Friday, April 21, 2017

What is the purpose of the USGA Handicap System?

The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. The System provides a fair Course Handicap for each player, regardless of ability, and adjusts a player's Handicap Index up or down as the player's game changes. At the same time, the System disregards high scores that bear little relation to the player's potential ability and promotes continuity by making a Handicap Index continuous from one playing season or year to the next. A Handicap Index is useful for all forms of play, and is issued only to individuals who are members of a licensed golf club.



Two basic premises underlie the USGA Handicap System, namely that each player will try to make the best score at every hole in every round, regardless of where the round is played, and that the player will post every acceptable round for peer review. The player and the player's Handicap Committee have joint responsibility for adhering to these premises.

New score posting procedures for 2017:

1) Hole-By-Hole Score Posting – all member home scores will be posted using the hole-by-hole method. This will help the Handicap Committee in several ways. Included is the ability to examine actual score data and potentially change the handicap ranking of each hole.

2) Who will post scores? The golf staff will post all home scores. This will eliminate standing in line waiting for the Kiosk to become available. It will also help the Handicap Committee ensure that all acceptable rounds are posted in a timely fashion, in a standardized way and can be made available for peer review.

3) Where should I turn in my scorecard? Please turn in your scorecard to the Golf Shop or Player Services Staff at the completion of your round (including nine hole or partial rounds). If you prefer to keep your scorecard, please ask the staff to make a copy of your scorecard. The copy will be submitted for score posting. Please clearly identify player names and tee played. Lastly, please inform the staff if you played a format that cannot be posted (Scramble, Alternate Shot).

Friday, April 14, 2017

Congratulations Golf Staff!

This time of year the NCAA college golf teams are holding their conference championships.  Please see the links below to follow the action of our GBCC staff competing in 2017.

Avery Steen – Green Bay Phoenix
April 23 – April 25
For live scoring of this event please go to the link below:
Avery Steen

David Spengler – Northern Iowa University
April 24 – April 25
For live scoring of this event please go to the link below:
David Spengler

Ben Bobinski – St. Norbert College
May 4 – May 6
We do not have live scoring for this event, but for results please go to this link and click on MWC Golf Championship:
http://www.golfstat.com/schedule/index.cfm?gen=m&mon=5&conf

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Golf Course is Open for the Season!


By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

The golf course has overwintered in terrific condition and is primed for another great season. This weekend’s forecasted warmer days will lift the soil temperatures just enough for our putting greens to break dormancy allowing for some recuperative potential from mowing, rolling, and foot traffic. As a result, the golf course, quarry course and putt-putt course will officially open today at 9 am.

 Our Grounds Department staff has been prioritizing our clean-up efforts to the more playable areas of the course: Greens, Tees, Fairways, Bunkers and Cart Paths. Also, most of the golf course accessories (ballwashers, tee markers, garbage cans, and water coolers) have been set on the course, and the remaining will ready by next week.

This foursome officially kicked off the 2017 Outdoor Golf Season.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sports Center Outdoor/Indoor Bar Project

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen
As of April 4th, GBCC has been state approved to construct an outdoor/indoor bar at the Sport Center.  The lifeguard office, located off of the pool deck, will be transformed into the bar; which will provide service to the outside during the summer and inside during fall, spring and winter.

In addition to the new bar, we are converting the dining room into a swimsuit friendly area to relax and eat.  This area will allow members and guest to be by the pool but out of the elements from outside.


The completion of this project is scheduled before May 26th, Opening Day.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The State of the Course: March, 2017

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

After inspecting the course I’m happy to report that, currently, there is no evidence of significant turf loss; not to mention that the course is thawing and breaking out of dormancy nicely. Last fall, the use of heavy topdressing sand coupled with our annual plant protectants insulated the turf’s crown and aided in its winter survival from: low temperature kill, ice damage, desiccation and snow mold. However, before opening the golf course, we must now be patient to allow two naturally occurring events to transpire; thawing of the soil and turf recovery growth.


The first event is we must wait for the soil profile to thaw. Although the deep frost has been lifted; there are still several areas where the frost layer remains between 2-6 inches deep. Frost at shallow depths can cause serious damage and can set the whole golfing season back, if traffic is allowed prematurely. Maintenance equipment and/or golfer traffic on frozen playable areas, or areas in the current freeze-thaw cycle, can create a "shearing" effect on root systems. What happens is the top, or thawed, layer moves and the frozen layer underneath does not; which can have your 9” roots turn into 2” roots (imagine popping off a muffin top). Pictured below exhibits how much damage could be done, even within one foursome.


Another outcome from shallow frost is poorly drained soils. Because the soil is frozen, it will not allow water to drain downward, so all water is being held and saturating the top 2-6 inches. Once a golf ball lands or golfer steps in one of the mentioned areas, the ground will not have any cushion and will cause the surface to spread and lift the sides, much like a ballmark.

 (Left) Off-site example of cart traffic damage
(Right) 
Range ball plugged in our range fairway after a shot

The second event is we must wait for some turf growth. Before the golf course can sustain traffic, it must be able to recover. When temperatures fall below the ranges considered optimal for turfgrass growth, there is a change in the response of turfgrasses to the stresses from golf and course maintenance activities. Therefore, golf traffic during periods of reduced turfgrass growth can result in increased amounts of worn and thin turf, thus affecting the golf season.
Leaf tissue that has been setback by overwinter snowshoe traffic.

Along with everything mentioned above, the current conditions and long-range forecast are not conducive for a March opening. Furthermore, there is no set date for opening the golf course but check your email for updates on the opening of the range and Quarry course. On a positive note, the forecasted temperatures and rains next week will help speed up the thawing process and will then allow us to vent, brush, roll and mow the greens before opening.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The State of the Course

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

This winter we have experienced average temperatures and snow accumulation; however, on January 10th 2017, we accumulated 1” of rain.  Rains this time of year are unfavorable because the turf is dormant and the ground is frozen, resulting in an impermeable surface; so any water drainage is purely surface drainage into either a drain or creek.  That being said, the temperatures during the rain storm dropped from 38 degrees to 15 degrees resulting in an ice storm.  Since the time between the rainfall and the deep freeze was so quick, the majority of the rain was unable to drain and remained on the surface to then freeze.  Overall the course has an average depth of 1” of ice and 4” of snow covering all greens, tees and fairways.

The picture above was taken January 18th, 2017

Since the picture above was taken, there has been considerable amount of melt throughout the course but much of the course (mainly low lying and shaded areas) remains under ice.


#5 Green Before 1/18/2017
#5 Green Before 1/18/2017

#5 Green After 1/24/2017
#5 Green After 1/24/2017
#5 Fairway Before 1/18/2017
#5 Fairway Before 1/18/2017
#5 Fairway After 1/24/2017
#5 Fairway After 1/24/2017

The good news is the majority of the golf course (about 90%) is bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass; which are both highly winter tolerable grasses.  In fact, bentgrass can survive under ice around 90 days.  The Grounds Department has started a log, tracking when the ice formed and what date(s) to check for turf damage.  If we are near the turf damage date(s), we will take measures to remove the ice.  Currently the ice is a benefit, providing protection from other forms of winterkill (crown hydration, low temperature kill and desiccation).