All our golf clubs take the upkeep and aethestics of their grounds very seriously. However, sometimes it is hard to balance aethestics with the best practices for the environment.
The award-winning Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses offers a certification program aimed at working with golf courses to protect the environment, all the while keeping true to the game of golf. In order to become certified, golf courses need to demonstrate environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation and water quality management.
For the past four years, ClubCorp’s Oak Pointe Country Club in Brighton, Mich. has been working on getting their Audubon certification. Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of Agronomy and Oak Pointe Director of Agronomy Charles Fort and other staff members started the process slow and steady but it wasn’t until an Oak Pointe Member, Dr. Michael Britt, got involved that the ball really started rolling. The Club’s certification relied heavily on community and Member involvement and projects by groups such as the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, who planted annuals and made bluebird boxes.
According to Fort, they went through Audubon’s list of priorities and became certified after selecting and completing specific projects that were best for Oak Pointe. Since the Club has a lot of marsh, water conservation and water quality management were two main points of focus for them.
“It is something that would not have happened if it weren’t for Dr. Britt,” Fort said. “He took it over and really wanted to be involved and get more members involved. We both decided to go at it 100% and we’ve gotten even more volunteers since we’ve gotten our certification.”
Oak Pointe is a 36-hole golf club, with two beautiful and now Audubon-certified 18-hole courses designed by notorious architects: the Honors course designed by Arthur Hills and the Championship Course, re-designed by Jerry Matthews.
Last week, Sept. 5-9, was the 2012 Acura ClubCorp Team Championship at Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas.
Most participants arrived Tuesday or Wednesday night for the practice round during the day and the welcome reception on Wednesday evening.
Members and Employee Partners loved the chance to stay in the same hotel, and the ability to conveniently walk down to all of the competitions and festivities. The days were hot, but the heat didn’t take away from the event and Saturday morning was much cooler, hitting the mid 80s at the end of the day and creating a comfortable end to the tournament. Barton Creek is surrounded by Texas' beautiful hill country and many attendees brought their spouses, who could relax and sightsee when they weren't cheering on their favorite teams.
Canyon Crest Country Club in Riverside, Calif. clinched the win in an exciting three-hole playoff between a team from Canyon Crest and a team from Canyon Creek Country Club in Richardson, Texas. Canyon Crest got an edge by recording a birdie on the third hole in the playoff, where Canyon Creek made par.
This year’s Championship had a few notable firsts. In the tournament’s 26-year run, this was the first time Canyon Crest had won the event. Additionally, it was also the first time a female pro has won the tournament along with her team. We want to extend a hearty congratulations to Jennifer Dolph and the rest of Team One from Canyon Crest on reaching these Championship milestones. Additionally, congratulations to Bob Blumberg, a Member at The Clubs of Kingwood, on his hole-in-one on Sept. 6.
The rest of the tournament was tight and close. The evenutal third through sixth place teams all tied for third place at the end of the third round with a score of 174. In a scorecard play-off, East Lake Woodlands Country Club from Tampa Bay, Fla. took third, Trophy Club Country Club from Trophy Club, Texas took fourth, Canyon Gate Country Club from Las Vegas took fifth and Treesdale Golf and Country Club from Gibsonia, Pa. finished in sixth.
ClubCorp was honored to have so many outstanding sponsors at this year's Team Championship. The title sponsor was Acura, spoiling the attendees with two-hour test "Guest" drives in a brand new Acura during their stay at Barton Creek and offering a grand prize of the use of an Acura for one year, which was won by Adam Tamas, a Member at Granite Bay Country Club in Granite Bay, Calif.
Another lucky winner, Tom Reed, a Member from River Creek Club in Leesburg, Virginia won a three-day stay at the Lodge at Doonbeg with two rounds of golf on a Greg Norman course for shooting closest to the pin.
During the Saturday night awards dinner, Chuck Feddersen, Regional Vice President, Golf & Country Clubs Division, and Cathy Harbin, Vice President, Golf Revenue, presented all of the additional awards and prizes, including Bennelli shotguns, a four-day golf-and-fishing stay at Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge in Pierre, South Dakota, presented by the Wyoming Club; Maui Jim sunglasses, Foot Joys My Joys golf shoes; Greg Normans golf shirts; Crocs golf shoes; a Disney trip, and Golf Buddy Voice and Platinum GPS systems.
Among many other notable sponsors offering prizes and promotions were Callaway Golf, Nike, TaylorMade adidas Golf, Seabourn and Titleist.
Annually, over the past 14 years, regional vice presidents have nominated exemplary chefs from their area to travel to Napa Valley, California on a vendor-sponsored incentive trip to learn from the best at the Culinary Institute of America.
The trips focus on culinary and wine education for the chefs, who attend classes for seven to eight hours daily during the week and visit different wineries in the evenings. Fifteen of ClubCorp’s best chefs took part in this year’s trip in August.
The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone in St. Helena, California was formerly an old winery owned by the Christian Brothers before being transformed into a CIA campus offering culinary arts continuing education. Both the exterior and interior of the facility are breathtaking. And since vendors donate their equipment to be used by some of the best chefs in the country, it is home to the most up-to-date and advanced equipment.
This year’s agenda covered some of the new hot topics in the world of culinary arts. One day was dedicated to learning about sous-vide cooking, a method of cooking in plastic bags, and two whole days were spent on charcuterie, a specific preparation of meat. Another popular topic covered was the farm-to-table approach of utilizing local sources for ingredients in the kitchen.
Classes were taught by the senior culinary instructor at Greystone in a private classroom. The chefs were also able to visit many beautiful Napa Valley farms, everything from pig and cattle farms to vegetable and olive farms.
For Jeff Zimmerman, ClubCorp’s director of culinary development, the trip and the opportunity to interact with all the other chefs is always a wonderful experience.
“It’s great to watch the chefs grow and be educated in ways they don’t even know until they return to their clubs,”said Zimmerman. “Every day, everything was about cooking.”
A couple months ago, when General Manager Ben Baskin and Member Relations Director Megan Anthony were brainstorming about new and original events for the Members at Pyramid Club, they came up with the idea for a "Dinner with the General Manager and Chef" on August 8, 2012.
An exquisite business club in Center City Philadelphia, ClubCorp's Pyramid Club offers its' members a fun-filled calendar full of happy hours, mixers and ballroom dancing. Baskin and Anthony weren't sure how many Members would be able to attend the dinner and both were pleasantly surprised at the event's success.
Executive Chef Scott Dalesandro prepared a limited menu with paired wines and gave a description of and answered questions about each of the four courses as they came out. Dalesandro and Baskin sat at the head of the large square table with the 15 Members in attendance.
Like any quality family dinner, during the two-and-a-half-hour dinner everyone had the opportunity to tell their story, how long they've been with the Club and a little bit about themselves. Baskin bought everyone cocktails, briefed the group on exciting upcoming events and asked for suggestions on how the club could become better. At the end, the dinner party gave Chef Dalesandro and Baskin an appreciative round of applause.
A second Dinner with the Staff at Pyramid Club is in the works for the upcoming months.
Since 1985, ClubCorp’s Columbia Tower Club has offered its’ Members and their guests one of the best and most breathtaking views of Seattle. For lunch you can dine while looking out over the Puget Sound and for dinner and late night drinks you can watch from 76 floors above as the sun sets on Seattle and the city bursts into sparkling lights.
As one of the many ClubCorp Clubs undergoing a reinvention, Columbia Tower Club is caught in a state of change, currently eight weeks away from completion. However, according to Club General Manager Tommy Trause, Members and visitors should still expect the same amount of “clubbyness” and connectivity but a whole new and improved clubhouse.
“It’s like they've been driving a Model T and we’re giving them a Ferrari,” Trause said. “It goes on the same road but besides that it is a complete game changer.”
Trause is proud that they were able to maintain the lobby function, so Members can still see others come in and out and easily interact with one another. Once inside the clubhouse, Trause said, Members can sit at the communal table, grab a newspaper or the communal guitar or they can start up a game of monopoly or chess and enjoy an interactive, different lunch break or happy hour.
Or if they prefer, Members can choose more private seating with floor-to-ceiling windows to marvel at their city while enjoying the fine cuisine and Enomatic Wine System or local beer.
After their reinvention, watch out for a new library nook under the stairs and binoculars on all of the tables with accompanying maps of the area.
“The new clubhouse is now going to push us to perform better,” Trause said.
The ClubCorp family is proud to show off two members who were recently honored by various sections and chapters of the PGA:
Hollytree Country Club’s very own Director of Golf John Sikes was recently named 2012 Teacher of the Year by both the Northern Texas PGA Section and the East Texas Chapter.
Sikes started golfing when he was six years old.
"Golf, and all the great character traits it teaches you, has meant so much to me," Sikes said.
Sikes has won chapter awards for several consecutive years and will now be able to add a section award to the lineup.
"People who really love their job dont need awards," Sikes said. "Its enough that you get to do what you love so when you get an award you are really honored."
As far as teaching goes, Sikes said it's something special to instill confidence and help people do something they want to do without being embarrassed.
The Northern Texas PGA Section Awards Banquet is scheduled for February 24, 2013.
Because of her lifetime of dedication to the game of golf and its future, Cathy Harbin, ClubCorp Vice President, Golf Revenue, was inducted into the North Florida PGA Hall of Fame earlier this year.
When Harbin joined ClubCorp in early 2012, she brought more than 20 years of quality experience to the company.
Harbin accepted her plaque at the 2012 PGA Championship on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
Last Friday, August 24, 2012, La Cima Club in Irving, Texas participated in the sixth annual ClubCorp Charity Classic with “A Night in Tuscany”, a fun-filled philanthropic night of auctions and wine-tasting that raised more than $40,000 for three different charities.
Twenty-six floors above the historic Mustangs of Las Colinas, with a stunning panoramic view of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, La Cima Club was bustling during the event, which was open to the public and welcomed more than 300 attendees.
“We’re thrilled to be able to open our club to the community during this exciting event,” said Mike Goff, general manager at the Club. “It is an honor to be a part of this ClubCorp tradition.”
After the elevator doors opened, attendees were given a passport to fill with stamps from the six tasting stations. Each station had two Italian wines from different regions, one red and one white, and once your passport was filled, your name was entered into a raffle.
According to Lauren Waddell, member relations director for La Cima, the chefs who prepared the hor d’oeuvres were given the wines in advance and paired them with the various dishes to be served that evening, such as flat-breads, seafood and cheeses.
Another element of the event was the silent and live auction, which Waddell said was extremely successful and competitive, with a very animated auctioneer and participants outbidding each other up until the very last second. Included in the items up for auction were all-inclusive trips to resorts and vacation destinations.
But it wasn't all wine and vacations, gourmet cake, a sweet addition to the tasting, was also up for auction. Nothing Bundt Cakes, a bakery with locations nationwide was at the event, letting attendees taste their cakes and donating a year of monthly cakes as an item for the auction.
As part of ClubCorp’s Charity Classic, the money raised during the event was donated to three charities: the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Augie’s Quest, ClubCorp’s Employee Partners Care Foundation and the local charity SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center.
SpiritHorse, out of Corinth, Texas, is the only center in the nation providing free private horseback-riding therapy to hundreds of people in need, namely those diagnosed with autism. However, their services, which make an impacting difference in the lives of over 400 families weekly, depend solely on donations like the ones made by "A Night in Tuscany" attendees.
Since its inception in 2007, ClubCorp’s Charity Classic has raised close to $8 million for multiple charities. This year’s Charity Classic combines the efforts of more than 125 of our golf, country, business and sports clubs nationwide for a wonderful variety of philanthropic events like “A Night in Tuscany”.
From August 16-19, The Midwest Classic returned for the second year to the outskirts of Kansas City, Kan. to Overland Park’s beautiful Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate.
The Club was honored to welcome the Web.com Tour’s Midwest Classic golfers, and proud that this well-known and dynamic caravan again chose LionsGate, a classic Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, as their green.
On his website, the course’s designer and golfing giant Jack Nicklaus said LionsGate is “outstanding for several reasons, including its beautiful views, rolling fairways and capability to challenge both the amateur and the seasoned golfer. The course’s appeal to a wide range of golfers is due in part to the four sets of tees used to vary distance and angle to the green.”
The ultimate victory went to Web.com tour rookie, 30-year-old Houston native, Shawn Stefani. At the end, Stefani clenched the win and $99,000 in prize money, finishing two whole strokes ahead of Russell Henley and Luke List, who tied for second place. Because of his victory, which rocketed Stefani from 67th to 12th place on the 2012 Web.com Tour, the Tour’s website said Stefani may earn a cherished chance to be on next year’s PGA TOUR.
The Midwest Classic is one of 29 tournaments played worldwide on the Web.com Tour, an organization owned and operated by the PGA TOUR and serves as a springboard for some of the world’s most decorated and renowned players.
Click here to see pictures from the event!
Get Golf Ready is a PGA initiative supported by ClubCorp that gives beginning golfers the instruction they need to play the game in just 5 affordable lessons. To get set up with Get Golf Ready sessions at a ClubCorp club, call the club's pro shop or visit the PGA's website at getgolfready.com. Here are the second of two great videos about the program:
Get Golf Ready is a PGA initiative supported by ClubCorp that gives beginning golfers the instruction they need to play the game in just 5 affordable lessons. To get set up with Get Golf Ready sessions at a ClubCorp club, call the club's pro shop or visit the PGA's website at getgolfready.com. Here are the first of two great videos about the program: