Welcome to Outing Season!
Blog Post By: Jon Conklin, Head PGA Professional & Director of Operations

Just yesterday, it felt like we were opening our doors for the 2016 golfing season. Two and a half months have flown by, and we now find ourselves entering June, which means the season of golf outings is upon us. At Bucks Run, our busiest month for total rounds and outing rounds is undoubtedly June. Therefore, in today’s blog post, I’d like to touch on a variety of topics including planning golf outings, course maintenance before/after an outing, and tips for preventing a “scramble swing.”

Choosing a Date for Your Outing

Just because June tends to be the most common month for golf outings, it does not mean that yours needs to be in June, as well. Typically, due to many golf outings this month, many individuals who are asked to play in these events have to pick and choose which ones to play in because they are often invited to so many. This means that some outings are missing out on key participants who have chosen to play in a different event.

So, what if you held your outing in a month when most don’t? This year, we had a few golf outings change their dates to May and September, so they were not battling for golfers with other events. This resulted in fewer golfers with scheduling conflicts. In addition, by moving their events to the spring and fall, they were able to take advantage of the cheaper, seasonal rates.

Our staff at Bucks Run is extremely knowledgeable in all facets of golf outings, and we would be more than happy to discuss your event in greater detail. Please give Jon Conklin, PGA Director of Operations, or Alanna Lieber, Event Coordinator, a call to schedule a meeting – (989) 773-6830.


Course Maintenance

From the Course Operator’s standpoint, we value our outing business. They are a great way for filling the tee sheet and generating guaranteed revenue. However, from the Course Maintenance side of things, outings can be a bit of a struggle for a couple of reasons. Here are a few tips for helping to maintain the golf course while you participate in your golf outings.

Most of the time, outings play a scramble format. In this format, each person in the group hits his/her own ball. You then pick the best shot of the group and do it all over again from that position. Therefore, in approximately a two-by-two foot area, we will have four balls hit, and more times than not, divots will be created. This can be tough when a Superintendent takes pride in course conditions because everyone is hitting from the same location multiple times. We understand this is just part of the game; however, the struggle is when divots are not replaced right away. By the time our Grounds Crew is on the course with dirt and seed, we are looking at a three-week turnaround. Whereas if the divot were immediately replaced, we would not know it happened a few days from then.

The second part of course maintenance during an outing is fixing ball marks. I stress that we all know it is part of the game to leave ball marks, but keep in mind it is also part of the game to fix them yourself as a courtesy to other golfers. We have all been up to putt and the ball rolls, only to hit an old mark that was not repaired, which throws off your putt. This can be very frustrating. Therefore, doing your part to fix your ball marks will make for a more enjoyable experience for everyone on the course.

Last week’s blog was excellent in terms of fixing ball marks and replacing divots. I highly suggest reading this from our Superintendent to become more familiar.

Preventing “Scramble Swing” After Golf Outings

At our course, we often see players of all skill-levels. Therefore, I frequently see a lot of accomplished players participate in outings and then struggle with their game following the event, due to the onset of a “scramble swing.” I do have a suggestion for those individuals that want to support a great cause, while not turning their great golf swing into a scramble swing.

What is a scramble swing? A scramble swing is normally fast, out of control, and serves to just hit the ball as hard as one can. Most golfers with a good swing often fall victim to this because they are often placed last in the scramble rotation. This is so that if there are three “not so stellar” shots, players can rely on their best golfer for the 4th shot. Or when you already have a few balls in play, this person will swing harder and out of control to improve on the team’s position. This leads to a scramble swing.

However, what if that person went first? By placing the best golfer first, they are almost acting as if they are playing their own golf ball, and typically they can play better for your team, all while allowing them to keep their nice, consistent swing after the outing’s conclusion.

From my experiences as a golf professional, I have a few students who support many charitable and corporate outing events during the year. However, these students also want to play in the Club Championship, Scratch Events, and GAM Events. In my experiences, I have seen that scramble golf does not help, so I always provide this tip.

I hope you find these tips useful throughout your outing experiences on the course this season. As always, check back for more tips and useful information. Have a great week!

Posted by admin at Jun 07, 2016 Category: June 2016
Tags: Bucks Run Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Golf Outings, Planning, Scramble, Swing