Lahaina, HI – Ed Kageyama, General Manager of Ka’anapali Golf Courses which are managed by Billy Casper Golf, was recently recognized by Golf Inc. Magazine as one of the “Most Innovative People in Golf,” awarded to only 18 industry professionals worldwide.
Golf Inc. describes these innovative people as “creative minds, risk takers and cutting-edge heroes who improve the golf industry through new ideas, fearless moxie and a love of the game.”
A distinguished member of the Professional Golfer’s Association of America, Kageyama fits this description, driving the Ka’anapali team to think and act creatively in helping golfers find new ways to discover, play and enjoy the game of golf.
Kageyama’s creative programming includes Golf My Way which helps golfers manage their schedules by allowing them to play 18 holes over seven days. Perfect for the traveler who juggles time amongst family, a desire to see a new destination and love of golf, Golf My Way golfers can play four holes while the family is asleep, return for a few holes in the afternoon after fun at the beach, and play a few holes another day before dinner.
Ka’anapali’s FIT Club, a golf fitness program akin to a monthly gym membership, is also immensely popular. Conceived by Kageyama four years ago, the FIT Club brings back golfers who were on a hiatus from golf due to other afternoon fitness activities. The FIT Club allows for a monthly membership to Ka’anapali and boasts a community of 40 to 80 golfers who each play a few holes after work or a day with the family. Weight loss, stamina increase and energy rise are among the health benefits enjoyed by Ka’anapali’s FIT Club members.
“We are seeing not only an increase in the number of afternoon golfers, but also a new confidence in those players,” says Kageyama. “When golfers play frequently, they feel better about their game, they think about new clubs and lessons, and ask friends to play with them; it all helps grow the game of golf.”
The FIT Club has opened a new market for Ka’anapali in sales of walking shoes, walking bags, pull carts and other merchandise tied to health and wellness.
Ka’anapali began its Juniors Play Free program in 2003 before it became the “norm.” At the time, Kageyama was heavily questioned for donating rounds of golf after determining Ka’anapali Resort was rife with family guests during summer months, but they were not playing golf. As a result of Juniors Play Free, there was increase from 200 to more than 1,500 junior rounds over a three-month period at Ka’anapali, and the 1,500 juniors were accompanied by 1,500 paying adults.
“As a father, I don’t want to spend vacation time away from my kids, so there’s a need to find activities we can do together,” says Kageyama. “Playing golf with my dad on vacation are some of my greatest memories – it’s a fun, healthy family activity, with no distractions.”
When the Ka’anapali Kai Course was renovated in 2005, Kageyama created keiki (kids) tees from 100 to 150 yards on each hole. Keiki receive a special scorecard with their own par and a crayon to record scores, helping add to Ka’anapali’s family-fun environment.
A 22-year veteran of Hawaii’s golf industry and one of the state’s leading golf professionals, Kageyama is recognized for his stewardship of not only Ka’anapali, but three other Billy Casper Golf-managed courses in Hawaii. At Ka’anapali’s helm since 2002, Kageyama oversaw a $13 million renovation and manages daily operations, including 300 acres of turf and landscape maintenance, more than 90 employees, the retail operation, sales and marketing, finance, budgeting and accounting. Kageyama was named one of the “Top 20 Most Admired Golf Operators” by Golf Inc. in 2008 and 2010.
“Ed Kageyama has done a tremendous job transforming Ka’anapali, and his ability to innovate represents the best of what Billy Casper Golf achieves at our courses,” says Peter Hill, Chairman and CEO of BCG. “It’s a privilege for Billy Casper Golf that Ed leads one of the portfolio’s crown-jewel properties, and the Golf Inc. recognition makes it even more rewarding.”
To view the “Most Innovative People in Golf” article: www.golfincmagazine.com/content/most-innovative-people-golf
ABOUT ED KAGEYAMA
Ed Kageyama, born and raised on Oahu, attended Punahou School and went on to study at the University of Washington. Returning to Hawaii in 1991, Ed began his extensive career in the golf industry, helping to open, transition and renovate over 10 courses across the state. Ed became involved in the Aloha Section PGA, holding positions on the Board of Directors, Aloha Section PGA Foundation (a not-for-profit) and past president. Awarded the Aloha Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2006, Aloha Section PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award in 2005 and 1997, and Aloha Section PGA Horton Smith Award in 1999, Ed has been instrumental in helping the Section and its members in using technology, data research and innovation in taking the golf industry in Hawaii to the next level of success.
Kageyama serves as Billy Casper Golf’s (BCG) Hawaii & Asia Pacific Regional Manager assisting with oversight of not only Ka’anapali Golf Courses, but also Puakea and Kukuiolono Golf Courses on Kauai and the renovation of Bay View Golf Course on Oahu. Named BCG General Manager of the Year in 2004 and Rookie of the Year in 1997, Kageyama has a long history of leadership and innovation in the golf industry and community. Golf Program Director at Puanhou School, Kageyama’s teams recently won the 2013 Boys & Girls State Championship, as he finds time to give back to the community and help coach the next generation of golfers. Kageyama sits on the Board of Directors for Lanakila Rehabilitation Center and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Hawaii).
ABOUT KA’ANAPALI GOLF COURSES:
The Royal Ka’anapali Course, a Robert Trent Jones Senior design, opened in 1962 and has tested the skills of golf professionals and amateurs alike. A Par 71 stretching 6700 yards, the Royal Course combines wide fairways and undulating greens, making it both distinctive and demanding. Home of the Champions Tour Ka’anapali Classic for 14 years, the Royal Ka’anapali Course also hosted Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, the Canada Cup and LPGA Kemper Open, donning such golfing greats as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper Golf, Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Jan Stephenson and Betsey King.
The Ka’anapali Kai Course is a Par 70, 6,400-yard course and boasts an array of strategically placed bunkers, contoured fairways, and re-shaped and resurfaced greens. This course, host of Golf Channel’s #1 series Big Break Ka'anapali, is a challenge to play and places a premium on strategy off the tee, accuracy with approach shots, and a deft touch around the greens.
In 2005-2007, Ka’anapali Golf Courses invested over $13 million in renovations and infrastructure. Golf course architect, Robin Nelson, was brought in to oversee the rework of the Ka’anapali Kai Course and enhancements to the championship Royal Ka’anapali Course. Ka’anapali recently celebrated 50 years (1962-2012) and was host of the Champions Tour SKIN GAME January 2008-2011.