Friday, January 29, 2010

Golf Carts & Cart Paths

Golf cars are a convenience enjoyed by millions of players and a necessity for many golfers with disabilities. However, when they are driven improperly, they can cause serious damage to the course. More important, unsafe operation can lead to accidents and injuries. Here's some information about the use of golf cars and how to use them responsibly.

Interesting facts
• The first golf car was invented in the late 1940s strictly for people with disabilities.
• About two-thirds of all regulation 18-hole rounds are played with golf cars (NGF, 1994).
• Several states now allow golf cars to be registered for "street" usage.
• Since the introduction of golf cars, caddie usage has dropped to only 1 percent of regulation rounds (NGF, 1994).

Safety first
• Golf cars should only be operated from the driver's side.
• Never drive with more than two occupants or allow riders on the back of the car.
• Be sure your passenger is fully seated and check for obstructions before moving.
• Keep your entire body -- particularly your feet -- inside the car when moving.
• Drive slowly through turns and drive straight and slow up and down slopes.
• Be certain to set the brake when coming to a complete stop.
• Use extra care when operating a golf car in reverse, or on hills, wet turf, loose surfaces or rough terrain.
• Remove the key when the golf car is not in use.
• Do not operate a golf car when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
• Golf cars do not provide protection from lightning -- seek appropriate shelter if lightning is present.

Follow the rules
The wear-and-tear of golf car traffic can cause unsightly and expensive damage to the golf course. Tire ruts in soft, wet areas can take weeks to heal. Compaction caused by heavy traffic can also ruin the playing surface. You can help prevent damage by following the course's standard golf car policy and obeying temporary restrictions caused by weather, construction or other factors.

Drive friendly
If you "drive friendly," your use of a golf car won't impede the play of others:
• Park your golf car behind or beside the green -- never in front -- to allow players behind you to hit sooner after you've finished the hole. (You should generally always avoid driving a golf car into the "approach" area 20 to 30 yards in front of the green.)
• Stop your vehicle to avoid distracting a nearby player who is preparing to hit a shot.
• Never drive into yards or neighboring properties.

General tips
• Never drive a golf car through standing water in fairways or any turf areas that are obviously wet.
• Never drive onto a green, collar or tee or any marked hazard.
• Never drive into any area that has been recently seeded or sodded.
• Avoid abrupt stops and sharp turns that cause skidding.
• Spread out wear-and-tear by avoiding compacted areas.
• If golf cars are allowed in the fairway, follow the 90-degree rule: Stay on the path until you come even with your ball, then make a 90-degree turn into the fairway and drive directly to your ball. After your shot, drive directly back to the path.
• Watch for special signage or other markers that direct traffic.
• Avoid driving over sprinkler heads and yardage markers.
• Don't drive cars into out-of-play areas that may be environmentally sensitive (such as wildflower patches, native grass plantings and marshes).
• Golfers with medically certified disabilities may need access to areas not normally open to golf car traffic. Their golf cars are generally marked with a flag to let others know they have special access.
• Avoid pulling off the path near tees and greens.
• Keep all four tires on the path whenever possible. Do not park with tires off the path.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Hallmark Waynesville Club Undergoes Makeover

Written by Paul Viau

County residents may have noticed a few changes at the Waynesville Country Club this year. For starters, Waynesville’s very own “club” is now The Waynesville Inn Golf Resort & Spa. The new “inn” focus is the handiwork of Tom Halterman, the property’s new general manger.

Halterman joined the Waynesville Inn in January, and he admits it was a bit of an adjustment coming from Mystic Dunes Golf Resort in Orlando, a 1,000-room signature property on sprawling 600 acres, to Waynesville Country Club’s 115 rooms. But Halterman said he is glad he made the move.

As an experienced “hotelier,” Halterman looked at his new surroundings and went right to work instituting “a comprehensive, traditional resort approach to hospitality.” Making the name change to Waynesville Inn was simple. The tough work came when Halterman revamped the employee management structure, instituting “a much-needed strong business approach and customer service focus.” Halterman’s financial background, a corporate controller before being tagged by Mystic Dunes to be GM, proved invaluable. And his experience orchestrating a well-managed staff didn’t hurt, either.

“No one should drive on our property with a knot in his stomach,” said Halterman, “And no one should go home with one.” Dialogue with his staff became a priority.

Halterman’s first mission was to revitalize the staff infrastructure, building a strong executive committee that worked as a team. He identified the holes and gaps in customer service and applied some good, old-fashioned people skills.

His next step was to partner with Catherine Arrington of Insight Marketing, a strategic marketing company, to rebrand the property from a perceived private club into an inclusive mountain resort that is the center of community activity and a travel destination.
“My new executive team is committed to the enhancement of the guest experience,” said Halterman.

On the golf course side, the head golf professional for Waynesville Inn remains Travis Smith, but maintenance of the 27-hole Donald Ross signature course has been outsourced to International Golf Maintenance. IGM is the recognized leader in golf course maintenance, and even though they just took over maintenance in March of this year, both members and guests can see the difference, Halterman said. “We have had lots of good comments, especially from golf groups,” he noted.

Food service was one area at Waynesville Inn that Halterman targeted for improvement, so he brought in a new director of food and beverage, Beat Gfeller. Under Gfeller’s direction, the popular, casual Tap Room is now evolving into more of a dedicated sports bar.

The main dining room closed for an extensive makeover and reopened as The Cork and Cleaver a steak and seafood restaurant offers the area’s finest wine selection and antibiotic- and hormone-free beef from California’s Niman Ranch, Hallerman said.
If beef doesn’t do it for you, don’t despair. The Cork and Cleaver also offers Tuscan chicken, Australia double-cut lamb chops and roasted Long Island duck, to name a few.

Halterman and his team are now turning their attention to spa side of the house. “The economy being such as it is, we are doing it modestly … but doing it right,” he said. For the time being, Waynesville Inn will partner with Spa at Biltmore Village to provide key in-room spa services. Guests can now receive traditional spa services like manicures, facials and a variety of body massages … right in the comfort of their rooms. “Guests really love that kind of pampering,” Halterman said.

Halterman plans to “grow the spa offerings, down the road,” offering additional spa services, spa meals and eventually a dedicated spa building. Jeff Young, the new director of sales, now has a great story to tell, said Halterman — the enhancement of the guest experience. The employees who are making the journey with Halterman and his team will continue to grow. “We have a fiduciary responsibility to provide employee growth,” Halterman said. “And that’s good for their team and our community.”


For more information on IGM and the professional golf course services offered, please contact the IGM Business Development Office at 800-413-5500 or on the web at

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Attention IGM Staff Members

Do you have a special event or a staff member accomplishment that should be recognized? An innovative idea or insight that should be shared with our other Superintendents? Want to share your Audubon and environmental stewardship success stories? Maybe just a suggestion about information that would be helpful to your own operation. Then let's put in on this blog.

Please be on the lookout for information and think about things that you might like to share. Any suggestions/information can be sent to Thanks in advance for your participation!

Friday, January 15, 2010

January Anniversaries

We would like to recognize the following team members who have demonstrated their continued commitment to excellence and have reached important milestones with IGM.

11 Years
Dennis Gates – Irrigation Tech – IGM at Spessard Holland
Edward Royland – Equipment Tech – IGM at Highland Fairways
Todd Wigington – Superintendent – IGM at Country Creek
Brian Kinney – Superintendent – IGM at Heritage Greens
Bobby Jacoby – Superintendent – IGM at Highland Fairways
Kenneth Parker – Equipment Tech – IGM at Habitat
Chris Eckart – Superintendent – IGM at Spessard Holland
Michael Heckenstaller – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Habitat
David Fletcher – Equipment Tech – IGM at Tarpon Springs
Melanie Mark – Regional Manager – IGM East Florida

7 Years
Joe Carranza – Equipment Tech – IGM at Date Palm
Robert Reyes – Superintendent – IGM at Date Palm

5 Years
Brian Keene – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Widows Walk

4 Years
Brian Aiken – Equipment Tech – IGM at King’s Point
Larry Lehman – Crew Leader – IGM at King’s Point
Christopher Monserrate – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Grand Palms

2 Years
Kapildeo Ramkaran – Irrigation Tech – IGM at Four Lakes
Gary Glisson – Equipment Tech – IGM at Four Lakes

1 Year
Charles Calhoun – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Sandridge

Thanks to each of you for your efforts in making IGM the leader in the golf maintenance industry. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Friday, January 8, 2010

January Birthdays

Members of the IGM Team with January birthdays:

Matt Sobotka – Assist Superintendent – IGM at Lake of the Woods
Miguel Tomas – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Pine Lakes
Orlando Rivera – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at The Ledges
Brian Keene – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Widows Walk
Enrique Castellanos – Irrigation Tech – IGM at SilverStone
Dennis Gates – Irrigation Tech – IGM at Spessard Holland
Raul Sanchez – Crew Leader – IGM at Bear Valley Springs
Luis Cruz – Equipment Technician – IGM at ChampionsGate
Todd Yandell – Equipment Technician – IGM at Bear Valley Springs
Jerry Wheelis – Equipment Technician – IGM at Lake Henry
Daniel Chavez – Equipment Technician – IGM at Country Creek
Jose Tumax – Equipment Technician – IGM at Grand Palms
Joda Brown – Superintendent – IGM at Country Wood

We wish each of you a very Happy Birthday!