"Fore Info" Monthly Newsletters


Last 10 News Posts

  • Fore Info March 2020 Feb 29, 2020 @ 18:00

    Management Corner

    Clubhouse Development

    We move ever closer to being able to make final presentations to members to enable a decision on the Clubhouse. It is very likely that we will propose a two-stage development and have a multi-year plan much like we have an extended plan for Course Development. We have two sources of funds to provide for the capital expenditure required; cash reserves and members loans. We are in the process of delineating and costing each of the two stages of development so that we can provide members with an estimate for both stages of development and a request for members loans to fund stage one, in addition to cash reserves, should members be supportive of the scheme at a SGM. So; more news in March and finally the SGM once we have the costings and plans for each stage.

    Bag Tags

    Thank you all for ensuring that you proudly display your Bag Tags. It really will be quite an exception to discover any member playing the course without their Membership Tag not attached to their bag; David has tags and stickers in the office should you still be lacking.

    Course Rangers & Starters

    I attended the 2nd training session for Course Rangers & Starters held by Graham Marshallsay and David Maskery; thank you for arranging a Saturday session so that us working types could take part. The two sessions were very well attended and we now have a cohort of trained, volunteer Rangers & Starters already in place. We hope that the marshalling of our course will improve the enjoyment of our course for the majority, but a small minority may feel aggrieved that we will be checking that full payment has been made before taking to the tee, and that etiquette and pace of play are fulfilled as expected. Many thanks to Graham, David and all my fellow volunteers for getting us underway. Please do see David if you would like to volunteer as a Course Ranger or Starter.

    Recruitment of a New Head Professional

    As you will be aware Malcom will be retiring on October 31st this year, and so we will be embarking on a recruitment process to replace the irreplaceable. Initially an advertisement will be placed in the relevant PGA publications and will be available on their website too. We plan to offer the role towards the end of June/early July so that the in-coming pro has sufficient time to serve notice on their current role, if needed, and to make arrangements ahead of starting on 1st November. More info will be provided as we go, once ManCom has approved the appointment process.

    Course Condition 

    We are so fortunate to enjoy year-round golf at Alresford with little disruption. I have noticed an improvement in the presentation of the course this winter enabled by our excellent Course Manager, a committed Greens Committee and, crucially, a full crew of Greens staff. We have operated ‘a man down’ for some time previously as the Course Manager position changed and then we found it difficult to fill the apprentice role. Simon has been in place now for a full calendar year and Dominic, our apprentice, is making an effective contribution to the workload and completing his study courses. Well done to all of those who contribute to the condition of our lovely golf course.

    Social

    Les Thorne became Chair of the Social Committee in November and immediately provided us with a really entertaining Captains’ Drive In. In the few short months since his appointment, the Club has been really busy socially, through the Christmas and New Year periods with successful and enjoyable events. My lovely wife, Nikki, and I attended the Valentines Dinner at the Club and really enjoyed the evening; dining with Mr & Mrs Pulling in a busy dining room. The quality and value of the food was excellent and would undoubtedly cost 50% more in a restaurant or bistro pub environment. Well done Les, the Social Committee and the Pullingers (not to be confused with the Pullings, but Cheriton School often do). We now look forward to March 7th and Kit’s legendary quiz, now in its 42nd year, remarkable!

    Happy golfing and happy socialising!

    Rob White
    Chairman

    From the Club Captain

    Firstly apologies for the very abbreviated report from me last month – this was due to a total computer malfunction and thus a few words sent via my phone.   Thankfully I am now back up and running. 

    I am sitting here typing this with sun streaming through the window yet for most of the month the awful weather sadly continued to take ‘centre stage’.  

    For the Club the major casualty of Storms Ciara and Dennis was the postponement of the scratch match against the County on Sunday 16 February.  Postponement was particularly disappointing as 2020 is the 50th anniversary of this match.  However if at all possible it will be rescheduled for later in the year and we are currently finalising a date with the County.

    Not only did Ciara and Dennis cause the postponement of county match it also led to the complete closure of the course on 16 Feb – something pretty rare in the annals of Alresford Golf Club.

    The course reopened on Monday 17 February in time to allow the Juniors to play the TJ Evans, their first competition of

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  • Fore Info February 2020 Jan 31, 2020 @ 18:10

    Management Corner

    The Management Committee met informally in December and again with a full and formal agenda in January.

    Clubhouse Development

    The planning for the Clubhouse Development continues with Trevor Pearce joining Sue, David and me on the Sub-group as P&D pass the baton for next stages. Fortunately, the feedback from members alerted us to historic problems with the Greenkeepers’ rest facilities, sanitary conditions and statutory facilities which are not good. We must now include an update to these facilities within the development as we will need to allocate budget to this.

    Members and Visitors Golf

    The new golf season is only a few months away now and we are making preparations to ensure that Members’ golf is prioritised but we also recognise that income from guests, visitors and golf societies is essential for the Club. 

    At the AGM I appealed to all Members to ensure that their bag tag is attached to their bag, and not somewhere in the boot of their car. Admittedly, I was a repeat offender having rarely displayed my member’s tag but am now in complete compliance.

    Such has been the uptake for member’s tags that David had to place a new order with the supplier, so I am really pleased that we will all be looking good by the end of January.

    So, with member’s tags in place we can now identify visitors by exception and ensure that they have an appropriate bag tag, for; a paid green fee, a reciprocal round or as a HPLS golfer. We would not, of course, expect to issue bag tags to visitors playing matches.

    Course Marshalling

    David and Graham Marshallsay are working hard on arrangements for our new Course Marshals; Around 10 club members have shown interest in helping us to manage golf traffic. We will have a friendly, yet important, deterrent in place to ensure that only bona fide golfers take to the tee. Do let David know if you would like to help out

    The Management Committee is currently in discussion with HPLS over a review of the current scheme and with particular regards to changing the access and controlling the numbers taking part in the scheme for the coming year. We have also considered the times at which guests and visitors can play, given that we must prioritise members at busy times, and of course ensure that guests and visitors have paid their green fee before playing on our course. Final details will be shared when we have them, this is work in progress but will be in place for this year’s season.

    Club’s Boilers

    After more than 12-months of planning by Paul Batty, Brian Wright and others in the House Committee, we have accepted a competitive tender to update the Club’s boilers which provide us with heat and hot water. David and Sue Masser, the new Chair of House, benefitted from their expert planning and a sound tender process resulting in a great deal for the Club. The boilers are moving from their current location and should provide us with a far more efficient, up-to-date system.

    Happy golfing!

    Rob White
    Chairman

    From the Club Captain

    They say time goes faster as one gets older, but this is ridiculous – we have already finished the first month of 2020.  

    Sadly the generally uninspiring weather throughout much of January somewhat limited everyone’s golf but, thinking positively, … …

    …. It can only get better!

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  • Fore Info January 2020 Dec 31, 2019 @ 14:00

    Management Corner

    Clubhouse Development

    The comprehensive and fully costed Business Case for the Clubhouse Development Programme is nearing completion, at least in draft form.

    The plan now is to secure specialist input to the document from other relevant committees, and then to gain overall approval of it from ManCom. At that point we will to bring it before members, with a two week notice period for a Special General Meeting for final approval and project go-ahead. 

    It is still our intention that this will be undertaken at some point during January.

    The Plan will provide the following:

    • An Executive Summary
    • Detailed Membership Analysis (past)
    • Why development of the clubhouse is necessary, indeed essential
    • Members’ survey (reprise)
    • What is being proposed (pre and post consultation phases)
    • What this will deliver for the club (5 year membership, subscription and other income projections, along with detailed assumptions)
    • How much it will cost – and over what time period
    • How it can be funded
    • A detailed Risks Plan, including impact and probability analysis, and controlling factors
    • Roles and responsibilities going forward
    • Critical path (milestones etc)

    So there is plenty going on, despite the seeming lull in activities….!

    Thank you again for all the support you continue to give this important project.

    Golf Studio

    On other matters we are delighted to confirm that the Golf Studio project up in the Driving Range has received planning permission, and following the enforced delay, is now all but complete. This will undoubtedly add further asset to the club’s already considerable training and practice capability. 

    The Course ‘First Impressions’ project, detailed in the Green’s Section is a further example of the investment our club continues to make for the future of the club, and for the legacy we are providing future generations of golfers.

    Nick Duncan

    Chair, Planning and Development Committee

    From the Club Captain

    Happy New Year to you all.  Not only a new year, but also a new decade and, almost certainly and even more importantly, the start of our club’s 130th year.

    Last month in my report, I was only able to ‘guess’ about the Captains Drive-In which took place as the December Fore Info went to press.  It proved to be a very successful event masterminded by Les Thorne, particularly as the four of us Captains managed not to disgrace ourselves even if none of our ceremonial tee shots finished near the hole. 

    Special mention needs to be made of George Skayman and the Pullinger young who formed a ‘military’ escort  to the ‘tee’.  George & I both served for a ‘few’ years in the Army – unlike me he can still get into his uniform!  

    Thank you also to Lesley Martin who organised the sale of drive-in sticks and a huge thank you to all of you who brought ‘sticks’ and thus contributed so generously to start off this year’s Captains Charity, the new Winchester Hospice.

    The weather was fair for the Drive-In and indeed the rest of the first week in December during which I was honoured to join the Vets Xmas Scramble on a cold crisp morning.  Our golf was followed by a warming and excellent Christmas lunch.  By the following week when the ladies had their Xmas Scramble the weather was most unkind and, only now as I write this, it is beginning to improve.

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  • 1st Impressions Project Document Added Dec 23, 2019 @ 23:09

    This document from the Greens Committee has been added to the “Course & Greens Information” subpage of the Members’ area. Log in to view it. The old saying “You only get one chance to make a first impression” still holds good. The approach to, and area around, the 1st Tee is our “shop window” – we should capitalise on it.

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  • Fore Info December 2019 Dec 1, 2019 @ 0:00

    Management Corner

    Clubhouse Development

    Following the end of the initial consultation period, we have been hard at work analysing the extent and depth of your comment! Almost without exception your feedback has been supportive, positive and constructive, yet with a most valuable critique.

    As a result, we have incorporated positive changes to our proposed design in a number of important areas.

    In particular, but not exclusively, these include the following:

    • Acoustics
    • Air conditioning
    • Bag and trolley storage
    • Bar service area
    • Dining area
    • Foyer
    • Greenkeepers’ mess
    • Management of the project
    • Men’s changing area
    • Path to 10th tee
    • Patio layout and the 18th green
    • Security

    In a number of instances we found that your suggestions led on to further, perhaps unintended or ‘knock-on’ improvements, which have also been embedded into our design.

    In addition to the above we are also working on a comprehensive and fully costed business case to be put to members before any final approval to proceed is achieved.

    The case will set out in detail:

    • why the initiative is essential,
    • what it will deliver financially for the club over the coming ten years and beyond,
    • what it will cost, and how it can be financed.

    It will also set out the construction milestones, and how we plan to minimise member disruption during the period of build.

    As already notified, we have therefore decided to step back from the originally envisaged timing of a Special General Meeting (SGM) to approve the project, in order to absorb your suggestions and to prepare the business case. We believe there will be no loss of momentum, just a little more planning time, before we ask you once more for your participation in this important project for the club.

    Thank you again for your support and considered comment. We will be back in touch with you again once we have completed this exercise.

    Nick Duncan

    Chair, Planning and Development Committee

    From the Club Captain

    By the time you read this we will have had the AGM and I and my fellow Captains will have ‘gone through the pain or otherwise’ of the Captains Drive-In.

    I have to start with a huge thank you to Graham for a) being a superb Captain and example to all and b) inviting me to be his Vice and putting up with me during the year. 

    Thanks also to the rest of the Captain’s team – Sue, Drew and James – for all their efforts during 2019.

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  • Fore Info November 2019 Oct 31, 2019 @ 22:00

    Management Corner

    Clubhouse Development

    You’ve waited long enough!

    Many of you will by now have viewed the presentation boards in the clubhouse, or via the website, and share in the excitement of what we are hoping to bring to the club, going forward. Your review, comment, and (hopefully) ultimate support is very much appreciated.

    For those still waiting for an opportunity to review the proposed designs, layouts and content, the presentation also provides summary background to the following:

    • How we reached this point
    • Why the development is so important for the future of the club
    • How we propose to pay for it
    • How members can engage, and offer their comments and thoughts 

    The only final point to reprise is the timetable, in so far that we intend holding open the consultation period as long as possible (close to three weeks), allowing us time to analyse feedback, prepare presentations and take a final go/no go decision at a planned EGM/SGM. Two weeks’ notice of this meeting will be given, normal club rules for proxy voting applying.

    Social Media

    A sub-group of the PD Committee has been formed to evaluate the scope and opportunity for developing further the club’s social media activities, with the following specific objectives:

    • Limit of the club’s intent (platforms and priorities)
    • Target audiences (rank order)
    • Communication objectives (such as desired / expected shift in AGC brand perceptions, brand awareness, enquiry generation etc)
    • How measured
    • Who responsible going forward (management, maintenance and control)

    Suffice to say we will report further as developments occur.

    Nick Duncan

    Chair, Planning and Development Committee

    From the Club Captain

    We were promised a radical review of our clubhouse and ‘wow’ that’s exactly what the Clubhouse Sub-group have delivered! Their designs are on display in the foyer. Take a look when you are next in the clubhouse and please provide your feedback on what has been suggested.

    Once the feedback is complete we will be in a position to have an SGM for members to determine how we should proceed. Let’s all move forward together as One Club and provide a first class clubhouse to compliment our first class course!

    The 2019 season concluded on the 5th October with a Mens Friendly Match against Ryde Pirates. This particular match was established in 1987 when Malcolm Scott, our Head Professional, was assisting Ryde with some ideas for a new course layout; Steve Brandon, an Alresford member, made the ‘Malcolm Scott Challenge Trophy‘, which was first awarded in1993. This time, Alresford ran out winners by 5 and 1/2 to 1/2 – your Club Captain and Club Head Professional provided the ‘honourable half‘!

    The VOX Beatles evening, organised by our Social Committee, on 12th October was supported by 93 members who enjoyed a fantastic evening of nostalgic music, it’s been some time since I’ve seen the dance floor so full, the clubhouse was rocking!

    The Social Committee experimented with a table layout of smaller tables of 4-6 which proved to be very successful and I’m sure one that will be repeated, where appropriate, in the future. Well done everyone involved in the organisation of the evening, but particular thanks to Marion Bruce and Mike Battison.

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  • Clubhouse Development Proposal – Member Documents Available Oct 21, 2019 @ 23:01

    An overview document together with four highly detailed architect proposal diagrams have been added to the Member’s section of the website.

    These can be viewed online or downloaded as desired.
    The diagrams are large and detailed and may take longer than usual to download or access.

    If you do not have the login details for the member’s section, please request them from the Club Secretary.

     

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  • Fore Info October 2019 Oct 1, 2019 @ 8:30

    Management Corner

    Clubhouse Development

    The Management Committee met on the 23rd September and has finally approved our Architect’s specifications and drawings for membership consultation.

    These are now being prepared for presentation to you, which we hope will take no more than two weeks, at the time of writing. This probably means that consultation will now start in the first half of October. 

    I am conscious that we are slightly behind our timetable, as indeed I am for your considerable patience in waiting for the consultation period to start.  In mitigation I am sure you will understand the complexities of working with third parties and bringing all members of the Management Committee to the point of agreement and approval to proceed.

    It is still our intention to hold an EGM, which we shall call with two weeks’ notice, following conclusion of membership consultation.

    Social Media

    The Planning and Development Committee’s task is to manage both internal and external club communications and we have as a goal how we might make better use of our Facebook page, and other Social Media, in promoting the club and its activities to potential golfers.

    We recently undertook a mailing to members to invite enthusiastic users of Social Media to offer their expertise, advice and potentially on-going help to the Committee. We received a positive response to this mailing and are currently in discussion as to how best to take forward this offer of help. We will report further as developments advance, but suffice to say we will do everything we can to ensure these channels of communication are used both professionally and effectively, rather than a source for potential trivia. 

    Non-Paying Visitors

    We have had a recent spate of non-paying visitors; a problem faced by all golf clubs, yet one we should all help in keeping to a minimum occurrence. When challenged “we were going to pay at the end of our round” is a typical response.  Whilst many might resist making such a challenge, if you have any suspicion of a non-paying player, then please do approach and report. It is your course and we all need to do what we can to ensure these are rare incidents. Many thanks.

    Nick Duncan
    Chair, Planning and Development Committee

    From the Club Captain

    I start by reporting a superb result from one of our Junior Stars – Rosie Rooney – who, on 15th September, beat Cara Patient of Meon Valley 3 & 1 at Corhampton in the final, to win the Hampshire Ladies County Golf Association Junior Summer Knockout. A brilliant performance Rosie – well done!

    Jenny Myers narrowly lost her semi-final match in the same competition.

    I reported last month Rosie Rooney also won the Munro Spencer Bowl at the end of August with Harriet Riches in 2nd place. Not to be outdone, Millie Jonathan followed this up by winning the Ladies Captains Macmillan Rose with 41 pts with our Lady Captain in 2nd place.

    It’s fantastic that our Juniors are playing so well.

    The Mens Friendly matches conclude when we host Ryde Pirates on the 5th October. Whilst these matches are billed as “friendly”, every player has a desire to perform well and win their game and pride is at stake – there is no such thing as a friendly match!

    It’s enjoyable to show off our course to visitors and also to visit new courses, to sample the hospitality on offer and to play a competitive game for a very modest amount of money. This season, with one match to go, we have played 17 – won 8 – lost 7 – halved 2.

    Our happy team at Tidworth Garrison Golf Club

    The Francis Holmes Shield was hosted by Romsey on 1st September. It is fair to say that the course wasn’t in great condition, but it was the same for all competitors. Despite a good performance by our team in the morning foursomes, just 1.5 shots behind the eventual winners, the afternoon round didn’t go so well with Derek Myers having to withdraw due to injury. Home advantage was of great benefit and Romsey were the winners with Alresford in last place – we hope for better luck next year when Andover host the competition.

    The Pro Am was another huge success for Malcolm, Jane and Alresford Golf Club. The course was in fine condition and all competitors were very

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  • Fore Info September 2019 Aug 30, 2019 @ 22:35

    Management Corner

    Clubhouse Development

    By the time you read this we should have received our Architect’s detailed drawings, comprising plans, elevations, design options, proposed layouts and visualisations.

    Assuming this to be the case the timing now looks this:

    End August – meeting of the Management Committee Sub-Group leading on the project to review and approve drawings and visualisations

    September – up to three weeks membership consultation, including if required one-to-one and small group meetings 

    September 23 – Management Committee sign-off of the consultation process, but to extend the deadline beyond this if proving necessary

    End September – finalisation of all plans and costings

    October – finalisation of funding proposals

    End October – EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) for membership final approval of project plans, costings and funding proposals

    We will be in touch with you again once we have the appropriate visualisations to hand, and the methodology for consulting all members.

    Thanks once again for your patience and for your continuing support for this exciting project.

     

    Nick Duncan

    Chair, Planning and Development Committee

    From the Club Captain

    I start this edition with the sad news that Derrik Moorhouse, a member since 1974 and former Club Captain passed away on the 17th August.

    Throughout his playing days he was fiercely competitive, his greatest triumphs being in the matchplay format, winning the Ross Trophy (over 50’s matchplay), Rotherham (mixed foursomes), Cooper Foursomes  and he was a member of the Marston’s Trophy winning team in 1992. He was also an active member and supporter of the Hampshire Alliance (http://www.pga.info/regions/england-(south)/counties/hampshire/hants-alliance.aspx) and Derrik latterly played his golf with his ‘Skool’ friends. After his playing days were over he retained a Social Membership and he visited the Club once or twice a week courtesy of a lift from his good friend Robin Good.

    Derrik’s funeral will be held at Basingstoke Crematorium on Friday 6th September at 11:00 and afterwards at the Club. All friends are very welcome.

    August has been a good month from a golf perspective, with many of our players producing a lot of first-rate scores. Some are worthy of an individual mention, the first is Ron Markwick who started the month with a playing handicap of 20. After winning the 100 Club Salver with a impressive 43 points, Ron followed this up by winning his division in the August Midweek Medal and a 2nd place in the Midweek Stableford, he finished the month with a 3 shot reduction and a 17 handicap – well played Ron!

    The Centenary Trophy, hosted this year by Army Golf Club was played in extremely windy conditions but this didn’t stop our Club Champion, Will Packenham-Walsh, from playing extremely well and finishing head and shoulders above everyone else by winning the best individual score with 36 points in this team competition.  The conditions were so tough that the CSS rendered the competition reductions only and Will’s handicap was reduced by 0.3. The Alresford team finished as runners-up; better luck next year when Hayling host the competition. Will had previously won his division in the August Midweek Medal and he finished the month off by taking 3rd place overall in the Bill Young Trophy, which was won by Kevin Stride – well played Kevin! Will started August playing off of a 5 handicap and finished on 3, this is a notable achievement for a Category One player where the reduction is only 0.1 per shot – well played Will!

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  • Fore Info August 2019 Jul 31, 2019 @ 21:30

    Management Corner

    Clubhouse Development

    Last month I was able to share with Members our outline timetable for clubhouse development. Hardly expecting anyone to commit this to memory, here is a brief reprise:

    July: Architect working on all aspects of feasibility and planning, refining initial designs, and commissioning necessary survey work

    August: Management Committee then giving their support to a ‘preferred set of proposals’ for visual presentation to Members, in the form of physical representation in the clubhouse, and digital format to members online

    September: Finalisation of design proposals and costings, for sharing with Members 

    October: If all goes to plan – approved design, costing and funding proposals to be presented to Members at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), for final approval and sign-off

    I am pleased to advise that we remain on track with this timetable, with the July actions all but completed. That said it is likely to be towards the end of August before we have our visuals completed and ready for presentation to the membership.

    Thank you for your patience during what must seem a protracted period of ‘behind the scenes’, but we do want to meet / exceed your design aspirations, and through the most cost-effective means.

    There will be further communication once the initial visuals become available for viewing.

     

    Nick Duncan

    Chair, Planning and Development Committee

    From the Club Captain

    It is always nice when you receive a compliment, it’s even better when you receive them on a very regular basis. I am of course not talking about personal compliments but those I receive as the Club Captain about the quality of our course, the Hampshire Past Captain’s match against Essex, our own Mixed Open, the mens match versus Cowdray Park…………….. the list goes on. The credit of course goes to Simon Justice and his team who continue to take pride in their work, their attention to detail is second to none. The Greens Maintenance programme starts shortly to ensure that our greens will be in good condition for play in the autumn and winter months, please be patient whilst the team carries out this important work.

    The Mens Invitation is due to take place on 18th August, if you are a man and haven’t entered yet please do so and bring along a friend to show off what our club has to offer.

    As Club Captain I am able to introduce a new competition or match for one year only. I chose a 3 clubs and a putter format that took place on Friday 26th July. The competition I decided would be free to enter and I provided a few prizes, and 56 members entered. Chris Pullinger was keen to put on some food and entertainment and our Immediate Past Vets Captain – Chris Thompson – and his friend Chris Nash provided the entertainment in the form of an Acoustic Guitar Duo – Nash & Thompson. Needless to say the meal was great, and the talented guitar duo put on a very polished performance of some well known classical and jazz standards.

    Despite having just 3 clubs there were some very very good scores, there were 3 x 38 points, 3 x 40 points but with an amazing 41 points Steve Morgan won the mens competition on countback from Steve Oldham. The ladies competition was won by Lyn Jones with 35 points from Sarah Staines on 32 points. Despite being free to enter £181 was added to the charity pot by way of generous donations.

    You will have noticed that the recent work to rebuild the eastern wall of Curly’s Barn is now complete and it looks good. Some of you have commented on why the work needed to be done.

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