Park District Pro

It’s been a long, cold winter, and Greg Walker is ready to get back on the golf course. After working at West Bend Country Club near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the last eight years, the certified PGA Golf Professional was recently named Director of Golf Operations for the Peoria Park District, moving his family to central Illinois in late February. “Peoria has a lot to offer,” he says. “We’re really enjoying the area, and everyone has been unbelievably nice.”

Walker played golf throughout high school and in college—placing in the national championships two years in a row—before embarking on a professional career at various private clubs. This lifelong passion, he says, came from his father. “He taught me the game when I was seven or eight years old. He was a very, very good player. I always say my father has forgotten more than I’ll ever know.”

At the Peoria Park District, Walker is taking on more of a management role. His initial priorities? “Customer service, customer service, customer service,” he declares. “Going that extra mile for our customers—that’s where we’re really going to be focused on this year.”

Along with the District’s trio of golf courses— Kellogg, Newman and Madison—the Golf Learning Center on Radnor Road is a “fantastic” amenity, Walker notes. “Everything that you can work on in the game of golf, you can work on at the Learning Center. And it’s open all year-round.” He also highlights the season pass—offered to both residents and non-residents—as a great value. “It’s $750 [for adults], which gives you access to all three golf courses for as many rounds as you want to play during the year.”

As the weather heats up, Walker is working hard to attract the younger generation to the game he loves so much. “We have many different camps and leagues going on,” he explains. “One of our new programs is called Wine and Nine… playing nine holes with wine tastings on different tee boxes. I think those are going to be really big this year.”

He also plans to utilize the results of a survey from a team of Bradley students whose senior capstone project centered around marketing golf in the region. “We’re trying to get a better grasp on… Are we attracting residents of Peoria and outlying areas to the game of golf? And if they’re not playing the game, why not?”

As he finetunes operations, Walker is looking forward to the future. “I feel blessed to be here,” he explains. “I couldn’t have asked for a better place for myself, my wife and my family to be.” iBi

Visit ppdgolf.org for tee times, season passes, information about upcoming events, and much more.

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