PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 5:18 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Almost heaven perhaps, in John Denver's day, but almost hell now as unemployment and environmentally unfriendly land management has created a state, mostly scenically beautiful, but infused with the sense of economic hopelessness that makes it ground zero for the US's opioid epidemic and a poster child for the rural, poverty-stricken America that got the president it wanted.
But it's unlikely (presumably) that even trickle-down economics fans and climate-change deniers expected that trickle-down mountain streams would turn into raging rapids as historically torrential rains last June created widespread flooding, perhaps accentuated by deforestation as mining companies tore the tops off hillsides, which plunged The Greenbrier's corner of the State into a scene of watery devastation.

2).The Greenbrier is a yuuuge resort, dating back to the 1770's, developed with help from a British designer, as so many grand North American resorts were, a hundred years ago, by a railway company (which morphed into CSX Corporation). The resort gradually fell up on hard times in the 1990's until, through a series of transactions, (now West Virginia Governor) Jim Justice ponied up $20M of the wealth he'd developed in farming and mining to acquire and revitalise the place. It's now a year-round resort featuring golf, tennis, fishing, falconry (Kes?), poker and high end "real estate", advertised by the likes of Messrs Faldo, Watson (Bubba and Tom) and Mickelson.
By 2010, Justice had persuaded Timmy Finchem to bring the PGA Tour here, to play on a CB McDonald 1913 design, the Old White, which had previously hosted the 1979 Ryder Cup and 1994 Solheim Cup.

3).The only major sporting event in the State, "The Greenbrier Classic" had to be cancelled as the courses there were overwhelmed by the flooding; 23 people were killed, neighbourhoods were wiped out, and motorway bridges were washed away. In the middle of all this stood The Greenbrier resort, evacuated except for emergency workers and displaced families. No golf to be seen.

4).Fast forward to July 2017 and all is on schedule for the seventh running of The Greenbrier Classic; only two Americans, Stallings and Ted "The Wizard" Potter, have won as Appleby's 59 in 2010 led champions Blixt, Cabrera and Danny Lee into the history books.

5).Bubba Watson will once again be here, hoping to resuscitate a career that has hit the skids since winning Riviera almost 18 months ago and almost following it up two weeks later. Without a Tour top four finish since then, he's at risk of missing out on FedEx Play-Off qualification - other "notables" who still haven't secured Play-Off places include:
Zach Johnson, Harris English, Jimmy Walker, Ryan Palmer and Furyk.

6).Among Europeans in that boat are McDowell, Lowry, Kjeldsen and Harrington, all of them in Europe for the next fortnight, so not able to improve their position.

7).Last week's Quicken Loans tournament was a bit like watching a F1 race with the safety car out for 63 holes before the action suddenly sprung to life.
The leaderboard was musical chairs on Sunday with Aussie rookie Curtis Luck having a momentary lead, Martin Laird being tied, Rickie Fowler coming up fast until an untimely water-ball, Sung Kang missing a short birdie putt because he was discombobulated and drenched by a sudden downpour without his brolly, until finally Charlie Howell and Kyle Stanley crossed the line together - two superb ball-strikers with omni-present putting issues. In the circumstances either would have been a worthy winner, two golf junkies who don't quite have the short game to reach the next level - in this case Howell blinked and Stanley won for the second time.

8).Two things on that Sunday caught my attention:
*A sudden cloudburst caught the players unawares, most having believed the weather forecast and left umbrellas and rain gear in the clubhouse. What morons! Can't imagine Tour caddies not ensuring their "man" had at least a brolly.
*On the driveable Par-4 14th hole, the golfers on the green waved up Ogilvy's two-some, and Geoff promptly whacked his tee-shot into the drink as he complained he was being rushed. Surely the players are not obligated to accept the invitation when being waved up? We see that at the 15th at Hartford all the time, but it's pretty much standard practice there, but I can quite understand Ogilvy's complaint - 'course, he shouldn't have hit if he didn't feel ready, but that's hindsight.

9).There's a weak field at The Greenbrier but some guys with "previous" are there, including Bill Haas, Webb Simpson and Kisner. Patrick Reed seems to be playing every week these days; he's scored Top 25's in seven of his last eight efforts, climbing about 50 FedEx places in the process and will surely beak through soon or wear himself out. Possibly both.
Europeans in town include Luke Donald, on a course which should suit him, and Seamus Power who once again had a nice tournament going last week before a disappointing Sunday - of the 13 cuts he's made this season, his worst round of the week (and in some cases second worst too) has come over the weekend. Evidently a promising player, but really needs to play solid golf for four days if he's to fulfil his early tournament promise.

10).Who will find "Almost Heaven" this week, in the winners' enclosure? I kinda like Kisner and 2015 winner (so defending champion) Danny Lee, whilst two rank outsiders worth a tanner each way might be Willy Wilcox and 2012 winner, and subsequent invalid, Ted Potter, a porky left-hander with masses of innate ability but lousy luck with injuries.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 10:45 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 4:06 pm

super's 33 days of leave is surely at the high end?

I know I'm ancient, but the British-based multi-national that I worked at for 21 years only coughed up about 21 days (as at the time I left), which seemed to be plenty.
And that was without the US prevalence of sick days, personal days etc, etc. Not to mention useless days off in the winter when surely no-one wants them.


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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 4:12 pm

I always wanted them for skiing Kwin!

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 4:38 pm

Think the law says 20 days minimum in the UK

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 4:43 pm

Super's 33 days is average for the Oil industry, but well above the norm. Public sector are usually 30+.

Of course this all pales into insignificance compared to our European colleagues who tend to enjoy 35+ days plus many more national holidays etc. France, Netherlands, Scandies all seem to spend more time on holiday than at work. Have always been jealous!

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 6:58 pm

My 33 days include public holidays which are added to your entitlement.
Never worked anywhere where 26 days plus wasn't the norm.

My Scandi colleagues get or rather take a lot of time, mostly go home about 3 in Norway and Denmark and you'll never see any of them throughout July.

I have trouble spending them all though, last year took off virtually all of December. My least favourite month of the year.

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 8:17 pm

Shotrock wrote:13 days for both vacation (holiday) and sick time? Not the norm for new hires in our industry, which my company needs to match. That combined number is 22 for new hires, work 5 years and add 7 days.

Still, point well taken.

I think that was for the first year and then it increased to 15 days inclusive. After 5 years it increases to 20 days and after 15 years another 5 days get added. That's for non-managerial positions, managers have another 5 days on top of that. I think everyone starts on 15 days now.

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 10:08 pm

How can anyone have decent productivity when they companies are so parsimonious with holidays? Has America never heard of work-life balance?

It shows little regard for their employees in my opinion.

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 8:14 am

raycastleunited wrote:Super's 33 days is average for the Oil industry, but well above the norm. Public sector are usually 30+.

Of course this all pales into insignificance compared to our European colleagues who tend to enjoy 35+ days plus many more national holidays etc. France, Netherlands, Scandies all seem to spend more time on holiday than at work. Have always been jealous!
And yet most of them are more productive per hour worked than we are. Something to be learned there, but unlikely it'll penetrate the relevant thick skulls.
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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 8:14 am

1GrumpyGolfer wrote:
Shotrock wrote:13 days for both vacation (holiday) and sick time? Not the norm for new hires in our industry, which my company needs to match. That combined number is 22 for new hires, work 5 years and add 7 days.

Still, point well taken.

I think that was for the first year and then it increased to 15 days inclusive. After 5 years it increases to 20 days and after 15 years another 5 days get added. That's for non-managerial positions, managers have another 5 days on top of that.  I think everyone starts on 15 days now.
Does anyone else find this absurd?? The more 'important' one is, the more time off one gets. Totally ridiculous.
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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Roller_Coaster on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 9:25 am

navyblueshorts wrote:
1GrumpyGolfer wrote:
Shotrock wrote:13 days for both vacation (holiday) and sick time? Not the norm for new hires in our industry, which my company needs to match. That combined number is 22 for new hires, work 5 years and add 7 days.

Still, point well taken.

I think that was for the first year and then it increased to 15 days inclusive. After 5 years it increases to 20 days and after 15 years another 5 days get added. That's for non-managerial positions, managers have another 5 days on top of that.  I think everyone starts on 15 days now.
Does anyone else find this absurd?? The more 'important' one is, the more time off one gets. Totally ridiculous.

But a decent manager is needed less, only the poor ones need to be there more often.

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 10:04 am

navyblueshorts wrote:
1GrumpyGolfer wrote:
Shotrock wrote:13 days for both vacation (holiday) and sick time? Not the norm for new hires in our industry, which my company needs to match. That combined number is 22 for new hires, work 5 years and add 7 days.

Still, point well taken.

I think that was for the first year and then it increased to 15 days inclusive. After 5 years it increases to 20 days and after 15 years another 5 days get added. That's for non-managerial positions, managers have another 5 days on top of that.  I think everyone starts on 15 days now.
Does anyone else find this absurd?? The more 'important' one is, the more time off one gets. Totally ridiculous.

Navy, I haven't known anything different. I worked at HSBC in London between 1996 and 2000, it was the same principle there.

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 11:18 am

Roller_Coaster wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
1GrumpyGolfer wrote:
Shotrock wrote:13 days for both vacation (holiday) and sick time? Not the norm for new hires in our industry, which my company needs to match. That combined number is 22 for new hires, work 5 years and add 7 days.

Still, point well taken.

I think that was for the first year and then it increased to 15 days inclusive. After 5 years it increases to 20 days and after 15 years another 5 days get added. That's for non-managerial positions, managers have another 5 days on top of that.  I think everyone starts on 15 days now.
Does anyone else find this absurd?? The more 'important' one is, the more time off one gets. Totally ridiculous.

But a decent manager is needed less, only the poor ones need to be there more often.
How convenient...
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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Plunky on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 3:07 pm

I always assumed that managers were given more vacation days to make up for the fact that they were never truly on vacation. There are always emails that can't wait, fires to put out from a distance, etc when you're out of the office. That was certainly my experience.

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 3:11 pm

Sounds reasonable, plus they don't just do 9-5 like the rest of us do a lot of. Long days, high level of responsibility and other things make them worthy of more holidays.

That's also why I hate it when people say that they think bosses get paid more than the lowest member of staff.

I dread to think how much my boss makes, but I wouldn't begrudge him it because he carries the can for failure.

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 3:21 pm

super_realist wrote:Sounds reasonable, plus they don't just do 9-5 like the rest of us do a lot of. Long days, high level of responsibility and other things make them worthy of more holidays.

That's also why I hate it when people say that they think bosses get paid more than the lowest member of staff.

I dread to think how much my boss makes, but I wouldn't begrudge him it because he carries the can for failure.
All true enough, but wayyyyy too many scheiss managers around who move from one car crash to another with no problem at all, ticking boxes on their CV. Too many institutions driven by managers who have next to no idea what the issues actually are - NHS anyone? Need to save money? Sack staff, close departments - takes a lot of 'management' training that. Yep, got a Management Degree - I know it all....
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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 3:56 pm

I think part of the problem in many institutions is that there are far too many managers and levels of management.

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 11:15 am

raycastleunited wrote:Super's 33 days is average for the Oil industry, but well above the norm.
Closer to 365 now, or?

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 12:15 pm

Still working Pedro, in fact even have a new job to go to in two weeks. (certainly worth having redundancy insurance though)

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Re: PGA Tour: Almost Heaven, West Virginia: Notes from the Ballwasher

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