Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Brief Look Back at 2016

It's been a wild year with lots of highs and lows, but in the end we are ahead of where we started and excited for what 2017 brings...

Weather Ups and Downs

The warmest December on record allowed us to play golf in shorts a year ago.  We even pulled in staff to mow greens daily between Christmas and New Year's Day.  The deepest snow on record in Fawn Lake soon followed.  March was hot, April was cold, May brought 22 rainy days, June was normal, July through October was the hottest on record, November was bone dry, and now December is here with frozen ground.  A year full of extremes made 2016 the most challenging season of my career.

Staff Ups and Downs

In June we suffered a major blow with the sudden passing of Gene Thompson, our equipment manager. Many of you knew Gene, but all of you benefited from his handiwork maintaining the large
fleet of equipment we rely on daily.  After a month of very long and stressful hours trying to take up the slack on equipment upkeep, we found Mike Campbell.  Mike has been, without a doubt, the brightest part of our year.   He moved his wife and daughter from Roanoke to join our team after having been with Hidden Valley Country Club and The Pete Dye River Course for the past 7 years.  I am proud to have him on our team and I hope that you will all take a moment to sneak by our office to meet him this winter.

Another "new" employee on our team is actually a seasoned veteran who lost 160 pounds in the past year. Without going into too much detail Shane Snyder, who is one of our most dependable team members, decided that he was not happy with his weight.  He put forth one of the most amazing efforts I've ever witnessed losing 160 pounds over the past year.  Shane is on a mission and he's winning big.   Give him a high five the next time you see him.

Accomplishments(to name a few)...

  1. removed roughly 75 dead trees
  2. renovated one bunker on hole 8 and topped off others on holes 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, and 18
  3. replaced 90 irrigation heads around greens
  4. implemented a new cart traffic strategy and eliminated hundreds of stakes and a mile of rope
  5. completed our second full year of a new aeration strategy which reduces labor and recovery (we'll continue to monitor this closely to see if it is sustainable)
  6. instituted a new staffing strategy in an effort to accomplish more work ahead of play 
  7. treated 20 acres of rough to a program designed to eradicate unwanted bermuda grass
  8. re-grassed the front two tee boxes on #13 with 007 bentgrass 
  9. removed the unsightly landscape bed at the practice tee and replaced it with zoysia grass
  10. removed the unsightly landscape bed at #13 tee and replaced it with wildflowers and fescue
  11. began converting the green surround at #2 to zoysia 
  12. created a zoysia "nursery" in the far right rough on #9
The wheels never stop turning in our quest to improve the course and grounds.  We'll keep brainstorming and finding new and better ways to do things.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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