A Premiere Municipal Course Returns to its Glory
Longshore Golf Club
BrightView has been an extraordinary partner in rehabilitating Westport’s Longshore Golf Club and in improving the golf experience for our community. I regularly receive compliments on the way the course looks and plays, and we have seen a significant increase in rounds as a result. BrightView has brought a depth of course maintenance expertise that a municipal facility like Longshore could never achieve on its’ own.Jim Marpe - First Selectman, Westport
An Award-Winning Partnership
In addition to being affordable and accessible to all levels of play, Longshore Golf Club, a well-loved municipal course in Westport, Connecticut, is also highly visible. So when golf course conditions deteriorated, lots of people in town noticed—including the town selectmen.
Their concern wasn’t just declining rounds and revenue, they were also aghast that Longshore, a valued community asset, was going rapidly downhill while maintenance costs were escalating. Public outrage was so great that Jim Marpe, in his campaign for First Selectman, filmed a campaign commercial on Longshore’s greens, declaring he would fix the situation.
Everyone on the town council wanted to fix the problem and the parks and recreation department had tried over the years, but to no avail. Fortunately, members of Longshore’s golf committee knew about BrightView Golf Maintenance.
They’d heard of BrightView’s success with other struggling golf courses and they’d played on BrightView-maintained courses. Their confidence meant a lot but BrightView’s ability to work cooperatively with the town officials was what ultimately sealed the partnership.
Customized RFP Proposal Focused on Objectives and Mindful of Budget
Together, Adam and the BrightView experts made a winning team. Work began immediately to help restore the course and over the course of the last three years, BrightView has helped LYCC increase the quality of the course year over year and, in the process, save the club hundreds of thousands of dollars .
“Before we hired Adam and BrightView, the course was being under-managed,” said McMahon. “Today it’s operating in a much more professional way. Members who have been at the club for more than 30 years tell me the course has never looked better.”
But the partnership has done more than just improve the golf course through normal times. When Hurricane Sandy loomed, BrightView and the LYCC crew did proactive work to help minimize the damage and substantial work afterwards to help the course recover from the resulting silt and debris.
Contract Renews at Lower Rates with Complete Bunker Restoration
The RFP process took a year, during which BrightView agronomists and operations experts worked closely with Westport’s parks and recreation department, tailoring the proposal to meet objectives and budget. Nearly one hundred people showed up for the final Finance Committee meeting where BrightView publicly presented their proposal. Clearly, interest and stakes were high. At the same time, course conditions were dire.
A Quick Turnaround and Big Savings in Golf Course Maintenance
The team knew they had to act quickly—and they did. First, the BrightView experts addressed turf health. A customized agronomic program was implemented and crew training took place simultaneously. Equipment was assessed and replaced as needed. It was a comprehensive, efficient approach and it worked.
Within a few months, the course was showing tremendous improvement. Trust was regained among town officials, course a rational maintenance budget was put in place and operations were streamlined and optimized. The golf operation experienced sustainable maintenance savings of $175,000 per year.. Most importantly, Longshore Golf Club regained its status as the heart and soul of Westport’s stellar outdoor recreational facilities.
From Struggling to Award-Winning
As for Mr. Marpe, he was elected and is in the second year of service as the Town’s very popular First Selectman. Here’s what Jim has to say now:
“BrightView has been an extraordinary partner in rehabilitating Westport’s Longshore Golf Club and in improving the golf experience for our community. I regularly receive compliments on the way the course looks and plays, and we have seen a significant increase in rounds as a result. BrightView has brought a depth of course maintenance expertise that a municipal facility like Longshore could never achieve on its’ own.”
Appreciation for the turn-around went beyond the Selectman and the townspeople. In 2014, an article in Golf Digest called out the course for its playability and conditions that, as the article stated, had gone from “a rundown track with abominable greens” to “being Longshore again.” Credit was given to BrightView and to First Selectman Jim Marpe whose election video and call to action put a fire under the town’s effort to fix conditions at Longshore.
In 2015, Golf Week magazine named the Longshore Golf Club among the top ten golf courses in the state of Connecticut. Rounds are up at LongShore and revenues have grown 20% year over year since BrightView started work on the course. The players, from families to youth, couldn’t be happier and the townspeople are thrilled to have their crown jewel restored to its glory.
As for BrightView Golf, they’re happy too. Their partner’s success is why they are in business; it’s how they define golf course maintenance.