Storm Update by Joey Smallwood, GCM

As most of you are aware, over the weekend we went through our first storm system of the summer this past weekend.

Overall, we received 6.76 inches of rain in a 24-hour time period. Fortunately, the system did not include many heavy downpours. We did wash out in a few areas, but it is nothing that some dirt and sod cannot fix.

We had a lot of clogged drains throughout the property, which should now all be cleared and functioning properly.

Half-Staff Flag Issue

Dear Spring Run Members,

Over the holiday weekend, the President issued a half-staff proclamation for the victims in Uvalde TX. Normally, I receive an email notice alerting us to this. Unfortunately, the email was missed, and the flag was not lowered accordingly.

I have surveyed area clubs on their flag policy, and all follow the same protocol as we do. When the President or Governor issues a proclamation to lower it, we follow suit. To make certain this does not happen again, I have also added the Flag Day app to my phone, as well as for the Golf Pro and Outside Attendant Supervisor. Instead of an email that can go to spam or be deleted the notification shows as an alert on the phone. This step will ensure that these proclamations are always acted on in a timely manner.

Feel free to leave any comments or questions.

Thank you,

Mike

Grow In Update by Joey Smallwood, Superintendent

Your golf course maintenance team has been hard at work on the renovation project. Since closing the front nine on April 28th, the golf course team has been tackling multiple projects and cultural practices, which I have detailed below, in order to prepare the course for new sprigs. Despite a few mechanical issues, I am happy to say that we have been able to complete the necessary prep work in a timely manner. We are continuing to aerify roughs, tees and fairways for the second time. This is being done directly in front of the grassing company, which is crucial because it is best for sprigs to be planted in as much soil as possible. I am very pleased with the kill that we received out here as well. All four spray applications have paid off. For the areas that have continued to have some growth, there are two crew members focusing on spot treatments daily.

All construction work has been completed. The cart paths were one of the first things done, and they look great. All rock walls around greens have been leveled. Now the GCM team will be able to maintain them properly. They could gradually sink overtime due to the summer rains, but we will be monitoring closely to be sure to address sink holes as they appear. The #7 tee boxes have been leveled. This will not only make it feel like a real tee box, but it will also give the members a flat playing surface. The tee box on #14 was extended from the clusia hedge. This gives us a fighting chance on growing some grass on that tee. We created a swale on the left-hand side of the #1 rough, closer to the green. This will allow water to flow to the existing drains. We also added irrigation to this area so we can facilitate grass growth there. Hole #15 was roto tilled three times and laser graded to soften some of the steep slopes that lead towards drains. It will hopefully help this fairway stay drier than previously. Around each green, we leveled every irrigation head. Not only does this prevent a tripping hazard, it also lets the irrigation head water properly. A few green surrounds had collars that were built up with sand over the years. This is typical on golf courses in Florida due to all the topdressing that is necessary for warm season turf. We will address this issue every summer during our closure by verti-cutting the collars aggressively in order to remove all sand and thatch build up. Doing this each summer will help prevent these build ups. The team was able to sod strip and re-grade the areas that needed it. Now, the water will be able to run off the green instead of being trapped on it. A good example of this was the front of # 3. We also extended the 3/4 tee deck on hole #4. This will help us get the correct yardage while remaining on the same tee deck.

Sprigging on the front nine, driving range and chipping green began on May 10th and was completed on May 20th. This covered forty-two acres. They started double sprigging the back nine on May 24th. As of May 26th, holes 12, 13, and 16 are complete. The back nine is trending at 40 acres. In total, this would comprise of sprigging 82 acres. Unfortunately, this project was budgeted for only 65 acres prior to my arrival. I re-evaluated the proposal and raised the acreage to 70 acres. Unfortunately, it seems that was not a large enough increase as we have come out 12 acres over thus far. If we continue to move forward without any additional mechanical errors, it should be completed on May 31st, just a few days past the original anticipated date of May 28th.

With the front nine completed and the back nine in progress, we are trying to balance water flow as much as possible. Due to recent winds and lack of rain, there has been low moisture. To make up for this, we are watering heavy at night to support the growth of the fresh sprigs.

The team has been working endlessly to ensure all tasks are being completed and are excited about what has been done thus far. There will be more pictures and videos to come but in the meantime check out the photos so far on our Projects2022 page.

Finally, we would like to give a special thanks to those who have served our country. We hope everyone has a relaxing and safe Memorial Weekend.

Thank you,

Joey Smallwood, Superintendent

Staff & Project Updates

Dear Members,

Thank you for all your support and patience as we work through the processes of getting our project off the ground. Finally, we have our timeline so that we can plan the summer and fall activities and ensure that we are able to provide service to the community during construction.

I have had a number of questions about what staff will be staying on the job throughout the project and what is being done for the ones who are being laid off. First, all Golf Course Maintenance and Administrative Staff will remain on through completion. Shayne will continue on maintaining the existing facilities and handling the cleaning instead of our contracted cleaning crew. Josefina is planning to go home for a few months and then will be back sometime in August. Jeff, Scott, and Kelsey will remain in the golf shop coordinating member tee times, and Patty will continue to handle the merchandise. In the Bag Room, Trevor, Pete, and Bryan will be bringing out and putting away bags for everyone playing at other clubs and will undertake a number of improvement projects over the summer. The salaried Chefs in the kitchen will do all the cooking over the summer from the mobile kitchen and Jose, Marina, and Roman will handle the service.  Once the golf course reopens, we will need to ramp up staff for more lunches and typical fall activity. Sometime later in the Fall, we will begin to hire and train new service staff and H2B visa staff in order to be ready for next season and our grand reopening.

Staff being laid off will use their vacation first and then can go on unemployment. During that time, Spring Run will pay the employee’s portion of their insurance and will get a bonus when they return.

I have made a change in the contractor’s demo plans in order to help us maintain our deadlines for completion. Initially, we asked them to preserve the lobby and bar for at least a month and focus demolition on the exterior and pool area. But after reviewing the schedule, it became obvious that having that extra month could hamper the completion date. Therefore, we decided that the demo will begin by the pool, rear of the club, and front lobby and bar about a week after we receive our permits. Once we have a week’s heads up, we will set up a satellite bar in the club room, and serve dinner and happy hours in that room, until we have to move out of there for renovations. At that point, we will move to the Lakeview Room. Dinners, Happy Hours, and events will take place in the Lakeview Room, and will be cooking out of a mobile kitchen outside. The main kitchen will be used for prep and storage.

Many owners have asked about rooms for cards and mah-jongg. The Multipurpose Room will be available, please contact the Membership and Activities Director Mark Oroyan to coordinate.

Expect regular project updates and pictures which can be found on www.springrun.com/projects2022

Please respond with any questions, and have a terrific summer!

Mike

An explanation of the Spring Run Voting procedure

Dear Spring Run Owners,

Recently, there have been a number of questions regarding the method of voting that Spring Run uses. While it has been in place for 16 years (all Board elections, governing document amendments, and borrowing approvals) this is the first time I have ever heard so many concerns being expressed about it. But, if you allow me to take a few moments, I can help explain it and put your minds at ease. That sounds like a job for the Spring Run Blog!

Let me take you back to the days when the grill room bar was only 4 tables, Facebook had just been founded, and the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918. Ha! Except now, Cleveland has the longest Series drought…hmm…ok…never mind.  The year was 2004, and the Neighborhood Representatives were doing all the voting. Sure, they were supposed to canvass their Neighborhoods and accurately reflect the vote of their constituents. But that didn’t always happen, and the system permitted the NR to cast these votes any way they personally wished. In other words, an NR with 40 condo units could choose to cast all 40 votes for one candidate or one initiative, despite the results of their actual polling.

Now fast forward to 2006, when we built the current Grill Room Bar, Hurricane Wilma had just barreled through Spring Run’s Car Ports, and Yours Truly was hired!  The Neighborhood Representatives had come to a realization that the old method for voting was kind of unfair, and sought to put the power back in the hands of the people. A popular phrase was catching on at the time…” One Door, One Vote”. There was a groundswell to incorporate that into the voting procedures. The NRs ultimately voted their own power away in order to make sure every owner’s vote counted. Following an amendment to the Declaration in 2006, and a subsequent Bylaws amendment in early 2007, the modern-day procedures for voting in SR were set. Any future attempt to change them would require an affirmative vote of 75% of the total voting membership of 847, or 635 actual votes in favor.

Every election, the ballots are sent out either in digital form to one single primary email for the unit, requiring a log-in permitting only one vote per door. We also have about 85 owners who prefer a paper ballot.
Those ballot packages have a return envelope bearing a number on the front, but no other identifiable markings. All ballots remain unread/ unopened and organized into a file of their respective Neighborhoods, until the date of the counting. Iva and Michele maintain the security and initial anonymity of all Ballots until the moment they are opened in the presence of the Controller, the GM, and the Representative for that Neighborhood. All three monitor the proceedings to ensure complete integrity in the process. The results are confirmed by the NR, who signs off on the totals, often jotting down percentages or interesting trends they might share with their constituents. I then take the vote tally sheets and enter them into an excel spreadsheet to calculate the ACTUAL votes, the UNCAST votes, and the TOTAL votes.

For 16 years, I have posted and emailed these detailed and summarized results for every election and amendment. I would get an occasional “please refresh my memory” when reminding each NR on the procedure, and those NRs usually replied, “oh right! I remember. The uncast votes are redistributed in the same percentages as the actual results in each neighborhood”. Once we quickly reviewed the procedure, all was well.

But for the benefit of the rest of our owners who have not had the opportunity to count votes in the past, or have heard rumors about how concerning this voting method is, allow me to elaborate…

In order to ensure all votes count, Spring Run’s governing documents require that “all uncast votes be redistributed back into each neighborhood in the same percentage as the actual votes cast.”

Some feel only actual votes cast should count. But a low turnout does not affect this redistribution. The percentage is the percentage. Theoretically, this could favor a larger neighborhood depending on how the vote falls, but frankly, all neighborhoods are about the same size. Even Hidden Lakes, with 182 units, is divided up into 4 separate neighborhoods with between 36-50 units each. Silver Creek has 27 units, while Willow Creek has 52. Its all fairly even, and a close analysis done once by a skeptical Board Member proved there is no discernable difference when including the uncast votes or only counting the actual votes.

There is, however, one BIG difference. Those who do not vote could have changed the result. When they don’t, it is assumed they would have followed the trend in their neighborhoods. So given all this, I feel the takeaway is that the procedure is not the issue. Not voting IS!

If you have questions regarding this procedure, I would be happy to answer them, or just to clarify some of the above. Please know that although the process may seem unorthodox, the result is the same. Thank you for voting and participating in our Community.

Details of the Re-grassing Project and Additional Work to be Performed

Dear Spring Run Members,

We are getting closer to beginning the process of re-grassing the golf course using the “no-till” method. This method is frequently used when minimal dirt has to be moved around the property for redesign issues. Once we complete our spray applications to kill the existing bermudagrass, we will begin preparing the golf course for sprigs/sod the first day we close down.

A lot of work goes into preparing the soil properly for new turf. This is accomplished partially through aerifying and verti-cutting. We need to aerify the grounds as much as possible. This will help with compaction and also create cavities for sprigs to fall into. We also need to verti-cut, primarily focusing on tees, fairways, and approaches. Verti-cutting helps remove the thatch layer that builds up in turfgrass and helps the turfgrass stand upwards so we can get a good scalp on the turf. These are necessary for a successful re-grass. The less thatch and compaction we have results in a better growing atmosphere for the new sprigs.

While all that work is going on, we will have a team of GCM employees sod cutting two to three rings around the greens to remove the collar. This is a very labor-intensive task. Once sod is cut, we have to hand pick all of it up. The greens will need to be maintained throughout this entire process. The GCM team will also take advantage of the time closed to perform all summer practices that greens require in SWFL. This means we cannot have a cavity around the green sitting there for more than a day or two. Sod will need to be scheduled properly so the old sod can be removed and new sod laid down within that time frame. There will also be a two-to-three-person crew leveling all irrigation heads around the green’s complexes. All greens will need this done. Each green complex has roughly ten to twelve irrigation heads that will need to be dug up and leveled. This must be done before the sprigs are planted to ensure we are not in the way of the contractor laying the sprigs and the water that will be running as soon as sprigs are on the ground.

We have ten bunkers to renovate during this closure as well. We will need three to five crew members finishing them up. We will more than likely start before we close on the out-of-play bunkers. This will allow the crew and I some valuable time and experience before we tackle the remaining bunkers.

In addition to the tasks above, there are a few small projects that are beneficial to complete while the course is closed. These will be done by an outside contractor to ensure that the jobs are done correctly and in a timely manner. Briefly, these projects are described below. If there are any questions on these projects, please let me know. I can explain them in more detail upon request.

  • #1 Left rough closer to green by oaks – Create swale along course property for positive flow to drains. If necessary, add two new basins as well.
  • #14 Tee- Add 3 loads of clean fill to the side of the pro tee to move tee further away from hedges. Laser level and grade.
  • #15 Fairway- Add 3 loads of clean fill and create positive grade to raised drains. Lower old waste area bunker berms and create new coquina cart path going down left-hand side of the rough then cutting back through the fairway further down. This project is one of the bigger ones being performed. It will help this hole be less wet during summer. The architect came out and gave his opinion on where the new path should cross and thought the plan was a good idea.
  • Driving Range- Strip and laser level tee

I also have an operator with a box blade scheduled for two to three days for small odd jobs, such as leveling any unleveled #7 tee boxes, lowering any high collars that are trapping water on greens, fixing the drain on #17 cart path that retains water after it rains, and leveling all the rock walls that are next to greens 2, 4, 14, 18 so the GCM team can maintain them properly.

There is a small window to complete all these tasks. We will be working many hours to ensure it gets done properly. The GCM team is going to do everything they can to get the course back open by the middle of August. However, I cannot stress enough how vulnerable the new turf will be when we open back up. We want this new turf to be fully established and healthy before we add any stress to it. By making sure the turf is healthy it will ensure Spring Run to have great playing conditions for the remainder of the season.

Thank you for all your support and understanding. If you have any questions or comments, please email gcm@springrun.com

Joey Smallwood

Golf Course Superintendent, Spring Run Golf Club

Covid-19 Update

Dear Spring Run Members,

Just a quick update on the status of COVID 19 in Spring Run. It has now been a month since the last employee who had the virus came back to work following quarantine. And while I did get a call from an owner on Friday morning who has tested positive, the number of cases amongst the membership that have been reported to me through this omicron wave is no more than seven, and all were either asymptomatic or felt like a cold. I asked each to contact anyone they had been around over the past 5 days and then I would contact anyone else that I was aware of. I am unaware of any cases of transmission from these existing cases.

Again, I will stress how effective I feel the combination of our COVID protocol policy and the air purification systems installed in the HVAC units have been.  We have kept the club open and our community safe. We hope that those of you who are hesitant to visit will feel more comfortable after hearing this update.

Feel free to reply with any questions or comments. Thank you!

Mike

Chelsea Tee Time System

General Information

Chelsea is our Tee Time Reservation system.  It is a points-based system.  Chelsea will place members based on the number of points they have accumulated.  The points system is relative – members with less points will have priority placement over members with more points.

  • Members are able to request tee times from 3 to 7 days in advance
  • The tee sheet is available for changes TWO days in advance
  • Once the tee sheet is available, you ARE able to view the tee sheet online, but you cannot make any changes.  You must contact the Golf Shop to add, edit, or delete at tee time.
  • If you made a request, you will be notified of your tee time three days in advance around 5:00 PM via email.
  • The Chelsea Tee Time System is closed between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM daily for processing of tee time requests.

Members and Transfer Members will operate in the same system.  Both Members and Transfer Members will be charged 1 point per tee time.

Points will be accumulated on a two-week revolving basis.  The Chelsea system will assign tee times on an accumulated point bases of the requesting player or players.

Transfer Members will be assigned 3 points on their arrival date.  The assigned 3 points will drop off after 1 week.

Members that rent their units and golf privileges will inherit the points that their renter accumulated.

Chelsea Free Points

Chelsea points has always been a topic at Spring Run Golf Club.  Below are the policies that are in place and explained how you can play more rounds of golf Chelsea Free.  If you have any questions, please contact any Golf Staff member and will be more than happy to explain the policies of the playing Chelsea Free.  The polices can also be found in the member directory as well as the website.

  • Participants will not be charged any Chelsea Points for attending any Spring Run Charity event.
  • For Spring Run Member/Guest Events, you will not be charged Chelsea Points for your Guest unless your guest is a member, in which case your guest will be charged a Chelsea Point.
  • Members may sign up for a round of golf after 2 PM with no Chelsea Points from April through December.  Members may also sign up for a round of golf after 3PM with no Chelsea Points assessed from January through March.
  • Members may sign up for a round of golf for themselves and a guest between Noon and 5 PM for any empty tee time the day prior and any time the day of without receiving a Chelsea Point.
  • Members must not have signed up through Chelsea and subsequently cancelled
  • Member must call or visit the Golf Shop, messages on the phone are not allowed
  • Policy does not apply during any League play.  However empty tee times other than League play on those days may be filled in accordance with this policy.

When total Cart Path only is implemented, any persons playing will not be charged a Chelsea Point.  This exemption will apply to all persons playing that day even if the Cart Path only restriction is lifted later.

The MGA, SRWGA, Men’s 9 Hole Assoc, Ladies 9 Hole Assoc, and the SR Couples may designate one event per month for January, February and March where members will not receive a Chelsea point for playing. The events must include a lunch or dinner.

Again, any questions you may have about the Chelsea Tee Time System, The Golf Staff will be happy to assist.

Thank you,

Jeff Carter

Head Golf Professional

New Golf Scorecard

The Scorecard will be new for the upcoming season and will be available on November 1st.

The changes will be listed below and a copy of the new scorecard can be found at the bottom of this blog. Also, new ratings and slopes were changed on some on the tee boxes as well yardages. These changes will appear in blue in the tables below.

You will also see that the yardages on all tees are different.  The Florida State Golf Association now measures the course from the middle of each tee box to the middle of the green. 

We have also added a 7-tee box for Men, Women, and Juniors. This provides more enjoyment of the game whether you are just starting to play golf, or would like to move up a tee to hit the green in regulation.

MEN’S TEES
TeeRating/SlopeYardage
#172.4/1356722
#270.8/1326362
#2/370.1/1296227
#369.2/1275949
#3/468.1/124
(new Hybrid tees on holes #3, #8, #9, #12, #14, & #18)
5723
#466.8/116
(new yardage on holes #8 & #14)
5402
#565.2/1115022
#5/663.9/109
(new Hybrid tees on holes #2, #3, #8, #10, #12, #17 & #18)
4716
#662.9/1074377
#761.2/103
(new tee)
3985

**Note on all Men’s tees that Hole #5 is now the 9 stroke allocation and Hole #9 is now the 11 stroke allocation.

WOMEN’S TEES
TeeRating/SlopeYardage
#471.8/127 (new yardage on holes #8 & #14)5402
#569.8/1195022
#5/667.9/114
(new Hybrid tees on holes #2, #3, #8, #10, #12, #17 & #18)
4716
#665.6/1094377
#763.1/106
(new tee)
3985

See below for a copy of the new scorecard:

See me for any questions.

Thanks,

Jeff Carter

Head Golf Professional