Beauty, grit & grace April Newsletter 2019
Welcome to Ladies’ 95th season of play Betty Chee PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
“Secure our legacy. Invest in our future.” I’m pretty sure all of us will be hearing these phrases at various Ladies’ meetings this season. These are short, succinct, and powerful phrases that sum up our plan for the next five years. As any history professor can tell us, looking back to understand where we come from can be the foundation for plotting our future. And we at Ladies’ look forward to investing in that future with financial capital as well as personal capital. In all, to secure the legacy. This legacy is entrusted to each member, whether we’ve been a member for decades or for only a few months. Each of us has a stake in the future of Ladies’. And, with the help of our dedicated team of staff, we will work together to ensure our future meets the various needs of a diverse group of women, and most importantly, our collective desire to enjoy the game of golf. This is the 95th year since Ada Mackenzie founded our club. The strategic plan takes us to 2023. In these 5 years, leading to the centenary in 2024, we have much work to do. We will complete the land sale, complete the course changes, invest in our practice facilities, invest in our clubhouse, increase our membership, make plans for the celebration of our 100th year, provide each member with the “Ladies’ experience”, and make us proud that our time has come to be the private golf club of choice. The Strategic Plan 2019-2023 was presented at the AGM in February. If you missed it, do not worry. We will be presenting it again at the Opening Tea, which will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The presentation slides as well as the strategic plan are also available on our website. There will be at least one other opportunity to present the plan, on May 2 at 4:30 pm. Look for an eblast reminder. If you have any 2 | BEAUTY, GRIT & GRACE
questions or comments regarding the plan, please do not hesitate to contact me. The Land Sale Course Planning Committee has been given an expanded mandate to work with the course architect in two stages of work. Firstly, to provide options for the replacement hole and halfway house. And, secondly, to address the remainder of the course master plan, including the investigation of the feasibility of a learning facility for members. The name of this ad-hoc committee is now shortened to the Course Planning Committee. The details of its mandate are captured in the terms of reference published on our website. The committee has planned a series of member consultation opportunities throughout the spring months to ensure a cross-section of the membership is able to make its opinions known. The Land Sale Net Proceeds Strategy Committee met in March. It mainly focused on identifying both revisions and new governance policies required by the future receipt of proceeds. It also discussed plans for upcoming information sessions with members. Stay tuned for the announcement of these sessions. In anticipation of these member consultation sessions, please take a moment to read the Governance Committee article in this issue on the topic of “A year of consultations” to get a better sense of what these sessions entail. As for the land project, a public meeting was held on January 22 at the Markham Council Chambers. It was a forum for members of the public to express any concerns about the development project. An additional community meeting was hosted by Ward 1 councillor Keith Irish on March 27 at the Thornhill Community Centre. Joan Anderton, Ladies’ Vice President and Chair of LPSC3 made a really impressive presentation on behalf of the club. Tridel followed with a presentation of the proposed development. We
continue to monitor the application as it moves through the rezoning process. One of the strategies identified in the Strategic Plan 2019-2023 is to rebuild member energy and engagement in the club through communication and participation. We encourage not only your participation in club events, but also your participation in activities that will shape the future of our club, such as the upcoming consultation sessions. In addition to the online comments/suggestion card, we want to be more proactive in encouraging communications between members, the board, and management and staff. We are asking board members, and committee members to be conduits of ongoing communication with members. We truly want to hear from you! One small example to that end, beginning in May, the GM and I will meet on the patio from time to time to share updates of the club with each other. We welcome members to stop by and share your thoughts with us. The more members we hear from, the better we can adjust decisions that may affect the membership as a whole. We’ll be doing this on different days so we can catch as many members as possible. If you see us, please stop to chat or at least say hello. I do not yet have a name for this summit. The 19th Hole Chirp-in? The Squarish Round Table? The Whine and Chee(s)? You might have a better idea…let me know. I hope to see you! There are a couple of exciting pieces of news to share as we begin our new season. We welcome
LPGA member Lorie Kane to our Honorary Members roster. After a letter of nomination submitted by Jane Kirkpatrick and the recruiting efforts of our GM, Paul Bussiere, Lorie Kane graciously accepted our invitation to be an Honorary Member of Ladies’. We wholeheartedly welcome her to our second home. To read more about Lorie, see the special article in this issue. Due to the quick action and generosity of our intrepid Past President, Monica McIntosh, there will be an unveiling and the telling of the story at the Opening Tea of a significant painting by the artist, the late Aleen Aked. She was a student of Group of Seven member Arthur Lismer and was a member of Ladies’. Aleen was also a past club champion from 1933 to 1936. We are thankful to Monica who has donated the painting to Ladies’. And, finally, let me finish by borrowing a sentence from my AGM speech: I hope that this moment in the evolution of our club will be a renewal of Ada’s spirit, a spirit that unites, that allows us to work together, build together, and play together in celebration of this unique club for women golfers. On behalf of the board of directors, I wish one and all a wonderful 2019 season of golf and camaraderie!
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A new season approaches Paul Bussiere GENERAL MANAGER’S MESSAGE
It always amazes me how short our off-season feels. We have been very busy over the winter preparing for the upcoming season. In a short time, we will be welcoming back our seasonal staff from last year and saying hello to some new faces for this year. It is a pleasure to welcome Romualdo Mendoza, our clubhouse manager, to Ladies’. I’m excited to see the response to his efforts to create a more positive experience in our clubhouse this year. Over the past 8 months or so, committees, staff and the board went through every policy and procedure at the club to update and amend them to fit our current situation. Membership categories were reviewed and changes to the Associate category were made - you can read more on that in the Marketing and Sales Advisory Committee article. The age restriction for children was also lowered to 7 years of age in the clubhouse and on the golf course. One new category that is worth mentioning is our F10 or Rule of 110 category. During the budgeting process it was agreed that new efforts needed to be made to lower our attrition rate from our full category. The Rule of 110 takes into consideration a full member’s age plus their years of membership. If both of those numbers added together are 110 or higher, a 10% discount is applied to their annual dues. We have had a F25 or Rule of 120 category for many years, where age and years of membership equal 120 or higher and the full member receives a 25% discount on their annual dues. One of the other key efforts towards lowering attrition was keeping annual member fees virtually flat. I am happy to report that as of March 31, the deadline to switch categories, our attrition has come down considerably, and is currently only 13 members. As a reminder, attrition is the net loss of full members reflecting resignations, reinstatements, and social/ medical category switches, basically everything that affects the full membership category except new members. This number fluctuates throughout 4 | BEAUTY, GRIT & GRACE
the year, largely due to medical leaves. If it holds, however, it will be the lowest attrition that we have seen in many years by a fair margin. For comparison, last year at the end of March our attrition was 28 members. The 2019 season looks to be a very interesting one. We are going to be mapping out the future of the club with member consultation from the Course Planning Committee and the Net Proceeds Committee. Having member feedback direct that future is the key to our success, and I encourage everyone to share their voice when the time comes. With the Masters in April, the golf season officially begins in my mind. It is also the time when our membership inquiries really kick into gear. If you have any friends or colleagues that you think may be interested in either a trial membership or our golf academy, please pass along their information. We would love to have them out as a guest for a day and introduce them to all that Ladies’ has to offer. I hope everyone has a fantastic season on the course. Remember that my door is always open, and I encourage you to stop me as I’m walking by or come into my office to see me and let me know how you are doing. Hearing from our members is the best way for us to know how we are doing operationally and if there is anything we could be doing better. I look forward to seeing everyone again very soon.
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Meet our new Clubhouse Manager! Romualdo Mendoza CLUBHOUSE MANAGER
I am very excited to start my new role at Ladies’, but first allow me to give you a bit of background on who I am. I was born in Mexico and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management at an exchange program between the University of Colima and Central Washington University. After graduating, I worked at the luxury hotel chain, Aman Resorts, for 3 years before deciding to come to Toronto to expand my international experience. I continued working on my food and beverage credentials at George Brown College and the Canadian Society of Club Managers (CSCM). My most recent role was Director of Food and Beverage at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) where I was able to implement several positive changes to the dining outlets, including the launch of a new wine strategy that benefited members by offering them high quality wines at a low mark up. In 2016/17 I was also able to assist with two major renovations to the city and island dining outlets where I gained valuable experience. The game of golf is new to me, but I have made it my personal goal to learn and I hope to introduce my kids to it. I spent my early years working at my dad’s farm and this gave me a lot of exposure to fruit and vegetable farming. Unfortunately, golf was seen as a luxury that my family could not afford. While this will be my first season at Ladies’ my private club experience dates to 2005 when I joined the food and beverage team at the RCYC. For the past several years I have focused on customer service and member satisfaction. My main goal this season will be to improve the member experience in and around the clubhouse. The excitement of the start of the season is building and I look forward to working closely with Chef Umesh, the senior management team, Engagement Committee and the board of directors to assist with the implementation of the strategic plan. I will make myself available and hope to meet every member and 6 | BEAUTY, GRIT & GRACE
GCH in person. I would like to get to know your dining preferences and hear your feedback for improvement. I hope that after each round of golf or range practice session you will spare some time to stop by the clubhouse for a drink or try one of Chef Umesh’s exquisite new dishes. Along with a new menu, you will notice that changes have been made to the wine and beer selections. All the member favourites will remain, and additions will include quality house wines by the glass for under $8.00 and a third draught beer line will be added to the bar. I am also very happy to announce that we have heard from most of the summer staff and over 80% of the students will be returning for a second season. This, combined with the introduction of a rigorous training program, will certainly translate into an improved dining experience at the club and halfway house. Finally, I would like to thank all the great staff at Ladies’, who, from my first day, have been very welcoming and have made me feel part of an extended family. One staff member in particular that I would like to acknowledge is our Food and Beverage Supervisor Sabrina Palazzo. Sabrina has been at the club for the past three seasons and became full-time in the fall. Her passion and dedication for the job has not gone unnoticed and she has been very instrumental in providing me with the history and information needed for my successful integration to Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto. Sabrina has also coordinated most of the private event bookings and tournaments. I hope you all will have the pleasure to meet her in the dining room or book a special event or dinner reservation where she can assist you with all the details. Have a great golfing season and see you all on the patio!
Introducing Honorary Member Lorie Kane Paul Bussiere GENERAL MANAGER
It is with great pleasure that I announce that the board of directors has offered an Honorary Membership to Lorie Kane, which she has graciously accepted. This is one of the highest honours the club can bestow on a golfer. Honorary Membership is a category established at Ladies’ to honour women who hold a prominent position in the community or government or have achieved an outstanding golf career. Lorie is recognized as one of the greatest golfers Canada has ever produced. Her list of accomplishments includes 4 victories on the LPGA Tour and close to $7 million in career earnings. The LPGA Tour also recognized her with two awards during her career. In 1998 she won the Heather Farr Player Award, given by the LPGA Tour to the golfer who demonstrates determination, perseverance and spirit through hard work, dedication and love of the game. In 2000, she won the William and Mousie Powell Award given by the LPGA Tour to the golfer whose behavior and deeds best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and values of the LPGA. Her accomplishments did not stop there. She won the Bobbie Rosenfeld award as Canada’s female athlete of the year in 2000 and six years later was awarded the Order of Canada.
Mary Ann Hayward, Sandra Post, Laurie Rybski, Cathy Sherk, and Marlene Streit. We hope to be celebrating this honour with her soon and I hope that everyone is as excited as I am to have Lorie as part of the Ladies’ family.
In 2018, Lorie competed at Ladies’ in the DCM PGA Women’s Championship of Canada, an event she has won a record 5 times, including 4 in a row starting in 1996 and finishing with a win at Ladies’ in 1999. Her winning score at Ladies’ in 1999 was 10 under par. While accepting the honour bestowed upon her from Ladies’, Lorie commented on how it has come full circle for her as Ladies’ hold a special place in her heart. Ladies’ Golf Club is where Lorie obtained her professional card back in 1993. Lorie is joining some great women on our list of honorary members: Gayle Borthwick, Mary-Jane Hall, APRIL 2019 | 7
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A year of consultations Beth Medhurst GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE, CHAIR
As we move into spring and another great year of golf, we also continue the journey of revitalizing our club enabled by the proposed land sale of hole #9, approximately 2% of our land holdings. 2017 – a year of due diligence and the land sale vote 2018 – a year of planning 2019 – a year of consultations A big focus in 2019 will be consultations with members on the planning to date to ensure next steps include your input, concerns and views. The Strategic Planning Committee shared the Strategic Plan 2019-2023 at the AGM in February and it is available to you on the website. This plan was constructed with the input from members at four consultation meetings held in 2018 and the results of the 2018 member survey. It also contemplates the successful conclusion of the land sale – all indications are that this will be on schedule in 2020. Additional presentations on the strategic plan will be held in the spring for those who didn’t see it at the AGM and it is available on the club’s website. Two major pieces of work, consistent with the club’s strategic plan, will be coming to you for consultation in the next few months: The Course Planning Committee has been exploring options for replacing the 9th hole and the halfway house, the impacts on the course as a whole and impending work that could be done to streamline costs and efficiencies of work. The Land Sale Net Proceeds Strategy Committee has been exploring ways to balance the utilization of funds from the land sale to both improve our club in the near term and to protect our club’s legacy for many years to come. Each of these committees will be coming to you for your input and views on proposals before finalizing any recommendations. So what is consultation? And why is it so important?
At Ladies’ it is contemplated that members are consulted regarding any major financial commitments or direction with regard to the inherent and fundamental vision that is Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto; more specifically, 1. Any project with total expenses of $300,000 or higher, 2. Any increase in this benchmark amount ($300,000), 3. Any major renovation project that will impact course play and/or use of practice areas or clubhouse facilities, 4. Any renovation project that affects the architectural style or appearance of the clubhouse or office facility, or 5. Changes affecting the direction of the club. Consultation includes providing detailed information (e.g., purpose, cost estimates, timelines, proposed dates) to members well in advance of decision-making AND providing opportunities for input to the decision. Formally, input may be sought through member meetings, surveys or focus groups. And informal consultations – seeking information from members on an on-going basis through conversation, written suggestions, etc. – will continue. Members’ concerns and recommendations will be considered before a final decision is made by the board of directors. Consultation is your opportunity to know in advance and to influence the direction of the club and the major changes that we will see over the next few years. Your view as a member is actively sought and is valued for your vision of the future and your preferences in getting there. This is your club – be a part of the future. Watch for notifications of consultations happening soon.
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What we did this winter Padraig Kelly HEAD GOLF PROFESSIONAL
The off-season may seem like a great time to catch up and recharge. While we have improved our table tennis skills slightly (you should see Laura’s backhand!) we also have gone to great lengths to improve your experience in 2019! Jaime has brought back perennial classics in the Ladies’ Golf Academy and created some great new initiatives for 2019. Be sure to check out the 2019 programs by picking up an academy booklet or visiting our website. Our programs are also listed on the GGGolf calendar so that you can always sign up or plan your trips to practice accordingly. We are also pleased to announce that Adrienne D’alessio will be joining the team in 2019. Adrienne brings with her a wealth of teaching experience and an extensive competitive playing record. Adrienne will be splitting her time between the Golf Shop and the Golf Academy. In 2018 we completely changed the way we approached our Golf Shop operation. The removal of the counter, increased seating areas and more welcoming environment had a huge positive impact! Did you know that since 2015 we have increased our sales by 71%?! Thank you for your support in 2018. Because of our outside the box thinking, innovation and service record we were honoured to accept the PGA of Canada Award for Retailer of the Year at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Two of our honorary members were in attendance to cheer us on! Because of this many golf clubs are taking our ideas and using them in 2019. It is nice to be copied by some of the best clubs in the country. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
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We have also added two new golf clubs to our reciprocal program in 2019. Deer Ridge Golf Club in Kitchener and Ashburn Golf Club in Halifax. By expanding our networks at industry networking events and conferences we can create great relationships that benefit the entire membership here at Ladies’. We are very excited to make 2019 one of the best years at the club. The season is right around the corner and we are buzzing with excitement here in the Golf Shop. Remember to have fun and enjoy everything this great game offers, from a late night 3-hole walk, the birds, the nature, time spent with friends and loved ones. There aren’t many games that provide everything that golf does. Life is too short to take this game seriously. Smile, laugh often, and be thankful that you can enjoy time playing this great game with amazing people at one of the most amazing clubs in the world!
Dylan, Paddy and Ryan (almost smiling) accepting the PGA of Canada Retailer of the Year award.
Sandra Post and Lorie Kane came to support the club at the PGA Merchandise Show.
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Spring is in the air! Jean Davy COURSE AND GROUNDS COMMITTEE, CHAIR
The days are getting longer, the temperatures are warming up, the birds are returning, and the maintenance staff are preparing the course so you will soon be able to dust off those clubs and get back out on our beautiful course. The mandate of the Course & Grounds Committee is to provide oversight with respect to the maintenance, stewardship and development of the golf course and grounds to ensure they meet the needs of the current and future membership and adhere to progressive environmental standards. This year, your committee is once again chaired by Jean Davy; includes returning committee members Sharon Brubacher, Helen Folker and Peta Lomberg; new committee member Margaret Auld; and our Course Superintendent, John McLinden. Here’s some news and updates: • Last year, the committee received a number of comments about the rough being too long and infringing on the fairways. John McLinden, our course superintendent, and Jeff Mingay, our course architect, will be identifying changes to the course that can be implemented during the season. The goal will be to have fairways that are long and flowing; reduce the rough around fairway bunkers; and open the entrance to some greens so that members can bump and run onto the green. Changing the contour of the fairway can be done by gradually lowering the rough to the fairway height or by removing the rough and re-grassing. We will mow the grass since it is more cost effective. Then, the new fairway area will be over-seeded with bent grass seed during the season and eventually the fairway will return to one shade of green. You will see some changes when the course opens for the season; the others will be implemented in a priority sequence as the weather permits. • In addition to the above, the rough height will be kept at 1 1/2 inches as the pilot for a reduced rough
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height continues until the end of June. The club is being very prudent this year and keeping all capital expenses to a minimum. Accordingly, the club will continue to have 1 rough mower. This means that the rough is cut every 3 to 4 days resulting in more growth between cuttings and less consistency in height across the course than would be possible if we had a second mower. However, the lower mowing height will help counter that impact. • To support cost containment in 2019, the dry inject aeration has been cancelled this season and there will be less bunker sand available. • When you get out playing, you’ll notice a change in the hole signs. The old signs were continually falling off the sign posts. These signs are not salvageable and consequently this year, the sign posts will be painted black and the hole number stenciled on the post in white. The committee will investigate new hole sign options for the future when more funds are available. • There are some new initiatives this year in addition to the changes to the rough that are being made without any capital expense. The vegetable gardens will be enlarged and the garden outside the sports entrance will be dedicated to herbs for use in Chef Umesh’s delicious dishes. • And as an experiment, several sugar maple trees are being tapped and the sap made into maple syrup. John and his staff are familiar with lean years and have served us well by providing a beautiful well-maintained course while keeping costs to a minimum. This year will be no different. Our IPM (Integrated Pest Management) certification was due to be renewed this year. Required reports were sent, a site visit took place and again Ladies’ has acquired their level 2. Congratulations to John and his team!
The Memorial Policy to provide an opportunity for donors to commemorate a special occasion or person has been updated and renamed Commemorative Tree Donations. A minimum fee of $500 is now required to cover the cost of the plant, the planting and ongoing care.
John and his crew are diligently working to get the course ready so you and your guests will have a wonderful season of golf. See you on the course in a few weeks!
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A week in Pheonix Carol Turner ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT
I had the opportunity to represent Ladies’ as a volunteer at The Waste Management Phoenix Open this winter. The experience was both fun and a great learning opportunity. My experience at TPC Scottsdale started the Sunday before the tournament. We arrived for a tour of the course and a meet and greet with our fellow volunteers. We got to experience the course before the estimated 200,000 golf fans arrived. Our tour, of course, included a stop at the famous stadium 16th hole. We were provided dinner, that we enjoyed in a large tent that was set up outside the maintenance facility. The tent would be our home base for the week and was set up with large screen TVs, comfy chairs and couches. I chatted with my fellow volunteers who had come from all over the globe, most notably Iceland, Holland, and as far away as Australia. Everyone was very interested in how a ladies club was run, with most asking the question “can men golf there”? Each day started around 3:30am in a hotel room that had been provided by TPC. We were shuttled to the golf course where we had a quick grab and go breakfast. A morning meeting would get underway with reminders of quality over quantity, to be safe and jobs were given out to the 50 full time employees and the 30 volunteers. My morning job for the week was dew removal on fairways. This is the practice of two carts driving down the sides of the fairways dragging a rope, not unlike what we do at Ladies’ when we have a heavy dew. We would also help the greens cutters move turning boards, with greens being cut up to 4 times a day turning boards protect the collars from damage. When we returned to the maintenance buildings, we enjoyed a hot breakfast. After breakfast we had free time, we could go out and enjoy watching pros since our staff badge gave us full access. Or we could head back to the hotel for a nap. I choose option B a few times!
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Evening shifts started with lunch before we headed back onto the course. This shift was much more exciting. By this time of day, the golf course was very busy, so we were led out onto the course via the main roads by a police escort. All traffic was stopped for us, including the mass of attendees making their way out for the day. They would cheer and clap for us as we passed on mowers. My evening job was cutting fairways, which was a little stressful because if I messed up it would be seen on TV. After fairways were done, we would head back to the shop, clean and fuel up our mowers and be shuttled back to our hotel. Depending on the night and my energy level I would sit pool side with my fellow volunteers and talk shop, basically summer camp for greens keepers. Within a couple of days, we were all in the groove and it began to feel like I was an employee of TPC Scottsdale. However, before I knew it, it was Sunday morning and my last shift.
It was raining so plans changed. We were to add sand to desert areas so players wouldn’t slip, as a little rain there was a very big deal. When I realized it was after 9:00 am I had to leave for the airport. Most other employees and volunteers were out on the golf course, so I said goodbye to the few who were around then I was off to catch my flight, still wearing my wet TPC Scottsdale uniform.
On the day of my first shift at 4:00 am I said I would never do something like this again, as getting up at 4:00 am on “vacation” was not for me. But by the end I wanted it to go on longer. When I arrived home, I started making plans for my next volunteering adventure. Ryder cup 2020 maybe?
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On the course John McLinden GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENT
It has been another busy and productive winter for the maintenance team. This has been a winter that seems to never end with cooler temperatures forecasted into April, which appears to be the trend for future winters to come. We experienced some ice buildup on certain areas of the golf course and have been using certain methods to eliminate the ice as quickly as possible. One method that we have found to be quite successful is to spread large, black sunflower seeds on the greens. The black seeds attract the sun, helping to melt the ice quickly. Once the ice has melted birds and squirrels then enjoy a feast of the seeds leaving nothing but the shells behind. In the spring, the maintenance crew simply blow the shells into the rough where they are mulched up by one of the mowers. This has proven to be an economical and environmentally friendly method of removing ice buildup. It has also proven to be effective as the turf survived the brutal winter with minimal damage. The maintenance crew was also busy the past few months with tree work on the course. A number of dead trees along with some strategic removals to allow better sunlight and air movement have been completed. However, the focus was more on pruning and brush removal on many areas of the property. Countless lower branches on trees were pruned as well. This will allow our mowers to cut around the trees more efficiently and save on labour costs. It may also assist with improving pace of play. Course clean up from the winter is well underway. We also carry out a number of projects prior to the golf course opening. This is a practice we have been undertaking for a number of years now and found that it has worked quite successfully allowing us to complete the cultural practice or project with no disruption to golf. One project scheduled for the beginning of April is greens drainage. This year we will be installing
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drainage on the 17th green to help improve the health of this green. Another project we complete prior to opening is greens aerification and topdressing. This is very disruptive to golf as it is a slow, tedious cultural practice and takes 2-3 days to complete. The next aerification is not scheduled until late August. New decking will be installed on the 8th hole bridge replacing the old, rotting boards the first week of April. Another project we will be working on shortly after the course opens is to improve the wet area around the lower red tee deck on the 7th hole. Drainage will be installed to capture the runoff and paving will be done on the path to improve the wet conditions. As always, we are looking forward to another pleasurable and successful season on the course and looking forward to seeing all of you soon!
Welcome to a new season Eiko Aki GOLF COMMITTEE, CHAIR
Welcome to the 2019 Golf Season at Ladies’! Members of your Golf Committee for this year are: Deborah Doyle (Member at Large), Tricia Thomas (Golf Events Coordinator), Christy DeMont (Handicap Committee), Jan Flott (18H Captain), Kathy Constantinou (9H Captain), Padraig Kelly (Staff Liaison) and Eiko Aki (Chair). The Golf Committee oversees all golf programs and events offered to members with the objective of balancing the competitive, social and recreational aspects of golf at the club, and being welcoming and inclusive. This year we plan to focus on increasing participation in each tournament and event, all of which can be
found on the website under the calendar tab. You can scroll through the calendar to see them or click on “List Events” and have all events for the year at your fingertips! Why not make it a goal to participate in one or two new events this year? The Nora Stott 50+ Tournament has been moved to June this year (from July) to avoid having two competitions in one month. The Golf Committee welcomes your feedback and we look forward to supporting and working with you to make the 2019 season better than ever!
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The beauty of 9 Kathy Constantinou 9H CAPTAIN
What a year 2019 will be! There will be some exciting new ideas for the 9H section to enjoy this season – so welcome back everyone! First, I would like to share the names of your new 9H Committee - see the list to the right. There is still room to join us if you in are interested in helping out. Our first section game is scheduled for Wednesday, May 1 at 10:20 am and 4:20pm. Sign up on GGGolf to play! Our Opening Dinner is scheduled for Thursday May 2 at 6:00 pm. Be sure to log onto the Ladies’ website to sign up! This season we are excited to unveil a new concept called “Spirit of the Game”. Each 9Hole member will be able to earn points weekly on a voluntary basis for their assigned team. The overall goal will be for everyone to expand their network of playing partners (and possibly make new friends) as well as having an enjoyable game. Stay tuned, as more details are to follow soon! Your committee this year will also be working on introducing some new ideas for fun 9Hole weekly games. At each committee meeting, we will review feedback and try to incorporate ideas given to us.
Please acquaint yourself with the 9H Committee Members.
Captain Kathy Constantinou
Vice Captain Position open
Treasurer Erin McCafferty
Handicap Representative Maria Speyer
Buddies & Trial Members Patty Parker
Co- Member Guest Day Convenor Brenda Touzot & Jessica Min
Co- Social Convenor Suzanne Firth & Lauren Marshall
Plans for Member Guest Day are well underway:
Bulletin Board & Photographer
Sunday, June 9, 2:30 pm shotgun. $180 per team.
Don’t forget to invite your guests for a fantastic afternoon of golf, food fun and prizes. The “garden” theme will be evident throughout the afternoon, making this a memorable event in the 2019 calendar for ALL members of Ladies’.
Shotguns Morning: Lauren Marshall & Marlene Metzger Evening: Lauren Marshall
Interclub/Triclub Convenor Kathy Constantinou & Lauren Marshall
Golf Committee Rep Kathy Constantinou
9 Hole Association Rep Evelyn Hurwitz
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The challenge of 18 Jan Flott 18H CAPTAIN
Aprilâ€™s news is that by May everything will be green and budding just as it always is. Our first warm-up draws with no competitions will be Tuesday, May 7 and Saturday, May 11. The Opening Shotgun is on May 14, followed by our Opening Dinner so save the date! The popular format for the shotgun is a two-member scramble with a team handicap computed by the Golf Shop. The website is already prepared to accept your registration either by yourself (and we will find you a great partner) or as a twosome. The dinner menu is already posted on the website. If you just want to sign up for only one of the two parts, that can be accomplished on the website, but if you experience difficulties, call the Golf Shop. If you have any questions about the draws, formats, or match play competitions, there will be a booth at the Opening Tea where we can answer all your questions. Looking forward to seeing you at the Opening Tea on April 27!
18H Committee Jan Flott Anna Kinastowski Jill Lavine Donna LePan Verna Lister Donna Livingstone Dee McKenzie Cathie Moffat Nora Montgomery Patti Moore Jessica Pastorek Marie Storto Rosemary Thomson Donna Wagg Pat Ward Leslie Wilson
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My peak golf experience Pat Butler LADIES’ MEMBER
After we finished playing the 18th hole, my partner and I exchanged the traditional brief hug and I declared, “That was the most wonderful round of golf I have EVER played in my life!” I meant it.
made contact.”) I’ve taken several private lessons and clinics because I’m keen to improve my game. If you don’t want to lower your handicap, why bother playing at all?
This hyperbolic statement reminds me of my late, long-lived father, who regularly declared, “These are the BEST strawberries I’ve ever tasted!” This amused me because he’d repeat the statement at the start of the next strawberry season. What a terrific way to recognize the high points of life.
Mark Twain described golf as “a good walk spoiled.” Yes, the concept of spending several hours attempting to get a silly little ball into a minuscule hole that is very far away, can strike non-golfers as ridiculous, but the beauty of the surroundings and the camaraderie with other players make it a wonderful pastime in my opinion. I am no longer encumbered by job or childrearing responsibilities so spending time to play is not an issue.
Psychologists use the term “peak experience” to describe a rare moment when everything comes together perfectly: senses are heightened, the mind is alert, and the intrinsic joy produced by the activity is overwhelming and remembered for years. I want to relive this recent peak experience by analyzing all the elements that came together. To begin with, the setting was perfect. Lake Nona Golf Course in Orlando, Florida is renowned for its beauty, challenging design, three sizeable lakes, and impeccable maintenance. Some members live thousands of miles away yet willingly make the trek to play this remarkable course on a regular basis. Several illustrious golfers such as Lorie Kane, Retief Goosen, Annika Sorenstam, and Ian Poulter own houses at Lake Nona. My golf career began in 1997, when I was a mature 52 years of age. Before I went to Vermont for a week of golf school, I’d never even held a golf club. I was overjoyed to discover that golf is the sport I seem to be best at. Perhaps its forces and vectors make it intriguing to a former Physics teacher. Since then, I’ve had the joy of playing golf in BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, PEI, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Scotland, Bermuda, and New Zealand. I joined Ladies’ in 2010. I am no natural athlete, so must really concentrate whenever I get ready to hit the ball. (My latest swing thought is “Watch your gaze,” which means “Don’t lift your head to see where the ball goes until after you’ve
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In 2017 I purchased a set of customizable Callaway clubs and find them so satisfying to use that I now take them with me whenever flying to a golfing destination. In all those locales listed earlier, I had either rented or borrowed incomplete sets. The weather on this remarkable day was windless and divine, initial clouds gave way to sun, the air was warm but not too humid. The only other players we saw was a twosome way in front of us. My grass allergies had been unbearable at the start of the week, but I’d found the right allergy medication and felt terrific. My partner David has played with me in various places (including Ladies’) and he is a talented, humble, and laid-back golfer. His relaxed demeanour encourages the fun of the game. During previous rounds that week he suggested I move the ball a few feet back onto the fairway to make my next shot easier, so I did. On this special day, I declined to make an illegal move. The only time I varied from the rules was on three occasions when I redid a missed putt, from less than four feet to the hole. My drives were long and pretty straight; my fairway wood behaved itself beautifully; I never lost my ball; I never went into a water hazard; I successfully hit out of the one sand bunker I landed in. I had no pars, but my final score was 105, which made me ecstatic!
David taught me to use my pitching wedge to chip, unless my ball was on very smooth grass just off the green. Then I used my putter, which was a new approach method for me.
Until Ladies’ opens for the season, I will just savour the “best round ever” that I played on March 1st, 2019.
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Opportunities Monica McIntosh MARKETING AND SALES ADVISORY COMMITTEE, CHAIR
The mandate of the Marketing and Sales Advisory Committee is to support and advise staff on the activities to attract and convert prospective members. Many thanks to Deborah Pankhurst for her leadership as the chair for the last three years, and for continuing to share her knowledge this year as a committee member. Also returning to the committee are Christy DeMont and LJ (Linda) Nagel, and we welcome new committee member, Claudia Egger. Paul and Jacquelin (returning from mat leave in May and filling in for Loryn who is currently on mat leave) are integral to our committee, as is Chloe (filling in for Jacquelin) and Paddy. We have a couple of special projects lined up this year. One is to identify the research needed to see what it would take to attract more women in the 35+ age range. Another is to start work on a multi-year plan around the land sale and expected resultant improvements to the club. Our goals for this year include 175 non-member participants in the Ladies’ Golf Academy, 26 Unlimited Trial members, 4 Limited Trial members, and 19 new members by the end of the year. We need to both increase our outreach and improve our conversion to achieve these goals. For outreach, in addition to our usual activities which include the annual Open House on Sunday, April 28: • Our new website launched in January, and the usage of the “guest for a day” pop-up on the external site has been encouraging. • Our first Golf Academy Program Registration Day was held on March 23. • Postcards are being sent to neighbours to invite them to the Open House. • Former members have been sent a note to remind them of the reinstatement policy, which was recently updated to address all former members, and encourage them to rejoin. 22 | BEAUTY, GRIT & GRACE
• Prior Trial members have been informed of the revamped Associate Membership. To help with conversion, in addition to the improvements to the Associate Membership, we have also dramatically increased the conversion incentive. In particular, any Limited or Unlimited Trial member who converts to Full Membership by September 30, 2019 will have their entire trial fee applied to the entrance fee. If a Trial member prefers to convert to Associate Membership, 50% of the trial fee will be applied to the entrance fee. There have also been changes to the academy programs to help those participants who are ready to feel comfortable on the course, and to encourage them to sign up for a trial program. Members can help “fill the funnel” by: • Referring a friend or family member to a trial program or the academy • Inviting a prospect (female or male) to the Open House on April 28 • Inviting a spouse, son, grandson or neighbour to consider one of our Guest Card Holder packages In recognition of your efforts, you will receive:
Full or Associate Member $750 off of next year’s annual dues
Gold GCH or Unlimited Trial Member $100 clubhouse or Golf Shop gift card
Silver GCH $50 clubhouse or Golf Shop gift card
Golf Academy Participant (4+ week program) $25 clubhouse or Golf Shop gift card For more information on the member rewards program, the 2019 Ladies’ Golf Academy programs and the Open House, visit our website.
Associate Membership Know someone whose busy life means she can’t spend a lot of time on the golf course just yet? An Associate Membership may be the answer: • Privileges of Full Membership and up to 12 rounds each year • Can remain an Associate member for up to 5 years (or age 65 if earlier) • Reduced annual fees • Pay only $7,500 towards the entrance fee until conversion to Full Membership
Reinstatement Policy Encourage former members to rejoin their friends at the club! The reinstatement policy now covers all former members, not just those who left in the last 5 years. The fee to rejoin for those who have been gone for more than 5 years is the greater of: • 5 years of Social Membership annual dues, and • The current entrance fee less any entrance fees previously paid.
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Spring in your step Jo-Anne Applebaum ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE, CHAIR
I am very pleased to be chairing the Engagement Committee for a second year, and welcoming back to the committee Wendy Girvan (our board liaison), Barb Hooper, Alison Lam, and Cathy Striowski. We all are excited about Saeeda Foss joining our team. Both Chloe Cross, Communications and Social Media Manager, and Jody Anderson, Administration Manager, will actively support Engagement this year. There is nothing more motivating than writing the first BGG article of the season. On April 19, Chef Umesh is hosting our second annual Good Friday Lunch and on April 21, Easter Sunday Brunch and Easter Sunday Dinner, so check out the calendar on the website with all the details. Children of all ages may attend both Good Friday and Easter Sunday events. The first major event is quickly approaching! The Opening Tea takes place on Saturday, April 27. Weather permitting, the opening of the course will follow shortly after, with the section opening dinners on Thursday, May 2 (9H) and Tuesday, May 14 (18H). I recently met with our new Clubhouse Manager, Romualdo Mendoza, Chef Umesh, and Sabrina Palazzo, Food & Beverage Supervisor. We went through a proposed list of events to be offered this summer, reviewed new wine options and discussed the clubhouse concerns that were raised last year. This new team appears very proactive, with many wonderful plans and strategies, and we are all looking forward to excellent service during the 2019 season. Something new we are piloting this summer will be opening the club to your children and grandchildren
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on specified days. We are looking at planning some Sunday afternoons with child-friendly activities, and perhaps a barbecue on the north side of the lawn. Back by popular demand are free corkage Tuesdays, prime rib dinners every second Saturday starting May 4 and of course Chef’s infamous fish & chips Fridays. Once again, we remind you that booking dinner reservations ahead of time is the best route if you want a specific table inside or on the patio. All reservations should go to Sabrina at firstname.lastname@example.org. This year, every effort will be made to send notifications when the clubhouse is closing early for outside events or special events such as Mother’s Day. Our Engagement Committee is looking forward once again to hosting a variety of popular book reviews, special entertainment and speaker evenings, and a wine pairing/ cheese/ dinner event. We hope to have most dates confirmed by next month so keep your eyes peeled for the details. Bridge will continue on Mondays and Wednesdays and Mah Jong on Thursday nights. The Stratford trip to see “Billy Elliot” is Friday, September 27, with lunch at The Bruce. Please contact Jody Anderson for your tickets, as this one is sure to sell out! This is an exciting time of year as we all yearn for a beautiful season of golf!
Jo-anne All my best,
Guest Card Holder Corner Dylan Cattanach ASSOCIATE GOLF PROFESSIONAL
Guest Card Holders are looking forward to another great season at the Ladiesâ€™ Golf Club. We will hold our opening Beer and Wings Night on Monday, May 6 at 5pm in the clubhouse. Join us to renew old friendships and, conditions permitting, a round of golf before. And watch for sign up opportunities for the GCH Match Play, Mixed Match Play, and Club Championships. If you have any questions or suggestions please email email@example.com.
Join us for these special events! May 6 GCH Beer and Wings Night August 17-18 GCH Championship September 8 Mixed Social Golf Event October 6 Ada Mackenzie Fall Classic
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Good Friday Lunch
Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet
27 Opening Tea
Easter Sunday Dinner Buffet 28
Open House for Prospective Members & GCH
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Save the date Good Friday Lunch Friday, April 19
Easter Sunday Brunch Sunday, April 21
Easter Sunday Dinner Sunday, April 21
Saturday, April 27
Mother’s Day Brunch Sunday, May 12
Mother’s Day Dinner Sunday, May 12
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7859 Yonge Street, Thornhill ON L3T 2C4 ladiesgolfclub.com