Though the season started with the tragic loss of golf course superintendent, Steve Spears, the staff, guests and season pass holders came together to help facilitate a banner year for the course.
“Our new golf course superintendent, Todd Renk was hired during a very difficult time,” Margo Rogers-Anderson said. She is the head golf professional and director of golf at St. Germain Golf Course. “He had an extremely tough job to do and he stepped up to the plate for us. I am looking forward to working with him in the future. He has a lot of great ideas and has done a great job with the greens.”
With gross revenue up 11.6 percent over 2012 and up more than 30 percent over 2011, the St. Germain Golf Club is in great shape going into the winter months.
Despite a short season, Rodgers-Anderson said the course had a great year, and the facilities appear to be in top shape heading into the winter.
“The weather and other unforeseen circumstances has caused the course to have probably one of its shortest seasons ever, which, I guess, makes this year’s numbers that much more impressive,” she said. “Though it was hard to say goodbye to golf for another season early, it was best for the course. We ended up getting a great week of turf growth without the heavy traffic that we’ve had all year. I walked the course a few days ago and the greens look better than I’ve ever seen them. If Mother Nature cooperates this winter, we should have exceptional greens to play on next year.”
The course increased its outing and tournament business by hosting new events. League participation was up significantly which was another contributing factor for the increase in revenue. A Wednesday morning senior league and a Monday night two-person co-ed team league were added to the roster. Both leagues proved to be a big hit in 2013.
“I attribute the increase in revenue to course conditions and the aggressive marketing of our golf professional,” Walt Camp said. He is the St. Germain town chairman and golf board member.
A new bathroom was added between hole number four and number 12. A green-side bunker was made much smaller on number 12 to allow for a landing area on the approach to that green. The fairway bunker on hole number three was completely removed. These improvements will help significantly speed up pace of play.
The grounds crew is working on thinning out brush from landing areas in hopes of continuing to improve pace of play and overall playability for all levels of golfers.
Two new senior tee boxes will be added in the spring and plans are set in place for a new short game area added over by Mulligan’s snack shop. This new area will have a practice green, a bunker and an area for wedge play practice. This will be a great area for junior golf and also a place for season pass holders to fine-tune their games when the range is busy on tournament days.
The LPGA Girls Golf Program started a boys division and now has over 50 participants. Juniors of all levels came out to the course every Monday morning for an hour and a half. All facets of the game were covered during learning sessions and then supervised on course play followed with free lunch and prizes at noon.
The 2012 winter projects proved to be a huge success. Last winter, the late Mr. Spears led the project of a 30 percent select cut of an adjacent forest property and also cut certain shade trees around some of the greens.
The intent for this project was to increase airflow to areas that had high black fly populations, which would in turn make it a less popular breeding ground for the flies. The other goal was to get more sunlight to greens that have had growth issues in past years. Thanks to Mr. Spears and his staff, the project worked. Some of the most troubled greens of the past are now our best and more importantly, the fly population was significantly diminished.
“We are extremely happy with the improvements that have been made,” Bill Bates said. He is a St. Germain town board member and golf board chairman. “We will keep striving to improve in the future to keep golf at St. Germain a pleasurable experience.”