You may have noticed our grounds crew redesigning part of the practice bunker. If the thought of how to get out of this practice bunker crossed your mind, well, the answer is in the question – practice.
The Fairwinds’ grounds crew redesigning the sod face bunker
There is no need to worry about future sod walls being installed on the golf course. That won’t likely happen, but the uniqueness of a sod face bunker provides an interesting challenge. It requires a full swing with a very lofted sand iron. This will build confidence in your sand game and produce high, soft bunker shots that can be used in any situation.
Why the sod face? It was necessary to narrow the bunker for safer access from the back of the bunker. We also wanted to help prevent line drives caused by thin bunker shots that often fly across the green which could injure another practicing golfer. This formation will also keep more sand in the bunker which is usually a challenge for the maintenance crew on bunkers that get a lot of use.
We hope you enjoy this new feature to our practice facility. By the way, if you are finding the wall too challenging we have some fine instructors who can get you over it.
It is a new year (and a new moon) and while everyone is setting goals, why don’t you take this opportunity to create a new you in terms of your golf game? Here is a poem that was presented to our top D.O.G. by the author after he shot ten under par for the first time.
So you want to be the pilot
Of the tiny white moon
And you haven’t lost your mind yet,
Well, you will soon.
When they throw you that little egg
And say “crack this”.
You’ll head for a field and practice.
When you come back,
Your mind will be blank.
That’s the start of another golf goon,
Always on the tee by noon,
That’s the pilot of the tiny white moon.
The point is that we have all become pilots in our own way and we should honour and be proud of the way we play golf. The new you may very well be you. Play your game or play your swing… either one is a great way to enjoy golf. Happy New Year.
There are only 27 days until Christmas and you may not have started your shopping yet. This year, step out of the gift box before buying the first item on someone’s Christmas list, and think about the type of person they are and the things they like. One thing to keep in mind before you decide what to buy typically is what does your family and friends really want that they may not buy themselves?
There are two types of shoppers: ones that find great gifts that mean something personal, and ones who aren’t sure what to get and usually end up giving gift cards. One type isn’t better than the other and some people are difficult to shop for. But when you do begin your Christmas shopping (if you haven’t already), try to find a gift from the heart. What would make that person smile? Is there a gift that can make their life easier or more enjoyable? Maybe what they truly want is an experience such as spending time together cheering on their favourite hockey team at Rogers Arena, tasting wines until they start acting silly, or quality time on the links with their favourite golf buddy. Those gifts may not last forever, but the memories will. So before you start shopping, try to think of a few things that aren’t on their list that they would enjoy. And hey, if they don’t like the gift, isn’t that why we include gift receipts?
Do you need to ride a cart when you play golf? To answer this question you first need to establish the context. Many times the answer can be obvious. At Furry Creek Golf Club near Squamish, you pretty much need to ride as the walk is challenging and although some people can accomplish this it really doesn’t lend itself to the pace or flow of play. And of course some players are not able to walk the course for personal reasons.
But if the question is asked and the playing field is level (not literally) then the game of golf is best played while you are walking. The flow of the game while walking allows for just the right amount of time between shots. It also allows for the golfer to get a sense of the course layout and to feel the real wind – not the wind created by a moving cart. Make adjustments for uneven lies and even read a putt before arriving at the green. These are all important to a player that is trying to shoot his or her best score.
But what of the average player who golfs less than ten rounds each year and wants the golfing experience? This player has different expectations of what a golf round should be. There is no concern with the fitness of golf, never mind the score. This type of person would likely benefit from riding. It speeds up the time between shots, and allows the infrequent golfer a place to rest if they are getting tuckered out from more than a few shots per hole. Carts also offer a place to put their favourite beverage.
While we recognize the revenue that golf carts bring, we do realize that there are at least two very different types of players. If the golf experience is one of a high expectation with all the bells and whistles, then you should ride and take it all in. However, if the player is of the competitive nature or plays several rounds per week, then enjoy the walk, fresh air, and exercise. The preference of riding or walking is up to each individual golfer.
In a recent Facebook post, we asked our fans if they preferred to walk or ride. The results were pretty even.
To improve your chipping, place your hands lower on the grip, your feet closer to the ball, and your club face square down the target. Your ball position is best two inches behind the middle of your stance. Stand close enough to the ball so that when you raise the heel of your club the toe is down. Use an accelerating swing by making a follow-through about 20 percent longer than your back swing and using a rhythmic, smooth finesse swing. Keep your wrists firm but not thigh; there must be no cocking or breaking down at any time. For more information, you can always book a lesson with a PGA of Canada Professional.
Golf tip provided by Hélène Delisle, PGA of Canada Professional at Fairwinds Golf Club
If you have ever walked into the Fairwinds fitness centre, you have probably noticed the 22 foot totem pole that weighs close to 2,800 pounds. Designed with Coast Salish shapes, it represents native traditions and speaks on behalf of the First Nations people and their culture.
The eagle on the top of the totem pole represents strength and high stature. The killer whale carved in the centre was believed to be able to transform into human form, and has there are many stories or myths of killer whales saving First Nations people. The bear at the base of the totem pole represents strength, cunning, and is used all over the coast in ceremonial potlatches.
The totem pole that stands in the Fairwinds Centre foyer was designed and carved by local artist Jim Johnny, who resides in Nanaimo. Working with world renowned artists, Tony, Henry, and Richard Hunt of Victoria, he learned the basic forms and traditional styles of this highly disciplined art form. Having ancestral roots with both the Coast Salish and Kwaguilth native traditions, Jim Johnny is well-qualified to represent the art of the Northwest Coast First Nations people.
Totem poles have various meanings, including telling stories, representing a specific group, or celebrating cultural beliefs. Vancouver Island is well-known for its rich culture in aboriginal art and historic totem poles around the island.
Graceful arcs of water are distributed evenly to nourish the blades of grass that make up Fairwinds Golf Course. If you look closely, you can see each drop reflecting the morning sunlight and if you stand just right you may even see a rainbow.
Orchestrating this delicate balance is our assistant superintendent and resident irrigation expert, Rick Munro. He uses a remote control to adjust each arc for efficiency and effectiveness.
The process of setting up the new system began almost two years ago and continues as each sprinkler head is given its instructions from the computer. Each sprinkler is programmed to provide a certain amount of water, and the goal is to provide just enough to water the grass without too much overlap. That is how we save water.
Rick also looks after the changes underground. The switch from the old block irrigation system to a valve-in-head one can play havoc with nature and he must make sure that the change isn’t too drastic.
As if on cue, Rob Jensen, a member of the maintenance crew, drives up and starts to water a small section of one of our greens by hand. What the heck? We just installed a new high tech irrigation system, but too much water is just as bad as too little water and hand watering ensures that only the areas that need to be irrigated will be. Even courses on the PGA Tour turn their irrigation systems off for a month prior to the big event to ensure the exact amount of water is applied to the turf via a hose and nozzle.
It is this attention to detail that makes Fairwinds Golf Club just a little bit different from the rest. Maintaining that perfect balance of healthy and playable grass is definitely a science, with some good old traditional gut instinct thrown in.
We are enjoying a gorgeous golf course during this stretch of beautiful weather and it is comforting to know that it’s being provided by the best irrigation system and expertise available, thanks to Rick and our superintendent, Rod Siddons.