Recently in Calgary Alberta, Kerry Watkins, the Grounds Superintendent at the Glencoe Club shared his information on the critical process of preparing a golf course for winter. Similar processes will be carried out wherever a course is blanketed with snow.
Kerry stressed that superintendents must make decisions based on history, types of grasses, weather, and amount of money available. Fall is an important time in preparation for winter, so that minimal time will be needed in the spring for the course to be playable. Procedures as follows;
1. Mower heights are raised and the frequency of mowing is reduced.
2. Irrigation system must be blown out.
3. Fertilizer and Fungicides are applied – anyone using these products must be certified.
Fertilizer will maintain a strong dormant season and be easily available to the turf in the spring.
Fungicide is critical to prevent SNOW MOLD which will kill the turf.
4. Accessories on the course are removed and refurbished.
***Special care must be given to the GREENS, as it is the condition of the greens by which a golf club is judged! The general practice is as follows;
a. Aeration to relieve compaction and help with drainage.
b. Fungicide spread – to prevent the dreaded Snow Mold!
c. Top-dressing done with a heavy layer of sand
You may have heard of other covering methods such as straw or tarpaulins. — this will depend on a superintendent’s decision.
To winterize an 18 hole course would take from 5 – 10 days. And… often in the end, despite the planning and the labour, it may be Mother Nature who has the last word!
TopGolf – Look it up! This is a new entry into the golf world which started in the UK. It is a cross between a driving range and a sports bar – world class and very inviting! I was fortunate to be in Austin TX and was delighted to tour this facility. The motto seemed to be – No skill needed, just have FUN!
An impressive entrance and reception area (manned by a greeter!) leads you to an expansive multi-storied area of hitting bays – around 100 bays on 3 floors. The computers at each bay are state of the art – and tell you how far the ball has gone etc…..however, TopGolf encourages groups to use the facility and each bay has comfortable living-room seating with coffee tables just behind each bay. Snacks or drinks anyone?
Did I mention the many huge TV screens? the music? the bars? the food (delicious!)? the pool tables? and the meeting rooms? and that you are surrounded by first class furnishings at every turn? The day I visited TopGolf nine organizations had booked parts of the facility for an event.
Lessons are available for all groups and for all ages…If you are in Austin, look up Tina Bradley Mayers who is a PGA Teaching Pro and the Director of Instruction at that location.
There are presently 5 TopGolf franchises in the US with 10 more to open soon!
Distinctively Different? Hurrah!
Met a wonderful teaching pro in Tucson, Jim Kirwan, who tells me there is a secret to golf! Hmmm I wonder???
The 3 keys he tells me are…
- 1. proper placement of the hands,
- 2. proper stance and posture
- 3. a consistent, repeatable, and trustable routine with a good finish.
Sounds easy!! Now comes the dreaded PRACTICE part!!! but with a different spin! Only 15 – 20 minutes/day with your focus on the 3 keys above. When you commit to this routine you will be …
***Swinging with a ‘consistent pace of swing’ that creates effortless power.
Now, pick your target – a positive target – generally above the horizon, a cloud, a tall tree, a crane, aim at it, and swing away!
This could work for you! TRY IT!!
And if you are in Tucson, look up Jim for a lesson!
Are you getting enough sleep? Research suggests that 90% of us need more that 7+ hours of sleep!
Here are interesting facts about sleep….
- Sleepiness causes more accidents than drunk driving.
- Poor sleep can increase pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia and other conditions.
- Sleep problems emerged with the advent of the light bulb, when people no longer lived by daylight and nighttime patterns.
- Untreated sleep apnea makes a person 2 – 3 times more likely to have a heart attack.
Can’t sleep? Try…..
- Reserve your bedroom for sleep and intimacy
- Maintain a cool but not a cold temperature
- Create a quiet dark environment. Block out light.
- Turn off the TV, computer, cell phone and other distractions.
Good night, Good golf!
Still here at Canyon Ranch, recognized as the #1 fitness facility in the US – lucky me! A lecture I attended (thanks Dr Dedhia) revealed the following causes of weight gain in the 20th Century as follows…
- Trans Fats – rise of processed foods
- Soft Drinks – sugar consumption, rise of sweet index
- Refrigerators – greater availability of food
- Cars/Computers/TV’s – sedentary lifestyle
- Electric lights – reduced sleep time
- 24/7 Expectations – “normalcy” of stress
Did you know – the average American adult will gain ~ 22 lbs from age 25 til 55? – an increase in 1 lb in weight will equal 4 lbs on the knees? – the average American now comsumes 140 lbs of sugar/yr?
Is there a solution to rising obesity? Think!!! ….balance your food intake with your activity! …or, calories IN balanced with calories OUT/BURNED.
Will head to a lecture on Sleep tomorrow – will keep you posted!
Thanks to a dear friend I am spending a week at Canyon Ranch Fitness Resort in Tucson AZ! Among the mega list of programs offered here is a golf program. I was delighted to meet John Bell the PGA Teaching Pro who runs the program….he has been an avid fan of the pink book and had 6 books sitting on his desk when I dropped in.
In a golf session John asked me to do a pitch shot….then compared it to one by Annika Sorenstam!!! A true revelation for me – and great tips!
Between hiking, swimming, and tough fitness classes, I am off to a couple of lectures – will keep you posted!
The latest LPGA Major tournament was held in London, Ontario, Canada. At the conclusion of the tournament, the major sponsor, Canadian Pacific presented a cheque to the community hospital for $1,100.045. It is reported that golfers, via tournaments, contribute more than the “big boys” (NHL, NFL, NBA) combined.
Another interesting note was that the players were also challenged. For each birdie during the 4 day tournament, CP donated $5,000…and there were 68 birdies! Nice work!
A couple of things that I’d not mentioned in yesterday’s blog…
– Weather! all volunteers had to be alert and ready to respond to weather changes… ie a storm with lightning required that the course be evacuated. Often this was the responsibility of the Transportation Committee.
– Uniforms for volunteers (over 1000!) had to be issued. Usually a t-shirt and a hat/visor…occasionally tournaments require the volunteer to pay a nominal fee for these items.
– Vendors – often a large area/tent was set up for sellers of golf paraphernalia.
Lots to learn for a volunteer – a super way to spend a few days!
Tournament location is designated at least 2 years before the event. A steering committee will start planning at that time. Approx 12 Committees will be required
1000 – 1400 volunteers will be required to look after Players, Caddies, Sponsors, VIP’s, Volunteers, Spectators, Rules Officials, and Media.
I was lucky to CoChair a Hospitality Committee for a LPGA Major with the following responsibilities…
- Hospitality Desks – airport, host hotel, and golf course
- Locker room
- Transportation – donated vans driven continually between the golf course, airport and hotel
- Billets – for those not choosing to stay at the hotel
- Day care – personnel were responsibility of the sponsor, but securing a location with specific criteria was ours
- Hairdresser – needed a hairdresser and a proper chair
Other areas requiring volunteers
- Golf course…marshalls, walking scorers, scoreboard(s), spotters, crowd control
- Food & Beverage had to cater to the players, caddies, VIP’s, volunteers, media rules officials and the media.
- Special Events organized the opening and closing ceremonies.
AND MANY OTHERS…tickets, parking lots, restrooms, bleachers, first aid, security, corporate tents,…..
IF YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO VOLUNTEER – GO FOR IT!
“G -day mates”……the most common greeting down here!
Yesterday was our last golf day in Adelaide – a beautiful, well laid-out city of 1.2 million. Again, fortunate to play on the Royal Adelaide Golf Course.
Golfers in Australia use the Stableford scoring system – this is a popular formula used around the world but seldom in North America. Using one’s handicap, the scoring is …3 points for a Birdie, 2 for a Par, 1 for a Bogey…ideally(!!!) if you are playing to your handicap you would score 36 points. If you cannot score any points on a hole – that is if you have hit the little ball toooooo many times, you will pick up….therefore the game can move quickly.
Off on the Great Ocean Road – an 800 km trip along the south Australian coast – playing golf a couple of times en route and ending in Melbourne – a city of 4.07 million!
“Have a good one”