ClubCorp Blog

Name: Brian Ayers

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Residing ClubCorp Club: City Club on Bunker Hill, Los Angeles, Calif.

Career Highlights: I won the Julia Child Scholarship to attend Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris. I did my externship at the The Greenbrier in West Virginia, and then afterwards I spent many years at Lespinasse in New York City.

Other than your chef knife, what is your favorite kitchen tool?: I am a big fan of the tilting brazier.

What had the greatest influence on your culinary career?: Working for Guy Savoy at his flagship restaurant in Paris showed me what was possible if you truly dedicate yourself to excellence.

What is your single favorite ingredient to cook with?: I would say that I get very excited when I am braising lamb shoulder.

What is something about you few people know?: Don’t tell anyone, but I enjoy playing the banjo.

What is one thing that can always be found in your home refrigerator?: Fresh Kimchee. I love the spicy, sour flavor.

If you could cook dinner for anyone, past, present or future, who would it be?: If I could go back in time, I think it would be awesome to cook a huge multi-course meal for Led Zeppelin in their heyday- what a party that would be!

What is your Walter Mitty fantasy?: I picture myself as a weathered adventurer who travels way off the beaten path exploring uncharted country with the unique ability to capture and forage for all necessary provisions and produce world-class cuisine from a camp fire.

What character traits/qualifications/skills make a good chef?: The unwavering ability to strive for improvement in all areas.

What do you like most about working at the City Club on Bunker Hill?: I love the fact that we truly get to know all of our members’ likes and dislikes, it makes it so much easier to hit home-run meals when you truly know your guests.

What do you see as the next big trend in food?: I believe the era of the upscale burger is coming to a close and I can’t wait for the trend in food to swing back to true fine dining, where the bar is raised and every detail is scrutinized.

On Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 105 members and guests came out for the annual Think Pink golf tournament at Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston, raising an estimated $14,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

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The event was hosted by the Club’s Women’s Golf Association and the Bay Oaks Old Boys Society, fittingly known as the BOOBS.

It was a beautiful morning, sunny with a nice breeze, when the group teed off. Almost every shade of pink was worn by the participants and many in the group got very creative with their outfits.

For lunch, the Club prepared pasta with pink sauce, watermelon and signature pink cocktails.

At the end, prizes were awarded for first, second and third places as well as for the most accurate drive, the shot closest to the pin and even for the highest score.

The awards were wine cork necklaces, handmade by a family member of the assistant golf pro.

Since 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has been one of the biggest names in the fight against breast cancer, funding research and programs to help turn millions of breast cancer patients into breast cancer survivors.

Thank you to all who attended and helped make this annual event a fun and successful one at Bay Oaks!

Los Angeles, the second most-populated city in the United States, is known for being home to many colorful cultures.

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For its’ 2012 Charity Classic event on Friday night, October 5,2012, The City Club on Bunker Hill in LA decided to explore the culinary diversity of the city.

At the event, dubbed “Love in LA”, attendees enjoyed a wonderful four-corner station dinner, representing the Latin, Middle Eastern, Asian and American corners of the city, with delicious wine pairings.

The event, which was open to the public, had more than 150 guests. In addition to supporting three worthy causes, throughout the course of the night attendees were entertained by a magician, enjoyed live jazz music, participated in a silent auction and were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportuity to kiss a pig.
Yes, for a charitable donation, you could have kissed a pig. And many participants did, since Bueller the Pig 'single-hoovedly' raised over $1,000!

The event raised almost $18,000 for MDA’s Augie’s Quest, The Employee Partner Care Foundation, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Youth Foundation.

The LA Sheriff’s Youth Foundation strives to offer safe alternative opportunities to at-risk youth in Los Angeles County, a county notoriously plagued by gangs, drugs and violence. These opportunities focus on activities for the youth that build character, instill leadership skills, boost self-esteem and help them establish a positive outlook on their own life and future.

Thank you to all the organizers at The City Club and to all who attended and made the event such a great success!

Directly after the CEO of Troon Golf and the chairman of Nicklaus Companies, our very own CEO and president, Eric Affeldt, was named the third most powerful person in golf in Golf Inc. magazine’s 2012 list.

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He beat out giants, household names outside the of golf world, such as Donald Trump, who came in sixth place, and Tiger Woods, who placed twenty-fourth.

Golf Inc. magazine said they listed Affeldt because he “continued to guide the world’s largest owner of golf facilities and private clubs towards greater profitability...through acquisitions and organic growth.” Which he has, by boosting revenue, enhancing the executive leadership team and expanding the company's presence in the Northeastern United States and overseas to China.

Graduating with a degree in political science and religion from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif., Affeldt went on to accrue a wide spectrum of experience before finding a home with our company in Dallas.

Prior to joining ClubCorp in 2006, Affeldt served as the principal of KSL Capital Partners, a private equity firm; president and CEO of KSL Fairways, KSL’s former golf division; vice president and general manager of both the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami, and the combined PGA West and La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, Calif.; a founding partner of KSL Recreation; and president of General Aviation Holdings Inc. In addition he serves as non-executive chairman for the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company.

Affeldt had been listed in the top three on Golf Inc.’s list for the past three years, and in 2010 he came in first.

Congratulations President Affeldt! Thanks for leading ClubCorp through another great year!

  • Online Auction

Want to get in on our online auctions for charity?

We’ve put together another one! And this time, it’s even easier for everyone and anyone to bid on great items for a good cause.

Participants can simply text in their bid and get updated as soon as someone outbids them, making it much easier to snag the prize!

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Some key items up for auction include a Masters Tee Flag signed by every living Masters Champion and various items signed by golfing giants such as Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Fuzzy Zoeller.

The auction closes on Friday Oct. 5, 2012 so click here to check it out and cast your bid!

All proceeds from this auction benefit The First Tee.

For the close of the online auction, please join us at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas for the Poolside ParTEE, an evening of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while enjoying live music and friendly fighting until the finish of the auction for the items that caught your eye.

For more information, please contact the Gleneagles Country Club Golf Pro Shop at 972.867.8888 

  • Golf Tournament and Charles Coody Golf Clinic  

Is picking a Masters Champion's brain a dream of yours?

Then don’t miss out on the golf clinic taught by Charles Coody, 1971 Masters Champion, at noon on Friday, October 5, 2012, prior to The First Tee Fall Classic Golf Tournament at Gleneagles Country Club.

The shotgun start for The First Tee Fall Classic Golf Golf Tournament is at 1 p.m. To register, please call ClubLine at 800.433.5079.

The online auction, Golf Tournament and Poolside ParTEE on Oct. 5 at Gleneagles are all open to the public! 

For more information, please contact the Gleneagles Country Club Golf Pro Shop at 972.867.8888

Through the game of golf, The First Tee focuses on instilling the core values of honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgement into the lives of local young people. Events like The First Tee Fall Classic Golf Tournament and the online auction help fund these programs. 

Today, Sept. 28, 2012, is ClubCorp Charity Classic Day.

Although many wonderful ClubCorp Charity Classic events have already happened, and will continue to happen in the upcoming months, we want to take the time to showcase the 16 events that are happening today on the official ClubCorp Charity Classic Day.

All ClubCorp Charity Classic events raise money for local and national charities. Make sure to check them out if you are in the area! 

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The perfect golf weather was not the only thing to be grateful for as the former President George W. Bush kicked off the second annual George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Warrior Open held at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas, which he called a “celebration of patriotism, courage and sacrifice.”

Twenty-two wounded veterans took part in this year’s three-day tournament, which started on Sunday, Sept. 23 with a nine-hole shotgun practice round with the many sponsors, such as Highland Capital Management, Briggs Equipment, USO and other generous organizations.

Monday, Sept. 24 and Tuesday, Sept. 25 split up the 36-hole tournament into 18 holes per day.

When the defending champion of last year’s Warrior Open, Retired Corporal Chad E. Pfeifer (United States Army) shot a remarkable hole-in-one, he couldn't have asked for a better audience than a former president of the United States.

“That was the closest I’ll ever get to a hole in one,” said former President George W. Bush jokingly.

Pfiefer sustained injuries from his deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which unfortunately lead to the unavoidable amputation of his left leg above the knee. He eventually picked up golf for therapy and grew to love it.

Pfiefer went on to defend his position and won the Warrior Open again this year. Congratulations!

Another competitor, Retired Staff Sergeant James M. Stanek Jr., (United States Army) who suffers from chronic severe post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury, had a four-legged teammate. His service dog, trained to be sensitive to Stanek’s emotional state, helped Stanek several times during the day, calming him down and making the tasks at hand more manageable.

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ClubCorp as a whole was able to substantialize its' gratitude when Mark Burnett, ClubCorp Executive Vice President of the Golf and Country Club Division presented the 11 new competitors with a lifetime honorary membership to a ClubCorp Club of their choice. Last year’s competitors had received the same gift as well.

Over 1500 retired and active duty military participated in the event by cheering on the warriors on the green. In addition, there were almost 400 volunteers who helped make the event a huge success and the USO offered complimentary food to anyone at the event with a military ID.

Congratulations again to all the competitors and thank you for your service and sacrifice every day!

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Is there such a thing as too much golf for one day?

Not according to three adventurous Employee Partners at The Clubs of Kingwood in Kingwood, Texas, who took to the courses for an entire day to raise money for The First Tee.

Aurora Kircher-McClain, director of the Golf Advantage School at Kingwood; Heath Martin, head golf professional at Kingwood and general manager of the Deerwood Club; and Darrell Funston, director of golf at Kingwood, spent a little more than 12 hours in one day playing every hole of golf at Kingwood, all 90 of them, plus playing 10 holes twice to reach that commendable benchmark of 100 holes.

The three of them started their day off bright and early at 7 a.m. and finished at 7:30 p.m. There was a lot of support for them on the course, coming from the monetary donations made by Members and fellow Employee Partners, and from the food and beverage staff at Kingwood who made sure the trio always stayed nourished and hydrated. Finally, when the trio got to the 100th and final hole, there was a whole crowd of supporters cheering them on as they finished their quest.

The First Tee is an international youth development organization with school and after-school programs that focus on instilling values such as integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf. According to The First Tee, they have reached 6.5 million participants since their inception in 1997.

Their work is largely made possible through private donations such as those raised by the event at Kingwood.

Thank you to all those who donated and to the trio who made it through the day smiling!

Who knew watching movies could inspire children to cook?

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Since the success of their debut event in July, Diamond Run Golf Club in Sewickley, Pa. has offered its' Members a monthly “Kid’s Cooking Class” where children can join Chef Bobby in a fun-filled movie-themed cooking class.

On September 19, 2012, Chef Bobby taught 15 kids how to make his special homemade marinara sauce. Afterwards, the kids appropriately watched Disney’s “The Lady and the Tramp” while happily enjoying their homemade saucy masterpiece.

For August’s automobile-themed class, the kids learned how to creatively decorate cupcakes to look like a car, all the while watching the Disney favorite “Cars”. During Diamond Run’s first class in July, the theme was based on Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures’ “The Lorax” so the kids wore mustaches and learned how to make pancakes.

The classes are a perfect quiet date-night opportunity for parents to eat dinner at the grille or play a round of golf.

Plans are tentatively set for a Halloween-themed class on October 24. 

See below for Chef Bobby's special marinara recipe from the class on September 19.

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On September 14, 2012, Coto de Caza Golf and Raquet Club in Coto de Caza, Calif. embraced the charitable spirit of the 2012 ClubCorp Charity Classic wholeheartedly, with numerous events for every age and interest, and raised a record-breaking $140,500 for charity, with donations still trickling in!

In addition to MDA’s Augie’s Quest and E.P.C.F, the chosen local charity of the event at Coto was NEGU, otherwise known as the Jessie Rees Foundation.

“Never Ever Give Up” (NEGU) was the motto of Jessie Joy Rees, a 12-year-old girl who courageously fought two inoperable brain tumors until she passed away on January 5, 2012, 10 months and two days after she was diagnosed.

There are more than 250,000 American children currently fighting cancer and in the past year, the Jessie Rees Foundation has made a difference in the lives of more than 12,000 of them.

Coto kicked off their day with a tennis event in which each team chose to play in honor of six local children who have fought or are currently fighting cancer.

Both the Coto Masters Swim Team and the Junior Swim Teams held events during the day. The Masters bravely set out to swim a 12.6 mile ocean relay from Anacapa Island, Calif. to Oxnard, Calif. and raised $15,000, even though the shark-infested waters and high winds forced them to abandon their goal early.

Lastly, the Club held their golf tournament with 160 players playing in 100+ degree heat! The list of speakers after the tournament was impressive, feauturing Lynne Nieto of MDA’s Augie’s Quest; Erik Rees, Jessie’s father; Eric Affeldt, ClubCorp’s president and CEO; and Kaitlin Sandeno, Olympic swimming gold medalist and spokesperson for the Jessie Rees Foundation.

Thank you so much to all those who made the day and the charitable donations possible, and congratulations to Coto for setting the bar high!

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