In this episode of C+RB’s video series, Joel Purpur, Golf Course Superintendent at Park Ridge (Ill.) Country Club, discusses how an extensive bunker renovation project that had been planned for two years was rescheduled to be completed during the earliest weeks of the pandemic. Moving up the timetable kept Park Ridge’s entire maintenance crew employed and saved the club money by having more of the project completed in-house, while also making it possible to unveil a dramatically transformed course to the membership as play returned.
“The Road Back” video series from Club + Resort Business provides fresh insights into how club and resort properties are meeting the challenges posed by the pandemic and finding new and innovative ways to boost business levels and return to full operation.
In this episode, we learn how Park Ridge (Ill.) Country Club completed an extensive bunker renovation project on its golf course during the pandemic. The club had been in the planning process to replace the worn sand in its bunkers for a couple of years, to address drainage issues and improve playability. Park Ridge planned to start the process at the end of the summer of 2020, but as Golf Course Superintendent Joel Purpur describes, after the pandemic hit the decision was made to move up the schedule and complete all of the work in the spring.
While state mandates limited maintenance activities at the property, Purpur was still able to keep his entire crew busy by helping with the renovation project. “[It was] great for the staff, plus it saved the club a lot of money [because] our guys [could do some of the work] less expensively than the contractor,” he says. Purpur addressed social-distancing concerns with staggered starting times for the crews and by moving morning assignment meetings out of a small room and into the main shop.
By accelerating the project’s timetable, Park Ridge was ready to unveil a dramatically transformed course to its members as it, like many clubs, experienced a surge in play for the 2020 season. “The visual impact of the new bunkers is outstanding, and golf at Park Ridge is the best it’s ever been,” says Purpur.
(Viewing time: 9 minutes)
Previous episodes of “The Road Back” can be viewed at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/the-road-back/
Upcoming episodes will feature how a club has successfully implemented online registration practices for tee times, court times and dining reservations; detail the revival of a struggling club under new ownership; highlight a club’s development and success of an inventive new twist on an “Iron Man” competition; and look at successful new motivation and training strategies that have helped a club maximize its food-and-beverage success despite the restrictions that were imposed on its dining capacity.
If you have a great idea or success story you’d like to see featured on a future episode of “The Road Back,” contact firstname.lastname@example.org.