By BRUCE MEADOWS
Changes at Valley of the Moon
There are some significant changes at Valley of the Moon Golf Club, as announced by General Manager Hilary Gruendle this past week.
Head Pro Chapman Dundas will be moving to a new position as Director of Instruction. And Khiana Schmuhl will be the new Head Pro.
“We are so grateful to Chapman and his hard work and dedication to get our golf operation to the current status,” said Gruendle. “”We know he is an amazing golf teacher and will do amazing things working with everyone in an instructor’s role moving forward.”
Schmuhl joined the VOM team early this month, coming to the Santa Rosa 36-hole layout from Sonoma Golf Club.
“I am very excited for my new role as Head Golf Professional at Valley of the Moon Golf Club,” said Khiana. “We have a great team in place and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together.
“The members and staff have welcomed me with open arms and have been extremely supportive during my transition. “
“Schmuhl was raised in Sonoma County and was exposed to golf at an early age, with her love for golf developed through the guidance of her half brother (Windsor Golf Director Jason Schmuhl) and found success competing for Analy High School.” said Gruendle.
Khiana, the Sonoma County League “Player of the Year,” has been a golf professional for seven years and has been an LPGA Class A member since 2020. She’s worked at Bodega Harbour Golf Links, Mayacama Golf Club and Fountaingrove in addition to Sonoma GC.
“Khiana is a welcome addition to our golf operation,” said Geuendle.
Errant balls prove costly . . .
Do you live on a golf course and have had occasion to have golf balls fly into your yard, hit your house or otherwise make living in that location a daily challenge?
Or have you played on golf courses surrounded by homes – not many of us haven’t been in that situation – and hit an errant shot that left the course and ended up in someone’s backyard, or worse, slammed into their house or roof?
If the answer is yes, you may find this story interesting.
Erik and Athina Tenczar were handed $3.5 million for mental and emotional suffering as well as damages by a jury after suing the Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston, Mass., according to court documents..
The total amount payable to the family will amount to just over $4.9 million after interest, according to court documents recenty released.
Shortly after the family purchased the home in 2017 for $750,000, the property “was repeatedly struck by golf balls hit upon information and belief from the 15th hole at Indian Pond Country Club causing property damage,” according to court documents.
The golf balls allegedly caused damage to the siding of the home, the family’s deck and broke multiple windows. The family claimed in the suit that these incidents devalued their home and property.
“The continuous threat of golf ball strikes occurring at any time prevents the Tenczars from the use and enjoyment of their property,” the suit said..
According to the lawsuit, the incidents would occur when the family “attempted to make regular and customary use of their deck and yard area, including as a play area for their minor child, and have even occurred on the front of the home in the area of their driveway,” where the family and guests would park their cars.
As a result, the family claimed they have been “confined during golfing hours in golf season to using the interior of their home.”
To help, the family “erected a wall to prevent injury” when sitting on their back deck, the suit said.
The family even tried to ask the country club to install “protective landscape or netting or to make other changes to the layout of the hole” in order to prevent this from continuing, according to court documents.
The family also obtained an estimate to install netting themselves, which would cost $55,000, according to court documents. Even with the cost, the company told the family the netting wouldn’t guarantee that golf balls would be kept from entering the property.
The privately owned country club, which opened in April 2001, informed police that the family “should have known of the problem before they bought the house,” according to court documents. However, the family claimed that the contracting firm failed “to disclose material facts concerning golf balls striking their home before it was sold.”
On the local golf menu . . .
FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 11:30 AM
Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s 20th Annual Golf Tournament
At Windsor Golf Club
Open to the public
“Polish up your swing for a great day on the green at Windsor Golf Course. Fun team and individual prizes, course activities and awards dinner included in the registration.
“Funds raised from this tournament provide advocacy, education, training, and services for the benefit of the agricultural industry, agricultural youth activities, and the community.”
Old is new again
Jason Cavanaugh started working at Fairgrounds Golf Course when he was 16 years old, picking balls on the driving range. After high school he began a new job as a greenskeeper and continued for five years before moving to Oakmont GC where he became an assistant pro after passing the Player Ability Test so he could become a PGA member.
In 2006, he returned to the “new” Fairgrounds GC (after two years closure to install the grass track) as maintenance supervisor. In 2011, he started working for Sonoma County Fairgrounds as event coordinator
. After a short time in Reno, “I am back here working for Tayman Park Golf Group to continue providing a first-class practice facility,” says Jason.
Let’s hear from you . . .
Thanks for your comments, questions, suggestions. I appreciate them and would like to get as many as possible. If you have information about anything golf-related, including upcoming clinics, activities, tournaments or sales, let me know. And if you have questions, complaints or compliments about golf in our area, let me know and I’ll make some inquiries.
If you have a golfer – pro or amateur — you know who you think would make an interesting story, tell me about it and I will take it from there.
We would be proud to include you as one of our sponsors – thanks to Bill Carson at Wine Country Golf for his continued support – so if you care to get some details about being a sponsor of GOLF 707, email me at email@example.com