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Table of Contents

Loyalty Club Membership
Calendar
Junior Corner
Tips from the Pro
More on Footgolf
Chip Shots
From The Kitchen
Superintendent's Corner


River Ridge New Year Savings


River Ridge is delighted to offer multiple programs to help everyone afford this great game.  The list of 2014 programs include:

Loyalty Club Memberships:  Last year we introduced the River Ridge Loyalty Club and in the first year, over 750 members have enjoyed tremendous savings.   The program’s $50 buy-in pays for itself in green fee savings and loyalty member “perks” within six to seven outings.  Members save up to $6 on green fees per round and once a year, a member can bring a weekday foursome with carts for $100 (a savings of up to $108).  Starting in 2014, they can also bring a weekend or holiday foursome with carts for $180 (a $72 savings).  Other advantages include monthly e-mail specials just for Loyalty Club members and deep discounts on range keys.  Unlike most other loyalty clubs, ours is not on a calendar year; you may join on-line or in person any day of the year and your membership last for a year from your purchase.

Young Adults:  A River Ridge young adult is any golfer who has left his/her childhood (18 years) behind but has not yet reached 30 years old.  It might be someone who is starting a career, a family, or paying off school loans.  We understand that golf takes a back seat during these years due to time and money constraints, and that is why we offer this age group $20 green fees all day on weekdays and after 12:00 pm on weekends and holidays. 
 
Weekend Seniors:  River Ridge now offers weekend senior rates of $30 after 10:00 am as well as 9-hole and twilight weekend rates.  Weekday 9-hole and twilight rates are $17.00 or $15.00 for loyalty members. 

Everyone:  Don’t you hate calling in for weekend twilight time, only to find out the first hour of tee times on both courses is already taken?  Go on-line at www.riverridge-golfclub.com and pre-pay for the tee time right before twilight for the twilight price.  The same deal applies to the tee time right before tier-pricing.

Calendar

Beginner’s League monthly clinic are held the third Saturday of each month.  Please call the pro-shop at (805) 983-4653 to sign up 7-10 days ahead.  Cost is $20 per outing.  This year we will use both the driving range and the foot-golf course with its 21-inch holes for these events.

Couple’s Club resumes play in April!  If you are not on our couples e-mail list and would like to receive a copy of our calendar and e-mail reminders, please call us to add you to the list.

The 28th Annual Strawberry Classic has moved from the traditional April date to Saturday, May 24th to align with the City’s Annual Strawberry Festival.  The one-day partner’s shamble and derby is the most fun event of the year.  More details will be posted on our web site and we’ll send e-mail reminders as we approach May. 

Demo Days

We’ve scheduled four demo days this spring on Saturdays from 9:00am until 1:00 pm;
1.      March 22nd, Mizuno using their patented shaft optimizer.
2.      March 29th, Titleist
3.      April 12th, Ping with their mobile fitting van.
4.      April 26th, Mizuno, Callaway, and Taylormade.
5.      May 17: Mizuno
Watch your e-mail reminders or call the pro-shop for registration
 
Junior Corner

After taking year end break, the River Ridge Junior Golf Program will start up again during the week of February 17th.  This year’s program is again partnering with the SCGA Youth on Course Program to offer a wide variety of opportunities at a very affordable cost.  Last year we had nearly 200 junior golfers as a part of our program and hope to increase that number for 2014. 
The first class offerings begin in February and are the group “Instructional Classes” which run for 10 weeks.  Each child attends one day per week (Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday options) for 10 one- hour classes with a maximum of 10 students per class.  Each class is taught by River Ridge Instructor Chad Wright and offers instruction on all areas of the game and occasional on course playing opportunities.  The cost is $70/child and there’s a 50% discount for additional siblings.
 In mid-March we will start our junior “Club Team” program, which also runs 10 weeks.  This program has four separate teams that practice once a week on either the practice facilities or the course.  At the end of the program there are three tournament days. The kids compete as a team against one another in a fun scramble format.  This program is $50/child.
All of these programs are available to children 7-17.  No prior golfing experience is necessary as the classes are geared for the beginner to intermediate skill levels.   Golf equipment will be provided if necessary and golf scholarships are available to reduce the cost for those in financial need.  For more information on the programs you can contact Chad Wright at (805) 701-2677 or Jon Gomez at (805) 983-4653.  To sign-up for the upcoming classes in February you must register through the SCGA website at http://www.scga.org/youth-on-course/yoc-at-river-ridge.
 
Tip from the Pro (by Jon Gomez): Preparing for a New Golf Year

Get a jump start on the new golf by preparing properly.  Here are a few preparation tips that will help make this your best season ever.
- Prepare physically.  Get back in good golf shape with some light stretching and cardio work.  Find some time after dinner to take a brisk walk (enough to elevate your heart rate) and help strengthen your legs.
-Prepare mentally.  Go back and review past tips that have helped you play your best golf over the years.  We have all accumulated key tips that will help return us to our “A” game.
-Prep your skills with a professional.  Get a lesson before heading out for your first game. Work on a plan to hit on all aspects of your game and then work on those parts that are “falling apart.” If you don’t have a regular teaching pro, River Ridge has six professionals with over 130 years of experience on staff to help.
-Prepare your equipment for the new season.  We can check your lofts and lies on your irons to meet your current needs or re-grip your clubs for maximum control.  Spend ten to fifteen minutes with one of our professionals to make sure your driver and your putter provide you what you need to succeed.  Follow these tips to insure a successful year.

More on FootGolf
 
In May we will celebrate the first anniversary of opening the first FootGolf course in CA.  At that time last year, there were four other courses in the U.S.  Today there are over 50, and the projection for next year is a tenfold increase to 500.  Being at the front end, we were not too sure how to build the course, so we laid out a plan that would segregate the FootGolf players from the regular golfers by closing the Vineyard front nine on weekday afternoons.  This approach was okay, but we learned from our successors who took a different approach.  Haggin Oaks in Sacramento decided to integrate their courses and after some adjustment, got it aligned so that the pace of play for FootGolf matched the golf pace of play.  Basically, they placed three FootGolf holes on each five-par, two on the four-pars and one on the three-pars.  They open the FootGolf after 10am on weekdays and noon on weekends and send out both regular golfers and FootGolf players in 8-minute increments.  And it worked; 3,500 rounds from July through December. 
 
Being the brilliant folks that we are, we decided to change our approach and so we’re off and building a new FootGolf layout that will incorporate the Vineyard course holes #1 through #8.  Like the existing course, the FootGolf greens will be on our golf fairways or roughs and we’ll locate them in areas from which most golfers do not play.  Our goal is to have the new course ready to play by April.  And to “one-up” our friends up north, we’re also going to open the FootGolf course to golfers!  The idea is to use this short course (average 4-par is 120 yards) as a short game/chipping practice course where players can practice their short game for the same price as FootGolf which is $10.  We anticipate seeing families play together with the parents hitting wedges while the kids kick a soccer ball.  We’ll also use the FootGolf course to introduce beginners to the game and for our junior programs as a transition from the practice tee to a regulation course.  We’ll make a presentation at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, FL on FootGolf the first week in February and we would not be surprised to see this new sport really take off in 2014.          
 
Chip Shots:
 
Water is becoming a major concern, not only for the golf course, but for the entire state.  Parks and golf courses will be the first cut off when supplies dwindle to the crisis point, which could be within two years.  We are anxiously awaiting the introduction of the City’s “Great Program” to place River Ridge on reclaimed water.  In the interim, we are looking for more “out-of-play” areas to take out of irrigation.  It’s time for all of us to conserve.
 
After years of waiting for the “Price is Right,” Rive Ridge is installing GPS in our carts.  The new system does not have all the bells and whistles that some other systems have, but it does provide accurate yardages and graphics/aerials to give you the information you need to hit that 214 yard 6-iron!  Best of all, there will be no increase in cart fees!  

From the Kitchen
 
The food and beverage department is ringing in the New Year with abundant changes!  Not only have we added an additional TV just in time for the Olympics, we also welcomed two new employees.  Please say hello to Summer Deaver and Omar Salazar.  Summer comes to us from the great state of Texas and has made a wonderful addition with her warm smile and sunny disposition.  You can find her working banquets, in the café, at the Lakehouse, and on the Beverage cart –and you’ll know her for her great accent.   Omar is an Oxnard native who is currently attending the culinary arts program at Oxnard College.  You’ll find Omar in the kitchen where he hopes to grow his culinary skills and become an accomplished chef, in order to open his own restaurant someday.   Given his passion for cooking and his great attitude, he will not have a problem.   Congratulations to our long time employee “J.P.” Sarraute.  J.P. was recently promoted to kitchen manger and is anxious to learn what it takes to run a food and beverage operation (John Palmer says, “Be careful what you wish for J.P.”)!
 
On the other side of the building, we have started a long overdo remodel of the banquet room.  The remodel will occur in two phases over two years.  The first phase, which we hope will be completed by the time you receive this newsletter, involves replacing the entire ceiling, lighting, and sound systems.  The room will have a more modern look and warmer feel with recessed and diffused lighting.  The next phase will occur next winter and will include new carpet, curtains, back bar, paint, and some minor construction.  We believe these improvements will improve our weddings and banquet numbers because we’ll now have a modern venue to pair with our great staff and food.  Once the first phase has been completed, swing by and let either Nicole or Helen give you a tour. 
 
 
St. Patty's Day Corned Beef
2 1/4-3 lbs corned beef briskets, drained, rinsed, and trimmed
2 (12 ounce) bottles red Irish ale (e.g., Killian's)
water (to cover meat)                      4 bay leaves
1 dash crushed red pepper flakes    3 cinnamon sticks
12 peppercorns                               3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cloves                                          1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
6 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
6 medium red potatoes, quartered


Dry Rub
1/2 cup brown sugar                       1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger             1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon celery salt

Directions:
Rinse meat under cold water.  Trim all visible fat.  Place meat in a large Dutch oven and cover with water.  Add ale, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, a light shake of crushed red pepper flakes, peppercorns, garlic, and the onion chunks to the pot.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and bring to a gentle boil, with lid ajar, for 4-5 hours or until meat is so tender that is breaks apart when you pull at it with a fork.  Check pot occasionally to prevent boil-overs; you will need to keep lowering the heat throughout the cooking process as the liquid reduces, especially in the first hour.  During the last half-hour of cooking time, boil the carrots and potatoes in a separate pot until fork tender.  Drain vegetables and set in a small bowl.  Remove meat and strain broth, saving the onion pieces (discard liquid).  Place in large roasting pan and surround meat with boiled carrots, potatoes, and onion pieces.  Combine dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and rub all over the meat surface and sprinkle any remaining rub over the vegetables.  Bake, uncovered, in a pre-heated 325°F oven for approximately 20 minutes until the top of the meat begins to look shiny.  Remove from oven and wait about 10 minutes before slicing into thin slices along the grain of the meat.  Bon Appetite.

Superintendent’s Corner
 
Abnormal is the new normal as far as weather is concerned.  Even the bears are confused and are coming out of hibernation because we do not get these warm temperatures even in the summer.  This is the third (and worst) year of drought, and it behooves all of us to become more diligent in our water conservation efforts.  After all, we do live in an artificially irrigated desert that depends on the Sierra snow melt to meet our water needs.  Unfortunately, there is no real snow again this year and unless the weather changes soon, water is going to become very expensive.  Hopefully by the time you read this we’ll get a change and the jet stream will bring us an abundance of rain…at nighttime only!
 
To conserve water on the course, we are looking at expanding our waste areas.  The first target is the row of myoporums (not really bushes, but not really trees) between Vineyard’s 1st and the Lakes’ 18th hole.  These poor plants have taken a beating over the last few years from thripes (an insect) and scale, so we have decided to remove them and convert this area into a sandy waste area.  We’re looking for additional areas to convert into the “desert-scape” look, so if you have any in mind, please let us know.
 
As for course improvements, we will finish the crossing at the Vineyard #15 green, remove the existing bridge, and complete our leaking lake issue in front of the Vineyard #13 green over the next month.  Depending on the results at the 15th, we may remove the bridge on the 16th hole as well using the same procedures.  After we finish the spring aerification (Vineyard: March 18-21, Victoria Lakes: April 21-24), we will begin planting 40 Canary Island Pine trees –most behind the driving range back fence to create another barrier between the range and the Vineyard #9 green; the balance will then be planted on holes #8 and #14 on Victoria Lakes.  The latter placement will provide additional safety, separation, and a strategic challenge for both holes.  Canary Island Pines have done well at River Ridge and you can see an example of one right behind the Lakes’ #18 green.
 
Finally, we’ve heard from many of our players and have decided to start treating the greens differently on both courses.  Specifically, we are going to vary the height of cut by 10 millimeters in an effort to consistently produce speeds of 9 to 10 on the Vineyard course and 10 to 11 on Victoria Lakes.  This will give everyone the opportunity to play the course that has green speeds you are comfortable with.  Of course, we are still at the mercy of Mother Nature who occasionally puts everything to sleep with the frost and then dries it all out with the Santa Ana winds, but we’ll do our best.  Regardless of our efforts, remember: It’s always easier to be below the hole putting uphill!            
 


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