Interesting course to check out in Atlana suburbs, but while really attractive ..................... the baskets are sacrilegious. Merion is Holy ground.
Is it walkable and is there a walking culture? I see pictures of carts on their website.
How are the membership rolls doing? There are many private clubs in that area that must be dying for membership.
Our club is doing well after difficult times in 2010-2011. Even after the crash in 2008 we kept a waiting list through 2009 and into the early part of 2010. The late summer and fall of 2010 through the end of 2011 were awful as we did lose Members. We are doing better than most private clubs ( we have a great bunch of Members and a fun course) and we are within a dozen members of being at our cap. With some luck, we may have a waiting list again by the end of the year, though if my family has learned anything since opening the club forty years ago, nothing is for certain in this business
Our club allows walking at any time of day and at no charge. (No trail fee or anything like that). The front is an easy walk but the back nine a bit hilly. Every Thursday we have two groups of ladies who walk all eighteen so it can't be all bad. Of course, they are in way better shape than most! We also allow push carts (the Rikshaw) for $9 for eighteen or $5 for nine holes.
As for the baskets, there is a story. Now, I love Merion too but they were not the first to have baskets and several clubs do use them as well. Actually, San Francisco golf club has pictures that suggest they used them a long time ago. They contacted me and I sent them one of our baskets so they could check one out--I'm guessing Merion wouldn't send one
Anyway, after our renovation I wanted something unique and I really was trying for something other than "Merion" baskets. I thought about no flag sticks, flag sticks with strips, with pennants, with nothing. I looked at balls, ovals, all kinds of shapes and nothing looked good. Then I came across an old turf magazine from the late twenties. Stumpf's I think was the name. They had an advertisement for "Wicker Balloon Baskets". When I realized that these wicker baskets were in fact mass marketed at one time I didn't feel so bad "stealing" the idea from Merion!
Actually, I do not believe the intention of the baskets has anything to do with intentionally deceiving a player regarding the wind. In fact, the advertisement I read for them suggested that the balloon baskets were for the visual benefit of the player. On inland courses where wind may be scarce, flags often hung limp and were very difficult to see. The balloon baskets are easier to see on calm days versus a flag dangling lifelessly from the flagstick. It was to aid the player, not deceive him!
We order new wicker every year in the fall, soak it in water and then our guys weave the baskets by hand. We paint them and have them on our course for daily play April through October. (We bring them in during the winter as the weather is tough on them). Our baskets are a bit rounder and quite a bit larger than Merions and all eighteen are the same color (Merion has two slightly different hues for the front and back).
Hey, imitation is the sincerest form........
I have scotch broom in some bunkers too