31 AUG 2022
The 2022 season has been a slow move back to “normal” as we all become accustomed to Covid in our lives. We want to thank those who completed the survey and provided your comments. It is apparent how passionate our Members are about RattleSnake Point. We know that the last two years have put us behind on many projects and routines that we would have done in the past and we are doing our best to get caught up.
Tee Time Access:
The biggest challenge in the golf industry since 2019 is the increased demand for golf and the increase in new golfers. At RattleSnake, our Members have gone from playing 43.7 rounds in 2019 to 61.4 rounds in 2021. The increase in demand made us rethink how we operate and required us to provide more access to the tee sheets for our Members; fewer corporate events, earlier starting times, and adjustments to tee time intervals. We are now seeing an improved pace of play and more golf for all our Home Club Members. As we continue through the 2022 season, we are seeing a return to normal golfing patterns. There is more access to other clubs in the region; hence our interclub play has increased across ClubLink. A little trick for all those looking to get on other clubs is to check in 2 days from your desired time. All clubs are required to release their home Club-protected tee times 48 hours out.
Member Experience Manager:
As many of you know our Member Experience Manager has resigned and we are in the process of finding a replacement. The position was created to help our Membership with tee time access, onboarding of new and current Members, chit disputes and communication. We hope to have a new candidate in place by the end of September. In the meantime, please reach out to me if you have any questions or need help.
In 2022 and moving into 2023 our mandate is to host a maximum of 16 events a year on Mondays, except the Wednesday after Labour Day. We hosted 51 events in 2018 and 39 events in 2019. We have built a corporate event calendar for each region that allows our Members to always have a place to play golf every day of the year. If RattleSnake Point is closed for an event, you will have access to multiple clubs in the west end.
Course Condition Improvements:
As everyone knows, we struggled with our greens at the beginning of the season. This issue was not unique to RattleSnake, as a few clubs in the GTA west experienced a similar problem. The winter caused severe damage to our POA Annua Grass on Copperhead 5, Sidewinder 12, 14, 15, and 16, and the cool temperatures to start the season didn’t help. POA Annua is a grass that migrates into golf courses over time and can cause inconsistencies on greens. Bill and Christine worked hard to find a solution for the POA, but changing weather made that a huge challenge. In July, we tried a combination of a fertilizer and wetting agent to promote growth and retain water during the drought. This action helped the greens germinate and led to a more receptive product. A negative was the greens grew at a pace that prevented us from providing the faster greens that we are all accustomed to. As we move through August, we have been able to dry the greens out, and we are now running them at an acceptable pace.
If you have golfed lately, you know how desperate we are for rain and the last few days have helped tremendously. We continue to experience drought conditions this summer. July concluded with a total of 22.8 mm of rain. August's total precipitation, until this week, is a paltry 9.6 mm. We continue to take water from the tributary daily, and greens, tees, and fairways continue to be irrigated. Greens are hand-watered daily, and tees are hand-watered as staff permits. The range deck is being irrigated, but we have stopped irrigating rough. I believe we have in the vicinity of 18 million gallons left in the reservoir. This is the equivalent of approximately 28 days of water at current average use rates. We lost some grass during the drought. We aerified tee decks hoping this would help. In many cases it did, and a few will need some topdressing and seeding. If they don’t recover, then a re-sodding will likely happen.
The bunker program is well underway, and we are hearing a lot of positive feedback. It is early to determine when the project will be completed as we have a lot of work ahead of us. The goal is to finish rebuilding all bunkers on Copperhead by mid-season 2023 and complete Sidewinder by the middle of 2024. Copperhead 2 turned out amazing and the new bunkers have held amazing in the last two heavy rain falls.
Copperhead No. 2 first fairway bunker
Sidewinder No. 15 – original bunker with drainage issues
The next big project that is well underway is on Copperhead No. 5 and No. 6. Copperhead No. 5 will see the biggest change as we plant trees to the left of the new fairway bunker and to the right of the fairway, which is being widened. Copperhead is a parkland course, and you will see some trees added or moved over the next few months as we continue through the project.
Trees will be planted to fill the gap between the current trees and the new fairway bunker on Copperhead No. 5.
Trees will be planted all down the right hand side of Copperhead No. 5.
Fairway (Bentgrass) will be installed up to the right side fairway bunkers on Copperhead No. 6 to increase the size of the landing area at 150-yards out.
A bentgrass swale will be installed behind the right greenside bunker on Copperhead No. 6 and will wrap around this bunker and connect with the fairway in front of the green.
Fairway (Bentgrass) will be installed to increase the size of the fairway in front of the middle fairway bunkers on Copperhead No. 6.
The new forward tee on Sidewinder No. 12 is complete and was opened for play last week. The new tee will be a benefit for all. Forward tee players with have a greater chance of getting home in 3 and the longer hitters won’t have to worry about being penalized for a bad shot. We were able to collect over 2000 balls from the fescue during construction.
Sidewinder No. 12 forward tee
The pool is another project we plan to tackle in the spring. As many of you know, we closed the pool in late June due to many required repairs. We looked at the pool and decided that if we were to put a significant dollar amount into the property, it should be something that benefits the Membership as a whole. With this in mind, we are finalizing a plan and hope to be able to share that with you by the end of the season.
Another project that will start soon is the repair and maintenance of the support columns on the patio. We will begin with the banquet side and move south towards the bistro. We also plan to put the halfway hut washrooms upgrade project to tender in the fall with the goal to have it completed by the start of the 2023 season.
Communication and Social Media Updates:
We have many tools that we use to communicate to the Membership and the newsletter is the most important. We do have many social media accounts that you can follow; For Club updates follow @_RSPGC on Twitter and rattlesnakepointgolfclub on Instagram. For turf information follow @RattleSnakeTurf on Twitter and rattlesnake_turf on Instagram. We do encourage members to read the newsletters and read the news section on the Members Only Website to be updated on what is happening at the Club. Please check your profile to make sure we have your current email address so you can stay in the loop by visiting your account details on RattleSnakePoint.ClubLink.ca.
Labour shortages are still a big issue in the province. We are challenged with finding staff to work in turf and hospitality departments. We are in the process of working with the province to bring in international workers for the 2023 season. We have been working with a few industries that have had success with international employees, and we hope we will see the same success at ClubLink.
Food & Beverage Update:
We have been fortunate to build a strong front and back-of-house team this season. Beverly Finlayson and Chef Ryan de Leon are working hard to fill the open positions once our students return to school. We started the hiring process in August with great success. Please welcome all our new staff when you next visit the bistro!
It is amazing to see the amount of business that our Catering Sales Manager, Tanya Grove, fields daily. Unfortunately, we are not taking any business until after November as we are still uncertain what the labour market will look like in the fall. Our priority is to ensure the Members have a great experience; we do not want to compromise that by adding additional events.
Prestige Member Benefits:
The Complimentary Family Benefits is a great program that has helped grow the game among spouses and young family Members. If you have not signed up your spouse or children, please get in touch with me. The Second Home Club option for any Muskoka and Tremblant courses has greatly benefited those lucky enough to get away in the summer. If you have not signed up for either of these programs, please contact me. Members heading north to our Muskoka resort properties are eligible for a 20% discount anytime. If you can wait 48 hours out, then you will receive 50% off your room booking.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself, or Stephanie Berriman.
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