Saturday, September 29, 2012

SLO County Parks and Golf at Savor the Central Coast

We teamed up again with SLO County Parks to represent all that we have to offer again this year at the Savor the Central Coast event at Santa Margarita Ranch in Santa Margarita, CA.  This event is a great exhibition of all the Central Coast of California has to offer.  Most of the cities and communities were represented with booths and displays.  Wineries were on full display and there are hundreds of them.  Our booth was located right next to the International Wine Competition Gold Award winners.  Many of our Central Coast wines were featured and it is nice to know that we have such a great group of vintners in our area to capture prestigious international awards.  If you get the chance watch the movie "Bottle Shock" and see how wine got its start in California, you will not be disappointed as it is a great piece of history and quite entertaining too!

Well, our booth included our golf simulator, portable putting green, homemade potato chips from Dairy Creek's kitchen (DELICIOUS!!)  Lay's watch out.  Our goal was to give away free golf and perhaps some golfers to come back to the Central Coast and take advantage of the great golf, not just our courses, in this gorgeous area.  We set up a closest to the pin contest and gave 2 free rounds and cart away to the top 10 closest shots.  20 rounds total!!  We had a blast and had nearly 200 visitors try their luck on the simulator.  The winner was Scott Morales of San Jose.  Congratulations Scott and we hope to see you back here soon!  We will get a good nights sleep and do it all again tomorrow.  My thanks go out to my partners this weekend, Kent Lauble, pro from Dairy Creek and Morro Bay Michael Samaniego and Levi Garcia both pros at Chalk Mountain Golf Course.  These guys did a fantastic job of providing instruction to all of the participants.

Photos will follow after tomorrow's final day of the event. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sustainable Golf Demonstration Park

This morning I presented our Zero Waste Park at Dairy Creek to a group of Rotarians, the SLO Daybreak Chapter specifically.  I have given this presentation probably 30 times since we began promoting Zero Waste at Dairy Creek.  The response has been tremendous and people are surprised an effort like this is happening at a golf course!  I have a blast each time as it is fun to promote golf and talk to people about what we do behind the scenes. 

I usually start the presentation by asking how many golfers are in the room.  This percentage ranges from 15-50% of the group.  I then follow up with a questions for the non-golfers, "What comes to mind when I mention the term golf course?"  I get responses like Tiger Woods (he is definitely still relevant), money, country clubs, etc.  There are also a number of responses like, water polluters, pesticide contamination, and water wasters.  I promise them that I will try to change their minds before the presentation is finished.  This morning I had nearly 10 people come up after the presentation who provided some of the negative comments about golf courses and express gratitude for what we are doing and that they are joyful to know the strides that golf courses take to protect our resources and communities.

There definitely needs to be more information shared with the world about what we do as golf course superintendents as stewards of the environment!  On a daily basis we are monitoring our water usage, fertility programs, pesticide applications, fuel usage, habitat availability, etc.  Many would argue that this is for business purposes and that is true that we must always be conscious of the bottom line and our budgets, but Integrated Pest Management, personal interests, and "its the right thing to do" are also drivers of our actions.  Get out, profess what YOU and our industry are doing for our communities and get active in different programs and organizations.  I have not even mentioned the charitable activities that happen on golf courses, the economic impact our small businesses have within out communities, and how about the recreational and social benefits of this great sport.  All of those are for another post.  Bye for now.

" The site of a golf course should be there, not brought there...Many an acre of magnificent land has been utterly destroyed by steam shovel biting out traps and bunkers, transposing landmarks that are contemporaries of Genesis. "
~ Perry Maxwell, golf architect

Friday, September 21, 2012

Another example of why golf is such an incredible game!

The First Tee is program that helps get kids into the game of golf.  It origiinally started as a way to instill values and morals within kids that grew up in less than ideal situations.  The life lessons and values are still the cornerstone of The First Tee as the program has grown and gained quite a following.

Please read below as this is an excellent example of why those of us in the golf industry continue to do what we do each and everyday.

To impact the lives of young people by providing
educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values
and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.
Billy Gibbs is a PGA teaching professional that I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with on Golf Talk Radio show on ESPN Radio 1280 here on the Central Coast.  Billy Co-Hosts the show with Mike Brabenec every Saturday at 8:05 am.  Billy is a First Tee Coach and National Trainer and also serves as the Program Director the First Tee of the Central Coast.  This past year he was honored with the award of 2012 Southern California PGA Junior Golf Leader of the Year.  The following email depicts why Billy was selected for this distinction as well as how golf and the First Tee can help young (and old) find their way through life!

Now that the next season of First Tee is rolling around again I have
had a chance to think back on what a positive experience this program
has been for Audrey. Through the past two seasons of First Tee you
have made a special connection with Audrey and have been able to
bring out special qualities in her that she rarely exhibits. One of
these qualities is self-confidence. In groups Audrey is usually
withdrawn and unfocused. However, during First Tee she was very
confident, spoke her mind, and participated with her peers in the
activities. The skills and environment that First Tee provided
enable Audrey to achieve success which built her self-confidence. We
will be forever grateful that you took the time to get to know Audrey
for the person that she is. We look forward to the upcoming season
to watch Audrey grow as a golfer and as a person overcoming Autism.

Best Regards,
Bernadette Corona
" Golf has probably kept more people sane that psychiatrists have. "
~Harvey Penick, golf instructor