Shelridge completes successful season

Contributed Story Posted 26 November 2014 at 12:00 am

Contributed Photo – LONG-TERM LOYALTY – Brad Balschmiter, veteran maintenance superintendent at Shelridge, was honored this year for 30 years of unbroken certification by the Golf Course Superintendents Assoc.of America. He attended a special awards luncheon.  Balschmiter uses his “off season” period each year to attend technical courses. Certified superintendents are required to get 150 hours of professional development every five years in their career.

Shelridge Country Club ended its 2014 season this month with an annual meeting that sent Matt Bush into his second term as president. Supporting Matt are John Grabowski as V-P, Steve Barnes as secretary and Marc Eglin as treasurer. Other board members for 2015 are Dave Bellucci, Elaine Casler, Rob Dennis (who has been golf chairman), Doug Beltz and Steve Lasch.

Reports were rendered on a successful 2014 club operation with favorable weather, an average of 225 members coming from Orleans, Niagara, Genesee and Erie Counties, and one major golf course improvement project — an $80,000 program to totally rebuilt, reshape and refit the sand bunkers on the course. It is a 2-year project and first half has been accomplished.

The past season was marked by the resignation of Assistant Pro Dave Rose and efforts are under way by Head Pro Dave Green to secure a replacement. He is working through the Western N.Y. PGA apprentice-ship program.

The club has received notification from the Golf Course Superintendents Assoc. of America that the Shelridge “turf boss”, Brad Balschmiter, has attained a special honor level in his year-by-year program of study and self improvement.

Contributed Photo – IMPROVED BUNKERS – An $80,000 program at Shelridge is aimed at totally rebuilding all of the sand bunkers on the course and half were completed this past season.  Drainage, design and all new sand are involved and the local club reports great satisfaction so far.  Club President Matt Bush, second from right, is shown as the 2-year project got its start. Shown with Bush are, from left, Shelridge Pro Dave Green, Golf Committee Chairman Rob Dennis and course Superintendent Brad Balschmiter.

Superintendents are required to put in 150 hours of professional development every few years and Balschmiter has now been certified by the association for 30 years. There are 1,500 certified superintendents as members.

“The Shelridge course played well this year,” said Pro Dave Green. “It keeps fooling visiting golfers who often come here thinking of it as an easy golf course; then they get a surprise.” Green said Shelridge now has reciprocal golf privileges with 16 other courses and welcomes a steady flow of visitors.

A final note provided by the board of directors reveals that there will be a complete change in the contract for the dining room and bar. The ownership of the Manhattan Restaurant in Lockport will take over the contract which has been held by Zambistro of Medina. Manager will be Kerry Holzman, familiar to club members as the previous bar manager.