Club & Course Closure
The Club and course have been necessarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions which have been imposed. I am really missing my golf and club community; and I am sure that is the same for all members of Alresford Golf Club.
Our magnificent Greens Staff continue to work to maintain our course and have organised themselves into two teams to ensure that they can comply with social distancing, and remain well. They are very well led by our Course Manager, Simon Justice; and supported by Chair of Greens, Bob Moore. We thank you all for your commitment which will hopefully ensure that the course can be brought back to provide suitable playing conditions in a reasonable timeframe once restrictions have been lifted.
Impact of Covid-19
The Personnel Committee and the Management Committee were able to ‘meet virtually’ on 30th March 2020, and both meetings were quorate with full agenda.
The Personnel Committee agreed recommendations to be made to the Management Committee in relation to the HMRC Job Retention scheme, which were unanimously approved. A further review by the Personnel Committee will take place in two weeks time.
At the Management Committee we obviously discussed the impact of Covid-19, the temporary closure of the Club, and the impact of lost revenue. The Club still carries most of its costs at this time, although we will get help with wages and salaries for Staff that are officially laid off. These are really difficult decisions for us all as there is a balance to be struck between taking care of our valued staff yet ensuring the Club is financially well. Chair of Finance, Ray Panter, is doing all he can to reduce our costs at this time and I thank him for many hours of line-by-line, detailed planning. Obviously, we do not know how long we will be closed, but whilst we are closed, we have no further income.
The Club was not able to agree terms to renew the HPLS scheme this year; despite protracted negotiations which reflected the democratic view of our members and the Management Committee. Once this was known; the Management Committee acted immediately and offered preferential joining terms to current HPLS members and current Winter Members, closing on 31st March.
I am delighted to report that 26 people have requested membership and they will become full 7-day members on payment of their subs. This is a huge vote of confidence in our Club, and I will be delighted to welcome them all to the Club when we are back playing golf.
Recruitment of a New Head Professional
The recruitment advert for our next Head Professional has gone live, and applications are coming in. A sub-group of the Management Committee will consider all applications and work to provide a shortlist of applicants to be interviewed by the entire Management Committee when this is possible.
If Covid-19 restrictions are lifted in a couple of months; we would hope to offer the role to someone in the Summer so that they can be ready to take over on 1st November as planned.
I really hope that my next ‘Management Corner’ brings much better news on the golf front.
However, let’s all continue to do everything we can in our homes to make sure that we are all fit and well for sunny days on the course… and lovely afternoons on the patio!
Do stay well!
Chair of the Management Committee
From the Club Captain
What a month.
For the first half, life continued as normal and with improving weather we all happily (I hope) played lots of golf. The men had 3 matches, managing to win 2 and halving the one against the County Juniors.
Then on Tuesday 17 March the world changed and we concluded we had to cancel inter-Club matches and internal competitions, while allowing play on the course to continue. While we were making this decision the County, men and women, were also cancelling their events/competitions.
As you are all aware we have now moved on – the course is closed and we must be good and stay home.
When our lovely course will re-open is anyone’s guess.
We must all do what the ‘powers that be’ tell us to do.
Let us hope that if everyone does the right thing we will beat this horror – sooner rather than later!
In the meantime – STAY SAFE
We started March with a well attended and popular Coffee Morning with Ladies from a dozen different clubs from Hampshire playing in teams of 4, Wynne Tufnell bravely started them off & fortunately this year the weather was perfect, a beautiful spring day, and the course was in fine condition, due to the unstinting efforts of our ground staff.
On the day, we made a good contribution through our ‘Tombola’ to the Captains Charity, the Winchester Hospice.
The same week the Mapleleaf Trophy should have been played at Farnham, but was cancelled due to their course being closed with several holes under water. It is still to be played.
We managed to play Windlesham at home with a satisfactory result 4 out of 5 winning, despite appalling conditions with hail stones covering the course at one stage. See pic.
Gill Fremantle our team captain was in a celebratory mood!
The start of our Friendly matches began at home with a new ‘triangular format’ with Hockley/Basingstoke. A glorious day & a wonderful result with Alresford winning. We played a couple of qualifying competitions with a Stableford & Lifeboat Medal until LOCKDOWN. Since then we’ve had glorious sunshine, but no golf!
Now suddenly we have a new vocabulary, ‘Coronavirus’, ‘Self Isolating’, ‘Safe Distancing’, ‘Furloughed’, ‘Zoom’ & we are all following advice from the powers that be, trying to ‘Stay Safe’.
It is true, we’ve sprung forward into unprecedented territory! As long as we all stay safe, I’ll be back writing for Fore Info ASAP.
Match Committee Report
Winter & Summer Knock-out Competitions
Hopefully most will already know that following the closure of the course on 23rd March for an indefinite period we have decided to suspend the Winter knock-out competitions and cancel the Summer knock-outs.
In detail …
- Both the Lombard 4BBB and the Winter Mixed Foursomes competitions are suspended until the course can be re-opened for play.
There were only 3 matches in the Lombard and 6 in the Winter Mixed so we hope there will be enough time for these to be played before the end of October. The play-by dates will be revised when the course re-opens.
- The Ladies Winter Foursomes has been completed.
- The Ladies Winter Foursomes Plate is suspended until the course re-opens.
- Men’s and Mixed Summer knock-out competitions – Wessex Salver, Ross Trophy, Company Cup, Cooper Foursomes, Rotherham Mixed Foursomes – have been cancelled.
We decided that, regardless of when the course is re-opened, it would not be possible to schedule the play-by dates for the Men’s and Mixed Summer knock-out competitions sensibly.
- The Esme Norris Vase has been cancelled.
- The Committee Cup and Evelyn Laming competitions are normally held later in the summer so a decision on these competitions will be taken later.
When the course re-opens for play we will attempt to reschedule as many of the Board and Trophy competitions as possible.
For the men we will also look to add in some more mid-week medals and Stablefords and Over 60’s competitions.
For the ladies we will take a similar approach.
We will do our best to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to submit as many qualifying scores as possible before the switch over to the World Handicapping System on 2nd November – of course this might now be postponed.
George Clelland & Gill Freemantle
A Look at the Rules
In a pairs stoke play competition, a player putts with their partner tending the flag stick. The putt is over hit and the partner decides to leave the flag in.
The ball hits the flag, is deflected and finishes 10 feet from the hole.
Is the player subject to a penalty?
Well at least it’s stopped raining! However, given what we have now, I would much sooner have the rain.
Let me start with some good news of an outstanding achievement
Alresford are the 2020 Wessex Seniors Winter League (WSWL) Champions!
Well done to all those Vets that played and contributed to this success and a very ‘special thanks’ to Robin Bashford who arranged all our fixtures.
After two rained off games, our third attempt to complete the final WSWL match against Royal Winchester was abandoned due to the threat of coronavirus.
Given the strenuous efforts of both teams to complete the fixture, and after much lobbying, the WSWL organisers agreed to the game being called an honourable draw.
As a result, the single point awarded to Alresford was sufficient to put us top of the table, level on points with South Winchester, but with a better away record. In a very magnanimous message, the Seniors Captain at SWGC accepted that the stand out team of the season was Alresford!
I can only but agree!
The traditional season opener for Vets golf, the match between the Vets Captain’s and Vice Captain’s teams took place on the 4th March in pleasant conditions with 40 Vets participating in 10 four balls matches.
Alas, even though the Captain, and his partner, Brian Overton, had a convincing win over Vice Captain Gareth Rees and partner, the Vice’s team won by the impressive score line of 7-3.
An excellent day overall, but not the result I had hoped for!
In a feeble effort to restore some credibility, I played with the Vice-Captain again a few days later and snapped the following pictures of him playing his third shot on the 12th.
Here is Gareth addressing the ball in true ‘professional’ fashion!
Followed by an expertly delivered glancing blow!
The ball’s resting place
Perhaps he would have done better with a “tree” wood!
On the 13th March, we hosted Corhampton GC for the first of the scheduled 39 inter-Club Summer Matches. I’m pleased to report that we managed a convincing win by 5-2 with several really strong performances, including:
- a 6&4 win for Tony Freeman and Alfie Le Marquand
- a 5&4 win for Keith Turner/Nick Duncan
- a 5&4 win for Roger Corkhill/Chris Thompson.
Well done guys – an excellent start to what may well be a ‘shortened season’. With much of our planned golf, including the ever popular Vets and Ladies Breeze Up now ‘on hold’, it may be some time before there is a great deal more to reflect on. So for now at least, I urge all at Alresford GC, and Vets in particular, to be ultra-careful and stay safe.
…from the Secretary
However members should be pleased to know that we have been working hard, and successfully, behind the scenes, trying to encourage our Winter members and HPLS members to upgrade to full playing members ready for when we can all resume playing again.
Remember – YOU, our members, are our best sales people. We need new members and have vacancies in all categories? If you know any friends or acquaintances who are thinking of joining a club or changing clubs or have new neighbours who have recently moved to the area, please do your best to sell them the benefits of Alresford Golf Club. Now more than ever we need your help to convert ‘interest’ into membership.
Course Starters & Rangers
We managed to begin the Starter and Ranger programme before the enforced closure, and it appears to have been well received by both visitors and members.
There still appears to be a huge number of members without bag tags and current year sticker. You MUST display a correctly coloured bag tag and ‘in date’ sticker. If you can not collect in person, contact the Office and we will leave for you to collect from either the Pro-Shop or Changing Rooms. It is really that simple ! Obviously we can not do that now , but I will remind you all when we are about to resume play,
For the roles to be successful and cover all the key times we require them, we do need a fairly large team of volunteers so as the responsibility does not fall solely onto a handful of people.
The role of a Course Ranger and a Course Starter are different roles and are required at different times, both during the week and day.
- The Course Ranger will be on the course observing pace of play, encouraging and acknowledging golfers, checking and monitoring for gaps in play with a soft checking of bag tags.
- The Course Starter provides a welcome at the 1st tee (individuals or societies), a polite check of tags and green fee receipts, advises on course signage, directions, etc and is there to control the starting point to the course.
If you are interested in helping out and assisting us with this service to our guests and visitors, please contact the Secretary. Full training and briefing will be undertaken before you are ‘let loose’. The more volunteers we have the less each volunteer will have to do.
Did you know that we have copies of the History of Alresford Golf Club available for purchase from the Office at a cost of £10. This is a fascinating insight into how the club was established and its transition from 9 hole course to the 18 hole course we have today. There are stories and memories from members past and present as well as photos. It’s a great coffee table book !
Thankyou to you all for the literally hundreds of kind emails, wishing the staff well and thanking us for the communications and information we have been sending out to you during this current situation.
It is at such times that we realise what a close-knit ‘community’ the golf club is in itself. Your comments are appreciated!
I sincerely hope that we all are able to stay safe and healthy during this period and that we can resume the sport we all love before not too long. Remember short term pain equals longer term benefit of being ‘out and about’ sooner.
Stay inside and help the NHS beat the virus!
The 4th and 13th greens are now open!
Just a shame the course is closed.
What a weird month we have had from the planned tree work, to gradual CV19 restrictions, to complete closure.
I’m happy to confirm our staff are all OK and still able and permitted to maintain the course. They are working some odd hours to achieve social isolation, but also help with their own childcare issues. We have also had some requirements to self isolate, but that seems to have settled down now. Guidelines have been issued on the essential maintenance allowed, which we are following. Simplistically, most of the furniture has been bought in and the greens are being maintained at winter height to allow them to rest and recover. They have been aerated and sanded.
Following endless rain the course is now incredibly dry such that the turf around the reworked 5th bunker needs to be watered by hand – thankfully our irrigation system is operational again! The photo shows the guys finishing off the bunker and the sand is now back in.
The tree work feels a lifetime ago already.
Everything has been cleared up and the stumps ground out. The yellow machine is what Stumpbusters use with the photo being taken near the Academy Course.
The areas where the stumps were will be soiled and seeded. We know, for some of you, that removing trees is quite traumatic but we are very hopeful that the increased light and air around the 16th in particular will allow the remaining trees to flourish.
Our greens are in good shape with the roots now double the length of what they were last year. The last fungicide to be applied was at the end of January so the systemic approach being followed is paying dividends. The new hand mowers arrived towards the end of last season, so weren’t used very much. Before the course closure the hand mowing appeared to make a marked difference to achieved green speeds so you are likely to see more of them. As always it’s a balance of time and resources with our main goal being to achieve consistent speeds around the course.
The new bunkers have settled in nicely with the turf taking very well. They have been edged and fly-mowed and just need a top up of sand.
The photo shows a relatively new grooming brush we have.
This will be used on the fairways to aerate and
rake out dead matter before being fertilised. The fertiliser is a slow release type so should continue to work for the next 4 months and set us up nicely for the summer. The relatively steep sides of the new 13th tee will be seeded in due course.
The sheep have now left us, doing so with more of a “bark” than a “bite”!
New “Beware Steep Drop” signs have been positioned on the 7th and 8th tees.
The seeded extension to the old 1st tee chipping area has now germinated.
The soil mounds on the range and at the back of the chipping area will be seeded in due course to improve perspective.
Our Greenkeeper of the Month is Mick.
Also Level 2 qualified, whilst he has “formally” been with us since the summer of 2018, he goes back a lot longer than that.
You have possibly aimed at him on the range whilst he was collecting the balls!
He is also very good with mechanical things and helps Adam out with maintaining our course machinery.
He also services garden machinery with a family history involved in their hardware store in Medstead that is now sadly closed.
Chair of Greens Committee
A Look at the Rules
Once the putt is made, the flag stick must not be left in by the, partner or caddy to deliberately deflect or stop the ball.
The winners of the 100 Club prize draw for April were:
£100 Carol Clark
£50 Tinneke Ribbink
£32 Peter Wallis
£32 George Hand
£32 John Allen
£32 Chris Thompson
Well we have a draw for this month despite the difficult times so thank you to David for doing it remotely – and congratulations to all our winners. I hope a little win might cheer you up if you are at home and unable to go out. All being well the next draw will take place week beginning 20 April.
At present we don’t of course know what will happen to events scheduled in the Club diary but a date to keep free in the hope and expectation that we will be able to resume normal activities is Friday 24 July. This is the date for 100 Club Salver Stableford Competition and Evening Meal and is a week earlier than usual so mark it now and keep the day free!
Keep fit and well everyone.
What is the 100 Club?
The Alresford Golf Club 100 Share Club was started in 1987 to raise
extra funds to support and enhance the club Centenary celebrations which took place in 1990. Almost £5,000 was added to the Centenary Fund – a fantastic contribution. It proved so popular that members who had joined chose to continue the scheme indefinitely. The ongoing objective of the 100 Club was then agreed as being “to provide funds for capital expenditure to enhance the Golf Course and/or Club House”. This is still very much the objective and projects supported by the 100 Club would generally be considered ‘extras’ and not necessarily within the Golf Club budget. Many items have been purchased over the years with the new rattan patio furniture being the most recent. In recent years the 100 Club has purchased the drinking fountain on the 4th/15th holes, the finger post signage, the Information Board and Clock at the first tee and the automated Defibrillator in the Entrance Hall.
So, can I join the 100 Club?
Yes of course. New members are always welcome and so as a Golf Club member you can actively contribute towards future enhancements to the facilities on the Golf Course or Clubhouse whilst having the opportunity to win a monthly cash prize. Or why not increase your existing shareholding for an even better chance of a prize. Shares can be purchased for £1 per month paid for by Standing Order and there is no limit on the number which can be held – most members have between 1 and 5 shares. Each share is allocated a number which is entered into the monthly draw with a top prize of £100, with a second prize of £50 and four other prizes of £32. For more information contact Pat Wallis on 01420 564417 or [email protected], or call in to the Secretary’s Office.
|Men’s & Mixed Competitions|
|29th February – Men’s Medal|
|1st||Mark Pyne||65 (nett)|
|2nd March – Over 60’s Stableford|
|1st||Graham Marshallsay||39 points|
|1st||Dudley George||39 points|
|7th March – Men’s Stableford|
|1st||Kevin Lane||40 points|
|1st||Louis Parker||38 points|
|11th March – Mid-Week Medal|
|1st||Chris Spicer||63 (nett)|
|15th March – Famous Grouse Greensomes|
|1st||Richard West & Graham Marshallsay||64.0 (nett)|
|2nd||Roy Torbett & Mel Exton||64.2|
|3rd||Graham Foulkes & Terry Waters||64.8|
| Ladies’ Competitions |
|March Stableford – 7th/10th March|
|Div 1||Jill England (Winter)||41 pts|
|Div 2||Mal Hope-Mason||30 pts|
|Div 3||Elaine Sutherland||28 pts|
|March EG Medal & Lifeboat Charity Day – 14th/17th March|
|Div 1||Kathryn McLaughlin||Nett 73|
|Div 2||Jane Macrae||Nett 73|
|Div 3||Chris Hall||Nett 76|
It was Anthony Newley who wrote the musical “Stop the World – I Want to Get Off” and I would hazard a guess that we are all at that stir crazy stage now. It’s a great shame that all the events planned for the coming months have (rightly) been ‘put on hold’ until we get back on an even keel.
Thursday night Team golf, in its normal guise, will not go ahead, but do keep an eye out for when things change for the better as we are ‘primed and ready’ to try and get something going as soon as the ‘green light’ goes ‘on’.
The Motown night, luckily, has been moved to the October social date, so plenty of time to ‘clean up those moves’ before you gets to ‘strut your stuff’ around the clubhouse dance floor.
The message from our Social Committee is please keep safe until we can all get together again and believe me the clubhouse re-opening party will be quite an event.
Team Golf 2020 – The 9-Hole Evening Summer League
Sadly not possible as you will all be aware by now, however we did cancel the two Championship rounds ie., the first and last evenings of the Summer programme some two weeks before the complete shut down.
The League, which could start as late as mid-June was postponed only, just in case this dreadful virus attack has been virtually brought to an end by then and all restrictions lifted. There would then still be time to play a few rounds if sufficient members were interested.
Failing this we look forward to getting back together for the 2021 season.
We wish you every good fortune to stay fit and healthy ready for the resumption of play. The sooner the better!
Team Golf Manager
…the sheep’s write to reply
So long, farewell auf wiedersehen, goodbye – Apparently Not!
Bet you thought you had seen the back of us, but we are still hanging around … … and something seems to be up!
Where the heck have you all gone? One minute the suns out and we are ducking balls left, right and centre, next thing nobody. Luckily for us the lovely greens staff are around to keep us watered.
We did manage eventually to find out what was going on from someone on the path. We understand the course is shut now due to you humans having to keep away from each other. From what we have seen of your golf that is normal behaviour, one you hits left, then right, and the other vice versa. The other issue we have heard talked about is the lack of toilet roll available, is this why you have to keep away from each other? Maybe there is a lack of deodorant as well.
We as sheep like to keep really fit and active and we assume you do as well. So why not get in your garden with a golf club and keep that swing going smoothly with what you could call stir-crazy golf, things like:
- dead-heading daffodils with a wedge,
- getting the club head as close to the hanging baskets as possible,
- hitting a ball against your conservatory window
- taking a big divot out of your lawn (and blaming the grandchildren)
On a serious note please all look after yourselves and we’ll see you next year.
Editor: Trevor Hodgkinson
The Editorial Team take no responsibility for incorrect information received from Contributors.