WOW….this has been quite an interesting first few days. I don’t feel as though I can adequately explain what these first 4 days have been like. All I will say is that it is great to be back.
On Thursday I sent out the guidelines under which the city/state are allowing us to operate. This is the link to these guidelines: https://www.massgolf.org/news/2020_reopening/.
Based on my many conversations, I urge everyone to that a look at these again. Please understand that we are following and enforcing these so that this facility can remain open. As this set of standards is a lot to digest, here are a few of the things that you really need to know:
- Everyone must abide by all of the current social distancing policies; masks are required when distancing is not possible and gatherings of more than 5 are not permitted.
- The clubhouse is closed. We cannot let you in.
- Golf Carts are not allowed for the time being. There was an adjustment sent out this (Sunday) morning. We are currently working with the city to receive clarification and final approval to implement. This could change at a moment’s notice and we will keep you informed.
- Tee times are 15 minutes apart
So…how do we get by for the time being? The answer is: the best way we can. Until these guidelines are adjusted we are going to have to walk (literally) before we can run (or ride).
Here is what you can do:
- As a member of the club, you can book tee times 3 days in advance. For example: You can call on Monday for a Thursday tee time. As there is no access to the clubhouse, all tee times are being taken over the phone. Please note that if you have a non-member in your group you will need to pay for that individual at that time.
- Weekend tee times for May 16th & 17th. We are going to continue 1 more weekend of making your own groups and tee times. Saturday’s tee sheet will be available on Wednesday and Sunday’s tee sheet will be available on Thursday beginning at 7 AM in the morning. Please call the golf shop at 781-592-8238. If you do not have a group, reach out to your regular group leader and they will assist you:
- Valley Rats – Al McCarthy
- McKee Group – Dennis McKee
- Ladies Group – Janet Wallace
- 0 – 15 Group – Stan Glowacz
- Blue Moon Group – Ted Carritte
- Weekend tee times for May 23rd & 24th (provided there is no change to the current guidelines) will be returning to regular groups but with a twist. ALL GROUP SIGN UPS WILL BE DONE THROUGH THE WEBSITE. The Golf Shop will not be accepting phone calls. Again, please utilize your group leaders if you are having trouble.
I want to thank everyone for their patience during these times. It seems as though this situation will be very fluid. We will act as quickly as possible to stay up with the current standards. As long as we can all work together, I am sure we will get through this.
The winter was not kind to the North Shore. Ice damage is the major culprit of what you can see on the fairways and greens. We have just completed the fist step in the process of getting the course back into condition. Our greens have now been aerified, verticut and dimple seeded. We have also fertilized, broadcast seeded, top dressed and rolled the entirety of the greens. We will continue to seed the greens every 2 weeks until they are completely filled. The fairways and aprons have also been aerated with the tees to be done next week. With warmer temperatures we should be seeing visible improvement on a weekly basis.
The winter cleanup process is also continuing in conjunction with new projects for the season. GFMI has invested over $300,000 on new maintenance equipment which will improve the reliability of all maintenance practices. This also allows for new projects take place. We have already begun renovating all of our bunkers with new sand and sod. Our goal is to also provide players with flatter bunker bases. We have already completed this process on the 1st Hole fairway bunker. Cart path extensions on #1 & #5 are currently being completed. This process consist of removing top soil, laying down stone dust and then a stone pack to finish them off. One of the benefits to this new extension is that it should help the fairways with compaction.
In a typical year, this first email of the season would be a standard welcome back email; a simple hello and a brief outline of what is to come, but this is not a typical year. There have been a few changes and I am very excited to be part of them.
As many of you know, my name is David Sibley and I am the new Head Golf Professional here at Gannon. I do not want to bore everyone with a full bio, but I am a native New Englander from the great state of Maine. I went to college in North Carolina at Methodist University where I graduated with a degree in Professional Golf Management. From there, I spent the first 10 years of my career in North & South Carolina until I moved back to New England in 2003. For the last 11 years I have fortunate enough to been at clubs like Cohasset Golf Club, Ipswich Country Club & Beverly Golf & Tennis.
I am sure what everybody is most interested in when we will be open for the season. Unfortunately, it seems Mother Nature has a little later schedule in mind than in years past. I would love to be the optimist and say Gannon’s traditional target of St. Patrick’s Day is what we are looking at. The realist in me believes that a date a little later in the month may be more workable if the forecast holds true. Regardless of the opening date, we will be in the golf shop and ready to assist you in any way that we can. Our “Pre-Season” shop hours will be: Thursday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM.
I also want to mention that I will be away from Saturday, March, 8th
to the 24th
. The Golf Shop staff is in place and will be available during these hours to assist you with Seasonal Membership, locker & Inner Club payments.
Another concern we were very conscience of was change to the club. When we were awarded the bid our thought process was not to make drastic changes. We believe the club has been run very well for a long time so there is no need to fix what is not broken. After evaluating the processes of the club, we have made a few small adjustments. It is our belief that these alterations will make life easier for all of you as Seasonal Members. The most visible of these changes is how tee times are booked on non-holiday weekdays. If you are running a league please come see me so that we can discuss your group. The new process will go as follows:
– Tee Times can be made by our Seasonal Members 4 days in advance and 3 days in advance by the public. Please call 781-595-5674
or come directly to the Golf Shop to reserve your time directly. See below for booking days:
Monday for Friday
Thursday for Monday
Friday for Tuesday
Saturday for Wednesday
Sunday for Thursday
**The traditional group booking system will remain the same for the weekends
As you can see this adjustment eliminates the weekday reservation books that were located in the Golf Shop. All your tee times can be made with a single visit or phone call. You will be given a time at the time you request it. A few of the other thing you will notice around the club are brand new golf carts. We have also given the website a nice face lift. The functionality of the site is exactly the same. You will still be able to sign up for tee times as you always have. All of the tabs within the site have stayed the same. We hope you enjoy the new look.
Finally, I would like to thank all of the Members and staff at the club that I have met to date as well as Chris Carter and Steve Murphy for this incredible opportunity. It has been a pleasure to get to know all of you. I certainly look forward to getting to know the rest of the family here at Gannon. Please feel free to stop by or reach out to me with any questions.
Head Golf Professional
Here is a thank you letter we received from SPC Brent Johnson for the 16 cases of golf balls Gannon Golf Course sent to him and his fellow troops in Afghanistan. Our members, in conjunction with the Pro Shop and Mike Foster, contributed the balls. The Gannon Building Association, The McKee Group, Shoe City and the Pro Shop all contributed to defray the shipping costs.
Front row left to right: Dennis McKee, Rick Lescovitz, Bob Roy, Vic Grasso, Kevin Kenney, Kevin Casilli, Tony Simone, Peter Rowe, Moe Cliffe and Ed Madden.
Back row left to right: Butch Demoree, Mike Akelian, Paul Gorman, John Morris, Dick Donahue and Chris Ofilos
As I finish my career at Gannon Golf Course, I want to say thank you to all of you, for being such an important part of my life. You have been my second family.
I hope all of you stay healthy, and enjoy what the future has in store for you. It has been an honor and a privilege to have been your Golf Professional these past 44 years.
I am taking with me, your loyalty, your kindness, your love and respect. I will cherish it forever.