Small steps, towards a brighter future…
There were highs and lows when Boris announced his latest relaxation of lockdown measures. I was sat on the edge of my seat not really understanding what he had in mind if anything for a return to golf.
England Golf’s first notification to us showed that we could only play individually or with family members. However thankfully we later had some good news that we could play in two balls.
Vince and his team have worked exceptionally hard to deliver a full 18-hole golf course on the first day that play has been granted by the Government.
I hope you enjoy the course that has had some major essential work done on it during lockdown in these unprecedented times.
Economically as a club, we have to be very careful as our top line has reduced due to no immediate Green Fees, the present closure of the driving range, no incoming bar takings, catering, or Machine income. We are therefore left with only having memberships generating revenue for our club.
Our short-term aim is to encourage new and existing members whom have yet to join. We feel that this can be achieved by ensuring the course is kept in a tip top condition.
We are really pleased that to date we have seen a 70 per cent renewal which is above the county average, so many thanks to all members.
I would be happy to receive any member’s comments once you have played the course so that we can continue to improve and encourage new members.
Ross Facey and his daughter Genevieve, have over the weekend, designed and set up the new “Golf Access” Tees, they have replaced the white plastic discs, and are the system we use for getting new juniors into golf and up to CONGU handicap level.
It is also a framework that can be applied for adult’s beginners who wants to play a nine-hole shorter version of the course and the yardages are measured and we have a Golf Access scorecard.
The first phase of tree planting is now finished and below is a list of subjects to some changes were your trees can be found.
Barry Ross, Colin & Ann Marshall, Barry Warren, Rosemary Mitchell, David Porter, Peter Groocock, Roy Purlan, Nigel & Sue Horsfield, Gary Hooper, Howard & Myra Davey.
Dave & Jan Bridges, Tony Coyle, Dennis Varcoe & Alan Toms, Peter Heather, Shaun & Maisie Topping, Bill Peel, Jocelyn Fawcett, David Hocking, Brian & Jillian Ford, Jennifer Whetter
Roger Preston, Tony Hibbs, Alison Davy, Genevieve Facey, Glyn & Ann Rowett
Terry Coplin, Tony Hazell, Robin & Josie Mather, Bill Netting,
Danny Pearce, George Hawkey & Karen Trethewey, Richard Rowe, Rob Blamey,
Ed & Suzanne Kiddy, Mark & Mandi Jago, Malcolm Harris, Gill & Gary Harper, Steve & Jax Bailey
I have drawn up a plan of the course that will shortly be ready to put up showing all the trees mapped out on the course.
The next phase, now the Lanhydrock Nursery will be open, is the planting of the shrubs and heathers. This to be later followed with the planting of oaks and pines between the fifth and sixth fairway .
I am pleased that Caryl Gould has kindly volunteered to brighten up the entrance to the course and plant some border plants around the first tee when the likely frost passes us by.
Some of you will be pleased to know that we are trialling a new booking system from our return on Wednesday. But just like trying to get a delivery from the supermarket, the national system crashed as so many golfers were trying to book tee times at the same time.
We will all be able to book tee times by the VI app, via our website or the good old fashioned way of phoning Tony in the pro shop.
This will also safeguard us all by allowing us to know that in the unfortunate event of someone contracting the virus, which members were at risk, as they were on the course at the time.
Please be mindful of others when booking and ensure that you uphold your tee time so as not to deprive any members their opportunity to play.
We wish those members that at this time are unable to play a steadfast return to golf. Booking times have been reserved for the various sections to help in everyone getting onto the course. The course has been carefully set up for your return.
The greens will be a little slow and set at a 5mm length, with the plan to lower them in the next two weeks. We have left this height as recommended by England Golf to give less stress to the plant. The greens have been heavily dressed and seeded recently so they will not be groomed or cut low for a couple of weeks as this can damage the mower blades and remove dressing and seeds. The bunkers have been raked and we would ask you to repair them by gently smoothing out the surface with your shoe or golf club. The ball washers have been covered up and seating removed. The waste bins have also been removed for your protection so please can we ask you to take your rubbish home with you as we do not want our green staff having to pick up litter at this time.
Please do not remove the flagstick when playing as we have prepared the holes with pipe cladding foam to help drainage and allow members to retrieve their balls without touching anything. Please when playing drop out from the newly seeded ground on the first and the fifth where the stumps have been removed.
We have re-laid the third and 18th tee box to help visitors to the club find the tee and will later be planting local heathers in the V that has been formed.
Buggies will be allowed on the course weather permitting (please as much as possible continue to use the buggy track until reaching your ball).
Club buggies are only available during the Professional shop opening times as they have to be sanitised before and after use.
Play will only be from the first and we have extended the playing times from 07.30 to 19.00 to allow as many players as we can onto the course. Please be mindful of the green staff who will be cutting the course ahead of play from 06.30.
Ann & I have sponsored a new hut on the back of the ninth so that in future we may be able to supply light refreshments whilst adhering to government guidelines.
Congratulations to our new captain Gary H00per who will be driving the first ball off the first at 07.30 on Wednesday with vice captain Chris Bailey (Junior).
Unfortunately, we will not be able to congregate, and watch Gary hit the first ball. However, I will be at the drive off at a safe distance to hopefully film a good drive and not one heading towards the field. Good luck Gary!
Our committee continue to work under very difficult circumstances and we as members must all pull together to keep our club alive.
Full instructions on booking tee times and arriving to play will be sent to you all shortly