Captain's Blog

World Handicap System

I played my last game of the season last week before I left for Europe. Since the course will be closed when I get home my playing partner commented on a number of highlights from the 2019 season.

One of his first comments was that he finally understood most of the 2019 Rules of Golf as well as the revisions to the handicap system adopted in 2018. He allowed as how he was happy the changes were done…. Well Jimmy, not quite. 2020 will see the introduction of the “World Handicap System”. Read More>>

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Daily Greens Preparation

I was away last week, but since I’ve been back at the Club I’ve heard a lot of positive comments about the condition of the course for the Club Championship – especially given the weather conditions we’ve had this summer. Yesterday I got up early and spent some time with the turf crew before the course opened.

Our new Course Superintendent, Shawn, is getting well deserved accolades for the course conditions, especially the greens. But what many Members may not be aware of is the quality of the team Shawn has assembled. On my tour I was absolutely impressed by each member of the crew, their attitudes, and the quality of their work. Watching the course preparation for the day, with well trained staff running well maintained, specialized machinery was a pleasure. Even the guys raking the sand traps had smiles on their faces.

Shawn and I had quite discussion about the greens and how they’re prepared for play each day.Read More>>

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Mid Season Reminders

I just got back from a week of fishing and after a couple of rounds it looks like a few reminders to Members are in order.

Pace of Play

The average pace of play for all rounds at Niakwa for the last two seasons is under 4 hours. With the new rules for 2019, which are designed to speed up play, a 3 hour 45 minute pace is reasonable for a foursome. Four hours or more should be considered slow.

Divots and Pitch Marks

Please remember to fill your divots and fix your ball marks on the green. I noticed a lot of unfilled divots on my rounds this week. Filling a divot is one of the easiest things you can do to help maintain the course. Please take care not to overfill your divot, as this can damage mowers. Here’s a primer from the USGA website:  https://www.usga.org/course-care/forethegolfer/2017/to-fill–or-not-to-fill–there-is-no-question.html

Properly Filled Divot

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Food and Beverage – it’s not that simple

After being away for a couple of weeks, I returned to the club this weekend to find we have a new Food & Beverage Manager – and a new menu in the Members Dining Room. Like some of our Members, in addition to being a turf grass specialist, I also consider myself to be wise in the ways of food. How hard can it be to run our F&B operation? I took a look into it and it turns out, it’s pretty hard.

Our new F& B Manager Diego Carril Osorio 

Welcome to Niakwa, Diego. Read More>> Read more »

Life with Poa Annua (Part 1)

Here’s a quote from the Michigan State University turf weed website about Poa Annua (annual bluegrass):

“Annual bluegrass is unique among weeds. There is probably no other weed that is so widely adapted to variations in mowing height, site conditions and cultural practices.

Annual bluegrass is the most common and widely distributed grassy weed in the world. It is mentioned as a weed in nearly every plant commodity”.

And we at Niakwa are cursed with poa annua in abundance Read More>>

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Golf in Scotland

Our group of twelve bandits is just back from our golf trip to Scotland. We played 8 games in 8 days on a variety of courses – from the par 66 local Stonehaven course to the Ryder Cup GlenEagles – links courses and parkland courses.

I’ve been lucky enough to have made 3 golf trips to Scotland and one trip to Ireland. It’s a wonderful experience playing the famous courses like St Andrews, Carnoustie and Royal Dornoch, but it’s at the local courses where you really get a feel for Scottish golf.Read More>>

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Niakwa Tradition

I’m on my way to play golf in Scotland with a few of the boys tomorrow. As those who have played there know, when you golf in Scotland you really get a sense of the history and traditions of the game. I’ve had the privilege in the past to play both Musselburgh Links and St Andrews Old Course, each of which claims to be the oldest golf course in the world.

Niakwa Country Club is not without its own rich history and traditions. Read More>>

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Course Etiquette – So Much to Remember

As the weather warms up and the golf season gets under full swing (pun intended) there are so many things to remember – like what are the names of the guys I’m golfing with? And what’s my account number? And what’s that ‘inside out thing again’? Or was that ‘righty tighty, lefty loosey’?

With all those questions occupying our minds, sometimes it’s hard to remember that care for the course, and course etiquette, are also an important part of the game. And as I’ve played my first few rounds of the year I’ve noticed that some of our early birds are forgetting about the course care thing. Read More>> Read more »

Rules, Rules, Rules!

A hearty “Welcome Back”! to all returning Niakwa Members and a hearty “Welcome to Niakwa”! to all new members.

2019 promises to be an interesting year for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the rule changes, which became effective January 1, 2019.

The USGA and the Royal and Ancient did considerable research and testing into a new set of rules, which are designed to make the game simpler, to speed up play and to make certain aspects of the game less onerous for all players. The new rules are simpler, but as we’ve seen among PGA Tour players, there will be some uncertainty early in the season.

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