by Brian Duthu
Total rounds played for March were slightly ahead of last year (127), as the executive courses continue to pick up play from those golfers dispersed by the North renovation. Each of the regulation courses played to near capacity, with each regulation course recording more than 7,000 rounds. For the year, over 124,000 rounds have been recorded at our courses; 96% of these rounds have been played by Cardholders and their guests. Annual passes offered to our members remain popular; 52% of the rounds played were played by pass holders. The average green fee of a pass holder is just under $11, a great golf bargain.
Recent changes to the ranger program seem to have produced increased participation in the program. Though we have not seen a large influx in the number of rangers, the rangers that are participating have volunteered more hours than in previous years. For the first quarter of 2014, rangers volunteered a total of 988.75 hours versus 415.25 hours the previous year. Rangers will soon begin receiving “stars” on their badges to recognize them for their service and commitment to the program. Rangers with three “stars” have completed all of their RCSC customer service training. Through the growing pains of the program, we have not expressed an adequate amount of thanks to those that have volunteered to this very important program. The ranger program would be dead in the water if we did not have volunteers. A big thank you to each and every ranger that has donated time this year.
Planning for the Men’s and Ladies clubs at Riverview during the upcoming renovation is underway. A schedule for the Men’s Club will be developed and will be similar to the one followed by the North Men’s Club this year, with play being conducted on Thursdays. The 9 hole Ladies Club has chosen to join North and will play following the 18 hole group on Tuesdays. A schedule for the Ladies Club to play on Monday is being developed; the Ladies will alternate between Willowcreek and Lakes West. Mixer schedules are also being developed.
Snack shop performance matched pro shops and met budgeted goals. Total revenue for the snack shops finished $1,200 ahead of budget. As play has subsided, snack shops have returned to their normal closing time of 5:00 p.m.
April 7 marked the first visit of two April visits by Tripp Davis to the North Golf Course to review the ongoing renovation work. During the visit, Tripp Davis and Senior Golf Architect Gary Brawley spent much of the time working with Wadsworth Golf Construction’s specialized bunker crew on the methodology and concept for the bunker edges, sand faces, points of access, desired finished look and long term maintenance of the bunker edges. Wadsworth Golf’s crew leader started by taking the direction provided and building a portion of the bunker under the eye of both Tripp and Gary and then followed up by building the rest of the bunker for review by Tripp and Gary at day’s end.
The North project remains on schedule, and is still on schedule for fairways and tees to be overseeded in the first round of courses. As a reminder the greens at North will not be overseeded for the 2014/2015 winter season. This is by plan and designed to not place additional stress on newly planted greens.
With warmer temperatures, more water is being required by the turf. Over the next several weeks you can expect to see more water being applied to the fairways tees and greens, as well as more water being applied to the roughs to help bring them out of dormancy. Maintenance staff will also be out on the course hand watering hot spots. We will still be monitoring wet areas and addressing any issues. The height of the overseed is also being lowered. This promotes the infiltration of light to the Bermuda grass which is currently growing lower than the rye. Getting more sunlight to the Bermuda is crucial during transition so that the Bermuda has a chance to grow. In addition all courses have began to more aggressively brush greens and groom to help in opening up greens for transition.