KAANAPALI - Ed Kageyama, general manager of Kaanapali 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."
The honor is awarded to only 18 industry professionals worldwide.
Golf Inc. Magazine 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 drives the Kaanapali team to think and act creatively in helping golfers find new ways to discover, play and enjoy the game.
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.
Kaanapali's FIT Club, a golf fitness program akin to a monthly gym membership, is also very 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. The club allows for a monthly membership to Kaanapali and boasts a community of 40 to 80 golfers each month, who play a few holes after work or after a day with the family.
Weight loss, stamina increase and energy rise are among the health benefits enjoyed by Kaanapali'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," said 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, which all helps grow the game of golf."
The FIT Club has opened a new market for Kaanapali in sales of walking shoes, walking bags, pull carts and other merchandise that promote health and wellness.
Kaanapali 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 Kaanapali 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 ten years ago - 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," said 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 Kaanapali Kai Course was renovated in 2005, Kageyama created keiki 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 Kaanapali's family 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 Kaanapali but three other Billy Casper Golf-managed courses in Hawaii.
At Kaanapali'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 Kaanapali, and his ability to innovate represents the best of what Billy Casper Golf achieves at our courses," said 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 in Golf Inc. Magazine, go to www.golfincmagazine.com/content/most-innovative-people-golf.
For more information on Kaanapali Golf Courses, visit www.kaanapaligolfcourses.com or call 661-3691.