Life of a Golf Admin: Site Visits

You might think to yourself, what are those LJT guys and gals doing when they’re not at tournaments setting up the golf course and pushing us to play faster? Well early in the year, after the schedule has been released with all the new sites for the upcoming season, we work on setting up times to meet with clubs on the tournament they have graciously decided to host.

Recently Kellen and I embarked on a two-day journey that started with a drive down I-35 and a needed a stop in West, Texas, for kolaches. Because we have three new courses on our schedule for the first part of 2017, we needed to visit with each club. We stopped in Waco at Ridgewood Country Club, then went down to Spicewood, near Austin, to Lakecliff Golf Club, and ended our trip with a meeting at Briggs Ranch in San Antonio.

The Collegiate Preview returns to Ridgewood Country Club after two years away, while the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic is going to Lakecliff Golf Club for the first time and the renewed Alamo Shootout comes back at Briggs Ranch Golf Club.

ridgewood-2

Ridgewood CC is hosting the Collegiate Preview, which is a slightly different format than any other event on our schedule (36 holes the first day, 18 the second day). Ridgewood CC hosted the inaugural event in 2014 so the staff was familiar with the event.

After we finished in Waco, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and were off to the Austin area to check out Lakecliff Golf Club. Because this is the LJTs first event at Lakecliff, we were a little more in depth with the club about our event and what we expected.

We headed down to San Antonio following Lakecliff and wrapped up our meetings the following morning at Briggs Ranch. As with Lakecliff, this will be Briggs Ranch’s first time to host as well, so just about everything about the event was discussed. Once we finished at Briggs Ranch, we loaded up and ventured back toward Dallas to return home.

At these site visit meetings, we typically meet with the head golf professional, superintendent, and a food and beverage staff member. We discuss the schedule of events, starting times and tees, spectator carts, scoreboard needs, tournament office availability, food and beverage availability, and everything in between.

Once the meeting has finished and we have answered any and all questions the club staff my have, we go out on the golf course and choose yardages based on a variety of differentranch information, get an idea for hole locations, and take a few course pictures. Occasionally we get to play golf while on the visit.

These meetings with the club are a huge help in us being prepared for each event, since every course isn’t the same layout. Golf offers a great variety of different venues and the Legends Junior Tour enjoys taking on different challenges that courses offer for the staff and players. It also allows the courses to know what to expect when the Legends Junior Tour comes to town.

As for my favorite five list, I thought it would be fitting in go through my top five favorite road trip songs. Since we just got back from a road trip and another one is coming when we head down to Corpus Christi, Texas for the James A. Ragan Memorial.

Kevin’s Favorite Five Road Trip Songs:

  1. “Africa” by Toto
    4. “My Texas” by Josh Abbott Band
    3. “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley
    2. “The Road Goes On Forever” by Robert Earl Keen
    1. “Any Way You Want It” by Journey

With all the traveling we do on the Legends Junior Tour, whether that be staff, volunteers and players, I’m sure there’s a top five in songs for all of us. If not a top 100.

I’ll see you down the road,

Kevin

The Lead Up

Happy New Year, junior golfers!!  I hope you have checked the Legends Junior Tour website (TLJT.org) and found the dates of our tournaments for 2017. I have already entered the dates on my calendar, and I hope you will do the same.  We work hard to provide the best golf experience we can for the greatest junior golfers in the state.

Since the LJT Winter Classic at Dallas Athletic Club is coming up shortly (January 21-22), I thought I would give you a brief overview of what is involved from the club’s standpoint to prepare for such an event.

First, we must secure permission from the club, since they are giving up their course for the days of the tournament as well as another day for a practice round. This is generally anwinter-classic-tee imposition on the club’s membership since they pay dues to use their course year round. At DAC, a written request is submitted to the Golf & Grounds Committee, specifying various things such as the size of the field, the dates requested, the food & beverage requirements, special rooms needed for lunches and a tournament office. If the Golf & Grounds Committee approves the request, it must then go to the Board of Directors for their approval. Once the Board approves the tournament, then a contract is signed by both the club and the LJT, setting out exactly what each will provide for the event. At this point, the tournament is added to the club’s official calendar. Notice of the tournament will be posted in or near the pro shop and publicized in the monthly newsletters.

Weeks before the tournament, the LJT staff meets with the DAC staff. Hole locations and hole distances are discussed, as well as number of carts needed. Menus for the food and beverages must be planned and approved by the club chef as well as our staff. Location of rooms to serve as the tournament office and lunch room for the participants must be selected and reserved by DAC.  Obviously, the club will need to order extra food and beverages to accommodate the tournament as well as adding any extra needed staff to shifts to accommodate the surplus of people on the property.

Volunteers from DAC are needed to serve as real time scorers and possibly spotters out on the course, so DAC will send out requests to their members to volunteer their time during the tournament. Any special needs for the volunteers, such as carts and chairs, must be arranged in advance by the club. Carts for the LJT referees must be reserved and prepared in advance of the tournament start.

winter-classic-green
Just prior to the tournament, the DAC Superintendent’s staff must make sure that the fairways, rough, greens and teeing areas are properly mown. The LJT staff is responsible to make sure course preparations are made correctly and mark the golf course for tournament play. DAC replaces their own flags with an LJT flag on each hole. The LJT hole locations must be cut to order each day of the tournament, as well as during the practice round.

On the morning of the first round, it’s up to the maintenance staff to prepare the course thewinter-classic-jb-kk way the LJT desires. The golf shop takes on the task of providing all the players and parents with any additional items they need for the day like a golf cart, golf balls, tees or even some extra clothing since it is called the Winter Classic.

Well, now you can see just a bit of what happens at our host clubs prior to your arrival. I
hope you will express your gratitude to the staff and members of Dallas Athletic Club and to all of our future host clubs for the sacrifices they make to promote junior golf in Texas. If it weren’t for them, we certainly could not do what we do!!


In continuing with the blog’s top five theme, I was asked to include my five favorite meals.

5.  Grilled salmon, French cut green beans with almonds, small new potatoes
4.  Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes or French fries
3.  Spaghetti with meat sauce and salad
2.  Grilled Strip Steak, baked potato, salad
1.  Raw (yes, RAW) oysters, cocktail sauce, crackers

I can’t wait to get the season started, and I really look forward to seeing each of you at our Texas LJT events!!
Hit ’em long, straight & seldom,
Jim Brown