Golf Course Conditions - Per Eric Van Gorder, Director of Executive Golf Maintenance

Golf Course Conditions - Per Eric Van Gorder, Director of Executive Golf Maintenance

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  #11  
Old 06-01-2016, 07:25 AM
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Ddharrold - thanks for taking the time to share the response.


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  #12  
Old 06-01-2016, 08:50 AM
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This site gives one a little better understanding of overseeding http://www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu

If the link doesn't work, you can type it in, or Google it.
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Golf course conditions
  #13  
Old 06-01-2016, 09:12 AM
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As far as the executive courses go, you get what you pay for, and most pay little or nothing.

The executive courses will always suffer because they get too much play. Even now, in the so-called low season, they are still crowded. "Free golf for life" was a good sales strategy 20 years ago. Now, with 80,000-plus owners and more on the way, I'm not so sure that strategy makes sense with respect to the health and maintenance of the executive courses.

We should expect the norm to be "in poor condition" and live with it, unless the number of rounds played is reduced or more executive courses are built to handle the increasing number of golfers (many of them beginners) moving here.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:16 AM
westcoast westcoast is offline
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Cant agree with you on that. All greens get about the same amount of play, only some are bad.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:59 AM
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Everything stated in that e-mail is completely reasonable. What is not reasonable, IMHO, is that the maintenance for these course is contracted out. Companies that do this kind of contract work are more concerned with their bottom line than course conditions. Their goal is to spend as little money as possible while keeping the contract.

I would much rather see a system where we have several USGCSA head superintendents in charge of several courses with good, experienced apprentices in charge of two courses each. We would then have people on board who care about the condition of the courses and not so much their bottom line.

To me, the people in charge are taking the easy way out. With this system they have a lot less to do. They do not have to worry about managing individuals. The contracted company does all of that for them.

I got a job at a golf course for just that reason. Prior to me they had a golf course management company come in. There was a different golf professional every few months and he did almost nothing. The club members were running the club themselves. The course was in terrible condition. They hired me and a USGCSA member and within a year the course was in much better condition, the tournaments were run better, the golf shop looked good, their carts were clean and ran well.

Within three years, the course had the best greens in the area and went from a laughingstock to a place that people wanted to play.

Having people on the job that report directly to the course owners is much better than contracting services out
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Last edited by Dr Winston O Boogie jr; 06-01-2016 at 10:13 AM.
  #16  
Old 06-01-2016, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwann View Post
As far as the executive courses go, you get what you pay for, and most pay little or nothing.

The executive courses will always suffer because they get too much play. Even now, in the so-called low season, they are still crowded. "Free golf for life" was a good sales strategy 20 years ago. Now, with 80,000-plus owners and more on the way, I'm not so sure that strategy makes sense with respect to the health and maintenance of the executive courses.

We should expect the norm to be "in poor condition" and live with it, unless the number of rounds played is reduced or more executive courses are built to handle the increasing number of golfers (many of them beginners) moving here.
Not exactly the case. I haven't seen the budget, but f someone knows percentage of the total amenity income goes toward executive golf then you could just apply that same percentage to your amenity bill to determine how much you pay for golf.

We all pay the same amount for golf regardless of how much we play, or even if we don't play at all.

Golf is not free. Someone is paying for it.

I've played many excellent golf courses in my life that get an enormous amount of play and many have been in at least reasonable, if not excellent condition. Pebble Beach comes to mind. It s one of the most played golf courses in the world and I've never seen it in terrible shape.

If a golf course is getting a lot of play then they are getting a lot of income. In the case of the executive courses, the income comes from those 80,000 plus households.

Also, as The Villages has grown, more courses have been added so I don't know that they are getting any more play then they did twenty years ago.
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  #17  
Old 06-01-2016, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Winston O Boogie jr View Post
Not exactly the case. I haven't seen the budget, but f someone knows percentage of the total amenity income goes toward executive golf then you could just apply that same percentage to your amenity bill to determine how much you pay for golf.

We all pay the same amount for golf regardless of how much we play, or even if we don't play at all.

Golf is not free. Someone is paying for it.

I've played many excellent golf courses in my life that get an enormous amount of play and many have been in at least reasonable, if not excellent condition. Pebble Beach comes to mind. It s one of the most played golf courses in the world and I've never seen it in terrible shape.

If a golf course is getting a lot of play then they are getting a lot of income. In the case of the executive courses, the income comes from those 80,000 plus households.

Also, as The Villages has grown, more courses have been added so I don't know that they are getting any more play then they did twenty years ago.
C'mon Doc. Comparing Pebble Beach to TV? $495 greens fee! If played as frequently as you describe, imagine the resources they have available to keep the course in the condition you experienced. BTW, when I played PB, it was in the middle of a drought like exists now in CA. They had no grass on the fairway and were watering the greens and tees only. No reduction in fees, though. Plus, the quality of player who goes to PB is far superior to the beginners and novice players who frequent TV courses. Makes a big difference in maintenance costs.

The number of rounds played in TV has increased significantly every year, surpassing 2 million in 2015. Although they have added courses, those of us who have been here for 10 years or more will confirm that it gets harder every year to get desired tee times on desired courses. Each year you have to increase the number of courses and widen the time range on requests in order to avoid being shut out.

The organization of the maintenance program in TV is exactly as it should be. If we follow your logic in the previous post, then any large company or corporation should not utilize suppliers or sub-contractors and should do it all themselves. With all the courses to be maintained, it only makes sense to contract it out to companies that do this as their sole business activity. This is not the easy way out. It is the most efficient. Eric and GMS manage the contractors rather than manage the mass of individuals that would be required by your example.

Every year we go through "Miserable May" as the courses recover from the high season play and overseeding followed by the necessary aeration. And every year they get back to good condition.
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  #18  
Old 06-01-2016, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynet View Post
The only issue I have is this is not the first time that our courses have been awful. Transition for 10 months good for 2 months. And how about the novel idea to switch to the newer grasses that do not need alot of the maintenance issues he talks about.
Obviously I can't answer your concerns or questions. I suggest you inquire of the appropriate Villages Golf Course Administration group. They can be reached by email via GolfTheVillages.com
and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Contact Us.
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  #19  
Old 06-01-2016, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwann View Post
As far as the executive courses go, you get what you pay for, and most pay little or nothing.

The executive courses will always suffer because they get too much play. Even now, in the so-called low season, they are still crowded. "Free golf for life" was a good sales strategy 20 years ago. Now, with 80,000-plus owners and more on the way, I'm not so sure that strategy makes sense with respect to the health and maintenance of the executive courses.

We should expect the norm to be "in poor condition" and live with it, unless the number of rounds played is reduced or more executive courses are built to handle the increasing number of golfers (many of them beginners) moving here.
I totally agree on your statement "you get what you pay for". I really wish that "free executive golf" would be done away with; start charging greens fees for the execs - that would probably stop enough play to where the execs could be closed on a weekly rotating basis to get them back in shape and keep them in shape. Do I care that charging executive green fees would stop people from playing golf? Nope. It would stop a lot of the unfilled divots, unrepaired ball marks and unraked traps.
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  #20  
Old 06-01-2016, 08:01 PM
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for ddharold...I have tried many times to get an answer why not new grasses and have NEVER got an answer. Doc is correct in everything he says. Mike will always defend the ancient practices of maintaining these courses. Palmer is still closed, anyone know why or is it still a secret. Only May are you kidding me? Our Champ courses are not good and rarely are good. Played World Woods today now thats what we should expect all the time not excuse after excuse.
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