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.
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!
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?
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.
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!
“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!
Every year, our Clubs open their doors to the public to attend the wide array of events offered during the annual ClubCorp Charity Classic. But for those who just can’t get enough and want to bring the philanthropy home with them, we proudly announce our annual online auction! The bidding starts at 8 a.m. EST on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012 and ends at 9 p.m. EST on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, so cast your bids and don’t miss out!
ClubCorp’s Charity Classic is a great opportunity to give to worthy causes. The two beneficiaries of the Charity Classic online auction this year are MDA’s Augie’s Quest, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease; and the Employee Partners Care Foundation, a fund to assist ClubCorp Employee Partners in times of crisis. Both of these wonderful organizations will each be receiving half of the donations raised during the online auction.
This year, we are thrilled to offer a unique selection of items up for auction. From Sept. 17- Oct. 1 you can fight for the highest bid on everything from trips to Costa Rica and Las Vegas to a cowbell autographed by comedian Will Ferrell and a football signed by Dallas Cowboys legend Daryl Johnston.
Last year during the 2011 Charity Classic, 61 total items were on the online auction and bidders were able to raise just under $40,000. The highest bid on any item was $15,400 for a 12-night Ker and Downey South Africa vacation valued at twice as much. For this year's online auction, we need you to help us reach our goal of raising $100,000.
Click here to visit our online auction and start bidding for good!
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.