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Bring on the Rain

After one of the driest summers on record, the grounds staff is looking forward to the Washington rain coming our way.
However, I am sure come February we will be singing a different tune.
This season seemed to never want to end and it looks like it may not for a few more weeks.
The rain holding off for just a bit longer will be a benefit for our team, and allow us to prepare the golf courses for the winter.
Some of the majoy tasks you will see us working on before the rain finally does come are: aerification of tees, fairways, and approaches, repeating spring aerification on our greens, overseeding distressed areas form the season, and drainage projects.

Drainage is key to all golf courses across the nation, however most of them do not see 70+ inches of rain throughout the winter.
There are a few areas in need of drainage to improve playability not only in the winter but also in the summer.
Over seeding distressed areas sooner rather than later will make a great difference to our courses come spring.
If we wait too long into fall and winter, it will be difficult to get the seed to germinate and the seedlings to survive.
Giving the plant a chance now will pay off come April.

Aerification of tees, fairways, and approaches will help the golf course handle the rains this winter.
It should allow the property to drain better over the next few months allowing for better winter conditions.
This will also provide a healthier product for the following season.
Breaking up the compaction as well as removing organic matter from the profile should have lasting benefits on the golf courses.
Lastly, we hope to aerify October 9 and October 10 – weather dependent.
We will be repeating the process we had so much success with this spring, as we saw our greens respond better than every.
Hopefully by doing it this way, we will have a high-quality product during the winter that can also handle the feet of rain we anticipate.
So, before the rain does finally start pouring, we hop to get the course in the best shape possible to handle the Pacific Northwest fall.

Patrick McKenzie
Superintendent
Gold Mountain Golf Club

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Enjoy the Views from Our Patio

Pristine views and a beautiful brand new dining experience have enlightened the patio at Gold Mountain Golf Club.

When you visit the restaurant at Gold Mountain, you will be welcomed with brand new tables, chairs, lounge furniture, umbrellas, and the beautiful scenery of the Olympic Mountains.

The ambiance of the outside deck will ease your day and brighten your spirits, regardless of how your round may have gone.

Speaking of spirits, you can sip on a local craft beer or one of our signature cocktails, like our freshly muddled strawberry mojito, while you take in the views around you.

The Gold Mountain menu consists of fresh ingredients and tasty treats, and everything is made from scratch right here in our very own kitchen.

Take some time to come and enjoy our dining experience at Gold Mountain Golf Club.

Perfect for delicious food after a round of golf, or just a casual night on the town.

We can’t wait to see you!

Chef John
Executive Chef
Gold Mountain Golf Club

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Practice, Get Better, Have Fun!

Practice makes perfect.

You’ve heard the phrase a million times.

Gold Mountain Golf Club is known for having two of the best public golf courses in the state of Washington, but did you know we also have an amazing practice facility?

The addition of range targets is very exciting and give golfers a new focus while practicing.

In the lower, short game bowl the range targets will help golfers dial in their short wedge distances more effectively.

The best part is, now you can bring your friends out and have some friendly competition on the range!

Our practice facility also has a multitude of chipping and putting greens that will allow golfers to further practice their short game.

With new mowing patterns around our short game facilities golfers are able to work on tight lies, various distances, and more to get them ready for the golf course.

Perhaps you’re having trouble hitting your wedges.

Getting your ball on line with the putter.

Finding the fairway with your driver.

Well, you’re in luck!

Gold Mountain Golf Club has a variety of group clinics and golf instructors available to help you improve your game.

Learn more about group and private lessons online, and find the instructor that fits your style and budget best.

Remember, practice makes perfect!

Let our golf instructors improve your game and allow you to have more fun on the course!

See you soon!

Travis Cary, PGA
Assistant Golf Professional
503.798.1122

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Easter at Gold Mountain

Join us on Easter Sunday for our spectacular buffet at Gold Mountain.

Bring your family and friends to celebrate with you and make it a day with the whole family!

Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by the friendly staff and elegantly decorated tables, which festively showcase the Easter Holiday.

Start your meal with a craft brew, glass of premium wine, or mimosa and prepare for the delicious buffet to come!

Our buffet features traditional items inspired by everyone’s family favorites, and several dishes highlight spring flavors, fresh herbs, and masterful creations from our very own Executive Chef, Jon Forcier.

Our Sous Chef, Trevor Nelson, will feature a build your own station, including omelette’s and waffles with ingredients to make your mouth water!

Our dessert bar is stocked with a variety of cakes, pies, cookies, petite fours, and other goodies.

So you’ll definitely want to save some room for dessert!

Gluten-free desserts are also available, to ensure no one misses out on this beautiful spread.

Reservations are required, visit the restaurant or call 360.415.5432 to reserve your table.

Large parties are welcomed and separate checks are no problem!

Happy Easter!

Tiffany Schenk
Area Director of Food and Beverage

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Golf Season is Nearly Here

As we recover from a late winter wind and snow event, it is hard to believe that this year is off to a tremendous start when you consider that last year brought with it some of the worst possible weather for Northwest golfers.

It is true, a misty, mid-40’s February day doesn’t spark the intensity to hit the links and fire up the old golf game.

But for those that do venture out of their heated abodes, open tee times and fantastic playing conditions await on both of our golf courses, just don’t wait too long.

We are only three and a half weeks away from our first major tournament of the season, Mountain Madness, the two-day, two-player, scramble and best ball Event scheduled for March 17 and 18.

If you are interested in participating, you can register online.

Gold Mountain’s yearly spring tournament is our unofficial start of our golf season.

It marks a time when our team members begin to welcome back our afternoon leagues, prepare for our annual Demo Day event, open up or facility to our local high schools as their seasons ramp up, and of course start our preparation for the 2018 Mountain West Conference Championship.

Gold Mountain has the honor of hosting this Division I college tournament April 19 through April 22, as the best players in the Mountain West test their skills for the top spot in their conference and attempt to qualify for the NCAA National Championship.

If you are interested in volunteering for this tournament, please contact the Golf Shop at 360.415.5432 for more details.

After every national tournament we host, one of the first things that we receive praise for is the amazing and dedicated army of volunteers that we produce.

We would love to have you on our team for the Mountain West Conference Championship!

Before I end my ramblings, please allow me to give my sincerest thank you to our recently retired Superintendent, Ed Faulk.

I’d like to think that I am pretty good at my job, but let’s be honest, you don’t come to play golf at Gold Mountain to see me.

You come to Gold Mountain because it is a facility that is always in great shape whether it has been an exceptionally wet and soggy season, or on those rare years where it never rains and we are near drought conditions.

Ed worked tirelessly for 34 years at Gold Mountain Golf Club, never questioning a crazy idea about tee times from me or complaining about a freak windstorm that brought down hundreds of trees (both have occurred).

Ed took exceptional pride in Gold Mountain and there are many of us here who are thankful for the opportunity to thrive in our careers because of the stability he created with both of our fantastic golf courses.

Thank you, Ed, we will all miss you!

 

John Sitton
Golf Operations Manager
Gold Mountain Golf Club

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Out with the Old and In with the New

It’s that time of year when everyone is saying, “Out with the old and in with the new!”

If you’re like me, you get excited about January because it is a time to clean out the old clutter, old thinking, and old bad habits to make room for new ideals, goals, and even products that will help you achieve them.

Maybe you’ve put away your golf clubs for a couple of months, but are now packing them up to head on vacation or are moving them around as you sort through the garage.

Either way, there are probably some old clubs, bags, carts, or shoes that you’ve still got hanging around from the past few years (or even decades)!

Wouldn’t it feel great to pass those on to someone or finally just give them one final “thanks for a great run,” and on to the new?

If you have golf gear in excellent condition that you’d like to donate to a junior program or give to a person who may not be able to afford them brand new, now is the time to donate.

Gold Mountain is a great place to donate your used gear and know that you are helping a new golfer experience the game of golf.

Make sure to join our e-club to stay up to date on when and where you can donate your used equipment and what perks we have for you.

Out with the old and stop in the Golf Shop for some of that new in 2018!

Suzanne Mehlert
Merchandiser, Gold Mountain Golf Club

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A Great Journey

Normally this time of year, I would talk about winter projects we are working on and what we are preparing and planning for the upcoming season.

Instead, we will look at the great 34-year career Ed Faulk, Superintendent, has had here at Gold Mountain Golf Club as he prepares for retirement in January 2018.

Ed was hired in March 1984, long before the Olympic Course was built.

He spent 13 years as the Assistant Superintendent on the Cascade Course and took over as the Superintendent of the property when the Olympic Course opened in 1996.

He will have held that title for nearly 22 years when he retires at the end of January 2018.

It is a testament to Ed’s knowledge, commitment, passion, and ability to have retained his title and position for such an extended period.

There are a number of highlights Ed has spoken of when reflecting on his career here at Gold Mountain, but there are a few that stand out more than others.

First, was the opportunity he was given to be the Superintendent.

When the position became available in 1996, the decision came down to two candidates; Ed and a well-established superintendent from within the gold community.

When Ed was awarded the position, he knew he would not let the City of Bremerton down and would work hard to always prove they made the right choice.

Second, Ed has reflected on what a special moment it was for him to open a championship golf course in the Olympic Course back in 1996.

Ed has hosted many national tournaments including NCAA regional qualifier and University of Washington Husky Invitationals, but the two that meant the most to Ed were the 2006 U.S. Amateur Pub Links Championship and the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

Ed has had a big impact on more than just the property at Gold Mountain Golf Club.

He has had a great impact on the people that he not only worked with but also the guests that visit his golf courses.

Ed is on a first name basis with so many of our regular guests and always takes the time to ask them about how they are doing, and he takes a personal interest in their lives.

Ed is also highly respected by all fellow Gold Mountain team members.

Daryl Matheny, General Manager, spoke recently about Ed and what he has meant personally and professionally to the club.

Daryl said some of the things he will miss when Ed retires are his work ethic, he is a jack of all trades, the way he always stepped up to make sure whatever needed to get done was accomplished, but most importantly the ownership Ed took in his work.

Daryl always felt Ed put out the best possible product and made sure whatever he was assigned was handled in a professional and meticulous manner.

Daryl also shared that his favorite memory at Gold Mountain with Ed was preparing for, and hosting, the 2006 Amateur Pub Links Championship.

Daryl said Ed had the course in perfect condition and the USGA was extremely pleased with the way the tournament went.

For me personally, Ed will be greatly missed.

He has been an incredible mentor in developing my skills and preparing me to take the next step in my career.

I will be forever grateful to Ed for giving me an opportunity to be his assistant.

He had done a great job of sharing his knowledge and experiences with me while allowing me the freedom to figure everything out my own way.

Ed has helped guide me in the right direction, but from a distance, which has allowed me to learn from my own experiences.

Gold Mountain Golf Club, as well as all the people who have worked with Ed, will truly miss him.

We wish him all the best as he enters this next chapter of his life.

Thank you Ed!

Patrick McKenzie
Assistant Superintendent
Gold Mountain Golf Club

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Gold Mountain Introduces Team Member of the Quarter!

Gold Mountain’s Team Member of the Quarter recognizes a team member who brings forward all of our values.

Enthusiasm, respect, creativity, honesty, sincerity, and accountability.

This team member is voted for by the entire team in all departments, and is recognized at our all staff quarterly meeting.

This quarter Denise Garza was voted to become Gold Mountain’s very first Team Member of the Quarter!

Denise’s outstanding qualities and contributions to not only Gold Mountain, but to Columbia Hospitality as a whole, have caught the attention of every team member that has the privilege of working beside her.

Denise started working at one of the Columbia Hospitality properties in 2006, McCormick Woods Golf Club.

At McCormick Woods Denise was the leader of the Snack Shop, lead dining room assistant, banquet server, and housekeeper.

Denise has always risen to any challenge with great enthusiasm and positivity.

In 2016, Denise was promoted to Snack Shop Supervisor at Gold Mountain Golf Club.

Denise has very successfully lead the beverage cart and Snack Shop teams.

She has helped broaden the inventory available in the Snack Shop and on the beverage carts, as well as helping create a new Snack Shop on the Olympic Course known as “The Den.”

The addition of The Den helped lead Gold Mountain to records in our food and beverage department.

Denise is also part of the dining room assistant team and banquet team at Gold Mountain.

Most recently, Denise has been asked to join a third Columbia Hospitality property, Kitsap Conference Center as a banquet server and concierge.

Denise has exhibited continued and unwavering professionalism, dedication, and sincerity throughout her time at Gold Mountain Golf Club.

Her calling is truly hospitality and we are extremely grateful to have Denise on our team.

Her leadership, honesty, and creativity are contagious among guests and team members alike.

I am so proud of Denise Garza and grateful to be a part of her continued growth and success.

Tiffany Schenk
Area Director of Food and Beverage
Columbia Hospitality

 

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Contrary to Popular Belief

Aerification and topdressing are seen as negatives by most golfers but they are vital to maintaining healthy turf and creating the best possible playing conditions.

We will look at what it takes to achieve both of these practices as well as the benefits both provide to the turf.

Aerification can be a time-consuming practice, however, when done the right way we can achieve it with little to no interference with the golfers. We use two Toro Procore 648 machines to aerify our tees, approaches, and greens.

We aerify our tees and approaches once a year with half inch side eject hollow tines.

When aerifing our greens we use multiple sizes of tines depending on the time of year, weather, and what we are trying to accomplish.

In the fall, we use half inch side eject hollow tines as our goal is to remove organic matter from the profile and replace it with sand.

This also helps our greens drain well throughout the winter.

In the spring, we use either three eighths of an inch side eject hollow tines or quarter inch solid needle tines.

The benefit of the smaller tines in the spring is that they allow our greens to heal much quicker and therefore does not disrupt play for an extended period of time.

Throughout the golf season we will vent our greens every four to six weeks depending on weather and play with the quarter inch solid tines.

We follow this venting by rolling the disturbed greens so they are ready for play immediately.

It is necessary to vent the greens regularly to help promote a healthy turf and in return a better playing surface.

A few of the main reasons we aerify are to break up compaction, help with gas exchange, help with drainage, and remove organic matter and thatch from the profile.

Since purchasing our Procore aerifiers, we have noticed a significant improvement in the depth of our roots.

This is extremely important for many reasons, but mainly because now the plant can reach deeper for water.

This allows us to dry the greens out when we need them to be more firm.

Topdressing is often seen as a poor maintenance practice by golfers, as they feel as though it is not allowing them to play on the best possible putting surfaces.

However, this is a very common misconception.

Our fall aerification requires a heavier application of sand to help fill in the larger holes.

Whereas during the peak golf season we will apply a light dusting of sand to our greens every four weeks.

Following the sanding we brush the sand in, then brush mow, and use sand reels to clean everything up.

The benefits of topdressing are not just to fill in the areification holes but to provide a better playing surface for the duration of the year.

The sand will smooth out the playing surface allowing for a smoother roll and will help with consistent and desired green speeds.

So, next time you see our amazing maintenance team out venting or topdressing the greens, thank them for making your Gold Mountain Golf Club your favorite place to golf!

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How Did the Courses Handle the Weather?

As the standard “peak” golf season comes closer to an end on the Kitsap Peninsula, let’s look back at course conditions during this pas season.

This will include green speed, water usage, and overall playability of the Olympic Course and the Cascade Course.

Green speed is always a hot topic when talking about golf courses and there are various factors that affect the speed of a green.

When we watch major golf championships, we hear the commentators discussing the speed of the greens being 12.5 or 13+ on the stimpmeter (a device used to measure the speed of a green).

A USGA official uses a Stimpmeter to measure the speed of a green at Oakmont. Courtesy of PGA.com.

Keep in mind, those greens are being played by the best golfers in the world, and even they struggle with them!

From personal experience working at U.S. Open Championship, those speeds are far too fast for the average golfer.

However, those courses only keep those speeds up for the tournament they are hosting and then everything slows back down after said tournament.

We at Gold Mountain, try to keep our green speed right around a 10.5 on the stimpmeter, we have found this to be a player-friendly pace, while still challenging for our golfers.

Along with that, making sure all our greens are rolling consistently and smoothly is a top priority.

For big tournaments, and when requested for certain events, we can easily get green speeds up to a 12 on the stimpmeter, then our golfers will really be getting a taste of what the professionals experience week in and week out.

This golf season has seen a pretty remarkable drought of over 50 days in a row with no precipitation and over 70 days with moisture accumulations only reaching 0.10 inches.

We have a weather station at our maintenance shop that measures a number of different things, but one key measurement it gives us in our evapotranspiration (ETs), which is the amount of water lost by a plant every day.

The weather station then relays the ET information to our irrigation system, which then calibrates how long each sprinkler head on the course needs to run each night.

We also can go in and manually adjust run times for certain areas of each golf course.

Watering, however, is like walking a tight rope.

It we over water, the course becomes saturated and playing conditions are not optimized.

If we under water we can lose turf, and if not treated, those desiccated areas are likely to fill in the next season with weeds.

No irrigation system gives perfect coverage, only nature can take care of that; however, we are very fortunate that our irrigation system can keep up with our ever-changing climate.

Considering the record rainfall, snow, and ice we had this last winter, and then the record drought we are still having this summer, both courses are performing very well.

Gold Mountain Golf Club

We had several greens buried under ice for up to six weeks last winter and have had extremely good success recovering them back to championship conditions in a relatively brief period of time.

Then add on all the heat from this summer…needless to say we have invested a lot of time into trying to keep the course firm and fast by hand watering hot spots, or localized dry spots (LDS).

This allows us to not over water or under water in certain areas, while still providing a championship caliber product.

Overall, all areas of both courses are handling the crazy Pacific Northwest weather well.

Our fairways are very firm, allowing golf balls to bounce and roll out nicely, giving you those extra few yards off the tea.

Our greens are also firm, and provide a bit of a challenge with the way they receive and hold a ball on an approach shot.

Both the Cascade Course and the Olympic Course are in great shape and will continue to be in this condition, now we just wait for some much-needed rain to liven up the courses!

Ed Faulk
Gold Mountain Golf Club Superintendent