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July 2018

Shuttle Meadow’s Players Hit the Road

ShuttleMeadow.jpg‭By Steve Donahue

Women golfers at a Connecticut private club have caught the travel bug.

Tim Gavronski, Shuttle Meadow Country Club’s 17-year head professional, admits it’s sometimes tough to get away with a busy six-month season like the Kensington, Connecticut, private club’s, but he rents a custom bus and driver, and takes the women’s 18-hole group of 20 to 30 to a nearby public or private course once annually.

“In 2003, the first year I did it with the ladies,” he says, “we had custom buses take us to The Orchards the year before they hosted the U.S. Women’s Open. Those fancy buses jacked up the per-person fee in excess of several hundred bucks. After that we throttled it back to a regular coach. We’ve done a ladies’ trip every year since except once, when there were logistical issues.”

A microphone on the bus comes in handy.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Gavronski says. “I tell a few jokes and a few women have pretty good repertoires.”

Gavronski plays a few holes with each group and they eat lunch there.

“It’s hard to put a dollar number on how much playing with everybody has helped my business,” he says, “but anything you can do, especially for women and juniors, is a home run. If I didn’t get it back in dollars and cents I certainly get it back in PR.”

The charge is usually around $150 per person, including the bus trip, green fees and golf car, depending on how many golfers sign up.

“The greatest benefit from the trips is member enjoyment,” Gavronski says.

Additionally, local PGA professionals bring their own groups to Shuttle Meadow reciprocally, especially during shoulder season. Shuttle Meadow charges each visiting player $75, including golf car.

“This is a reduced price from our standard $80 unaccompanied guest rate, plus $22 golf car fee,” says Gavronski. “So, the visiting player fees result in added revenue to our club each year. Plus, each visiting player spends about $20 in our shop.”

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