Friday, December 16, 2011

Motion Passed

Membership Votes in Favour of selling a maximum of 11 acres of land with proceeds to be used for future capital expenditures:

John Liska, Suzi Snow-Liska, Norm and Helene Ullock all volunteered their time to count the ballots on December 14, 2011.

There was 1 motion to be voted upon and 304 ballots were cast:

The Results are: 297 for the motion and 7 against.

The motion passes.

Thank you to John, Suzi, Norm and Helen for volunteering their time

Thursday, November 24, 2011


You might think after the course closes, that all of us in the turf department have it easy, just hanging around until there’s snow to plow off the driveway. Well, after a long season where we feel like we have been running a marathon since the spring, we now have a full out sprint to the finish line ahead of us. True, we do finally get to take weekends off, but the objectives we are racing to complete before the winter shuts us down are a significant challenge to complete on time, on budget, and with the highest of quality. The course furniture has already been brought in from the golf course, inventoried and stored away waiting for a snowy day when we begin our refurbishment process. We have applied our fungicide to all greens, tees and fairways to protect the turf from the potential ravage of disease which can kill turf. The irrigation system, bathrooms and pump houses have been drained, blown out and winterized, as have our sprayers and all equipment.

Dormant fertilizer has been applied to all grass areas. Most of the leaf clean up is behind us with only some “pockets” of leaves still requiring our attention.

A new set of stairs are now installed to the white and yellow tee on the 4th hole. This area still requires some interlock to be installed and surrounds to shape, but the majority of the project is complete. Interlock and curb installation around the black tee at 13 is finished, and we have made good progress installing the same at the 12th green.

Bob and Murray (in fore ground) are our interlock specialists!

We have finished installing about 2000 feet of new drainage with only some clean up and resodding to be finished up. The erosion issue left of the cart path near 3 green has been back filled, and is waiting for the new pipe to be installed.

Back filling at 2 after drainage has gone in.

Repairs have also been done to the problem we had behind 14 green all season due to a crushed and separated drain line.

The surrounds of the front right bunker at both the 2nd and the 9th greens have been stripped, reshaped, and resoded. The roof of the rain shelter by 6 tee has been shored up and awaits its turn in the capital repair process to be completely rebuilt. Tree work has commenced, and some cart path ends have been stripped of sod, levelled out and resodded. The two bridges also wait patiently for their turn at refurbishment.

We have also stripped sod off a high spot on the left side of the 14th green which has trapped water and caused ice damage in past winters. This area will be regraded to allow surface flow off the green drastically reducing standing water in the future. If the weather holds there are other greens which will benefit from the same regrading to get positive surface flow.

And, along with all these items, I have already begun planning for both the operational side and capital plan for the 2012 season.
So, when will I be able to finally slow down, relax and put my feet up?
When we get the first snow fall of course, which will stop any unfinished project in its tracks…………………. Actually, now I think about it, I’ll be here, plowing snow from the driveway and parking lot so our year round staff has safe access to the club house.
I guess I’ll just have to wait for Christmas Morning………when the kids will be at my bedroom door at 5am!

Monday, November 14, 2011

So You Think You're Tough!!!

The Annual SYTYT tournament was held on the final day of the season and we had a great turn out with over 60 players challenging the course.

This cross country event had some interesting holes. The toughest tee shot was probably the one from the 11th fairway (at the top of the gourge) to the 13th fairway. Mmm no maybe the one from the 14th Red tee to the 17th green was the toughest!!

The teams were chosen by a random draw and handicaps were used.

The Toughest of the Tough was Dave Williams, Pat Burrell, Greg Shea and Barney Atam.
2nd Chris Couch, Peter Lambrinos, Bill Fox and Bob Didiuk
3rd Nick Iordanis, Leon Lok, Howard Kirke, Jordan Wheeler
4th Mike Lindsay, Peter Cross, Lester Davies, John Dimopolous
5th Jim McGilton, Tom Hill, John Higginson, Rose Hulme

Congratulations to all and your winnings (cash) is in the Pro Shop.

Remember - winning team gets to design the Course for next years event!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


End of the Year Sale Now On!!!

40 % off - Men's Shirts and Shorts
40% off - Women's Tops and Shorts

25% off - Rain and Outerwear

25% off - Shoes

20% off - Golf Bags

Maxfli Glove Blow out - $5

Demo Woods and Iron Sets are Priced to Clear!!

Pinnacle Golf Balls 12 and 15 ball Packs - $15

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Canada Wins!

The President's Cup took place on Sunday October 23rd and Team Canada once won the day!

Led by Captain Fred Calvert, the Canadians scored 23 1/2 pts to the World's 16 1/2 pts.

Captain Nello Mariani and partner Joe Dotchin won the Captain's match but it wasn't enough to inspire his Team to greatness!

The Canadian sides of Brad Hewitt and Mike Karl plus Peter Schuch and Wayne Carpenter both won the maximum of 4 points in their matches.

A total of 40 players played in this years Event and it was played in unusually favourable weather conditions!

The weather was great - the Club camera on the other hand was not and this is the only photo that turned out of the Event!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


If you haven't already heard, the golf course is closed all day today (Thursday October 20th) to all play. The rain fell all night adding over an inch and a half to an already saturated golf course. All turf staff were sent home before first light this morning. This is only the second time in my career I can remember making the decision first thing in the morning, to closing a golf club completely for the entire day. The first time we had received a light snow fall over night and the wind blew this snow into small snow drifts in many locations. Member's most certainly could have teed off and walked through or around the drifts had I let them. But power carts would not have been able to drive through the drifts and in many cases you could not find a way around them. So why didn't I let golfers walk? Simply the safety concern. I knew they would walk through some if not many of the drifts, with no way of knowing what footing they might have. They could easily sip and fall. Or if walking across even a minor slope there was the potential to slide down and tear a muscle or ligament, or an even more serious injury. They would also have no way of knowing if the ground below where they were stepping was level. And had we needed to remove an injured member, getting them off the course would have been a big challenge.

Today we do have a bit of a safety issue here at Whitevale, but the bigger reason to close the golf course to all play is to protect the course itself, from the damage it would receive. Even walking on the saturated ground causes more compaction issues than driving a cart because of the psi exerted under your feet. When any type of traffic is placed on wet soil, it actually causes damage to the soil structure. Specifically, it causes the air pores in the soil to be squeezed out, packing the soil closer together.

In order to maintain a healthly stand of turf we need air pours in the soil, its one of the many reasons we must aerify. The weather report for the rest of the day is for continued showers. If that is the case we won't get any firming up of the soil. A decision on when golfers are allowed to resume playing will be made tomorrow morning at the earliest. And if you are hoping to golf tomorrow, and take a cart, I have to tell you it doesn't look good for carts going out tomorrow! Sorry, but it is protecting the investment and our members, and that is always priority 1!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Women’s League Closing

The Women’s League finished off the season with a closing party, attended by 40 players from the various teams. Janet Martinko and Michelle Miles gave out some fun awards:

Highest participation was won by Kandice Brackenbury and Joan Store of the Birdie Babes with 100% participation!

Low Net Average Award was won by Zona Pereira of the Chicks with Sticks (35.71)

Lowest one day Net score was won by Joanne Kajganich of the Birdie Babes

Lowest Proficiency at 20% was “won” by someone on the Chicks with Sticks (I won’t use a name by her initials are KL)

Highest Net score (58) was also won by someone on the Chicks with Sticks (Congratulations PC!)

And finally, the winners of the 2011 Women’s League were the Chicks with Sticks Captained by Lisa Brewer.

Thanks to Janet and Michelle for all of their organization with this league and for the fun prizes. Also thanks to Kandice for the prizes she donated.

I would like to thank all of the women who participated in the league. I for one can’t wait until next year’s league starts up!

Debbie Couch
Club Captain

Thursday, October 13, 2011


It might be an understatement to say I'm long over due to make a contribution to the Blog.
Please don't think I have been avoiding it. The Fall is certainly the busiest time of the year for me. Once we lose our students on Labour Day weekend, our staff is almost cut in half, and we still need to attempt to maintain the course to the same conditions we have all summer. We are also doing our best to aerify all greens, tees and fairways. It is also the time I need to prepare both the operations and capital budget for the following season. Throw in the fact my wife and kids expect me to come home and pay them some attention at some point, and I've got myself a pretty full agenda!

The aerification is close to complete. We do have some tees left to do but they are much easier to work on around the play of our membership. Thank you to all members for being patient with the time it takes for the greens to recover and putt somewhat normally, and for playing around all the mess and dust created during the fairway aerification. In case you still haven't heard enough on why we must aerify let me touch quickly on what we are accomplishing by doing this invasive procedure.

TURF CULTIVATION (i.e. aerification) is the answer to many problems.
Carbon dioxide toxin is better released from the soil
Compaction in the soil is alleviated
Disease resistance of turf is improved
Fertilizer applied to the soil is more effectively placed
Heat and drought stress resistance of turf is improved
Organic matter in the soil is removed
Oxygen absorption in the soil is improved
Oxygen movement in the soil is also improved
Root system is deeper, healthier, and revitalized
Seed germination is improved for over–seeded turf
Soil is loosened and easier for roots to penetrate
Thatch decomposition is increased
Water absorption in the soil is improved
Water movement in the soil is also improved

We all know a picture is worth a thousand words.

Just look at how the roots find the hole made through the process and how well they grow, making the turf stand stronger and healthier!

I won't go into detail on the budget preparation other than to say we track all money spent within the turf budget. Be it on labour, fertilizer, dollar spot control, fuel, hazard paint or even toilet paper. Knowing what products will cost, how many of each will will use over a season, how long it takes to complete each job, and how often the jobs are done is how I put together the operations budget for the following year. And it is not a fast process. But the fact that in the eight years I have been here, I have never once been over budget, must mean the time I put into preparing it, is time well invested.

Something you will see next time you are playing is that we have replaced four boards on the bridge on 12 with a steel grate. The wood on both bridges are 12 years old and have begun to rot and must be replaced. We are trying this steel product knowing if we reinstall wood it will need to be ripped up again in another 12 years. This steel base has an anti slip top and we expect it will last 10 times longer than wood. The rubber mat down the center will remain in place to eliminate forcing members to walk on the steel. Our current plan is to replace all wood boards on both bridges with the steel grate top after the course closes this fall.

A rubber gasket between the grate and the bridge will actually make cart traffic quieter as they drive over them next year. The plan is also to remove the asphalt at either end of both bridges and install interlock in order to eliminate the big bump that is felt when driving onto or off of the bridges.

And speaking of driving over now you must have noticed we have installed a series of speed bumps on the cart path hill leading down number 4. There has been 6 accidents in which carts have been flipped over because the carts were going too fast down the hill this season. Drivers locked up the breaks trying to slow down causing the carts to spin out. Luckily no serious injuries were caused, but we want to eliminate this issue in the future, so the speed bumps will force all cart traffic to slow to a crawl when decending this hill.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Men's Closing Field Day

It was hard to believe it was the Closing Field day
with the amazing weather we had for the Event!

The winning team Captained by Craig Burrell shot an outstanding score of 58.2. Jim Allen, Darryl Cooper and Pat Burrell rounded out the squad.
Second place was captured by Bob Nebel, Kevin Huestis, Al Kershaw and Dale Struthers. Their score of 58.1 narrowly edged out the team of Kevin Hughes, Tom Duckworth, Glen Shaw and Tim Charlton who posted a 58.125.

Congratulations to one of our Pro's - Kevan Goble. He had a Hole in One on Sunday afternoon on the 12th Hole. Fun for Kevan to do it with his son Aidan playing in the group! The other witnesses were Jamie and Dave Denysek.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Women's Closing 2011

Women's Closing Field Day

The weather was spectacular and so was the winning score! The team of Sybil Cullen, Linda Briggs, Joan Store and new member Gail Pimm shot a net 58.8. Congratulations!!
Second place went to Judy Calder, Michele Miles, Karen Parsons and Angela Colm with a 63.3.
The third place team of Betty Lemon, Sandra Milner Docking, Enid Stephenson and Melody Robinson finished with a 64.5.

We had 46 players who enjoyed a super lunch after the round prepared by Chef Andrew and his staff.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hole # 11 - New Markings!!

Hazard Markings on Hole # 11 have been added to.
The rough area around the edge of the gorge has now been marked as a Lateral Hazard.

The green topped stakes will remain and define the ESA (Enviromentally Sensitive Area).

Playing Procedures:
If your ball is now in the hazard and you find it you have the options of:
- Playing it as it lies. (may not ground your club)
- 2 club lengths and drop from where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard.
(1 stroke penalty)
- play from where your original shot was played from (1 stroke penalty)

If your ball made it into the ESA:
- even if you find it - you cannot play or enter the ESA portion of this Hole!
- Ball must be dropped 2 club lengths from the point it last crossed the Hazard line.
(1 stroke penalty)
- or play from where your original shot was played from (1 stroke penalty)

REMINDER - You must not enter the gorge on Hole # 11 (see Section 1.8 of the Club Golfing Policies in the Reference Section of the Whitevale website!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011



Sat Sept 3rd to Mon Sept 5th

Sign up extended to Thursday Sept 1st!!

Sign your Team up now!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hayward Wins

It was an incredible week, the weather held for the most part and the golf was outstanding. This event would not have been possible with the work of all the volunteers and especially the Tournament Chair and Club Captain Chris and Debbie Couch.

Defending Champion Mary Ann Hayward of Aurora, Ont., is the winner of the 2011 Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Senior Championship while Alison Murdoch captures the Super Senior title by one stroke at Whitevale Golf Club, in Whitevale, Ont.

Mary Ann Hayward successfully defended her 2010 title with a final round even-par 72, the low round of the week at this year’s tournament. Hayward, the first round leader, made three birdies on the day en route to a three round tally of 10-over par (77-77-72-226).

“I guess my rounds got better each day. Even though I shot the same score in round one and two I felt I played much better,” said Hayward of her improvement throughout the event. “I hadn’t been playing a lot but I felt like I was able to play my way into it.

Awards ceremony

Tournament Chair Chris Couch and Whitevale Club Captain Debbie Couch with 2011 Royale Cup Winner Mary Ann Hayward.

The trophey is awarded!

Chris Couch presenting winner Mary Ann Hayward with a gift from the Club.

Golf Canada's Liz Hoffman presenting Chris and Debbie Couch with a thank you gift to Whitevale Golf Club.

Ontario Director for the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association Jim Flett awards Whitevale Golf Club Superintendent Blair Rennie with plaque of congratulatiuons for his work leading up to and during the tournament.

Awards presentation ready to go.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Royale Cup Final Round

Final day action is underway on Thursday. Wednesday Evening was the interprovincial reception and the following is the Golf Canada Press Release.

Terrill Samuel takes one shot lead heading into final round at Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Senior Championship

Ontario wins back-to-back interprovincial titles at Whitevale Golf Course; Defending Champion Mary Ann Hayward sits one shot back of leader

Terrill Samuel, from Etobicoke, Ont., is the new leader after carding a second-round 3-over par (75). Samuel, who is playing in her first championship, made 2 birdies on the day en route to the lowest round carded in the first two rounds. The 2011 Ontario Senior Women’s champion, currently sits at 9-over par (153).

First round leader and defending champion Mary Ann Hayward of Aurora, Ont., shot her second consecutive 5-over par (77) to sit at 10-over par (154), one shot back of leader Samuel.

Hayward, who was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 2007, won her first Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Senior Championship in 2010 at Morning Star Golf Club in Parksville, B.C. Her illustrious career includes four Canadian Amateur Championships, five Ontario Amateur Championships, six Quebec Amateur Championships and an extraordinary 12 Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur titles. Furthermore, Hayward is the only Canadian to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, which she accomplished in 2005 at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Far Hills N.J.

British Columbia Golf Hall of Fame member Jackie Little of Port Alberni, B.C., remains in the hunt for the championship as the 2008 and 2009 Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Senior Champion shot a 6-over par (78) today. Little, who won her second B.C. Senior Women’s Championship earlier this season, sits at 11-over par (155) for the championship.

In the inter-provincial team competition Ontario successfully defended their title as members Hayward, Margaret Matthews of Drumbo, Ont., and Jeanne Beaith of Port Hope, Ont. shot a combined 23-over par (311) to win the title by 4-strokes over British Columbia. It is Ontario’s 21st title in 41 years of competition.

British Columbia, which includes Little, Lynda Palahniuk of Kelowna, B.C., and Alison Murdoch, of Victoria, B.C., finished the two-round competition in second place at 27-over par (315).

The Super Senior division, Marylou Henderson of Essex, Ont., carded an impressive 4-over par (76) to take a one stroke lead heading into the final round of the tournament. Henderson currently sits at 20-over par (164) for the championship.

Second place in the Super Senior division features a four-way tie between Raymonde Germain of Lachine, Que., Jeanne Beaith of Port Hope, Ont., Alison Murdoch of Victoria, B.C., and Susan Wickware of Thornhill, Ont. The foursome is one shot back of the leader at 21-over par (165).

The Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Senior Championship is contested over three rounds of stroke play (54-holes). Any tie after 54 holes will result in a hole-by-hole playoff. The field is open to players who have reached the age of 50 by the date of the first round.

A complete list of competitors, starting times and full post-round results for the 2011 Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Senior Championship can be found at

World Golf Hall of Fame memberMarlene Streit was on hand to hand out some awards.

Team Ontario wins back to back interprovincial titles.

Title Sponsor Royale presenting tournament chair Chris Couch with a thank you gift for hosting the event.

Club Captain Debbie Couch and Tournament Chair Chris Couch pose with the hardware.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Royale Cup Underway

Top senior amateurs ready to compete for The Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Senior Championship

Many of North America’s elite senior women amateurs are ready to compete for the Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Senior Championship which takes place Aug. 22-25 at Whitevale Golf Club, in Whitevale, Ont.

The field of 111 players competes for the Ada Mackenzie Trophy over three rounds of stroke play. Simultaneously, the first two rounds of the championship feature an inter-provincial team competition and a Super-Senior championship, which is open to players 60 years of age and older.

“We are thrilled that Whitevale Golf Club will have the opportunity to host its first national championship,” said Matt MacKay, Golf Canada Tournament Director. “The strong field that we have in attendance this year is sure to be treated to a beautiful golf course and a wonderful championship. We could not ask for a better conclusion to the 2011 Royale Cup events.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

How you can help improve our greens

In all my years managing golf courses, I only recall two occasions when a golfer, or group of golfers, asked me to either show them the correct way to fix a ball mark, or asked me to watch them fix one to be sure it was being done correctly.
Gang, we have a big problem right now here at Whitevale, and its NOT people neglecting to repair ball marks. It's ball marks being repaired incorrectly, and its turned into a cancer that is consuming our greens.
I need every one's help on this! We have had 5 people working on fixing incorrectly repaired ball marks for the past few weeks, and I don't think we are making any head way.
It should take about 15 seconds to properly fix a ball mark if you do it correctly. If you do it wrong, it takes us at lest four times longer to repair it.
I want to go through some very simple steps to refresh all members on how it needs to be done!

Lesson 1. If your ball mark looks like this after you have fixed it, please stop fixing your ball marks!! You are doing it wrong! There should be turf, not soil showing when you are complete.
Very simply someone lifted up the center of this ball mark bringing the soil to the surface. Although level and puttable, this will take more than a month to fill in under optimal growing conditions!

The only thing worse than that this,

This ball mark was also lifted up in the center, but then it was NOT tapped down FIRMLY with the bottom of a putter. The result is the greens mower scalping even more of the turf as we mow over this high spot.

So here we go......Lesson 2

Have a ball mark repair tool always, this is a much heavier duty tool I use because it is so much easier to hold onto, but, it still has the simple two prongs.

So here is a good example of a ball mark which someone lifted up the center bringing the soil to the surface, The first thing I do here is to actually dig a bit of the soil out and throw it into the blue grass so it has the dimple that all ball marks leave.

Lesson 3, insert repair tool on an angle beside the mark, making sure there is grass between the prongs and the visible soil.

Next, move the TOP of the repair tool (the part you are holding onto) toward the mark.
Sometimes a GENTLE twisting motion helps. What we are accomplishing here is stretching the surrounding turf toward the mark.

Do this on both sides of your mark. Usually multiple times, on both sides, moving the ball marker further out stretching turf as far as 3 inches from the actual mark, towards the damaged area. The turf will stretch with a little work.

Don't be concerned if the grass you are stretching toward the mark opens up a little hole behind your tool. Just keep mowing grass further out, back towards the mark.

If the center is high, and soil is near the surface use the prongs on their side and push that soil straight down.

Don't be afraid to use your thumbs to help knit the turf, and level it down toward to center of the mark.

If its good for the left side, you know its good for the right side!

Continue your ball mark tool to stretch the turf and you thumbs to work it how you want it.

So, not pretty, but we have closed up 95% of the improperly repaired can see I have stretched turf from 3 or so inches away, toward the mark.

But, WE ARE NOT DONE!! if you walk away now, all your work will be WORSE than having done nothing! Working the turf the way we have has left the entire area slightly high.

It must be tapped down with the bottom of your putter. Do it many times as this area is much larger than the bottom of your putter, so move it around and keep tamping. Don't be afraid of using too much down force, firm is the key to success!! And don't bother stepping on it, the soft spikes will stop the bottom of your shoe from leveling and firming the area!

So here is my finished repair. And your right, its not perfect (mostly because this was not a fresh ball mark). We actually have a small seed bottle we use to add seed to this area to help the recovery! So there we have it. see the before picture below.

So here is a refresher of key points.

1. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER lift up the center of you ball mark!

2. Work the surrounding turf in toward the center of the ball mark.

3. Don't just move the turf that is within a half inch of the mark, keep moving out stretching the grass much further out toward your ball mark.

4. Always firmly tap the entire area with the bottom of your putter!