16 Golf Inc. May/June 2017
ers,” Standing wrote in a recent article about
his vision for indoor golf. “;e good news,
however, is that golf in Europe has truly huge
potential. ;e challenge is now to grab the
opportunity and capture that potential market.”
Bergin Golf Designs
Atlanta-based golf course designer
Bill Bergin is also a crusader for one
of the golf industry’s key issues –
Bergin is a vocal advocate of helping people who struggle when ;rst
exposed to the game.
He sees youngsters, women and
seniors as the primary targets for
retention e;orts, and he has devised
a way to make the game more hospi-
table to novice golfers.
Bergin was hired by Dan Van Horn, owner
of U.S. Kids Golf, to renovate Longleaf Golf &
Family Club near Pinehurst, N.C. Van Horn
bought the course in 2012 with the idea of creating a place that would attract and retain new
players of all ages.
Bergin became a champion for a movement
called the Longleaf Tee System. He worked to
create an ability-based formula at Longleaf that
was designed to inspire both beginning and
aging golfers frustrated by the challenges of the
“It’s not just about ;nding out which tee they
can play on. It’s that they hit too many shots
in between the tee and the green,” Bergin said.
“;e Longleaf system can help with that.”
Under the Longleaf system, a player who can
carry a tee shot only 100 yards starts from an
advanced set of tees that create a 3,200-yard
experience. A player who can carry 125 yards
starts from 3,800-yard tees. If they can carry 275
yards, they can start from the 7,400-yard tees.
“We did all the tee positions at Longleaf based
on Van Horn’s documentation,” Bergin said.
“We took an existing course and turned it into a
living laboratory for new golfers. But it’s not just
about yardage. Topography is important too.”
“We’re going to have to implement the system
one course at a time,” he said. Medinah Country
Club in Illinois is redoing one of its courses
along the Longleaf system.
In addition, Bergin is encouraged to see many
clubs remodeling practice areas to accommodate 6-hole pitch-and-putt courses that can be
played in less than an hour.
“;ose are great areas for beginners to learn
the game,” he said.