"Fore Info" Monthly Newsletters


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  • Fore Info June 2021 May 31, 2021 @ 17:42

    Editorial

    Although it may be too early to say things are getting back to normal, AGC is coming back to life. The photo above shows a ‘far from normal’ shot. A visitor’s ball landed on the wall and he played it! Before George calls ‘rule infringement’, it was just a friendly game but he entertained us on the terrace and was applauded after getting back on the green.

    Don’t miss the June update from Rob White on the Tee Times and Planning update. If you really want to help your club, help us find bar/catering support staff or volunteer yourself. John will be happy to train you.

    This edition brings insight to the Captains role, through the interview with Ladies Captain, Di Peisley. The first of the Captains interviews. We need a flow of future captains so I hope some of you might aspire to put on the special jacket and help your club.

    Plenty to report on the state of the course in Bob’s Greens Corner, which I hear is the first read for many of you. Learn about the tarpaulins across the course in the evenings.

    With the Club Championship coming soon, make sure you also read George’s important update.

    Finally it is great to hear that Alresford is making history on a number of external competition fronts. We do really have a club to be proud of. Our full membership is a sign of our success. Welcome all new readers!

    My sponsored ‘Golf Handicap Chasedown’ for the Captains Charities reached over £500. Thanks to all who did or will contribute online or on the noticeboard/office. Keep it coming. The Chairmans big donation still to come!

    If you have ideas to further improve Fore Info, please email me at newsletter@alresfordgolf.co.uk or look me up on the club directory for a chat.

    David Marshall

    Editor


    Management Corner

    Tee Times

    As has become customary over the past 15 months; we await announcements from central Government and golfing authorities on Covid restrictions that may subside on June 21st or indeed may not.

    You will recall that Tee Times have been in place under emergency measures throughout the pandemic, when the course has been open. If golfing authorities permit the removal of Tee Times we will remove the need to book ahead at the earliest possible opportunity, but of course it may take a few days to sort out. We will of course provide full information at that time.

    The emergency Tee Times have become a bit of a ‘marmite’ subject; some members love them and some members hate them. At this democratic members’ Club it is important that all members have the opportunity to voice their own opinions and to be heard equally, therefore; the Club will hold a full members’ consultation on Tee Times at the appropriate time.

    So; we will return to ‘roll up’ golf should authorities permit, and then consult on the future so that the will of our full members can be carried. Any permanent changes to our traditional ‘roll up’ golf will need to be voted in/out at a General Meeting of the Club.

    The Management Committee and the Captains Committee will work together to ensure that any consultation is open, transparent, democratic and in the best interests of the Club.

    Clubhouse Development

    The decision on planning permission for the proposed Clubhouse Development Project is scheduled to be made by 8th June 2021; we have not received any information to suggest that the decision is not running to time. Therefore; I very much hope to be able to provide you further updates throughout June through the General Manager and of course our subject matter expert; Sue Masser- Chair of the House Committee.

    Key Members

    Bob Moore – Chair of Greens, alerted me to the number of members who signed up instantly to assist with the leather-jacket grubs issue by volunteering to cover a different green each evening. Its just amazing; how willing members are to get involved in so many voluntary activities; marshalling the course, acting as starters, building the new starter’s hut….it goes on-and-on.

    So…a huge thank you to all our Key Members, you make our Club so unique!

     

    Robert White

    Chair of the Management Committee

    Our Ladies Captain: putting members first

    Di Peisley in the interview hotseat

    Di (left) with Sarah Densham, winning the Cup in Gosport two years running

    Many of you might wonder what life is like as a Captain of Alresford Golf Club. Maybe you aspire to be Captain or just wonder what on earth they do all the time?

    In this edition I get to better understand the role through the eyes of our present Ladies Captain, Di Peisley. She gives us a peak into the highs and lows of her captains year and I also get to uncover her off course skills and experiences. Quite a talented lady! Enjoy the read.

    So Di, I hear you are not Alresford born and bred. Tell us about yourself.

    Yes David, I am an Australian citizen but have lived in the UK since 1974. My ex-husband moved us to London for work. I stayed, with our 3 children but he has since gone back. We soon moved to Hampshire where the family joined in village life and continued our love and pursuit of equestrian activities. For a few years I ran an Equestrian Centre as well as having occasional B&B guests. Although I still love horses its now just the daughter and grand daughter that ride. I subsequently decided to take up golf and soon joined Alresford.

    A busy family life…I have always been an artist, having studied and worked as a teacher in Sydney and the UK. Now I just love all artistic activities ‘collages’ at present are my speciality.

    How did you get into golf?

    Well my parents were both keen golfers. In fact my mother was twice Club Champion at her course in Sydney. Despite their passion for golf, growing up, I only had eyes for horses! A friend suggested that I join her and begin to play golf and and I was hooked, playing initially at Worldham, Avington and Four Marks.

    Firstly tell us what is the role of Ladies Captain?

    I see my role as taking care of our ladies. Making sure they enjoy their golf as well as their social time at the club. It is critical to me that new members feel at home and quickly find playing partners and friends.

    As Alresford Ladies ambassador I need to be at as many Alresford matches as possible to welcome and where possible, play too. The Captain is a key supporter to the Ladies Teams and attends away games whenever possible.

    A key part of the role is chairing the Ladies Committee meetings and attending Captains Committee Meetings. Not always the most fun time but it gives you great insight and input into the workings of the club. I am proud of the smooth running of all the committees, although opinions often differ, and the great volunteers we have in the ladies section.

    It is wonderful to be able to raise money for Our Charities and also help with the organisation of many different events held in the year.

    Present Role

    Ladies Captain, Alresford Golf Club 2020/21

    Artist (BA, MA Southampton Uni.)

    Married Formerly
    Children Three (Andrew, Samantha, Fionna)
    Hobbies Reading, Bridge, Gardening and of course Golf
    Golf Handicap 20.3

    What are some of the best things about the role?

    Well I get lots of opportunity to play golf, usually averaging 2-3 times a week. I get to know most members and play with many I never did before. But the best part is the assigned CAR PARKING SPACE!

    What are the biggest challenges you have faced so far as Captain?

    COVID has affected all of us in some way and much of the captains activities were curtailed. Let’s hope that’s soon behind us.

    We have some tough decisions to make in the Ladies Committee. Sometimes I have to make unwelcome calls but what I believe is the best for the Club at this time. I have learned you can’t satisfy or please everyone. Although at times it is tempting to spill the beans, sorry I cannot! We have a large Ladies section and I hope to keep the majority as happy and contented as possible.

    At present I miss the Ladies Roll ups as it is a chance for the members to mix and get to know and play with different people.

    Most members are extremely supportive and Past Captains are a wonderful source of information and help. They have experienced many of the difficulties one faces at times.

    What annoys you most ? Maybe something about those slow men?

    It is a shame that some members are not aware of play behind them. Letting faster players though would help everyone. Slow play, unrepaired pitch marks and unraked bunkers are all things that upset everyone, but we still see it every week.

    We Ladies have our Tuesday morning unofficial (9-11 am) slot but we get some men booking, despite a David Maskery request not to. That bugs me! Our Ladies would not dare to turn up when we know some of the men have regular times that they play.

    It would be great if all members treated each other with courtesy and respect at all times.

    What would you like to change if you could?

    As a keen dog lover, I would love to see the club rules follow those at Liphook , Hockley, or Hankley Common and allow dogs on a lead. My wire haired daschund would love it although he would need to mature and become more obedient before this could occur.

    Tee bookings are contentious. Would you bring back tee bookings permanently?

    Tee bookings are great to ensure you don’t spend too long waiting to play. Also one then knows how many hours one is committed. This should be a bonus for those who work or have young families. Given that we have a full club and now more playing, we may have issues once booking is removed. I have waited sometimes up to an hour on the first tee before booking was introduced. I know this is an extremely contentious issue but I would like to see some blocked booking zones for example ladies on Tuesdays (9-11 am). This allows mixing but in a managed way and a chance for the Ladies to play their competitions without interruption. Maybe this would make way for other sections.

    What are your aspirations for the Ladies Section?

    I really want to make the Ladies Section ‘inclusive’ where everyone feels comfortable and has fun. Whether that be low handicap match players, right through to those happy to just be enjoying the course and companionship. I would like to see the higher handicappers who are new to golf included in all events and encouraged and helped by some of the better players. After all we all had to begin and I can remember being helped so much in my early years at the Club by many lower handicappers who all joined the Saturday morning Ladies roll up. I believe we have a reputation for being a friendly club and one of the largest ladies sections in Hampshire! As captain I want to reinforce this great legacy.

    Quickfire Q and A

    Your biggest golfing achievement?

    Two holes in 1 (10th ) in a single year, 2 others since, on the 6 th and 13 th.

    Favourite holiday destination

    Italy: I love the people, culture and the food

    Favourite Food?

    Oysters

    Favourite drink after a round?

    Gunners (Lime, ginger ale and bitters)

    Favourite Movie?

    Pride and Prejudice

    Favourite singer(s)?

    Pavarotti, Bob Marley and many others.

    If you had only one thing to take on a desert island what would it be and why?

    A magic freezer that would produce unlimited ice cream in the desired flavour on demand. This has been a favourite wish of mine ever since I first read the Australian story of the Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay

    A busy family life…

    From the Club Captain

    There is an increased feeling of normality returning as we see knockout matches taking place (thank you for avoiding busy times where possible), team matches, visitors and societies and Team Golf on Thursday evenings.

    Our Ladies had a most successful and enjoyable time at Corhampton in the Hampshire Ladies Golf Championships.  Di will cover this in her report but congratulations to all who took part.  We hope for more success next year when Alresford host this highly prestigious event.

    The Mens Scratch Team opened their season with an away fixture in the Annodata National Match Play at Horsham GC. The sideways rain and ‘blowy’ wind finally relented as the last group tee’d off and all matches were keenly contested. Two halved matches and three wins meant an overall 4 v 1 result in Alresford’s favour, which puts us through to round 2.

    On Saturday 28th May, we start the EAGG scratch group matches away to Corhampton with following fixtures against Waterlooville, Hartley Wintney and Andover to come and of course the County 7s, where we have received a bye into the second round.  The Scratch League fixtures are being finalised and will be found on Club V1. Thanks to the team and good golfing.

    The Men’s friendly team took on Hayling Island in a gale and heavy rain!  Arguably the greatest challenge in Hampshire and unsurprising lost 5-0.

    Lady Captain Di and I were pleased to play in the Mixed friendly fixture at Petersfield.  Although this fixture was also affected by weather, it was most enjoyable, and we were just pipped 4½ – 3½. These are good fun fixtures so if you would like to take part, please add your name to the list on the notice board or contact Marion or Alan Bruce direct.

    Vice-Captain Simon has been active working with our new male members.  We have a New Male Member evening of 9 holes of golf on Tuesday 15th June and hope to see many new chaps, with support from longer serving members.  The Ladies and Vets have good systems in place to help new members to integrate and we expect this to evolve for gentlemen over the coming years.

    The Captain-Pro challenge is proving to be extremely popular.  Mark and I have enjoyed all our matches and it’s particularly good for Mark to meet members on the course.  Remember, we accept challenges from any pair of members, 4BBB matchplay.  Pairs who beat the Captain-Pro will play off to be the first winners of the Captain-Pro Challenge Trophy, which you will see in the ProShop, above the workshop door.  We suggest a minimum donation of £20 to the Captains Charity for these matches.

    Your Captains are all looking forward to seeing everyone on Captain’s Charity Day, Sunday 6th June.  The sign-up sheet is almost full.  Please be sure to reserve your food (BBQ with chicken kebab, Robinsons Burger and Sausage plus salads).  Teams of 4, all playing from the yellow tees, prizes for winning morning and afternoon teams.  The long overdue Captains Drive-In will take place around 7:00-7:30pm. Please bring cash!!  There will be a big raffle, putting comp, silent auctions, and other fun activities.  Thank you for all donated prizes.

    Happy golfing!

    Tip

    Ladies Section

    The past month has been fairly busy whilst settling in to the new normality with our regular competitions and others being introduced. Team Golf has also begun kindly organised by John White.

    Karen Fox

    A number of our ladies took part in Hampshire Ladies Golf Championships at Corehampton in May with some excellent results. Despite the appalling weather conditions, Karen Fox won the Hampshire Challenge Bowl, Rosie Rooney (13 years old) was Runner Up in the Hampshire Challenge Salver, and Sarah Densham came 3rd in the one day Division 2 Competition. Others qualified and managed to get through to the second and third rounds including Jane Scott, Polly Church and Liz Williams a great Alresford achievement. Allena Doley who is a member at West Meon and Alresford was runner up to Karen. Congratulations to all.

    A number of us played in the Petersfield Mixed Match kindly organised by Marion Bruce and although wet was an enjoyable afternoon.

    Rosie Rooney

    The Mary Anderson Trophy was efficiently organised and run, at a distance, by Linda Wager who is busy at home looking after Paul. Despite not being in situ she managed to arrange an extremely enjoyable and successful day with 59 ladies taking part. The winners were Jackie Coulson and Fi Garber, followed by Kim Johnson with Alicia Hardy, and Liz Williams with Nancy Brooke.

    The following day 28 ladies played at Goodwood Park Course on our Away Day, excellently organised by last years winning team of Sue Masser, Sarah Staines and Jennifer Clelland. A racing theme was chosen with teams of four aptly named and given odds.Teams embraced the idea by dressing in colours, one even sporting pink tails. The organisers have to be congratulated for unintentionally treating us to a wonderful air display whilst playing.

    Sue seems Partial to Away Day organisation as her team of Jane Henry, Ann Gunn and Alicia Hardy won the day so we eagerly anticipate  what venue they choose for us next year.

    I look forward to June the 21st when hopefully all restrictions are lifted and we can begin to enjoy the full Club calendar.

    Congratulations to all the May Stableford and Medal winners.

    The Ladies Invitation shall take part on the 29th June and I do hope as many ladies as possible will enter as it is a fun day and a great way to entertain golfing friends.

     

    Di Peisley

    Match Committee Report

    Club Championships

    Entry for players with a handicap index of 12.0 (men) or 20.0 (ladies) has now closed. For those with higher handicaps there are still qualification rounds on 5th/8th June for the ladies and 12th June for the men. Remember you need to book/reserve a place in the appropriate Championship Qualifying Entry competition before your play in the actual qualifying round.

    The allocation of playing groups and tee-times will be made as soon as possible after the 12th June so that competitors will receive an email with their start time for Saturday 26th June as least a week beforehand. You will not have book tee times for either the Saturday or the Sunday as the course will be closed for casual play until at least 3:30pm on both days. Those players who do not make the cut to play in the Championships will be notified separately by email. If there are withdrawals on Wednesday or Thursday then those places will be filled by the next players who were on the list.

    Once the last group has handed in their cards on the Saturday, the Men’s and Ladies’ competition organisers will compile the scores for Round 1. The Men’s and Ladies’ playing groups will be revised separately based on the gross scores from Round 1. The order of play for Round 2 will be in descending order of Round 1 scores. This start sheet will be emailed to all competitors on Saturday evening. It will be the responsibility of each player to know their start time on Sunday morning. The first start time for both Round 1 and Round 2 will be 08:00am.

    On each day of the competition, players should register and collect their score cards from the Scorer’s Table in the Dining Room.  Entry to the Men’s Championship sweepstake will be available in the Pro’s Shop. Within 5 minutes of completion of each round, players should return their cards to the Scorer’s Table and ensure they have agreed with the scorer that the card is correct before leaving.

    Given the format of the Championship, players who fail to turn up for the 2nd round will cause significant disruption to the running of the competition. Consequently, and based on our experience of other 2-day competitions, we are making it a condition of competition that unless a player notifies the Committee by 4:00pm on the Saturday that they will be unable to play in Round 2, he/she will be excluded from all competitions, and knock-outs until 1st August 2021.

    Scorecards

    We’ve now been able to play for some 12 weeks since the transition to WHS and it became a requirement that you had to put your Course Handicap on your scorecard. Effectively this has been the only change to what should be on your scorecard, as things like your name, signature, an identified marker, plus date and competition name have always been required or asked for. The Committee has decided that from 1st June we will enforce this Rule of Golf and disqualify from the competition any player who fails to put his/her Course Handicap on their scorecard. You may, if you wish, include your Handicap Index and/or Playing Handicap but these are not required.

    George Clelland

    Chair of Match and Handicap Committee

    Mixed Matches

    The first mixed match has been played and the next match is a home game against Hockley on 2nd June. The full list of matches and dates is on the Mixed notice board at the golf club.

    There are 2 sign up sheets on the notice board and the North Hants sign up sheet will be posted soon. The teams for the Hockley and Cowdray Park matches have been selected. The matches until the end of July are:

    Hockley                 Home     Wednesday 2nd June at 2.00pm

    Cowdray Park        Away     Monday 14th June at 12.00noon

    Royal Winchester  Home     Friday 2nd July at 2.00pm

    Rowlands Castle    Away     Sunday 18th July at 9.30am

    North Hants           Away     Sunday 25th July at 1.00pm

    If you are unable to get to the club to sign up you can ask the office to do it or contact Marion or Alan Bruce and you can be added to the list. The sign up sheets close 3 weeks before a match.

    Any club member with a CONGU handicap is welcome to sign up to play. All the matches are played in a friendly manner and everyone is welcome, no matter what their handicap. It is hoped that members who haven’t played before will join in and sign up for the opportunity to play mixed golf both at home and on some very enjoyable away courses. Playing partners are drawn as part of team selection.

    The match teams will be communicated by posting the team list on the Mixed notice board and an email will be sent to all individuals involved. Team members are requested to play in team colours of white shirts and navy jumpers.

    A decision has been made that Five Day members may play in the weekend matches if we are unable to field a team from the Seven Day members. There will be a section on the sheet for Five Day members to sign up. Green fees will not be required.

    All matches will include a meal. For home matches we expect to continue with a smart/casual dress code for our match meals.

    For more information or any queries please contact Marion or Alan Bruce.

    A Look at the Rules

    Question.

    A player plays a shot from just short of the green. They shank the shot and their ball hits their caddie standing on the green to the side. The ball then deflects off the caddie and rolls across the green and into the hole.

    Which of these rulings is correct?

    A. The player has holed out but must add one penalty shot.

    B. The player has holed out but must add two penalty shots.

    C. The player has holed out with no penalty shots.

    D. The player must replay the shot with no penalty.

    Vets Section

    Last month  saw us play the traditional season opener ‘Captain versus Vice Captain’ four ball better ball match. A match that is normally played in March which had to be postponed but fortunately we were able to rearrange. With 48 members of the Section taking part, and despite an early start and threatening rain, all games were played in a friendly but competitive spirit with many being very close and could indeed have gone either way. The match was however halved, each team scoring 6 points a piece. This was the first time in the history of the match that it has been halved and ended a run of victories for the Vice Captains team with the round of the day being played by Ed Tinley which contained 10 pars and resulted in a win of 7 & 6 for Ed and his playing partner Philip Green against the pairing of Terry Lane and Dudley George who could only watch with little defence to such consistent scoring. A great round by Ed, which had only one double bogey on his card, and that no doubt he will remember for a long time to come.

    It was also really good to be able to welcome a number of new members to the Club playing in a Vets event for their first time and very much look forward to them playing in more events during the remainder of the season. The further easing of some lockdown restrictions on the 17th May coincided with our away fixture against Petersfield. Once again we were fortunate with the weather as the rain kindly held off until after we finished our games. Regrettably home advantage proved to much for us and we lost the match 6:2 making it now played 2 lost 2. However the result seemed to be of little importance as everyone commented on just how good it was, once again, to be back eating indoors and enjoying the good company that the interclub friendlies so often provide. This coming month of June is a busy one with 4 matches in total scheduled against Waterlooville (a), Corhampton (a), Hockley (h), Weybrook Park (h)  and I am very much looking forward to recording our first win!  Although the teams for Waterlooville and Corhampton have been chosen if you wish to be considered for any of the others, or would like more information on the fixtures for the rest of the season, then please either email me or add your name to the sign up sheets on the Vets Notice Board.  All 3 of our Knock Out Competitions are now well underway and thank you to all players involved for arranging your games so promptly as it really does help to avoid congestion later on in the competitions especially if you are playing in all three KO’s. A reminder that entries to the Romsey’s Seniors Open, an individual stableford, on the 5th July closes on 7th June. More details are available on the Vets Notice Board if you wish to enter.

    Gareth Rees

    Vets Captain

    General Manager’s Update

    NEW MEMBERS

    Welcome to the following new members who have all joined the club during May ; Shaun Butler (7 day) , William Locke (Academy), Finton Cobb, Teddy Richardson, Archie Williams and Nell Murray (Juniors).

    Also welcome back to Paul Kettley and Andrew Chandler who have resumed their playing memberships after a few years ‘rest’.

    We hope that your time at the club will be a long and enjoyable one for all of you.

    END OF COVID RESTRICTIONS

    We will confirm the end of restrictions scheduled for 21st June as soon as we are given the FINAL confirmation via England Golf and any Government announcement. We expect this to be a few days before the scheduled date to allow for any adjustments to operating procedures. However please be aware that given the re-surgence of the virus in certain areas the end to restrictions in their entirety is not guaranteed at this stage and we may find that some golfing guidelines remain in place – let us all hope that this is not the case!

    DRIVING RANGE

    The driving range will close each Wednesday evening at 7.30pm (last balls dispensed at 7.00pm). This is to allow a full ball collection in preparation for grass cutting early Thursday morning before opening. This will help us ensure we do not damage range balls with the mowers and so reduce the number of balls available. Thank you for your understanding. The practice areas are available for use at any time.

    FACEBOOK – check out our Facebook page

    https://www.facebook.com/alresfordgolfclub

    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/

    CLUBHOUSE/ BAR & CATERING OPENING TIMES

    Outside and Inside table service will be available for drinks /coffee from the bar. Please be patient whist we take and prepare your orders. During busy periods we are increasing our staffing levels but there is a limit to how fast we can pour drinks. Please DO NOT approach the bar for service.

    The bar will now be open from 11.00am – 8.00pm (8.45pm on Thursdays after Team Golf). The Clubhouse will close at 8.15pm. Opening times will be continually reviewed.

    Members are reminded NOT TO MOVE tables around the patio or grass area – they are placed specifically to ensure compliance to social distancing. Maximum group size must be 6 people at the moment.

    Inside seating is restricted to a total of 48 people. At busy times or when bad weather, Members are requested to limit their time at inside tables to 45min. to allow others to make use of the inside space.

    Covid compliance checks have been reported in the area – please do not put your club at risk of breaking the regulations.

    Catering will resume from Tuesday 1st June.

    Opening Times;

    Monday – Fridays   10.30am – 6.00pm

    Saturday 9.00am – 6.00pm

    Sunday 9.00am – 5.00pm

    These times will be subject to review dependant on member’s support. Please welcome and support our new caterer, Stephen Richardson, during this difficult period and whilst he is ‘finding his feet’.

     

    David Maskery

    General Manager

    Social

     

    Upcoming Events Reminder…

    6th June – Captains’ Drive In (Part of Captain’s Charity Day)

     

    19th June – Dawn Patrol (For those early risers!)

     

    30th August- Par 3 Competition

     

    4th September – Soultown

    Saturday 4TH SEPTEMBER 2021

    Watch out for ticket information & details

     

     

    Mike Battisson

    Chair of the Social Committee

    Continue reading →

  • Fore Info May 2021 Apr 29, 2021 @ 11:09

    Getting back to (near) normal…

    As golfing started back in April, the successful Ladies Spring Meeting made the most of some good weather in amongst a cold snap. Nevertheless many members are still missing the, all important, social side. Behind the scenes our Social Committee are gearing up for a post pandemic splash. Great news too that the Team Golf is fully subscribed!

    It has also been great to have our gregarious bar steward and his staff back and some hot and cold food to help sustain the cold and hungry. More on the future of catering later in the interview section.

    In this edition I get to better understand behind the scenes of the Management Committee through an interview with our Chairman. Far from the stereotype; old, crusty and dictatorial, Rob White tells us his views on the running of the club, how things work and what stands us apart from other clubs.

    This month there is a new section from our new Pro, helping to bring in his advice from the Pro-Corner.

    As Rob White reminds us it is a members owned club and we all have a voice. So please do send me your input or questions for the management so we can have open dialogue on the key matters that mean a lot to all of you. Interviews with club captains are coming soon so I am particularly keen to get your questions  to ask them.

    My sponsored ‘Golf Handicap Chasedown’ for the Captains Charities is in phase 1 after an on course assessment and subsequent swing changes for pitching and chipping from Mark Wood. It’s a marathon not a sprint and I hope to make first handicap progress in May. Thanks to all who sponsored with a total of £350 raised so far (mostly on-line). Details on the club noticeboard for those wanting to support me and the charities. Thanks.

    I hope everyone completed the recent survey on our competitions calendar. If not you still have a few days. If you need the link again please ask David Maskery. Get your voice heard!

    If you have ideas to further improve Fore Info, please email me at newsletter@alresfordgolf.co.uk or look me up on the club directory for a chat.

    David Marshall, Editor


    Our Chair: what makes him rock?

    Rob White in the interview hotseat

    Rob with wife Nikki

    Although many of you know Robert White is our chairman, few probably know exactly what he does for the club. What follows is the third of my editorial interviews to uncover more beyond the role and the person who tries to fill Mary’s big shoes! I uncover his back story and he shares his aspirations for the club as our Chairman.

    So Rob, There seems to be more Whites in Alresford than you can shake a stick at! (16 in our directory). Tell us about yourself.

    Yes David, a lot of Whites but I am a bit of a dark horse and not related to the more famous local White families of Alresford. I was born in Southampton, moved to Old Alresford in 1977 and joined Alresford as a junior at the age of 15.

    You have had an interesting career, tell us more?

    Having left school at 16, my first job was in the printing industry with Sir Joseph Caustons in Eastleigh; within 10 years I had started my own printing factory but in Brecon, Wales. I had managed to win extensive backing from the Welsh Development Agency and subsequently became a Non-Executive Director in the region. The most important learning however was how critical hiring and people development was to success. This lead to my career in people management and more recently setting up my own consultancy.

    Are you a management consultant then?

    Not exactly. I specialise in change management. Organisations bring me in when they need to restructure their workforce  and need to be compliant with employment law. I always try to look at things from all sides to get a win-win-win for the company, staff and exiting employees. Negotiating these situations is critical for everyone’s future success. I work a lot for the NHS but also spent 15 months at the biggest law firm in the world restructuring their transactional staff in the UK.

    So you must have had to deal with very tough personnel discussions. How has this impacted your approach as a leader?

    Absolutely. I learned that you first need to listen, really listen! It’s easy to think you know the answer but until I really understand everyone’s angle on an issue it is best to keep quiet. I would say I believe in a collaborative approach, especially at this members club where we have a flat hierarchy.  Being Chairman is a bit like being a Non-Executive director, but I do have line management responsibilities at the Club.

    Tell us something that is ‘unique about you’ that none of us already know?

    I supported Tottenham Hotspur as a boy (it’s been a hard life!) and my eldest brother Colin became groundsman at White Hart Lane in 1977, and I become friends with some of the younger players and followed them in their careers. Then in 1987 I played for a Spurs guest XI at Craven Cottage which was incredible. As the 6ft 3’’ centre half I marked Martin Peters playing for the Fulham side; and never got near him! Even in his early forties, he was an incredible player.

    Why did you get involved in managing the club?

    I sponsored the Pro-Am for a few years in the 1990’s and was then asked to join a working party with Brian Young to develop the Club’s committee structure and subsequently became our first Chair of Planning and Development. We have a stunning golf club which we collectively own; many previous generations have put heart and soul into making the club what it is today. Having enjoyed the benefit of their labours I feel it’s now my turn to ensure that Club develops and can continue to thrive in the foreseeable future.

    I am sure many readers think the Chairman’s role sounds like a figurehead with a lot of wining and dining and fun golf. Are they right?

    Well if it is, I have missed out on all that stuff. All I can remember is one invite to play in a special day at Royal Winchester…and I forgot all about it, leaving Mary in the lurch!

    Due to Covid most meetings have been via zoom so not much fun and certainly no dinners out, other than the one I paid for!

    What exactly do you see as your role?

    Members will be quite surprised to hear that the chair has influence but little power invested in it. Decisions at the Managing Committee that runs the club, are made on a vote basis and all I have is a casting vote, if needed. So far; I never used it and always try to ensure we gain consensus.

    My role is to ensure the Club brings all the expertise and ideas to the table and that we discuss the options and decide the best way forward, united as a team, in service of our members. I am also responsible for succession of the team. David Maskery reports to me but he is responsible for execution of the MANCOM decisions. I need to make sure implementation is successful and where not help to make it happen.

    What is your biggest challenge in leading the Management Committee (MANCOM) meetings?

    MANCOM is by nature made up of strong individuals with strong opinions; they each have expertise in their portfolios of choice. They bring their proposals from their committees (Chairs of PD, Greens, Bar/Catering, Finance and House) and the Vice- Captain has his new perspective each year. This means there are often long discussions to get to the best conclusion. We have to make critical decisions as a team so I believe they should not be rushed and every member of ManCom must be heard.

    I hear MANCOM Meetings can get quite heated? Can you tell us some stories?

    Not really, given the confidential nature of what we often discuss. However; I can say that not always do we get easily to consensus. For example; we were not all in agreement on the selection of the new Pro, but through a robust but respectful debate we did get there in the end and made a great decision for the Club.

    A lot of members are very unhappy with a lack of a restaurant service. So; what can we expect and when?

    We have in recent years been using a franchise model very successfully. However due to the pandemic the model does not allow the franchisee to make enough money to survive. For more than a year now we have been unable to hold our usual events and matches. We are considering moving to an in-house chef model as used in many other clubs, but realise that this may require subsidy from the club whilst Covid restrictions have impact. Members do not want to pay higher subs but the club needs to find the extra cash to support catering when we cannot hold the larger events that would help to make it viable. Nevertheless, we aim to deliver a hot and cold meal service for members as soon as indoor restaurant service is allowed after May 17th.

    Present Role Chairman, Alresford Golf Club since 2018

    Change Management Consultant

    Born 1962
    Married Nikki
    Children Samantha and Libby
    Hobbies Jogging, Golf, Tennis, Cricket
    Golf Handicap 14

    Members are also asking when we can get back to normal golf, removing tee time bookings. What can you promise?

    At present we are abiding by England Golf (EG) pandemic regulations and must have booked tee times only to control play. Tee times were brought in by the club under emergency regulations and had to be adopted by MANCOM. That means as soon as the EG restrictions are lifted we will revert to the old system without requiring pre-booked tee times. I know the topic is widely discussed in the membership and if needed we will respond to a member initiated consultation to discuss future options which would need to go to the AGM and voted upon by members. 

    What has been the biggest challenge of your role during the COVID pandemic?

    In 2020 the club lost £130,000 income through loss of bar sales, catering, visitor green fees and societies as a result of the pandemic. Despite this we managed to break even. In January 2021 we were then told to shut for another 3 months causing a further £40,000 shortfall. We have had to make tough decisions to furlough staff and cut back on all non-essential costs. We questioned everything we had been doing and renegotiated contracts with many suppliers. It was a stressful time for all and one I hope never to repeat. It did however demonstrate the strength of the Club, the expertise of Ray Panter our Chair of Finance, and the dedication of David and Mel in the office to remove all unnecessary expenditure and model many financial forecasts.

    What annoys you most about the club?

    That’s a tough one! What really bugs me is when things are decided based on age or gender.

    Really positive legislation was introduced to remove gender and age discrimination in 2010 for all walks of life; Graham Marshallsay heralded our ‘One Club’ movement during his year of Captaincy and proposed our first female Club Captain…it only took us 130 years! We are ‘One Club’; each of us collectively owns the Club whether we have belonged for 10 years or indeed 10 days, and no matter what age or gender.

    Unlike many other clubs, we are so lucky to have so many willing member volunteers and I think they all deserve our respect and gratitude. We have a disappointing core of members who tend to be disgruntled as a hobby. I would like to encourage the ‘usual suspects’ to find new acceptable ways of communicating and indeed respecting those who have sought election by the Members at the AGM, which of course they have not!

    What are you most proud of achieving as Chairman so far?

    My role is to steer the Club and the Management Committee to make the right decisions for the benefit of the club and ultimately the members. I see myself as ‘The Member in the Room’, and ensure that all decisions are in the best interests of the members; it seems obvious but Members’ golf and enjoyment of the Club must be our priority. In January 2019, my second month as Chairman, we closed the month with only 486 members, we now have roughly 100 more members and have now closed for new member applications. Therefore; we need less income from visitors, societies and temporary membership schemes. It’s a huge success!  But I suppose I am most proud of the selection process for the new Pro. It was so critical to get the right fit to our club following on from Malcolm. We screened 29 applications and CVs over 2-months and after much scrutiny by a ManCom panel we whittled it down to 3 final candidates. The final test was a trial lesson and interviews to make the selection. This extensive process, carried out entirely during the Covid pandemic, was designed to provide a ‘level playing field’ for all candidates irrespective of age or gender and provided the opportunity for the Club to learn from the contemporary world of golf beyond our Club based focus. Mark Wood commented that it showed how AGC cares about its staff and was a key factor in his accepting the role. We got the right Head Pro, which supports the strength of the recruitment process.

    What are your aspirations for the club?

    Its all about quality!

    Quality of the course, quality of our Clubhouse, quality of the service that we provide. Fortunately; we have the right person in the hot seat as General Manager; David Maskery, and we have the right Course Manager, Simon Justice, both of whom are dedicated to continuous improvement at the Club. Mark and Mandy Wood in the Pro-Shop have invested their family savings in developing our ‘front-of-house offering’; they are here for the long-haul.

    Clubhouse development will deliver the final piece in the jigsaw and will complement the work going on in all other areas to make Alresford the perfect Members’ Club, that we can all be proud of as collective owners.

    All officers of the Club can only serve for a maximum of six years, and I have to seek re-election in November after three years as Chairman. So; I hope to serve another term and then aspire to be succeeded by someone who equally has the success of the Club, as a members’ club, at heart. I then aspire to be able to keep my nose out…but support and respect their equally unique contribution to the Club.

    Quickfire Q and A

    Favourite holiday destination

    Havana, Cuba

    Your biggest golfing achievement?

    John Holmes Trophy Winner 2003 (Club Championships Net Winner), and getting down to single figures…for a few weeks!

    Pulpo Negro or Shapla ?

    Shapla

    Favourite drink after a round…

    Guinness

    BMW or Mercedes?

    Mercedes

    Opera or Glastonbury?

    Opera in Verona!

    Song choice? ‘California Girls’ or ‘Girl from Ipanema’?

    Girl from Ipanema

    Jogging or Driving Range Practice?

    Jogging, I got up to 8-miles during the pandemic

    Gordon Brown or Rishi Sunak?

    Rishi Sunak

    Southampton FC or Spurs FC?

    Spurs – of course!

    Chris Clayton presents Rob a Spurs Shirt, signed by Stephen Bergwijn

    From the Club Captain

    At last, the season feels like it is underway!  Huge congratulations to Harriet Riches on winning the Hampshire Girls Spring Meeting at Royal Winchester. A score of 40 points on a chilly, windy day is a great achievement.  We were well represented with Junior Captain Jenny Myers in 6th place.  Well done!   https://hlgjuniors.com/2021/04/26/junior-spring-meeting/

     

    Harriet Riches

    Vice-Captain Simon and I were honoured to act as starters for the Ladies Spring Meeting.  This was a great success, and the organisers are to be congratulated on a super day.  It was great to see the patio full of happy golfers.

    It was such a disappointment to have to cancel the Captains Charity Trip, planned for the first week of May.  I am pleased to have been able to re-book the golf for the equivalent week next year and am awaiting confirmation from the hotel.  The 56 members who booked this year still have something to look forward to.  I am still trying to arrange a substitute event for later this year but am getting no response from hotels.  I will keep you posted on progress.

    The Mens friendly team got off to a welcome start at Hockley with a hard fought 2-2 draw.  The Mixed friendly fixture list is posted on the Mixed noticeboard in the foyer.  These are good fun fixtures so if you would like to take part, please add your name or contact Marion or Alan Bruce direct.

    The knockout season is upon us.  These competitions are a popular part of our golfing calendar and this is peak time for matches (before 50% of us are knocked out!).  Singles matchplay is one of the quickest formats of play so please be aware of other players.  Where possible, arrange your matches at times when the course is quieter.  When you book the tee, contact David or the ProShop to block out the other 2 spaces. If you are playing in a 3 or 4-ball with a 2-ball following, please call them through, even if you have not lost ground on the group ahead.  The full guidance can be found on page 13 of the club diary.

    I have interviewed 35 new members and I do consider we have acquired some assets and wish you all a long and happy time as members of this wonderful Golf Club.

    As you are probably aware, I am to stay on as your Captain for 2022.  This was not an easy decision! Simon is keen to have a full year as Vice-Captain and we have both spent 5 months deleting events from our calendars.  I am fortunate to have the understanding and support of my wife Pat and am grateful for the many messages of support from you the members.

    Happy golfing!

    Tip

    Ladies Section

    Although frosty the sun was shining with all the signs of a beautiful day for our Spring Meeting as I walked the dog early on Tuesday Morning. On entering the car park I breathed a sigh of relief as I realised there was no trolley ban. Eighty Six Ladies were welcomed by Tip (Club Captain) on the first tee and Simon (his Vice) on the 10th, two smiling, helpful and enthusiastic Starters who sent all happily on their way.

    The day had been carefully thought out and planned with great precision by Jan Harring and Caroline Warne with cards and Handicaps organised by Gill Freemantle. The course, as usual was beautifully presented by Simon Justice and his hard working team and it was thrilling to use the new Ladies first tee.

    Two of our Ladies Jennifer Clelland and Lynne Duncan who were sadly unable to play, kindly ran Halfway Houses at the 1st and 10th where we were treated to biscuits and drinks refuelling us for our second nine.

    My playing partners Rosie and Barbara, were incredibly patient, playing out of they socks, keeping me calm whist I dealt with a small but significant domestic drama for a couple of holes. They deserved our win carrying me all the way.

    After a very friendly and happy round we met on the terrace joining up with Cathy and her team for a drink and sandwich surrounded by other tables filling up with other teams, later dispersing so that others could take their place. Our Club General Manager, David, joined by Melissa and Bar staff, Tracy and Hammy darted amongst us in their usual affable and serene manner serving drinks and sandwiches.

    Everyone was in great spirits, smiling and happy spurred on by the lovely weather. Jane Macrae celebrated her Birthday and I could not believe Rita Robinson, who played well, had celebrated her 90th Birthday the week before. Congratulations Rita you are a wonderful example to us all.

    Whilst we were all enjoying the sun Lynne Cowser joined Gill Freemantle inside to mark the cards.

    Congratulations to all the winning teams and thank you to all for making the day so special and a great start to our official Golfing season.

    Two of our Juniors took part in the Hampshire Junior Girls Spring Meeting at Royal Winchester on Sunday 25th April, Harriet Riches the outstanding winner with 40 points and Jenny Myers our Captain of the Juniors coming eighth with 30 points. Congratulations to both we are very proud of you.

     

    Di Peisley

    Match Committee Report

    Course Handicap & Playing Handicap

    All the questions you’ve been asking now about the why’s and wherefores’ of Course Handicap and Playing Handicap were all raised with England Golf by us back in November 2019. By that time, the implementation of the system was a fait accompli.

    In summary, the reason for the difference between the course and playing handicap is that statistical evidence shows the handicap index calculation (best 8 from 20) provides equity for singles match play but favours higher handicap players in stroke play events.

    • The course handicap is used in working out any adjustment to your handicap index. The handicap index calculation uses gross differentials, so the course handicap is used to determine par and net double bogey in working out your adjusted gross score.
    • The playing handicap (95% of course handicap) is used to calculate your score for the competition,
    • When you enter your score in the system it is working out and displaying your score for the competition.
    • All the data is then sent to England Golf who work out your handicap adjustments. The result of that calculation is sent back to the Club’s database overnight.
    • The R&A and USGA who now have full control of the handicapping system worldwide decided that players must put their course handicap on their scorecard (see Interpretation 3.3b (4)/1 of the Rules of Golf).

    Sign-in, Scorecards & Score Entry

    • You must sign-in on the day of the competition before the start of your round. Your Course and Playing Handicaps will be displayed when you sign-in.
    • Currently scorecards must not be exchanged, so you must record your own score.
    • The scorecard must have your name and Course Handicap (as displayed by the system at sign-in).
    • The scorecard must have the name of competition and the date so that it can be distinguished from any other competition that day.
    • The name of the player in your playing group who will verify your score must be clearly identified either on the physical or electronic scorecard.
    • You should record your own gross scores for each hole on the scorecard.
    • If you are verifying another player’s score, then those scores should be recorded on your scorecard and the player clearly identified.
    • After the round, the scores should be verbally agreed between you and verifier and you should sign the card.
    • You must enter your gross scores for each hole into the system using the PSI or Members App or HowDidiDo before 22:00 on the day of the competition.
      • You must leave your scorecard in the correct box. The Committee will not go looking for it.
        • Men’s and Mixed competitions  brown wooden box in Entrance Hall.
        • Ladies’ competitions  box in Ladies Changing Room.
        • Casual Play Scores  green metal box in the Entrance Hall.

    A Guide to WHS

    The Match Committee is preparing a Guide to WHS which will be made available to all members in May.

    Club Championships

    For clarification, due to a change in the software we are having to use Reserve lists for both the main and qualifying entry competitions of the Championships. When you try to make a booking, you must select Reserve List and then Join Reserve List.

    A reminder that all lower handicaps (men 12.0 and lower, ladies 20.0 and lower) must book by 31st May otherwise they will have to go through qualifying for which they would have to register.

    Members Survey

    The Members’ Survey will remain open till Sunday 9th May. We should be able to let you know the results in next month’s Fore Info along with our response and a plan for any resulting actions.

    Courage & Barclay Better Ball

    This competition on Sunday 9th May is a Better Ball medal competition for a pair in any combination – 2 men, 2 ladies, or man and lady. Sign-in is available now, but as this is a team competition only from the PSI in the Foyer. Score entry must also be done on the PSI. Sign-in and Score Entry for team competitions are not available on the Members’ App or HowDidiDo. Please make up your own teams and playing groups. There are no specifically reserved tee-times for the competition. As you are playing against the course, the handicap allowance for each player is 85% of Course Handicap.

    Harry May – Two Generations

    We intend to proceed with the Harry May – Two Generation on Sunday 13th June as planned. This foursomes Stableford competition is open to both 5 and 7 day members; 5 day members are not expected to pay a green fee. The relationship between the players must be parent, grandparent, step-parent or step-grandparent with child, or grandchild. One of the players must be a current Alresford member. If one of the pair does not have a handicap, then while they are welcome to play, they are not eligible to win the trophy although they are eligible to win a prize. Booking for the competition will open in the second week of May.

    George Clelland

    Chair of Match and Handicap Committee

    Mixed Matches

    The first mixed match this year will be an away match at Petersfield on 23rd May. The full list of matches and dates is on the Mixed notice board at the golf club.

    The sign up sheets for the early matches until the end of June are on the notice board. They are:

    Petersfield        Away     Sunday 23rd May at 1.30pm

    Hockley            Home    Wednesday 2nd June at 2.00pm

    Cowdray Park  Away     Monday 14th June at 12.00noon

    If you are unable to get to the club to sign up you can ask the office to do it or contact Marion or Alan Bruce and you can be added to the list. The sign up sheets close 3 weeks before a match.

    Any club member with a CONGU handicap is welcome to sign up to play. All the matches are played in a friendly manner and everyone is welcome, no matter what their handicap. It is hoped that members who haven’t played before will join in and sign up for the opportunity to play mixed golf both at home and on some very enjoyable away courses. Playing partners are drawn as part of team selection.

    The match teams will be communicated by posting the team list on the Mixed notice board and an email will be sent to all individuals involved. Team members are requested to play in team colours of white shirts and navy jumpers.

    A decision has been made that Five Day members may play in the weekend matches if we are unable to field a team from the Seven Day members. There will be a section on the sheet for Five Day members to sign up. Green fees will not be required.

    Specific catering arrangements are unclear at the moment but as we have rescheduled the early matches it is expected that all matches will include a meal. For home matches we expect to continue with a smart/casual dress code for our match meals.

    For more information or any queries please contact Marion or Alan Bruce.

    A Look at the Rules

    Question.

    A player finds their ball just outside of some rough ground marked GUR. The player can play the ball while standing outside the GUR. A bush growing inside the GUR overhangs the white line marking the GUR and interferes with the players swing. Is the player allowed to take free relief?

    Vets Section

    I am pleased to report on just how busy the Vets Section has been since last months edition of Fore. We now have 124 Members, up 35 since the start of the month.  Too many to name individually but welcome, or welcome back, as the case may be to  the Section.

    We played our first inter club friendly match at Hockley on the 19th April. The weather was exceptionally kind to us and our team enjoyed excellent hospitality provided by our opponents as we ate undercover outside on the patio. Although we unfortunately lost the match 4 – 2 each game was very close going down to the last couple of holes. We welcomed three of our new members to the team and hope they enjoyed themselves on their debuts. Our next 3 matches are away  to Waterlooville and Corhampton followed by the return home fixture against Hockley  on the 23rd June.  If you have not put your name down as available for selection then please do. If you are new to the Section and are putting your name down for the first time then, as we have done in previous years, you will be picked to play.

    The Wednesday ‘Roll Up’ has restarted within the current tee booking system. It certainly has proved very popular with large numbers of Vets playing which has now made the prize pot quite attractive. The format changes weekly and if you wish to roll up then book a tee time as normal for your 3 or 4 ball between 8.00am and 2.00pm. Please record your participation in the log book in the Starters Hut and leave your £2 in the cash box. On completion of your round leave your cards in the box on the Foyer Table. Winners will be notified by email and prize money will now be added to your Bar Card via the Office. This is to ease the workload of Melissa and Lynda and reduce footfall in the Office during the present Covid restrictions.

    Entry for the three Vets Knock Out competitions has now closed and the draw has been made. We had an excellent number of entries for each competition and the pairings and the ‘play-by’ dates for each round by are posted on the Vets Notice Board and have been circulated by email to members of the Section. If you are unsure of who you are playing with and/or against please contact me and I will resend you the details.

    Entries for the Captain v Vice Captain 4BBB on the 19th May closed on the 30th April. Again another excellent entry with 44 members keen to take part. We look forward to a fun event, contested in a friendly manner and hopefully, reversing the trend of previous years,  recording a win for the Captains team.

    We have received two invitations for entries to Senior Open Competitions at Romsey and at Blackmoor Golf Clubs. While notification of these Competitions is normally sent to the Vets Captain they are, of course, open to all senior golfers. Romsey’s Seniors Open is an individual stableford on the 5th July with closing date for entries on 7th June. Blackmoor are hosting their Senior Invitation Open, a stableford pairs competition, on the 30th July with a closing date of 9th July. Please see the Vets Notice Board for more details on how to enter these Open events.

    Hopefully you will be aware that one of our members, David Marshall, is seeking to reduce his current handicap from 14.7 down to 10. As an incentive to help him reach this target David is seeking Sponsorship with donations to the Captains Charity. To sponsor David sign up on the noticeboard in the clubhouse and put the donation into his Orange Sponsorship Envelope in the office.  Alternatively you can donate on-line at JustGiving.com and search for David Marshall -David’s Golf Handicap Chasedown. If successful think of all the shots he will be giving you!

    Gareth Rees

    Vets Captain

    General Manager’s Update

    This time last year we were still in the middle of the first lockdown period, wondering what was going on ? It is interesting to look back at some of the photographs you all sent in and which are posted on the website under ‘Covid photos’. Things have certainly moved over the last 12 months both on and off the course – Clubhouse Development approval, new 1st and 12th tees, new starters hut and surrounds plus of course a new Head Professional and increased membership numbers. We certainly can not be accused of standing still during lockdown.

    NEW MEMBERS

    Welcome to the following new members who have all joined the club during ‘lockdown’ ; Russell Smart, Robert Tilney, Chris Tully, Peter Williams, Johnny Cantor, Chris Taylor, Chris Smith, Robert Stone, James Banks and Sarah Clark (7 day) , Gerard Skinner (intermediate), William Howard  and Alfie Bougard (Student)

    We hope that your time at the club will be a long and enjoyable one for all of you.

    CLUBHOUSE/ BAR OPENING TIMES

    Outside table service will be available for drinks /coffee from the bar. Please be patient whist we take and prepare your orders. During busy periods we are increasing our staffing levels but there is a limit to how fast we can pour drinks. Incidentally the Peroni pump is the slowest!

    A range of pre-packaged hot and cold sandwiches are available for purchase.

    The bar will now be open from 11.00am – 7.30pm (Clubhouse will close at 7.45pm). Opening times will be continually reviewed.

    Members are reminded NOT TO MOVE tables around the patio or grass area – they are placed specifically to ensure compliance to social distancing. Maximum group size must be 6 people at the moment. Covid compliance checks have been reported in the area – please do not put your club at risk of breaking the regulations.

    FACEBOOK – check out our Facebook page

    https://www.facebook.com/alresfordgolfclub

    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/

    COMPETITIONS & CASUAL PLAY

    As we begin along the pathway to a more normal level of play – you will note that knockout competitions have resumed. This will mean that on occasions there will be 2 balls playing the course. Whilst we would encourage any 2 ball knockout match to try to avoid the main busy periods (4 balls), it is recognised that many members are restricted as to when they can play their golf. Therefore all members are reminded that the etiquette is to allow any faster group to play through, whether or not you have lost distance on the group in front. Please be aware of what is happening around you on the course and treat each other as you would wish to be treated yourself.

    DRIVING RANGE

    The driving range will close each Wednesday evening at 7.30pm (last balls dispensed at 7.00pm). This is to allow a full ball collection in preparation for grass cutting early Thursday morning before opening. This will help us ensure we do not damage range balls with the mowers and so reduce the number of balls available. Thank you for your understanding. The practice areas are available for use at any time.

    HISTORY BOOKS

    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!

    CLUB ARCHIVE – Working Group

    We are fortunate to have retained (hoarded) a huge amount of historical and photographic material about the club over the years. Recent clearance of roof spaces during lockdown have revealed even more boxes containing some gems about the transition of the club from 1980’s and 1990’s into what it is today.

    The House Committee would like your help in sorting the archive material  and detailing exactly what we have and will keep as part of the club’s history. If you are interested in joining this ‘working group’ please contact me at secretary@alresfordgolf.co.uk

     

    David Maskery

    General Manager

    Social

    Dates for your Diary over the next 6 months

    6th June – Captains’ Drive In (Part of Captain’s Charity Day)

    This is your chance to get to know the current captains better. Under the watchful gaze of Les Thorne, a few dark secrets may emerge! Captains will then be asked to carry out their traditional tee shot and you will have the opportunity to make a guess where the balls end up.

    19th June – Dawn Patrol (For those early risers!)

    This is a competition where we play for the renowned Druid’s Cup and includes prizes

    The entry fee entitles you to provisions that will sustain you for your early start (05:30- 7:00). Pre Covid we were able to offer a full English Breakfast. If you’ve not managed to play in this event before, it is great fun once the shock of the early start has worn off. It really is a lovely time to play golf and you get to witness all the wildlife on the course!

    Golden Bell, Augusta

    30th August- Par 3 Competition (Some exciting changes will be made to last year’s holes which are shown here).

     

    You will have seen and enjoyed the Par 3 Tournament at the Masters. The main course will be set up with 18 x Par 3 holes. Included last year within the course were three of golf’s most iconic Par 3 holes:Tee times should be booked in advance as normal, all play must be from the allocated Par 3 tees on the day – the regular tees are not available for play on the day.

    Island Green, TPC Sawgrass
    Postage Stamp, Troon

    4th September – Soultown

    For a fantastic night of Soul & Motown, look no further than SOULTOWN. VJK & Glenny have been performing for many years now and have a wealth of experience behind them. VJK performed as part of the legendary Soul & Motown group The Gillettes and brings his love of Soul and Motown music to Soultown in every performance.

    Their repertoire consists of songs such as Red Light Spells Danger, Get Ready, Higher & Higher, Love Train, and More Than a Number. Their slick choreography, powerful voices and the personalities to really grab an audience mean that this show has led these seasoned performers all over the UK & abroad.

    Mike Battisson

    Chair of the Social Committee

    Continue reading →
  • Fore Info April 2021 Mar 31, 2021 @ 19:39

    Let golf begin…

    Never before has there been such excitement to get back to golf. The ‘divot parties’ have once again been popular, testament to many dedicated members using any excuse to get on the course. Due to the lack of play I guess it was more like ‘Spot the Divot’.

    I hope you were lucky or skilful enough to master ClubV1 and get your favourite 4 ball booked. I expect many of you have played already. How was the first round? Please send me any funny restart stories and photos that I may publish next month. As always the best/funniest will be rewarded by a free drink in the bar when we get back to drinking.

    Not only was March 29th our first day of golf after lockdown 3, but also the inauguration of the improved first hole, as part of what was the ‘first impressions project’. The project, kicked off in 2018, has successfully met its objectives of both improving the first hole as well as making the arrival at the first tee more attractive and welcoming.

    The new starter hut, nicknamed ‘Bobs Billet’ or ‘Gezebob’ after Bob Moore (Greens Chair) was duly opened with a ribbon cutting by Pat Willis on behalf of the 100 Club, which kindly funded its purchase.  We must thank all the members that helped erect, paint, wire and prepare the hut which is a vast improvement in itself and as part of the new welcome at Alresford. Our Club Captain Tip, reminded everybody assembled as part of the honorary drive in group, of the initial drawing coming from Malcolm Scott for the new hole with bunkering and dogleg adaption. The greenstaff and Greens Committee has done an excellent job bringing these ideas to reality. A special thanks to Mal Hope-Mason for redesigning the flowerbeds and several members that sponsored the new plantings. A cleaned and repainted John Jacobs plaque now stands ideally positioned at the entrance to the hole. It was moved from behind the putting green where nobody saw it. This is a fitting addition as Malcolm was a disciple and friend of the great coach who opened the 18 hole course in 1993.

    The new first hole was officially renamed Scotts in recognition of Malcolm and his family that gave so much to the club over so many years. It was great to watch the opening drives from the family. Given their golfing pedigree it is no surprise that neither Malcolm, Jane, Becky or Tom tested out the bunker. That honour was left to Graham Marshallsay as 1st (but not last as Mel Exton followed Graham) in to the new bunker.

    It was fitting that Mary our most regular starter and recent Club Captain and former Chairman (amongst other roles- sorry Mary not enough space here to mention them all!) should be the Honorary Starter for the opening of Scotts.

    Well done to the whole First Impressions Team and Greenstaff  for all the excellent hard graft, making starting at Alresford something of which we can all be very proud.

    Given the easing of lockdown we are all hoping to restart our wonderful Social Scene, which over the years has been a hallmark of this great club. In order to give more Social space we will now have a dedicated regular column so nobody misses out on the next events. Make sure you read this section well every month so you don’t miss out on the signup.

    This month my ‘hot seat’ Interview is with Mark and Mandy Wood our new Pro Team. Find out more about them and their ambitions for the Club.

    I am personally keen to raise funds for the Captains Charity. Given the pandemic, charities have suffered reduced income so they need our help even more. So what can we do? Well I have decided to do a sponsored ‘Handicap Chase to Single Figures’. Mark Wood will be coaching me and I will personally add a £ donation for every member that sponsors me. (Sponsorship sign up on noticeboard & payment in office when club reopens). I will be reporting back on my progress during 2021 and beyond if necessary. I hope you will consider supporting me and the Captains Charity.

    Finally I would like to thank those members who contacted me with ideas for Fore Info. Although we cannot include them all, they are very welcome and have contributed to some of the changes you will see here and in the coming months.

    If you have ideas to further improve Fore Info, please email me at newsletter@alresfordgolf.co.uk or look me up on the club directory for a chat.

    David Marshall, Editor

    Finally I would like to pass the word to our Land Trustees. If you, like me are uncertain who the Land Trustees are and what they do, let me explain. We are not a Limited Company but rather an unincorporated members club where the members share in the Clubs Assets and Liabilities. When it comes to Land and Buildings owned or rented by the club, it is obviously not practical for these to be in the names of all members. So they are put in the names of at least two but no more than four ‘Land Trustees’. They hold them on behalf of all members and are obliged to deal with them as directed by the Management Committee. For the full story and much more I highly recommend ‘The History of Alresford Golf Club’ book, especially insightful for new members. (Copies available from the Office).

     

    MESSAGE FROM THE LAND TRUSTEES

    (David Harrison, Brian Young, Keith Monkhouse and Mary Rook)

    Now that we are back playing golf, albeit not yet enjoying the clubhouse to the full, you will have seen how the course has changed. New tees, bunkers and buildings have all appeared since we last played. Those of you who have walked the course during the closed period will have noticed how many were involved in achieving these changes. Not only were our greens staff doing their normal excellent work but many members were helping with the new buildings and re-siting the practice nets to complete the First Impressions project.

    But many more were involved with the club during the lockdown period, quietly working away to ensure that our club maintains and improves its standards during this difficult time. The Chairman, Captains and their committees have done much to prepare us for a possible club development and, with our General Manager and his staff, have kept us all well informed about the club future programme via periodic most informative emails. A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes.

    We would therefore like to pass our appreciation onto all those who, in their own quiet way, have done so well to keep our club responsive and developing during the lockdown period.


    Our New Pro Team

    Mark and Mandy Wood in the interview hot seat

    The pandemic has limited our time to engage with our new Pro, Mark Wood and his wife Mandy. What follows is the second of my editorial interviews to uncover more beyond just the obvious golfing skills and good looks! I uncover their back story and Mark shares his aspirations for the club as our new Pro.

    So Mandy, tell us about your family
    As some members may have seen, we have 2 children. Bella has just turned 10 and loves dancing, gymnastics, reading and computers. Our son Zach is 12 plays golf and like most boys is fanatical about computer games.
    Unfortunately, we have no pets at present as we recently lost our 15 year old cat. If the children get their way, we will be having a dog soon!
    I lived the majority of my life in a small village called Benenden in Kent after my parents relocated from Liverpool when I was only 4 years old.  Although I have lost my accent,  I have been told it comes back when I am with fellow Liverpudlians.
    Mark is from Seaford in East Sussex and has always lived in the south.
    Mark, have you always been into golf?
    Yes, golf was what I always wanted to do. I have played golf since the age of 12. After my parents divorced my Dad bought a house overlooking Seaford Head golf course which gave me every opportunity to play. I used to sneak onto the golf course everyday with a set of old golf clubs that I had found in the Cellar. On one of these occasions I was caught by the Head Pro of Seaford Head, Tony Lowles and to my surprise he did not berate me but took me under his wing and employed me in the Pro shop! I really did not enjoy school, however golf caught my attention and I tuned pro at the young age of 19, passing the exams with flying colours.
    I was coached by Justin Rose’s coach Nick Bradley, but decided not to follow Justin onto the tour. I was fascinated with the instructional side of golf and always will be.
    What are you most proud of in your career so far?
    That’s a tough question. I suppose coaching European tour pro, Steve Richardson, was a great experience. I also really enjoy writing articles in golf magazines.
    I have been a pro at several clubs including Seaford Head, Wellshurst and Dale Hill. It was at Dale Hill that I met Mandy. She was helping out as a puppeteer and working in the Pro Shop. I decided to start my own Golf Academy and moved the family to join Chichester Golf Club in 2016.
    Tell us something that is ‘unique about you both ’ that none of us already know?
    Mark? I have been a calendar boy for Play Better Golfs yearly calendar where I was flanked either side by the rather glamourous ‘Eye Candy Caddies’!  For those who do not know, this is a company that provides attractive male or female caddies for special golf events.
    I have self published two golf instructional books ‘Never Shank Again’ and ‘How to Crush it 20 Yards Further’
    How about you Mandy?
    Probably few members know that I am a trained Quantity Surveyor. My speciality was suspended ceilings and partitions. Exciting stuff!
    So why did you decide to join Alresford Golf Club? I heard the interview process was quite brutal- tell us more…
    Yes the interview process was like no other I ever experienced. Surviving it was a career highlight!
    There were several interviews then a live teaching lesson with a member, where I was being observed. The thorough interviewing gave me a good impression of the club and how seriously they take the recruitment of new staff.
    Mandy and I are quite superstitious and after I started at Alresford I noticed the plaque presented by John Stirling in the clubhouse. John Stirling was my tutor throughout my training and in the final coaching interview he took me to one side and told me he could see me being very successful in the future, which was a great honour , we knew it was a ‘sign’ Alresford was meant for us.
    I think it is one of the top jobs in Hampshire golf. I really wanted to get back to a friendly ‘members-run’ club where we can really get to know the members both through coaching, in the shop and at club events.
    How have you found Alresford Golf Club so far? It must have been terrible with lockdown affecting your start up and now Terry leaving…..
    It is sad that Terry is leaving but we wish him well. He did a lot to help us in the transition, so we are very grateful. We are in talks with getting a new Pro soon and have employed Benjamin as a summer student (Business Studies at Bournemouth). We will expand as needed to meet member’s needs.
    It was challenging to start on the 1st November 2020 and shut within the week for lockdown 2, followed by a wonderful December.  Alas, January brought lockdown 3 leading to us having to close the doors once again, but we have tried to remain positive throughout.  We are so thankful of the kindness, support and advice from members and committee members. We were made to feel at home right away.
    Mark, there are many ways to teach golf. Tell us about your approach and why you chose it?
    I believe a ‘one size’ approach does not fit all. It all starts with really understanding what the person really needs and where we can make a difference. Most important is to agree what achievement to target before getting into swing details.

    Present Role Professional, Alresford Golf Club since 2020
    Turned Pro 1996
    Married Mandy (Qualified Quantity Surveyor)
    Children 2, Bella and Zach
    Qualifications PGA Advanced Professional
    Hobbies Mark: Reading, Fishing, DIY, Stocks & Shares,

    Mandy: History, Architecture, Reading Crime Thrillers

    So what differentiates your approach to coaching from other Professionals?
    The main difference is that I care about results delivered, not just ‘swing change by the hour’. It is more of a coach-coachee partnership working for sustainable improvements. I have found this approach really works, although requires commitment from both sides.
    Many of us are tired of taking lessons because we don’t see sustained improvement. Why should I come to you for help?
    Lessons and coaching are two different things. It should not start with a lesson but on an agreement on what you want to achieve in a given time scale, say 3, 6 or 12 months. Once we set the objectives, then we start to work TOGETHER to reach them.
    A key element is to understand what you are doing, where ‘video’ makes this a lot easier. The Flightscope technology helps me understand why things are going wrong as well as track progress. I often have new people coming to me that have never seen their coach on the course, always on the range. Can you imagine a football coach not watching all his teams matches, relying only on the practice ground? I firmly believe in a playing lesson to see where and how shots are lost before agreeing an approach to meet the objectives. There are many ways to lower scores.
    So can you help me get from a handicap of 15 down to single figures Mark?
    I can’t promise but I have helped many golfers in the past achieve it.
    Editor: OK Mark lets call it the Editor Pro Challenge ‘Handicap Chase to Single’. We can follow progress in Fore Info. I will try to raise sponsorship money for the Captains Charity. I know a lot of members who would bet you could not get me to single figures!
    I am up for the challenge, David. I will book a playing lesson to spot what I am up against.
    Mark, We can get unlimited free golf lessons on Youtube so why should we come to you?
    There are thousands of video tips, many conflicting each other that can make it confusing. So which is right for you? Which suits my body size and swing history?
    It’s easy to misunderstand the changes from watching a video. You can never see yourself so you may not be doing exactly as they suggest. Also some tips don’t work on specific swing issues. Golf swings are so personal.
    Mandy, you are going to be the Shop Manager supporting Mark. Tell us about what we can expect in the shop and what services you offer?
    I would like the shop to reflect the ethos of the club. Professional and knowledgeable but run with a warm and friendly feel. We want the shop to be a nice welcoming place not a place where you feel you are just being sold to! After all it is the ‘members’ shop.
    We will try to get whatever members want. I know due to COVID and Brexit we could not get stock and it was tough not being able to supply what that members needed.
    Suppliers delayed launches as they had lots of old stock. This meant we were stocking up at a time that new season stock was not available to us.
    We will run a bespoke club service with core ranges of Callaway, Taylormade and Ping clubs. We can get others if members want it through our link to a network of other Pro’s so don’t worry- just ask.
    We are making plans for the season and have a few new ideas up our sleeves. There will be a number of Demo days throughout the year for members to try clubs on the range. We aim to be ‘Your total golf solution’……. competitive and local. We hope you will make the most of our services.
    There is a perception that on-course golf shops are expensive and it is better to buy on line or in a mega store. What’s the benefit of buying in the AGC golf-shop?
    This is a common misperception we want to dispel. We offer a ‘Price Match’. That means if you find something at a cheaper price on line or at a golf mega store we will match that price. Two recent examples of this can make our point. On Footjoy Tradition shoes we were able to match a new Clubhouse Golf offer of £99 vs £109.
    Also the Bushnell Pro rangefinder was offered on a special by American Golf so we gave a member a price match and £10 back. We can’t keep up with the ever changing offers around the UK and online but the price match is our way of proving our competitiveness.
    I heard you have lots of technology in the Academy. Tell us about how this can help members?
    Yes we offer swing analysis with Flightscope. It can measure many things including club head speed, angle of attack and ball speed and much more. Mostly it helps me more quickly find the fault and decide how to fix it. Everything happens in just a few seconds in the swing so its great to be able to slow it down and locate the issue.
    I am also fine with the golfer that does not embrace technology. Say she or he is hitting it short and comes to me for help. I am able to show what the difference is and help her or him to understand.
    Mark you follow in Malcolm’s footsteps, who was here for so many years, so it can’t be easy.
    He had a great long career at Alresford!  Big shoes to fill for sure. I am so grateful for the help Malcolm gave in the transition and I hope we will continue to see him playing at the club in the coming years.
    What would you like to be remembered for as our Pro?
    I would like to contribute to the club development in several ways.  I want to support the club to continue to attract new members, I will use a beginners program as the centre point, and will ensure that we continue with our great work of making sure that the new members slide right in.  Some new initiatives I am proposing are to encourage them to play a round of golf with myself and recommend partners that will complement their playing ability and style.
    In addition I want to make sure that all members find me accessible and available should they need advice on their golf or even just a chat.  The Captain/Pro matches will be the start of me trying to get to know all of the members and for them to become more comfortable with me.
    We want to make the shop welcoming and spoil the members with offers that showcase some of the best golf equipment on the market.
    I hope to contribute to enhancing the clubs’ reputation as one of the best and most friendly clubs in Hampshire.

    Quickfire Q and A

     
    Favourite golf course?
    The Forest Golf Club, Florida
     
    Dream 4 ball partners?
    Tiger, Jack Nicklaus, Rory McIlroy
     
    Your biggest golfing disaster?
    6th Head at Seaford GC. Hooked it onto the road and almost hit a car.
     
    Curry or Fish & Chips?
    Mark: Curry, but Mandy: F&C
     
    Wine or Beer?
    Mandy: intravenous Sancerre. Mark: Wine and Beer, not mixed…
     
    YouTube or Netflix?
    Netflix for Mandy, You Tube for Mark
     
    Favourite Film
    Mandy: ‘Seve’
    Mark: ‘CaddySack’
     
    The Beatles or The Sex Pistols?
    The Beatles (Liverpool connection)
     
    The Queen or Madonna?
    The Queen
     
    Gym work or Driving Range Practice? 
    Mark: Both
    Mandy: Gin work with tonic…
     
    Spurs or Southampton FC?
    Mark: Spurs
    Mandy: David Beckham for his good looks

    Management Corner

    Return to golf

    Obviously, it is a relief for us all for golf to be legal once more; on reflection…what a very strange statement that is; but never-the-less an accurate assessment of the journey that we have all endured as golfers and members of our Club.

    Mandatory Tee Times continue for as long as required as stipulated by authorities such as; England Golf. Pre-booked Tee Times will not continue at the Club for any longer than needed. Once Tee Times fall-away we will return to roll-up golf on all days, subject to traditional bookings for matches etc.

    Finances

    There is some difficulty for our Club in our financial forecast for this financial year through to September 2021. Currently we forecast a loss of £40,000 due to less income from the bar, visitors, guests and societies. The Management Committee has taken the view to not to chase increased income in the golf season from visitors and societies, so that Members’ golf is prioritised. We hope for a brilliant golf season making full use of our wonderful and improved course, practice facilities and bar & catering services. I am sure we will all value our club far more this season.

    Proud to be a Members’ Club

    Since becoming Chairman in 2018, I have sought to prioritise members who provide nearly 80% of our golf income; we are a Members’ Club. We collectively own the Club, and throughout 2020/21 we have provided a higher proportion of income than normal, and have faced very long periods of being unable to use our own Club. I am therefore really grateful to Management Committee Members, and Vice-Captain Simon Freemantle in particular, in prioritising Members’ Golf and accepting this may result in a deficit for this financial year.

    The Club faces a loss of members every year at the time of annual renewals, we plan for 9% attrition each year which was accurate again this year.  In my first year as Chairman, member renewals at the end of January were 486, this year we had 536 renewals. This increase significantly improves financial forecasting and enables us to set lower income expectations from visitors and societies; thus further developing priorities for our Members. Club rules allow for a total full membership of 675 5 & 7 day members; the Management Committee are required to regulate this number based on income requirements and the capacity of the Course. Given the increased amount of golf that our Members tend to play, my Committee has decided to initially limit the number of members this year to one hundred less than permitted; 575.

    At the time of writing; we have 560 members signed-up and only 15 memberships available. This success is testament to the Club’s culture in prioritising Membership which is driven by Nick Duncan and the Planning & Development Committee, implemented by our General Manager, David Maskery. All this success leads to an increased workload for our Captains who provide essential screening and ultimate welcome for our new members.

    You will recall some of the congestion we suffered previously, due to; visitors, HPLS members and Winter Members bringing lots of guests and being able to play at the same times as Club Members. Again, the increase in full member numbers allows us to not seek these subsidiary membership schemes but to release course capacity for full members.

    Key Members – Festival Weekend

    There will be a ‘festival weekend’ at the earliest possible opportunity, once all Covid restrictions are lifted; currently this is anticipated as being after June 21st, according to current, central information. The festival weekend would be planned to include a Friday so that 5-day members and 7-day members can take part. It is likely that we will hold a competition to award the newly presented Key Member trophy won by Richard Lane last year. This year we have all been Key Members and we hope that as many members as possible can take part over a 3-day weekend. The Club are planning to provide drinks, food and a warm Club atmosphere to enable us to celebrate a full return to golf and our Club. Much more information once we have some confidence in lockdown restrictions.

    Clubhouse Development

    Chair of the House Committee, Sue Masser, has been working tirelessly to progress plans and planning for the agreed Clubhouse Development scheme. Our plans have been submitted to achieve planning permission, so we hope for a positive outcome. Once we have a positive outcome and final plans we can go out to tender with contractors and then finally implement the members’ loan note scheme to support the build. We will then be able to award the contract and provide members with a schedule for the build.

    I hope that you enjoy your return to golf as much as I anticipate that I will on Good Friday, and that we can be ‘one club’ again as soon as all restrictions are lifted. I also need to register my immense thanks to David Marshall for not only bringing Fore Info together each month, but for the new format and content; thank you David.

     

    Robert White

    Chairman of the Management Committee

    From the Club Captain

    We’re back!   On a lovely sunny Spring day, the course opened on 29th March in wonderful condition considering the recent weather and those pesky rooks.  Some of our members found getting their kit together a challenge, but most got round OK.

    Our editor has covered this earlier, so I add my thanks to all involved in the planning, financing and execution of the First Impressions project.  “Scotts” is a permanent legacy to mark 40 exceptional years and we look forward to a full Alresford Golf Club celebration when circumstances allow.

    The Captain/Pro Challenge is open for bookings through the ProShop.   Book early, 4 of the first 8 have been taken.  The trophy will be in the shop when it reopens.

    Friendly interclub matches have previously been listed on a notice board but in 2021 we are going techno – all fixtures have been entered into ClubV1 for you to review. Some fixtures have not made the list this year due to Covid restrictions and calendar clashes as we inevitability have a truncated season.

    Our first match is soon upon us and is away at Hockley on Thursday April 15th at 3pm. Covid restrictions will still apply so you should look at this event as ‘golf only’ and please remember social distancing. If you wish to be considered for this match please mark your availability in ClubV1. Within the ClubV1 Members Hub menu select the Club Teams option, then select Men’s Friendly Matches 2021 followed by view team details. That should take you to our fixture list where you can, at this early stage, mark which matches you would like to be considered for.  Vice-Captain Simon simonfreemantle@btinternet.com organises the teams and you can contact him direct if all else fails!

    George has covered other events and knockouts in his report.  My thanks to him and the Match Committee for their hard work.

    Continue reading →
  • Fore Info March 2021 Feb 23, 2021 @ 17:14

    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 newsletter@alresfordgolf.co.uk or look me up on the club directory for a chat.

    David Marshall

    Editor

    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
    Born Leicester
    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)
    Achievements

    School football, hockey, cricket and rugby teams

    Guildford Hockey Club

    County Table Tennis Player

    Trumpet in Hampshire Youth Band.

    Golf Handicap 13.5

    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.

    Continue reading →

  • Fore Info February 2021 Jan 31, 2021 @ 13:43

    Management Corner

    Clubhouse Development Programme – Approval to proceed.

    I am delighted to report that the recommendation of the Management Committee to progress with Option 2 of the Clubhouse Development Programme was carried at the Special General Meeting (SGM) of the Club. The Club is most grateful to extensive contributions made by former Captains Graham Marshallsay and Brian Wright at the early stages of concepts, and the most recent contributions of Sue Masser and David Maskery in preparation for the SGM on behalf of the Management Committee. We are also indebted to Nick Duncan, Chair of Planning and Development, for communicating so effectively throughout the planning stages and for delivering on ambitious targets for full members, which provides a stable financial base on which to plan confidently for the future.

    The Club held the Special General Meeting (SGM) on Friday, 15th January 2021 to determine matters in relation to Clubhouse Development as required by our rules. 121 full members participated by either providing proxy votes to the SGM or by attending, and voting, at the meeting hosted on Zoom. In compliance with Club rules regarding general meetings of the Club; the meeting was quorate upon the participation of a minimum of 50 full members.

    Next Steps

    Chair of House, Sue Masser, and the General Manager will progress the following, on behalf of the Management Committee;

    • Liaise with the architect to provide final plans and apply for planning permission
    • Review schedule and costs associated with the Clubhouse Development
    • Invite and review tenders from contractors
    • Provide final costs to the Management Committee (assuming planning permission is granted)

    Should planning permission be granted the Management Committee will consider costs and schedules, taking into account the agreed caveats in place; set out below.

    There are three caveats to be in place, before the build for Option 2 begins;

    1. An extension to the current lease for the 30 acres leased from the Tichborne Estate is signed and in place.
    2. The Management Committee’s assumptions on the maximum number of full members are achieved.
    3. The Management Committee will continue to manage the risks presented by the ongoing Covid pandemic. Whilst it is not possible to specify the exact conditions that need to be in place in relation to Covid in order to commit to the build phase of Option 2, the Management Committee will restrict or approve progress sensibly in relation to the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.

    Club Professional – Mark Wood

    You can probably imagine how tough it is for our new Head Professional, Mark Wood and his wife Mandy who both joined us on 1st November 2020.

    Due to Covid restrictions they are currently unable to open the shop or provide coaching at this time. However, they are taking bookings for coaching and indeed providing excellent deals on equipment that can be collected in readiness for your return to golf. Golf coaching packages are available at discounted rates which will provide the perfect springboard for you to get back into golf for the season.

    The Pro-Shop has been upgraded, to provide a lighter space.  Upgrades to Flightscope for coaching provide state of the art coaching support, with video, together with ball and swing path tracking. It’s quite an experience and available through Mark at your Club in the new Golf Studio; so, do book in advance.

    Members Subscriptions

    Many thanks to the vast majority of members who have paid their 2021 subscriptions already and claimed their £50 credit for paying before the end of January. As a members club, your loyalty is critical to our successful future.

    We do appreciate that some members do leave each year, which is why the Club runs a continuous campaign to bring in 40 to 50 new members each year. On 1st February the Management Committee will meet to determine the maximum number of full members for 2021, as we have been experiencing much more members’ golf during the Covid period, and there is an obvious limit to the number of tee times that can be available. There will be no opportunity to pay a ‘pro-rata subscription’ to renew later in the spring; for example, as we are expecting membership to be full at that time.

     

    Any current member who paid before 31st January 2021 is guaranteed membership for the year, however from 1st February the Club will be accepting the applications from new members waiting to join, and we will be limiting the total number of full members to ensure that the course is not too busy. That number is very likely to be slightly less than the total number of members that we had last year.

     

    As recently announced; the Government will be reviewing Covid restrictions in a few weeks’ time, and we expect the course to re-open at that time so we will re-open tee bookings to paid-up members at the earliest opportunity. However, when coming to play, do ensure that you attach your members tag to your golf bag because the Club will be operating a strict ‘no bag-tag…no golf’ policy. We do appreciate that there can be a lag of a few days between making payment and collecting your bag-tag, especially if playing at weekends. I am sure that you will understand that we need to check that only 2021 members are playing the course.

     

    So; if you intend to play at the Club in 2021, and have yet to pay your subscription, you must do so without delay. Otherwise you risk losing out should new membership be closed.

     

    1st Impressions Project

    In our absence, Simon and the greens team have made outstanding progress on the 1st Tee and 1st Impressions project. There is a noticeable improvement already in the layout of the 1st Tee providing for a safer environment and greatly enhanced ‘first impression’. As announced on Malcolm’s retirement; the 1st hole will be re-named; ‘Scotts’, in appreciation of the many contributions to our Club and course by Malcolm, Jane and family. I look forward to not only returning to golf, but also to some ceremony and celebration upon formal drive-in of the new 1st hole. No pressure, Malcolm, just a nice easy draw over the new bunker. I am sure, at that time, there will be a lot for the Club to celebrate in near-normal golfing conditions; hopefully!

    I am expecting that next month’s Fore Info will be written having returned to golf at the Club. Times like these really do remind us how important our golf, community and friends are to us. Not long now; hopefully!

     

    Robert White

    Chair of the Management Committee

    From the Club Captain

    I write this looking out on a wonderful snow-covered vista.  No golf today!  During this period of golfing inactivity our committees and members generally are still working on our behalf.  George and his match committee are putting plans together for competitive golf when we restart.  The Captain’s committee are also working on golfing matters.  Simon and the match organisers are trying to work out friendly and match fixtures.  All in the hope that we do have some normalcy later this year.  Early casualties include the Gales Hockley competition which is cancelled for this year and the highly prestigious pre-season friendly against the Hampshire County Team.  Last year would have been the 50th anniversary and it now looks like it will be next year before we can mark this occasion.

    Our charity work continues.  Former member Kevin Peel kindly made 12 rounds at Remedy Oak available to me, proceeds to 2021 captains Charity. This raised £731 including gift aid and Ocado added £500.

    Di’s appeal to provide craft bags for the Carroll Centre has brought in about £855 so far. The first 50 bags were delivered last week, and Di is now putting similar kit together for Winchester Young Carers.

    £2000 so far in total and still no Captains Drive-in!!  Thank you for your support.

     

     

    Continue reading →

  • Fore Info January 2021 Dec 31, 2020 @ 13:00

    Management Corner

    Clubhouse Development

    You should by now have received notice of the forthcoming Special General Meeting (SGM), finally to reach a decision to proceed with Phase 1 of the planned programme of Clubhouse Development.

    It is hard to believe the length of time that has passed since my last update on the subject, but for reasons we all understand it has not been possible to advance matters any further, until this time.

    The background to the project, and the originally surveyed options, are well understood by the membership, but it is perhaps worth reprising on the outcome of the more recent survey, which concluded this last September.

    This second survey aimed to measure members’ on-going appetite to continue with the Programme, and to quantify potential participation in a voluntary loan scheme. This survey closed on 30th August 2020 and attracted 352 participants; again, something of a record for such initiatives.

    Results, in summary were that:

    · 81.9% of members remained in favour of continuing with the Clubhouse Development Project, with 18.1% against

    · 135 members would consider making voluntary loans to Club totalling a minimum (theoretical) sum of £935,000

    The Management Committee therefore accepted the result of the survey as in favour of continuing with the development programme

    The SGM is being held by Zoom on Friday 15th January, with members receiving in advance a significant amount of supporting information, necessary to take the final decision to proceed.

    Long term vision for our clubhouse

    The information pack included the following:

    • Background to the project – how and why we have got to where we are now
    • Summary perceptions of the existing clubhouse
    • Initial survey conclusions (hierarchy or proposed improvements)
    • Expected benefits from the development (membership, revenue, savings, the intangible gains)
    • 2nd survey findings
    • Questions and Answers, covering in detail:
    • Cash management
    • Profit and loss
    • Planning
    • Project management
    • Security
    • Lease
    • Timing

    The journey to taking a final decision to start this much-needed project has been long and eventful, but at last we have in sight the starter’s gun…..

    In concluding, it is perhaps worth reminding ourselves why this project is so important for us.

    As with all golf clubs we are an ageing membership, with some perhaps tempted to think ‘what’s in it for me’, or maybe ‘it’s really just about the course. I’m only here for the golf’.

    The Clubhouse, and the services it provides, is as much a part of the club as the course itself. The completion of this project will provide a legacy for future generations of members that we – the current membership – can all be proud of.

    Postscript

    PLEASE NOTE that in order to vote at the meeting on the 15th, or by proxy before that, you will need to have paid your subscription and renewed your club membership.

    Nick Duncan
    Chair, Planning and Development Committee

    From the Club Captain

    I do hope you all had a very enjoyable Christmas.  There will have been very few of us who were able to celebrate as plannedThe changes to the rules did create problems and opportunitiesAlthough disappointed to be unable to travel to my mum and sister, I was delighted to take my place in the Boxing Day Captain v Professional Challenge matchWe were blessed with a fine day of weather and over 60 members and guests took part.  Mark’s team was always going to win this yearI’m delighted to report that Mark Tiplady’s team came out on top 18-14!   

    Less than 4 weeks after we were able to re-open the course, tier 4 came and limited us to 2-balls only (apart from players from the same household).  In that short time the match committee arranged a number of competitions and Pro Stablefords filled the gaps. 

    Continue reading →

  • Fore Info December 2020 Dec 1, 2020 @ 0:01

    Management Corner

    AGM

    The Club held a quorate and compliant AGM by Zoom on Friday 27th November, with both live voting and proxy voting ahead of meeting.

    The AGM meeting was expertly arranged by David Maskery having spent a lot of time in research into other Club’s remote AGM’s and having taken advice on compliance with our Club rules. Zoom held up well and the meeting was continuous without any breaks in the online platform.

    The AGM confirmed that Honorary Membership will be conferred on Brian Young who has been central to so much of the Club’s development, from a nine-hole course to the eighteen-hole course we play today. The Club lost a significant amount of land to the Alresford by-pass more than 30 years ago, and Brian was instrumental in securing replacement land ensuring a bright future for us.

    All other motions were passed by a combination of both the live and the proxy voting methods, with more than 120 members taking part.

    I was delighted that we were able to hold live discussions under AOB, on; suggestion to maintain some tee time booking post-covid, a suggestion to provide compensation for our members in 2020 due to the course being closed for two periods, and the membership schemes offered in 2020 in response to the emergency created by the Covid pandemic.

    Re-Opening of the Course

    The course will re-open following guidance from regulators and central Government. Tee times need to continue for now which will continue until such time as we are informed that they are no longer needed. It is the default position of the Club to return to golf without pre-booked tee times at the earliest opportunity. If there is sufficient interest in having some pre-booking in the future the Management Committee and Captain’s Committee will lead a full consultation of our members to ensure that all members have an opportunity to contribute their thoughts on the matter.

    Clubhouse Development

    The Management Committee has invited members of the Finance Committee to our next meeting in two-weeks’ time to review plans and finance options for the proposed Clubhouse development. A Special General Meeting (SGM) of the Club will be called should a preferred package of improvements and finance be approved. That SGM will be called with at least two-weeks’ notice with all full members being provided with detailed plans and costings so that informed decisions can be made at that time.

    Head Professional – Mark Wood

    I need your help! Mark first applied to become our Head Professional in March this year; and then after 6-months of interviews and planning he started with us on November 1st and was forced to close within a few days.

    Mark, and his wife Mandy, have invested personal funds and much time in an update of the Pro-Shop and brand-new stock. Mark also has invested many thousands of pounds in ‘Flightscope’ which is a high-tech coaching aid which replicates your swing path, ball flight, angle of attack etc. He will also provide you with a video of your swing and pinpoint improvements and practice drills for you, following a lesson with him.

    Mark has a price match guarantee for shop stock and will provide a full range of standard and custom fitted clubs from Callaway, TaylorMade, and Ping for example.

    So; do check out the updated Pro-Shop on your return to golf at the Club, and do your Christmas shopping safely at your Club.

    Management Committee

    It is a privilege for me to be Chairman of the Management Committee, and act on your behalf; I thank the AGM for their ratification of my post for a further year. If you want to provide me with any feedback about our Club please do so by emailing me; chairman@alresfordgolf.co.uk. But do tell me good things as well as the not-so-good!

    All existing members of the Management Committee were ratified to continue in post for another year, with a new Vice-Captain of the Club joining us for the next 12-months as usual.

    Management Committee members are;

    Chairman – Robert White

    Chair of Finance – Ray Panter

    Chair of Bar & Catering – Trevor Pearce

    Chair of House – Sue Masser

    Chair of Greens – Bob Moore

    Vice-Captain – Simon Freemantle

    Chair of Planning and Development – Nick Duncan

    Membership Numbers

    Our Club rules permit a total of 675 full members. Given the amount of golf each member now plays this is considered to be an outdated limit, but no change has been made in recent decades. The Management Committee will determine a ‘maximum number of Full Members’ policy, to be implemented this year, without a rule change at this time. It is likely that the Club will need to close to new members at some point during the spring of 2021, so that our course does not become over-crowded and that; as members we enjoy the privileges of a Club that really feels like ‘a private members’ club’, reflecting that our Club is owned by its members.

    Any 2020 full member is guaranteed continued membership on payment of their 2021 membership subscription before January 31st 2021. After that date; lapsed members can re-join but it may be that the Club has taken on other members in the subsequent months and that we might have closed to further 2021 subscriptions.

    So the simple message is; if you intend to pay your 2021 subscription, do pay on receipt of the invoice from David Maskery and by the very, very latest by January 31st 2021. If you might have some difficulty in meeting that date, do discuss it with David as he will be keen to help.

    David Maskery – General Manager

    The AGM conferred thanks and congratulations to David for an outstanding years’ work keeping us all safe and well-informed. David’s role has changed from that as a traditional Club Secretary, so I have moved his role, by agreement, to that of ‘General Manager’. On your return to the Club you will notice that the main office has been extended into Malcolm’s old office. This will help David to maintain confidentiality and to be undisturbed by members when he is busy. The new layout of the main office, will also provide a better impression for new customers and new members.

    Robert White

    Chairman of the Management Committee

    From the Club Captain

    Here we go then! 

    We are back on the course, which looks to be in wonderful condition considering the weather.  

    Great work Simon and team!  

    I was able to join Caroline Warne as she acted as starter at 8:00 on Wednesday 2nd. 

    The first group out was Les Widdicombe and Ed Fox. Huge smiles all round!  

    First impressions coming along nicely.

    Good to see the progress made on the winter projects. 

    The new bunker on the first hole looks superb from the tee. 

    The honour of being the first to find it from the tee went to Dudley George who was the 18th to tee off at 8:36.

     

    Continue reading →
  • Fore Info November 2020 Nov 1, 2020 @ 0:01

    Management Corner

    Covid Restrictions

    • You will be aware that legal restrictions in relation to the Covid pandemic come into force on Thursday 5th November.
    • Current indications are that golf courses will need to close again, and should this be the case our Club will not be open.
    • We are staying alert for all announcements and changes so that the Club remains compliant and ready to react should things change.
    • We will continue to keep you updated.

    Malcolm and Jane

    The Club held a lovely event on Saturday 31st October to mark Malcolm and Jane’s retirement, and their exceptional contribution to our Club over 40 years. Malcolm was joined by some former Alresford Assistant Professionals, members and guests to play the course in fairly unpleasant conditions. Presentations followed with speeches from Malcolm, Brian Young and John Goodacre reflecting on a remarkable career spanning four decades. Becky added a final speech reflecting on having parents dedicated to both their family and golf business; much credit to her for managing to deliver such an emotional and personal message. It was a highly emotional day all-round!

    Presentations were made of flowers, an inscribed Champagne bucket and a cheque for £5,000 from members contributions which Malcolm and Jane will use to fund a ski holiday to Canada.

    It was further announced, that; once alterations are completed to the 1st tee area this winter, as part of the First Impressions Project, the 1st hole will be renamed ‘Scotts’ in recognition of their many contributions to our Club and course. We will be inviting Malcolm to ‘drive-in’ the new layout as part of a renaming event in the Spring.

    We wish Malcolm and Jane a much deserved and happy retirement, and look forward to seeing them at the Club enjoying life as fellow members.

    Mark Wood

    Our new Head Professional started on November 1st, and of course faces closure almost immediately on the 5th November, which must be awful. Mark and his wife Mandy have been busy making arrangements for the Pro Shop and all other aspects of becoming our new Professional Team which will continue to include Terry Gosden.

    Mark wasted no time in providing the first golf lesson to Polly Chuch at 11-00am on his first day, as Polly was the recipient of a free lesson resultant from Mark’s recent member’s survey.

    We wish Mark and Mandy much success and happy days with us all at Alresford.

    AGM & SGM

    This month’s AGM will go ahead, but in a format that meets with Covid Restrictions. As you know, further lockdown restrictions are to be imposed starting from the 5th November, following announcements on October 31st. We will also need to hold a separate SGM to consider proposals for the Clubhouse Development project. Both the AGM and SGM will be planned to provide opportunities for members to cast their votes as required, in a format that supports our Club rules and is compliant with Covid restrictions.

    It does look as if we are in for a difficult month, but let’s hope that we can get back to golf and our Club before the end of the year.

    Robert White

    Chairman of the Management Committee

    From the Club Captain

    In common with, no doubt, all correspondents this month I must start with reference to the seismic change striking Alresford Golf Club.  As I’m writing this we are rapidly approaching the end of an era and indeed by the time you read this the new era will have started.  On Saturday 31 October we formally said farewell to Malcolm Scott after 40 years as our Club Professional.  Sadly Covid-19 meant we were unable to mark Malcolm’s Retirement as we, the members, and I am sure he would have wished.  However, thanks to Les Thorne and a number of other like-minded souls, we did manage to achieve a ‘pretty memorable’ and socially distanced farewell.  

    Enjoy the next chapter Malcolm.  A mega thank you for everything on behalf of all members and a special personal thank you from me.  It’s all Malcolm’s fault that you have me as Captain as 25 years ago he taught me (or tried to!).    

    The new era has begun in several ways:

    • Firstly, we welcome Mark, our new Professional, and his wife Mandy – who will be ‘front of house’ in the Pro shop.   
    • Secondly, the ‘world’, or at least the golf world, changes on 2 November with the introduction of World Handicapping.  What fun!!  
    • Thirdly, as a knock-on of the covid situation, on Friday 6 November we say farewell to Chris and Kelly Pullinger.    

    As ever much golf has been played although the weather has affected some competitions this last month.  Lots of good scores and inevitably

    Continue reading →
  • Fore Info October 2020 Sep 30, 2020 @ 21:40

    Management Corner

    Covid-19

    We continue to be alert to the issues relating to the Covid pandemic and are continuing to make adjustments on an agile basis, as and when the Club receives mandates and/or guidance from advisers and regulators. Following the most recent guidance it would appear that we will need to be patient and potentially wait until the New Year before we are able to return to golf as normal.

    Members have been magnificent in their adherence to the necessary precautions, which helped us all to thoroughly enjoy our golf. We continue to be really well served by David Maskery whose timely and knowledgeable interventions have kept us all safe and playing lots of golf.

    Clubhouse Development

    The recent members survey in relation to potential Clubhouse Development revealed more than 80% of members are in support of continued planning to improve our Clubhouse. Sue Masser and David Maskery are working with our appointed architect and surveyors to finalise a potential phased scheme to be put to the members at a SGM, when that is possible. Prior to any SGM, Members will be provided will full information and costs so that we may all make informed decisions when we come to vote on the final, phased scheme. All plans will take account of the impact of the Covid pandemic on both use of the Clubhouse and the Club’s financial performance.

    Chairman’s Cup

    I am pleased that we will be running a new competition that seeks to recognise volunteers at our Club. This year we are indebted to those members who have volunteered to act as ‘starters’ which enables all of us to play a lot of golf. Therefore, everyone who has acted as a volunteer starter will be invited to participate in an 18-hole team and individual stableford competition on the morning of 11th October; shotgun start. More information on this competition can be requested from the office, however, the intention is to make this an annual event as our Club relies on many volunteers. In subsequent years we will be opening the competition to our volunteer committee members, and others, however for this year we really do need to recognise the priceless contribution of our volunteer starters.

    Bar and Catering

    Chair of Bar & Catering; Trevor Pearce, is bringing forward

    recommendations for catering at the Club at the next meeting of the Management Committee on 12th October. We are grateful to Chris and Kelly for their continued commitment to the Club and we wish them continued success in their new roles. Obviously catering at the Club has been hugely affected by the lack of events, matches and societies so; again, we will need to be agile in our planning during these Covid affected times.

    Head Professional

    The next time that I write this monthly update will be Malcolm and Jane’s last day as our professional team. It seems unreal, even after 10-months of knowing, that there will be change of Head Professional at our Club in one month. Our plans to celebrate with Malcolm, Jane and family on 31st October have been amended due to further, recent restrictions due to the pandemic. However, the Club will still be running an all-day event on the 31st October; more news from Les Thorne in the coming days.

    You will begin to see Mandy Wood at the Club towards the end of this week. Mandy is the wife of our new Head Pro, Mark, and will be partnering Mark and Terry in the Pro-Shop from November 1st. Malcolm and Jane have kindly offered to spend time with Mandy to ensure that she is familiar with systems and our Club in advance of the transition on November 1st. Mark and Mandy will have the unenviable task of remembering 580 members’ names; which I guess will take some time.

    AGM

    The Management Committee is considering the format of this year’s AGM in light of the Covid pandemic and restrictions that are in place. It is very unlikely that restrictions will ease in time to hold our usual format of AGM in November. Other Club’s and organisations have run AGM’s on-line or by written reports with proxy voting. Once we have considered the possibilities, the Management Committee will consult our Club rules and then decide how to run this year’s AGM. More news on this during October.

    I hope that your recent enjoyment of the course matches my own experience; we are truly fortunate to have such a well-run Club with committed staff providing such excellent facilities for us to enjoy.

    Robert White

    Chairman of the Management Committee

    From the Club Captain

    What a wonderful month!  

    Very many thanks to everyone involved on Captains Day – players and helpers. 

    The first team set off at 7am and the last at 4.10pm.  Fortunately we were spoiled with fantastic weather the whole day although it meant dusk/darkness descended almost in an instant leaving the last 2 groups to finish by torchlight. 

    I am humbled by your generosity on the day allowing us to add significantly to our contribution to the Winchester Hospice pot.  

    Continue reading →

  • Fore Info September 2020 Aug 31, 2020 @ 21:30

    Management Corner

    Clubhouse Development Update-Survey Results

    In 2019, the Club surveyed its playing members to ascertain specific preferences in relation to potential improvement and development of our Clubhouse, with 302 playing members responding. Working from those preferences the Management Committee held a selection process in order to appoint a professional architect to provide designs for the Clubhouse which met the aspirations revealed by the original survey.

    In response to the impact of Covid-19; progress on the Clubhouse Development Project was subsequently paused, in line with so many other elements at our Club.

    The Management Committee has stabilised the financial status of the Club, despite the loss of income due to Covid-19, and has been delighted by the significant boost to membership this year, bringing confidence in the budget for the financial year 2020/21. The Club also holds significant cash reserves.

    As part of the Club’s extensive, democratic ethos as a ‘members’ club’ it was decided to re-survey members to quantify the appetite to continue with the Clubhouse Development Project and to quantify potential participation in a voluntary members’ loan scheme. This survey closed on 30th August 2020 having attracted 352 participants.

    • The results show 81.9% in favour of continuing with the Clubhouse Development Project and 18.1% against.
    • The results show that 135 members would consider making voluntary loans to Club totalling a minimum of £935,000

    The Management Committee accepts the result of the survey as; in favour of continuing with the Clubhouse Development.

    Next Steps

    • The Management Committee will now plan for a phased redevelopment of the Clubhouse managing both risks and opportunities.
    • Final plans and costings will be worked-up.
    • A Special General Meeting will be called once we have final plans and costs to enable each individual member to cast an informed vote, for or against, at the Special General Meeting when this is possible bearing in mind current restrictions. 
    • The Finance Committee will consider affordability of any development scheme, but it is unlikely that the Club would seek voluntary loans at the generous level pledged by members due to affordability of repayments over a five-year period.
    • The minimum level of voluntary members’ loans will be reconsidered to enable more members to participate in the spirit of ‘crowd funding’ in support of their Club.

    Thank you to everyone that participated in the both surveys related to the Clubhouse Development project in support of the Club’s democratic processes.

    Bar & Catering

    Chris Pullinger has already issued an ‘all member’ notice informing of his intention to not seek renewal of the catering franchise and to leave the Club on the anticipated termination date as set out in the existing contract. The Club had been in discussion with Chris, through the Chair of Bar and Catering, to agree a new contract and potentially manage the bar as well, however mutual efforts failed to deliver that new contract. We wish Chris, Kelly and their family continued success and happiness in their next venture and assure them of a warm welcome at the Club at all times.

    Chris has very kindly offered to assist the Club in the appointment of the next catering franchisee; however, the Club is considering whether a straight like-for-like replacement would be possible at this time. Therefore, Trevor Pearce – Chair of Bar and Catering will be developing proposals for the Management Committee. More news on this in the coming weeks.

    First Impressions Project

    Bob Moore – Chair of Greens has presented to both the Management Committee and the Finance Committee to gain approval and funding to implement the ‘First Impressions Project’ which enhances the presentation of our Club from leaving the car park to playing the first hole.

    I am delighted that Bob’s hard work has resulted in approval to deliver the project which is also being supported financially by the 100 club.

    Head Pro – Transition

    Mark Wood is working well with Sue, Tip and David in advance of joining the Club on 1st November following Malcolm’s retirement on October 31st. As Stanley has left the Club only Terry will now transfer to the new Head Pro so we will enjoy some continuity.

    It is hoped that Mark’s wife Mandy will also join the new team; which replicates the very successful husband and wife team provided by Malcolm and Jane over so many years. We hope to see Mandy spending some time at the Club in October to aid the smooth transition in November.

    Tee Times and Social Distancing

    The Club continues to operate within the confines of central guidance from Government and golfing regulators. The Club is constantly on alert for any changes that can enable a full return to normal golfing and social conditions. For the time being; tee times have to prevail, but we will remain alert to the opportunities to get back to normal as soon as this is possible.

    Good luck to all those participating in the Club Championships!

     

    Robert White

    Chairman of the Management Committee

    Reminder: New Member Referral Scheme

    We continue to be active attracting new members to the club, though some may be wondering why this should remain a priority given the recent growth in membership already achieved so far this year.

    Simply put we cannot put the brakes on now as we know that each year members resign from the club, for many reasons, not least age, health, or simply moving away from the area.  

    So we cannot stand still…

    NEW MEMBER REFERRAL SCHEME

    The scheme we have in place is aimed at benefitting ALL of our current members 

    A 15% DISCOUNT OFF YOUR SUBSRIPTION NEXT YEAR

    CURRENTLY WORTH £150!

    … … and that’s for every referral you make!!!

    The basis of the scheme:

    • Referral – Introduce a new member to the club this year, joining as an ‘INTRODUCTORY MEMBER’, and paying just a (7 day) pro-rata fee for the remainder of the year; but with some limited playing restrictions, notably Tuesday mornings; Wednesday mornings and Saturday mornings. 
    • Benefits to Both – On payment of the full member joining fee in January the introducing Member then receives a 15% discount off their own subscription, and the new member a 5% off their subscription.
    • Scope – Multiple introductions are permitted, though the scheme will be capped at 20 new members joining in January from current membership referral. So early introductions are to be advised. The scheme will be operable to end of December 2020.

    Terms & conditions apply – Please contact the Office for full information

    From the Club Captain

    Golf continues apace both competition and friendly and for much of the month in good golfing weather.  Congratulations to all who have done well and commiserations to those who have not had such a successful time – as I am wont to say “this is why we are amateurs”!

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