Updates on Adjusted Club Operations
From the Desk of our Owner, David M. Spirk
April 1, 2020
I am hoping that this letter finds you and your family safe and healthy.
The world is a much different place than it was only a few weeks ago. What the new normal will be one or two months from now is unknown.
When the COVID-19 coronavirus concerns first arrived in our country, we at Steel Club were at the forefront of implementing greater sanitizing processes, social distancing/interpersonal initiatives and personal behavioral practices. As a result of every request of America's President and Pennsylvania's Governor, we responded immediately. In the restaurant & bar, by St. Patrick's Day, that meant halting the eat-in operation for a greater emphasis on To-Go. On the golf course, at first, we practiced zealous cart sanitizing among other things. Then we stopped the golf operation altogether, yet continued access to our beautiful 280-acre grounds for exercise and psychological rejuvenation.
Unfortunately, at this point, we must stop access to golf playing areas. The reasons are threefold: One, given the combination of the Governor's Executive Order which included the non-essential business shutdown, the Stay at Home Order and the most recent Disaster Declaration, we are feeling more pressure to promote only passive exercise on our campus; Two, we are being vilified by some in the community, including through social media, who believe that we are open and, in fact, promoting poor social distancing/interpersonal actions; Three, there are so many people every day clogging the playing areas that our Superintendent, Don Zeffer, and his crew cannot effectively maintain the golf course property to our standards.
As a result of the above, until further notice, we ask that there be no golfing on Steel Club property. Please be assured, as a dues-paying golf member, that your year-round investment will continue to be attributed to maintaining our beautiful golf course. I have instructed Don and his crew to ramp up their work output to levels never before seen in the month of April. The result will be an even better playing experience on an already outstanding golf course property.
In Don's own words, "It is a Superintendent's dream to prepare a golf course in early Spring without material and labor limits or the interference of players on the course." His plans include aerification of greens, tees and fairways including the deeptine and verticut of 27 greens, 2 chipping greens, the nursery, and the practice putting green; Refurbish the bunkers including the clean-out of bad sand, rework of subsurface drainage tile, sculpt sand & set proper depth, edge bunker perimeter, treat for weeds and spray banks with a wetting agent; Formalize collection areas; Remove stumps around tees & greens; Overhaul the underground irrigation system; Treat the golf course wall-to-wall with crabgrass preemergent; Make initial green, tee and fairway fungicide applications; and Spot spray broadleaf weeds.
By going above and beyond the typical April work, we will likely skip Fall greens aeration this year and have very little "agronomy driven" interruptions throughout the prime golfing season. The bottom line is that we all want to get back to golf as we know it as soon as possible with the most beautiful and best-manicured course. In that regard, please know that we have asked the State for an exemption as a non-essential business closure to allow normal play with social distancing guidance along with cart disinfecting protocols. Unfortunately, a green light to open this month is unlikely.
Obviously, under the current Executive Order through April 30th, the Clubhouse continues to be closed including all Ballroom member-wide events, individual member parties and various business meeting room rentals. Our popular restaurant & bar is also closed to inside sales, though you may enjoy our BeamYard menu including beer and wine To-Go. The To-Go has been surprisingly robust with great member support. Remember, it's the same great food, it's 10% off the typical menu pricing, there is no 18% gratuity added, and it applies to your minimum.
In closing, please remember the Club is still your place of respite and relaxation. Don't hesitate to visit, grab a breath of fresh air and take in the beautiful views. If you wish, walk or hike the Hill with your family, spouse or by yourself. Let the Steel Club 280-acres be a stress-free spot to wash from your mind, if only for a short time, the terrible pandemic gripping the world.
Wishing you and your family good health,