I was given your card in response to my desire to express appreciation for the way my group was received, treated and handled as we hosted our Challenge Cup tournament this week at your facility. My father and I have hosted this annual event, which now has grown to 72 players, for the past 17 years and each year in a different state and location. Based on the recommendation of our Tennessee captain and Pastor Travis Ballinger of Freedom Church nearby, we chose Avalon to host our event in 2016.

My early contact with Avalon was with Tyson Hovater who negotiated the contract and preliminary details. When Matt Hillman assumed the primary contact relationship, he and I worked continually by phone and email to address my concerns and needs. In every case, I can say that Matt exceeded my expectations with regard to his consideration of my requests, the suggestions he offered and his professional approach. Remember, this is my 17th year and we’ve played in most of the states in the SE USA and I’ve said repeatedly this week to all our players, captains and reps from the nine sponsoring states “nobody has treated us nicer or been more accommodating than Matt Hillman!” He took time to ride the course with me on Tuesday, arranged for practice rounds to players from out of state in the weeks prior, took my concerns about things like timing of meals, exclusive course access, early driving range openings and cart conditions to heart and made sure none of those issues hindered our tournament experience.

The support staff at the front desk, the rangers/monitors on the course, and ground crew at the cart garage, the food service personnel in the building and on the course as well as the course superintendent (who was open to let me set some pins and change some tee markers) were equally kind, supportive and helpful. The previous year’s tournament had unfortunately many issues that had created a tension in me for ensuring that this year we got back on track, so Matt caught a lot of perhaps unnecessary stated concerns but in each case, he addressed the concern, accepted the challenge or helped me find a better way to ensure every one of the 72 players got excellent experiences. Tyson told me from the beginning about the conditions of the bunkers and Matt was upfront about the challenges we faced there but again, he offered solutions and helped to frame a response that met with player approval and we had almost no complaints about the bunker issue. Again, credit to Matt for his proactive approach to the problem. The weather was not the best but as an example, even the food service staff braved the cold and rain to come out on the course on the final day to serve our guys and that spoke volumes to me.

It is my custom to make sure to affirm good service and quality leadership. Professionally, I believe in telling people when they excel. Your team was fantastic and very customer-mindful. As we consider our commitments that are now underway for 2019 and 2020, we will definitely consider returning to Avalon because of the excellent service and professional way we were treated.

Just wanted you to know!


Bill Isaacs, Forward Leadership