By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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I heard this from both Peninsula Golf Club's recently installed professional Jacob Lippold and Port Townsend Golf Club's Gabriel Tonan, who took over from Mike Early in December.
The answer makes sense of course, as Lippold and Tonan both took the reins during the sport's slowest season, and neither has had the chance to oversee a busy season at his respective course.
Lippold hasn't been taking it slow — quite the opposite in fact, as he has been working seven-day weeks since he took charge, and even thinking about what's next on the agenda as he falls asleep at night.
“I want everything to be done the right way from the beginning, so that's going to take a lot, a lot of time, energy and effort to set those standards,” Lippold said.
He's been busy buying essentials like brand-new range balls, golf carts and accessories for the golf shop, lining up vendors to stock the pro shop and most importantly, meeting the membership of the club, which he says have given him a warm welcome.
“The idea is to create a place where the members really feel valued and welcome,” Lippold said.
“It's similar to running a small community or a really big family.”
He's sent out a membership survey to ask them their thoughts on the course and the club, and is always available to listen and take in their viewpoints.
This includes the pro shop, where Lippold wants to get ideas on what needs to be stocked and what members would like to see.
“I want the members to know that this is their golf shop and that they will see the things they are looking for,” Lippold said.
He's in the beginning stages of working on a new course logo for Peninsula, and increasing the marketing and promotion of the club to potential new members.
This includes implementing a point-of-sale system where information like the city of residence and email address of non-members is compiled for follow-up promotion and sales opportunities.
Lippold also traveled with Cedars at Dungeness general manager Bill Shea and head golf pro Garrett Smithson to the annual PGA Merchandising Show in Orlando, Fla.
The trip wasn't all work, as a round at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club and Lodge, site of the PGA Tour's annual Bay Hill Invitational, was squeezed in.
Lippold will stay busy coaching the Port Angeles High School girls golf team this spring before the high season begins in earnest at his club.
After that, maybe six to eight months down the line, we'll have that conversation and see where things stand.
March Madness special
March is known for college basketball's annual NCAA tournament, and to celebrate, SunLand Golf & Country Club in Sequim will offer two rounds of golf, two range buckets and use of a cart for $64 each weekend in March.
“Everyone who takes advantage of this special will be entered into a drawing to win an NCAA team basketball jersey,” SunLand general manager and head pro Tyler Sweet said.
“The winner will have the opportunity to pick the school jersey and size they want.”
SkyRidge events set
A golf tournament to help the Sequim High School softball program raise funds for a new field, concessions stands and equipment is planned for SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim on Saturday, March 8.
The four-person scramble has an 8 a.m. check-in with a 9 a.m. shotgun start.
Players will have the chance to swing away for a hole-in-one on the 165-yard par-3 fifth hole, and anybody lucky enough to convert will win a brand new car from Price Ford.
Cost is $50 per person, and carts are not included but can be reserved for $30 total or $15 per seat.
This event has a 20-team maximum and reservations are encouraged.
SkyRidge also will host its eighth annual Shamrock Scramble on Saturday, March 15.
The four-person scramble will tee off at 9:30 a.m. with green fees of $40 per player or $160 per team.
Golf, lunch and range balls, and a chance at a KP and a long putt are included.
Carts are an extra $15 per seat.
Best-dressed prizes are available for those who would like to get their inner leprechaun on.
Save the date for SkyRidge's “toughest tourney,” the Gut Buster, on Saturday, March 22.
Phone SkyRidge at 360-683-3673 to get in the game.
Mark your calendar
Cedars is planning some big events for the upcoming spring golf season.
A St. Patty's Day Shootout event and par-3 contest is planned for Tuesday, March 18.
Cost is $55 for the public, $38 for members and includes green fees, an Irish dinner, range balls, KP's on each hole and drink specials.
Tee times are set from 10 a.m. to noon, and players should wear green or expect to receive a two-stroke handicap.
The course's second annual “Go Big” spring golf tournament, a solo scramble with oversized 8-inch cups for each hole, foot-long hot dogs, 22-ounce beers/sodas/waters, is set for a 9 a.m. shotgun start Saturday, March 29.
This one is open to all and there will be Callaway, gross and net divisions.
Green fees are $50 for the public and include competition, range balls and lunch.
Cost is $27 for Cedars members and employees.
Carts are an extra charge.
Cedar's 32nd annual Big Ball tournament is Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13, with a complimentary round thrown in on Friday, April 11.
The two-person, 36-hole, four-ball stroke play event has a maximum handicap index of 34.0, with 90 percent of the handicap used for the competition.
Partners must be within eight handicap strokes of one another.
Hosted dinners are set for Saturday night at 7 Cedars Casino and a hosted lunch and awards ceremony will follow play at the course on Sunday.
Cost is $350 per team.
Phone Cedars at 360-683-6344 for more information or to register.
U.S. Open don't delay
USGA members have a special chance to lock down week-long tickets in a variety of packages for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.
A two-month ticket window for USGA members begins Saturday and runs through May 1.
Don't delay, these weekly packages will sell out quickly once they go on sale to the general public.
All members interested in purchasing tickets can visit the USGA website at www.usga.org/tickets.
Questions and requests for a printed application can be directed via email to email@example.com or by phoning 1-800-698-0661.
The afterlife's 19th hole awaits Harold Ramis, director and co-writer of “Caddyshack,” who died from complications from vasculitis Monday.
Not a golfer himself, Ramis and co-writer Brian Doyle-Murray were caddies as youth and drew upon the unique characters encountered in their positions to help write the film.
He also wrangled the egos of some of the largest comedic personalities of that time — Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield — on set, including giving improv cues to his actors that created legendary scenes.
A runner, Ramis would narrate imagined sports announcer scenarios like winning the New York Marathon, to help him complete workouts.
He asked Bill Murray to do something similar and the classic Carl Spackler “Cinderella Story” scene was the result:
“Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac . . . It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!”
Thanks for all the laughs, Mr. Ramis.
Even 34 years later, “Caddyshack” stands up as a gem.
Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-417-2345, ext. 5152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.