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The Importance of Golf Course Aerification

Thursday, 12. October 2017 12:15 | Author:

Having a golf course in tip-top shape is one of the most important attributes to a golf club.  While it takes a lot of effort throughout the year to maintain conditions, aerification is one process that’s imperative to ensuring the health of our course throughout the season and off-season.

Why is it so important?

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The main reason golf courses aerify is to alleviate soil compaction, which prevents proper circulation of air, water, and nutrients.  Excess thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the surface of the grass can also starve the roots from essential elements. If the layer of organic matter becomes too thick, it becomes like a sponge and holds water at the surface of the grass after watering.  Too much organic matter also produces soft surfaces prone to ball marks, foot printing and inconsistent playing conditions.

The frequency and type of aeration needed is course specific, based on factors such as soil conditions and requirements, as well as climate/weather.

The Bay Club typically aerifies twice a year, in the spring and fall; and uses a 3-step process:

Step 1: Verticutting

  • Verticutting helps to remove thatch buildup.  Thatch is a layer of dead stems and roots that forms between grass and soil.  Removing the thatch helps turf breathe easier, better absorb nutrients and soak in much needed moisture.

Step 2: Solid Tine Aerification

  • Solid tine makes a hole in the turf but does not extract any material (unlike core aeration which removes small cores from the soil).  This process creates more space in the soil for sand, water, air, and other nutrients which allow for deeper rooting and promotes growth.

Step 3: Top Dressing 

  • A top dressing of sand is then applied, filling the holes to help the soil retain air space and make it easier for roots to grow downward.  Over time, it also reduces thatch, creating a firmer playing surface in addition to amending soil structure and proper drainage.

We have concluded our fall aerification and have already seen positive results on some of the greens that were completed early in the process.

Although it can be a frustrating time for golfers, aerifying is a necessary and beneficial practice to help protect the course and maintain the best possible playing conditions.

Just think of it as a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits for the golf course.

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Category:Golf | Comment (0)

Family Fun at the Bay Club

Thursday, 28. September 2017 12:08 | Author:

Each summer the Bay Club holds a Parent/Child Golf Tournament, with teams made up of a child or grandchild of a club member.  This year’s event was a complete success with a record number of golfers playing in four different age divisions.  Following golf, players enjoyed a BBQ lunch, as well as a mini-golf putting challenge and the chance to hit balls at the 20-foot inflatable named Golfzilla.

However, the highlight of the day was the inspiring and motivational Dennis Walters Show.  During the show, Dennis spoke to spectators, both young and old, about the importance of continuing to follow your dreams, no matter what life hands you.  In 1974, Dennis’ dream of playing on the PGA Tour was crushed after an accident left him paralyzed from the waist down.

In his inspirational show, he wowed the crowd with some amazing golf shots that included hitting a ball with a gavel, his special “3-iron” and an exploding ball that got a thrill from spectators.  He spoke to the group about what changes he had to make in order to allow himself the ability to play golf and demonstrated his specially designed, swiveled seat golf cart.  To read more about the Dennis Walter Golf Show, please click here.

All in all, it was a great family day at the Club.

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Category:Children's Activities, Golf, Uncategorized | Comment (0)

Well-known Shark Expert, Greg Skomal Returns to the Bay Club

Thursday, 14. September 2017 11:47 | Author:

SkomalDr. Greg Skomal, a senior marine fisheries biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and director of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program recently returned to the Bay Club to give a lecture on his work with the infamous Great White Shark.

A large crowd of members and their guests gathered to listen to the well-known shark expert speak about some of his most recent projects, with a focus around the latest technologies used to help experts learn about the sharks and their habits.  Dr. Skomal explained that the successful conservation of seals over the past few years has contributed to the population increase in white sharks being spotted in the waters off Cape Cod.  He also noted that the sharks are here to feed on seals, not people.  Cape Cod has become the only known aggregating site for white sharks in the NorthAtlantic and the Massachusetts Shark Research Program has been studying the biology and abundance of this species since 2009.

Being a scientist before the current “age of technology,” Dr. Skomal spent a great deal of time researching deceased animals.   While this was helpful in gathering biological data, such as feeding and growth rate, it didn’t shed any light on their behaviors when they were alive.  With the advent of new technology including satellites and acoustic based equipment, scientists are now able to monitor their actions, such as daily travels and migration habits.  One of his favorite new tools to use is the GoPro camera and he wowed members with multiple videos captured during his quests to tag sharks.   That process includes utilizing a plane in the air to spot the sharks.  Once spotted, the vessel carrying the scientist who is standing on the pulpit with the tagging pole comes up alongside the shark.  Dr. Skomal then strikes at the opportune time,White Shark Curly Skomal inserting a tracking device into the base of the dorsal fin of the great white.

Members raved about the lecture and enjoyed a specially prepared dinner at the Golf House restaurant following the talk which included Grilled Shark.

Dr. Skomal is an accomplished marine biologist, underwater explorer, photographer, aquarist and author.  He has written dozens of scientific research papers and has appeared in a number of film and television documentaries, including programs for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, ESPN, and numerous television networks.   For more information on Dr. Skomal and his work, please click here.

Photo courtesy of The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Photo courtesy of The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Category:Cultural Events | Comment (0)

The Disappearing Monarchs and How to Help

Tuesday, 15. August 2017 12:41 | Author:

Monarch2The monarch is one of North America’s most known butterflies, with its easily recognizable black, orange and white pattern. The overall population of monarchs has decreased greatly over the years, the reason being the depletion of the milkweed plant.  Milkweed is the only source of food for monarch caterpillars and, due to the loss of habitat from land development and widespread use of weed killers, these plants are becoming more and more scarce.

Why keep the monarchs (and other butterflies) around?

  • Butterflies rank third on the list of top pollinators, behind bees/wasps and flies.  About one third of the food people eat depends on the work of pollinators such as butterflies.
  • Butterflies are an “indicator species” which help to tell us the health of the environment.  Because these creatures are sensitive to changes in climate, the presence of harmful chemicals and pollution, they are great tools to help determine the well-being of our ecosystems.
  • They are important members of the food chain.  Butterflies provide a food source during all stages of their life cycle for animals such as birds, spiders, lizards, small mammals and even other insects.

Many Golf Course Superintendents around the country, including our own Jon O’Connor, are making an effort to keep milkweed on the grounds.  Here, the milkweed is indigenous to the area and Jon and his crew allow it to grow naturally in the fescue areas of the course to help the local monarch population.  In just this year alone, both the caterpillar and butterfly populations have increased.

If you’re interested in helping your local monarch population, here are some steps you can take.

  • Plant Milkweed!  Butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs and the caterpillars eat only this plant, so the population relies on it 100 percent.  While there are over 100 species of milkweed, only about 30 are used by monarchs.  Click here to find out what to plant in your region.
  • Monarchs constantly feed on nectar from flowers, so plant abundant native flowering plants in your garden.  Many butterflies and native plants have co-evolved over time and depend on each other for reproduction and survival.  Flowers that bloom all summer long will lure more butterflies.
  • Avoid using pesticides in your garden as these kill insects, including butterflies.

As the only Audubon International Silver Certified Sanctuary in Massachusetts, the Bay Club is pleased to provide the resources these creatures need to survive, and hopes to continue increasing the monarch numbers in the years to come.

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Category:Audubon society | Comment (0)

Opening the Golf Course for the Season: What’s Involved?

Wednesday, 29. March 2017 8:42 | Author:

ShortGame

Spring has arrived and Bay Club members are anxiously awaiting the golf course opening for the season.

There are multiple factors that influence the opening of the course.  The main aspect is soil temperature which is, of course, affected by weather.  A mild winter could hint at an early opening, only to be halted and postponed by a late-spring snow cover.  Sound familiar?

The Golf Maintenance team keeps busy during the winter months following the closing of the course in the fall.  Due to fairly mild temperatures this year they were able to address several outdoor projects including burning fescue and brush mowing.

When temperatures keep the crew indoors, they tackle projects such as preventative maintenance and replacing parts on equipment.  They also take care of reconditioning the course accessories.  These include the benches, coolers, bag stands, and tee markers.

Once the soil temperatures begin to rise and the turf starts showing signs of life, the crew will begin cleaning, rolling, and mowing in preparation for opening.

Despite the uncertainty of the “when” (we’re shooting for first full weekend in April beginning Friday the 7th), Bay Club staff is excited to get going on another year of providing the best golfing experience possible.

Category:Uncategorized | Comment (0)

Winter Golf Opportunities

Monday, 23. January 2017 14:28 | Author:

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To the dismay of many locals, golfing in New England is of course not a year-round sport. Harsh winters don’t allow for prime golfing weather.  Even with little snow fall, the cold winter weather makes for horrendous playing greens.

However, members of the Bay Club are still able to get winter golf in by traveling to spectacular tropical locations.

Each February, members along with Bay Club Golf Professionals head to warner temps for the annual Winter Golf School.  Range instruction and on-course coaching aimed at getting ready for the upcoming season are provided.  This year the group will be making their third visit to Turnberry Isle Resort in Adventura, Florida.

In March, members are provided multiple options to take their golf game “on the road.”  Separate Men’s and Women’s trips as well as a Mixed trip are offered. Members can travel with “just the guys” or “just the girls” and enjoy golf as well as great dining.  The Mixed Trip offers the opportunity for couples and friends to get away together.

This year the men will be traveling to the Grand Cypress Resort and the women will venture to Champion’s Gate for the second year in a row, both resorts located in Orlando, FL.   And the Mixed trip will return to the Dominican Republic at Casa de Campo for the second time.

These excursions are a nice opportunity for members to build camaraderie and gear up for the season ahead. It also allows the chance to travel to warmer climates and the platform to play various courses.

Maybe winter in New England isn’t so bad after all! Our members certainly look forward to the golf trips each year.

Category:Golf | Comment (0)

Paddle at the Bay Club

Tuesday, 3. January 2017 13:17 | Author:

img_1647When the fall and winter weather moves in, members of the Bay Club make the shift from the tennis courts to the paddle courts.  Also referred to as platform tennis, paddle is similar to traditional tennis with a few key differences.  The court is on an elevated surface and about a third of the size, surrounded by 12-foot tall rugged fencing to allow for play off the walls.  The racquet used is different as well, a paddle with holes, versus a strung racquet for standard tennis.

We are very excited about the season so far, as many new players have been trying out the sport; coming to weekly drop-ins and tournaments.  Bay Club employee Matt Beatty has stepped into the role of Seasonal Racquets Activities Director to help with anything paddle related, including but not limited to helping members learn the rules and basic play.

We’re looking forward to continued success for the paddle program throughout the winter.

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Category:Paddle Tennis, Tennis | Comment (0)

Santa Visits the Bay Club

Tuesday, 6. December 2016 10:20 | Author:

dscn1150Santa Claus recently made his way to the Bay Club to visit the children during the family-friendly Breakfast with Santa and Gingerbread House Decorating event.

Parents and grandparents brought their little ones to first enjoy Sous Chef Mary Towers’ delicious pancakes with a variety of toppings including fresh fruits, marshmallows, chocolate chips and of course, whipped cream.   Following breakfast, Santa arrived and the children had a chance to sit on his lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.

After the visit with Santa, the children moved on to Gingerbread House Decorating.  The tables were lined with countless varieties of candy and treats to adorn the houses.  Their imaginations ran wild and they had a great time personalizing their houses while tasting some of the candies too.  Parents and grandparents with smaller children enjoyed themselves as well, while helping the little ones design the perfect house.

It was a great time had by all and a perfect start to the holiday season.

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Category:Children's Activities, Cultural Events, Family Events | Comment (0)

Comfort Foods Abound During Casual Wednesdays at the Golf House

Tuesday, 8. November 2016 11:53 | Author:

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As the days grow shorter and the colder, winter weather makes its way to New England, there’s nothing better than a warm, comforting meal with family and friends.  Now in its second season, the Casual Wednesday at the Golf House series provides just that for members in the fall and winter months.

The Food and Beverage team at the Golf House restaurant introduced Casual Wednesday last fall and the events quickly became popular.  Every week features a dinner buffet with a new and fun theme.  New this year, a different weekly themed beverage will be available.

This year kicked off with “Mexican and Margaritas” which included Beef Tacos, Shrimp Fajitas, Chicken Enchiladas and Churros for dessert.   Other themed menus on the schedule this season include Chinese Take-Out with Mai Tais; Burger Bar with Milkshakes; and Luau with fun Tropical Island Oasis drinks.  A particularly fun evening being planned for the children will be Breakfast for Dinner in December.  Following the meal, the Polar Express will be shown while hot cocoa and cookies are served.

Whether members stop in after playing Paddle Tennis or they take the family out for a quick, fun meal during the week, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Category:Dining, Family Events | Comment (0)

Bay Club Sous Chef, Mary Towers and a Trip of a Lifetime

Tuesday, 25. October 2016 10:43 | Author:

reimsBay Club Sous Chef Mary Towers recently embarked on a trip of a lifetime to Paris, France for a week of eating, drinking wine, exploring and expanding her knowledge of the culinary world.  While there, she visited the Champagne Houses of Moet and Chandon in Epernay and G.H. Mumm in Reims.  Mary also spent a day walking in Julia Childs’ footsteps; dining at Le Grand Vefour, the restaurant that inspired Julia’s culinary career, and shopping at her favorite cooking supply shop, E. Dehillerin.

 

grand-vefourMary also had the opportunity to participate in French cooking and pastry making classes, which she loved.  Upon her return, she shared her experiences with members by hosting two different events that featured favorite memories and foods inspired by her journey.  In her French Pastry Class, participants had the opportunity to make fresh baguettes and croissants.   A special French Wine Dinner saw members enjoying a traditional French dinner with multiple, small courses.  Some of the delicacies featured were Croque Madame, Pig Trotters, Sole and Whole Roasted Duck.  There was even a cheese cart wheeled around the dining room.  Dessert highlighted five of Mary’s favorite bites from Paris including Pistachio Macaron, Cauliflower and Chocolate and Pineapple, Cranberry and Coconut Torte.

The French, with their love of food and their dedication to service, truly inspired Mary.  She was thrilled to be able to share her newfound knowledge with members.

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Category:Cooking Class, Cultural Events, Dining | Comment (0)

Gold Medalist Jim Craig Visits Bay Club Children

Tuesday, 4. October 2016 8:43 | Author:

jcraig2Bay Club Member and Olympic Gold Medalist Jim Craig visited the children at Club Seahorse this summer to share with them what it takes to compete for, and earn, the Gold.

Jim earned his medal in Lake Placid at the 1980 Winter Olympics.  As the goalie for the United States hockey team, he helped to lead the team in the unforgettable upset over the Soviet Union.

Jim spoke to the listeners about the importance of having a dream and the determination and willingness to do your best to make that dream come true.  He also reminded the children about the time and effort put in by parents in helping their children reach their goals and to be sure to thank them for their dedication.

Jim approached each and every child to shake their hands and learned their names.  He also posed for a picture with each one individually allowing the child to hold the medal.  All of those who heard his story were fascinated and the timing couldn’t have been better as the visit fell in line with the excitement of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.

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Category:Children's Activities, Cultural Events | Comment (0)

Fall at the Bay Club

Tuesday, 27. September 2016 11:56 | Author:

fall-foliage-06-golf-course-004qqqThere isn’t much that can be said about fall in New England that hasn’t already been said.  It’s a beautiful time of year, both with the weather and picturesque landscapes.  The humidity that is known to rear its head in the summer is almost non-existent.  The cool nights lend themselves to brisk mornings that lead into warmth during the day.  It’s generally not as dry, so the grass that has been burnt to a crisp in the heat and drought becomes green again.  And of course, the popular fall foliage that people love to flock to emerges.

While much of the hustle and bustle of the summer months winds down after Labor Day, the Club certainly does not shut down.  There are still many activities on our calendar for members to enjoy through the end of the year.


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With the cooler temperatures, fall may just be the best season for tennis.  Clinics and Drop-ins still are popular this time of year, and even though the days get shorter, the lights on the courts make it possible to play in the evenings.  And of course, Paddle begins again and goes through the winter.

 

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Fall is a great time for golf despite the shortening of days.  Scenic foliage along the perimeter of the course, comfortable weather, less crowds…the list goes on.  Just be sure to layer up on those cool mornings!

 

 

Cultural Activities and Special Events

Cultural Activities and Special Events at the Club tend to be more abundant after the busy summer season.  The Canasta group continues throughout the year, meeting at the Golf House each week.  Lectures given by members and visitors are more frequent and Book Club returns from October through May.

Fitness

The Fitness team at the Bay Club is here year round to help keep members in shape throughout the fall and winter months.  New group classes are available as well as personal training sessions. Our fitness staff is always eager and willing to help any gym newcomers get started.

There is something for all members to enjoy this beautiful time of year at the Bay Club!

Category:Cultural Events, Fitness, Golf, Life at the Bay Club, Paddle Tennis, Tennis | Comment (0)

Dinner in Unusual Places – A Bay Club Favorite!

Wednesday, 14. September 2016 14:33 | Author:

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Possibly one of the Bay Club members’ most favorite dining events is Dinner in Unusual Places.  These dinners take place at area locations featuring a mysterious menu both unknown to the members.  Those who sign up for the event put their trust in the hands of Executive Chef Jim Mercer who will choose an ideal location and exquisite menu.  On the day of the event, members are given the location details for the evening’s  dinner.  Previous locations have included Eva’s Garden in South Dartmouth, Portugalia Marketplace in Fall River and Crush Wine Store in New Bedford to name a few.

The most recent Dinner in Unusual Places took place at the Buzzards Bay Brewery located on Horseneck Road in Westport.  The meal included items such as local Striped Bass, Mussel Pesto with fresh Pasta and Lamb Sausage.  The entire menu was paired with a variety of beer brewed right at the location.  Participants were also treated to live music and a picturesque sunset on a beautiful summer evening.

Buzzards Bay Brewery provides a  laid back and enjoyable atmosphere for even a non-beer drinker, it is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.  Many bring lawn chairs or blankets to relax in the “Brewers Garden” and enjoy a game or two of Cornhole.  To read more about Buzzards Bay Brewery, visit their website by clicking here.

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Category:Dining | Comment (0)

Fall Fitness at the Bay Club

Wednesday, 7. September 2016 13:33 | Author:

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Summer’s almost over, however that does not mean the members at the Bay Club will be giving up on the gym!   The fitness gurus at the Bay Club plan to keep members in tiptop shape this Fall with new classes aimed at helping them keep fit year-round.

Fitness Director Dave Maloney will help members learn to utilize their Fitbit, Garmin or other fitness tracking devices to their full potential.   Dave will use heart rate training techniques and teach how to burn the maximum number of calories each day.

In addition, Fitness Associate Matt Beatty will lead new classes this fall with all fitness levels in mind.  His High Intensity Interval Training class will focus on cardio and muscle toning utilizing fast power movements such as jump squats, mountain climbers, pushups and more.

Matt will also conduct a less intense Fitness FUNdamentals class of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises for burning maximum calories.  Members will be put through a whole body workout, focusing on muscle endurance and strength.  Matt’s goal is to get members of all fitness levels involved with the Bay Club’s state of the art training facility.

Both Dave and Matt are also busy with personal training sessions as well.   Whether members are starting their fitness journey, looking to torch calories, or trying figure out how to get their fitness tracker to work in their favor, members have many reasons to stop by the Fitness Center this fall.

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Category:Fitness | Comment (0)

Roger Williams Zoomobile

Thursday, 4. August 2016 15:08 | Author:

This week, the Roger Williams Zoomobile traveled to the Bay Club to present “Who is Living in Your Backyard?” to the children in the Club Seahorse program.   The presentation included information on some of the wildlife that can often be found in the various habitats the Southcoast has to offer, and what attributes the animals have that help them survive in those habitats.   A few animals from the Zoo accompanied Emily, the presenter for all of the children to meet.

DSCN0546First up was Bitz the Box Turtle.  The zoo obtained the turtle from someone who had him as a pet, and decided they couldn’t give him the proper care he needed.  Due to insufficient nutrition as a young turtle, he possesses a dented shell that never formed correctly.  Most of the children enjoyed seeing him up close and having the opportunity to touch his shell.

DSCN0569The next animal was Oscar the Opossum.  When he was just a baby, Oscar’s mother was hit by a car.  Both Oscar and his brother Felix were in her pouch at the time and were kept safe.  Unfortunately, their mother did not survive so the zoo took both of them in.  Oscar is about a year old and does not have the normal long tail that is expected of opossums, though the zoo isn’t quite sure why.  The kids watched as Oscar ate his breakfast on a blanket in front of them, on the same type of harness and leash that you might see on a dog.

DSCN0582The third and final animal of the morning was Laverne, a Black Ring-necked Dove.  Laverne was also adopted by the zoo after her original owner was unable to care for her.   While she has full wings and possesses the ability to fly, she was extremely calm and happy to have Emily hold her.  All were able to pet her tail feathers as Emily brought her around the group.

All of the children enjoyed answering and asking questions about the various habitats and animals.   Emily did a great job gearing the presentation towards the young group of listeners, and it was evident that she really enjoys her profession.

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Category:Children's Activities, Junior Activities | Comment (0)