From the Club Captain
The meteorological date for Spring this year was the 1st March; however, the astronomical date of the 20th March seemed to be more realistic when you consider all the snow we have had. The course was closed for only 4 and 2 days respectively and very few courses in the County can say their course stood up to the conditions better than Alresford.
Regrettably, we had to cancel our annual match against the County Juniors and the Spring Texas Scramble, both of which succumbed to the severe conditions. Due to the popularity of the Scramble, it has been re-scheduled for Sunday 22nd April, even though it does clash with the Tylney Park mixed match. The men’s home match against Alton was played in extremely cold weather on the 21st March, finishing only hours before the snow arrived. The 3 – 1 win by Alresford was most welcome following the loss last year and a draw in the previous year.
The sheep, having reduced the rough over the winter months, have now been removed by the farmer. We now have the difficulty of looking for our ball in the long grass, rather than having the frustration of looking at our ball sitting behind the electric fence – just out of reach again!
The 41st Club Quiz Night on the 10th March was a great success with 84 members and guests taking part. Thank you to Kit Neilson for preparing yet another excellent quiz and Carol Roe and her Committee for the organisation. Congratulations are due to the winning Tin Hut team, comprising of Tony Hutt, Jan Harring, Chris Thompson, Ed and Fran Tinley who achieved an impressively high score. I have noted in my diary who I should quiz with next year! The evening kicked off with some excellent food and our thanks to Chris Pullinger and his team for this.
Golf was not the only casualty of the weather because the St Patrick’s Night Dinner had to be cancelled. I am pleased to see that Chris Pullinger has planned more lunch and dinner opportunities for us to enjoy over the coming weeks. From my own experience, I know, it’s best to book early and I would imagine that the Murder Mystery on Saturday 21st April is a case in point.
Part of the Captain’s Statement of Intent committed to, “introduce pace of play guidelines and appropriate initiatives aimed at enhancing player enjoyment”. The Captain’s Committee have, therefore, agreed to trial the following measures over the next 6 months; –
Positioning a larger bell on the first fairway, nearer to the green and having a sign on the tee to state, “NO teeing off until bell sounds, irrespective of length of your drive”. It is hoped that this will reduce congestion on the course, promote a smoother flow of play and ensure safety for those golfers on the fairway.
Amending the sign on the 10th tee to state, “Starting your round (including rejoining the course) from here is NOT permitted if players are anywhere on the 9th fairway”. This will also apply to 2 ball games.
Clarification of the ball chute system, noted in the March Fore Info will be amended to state that, only match play games going down the 19th will rotate with groups queueing on the 1st tee. All other games (including those in a competition) coming off the 18th green will join the rear of the queue.
Pace of play guidelines and the protocol for calling faster games through will be covered in notices and leaflets.
The Captain’s Committee will review the above in September and agree which proposals they wish to retain. Any changes required to Schedule 3 of the Club Bye-Laws to accommodate these proposals, will be submitted to the AGM in November for ratification.
Captains’ Charity 2017 – Prostate Cancer Research
The nominated Captains’ charity for 2017 was Prostate Cancer Research. The magnificent sum of £13,200 raised was the result of hard work by the Captains; Andrew Frearson, Jean Coveyduck and Geoff Proctor, and many others within the club. This donation also reflects the enormous generosity by our club members.
Last month I asked for the rain to stop… well it did, but along came the ‘Beast from the East’, not once but twice!! There is an old saying… be careful what you wish for!! I have now learnt my lesson.
I would like to welcome 2 of our winter members who have decided to join us permanently, Caroline Warne and Jackie Coulson, we are very pleased to have you with us. Also, a warm welcome to Jo Youngs who is joining us from 1st April.
Obviously, the snow and cold weather has hampered our matches and games this month. However, I caddied for Rosie in the Maple Leaf, Windlesham away match… and goodness didn’t it make me glad to be a member of Alresford Golf Club. Our beautiful course might have to close for snow but, we are so lucky to be on chalk with such good drainage. Rosie and the team had to play in conditions which I believe were almost unplayable. Mud, wet, surface water and all bunkers GUR because of the water in them. We were all glad to get back home, and absolutely everything had to be washed!
The weather was kind to us for the Ladies Coffee Morning. With around 68 Ladies attending from many clubs, our course was the envy of many of them. The day was very well organised with a great raffle which almost raised £300 for the Captains Charity! The feedback from the Ladies attending was very positive, many of them attend every year and also look forward to our Christmas Bazaar and golf in November.
Linda Wager and Karen Fox represented us in the Daily Mail Foursomes. This match was supposed to be played at Corhampton, but due to the conditions of the course, it was moved to Alresford (see what I mean!). Our two put up a great fight but sadly lost on the 20th!
I look forward to seeing you all at the Spring Meeting on the 17th April (please sign up if you haven’t already) and at the Vets and Ladies Breeze up on 5th April. Our Friendly matches get under way this month and Sue is already doing a great job with team selection and organisation.
I wish our Stoneham Cup Team all the best as they start their campaign with 5 matches in April. The Home matches are on Sunday 15th April against The Army and Wednesday 25th April against North Hants. Please come and support, if possible. I also wish our Maple Leaf team ‘good luck’ in the last of their games.
So finally, as I write this the sun is out, the daffodils in the garden have come back to life after being covered in snow… and I really hope, finally, Spring has sprung. I had a lovely game at Broadstone, yesterday, where to our delight a handsome fox ran across the fairway, chasing my ball… he took off with it but then turned back, looked at us (Sally, Mary and Rosie) dropped the ball and ran off! Amazing!
Match Committee Report
R&A 9-hole Championship
This year we be participating in the R&A 9-hole Championship. We will have a qualifying competition on 27th April and the leading two players will be entered as a pair to England Golf who will offer the chance to play in the Final to the 10 leading pairs in the country based on their combined Stableford points.
The Final will involve 42 amateur golfers from the home nations and will be played on the morning of Saturday 14th July at Carnoustie, 5 days before the start of The Open.
The Final will be played over the first 4 and the last 5 holes of The Open Championship course.
Players must have a CONGU competition handicap and the maximum handicap for men is 28.4c and 36.4c for women.
Only one player of the pair can be under the age of 18.
The Final will be contested by Stableford with placings determined by team net aggregate scores. This will be a qualifying competition for handicap purposes.
The Final will be preceded by a dinner at Carnoustie on the evening of Friday 13th July.
All finalists’ travel to and from Carnoustie and accommodation costs for the night of Friday 13th July will be paid for by The R&A.
Immediately after play on Saturday there will be a closing lunch and presentation of prizes.
9-Hole Championship Qualifier
Our qualifier for the 9-Hole Championship will be on Friday 27th April. We have chosen a Friday so that 5-day members can also participate. The pair put forward to England Golf will be the leading two players who meet the entry criteria defined by the R&A.
9-Hole golf and ‘ready golf’ are being promoted by the R&A and England Golf to encourage more people to play golf by considerably reducing the perceived amount of time a round of golf takes. With 9 holes taking 90 minutes or less, people may find, for example, they could play before or after work. With this in mind, we will be trying out a different procedure for signing in for this competition.
Our qualifying competition is open to all members with a CONGU competition handicap.
Sign-in will be done using the terminal in the Entrance Hall only. There will not be a sign-in sheet in the Pro’s Shop.
Sign-in for the competition will be available 1 week in advance of the competition date. (You can sign-in for the competition anytime from 20th April.)
The entry fee will be £1.50.
The entry fee should be placed in an envelope with your name on the outside and ‘posted’ into the Office.
On completion of your round, please enter your score into the terminal in the Entrance Hall. Score Entry will be available until 9:30pm on the day of the competition,
You can only enter your score if you have previously signed-in. Sign-in and Score Entry are date and time-stamped. If there is too small an interval between the two time-stamps, your score may be discarded.
This procedure should allow players a lot of flexibility as to when they play. We plan to run more 9-hole qualifying competitions over the summer and the entry procedure for those will be based on the above.
Grant Thorne wins the Winter Eclectic!
Grant put in some great scores with birdies on 14 holes, one eagle (8th) and three pars (12th,16th,18th). So that was a gross score of 53 over 10 rounds. We deduct 1/2 of handicap and Grant plays off 5, so that’s a net score of 50.5. Impressive and one of the best eclectic scores in recent years. Close behind and good enough to win in some other years were Steve Pratt and Dave Seager, then Josh Evans. Last year’s winner Richard White was 6th equal. It’s tough at the top with 21 players under a net 60 and 31 players at net 60 or below. Prize winners are listed in the Results section and the full list is on the notice-board.
Congratulations to William Holmes who won both rounds of the Lifeboat Stableford with scores of 40 and 41 points. William started with a handicap of 13.8 on the Friday and by Saturday afternoon his handicap was 10.3 – a reduction of 4 shots to his playing handicap! Thank you to everyone who played in the Lifeboat Stablefords on 23rd/24th March as we raised £255 for the RNLI.
A Look at the Rules
Is free relief available under Abnormal Ground Conditions (Rule 25-1) for bird damage on the course?
So… (as we academics always start a sentence with…), this month marks the beginning of the season proper, and finally I have something to write about apart from New Zealand and the weather.
Welcome to all our new players who have joined the section this year. I hope to be able to meet you all early in the season. If you do have any issues you want to discuss with me please do get in touch.
We started our season in the traditional way with the Captains vs Vice Captains match, the teams being drawn by our tournament organiser Wynne Tufnell (not me). This caused something of a revolution in the history of the section, in that the victors were not, as is traditional, the vice captain’s team. It was a narrow victory but a victory nonetheless. More to the point, it was a fine day and the golf was enjoyable, so a great start to the year.
The first match of the season against Corhampton at home led to a fine result, with Alresford winning 6 and a half to a half. Again, the weather was amazingly kind to us considering what it had been throwing about all week.
Most recently we had a loss against Petersfield, 4 and a half to 2 and a half. However, the highlight of this match did belong to an Alresford player – Brian Overton – who scored a net 60. Congratulations to him. I understand he is still struggling in the wake of his brilliant wife Mandy who has had a net 59 recently – so still something to aim at there, Brian.
Some of you may also have seen on the notice board my guidance on pace of play. In the most recent home match, all four-balls came in at just a little over 4 hours, which is great and shows that we don’t have a major problem with slow play in general. But it’s worth being aware of the etiquette especially in matches. So please have a look. I plan to send it as an attachment to all players selected for matches – and to the opposing captain as well, for his information.
As I write there are sign up sheets on the board for the next 6 matches, and there are still spots available for the vets and ladies breeze up. We have already welcomed two new member to the teams this year, and if you have not played in a match before you will be given preference and paired with an experienced match player to show you the ropes. So don’t be timid, give it a go, its great fun.
If you haven’t already done it, put the 9th August in your diary and invite a friend to come and play at Alresford in the Vets Invitation. At only £40 for a pair it’s unbeatable value (most invitations cost twice that amount) and the prizes will be fantastic this year, courtesy of our sponsors Bluebird Care. So don’t miss it.
…from the Secretary
Welcome to the following new members who have all joined the club starting during March / April so far; William Rice (7 day), Gerry Collard, Jo Youngs, Ben Green (5 day members), Chris Clayton, Caroline Warne, Jackie Coulson, Ashley Gregory, Graham Foulkes, ( 7 day members from Winter members ) and Ewen McGregor (5 day member from Winter member).
We hope that your time at the club will be a long and enjoyable one for all of you.
May I remind all members that we are welcoming new membership enquiries for all categories? If you know any friends or acquaintances who are thinking of joining a club or changing clubs, please do your best to sell them the benefits of Alresford.
Special Member Refferal Offer
Refer a new 5 or 7 day playing member and receive An EXTRA £50 credit on your bar card.
Speak to the Secretary for more information.
Club ‘Roll Up’
Fancy a game in the week? All members are welcome to come along to the ‘club roll-up’ on Wednesday mornings. The usual start time is 11am all year round but may change subject to any advanced tee reservations. Up to date timings are shown on the main noticeboard and on the website.
Wednesday 4th 10.30am (due to golf society)
Wednesday 11th 11.00am
Wednesday 18th 11.00am
Wednesday 25th 11.30am (due to golf society)
Wednesday 2nd 11.00am
Wednesday 9th 11.00am
11.00am (mid-week stableford
Members ‘Meet & Greet’ evening
The Captains invite all new members (including HPLS) as well as existing members to join them on Friday 6th April 7.00 -8.30pm for drinks and nibbles.
Please RSVP to the office if you intend to come along. Partners welcome.
Re-Arranged Spring Texas Scramble
Sunday 22nd April
Shotgun start @ 8.30am
If you were unable to play last time – please feel free to join in this time! Sign up in the foyer.
Teams will be re-drawn if necessary
£10 per team payable on the day
All 7 day members (incl. HPLS) with h/caps are welcome to join in .
Sign up in foyer – draw will be posted on 16th April
Forthcoming Events Your Diary
Monday 2nd April
BANK HOLIDAY MIXED FLAG COMPETITION
– now available to 5 day members
Saturday 21st April
MURDER MYSTERY EVENING
– limited tickets available – Don’t miss out !
Sunday 23rd April
ST. GEORGE’S CELEBRATION LUNCHEON
Friday 25th May
X COUNTRY SCRAMBLE
SUNDAY LUNCH CARVERY
Members guest green fees Special Offer
Due to the continued success of this scheme, we will offer the GUEST GREEN FEE DISCOUNT OFFER again in 2018. Over the course of the season bring either 6 guests for £135 or 10 guests for £225. These will be available ONLY from the Secretary in advance (not the pro shop).
Please be aware that all ‘visits’ must be used by 31st December 2018. No refund or extension will be given on unused ‘visits’. Normal restrictions apply.
Friday 8th June – Seniors Open
Entries are welcome from Alresford members to this successful annual event. Each year our Vets are allocated to single entries to help ‘show them around’ the course and make them feel welcome on the day. We receive many positive comments because of this. Alresford members entry fee is reduced by £10 to ONLY £24 which includes a 2-course luncheon and prizes.
Entry sheets available from the Office.
Separate prizes for Alresford members and visitors (1st, 2nd and 3rd places plus NPs).
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It seems the norm to comment on the weather early in every report and although this month is no exception, it was, nevertheless, exceptional. We had 2 separate heavy by southern standard snowfalls. This did justify the decision made regarding Greens Maintenance as outlined last month. Still very pleased with the winter projects completed.
The greens committee have completed the Course Policy Document and it now awaits approval by Mancom. Harry Dhand started this project and it has only taken me 15 months to complete it! Seriously, Harry has done a terrific job over the past (almost) 6 years. With this project completed, Harry has let go of my hand and retired to convalesce and recover from his double hip replacement. Very best wishes and many thanks Harry.
AGC have received an unsolicited invitation to join a dialogue with fellow chalk downland courses. This highlighted how rare such courses are in England with an estimated 30 out of 2,000. I was reminded of how lucky we are with our chalk downland course when 9 of us visited a West Midlands Golf Club between snow storms. Both courses were totally waterlogged and although one was open, it was certainly unfit. We look forward to seeing where this initiative takes us.
The tree survey by the appointed contractor has been accomplished. I will publish this shortly along with our plan of action. We have not had such a review for some years and unsurprisingly there will be a need for remedial work.
The survey identified 81 trees requiring attention, marked with coloured spots as follows. RED spot (dangerous, fell) – 24. YELLOW spot (generally heavy pruning) – 47. BLUE spot (further investigation, serious?) – 10.
This is a mixture of good news and bad news. On the positive side, this is much better than we feared. Steve and team have identified and dealt with many of the problems over time and the consultant was very impressed with the tree management in house. The Red spot trees (mostly smaller trees that do not impact on the appearance and play of the course), must be felled as they are potentially dangerous. Steve and team have cleared 18 and we will arrange for a tree surgeon to take out the remaining 6. The attached photo of a felled tree shows typical damage.
We are delighted with the work on the 5th, 6th and 8th tees. The grass in front of the mats on the practice range will be repaired by seeding. We remain in the hands of the weather but are hopeful that full recovery will be timely!
As promised, a reminder about the divot party on the 19th April. This has made a significant difference to the quality of our fairways over recent years. Please meet at the clubhouse 9:00 for a 9:30 start. Bring a bucket and trowel! Full training will be given. Last year we covered the whole course in less than 2 hours and were rewarded with coffee and sausage rolls. Oh, and lush flat fairways for the whole summer! Please do come along and lend a hand.
A Look at the Rules
Yes, except in a water hazard. Relief may be taken in accordance with Rule 25-1b
Upcoming Social Events
Murder Mystery Dinner Show
Saturday 21st April 7pm
£29 for a 2 course meal and
an evening’s entertainment.
Your opportunity to rival Poirot,
Miss Marple and Holmes!
A quick reminder! Bookings must be paid for in advance. Latest date for cancellations and refund is 19th April, in which case please contact the organiser and the caterers ASAP.
Organiser: [email protected] / 07787 880751
Thursday Evenings ‘Fore’ Summer Social Golf
starts Thursday 17th May
Team Entry list now on Social Notice Board as well
as ‘Format and Rules’.
Form a team or join one with vacancies.
Members Weekly Roll Up
starts Thursday 24th May
This 9 hole competition commencing off the 10th tee,
will start on Thurday 24th May at 5pm. Prizes to be won.
Entry fee for those not part of Team Golf £2 per evening.
Please book in and select your supper menu if required.
Join in Summer Golf & Have Fun!!
If you are interested in taking part in any of these events please sign up on the board in the clubhouse foyer.
New to the club? On your own? Don’t know too many people?
Contact the Social Committee via [email protected],
a committee member will happily introduce you to a friendly face. Everyone is welcome.
The winners of the 100 Club
prize draw for April were:
£100 David Robertson
£50 Keith Monkhouse
£32 Charles Kydd
£32 Harold (Chubb) Young
£32 David & Mal Hope-Mason
£32 Keith Halls
Congratulations to this month’s winners. The next draw will take place in the week beginning 16th April … look for the list of winners on the Secretary’s notice board.
Not a member of the 100 Club?
The objective of the Alresford Golf Club 100 Club is to raise funds for projects and items requiring capital expenditure that will enhance the Golf Course and/or the Clubhouse. Such projects would generally be considered as ‘extras’ and not necessarily be within the Club budget. The 100 Club was launched in 1987 to raise funds to augment the Centenary celebrations of the Golf Club in 1990, but at the request of the members, the 100 Club has continued to raise funds for items such as the Information Board and Clock on the 1st tee and the Automatic External Defibrillator in the Entrance Hall.
If you’re not a member of the 100 Club, you can become one for as little as £1 per month. Shares in the 100 Club are purchased for £1 per month and there is no limit on the number of shares which can be held. In general, most members have between 1 and 5 shares and pay by monthly direct debit, though it’s also possible to pay quarterly or annually. Each share is allocated a number which in entered in the monthly draw. The top prize is £100, with a second prize of £50 and four other prizes of £32. For more information contact George Clelland on 01962 735008 or [email protected], or call in to the Secretary’s office.
Editor: Andy Thomsen
The Editorial Team take no responsibility for incorrect information received from Contributors.