Wilmette Park District
Golf Operations Committee Meeting
Minutes
8:30 a.m. - Saturday, October 11, 2014

Attendees Present

Commissioners: James Crowley, Bryan Abbott, Amy Wolfe
Staff: Jeff Bowen, Steve Wilson, Mike Matchen, Adam Kwiatkoski

Attendees Absent

None

I. Meeting Called to Order

Meeting called to order at 8:30 a.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Abbott moved and Commissioner Wolfe seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the September 13, 2014 Golf Committee meeting. All approved by general consent.

III. Communications and Correspondence

Commissioner Crowley acknowledged an email from Chad Giese regarding cross country skiing at the golf course. Commissioner Crowley stated that we will be discussing this within the next month during the budget process.

IV. Recognition of Visitors

Tim Clemens, Wilmette resident, commented that the golf course is wonderful and staff has been very accommodating due to the shortened season. He asked if they could play from the area that is being tiled. Superintendent Bowen stated yes. He asked about the area on the 14th hole past the cart path and if that is going to get filled in. Superintendent Matchen stated that the cart path is going to get extended past the most forward tee. This will also be the case on the 6th hole.

Frank Charhut, Wilmette resident, commented that on October 21st Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) conducts an annual public golf forum for which he is a member. The forum deals with the common problems of golf courses in the area. He asked if Wilmette would like to send a representative. Adam Kwiatkoski stated that he and Superintendent Mike Matchen have already signed up. Mr. Charhut stated he was pleased to hear that and will see them there.

V. Manager Reports

Adam Kwiatkoski reported on the following topics:

  • September was a busy month with 3,886 rounds being played.
  • The OGC men’s club championship was held.
  • A membership appreciation weekend was held on September 20th and very well received. Shotgun golf was offered during the weekend for more flexibility. Superintendent Matchen stated that people were very appreciative of this event.
  • The NSSRA golf outing event was NSSRA’s largest and most successful event.
  • The IAPD golf outing was held on September 29th and very well received.
  • Fundraising outings have been held within the past month for many of the local schools with excellent exposure.
  • An event was held for Stand Up for Kids. Father Smith conducted an event for a golf organization for the less fortunate. These events bring many people out to see the golf course.

Mike Matchen reported on the following:

  • The Wilmette Golf Course has been featured on the front page along with a write up on the back page of the Chicagoland Golf newspaper.
  • Herb Gould from the Sun Times does a blog on golf and he has an article on the Wilmette Golf Course renovations in it.
  • Tom Herrick who is an independent golf writer from New York and grew up in Evanston, came out and played and he is doing a write up that will be posted on his website. He found out about the course because Greg Martin had an article in Golf Course Architects. Commissioner Crowley stated we should collapse all the information into one for public relations communication going forward.
  • Maintenance is continuing to work on any areas that need to be fixed. We are making progress and areas are getting smaller. The winter covers will be going on tees and greens to help promote the growth. Drainage work continues on some of the fairways.  Also working on leaf removal.
  • A concept the course is looking at for next year is a weekday membership for residents and non-residents. This would consist of Monday through Thursday with unlimited golf. This will help to give some of the golfers the opportunity who really do not want to play in the lottery but want to play during the weekdays; mostly retirees. Also, in some cases prevent them from leaving where they may go someplace else cheaper because they do not want to be in the lottery. This way we can give them the option to play on weekdays. More information will be available next month after budget meetings.
  • The safety nets will be installed either Friday, October 17th or the following Monday or Tuesday. The golf course will be closed for 10 days for this installation.
  • Commissioner Wolfe asked if the course has seen an uptick from Glenview golfers since they are closed. Adam Kwiatkoski stated that the events we have had in September are ones that we have not normally done in the past.
  • Commissioner Abbott asked about projections for this period and how does the 3,886 rounds factor in. Adam Kwiatkoski stated that projections for this period are about 75%, so it was down. He stated that one of the factors in that is that NSSRA and IAPD consisted of about 250 less rounds. Also the way the tee time intervals have been set up to slow down play while grass is growing. In the past, after an event outing the course would allow 9 holes to be played. But due to the new growth the golf course has tried to prevent that. Superintendent Bowen stated that with all the events in September we did hear some feedback from members who were disappointed with the course being closed on some Fridays or Mondays. The staff will be looking into the outing policy and making a recommendation to the committee in possibly January. Commissioner Crowley stated that it is important to have golf outings to showcase the golf course to as many people as we can. Superintendent Bowen agreed.
  • Commissioner Abbott asked about the numbers being down for the golf shop.  Superintendent Matchen stated that it was because the golf course opened six or seven weeks later.

VI. Unfinished Business

None

VII. New Business

  • A resident asked if the course would contemplate having shotgun tee times on Sunday mornings once the permanent tee times go away and then the football games on in the clubhouse. Adam Kwiatkoski stated that this is being discussed and a trial of shotgun was set up for the membership appreciation weekend with positive feedback. Discussions will continue.
  • Frank Charhut asked about the patches of grass on the fairways and are they always going to be patch spots that look different? Superintendent Matchen stated that it will all blend.

VIII. Adjournment

There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 8:44 a.m.