Special to The J-R
Medina Journal-Register — Chilly Canadian air got out of Western New York to make way for hot, humid days ----so the feeling at the Shelridge Country Club pro shop is, “Finally it feels like spring.”
Golfing has enjoyed a welcome upswing. Good comments are plentiful, but some veteran golfers have come in after a day of grass blasting and commenting: “The rough is too thick.” Brad Balschmiter, the club’s scholarly turf boss who handles a crew of ten, had this response. In a spring like this when grass grows fast we do the best we can, but like home owners who have to mow the lawn twice a week in springtime we have a challenge. Last year’s drought kept the problem away and golfers now find a different condition.”
Meanwhile, life goes on and the next big event looming on the club calendar is the Member-Member Spring Tourney set for June 1-2. There will be a consistent menu of good food over that week end including a Saturday night party for couples. Golfing will be competitive and there will be special contest holes. Sign-up continues.
At the same time, while waiting for this tourney, the best golfers are turning in qualifying scores to try for a spot in the season’s big match-play event, the President’s Cup. The top 16 so far in qualifying – with their net scores--- are Todd Flynn 68, Bruce Foley 70, Ron Green 71, Dave Wagner 73, Dave Bellucci 73, Steve Barnes 74, Matt Bush 74, Butch Stupnick 74, Jim Klino 75, Alex Misiti 75, Tom Pegelow 75, Brandon Grzywacz 75, Jim Scapelliti 75, Gary Murphy 75, Brad Baehre 76.
Dave Rose, popular ass’t pro, has arrived back in time for the spring rush and full of the benefits of a week of classroom training at the PGA school at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Rose is in the last of several years of training to get his PGA professional’s card later this year. And he knows he is entering the ranks of PGA club professionals at a time when the recession has given golf courses deep problems. Medina’s SCC seems to have ridden somewhat above the pack by offering more affordable golf, more family golf, junior golf, more golf for women and for couples and more non-club use of the turf. “We’ve tried a wide variety of solutions,” said Head Pro Dave Green.
Dave Rose is quick to point out that golfing in general, and the PGA in particular, aims to expand the game, to teach it, to encourage play whether it be six holes or nine or eighteen or at any convenient time. He wants the public to realize that PGA professionals don’t go south in the winter just to spend time on the golf course. “A lot of time is spent in the classroom by club pros,” he says. “One thing that is being recognized now is that golf is no longer simply a man’s game and family golf is a big help to a club.”
Rose quotes some data. He has learned that 73 per cent of women in the U.S. control the money in their family. Also, that only 22 per cent of club golfers are women. For these reasons, the professionals in golf now have to focus more on selling the love of the game to the females and children of a family. “We spent over five days in classes this spring and I know that the PGA is trying full blast to keep golf a viable pastime in America,” says Rose. “We are dedicated to keep golf ready to entice new players and also to re-introduce the game to lapsed players” he adds.
Dave Green adds one more thought. “I am proud of this community of Medina and area for letting us buck a national trend and keep golf busy locally. Since 2005 we have doubled our hometown play.”