McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 30, 2013

Illinois town looks for another place in the record book


CNHI

CASEY, Ill. — This small south-central Illinois town of 2,700 people has learned to think in a big way when it comes to economic development.

It already boasts the world’s largest wind chimes. Now, thanks to Bolin Enterprises, a pipeline servicing company,  Casey is home to the world’s largest golf tee – measuring slightly more than 30 feet in length and weighing more than three tons.

The massive tee and the enormous wind chimes are designed to give people a reason to make a stop in Casey, said Jim Bolin, co-owner of Bolin Enterprises and creator of the massive wind chimes and co-creator of the huge golf tee.

“The goal is to drum up interest in Casey,” Bolin said after an official measurement confirmed the tee is more than three feet longer than the current world record golf tee.

The tee, which is made of yellow pine and is completely solid, can help create interest in Casey, bring new visitors to restaurants and gas stations, and encourage new private investment, Bolin said.

“Like all communities, we’re fighting for economic growth,” he said.

The tee, which weighs 6,659 pounds, is expected to be standing by this summer on the grounds of the Casey Country Club. Plans are already underway to place a giant ball atop the tee.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Illinois State Representative Brad Halbrook, who attended the official measuring of the tee, the results of which will be submitted to Guinness World Records. Ideas such as this can generate positive interest in a community that can only help, he said.

Nicole Weigand, economic development director for the City of Casey, called the tee project a “snowball event,” meaning it can spur other creative ideas and investment in the community.

“It also pulls people together,” Weigand said.

Bolin Enterprises has no intention of allowing Casey to rest on the laurels of its massive wind chimes and golf tee. Plans are already in the works for a third “world’s largest” project, details of which are to be announced later.