FORE! • SMOKE SIGNALS ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
3 D Fun and fellowship with the Commissioners Golf Group BY DAN MACARI • PHOTOS BY HENRY TRUSSELL T
he Commissioners Golf Group represents a group of golfers who play on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. There are approximately
100 members in the group. Some play regularly and some play every once in a while. The group began in 1994 with a foursome consisting of Joe Boomer, Ray Taylor, Bob Lee and Ev Hughes. Ev still lives in Big Canoe and is an active member of the group. They
third Thursdays reserved for scrambles, and the second and fourth Thursdays are play your own ball.
All golfers are welcome and the only requirements for membership in the Commissioners Group are: n Desire to have fun and enjoy fellowship of other Big Canoe golfers n Membership in USGA/GHIN Handicap
System n Commitment to serve as a Commissioner
when asked The Commissioner has the responsibility
Louis Cowart acted as Master of Ceremonies for the Commissioner’s Annual BBQ.
played a scramble every Thursday and soon other Big Canoers wanted to join the group. As the group grew in number, someone was appointed as Commissioner for the month to coordinate tee times and format of play. The group expanded play to include 9 holes on Tuesday mornings followed by couples tennis in the afternoon. Eventually, Tuesday play became 18 holes. The Tuesday format is play your own ball. Thursday formats now vary with the first and
to arrange tee times, make pairings, and be present to manage play on each assigned day. The players must notify the Commissioner of their desire to play by Saturday for Tuesday’s game and by Monday for Thursday’s game. If possible, the Commissioner will send an e-mail to all members listing tee times and the format of play. Otherwise, the player can call the pro shop to get his tee time. Handicaps usually range from 10 to 30+. Play is generally from the white tees, however players who choose to hit from the gold tees are welcome using their gold tee handicap minus three strokes. The first player listed in each tee time is designated as the team captain unless the team agrees to change. The captain must assure compliance with the rules and accurate scoring. Someone in each cart keeps score. Putts within the leather may be picked up. Each player contributes $1.00 to the betting pool and the winning team gets all the money. A Commissioners Advisory Committee, elected by the members, oversees the running and rules of the group. For 2012, the officers are Jim Hughes (Chairman), Dave Page (Vice Chairman), and Joe Childs (Secretary). Each September the group has a Commissioners Barbeque. This is an evening of fun, tall tales, and a great dinner for all members, wives, and guests. The 2011 Barbeque was held in the Dogwood Room of the Clubhouse. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.
Enjoying the evening.
Wayne Page, Bob Layfield, Joe Childs, and Charlie Reed (from L to R). Bob provided the entertain- ment for the evening with stories about growing up in South Georgia.
The Annual BBQ was held in September in the Dogwood Room of the Clubhouse.
Group shot of the Commissioners, wives, and guests. Maintenance and preservation on the course BY JASON BROWNELL B
ig Canoe Golf Club is located in the breathtaking mountains of Jasper, Ga. Big Canoe offers a wide variety of golf shots on 27 holes along with an updated practice facility consisting of two putting greens, a chipping green, a practice bunker, and a large bermudagrass tee, as well as permanent range mats for winter usage. Big Canoe Golf Club was originally designed by golf course architect Joe Lee in 1971-72 and consisted of bentgrass greens, Kentucky bluegrass tees and fairways, and a bluegrass/ fescue blend for the rough. The playing surfaces, excluding greens, were later converted to bermudagrass in the mid 80’s to help handle the summer heat. The course remained relatively unchanged until 1999 when Boswell Golf Design began a renovation process. Creek saw the first alterations in 1999 and was completed in 2000. Cherokee followed and was completed in 2006, and lastly Choctaw was finished in 2007. Boswell Golf Design did a great job of making necessary upgrades to the golf course while still maintaining the mountain golf atmosphere.
Big Canoe has been diligent in committing time and money to improve one of the most important amenities the community has to offer. Since the completion of the renovations, fans have been installed around many of the greens to promote air circulation during times of high heat and humidity in the summer, and additional greens rollers have been purchased to allow alternating of mowing and rolling on select days without sacrificing the speed of the greens and ball roll. Some
cultural practices have been altered as well. Core aerification of the greens will take place 4-5 times throughout the growing season utilizing small diameter hollow tines to minimize the impact on playability. This helps to alleviate compaction on the greens and provide proper nutrient and oxygen exchange into the root zone of the green. Light and frequent sand topdressing of the greens is done to consistently provide firm and smooth putting conditions.
“Core aerification of the greens will take place 4-5 times throughout the
growing season utilizing small diameter hollow tines to minimize the impact on playability. Tis helps to alleviate compaction on the greens and provide proper nutrient and oxygen exchange into the root zone of the green.”
Irrigation system changes around certain greens will be taking place to better utilize available water and to help alleviate overwatering of greens bunkers. These changes will provide more control over the watering of these greens, making the irrigation cycle more effective and efficient. Subsequently, more precise watering should eliminate the saturation of the sand in the green bunkers allowing them to be more
playable and receptive to sand shots near the greens. Maintenance practices for bunkers could change as well based upon individual needs of the bunkers. Constant evaluation and critiquing of the golf course is done by management and staff to try to improve not only the playing conditions, but also the efficiency of the operation in order to better serve golf members, property owners, and their guests. So, whether you want to take aim at a green guarded by water and bunkers or try to catch your breath as you tee off at an elevation 300 feet above the fairway looking at the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, the goal is to make Big Canoe Golf Club the best that mountain golf has to offer and to provide playing conditions of which members and property owners can be proud.
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