Golf Course Management

JUN 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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gcm ex t ra Highlands CC's croquet lawns are built according to USGA recommendations, laser-leveled and seeded. Maintaining the croquet court started out much like maintaining one of Highlands CC's 18 putting greens. As time passed, however, it became evident that the court did not require the same intensive maintenance practices. 74 GCM June 2013 there was one additional project to complete: the croquet court. In April 1999, Laughridge left the club to start his own golf course construction company, and one of his former assistant superintendents, Eric Shomaker, was hired to complete the renovation. In fact, Shomaker, who is now the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Mountain Top Golf and Lake Club in Highlands and a 21-year member of the association, recalls that the greens and croquet court were seeded with Penn A-4 creeping bentgrass on his frst day on the job. Maintaining the croquet court started out much like maintaining one of Highlands CC's 18 putting greens. Like the greens, the court was built according to USGA recommendations, laser-leveled and seeded. The height of cut has been consistent with our greens. As time passed, however, it became evident that the court did not require the same intensive maintenance practices. For example, rolling is not an important program for croquet because speed and ball roll aren't as critical as they are with golf. We have been able to save resources by mowing three days a week rather than seven. In late June 1999, Highlands CC hosted its offcial grand re-opening, and formal opening of the croquet lawn followed a few weeks later. Participation started slowly but caught on quickly. By the second year, many thought it was necessary to have a croquet professional for a period of time during the summer. Once again, private funds were raised, and Highland CC's general manager, Greg Crawford, CCM, was able to fnd local housing for him. During that second season, those who opposed the project acknowledged that it was the right thing to do. That year, Wine and Wickets, was born. It's not uncommon to see 70 or more members, dressed in white, out on the lawns on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Growing the program Joyce Baillargeon, Highlands CC's recreation director, has a big job. She not only oversees the ftness center, but also leads the club's tennis, swimming, canoeing, hiking and fy-fshing programs as well as managing this growing croquet program. The Highlands Strikers team has grown from 35 members in 2005 to 250 in 2013. Baillargeon has had a large hand in the growth of this program and is often referred to as the "godmother of croquet" on the Highlands Plateau. In 2008, Baillargeon had diffculty meeting the demands of the members wanting to play croquet due to only having one facility, so the club studied the possibility of adding another court. In 2010, not only did the club add a second croquet court, but also constructed a pavilion where players can relax and socialize. "Croquet has become a major amenity at HCC and has given those who can't

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