Rich Conwell is tasked with seeking new members and engaging current ones for the Palmerton, Pa., club.
To satisfy current members while also attracting new ones, Blue Ridge Country Club has decided to hire its first head golf pro since the 1940s, The [Lehigh Valley, Pa.] Morning Call reports.
This spring, Rich Conwell began working with the Palmerton, Pa., club to enhance member experience. Conwell previously worked at Uniontown (Pa.) Country Club, the Country Club of Culpeper (Va.) and Quicksilver Country Club in Midway, Pa.
“Everything we hear from the PGA is to get families involved,” said John Rehus, General Manager at Blue Ridge. “That’s the future of golf. A pro’s job is to make every person who walks through the door feel like a rock star. We feel like Rich is able to do that.”
The club opted for the new hire after seeking the advice of a membership consultant. The club opened in 1915, added nine holes to its course in the 1980s, and built a new clubhouse in 2003.
“We didn’t have a lot of members asking for things like lessons, and when we didn’t have a waiting list, we didn’t think we needed [a pro],” Rehus said. “Years ago, clubs had waiting lists. Now, it’s a different situation.”
Conwell said he’s received requests for clinics and lessons, and he intends to start programs for women and juniors by cultivating relationships with area high schools.
“I think there are a lot of untapped rounds and golfers in and around the area that we can maximize,” Conwell said.
Blue Ridge has begun preparing space for practice and lesson areas and a driving range.
“People are asking how soon [Conwell] will be giving lessons, and kids want to take lessons,” Rehus said. “Even some of the lower-handicap players want help. He’s gone over very well so far.”