Hubbard Memorial Golf Course program takes top Air Force level honor

Wednesday , July 21, 2010 - 3:19 PM

Mary Lou Gorny - Hilltop Times editor

The Hubbard Memorial Golf Course program is the Air Force Golf Program of the Year 2010. The program was considered for this honor as a result of taking the top spot at the Air Force Materiel Command for the fiscal year 2009 level after a 75th Force Support Squadron nomination from Hill Air Force Base.

This is the first time the program has won at the Air Force level, said golf pro and Course Manager Tony Angelico, who has been affiliated with the program for the past four years.

"The best thing about the golf course is the condition of the golf course," Angelico said.

Hubbard received high praise in customer feedback for "the best conditioned course in Northern Utah," according to the nomination package as more than 900 comments were received about the condition or the quality of the greens as compared to other courses in Utah.

The great conditions at the course help the program out by bringing in prestigious players, by raising the level of play, and by attracting large numbers of golfers. "People want to come out here and play due to the course conditions," Angelico said.

"But your award is not based on how good your course is," he pointed out. "It's based on the program -- on 'what do you guys do?'ââââ" he said.

"Program-wise what we're doing now -- we've got a pretty good instructional program where we offer junior clinics, adult clinics, individual lessons, and group adult sessions that we call 'Get Golf Ready' or 'Link Up to Golf,'ââââ" he said. "We also do a junior clinic called 'Golf for Kids' that's an Air Force-sponsored program."

Angelico also cites the two Women's Associations and the Men's Association as another strong reason why the program enjoys so much success. The Men's Association, at 238 members, leads the AFMC for participants.

Angelico points out that while the program has always offered instruction and mini camps for youth players it recently added a family play price last summer at a very discounted cost so Air Force families could play together, parents and kids, on certain days. There are plans to offer another family program this year to coordinate with the focus on the Year of the Air Force Family and continue that support. In addition, Air Force DePLAYment Tags will give Air Force families with deployed members the opportunity for free golf of up to four players April through July. Families are advised to call two days in advance to schedule tee times.

Among some of the more prestigious events for the nomination period, two PGA players offered clinics or demonstrations and six Nationwide Tour players were involved in instructional clinics, five of whom ended up qualifying for their PGA cards. More than 200 golf fans attended those events. The clinics were held in association with the Commander's Cup and other prestigious tournaments including the Air Force Association Tournament. Sandbaggers events and other senior Air Force staff visits added to the positive feedback the course has received.

Hubbard Memorial also hosted the Utah 5-A level high school tournament, the PGA McGladrey Championship and the Hill Amateur.

With distinguished visitors among its most vocal fans, several senior staff events and more than 125 golf tournaments, staffers at the course worked hard contacting 48 units to book future events.

During the winter, the Club House provided space for such functions as Thanksgiving Day parties, luncheons, weddings and other squadron events.

Among other accolades the program has recently received, the course was recognized by the National Golf Foundation in 2009 in the value category for highest customer loyalty for courses $40 and less.

The course, built in 1961, was designed by a Civil Engineer employee at Hill AFB with volunteer workers supplying the labor and under the direction and input provided by Lee Stottern, a certified golf course designer. The course now features five sets of tees for all levels of play, the only course to do so in the AFMC.

The course has an outstanding safety record with no incidents reported for the nomination period in question.

All in all, Angelico finds his job satisfying as he gets to provide an enjoyable experience to Department of Defense workers, active duty and retired military personnel and their dependents. "I grew up a military brat. I'm unique in that I've operated military golf courses throughout my career. This is my nineteenth year working for the military. It's gratifying providing a sport and supporting those guys who are out there putting their lives on the line, supporting our country overseas for our freedom.

"Every day is different. I don't like sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, and I get a chance to wear a multitude of hats -- I'm in charge of marketing, a merchandiser, a food and beverage guy, a maintenance employee, a custodial employee, a catering manager, and I teach lessons.

"A lot of people think they would want my job, but it does involve a lot of things." So does the Hubbard Memorial Golf Course program.

Sign up for e-mail news updates.