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Club news

From Dan Lucking, General Manager: Dear Members, I hope you all are looking forward to a fantastic festive period. This newsletter letter marks the end of 2020, while I’m sure most of us would like to forget this year, it’s not all been bad for Pyrford. 

From the first lockdown in March, I don’t think any of us could foresee what a massive impact COVID-19 would have on our lives. Golf, luckily enough, for Members and staff at Pyrford has been one of the least-affected sectors and has actually been a springboard for the Club’s success over the past few months. 

With the club growing at an exponential rate, we have experienced bumps along the way. Full tee sheets, overflowing car parks and slower-than-usual round times have been part and parcel of the experience in the last few months. I can assure you that the team at Pyrford is working extremely hard to improve all of these and any other issues that detract from your membership. 

With work planned to start on the 18th pond bank in the second week of January, please do bear with us! We will be doing everything we can to avoid disruption but inevitably building works of this level will create unwanted noise and mess – I’m sure once the project is finished it will have been well worth the inconvenience. 

I firmly believe 2021 will be Pyrford’s year: work on the course will be completed before the season starts, our food and beverage offering will be revamped, building on the successes of the last month and the investment into the club will continue. This is just the start of our journey together. 

Just a quick reminder, with the daylight fading earlier and earlier please could we all do our best to keep up the pace of play, only stopping to spend a few extra moments repairing the ever increasing number of pitch marks we have been seeing lately 🙂 

If I don’t see you before, have a fantastic Christmas and a very happy New Year. 

Season’s greetings from Get Golfing

A brief message from Edward Richardson, Get Golfing CEO, to wish all the golfers a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Course news

Details from Richard Covey, Course Manager: Following on from November’s newsletter, early December has been a very busy period for the greenkeepers, making sure the course was prepped and in the best possible condition for the return of golf.  With the weather deteriorating and the course becoming softer during the past couple of weeks, we hope you have still enjoyed your return.  We will continue to work hard and present the course as best we can as well as keeping the course playable during the winter months. 

Here are a few pictures of the course prior to golf courses opening again.

As mentioned in the previous newsletter, we carried out some essential maintenance on the greens, which have recovered well and are putting really nicely at the moment.

During lockdown, and over the past couple of weeks, work has continued on bunkers.

Sand has been put into the 13th fairway bunker, 14th greenside bunkers and all of the 15th bunkers and these are being raked daily along with the new bunkers on the 11th and the 12th fairway bunker, as well as all the old bunkers around the course. 

The 10th pond bank has been sculpted and awaiting hydro seeding.

A lot of the construction work has come to a brief end while the bad weather sets in but we will continue when ground conditions allow us.

Just a quick note to all Members, there are a lot of ropes and posts out on the golf course to help with traffic management. The ropes will most of the time guide golfers around the wet parts of the course and we ask you to please stick to paths and follow the ropes where possible. It will help the course in the long run. 

January work on the golf course will be to continue to prepare and present the golf course to a high standard and to a standard to which the weather allows us. 

Competition news

Turkey Trot Open: What a great day, a massive field of 118 players took part in our 2020 Turkey Trot. A huge thank you to our front-of-house, kitchen and greenkeeping staff for making days like this possible!

  • Longest drive, with a booming 310 yard rocket: Tim Reynolds
  • Nearest the pin: Kristian Willcox throwing darts! 
  • In third place with 92 points on count back: Martin Hill, Luke Etienne-Fry, Daniel Heap and Jon Boylan;
  • In second place with 93 points: Gary Muller, Paul Wheatley, Eddy Swindell and Shaun Hawkett; 
  • Taking home the Turkeys! In first place with 102 points: Darren Trimmer (13), Shorne Largee (19), Gareth West (19) and Colin Kilpratric (9).

Thank you to everyone that took part. 

Captain T’s er… update!

From Tony Brunt, Club Captain: As we spiral down this year’s vortex of Christmas Future, we should keep our festive fever in check and our pecker pecking as chirpily as we can muster. 

Memories of Christmas Past can clearly help but to prevent a humbug Christmas Present, join in the Member-mixer-midweek golf events if you can find the time. Just fun with other Members, no stress! Also we are at the climax of the FF Xmas league and the pent-up excitement is palpable. If you’ve let this wash over you this past four months like a cold shower, fear not it all starts again in January, fab.

We’ve had an intensive post-lockdown competition fest, with some great play and many new winners. Hopefully the new year will allow us to be more measured in the distribution of events and your Member admin team can deliver a fun, fair and inclusive year of golfing fantasia. We will be doing this with the backdrop of the new WHS, so I thought it would be good to highlight a few useful items to bear in mind in this brave new world…

New IG update: Firstly, there have been some scoring issues, so IG has issued a new update. Please download the update, Pete Smart has requested we do this as it is necessary. Roger wilco.

NS vs NR: Then there is the NS vs NR issue when entering a score card. 

When we made a right mess of a hole, started it, tried to play it, couldn’t, basically blobbed it, that’s an NR (non return) and the system awards a net double bogey for handicapping. 

If you don’t start a hole, for example you come in straight off of the 12th thinking only of beer, then you should enter NS (not started) from the 13th through 18th. In this scenario the electronic WHS wizards will award you a net par! Yes, mad, but that’s progress for you — and progress takes some getting used to — but at least now you know.

Winnings: A number of you have politely asked “where are my winnings?”! 

Well, this is currently being accumulated on a monthly basis — although fortnightly is being considered — and paid to all competition winners via their bar levy cards. At the moment, to see if a transfer has been made to you, you need Lauren to swipe your card to print a balance (of course, we then need to know the previous balance!). We are planning to improve this awkward aspect of competition winnings to send all winners a notification of how much and when beer funds will be in your electronic mitts. For those talented enough to be FFOOM winners, the same process will apply. Marvellous, all you have to do now is to manoeuvre yourself into one of the payout places!

For club Stablefords, we are using a single division payout structure. Basically a straightforward application — come in the top 20% of the field and you can expect a reward for your labours. We will monitor this and the effectiveness of our communication, with an eye to review it in the light of all the new handicap changes. I will update on this in future newsletters.

WHS and General Play scores: Getting ahead of the game, we are addressing the status of organised golf; qualifying or not. As we are Members of a golf club, we all thrive on competition golf but, like all good things, one can have enough of grinding disappointment and hanker after the enjoyment of friendly fun games. 

The WHS seems keen that if we play games to the rules of golf then we should be entering said games to count in our rolling 20 scores, ultimately being reviewed for indexing purposes. While competitions are clearly qualifying, the Friendly Fiver is intended to be a relaxed weekend game aiming to be more social than win at all costs! 

While we play for nominal financial reward (a seasonal OOM these days) so that even the Gladiator putts out, the course is often shorter than it should be, so card submission is discretionary. It is planned to maintain this but now the discretion means submitting a General Play score (for which see the item below).

Competition entry: While we’re on the subject of registering, we should technically also be registered to enter a competition. 

The way to do this is to start the app or scoring section on the website before you tee off. You don’t have to score in real time but do need to enter your card immediately after the round (ie whilst still at the course, not at home, in the bath, with a Gin and Tonic). Annoyingly there is not a button presented that says register for this comp but just start scoring. Pete won’t DQ us for omitting this technicality but getting in the habit is probably a good plan….

Relaxed golf: The MMM recently kicked off during the week as a purely Midweek Member’s Mixing opportunity. No winnings, no match rules, no cost! Perfect chance to just play For the Love Of Golf, enter a General Play card or not, just enjoy golf in the social environment we are allowed. You can select your own tee slot so you are in control! Nice!

Finally, I will see most of you over the next week but have yourselves a merry little Christmas, stay bubbled with oodles of bubbly, and let’s look forward to a shiny new year of golf…..and, as the diggers progress, golf course!!

Captain T!

Food & drink news

Our new Chef Nick has been hard at work putting together a fantastic patio menu, filled with homemade delights to tempt members and guests alike. While sitting outside in all weathers is not ideal, many of you have been braving the conditions and enjoying a well-earned substantial meal and a few drinks after your round. Your support, as always, is greatly appreciated! 

As many of you won’t have been able to meet Nick yet, I wanted to ask him a few questions to help you understand his personal journey and see the kitchen team’s vision for 2021. 

How did you get your start in the kitchen?

I actually came into cheffing entirely by accident. I was offered work experience in a lovely cafe and I found an atmosphere and profession in which I could excel and enjoy. Since then, I’ve worked in many of the best food-led pubs in Surrey with many amazing chefs from whom I have learned so much. I’ll always be grateful to the first team that took me in and made me feel at home.

Who is your greatest culinary influence?

If I had to choose a famous influence you may have heard of, it would probably be Heston Blumenthal, whose development of dishes and techniques that had never existed before drives my ingenuity, making me look at every ingredient and think “how can I treat this in a way that no one else has ever thought of?” My biggest influence has to be a little-heard of man named Rob, who taught me more than any other chef I’ve worked with, and whose attitude towards simple, classic dishes taught me that food doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated to be the very best. 

How would you describe your style of cooking?

I would describe my style of cooking as simple, rustic and elegant. I am incredibly passionate about humble dishes, whether that be a burger or a simple pasta dish, and transforming it into an experience. That means making every element from scratch, fresh every day with the best ingredients, our own chips, our own pickles, our own bread. My aim here is to completely transform the notion of what “golf club food” is, and what it can be!

What dishes can Members look forward to this new year? 

This coming year, with an end to tiers hopefully in sight, will come the opportunity to deliver many new outstanding dishes! Of course, our menu will continue to change regularly, keeping things interesting for our valued regulars, and many of these new dishes will hopefully be requested by our Members and customers. Please do feel free to leave a message for the chef if there’s anything you’d like to see. The upcoming dishes I am personally most excited about are bringing my carefully developed weekly Sunday roast menu to Pyrford and many summer afternoon barbecues. We will be curing and smoking all our own meats and I also cannot wait to release a new and much-improved full English breakfast. Toasted, lightly flavoured house bread, perfectly cooked bacon, our own hash browns, and not a drop of grease in sight! 

What is your favourite meal and what would you drink with it?

The humble beef burger, and a pint of Guinness, a treat I’ll never be bored of but they have to be perfect! 

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

I’d love to say a big thank you to all of our Members throughout this difficult time. It’s been hard for everyone but the support and feedback from all who have eaten here since we re-opened has been amazing. I really hope to continue to raise our standards each day and to keep people leaving happy and full.

In the bar Lauren and her team have been working hard to deliver the best possible service, given the current restrictions! There is just enough time to try a mulled cider! 

For the coffee connoisseurs among you, we have moved over to a fantastic new bean from Lost Barn. It really is world’s apart from our old offering, enjoy! 

Out on the course Martin and Andy have been busy bees keeping you fueled up with anything from hot sausage rolls to cans of beer. Don’t forget with our new on-course delivery service all you need to do is WhatsApp your name, hole number and order to 07508011693 and we will do the rest! 

Pro news

From Andrew Blackman, Head Golf Professional: Do you have any golfing goals this year? Lower handicap? Better putter? Hitting straighter and further? Better bunker play? Get up and down more often? Getting rid of that slice/hook?

My guess is that you have answered YES to a few of the above. With that in mind I’m here to help and coach you towards your goals in 2021. Could this be your year?

Are you tired of saying the same things after your round, “If only I could have” or “It’s just my…. that lets me down and then I’d get 36 points. I hear this everyday. NEW YEAR, NEW YOU, come and see me for good professional advice to start the journey to better golf.

There is never a better time than the winter months to take a lesson or two, so any changes that you make can become second nature by the time the golfing season starts. Here are a few specials for January.

 Winter Coaching Special

  • 1 x 1 hour fault finding and correction — £50
  • 2 x 1 hour — £90
  • 3 x 1 hour — £130
  • 6 x 1 hour — £250

These hour sessions can be used for any part of the game and on the course.

Please feel free to speak to me with your thoughts and aspirations for this year so I can work out a game-improvement plan tailored to you.

Seniors and Ladies Clinics

The Ladies and Seniors Clinics will continue this year and the times will remain the same as always, these clinics are friendly and informative, concentrating on different aspects of the game weekly. (min 4 per class)

  • Ladies: Every Wednesday 10am-11am. Tea/coffee included
  • Seniors: Every Tuesday 10am-11am. Tea/coffee included

Engagement events and game-improvement classes

These classes will run throughout the year on random days and times to try to suit everyone’s schedules. Keep an eye out for emails from myself and also on the ‘Golf Development’ notice board inside the front door.

These classes are a great way to improve whilst meeting new people around the club. For our new Members, I encourage you to come along to these sessions, some FREE and some chargeable, just email or message me to book your place.

This could be your year, take the first step, pick up the phone (07977 652798) or email me ([email protected]) with your goals and aspirations for this coming year.

No doubt I’ll see you all around the club soon, wrap up warm and think about your goals for 2021!

WHS news

Submitting a General Play score: General Play scores under the World Handicapping System (WHS) are similar to the Supplementary Scores that were permitted under WHS’s predecessor, the CONGU Unified Handicapping System.

General Play scores, so long as they comply with the requirements of WHS’s “Acceptable Scores”, will be included in the player’s scoring record used for calculation of their Handicap Index.

The following procedure is for General Play scores. If you wish to enter a General Play score at an “away” club, please contact the Club Handicap Committee.

Procedure for General Play Scores at the Club during Covid-19:

Rather than picking up a scorecard from the golf reception desk, you may wish to print your own scorecard. You can find a PDF file for the course on the Club’s webpage.

Play with another Member as your marker, while observing no-contact, social distancing guidelines. Rather than exchange cards, record your gross hole scores on your own card and ask your marker to record your scores separately, so that you can cross-check during and, especially, after the round. Your marker must verbally authorise your gross scores, instead of signing your card physically. It is useful for you and your marker to keep totals, as this can help to identify any discrepancies, during the post-round authorisation check. However, under the Rules of Golf, it is the individual gross hole score, which is authorised by both player and marker, not the totals or points.

You MUST register to submit a General Play round BEFORE you begin playing the round. This can be done via the Intelligent Golf App. When you press “begin scoring”, (found at the bottom of the SETUP screen), your round is then registered, with a timestamp. You can do this at any time on the day of the round, so long as it is before your booked tee time and before you tee off to start the round. The registration time stamp is verified as preceding your tee time booking.

Once you have pressed “begin scoring”, you can enter your gross hole scores on the App, as you play the round. Alternatively, you can just leave the App in that state on your mobile and enter the hole scores after your round. If you make no score on a hole then mark with a zero. If you do not complete the round then mark any holes not played with NS. You must enter your scores before leaving the club. The App will not permit scores to be entered if you are not within the vicinity of the club.

After you have finished the round, ensure that your card has all the essential information, otherwise it will be rejected:
a) The date and time you played your round
b) Your full name, in the header, with your signature at the bottom of the card
c) Indication of which tees you played from
d) Your marker’s full name, written legibly, to indicate who authorised your score
e) In the box for “COMPETITION” write “General Play”
f) The gross scores for each hole.

To avoid physical contact with your marker, or exchanging scorecards, take a photo/scan of the completed card and email it to the handicap secretary. Make sure that the image has the full card, so that no information is cut off. Your card must be emailed, no later than 10pm on the day of the round, even if you did not complete the round or did not hole out at every hole. If a card is not returned by the deadline, a “No Return” will be recorded. Do not put your card in the handicap cards box. Keep it with you for reference, until your score has been confirmed in your handicap record.