It’s not uncommon to see animals on the course, but it’s tough to know exactly what all really is running wild out there. Henry Michna, superintendent of Winnetka Golf Course in Winnetka, Ill., has a better idea, thanks to Eagle Scout Nick Hedge.
Hedge produced a wildlife guide for the public course as his Eagle Scout project this year, documenting animals with the help of Michna and Mary Cherveny, the park district’s communications manager.
As an open space in the community, the course doubles as a walking area and a snowshoe/cross country-skiing area in winter. Hedge’s project was meant to make the wildlife of the course more visible to visitors.
During the golf season last year, Hedge observed and documented animals on the course by taking walks around the course. He noted and researched the animals he spotted. Michna himself got involved, keeping an eye out as he hit the course each morning.
Hedge listed 39 entries in his guide, including a description of each animal, its habitat and other information about the animal from his research.
As another part of his project, Hedge built and placed 12 metal-roofed birdhouses around the course to replace older, worn-down bird habitats.
The wildlife guides are available free at the golf club or from the park district’s website.
A Bunker Brake
A bunker is one of the worst places to end a drive. But they’re especially bad when that drive is in a car, as Patricia Maione of Uxbridge, Mass., discovered.
Police say Maione drove onto Whitinsville Golf Club in Northbridge at about 45 mph. She says she was just following her GPS, which instructed her to turn left into what she called a “cornfield,” and landed in the bunker. Her car was nose-down in the sand, rear wheels in the air, when police found her.
An officer had been following her green Buick after a call to the police from Maione’s former boyfriend who alleged she had violated a no-trespassing order. Officers found her still in her vehicle in the bunker when they arrived.
She failed a field sobriety test, and admitted to officers she had consumed about a half liter of vodka earlier in the day.
An officer found a cup containing an alcoholic beverage in the car. She was arrested and charged for driving with a suspended license and drunk driving, fourth offense.
We’re going to guess she also didn’t rake the bunker afterward.
May 23 could’ve been the last day of Fred Elliott’s life. But thanks to a recently placed defibrillator and a heroic assistant superintendent, he has survived to play another game.
Elliott, a 66-year-old golf pro at Hidden Valley Country Club in Reno, Nev., was playing in the Sierra Nevada Chapter’s championship when a family history of heart issues caught up with him. His group had just moved to the No. 12 tee when he collapsed, suffering cardiac arrest.
“I was working the green there,” says Franco Ruiz, assistant superintendent. “I thought they were playing a joke, but another employee said, ‘I think they’re having a problem.’”
Though the course had two Automated External Defibrillators, one in the clubhouse and one on a marshal’s cart, the country club added two more only this year. They placed them just in April, one between the No. 5 and 6 holes and the other between the No. 11 and 12 holes: the latter right where Elliott had fallen.
Ruiz himself, as well as the rest of the staff, had received training on the AED only a few months earlier, along with a CPR class. He took the device and hooked it up to Elliott.
“I know this person very well. He’s been a pro a long time,” says Ruiz. “When you see someone you’ve known for a long time, you feel kind of tight. I had to do something. I tried to do my best. At the time, you think of nothing, just what you’re doing.”
Ruiz shocked Elliott three times when an ambulance arrived and trucked him to Renown Medical Center. Two stents were placed in a blocked artery and he spent nearly a week in the hospital – but he’s alive and home, thanks to Ruiz.
Keep an eye on the sky
As storms pummeled the coast at the end of July, harsh weather gave golfers and course workers more and more reasons to pay attention to the lightning warning signal.
At the Lake of Isles course in North Stonington, Conn., course workers had sought shelter from the storms in a grounded, enclosed building on the course. Seven of them had headed in when lightning struck the ground nearby.
All seven workers were conscious and alert when they were taken to the local hospital, say state police.
From the Feed
GCI’s Pat Jones recently caught up on the newest happenings in the power equipment world at the annual OPEI meeting, reporting on speakers and notable events through Twitter.
GCI @GCImagazine The legendary Howard Fineman of Newsweek, NBC and Huffpo fame now speaking to the @OPEIInstitute meeting.
GCI @GCImagazine Fineman: Twitter is the ultimate expression of today’s short attention span ethos. #youkidsgetoffmylawn!
Russell Heller @fpsuper Totally agree. Twitter has caused me to
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