Update from the Pro
Greetings to all our members, and especially all mothers out there. An especially warm (if belated) “Happy Mother’s Day” wish to each of you—I hope Sunday provided an opportunity to pamper yourselves a little, and more importantly to share your day with family and friends.
Here in Punta Mita, and in the Banderas Bay more generally, the forecasters predict the “peak” to occur sometime in late May or early June. That means we continue to practice all safety measures here at the club and the community restaurants and other non-essential businesses remain closed. Our staff and their families continue to report being safe and healthy, which is something none of us takes lightly.
For our Punta Mita family, I reiterate my heartfelt gratitude towards all our members who remain here and have been fantastic partners through these challenging times. The sense of shared experience and how fortunate we all have been to shelter in a safe space is something I am certain we will all remember warmly—yet also with full appreciation for the trauma, fear, and stress this crisis has brought to all of us and our loved ones.
Gradually members are leaving us and returning to their northern homes…and I speak for many when I say you will be missed. But with the coming summer, hopefully also a slow return to all the things we´ve been reminded just how much we love—gatherings, outdoor events, and hopefully…traveling to see friends and family.
Now, we DO have positive news to report from here at the golf club….
Tee Box and Collar Dam Renovation Approved
Shane and I are excited to have already completed initial steps towards a complete tee box replacement project, to take place over the next two off seasons. Shane has greater detail below, but we are replacing more than half of our tee surfaces this summer and will complete the remaining ones next summer. The collar dam project began in 2018 and will continue this summer as well. For anyone unfamiliar, “collar dams” are the raised edges around the fringes of greens which build over time due to agronomic practices on the greens. They are a completely normal consequence of optimal green programs, and removing them occurs about every 7-10 years.
Switch to Bahia Golf Course for June
Just a note of reminder for any members staying with us through the early summer. We will close Pacifico golf course and open Bahia beginning Monday, June 1st. Our normal summer agronomy program is to close each course for 2 weeks on alternating months from May through October. In 2020 with all Covid-19 related issues, we will extend the closure for the entire month, keeping only 1 course open each month. This plan is subject to change, but allows us to efficiently tackle the projects mentioned above and will support even better course presentation in November and beyond.
A Moment of Levity
As mentioned above, those of us here throughout the crisis have made close friends and many new on-course rivalries have emerged as well—none more fun than the Canada-Mexico Battle between Gord and Griffen Coutts vs. Luis Ituarte and Marcelo Lopez. As the photo shows…the northerners emerged victorious on this occasion. At press time, the origin story on the “winner´s belt” remains a mystery. More photos from our Covid family in future Updates…
Community Outreach Stronger Than Ever
Once again, I want to recognize and applaud the community outreach efforts of our Dine team and our local PEACE and Punta Mita Foundation organizations. Together they are providing food packages and other critical supplies for up to 600 or more families weekly. The continued support of local grocers and volunteers is awesome. Please contact Carl Emberson if you are interested in assisting these efforts.
Modified Golf Club COVID-19 Policies and Protocols
As we continue to monitor and adapt to changing conditions the below recommendations and procedural changes are in effect as of Tuesday, April 21st. These protocols are intended to keep both clients and staff as safe as possible by reducing contact points. Our focus remains keeping the golf course and practice facility open by assuring we are operating safely.
Golf Club Modifications:
- Additional hand sanitizer and other disinfectant materials available at all common locations—bathrooms, golf shop, staging area, and driving range.
- Tail of the Whale and halfway house CLOSED. F&B available by Pacifico Beach Club—either pick-up or delivery on the golf course.
- Golf Shop closed for retail, except necessities like golf balls, gloves, etc. Members may check-in verbally at the golf shop with acknowledgement by golf shop staff to assure smooth service.
- Paying clients may be greeted by golf shop staff outside the golf shop, credit card or other payment method established, and payment processed while they wait outside the golf shop.
- All rakes have been removed. Players may improve their lie in bunkers and are asked to smooth their marks and footprints. Staff are reviewing bunkers and raking as possible throughout the day.
- All cups are outfitted foam cushions around the base of the pin for easy ball retrieval.
- ALL players must take their golf clubs with them, load their own bags both on and off our fleet carts.
- 1 player per cart, unless players live in the same house together.
Member Events 2020-2021
2020 Club Championship November 6th-7th.
2020-21 Member-Member November 12th – 14th (Same as 2020 Masters)
2021 Tail of the Whale February 4th – 6th (Super Bowl is February 7th)
2021 Club Championship April 2nd – 3rd
As always, please visit me or contact me at your convenience to discuss any aspect of the golf operation, tennis operation, or any other aspect of your experience here at Punta Mita.
John Mac – email@example.com
From Shane and the Agronomy Team
Greetings from sunny Punta Mita!
Even with everything going on in the world right now we are still moving forward on the golf courses. We finished the second round of aeration on the Bahia course last week and look forward to the June 1st opening!
If you are here at Punta Mita, I know you are as excited as I am to get back on the Bahia course. The closure allowed us to perform numerous cultural practices as well as reduce the mechanical stress associated with routine maintenance. The results have been great and the recovery from the earlier issues is evident.
We received some great news late last week as two projects were approved, both of which will make the courses more enjoyable as well as significantly improve conditions. The first is continuing the collar dam removal project. We made significant headway on the Pacifico course in 2018, which showed greater than expected improvement in both playability and green maintenance. This year we will finish certain Pacifico details and perform work on the Bahia greens as well.
The second project is the start of a tee renovation throughout both courses. Our plan is to perform the renovation on roughly half the tees this year (alternating tees hole by hole) and finish the project next year. This will allow us to keep various tee boxes open throughout the project and limit the need to create temporary tee boxes in the rough. I am very excited about this project! We will present beautiful, flat tees on a gorgeous variety of grass – Trinity Zoysia.
Trinity Zoysia has proved successful on the driving range target greens since last year´s installation. It is a great surface to hit from and has the added benefit of being able to control bermudagrass encroachment and keep the tee surfaces clean going forward. As seen on the practice tee a few years ago, the process begins by killing the grass currently on the tee boxes, which is no small task. We already started spraying herbicides on the tee boxes we will be renovating this year. We are planning to perform three to four applications over the next 10 weeks and while the grass will be brown and dying on these tees, they will still be open and safe to play from. The selected tee boxes will then be closed and the renovation will begin around mid-July. With typical weather patterns and a lit good fortune, re-opening is slated for the beginning of November. We will keep you posted with photos throughout the process!
Hopefully everyone is staying safe and healthy,
Shane Eble – firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Agronomy