The Management Committee met informally in December and again with a full and formal agenda in January.
The planning for the Clubhouse Development continues with Trevor Pearce joining Sue, David and me on the Sub-group as P&D pass the baton for next stages. Fortunately, the feedback from members alerted us to historic problems with the Greenkeepers’ rest facilities, sanitary conditions and statutory facilities which are not good. We must now include an update to these facilities within the development as we will need to allocate budget to this.
Members and Visitors Golf
The new golf season is only a few months away now and we are making preparations to ensure that Members’ golf is prioritised but we also recognise that income from guests, visitors and golf societies is essential for the Club.
At the AGM I appealed to all Members to ensure that their bag tag is attached to their bag, and not somewhere in the boot of their car. Admittedly, I was a repeat offender having rarely displayed my member’s tag but am now in complete compliance.
Such has been the uptake for member’s tags that David had to place a new order with the supplier, so I am really pleased that we will all be looking good by the end of January.
So, with member’s tags in place we can now identify visitors by exception and ensure that they have an appropriate bag tag, for; a paid green fee, a reciprocal round or as a HPLS golfer. We would not, of course, expect to issue bag tags to visitors playing matches.
David and Graham Marshallsay are working hard on arrangements for our new Course Marshals; Around 10 club members have shown interest in helping us to manage golf traffic. We will have a friendly, yet important, deterrent in place to ensure that only bona fide golfers take to the tee. Do let David know if you would like to help out
The Management Committee is currently in discussion with HPLS over a review of the current scheme and with particular regards to changing the access and controlling the numbers taking part in the scheme for the coming year. We have also considered the times at which guests and visitors can play, given that we must prioritise members at busy times, and of course ensure that guests and visitors have paid their green fee before playing on our course. Final details will be shared when we have them, this is work in progress but will be in place for this year’s season.
After more than 12-months of planning by Paul Batty, Brian Wright and others in the House Committee, we have accepted a competitive tender to update the Club’s boilers which provide us with heat and hot water. David and Sue Masser, the new Chair of House, benefitted from their expert planning and a sound tender process resulting in a great deal for the Club. The boilers are moving from their current location and should provide us with a far more efficient, up-to-date system.
From the Club Captain
Last month I mentioned the upcoming Mens match against the County on Sunday 16 February.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of this match – it would be wonderful to see lots of you on the day giving your support to this ‘milestone’ event.
The end of Dry January has arrived only it’s been the wettest ever!
We, the Ladies Committee, decided last year that playing ‘qualifiers‘ in Jan/Feb was not viable. So roll-ups & non-qualifying competitions would be run every Tuesday. These have been popular with many of you turning up, whatever the weather, and enjoying at least 9 holes. If some of you haven’t joined in yet there is always a member of the Committee on duty between 9-10am in the Hall with a cheery smile ready to fix you up. Last Tuesday, for example, was played as a ‘waltz‘ and although the day dawned with sub-zero degrees, we had a good 18 ladies, some excellent scores … … and eventually a very bright sun!
Please look on the notice board and sign up for the Esme Norris Knockout Competition if you haven’t already. The Friendly Matches forms are also in the folder on the Captains board. Di Peisley will be looking forward to making sure you all get a game … … remember it’s the ‘fun of participating’, not the winning, so please don’t worry about your state of play. Just come and enjoy yourself!
I’m sure Burn’s night will be well covered by George in this edition but I would like to mention that he organised the evening with ‘sleight of hand‘, it was a great occasion with all elements combining beautifully and the Pullinger Catering Duo coming up trumps with tasty haggis neaps & tatties. Not to forget John in his kilt balancing a rather precarious tray of Whisky and poor Tracy not getting home till 2.30 am!
The second leg of the Winter Triple was played at Alresford at the end of Jan, starting out in blue sky the adverse weather quickly gathered speed and all 6 teams were completely drenched by the time they finished. The final leg will be at Corhampton when we have some catching up to do!
All the Ladies will join me in wishing Vicky & Ian Macintosh and also Lynne & Steve Cowser positive thoughts; Quite a few of our Ladies are coming up for Ops – more of them later.
The snowdrops are almost out and the days are getting longer (when it’s not raining) roll on February!
Match Committee Report
The last day for playing league matches for the Winter Leagues is Sunday 23rd February. On Monday 24th the winners of each group together with the relevant runners up will be calculated and the draw for the knock-out sections will be posted on the notice boards. In addition, the draws will be published on the website. Please remember that both parties in the draw are equally responsible for arranging the match and make sure you take note of the closing date for each round.
The entry sheets for all the Summer Knock-Outs are in the Pro’s Shop. The closing date for entry to the Wessex (Men’s singles), Ross Over 50’s (Men’s singles), Cooper (Men’s Foursomes), Rotherham (Mixed foursomes) and Company Cup (Mixed singles) competitions is Sunday 8th March. The draw for all the competitions will be done on Monday 9th March in the Clubhouse. Remember that you must have played in at least 6 qualifying competitions since 1st March 2019 to be eligible, however note that there will be at least 2 qualifying competitions before the closing date for the Summer Knock-outs.
The Annual Review of handicaps for men has been completed and those whose handicaps have been adjusted have all been notified. The main objective of the Annual Review is to try and ensure that a player’s handicap is a reasonable reflection of their current playing ability so that they can compete equitably with everyone else. The assessment of playing ability is primarily based on the player’s qualifying scores over the past year, but other factors such as performance in match-play and other events are also considered.
We will continue to monitor members’ performance throughout the year, particularly those who are struggling to play to handicap.
Terms of Competition
We have posted an updated Terms of Competition which brings together information from the Club Diary and other notices into a single document. This new document specifies the general conditions under which competitions will be played. Any variation of these conditions for a particular competition will be listed on the Entry or Sign-up sheet for that competition.
Burns Supper 2020
A full house of members and guests sat down to our 28th Annual Burns Supper on Saturday 25th January.
A supper of traditional Scottish dishes – a duo of smoked salmon and smoked haddock, haggis, neeps and tatties, followed by Scotch Trifle infused with Drambuie, was expertly prepared and served by Chris and Kelly Pullinger and their staff.
As is traditional, the haggis was piped in by Iain Laird, carried by chef Chris and attended by John Murray bearing drams for the ceremonial party. The haggis was addressed with some gusto by George Clelland, then toasted and returned to the kitchen for serving.
The main speech and toast, The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns, was proposed by Alistair Gray who gave the audience a brief outline of Burns’ life and works from the hard graft and poverty of tenant farming to the sophistication of Edinburgh high society. The Toast to the Lassies and the Reply were given respectively by David and Mal Hope-Mason. David gave an amusing yet respectful Toast to the Lassies delivered completely in rhyme including the odd interruption from wife Mal. The roles were then swapped as Mal took to the floor to deliver a very witty reply, also in rhyme, including the interjections from David. The evening concluded with everyone giving a hearty rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
I would like to give my personal thanks to all those who contributed to the success of the evening. The dining room was prepared, and the tables dressed by Jennifer Clelland, Annie and Ron Beal, Len Lochrie and Graham Marshallsay. During the Supper itself, my thanks go to Len Lochrie for delivering the Selkirk Grace; Drew Fielden for proposing the Loyal Toast; Chris and Kelly and all the kitchen and serving staff; John and Tracy at the bar; our piper Iain Laird and of course, the principal speakers, Alistair Gray, David and Mal Hope-Mason
A Look at the Rules
A player finds their ball under a bush. Thinking they could play from that position, they check to see if a swing is possible and break a branch improving the area of swing for that particular shot.
They decide it’s not possible to play from the bush and take a penalty shot by playing from where the previous stroke was made under the stroke and distance rule.
Do they also get a penalty stroke for breaking the branch even though they did not play from under the bush?
The highlight of last month’s Vets golf has to be the emphatic home win against last season’s Winter League winners, South Winchester. The 3-1 score line reverses our disappointing result at South Winchester in November and places Alresford at the top of the Winter League table with two matches to go. Performance of the day was the convincing 5&4 victory handed out by Ewan McGregor and ex Club Captain, Brian Wright. What a pairing!
Thankfully, all the matches were completed before the expected monsoon arrived.
The Vets summer inter-club programme is now well set, thanks to the tireless efforts of Tony Freeman, the Vets Match Coordinator. Thanks Tony for pulling together all 39 summer fixtures. Quite some achievement.
Whilst on this matter, I would like to encourage all members of the Vets Section to consider putting their names forward for at least one of the upcoming 39 matches (19 home & 20 away games to choose from). As well as testing your abilities on some first rate and challenging courses in and around Hampshire, other than Alresford of course, you also get to meet and play with some really friendly and interesting seniors from other clubs. It would be great to see more Vets participating in these inter-club matches, so why not give it a go. To play individuals need to have paid their annual Vets subscription, have a category C handicap and, of course, be selected. Requests for players will begin appearing on the notice board mid-February for the March fixtures, the first one being Corhampton at home on 13th March.
Congratulations to Stuart Gaunt who came first with 38 point in the Pro’s Saturday Stableford on 25th January, pipping the Vets Immediate Past Captain, Drew Fielden on count back. Well done Stuart.
Alas, not a great deal more to report on this month. The focus, apart from the exciting conclusion to the Winter League competition, is very much on the lead-in to the new golfing season:
The opening event for 2020 being the Vets Captain vs Vets Vice-Captain team match on 4th March. The entry sheet for this is now on the Vets notice board, so please do sign up for this traditional season opener. Despite the Vice’s team traditionally winning this match, the last two years have seen the Captain’s team taking the honours. Needless to say, I will be doing all I can, legitimately and perhaps less so (watch out for dirty tricks Gareth!), to keep this trend going.
Some key dates to note in 2020:
Wednesday 4th March – Vets Captain vs Vice Captain match
Thursday 2nd April – Vets & Ladies Breeze Up
Monday 13th & 20th July – Vets Championship Rounds 1 & 2
Thursday 13th August – Vets Invitation
Vets Captain 2020
…from the Secretary
Welcome to the following new members who have all joined the club starting during late December and January so far; Lisa Mugford and Russell Smart (Academy), Jane Coleman (Social Extra), Christina Flood, Steve Flood, Anthony Briggs, Robin Cockram, Jamie Rowe, Mark Barter, Peter Chase, Barry Collins and Mike Skinner (Winter members).
We hope that your time at the club will be a long and enjoyable one for all of you.
Remember – YOU, our members, are our best salespeople. 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.
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 will be 11.00am all year – all timings subject to any advanced tee reservations.
Wednesday 5th ~ 11.00am
Wednesday 12th ~ 11.00am
Wednesday 19th ~ 11.00am
Wednesday 26th ~ 11.00am
Wednesday 4th ~ 11.00am (subject to Vets Capt v Vet V/Capt)
Wednesday 11th ~ 11.00am (mid-week medal)
Wednesday 18th ~ 11.00am (mid-week stableford)
Friday 14th February
Saturday 7th March
Kit’s Club Quiz
Sunday 22nd March
Mothering Sunday Luncheon
The Club are also offering to provide a ‘Sunday Roast’ for 4 on Sundays for just £20!
(except for Mothering Sunday or at any designated formal Sunday luncheons)
Saturday 18th April
Tickets on sale soon
Looking for a way to ease the burden of subscription renewal each year?
Why not join the ADVANCE SUBSCRIPTIONS SCHEME in 2020? Choose any amount to pay over 10 months towards your subscription bill in 2021. Build up a credit on your account which is offset against your renewal bill due 1st January 2021. Pay as much or as little as you wish. Speak to the Office for more details and to receive an ADVANCE SUBS mandate form.
Lets ALL look after ‘our golf course’ – it’s essentional for lasting enjoyment!
Maintaining the quality of the golf course for the enjoyment of all is good golfing etiquette, especially in winter as courses become more vulnerable to the elements. Looking after your golf course in the winter is largely a matter of common sense and preparation.
- If you can carry your clubs instead of using a trolley (especially electric trollies which are heavy) then please do so. Think about taking fewer clubs during the winter to help – it might make for a fun round with your friends?
- Stick to the paths provided. Do not take shortcuts across soft ground and if you do have to use a trolley or buggy then please keep away from the putting surfaces and bunker edges.
- Do not walk onto tees or greens unless you are playing on them.
- Observe ropes and other directional instructions installed by the green staff – they are there for a reason.
- Ensure your shoes are in appropriate condition for winter golf, i.e. spikes in good order. Clear any build up of frost or ice on the bottom of your shoes regularly – this not only stops you from slipping but it can avoid you making large indents into the surface of the green(s).
- Be careful not to damage the edge of the hole when removing your ball – this is very bad manners as it is directly detrimental to the enjoyment of your fellow players.
- Repair your divots in the fairway – they can take longer to heal in the winter!
- Use the divot mix on the PAR 3 holes – the Greenstaff will thank you!
- Be mindful and avoid taking a divot on a practice swing.
- Always rake sand bunkers after hitting to erase your footprints and damage to the area where your ball was.
- Repair your ball marks (and/or any others that you may see) on every green, as required.
The Annual Divot Party
Scheduled for Monday 20th April. The course will be closed until approximately 10:30 am. Coffee and sausage roll for all helpers. Starting at 8.30am. Please let us know if you can help out.
Starter/Course Marshall If you are interested in being a ‘Starter‘ or ‘Course Marshall‘ please let the office know. The more the merrier and less burden on those who have already volunteered. Dont delay – 2 training dates have already been set.
PLEASE NOTE CHANGE TO FRIDAY BAR CLOSING TIMES
Over the Winter / Spring period the Clubhouse (and Bar) will close on Fridays as per the normal weekday times, unless there is an event or pre-booked function. However, below is the current list of dates when the bar will be closed earlier.
Friday 21st February; Friday 28th February; Friday 6th March
Please check the club website and main noticeboard for changes to these dates.
Firstly an apology for saying 17a was going to be 150 yards instead of 115 yards; it was due to a misunderstanding! However if you have played it you will know it’s very challenging and illustrates the high standard attained by our greenkeepers on the Academy Course.
At last we have had a dry week and our guys have done really well with progressing the development works on the 13th. Grass is laid on the Tee top surface (which has been made as large as possible in the space available) and in the new swale. The Tee sides will be grassed when the soil has stabilised.
The large single bunker has been reformed into two smaller bunkers, although the positioning of the new ‘centre’ bunker was limited on being any further to the right by the irrigation pipe on the apron.
As I write our staff have started work on the 4th greenside bunkers. They will be reshaped and have the new lining material to improve drainage and ease of maintenance.
The ‘Back 9’ was closed for one day this month due to the 10th, 11th and 12th being very wet. We also had three days of temporaries as the main greens were frozen underneath followed by the thawing.
We have now replaced the previous “Frost Policy” with a more catchy “Course Restriction and Closure Policy”! This is on the noticeboard just outside the office, in the Starters Hut and, of course, on the Greens Page on our AGC Website.
As part of 1st Impressions we hope that the existing Starters Hut can be split in two and relocated.
- The ball dispenser and washer part will go on one end of the covered range, where the outside bay, which cannot be used, is located (due H&S).
- The other half, hopefully going on the other end, and being earmarked for the Range Ball Collecting Buggy.
- At a later date we envisage investing in a new and smaller Starters Hut. It would be really nice to have something that is more of a feature, perhaps a log cabin style with a shingle or thatch roof. Should anyone feel moved to help us financially with this, please do come and have a chat!
You might have seen some blue spray paint on the grass down the RHS of the 1st as well as just after the oak tree on the RHS of the 8th. Here, we are intending to plant around 12 new saplings that will be about 2.5m tall. In relation to this, I have been asked if Members can sponsor the new trees; simplistically the answer is ‘yes‘, with details still to be decided, but will probably be around £80 per tree if any members wish to get involved:
- The Field Maples on the 1st will provide some colour
- The Oaks on the 8th will replace some previously lost
The Greens Committee will be discussing the trees on the 16th again during February:
It was back in May 2016 that we surveyed the members about these trees with 60% in favour of us taking action:
- We need to revisit this being more aware now of poor ground conditions underneath the trees (water drip damage and shallow roots); large tree roots going under the bunker and green; poor condition of one of the trees on the RHS and a continued narrowing of the “chute” especially when viewed from the back of the white tee.
- You can be assured a balanced and “healthy” discussion will take place!
- We have Colin Luff booked for our annual tree maintenance check in mid March so more details in the March edition of Fore Info.
Our “Who’s Who” of Greenkeepers this Month is Adam our Deputy Course Manager.
He has been with us for 13 years now, is fully qualified and able to train and assess to Level 2 Standard. He got married last year and also has a 3 year old daughter. He enjoys maintaining and improving his own property along with additional garden maintenance, as time allows.
A record of daily rainfall is kept by our staff. It surprised me that we had more rain in 2018 than 2019! However, most of last years rain did happen in the final 3 months of the year.
Can you put the “Divot Party” date in your diary please? Monday 20th April. The course will be closed until approximately 10:30 with the usual giant sausage rolls etc being provided afterwards. More details nearer the time.
At our request the Council have put up some new footpath signs to help try and keep the walkers “on track”. We are also progressing more warning signs for both golfers and walkers to be aware of each other. Whilst we are all insured via the EGU, golfers also have a ‘duty of care’.
The large fairway bunker on the 5th LHS will be reworked this Winter. Basically the liner has failed. It’s position and design was discussed and won’t fundamentally change. But it’s condition and distribution of sand should be a lot better once the works are complete.
Have you noticed that the distance stones on the Tees have been spruced up?
All were pressure washed and carefully repainted by Mick.
A Look at the Rules
The player gets two penalty shots.
See Interpretation 8.1a/3
The winners of the 100 Club prize draw for February were:
£100 W Tufnell
£50 Mrs P Wallis
£32 G Clelland
£32 Mrs G Freemantle
£32 K Coburn
£32 Mrs S Masser
Congratulations to all our winners this month. Results are also displayed on the Secretary’s notice board.
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|
|28th December – Pro’s Stableford|
|1st||Paul Hutchison||44 pts|
|29th December – Pro’s Stableford|
|1st||Tim O’Connor||38 pts|
|11th January – Pro’s Stableford|
|1st||Dave Seager||35 pts|
|12th January – Pro’s Stableford|
|1st||Stuart Smith||38 pts|
|25th January – Pro’s Stableford|
|1st||Stuart Gaunt||38 pts|
|26th January – Pro’s Stableford|
|1st||Steven West||40 pts|
| Ladies’ Competitions |
|18th & 21st January - Divisional Competition|
|Div 1||Dorothy Shore||40 points|
|Div 2||Jenny Dillon||35 points|
|Div 3||Elaine Sutherland||39 points|
I must give a mention to Catherine Carberry who almost single handed organised the New Year’s Eve Dinner and Disco at the golf club. It was very well attended with a fantastic steak dinner from Chris in the kitchen and disco from our normal man on the decks, Riviera Breeze. Enough of what’s gone I am sure you want to know what’s coming up:
- Well first up is the Club Quiz on March 7th. This is hosted by our very own Kit Neilson, we have him do the questions as it’s the only way we can stop him winning it. Fish and chips will be available on the night so sign up for food on the social board in the foyer. The quiz will be £2.50 per head to enter (payable on the night) with a maximum of 6 players in each team, please try and bring the correct money if possible as it does help the organisers. There are questions in this quiz to suit every age group so bring along family and friends.
- The next event at the club after that will be a “Music Night” on April 18th when we will be having a night of dancing courtesy of a Motown Tribute Group called Soultown who will entertain us with timeless classics from the 60’s onwards. The sign up sheet will go up at 10am on the Saturday 7th March so get in there early to avoid disappointment.
- If there’s anything you think the club could do in the way of social activities, please don’t hesitate to buy me a Guinness and discuss your idea with me.
…the sheep’s write to reply
Blimey it’s been wet, I’ve never know it rain so much as it’s done this year.
We have spent the whole time laughing at each other about how bedraggled we look in our dirty woolly coats. We will have to wait until the summer and it warms up to clean up as we were told that you should wash woollens at 30 degrees!
I heard a golfer say to his mate the other day that he thought we looked bored. I’m going to let you into a secret, we have noticed that the lambs who skip round the field having a frolicking good time tend to disappear so it’s just a ‘lambfantile’ act – we all know not getting noticed is an important part of being a sheep! And yes … … it’s better to look bored than be as angry as you golfers who have all the gear, yet still can’t hit like Rory!
I have to remind you all that our pen is out of bounds – we were startled the other day when one of your older members lent over with a club to try to drag his ball back and caught his shaft on the fence … …
Sadly, we are only with you for another couple of months … … blooming typical, we eat all your rubbishy old vegetation and then you get rid of us just as all the lovely new shoots of spring appear, surely you’d like us to stay longer and keep the rough short so you don’t lose your golf balls!
I am often asked as a sheep what my favourite joke about our breed is and I have a few but if I had to pick a short one it would be:
“What do you call a sheep with no head and no legs” ……………..a cloud!
… … and my favourite longer story goes like this:
“A policeman in the big city stops a man in a car with a sheep in the front seat. “What are you doing with that sheep?” He exclaimed, “You should take it to the zoo.” The following week, the same policeman sees the same man with the sheep again in the front seat, with both of them wearing sunglasses. The policeman pulls him over. “I thought you were going to take that sheep to the zoo!” The man replied, “I did. We had such a good time we are off to the beach today!”
Editor: Trevor Hodgkinson
The Editorial Team take no responsibility for incorrect information received from Contributors.