FORT KNOX, Ky. — What a difference a few years can make.
Like many businesses when COVID-19 struck in 2019, Lindsey Golf Course found itself in financially troubled water. Today, Lindsey is enjoying the kind of success other Army golf courses hope to be on par with.
Proof of Lindsey’s success came on Jan. 17 when Golfpass.com ranked the course seventh among all others in the Defense Department and best in the Army.
“There were some financial hardships before I got here,” said Kyle Twomey, business manager at Lindsey Golf Course. “Last year we did just over 12,000 rounds. This year we’re about 1,000 rounds ahead of that.
“We’ve really been growing, and the word is out that we’re a hidden gem.”
Kent Shaw joined the Lindsey team over two years ago and remembered the changes since COVID. He said some job losses at other FMWR facilities led to job gains at Lindsey. As they went back to their previous jobs, that left vacancies at Lindsey. He was one of the first hired to fill a vacancy.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve had a really good marriage of high school and college students working here,” said Shaw. “The students typically just work during the summer.”
Shaw said the greens crew has been a big gain for the quality of the course over the past couple of years.
“They’re on it every day,” said Shaw. “They respond to any comments and are able to work with Kyle to make everything happen. It was well maintained before, but with them, it just keeps getting better.”
Twomey said his big focus when he came on board was to reach golfers outside the gates, encouraging them to play a few rounds at Lindsey.
“I wanted people to come through the gate and realize that A), we are open to the public, and B), getting through the gate’s not as much of a challenge as it might have been a few years ago.”
Twomey has been working with various organizations to offer golf and teetee time passes to nearby residents, especially in Louisville, that provide discounted rates.
He also offers an incentive for golfers who get a yearlong gate pass for the first time: Lindsey will waive their greens fees for a round of golf.
“What that’s done is really increased our rounds,” said Twomey. “I’m on track to do close to 14,000 rounds. I’ve really seen an increase in military rounds, but our civilian rounds have really skyrocketed. That’s been huge!”
Twomey said they have one of the few fully stocked pro shops in the area, and they also sponsor more tournaments than in the past, all with a singular goal in mind.
Still, they continue to battle public perceptions.
“The public still thinks sometimes that they can’t get on post to play a public course, and it is a public course,” said Shaw. “Kyle has done a lot to publicize us off post and in the Louisville area, so we get a lot of customers now from off post. Those customers are talking to friends and coworkers, and they’re online a lot.
“They’re providing comments that are being picked up on, that Lindsey is a hidden gem.”
Twomey also noted that nowhere else can golfers enjoy the gold standard backdrop of the famed U.S. Bullion Depository:
“I’m really trying to entice people to come play here.”