Dear Golfers and Incline Village/Crystal Bay Residents,

champ hole 7 tee shot darren

The season has wrapped up for both golf courses for the 2020 season and what a season it was!  The year started with uncertainty due to COVID-19 restrictions and how we were actually going to operate through this pandemic. Many planning sessions were held with staff to come up with a safe and responsible way to open both courses. 

Both courses opened on time and continued throughout the season with no delays or closures due to the incredible effort by all of the Golf Course staff including Maintenance, Food & Beverage and Events. Everyone pitched in to make sure operations ran smoothly daily - which meant that almost all of our staff were doing things they would not normally be doing. This year was truly a team effort and I cannot thank our staff enough for their dedication and effort. 

Jeff Clouthier and his maintenance staff had the golf course in incredible shape all year, a fact that was evident by the large number of compliments we received on golf course conditions. Currently, Jeff and his team are finishing construction on the remaining red tees, aerification, tree work, bunker work and putting the course to “bed” before the harsh weather hits. Our Golf Course Maintenance crew always does their best to get as many golfers out on the course before the course closures, but they must also make sure they have ample time to prep the course for the uncertainty of the winter season and ensure proper growth for playing conditions when spring rolls around. 

For all of the winter prep to take place, it is crucial that we still have good weather to accomplish this work. Preparations such as aerification of fairways, roughs, greens, top-dressing, seeding, fertilizing and clean-up. After all of this has been accomplished, the greens are aerified a second time at a depth of ten inches to insure proper drainage throughout the winter as well as keeping ice from forming during the spring, which is detrimental to the putting surfaces. Since it’s practically impossible to predict the snowfall for winter season ahead, it’s crucial for our maintenance staff to have the time necessary to complete these practices in order to give us the best chance at choice future spring and summer conditions. If we are not able to conduct these procedures in the fall, we risk severe winter damage and a longer time to get into good conditions for the following golf season. Watch the maintenance video below or on YouTube for a glimpse of what the maintenance team does each fall. 

Both the Championship and Mountain courses enjoyed an abundance of play in 2020, even with COVID-19 restrictions. The Championship course ended the year with 23,073 rounds, 157 more than 2019 and the highest total since 2015. The Mountain course finished with an even more impressive total of 18,322 rounds, 2,876 more than 2019. (Note: The Mountain course closed September 15 in 2019 and stayed open until October 11 in 2020; but this is still the highest round total dating back to 2010.)

We were not allowed to have shotgun starts, but the clubs still got out daily and played games with social distancing. A silver lining for all golfers this year was that the 12 to 15 minute tee time intervals resulted in faster play and an overall pace of play average at or under 4 hours at the Championship Course!  We are continuing to explore how we might be able to continue this in some respect going forward.  

Chef Bill and his staff did an incredible job keeping the Food & Beverage operations going throughout the season with minimal impact and serving up delicious food for our residents and guests as always. The snack bars were also a key component in serving our golfers with the restrictions on what we could provide on the carts.  

I would like to thank our staff again for their incredible efforts this season with providing our golfers the best and safest golf experience possible. Lastly, I would like to thank everyone for being patient through our many restrictions this season. We look forward to some sort of normalcy next season. Please know that I will continue to make your golf experience the best it can be and we will always look for ways to improve operations. We value your feedback, and your honest responses help us make our service even better. Please take a couple minutes to complete our online survey if you haven’t already.

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I look forward to seeing many of you next golf season! For those who stick around during the colder months, please stop by to do some holiday shopping and participate in of our exciting activities in the golf shop this winter. 

darren howard

 

Keep it Simple,

Darren Howard
Director of Golf & Community Relations