It is not new or original to say that golf is played one stroke at a time.  But it took me years to realize it. 

Bobby Jones

Cordova Bay's May

It seems like spring has finally decided to arrive with a 'little' sunshine and warmer weather.  With the arrival of spring comes a rush of golfers who have been anxiously waiting to step out on the course for the first time this season.  All departments here at Cordova Bay have been working feverishly to get the course in tip-top shape for you happy golfers.  You can read about what's been happening at the course in the articles below!

As the weather continues to improve, we'll be looking ahead to summer and all the great events we'll be hosting here at Cordova Bay. Make sure to be on the lookout for information on Cordova Bay's Golf Week taking place at the end of June. This week will host events for all ages and skill levels - there will be an elite amateur event, a junior golfapalooza, Men's and Ladies' events and more!  Details to come soon!

FLOWERS OF THE BAY - Mouse Tail Plant
by Emily Richardson, Horticulturalist 

2017 continues to be an interesting and unpredictable year.  Our weather hasn't stopped things from flowering but the blooms are noticeably later and growth seems slow. This time last season, a mother duck nested in my potato crop near the shop. This year, however, I have already seen ducklings paddling in 18 pond and the potatoes are just now poking their heads above the soil! I find seasonal comparisons and weather changes both troubling and self-soothing. I can relax knowing it's not my fault that we had a small daffodil crop but I wonder what can be learned and how our practices can be adapted for coming winters. 

While it's natural to focus on what's different about our gardens, we almost forget that some workhorses have remained unaffected. Indeed this season provides us with the opportunity to appreciate things that might otherwise be overlooked. Mouse Tail Plant or Arisarum proboscideum is an inconspicuous plant that holds a surprise beneath its shiny leaf cover. The deep green, arrow-head leaves form low clumps not usually more than a foot high. In spring-time you can lift back the leaves to reveal small purple and white flowers at ground level. 

The plants nickname comes from the long tail that extends from the tube shaped flower, or spathe. They look like little mice hiding in their house! This lovely plant acts as a nice complement to the woodland area near the 18
th pond and does well in moist areas of part to deep shade.  It will go dormant later in the season when the temperatures rise so make sure to check out our happy clump on the edge of the pond as you head towards the 10th tee.  See if you can find the mouse hiding under the ground cover on your way through! 

We can only learn from our changing weather and take time to appreciate our gardens and what has made it through our tough year. Hopefully next spring we will all stand in shirt sleeves in March, look out at the sea of yellow daffodils and reminisce about what a strange year 2017 was.

Emily Richardson

View From My Window
by Mohan Jawl

 Some of you may remember our poet laureate, Cam Thomas.  He wrote a column for our newsletter entitled "View From The Fairway."  Cam drove a fairway mower, and although he wrote on a variety of subjects, his main focus was his observations of us golfers while he sat in his machine, idling off to a side, as we played through.  He was generous in his reporting, and if he occasionally remarked on human foibles he observed he mentioned no names.  He usually ended his day enjoying a cold pint on the patio, sitting alone in a corner, and as usual, observing everything going on around him. 

        I miss Cam.  He passed away a number of years ago and now views us from above.  I do not have Cam's powers of observation, but I intend to follow in the tradition of Cam and offer news, and occasionally some thoughts on what I see.  My view is from the Administration Office, so don't expect anything too insightful or exciting.  

        Today I start with a sampler in the nature of news.  Some of you have noticed the activity on the hillside next to the 14th fairway.  The speculation as to what is going on up there has ranged from preparations for a condo tower (I wish!), to a new driving range with grass mats (Isabelle's wish), to an expansion of Emily's vegetable garden so she can grow more kale, bok choy and other leafy greens (Walter's wish, not mine).  Sadly, the reality is disappointing and rather mundane.  The area is being prepared to receive sand and soil from the excavation about to get underway for the new condominium building at Sayward Hill.  The material will be stockpiled and eventually used by Dean's crew in various drainage and other projects on the golf course. 

        Most of the trucking will occur during the months of June and July.  It will be a little noisy, and dusty on occasion, but the interference with golf will be minimal.  You will need some other excuse for any disappointments you experience on 14!  There is good separation between the golf course and the area where the material is to be deposited.  When it is done it will not be noticeable from the golf course, except by those who have serious directional problems with their tee shots. 

        Well that's it, a modest introduction, hardly poetic, but at least a start.  

Mohan Jawl

MAINTENANCE UPDATE - Upside to a terrible winter  

by Dean Piller, Superintendent

With spring having finally arrived, the maintenance team will be changing their focus from the course improvement work we focused on during the winter, to our regular daily maintenance.  Mother Nature decided to throw everything at us this winter with heavy snow, frost, extreme colds and high winds.  The large number of closures we had allowed us to complete the work necessary to set the stage for a fantastic summer.  Let's take one final look at the work that's been done to prepare for the summer ahead.  

One of our goals this winter was to recapture much of the water surface area in our smaller ponds that was being overcome with cattails.  We focused on the removal of the overgrowth bulk and focused on completing this work prior to the nesting activity of our resident birds.  Many of our ponds, in particular the large pond at the Ridge Course, had become overcome with a tropical weed called Azolla or 'Mosquito Fern'.  During one of our cold snaps the ice thickness reached 4 inches which was enough to freeze and eventually stop the growth of the tropical weed.  I expect some survival of the weed and trace amounts to come back over time but this was a tremendous benefit to the cold weather we endured.

We are always looking to further improve the water quality in our many water features on the course.  Water tests this spring showed exceptionally low levels of Nitrogen and Phosphorus which is exactly what we were looking for.  However, our water bodies are also very low in silica which is an important component of a healthy pond ecosystem.  We will be running a nutrient management trial this summer to enhance the positive life forms and improve the overall water quality - we look forward to seeing the results!

Keeping on the theme of removing overgrowth, the maintenance team worked hard to remove blackberry, poplar and alder from unwanted areas.  These plants were effecting air movement and reducing sunlight to many important areas on the course.  The most significant areas that have been refurbished are left of 10, 11 and along sections of the creek system on 17.  In a few months these reclaimed areas will fill in with a fescue meadow mix containing foxglove, lupines, daisy and poppy to support the activities of our pollinating insects.

Our horticulture department led by Emily and Brandon worked hard this winter revitalizing gardens that had become overgrown.  This work was extensive and as the weather continues to warm you will see their beautiful work beginning to emerge.  Bunker work continues to be a priority and will pick up pace with the dryer spring conditions.  All of the bunker renovations happening on the course, in particular on holes 1 and 9, have been carefully considered in order to respect the architect's original intentions while improving playability.

Last, but certainly not least, is the extensive work done to upgrade our 25 year old irrigation system.  Pat and Marc have worked tirelessly to improve the coverage of our irrigation system on fairways and select rough areas.  Half of our fairway heads have been replaced and countless heads have been moved, levelled and improved This work should pay large dividends in reducing water usage through improved irrigation coverage and less hand watering. 

As you can see, we have tried to make improvements to all aspects of the golf course in order to improve the playability and health of the property.  I can't thank our maintenance team enough for their enormous efforts during a very difficult winter to work in.  Their productivity and efforts have set the stage for a fantastic summer here at Cordova Bay.  

Dean Piller

PRO-SPECTIVE: Front Nine Observations
by Brian Hann, PGA of Canada 

Brian, CPGA

#1 When I ask people what performance they want to see out of their driver, it may surprise you to learn that the majority of people prioritize direction over distance. I guess that means that people would like to hit their second shot from somewhere other than behind a tree! Be careful with all the hype about drivers that elevate ball speed. Due to strict CT measurement (characteristic time) golf's governing bodies have effectively limited the spring-like effect of the clubface, and thus have put a speed limit on your golf ball. Trust me, all of the top manufacturers in golf have drivers that launch the ball at or near the "speed limit." They don't go over the limit because they want to market their products as conforming to the Rules of Golf. So what's left? A driver that fits your best-balanced swing well, leading to optimum distance (read long) within a dispersion that fits within the parameters of the typical fairway! Come get some help from us for that recipe.

#2 Here's an interesting piece of evidence that golf is not "broken" despite the doomsdayers and naysayers, and it has a local flavor. Jim Goddard (Cordova Bay Director of Golf) and Bob Russell (Cordova Bay Player's Club Member) serve as directors and are the movers and shakers for an organization called the Bayview Place Vikes Junior Tour. 

#3 Now that the announcement has come that Tiger will undergo yet another back surgery and will certainly be out for months, how will Bridgestone and Taylor Made get their money's worth on the endorsement deals signed with Tiger last year? It's pretty tough to associate a brand with a player who is on the shelf, even if he is Tiger Woods. P.S. - B330 ball by Bridgestone is a very good golf ball, great feel and spin on approach shots.

#4 - 5 - 6  Let's give a wee golf clap to The Rules of Golf's governing bodies (USGA and R&A) for releasing a Rules of Golf Modernization Initiative. That's the plan that trumpets proposed Rules of Golf changes for implementation in 2019. 

#7 What's the most important blueprint component in the golf club? Shaft flex, length of club, overall weight, clubhead design? Experience tells me that answer is rather dependent on the individual. One person may be very sensitive to the club's weight, while another may see massive differences in ball flight when we change the length of the club. People are individuals, thus their issues and swings are unique. One observation though.... Lack of loft on the driver and the longest fairway club is a huge roadblock for many a golfer. This often leads to some pretty funky compensations to try to achieve effective vertical launch.

#8 Have you got a club in your golf bag right now that you tend to shy away from while on the course? Perhaps you have given it "the old college try" on the range but have never managed to get on truly friendly terms with it? Every golf club should earn its place in your line-up. If you're not sure why you have a club that acts out when you least expect it (ruining a good round, perhaps) please ask us, "What's up with this thing?" We'll look into it with you.

#9 Self-diagnosis is a slippery devil, especially when it comes to the tonsils. It's tough in golf, too! One of the complicating factors to self-diagnosis in golf is the friendly advice that one gets from their (more experienced) golf buddy. That advice can come in any number of forms, but is almost always based on a poor diagnosis. I don't know of one health practitioner who can help a patient without proper diagnosis. The same holds true in golf. You need a great detective to put your game on track. The professionals at Cordova Bay are very well-schooled in the science/art of golf diagnosis, be it with your putting stroke, your iron play or your greenside bunker game. Avoid chasing your tail in 2017, get a wee bit of professional input.


THE PROGRAM is your opportunity to really improve your ability to play the game. The foundation of THE PROGRAM is two private lessons each month, with the professional of your choice. Schedule these lessons to suit your timetable. To augment your private lessons, join us for any six of eight "Scheduled Opportunities" offered each month.  Contact Brian Hann or Doug Mahovlic to chat about THE PROGRAM!

Brian Hann
PGA of Canada

BILL MATTICK'S: Mother's Day Brunch
by Grant Soutar, Restaurant Manager

On Sunday, May 14th we will be hosting our annual Mother's Day Brunch.  

Click here to view the menu - If you like what you see, please phone Bill Mattick's Restaurant at 250-658-4271 to make a reservation.

Grant Soutar
Bill Mattick's Restaurant Manager

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Cordova Bay Golf Course

Cordova Bay Golf Course | 5333 Cordova Bay Rd. | Victoria | BC | V8Y 2L3 | Canada