Still going after more than 40 years
As the new editor, bored in lockdown and looking for ideas, I decided to read many of the old newsletters for inspiration.
The idea to start a newsletter came over 40 years ago from Brian Young in spring 1980, with the aim to improve communication between the committees and members.
Initially called ‘ALRESFORD LINKS’, the newsletter started off as a humble thrice yearly, 3 page newsletter written by Captains, Committee Chairs and polished with the help of Kit Neilson’s journalism skills as Editor.
Although we cannot technically claim to be a ‘links’ course, the name Links was used by locals to describe the land beyond Tichborne Down. In addition the original clubhouse was later the ‘Links Laundry’ and the ‘Links Cottage’ property on Tichborne Down has its golf club links, being owned today by a well known member!. Most importantly the name ‘Links’ described well the aim, to connect members to those running the club.
Although the internet had not yet been invented, it was possible with a typewriter and copier to produce regular newsletters and here are a few highlights of the first edition in 1980.
In his introduction Brian gave a hint to how the ‘healthy’ club finances of 1980 were achieved by “the clubs best member, the fruit machine”. Maybe a new idea for Ray Panter? Many of you may be unaware that Brian was a fruit machine fan and himself once cracked the jackpot and won £200 on the Wentworth Club machine. He complained when not all the money came out and needed their committee to intervene to pay him back.
The Greens Committee was in the capable hands of a certain David Harrison. Unlike Bob Moore, today’s chair, he had only 9 holes to manage. David however had the slight irritation of several greens needing replacement and a planned bypass. Luckily, he delayed green rebuilding as the old 9th green was soon concreted over as the new A31!
It also made me laugh to see David begging members for “any gifts of exotic flowering shrubs and bushes”. Last month Bob Moore did exactly the same (still not too late to offer…). Nothing changes and hopefully we will get the same generous sponsorship this time.
In those days the Social Committee, chaired by Robin Good, did not have COVID restrictions and put up a full calendar of events. Fancy dress disco, Film night, Pub Night, Quiz, annual BBQ and much much more. I am sure today’s committee would welcome your ideas too.
The Competitions schedule added ‘midweek medals’ and the inaugural ‘Husband and Wife Competition’ in 1980. This was also the year David Harrison became Manager of the England Boys Team, which later proved so successful.
The Newsletter proved so popular that it moved to monthly, went electronic and in October 2015 changed its’ name to ‘Fore Info’. Thanks to the many editors along the way, who gave their time and helped improve it to the enviable format you see today.
If you have ideas to further improve Fore Info, please email me at email@example.com or look me up on the club directory for a chat.
Unmasking our new General Manager
David Maskery in the interview hot seat
Although you know who David Maskery is, few probably know him very well at all. What follows is the first of my editorial interviews to uncover more beyond just the obvious golfing skills and good looks! I uncover his back story and he shares his aspirations for the club as our new General Manager.
So David, tell us about your background
I was born in Leicester but moved south when I was about 5 yrs old to Sherfield-on- Loddon near Basingstoke and then to Liphook. I went to school in Petersfield and then on to Roehampton Institute to study Sports Science and History. After leaving University, I started as a Lifeguard /Sports Assistant at Guildford Sports Centre. I progressed through several managerial roles at the Sports Centre (1985) and later in the massive new Guildford Spectrum Sports Complex (1993). This culminated in me becoming Operations Manager, handling many big national and international sporting events.
Which events stand out in your memory?
I can remember two big international basketball matches that I was involved with at the centre. Firstly, I remember having to escort the Macabi Tel Aviv Team around. I will never forget being a little nervous by the machine gun wielding Israeli Special Forces Security walking alongside us.
Secondly, I remember the box office mayhem when the Greek Olympiakos Team arrived to play the Guildford Kings. Hundreds of supporters were police escorted from the railway station to the venue all of whom had pre booked tickets. Not a security issue as such but complete confusion and uproar as all names were versions of what sounded like ‘Papadopoulos’ and our staff obviously spoke no Greek!
So when did you get into Golf Management?
Back in 2000 I started my first job in golf at the Oak Park Golf Club near Farnham. I was the General Manager of this 27 hole facility which at that time was operated by American Golf UK (not the retail chain). Although this was a great career step, the ownership changed and in 2003, I decided to move to a private golf club and came here to Alresford.
Tell us something that is ‘unique about you’ that none of us already know?
I am related to a previous Lord Mayor of London. As a privilege, I can access the Lord Mayors building where the Coach and regalia is kept.
I was once on security duty at the All-England Tennis Club, Wimbledon and had to radio in a potential suspect package resulting in the evacuation of the Centre Court, before play had started but just as spectators were arriving. It was a false alarm and turned out to be a briefcase left behind by a TV company who had been doing a players interview.
There are many golf clubs around the country. How do you tap into their experience and compare how we are doing?
I really enjoy being part of the Golf Club Managers Association (GCMA). Networking is key and it gives me plenty of opportunity to discuss specific golf club issues. We are all facing the same challenges today of COVID but also the ageing demographic and changing needs of the new generation golfer.
I really enjoyed my time as Captain of the Southern Region in 2010. It was great to get an even deeper understanding of the industry and give something back.
|Present Role||General Manager, Alresford Golf Club since 2003|
|Married||Julie (COO North Hampshire Hospital Trust)|
|Children||Callum (Studying International Relations and History, Exeter University. Currently on placement in Sweden)|
|Qualifications||BA(Hons) Sports Science & History (1985), Surrey University|
|Hobbies||Skiing, Golf, Cooking, Rugby Union Referee (Hampshire)|
School football, hockey, cricket and rugby teams
Guildford Hockey Club
County Table Tennis Player
Trumpet in Hampshire Youth Band.
So what differentiates Alresford from other clubs in the Southern Region?
We are more fortunate than many other clubs by the number of volunteer members who work in helping run the club as part of the committees. This shows good member engagement and it is something I want to even strengthen further in the future. Although it is not possible to accept every new idea from every member, we encourage you to get engaged and learn more about the running of the club and help shape our future.
It must not be easy dealing with all the challenges in a private members club. What annoys you most?
I rarely get really annoyed and try to stay calm, which is not always easy. I know members are stressed with lockdown but I often get questions about things that we have already addressed or answered in the weekly updates or Fore Info. Nevertheless, I accept there are many ways of communication and some still love the direct contact, which I believe is essential to maintaining a happy and welcoming club. For everyone else I encourage them to read the weekly updates and Fore Info to keep abreast of all the changing circumstances in these COVID times.
Customers or members being rude or disrespectful towards staff and committee volunteers always annoys me intensely. We all try to do our best and most people do not deliberately set out to do a bad job.
Although many other clubs seem to have bigger ‘slow play’ problems with some rounds taking over 5 hours, this is still an issue often brought to my attention. I believe it’s about awareness about what’s happening around us on the course. When I play, I try to stay aware of the distances in front and behind, the format of play of the group behind and whether they are big hitters, so I can speed up or let people through accordingly This often reduces the stress and helps me as well as others on the course. Something for us all to think about.
What is your biggest fear for the club?
People losing sight of the value of club membership. Although the club has been able to retain an almost full membership, my concern is always keeping a healthy membership level and the customer (member) well served and delivering what they want. That includes not just the facilities but the whole experience both on and off the course which makes for a thriving social and sporting club. With the closure of the bar/restaurant and COVID restrictions the reduced service offer of membership has affected the experience. My aim is to regain the clubs’ reputation as one of the most friendly and popular clubs with a first-class course in the region. We all have a part to play in influencing the club culture and atmosphere which is so important for prospective members and visitors.
What has been the biggest challenge of your job during the COVID pandemic?
The pandemic created an unprecedented situation for the Club and there was no operating manual. Although that was frightening at times it was a great challenge and I learnt a lot. We had to reinvent the way we operated, reduce costs and manage all the changes needed to keep members and staff safe. The move to remote working was challenging as a manager and I missed interaction with the team and members every day. With all the job uncertainty and changing government advice it was hard to stay focused. Thankfully we were able adapt and keep the club on a solid footing.
Looking back, it was a challenging time but very rewarding for me personally.
What are you most proud of?
All the staff have stepped up as a team despite all the COVID challenges in these stressful times. I used my industry contacts to learn from other golf clubs and make better and faster decisions. Keeping everyone updated weekly with all the changes going on, proved key. I must say I am most proud to have received so many positive comments and ‘thank you’s’ from members. Other golf club managers I know were not so lucky.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Somebody who made a real difference at the club. A nice person to members, customers and staff who enabled the club to grow and develop, strengthening our reputation and profile within the industry.
What are your aspirations for the club?
I believe success will come from continually developing the ‘whole club’ experience. The new clubhouse development is at the centre of this, enabling a step change in the social life at the club. I see this as the final piece in the jigsaw to elevate Alresford from a minor player to a ‘top 6’ player – a journey which began and has evolved over the last 15 or so years. This in addition to keeping up what is already a top golf course with some of the best practice facilities in Hampshire. This should further enhance our reputation in the region as being welcoming, friendly and the club of choice.
Quickfire Q and A
Favourite holiday destination? Mauritius
Your biggest golfing achievement? Won Captains Day here twice….
Your biggest golfing disaster? Teed off on 1st at Hindhead, ball hit teemarker and went back over my shoulder OB
Curry or Fish & Chips? Fish and Chips, but not for my waistline
Wine or Beer? Depends on situation. Nice wine in a good restaurant, Weiss beer as part of apres-ski after a hard day on the slopes or a cold beer overlooking the 18th green at Aloha GC, Spain.
Star Wars or Schitts Creek? Schitts Creek
‘50 Shades of Grey’ or ‘Gone with the Wind‘? Not for me…
The Beatles or The Sex Pistols? Sex Pistols
Kylie Minogue or Madonna? Kylie Minogue
Jogging or Driving Range Practice? Jogging – too much driving range practice makes me worse!
Boris Johnson or Maggie Thatcher? Maggie Thatcher
Leicester City or Southampton FC? Leicester City
From the Club Captain
Isn’t it good to have a date in the diary for our return to golf? That said, it is a diary that has had to be re-written. Following the Government announcement on Monday 22nd, the Captain’s Committee, working with the Match Committee, have made the following decisions.
Board and Trophy Competitions in March and April have been rescheduled to later in the year and replaced with medals or Stablefords. As 4-balls are likely to be allowed later in the year, more members will be able to compete.
Our most difficult decision was to recommend cancellation of several “prestige” events. All Opens and invitation events before June 21st are cancelled. These are Ladies Open, Men’s Invitation, Triumverate, Seniors Open and Mixed Open. We do still hope that the Ladies Invitation (29th June) can go ahead.
The main considerations were uncertainty around when 4-balls will be allowed, closing the course to members who have been deprived of golf for 3 months and catering being outside only.
Friendly fixtures will be cancelled until 4-balls and inside catering are possible.
At this stage it is also unlikely that the Pro-Am will take place this year.
The Men’s Invitation date of Sunday 6th June will now be Captain’s Charity Day so we hope many members will have a fun day. Details will follow, but expect a day combining serious golf and fun!
You will be aware that the Captain’s Charity Trip will be cancelled. Had it been 2 weeks later it might have gone ahead but we are where we are! Initial feedback from the tourists indicates an appetite to try to rebook the same event later in the year. Failing that, I will seek out an alternative. With 10% of our membership involved, I will need to be on my toes!
The weekly Captain-Pro Challenge will start when 4-balls are allowed. Full details when we launch, but we will be accepting challenges from any pairs.
George has covered other events and knockouts in his report. My thanks to him and the Match Committee for their hard work.
It was interesting (but not at all surprising) to find our 11th included in the 54 toughest holes of 2020.
While I don’t expect our 1st hole to ever appear on this list, it will certainly look very different when we resume golf. The work done by Simon’s crack team of greenkeepers has been supplemented by many volunteer members, led by Greens Chairman Bob Moore. A sprinkle of Mal Hope-Mason magic will add to the look!
This time next month I should be commenting on the resumption. I have booked the first lesson with Mark!
Onwards and upwards.
Editors PS. Picture below shows our Captain doing ‘dryish’ January
Greetings to all fellow Swingers, whom I am sure, like me, are desperate to be able to hit a ball again.
Due to Members extreme generosity 130 Craft bags have been organised and delivered, 60 to the Young Carers to be added to their Wellness Packs and 70 to the Carroll Centre.
Sadly the Ladies have had some arranged Matches cancelled, the Winter Triple, Friendlies with Bramley and Royal Winchester, together with the Romsey Tournament.
The Ladies Committee has also reluctantly made the decision to abandon The Winter Foursomes, the Birdie and Parr trees and the Summer Eclectic for 2021. Many thanks to Linda Wager, our Competition Secretary for all the work she carried out on the Winter Foursomes prior to cancellation.
The Maple Leaf Trophy matches were also abandoned at the beginning of February. Regretfully, Gill Freemantle, who has been responsible for the organisation of this Tournament over the past few years, is stepping down. A big thank you to Gill, for your dedication, hard work and extremely efficient organisation.
Despite the Lockdown plans are in in place for when we are able to play again. Members of the Ladies Committee, have been busy at work, behind the scene, attending Zoom Meetings, reviewing relevant documents, forthcoming events, and the New handicapping System in readiness for our hopefully impending release.
Over the past weeks it has been fascinating to see changes taking place on the course particularly on the first tee. One can only admire the tenacity and dedication of Simon and his team particularly during bitterly cold weather when the ground was frozen solid.
Congratulations to David Maskery, our General Manager, for his magnificent effort in keeping us so well informed during this difficult time and to Mark Wood, our Pro, for his interesting and informative videos.
Match Committee Report
The Winter Knockouts have been cancelled. Only one match in the league phase of the Winter Knockouts has been played and given the limitations imposed by the tee booking system plus the uncertainty of when 4 person groups will be allowed, we felt that it was impractical to continue with the competitions.
Summer Knockouts (Men & Mixed)
Following the Government’s announcement on Monday we’re now in a position to elaborate on the plans for the Summer Knockouts which were initially outlined in the last month’s Fore Info.
This article covers competitions for the Men and Mixed competitions; the Ladies Summer Knockouts, Esme Norris, Evelyn Laming and Committee Cup will also go ahead when play resumes. A separate communication will be sent to the Ladies giving details about these competitions and how to sign up.
As we anticipate a high demand for tee slots over the summer, we have decided not to hold the Cooper Foursomes and the Rotherham Mixed Foursomes this year. The Wessex Salver, Ross Trophy and the Company Cup will go ahead.
To complete these competitions by the end of October, the amount of time for each round to be played will be typically 4 weeks or less and the play-by dates will be non-negotiable. Also be aware that for at least the first two rounds the tee booking system and associated restrictions will be in operation. No exceptions for knockout matches will be given.
- Individual, match play, knockout competition for men with 7-day playing rights.
- Players must have a Handicap Index and have played in at least 6 handicap qualifying competitions since 1st March 2020 (Supplementary Scores and Casual Play Scores do not count).
Ross (Over 50’s) Trophy.
- Individual, match play knockout competition for men aged 50 and over on 18th April 2021 who have 7-day playing rights.
- Players must have a Handicap Index and have played in at least 6 handicap qualifying competitions since 1st March 2020 (Supplementary Scores and Casual Play Scores do not count).
- Individual, match play knockout competition for men and ladies who were winners of selected competitions in the previous year. These competitions are printed in the Club Diary.
- Since the Company Cup was not played last year, the winners of these competitions in 2019 are also eligible to enter.
- A complete list of those who meet this criteria can be found on the Match & Handicap Committee page on the Club Website.
- Players must have a Handicap Index and have played in at least 6 handicap qualifying competitions since 1st March 2020 (Supplementary Scores and Casual Play Scores do not count).
- Five-day members who meet all the criteria for this competition may play their ties at the weekend without payment of a green fee.
- Members who are eligible and wish to play must sign-in for the competitions using the Members App or HowDidIDo.
- Sign-in for all these competitions is now open and will close on 18th April 2021.
- The entry fee of £3.00 for each competition will be deducted from your bar card account on sign-in.
- Entries after the closing date will not be accepted.
- The draw with play-by dates for each competition will be emailed to competitors as soon as possible after the closing date for entry.
Note, each side in a knock-out competition has equal responsibility to arrange the match, and also for ensuring that the result is entered electronically using the Members App or HowDidiDo or, if appropriate, is posted on the noticeboard. The result must be posted by the play-by date for that round. If no result is posted then it is assumed the match was not played and both sides are disqualified. Except for the semi-final and final matches, play-by dates for each round will not be extended under any circumstances.
Terms of Competition
The R&A and England Golf require that every Club has a Terms of Competition document. This is considered essential reading as it details everything you need to know about competitions and tie resolution. The new version for 2021 is now available in the Match and Handicap Committee section of the Member’s Area of the Club website.
Within the next few days, you will be invited to participate in a survey, organised by the Match & Handicap Committee, about competition play at Alresford. We are looking for your thoughts on whether we run not enough or too many competitions and if we should be playing more of other formats or more drawn competitions. We hope you will all respond.
David Robertson has resigned from the Committee after many years of service both as a member and as Chair. If you’re interested in how handicaps and competitions are managed, we’d like to hear from you. The Committee is quite hands-on with everyone taking their turn with the more than 100 competitions we run, so being comfortable working with apps on the internet and mobile devices is a big asset.
Trailer …. Next month’s issue of Fore Info will have important information about this year’s Club Championships. Don’t miss it!
A Look at the Rules
Having missed a very short putt, a player in frustration, breaks the shaft of his putter rendering it unusable. Later in the round his playing partner drives his buggy over one of the players irons. The player now has 12 usable clubs.
Is the player allowed to replace the club broken by his playing partner and if so, can he replace it with a putter?
As the end of the lockdown restrictions are now, hopefully, in sight there is still a need to be patient for a bit longer as I am sure all of us are very much looking forward to playing golf again especially with the coming of spring and the longer days ahead. Despite the impact, or perhaps devastation is a better description, there has been on the Club diary we are still looking to run a full calendar of Vets competitions during the year. The first of these is the Captain v Vice Captain match which is being planned for late April and we are hoping it can be played in the usual 4bbb format. As the Clubhouse will be closed for sometime yet entries will need to be by email or by telephone. When a date is finalised further information will be published electronically.
Entries for the Knock Out Championship, the Over 70’s Knock Out and the Fred White Foursomes will be via the Club V1 App with the entry fee being taken from your Bar Card. When these competitions are live on the App further details will be circulated.
The delayed start of the inter club match season means that no home matches will be played before the 21st June at the earliest. Unfortunately it will not be possible to reschedule any of the earlier home fixtures but this will still leave us with a busy summer ahead.
If you wish to play in any of the Vets competitions please make sure you are a paid up member of the Vets Section. The annual subscription is only £10 making it excellent value for money. This can be paid via the Office in an envelope marked Vets Subs with your name on it so we know where it has come from!
I first came across Wynne Tufnell at the Alresford Show where he was very active in the smooth running of the main ring. Not many of you may know that Wynne spent many of his working years with horses. Born into a family that included a mother who was a very successful Point to Point rider and a sister who was a UK and European Champion. It is no surprise that Wynne would follow a career with horses. Unfortunately a bad fall, resulting in a broken bone in his back, curtailed his time as an amateur rider. Not to be deterred Wynne, turned his hand to training horses as an assistant to a local trainer in Upham, before focussing on training Pointers and Hunter Chasers.
This resulted in over 25 winners including a 2nd place at Aintree over the Grand National course. From training horses a career as a Racecourse Steward followed, which lasted for 38 years. Stewards are well respected members of the racing industry responsible for maintaining the integrity of race day operations. This often includes holding a Stewards Enquiry to determine if a racing infringement has occurred. Enquiries may well affect the outcome of a race and all that involves. Now being a top jockey with one of the most successful stables is a very demanding profession with no time off during the season. During a meeting at Goodwood a high profile champion jockey, who really should have known better, committed an infringement which required a Stewards Enquiry to be held. Having reviewed the footage Wynne handed down a 5 day racing ban. The suitably chastened jockey left the room only to return a few moments later to ask if it could be extended to 7 days as the flights would be cheaper! Wynne is a member of AGC and the Vets Section.
…from the General Manager
Now the 2021 renewal period has come to a close, we are now accepting new applications for membership. -YOU – our members are our best salespeople. We need new members and have vacancies in all categories although full playing memberships will be strictly limited this year as we are approaching our maximum?
If you know any friends , acquaintances or even ex-members 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. Don’t delay as when we reach our capacity, entry to the playing membership will be via a waiting list.
Looking for a way to ease the burden of subscription renewal each year?
Why not join the ADVANCE SUBSCRIPTIONS SCHEME in 2021? Choose any amount to pay over 10 months towards your subscription bill in 2022. Build up a credit on your account which is offset against your renewal bill due 1st January 2022. Pay as much or as little as you wish. There is still time to set your Standing order up for the remainder of the year. Speak to the Office for more details and to receive an ADVANCE SUBS mandate form
As soon as we resume golf, we will need to re-establish the Starters rota. This was very well supported last year and I am sure that all members appreciated the efforts of those members who volunteered their time throughout the a season – come rain or shine. If you will be willing to spare a couple of hours each week to assist with us controlling access to the tee, please let me know so I can include you in the first ‘call to arms’.
The MASTERS takes place again at Augusta National 8-11 April.
We will be running THE MASTERS CHARITY SWEEPSTAKE once again to give you all some added excitement over the four days. Entry will be via the Club V1 app – watch out for the entry information towards the end of March. We had 150 entrants last year and Will Pakenham-Walsh won with a very credible 63points.
CLUB DIARY 2021 & BAG TAGS
The diary is available for collection from the Office (if essential travel !).
Reminder ALL playing members must have the correct colour bag tag with 2021 sticker. Course Starters will be checking for these when we resume playing.
Make sure you ‘like’ our Facebook page and you will link to it and get the regular pictures and updates on what’s happening ! Share with your friends to help us boost our online and social media profiles
Follow us at https://www.instagram.com/alresford_golf_club/
WALKING THE COURSE DURING LOCKDOWN ?
If possible please wear a hi-vis jacket – this gives an element of permission / authority and is seen by other walkers.
If you must bring your dog – please set a good example and keep on a lead and away from the sheep.
Have you finished all your box sets , read all your holiday books and now looking for something to occupy your time?
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 !
NEWS FROM THE SOCIAL COMMITTEE
SOCIAL COMMITTEE PUB QUIZ
Saturday 6th March
Zoom Quiz at 7:15pm – 8:45pm
You must register in advance via the office
Saturday 4TH SEPTEMBER 2021
Watch out for ticket information & details
The winter development projects have been continuing at some pace with our hope being that everything will be complete prior to the course reopening. The last item to be accomplished will probably be the assembly and treating of the new Starters Log Cabin. We are hopeful that it will be delivered in the next week or two such that a core group of members can assemble it. All the wood needs to be treated so if you can spare an hour or two to get busy with a brush do please get in touch as “many hands will make light work” albeit on a shift system.
The range ball collecting buggy is now in a new “lean to” at the far end of the range. Additional path material will be laid in that area as it is a bit of a pinch point on the way to the overflow carpark. Most of the turf has been laid around the 1st tee and the 12th tee now.
Last month mention was made of adding a feature where the footpath used to go between the 1st white and yellow tees. We realised the lovely heathers near the patio will need to be lifted for the clubhouse development and patio resurfacing and this can’t be done in summer. So in due course they will move to this area. We then have enjoyed the help of a member who is a garden designer to plant them along with suitable low growing shrubs to create a feature to be proud of year around. I’m pleased to say, so far, 3 members have kindly offered sponsorship and additional sponsors would always be very welcome. We are also going to relocate the John Jacobs Plaque to this area so that it can be better seen. It was tucked away near the practice putting green opposite the shop so rarely seen. It’s already been lifted and we just hope we can get it refurbished so the letters become more legible.
All the tree work has now been completed so it’s just a question of clearing the course. If you would like some logs please contact Simon with them being positioned at the end of the main carpark. The stumps will be ground out in the first week of March with the hope being by the time the course is reopened you will hardly see any difference. Fortunately few surprises this year with the bulk of the effort going into removing the Ash marked as having dieback symptoms. This is going to be an ongoing issue as we have LOTS of Ash still out on the course. Whilst the stumps can look healthy as it’s a “top down” disease the upper branches were disintegrating as they hit the ground. 10 saplings have been planted mainly around the Academy Course but also to the right of the 3rd.
Apart from the Ash the trees beyond the 13th green and before the 14th tee have been thinned to allow more early morning light and air onto the green as this one was tending to suffer more disease. In the similar way well to the right of the 11th green we had a large beech and oak sharing almost the same hole in the ground. It was decided they were co-dependent so rather than sacrificing one both have had a severe prune to allow morning light onto the 11th green. Prior to Colin arriving Simon noticed an oak adjacent to the public footpath to the right of the 12th fairway had a completely dead canopy so this one came out for reasons of safety.
Greens Maintenance included a deep tine to around 7 inches followed by top dressing, fertiliser and some over seeding. Also hollow coring the tee tops and Apron collars with a very small tine but doing some good in aerating and removing thatch. Disease scars are present on the greens constructed with sand and the bigger ones will be plugged to the edges and the spring fertiliser should help. The bare patches from last summer around some of the bunkers have been turfed, sand depths will be checked and sand moved/added where necessary. 1st fairway bunker has now got sand in and will settle over the next month. The bunkers will also be edged to aid presentation and remove some of the sand splash.
When the course reopens please be realistic about the condition! We are still operating to a budget and have exceeded it partly due to the Falconer and the new course signage following the stroke index changes. Whilst the rooks are not causing a lot of damage “at the moment” we do have some fear for the future. Taking away their food source (the chafer bugs) has to be the ultimate goal but as yet we are not convinced a product is available to do that. As soon as we are aware of anything promising we will endeavour to source it and trial a small area.
Prior to the course opening we are hopeful that whilst members are walking the course they might be able to put some soil and seed in fairway divots/scars/holes or bald patches! David will keep us on the “straight and narrow” in terms of the current lockdown guidelines so if we can do this an email will follow but sorry the giant sausage rolls are definitely off!
Chair of Greens Committee
A Look at the Rules
A player can replace any club not broken by himself or his caddie and may replace it with any club including a putter.
But must not;
Unreasonably delay play (see Rule 5.6a),
Add or borrow any club from anyone else who is playing on the course (even if the other player is playing in a different group or competition), or
Build a club from parts carried by anyone for the player during the round.
See Exception to rule 4.1b(3) and subject to 4.1b(4)
If you would like to find out more about the rules, there is a wonderful rules section on the R&A website www.randa.org where you can also find these exceptions. You can find fun rule quizzes, to while away lockdown, just download the R&A app (Rules of Golf) from the app store.
The winners of the 100 Club prize draw for March 2021 were:
£100 Bob Germon
£50 Kathryn Fielden
£32 Kim Johnson
£32 Carol Middleton
£32 Peter Wallis
£32 Keith Turner
Congratulations to our winners this month. Kathryn and Keith have been lucky for the second month running – but definitely with different numbers. Kim only joined the golf club last year so it’s good to see one of our new members joining the 100 Club and being successful in the draw – wishing you further luck Kim. Next month’s draw will take place during week beginning 22 March so look out for the results on the Secretary’s board in the entrance hall.
If you too have joined the golf club in the last year, then how about making 2021 the year you join the 100 Club. You will be actively contributing towards future enhancements to our facilities and have the chance of winning a cash prize each month.
There is an annual summer competition and dinner where you can meet up with fellow 100 Club members – this year on Friday 23 July. Let’s hope the planned easing of Covid restrictions allow us to go ahead with our competition this year.
You can win one of six cash prizes in the monthly draw: £100, £50 and four at £32.
Each share cost £1 per month paid for by monthly standing order and there is no limit to the number you can purchase. Members generally have between 1 and 10 shares with 5 being the most common holding.
For further information about the 100 Club and its history please refer to this section in previous editions of FORE Info. Application forms can be obtained from the Secretary’s office or from me – Pat Wallis phone 01420 564417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Funny Endings: Joke and Cartoon of the Month
In these difficult COVID times we want to bring a smile to everyones face with a joke and a cartoon. We are looking for golf related, clean, seriously funny humour suitable for all members. Send your contributions to the Editor at email@example.com
If we use your joke or cartoon, I will buy you a drink in the bar when it reopens.
The Pope met with his cardinals to discuss a proposal from the prime minister of Israel. “Your Holiness,” said one of the Cardinals, “The Israeli prime minister wants to challenge you to a game of golf to show the friendship and ecumenical spirit shared by the Jewish and Catholic faiths.” The Pope thought it was a good idea, but he had never held a golf club in his life. “Have we not,” he asked, “a cardinal who can represent me against the leader of Israel?” “None that plays golf very well,” a cardinal replied. “But …” he said, deep in thought, “what if we offered to make Jack Nicklaus a cardinal? Then ask him to play the Israeli prime minister as your personal representative. In addition to showing our spirit of cooperation, we’ll also win the match.” Everyone agreed it was a good idea. The call was made. Nicklaus was greatly honoured and agreed to play. The day after the match, Nicklaus reported to the Vatican to inform the Pope of the result. “I have some good news and some bad news, Your Holiness,” said Nicklaus.
“Tell me the good news first, Cardinal Nicklaus,” said the Pope. “Well, Your Holiness, I don’t like to brag, but this was the best I have ever played, by far. I must have been inspired from above. My drives were long and true, my irons were accurate and purposeful and my putting was perfect. With all due respect, my play was truly miraculous.” “So what is the bad news?” the Pope asked. Nicklaus sighed. “I lost to Rabbi Woods by three strokes.”
Quote of the Month
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
Editor: David Marshall
The Editorial Team take no responsibility for incorrect information received from Contributors.