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Lay of the Land

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 14 September 2017
Stoatin Brae, a new golf course with a Scottish influence at a southwestern Michigan resort, was built on a prime piece of property with sustainability and turf maintenance in mind. Sometimes it’s best to just take what nature gives you. That’s what Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort in Augusta, Mich., did with the newest of its six golf courses, Stoatin Brae, which opened in May. Instead of enlisting architects to design a golf course and then try to make it fit the land, the Gull Lake View team hired Renaissance Golf Design to do the polar opposite.
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Doing What Comes Naturally

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 17 August 2017
While native areas on golf courses can help properties save costs and decrease their environmental footprints, that is no call for superintendents to get complacent. The areas require patience and TLC to take root—and once established, they are still not maintenance-free.

Practicing Cutting-Edge Safety

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 7 July 2017
While mowing is a routine practice for golf course maintenance staffs, superintendents must be diligent about providing proper and consistent training to ensure the safety of their workers when operating equipment.

High Slope Rating

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 13 April 2017
With some of its holes built on the ski runs of Park City (Utah) Mountain, the challenging resort course of Canyons Golf offers unexpected opportunities for the staff and golfers alike.
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Forewarned and Forearmed

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 21 March 2017
It’s tough to outsmart Mother Nature, but superintendents can use a variety of practices to try to best protect their properties from weather-related trauma. Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it—or so the saying goes. However, golf course superintendents must do their best to try to stay one step ahead of the whims of Mother Nature. And they don’t have to wait for a catastrophic event to try to control the elements. From summer heat and humidity to winter snow and ice, weather is a constant force in the daily life of a superintendent.
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Quick Study

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 7 March 2017
It took 10 years for Tim Campbell to settle on a career and complete his education-but after choosing golf course maintenance, he elevated himself, and the Palm Beach (Fla.) Par 3 Golf Course, to unique standings. The post Quick Study appeared first on Club & Resort Business.

Playing Solid Defense

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 21 February 2017
It may not be possible to completely eradicate disease and other threats from golf course greens, but superintendents have a number of available resources to keep them at bay. The post Playing Solid Defense appeared first on Club & Resort Business.

Finding Good Mechanics

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 17 January 2017
More than ever, experienced and reliable equipment technicians are in high demand, to help course-maintenance departments run at peak efficiency. To have a fluid swing, a golfer needs to have good mechanics. To succeed in maintaining their turf, golf course superintendents also need to have good mechanics—in more ways than one. Not only do they need to run an efficient maintenance operation to keep playability and course conditions at the highest possible level, they also need a trusted equipment technician, to keep their machinery running smoothly.

Making Practice Areas Perfect

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 20 December 2016
Many properties are improving facilities that help golfers sharpen their skills and bring new players to the game. But to maximize their appeal and user satisfaction, they must get the same care as golf courses.

Small-Town Setting, Big-Time Course

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 6 December 2016
Many years in the making, Seven Oaks GC was worth the wait—and along with Colgate University, the course that’s now under the care of Superintendent Jon McConville has helped many find their way to Hamilton, N.Y. Located in central New York, the small town of Hamilton (population 4,100) is best known as the home of a highly regarded academic institution, Colgate University.

New Courses of Action

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 11 October 2016
Golf course properties are introducing the game to new players through initiatives such as FootGolf and other variations that have little effect on course conditions and upkeep. “Grow the game” has become a rallying cry in the golf industry—but significant change rarely comes without innovative thinking and bold execution of new ideas. From new ways to play, to flexible layouts, to alternative modes of transportation from tee to green, many golf course properties have stepped up their search for new approaches that can increase participation in the sport and/or add business through its new variations.

Making the Lists

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 22 September 2016
Careful planning and proper budgeting help superintendents gear up for the capital equipment decisions needed to keep properties in top condition. For golf course superintendents, capital planning is as cyclical as the seasons. And their equipment decisions can have just as much influence on golf course conditions as the weather. Fortunately, however, with careful planning and budgeting, superintendents can have more control over their equipment than on the whims of Mother Nature.

Northern Exposure

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 8 September 2016
Beyond the permafrost potholes, snow mold and moose prints, it’s course maintenance as usual for Roger Evans at North Star GC in Fairbanks, Alaska. Many golf courses are built on challenging terrain and in demanding climates. But there might be no track that faces both of these extremes more than North Star Golf Club, located just outside the city limits of Fairbanks, Alaska. Only 130 miles south of the Arctic Circle (or 198 road miles, via the Dalton Highway), North Star GC is billed as the “northernmost USGA-rated golf course.”

Making the Transition

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 18 August 2016
As turf changes at golf course properties across the country, so are the mowing inputs required to keep new grasses in top condition. With advances in agronomic products and practices, along with shifting weather patterns across the country, more and more golf course properties are converting to turf varieties that better suit their local climates. Installation of new grasses may also be part of a larger renovation project to restore a course to its original design, or prompted by a desire to create a more environmentally sustainable layout.

Watered Down

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 19 July 2016
Superintendents nationwide have scaled back water usage while showing that the playability and conditioning of their golf courses can still thrive. Under some circumstances, stinginess isn’t exactly an appealing quality. When it comes to water conservation, however, thriftiness pays big dividends at golf courses. And superintendents are making a real effort to cash in on the water-saving practices at their disposal.

Unchartered Waters

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 19 May 2016
Whether a golf course is located in an area under drought conditions or in a region where rain is plentiful, irrigation practices are a vital component of water management. When Pat Smyth, Golf Course Superintendent at Saddle Creek Resort Golf Club in Copperopolis, Calif., realized two years ago that he would have to cut raw water usage by 35%, his initial reaction was one of shock and fear. “I thought we weren’t going to be able to keep the course alive,” he says.

A Flood of Emotions

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 21 April 2016
Historic rainfall ruined the holidays and his own home while swamping the clubhouse and course at Aberdeen GC where Matt O’Dell is GM/Superintendent—but did nothing to dampen the property’s special spirit. Imagine being halfway around the world, celebrating the holidays, when you get a phone call from the boss telling you that heavy rains were forcing the river that runs next to your golf course out of its banks, and water was now covering all but two of your putting greens.

One 'Four' All

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 19 April 2016
Teamwork and a commitment to excellence help Boca West Country Club keep a quartet of championship golf courses in top form. The list of accolades that Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla., has garnered is nearly as long as its Palmer I golf course plays from the tips. Recognized as a Platinum Club of America 5-Star Private Club in 1997, the property has held that status ever since. Boca West has been recognized as the #2 country club in America, the nation’s #1 private residential country club and the #1 private club in Florida. In addition, Boca West ranked 16th on 2015’s list of Top 100 Platinum Clubs of the World. Boca_West-Clubhouse Golf Scorecard: Boca West Country Club, Inc. Website: www.bocawestcc.org 1005sidebwlogoGolf Holes: 72 Course Designers: Arnold Palmer, Jim Fazio, Pete Dye Property Type: Private, residential community No. of Members: More than 6,000 Year Opened: 1971 Golf Season: Year-round (peak season: November to May) Annual Rounds of Golf: 135,000 Fairways: SeaIsle1 Seashore Paspalum Greens: TifEagle Bermudagrass Honors and Awards: #1 Private Residential Country Club in the Country; #1 Private Club, of all types, in Florida; Platinum Club of the World since 2015; Platinum Club of America, 5-Star Private Club since 1997; Distinguished Emerald Club since 2013; 2013 USTA Outstanding Facility Award

Cultivating Effective Turf Strategies

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 17 March 2016
Club and resort properties are improving the conditions and playability of their golf courses with major regrassing projects. Nothing gives new life to a property like a facelift, and many clubs and resorts are currently enhancing their look—and playability—with major regrassing projects. The motivation behind these projects varies from one property to another. Some returf because their members have been impressed with the results of similar projects at other clubs and courses. Others are responding to global-warming trends that have shifted long-held beliefs of which grasses will thrive best in a particular climate. And others introduce, or reintroduce, new turf species out of a desire to restore the original and more historic character of the course.

Face Time

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 18 February 2016
Via social media, personal interaction and even a “Wheel of Fortune” appearance, Rodney Crow helps to maintain a high profile for superintendents and Battleground GC. Golfers at Battleground Golf Course, in the Houston, Texas suburb of Deer Park, get a two-for-one special when they tee it up at the Touchstone Golf-managed, municipally owned facility. They get to experience a golf course that has been substantially improved in recent years, and also get to go back in time to the days of the Texas Revolution.

Applied Science

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 17 February 2016
Industry advances are helping golf course superintendents manage spray applications of chemicals and fertilizers in ways that are safer and more effective for humans, plants and the environment. The days are long gone, fortunately, when golf course technicians tied a handkerchief around their faces before venturing out to make spray applications on their turf. From access to improved chemicals and fertilizers to safer product storage and handling, superintendents are taking advantage of the advancements in their field and treating their turf in a much more efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

Quite a Roll

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 12 January 2016
The need to overhaul the bunkers and irrigation system at Des Moines Golf and Country Club ultimately led to a complete, four-year renovation of its two 18-hole golf courses. Once the management team members at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, get started on a project, they just keep on going. And if their duties could be measured with a Stimpmeter, they would be rolling about a 15 now. The property is in Year Three of a four-year renovation of its two 18-hole golf courses. So, how will the staff finally unwind when the renovations are complete? By taking on host duties of an international event, of course. In 2017, the top female golfers from the United States and Europe will vie for Solheim Cup supremacy on a composite of the two Des Moines G&CC golf courses. (The 1999 U.S. Senior Open was played on the same composite grouping of holes.)

A Growing Concern

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 9 December 2015
With the need to maintain their properties economically, efficiently and expertly, more clubs and golf course facilities are turning to their superintendents and course and grounds departments to also handle landscaping duties. Playability is probably the number-one charge that golf course superintendents have in maintaining their properties. However, with the effect that shorter purse strings can have on staffing and operational duties at many facilities, superintendents often find themselves with other responsibilities on the grounds as well. Superintendents have the task of creating aesthetic conditions as efficiently as possible, but this duty often means they have to extend their talents beyond the greens, tees, and fairways.

Chosen Path

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 8 December 2015
All Shannon Wheeler wanted was some free golf—and that paved his way to several prominent clubs and his current role at Wycliffe G&CC. Growing up in Garner, N.C., Shannon Wheeler liked the game of golf, but his family really wasn’t in the position to join a country club or pay for him to play regularly. So he took it upon himself to find a way to make it happen. Early in high school, he knocked on the door at the now-defunct Eaglecrest Golf Course and said he was willing to do anything that was needed. He started working in the cart barn, but moved to the golf course after a year. A career was born—even if he didn’t know it at the time.

Reaching New Heights

Club & Resort Business - Course & Grounds - 12 November 2015
Capital Canyon Club in Prescott, Ariz., reopened its course in July, after an extensive seven-month renovation of an 18-hole layout that had been dormant for two-and-a-half years. Some people just can’t resist a challenge. As Exhibit A, consider the staff at Capital Canyon Club in Prescott, Ariz. In May the facility, formerly known as Hassayampa Country Club, reopened under new ownership after a seven-month renovation at a property that had filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors two-and-a-half years earlier. The golf course reopened for play by the Fourth of July weekend.

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