I would like to take a minute to discuss our bunkers, consistency, and playability at the Best Golf Course in Scottsdale Bunkers are one of the most popular topics discussed around any club. They are often criticized for being too hard, too soft, too wet, or contaminated with sediment. Discussions almost always end with the familiar refrain: “All we want are consistent bunkers!” I have some good news and some not-so-good news. It can be done. For many years, much before I got into this business 21 years ago, golf course superintendents have tried to maintain all the bunkers with the same riding machine or hand raking technique. In a quest for consistency, this approach was doomed to fail because of the many factors that influence bunker performance. The shape of the subgrade, the runoff of surface water, the spacing of the drain lines, the amount of irrigation used nightly in the desert, and the position of the bunkers in relation to the prevailing wind and direction of the sun are a few of the factors that make each bunker unique. The same maintenance program does not produce consistent bunkers at the Best Golf Course in Scottsdale. As you can see, it is impossible to have true consistency from one bunker to the next or one hole to the next. There is nothing consistent about golf, you have a downhill lie or an uphill lie, hitting a pitching wedge will give you a different lie in a bunker than a screaming 4 iron will give you. I know that it is our maintenance team’s responsibility to maintain these bunkers as perfect and consistent as possible, which can be very costly and labor-intensive. We recognize there are challenges we have to adjust to and we have made adjustments and have implemented the “Aussie Method” raking technique about 4 weeks ago. This method involves minimizing disturbance of bunker faces and only aggressively raking the floors of the bunkers. We use paint rollers to smooth bunker faces which creates a firmer base to negate plugged lies from happening. Another crucial piece to this challenge is dedicating more labor hours and being proactive in the adjustment of the sand depths. The objective is to make sure that we are maintaining them at the proper 3”- 4” depths range on the floors of the bunkers. So, given all the uncontrollable factors I listed earlier, and how they affect the consistency and playability of each bunker, I can assure you that our team is striving for the best. I want to thank each of you for the great feedback and comments regarding course conditions and the continued support for the long-term sustainability of the Best Golf Course in Scottsdale.
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
We have a lot to offer on the tennis side at Scottsdale Golf Course in April, May, and June including our Ladies Member Guest event, The Cactus Classic. In May we will once again have our four-week camp program which has been one of our most popular instructional programs of the year. June will see the return of the tennis camp for juniors as well as the continuation of all of our drills and clinics for adults. One of the most exciting introductions we have added to the program is the true Cardio Tennis class. This is one of the hottest trends in tennis throughout the country and utilizes the orange ball in a live ball and workout format. The great thing about Cardio Tennis is at Scottsdale Private Golf Courses it allows all levels of play to be together in one group due to the low compression ball. We will continue to expand our offerings as participation grows.
On the pickleball side at Scottsdale Private Golf Courses, we have added and expanded many of our offerings. We had a great social over at Troon CC and will look to do more of those types of events. Our pickleball clinics have been well attended with more and more players learning to play the game. We have expanded the Tuesday night pickleball to Thursday as well and continue to offer two days per week for the Advanced Men’s group. Ladies Day is currently on Friday morning but may expand once there are more available court times. Make sure you check out all of our events and clinics on Foretees. We would love to see you there!
Finally, we have filled all of our staffing positions and I believe it is the strongest staff in the Southwest. In the past twelve months, we have added Rob Korich as our Head Professional, Mackenzie Trost as our Red Ball Coordinator, and Fidan Ibrahimova as our Assistant Head Professional. All three bring a unique skill set and have settled in and become great ambassadors of the racquet sports program. Alex Guerrero continues to do a tremendous job as our full-time tennis concierge and Chris Chastain handles the Sunday shop hours. All of our staff is excited to be on court with everyone so please let them know if you would like a lesson. Fidan is available Sunday through Friday and the other professional staff members are available Monday-Saturday. Our staff will all be attending the USPTA Southwest Conference the weekend of May 20-22 so that they can continue to learn and bring new ideas to the program!
Looking forward to seeing the courts busy over the next three months. Please let us know if we can do anything for you and I look forward to seeing you on the courts at Scottsdale Private Golf Courses!
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
It is fascinating to see what has happened to the membership opportunities and waitlists at Scottsdale Private Golf Courses. We currently have over 100 prospective members on our waitlist in all 4 categories of membership. So how does someone get on our waitlist for Scottsdale Private Golf Courses? The Board of Directors and Membership Committee have been working diligently to assist with the process to approve new members who understand our Club Culture and want to be part of what the Country Club at DC Ranch stands for. In doing so, an applicant is required to take the following steps: 1. Tour The Club with Melanie Halpert to truly understand the Club’s offerings 2. Submit an application along with 4 reference letters and a nonrefundable $5000 deposit. 3. Complete a background check 4. Interview with the Committee and Board. Once these steps have all been completed, the application is submitted to the Committee and Board for review. Once approved, the applicants’ names will be moved to the waitlist for Best Golf Course in Scottsdale.
Market Base Prices for all the Golf Equity Memberships can be found on the Club’s private website under the Membership/Marketing page. If you are a current member interested in becoming a Golf member, it is imperative that you contact me once the prices have been posted and prior to the 1st of the month. Priority is based on seniority.
We have seen several members resigning their Golf Memberships and re-joining as Clubhouse or Sports members. Current members have priority on our waitlist. In order to re-join, the member pays an initiation fee of 20,000 for Clubhouse and $40,000 for Sports Social. We currently have a waitlist for both of these categories.
Recently you may have seen me doing videos at The Best Golf Course in Scottsdale. These videos are for our new website we are creating. It is important that The Country Club at DC Ranch has a sleek, modern site, while emphasizing our Fun, Family, and Friendliness. In addition, we completed new golf course photography. These photos of the Best Golf Course in Scottsdale will be on the new website as well. You have will have the opportunity to purchase and frame these beautiful photos in the coming months.
Friday, April 1, 2022
One of our most significant projects this year was the completion of our much-needed remodel of the Men’s Locker Room and Grille area at the Best Country Club in Scottsdale. The project came in on time and on budget at $2.4 million. The upgraded area looks amazing and the feedback from our members has been extremely positive. These spaces now match the premier facilities that we enjoy throughout the Club. My thanks to many of our members supporting the design and construction of this project; Tim Pfeffer, Gary Fries, Rich Baccaro, and input from many other of our golf members and Club staff. Your insights and efforts truly made a difference.
On a smaller scale, we continued to update our on-course hospitality stations with the completion of hole #12/#14 comfort station renovation. This project which cost approximately $100,000 also came in on budget. Please stop in and take advantage of the nicely updated facility and the snacks at The Best Country Club in Scottsdale!
On the People front, we have made some great additions to our team here at the Club in the past year.
In Dining, we were pleased to announce Chef Timothy Loving joined us this past fall. Chef Tim came to us with many years of restaurant and club experience. Most recently, he spent four years as Executive Chef at The Vaquero Club in Dallas. If you have been to our various events and wine dinners, you know we have found the right Chef with a passion for culinary excellence and service.
In addition, Scottsdale Private Golf Courses hired our new Head Golf Professional Jason Walter, who starts with us this month. Jason has many years of experience as Head Professional, having served in that capacity at Superstition Mountain and most recently at Diablo Country Club. Jason is an exceptional addition to lead and support our entire golf staff and a great addition to Dick Hyland’s team.
We have also been fortunate to add Cody Barden as Director of Golf Instruction to Scottsdale Private Golf Courses. After training under noted professionals Jack Lumpkin, Jim Flick, and Eddie Merrins, Cody is one of the top PGA Teaching Professionals in the United States. He has worked internationally in Mexico and China and most recently served as Director of Instruction at Cabo Del Sol Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. In addition, he has been recognized as a top 100 instructor by Golf Magazine. We welcome Cody and hope each of you takes advantage of this incredible asset at our Club.
Lastly, we made a significant upgrade to our Human Resources team with the addition of Sascha Staley to We have also been fortunate to add Cody Barden as Director of Golf Instruction to Scottsdale Private Golf Courses. After training under noted professionals Jack Lumpkin, Jim Flick, and Eddie Merrins, Cody is one of the top PGA Teaching Professionals in the United States. He has worked internationally in Mexico and China and most recently served as Director of Instruction at Cabo Del Sol Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. In addition, he has been recognized as a top 100 instructor by Golf Magazine. We welcome Cody and hope each of you takes advantage of this incredible asset at our Club.
As you know staffing and retention is our number one challenge with the current labor environment so adding to our Human Resources function is imperative to recruiting and retaining our staff here at the Club. Sascha brings tremendous experience including multiple roles at Four Seasons Hotels. Sascha and her team have really made a difference during these difficult times and will continue to do so in this difficult labor market.
We plan to host several “Open House” events which will allow you to have the opportunity to meet and get to know these new team members. I would encourage everyone to attend!
Monday, March 21, 2022
As we enter our busiest time of year, we are seeing increased activity at the Scottsdale Private Golf Courses as more familiar faces join us after being away for the holidays. We want to give you an update regarding the Club following the Annual Meeting held in January. First, we want to thank John Roussel who recently completed his appointment as President as his leadership was key to another successful year as a Club as we continued to see growth in the offerings we have as a Club as well as the level of member satisfaction. As was announced at our Annual Meeting, our officers for 2022 will be President Bob Kline, Vice President Rob Maruster and Secretary Rich Baccaro. In addition, David Goldberg will serve as the Treasurer for the coming year. The advisory committee assignments for the Board of Directors at Scottsdale Private Golf Courses are as follows:
Finance – Chair David Goldberg / Vice-Chair Mike Thorell
Golf & Grounds- Chair Rich Baccaro / Vice-Chair David Wigler
House- Chair Cathy Hotchkiss / Vice-Chair Alan Sears
Membership- Chair Rob Maruster / Vice-Chair Doug Ideker
Racquets & Fitness- Chair Doug Ideker
Thank you to all of those who applied to serve on the various Advisory Committees for the year. Your support of the Club, our Staff and offerings are key to the continued success of the Club. This group also serves as an important training ground for the future as we utilize our Committee system to develop future Directors of the Club as that is the minimum requirement of service on the Board. The more that our members participate to develop a further understanding of the Club as a business, the better prepared they will be successful in serving in that capacity as a Director.
Our interaction with the Club Membership at the Best Country Club in Scottsdale is vital to our future success and the Board, and we recommend that if you have any questions, comments or concerns, to reach out to either of us. As we reviewed at the annual meeting, some of our main goals for 2022 at the Best Country Club in Scottsdale re as follows:
Keep an ongoing line of communication with our Club members to enhance transparency and fully utilize our Advisory Committees to ensure that our members are engaged at all times so that we can continue to improve in all that we do.
Continue to drive improvement in all member-facing areas of the Club by providing the highest level of service possible so that the Country Club at DC Ranch continues to be the finest Club in the Valley including a reputation for service, outstanding facilities, and member satisfaction.
Follow through with the needs as provided in the Master Plan for Improvement of Club Facilities –we are currently looking at options available to complete an update to our Golf Shop this summer as well as enhancing our back of the house areas to better serve the team as in many cases we have outgrown our needs in way of storage, restrooms, and employee dining. We are also looking at taking over the portion of our golf maintenance building which the Ranch Association currently occupies to also add storage, workspace and to relocate staff parking to alleviate some of the stress that we see currently.
Review & update – with full participation and feedback from every class of membership – the current Strategic Plan. To formally begin not just to look at the now known Golf improvements we look to do in the next five years or so that will coincide with our irrigation system update - but more importantly, to look beyond that, to look to the future. Discerning what you, your families, and the next generation of families and members desire and need through surveys and focus groups, etc.
As we stated at the Annual Meeting, we truly believe that we are in a solid position with an experienced leadership team, a strong financial position and an engaged and supportive membership which will continue to generate a buzz in the market as we aim to achieve even higher levels in 2022 and beyond.
In Membership news, we continue to have a robust waitlist of prospective members with our current waitlist encompassing roughly 100 approved prospects in all categories which have grown the waitlist time from two to five years depending on the category of membership. This past month alone we received almost twenty new applications. Despite the waitlist in place we continue to see a great deal of interest. At the most recent Board meeting, the Board unanimously approved a recommendation from the Membership Committee to increase the transfer fee for Golf Memberships to $50k effective March 1 st . This will bring our transfer fee more in line with those seen at our surrounding Clubs.
With all this being said, we look forward to a busy next few months at the Best Country Club in Scottsdale and know that you will enjoy all that our team has planned during this time. The calendar is packed with a number of golf, tennis, fitness and social events for your enjoyment so please make it a point to be here as much as possible as the temperatures begin to warm up! It would go without saying that we encourage you all to make advanced reservations as many of your Club favorites will be fully subscribed.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
We certainly understand the importance of wanting to play some golf with your friends at the Best Country Club in Scottsdale and until further notice we are relaxing the guest restrictions on Sunday mornings.
Should we observe that we are limiting the number of Members having the opportunity to play those mornings, we will possibly have to limit guest play once again
Please keep in mind that family guests are privileged to play 6 rounds in season and 6 in the summer while non-family guests may enjoy 6 rounds for the entire year.
We will keep you informed as time moves on.
Simply stated, the rules of the Best Country Club in Scottsdale do not permit fivesomes at any time. Should that ever change, we will let you know. Regarding the pace of play, it remains at 4 hours max regardless of your mode of transportation around the course.
The first Monday of the Month at Private Golf Club in Scottsdale, the practice areas and course are closed for maintenance and we ask that you understand the course needs a rest and time for necessary Agronomy practices be respected that day. This happens each month on the first Monday.
The remaining Mondays throughout the month, the first tee will open for play at 11:30, with exception of Club team competitions.
Golf Course Survey:
Thanks for over 300 responses to the Private Golf Club in Scottsdale survey sent to you a few weeks ago.
The purpose was to understand what course modifications if any you would like to have considered when the course irrigation gets replaced in 2026.
We are in the process of reviewing responses with Tom Lehman, who redesigned the course in 2002 and will share your comments with him.
As a reminder, we hope that anyone feeling sick will not come to Private Golf Club in Scottsdale for any reason and we ask you get proper medical attention before you do so. If you need a clearer understanding of the policies during this time please feel free to reach out.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
The best is yet to come at Scottsdale Private Golf Courses this season. We typically believe that once we get to President’s Day, we are usually off to the races away from the cold and wet days at Scottsdale Private Golf Courses.
We also know the match play competitions will start soon with approximately one month to complete each match through to the finals. The next series of fun competitions are the Member-Guest events, which for the ladies is the Desert Diamond Classic in March, moving forward with the five-match formats which seem to be very popular at Scottsdale Private Golf Courses.
Ladies, please keep in mind that as the number of lady golfers at the Best Country Club in Scottsdale has grown greatly when the sign-up opportunities are available on Foretees, the field size is limited to the first 60 teams who sign up.
Next up for the Men is the long-standing Round-Up Member-Guest event, with 60 teams max as well; playing in the 5-match format that many enjoy in late April.
Lastly, will be the Men’s Stampede Member-Guest in May with the same 5 match format but playing over two days with 27 holes played the first day and 18 the second round.
All of these are the source of not only spirited competitions at the Best Country Club in Scottsdale, but many friendships are formed over these few days.