Archive for April, 2014

Signing with Casper Golf

By: Tenna Merchent on April 23rd, 2014

Signing with Casper

Last week we signed a management agreement with Billy Casper Golf. I can almost hear some of my golf friends roll their eyes. Many golf insiders look down their noses at golf management companies. And having researched the subject a great deal, there is good reason. But as the saying goes, one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch.

Some people who are already aware this change was going to take place were nervous. That’s natural, most people don’t like change. But from our analysis, our staff, the golf course, and our clients will be better off with the addition of Casper Golf.

I want to share why we selected Billy Casper Golf.

Service & Quality

Casper uses a training program developed by the same organization that helped Nordstrom’s create their training. They will use this training with our staff to make sure everyone at our course gives you the same high quality service and attention. A golf course has a culture and it is important that every staff member understands and embraces that philosophy. Casper will help us ensure we are achieving that goal.

We have talked to other golf course owners who have relationships with Casper Golf, and they are very pleased with the service given to their clients, the quality of golf course, food and beverages, and proshop merchandise. And our contract says it has to stay as good as it has been 😉

Attention to Detail

As a golf course owner, Purgatory Golf Club is like one of my children. When the bathroom counter is messy, I wipe it down. When the toilet paper is low, I replace it. When there is a cigarette butt on a fairway I pick it up. Mike Cutler of Casper golf told me that he used to randomly tape cash to trash. The first time somebody picked up a piece of trash that had a $5 bill taped to the back of it, the news raced through the staff. Everybody was now excited to pick up the trash. That small act was brilliant.

Depth of Knowledge & Experience

Casper oversees 170 golf courses. Their culture is very focused on testing an idea, and if it works implement it, if it does not abandon it and move onto the next one. It would take me an eternity to come up with, much less test every idea they have already implemented or thrown out. They are also replicating the successful experiments each course has on it’s own at other interested courses.

They have handbooks and policies and procedures for everything. Handbooks by themselves do no one any good. But Casper actually uses theirs. And it’s existence and use demonstrates they have faced all of these issues, thought them through, and made careful decisions. Our staff will be trained on these well thought out choices and will better understand what is expected from them.


A company that is managing 150 golf courses gets better prices and more attention from vendors. A vendor has to take a big buyer like Casper more seriously than an individual golf course. Getting better service for less money is good for Purgatory Golf Club & our clients.


Casper’s culture is to see opportunities. They love to research and find out if something works. They want everyone to be on board. They use a lot of big words, but it is their way of attaching meaning, and importance to an idea.

We have come to the conclusion that they are a good fit for Purgatory Golf Club. I told them they would be our golf course nanny. They laughed and said they had never been call that, but hey, I am entrusting them with my baby.

PS. Mike & I will still be involved, but hopefully doing more fun things like playing golf with guests, taking awesome pictures, maybe Mike will even be able to teach a lesson or two!



First Purgatory Men’s Night of 2014 season teed off with The Masters

By: Tony Adragna on April 11th, 2014

04_TennaMerchent_20110602_0197r-LThe first Men’s Night of the 2014 season, April 10, had a definite Masters theme as a ball skipping across the pond contest preceded a Par 3 course set up on the back nine. Also, the after play buffet included a Clifford Roberts favorite from the Augusta National clubhouse menu.

A total of 50 golfers came out on the balmy 70 degree evening.  Mike Alyea won the event’s low score with a one over, 29.  Closest to the Pin contests were taken by Steve Hurst and Mark Pratt. Skillful skippers of a golf ball across the putting green pond were: Andrew Fleenor, Dick Peck, Kevin Sears, and Marty Schmidt.

Chef Shane surprised the golfers adding peach cobbler and ice cream, an Augusta National favorite, to the buffet table.

The next Men’s Night is Thursday, May 8th, first night of the Tour Players Championship. Play gets under way at 6 pm, preceded by a 3-Putt contest on the putting green. Call the pro shop, 317-776-4653, to book your spot in our next men’s night!


First Men’s Night of the Season is on Thursday

By: Tony Adragna on April 9th, 2014
The first event is scheduled at 5:30 pm, April 10, the first day of the Masters.
The monthly nine hole event is open to all and begins with a shotgun start. Golfers set their own groups, play their own tees and select their own game. Singles and twosomes can be paired. Players return to the clubhouse for complimentary food.
Men’s Nights at Purgatory i
nclude free range balls, nine holes of golf with cart, complimentary food, beverage specials, door prizes, course contests and a chance to win a free round in the golf pool. The fee is $35.
“We have shaken up the April Masters Men’s Night with a decidedly Augusta National flavor,” said head pro Jon Stutz.  “A ball skipping contest across the putting green pond mimics the Hole 16 fun during the Masters practice round.  Play then follows on a unique 9 hole Par Three course set up on the back nine. Back at the clubhouse, Chef Shane has added a favorite directly from the Augusta National clubhouse menu,” added Stutz.
Call the pro shop at 776-4653 no later than the Wednesday before the event to reserve a tee slot.

Local Junior Golfer will play at Augusta National

By: Tony Adragna on April 1st, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 1.40.34 PMNels Surtani, a Junior Golfer from Noblesville, will be participating in the National Drive, Chip, and Putt contest at August National on Sunday, April 6th.

The Golf Channel will dedicate an entire five hour, live production as 88 junior golfers from North America compete to be the Drive, Chip, and Putt National Champion.

Nels Surtani will be one of the 88 participants, but the road he was forced to take there is anything out of the ordinary.

The Golf Channel highlighted Nels in their “Overcoming the Odds” video series.  The video can be seen in its entirety below.

You can also find out more information about the Drive, Chip, and Putt contest by clicking this link.