Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Private Club Relationships

Private Club Relationships

I have gotten out of the habit of posting regularly.  That said I apologize for the length since my last posting.

As many of you know by now, yesterday morning Walt Alloway passed away unexpectedly.  Walt was a dear friend to many of us but more than that, he was truly a great man.  He was active at the club in many ways including Board and Committee involvement, not to mention a fixture at the Club almost daily holding court in the Member Grill, Lounge or on the Course.  He was a friend to every Member, a tremendous ambassador for the Club and his presence will truly be missed by all of us.    We will fly our Club Flag at half mast Friday and Saturday upon re-opening from over-seed to remember our departed friend. 

Upon reflection over the last 24 hours, it made me think of the relationships that are created at the club.  It also reminded me of why I feel Clubs are so unique.  Many of you have heard me speak about the Private Club Experience and my belief that a Club is all about relationships.  It is about whom you know when you join, who you meet after joining and how Members can expand their circles of influence both personally and professionally while at the Club.  Those reflections and remembrances reminded me of the day I started this blog following the loss of another very good Member and reminded me of my absence from posting.
My first day at Arrowhead was August 9, 2009 and I met Walt Alloway on August 10th.  Since that time we have shared on numerous occasions meals, meetings, drinks and even a round of golf.  We have always interacted at the Club and I may have seen him elsewhere on only a couple of occasions.  The reason this is relevant is that I have always felt you can determine the strength of a relationship by the weight you feel from its loss.  The strength and importance of this relationship became very clear to me yesterday as we now collectively as a Club, individually as Members and I personally mourn the loss of a Member, respected colleague and friend. 

As I have additional details about memorial arrangements and the like, I will certainly pass them along.

Kindest regards,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Course Transition Update

We want to take the opportunity to update you on course condition as transition is upon us.  Transition is the process where perennial rye (cool season grass) completes its life cycle, and the Bermuda grass base re-establishes its dominance for the summer growing season.  This has been an abnormal year for the weather creating a roller coaster constructed by Mother Nature; from dramatic temperature swings, warm to cool and back mixed with excessive wind.
Fairways: Neither species of grass has had the most ideal growing conditions.  Rye grass prefers temperatures from overnight lows in the 50’s to highs in the mid 80’s.  Bermuda grass thrives in temperatures ranging from overnight lows in the mid 60’s with highs in the upper 90’s.  Daily lows are just as important as the daily highs. Cooler night time temperatures discourage Bermuda from engaging in respiration that is a critical component in the recovery process.
Irrigation Pump Station: In addition to some weather challenges, we also experienced a strange situation with our pump station.  On May 12, our pump station failed due to a low pressure discharge.  This basically is a safety built into the pumps so they recognize when flow is not high enough to sustain operation and shut down to prevent catastrophic damage.  We were fortunate this happened in May rather than July as it took a several days to trouble shoot to find the problem.  The cause for the failure was the pressure regulator valve not closing fully when the controls were requesting water be sent to the course.  While investigating the valve we found a screen filter, which is normally outside the valve, clogged causing the valve to send a portion of the water meant for course distribution to go back into the lake.  We removed the screen filter from inside the line and installed a new strainer that is accessible for cleaning by our staff rather than having to contact and outside vendor.  This problem has probably been slowly worsening for months causing less water to go to the farther reaching areas of the course.  Many of you notice that holes 5, 6, 12 – 15 are the hardest hit showing transition due to their distance from our pump station and the normal pressure fall-off as water travels through the pipe.  Now that it is back to peak operating condition, this will help us through the tough summer months.
Insect Problem: a few weeks ago we found symptoms of Grubs on the course.  We tested and found that holes #12-15 were affected.  Two weeks ago we treated and killed the Grub population before too much damage occurred.  That said there presence is still evident.  Grubs are a white worm like larvae that feast on the roots and can cause complete desiccation of the plants very quickly left untreated. 
Remedies:  Things that we are doing to improve the playability of the golf course, and ensure the health of the Bermuda grass through this summer are as followed:
·    Moisture control of mounds and trouble areas through the use of hand watering throughout the day.
·    General Fertilization to all fairways and rough.  Weekly supplement and nutrient applications to thin areas.
·    Aerification to all fairways and roughs to enhance the growing medium for the Bermuda grass.  Weak areas will be aerified several times throughout the summer to target nutrients as well as give appropriate air to the subsurface promoting more plant growth.
·    Continued pest management through turf monitoring and spot applications as needed.
The majority of the course is transitioning well.  We do have some areas that are a challenge currently but will be rapidly on the mend with these core agronomic practices in place, as well as the cooperation of the now warmer temperatures.  We have seen a noticeable improvement to the thin areas in just the last few days but they are far from where we expect them.  They are showing strong signs of resurgence and we will continue to evaluate their improvement, and make any necessary adjustments accordingly to re-establish the conditions we expect in these areas.

Kindest regards,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Greens Vandalism Recovery Update 3.15.11

I will open by saying that the damaged greens (4, 8, 10, 11, 16) are improving everyday.  Since our new superintendant, TJ Guyer arrived, he has been vigilant in monitor their recovery each day for color, fill in and basic growth.  To aide in that effort, he has selected one section that he takes a weekly photograph of the area so we can compare impacted area each 7 days for specific improvement.

The next steps are as follows:  With the increased overall temperatures rearing 150 degrees combining the daytime high with the over night low, the Bermuda grass will start actively growing and responding to cultural practices.  As is visible in the areas now, the Bermuda grass is starting to break dormancy and will continue to improve at a rapid pace. As this occurs, all affected greens will receive the following:
  • Weekly Light top-dress which will improve ball roll and playability
  • Fertilization with ¼ lb of nitrogen every 3 days
  • Hand spiking damaged areas every 3 days to ensure penetration of fertilization and supplements as well as encourage lateral growth
  • Weekly needle tine aerification which improves soil penetration so air and nutrients get to the optimal growth zone as well as creating soil fractures for quicker root growth
  • Spray growth enhancer supplement every two weeks once we have the first 150 degree combined temperature.

Our challenge is #8.  It has sustained enough damage in certain areas that the recovery will surpass and acceptable amount of time left to repair itself with the above cultural practices.  The areas I am referencing on #8 are quite visible as with the Bermuda coming out of dormancy there is a 3 to 6 inch wide area that is approximately 80 feet in length where we see no color coming back.   That said, we will be removing 80 linear feet of sod from the Chipping green and installing it in this area.  Please be patient with the golf course maintenance staff as they make this repair.  This is the best way for us to repair the area as it is mature grass which has received the same agronomic practices as our other greens turf making it the most consistent surface possible with the quickest healing time.  We will repair the chipping green with cultural practices and sod purchase when it becomes available. 

Overall we are fortunate the vandalism was done right after a really cold spell which forced the Bermuda in deep dormancy creating a situation that for the most part only killed the Poa Trivialis over seed.

Upon completion of the sod removal and replacement the green will almost instantly play better and be little more than a slightly cosmetic disruption in 30 days.  If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact our golf course superintendant, TJ Guyer or myself.

Kindest regards

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dues Announcement

2011 AVID GOLFER Rankings just in…Arrowhead Country Club:
#1 Private Club below $10,000 Initiation. #4 Best Family Club at any price.

Do You Golf? Time To Enroll!!!

Hello from beautiful Arrowhead Country Club!

In this time of economic instability, Arrowhead has continued to grow, and if you are in the market for a private club or a new club, there is no better time to take a look at Arrowhead!

Full golf Single Dues are only $299 per month
Full Golf Family Dues are only $349.00 per month
Junior Golf Memberships start at $219 per month
Seasonal Memberships Available

Initiation Fee is only $500 before March 31st!

Think you can’t afford a private Club? THINK AGAIN!

This offer is limited and as we near our membership cap wanted our friends and neighbors to be the first to receive this information.  If you would be so kind as to contact one of our Clubs membership directors with questions.  Your can reach Barbie Gonzales or Chris Robinson at 623.561.9600 or email: bgonzales@eaglegolf.com, crobinson@eaglegolf.com.

We look forward to hearing from you before March 31st!

I have attached answers to a few questions you may have:
Market Comparison:  We continuously monitor all neighboring private clubs to ensure we know exactly what other clubs offer in terms of initiation fees, dues and services.  Over the last two years, knowing that we were not only the best value in the entire market, but also the most active, we are thankfully not only maintaining our size, but growing slowly rather than the 30% to 40% membership reduction horror stories at other Clubs.  That said; we want to grow more rapidly to continue being the most vital and relevant Club providing the most value to our Members.

Dues Pricing:  Through our price comparisons with other Clubs, with our extensive amenities, activities, membership involvement and facility, we are far and away already the best value in the area.  Upon completing a detailed study of the entire area, we found that although we have the strongest offering of any other Club in the greater Phoenix area, no Club in the area adjusted to the local market conditions...including us!  Our existing strength allowed us to act on this information by resetting our dues levels.   

Future Dues Increases:  I am sure there will be questions regarding annual increases.  These dues levels are not for any length of time and then returning to “normal.”  These dues levels are our normal prices.  Like every other Club, we will review pricing annually as has been done in the past.  We have been in the 3 to 4% range each year since 2007 and you can expect that normal CPI range of 3 to 5% to continue.

2011 Avid Golfer Ratings

I just received my advance release copy of Avid Golfer.  This issue contains the 2011 Best of the Private Clubs.  I am very pleased to announce that Arrowhead was recognized in the two areas listed below:
#1 in the Private Club below $10,000 initiation fee category.
#4 in the Best Family Club at any price category.
This is very nice recognition for the Club, it's Members and Staff by the community we serve. 

To see the full article, don't forget to pick up your copy of Avid Golfer.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Medical Insurance Benefits...Worth Checking 1/21/11

As we start the year, It is worth knowing your medical insurance benefits.

I have been preparing letters for several members showing the annual cost of membership dues and that those gain them access to a fitness facility.  Many of your health insurance policies will cover a portion of the dues to a health club because they are all encouraging healthier lifestyles to reduce high medical costs later.  There are a wide variety of amounts I have heard from the various Members requesting the letter...in all cases it was enough to be worth a 5 or 10 minute call. 

Call your insurance company and enquire if your coverage includes reimbursement for a health club or gym.  If so, ask how much and what documentation is needed.  Then, contact the accounting department or myself and we will get you the appropriate information to send in.

Lastly, it is a new year!  We have a great 36,000 sq. ft Sports Club only 40 steps from the main Clubhouse.  They have anything you are looking for including complementary classes, specialty classes, personal trainers, free weights, weight machines, cardio equipment and sport courts.  We do indoor and outdoor training not to mention the tennis courts and cardio tennis.  I encourage you to use it...then when you are all done, use our spa services to reward yourself with a haircut, style, massage, manicure, pedicure or other skin therapy services.  A new year and a new you!

See you at the Club...Sports Club...maybe both!

Kindest regards 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fish Population 1/19/11

As you may have noticed as you play golf, we have a portion of the fish population expiring currently.  This unfortunately is an annual event that we experience about this time every year.  This is a fairly specific problem localized to the Tilapia species.  When atmospheric conditions become correct each year it causes the lakes to “turn over.”  When that occurs it fluctuates the environment in the water enough that it causes the weaker fish to expire.  The science surrounding this annual occurrence as I understand it is as follows.  Each year when atmospheric conditions are correct it causes the water on the surface to be "much warmer" than the water below causing layering or "stratification."  This causes 2 distinct things: more oxygen in the warmer surface water than the cooler water below (this is a strange event in itself as typically cooler water holds more oxygen) and it insulates the cooler water below.  The reduction in dissolved oxygen below causes a "stress" situation.  Then when conditions are correct and the top warm water is mixed with all water during "turn over" lowers the overall temperature of the lake.  Tilapia are very sensitive to temperature and this drastic temperature change will cause death in weaker "stressed" fish.  In extreme cases if the "turn over" lowers the temperature near 60 degrees even healthier fish can be in jeopardy.

Each year we gather these fish daily and place them in containers.  At the end of this event each year Arizona Fish and Wildlife collects them from all area properties for disposal.

This event has nothing to do with any practices we utilize to maintain the property.  While not a specialist, it has more to do with size of the body of water, water temperature, atmospheric conditions and the specific ecological environment in the particular body of water.

Kindest regards