New Golf Course Superintendent

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Dear Spring Run Member,

Please join me in welcoming Benjamin S. Hanshew as our brand new Golf Course Superintendent. Ben was the Assistant Superintendent, and after working with him this past year, as well as observing his skill sets over the past month in the interim position, he was the obvious choice!

Ben was born in Oklahoma City, OK and grew up in Wichita, KS. He graduated from Kansas State University in 2007 with a BS in Horticulture, emphasis in Golf Course Management, and a minor in Business and a minor in Hotel and Restaurant Management.  He has been in the golf industry for about 22 years at high end country clubs as well as public courses. His internship was at Bellerive CC in St. Louis, MO which has hosted several PGA Championships, US Opens and various other PGA events in its history, and was involved in the prep work for the BMW Championship hosted there in 2008. He spent the next 6 years as an Assistant and Superintendent at clubs in MO. In 2014, he and his wife, Devin, moved to Fort Myers, where he worked at Gateway Golf and CC until coming to Spring Run in June 2017.

I am very happy that Ben has accepted this position. When you see him out on the course, make sure to stop and say hello!

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Practice Green Renovation

Dear Spring Run Member,

If you were near the clubhouse Monday, you would have seen Ryan Golf begin the renovation of the practice green. If not, we have some pictures included that can give you an idea of what it looked like. It was quite surreal looking as the sod and a corresponding inch of root zone was sliced uniformly in contours around the green. Many people commented it didn’t look real and were surprised at what the slices of turf looked like when they held them up close.

The construction crew wasted no time as they used a bobcat to scoop the slabs of turf into the middle of the green, and then used a loader to carry them to a dumpster. We saved several cart loads of sod to use at the sod nursery behind #3 green, but the rest had to go.

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Next, the soil was extensively tilled by a tractor with rototiller mechanism, and was then shaped by a loader that adjusted the soil elevations to match the design created by course architect John Sanford. Tuesday morning, fine shaping will continue, supervised by an architect from the Sanford Design firm. Once the exacting contours and are achieved, the architect will sign off on it, and the contractor will begin to sprig the green with Tif Eagle Bermuda grass at a rate of 35 bushels per acre. The sprigs will be cut into the soil and will begin to grow in about a week. The grow-in period will last approximately 8-12 weeks before it is ok to putt on it. Throughout this period, the maintenance staff will be applying fertilizer and keeping a watchful eye while watering the turf throughout the day.
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The goal of the project is to remove the severe ridge along the back portion of the green, and smooth out the dip at the bottom by the drain. Ultimately, there will be two flatter surfaces, an upper and lower, which will more closely resemble the undulations of the current greens, and most importantly, the speed, so you know what to expect when you go out there to play.

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The project was paid for entirely through the reserve fund, and will not require any additional cost to the members. It should cost less than $20,000 in total to complete it.

If you have any questions, please reply back.

Thank you.

Mike

Our new Supervisor of Outside Operations – Trevor Hill!

DSC_0107Dear Spring Run Member,

Please join us in congratulating Trevor Hill on his promotion to Supervisor of Outside Operations.

Trevor has been employed at Spring Run Golf Club for thirteen years, and has been an invaluable asset to us. Trevor’s new responsibilities will be educating and training the Outside Staff, communicating with the Membership and Golf Shop, and creating outstanding service experiences for our Members and Guests.

Trevor brings a wealth of experience to the Outside Operations, and we are very excited about his new role at the Club! Make sure to say hello and congratulations during your next round at Spring Run.

Mike

Rangers – By Jeff Carter, Head Golf Professional

The Ranger serves a very important purpose throughout your round of golf, even though it may not always seem so. To that end, I would like to give you an explanation of their duties, discuss Pace of Play, and provide a little insight into why they do what they do.

The pace a round of golf at Spring Run Golf Club has been established at Four Hours and Seventeen minutes (4:17) by the Florida State Golf Association rating team.  The Florida State Golf Association rates the difficulty of the hole, the driving distance from the green to the next tee, and time it takes to make the turn, eat some food, and use the facilities.  Each hole has an established time for a foursome to complete the hole.  For instance, on hole #4: when the flagstick is located on the back left, it will take longer to play than if the flagstick is located on the front right.  That is why you may see more than two groups on that hole: it is due to the tough pin position.

Back in 2014, the average round of golf was four hours and forty-five minutes (4:45). The average round this year so far has been (4:17).

Duties

When the Ranger arrives at the club in the morning, their first duty is to get their cart out of the cart barn, pick up the tee sheet, and see if any cart restrictions are in place.  Each Ranger cart is supplied with extra tees, pencils, scorecards, towels, green repair tools, and a first aid kit.  Every Ranger has been certified in CPR as well.

They proceed out on the course to make sure the restrooms on the course are well supplied and clean. If trash is overflowing, they will empty it. They provide a light cleaning until our Day Porter, Josefina, makes it out to the comfort stations for a more thorough cleaning.

Once they have completed their rounds, it is time to monitor the Golf Course.  The Ranger’s cart has the GPS screen that shows the location and pace of each group.  If a group starts to slow 5 minutes behind schedule, they will immediately go to that group and ask the group to speed up and get back on schedule.  Just this year alone, Rangers have moved over 15 groups to get in position.  They have full authority to move groups on non-league days, though only Scott or myself will move groups on league days due to the penalty shots.  We will not move a group until after the groups receives the first warning; however, if they are still behind after the warning, we will move the group where they should be located on the course.

What are they doing there?

Normally when you see the Ranger sitting in his cart between the fifth and seventh hole, they are monitoring groups that have been behind pace, and informing the members behind the slow foursome that the pace will be improving.  From this location, they can monitor the three holes around them.

Where are they?

Some complain that pace is slow because they haven’t seen a Ranger all day.  With the GPS monitor, they can see your group. If your group is on pace, they will go to other parts of the course where they are needed to speed up play.  The Golf Shop is monitoring three GPS screens as well, observing pace of play. They will inform a Ranger where to go to expedite play.

The Rangers are often bringing members out on the course who were late, or bringing members off the course if they are not feeling well. Sometimes there is an emergency at home.  They are locating lost clubs and bringing them to the player who lost it.  They also direct play on shotguns as to how get to a certain hole on the course.

I will be having training sessions with the Rangers on how to talk to the members on the course. We want to be better able to communicate to you so that all our members can enjoy their round. If you read my monthly article in the News on the Run, you may recall I always sign with “Play Well and Play Fast.”

Certainly, you will experience slow days out on the course, but just remember that we are constantly striving to help improve the pace of play, communicate more effectively, and ensure that you enjoy your round.

Play Well and Play Fast

Jeff

Rumors

Dear Spring Run Owner,

Despite several reports at Board Meetings and even the most recent Neighborhood Representatives Meeting this past Tuesday, the rumor of a Hurricane assessment persists. Just this morning, another concerned owner stopped by the office to confirm the charge. I informed him that there will be NO hurricane assessment to the Membership following the damage from Irma.

Spring Run’s hurricane deductible came out to $412,000. Our expenses came close but as of this time, have not exceeded it. Despite that, we did receive Insurance proceeds of $250,000, and we had reserved $50,000 for hurricane damage, leaving us with approximately $100,000 in expenses to the Club. The Board felt strongly that due to the assessments for damage in other neighborhoods, we could handle this cost and provide some relief to our owners.

Please help spread the word.

Thank you

Mike

Speed Bumps

Dear Spring Run Member,

Its another article discussing the oft-maligned speed bump, a necessity for the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and frankly other drivers in a community without sidewalks, yet a nuisance for others who feel they are not needed. I certainly do not like to hit speedbumps on any roadway, but if you approach them gently, you’ll hardly notice.

The purpose of today’s article is to simply raise your awareness of the new configuration of the speed bumps, and to remind you NOT to try to fit your wheels between them. According to Fire Marshall Green, six years ago, the Florida Fire Prevention Code was changed, but it took several years to get it officially into the Village’s ordinances, which recognize EFR’s authority over the design of traffic calming devices. The Village met with Shayne and I to review the specs, which were designed to accommodate the double rear wheels of the Fire Trucks, which are wider than the front ones. Interestingly, it is does not accommodate Ambulances, as they are essentially a big pickup truck or van.  Those wheel bases are the same as a regular passenger vehicle, so unfortunately, they still hit bumps. But, as the Fire Marshall relayed to me, making the separation between bumps close enough to accommodate ambulances, and thus, all traffic,  defeats the purpose of having traffic calming devices.

Which brings me to my main point. Please DO NOT try to drive your car’s wheels between the openings of the bumps. They won’t both fit, even if one does. The main problem here is that in order to position your vehicle to attempt to navigate the openings, you are likely moving your car out of your lane and into oncoming vehicles. Not only will you hit the bump with at least one wheel, you may hit another car.

Remember the speed limit in the community is 19 MPH.

Thank you!

Mike

2018 Elections are right around the Corner!

Have you considered running for the Spring Run Board of Directors?

Perhaps you know someone who would be a good candidate?

Feel free to let Vince Corso, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, know your thoughts.

A notice of Elections will go out mid-January detailing the schedule, deadlines for submission, and other pertinent information.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Zigler.

Happy New Year!

Mike