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July & August 2018


Dear Fellow Members, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. The golf course is in great shape and many of us are braving the heat to get some rounds in. Our pools and Palm Grille have been the destination for kids and families and it has been great to see everyone come out and join us during the month of June for Wednesday’s Burgers and Bingo and Friday’s Family Nights. We held our Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, June 19 to introduce our Master Plan. We will release the presentation and straw poll questionnaire for Members to provide their valued feedback on the proposed plan in early July. Furthermore, to answer additional questions and to summarize the Town Hall Meeting, the Club will be hosting a “Question & Answer Meeting” on Wednesday, July 11 for folks who wish to verbally express their thoughts in a fact-based environment. This will be a great opportunity to have a second chance at discussing your views with fellow Members. The forthcoming survey will have a deadline of Monday, July 23. To be clear, the forthcoming straw poll is a survey and not a vote!!! After we collect the information from the survey, we will share the results with the Membership and will formulate a plan for presentation to the Membership for a final vote. Our anticipated target for distribution is September. If we present something for a vote, we plan on hosting another Town Hall Meeting prior to voting to allow Members to express any last comments or concerns before voting is finalized. Any meeting or vote will be duly called per the club by-laws.

We have heard concerns from all ages, each group having different positions. Keep in mind, we are proposing a monthly capital expansion dues strategy as opposed to a fully liable assessment. This enables everyone to pay as they go for the amount of time they are engaged in Membership. Bearing in mind all of the various memberships, we tried our best to provide a payment method for all concerned. One rumor floating around was that Charter Members would have any balance due deducted from their refund should they leave the Club. This is simply not true for the reasons stated above. I ask each member to consult a Board Member, Long Range Planning Committee Member or our General Manager to gather facts then draw your own conclusions about the proposal rather than listen to speculation from some who may not have all the facts supporting the strategic options. Being a part of a club requires one to commit to the viability and harmony of the institution of the club and HARMONY of the members. I hope everyone realizes that we all want the same thing, to belong to a club that is the best it can be. Please read your emails and the communications regarding the proposed improvements and questionnaire. We need your input.

Thanks, and see you around the Club,

Wayne Prejean, Club President


Membership Director Meghan Smith msmith@royaloakscc.com Thank you all for such a warm welcome! It’s been a busy few months with the residential survey but I am really feeling at home in my new role and appreciate all the support. I encourage you to stop by and say hello if we have not yet met. This is your Club and I want to do all I can to make sure you are getting what you want out of it. Not only that, please remember that we are partners in sharing the joys of Membership at ROCC with your friends and colleagues. It’s all about growing the community! There are so many great things in store and we are looking forward to the feedback on the Master Club Improvement Program as we work towards attracting new Members, families, and engaging current Members so they want to spend more time at the Club. These thoughtful enhancements will solidify us as one of the top member-owned clubs in the city and strengthen our membership numbers for long term stability. Why would you sit on a waiting list to get into another club or have an additional membership at a gym when you can have everything and more here at ROCC? While we look towards the future, we also want to maximize on the here and now. Have you put any thought into people within your network that would benefit from a membership? Have you brought them out to experience the amenities? How about the benefits of your company having a Corporate Membership? The more memberships we secure, the more valuable your membership becomes. Ask yourself who you would like to share this lifestyle with and let's reach out to get them oriented.

The Membership Development Committee has some great initiatives coming on line and we will need your support to spread the word. From modifying our new member orientation process to bringing back the Friends Table at Dine Around, I am looking for your engagement as we ensure new Members are getting involved and connected from the start. I can’t say it enough, this is your Club and you have the power to create lifelong friendships and memories just by being involved. My door is always open and I’m listening. Let’s take us to the next level TOGETHER! Meghan Smith, Membership Director

M A Y

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J U N E

Dr. John & Theresa Byrne Tara & John Ivascu Terri & Shawn Rice Barbara & Rusty Gilbert Dana & Marc Shelton Kimberly & Ross Dettling Saba Mafi & Kuleen Lala Maureen & David Singleton Elizabeth & John Martin Gloria & William Gowans Kazumasa Taruishi David Swanson Susan & Randall Klein Bernadette & Emil Fadel Lori Mira Jean Moritz Raquel & Luis Costa Carter Todd & Adriana Hatala Robin & Ryan Szescila Hitomi & Jun Masumoto Patricia & Warren Barrett Kawana & Satoru Yamamura Mary Jane & Ryan Metcalf Laura & Chris Otte Ludmila & Alan Yahev Bhavna Sharma & Rahul Puri


It’s still too hot … hot … hot to spend much time outdoors. As kids we couldn’t wait for summer to begin. Now, all we can think about is when will the heat end. Your Ladies Association works for you all year-round, hot or cold; rain or shine. You can always count on joining your Sister Members for our weekly and monthly indoor games… and these aren’t your childhood games. Mah Jongg Mondays and Casual Bridge Tuesdays are played weekly. Mexican Train is played on the first Thursday of each month. If you don’t want to play in any of our indoor games, you can always join the Crafts and UFO’s group or become a Royal Bookie by joining our book club. Lastly, you mustn’t forget our monthly Networking Happy Hour where you can relax and enjoy cocktails and conversation with Fellow Members.

Now I’m going to roll the dice and take a gamble that we can start a monthly Bunko night. I had the chance to play bunko for the first time the other night, and I’ll have to say it was fun and easy to play! Any interest? Let me know. The focus of our Ladies Association is to promote good friendships and social activities among the members. If you are new to the Club, there is no better way to meet and make new friends. So, stay tuned and check the ROCC website for details on our regularly scheduled and upcoming events. You never know what will “Pop-Up”! See you at our next event and remember - The Ladies in our Association ROCC! Mary Alice Lester, ROCCLA President

Royal Oaks Country Club

Ladies Association


Summer 2018 is officially here! For those of you with school-aged children, I hope your year ended well and that you have lots of fun summer activities planned. For those of you traveling, may you have a safe and happy journey. We look forward to seeing everyone throughout the summer months.

Executive Chef, Jae Mackenzie jmackenzie@royaloakscc.com

Make sure you come and check out a few new items we've added to our lunch and dinner menu being served in The Bistro! A few of my favorites include the Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls, Baja Shrimp and Mango Salad, Ratatouille Stuffed Shells and Beef Carpaccio. We are sure you'll be satisfied with the choices, so be sure to tell us what you think! To all of you who take the time to fill out The Bistro comment cards, we are documenting your feedback and formulating a game plan to make your experience the best it can be.

A great BIG thank you to our ladies of ROCCLA for allowing me to host a cooking class on June 6th. As you saw, we had a great time! Come out and visit us this summer for a round of golf, dip in the pool or a great meal in our dining room. As always, it's a pleasure serving you! Chef Jae Mackenzie, Executive Chef


BAST I LLE DAY

Offered during dinner service in The Bistro | July 14 | 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Coq Au Vin boiled fingerling potatoes and roasted vegetables …$19 Wine & Beverage Manager, Eric Blokkum eblokkum@royaloakscc.com

Be verage Features Aperol Spritz aperol, prosecco, soda Lillet Spritzer rosemary simple syrup, prosecco, soda Battle of the Rosé Flight Taste three varieties of rose from around the world

3- DAY OYS T ER WEEKEND

Offered in The Bistro & Locker Rooms | August 3-5 | Lunch 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Dinner 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Oyster Half Shell (6) served with cocktail sauce, lemons and horseradish …$12 Oysters Rockefeller (6) ...$15 Fried Oysters (12) served with cocktail sauce, tartar sauce and lemons …$15 W ine Features Selections of Chablis and Champagne


Director of Catering & Events, Allyson Brown abrown@royaloakscc.com Now that six months have passed and we are half way through the year, it’s time to start planning your holiday parties! They say “the early bird gets the worm” and I am offering a little something extra for those early birds! Throughout the month of July, the catering department is offering a “Christmas in July” special. If you book a holiday party by July 31st, we are including some great deals and complimentary treats! • Your choice of complimentary hot apple cider or hot chocolate • Complimentary Christmas themed centerpieces • 10% off wines-by-the-bottle • Special pricing on Christmas themed cookies • Complimentary name place cards

If you haven’t hosted a holiday party at Royal Oaks yet, you are missing out! The Club is beautifully decorated for Christmas, beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving, with two trees in the Main Clubhouse, wreaths and garlands galore! You won’t need to provide many (if any) extra decorations for the party as we provide a picture-perfect holiday party setting. Chef Jae features a seasonal holiday menu that will offer wonderful winter dishes and our Sommelier, Eric Blokkum, can create festive holiday cocktails! To make your party complete, we include complimentary valet, coat check, and your own private event staff, which is something you wont find at just any restaurant or venue. Be sure to reserve your space as soon as possible as the prime dates are filling up quickly! I look forward to seeing you around the Club! Allyson Brown, Catering & Events Director

Save the date for Friday, August 31st for "Back to School Family Night" taking place at The Palm Grille. There will be planned games and activities as well as a casual buffet dinner. Members and Guests are welcome to join in the family fun and enjoy the pools as summer comes to an end. Stay tuned for more details announced at the end of July.


Summer is in full swing for the Clubhouse team! We have already had much success with our new programs for the summer. Burgers and Bingo kicked off in June and proved to be a smash hit! Members of all ages came out to win some great prizes and were entertained by our rotating cast of Club “Celebrity” Callers. Look forward to some more “pop-up” bingo nights throughout the summer! Clubhouse Manager Bill Ceriello bceriello@royaloakscc.com

All of our staff here at ROCC take pride in getting to know our great Members. We want to introduce a new segment where we get a chance for you to get to know our staff a little bit better. Each newsletter we will feature a Service Superstar from our team and ask them five (not so) hard hitting questions. This month’s Service Superstar is Mardo Guerra. Mardo joined the ROCC team in November of 2004 and has been serving Members with his signature smile ever since. Mardo’s primary role is food runner and expediter in The Bistro, but he is a true utility player and can fill in just about every role in the Food and Beverage operation, from tending bar to waiting tables and everything else in between. See you at the next "pop-up," Bill Ceriello, Clubhouse Manager

Q&A with Service Superstar, Mardo Guerra Q: On your day off, what can we find you doing? A: Going for a run, but most likely having a few happy hour margaritas! Q: What is your favorite movie? A: I’m not a movie guy, but I love to watch soccer, especially Barcelona! Q: What is your favorite cuisine? A: I’ve always loved Italian food, especially spaghetti & meatballs. Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? A: I would travel to El Salvador, where I was born and raised. Q: What is your favorite part about working here at ROCC? A: Everything. Having worked here for almost 15 years I have come to love everything about Royal Oaks, from my coworkers, to the Members who have made me feel like part of their families, to the beautiful facilities, and to managers I have worked with. I love working at ROCC and I am proud to be part of this great team!


Good day Royal Oakians! It’s not the normal time of year when one thinks of transitioning grass on the golf course but there is a transition taking place on July 8th at Royal Oaks Country Club. After 14+ years at Royal Oaks, I and my faithful assistant, Trigger and I will be retiring to greener pastures. Hard to believe I have spent over a third of my career growing and mowing grass at the best country club in Houston. I know that’s a debatable statement but there’s no question in my mind that our Members are ranked #1!

Cody Alexander and Family

I’d like to introduce my successor Cody Alexander to La Vie readers and he has quite a pedigree. Cody grew up in the Woodlands, attended Texas Tech for a while and then finished his degree in Turf Management from Colorado State. He was drafted in the first round by Eric Bauer to become the Assistant Superintendent at The Clubs at Carlton Woods, Nicklaus Course, and then became the Golf Course Superintendent at the Fazio Course at Carlton Woods. He, his wife and family are moving here from Steelwood Country Club in Loxley, Alabama. I had the pleasure of meeting with Cody during his visit to Royal Oaks and have to say that he’s quite an impressive young man. I am excited to be turning over the reins to a such fine, well-educated and experienced individual. As I write this article I think of how many things we’ve been through together and so many of them

weather related. I remember the drought in 2011 where Houston had its hottest day ever at 109 degrees and we experienced a record of 24 consecutive days at 100 degrees or higher. It was so hot, when the temperature dropped below 95 degrees, I felt a bit chilly and put on my Astros sweatshirt…

Man did things change in 2015 with the Memorial Day Flood, followed by the Tax Day flood in 2016 and then the grand-daddy of them all named Harvey in 2017. I have to say thank you so much to my crew. They dragged hoses day after day during the drought. They have worked countless hours and removed literally 1000’s of tons of contaminated sand by hand, restoring bunkers day after day during the aforementioned floods, but also all the heavy rain events we've had through the years. What a terrific bunch of guys!


It’s also my honor to thank two special employees who have served Royal Oaks unselfishly during my tenure. Kelly Morgan has been the key to our agronomic programs and staff management. Kelly’s second home is Royal Oaks and he drives a spray rig at work more than 50 percent of his time. I’ve never been so fortunate to have a partner give so much of his time so generously and I swear he has never had a bad day. Thanks Kelly, I owe you more Coors Light than you will ever be able to drink. Instead of buying you all that beer, I put you in the La Vie magazine. You are #1 in my book, amigo.

Pete Mendoza our Equipment Technician, has a doctorate degree in all things that run on wheels and can fix virtually any challenge he is presented with. Humility, compassion and authenticity are three of Pete’s strongest traits. His only weakness is not charging Members enough when he fixes their carts. Thanks for everything Pete! So that’s it…we’re a unit of misfit toys that came together to be the Golf Course Maintenance Crew at Royal Oaks Country Club over the last 14+ years. Thanks to all of you for your patience and understanding during the tough times and the pats on the back during the good ones. If you want to reach me sometime my email address is golfcoursesupt@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you. Until we meet again, Trigger and I bid you Happy Trails both on and off the golf course. George B. Manuel, Golf Course Superintendent


I have never been at a Club where the membership practices as much as the Members at Royal Oaks CC. To be on the range each day and see so many people hitting balls and working on their golf swings is very exciting. It is less exciting when you look closer and realize that all this hard work will have little effect on their scores on the golf course. In any given 18 holes of golf you will execute the following shots: • 15% of shots with a driver • 10% of shots with fairway woods and hybrids • 13% of shots with irons • 20% shots with wedges – inside 100 yards • 42% strokes with the putter That is amazing 62% of shots played from inside 100 yards! If you were to break up your practice based on the number of times you will play a shot then 2/3 of your practice should be spent on shots inside 100 yards. Yet I see so many players investing that amount of time on their long game and treating their wedges and putting as an afterthought. In September of 2017 we launched our Operation 36 Program which focuses on helping players shoot 36 or less for 9 holes. Players begin their program close to the green, learning to play the wedges and putt. We do this because it doesn’t matter which tees you play from, you will need to

be able to play these shots if you want to score well. Only when the player can execute these shots and shoot 36 or less, are they allowed to move back to a longer tee. The results from this process have been amazing. For the just completed Spring we had 53 players graduate from one yardage division to the next by shooting 36 or less for 9 holes. Operation 36 players of all skill levels have seen their scores on the course reduced by focusing on the shots they will play over 60% of the time on the course. If you are unsure how to improve these playing skills or need some help with what you need to do to improve, consider signing up for the Fall semester of Operation 36. We offer weekly classes and Saturday afternoon Matches twice per month, with classes open to ROCC Members and their guests. The Fall semester of Operation 36 will begin the first week of September with classes for Juniors, Ladies and Men. Additional information is available on the ROCC website, from the Golf Shop and by emailing Director of Instruction, Derek Hooper. Just think how much better you would score if you were able to get down in 3 or less every time you are inside 100 yards. Wouldn’t that be fun! Derek Hooper, Director of Instruction


Workout with Shayne

Meet the Pilates Crew

"I love to work hard in the gym and enjoy the challenge of Shayne's personal training sessions. Her workouts have improved my strength, endurance, and flexibility. I play tennis and pickleball, and also attend stretch, yoga, and spin classes. Shayne has definitely helped me achieve my goals of staying strong and being fit."

Sue Donahoe, Pilates instructor here at Royal Oaks writes, “Did you know that Pilates is good for those with Osteoporosis? Pilates, specifically on the Reformer, can be a great bone strengthening addition or beginning to your exercise regime. Pilates helps with posture, putting your body back in proper alignment. While on the Reformer (unlike in Pilates Mat classes) we can take forward flexion out of the equation, which can put additional stress on the vertebrae. Pilates also works on balance, core strength and breathing.�

- Kip Hall

If you would like to schedule a session to see what Pilates can do for you, please contact: Sue Donahoe at 713-822-4271

Sue has a BS in Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology. She is certified in Stott Pilates Mat and Reformer and has been teaching Pilates for over 15 years. She is also certified as a Personal Trainer, Lifestyle and Weight Management Counselor and Group Exercise Instructor by ACE, along with Spinning, Tabata and TRX. She has worked in the fitness industry for over 20 years. One of her passions is to help people develop healthy lifestyles with education of movement through Pilates.

Sarah Hannegan at 713-254-8226

Pictured: Virginia Thomas, Shayne Haley, Kip Hall

Sarah is certified in Balanced Body Allegro Pilates reformer 2003 and Peak Pilates reformer training 2006. In addition, she is a certified group instructor for many classes such as AFAA, TRX, Spinning, P90X, Core de Force and Drum Fit. Sarah has been teaching group exercise and personal training over 15 years and has a wealth of knowledge to help clients meet their fitness goals. She is IDEA Fitness & PMA (Pilates Method Alliance) member since 2004.


App Booking System

Tennis has landed in the 21st century! We have begun online court reservations via the Club’s app for simplified booking. This will be a learning process for all of us so let’s work together to make this system awesome. There are a few by law changes in the works: 1. All reservations are now 1.5 hours (Singles or Doubles) - If no one is booked on the court after you, enjoy continuing play on the court until the next reservation arrives. As the weather gets better and our play increases, this will allow more Members the chance to enjoy our facility.

BOOK A COURT IN 6 CLICKS 1. Court Bookings

2. Make a Reservation

3. Pick an Ideal Date, Time and Duration of Play

Court Check-In… with a Text!

To better track court usage and manage all reservations more efficiently, check-in is required. We will have two easy ways for you to check-in. 1. Stop at the Sports Club front desk as usual and sign-in. 2. Send a text to 832-997-7360 to let the desk know you are on property and using your reservation. Please include your name and member number in the text.

4. Search Current Available Times and Courts

New Ball Machine

5. Find your Friends and Click Book!

We have purchased a new ball machine, which is Apple and Android compatible. You will be able to control the machine with your phone. We are currently learning the system and once we have mastered it, we will begin training classes for any Members who would like to use the machine. At the beginning, we will be utilizing both machines, and as always, it is free of charge for Members. You may always use the baskets of balls that we use for teaching but we ask that you pick up all the balls and put the equipment away in the shed at the end of use.


Fall Junior Program

We are in the process of finalizing our Fall Junior Tennis Program class schedule. We will update the website and announce when registration opens. Our Junior Program will be based upon skill progression. I am a big believer that it is important that when learning a sport, you go through the basic progression. Stroke production has to begin the process. You must learn to control your body and your racket before we worry about the ball. In my experience, once a player can control their body and their racket, the control over the ball will follow. The concept of “get the ball in” without stroke production, will only serve to handicap you as a tennis player. Once a player exhibits the control over their body and racket, that is when we will advance the player to the next drill group. Each level in our drills will be designed to teach certain aspects in the development of our game. Once a player achieves these skills, we will advance the player to the next class. I must stress that the advancement to the next class is solely at the discretion of the teaching professional. We look forward to seeing you on the courts! Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Fall Adult Program

Starting in August, we will be initiating our drop-in clinics for Members and their Guests. Each Member will receive one free class a month. There is no commitment to participate. The class will be stroke production and our goal is for you to hit as many balls as you can in that hour and a half. Many of these drills will be Pro-fed to accommodate all levels. To start, we will be setting up levels of play based upon USTA. The Men’s Drill Clinic will be Monday nights at 7:00 p.m. for all players rated 3.5 or below, and on Tuesday Nights at 7:00 p.m., for all players rated 4.0 or higher.

The Ladies Drill Clinic will have two groups based upon players 3.0 or below and 3.5 and above. The day and time of this class is yet to be determined, as we are not sure what days we have league this Fall. As soon as I know, you will know.

SALE - Racket Demos

During the Summer, we will be selling off all of our Babalot Demos. If you are interested in purchasing a lightly used racket as a backup, or just for general use, please contact me at 832-722-8038. These rackets will be priced anywhere from $50 to $100 based upon the usage, make and model. For those of you who are interested in new rackets, we have the latest models in Wilson for you to demo free of charge, but we ask that they stay on property. Going forward, we respectfully ask, if you are purchasing a tennis racket, give us a chance to at least price match or beat the retail outlets [Tennis Express] and/or online. Our primary goal is to offer you the best customer service with your purchase, because we know you have a choice. Thank you for the warm welcome to the Club. It was fantastic to meet many of you at the Fourth of July Celebration. I look forward to expanding your tennis program! Peter Farrell, Tennis Director


For assistance with installation and/or retrieving your ROCC username and password, please contact me via email, kpark@royaloakscc.com. In the subject line put your first and last name in addition to your Member number. You will receive a response within 24 hours.

To troubleshoot problems please contact the following support team:

Your username and password is the same for both the ROCC website and app.

Foretees The Golf Shop, 281-899-3270

ROCC Website, App, Email and Member Directory Katie Park, kpark@royaloakscc.com

USchedule Derek Hooper, dhooper@royaloakscc.com


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• FIFA World Cup Watch Party Brunch

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J U N IOR

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J U N IOR

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• Oyster Weekend

MONDAY

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WEDNESDAY THURSDAY

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• Independence Day Parade & Party

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C A M P

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C A M P

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• Presto Plate Lunch

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• Presto Plate Lunch

W E E K

• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Theme Dine Around

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• Presto Plate Lunch • Aqua-Kinstretch

W E E K

• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Dine Around

SP ORT S

• ROCCLA Happy Hour • W.D.W.

C A M P

• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Dine Around

SP ORT S

• W.D.W.

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• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Dine Around

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• W.D.W.

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FRIDAY

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• Athleta Pop-up Shop Sports Club • Presto Plate Lunch

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• Bastille Day

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• Presto Plate Lunch • Oyster Weekend

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• ROCCLA Happy Hour • W.D.W.

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• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Dine Around

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• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Theme Dine Around

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• Presto Plate Lunch

W E E K

• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Dine Around

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• Presto Plate Lunch

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FRIDAY

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SATURDAY

• Oyster Weekend

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• MGA D Select Tournament

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• Presto Plate Lunch

• Presto Plate Lunch • Back to School Family Night

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• MGA Match Play Championship Day 2

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• Labor Day Pool Party

• WGA Stroke Play Tournament Day 1

• W.D.W. • WGA Play Day

• W.D.W. • WGA Play Day

• W.D.W. • WGA Stroke Play Tournament Day 2

• ROCCLA Happy Hour • W.D.W. • WGA Play Day

• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Dine Around

• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Dine Around

• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Dine Around

• Happy Hour 5-7pm • Theme Dine Around

• Presto Plate Lunch • Lobster Weekend

• Presto Plate Lunch

• Presto Plate Lunch

• Presto Plate Lunch • Fall Nine, Wine & Dine

• Lobster Weekend

• MGA Match Play Championship Day 1

W.D.W. = Wine Down Wednesday @ The Bistro Lounge - Summer hours (June-August) extended until 9:00 p.m.


Mission Statement: Royal Oaks Country Club provides an environment of enjoyment to all Members and their families by offering exceptional golf, fitness, recreational sports, social and dining experiences. Vision Statement: To be recognized as the private club of choice for Houston families by offering a convenient and relaxed lifestyle with superior amenities and facilities.

Values: Members • Members are our most important asset • Membership is a privilege through a thoughtful selection process Amenities • First class golf and recreational sports experience • Remarkable social experiences promoted by members Employees • Attract staff who are high performers and outstanding in their field • Uphold fiscal responsibility through effective Club governance Community • Promote fellowship in a welcoming social environment • Adhere to the Golden Rule…treat others as you want to be treated

@RoyalOaksHTX

2018 July & August Newsletter  

The 2018 Summer Issue. July and August bi-monthly issue of the Royal Oaks Country Club newsletter, La Vie.

2018 July & August Newsletter  

The 2018 Summer Issue. July and August bi-monthly issue of the Royal Oaks Country Club newsletter, La Vie.