Monday, September 12, 2016

Elk at Highlands Falls

It is not uncommon to see fox, bear, osprey, beaver, and even otters at Highlands Falls.  The unique environment here at the club plays host to many different kinds of animals.  The club can now claim a new tenant, elk.  Over the weekend, club member Bob Trevathen took these pictures of an elk on #11 and #12.
Elk in front of #11 green.

Elk had been missing from the mountains of western North Carolina for two centuries before their 2001 reintroduction into the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.  Their numbers are thought to be over 160 today.

While this is not the first sighting in the area, it is definitely the first sighting here at the club.  It is also one the southernmost confirmed sightings of elk in the wild.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The A-Team!

Along with providing excellent playing conditions, the quality of the maintenance operations are the highest priority to the maintenance staff at HFCC.  To achieve and maintain top conditions takes a lot of hard work and forward thinking by everyone on the staff.  And what a staff we have!  Our crew comes from all over the country and from throughout the world.  We have staff members from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Mexico, Vietnam, and even Ukraine!
The 2016 HFCC Golf Course Maintenance Staff.
Managing such a diverse work force has its challenges but the rewards far outweigh those challenges.  One of the biggest advantages has been a broader range of perspectives and solutions on issues or challenges. I am continually amazed at how each employee looks at a problem and through their own distinctive cultural experiences, come up with unique ideas that ultimately help us make better decisions
Assistant Superintendent Chris Cowan
Our staff is also very well educated.  In addition to our management staff, who all have college degrees, some of our staff are in the process of acquiring various degrees in agriculture from Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and The National Agriculture University of Mykolaiv.  As part of their work visa and continuing education here in the US, we are helping them learn more about turf management and agriculture.  This visa program has been a huge success to our maintenance operations and I look forward to using it again in the future.
Long time staff member Hal Burnett making sure signs are ready for the season.
Highlands Falls Country Club is a unique and exceptional place and is in part due to a unique and exceptional staff.  We are all proud to serve the membership and look forward to many more successful years.