Latest on The Golf Guys

Dear  Spring Run Member,

By now, most of you have heard that we are considering partnering with The Golf Guys, Inc., to provide merchandise for the Pro Shop. It was presented at the April Board Meeting, but no action was taken until more information was available. I anticipate more to come soon, but wanted to address the rumors that this would be a “handshake agreement”.

At the last meeting, I mentioned that the terms of the arrangement were quite loose, indicative of how The Golf Guys wished to operate. They do a lot of business with a handshake. It involves a lot of trust, and I think there is a good deal of mutual trust in this situation as well.  All that said, there will be a written agreement with terms that are specific to each party’s responsibilities.

After meeting with the club that developed this program, we feel assured that there is significant upside for our members, and little to no downside.

So, we will either continue our operation as usual, or partner with The Golf Guys this summer. As was mentioned in the last Board Meeting, we need to arrive at a decision very soon so that we have time to prepare for either outcome. I will update this blog in the next week or so, so keep an eye out for it.

Thanks!

Mike

Audio Induction Loop

Dear Spring Run Member,

Perhaps you have hearing aid, and if you do, this article is for you!

hearing

About seven years ago, we installed what’s known as an “Audio Induction Loop”, which is basically a sound system for people with hearing aids. The copper wire loop installed under the carpet in the Dining Room and placed above the ceiling tiles of the Lakeview Room provides a magnetic signal that is picked up by the T Coil (telecoil) of the hearing aid. By picking up this signal and funneling it directly into the ear, it allows for anyone struggling to hear a person speaking into a microphone to hear them much more clearly.

“I just wanted to let you know how well the streamer for my hearing aids picked up the audio signals during the “Meet the Candidates” forum today.  Even though I was sitting in the front row, by turning the streamer off and back on, the difference in clarity was huge.

It might be worthwhile to bring this feature to the attention of the members again, as I notice many members wearing hearing aids” – Larry Bierman

Prompted by this note from one of our members, I am doing just that. Also, we would like to hold a small 15-30 minute session with the hearing specialist who first installed it at Spring Run at a date to be announced. A list of Frequently Asked Questions are attached. As always, feel free to leave a reply or question. Thanks!

Loop FAQ

Mike

Voting

Dear Spring Run Member,

I had a request to explain Spring Run’s current voting system, which is timely since we are smack dab in the middle of that season. Remember, the deadline to turn your ballot in this year is St. Patrick’s Day, Friday March 17th at 5 PM. You may vote for up to 4 candidates, but no more than that, or the ballot will be declared invalid.

Here is a brief history, followed by an explanation of the process. Prior to 2006, you would get a ballot that you would fill out and return, but the Neighborhood Representatives actually had the option of casting your vote as completed, or to cast as the NR saw fit. In 2006, the Neighborhood Reps voted their power away and gave it to the people, which was the “One Door, One Vote” initiative. The NR’s voted to change the Bylaws and then the Declaration, forever removing their ability to ever cast as they saw fit. Although you may hear phrases that sound like the NRs still vote, it is simply a echo of the language that remains in our Governing Documents. Just substitute “Owner” for “NR” and you’ll be fine.

Fast forward to 2017. Holy Cow… it’s been 11 years already.

From the Amendment to the Bylaws Sec 3.4(b) recorded February 2007:

Capture

Again with the Neighborhood Representative language, which makes it confusing. Here is the procedure, as simply as I can explain it:

  • The Member fills out and mails or returns their ballot to the Admin office
  • The Admin office files the unopened ballots by Neighborhood
  • On the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the Annual Meeting, the NR for each Neighborhood, the GM, and the Controller all sit together and open that Neighborhood’s ballots.
  • Votes are then counted directly from each ballot onto a Tally Sheet, and the percentage of votes they receive within each Neighborhood is also recorded.
  • All UNCAST votes are then reallocated to each candidate according to their percentage of votes received in each Neighborhood, and added to the CAST votes, for a new Total number of Votes.
  • The four candidates with the highest vote totals, added together from each Neighborhood, are elected to the Board of Directors.

The issue of Uncast votes seems to cause the most confusion, and often times the most heartburn. Some people say it should be changed while others feel it is fair. Regardless, it is officially part of our Declaration and our Bylaws, and it would take an affirmative vote of 75% and 51% respectively to alter it. Or in other words, it won’t happen any time soon, so let’s just talk Uncast votes…

The number of Votes each Neighborhood gets depends on 1) the number of open seats up for election (in this case, there are four), and 2) the number of units in the Neighborhood. For example, there are 4 open seats, and Autumn Lake 1 has 40 units, giving Autumn Lake 1 a total of 160 possible votes. If half the units vote, that will leave at least 80 votes uncast, and if people vote for less than 4, additional votes remain uncast. Those uncast votes are totaled and given back to the candidate in their respective percentages. If Candidate Smith gets 20 votes cast for him, his percentage is calculated as follows: 20 votes cast / 160 total votes equals 12.5%. When we reallocate the votes, Candidate Smith will get 12.5% of them. Of course, the percentage will be different in every Neighborhood.

I hope this explains things sufficiently, but I am sure there will be questions. Just reply so we can discuss it. Thank you and don’t forget to vote!

Mike

Followup Blog on Bunkers

Dear Spring Run Member,

Last week, I addressed the issue of shells and rocks in the sand traps, and why they have become a problem. I did not give specifics on what the solution might be. I’ll talk about that now.

This past week, Golf Course Maintenance dug out greenside bunkers on #4 and today on #6, and filled each with fresh new G-Angle sand. Completely shell and rock free. And Friday morning, they will remove sand, rock, and shell from #5 and #9 greenside traps, and likewise replace it all with brand new bunker material. I realize that #6 had really become a problem, and wanted everyone to know that it has been taken care of.

Next week, the Maintenance crew will work on holes in need of sand on the back 9 by continuing the same removal and replacement process.

We don’t anticipate redoing all the bunkers. Most are rarely used and /or full of enough sand to not be a shell problem. And since we may be adding some sort of liner to a number of bunkers in the near future, we don’t want to spend money when it’s not needed.

Mike

It looks like a beach with all those shells!

Dear Spring Run Member,

Over the past month, several pieces of shell and rock found in bunkers has been spotted, pocketed, and subsequently placed on the GM’s desk. The rumor is that we are buying different sand, and that these pieces are being delivered in our sand purchases. Another rumor is that the sand has changed color from a lighter to a yellow shade. I’ve been told that someone said “They’re mixing old coquina with new sand!” Please note, that’s simply not the case.

For now, I’ll dispense with the science, except to tell you we have “G-Angle” sand in our bunkers. It’s what John Sanford spec-ed in 2014, and it’s what we have consistently purchased from Golf Agronomics ever since. Golf course-quality sand from area mines in Immokolee and Moore Haven is dredged, sifted, and prepared for Golf Ag, who crushes the silica sand into angular particles that interlock to produce firmer lies and better drainage.

I have been told that if a rock or shell ever made it to a bunker from a delivery, the only possible conclusion would be that a) an inexperienced loader dug too deep, or that b) a subcontractor didn’t wash out his bed sufficiently and left foreign material behind. While we don’t discount these possibilities, the most likely cause is from our existing soil profiles. Entire high bunker faces wash down 10-15 times a summer, exposing the base soil at the top. Lime rocks in the soil come loose and wash down into the bunkers, or are dragged to the surface with the Sand Pro rakes. Last couple summers have brought torrential rains, contaminating each bunker with more shell, rock, and organic matter. Eventually, as you may know from physics, the finer particles sink to the bottom, and the larger ones rise and remain at the surface.

And regarding the color, it is NOT coquina. Bunker sand laying out in nature will eventually turn darker, and unless you are refilling your bunkers with fresh white sand every year or two, dirt and organic material will discolor it.

Soooo….what is to be done about it?

This is a two-fold problem. The short answer is that we need to add more sand to the bunkers. We’ve added sand to the heavily used bunkers, but other than that, nothing much since renovation. The longer term solution for the rocks and shells is a bunker liner.

Gregg has cost estimates for sand, and the Greens Committee will be looking at where we might want to consider installing liners. There is quite an expense, as in everything golf course related, and we don’t want to line every bunker. Once we are able to do some analysis on this, we will share more of our plans with you.  You can help, though, when raking the trap when you land in the sand. Please pull (or push) the sand to the center to make sure that there is sufficient depth in the middle of the trap. Most people pull the sand to the edges, making the center more shallow. Ideally, we would like to have at least 6” of sand in each trap, but through daily raking, dragging, and erosion over 2 years, some areas have a lot and others have none! It’s a daily process.

If you have questions or comments, please reply!

Thank you,

Mike 

Summit Update

Dear Spring Run Member,

I thought I would relay a few Summit notes as we start the season…

First, while Summit was permitted a 3% increase annually on the video portion of the bulk fee, credits collected from Summit this past year for performance issues (long call waits, etc) were applied to the increase, which effectively eliminated it altogether for 2017.

Also, Summit had wanted to increase the Digimax pricing in the Brooks to bring it in line with the rest of SW Florida’s pricing. As a result, Sandy Varnum and the Brooks Committee negotiated the increase down from $24.99 to $21.99 this year, then to $24.99 next year.They were also successful in keeping Encore in the package.

Finally, if you were charged $30 for a phone reconnection fee, you should have already received a full credit. If you did not, please call Summit to remind them.

Thanks!

Golf Area Reminders

Dear Spring Run Members,

A couple reminders as the season starts up and there is so much more activity around the Bag Drop, Cart Barn, and Practice Areas.

  • First, please remember NOT to walk in front of the garage doors where the carts go in and out of the cart barn. It is dangerous as the cart drivers cannot always see you as they go in and out. We certainly do not want any injuries.
  • And second, please DO NOT pull your golf carts between the columns up to the ice and water dispenser at The Turn. Yes, it is a continuation of pavers, but there are pedestrians who have parked and walked to get water, and they are definitely in danger of being hit.
  • One last note….if you are using a pull cart at the range, please leave it on the pavers around the big tree at the corner of the building (by the restrooms). This lets the outside operations staff know that a pull cart is available for use by another member, so there is no waiting. We actually ran out yesterday, but only because we didn’t realize some carts were done being used.

Thank you!