Captain's Blog

Green Speed

As Club Captain, I’m often privileged to be on the receiving end as Members opine about all matters concerning Course conditions, especially our greens. The most common comments made about greens are: 1) they’re in great condition 2) the greens are too fast and 3) the greens are too slow. Some days I get all three comments from three different members.

The fact of the matter is that our Turfcare Team follows firm guidelines to set up green speeds. The Niakwa standard is 10.5 – 11.5 on the Stimp Meter

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17 Green

If you’ve played a round at Niakwa lately you’ve noticed that the 17th green is coming along nicely. There have some delays caused by rain, but the construction phase of the green development will be coming to an end soon.

I’ve been involved at the Board level, or as Club Captain, for the reconstruction of 10 greens at Niakwa (including the 2nd green twice). Those building of those greens has involved four construction companies, three Course Superintendents, three architects and five or six Course Committee Chairs.

Each new green is a reflection of the experience, management style and personality of the Course Superintendent who is overseeing the green’s development – from design, through construction and turf development.Read More>>

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Tee it Forward

Teeing it Forward

“ The golfer attacks. The designer defends. Such is the adversarial relationship that defines the creation of a golf course”.  – Ted Robinson Sr.

“ Every round of golf, on every golf course you play, should put a smile on your face”.   -Ted Robinson Jr.

How do you square these statements from one of the golf’s great father/son course architecture teams?  Read More>>

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Course Condition Challenges

The winter and spring of 2019/2020 presented some unusual challenges for Niakwa’s turf staff.

For starters, the month of November saw three separate rounds of slush removal from the greens. The first was in mid November, the second on the 19th, and the third, and most severe, on November 25. Shawn and his full time crew handled the first two removals, but on November 25, it was all hands on deck with Wade and Terry also pitching in. Read More>>

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Course Handicap

It’s great to be out on the golf course again isn’t it? Like most snowbirds, we returned to Winnipeg in late March, endured house arrest, watched the snow melt, watched the grass grow, and then watched the snow melt for a second time. 

By now most Members have been on the course for a couple of weeks.  You should have your winter scores entered in the handicap system, recorded according to the new World Handicap rules – which came into effect January 1, 2020. Read More>>

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Handicap Committee Notice to Members

Golf Canada requires that a Member Club, which uses the Golf Canada Handicap System, must have a formal Handicap Committee. The Niakwa Handicap Committee is comprised of the Club Captain (chair), the S&C Committee Chair, the Ladies Sports Captain, the Past Club Captain and the Head Professional. The Committee is required, by Golf Canada, to send a Notice to Members at the start of each season. Issues of importance for 2020 Include: Read More>>

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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 »

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