From Dan Lucking, Golf Manager: With another lockdown ending soon, it sounds like golf will be in a positive position should the country need to impose similar restrictions in the new year.
I would like to thank you all for your support over the last few weeks. Our team has been working hard to ensure your support is being repaid with a massive leap forward in the improvement works. Richard and his team have worked tirelessly during lockdown to make the very most of a bad situation. From car parking to bunkers and lake banks… they have been busy!
From Wednesday, we will be opening with a limited clubhouse operation, in line with the government’s guidelines. Please check in as normal before your round in the Pro shop, where snacks, drinks and takeaway options will be available (see below).
As we return once again to the fairways, I would encourage you to use the full extent of your membership booking rights. Plan ahead to avoid disappointment! I would like to move all of the competitions and roll ups over to the IG booking system. For some, this will mean getting to grips with another website or app but overall the benefits will far outweigh the short term pain. With this in mind, we will be looking to move away from ‘spond’ and any other third-party app. I and the team will be here to help if needed! As ever, if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to give me a call or email.
On a separate note, I am extremely proud to announce that Pyrford was one of the Top 3 ‘Most improved courses of 2020’, according to leading golf website Golf Shake. This is a fantastic achievement for the whole team.
Communication is really important to us, which is why we want to ask for your help. We have created a very short survey online to find out about what aspects of the club interest you. Would you please fill it in, it takes about 30 seconds, and will help us deliver timely and relevant information to your phone via text.
Unfortunately the clubhouse will remain closed in December but we will be offering a takeaway service for golfers. Our kitchen is hard at work putting together a grab-and-go menu that will include the traditional breakfast fare of tea and coffee and bacon and sausage rolls to fortify you before you tee off. Once you finish your round we hope to tempt you with something more substantial to enjoy with a well-earned drink from the bar. Our drinks buggy will be available during your round for light refreshments.
Our investment plans are not limited to the golf course, work is well underway on our car park improvements, which have seen all of the old and tired flower beds removed, graded and leveled ready for tarmac. This will add 20 greatly needed extra spaces. CCVT has also been installed to make sure your pride and joy is safe during your round.
Work on the lake banks and retaining walls around the clubhouse is scheduled to start in January… exciting times ahead!
The WHS was launched in November and, with the transfer of 15 million handicaps, there were always going to be a few teething problems. We have a few of these and are in contact with England Golf support, so please bear with us while we work them out and rest assured all will be in order very soon.
England Golf has released a great new app (click here). It’s well worth downloading and will help you stay up to date with your handicap index.
Members are able to set their privacy preference but please before doing that, within your Member log-in, go to My Golf and then Preferences and verify your email address and tick all the appropriate boxes that allow you to receive communications.
Only then go to My Golf, My Rounds and click on the WHS Privacy Link.
From Tony Brunt, Men’s Captain: As I write your Captain’s monthly missive it’s nearly heaven time…again! I trust this finds you physically and mentally in tune! The doors will be flung open and we can run riot around Pyrford’s manicured pastures, yeah! As I haven’t got a dog, I’ve not been investigating all the work that’s been going on in our absence, so that will be exciting….not to mention my own red carpet to park on!
There’s an intriguing menu arranged for December’s entertainment, which has mostly been setup for us by GvB, he’s been a busy little bee! Many of you have got your booking in but, if your mind has wandered over this bout of solitary, get on the app and get yourself back on track. In brief our choices for this month of weekends in December are:
- 5th/6th: Winter Challenge r2 / Stableford Comp
- 12th/13th: Turkey Trot Open / Stableford Comp
- 19th/20th: FF / FF (not sure yet about FF Xmas lunch!)
- 26th/27th: Building snowmen
- 2nd/3rd Jan: FF / Winter Challenge r3
The Turkey Trot Open is a team affair open to Members and visitors alike and includes food, fun and frolics. We expect to be denoted as Tier 2 by the government come December 2nd, this means we should still be able to carry on with our golf and carefully choreographed food and beverage, albeit alfresco.
The non-mixing of households inside hospitality venues — even those that are serving food — may need artful packaging but Dan will make all clear in due course. So it’s up to us to gather in groups of fourballs, book in, play our best, then look hungry and thirsty. Best two scores to count. It’ll be a blast.
Please also don’t forget the two winter KO competitions! Rob has a tight schedule set up and will implement with his own special set of skills to keep matches on track. Please play your matches within the timeframe set, otherwise he will help you firmly and you don’t want that!
You may also notice I’ve added some midweek social tee times, called the ‘Member’s Midweek Mixer’, Tuesday 8th and Thursday 10th December are the first of this new chance to mingle. Just thought it may be nice to have some Member-only slots in the week to book individually. I’ll run this through December and see how it goes. You can book your own slot, it’s free (!) and it’s not qualifying, so grab a slot you fancy, it’s on the app to book in so please use!
Finally, as the Drive-in was sliced out of bounds earlier this month and we are going to struggle to find a suitable drop area soon, we Captains would like to let you all know our thoughts on this year’s “Captain’s Charity”.
This year we supported “Shooting Star”, a local children’s hospice charity in Guildford and Hampton. We would like to continue our club’s support for them in the coming year. It’s hard to find words to express the magnitude of their work but suffice to say this coming year our Club should be better placed to support them. More on this from me, Marian and Ray in due course.
Hope y’all have done better than me and walked somewhere recently. I will be relying on my enviable physical strength and a lifetime of accrued stamina to make it round 18 holes. Still, bring on Wednesday!!
From Marian Weller, Lady Captain 2021: As most of our Ladies know I have decided to be Lady Captain for a second time with Judy Hilton kindly seconding me.
At present we do not have a large number of ladies but hope under our new management — and with the improvements we are seeing to the course and clubhouse — that this will change.
I do not have a Vice Captain but am fortunate to still have Jacqui Green as Ladies Handicap Secretary and Mixed Friendly Matches and Mixed Eclectic coordinator.
Anita Needs is kindly continuing for now as Tuesday Ladies Accounts Secretary, Tuesday Cup and Eclectic organiser.
Maggie Pearson and Veronica Thomas will continue coordinating fun competitions on Tuesday mornings.
Ann de Leon has agreed to continue as Surrey Ladies Delegate as well as sourcing prizes for other ladies events.
Angela West will be our Competition Secretary and I shall continue to coordinate our Ladies Friendly Matches and download the Ladies non-Qualifying ladies mornings on the computer.
All this said while COVID continues to be such a problem it is very difficult to try to make plans for the future.
The Pearson’s team last year unfortunately did not progress past the round robin stage, but many thanks to Tracey Line for acting as Captain and also to the ladies that played in the team.
No Ladies Friendly matches were played and we were unable to hold our Spring and Autumn meetings.
Hopefully by the time this goes to print we will be about to return to golf once again and I look forward to being able to play social golf with many of you in the coming year.
From Richard Covey, Course Manager: We took the opportunity to carry out some essential maintenance to our greens at Pyrford during this latest lockdown.
Hollow Core: We used this time to concentrate on the thatch layer in the greens, this is the layer just below the surface, which, when wet, will hold moisture and act as a sponge. We cored using 10mm tines to a depth of 3 inches, the cores we cleared and greens were rolled to smooth out the surface.
Top Dress: With the cores pulled from the greens and a good amount of thatch removed it was time to replace with sand, which will also help dilute the remaining thatch.
Matting in: To work the sand into the profile we use a drag mat tied to the back of our utility vehicle and drive round the green working the sand in.
Spraying: The greens were then sprayed with a health package and nitrogen to aid recovery after the extensive work that was carried out and hand cut for presentation.
Bunker Project: Work has continued by external contractors in re-shaping bunkers, the rubber drainage and sand has been completed in-house by the green keeping team.
Here a few pictures of the work.
14th Left Hand Greenside
Lake Project: Work has continued reinstating the lake banks and these will be hydro-seeded when the weather allows, this work will continue during the winter.
Here are a few pictures.
13th ditch bank
General maintenance to the golf course: As well as carrying out the work I have talked about at Pyrford, we have also been up together with maintaining the golf course.
All in-play areas of the golf course have been cut and maintained, we have kept on top of leaves, which have been blown and picked up in areas that we can.
8th Green 3rd Green
10th Tee and 1st Tee
December work: The green staff will be concentrating on getting the course open for golfers with general maintenance as well as working on the traffic management with ropes and posts This will keep golfers away from any wet areas, so please abide by the rope and signs when playing, it’s there for the good of the golfers and will keep the course in the best condition during the winter months.
From Andrew Blackman, Head Golf Professional (PGA 25 years): Hallelujah! Lockdown No.2 is finally over so welcome back to some golf and game improvement.
Many thanks to those of you who sent me your swings to analyse and then Zoom call to discuss. It was great to see you and hopefully no windows have been broken!
To get back into the swing of things and throughout the winter months I’ll be holding coaching clinics regularly covering all aspects of the game. With the current Covid Guidelines, group coaching is limited to 5 people (me being the 6th person ) so please contact me to book your place.
In my experience there is never a better time to start working on your golf in preparation for next season, as we all know little tweaks and changes take time to bed in and feel comfortable. This IS the time to work on your games!
One-to-one lessons are the best way to improve, whereby you have instant feedback with the ball flight and with video analysis. I’ll email you the changes and a plan for your improvement so when practicing you have a target and a goal.
What is your goal for next year? Better driving? Fewer putts? Losing the slice or hook? Getting out of bunkers? Getting up and down more often? or just beating your friends!
Email me ([email protected]), I’m here to help and nothing gives me more satisfaction than seeing a student smile and improve.
As ever, please follow the latest government guidelines regarding Coronavirus as they apply to your area. We would appreciate everyone taking personal responsibility for maintaining the correct physical distance while they are at the club. Wear your mask when it is required and wash your hands whenever you can.