April 3, 2007 - The City of Knoxville and
Billy Casper Golf are holding an open house, Tuesday, April 10, at
the city's Whittle Springs Golf Course.
The event is set for 4:30 p.m. and aims to show off improvements
to the 75-year-old municipal golf course made since Billy Casper
Golf reached an agreement with the city last year to manage the
Mayor Bill Haslam will be at the event while Bob Geppert, Southeast
Regional Manager for Billy Casper Golf and Chris McCurdy, Director
of Golf at Whittle Springs will represent the company.
The 18-hole course covers 4,781 yards and is located on nearly
80 acres in North Knoxville. It is the longtime home of the Knoxville
City Amateur tournament.
Both the course and clubhouse facilities had declined in recent
years so the city's Parks and Recreation Department sought a company
to try and turn things around.
It selected the highly regarded golf course management company
- founded in cooperation with Masters and two-time U.S. Open champion
Billy Casper in 1989 - which manages more than 75 golf courses around
The city is responsible for the costs of operating the golf course
while Billy Casper Golf manages and markets the facility for Knoxville.
"It's a partnership," said Joe Walsh, director of parks
Both the city and Billy Casper have been happy with the results.
"This is a historic facility that has great potential,"
McCurdy said. "We are working to enhance course conditions
and the other big priority is customer service, which guests are
cleaned and renovated the golf shop and grill area.
Since taking over Whittle Springs in December McCurdy and his staff
fully stocked the golf shop with equipment, clothing and other
items from companies like Calloway, PING, Top Flite, Divots, Forefront
made landscaping improvements and are in the process of installing
a new irrigation system.
cleaned and made improvements to the locker rooms.
made improvements to several of the greens.
"They (golfers) will have a lot more choices than they have
had in a long time," McCurdy said.
McCurdy said the company has also installed new software that allows
golfers to register online for tee times. They can do this at www.golfwhittlesprings.com
or can access the system by calling 525-1022.
"We are trying to improve the guest experience for the whole
family," McCurdy said before adding, "We're offering
quality golf for a wonderful value.
The fees are one thing that hasn't changed at Whittle Springs.
They haven't gone up.
Both Walsh and McCurdy are excited about the changes that have
been made to the old-style municipal course and believe area golfers
will be as well.
"It wasn't where we wanted it to be," Walsh said of
Whittle Springs before the city and Billy Casper Golf reached
But now, "It's headed in a new direction," McCurdy