Every year after Ledgestone the event team surveys competitors to find out what the event did wrong and what the event could do to improve for the next year. Over 1100 people (just over 50% of the players who played the event) took part in this year’s survey. After sifting through the data and discussing with the team, the event is releasing some preliminary findings and plans to improve for 2024.
Much of the feedback for the event revolved around the weather. While the event team cannot control the weather, we can do a better job controlling the course layouts that players compete on. We are in the early stages of planning for 2024, but we are looking to make the following major changes at Westwood and Wildlife for 2024:
· Westwood: Holes 3 and 4 will be eliminated from the tournament layout. After hole 2, players will proceed to the left after climbing the stairs and will play a new hole in the open field. Hole 4’s teepad will then start in the open field and finish in the woods at the current hole 4 pin position. In addition, we will lay down gravel millings for the paths on 14 and 16 and additional mulch on various steeper walkways, while also adding a short pin position on hole 18. These changes should make the course much more playable if inclement weather is present.
· Wildlife: We will be eliminating hole 6 from the course and adding a new hole from hole 8 long tee to the bottom of the hill. Currently the walk down hole 6 can be treacherous, so we have a safer path that is currently available to go from hole 5 pin to hole 7 tee. In addition, we are currently working on options to make hole 16 safer during inclement weather. Finally, we have several additional areas that will see better pathways created so players can safely traverse the course.
In addition, the survey feedback showed that Amateur players would like to play different courses from year to year. While certain divisions will not see a course schedule change due to the nature of the courses we have available, we are looking into changing up the course schedule where we can to present new courses to our amateur players who keep coming back to the event and want to experience something new.
We are also looking at making some new enhancements to our tournament app. For 2024 we will be adding Course TD contact information to the app. In the event a player needs to get a hold of their course TD, this information will now be readily available. In addition, we will be adding additional addresses for all of our event locations, including courses, side activities, etc, with all of this information stored right within our tournament app.
The largest project we are looking to undertake is to add a tournament shuttle to our Morton locations. This shuttle will start at our new spectator parking lot at McClellan Park, just down the road from Northwood Park, and take players to Kennel Lake, Northwood Blue, Oakwood Park (dropoff point for Northwood Black), Westwood at Megiddo and then to our Morton Host hotels (there are three of them in one location). While this shuttle system will not solve all event transportation concerns, it is designed to cover 4 of our 14 courses while providing players and spectators an easier way to get to Northwood Black. This plan will see most of our Northwood spectator parking moved to McClellan Park. This plan is still in the works, but we hope to have it implemented for 2024. The purpose of this shuttle system is to be able to shuttle amateur players to all of our Morton courses, give them the ability to spectate at Northwood Black and then get them back to our main hotel area in Morton.
The event is planning several additional changes for 2024:
· We are looking in to adding additional food vendors to our showcase courses.
· To follow up on our shuttle plan, we will be building additional parking maps for
2024 so players and spectators know exactly where to park at our venues.
· We are looking to convert our Drop Zones from earthen areas to turf pads, with an option to throw from the grass.
· We will do a better job to make sure all of our Flex events have adequate water on the course.
· We are evaluating changing the OB at Bradley Park; currently course conditions can change from day to day, causing the creek level to be different for various rounds. We are evaluating changing the OB line to be a staked white line along the woods line on the holes that border the creek.
We thank everyone for taking the time to fill out the event survey and helping us to make Ledgestone the best event of the year.