Hayden Echols is an experienced golfer, but he’d never played night golf until last month. He and Jake Reel teamed up for Glow Golf at Concord Park’s nine-hole, par 3 golf course recently — won first place and netted gift certificates and a couple of T-shirts.
“It was incredible,” Echols said. “It was so much fun. It’s unlike anything you can do anywhere else to have the flags lit up and the balls glowing, lighting up the sky. Any chance I get from now on to play night golf, I’m going to be there.”
His secret to winning?
“You just gotta get lucky,” he said.
Echols said he’ll be back from 9 to 11 p.m., Friday, May 26, for another round of night golf.
Lucas Forstrom, course and program manager for Concord Park Golf Course, said 15 people already are signed up for the May 26 event. The golf course plans to have Glow Golf at least once a month from May through August, with the following event starting at 9 p.m., Friday, June 30.
“It was mainly young adults for the tournament, but for this one we’re expecting a lot of junior golfers since school will be out and it’s not a tournament format,” Forstrom said.
“We’ve got golf balls that light up when they’re hit and they stay on for eight minutes at a time for the next contact,” he explained. “The batteries inside have about 30 hours of battery life. We place light sticks on all the flag sticks on the green and light up the teeing areas and holes with glow sticks. We try to get glow sticks to everybody playing as well, so you can see where people are at.”
Forstrom has a master’s degree in sports management from The University of Tennessee. Prior to coming to Concord Park in February, he was working for the Tennessee Pro Golfers Association.
His tip for winning at night golf?
“The balls are a little bit different from regular golf balls,” Forstrom said. “They fly about 80 percent of the distance of a regular ball. You’ve got to hit it harder and use a stronger club.”
Night golf is $15 for adults and $10 for juniors. The regular rates for nine holes are $7 for adults, $6 for college students and $5 for youths under age 17. The course offers individual and family monthly and yearly memberships, individual golf instruction, camps for junior golfers and tournaments for all ages.
Course management spells out their philosophy on the website: “golf should be less time, less money and more fun.” For more information, go to www.concordparkgolf.org or call 865-966-9103.