Thursday, March 15, 2018

Green Bay Country Club Named a Top 100 Club Fitter

Green Bay Country Club was named to Ping's Top 100 Club Fitter List, the only golf facility named to the list in the state of Wisconsin. PING’s Top 100 list recognizes those who demonstrate the highest commitment to custom fitting and promoting its benefits to golfers of all abilities. 

Top 100 honorees were saluted for their expertise in fitting those who’ve been through the process before, and for helping grow the game by fitting players who’ve never been fit, demonstrating what’s possible.

“We have a mountain of empirical evidence from tens of thousands of fittings over the years proving that properly fit PING equipment makes a measurable difference in a golfer’s ability to hit the ball consistently better and post lower scores,” said John K. Solheim, PING President. “Our Fitters of the Year see it every day in the smiles they bring to people’s faces as golfers watch shot after shot sail into the distance with the correct clubs in their hands. A PING fitting, with its unmatched level of detail, unlocks a player’s true potential. The fitter’s objective is simple: to make the game easier so the player has more success and enjoys the game more.”

“We’re delighted that so many PING-authorized custom-fitting facilities, large and small, across the nation, are providing a superior service so golfers can get the most from their game,” Solheim said. “These fitters emphasize to their customers that it’s about hitting quality shot after quality shot during the fitting. A single shot should not be the basis for making a buying decision. The goal of the fitting is to consistently hit shots that are long and straight that have the proper ball flight while achieving the tightest dispersion patterns. Once a player does that, their confidence goes up and their scores come down.”

Friday, March 9, 2018

A Matter of Course: March 2018 Update

 Photo taken 3/7/2018 on the Quarry Course
By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Does late-winter snowfall harm or kill the turf?  Much depends upon whether the turf has broken dormancy.  If the turf has broken dormancy, then snow can act as an insulator/microclimate for snow mold development.  If the turf has not broken dormancy, then there is a decreased chance for snow mold but the snow acts as an insulator, which will slow the defrosting process in the soil.  At GBCC, because we have not broken dormancy, we are most likely not in any harm on our playable surfaces for a snow mold outbreak; but could delay the soil defrosting process.

Contrary to the photo above, we have been below the yearly average for snowfall.  Seen below from Green Bay’s NOAA, is a comparison from this year’s winter to the average: temperature, precipitation and snowfall.

The red circles signify our normal weather trends for temperature and rain this winter.  The yellow circle signifies the below normal amount of snow accumulated this winter, 12”.

Prior to last week’s snowfall, when the course was exposed, I am pleased to report that there was no winter turf kill; however, we are not out of the woods, yet. Although the threat of desiccation and low-temperature kill is low, there is still a threat of water crown hydration.

Water crown hydration can happen when temperatures increase, the plant starts to uptake water and breaks dormancy.  From there, the damage occurs when temperatures go below freezing, while the plant is growing, causing cell rupture in the crown, resulting in turf kill.  With the forecast reaching low 40s during the day and mid 20s at night; those are perfect conditions for water crown hydration.  However, because of the predominate population of bentgrass, it takes a longer warming tend to break dormancy.  Plus, bentgrass has a high tolerance of water crown hydration.  In fact, water crown hydration may be a positive; because of poa annua’s high susceptibility to water crown hydration, it could aid in the elimination of our course’s small poa annua population.

Overall, this winter has been ideal for the Grounds Department to complete outside projects when warm and inside projects when cold/snowy.  Below are just some of the winter projects completed:

Refurbishing all golf course supplies, including: rakes,
ball washers, benches and tee markers.

Refurbished Ballwashers

Repaired/Renovated/Replaced areas around the Clubhouse
and Sport Center, such as this wine cooler.

  • Attended regional and national seminars and trade shows 
  • Pruned trees and shrubs on the golf course and club grounds
  • Re-organized numerous documents and data records from the 2017 season; in order to make 2018 better
  • Removed dead/dying trees
  • Removed brush
  • Removed Snow – Hopefully Completed
  • Reconditioned all golf course maintenance equipment for the 2018 season – 90% Completed

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Green Bay Country Club Hires General Manager

-- Addition of the GM Position is a First in the Club’s 23-Year History --

(February 27th, 2018, Green Bay, Wis.) Green Bay Country Club, Green Bay’s only member-owned and operated country club, added the position of general manager to the Club’s management team. Stefan Sperlich was appointed to the position effective February 19th.

This is the first time the Club has had a general manager in their 23 year history. In recent years, the Club has been named a Certified Audubon Golf Course and Top 50 Private Practice Facility in the United States. GBCC leaders indicated that they added the position to build on the success of recent accomplishments.

“We were impressed to hear the vision Stefan has for GBCC,” commented Club President Dr. Paul Summerside, MD. “Stefan plans to enhance the overall membership experience in each area of our operations, as well as enhancing our reputation as a club within the Green Bay and greater Wisconsin community. Further, we believe that he will help us make GBCC a true ‘employer of choice’ as part of his efforts on our behalf.”

Sperlich’s most recent position was the general manager of Edgewood Valley Country Club in LaGrange, IL. He previously served as the GM of Prestwick Country Club in Frankfort, IL. He is a graduate of the well-respected Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University where he received a BS Degree in Business Management, specializing in Private Club Operations. He got his start in club management at The World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida and at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

About Green Bay Country Club 
Green Bay Country Club, established in 1995, is the epitome of what a country club should be: a fun, friendly, comfortable golf and tennis facility where everyone feels special. Our nationally recognized 18-hole course, designed by Dick Nugent, challenges players of every level. It's the kind of course you'll want to play again and again as you strive to master all of its nuances. We offer a full calendar of exclusive events, both on and off the course, creating a congenial atmosphere in which to meet and socialize with fellow club members. Our two full-service clubhouses, with their wide range of amenities, enhance your overall club experience. We are member-owned and operated; all regular members have voting privileges. An elected Board of Directors, composed of members, sets, maintains and enforces our standards of excellence. To learn more, please go to

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Putting: The Set Up

GBCC Director of Instruction Lucas Hana offers video tips to help you improve your game. You can watch all his videos at the link below: 

>>>Golf Academy Video Library

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Matter of Course: Will No Snow Cover and Cold Temperatures Lead to Turf Damage?

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

During last month’s conditions, we discussed the benefits of having snow cover and its insulating properties; this month’s conditions are quite the opposite.  The course is currently exposed with little to no snow cover.  The 14-day forecast does not predict any high amounts of accumulation of snow, but we will experience subzero temperatures.

Will no snow cover and extremely cold temperatures lead to turf damage/kill?  USGA states, “Winter injury is a very complex event because it is controlled by many variables that are not completely understood.”

During these windy sub-zero temperatures, two winter injuries can occur: low temperature kill and desiccation.  As of now, because of our high population of low temperature tolerant turf species, along with the amount of precipitation we have accumulated this winter, low temperature kill and desiccation are unlikely.

During these winter periods of extremely low temperatures and no snow cover can have their benefits for the upcoming golf season.  As a matter of fact, once temperatures plummet, we would prefer there to be little to no snow all winter.  The reason being is snow acts as an insulator which would not allow as deep of a freeze.  A deep freeze is beneficial because the soil profile to undergo a “natural aerification.”  This is made possible by having moist or saturated soil which will then freeze and expand.  During the course of expansion, the ice will create underground fissures which results in the break-up of the soil profile creating air flow and gas exchange to assist next spring’s root growth and overall plant health.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How to Hit the Ball Longer

By Lucas Hana, PGA Director of Instruction

I frequently get asked the question, “How do I hit the ball longer?” from a number of my students and the answer is in the numbers. As you can see in the picture below, this player hit a drive 242 yards with 133 mph ball speed.

This ball speed is average for most male members here at GBCC, however the 242 yard drive is much above average because of how this individual struck the ball.

Here are 3 keys to getting more distance without more speed:

1. Strike the ball in the center of the club face. To get the most distance, you need to hit the ball in the center of the club face. We have impact stickers by the Golf Simulator to help you see where you strike the ball on the club and they are free for you to use at anytime.

2. By swinging up and to the right of your target (for a right handed golfer) you create the optimal launch angle and backspin. As you can see in the picture, this individual had a nice high launch angle of 13.7* and backspin of only 1603rpm. That’s a recipe for maximum distance.

3. To get a good amount of roll on your drive, you need to have LEFT sidespin by striking the ball with a closed clubface. A sidespin of 306 L is perfect for lots of roll.

As you can see, great distance comes from good numbers! Make a tee time on Foretees for the golf simulator and we will help you understand how you can create good numbers for more distance and a lot more fun in your game!

Friday, January 5, 2018

A Matter of Course: What is the Impact of Sub Zero Temps?

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Are these sustained sub-zero temperatures harming or injuring the golf course??? The USGA states, “Winter injury is a very complex event because it is controlled by many variables that are not completely understood.”

During these windy sub-zero temperatures, two winter injuries can occur: low temperature kill and desiccation.

Low Temperature Kill
As of now, low temperature kill is not a concern because of our high population of bentgrass on our playing surfaces. Bentgrass has a very high tolerance for low temperatures and can withstand this type of weather pattern. As an added benefit, the average 6” of snow is insulating and protecting the bentgrass.

Desiccation is the drying of the plant due to the exposure of low temperatures, high winds and no added precipitation. This past fall, just prior to the low temperatures and snow, we executed a couple of a preventative practices for desiccation.

 First, we sprayed an anti-desiccant on all high exposed areas (i.e. #6 green, putting green and etc.). An anti-desiccant is coating that helps protect and lock in moisture on the bentgrass leaf blades and crown. Second, we did a heavy topdressing application on all greens and tees (seen below). By doing this, the sand acts as an insulator from the low temperatures and cool high winds.

The most important and natural element to minimizing and/or eliminating low temperature kill and desiccation is snow. Snow is the best insulator for the golf course; it protects from high winds, locks in warmth for the plant to survive and keeps the plants hydrated. As of today, with current conditions, we are setup for the course to over winter nicely.

Winter Projects
On a positive note, we have been able to complete some projects during the deep freeze. Below are just some of the projects the Grounds Department has completed:

Repaired and re-routed irrigation lines around #13 tee

Installed a new Simulator screen

Re-leveled the Simulator floor