PennBilt Enters Green Grass Market with Golf Guidance Group

PennBilt Enters Green Grass Market with Golf Guidance Group

Growing up, when everyone else was at the pool, I was the kid on the golf course. Sometimes even when I wasn’t supposed to be. I wore out my welcome in the pro shop too. When I was ten, the pro at The Berkshire CC, Dave Rupp, accepted my challenge to a putting contest under one condition - if he won, I’d have to stay out of the pro shop for a week. That was a Tuesday. I weaseled my way back in before the weekend. 

I’m a purest. I prefer natural fibers over “poly performance” most of the time. But cotton pants & shorts that perform to modern day standards don’t exist. So when designing products for PennBilt, the idea of “natural performance” fabrics for golf was my highest priority. 

Think it’s hard getting an invitation to play Merion? Try getting your product into the pro shop. 

Enter the Golf Guidance Group.

Golf Guidance Group

(L-R: Bill Thomas, Michael Kernicki, Marty Hackel, Dick Stewart, Gene Mattare)

Last summer, I reconnected with an old friend and retired golf professional Gene Mattare. Gene stocked my original brand, Bills Khakis, for years at Saucon Valley Country Club. In addition to being one of the best merchandisers in golf, Gene rose from Director of Golf to General Manager of Saucon Valley - a facility that includes 3 historic golf courses, two clubhouses, guest houses, a half dozen restaurants, and a five-star pool and tennis club. In plain terms, Gene knows everything about golf operations and how to host a USGA major.

Also joining us that day was good friend and former Fashion Director at Golf Digest, Marty Hackel. Marty is known in golf circles as “Mr. Style.” The man can’t take 10 steps at the PGA Show in Orlando without getting mobbed. Not kidding. The man needs a bodyguard. 

Driving home after the round, I had the nerve to think GGG could help me introduce PennBilt to the golf market so I sheepishly picked up my cell phone and asked. 

Gene and Marty have 80 years of experience under their collective belts. Recently, they partnered up with two other industry legends Mike Kernicki and Dick Stewart to form the Golf Guidance Group. Together, their industry knowhow could fill a Costco sized party pack of cocktail napkins.

We’ve been working together for less than a year. Had the team at GGG wagered that PennBilt would be represented by Merion, Saucon Valley, Oakmont, The Country Club, Crystal Downs, Quail Hollow, Wee Burn, Bidermann and Myopia Hunt Club - I would have once again lost the bet and been banned from the pro shop.  

There’s a lot more work to do, but for now we’re taking it one club at a time. 
~ Bill Thomas

Golf Guidance Group's website is currently under construction, but you can read their extensive bios at  

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