Friday, August 22, 2014

Three Things You Can Do!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Friday, August 22nd and I would like to share something with you I hope you find helpful.  Many of you know Robert Smith, but in case you do not allow me to introduce him to you.  
Robert Smith

Robert has been a member of Carolina Golf Club for the past 18 years.  He is currently a freshman member of the Board of Governors elected at the Annual Meeting earlier this year.  Robert has previously served on both the Golf and House Committees prior to his recent election to the board, and he is currently serving on the Golf Committee again.  Recently Robert was asked to join the Greens Committee by chairman Stephen Woodard to fill a void created by the departure of member Alex Yates (Alex and his wife relocated to Nashville).  Since joining the committee a month ago, Robert has found himself looking at things differently and recently we shared the following conversation:

Robert:  "Matthew, I find myself paying more attention to the course now than ever before and I have been telling guys I regularly play with to do things like watch where they park and where they walk on and off the putting greens."

Me:  "That's great!  It is always nice when members take the time to notice the little things that can make a big difference."

Robert:  "I also noticed all the new sod you and your staff installed, and I started thinking, what are some things we as members can do to help you and your staff better care for the golf course?"

Me:  "Robert, that is a great question!  Why don't you let me address that in the next Greenkeeper!"

Robert:  "I think that is a great idea!"

Of course I had a list of things to share with you, but I thought I would give my peers a chance to weigh in on the subject as well.  Yesterday I solicited their help with the following:

Well, I guess everyone must have been busy tending to their own golf courses so I am flying solo here.  When it comes to the things members can do to help us better care for Carolina Golf Club here are some ideas.  This list also applies to any person playing golf on any course around the world.  Many of these you have probably seen or heard before, as they are simply parts of basic course etiquette, but a refresher never hurts.

  • Treat the golf course with respect.
    • A golf course is a living, breathing thing and if you treat her kindly she will be kind to you.  Repair your ball marks on the putting surfaces, smooth and rake your footprints from the sand bunkers, and fill/replace your divots on tees and in fairways.
  • Observe and follow posted rules and guidelines.
    • This mostly refers to the operation of golf cars.  Do not operate golf cars in areas where they are not permitted (e.g., natural/native areas, rough).  Do not drive too closely around putting greens and tees.  Remain only on the paved paths when not permitted on the playing surfaces.  Whenever possible avoid travelling through high traffic zones and low-lying or wet areas.  When parking make sure to keep all 4 tires on the paths.
  • Understand that if stakes and ropes are present, they are there to prevent you from potentially damaging a sensitive area.
    • Vary your normal route and go around stakes and ropes, do not step over or on them.
I could list more, but if you only do those three things you will begin to develop a greater sense of awareness.  You will learn to recognize how common behavior and traffic patterns affect the quality of the playing surfaces at your course.  The answer to Robert's question is really simple, learn how your behavior impacts the playing surfaces on your golf course, then alter your behavior to where your impact is only a positive one!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS

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