Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Time flies when you are having fun at Scottsdale Golf Course

Scottsdale Golf Course

As the saying goes “Time flies when you’re having fun.” It is hard to believe that it’s already April.  I have been very happy with the course conditions this season at Scottsdale Golf Course. It was a perfect scenario with the timing of the weather change in conjunction with overseed this year, as we didn’t have to contend with 100-degree days during the most important first 6 weeks of growth. The consistency and playability of the greens have been impeccable with tournament-like conditions throughout.  Earlier in the season, we saw a few less rounds which means less ball marks and less traffic, all beneficial to the  Scottsdale Golf Course and to those of you trying to book tee times. 

   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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Racquet Sports at Scottsdale Golf Course

Scottsdale Private Golf Courses

We have had a fun but busy spring at the Scottsdale Golf Course racquet sports facility and it doesn’t end as we transition towards the summer months! On the tennis side, we are wrapping up another exciting ladies league season in April with all of our teams for the most part having good years. The junior program continues to develop under the guidance of Assistant Director of Racquet Sports Ryan Shomo with clinics and lessons running six days per week. The match play and tournament program has allowed junior players to grow their games through competition. On the men’s side, we are continuing to offer opportunities for match play through our men’s singles and doubles programs with the goal of growing our men’s program enough to start a league team.

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

Waitlists at Scottsdale Private Golf Courses

Scottsdale Private Golf Courses

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

What 2022 has in Store at The Best Country Club in Scottsdale

Best Country Club in Scottsdale

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!