The Survey Says?

  The survey says … this month (February) we are asking all members to take the time to  click on the link below to help us with our 2017 membership survey. This input will help members provide their input and feedback with this important 21-question survey. Click the link below and give us your feedback please. – Currently closed for review & tabulation

In today’s world with technology the way it is, we will only be using the electronic version of the survey. Sorry for the non-computer types … rest assured if we get as many responses as last time — more than 200 — the results will be valid and a direction can be charted!

This information will help guide the leadership of the club in many ways: capital projects and their priority; service levels and menu changes; financial impact and what may be needed at the club; mission validation — meaning are we still on the right track from a strategic standpoint?

Rest assured again. We are doing this as economically as possible. Some companies specialize in this type of thing and charge several thousand dollars to complete and analyze. Well, our budget is much tighter than that so we will be using Survey Monkey, an on-line survey company.

It has been five years since our last survey, so please take the time and tell us what you think. See the link above, it will be valid through the end of February!

It’s a game!

It’s a game…have fun! Golf, the four letter word that invites both official and unofficial substitutes. As golfers, I assume you are like me and have read several articles that: shame, embarrass, insult, and even yell at golfers to stop making this a life or death situation.  We need to start playing golf for what it is, a game. Here is my plea in so many words.

Stop working at golf and stop pretending that dinner rides on you making that 4 footer. If you miss, will anyone else on this planet really care? Maybe your partner? So there goes another $2 nassua!

I had a boss many years ago that stated “These golfers are crazy.” They blame everything and everybody while never stopping to take in the moment(s). What a good day it is if you could spend it on the golf course. This former boss was a ski instructor who had migrated over to golf from years as a “ski bum.”  He managed 8 to 10 thousand skiers in a day and they were not as demanding as 144 golfers!

Maybe we would all be better if we stopped looking for perfection in a game that will never be perfected. Maybe stop expecting people to be perfect when we can’t possibly be! This was the message from Pinehurst this year. A new kind of perfection will be expected from golf courses now that water is more precious and scarcer than it was decades ago.

So what is the message here? This is a great game that is filled with some of the finest people who you can meet. It all comes down to expectations.  Well, at least again for ME! Awe the secret to happiness. Lower your expectations when the situation presents itself and you will always be happy.

What are our/ your expectations, and how have they gotten to this point? How can we expect that the course, the staff, the food, AND the weather all have to be perfect for us to be happy when we leave #18? I recently reminded one of our members that the richest person in the world still can’t buy a game so why try? Have “FUN” I implored.

Fun, fun, fun! Why not go out have a few yucks with your friends and enjoy this great game and all that it offers!

Projects @ Cold Springs

Cold Springs projects and updates:

Projects – the Board of Directors has partitioned the projects into three categories.

                #1 Course #2 Grounds and Clubhouse and #3 Operations.

The course will be headed by the Greens committee; The Board along with the House committee will spearhead the Grounds with the BOD and GM handling the operations side.

                The greens committee has over 15 items that are marked “Red” or high priority with a few “yellow” less urgent projects identified to be tackled over the next few years.

The House committee has several large projects coming with the bar expansion plans being put together and their input will be critical. They have done a terrific job with the ladies locker room and we hope to use their ideas to help upgrade our look and feel at the club.

On the operations side our computers are getting past there useful life and will need to be replaced soon. Other items that always plaque smaller buildings are storage. The storage issue may be tackled with the bar expansion and the purchase of new chairs. These new types will be stackable and thus save us room when not in use.

Stay tuned folks, if we put the financing together then the bar expansion could be really exciting.

Frosty golf in the foothills

Golf in the foothills has its beauty and its challenges. Golfers often forget, or want to mis-remember, why do we have to wait to tee off? The sun is out and it’s 40 degrees.

 I have “Borrowed” several exerts from the USGA green section about this very topic.

 We often encounter the age-old problem: morning delays to allow the frost to clear or enable the green surface to thaw. Often a confrontation arises between the golf professional and/or the superintendent on one side and club members on the other. Consider the problems of playing greens in the winter when frost or freezing occurs, and why play must be delayed, or even prevented, for a period of time.

Everyone knows frost must clear off the grass before play can begin, but few people know why. Frost on the grass blades tells us that the water inside the leaves is frozen. Remember that water is the primary component of plant tissue. When this water is frozen, traffic on the turf causes the ice crystals in the cells to puncture through the cell walls, killing the plant tissue. Little damage is done to the crowns (growing points) or roots if only a light frost appears; however, when the frost is heavy, cell disruption may occur at the crown, thus killing the entire plant. Frost damage symptoms include white to light tan leaves where traffic has passed.

Another dangerous situation exists when the soil is completely frozen to the surface but the grass blades have thawed. Provided there is no frost or ice on the grass under this condition, then limited foot traffic creates little damage, if any. This is why frozen ground is less dangerous than the ground in transition from frozen to thawed.

At these times, heavy traffic or golf carts should be restricted from greens, tees and even fairways. This is the most favorable winter conditions, because when the soil is frozen it does not allow as much penetration of compaction and spikes, thus preventing damage to the grass roots. Since the blades are not frozen, they retain the resiliency needed to withstand light foot traffic.

Traffic damage on frozen turf areas usually occurs during periods of thawing. The most devastating situation occurs when the grass blades and the upper one-half to one inch of soil has thawed, but the ground beneath their level remains frozen. Traffic will create a shearing action of the roots, rhizomes, and crown tissues at this time.

 This is comparable to cutting the plant tissue from the underlying root system with a sod cutter. Complete kill of leaves, crowns, and rhizomes can occur if the temperatures soon drop below 20° F. Symptoms from this severe injury include whitish to dark brown leaves that may mat on the surface.

 The only solution….wait till spring, and plant new plants!

Play it Forward

This month’s comments have me taking the WGANC most recent article and trying to influence our members and golfers everywhere to heed these words…

 Millions of golfers have their handicaps through GHIN and as they say “Numbers NEVER lie” So here goes my soapbox speech. How many of our golfers are finding the game too easy? I say none that I have met. How many of our golfers are still enjoying their games but never have a chance for a birdie? Now we are getting to a few more… that will admit it???

 So what is it that we can do… to have more fun? How about play it forward. The average woman golfer hits the ball 25% shorter than men golfers. If the average men’s course is 6200 yards then ladies should be playing a course that is 4650 yards. Cold Springs is 4978 from the forward tees and some of our golfers are saying it is too short….Huh!

 So these golfers never have a chance to hit greens in regulations and roll a few in for Birdies! How about trying it and having some fun rolling a few birdies in?

 More info to consider… Playing it forward DOES NOT affect your handicap negatively. Many golfers believe it does! They do not truly understand the handicap system and the stroke differential computed every time they post a score. I could post the same numbers that were noted in the summer 2012 “Through the Green” but I encourage all to read this article in its entirety, very insightful stuff.

 Final Stats to contemplate, Average handicap index for a Man golfer is 14.5 and for a woman it is 28.0. 20% of men golfers are single digits and 2% women golfers are single digits. OK give in golfers and try playing it forward and go have some FUN!


Hell Bunker

Since we all want the course to be a good as possible…. I thought this exerpt from the USGA article this month was priceless.

While it has been relatively stable throughout the twentieth century, the Old Course at St. Andrews evolved over a long period of years. Hell Bunker, a deep and wide depression about 80 yards short of the fourteenth green, began as a much smaller obstacle in 1882, while Old Tom Morris served in the dual positions of professional to the R and A and greenkeeper of the Old Course.

One day an indignant golfer fumed to Morris that the condition of the course was so bad he had had only one decent lie all day, and that was at the bottom of Hell Bunker. His ball lay so well, he was able to play a wooden club from it.

Morris’s features, usually dark in their normal state, turned black. Immediately he sent a work crew to the site armed with picks and hoes and had them hack away until no golfer could ever again play from Hell Bunker with a wood.

Years later, Gene Sarazen found himself in that bunker during the British Open. Rather than try to advance his ball toward the green, Sarazen had to play backwards, toward the tee. He made 8, and lost by one stroke.

USGA March 2012

Why this article? Well the rules of golf state that we must play the course as we find it. Because of the advancement of maintenance equipment, turfgrass education and the talents of the some very skilled greenskeepers we now expect perfection on the golf course. Well as noted in this old story let’s enjoy our friends, the sunshine and laugh a little bit ourselves because we do have it pretty good.

Addressing the Ball

The Definition is amended so that a player has addressed the ball simply by grounding his club immediately in front of or behind the ball, regardless of whether or not he has taken his stance. Therefore, the Rules generally no longer provide for a player addressing the ball in a hazard.

(See also related change to Rule 18-2b)