|Posted on May 24, 2016 at 1:55 PM||comments (0)|
The weather turned warm (well, late May in Maine warm) over the weekend, with temperatures in the high 60s, gentle winds a warm sun that made it actually seem hot. The good news is that golfers played in their new ICC shirts purchased in our totally new Pro Shop, the flowers in front of the first tee started to bloom, the trees leafed and flowered and the clubhouse windows were turned from storms to screens. The bad news -- the rough also sprouted, allergic sneezes and coughs were abundant and the d___ blackflies are swarming, especially on the 7th and 8th greens and along the 9th tees. Balancing the pluses and the minuses, the plusses are way ahead.
IT'S SPRING ON OUR BEAUTIFUL ISLAND.
News of the Clubhouse:
Members and guests are reminded that the center doors on the front porch are the MAIN entrance to the Clubhouse. The side door is for golfers exiting to the first tee and for deliveries. We are working to put Club notices and event signups in the Great Room to encourage your entering there.
With Janet's happy cooperation, the kitchen will open for the season this Wednesday for the summer season. Lunch is served from the Great Room service counter from 11AM until 2PM. All of your favorite sandwiches are back, there will be new specials introduced throughout the summer and we have a full range of soft drinks, local and imported beers and wines, as well as house made iced tea and lemonade. The outdoor patio is ready for your lunchtime enjoyment.
We are working to improve how members and guests will access and return golf carts. For the time being, after checking in, members using carts are to walk down the gravel pathway to the right of the barn, go to the front of the lines with carts and take a front cart. When returning the cart, drive down the driveway to the lower level, proceed around the barn and pull your cart into an empty lane, or behind the line with the fewest carts.
News of Golf:
On-line Signups: -- a reminder, online signups for golf events are found on the ICC website homepage (see link below), under the announcement of the Club opening on the right hand side. The links open an email form on your computer addressed to the Club. Instructions for signing up for each event are in the signup box.
Trifecta Tournament, Sunday, May 29 -- sign up in the Clubhouse or on the ICC Website (www.islandcountryclub.net) for the first tournament of the season, a two person event with an unusual format -- six holes of scrambles, six of best ball and six of the you better really like your partner alternate shot. Handicaps will be applied to your combined score. You can choose your tee time at the Clubhouse. The entry fee is only $10.00, we will have some breakfast choices and the kitchen and patio will be open for lunch and beverages. This is the second year for this tournament and those who played last year reported it was terrific fun and an interesting golf challenge.
Scrambles -- Twelve inveterate golfers showed up for Scramble on Friday, May 20. Low gross winners (32, card play-off) were Jack Hamblen, Vinal Torrey, Dave Goddard, and Marilyn Mehalic. Low putts prize (11 putts) went to Myron Curtis, Sam Ostrow, Tom Mehalic, and Marilyn Schroer. To sign up for Scrambles on Friday May 27, use the signup form on the ICC website (www.islandcountryclub.net). We will resume the serving of free lemonade and iced tea.
Billings and Twilight Leagues -- The Billings League plays on Thursday evenings beginning at 4:30 and this week marks the third session. Twilight League will begin with a meeting and practice session on June 6 and will play on Monday afternoons. There are still positions open for Twilight League participation, and you can sign up and check out the unique handicap format on the Men's Bulletin Board or email Ken Wiberg ([email protected]) .
Handicap and Rules Announcement -- There have been some significant rules changes announced by the United States Golf Association as they effect the keeping of a golf handicap. Our Handicap and Rules Committee has announced how the rules will be enforced at the Island Country Club:
News of Tennis:
There is no news of tennis. The courts are open, they have been beautifully prepared. The grounds crew sweeps and rolls them regularly. C'mon, someone on this Island must want to play!
Memorial Day (Monday May 30): Attend a local celebration, seek out vets and thank them for their service, remember the 20th Maine.
Club House Manager
|Posted on May 24, 2016 at 1:45 PM||comments (1)|
As the Great Joe Bruno always says on the first tee -- "Let's see what happens!"
And We're Off
Everything worked! Sort of. Opening Day, Friday May 13, was everything the team that worked on the refurbishment of the Clubhouse could have wanted (so much for the 13th being bad luck). There was a good, but not overwhelming, crowd. The new registers beeped up purchases (they're computers); the new cart management system required a Roger Bergen drawing on the first tee blackboard and both the system and the drawing clearly need work; the gathering of the Scrambles players (see below) in the Great Room for the distribution of winning chits was warm and happy; and using the Great Room entry for golf and tennis sign-ins clearly didn't work -- and the boards have been returned to the Pro Shop faster than a Dana Douglass swing. It's been a good first few days. There still aren't many of us here, the weather today returned to early March and the Clubhouse staff is using the slower times to enhance their skills and address the minor bugs that are inevitable with all that is new.
News of Golf:
Opening Day Scrambles: Under the aegis of Commissioner Mimi Gerstell (who provided this report), thirteen people played in the first Scrambles of the season. Low gross winners with 33 were the team of Vinal Torrey, Jon Hellstedt, Roger Bergen, and Mary Lou Curtis. Two of the other three teams tied for low putts (and were also tied at 35 for gross score, rendering a decision impossible) -- we ended up giving all of these fantastic putters a $1 chit ! Don't forget, if you're on a three-person scrambles team, your team gets a fourth try at every shot, with the assignment of the fourth shot rotating among the members whenever you move to a new hole.
Ladies Day #1 is Tomorrow (Tuesday, May 17) -- It's our first Ladies Day of the season and Jean Hutchinson and Linda Stratton have been seen huddling as they evolved plans for this year's events. There will be no lunch from the kitchen tomorrow, but beverages -- coffee before, beverages after -- will definitely be available. No word on how any gender identity issues will be handled, but the guys have not been playing well enough to challenge in any attire they might choose. Greg and John from the grounds crew piled wood in the fireplace for post-round warming (yes, it is mid-May off the coast of Maine), and the newly repainted chairs with their beautiful new cushions are in their semi-circle, ready for the re-telling of shots shanked and putts made.
May 20 Scrambles: Sign up at the Clubhouse or using the tournament sign-up function on the website Home Page (www.islandcountryclub.net) to play this coming Friday.
May 29 -- Trifecta Tournament: The Trifecta tournament is a recent addition to our tournament schedule, and engages two person teams in playing a total of 18 holes -- 6 as a Scramble, 6 as Better Ball and 6 as Alternate Shot. Complete rules are posted on the Men’s Golf Board in the Clubhouse (although women players are happily welcome). Sign up at the Clubhouse or use the tournament sign-up function on the website. More details on this fun start to the Club's tournament season in next week's newsletter.
Golf Pro Mark Hall: Mark stopped by the Club on a beautiful spring afternoon last week and pronounced the course conditions "as good as you can find." He was very enthusiastic about working with the Club and offering lessons to members. He has given us a wonderful rate package of $100 per one hour lesson, $95 for the second lesson and $90 for the third, or buy all three at once for $250. Additional lessons are even less. He also has special rates for juniors, group lessons and playing lessons. We are working out the schedule (Mark is also the Assistant Professional at Penobscot Valley Country Club) but it appears he will join us Thursdays and perhaps one other day during the week, beginning in mid-June. There will be a weekly sign-up sheet at the Clubhouse, and you can find a brochure about Mark and his approach on the Pro Shop desk. We ae also planning occasional clinics with Mark during the summer.
Greens Aeration: the greens are being aerated this week, but should be fully recovered by Memorial Day weekend, and we will add, as required, weather permitting.
News of Tennis:
There will be tennis. Preparation of the courts is going on at this writing and we expect play will begin later this week, and, again, weather permitting. You can reserve court time at the Clubhouse or call the Club at 348 2379. See the Tennis section of the website for details on how to reserve court time.
News of the Clubhouse:
Members are encouraged to use the new Great Room entrance to the Club.
The kitchen will open for the season on Friday, May 27. Lunch will be served daily from 11AM - 2:00PM, Breakfasts Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 7:45AM until 9:00AM. Beverages and packaged snacks will be available throughout the day. Reminder -- lunch is to be ordered and delivered at the Great Room counter, breakfast is ordered at the Pro Shop desk and delivered at the Great Room counter and beverages can be ordered at either counter when they are staffed.
As a result of the refurbishment, we have some "extra" furniture available, and it can be yours just for hauling it away. Inquire at the Pro Shop counter.
As the old Scottish saying goes, "if it nae wind and it nae rain it nae golf." Fore!
Club House Manager
|Posted on May 11, 2016 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
Countdown to Club Opening -- May 13 2016
Four Days to Go!
So very much got done last week. Golf shirts, hoodies, hats and other merchandise were hung on the display racks with care, and new merchandise arrived and was unpacked for display. Old furniture was repainted in our new colors by our wonderful ICC women's brigade and new appliances were hooked up and tested. Spring cleaning began throughout the Club, although the weather was mostly of the winter variety we didn't really have. The tee markers are up, the greens manicured and fertilized and the fairways pattern cut. There are notices and news up on the bulletin boards for Men's Golf, Ladies' Golf, the First Tee and Tennis, and the Billings League and Twilight League are being organized. We also noted an influx of long time members from "away," wherever "away" might be. And, once again, work was happily put aside for adventure tales and for demanded tours of our new facilities.
This week, furniture is being put in place, Jon and Sharon are finishing staining the new wood in the Great Room and new lights are being hung, the golf carts are being readied for use with a new pattern for getting and returning them, the computer systems and software are being tested, and everything polished for our Opening Day. We can't wait to raise the flag.
All this news and more, immediately below.
News of Golf:
Opening Day Scrambles -- Scrambles is back, and it is starting earlier than ever. As the Clubhouse officially opens at 9:00AM Friday, those who sign up for Scrambles either at the Clubhouse or on our new on-line sign-in email, will tee-off for a 9 hole event. The kitchen will NOT be opened (see below) but there will be coffee and soft drinks. And, for the first time ever, you can sign up for Scrambles on our new website -- www.islandcountryclub.net. That function should be working later this week.
Billings League -- Billings League starts Thursday Night, May 12, at which time the course will be officially in play. Out of bounds and hazards will be marked, so-called "winter rules" will be ended and scores for all members in all play must be posted. But,
Temporary Local Rule -- the protracted cold weather has delayed the fairways healing from last fall's aeration. There are still plug holes on some of the fairways. As a temporary local rule, you may examine your ball to see if it is in a plug hole. If it is, you may replace it at the nearest point of relief, no nearer to the hole. If you are not in a plug hole, you must replace the ball as it lay.
Twilight League -- a sign-up sheet for Twilight League is posted on the Men's Golf board at the Clubhouse or you may sign up by sending an email to Kenny Wiberg ([email protected]). The first meeting and practice round will be Monday June 6 at 5:00PM. At that meeting the participants will decide on a starting time for the weekly event and learn their partners for the season, which will be set using a handicap system posted on the board.
Handicap Computer -- we have a new laptop computer, thanks to Ken Wiberg, to post scores and look up handicaps, next to the Manager's office. At some point soon, Dick Dunham will inactivate all of the members, and re-activate those who have paid their handicap maintenance fees for the year. The rules for handicap posting are on the bulletin board adjacent to this computer. There is also a box for depositing attested scorecards. Computer entered scores and signed scorecards will be reviewed to ensure accuracy and compliance with the USGA's "peer review" standard.
News of the Clubhouse:
Kitchen Opening -- the kitchen will open for lunch Tuesdays through Sundays and breakfasts Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays on Friday, May 27. There will be some test cooking earlier that week, but do not plan on food being available. A reminder -- lunches must be ordered at the Great Room service counter and will be delivered there as well (we will not be bringing meals to the tables this year). Breakfasts and K-pods for the coffee machine will be purchased at the pro shop desk, with breakfast delivered at the Great Room service counter where the Keurig machine and coffee supplies will also be located. No food is to be consumed in the pro shop. Beverages will be sold at the pro shop counter and at the Great Room service counter.
Food and Merchandise Pricing -- Great News. With the help of Janet Snowden and our wonderful food service providers, the prices for most sandwiches, salads, soups. specials and other kitchen prepared items will be about 10% lower this year than last. However, there will no longer be a member discount on food purchases. It is simply too hard to administer for the staff and our accounting systems and the price cut is equivalent to the discount. Beverages, which were never discounted, will be sold at the same price as last year. The member discount will remain in place for all merchandise purchases, except for sale merchandise, which right now includes many good quality logo shirts, hats and accessories from last year's inventory. Stop in beginning Friday and pick up yours!
The next four days will be hectic -- but we want to make the Club to be as perfect on opening day as it can be. We hope many of you will join us, hopefully Friday, if not then, soon.
Fore! On the tee ...
Club House Manager
|Posted on May 11, 2016 at 10:15 AM||comments (0)|
Countdown to Club Opening -- May 13 2016
We are almost there -- the renovations of the Clubhouse are nearly complete. The new entryway into the Great Room awaits you. The new Pro Shop is beginning to be stocked with attractive displays of merchandise. The new bathrooms are polished and ready. The final pieces are being moved into place in our new professional class kitchen, The fairways have greened up. The tennis courts are about to be rolled. And, most important for those who wintered here, members are starting to arrive, bringing tales of adventure to those of us to whom Ellsworth and Bangor were exotic destinations. We can't complain about the winter too much, as the Intrepid Company of Island Country Club Golfers missed very few days on the course, although backswings in 5 to 6 layers of heavyweight clothing were limited.
Club Co-VP Sam Ostrow was here for most of the winter, working with Ken and Ray Wiberg, the crew from C.L. Haskell & Son Electric, the team from Percy Brown Plumbing and with vendors from throughout Maine to bring our renovation project to completion. All of them deserve our thanks. I (Bill Haskell) came on board on April 1 to begin setting up the office, hiring and organizing the Clubhouse staff and updating and upgrading our transaction and inventory control systems. Greg Kolakowski and the grounds crew also began working that week and reported that the course incurred very little damage during our unusually mild winter. Janet Snowden has been exploring her new kitchen, developing new recipes and planning meals for our special occasions, as well as meeting with vendors to make sure we serve the best quality meals at the most reasonable prices. Linda Stratton, Sharon Hellstedt and Jean Hutchinson came in regularly to check on progress and are undertaking the post-construction clean-up and touch-up which continues at this writing.
News of Golf:
We have a new Golf Professional -- Mark Hall, who is an Assistant Professional at Penobscot Valley and who many members may remember from Dick's in Bangor where he was their resident golf professional for many years. He also was the professional at Hermon Meadows in the 1990s. Mark is a Professional Golfers Association Class A Professional, has developed a very successful teaching method, and will be with us for one or more days a week. He will offer private lessons as well as lead some group classes. We will be announcing more about Mark in the weeks to come.
Due to an illness on the family, Don Powell's time at the Club this summer will be limited, so Kenny Wiberg has stepped up to run Twilight League. And, his first decisions, made in consultation with Roger, Vern and Sam, were to move the League Night to Monday nights, to set up pairs for the entire season, to use only a stroke play scoring format and to utilize a handicap system which will make the competition more even. All of the details will be on the Men's Golf board in the new Pro Shop. The first League Night will be June 6 at 5:00 PM at which a "practice round" will be played.
Speaking of handicaps -- the United States Golf Association issued new rules on how scores must be kept and entered into the official handicap system, on which Dick Dunham is now boning up. Bottom line -- all scores must be attested by a member, no scores can be entered without a scorecard being put in the box, and no scores can be entered if you played alone or without a Club member. Dick has also agreed to broaden the scope and responsibilities of his committee, now to be known as Rules and Handicaps.
We are welcoming a new tournament this year, sponsored by The Ark, which will be held on Saturday, June 25. Thanks to Jean Hutchinson for bringing this long running event -- which will be played as a two person scramble -- to us, as it attracts golfers from many clubs in the region. Again, more details to come.
Over the winter the ICC website was completely re-designed (www.islandcountryclub.net) and updated. You will already find the tournament schedules for golf and tennis, and the dates for Club dinners and other activities. Soon you will be signing up for tournaments on-line. On the Home Page is a News column that will be updated frequently. All websites are works in progress, and we welcome your ideas as ours continues to evolve.
As the attached photo shows, our new Pro Shop is a great place to display and sell golf and tennis merchandise, and the new products -- ordered by Tom and Linda Kimbrell, who designed the shop, is just beginning to come in. We will feature Titleist, Calloway and other name brand merchandise from golf balls and gloves to logo golf and tennis shirts to hoodies and even golf socks. We expect to have the Pro Shop fully stocked in time for our first Tournament of the year, Memorial Day weekend.
Join us for breakfast. When the kitchen opens for business on Friday, May 27, we will be offering breakfast sandwiches, baked products and coffee three days a week (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). Our coffee service will be at the Great Room service counter, with a Keurig machine and assortment of K-cups, which can be purchased in the morning at the Pro Shop counter and during lunch service in the Great Room.
That's it for this week. It has been a busy but fun winter getting all of this ready. We can't wait to begin enjoying it with you.
Club House Manager