ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - APG Golf Manager Rik Bond recently won the 2012 James Carroll Jr. Award for Army Golf Manager of the Year.

This is the third time Bond has received the Army-level award, and he is one of only two golf managers ever to do so.

Bond gives credit to his hard working staff of 56 people, who work at Ruggles Golf Course at APG North (Aberdeen) and Exton Golf Course at APG South (Edgewood).

"This was a team effort," he said.

Bond said that the staff was flexible and open to changes when he assumed the role as APG golf manager in September 2011. He described the golf course as a "hidden jewel just waiting for the right person to lead it."

Bond made good on his promise by improving services and increasing revenue. From 2011 to 2012 the golf courses made an increase of $400,000. Bond focused on "bringing the fun back into golfing" by expanding the menu at the club's restaurant, Sutherland Grille, and offering special events like karaoke nights, happy hour, and Sunday Brunch. In the fall the restaurant broadcasts multiple NFL games simultaneously through the NFL ticket. The club is also now a popular destination for private parties.

"We fit a particular niche," he said. "We are popular for small functions like retirement parties, baby and wedding showers and more."

Bond said that customers appreciate the restaurant's reasonable prices, daily specials and fresh ingredients that go into each meal.

"I wanted to focus on food and beverage because 15 percent of the population plays golf but 100 percent of the population eats," he said.

Bond thanked PGA Professional Dave Correll and Pam Trageser, who was the Ruggles Golf Course administrative assistant at the time, for fully supporting him. Currently Trageser is the golf course manager for Exton and last fall she worked with her staff to expand Exton Café's menu.

"The Exton Café is doing phenomenal, it has exceeded our expectations," he said.

Bond added he is looking into expanding both restaurants to meet the customers' demands. He said that he is always thinking of creative ways to improve both golf courses. For example, in the fall he would like to host a bonfire and pig roast on the patio at Ruggles.

A PGA Professional, Bond has worked with his staff to provide special golfing events for all skill levels like the "Lunch and Learn" sessions which feature an hour lesson and a meal for $10 and this spring's "Get Golf Ready," PGA program, which provided five golf lessons for $99. The golf course also has instructors who are available for group, private and semi- private lessons.

Both golf courses, which are public, host a number of golf tournaments that benefit charities, local school golf programs and the popular CYSS Sports Jr. Golf program in the summer.

With more than 18 years of Army golf management experience, Bond said that his number one passion is making customers happy.

"I always say you never get a second chance at a good first impression," he said.

Membership opportunities are offered to all active duty military, retired military, Department of Defense civilians, contractors and Family members, as well as Harford County residents. For more information about amenities available at APG golf courses, visit www.apgmwr.com/recreation/golf/, or call 410-278-0589. To be included in a monthly newsletter that includes coupons and specials, e-mail Bond at richard.j.bond10.naf@mail.mil.

Page last updated Fri May 24th, 2013 at 10:23