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!
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.
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.
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:
The Gwinnett Daily Post this week published a nice story on the upcoming 10th Anniversary of Bear's Best Atlanta, a highly rated and unique course with replicas of some of the best holes from Nicklaus courses around the world.
"I'm proud of where we are, because not just golf, it's tough out there, and I think we've weathered the storm. We're in great shape," Bear's Best General Manager Craig Riddle said in the article. "I feel fortunate we've not had to cut back on the experience, the overall experience, course conditions, overall quality of our product has not suffered."
ClubCorp also operates a highly rated Bear's Best course in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Read the entire story on the Gwinnett Daily Post site here: At 10th Anniversary, Bear's Best Adapts to Changing Golf Industry
Each year County Club of Hilton Head holds an annual Cleats 'n Sneaks event in order to get golf members and tennis members together in a fun day of competition. In this Olympic-style event, the club pairs tennis members and golf members together in teams that compete in a variety of tennis and golf challenges. Each of the 10 teams represent a country. At the end of the day, the points are added up, awards are handed out and the combatants dine together.
The club had 25 members compete in the first year of the event, but now quickly fills the field of 80 contestants.
ClubCorp welcomes to its family Elizabeth Barker-Pinapfel, the new General Manager at Countryside Country Club in Clearwater, Florida.
Elizabeth comes to Countryside from New York, where she most recently served as General Manager at Pelham Bay and Split Rock Golf Courses located in Pelham Bay Park, New York City’s largest park. In her role there, Elizabeth was not only responsible for club facility operations but for the initial club set-up after an $11 million renovation as well as branding the property and building awareness for the newly created banquet facility.
During that time, she also served on the Bronx Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and as the Chairwoman of the membership committee. Additionally, she played active roles in The Boy Scouts of America, Irish Business Organization, The Mount Vernon Chamber, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee and was on the Board of Advisors for the American Lung Association. Dedicated to working with and for the local community, Elizabeth has been honored several times, including being named by The Irish Voice as one of The 50 Most Influential Women 2011.
Elizabeth’s career serving in the golf industry earned her a place in the top 20 of Golf Inc. magazine’s 2008 “Most Admired Operators” list.