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Royal Ashburn grows the game by shrinking the course!

The Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Ashburn , Ontario has gotten it right. First of all, they have a great design that`s always in great shape and is fun to play. You are greeted each and every time you step out of your car. There is continuity with the starters so you become familiar with them and their kilts are a talking point. The fact that the Canadian Tour Fall Qualifier is held there every fall is another reason so many golfers come out to play the course. Next month, Royal Ashburn will be the site of the Monday Qualifier for the Canadian Open.

The golf course was an early adopter of the internet as a marketing tool. Mailing lists have been put together through a number of easy to run contests run out of the pro shop (provide your e-mail address for your chance to win X prize “ why not take one of our hats to make it even more worth your while). The online mail outs inform golfers of a number of specials and news from the course.

This past week, the Royal Ashburn e-letter made two significant announcements. The first was that Head Professional, Frank Corby would be trying to qualify for the Canadian Open. The second announcement was more significant for golf in Ontario . Royal Ashburn announced the opening of brand new tee boxes! Now, that might not sound like ground breaking news to you but here`s the catch “ while most courses are building tees further and further back, Royal Ashburn has built their new tees to make the course shorter in order to help average golfers have a more enjoyable round.

Å“We had some discussions over the winter about how to make the course more enjoyable for all abilities, says Frank Corby. Å“Our course is already a great challenge for the lower handicap golfer and making it tougher wasn`t going to bring in any new business. Once we started considering options for the average golfer, we realized that putting in tee boxes to make the course playable for a wider range of golfers made good business sense.

And it makes good golf sense too. Royal Ashburn doesn`t have the Red Tees that so many golfers associate with Å“Ladies Tees. Instead, their forward tees are gold and green. These new choices should encourage new golfers to come out and try a round at this storied golf course.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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