AUSTIN, Texas – To see Mark Brooks working in the golf club room at the University of Texas is to see someone who has been comfortable navigating one of the longest careers in golf history. professional golf.
On a recent balmy night, Brooks visited legendary Texas men’s golf coach John Fields to chat about a recent recruit, then swapped anecdotes with the PGA Tour star and former great. Longhorn’s Dylan Frittelli. He walked through the clubhouse, stopping to show a photo of himself with Brandel Chamblee as the two held up a college trophy. He walked through the elaborate on-site training center with commentary for anyone who wanted to listen.
He is, quite frankly, a fountain of knowledge with the energy to go with it.
It’s no surprise, then, that some retiring from the PGA Tour – on which Brooks made a record 803 starts – would rather fade away quietly into isolation, making token appearances to keep their personalities intact, Brooks did. opposite. The seven-time PGA Tour champion and 1996 PGA Championship winner is looking to shake as many hands and help as many swings as possible.
He recently launches the 803 Golfwhich gives groups the opportunity to soak up his expansive vision of golf through a bespoke experience while playing on a truly memorable course.
The idea is simple – rather than shelling out thousands of dollars to play 18 holes at a PGA Tour pro-am where the pro is likely not paying attention, Brooks suggests putting together a small group for a catered experience that includes overnight stays at UT Golf Club’s spacious casitas, top-notch restaurants and amenities, plus personalized instruction.
PGA Tour veteran and former Texas star Mark Brooks has launched a new hospitality business, 803 Golf, in which he offers a one-on-one experience at the University of Texas Golf Club.
“The beauty of it is that we can do whatever anybody wants,” Brooks said. “You want to play 18 holes and then come and have a campfire with entertainment like Ray Benson? We can achieve this. Want to focus on all golf? We can talk and use everything on site at the club and analyze. It really is what anyone wants it to be. It could be a couple of friends getting together or a company outing.
Brooks did not go alone. As well as associating with the club, he enlisted the help of long-time friend and business partner Burt Baine, with whom he previously managed several courses. Baine, a native Texan, is currently the general manager of Southwind in Memphis – the former site of a WGC event and now the premier FedEx Cup playoff course. Baine plans to jump aboard the 803 Golf full-time by the end of the year. And Brooks also relies on her daughter, Hallie Brooks-Johnson, to help with customer experience.
But at the end of the day, the key element of 803 is Brooks – such an affable, approachable and hardworking star that you will never meet. He’s ready to offer instructional advice, discuss the current state of the Tour, or rehash his victory at Valhalla, where he beat Kenny Perry in the playoffs for his only major.
“It’s a great alternative if you price it,” he said. “You say, OK, I can throw a cocktail party for 50 people. It’s going to cost us almost as much as having 12 people here for two and a half days. It’s a better buy, it’s a better way.
“My goal is, when they’re done, I want people to say two things – you know, it was the best X dollars I’ve spent on this type of experience in my life. And when can I re-register?