Member Letter | 2022 - St. Marys Golf & Country Club

Member Letter | 2022

April 27, 2022

Dear Valued SMGCC Members,

Welcome to the 2022 Golf Season!

We appreciate your business, and would like to thank you for your continued support over the past couple of years. As we return to normal in 2022, and have an exciting year planned for our membership community. The future of golf in St.Marys is bright, as we continue to sell out our Junior Golf Program, and have yet again, SOLD OUT of Anytime Memberships. We are excited for another year of golf, and can’t wait to see you on the course. 

STRONG MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS

As mentioned above, we are pleased with the 2022 membership numbers, and for the second year in a row needed to cap the Anytime Memberships at 200, in order to keep tee-times available for members. We will continue to sell 4X7 Memberships throughout the season. Please see a breakdown of membership numbers below:

Anytime Memberships (200)

143 | With Cart

57 | Walking


4X7 Memberships (54)

32 | With Cart

22 | Walking


Junior Memberships (65)

JUNIOR GOLF ON THE RISE

The future of golf is in a great place, evidenced by the Junior Membership numbers mentioned above. We have seen the number of junior golfers skyrocket over the past couple of years, and hope to harness this popularity of golf, to ensure that we continue to have a strong membership base in the future.

The Junior Golf Program has also seen an increase in popularity, with all eight (8) camps now SOLD OUT (for two years in a row). Over 120 junior golfers between the ages of 6-15 will be attending golf camps this summer. One of the most exciting things to see in terms of junior golf is the emergence of female junior golfers. Of the eight camps that are scheduled for summer 2022, three (3) of them are “GIRLS ONLY”. Each of these “GIRLS ONLY” camps are SOLD OUT, and nearly half of the 120 juniors that are signed up for all of the Junior Golf Program are female golfers! This is a dramatic rise from the three girls we had in the 2019 golf camps. For more information on the Junior Golf Program, click here.

Last year was the fourth year for the Junior Golf League of Huron Perth. We are pleased to announce that the SMGCC Junior Golf team defended their title, winning the 2021 Championship. We will defend the title again for the 2022 season.

INVESTMENT IN THE GOLF COURSE

SMGCC will continue to invest back into the golf course during the 2022 season. 

Turf Equipment

We have purchased / upgraded three pieces of equipment for the turf team, as follows: (1) a Toro Greensmaster 3150 (greens mower), (2) a John Deere Gator TX (utility vehicle), and (3) a new crate motor for our current Kubota UTV (utility vehicle). The extra greens mower, the third in our fleet, will allow us to verticut greens and tees more often, creating healthier and smoother surfaces. The new John Deere Gator TX has more hauling power and load capacity than the other utility vehicles in our aging fleet, and its addition will improve efficiencies between the landscaping and turf departments. 

Golf Carts + Rain Covers

We will continue with the cart exchange program, swapping eight (8) of our oldest carts for eight (8) new Yamaha carts. We will also be replacing 10 rain covers located on the back of carts, and will continue to do so in future years. 

Cast Bronze Hole Signage

SMGCC prides itself on our meticulous course conditions, beautiful amenities and scrupulous attention to detail. Over the past couple of years, our hole signage has started to deteriorate, and the majority of the signs need replacement. For these reasons, we will be replacing the current hole signage with 18 cast bronze hole signs in Fall 2022.  Below is a mock-up of the cast bronze hole signs.

Hole #9 Renovation

With the vision of Rob Cuncic, of RC Golf Works, we have developed a plan for a full renovation to hole #9 fairway and greenside. We aim to make #9 a signature hole, similar to hole #12, by making it an attractive hole for golfers as they approach the green and for drivers who admire it from the roadside. This will be the largest hole renovation since renovating hole #8. Below, we outline the three phases that you can expect in the coming year:

Phase 1

  • Strip and excavate a substantial amount of fill from the fairway approach from about 120 yds. in to provide a full view of the green on the approach shot
  • Strip and excavate the area around the green. Note:
    • Green will remain untouched,
    • Replacing bunkers with deep catchment areas, like those on hole #2, and
    • Create a large berm, contoured around the backside and southside of the green to ensure that golfers are unable to see the parking lot on their approach shots.
  • Add a fairway bunker along the southside of the fairway, to act as a catchment area for balls in the landing zone of tee-shots

Phase 2

  • Using the fill from #9 fairway:
    • Widen the back tee-blocks on #6 so they are able to be used more regularly,
    • Fill in low lying areas at the start of the fairway on hole #6 (TBD), and
    • Store the leftover fill for future hole renovations and tee-block maintenance.

Phase 3

  • Finishing touches on the back berm, and
  • Planting grass (seed or sod) on hole #9 fairway.

*A temporary green will be installed from September 2022 until the Spring of 2023*

Hole #6 Drainage Upgrade

There has been an issue with flooding on hole #4 & #6 over the past couple of years, cutting the season short on these holes. We would like to address this issue in the Fall of 2022, by upgrading the current drainage system, with the goal of keeping all 18 holes open for the entirety of the season. We will be installing a catch basin at the beginning of hole #6 fairway, along with a pump house. This catch basin will act as a sump pump, filling up with water and then draining it into the river, once it reaches a specific level. We will be tying in additional drainage from the low lying areas along holes #4 & #6 fairways that will flow into the catch basin.

MEN’S & LADIES’ GOLF LEAGUE + MATCH PLAY

As part of our membership offering, we would like to ensure that we have strong Men’s and Ladies’ Golf Leagues to offer our members and public players alike. After sitting down with the Men’s League Committee members, there are substantial changes to the league, aimed at improving the player experience, including rule changes, scoring changes, and the addition of events. Please visit our Men’s League webpage for more details (click here).

Furthermore, following the 2022 Ladies’ League season we will be sending out a survey to get feedback on any changes that members would like to see made for the 2023 season. 

Match Play

We are excited to announce that SMGCC match play is returning this season. Registration closes on Saturday, April 30th, so be sure to sign up soon.

IMPORTANT DATES (CLUB EVENTS)

We will be hosting various club events throughout the year to enhance your membership experience. Please read through the offerings below.

Men’s League Draft

Wednesday, May 4th

Men’s League Breakfast + Scramble

Saturday, May 7th

Men’s League (1st Scoring Night)

Wednesday, May 11th

Two-Man Scramble

Saturday, May 14th

Ladies League (1st Scoring Night)

Tuesday, May 17th

Senior Men’s Invitational 

Wednesday, May 25th

Ladies’ League Scramble

Tuesday, May 31st

Battle of Gowanbrae

Friday, July 15th - Saturday, July 16th

Men’s Invitational 

Saturday, July 30th

Mixed Scramble

Thursday, August 18th

Club Championships

Saturday, August 20th - Sunday, August 21st

Junior Club Championship

Tuesday, August 23rd

Ladies’ Fall Scramble

Thursday, September 15th

Mixed Glow Golf

Friday, September 16th

Three-Man Scramble

Sunday, October 16th

 

SMGolf REWARDS LOYALTY PROGRAM

Back for 2022, we will be offering rewards coupons through our SMGolf Rewards loyalty program. Members earn 4 points (or 4%) for each dollar spent at SMGCC, including golf memberships! In order to collect points on a purchase, be sure to mention your full name to the staff member placing your order, BEFORE making payment. For more information about SMGolf Rewards, click here.

HOUSE ACCOUNTS

For those interested in charging to a House Account, please know that we will continue to offer this option for members (only) for the 2022 season When purchasing items in the Golf Shop, restaurant, or bar, you have the option to charge to a personal House Account. 

In order to do this, we require a mandatory, active credit card on file. Please visit the Golf Shop to provide an updated credit card for the season, if you have not already. House Account payments are made on the 5th of the month following. We kindly ask that you wait for a receipt and that you sign off on ALL House Account purchases, before leaving the clubhouse. A mandatory 15% gratuity will be added to each purchase, to reward our staff for their service.

WEDDING PHOTO GARDEN

With the goal of improving pace of play for you, our members, we are replacing the Hole #7 wedding photo option by adding a new wedding photo location, along the edge of Trout Creek, close to Hole #18 bridge, in the area between Holes #4 and #6. The purpose of the new garden is to reduce the intersection of golfers and wedding couples.

Old, dying trees have been removed, while a new garden will be built, by the maintenance team and with the assistance of St. Marys Landscaping. We look forward to unveiling the new garden in late Spring.

GOLFER’S PATIO

We understand that with the addition of the restaurant, there have been changes to the clubhouse setup and atmosphere for golfers. We appreciate your patience as we developed a plan to accommodate both restaurant patrons and golfers alike. After consulting with members and with our F&B team, we developed a plan for accommodating golfers in a dedicated food & beverage area for golfers

Significant changes:

  • The North (cement) patio will be dedicated to golfers,
  • Golfers will have the option of dining in the restaurant (Social Thirty-One) or enjoying food & beverages on the dedicated patio,
  • No reservations necessary for the Golfer’s patio (note: we will reserve tables weekly for specific groups. For example: The Friday Group, Ladies League, etc.), and
  • We have purchased new, recycled plastic tables and chairs, coming Spring 2022, which will Increase the number of patio seats from 56 to 96 (+40 seats).

New Patio

We are excited to announce that the cement patio will be replaced in Spring 2023, to match the aesthetic of the new wood patio. It will include a unique feature, which we will unveil at next year’s member dinner (so stay tuned!). Help us name the patio for your chance to WIN a $150 Social Thirty-One gift card!

Submit your patio name here

SANDY’S FAREWELL

As many of you know, this is Sandy’s FINAL season at the Club. Although we have known this for a number of years now, it is bittersweet, as Sandy has been the driving force behind our spectacular golf course conditions for over 30 years.

Sandy, and her husband Rick, joined the business in 1992, when the Staffens, Courtnages, Ainslies, and Fifields purchased the Club from the members. A year later, we added the Gowanbrae New Nine. Since this time, we have made several changes, including new greens on Holes #4 and #8, the waterfall on Hole #7, bunker renovations, additional drainage and much more.

Sandy will be missed. However, we are excited to announce that Arron Tough will be her successor. Arron brings with him considerable golf industry experience, including spending 15 years at ClubLink. Arron will serve as the Head Superintendent, effective November 2022. 

Arron and Brandon plan to make considerable changes over the coming years, aimed at enhancing the experience for our membership community, with a focus on attention to detail. Next time you see her at the Club, please thank Sandy for her commitment to quality course conditions and for being an important leader and friend at the Club over the past 30 years.

Sincerely,

The SMGCC Golf Team