Setting Up Golf Courses for New Golfers

Golf Course Setup for Success
LPGA Professional Stacie Lewis. Image source: golfforher.com.

The Golf For Her magazine has started a new series called “Setting Up Golf Courses For Success.” You can follow the series here. LPGA Pro Stacie Lewis, pictured here, wrote the Foreword for the article. She is an advocate for making the game fun for everyone – for the excellent golfers and for the new golfers. Stacie’s goal is to grow the game by making it more fun for the new woman golfer.

Sierra View Country Club, not to be left behind, has been working with a golf course architect and an internal committee of members to evaluate, hole by hole, where changes could be made to make the course more attractive to mid-to-high handicap players, without diminishing the challenge for low handicap players.

Here are just a few of the architect’s recommendations:

  1. Hole 3 – Take out the fairway bunker on the right. All it does is penalize the high handicap player.
  2. Hole 5 – Take out the pot bunker in the middle. It makes no sense and again, is an impediment to the high handicap player. Low handicappers don’t even know it’s there!
  3. Hole 6 – Mow the fairway cut on the right side to give the short hitters more of a chance to have their tee shot land on the fairway rather than in the rough. (This is already under way.)
  4. Hole 12 – Add a forward tee approximately 115 yards from the green. Sweet!
  5. Hole 17 – Rework the green-side bunker to be more forgiving and playable.

Those are just a few of the recommendations. Over time, as the committee evaluates each recommendation and puts a price on the cost of the change, we’ll start seeing things happening on the fairways. New tee boxes, for example, are costly. Equipment has to be brought in for providing proper fill for drainage and for laser leveling. Sod is costly, about $2.50 a square foot. And it can be disruptive, taking two to three weeks to complete. But the cheers you will hear from the short hitters when the #12 tee box is complete will resound all over the course.

 

 

Trial Membership – Tell Your Friends!

Trial Membership Sierra View

Trial Membership Announced!

As of the first week of June, Sierra View Country Club announced a wonderful 60 day program you can tell all your friends about. It’s a 60 Day Trial Membership designed to give an individual or family a real taste of the country club experience. Included are:

  • Unlimited use of the pool
  • Unlimited use of the tennis courts
  • TWELVE 18 hole rounds of golf on our exquisite, walkable golf course (or ride if you wish)
  • One 9 hole twilight golf event including dinner (tons and tons of no-pressure fun)
  • One additional dinner for two (yum)
  • A mentor to guide you through the introductory period

The cost of this Trial Membership, which is only $485, will cover the first month’s membership, if the individual or family decides to join Sierra View Country Club. And why wouldn’t they?

Tell your friends, too, that Sierra View is undergoing renovation, so if you bring your friends to visit the Club, you’ll have to say, “Pardon Our Dust”! The first phase of renovations should be done some time in July, and there should be little, if any, disruption. And don’t forget to remind your friends that Sierra View is still the best value among the golf clubs in the Sacramento Tri-County Area.

Does Golf Take Too Long To Play?

“Golf takes too long to play,” my neighbor said to me this past weekend when I invited him to take advantage of a guest pass I’m holding. And his point of view is supported by thousands of golfers around the world. A study commissioned just recently by R&A received over 56,000 responses from golfers representing 122 countries. Of those who responded, 60% said they would enjoy golf more if it didn’t take so much time out of their day.

Before my husband and I joined a private country club, we, too, believed that golf took too much time to play. Then, encouraged by another neighbor, we joined Sierra View, which destroyed that notion. Here’s an example: last Thursday, my husband and I went to Sierra View and played nine holes at 3:30 in the afternoon. We walked on. We didn’t schedule it in advance. We did it on a whim. It took one hour and a half. And we walked, which means we got our “steps” in that day! Could we do that at a public course? Absolutely not.

Another example is this: On Memorial Day, we scheduled 18 holes of golf with good friends who are also members. At the turn, we wistfully gazed over to the fire pit area of the patio at Sierra View and said, “What the heck. Let’s say nine was enough. Let’s order a drink, sit out here in this scrumptious weather, and call it a round of golf.”

What’s my point? My point is that if you belong to a private Country Club, and there are ones you can join in the greater Sacramento area, golf doesn’t have to take too much time to play. Just like the Golf Superintendent’s annual survey determined, “let’s play nine” should be the game’s new mantra.  And since most public courses charge you for a full round of 18 holes whether you play all 18 or not, it could pencil out for you to join a private golf club where you can play nine or two or four or eighteen or twentyseven or whatever number fits into your day.

 

Private Club Network Reminder

Private Club Network
This is a reminder to Sierra View Country Club members that we are a part of the Private Club Network which gives you access to hundreds of private golf courses and country clubs in the United States and Canada. And don’t forget to mention this gem of a fact to your friends when you are talking to them about why they should join Sierra View.

The Private Club Network adds so much value to any private country clubs’ members who travel beyond their home town golf club. Imagine having the privilege of playing your choice of exquisite golf courses which are members of this network. And it really works. Last fall my husband and I visited family in San Diego and prior to going there, we contacted the Private Club Network to arrange golf for us at a beautiful course in the area. Beautiful is not even the right word. It was breathtaking. And on checking in at the pro shop, we were given the same respect and consideration as that country club’s own members are given. It was terrific.

On the Private Club Network’s website you will find more details on how you can take advantage of this benefit of your membership at Sierra View. Unlike the Gold Card Program, where you arrange tee times at other clubs through our Pro Jim Salazar, you communicate directly with the Private Club Network concierge staff or directly through the website. You can download their brochure here.

Cost for Golf in the Private Club Network?

I know you are wondering what it costs to play  the courses in the Private Club Network. The answer is “it varies.” Each club in the network sets their own fees, which range from $25 to $250. As I recall, we paid $65 per player in San Diego which included a cart. And we were treated like royalty for that exceptional rate!

If you are a person who uses Twitter, you can follow @PrivateClubNtwk to stay on top of what’s happening. New clubs are added all the time.

What is the derivation of the term Country Club?

Country Club now within City

Have you ever wondered about the derivation of the term “Country Club”? At a meeting last evening, our General Manager, John Welch, talked about the importance of a Country Club to the community of Roseville. He went on to explain that Country Clubs typically originally were planned outside the environs of east coast cities, as a way for Club members to escape the stress and congestion of the big city and get out into the countryside. Interestingly enough, when Sierra View Country Club was formed in the 1950s, the land absolutely was on the fringe of the city. Alta Vista Avenue, our entrance street, was then the northernmost street in Old Roseville. Sierra View was truly a club in the country!

Country Clubs first began in Scotland a very long time ago. The first Country Club in the United States was built in the late 1700s. According to the United States Golf Association, the first Country Club in the United States was the Country Club of Charleston (South Carolina), established in 1786 and still going strong.

Wikipedia makes an interesting statement in their online post describing what a Country Club is. This free encyclopedia makes mention of the impact that Country Clubs have had on the suburbanization of cities, and that Country Clubs are considered to be the precursors to the concept of gated communities. If you look at the growth of Roseville, you’ll see that it expanded way beyond the boundaries of Sierra View, way beyond the center of Old Downtown Roseville, and gated communities were built within a mile of our front entrance.

 

5 Tips for New Golfers

I wish someone would have given me these 5 tips when I was a new golfer. Or even before I stepped foot on a golf course. These tips are just downright sensible. If you have been reluctant to take up golf, these 5 tips for new golfers should give you some comfort.

  1. Don’t feel like you have to keep score. There’s plenty of time to do that after you’ve become more comfortable playing golf. It’s not important that you know how many times you swung at the ball. Just expect that it’s a LOT and it doesn’t matter. But if you are counting, and you get to something approaching 9 on any hole, pick up your ball and let the rest of your team finish the hole. No harm, no foul.
  2. Remember nobody cares how well or how poorly you play. They were new golfers once, too, and I’m sure they remember being at the point you are at right now. They don’t care how well you play, but they do care how fast you play. That’s really all they care about. So watch your pace, keep up with the rest of your team, and you’ll be fine.
  3. Buy a couple dozen cheap balls or recycled balls. You are bound to lose many, many balls as a new golfer. And one way to keep up the pace of play is to not spend too much time in the rough looking for your lost ball. They’re cheap, they’re almost disposable, so don’t fret over lost balls. Just know you’ll lose many balls at first.
  4. This may sound rude, but don’t talk too much. Too much talking on the course slows down play, and your partners will appreciate silence when they are setting up to the ball and taking their shot. Judge your chattiness by watching your partners and let that be your guide to your talkativeness.
  5. The rules of golf are important, and you can learn those later, so don’t worry about the rules just yet. But do read up on golf etiquette before you play golf. Included in golf etiquette is knowing how to dress for the course you are playing, keeping your cell phone on mute, avoiding walking on your partners’ putting lines on the green, and more. Do your internet research. There are many good articles on golf etiquette. Arnold Palmer’s Golf Etiquette Tips is an excellent one.

Many of the husbands at Sierra View Country Club have non-golfing wives. It is our hope that all of the women partners at Sierra View feel comfortable taking up the game. It’s a sport husbands and wives can play into their golden years!

Can Joining a Country Club Extend Life?

Parade Magazine Living to 100
Cheater’s Guide to Living to 100

According to Parade Magazine’s article in their Sunday, April 5, 2015 issue, finding a “tribe” such as is found in a country club, can extend life, in some cases up to 14 years. Maybe I’m reading something into the article that’s not there, but I don’t think so. I think it’s a fact. Read the article for yourself and you decide.

Here’s what the Parade Magazine article says: Among the four lifestyle changes that give you the possibility of living to the ripe old age of 100, finding a tribe is the most important and weighs more than the other three, more than what you eat, more than having a purpose, more than physical activity. Your tribe, the people you hang out with, trumps all three for lengthening your lifespan in the most positive ways.

Country Clubs attract like-minded, healthy, fun-loving people, the perfect kind of tribe. And when I look around at the super seniors at Sierra View Country Club, I see a vital, sharp, funny, classy bunch of men and women. And another common element among this group is this: they have been hanging out with their country club tribe for a long time. They didn’t just join yesterday.

The article was written by Ginny Graves, based on over 10 years of research by journalist Dan Buettner. Dan spent the past several years studying the lifestyles of the healthiest, longest-living people all over the world. What he found in these pockets of longevity are not the frail oldsters, but vital, active people enjoying life. Some are still working! And to his surprise, these centenarians all have a tribe, some sort of social group from within their extended family or from good friends.

The tribes at a country club might be the men’s group, or the women golfers, or simply the natural coming-together of groups of club members who resonate with each other’s personalities or professions.

I don’t know about you, but I found this research to be fascinating. I am glad I found my tribe early!

 

Wedding Planning? Think Golf Course!

Beautiful Wedding Setting

Brides – are you in the process of wedding planning? Golf courses offer a picturesque setting that rivals most other venues. The greenery, arching trees, and wide expanses of beauty offer a perfect backdrop for the bride, groom, attendants, and participants. The secret to pulling it off successfully rests in the hands of the golf course’s wedding and banquet experts. June is usually considered the prime wedding month, and with June being only a few weeks away, now is a good to be talking about how to have a successful wedding, and Sierra View Country Club can help with all of the details.

Here are some tips written by Sierra View’s wedding and event planner, Richard Payne.

  • Work with a wedding planner who knows the country club or golf venue intimately. That might seem self-serving, since I am Sierra View’s wedding planner, but I can help you stay within your budget, pick vendors that I know do a spectacular job and bring you a lot of value. So if you are thinking of a golf course as your venue, work with a wedding planner who has arranged multiple weddings at the specific location.
  • Plan well in advance. Most golf courses have an established tournament schedule which needs to be taken into consideration when you are picking your golf venue wedding date. In warm climates, such as in our Roseville, California area, you have several good months to pick from in planning your wedding date. Work with your golf course staff to identify a date that works with their schedule and mother nature’s schedule.
  • Visit the venue at the time of the day you would likely want your wedding to take place. Golf courses are beautiful backdrops at all times of the day, and most lovely in the early morning and late afternoon. Your visit will help you determine what time of the day you want photos taken. Notice in the image above, the shadows truly dress up the picture.
  • Establish a budget. Have a pretty accurate estimate in mind when you start your planning process. A wedding planner can help you stay within that budget by recommending professionals, such as photographers and florists, who will provide first-class services for your wedding within your constraints.
  • Ask for references. You should be able to read reviews that brides or wedding attendees have posted on the internet. In addition, ask the country club or their event planner (or food and beverage manager) for references.

Here are some ideas for favors, cakes, flowers, on Pinterest. And here are ideas for your wedding reception. Check out the slide show of photos of prior weddings held at Sierra View – and this is just a small sampling.

Wedding planning can make your head spin. Let your venue expert help you out. Contact me by email at rpayne@sierraviewcc.com, or by phone at 916-783-4600, Ext. 21. I look forward to hearing from you.

Fifty Shades of Green?

shadeTree

OK, this is a cheap trick to capitalize on the popular movie, but I’ll bet you don’t know how many varieties of trees are found on Sierra View Country Club’s golf course. The answer is at the end of this post.

Golf course managers inventory trees on the courses they care for, with plans for future pruning and replacement. You’d be amazed at how many different trees you play in and around and among on our course. For me, I’ve stuck every one of them. At lunch with a friend yesterday, she remarked that during a recent round she hit four trees with a negative yardage consequence on each one! Every day is “Arbor Day,” she added.

Recently, a large branch from the tree that guards the approach shot from the left on number six was removed. We heard a loud and boisterous hooray from all of us who have exclaimed, “It didn’t go through” on that approach shot. Yes, we lament those truly infamous trees that add strokes to our scores. But think about what Sierra View’s golf course would be like without those fifty shades of green?

Imagine how Sierra View looked in the early 50’s when it was first opened. All of the trees were either native to the property and fully grown (and I’ve seen the footage…there weren’t that many mature trees) or saplings. Imagine for a moment how deathly hot it was for those early members, when the temperature was 105 in July or August, trying to crouch in the smidgen of shade offered by a two-year-old red bud tree.

I checked with Kyle Dykstra who is responsible for the amazingly wonderful conditions of our golf course in all kinds of weather and through all the seasons of the year. The answer to the question is 40. Forty shades of green. There you have it.

Five Reasons To Join a Country Club

 

Five reasons to join a country club

Sierra View members, as we launch the 2015 spring membership campaign, let’s keep in mind the reasons we joined Sierra View and why our friends should join, too. For many of us, it’s the “Club” in Country Club that eventually becomes the biggest reason. But until you have joined, you may not know why people join a country club. How about these reasons:

For golfers, it’s Conditions. Most private country clubs keep their course in pristine condition and Sierra View certainly meets that requirement. Playing a course that is in good condition improves your golfing skills, too, as you are playing the way golf was meant to be played. on lush fairways and greens.

For golfers, it’s Time. If you value your time, pace of play is the next reason to join a country club. Members of a country club have an emotional and personal investment in making sure the quality of the experience is good for themselves and others. Members of a country club want fellow members to know they are pace-conscious. Pace of play is almost guaranteed to be on target at a country club. Public golf course rounds are typically one hour longer than at private courses. Time matters.

For golfing, tennis or social members, it’s Friendship. That’s the “Club” in Country Club. The country club experience creates a special circle of friendships and camaraderie that you can’t find anywhere else. Walking in the clubhouse lounge and feeling at home means a lot. And as members age, this group becomes more and more important. Members care.

Options. Most country clubs have a variety of membership categories. Prospective members should seek out the membership category that best suits their pocket book and needs. Many country club members start out as social members, and finding that they enjoy the other aspects of the club, evolve into full memberships. The social membership gives a family a great way to experience many of the benefits of membership, with dining and events that are very special.

The Niceties. When the server in the lounge remembers your beverage preference, when the golf pro offers you a suggestion on the driving range, when you know you can leave your wallet at home, when the golf shop shuttles you out to the parking lot to retrieve your clubs, when your children or grandchildren order snacks poolside, these are the little things that keep members happy and involved.