BREC Aims to Attract Howell Park Golfers With Free Bulletproof Vests

East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Park Commission officials are trying to lure more players to the Howell Park golf course by giving away a Kevlar vest for each 18-hole round played there.

“They said they didn’t want to ‘catch a round while catching a round,'” McKnight stated.

The move comes in the wake of annual golf operation deficits exceeding $1 million since 2007, as reported by The Advocate.

BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight said the new “Shoot a Round, Stop a Round” promotion seemed like a “no-brainer” to draw more golfers to Howell Park, one of the three BREC courses that’s lost money so far this year.

“Howell Park is smack dab in the middle of the 70805 zip code,” McKnight said. “I’ve been here just over a year, but it didn’t take long for me to learn that bullets fly there like swallows in Capistrano.”

BREC Superintendent and realist Carolyn McKnight
BREC Superintendent and realist Carolyn McKnight

McKnight said BREC surveyed area golfers earlier this year and discovered many were avoiding Howell Park because of its location.

“They said they didn’t want to ‘catch a round while catching a round,'” McKnight stated. “That phrase gave us the idea for the ‘Shoot a Round, Stop a Round’ special. Now through the end of the year, everyone who shoots a round of golf at Howell Park will get a complimentary bulletproof vest.”

McKnight admitted giving away Kevlar vests was not BREC’s first choice to help attract new golfers to Howell Park.

“Probably the easiest solution would just be to sell alcohol at the clubhouse,” McKnight conceded. “However, zoning laws say we can’t.”

A frustrated McKnight added, “If people are willing to play golf in an area with one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation, the least we could do is serve them a beer.”

About Tony Swartz

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