Billy Casper Golf Takes Over at Briardale Greens

Patrick Kirn, the new general manager at Briardale Greens helps a patron improve his golf swing

Fearing financial problems in the current economy, Euclid's mayor and council decided to hire professional management for the municipal golf course. City employees have operated the facility since opening day in 1977.  

Course construction took place after more than one hundred petition carriers gathered enough signatures in 1975 to convince the city to go for golf, instead of pursuing high density housing on the former site of temporary housing for defense plant workers.   

The early years saw heavy play, mostly due to inexpensive season passes. Recent years have shown a steady decline in revenues and increased operating expense. According to Golf Commissioner Rose  Allen, the Golf Commission, chaired by Frank Dempsey, was asked to seek management proposals.  

After interviewing two firms, the commission selected Billy Casper Golf, manager of over sixty five municipal golf courses, to negotiate a management agreement with the city. They took over on Feb. 1. The salary and benefits of all employees are the sole responsibility of the Casper firm.  

Casper's team is offering seasonal, unlimited 18-hole with cart discount plans of $8 and $12 for frequent players. Season passes for weekday or any day play are available. Also offered is a Twilight Play and Practice program. Call (216) 289-8574 for more details.  

Briardale Golf Course held its grand opening days April 15 through 18, with many opening day specials featured and live music provided by the popular Rockfile group at the Sticks Bar and Grille.

Patrick Kirn heads up the staff as general manager. Kirn, a native of Philadelphia, PA, has worked in Florida for the Casper firm since 2006. The greens superintendent is John Schriner from Montoursville PA. He studied agronomy at Pennsylvania State University before joining the Casper team. The golf professional is Adam Westendorf from Dayton OH, who played at the college level in Cincinnati and Tennessee before turning pro.   

Billy Casper was thought by many to be the most under rated golfer in the history of the sport. He won 51 times on the PGA Tour and eight times on the Senior Tour. He won three majors, the 1959 and 1966 U.S. Opens and the 1970 Masters Tournament. 

However, he wasn't the biggest name, even in his prime, as he was over shadowed by the Big 3: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. Yet, according to the World Golf Hall of Fame, Casper won 27 times from 1964 through 1970, four more than Nicklaus and eight more than Palmer and Player combined. Casper was PGA Player of the Year in 1966 and 1970.  

Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 12:45 PM, 05.20.2010