This past weekend as I came off the course I was met by a couple of long time members with sand bottles in their hands. They were bemoaning the number of unrepaired divots on the fairways and pitch marks left on the greens.
This got me thinking about the “Niakwa Culture” and each Member’s responsibility to his or her fellow Members. Our culture is important for the enjoyment of all Members and it’s often makes new Members choose Niakwa over the competition. Most people are very conscientious on the Course and in the Clubhouse, but occasionally we all get a little forgetful. Here are a few reminders. Read More>>
The Club provides sand bottles on push carts and power carts, and makes smaller bottles available for carry bags on the first tee. Players are expected to repair their fairway divots at all times. Divots on tee boxes should also be filled, either with the fill that’s provided on the tee box or with the fill from your sand bottle. Here’s a USGA video that shows how to properly make the repair http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/videos/2013/03/05/usga-course-care-video–divot-repair-etiquette-2205021404001.html
A Properly Filled Divot
Sometimes it’s hard to find your ball mark on the green. Repair your ball mark if you find it, plus one more. If you can’t find your mark, repair a couple anyway. Here’s a USGA video on repairing ball marks. http://www.usga.org/videos/2013/03/05/usga-course-care-video–how-to-repair-ball-marks-2204995528001.html
A little TLC on the driving range helps to improve the experience for players coming after you. Hit your iron shots in a linear pattern and fill your divots after your practice or your warmup session.
Driving Range Divot Patterns
In a previous blog we talked about raking bunkers and where to leave the rakes. The grounds crew is marking bunkers where the handle of the rakes should point. Remember the entire rake should be inside the sand trap.
Rakes Properly Placed in Bunkers
The basic rule of thumb, on course care, is to leave the course and practice facilities in the condition you would like to find them.
My favourite dress code is from a prominent Scottish golf course with a rich history. “All Members and Guests are expected to wear appropriate attire on the golf course and in the club house at all times”. If you’re not sure about what constitutes “appropriate attire” ask your wife. If she’s not around, check the Dress Code on the Niakwa website. http://niakwacountryclub.ca/Member-Central/Club-Policies-and-information/Dress-Code.aspx. You’re a member of a private club – it doesn’t hurt to try and look the part now and then.
Cell phone policy is, no doubt, the most abused policy in the club. And it’s not just the club’s policy that gets abused, it’s basic manners and consideration for others. Cell phone etiquette has really evolved in the last few years. Most people step out of restaurants, are discreet in airport lounges, and generally try to be unobtrusive when using their cell phones. The Niakwa cell phone policy is reasonable and not hard to adhere to http://niakwacountryclub.ca/Member-Central/Club-Policies-and-information/Cell-Phone-Policy.aspx. I try to leave my phone in the car or in my locker when I’m on the range or on the course. (of course that’s easy for a guy who’s pretty much retired and whom no one phones).
Pace of Play
We talked about pace of play in a previous blog – internalizing a four hour or less round as part of our Club Culture. With three temporary holes in play, the course is eminently playable in under four hours. The rough is heavy this time of year and sometimes we all have a bad game, but please respect those behind and keep up with the group in front as much as possible.
As Niakwa Members we collectively own the golf course, the clubhouse and all the rest of the facilities. It’s up to each of us to become be part of, and celebrate the Niakwa Culture. It makes the game and the social part of golf that much more enjoyable – and it’s an important element in maintaining a healthy membership.