This year’s weather has provided great opportunities to play golf. January and February have both been warmer that average. With this we have been able to accomplish a few extra tasks on the golf course. Dave Clem and the Golf Maintenance Staff have had their hands full with replacing bunker sand on the green side bunkers. We have chosen to start with the green side bunkers due to the playability and need to get the club deeper into the sand from the green side versus wanting a slightly harder surface in the fairway bunkers to allow for longer distance shots. Additionally, we will be aiming to aerate our greens earlier than usual, by mid-March. While this will take a little longer for the greens to heal, it will provide a better playing surface through our peak season.
More exciting news to announce in the Golf Shop, our Golf Professionals are creating some new and exciting golf social events that will include skill challenges and address pace of play. A few items that I recommend you ask the Golf Shop Staff about: Membership events, Children’s summer “camps” and our “Caddie for a day” promotion.
In the Food and Beverage and Banquet and Catering departments we continue to push new ideas and events while supporting the originals. Beat the Winter Blues was back this year as was the Super Bowl Party, we tried a new Oscar night party, added a band to our St. Patty’s day party, a beer tasting from 16 mile, an upgraded concert series and are reintroducing cooking classes. Promotions in the Restaurant have increased as well and have continued to entertain our Thursday promotions which will stay our Pasta Buffet through March, selections change on a weekly basis. We have a busy 2012 in the Banquet and Catering department, but always appreciate referrals. If you know of anyone looking to host a party or a business event please have them call the club and ask for Stefanie.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the Club soon!
For most Southern Delaware golfers it is getting close to the start of the golf season which brings with it another season of rusty swings, chunky chip shots, skulled bunker shots and terrible putting. Chances are that it will take several rounds before the swing and short game comes back, but there are certain things you can do to help your game early in the season.
At the driving range most golfers tend to focus on hitting the driver. This is the exact opposite of what you should be doing to improve your game. During a round of golf the driver is used a maximum of 14 times, given that the majority of shots are played within 100 yards. Given this bit of information it does not make much sense to sit on the range and hit drivers all day.
Start your season at the short game practice area and putting green. The first trip to the golf course for practice should consist completely of putts, chips, and pitch shots. Going to the range and “banging” a bucket of drivers is not going to start the season off in the correct fashion. Practicing the short game for the majority of the practice session will improve your game.
In the early season with the full swing, concentrate more on the rhythm of the swing and making solid contact. Find a specific “swing thought” or drill to focus on while playing. If you are struggling to find your game, contact a member of the professional staff for a lesson to get some insight on what to work on.
Make the most of this upcoming Delaware golf season and start it out the right way by visiting the driving range at Heritage Shores Club. Get the short game in order first and show your golfing partners you mean business this season.
Next time you find yourself playing golf in Delaware, we invite you to stop by the Golf Shop at Heritage Shores Club to congratulate Head Golf Professional, Brooks Massey, on recently acquiring his PGA status!
Brooks Massey has been a familiar face at the Heritage Shores Club since 2006, when he began his journey as the 1st Assistant Golf Professional and in 2011, was promoted to Head Golf Professional. Delaware Golf Professionals undergo a tedious process to earn their PGA Certification which requires not only golf skill but patience as well. There are four steps and three levels that must be completed within six years in order to qualify for certification.
First Step: The Playing Ability Test
Brooks shot 151 over the two rounds to qualify for PGA registration in August 2006
Second Step: Become a PGA Apprentice
In order to register with the PGA to become a PGA Apprentice, you need a minimum of 6 months of work experience with a PGA Professional. In March 2007, Brooks was able to register for the program as Heritage Shores became a PGA recognized golf facility. Once registered, Brooks became a Level 1 Apprentice, which would require him to complete 2 years of on the job training. When Brooks completed his 2 years of training, he then traveled to the PGA Headquarters in Florida for testing. This testing includes 6 knowledge tests and 4 simulations tests. In February 2009, Brooks passed all tests with flying colors to become a Level 2 Apprentice!
Third Step: Level 2 Apprenticeship
While Brooks was halfway through his application process, he still had 2 more years of work experience to complete. Brooks was fortunate during this 2 year stretch that he was able to work with two golf professionals gaining valuable work experiences from both Dan Elliott and Mike Tritapoe. Once his 2 years was complete, he then traveled to Florida for more testing which included 4 knowledge tests and 2 simulation tests. In February 2011, Brooks passed his tests moving him up to Level 3 Apprenticeship!
Fourth Step: In the Home Stretch!
Within one year, Brooks was able to complete his final work experience kit and in January 2012, he traveled to Florida for his final round of tests. This trip included 4 knowledge tests and 1 simulation test. In addition to his testing, Brooks was tasked with preparing a 30-minute presentation relating to the golf industry. His topic of choice was “maximizing revenue while keeping value in a golf membership.” Brooks was also required to submit his resume to a PGA Certified Professional, which then led him to a mock interview. Needless to say, Brooks did a fantastic job and on January 13th, he was elected to PGA status!
The four steps mentioned above may not be a fantastic representation of the PGA Certification process, but please know that Brooks completed his certification in 5 years when he was allotted 6 years to finish. In total, Brooks underwent 31 tests, both knowledge and simulation to earn his stripes. We are very proud to work side-by-side with Brooks everyday and we are pleased to call him our PGA Head Golf Professional!