An idyllic aerial view of Big Sky Golf Course with Lone Peak prominent in the distance showcases why many locals love to golf in Big Sky. PHOTO COURTESY DAVE PECUNIES

The big move to multi-pass

Big Sky Golf Course joins Golf & Go Summer Pass

With the departure of winter powder, the controversial multi-resort ski passes have seen their play for 2019. Big Sky Resort has delved into another multi-pass market to drive tourism in Big Sky – this time with golf. 

For $99, purchasers of the 2019 Golf & Go Summer Pass can play a round of golf at each of 51 participating golf courses throughout Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Canada. Cart rentals are not included in that price and certain restrictions apply with some courses. 

“Big Sky Resort’s addition to the Golf & Go 2019 Summer Pass will help increase exposure for the destination in drive-in markets, including the three adjacent states and Canada,” Big Sky Chamber CEO Candace Carr Strauss said. 

Jake Pekoc, digital marketing specialist for CBS affiliated KBZK with the Montana Television Network said they have had this promotion running for a while, but it really gained traction the last two years. 

“We had 44 courses [last year]. This year we have 51 courses on,” Pekoc said and explained that 2019 is the first year of Big Sky Golf Course’s involvement. 

He said the statewide promotion is good for 

the course and good for the golfer. Golfers get great value and a reason to be intrigued by other parts of the state – a kind of warm introduction to other golf courses. 

“Most of the courses return [year after year] because they see good value in it. We drive new traffic to their courses. They might rent a cart and might get some food there,” he said. 

The continued growth speaks to how it “shouldn’t be too big of an issue as far as dealing with traffic,” he said. “You’ve still got to call-in and schedule a tee time. It’s to fill-in the gaps and then to bring-in that secondary revenue like cart rental or drinks and food.” 

Big Sky local Kara Blodgett, who runs The Rocks Tasting Room and Liquor Store has golfed for years and loves Big Sky Golf Course. 

“My family golfs. This is my favorite golf course I’ve ever played my entire life. That more people get to experience this is great. It’s wonderful. I’ve never had trouble getting a tee-time over there – we’ll see [this summer],” she said. She explained that she does not know why this pass is not mentioned on the Big Sky Resort website, although it’s a great advertisement strategy for Big Sky. She said her idea of a perfect road trip would be a golf road trip, so she is going to look-into the pass for herself and family. 

Big Sky local Callen Moore said he used to be a season golf pass holder and does not foresee it making much of an impact on the scale of Ikon (the multi-resort ski pass). 

“It’s only for one round, and I’ve been grouped-up with tourists in the past,” he said. 

The company’s sales efforts are targeting golfers from the larger communities in Montana: Billings, Kalispell and Helena; so, according to Pekoc, the idea with regard to Big Sky is that this should drive tourism from across the state. 

“It’s bringing money both to the course and hopefully to the community, as well,” he said. 

Dylan Hall, director of retail, rental and golf at Big Sky Resort said it will be a way to tap into the robust golf community in Bozeman. 

“We want to show them what we have up here. Golfers love to travel. Basically, [the pass is about] just trying to get awareness – one more outlet to help out with that. It’s a great opportunity,” he said. 

He said he doesn’t feel that the golf course is currently over-played and the set restrictions cater to simply filling the gaps that currently exist. 

“It’s an opportunity for us to fill where most needed. Monday through Thursday with no restrictions and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday after 2 p.m. So, if we can get that mid-week business–which I’m sure a lot of people are catering to – that’s our goal,” he said. 

He doesn’t foresee any hitches for season pass holders with regard to the multi-course pass in play. The resort offers a trial pass for May and June and a season pass option for unlimited golfing. 

“I feel that the opportunity is there to golf whenever you want to. And the opportunity to go during the weekends when the other pass members don’t have the luxury will [help],” he said. 

The link to more information on the pass: https://kbzk.halfoffdeal.com/index.php?index_type=promo-detail&h=8638457

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