Osprey Valley Golf - July 2016 Newsletter
Osprey Valley Golf - July 2016 Newsletter
Osprey Valley Golf Newsletter
Oh, Canada!
Welcome to July in Osprey Valley
The longest day of the year has come and gone, but there are still plenty of lazy summer days left to join us for golf here in Osprey Valley. And since we are in a festive mood, we'd like to invite you to take advantage of a free upgrade to Play All Day for the entire upcoming Canada Day weekend! It's a great opportunity to knock the Osprey Valley 54 Hole Challenge off your bucket list and play all three courses in a single day!

The results from our U.S. Open Pool are in! The lowest score this time belonged to Bill Whyte, who had the uncanny foresight to leave both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth off of his team. His team of Jason Day, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott had the lowest score by three strokes. Co-runners up Chris Burnet and Roy Vandermeer both opted for Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia. Congratulations to all!

Our British Open Pool opens today and closes July 13th. Don't miss your chance to make your picks and win some free golf in Osprey Valley! And remember, one lucky player with the lowest total score for ALL FOUR of our Majors Pools will win a super secret Grand Prize at the end of the season!
OVG British Open PoolCelebrate our nation's birth in style with Osprey Valley's Canada Day Nine and Dine tomorrow night! We will be teeing off at 3:30 pm on Toot for holes 10 - 18, followed by dinner and the classical and jazz stylings of our favourite guitarist, Guelph's Norman Liotta. Call the clubhouse to make your reservation now.

Our OVG Summer Photo Contest is also now open for entries! We see your photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all the time, why not send them along to us and win some free golf? To celebrate summer we're leaving the category wide open this time! Wow us with anything that strikes your fancy!


In other games you have to reckon with a mortal foe.
In golf it is your solitary self against the world.

~Pete Dye
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Put a Bit of Spice in Your Summer
Green Curry With Shrimp
Did you know that eating spicy foods in hot weather can actually help you to cool down more quickly?

There's nothing like sweet and zesty Thai green curry to put a bit of spring in your step during these hot summer months! If you'd rather temper the spice a bit, use just one green chilli instead of two. This exquisite dish is perfect to serve friends on a warm summer night.

Serves four, but will serve six if served over rice. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

1-1/2 lb raw tiger shrimp, peeled and deveined.
2 green thai chillies seeded and diced
4 kaffir lime leaves, (available at any Asian market) sliced very thin, center stem removed
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, shredded or diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
2 handfuls of pea shoots (1 bag of fresh baby spinach makes a good substitute)
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 can baby corn, drained and chopped into bite size
1 can shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1-1/2 Tbsp green curry paste
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp. brown sugar.
Zest of 1 lime.
Juice of 1/2 to a whole lime
2 Tbsp. Peanut oil
Instructions:

Prep all your veggies and herbs, including canned veggies, and put them in separate bowls.

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the peanut oil. Add chilies and kaffir lime leaves to the skillet and let them crisp for about a minute.

Lower the heat to medium and add your shallots. Saute for three to five minutes until they begin to brown. Add the julienned red pepper and saute for another three to five minutes.

Raise the heat to medium high again, add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds before adding the corn, shiitakes, water chestnuts and green curry paste. Stir and saute another 2-3 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, brown sugar and ginger, and stir. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about five munutes.

Add shrimp and simmer until they pinken and are cooked through, about five more minutes. Add the pea shoots and half the scallions and just stir to combine.

Serve in bowls, garnished with scallions, by itself or over basmati rice. Bon appetit!


**The recipes we publish in our newsletter, while delicious, are not the same as those served in the Osprey Bistro.
Celebrating Our Community
Making Connections
Here in Osprey Valley, we relish the many opportunities we have each day to meet and develop friendships with the people of our community. Though it is impossible to mention you all, from time to time we like to celebrate these connections and show our appreciation with a profile or two!


Alvaro Lassaletta

Though he has played our courses often over the past two years, we first really got to know Alvaro Lassaletta through his photographs. A regular entrant (and repeat winner) in our Osprey Valley Golf photo contest, Alvaro's artistic eye, which beautifully celebrated an evident passion for golf, caught our attention. As we got to know him, we learned a lot more.
Hoot by Alvaro Lassaletta
photo of Hoot by Alvaro Lassaletta

An award winning young pediatric oncologist, Alvaro journeyed to Toronto from his native Spain two years ago to join Sick Kids, the Hospital for Sick Children via the Meagan's Walk Neuro-Oncology Fellowship. Named for Meagan Bebenek, Meagan's Walk does important work to "give comfort and hope to families of children with cancer," and the Fellowship awarded Alvaro the opportunity to work and train in one of the most world renowned pediatric brain tumour programs and affiliated pediatric brain tumour research centres in the world.

During his two years in Toronto, Alvaro has done a good deal of important work at the hospital. He has also contributed to the Journal of Clinical Oncology (American Society of Clinical Oncology), and was recently a keynote speaker at Posterior Fossa Society International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology in Liverpool.Somewhere in his busy schedule, Alvaro found a little time to discover Osprey Valley.
Heathlands by Alvaro Lassaletta
photo of Heathlands by Alvaro Lassaletta

He has played more than a few rounds with us and has regularly wowed us with his photographs. We would have guessed him an artist, rather than a neurologist, from the caliber of his photography. We will miss seeing him on the courses and we will truly miss his amazing photos. Yet, as much as that is true, we expect the Hospital for Sick Children will miss him even more. We wish Alvaro all the best on his return home, where we know he will continue his important work. Buen viaje, amigo!


Brad & Eric Scott

Brad Scott has played Osprey Valley for as long as it has been in existence. He began playing here when Heathlands was our only course, and has been a regular visitor ever since. As you might imagine, his love of golf and enjoyment of Osprey Valley has rubbed off on his son, Eric. It has been our great pleasure to see the two of them out on the courses playing together.
Eric Scott on Hoot - 2015
Eric Scott on Hoot #7 in 2015

These days, Eric has become even more passionate about golf than his dad, even giving up baseball to focus on golf. He has entered - and performed well - in several youth tournaments. Those of us who have raised teenagers know that one of the often trying realities is that they tend to outgrow things - shoes, clothes and, yes, even golf clubs. After a recent growth spurt, it was obvious to both men that Eric’s clubs were no longer making the cut.

Brad contacted us in May to ask if we had any rental clubs available for sale that might suit Eric.  We invited them to visit us on Titleist fitting day so that our Director of Golf, Bob McClure could properly fit Eric. With a hand from our great friends at Titleist, Bob took a look at Eric’s swing and came up with some fitting notes.
Sizing Up Eric's Swing
Sizing up Eric's swing

As you know, Osprey Valley is committed to supporting younger golfers. Our Kids Golf Free program is just one of the ways we are trying to help grow the game. Inspired by Eric’s dedication to game we all love, it was our honour to donate the set of rental clubs to Eric in celebration of his passion, and in hopes that we can play a small role in helping him be the best that he can be.
Mow and Go in Hollywood
A Day in the Life of
Toot Assistant Superintendent Aaron Hill
Mornings come early on these long summer days and so do golfers. With a group of eight scheduled to tee off on Toot at six a.m., it is imperative to get ahead of the job list and keep moving. It is a “mow and go” day: get the job done and keep moving. A flat tire beside the #1 green is not how Toot Assistant Superintendent Aaron Hill hoped to start.

Even while waiting for aid from the maintenance building, there is plenty to do. Aaron supervises and works with his team on the green and surrounding bunkers, while his sidekick, an energetic black lab named Bauer, tags along.

It is Friday and the warm sunny weekend ahead will see more golfers and a smaller staff. The focus for the next two days will be keeping up the quality and Aaron wants everything to be perfect. Today’s job is to do everything necessary to make that possible.
Pitching in on the greenside bunker
Aaron and Bauer pitching in - raking a greenside bunker on Toot #1

Each of the courses at Osprey Valley have a very different look, play and style. And those individual styles determine how each course is maintained. Toot's North American Parkland style features lush greenery and the immaculately manicured "golf course look" that people expect from a high end facility.

“I’m very picky,” Aaron admits. He wants everything to be “prim and proper” every day and is very specific with his staff regarding his mowing directions, instructions on how to rake the bunkers and even how the rakes are placed once the bunkers are done.

“On Fridays we get out and mow everything,” Aaron says, “greens, collars, aprons [the areas on front of the greens], fairways and tees.” Every bunker on the course will get a full rake as well. Toot’s high lipped, sharp edged bunkers are a big part of the character of the course. The banks around the bunkers are cut weekly with hovering mowers and the edges are vertically trimmed.

“I’m very strict with my mowers,” Aaron says. With the course’s different types of grasses, sharp lines and elevation changes, precision is necessary.
Aaron inspects a green on Toot
"I'm very picky" - Inspecting the green mower's work

A precise cut also requires precise machinery. Even a slight variation - one cutting reel slightly higher or lower than the other two - can severely impact the look. “If something is wrong, it’s usually a call to Jay.”

As if on cue, head mechanic Jason Sharples arrives with a replacement tire. He is, Aaron says, “one of our busiest employees on a day like today,” when all three Assistant Superintendents have their game faces on. There is time only for a warm greeting and the tire is replaced with a speed and precision that would satisfy a NASCAR pit crew before Jason heads off to his next call. Aaron heads off for the second tee with Bauer sprinting happily alongside his cart.

On days like this, the staff sometimes pulls double duty. “That’s what I do when I don’t have enough staff for every job,” he explains. Today, the staff member normally in charge of changing pin placements, setting up tees and filling ball washers has the added responsibility of cutting the collars around the greens. “Even if you don’t have full staff for one reason or another, every job still has to get done.”

Despite his focus, Aaron maintains an warm, easygoing style with all of the staff he encounters. “I have a good bunch of kids this year,” he says. “They care about what they’re doing.”

Maintaining perfection on Toot is his number one priority, but it doesn’t come from cracking a whip. Aaron’s believes  maintaining relationships and focusing on teamwork results in quality. “If you talk through things with your staff and work with them, they don’t want to let you down.”

Osprey Valley is the third golf facility at which Aaron has worked. He spent three years at Otter Creek during the construction and opening year. It was, he says, where he “fell in love with the job.” Next, he spent four years as an Assistant at the Ridge at Manitou, a beautiful course near Parry Sound. There, he fell in love with the Muskoka lifestyle, living on Lake Manitouwabing and enjoying the water every day.

It made it hard to leave when an opportunity opened up at Osprey Valley Golf, but Caledon was closer to home and the opportunity to join a larger organization with three courses was a chance to take the next step in his professional development. We are lucky to have him.

“In Osprey Valley, golfers are guaranteed to play an awesome course, no matter which course they play,” he says with pride. Still, Toot has a special place in his heart. Parkland courses may be more common in Ontario than wasteland courses like Hoot or traditional links courses like Heathlands, but Toot has a distinctive character that refuses to be overshadowed.

According to Aaron, the course “speaks for itself” in terms of playability. It’s generous fairways can be forgiving of mistakes, but the approaches can be rough if you are too far out of position. With more tee positions to choose from, an average golfer can come out and enjoy their day, while low handicap players can challenge themselves and new players can get through the front nine without getting beaten up.
Coordinating with Superintendent Dave Hunter
Coordinating with Superintendent Dave Hunter

Busy Fridays also mean that everyone pitches in. Today, Dave Hunter, Superintendent of both Hoot and Toot, is helping with irrigation and tells Aaron about some sprinkler heads he replaced earlier. Keeping everything watered is “one of our biggest battles right now,” Dave says. “We’re hitting mid-June and it’s dry, dry, dry. We keep missing the rain, it seems to always go around us.”

Like Aaron, Dave is accompanied by his own traveling partner, a laid back golden lab who seems to be a counterpoint to the energetic Bauer. Together, they make a very potent Goose Control Unit and lope away through the tall grass towards a nearby irrigation pond while Dave and Aaron confer. When the two men part, Aaron returns to his cart to find Bauer, drenched and dripping from a morning swim in the pond sprawled across the seat. Pushing him over to his side of the cart, Aaron smiles. “This is why we bring towels”.

“I want to show you one of my personal touches,” Aaron says on the back nine. Upon arriving in Caledon, he was struck by the simple beauty of the rock walls and cedar rail fences, which remained in and around the old farms. They inspired him to add a cedar fence railing along the cart path on Toot #14. It adds to the great visual from the tee boxes in a very organic way. As Aaron says, “It ties in with that Caledon vibe.”
Cedar rail fences on Toot #14
Cedar rail fences along the cart path on Toot #14

“I like to add something to every golf course I work at,” Aaron says. “Dave let me run with the idea. I appreciate that.” Other cedar rail fences have since been selectively added around Toot and it speaks to the success of his idea that a few have even popped up on Heathlands.

Toot lies at the north end of Osprey Valley, far removed from the main maintenance building. As a result, Toot has it's own building, atop a high point overlooking most of the course. Around OVG, this building is known as "Hollywood."

Aaron explains: “It’s a little bit more relaxed up here. There’s less commotion [than at the main building]. The mechanics work there and there are two courses run out of there. That’s like New York City. This is the Hollywood Hills,” he says, enjoying the view  of the the rolling Caledon terrain. “We may not have the same facilities as the other one, but I love my little shop here in Hollywood.”
Hollywood OVG
Hollywood, Osprey Valley

As with each of the Assistant Superintendents, Aaron’s responsibilities extend beyond his golf course. In his case, it involves maintaining the grounds of the nearby Scott estate, owned by Osprey Valley and leased to a local trout fishing club.

Here is another big expanse of grass to cut, trimming around the pond edges and around the club and patio. It’s a fitting job for Aaron, an avid fisherman. One of his concerns about leaving Muskoka was thinking that he wouldn’t be able to fish as much anymore. He was thrilled to discover the beautiful stretch of the Credit River running through Osprey Valley. While he has fished the trout club ponds, he prefers the river.

“To catch wild trout in the river is more exciting for me. I’m on the Credit once a week with Scott Brook [Superintendent of Heathlands].” Between them and their fishing buddies, Aaron reckons they have fished every bit of the river on the property, including some fantastic sites that nobody else knows about (and nobody will, so don’t ask). “It’s paradise. I love it.”

According to one fishing buddy, Cam Shaw, Assistant Superintendent at Piper’s Heath Golf Club, their fishing hobby has grown into a “borderline obsession.” The group was recently profiled in the Ontario Golf Superintendents Association publication in an article entitled, “Pretty Fly for Some Turf Guys.”
Pretty Fly for Some Turf Guys
Article from OGSA's "Green is Beautiful"

Aaron has come to love the lifestyle in Caledon so much that “sometimes it doesn’t even feel like a job.” It is a physical job with long hours, but it’s no problem to someone like Aaron raised on hard work in a farming community (Tillsonburg) where he became used to early mornings and watching the sun rise.

Being a little closer to home has also paid off as he hoped. Aaron is going home to see his family this weekend. A Father’s Day trip to the beach in Dad’s ‘69 Mustang is in the plan … once the work here is done, anyway.

After the morning tour, it is time to stop by the clubhouse to check the day’s tee sheet for updates and to pick up a coffee to go. Upon returning to the cart, he finds an excited Bauer, clipped to the cart with a leash, being taunted by a red squirrel in a nearby tree. “We better go,” he says. “Bo loves geese, but red squirrels are like his crack.”

Five minutes away on the 18th fairway, Bauer appears calm at last and Aaron releases him from the leash. The subterfuge ends and Bauer explodes, making a beeline for the clubhouse and his furry nemesis. Aaron shakes his head. “I’ll be back in a minute,” he says and follows.

Aaron plans to be a Superintendent someday. He is still young, but experience and confidence gained at OVG have made him a believer. “Osprey Valley is a place where, if a problem comes up, the first solution is to fix it,” he says. The hands on mentality develops problem solving skills. Superintendents Dave and Scott are a big part of that. With such a big property to take care of, they encourage their Assistants to take on added responsibilities. The mantra is that something surprising and challenging is going to happen every day. “Bring it on,” Aaron says. “We can do it.”
Read 'Pretty Fly for Some Turf Guys'
Feeling Patriotic? 
Try a Canada Day Watermelon Refresher
Celebrate our nation’s birthday in style with this fabulous red and white slushie, guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face!
 
Instructions:

Peel the watermelon and chop into one inch cubes.

Place chunks onto a parchment lined baking tray and freeze for about two hours.
To save time, this freezing can be done weeks ahead, just put the frozen pieces into a freezer bag when you’re done and they will keep for up to three weeks.

When it’s party time, add the watermelon, zest, lime juice, maple syrup and vodka to a blender. Blend until smooth (leave chunkier if you’d like more granita style).

Pour into a rocks glass and top each with about 2 oz of the fizzy Prosecco or Champagne.

Garnish with a wedge of lime or a slice of watermelon rind which doubles as a swizzle stick! 
Ingredients: 

1 large red seedless watermelon 
Zest and juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp maple syrup
6 oz. vodka 
1 bottle of dry Prosecco or Champagne 

Watermelon Refresher
Osprey Valley Golf
18821 Main Street
Caledon, Ontario
L7K 1R1
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