February 2021 Newsletter


Looking Ahead

Letter from the General Manager

It has been a snowy February, but we are busy at work here at Railside. We are preparing for the upcoming golf season and are excited for the spring weather to come, whenever that may be here in Michigan. A few things looking ahead:

Membership Matters
Invite your friends to join the Club! This program gives existing members the opportunity to earn 25 percent off 2021 dues by referring new members to the Club. This is for golf memberships only.

Railside Bar & Grill
Stop in to enjoy your Railside favorites! Our restaurant has a new menu and is open for dine-in service or carry out. See our new menu here.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the club,

Jim Bultema
General Manager


Off-Season Updates

I hope this note finds each of you well! Your PGA Professional Staff has enjoyed a very productive off-season as we anticipate the new golf season in a few short months. Even though the PGA Show was held virtually this past month, we did attend several appointments and a few networking seminars to continue to build and enhance our value as PGA Professionals. We are in store for another busy golf season and we are constantly looking for new ideas and innovations to anticipate and meet your expectations in our operation. We look forward to sharing these with you over the course of the Spring!

The 2021 Golf Events Schedule is complete and is included here. Over the next few weeks, we will be finalizing golf event details and prepping the Golf Shop for new merchandise.  We are in the office Tuesday-Friday and our door is always open if you would like to stop by and chat.  We would love to catch up!

GHIN Mobile App Update
Last month each golf member with an established USGA/GHIN handicap received a notification from the USGA to complete an update to your digital profile. All golfers must have unique email address on file to access and post scores through the GHIN mobile app and GHIN website.  Please take a few minutes to update this important information before the score posting season begins on April 1.  Please contact matt@railsidegolf.com or brad@railsidegolf.com should you need further assistance.

New Stroke Index Progression
The term Stroke Index Progression now takes the place of Handicap Holes in the World Handicap System. One of our off-season projects was for our handicap committee to work alongside the GAM to update our stroke index progression for each set of tees. There are several factors involved in how this progression is created. While I will not go into too much detail, it is important for you to understand how the process works.

Scores posted to the GHIN system are continually analyzed and updates are recommended periodically based on changes in the data. We felt it necessary to allow two seasons of scores to be analyzed after the course renovations before acting. The Difficulty Value of each hole was calculated based on a formula within the Rules of Handicapping. This value represents the combined strokes over par for Scratch and Bogey Players.

Another important factor is the Ranking of each hole.  This is the raw ranking of each hole based upon all holes Difficulty Value. The highest Difficult Value will have the ranking of 1 and the lowest Difficulty Value will have the ranking of 18. Next is the Odds/Evens Distribution. Based on the value of each holes Ranking, the front nine holes will receive odd number values and the back nine holes are given even number values. The lowest value on the front nine based on the Rankings value will be assigned the number 1. The highest value on the front nine based on the Ranking value will be assigned the number 17. The lowest value on the back nine based on the Ranking value will be assigned the number 2. The highest value on the back nine based on the Ranking value will be assigned the number 18. The full description of the Odds/Evens Distribution is in Appendix E of the Rules of Handicapping.

After careful consideration and dialogue among the handicap committee, it was decided that the club should adopt the proposed changes recommended by the GAM to our Stroke Index Progression. The handicap committee also approved the simplification the Stroke Index Progression to one standard set for male tees and one standard set for female tees.  Below are the new Stroke Index Progressions.

Off-Season Travel
Your PGA Professional Staff is eager to help you plan your next golf trip this winter.  We are a valuable resource to recommend locations and courses throughout the country and we offer golf club shipping services through ShipSticks. ShipSticks truly is an all-inclusive golf shipping company that makes your travel easy and convenient. Many Railside members have used this service offered by ShipSticks and they have raved about this wonderful service. Please contact your PGA Professionals for more information: matt@railsidegolf.com and brad@railsidegolf.com. 

The days are getting longer, and Spring is in sight. We look forward to seeing you around the Club soon!

Matt Koets, PGA
Head Golf Professional


Around the Course

Regular winter golf course maintenance and projects continue full steam ahead. Up until now, this winter has been quite mild. I hope that the month of February will be our last month without golf. It’s hard to believe that we could potentially be playing golf in just a couple weeks.

Looking forward, we expect to be in good shape. We have all of our full time employees returning and most of our part time employees as well. Looking around the course, we’ve been pretty lucky with minimal winter damage. This will mean we can get straight to fixing our bunkers on the back 9 and normal spring cleanup.

I hope to see you soon!

Jeff Smith
Golf Course Superintendent