2018 has been an interesting year at Niakwa.
The main topic of conversation for much of the year was, of course, playing conditions.
As I said in a previous blog, the winter of 2017/18 was unprecedented. (or “unpresidented” as the leader of the free world would Tweet) Lack of snow cover, cold temperatures and unrelenting, howling wind did a number on our greens and fairways. Fairways recovered quickly, but the greens were another story.
Fortunately for members, the Board of Governors and Management had the courage to address greens damage head on. The four greens that were rebuilt in 2018 should be in good shape in 2019 and for years to come.
When it comes to growing grass on greens and fairways most Members have an opinion and many are quick to share them. As Club Captain, I was on the receiving end of a lot of comments about course conditions, both positive and negative. Some comments were insightful and helpful and some were less so.
Some of the comments were like this :
Many years ago, along with a group of buddies, I had the bright idea to going bass fishing in Tennessee. The four of us piled into a borrowed van and drove straight through to Muddy Creek in 24 hours. I was at the wheel, bleary eyed, listening to the late night talk shows as dawn arrived on I-75 in Kentucky. The dogwoods were in bloom, the mist was burning off in the morning sun and hills were a radiant green.
Bill Clinton was in the White House at that time and Hillary, as First Lady was busy trying to put a plan together to improve the US health care system. Needless to say, Miss Hillary was not the most popular figure in rural Kentucky.
As I pulled the sun visor down and tried to refocus on the road ahead, the last comment by the radio talk show host, before signing off, concerned the First Lady’s alleged intelligence. The host allowed as how Hillary’s reputation was that she was some kind of super brainy woman. He questioned the accuracy of this image and commented, “If she’s so smart, how come she’s never been on Jeopardy? If she’s as smart as all they say, she would have been on Jeopardy and won enough money to erase the national debt!”
Some comments about the course this summer were like that. Management, the Pro Shop and Board showed great patience at times.
Back to 2018
On the competitive side, Niakwa had a very good year. Our Men’s Ladies’ and Senior Teams all did us proud with our Ladies Nassau team earning a playoff spot and our Mundie Putter Team emerging as League Champs.
Our individual golfers did well at both the provincial and national levels with one of the highlights being an appearance by our own Todd Fanning at the Canadian Open.
Participation in club events and club competitions was excellent this year. (particularly noteworthy was a win by the Club Captain’s Team over the President’s Team in the Thompson Cup).
Part of the Thompson Cup Winning Team
Pace of play was, by and large, good this year. The average round was under 4 hours and several problem areas were cleaned up. There were a few hiccups, but we’re well on the way to making a four hour (or less), round part of the culture.
A Match and Handicap Committee was formalized in 2018, to keep the Club in compliance with Golf Canada requirements. Implementation went smoothly and the Membership responded well. There were very few issues that required attention by the committee.
With a hard close on the 15thwe’re done playing Niakwa for 2018. Many Members will be heading south soon, some for the winter and some for shorter vacations. Please remember that all ‘away’ scores are to be entered into the handicap system.
The new Rules of Golf will come into effect on January 1, 2019. I’ll post a couple of blogs dealing with the rule changes prior to the New Year.
Enjoy the fall, have a great winter, and if you’re lucky enough to play golf, hit ’em straight.