Major bunker re-construct project set

Contributed Story Posted 4 July 2014 at 12:00 am

This Week at Shelridge

Contributed Photo – NEW PROJECT – Four officials of Shelridge C.C. signal the start of an 18-month program for re-building of all sand bunkers on the course into traps of top professional quality.  From left, Club Pro Dave Green, Golf Chairman Rob Dennis, Club President Matt Bush and Head Greenskeeper Brad Balschmiter.

It was a week of major news at Shelridge Country Club, which remains after 55 years as Orleans County’s only private member-related facility. On Wednesday club officials revealed a major construction project on the golf course which will completely re-construct all sand bunkers over a period of about 18 months.

Club president Matt Bush said, “We’re really excited about this. It’s the biggest step forward since the course was expanded to 18 holes in 1985.” Bush and Rob Dennis, the club’s golf chairman, appeared with a gold-painted shovel at the site of one of the largest “traps” and said actual work will start next week.

The club’s regular maintenance staff under Groundskeeper Brad Balschmiter has worked for much of the past decade to improve underground drainage at Shelridge, considered a key to solving many problems. Officials said, “We’ve been trying to do bunker re-building at the rate of one per year and now enough money has been put together to tackle the total program.”

The board of directors has engaged Faery Nurseries of Ransomville for the job. The company maintains a division for golf course construction and has done work at clubs like Oak Hill in Rochester and Country Club of Buffalo, the leaders said.

“We expect to end up with bunkers of professional quality from the base to the drainage equipment to the type of sand. “By using what they call ‘signature sand’ we will improve the way the ball sits in the trap and lessen the number of buried lies like a fried egg,” Bush continued. He said about three weeks of work will be done this season, covering the back nine.

Another bit of breaking-news at the club made it known that Assistant Pro Dave Rose, a popular figure at SCC for five years, will be stepping out of the post at the end of this week. His action is based on health concerns, according to Head Pro Dave Green.

Rose, who just earned his permanent PGA card last season, has been under professional treatment for chronic back problems. He has been close to the general membership and says he expects to send a letter to all of them. “Dave will be missed and will leave big shoes to fill,” said Green as he named Brad Wilson, a trusted pro shop employee, to take over for the rest of the season.

Short Shots

Swinging into July the club schedule calls for opening of the 8-week junior golf program to be operated each Monday. A special feature of this program is an opportunity for certain players to tour WNY in an inter-club competition.

With the peak of the season approaching, good weather has put the course in A-1 condition, according to Brad Balschmiter. On the four up-coming Saturdays the schedule calls for the Trevor Cook Memorial Tourney (tomorrow), the 9 & Dine event, the Shelridge Open on the 19th and 20th, and then the Larry Schrader Memorial plus the Parent-Child Tourney.