Monday, August 29, 2016

Mill Valley Golf Links Upgrade with IGM

Mill Valley Golf Links has one of the best layouts among 18-hole courses in western Massachusetts and is thought of as a hidden gem. When owner and manager Tim Kurty read about an industry colleague’s positive experience with maintenance contractor IGM, Inc., he visited the other course and was pleased with what he saw in course improvements and problem-solving. After a meeting with IGM executives, Kurty became a client, with a contract that started July 1, 2016.

Stability, security, and solid data were on Tim Kurty’s mind when he contracted with IGM, Inc. for maintenance services for Mill Valley Golf Links in Belchertown, MA. At 62, and having become the sole owner of the 18-hole course, Kurty was looking for a partner to maintain Mill Valley on a day-to-day basis and to protect his investment. “I’m an accountant, so I need details. IGM gave me detailed valuations of tools, equipment, the irrigation system, everything. When I deal with bankers or if I ever want to sell, I need to know those numbers, and I didn’t.”
IGM Regional Manager Tyler Minamyer said, “Mill Valley is a rural site with a loyal following. The course needs a professional touch and someone to look out for Tim’s return on investment. It’s a nice partnership, and he understands how to look at the numbers.” Though the contract is new, initial steps are to implement an agronomic plan and to update the look and presentation of the golf course. This includes updating signage and accessories, as well as further developing the course’s cart paths.

Kurty said 50 percent of his decision to hire IGM was based on the relationships the company had developed with other local courses and the results they have achieved. “I didn’t want my investment to rely on one course superintendent. With IGM, I have the whole team working for me, with more resources, plus I feel like I have more input. I also have confidence in their agronomics. In this business, the wrong turf products can cause you to lose greens and that hurts you for several years.”

The other 50 percent, said Kurty, was his personal situation as sole owner of Mill Valley Golf Links. “I’m 62 and putting in a lot of hours. I felt that if I had to be away, the place would go downhill. I don’t have to worry about the grounds now. If I take a vacation, everything will be taken care of according to contract. IGM will make sure the grounds are taken care of.”

IGM’s Executive Vice-President Greg Plotner appreciates Kurty’s confidence and is pleased to add Mill Valley Golf Links to the roster of properties the company serves. “There is no greater compliment than the recommendation of a current client, and we expect to build the same type of partnership with Tim.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

IGM Signs Maintenance Contract with Lake Ashton Golf Club

A recent management change at Lake Ashton Golf Club in Lake Wales, FL, made it clear to the owners they needed some expertise to maintain the golf courses more cost-effectively.  In May, they brought in IGM, Inc., with whom they had previous experience at two other area courses. Improvements at Lake Ashton have happened quickly, and club members are pleased to see the upgrades.

When Lake Ashton Golf Club owners underwent a management change in the summer of 2015, they realized the two 18-hole courses needed additional attention. Brian Altman, Golf Operations Manager at Lake Ashton Golf Club, said, “We had such good experience with IGM at our other courses, we asked them to meet with us. We needed their agronomic expertise and the resources they could bring to us.” Lake Ashton Golf Club Vice-President Jim Lee added, “IGM’s knowledge was evident in those early meetings,” and the Club signed a maintenance contract with IGM in May, 2016.

IGM’s initial work at the courses has focused on developing a sound fertility and spray program, and implementing an improved aerification program, starting with greens and tee boxes. “IGM has been active with our membership liaison committees to communicate directly with them,” said Altman. “Members have commented positively on how maintenance issues are being addressed, and they see we’re making progress.”

Greg Plotner, IGM’s executive vice-president, noted the company retained the superintendent, David Wilson and approximately 25 other maintenance employees. “David has been at Lake Ashton since the course was constructed. We’re proud to have him on our team.” Altman added that IGM’s willingness to offer jobs to existing staff has made for a smooth transition.

Lee said the ownership group is happy to have stable cost figures and that IGM is able to work within the available budget. He added, “The most important thing is the members have already noticed changes, and the acceptance has been tremendous. That’s good for revenue.”