On behalf of the Greens committee I want to extend an enormous THANK YOU to everyone who has played lately, specifically, for sticking so rigorously to the new social distancing guidelines at the club.
We were all a little nervous about what would happen at 7.30am on Wednesday morning when new captain Gary Hooper teed off in beautiful sunshine (I am sworn to secrecy as to where his ball landed), especially given everyone has been confined to their homes for so long.
Being greeted by so many smiling, happy faces was exactly the tonic we had been hoping for and a reminder of the special people the club have been missing for so long.
I am pleased to inform you that your Greens committee Gary Hooper, Chris Bailey, Danny Pearce, Tony Pitts and I have kindly donated a new set of NHS flags, so that we can all recognise the wonderful work that they carrying out to keep us all safe.
Roy & Ann were welcomed back to the course by Alarm Bells ringing and a call from Matthew Chadwick whom had hit a ball straight (well hooked) into the club house glass window.
This week unfortunately once again Robin found himself in a pit fixing another leak in the watering system, half way down the fourth. The system at present is watering at full capacity during this dry hot spell.
Our watering system was installed during the captaincy of Derek Yeo in 1989 and is beginning to show its age so at some time we need to invest in the system.
Now new sprinkler designs can drop into existing systems without the need for mini-excavators and massive disruption. They can be designed to be upgraded from the top down, and allow for less maintenance costs with future upgrades to be faster, easier and cheaper
This week there was a problem with the new rough cutter. This needed some repair parts that took longer than expected to arrive due to the present situation. Fortunately we did finally receive them and Vince has repaired the machine so we can reduce the length of the rough a little.
Many thanks to Caryl Gould and all helpers for planting some lovely bedding plants on the first tee plant boxes. If any members can help with the supply of bedding plants it would be much appreciated and help brighten up the areas around the clubhouse.
We have lowered the foam inside the hole cups slightly, as some members were obviously hitting their putts too hard and seeing their balls horseshoeing out.
The putting green holes have now been turned upside down just below the ground, please only putt before play. The chipping and practice area at the top of the course remains closed.
We are looking at all our options to safely open the driving range. England golf are about to notify all clubs on how we can safely operate this important practice facility (watch this space).
Thank you to Tony, Roy & Ann. They have helped us all by taking in membership payments, registering new members and getting as many people we can out onto the course via telephone and the new online booking system.
The new system has been a huge benefit in allowing us to conform to the Government guidelines on knowing who is on the golf course at any given time.
Please try and support Tony as his sales this week have been three Mars bars, two packets of tees and a pack of balls.
The first batch of trees is now all in, and tagged up with the supporting members name. Due to the lack of rainfall the trees have to be watered by our green staff every other day and Vince is even coming in on a Sunday to keep them well watered.
Due to demand we already have a list of members asking to sponsor the next batch of trees.
The shrubs and heathers will be next to be planted. At present, we are patiently waiting for Lanhydrock Nursery to reopen their doors so we can collect them and begin planting.
The new tee markers have been warmly greeted and to date we have 10 sponsors. In these very difficult economical times if you do no someone that may be able to sponsor a tee then pleased call Roy. It would be great to see them all sponsored.
We have had several requests for us to supply golfers with refreshments on the course whilst the club is closed. We are looking into the possibility of serving takeaways from the new hut on the back of the ninth. We are fortunate to have water and electricity close by, so we may be able to keep you watered and fed shortly.
Once more can I thank Vince and his team for continuing to improve the golf course. They have worked tremendously hard to deliver the course in fine condition during these difficult times.
This week we will be applying a wetting agent and fertiliser to the putting surfaces. We plan to groom and lower the greens cut from 5 to 4mm, and very soon we will be pencil tining with the roller.
As you will have seen we are trying to shape some of the fairways to make them more pleasing to the eye. Apart from the 8th fairway that we will be putting right this week the feedback has been very good from members. This is very much a trial and error exercise, and whilst we have good grass growth we can experiment with better defining our fairways..
One important message to bring to your attention
Please can I once more request members to keep a safe distance from our green keepers whilst working on the golf course and also please take your litter home and not leave it for someone else to dispose of. Please respect the voluntary course marshals who are helping us to keep safe whilst at the club. Thank you.
Some great news is that to date we have over twenty new members playing on the course, having returned or joined for the first time whom we welcome to our club. Please give them all the encouragement they need and greet them with a smile whilst on the course for the first time.
Our hope, like yours, is that all our members will be able to return to the fairways. The situation will improve and that we will be able to relax the strict measures in place at the moment but, for now, we thank you for your good humour and respect of the current measures. It means so much to all our staff and, hopefully, it means that we can all work, play and have fun in a safe environment.