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 bumps............by 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.