Monday, May 30, 2011

Big Break Whitevale

This past weekend we held the Big Break for the Juniors up on the driving range. The weather cooperated and it was a great day. Congratulations to the winners of each event. The winners have been documented and we are going to post the results of the big break, and the Junior Opening tournament as they related to the Junior Cup (our version of the FedEx Cup) which runs season long. The winner at the end of the year will get a handsome prize and of course, bragging rights.

The point of the Junior Cup and the Big Break is to try to genuinely increase participation in

events. I say genuinely because having parents force their kids to play may get them out is not a

recipe for success (unless you are a Tiger Mother)

The first event held was the infamous glass breaking. Juniors had 60 seconds to hit as many balls as they could to try and put as many through the window as possible. The winner was Brad Haley with an impressive 5 broken windows.

The second event was the Flop Wall. An intimidating shot with a 8 foot tall by 8 foot wide white wall blocking your view of the pin. While under construction some were worried this task would prove too formidable for the youngsters, I wasn’t worried at all. The Juniors dominated this event. We had a two way tie for first, and a 10 way tie for second.

The third event was the ‘obstacle’. A giant wedge in front of the players forcing them to hit a

cut or draw around it at the pin. This proved to be a good test for the Juniors. The winner was Ryan Brewer hitting a draw around the obstacle to 8 feet, narrowly edging out Mark Wodz who hit it to 8 feet 6 inches.

Finally a putting competition was held on the putting green. An incredible point total of 25 was achieved by Daniel Brunato.

We hope everyone had fun playing these events. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help from Captain Debbie Couch, and her husband Chris Couch. Junior and logistics professional

Luke Tanfield. As well as Volunteer dad Wade Brackenbury and flop wall erector Peter Garvey and Paul Dobneras well as the entire Pro-shop Staff that day.

See everyone at the Junior clinics - Every Saturday in June

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Monday Madness

Hello again member's of Whitevale, It's Huge Jazz here. I had originally planned on making postings relatively often, but I have to admit I didn't realize what a huge commitment it was to become one of the greens maintenance staff here. You may already know but we work 12 days in a row before we get two days off! Then another 12 days on! Don't get me wrong.....I'm not complaining! But I am tired. And I am enjoying myself.

So when I actually tried to log back on for a update earlier this week, I found that all the security and fire walls had been changed! So it took me about 15 minutes longer to get through the new security software but I told you I would. For the guys that are putting up these firewalls - -I'll give you some advice - - using the password "whitevale" is about as secure as the Canadian border - -amateurs!

Anyway thought you should all know that Rennie has been acting weird all spring. I can't figure out if this is his normal personality, or if it's the stress of the job. But he's always talking to himself, or maybe he thinks there are people around him he's talking to. It's more of a constant incoherent mumble than talking really. Senior staff seem to be able to read him like a book because some days they talk to him and joke around, and other days they avoid him like the plague!

But I have to tell you, this morning after we all left the shop to start work I had to double back to get something I forgot when I heard all this yelling. Turns out it was Rennie! He was at his desk yelling at his computer, and hanging onto it like Homer hangs onto Bart around the neck (if you are familiar with The Simpson's). And he's screaming "go away, leave me alone" Then he yells "why are you doing this to me"?

I stick my head in his office and ask him "are you OK"? but he does not acknowledge me at all. I pulled out my cell phone and snapped this picture.........then got the hell out of there!

I could see the reflection in a picture on the wall behind him and he was looking at a radar image on the weather network. Later on, I was thinking he might have been yelling at another storm cell that did give us more rain later. Even as I drove away he was still yelling! I'm honestly starting to think he maybe going mad.

At some point he did leave the office cause I saw him running around the course on his cart the way he does. At one point he was scouting one of the greens for disease which I was at and he's mumbling to himself again. Over and over he's saying the same thing.

"Soft wet greens....I'll never get them stimping above 6"! He just kept repeating it over and over. This time I ignored him (not wanting to make eye contact with him) and just kept on working as if he wasn't even there. And I have no idea what "stimping 6" means..........I wonder if his wife Marge understands his ramblings?

At the end of the morning as we were all cleaned up and getting ready to head home for the day, Rennie was pacing the yard and all of a sudden his demeanor changes completely. He stops dead in his tracks, and I hear him say "That's it, it's the pins! It's been the pins all along" now he's got this weird giggle, or chuckle going on, but NOT a normal laugh at all. He continues, "it's always been the pins, why didn't I see it before"? At this point he's far enough away I can't hear anything he's saying. But just before I left for the day I had to ask Rennie if I can leave a little early one day this week for a dentist appointment so I went to see him in his office, but when I arrived Mickey was already there and I have no idea what Rennie told Mickey, but Mickey sounded nervous, and was trying to talk Rennie out of something. Mickey's voice was low as I think he was trying to calm this mad man down "I think it's a really bad idea Blair".

"I don't care" Rennie barks...."We can't be stimping 6" (What the heck does "stimping 6" even mean?)

Mickey continues to voice his concern with what ever Rennie has told him, and finally Mickey gives up one last attempt. "You don"t even have time tomorrow" Mickey says

"We're punching tees all week, and you know how much time that takes up! You just don't have enough time"! At this point Mickey see me standing just outside the office door, and gives me a look which made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I decided to get the heck out of there and approach Rennie another day. Just as I was about to turn I hear Rennie say, "your right Mick, no time"

I see Mickey breath a huge sigh of relief. "Good"! Mick Says. I can see his body relax.

"But we're not punching Next Monday, are we Mick"? says Rennie

Mickey, swallows hard. "Ummm no, we're not, but Blair you can't, you just can't, we've never done anything like this before!" I don't think Rennie even heard Mick at this point.

"Alright then, Monday June 6th"

"The members will never forget Monday June 6th 2011"

"Everyone who plays this place next Monday will never never forget that day for the rest of the season"! says Rennie, as he's laughing and chuckling to himself and for the first time this season I think I see him crack a smile.

At this point I'm just trying to fly under the radar and get out before he sees me. Trying to get out of there before Rennie knows I've heard all this.

The last thing I hear is Rennie chuckling and mumbling:

"Monday Madness.....Monday Madness.....Monday Madness"

So I don't know exactly what this mad man is going to do on June 6th.....but something BIG is going down, and I can tell you even Mickey is scared!

If I find out anything more, I'll let you know. lets hope the masterminds behind this blog don't change to password to something tough like "Golf".

Friday, May 27, 2011


A long time ago I learned that being optimistic, as opposed to pessimistic has a lot of advantages. And perhaps more importantly, you'll have more friends because people want to be around positive happy people more than they want to be hanging with whiners and complainers that have nothing good to say. But having said that, I also try to be a realist. I don't believe we can be true to our family and friends, or successful in our jobs if we are oblivious to the truth. And this spring has been a bit of a test!
So, without complaining, lets look at the current spring conditions.

Wet is a bit of an understatement. We have recorded just over 4 inches of rain since the 16th of May. And if we look back in our records to April 10th, we have recorded over 9 inches of rain.....................Awesome EH? At least the aerification healed quickly........right?

What a difference a year makes. A very quick comparison to the spring of 2010 for a second.
Last year, in the first 8 days after we pressurized the irrigation system, ( which is in the first week of April) we had already put out more water (144,271 gallons more) onto the golf course than we have for this entire spring. With only a few days left in May, we have put out 343,950 gallons, compare that to 4.99 Million gallons at the same time last year!
But........... I'm NOT complaining! It's still way better to be wet........... than dead, whether you are a human...........or turf grass!

And you know what else? It wasn't that many years ago that I sat through meeting after meeting hearing about how lousy the rough was. members won't believe this, but if you were here before 2005, you know! We talked a lot about how much it would cost to totally tear up the rough and re-sod everything to try to get the turf thicker. I remember saying, "Once we get the double row irrigation system in, lets feed it and see what happens". It took a while to get the funds approved to buy the fertilizer, but we did!
Funny how we don't hear that song about lousy thin rough anymore.

And between the thick rough, and the wet conditions, we have actually had to push mow areas that are too soft to get the mowers on.

Good thing Steve was in a good mood when I sent him out to start push mowing 40 acres of wet rough. Some areas in fairways will have to be mowed with walker tee mowers set at fairway height if things do not improve early next week.

Now I know what is on your mind. You show up to play golf only to hear "NO CARTS TODAY"!

And your a little Pis........I mean, disappointed. But you throw the bag on your shoulders and head to the tee. You hit a half decent drive, and start sludging through the slop we are currently calling rough.

A few holes into your game and your thinking, Man I could use a beer...............but that damn Superintendent said "NO CARTS".............which also means no bevy BEER!

But low and behold a few more holes in and what do you see? Maintenance workers...........driving carts.........and mowers..........others driving equipment blowing clippings! And you think to yourself...............WTF?..............which for you non "texting" people is short for "Whys that fine"? Well, we don't really thinks it's "fine" to be out there with the equipment in such wet conditions, but we have little choice. We are not going to get away with not mowing all these areas until thing dry and firm up. The mowers are getting jammed up with the long wet grass as it is, and if we don't disperse the clippings with blowers we'll never get through it next time we mow. But if it's OK for all my equipment to be out there, why not the bevy cart?

Well first of all we have many areas we train the staff they have to avoid, and every morning starts with a detailed meeting of where staff can, and can not go, and an update on changes to the normal procedures, but for the areas we have to go into, we have an advantage you may be completely oblivious to.

But lets look at what causes the's not the bevy cart.....specifically.......but the tires. This is a picture of the tire on the bevy cart. Right about 7 and a half inches wide.

Now if we compare that to the tires on one of my mowers, what do you notice?

This tire is almost twice as wide. It acts like a snowshoe spreading the weight out and making it float on the turf, by spreading the weight out over twice the area, reducing.........but not eliminating the damage. Think the Bevy cart is light? not even close! with all the beverages and ice it carries, it is as heavy as my large equipment.

The simple act of driving in the wrong area, has severe consequences. On a daily basis we see the damage to cart path edges where people don't keep all four tires completely on the path!

This area at 9 green is badly damage just because tires are coming off the path slightly. The weight of the Bevy cart would do far more damage, and it has a very good chance of finding a soft spot and getting stuck up to the frame.

Here is a good example of what many areas would look like if we let carts go out in this weather.
The long range forecast is still for a HOT and DRY summer, so maybe we should enjoy the cool wet conditions while we have it.

And finally, The large Siberian Elm which was removed from the east side of the 7th red and yellow tees has left a lack of protection for members who use these forward tee to hide behind. I encourage everyone to take the courtesy cart to the back tees while people are hitting. We have put up a safety screen in the short term. Our plan is to plant a number of trees back into the same general location sometime this fall which will regain the barrier we had.

Men's League Draft

The first Men's League Team draft was held on Wednesday May 25th following the opening Men's Night Shot Gun.

I know this looks like the Junior/ Senior event but.....

Team Captain's and Vice Captain's were chosen from similar handicap factor ranges. This year the Captain's were able to select their Team players from within preselected brackets which were based upon the players handicap factors.

The sign up for this year has been outstanding with 164 players committed to play compared to 90 last year. We have 12 Teams this year with 8 of the teams having 14 players on the roster and 4 teams with 13 players. (So if you know someone who would still like to participate then let us know in the Pro Shop).

The lottery for first selection went to Peter Schuch. With the first overall pick he selected Heinz Ludwig. The draft took approximately 40 minutes and it was fun seeing the Captain's strategies in building their Teams. Some were getting text messages at the draft table with suggestions! The Phil Kessel award goes to John Eales! (Your new car oops - I mean Leaf Hat is the Pro Shop!)

Some interesting stats - after the draft was completed the Teams were remarkably balanced. The total team handicap ranged from 153 to 162 and the average team handicap range was from 11.86 to 12.32.

The League starts next week and will run for an 11 week round robin followed by a 3 week playoff.

The player lists are being entered as I write this and will be posted shortly.
Go to the Men's League website -

Please read what is new for 2011 and the posted rules on the previous on the Men's League website blog.

Have a wonderful season.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Junior Break Break!!

Special Report from Junior Convener

Nick Iordanis

For those of you who have not watched the "Big Break" on the Golf Channel before, it is a golf reality show where golfers compete in competitions to stay on the show. The last golfer standing wins the ultimate prize of cash, an equipment deal and some sponsors exemptions on some Nationwide Tour events. We thought it would be a good way to engage the Juniors in competition while at the same time working on their skills. Unfortunately Captain Couch did not offer us any Cash, equipment deals or sponsors exemptions, but we are working on it.

We started by borrowing a friends Mitre Saw and Weimereiner.

The dog was more for supervision and to chase down any fingers we cut off with the Saw. Luckily, the dog ended up just supervising.

We planned on building three pieces, one of which will be used twice, so we are planning four events. The most famous event on the tv show is the "Pain in the Glass" where contestants have to hit a punch shot and knock out a pain of glass in a window frame downrange. Using 2"x2" I managed to create a window frame which is about two square feet with a four foot tall stand. At first I was worried about the size of the window being too big or too small but it turned out to be quite nice.

One issue was going to be transport. In order to make the frames easy to put up and take down, bolts were used instead of permanently screwing them together.

The second piece made was a bit more cumbersome. The flop wall, which will be altered into the Limbo, is essentially an 8 foot tall 8 foot wide wall. The idea is for players to flop a ball over the wall onto a green and finish out. For the Limbo, the bottom half of the wall would be removed to create a gap in which players would have to punch a shot under towards a target.

We also have started building an "Obstacle" which is a giant wedge placed in front of a specific tee spot forcing players to shape shots with draws and slices around the wedge. (Pictured is one half of the obstacle).

While some of these Big Break pieces seem to be a bit serious for the Juniors, the point of them is to make the shots fun and challenging. If a junior does not know how to shape shots, or hit knock downs, this is an engaging opportunity for them to learn in a fun way.

The Junior Whitevale Big Break will take place prior to the Junior Opening on Saturday May 28th at 2pm, tee times for the 9 hole Junior Opening start at 3:45pm, followed by dinner.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jazz Night

This past Friday we held the first Mix N Mingle Social Event of the year.

Jazz Night was a huge success with close to 100 members and guest enjoying the special 3 course prix-fixe menu by Chef Andrew and the Larry Bond Quartet providing the evenings entertainment.

After a few glasses of vino, Bob will hug just about anyone.

Michelle wins again - Is it just me or does she seem to win something at every social event?

A special thank you to our new Social Director Lori Sheffield for such a great evening.

Don't forget our next event is a Whitevale Tradition!


June 17, 2011 - reserve your table soon and support our team as the play as many rounds of golf in a day as possible. all to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Spring Derby - Makes History!

The 2011 Spring Derby was a historic event! For the first time ever, the Derby ended in a tie for first place. Congratulations to all the Teams who made this one of the closest Derby races. The top 3 teams were separated by 1 point!!

The weekend weather was a story because of how good it was compared to the gloom and doom forecast we had all week. We had a slight interruption in play on Monday afternoon due to a passing thunderstorm.

The Winning Teams:

1st - Tie - 64 Pts - Wayne Carpenter, Heinz Ludwig, Bob Grandmaitre, Michael Kearney
- Kandice and Wade Brackenbury, Donna Power and Anne Trimble

3rd - 63 Pts - Josh Hewitt, Craig Ferns, Mike Karl, Mark Burrell

4th - 57.5 Pts - Adam Hudson, Don O'Brien, Pat Scanga, Paul Stephenson and Al Billington

5th - Tie -59 Pts - Shirley Hughes, Rich Hughes, Al Kershaw, Stephen Phinney, Kevin Hughes

6th - Tie 49 Pts -John Trimble, Dennis Matton, Jim Orr, Kim Blake
- John Toman, Paul Lacour, Louis de Carvalho, Manny Da Costa

Day 3 Results

There was also a tie for the lead with this tough final day format.

1st - Tie - 204 Pts - Dave Myrvold, Pat Burrel, Jerry Kimber, Ray Northey
- Adam Hudson, Don O'Brien, Paul Stephenson, Al Billington

3rd - 207 Pts - Wade and Kandice Brackenbury, Donna Power, Anne Trimble

4th - 209 Pts - Barry Catterall, Cam Hreljac, Glen Mackie, Dave Walker

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spring Derby - Day Two

Day Two Results

Day Winners
1st - 118.5 Pts - Josh Hewitt, Mike Karl, Craig Ferns, Mark Burrell
2nd - 119.5 Pts - Wayne Carpenter, Heinz Ludwig, Bob Grandmaitre, Iain Carruthers
3rd - 120 Pts - Wade and Kandice Brackenbury, Anne Trimble, Donna Power

Overall Leaders

1st - 46 Pts - Team Carpenter
2nd - 45 Pts - Team Hewitt
3rd - 43 Pts - Team Hughes
4th - 42 Pts - Team Brackenbury

Good Luck on Day 3

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spring Derby

It what may be the best day of the season to date the Spring Derby kicked off!

The bags for the afternoon draw await

What pin would you attack?

Day one winners:

1st - 101 Quota Pts - Adam Hudson, Don O'Brien, Paul Stephenson, Al Billington

2nd - 99 Pts - Wayne Carpenter, Bob Grandmatre, Heinz Ludwig, Michael Kearney

3rd - 98 Pts - Shirley Hughes, Rich Hughes, Kevin Hughes , Stephen Phinney

4th - 97 Pts - John Toman, Paul Lacour, Manny Da Costa, Luis de Carvalho

Good Luck to all on Day Two!

Hole in One

The second hole in one of the season was recorded on Friday afternoon. Brian Ferguson holed out on the 14th hole stealing the coveted parking spot from his playing partner Jay Davis.

I don't don't about you - - but I'm playing my next round with these guys - - seems they have some kind of magic happening.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Demo Days Are Here!

The weather will hopefully turn around soon and we can get out to the range to try some of the exciting new products.

May 20th - Friday - Taylor Made - 12 to 5 (you have probably seen the white drivers on Tour)

June 1st - Wednesday - Callaway - 12 to 6 ( new Razor line of woods and irons)

June 2nd - Thursday - Mizuno - 12 to 6 (they have an excellent line of irons!)

June 3rd - Friday - Ping - 12 to 5 ( the new K line of clubs plus the new Faith women's clubs)

June 8th - Wednesday - Titleist - 12 to 5 ( their new 910 woods and hybrids are outstanding)

We will be adding more Demo Days and Fitting Days to the calendar from these and other club makers.

For more information please contact the Pro Shop.


The weather has not exactly cooperated as much as we would have liked for the aerification of greens. Normally our plan is to aerify, and top dress 9 greens on Monday, and the other 9 on Tuesday. With 2 inches of rain over the weekend, and the cloud and drizzle experienced yesterday, and again this morning, the whole process has been slower and a little messier than it would under ideal conditions. But we continued on with the process knowing this would be better than closing the course for two more days when the weather improves.
Because we could not get the sand top dressing started yesterday morning due to the weather, we kept the aerification going and finished aerifying all 19 greens by the end of the day. After lunch yesterday the weather improved slightly and we did get started the top dressing but did not get too far. Even though the rain continues to threaten we started the top dressing first thing today and are currently hopeful the weather holds so we can get the majority of the sand down today.

This is the machine which applies the top dressing. We can get the sand applied without too much problem even when things are a little damp. The challenge comes when we try to brush the sand into the holes. Wet sand is sticky and is not easy to work with! After we drag a brush around knocking most of the sand into the open holes, we then use a tool called a level lawn.

This tool levels out the green by knocking the sand into low spots. The entire green surface is gone over with the level lawns.

Lines of heavier sand visible here are because these areas are low so more sand is left behind than on the areas around it. There is no question this process makes putting very bump in the short term. In 7 to 10 days the greens should be completely healed.

In the mean time, thank you all for your patients and cooperation!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mothers Day

A special thank you to everyone who attended our Mothers day brunch and dinner this year. It was our most successfull Mothers day ever with over 70 people for brunch and over 130 for dinner.

After Brunch a little putting lesson from Dad always helps work off dessert.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Men's Opening Field Day

Under perfect conditions the 2011 Men's Opening Field day took place on April 30th. 144 men palyed in the event, with the team of Dane Wolfe, Steve, Cooper, Howard Kirke and Bryan Ramsey claiming the title with a blistering score of 58.87. Well Done guys!
Second place went to the team of: Mike Lindsay, Al Swartz, Ron Stoneburgh and Dale Struthers with a score of 60. Third place was the team of Mike "Spike" McGarragle, Tom Olidis, Will Harris and Bob Store with a score of 61. 25. Congratualtions to the winners and thanks to everyone who played. Putting is always the key in this event.

And sometimes a little dance while your teammate is lining up his putt helps.

Your starting offensive line for the Arogo's

Picture perfect!