• Lisa Hughes (Lutz) is director of tournament sales at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club in Lemont.