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Club news

From Dan Lucking, General Manager: It’s hard to think that it has only been a month since we were able to re-open our doors, but it has been an absolute pleasure to see everyone getting back out on the course and enjoying their golf! After what felt like an endless lockdown, it is clear to see how much golf means to so many people, truly an inclusive and generation-bridging pastime that we all took for granted.   

With most of the hard landscaping complete on the course, we now find ourselves with a substantial water hazard on every hole! With this in mind — and reflecting our ambition to become a true ‘venue’ — we have chosen to re-name the Club as Pyrford Lakes. Over the next few weeks and months, we will move over to our new name and the team here will have new, logoed shirts!   

As we continue to build Pyrford Lakes into something really special, our team will also need to expand. You have probably seen a number of new faces in and around clubhouse and out on the course. Over the next few weeks, we will also be adding a fantastic pair of trainee managers, please do feel free to grab Alex, who introduces himself below, or Michael for a chat and a coffee when you see them.  

Just a quick reminder, if you are looking to gain your first handicap please complete 3 rounds, snap a picture of each card and email them over to Peter on [email protected]  

IG App update! A new update has been added for the IG member app, please pop over to your preferred app store and download the new version for the best experience   

Clubhouse news

Plans have now been submitted for the refurbishment of our clubhouse and patio, I hope you agree they look fantastic!  

As with all these projects, timings will be confirmed once planning has been approved. However, we will be looking to start the patio area this side of Christmas with the clubhouse and floating restaurant coming in January 2022.  


Course news

From Rich Covey, Course ManagerWith one of the driest Aprils on record, it was time to fire up the irrigation system which brought with it some difficulties but with the backing and investment from Get Golfing we will continue to find problems and do what we can to fix and start to run a very efficient, sustainable irrigation system. 

The majority of the bunkers now have had sand added to them. They will take a little while to settle down because the very dry April means the sand is also very dry and light, which could lead to a few plugged balls. We recognise this and in time will start the process of watering and “Whacker Plating” the bunkers to give them the firmness that will make bunker play much easier. The rubber liner and bunker sand will be finished by the second week in May.  

The construction work around the 18th lake bank has been completed and the process of gluing the stone fascias on has started and is progressing well.  

We now move on to hydro-seeding, this process will be used around all lake banks, bunker edges and all areas that have been top soiled. 

We have made a start with this on the 18th hole and the entrance but please if your ball comes to lie on any hydro-seeded area DO NOT WALK ON IT. We will try to get as many ball scoops out on the course as possible, so that you will be able to retrieve your golf ball.  


Events news

As we move into the season ahead, we will have a whole host of events for you. To kick off in May we have: 

May 14th: Curry Night 

To start a selection of our finest Indian snacks: crispy onion bhaji (Ve), pappadoms (Ve), tikka chicken skewer, cucumber raita (V) and mango chutney (Ve).  

This is followed by a choice of two carefully selected curries to suit every taste and two others for you to try something new! Price is £24.99 including a pint of Singha.

  • Chicken Makhani: mild and buttery with tomato, pistachio, cardamom and cloves; 
  • Lamb Shatkora: a medium spicy sauce with fresh chilli, coriander and a zesty citrus kick;  
  • Red Lentil Dahl: a medium sauce with a complicated flavour of toasted spices and a hint of cashew nut (Ve); 
  • Pork Afghan Curry: Pork shoulder, roasted with spices and simmered in a unique and spicy sauce with hints of pea and fresh mint.  

Served with steamed basmati rice (Ve) and Naan bread (V). 

May 21st: Burger Night  

Our quarterpound lamb burgers are hand crafted from quality lean British mince, perfectly seasoned and served in our freshly baked, toasted Doom Bar buns for a truly exceptional burger experience! Pick any burger and two sides below for just £14.95. 

  • The ClassicLamb and mint burger with mature cheddar, crispy bacon, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, onion and garlic mayo; 
  • From Morocco with love: Moroccanseasoned lamb burger, lemon yoghurt, watercress, tomato and pickled onion; 
  • The Spicy one: Lamb and red chilli burger with a dash of lamb jus, watercress, pickled radish and a tomato and chilli salsa; 
  • The Shawarma burger: thin sliced marinated and slow cooked lamb shoulder topped with feta, lettuce, tomato, onion and basil mayo; 
  • The VegetarianQuinoaandsweet potato burger coated in crispy breadcrumbs, with lettuce, tomato, onion and garlic mayo.  

Sides include:  

  • Macaroni cheese with truffle oil; 
  • Parmesan and soft herbs; 
  • Triplecooked, rosemarysalted, handcut chips;  
  • Crispy potato skins filled with fluffy herby mash;  
  • Beer battered onion rings; 
  • Light side salad of tomato and leaves dressed in basil oil. 

Please email [email protected] to reserve your table.

Staff news

From Alex Wright, new trainee manager: I am delighted to be joining the team here at Pyrford on an exciting new venture. My first love has always been golf. Whilst at university, I founded and presided over the golf society and represented the team at BUCS level. This meant that I was able to get my golf fix alongside studying urban planning and design. Since then, I have held roles within the planning sector, which ironically led me to manage all of the corporate golf outings!  

However, this wasn’t enough to satisfy my cravings. I began a personal mission to play England’s Top 100 golf courses, which I detailed in a blog, along with all manner of other golf happenings. It was this journey that led me to realise golf isn’t just about the game. I began to take a real interest in the people and history of the clubs, and the stories behind them.  

Having grown up in Oxfordshire and Berkshire, I am now settled locally in a leafy Surrey suburb with my young family, where I attempt to grow veg and occasionally play chef.  

I am very excited to finally be able to turn my passion into a career. I look forward to working closely alongside Dan and his team and hope to give some of our Members a good game soon!  

Captain’s Update

From Tony Brunt, Men’s Captain: As I write this update, we are preparing for a weekend competition, Saturday’s club Stableford and Sunday’s Paul Hart Trophy. Paul Hart was our very first Captain and introduced the cup as part of his service to the club, it often produces surprise winners, last year’s winner, Smudge, was very surprised!  

Handicaps: Our club membership is growing very quickly and, as a result, we have many people playing for cards and looking for first handicaps. Your admin group has been discussing the impact of this (not least the extra work for Pete Smart in processing cards), but also to ensure we all are on a level competitive playing field.  

We will, therefore, be producing a few documents to detail key items to frame this, including competition eligibility, allocation of tee times, booking requirements, and local rules. We will announce when this refresh of the old competition rules is complete and where to find them, we would urge everyone to review and ask a question if anything is not clear. We do our best to make all things fair and equitable so competition is fun and, dare I say, exciting!  

Drop zones: By the time you read this, we hope we will have introduced drop zones in areas where the usual Rule 16 drops would cause undue disadvantage. It is intended to employ these as the new works bed in and are nominated GUR discretionary or GUR No Play areas. We will highlight any further changes in due course and as the need arises. We believe the need is there for DZs to eliminate disadvantage and to provide a clear option in most cases. Please remember these DZs are discretionary and in all cases the drop is to the nearest DZ provided it is no nearer the hole than your ball’s GUR position. Perfect. Hopefully.  

Tees and Plates: You may have also noticed that tees are now offering more challenging games by being much closer to plates and by and large, within the England Golf stipulated 100 yards difference from full plate distances. White tees are qualifying over the weekend and for the weekday club competition. 

Yellow tees are qualifying each weekday. Reds are always qualifying (within the 100-yard stipulation). Many thanks to Richard Covey, our head greenkeeper, for working with us to get this process in place, it is much appreciated.  

Bunkers: A quick update on bunkers. The team is finishing off the linings for the bunkers and sand is being put in them. This does not mean they are complete! There is more work on the surrounding borders and the sand needs to bed in so it performs as designed. This, plus the raking issue (Covid is still with us), means we will still be dropping out in competition for some time to come. Do I hear you sounding relieved?!! 

Greg, Rob, Peter and John will also be providing specific details of relevant topics in these newsletters as the need arises. So watch out for their informative insight.  

Winners and winnings: Our first cup of the season, Spring Foursomes has just taken place with a great win by David Reeves-Tyler and Matt Taylor. DRT hit a magnificent “Hail Mary” shot from near the 18th tee (cheers Matt!!) to the 16th green, a sight to be seen (which I did!). Worthy winners with a net 1-under score. I will let Greg share the day’s detail in his perky-yet-playful style and highlight competitions coming up in his update section.  

There are various items we are working on, but a number of you are asking about payment of winnings, when are they being paid, how are they paid (if there are options) and how we know when they have been added to our accounts. We will endeavour to resolve this clearly in the near future so we can update in the June newsletter.  

I hope you are making the most of your membership at Pyrford Lakes as we start to benefit from greater freedoms and warmer weather. If your administration team can help you with any of the organised games, or if you have any suggestions for improving our enjoyment of the Club, let one of us know. In the meantime, join in to the events, they’re all listed on the website and IG app and they’re all set up for you! 

Competition News

From Greg Van Beurden, Competitions Secretary: Following the return of golf from lockdown 3.0, we have returned immediately to competition golf. At the time of writing (just ahead of the Paul Hart weekend), there are a number of results to report:  

Our first competition Stableford (April 3rd) saw Mark Jennings in first place, followed by Tony Brunt and Kezaia Dimosi. Clearly all that lockdown practice paid off or did it? Let’s move on to the rest of the results…  

The following weekend’s Stableford (April 10th) saw Booming Ben Birch take top honours, followed by the those two old timers David Smailes and Tony Brunt.  

From Greg Van Beurden, Competitions Secretary: Our first competition Stableford (April 3rd) saw Mark Jennings in first place, followed by Tony Brunt and Kezaia Dimosi. Clearly all that lockdown practice paid off, or did it? Let’s move on to the rest of the results…  

The following weekend’s Stableford (April 10th) saw Booming Ben Birch take top honours, followed by those two old timers David Smailes and Tony Brunt.  

April 18th saw Spring Foursomes take centre stage and some new faces in the podium places, great to see. David Reeves-Tyler and Matthew Taylor took first prize in a tough format, followed by Eddy Swindell and Paul Wheatley in second place and bringing up the rear (not really) were Tony Brunt and Mike Lyons. Well played all.  

Midweek Stablefords returned as well, and in the only one to date, we saw Andy Jefferson and Tony Hopkins duel it out, with Andy taking top prize.  

Our first Race to Le Touquet event went off with a bang! Massive congratulations to Kristian Willcox, 44 points takes the Paul Hart Trophy and earns him 32 RTL points. In second place was Captain Tony Brunt (31 RTL points), followed by David Smailes (30 RTL points), Richard Walsh (29 RTL points) and Nathan Crittenden (28 RTL points). 

Don’t forget RTL points increase as we move through the season, with the final event worth 100 points for first! 

Full results can be found here: 

The upcoming competitions are available for everyone to view on the website, we look forward to seeing more new faces join in and if you have any issues regarding how to enter, what’s involved etc, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself in the first instance (Greg van Beurden) or any of the other friendly administrators. I encourage you all to enter as soon as you possibly can to secure your place in the field.  

With the Paul Hart Trophy behind us (played in honour of the first Captain of the club), dates for your diary include:  

  • May 1st: 2021’s first Medal 
  • May 8th: Jon’s Jugg & Pippa’s Pot (the second of the Le Touquet series)  
  • May 9th: Stableford   
  • May 23rd: Medal  
  • May 29th: Street Salver (third event of the Le Touquet series)  

Please look at the diary, as there are friendly Midweek Mixers and Friendly Fivers to fill the various dates. Play well all, any questions just ask.  

Pro Shop news

We have had a great start for the new Pro Shop, with well over 600 Members across the sites, logging in to see what we have to offer.  

We would like to encourage all of you to sign into your exclusive Pro Shop and get your special Member discount on a variety of new products, such as the current golf ball promotions we are running. 

  1. Buy 2 dozen Srixon AD333 for only £34.99 less your discount. 

We can also announce that you are now able to top up your Club Card via the Pro Shop without having to purchase anything — i.e. you can add (beer) funds to your account from the comfort of your own home! 

Pro news

From Andrew Blackman, Head Golf Professional: What a great month we’ve just had, a joy to be back at the club seeing so many of you enjoying being out again. Long may it last! As you can imagine my coaching diary has been very busy with lots of rusty golfers trying to regain some form and really nice to meet lots of our new Members all willing to learn and try to improve their games. I’ve come up with some dates for some classes that have been very popular in April, really great to see so many of you champing at the bit to get that new handicap down! 

Really popular in April was the Short Game Masterclass, lots of theory and technique with questions and answers explained. We can cater to a maximum of four students in a class for 2.5 hrs, with instruction all around the short game area trying all kinds of shots from pitching (high and low), club selection, the basic chip, tight lies, rough lies, lob shots etc. Titleist ProV1 balls supplied and refreshments, £60pp. 

Please book your place at [email protected] or 07977 652798. Dates as follows: 

  • Saturday, May 8th, 3pm-5.30pm 
  • Tuesday, May 11th, 3pm-5.30pm 
  • Thursday, May 20th, 10am-12.30pm 
  • Friday, May 28th, 2pm-4.30pm 

Seniors and Ladies Weekly Clinics 

Every Tuesday (Seniors) and Wednesday (Ladies) both run for one hour and concentrate on different aspects of the game. Very informative and lots of fun! The cost is £15pp to include tea/coffee afterwards, all range balls and coaching. No longer restrictions on the maximum number of participants, so meet at 9.45 for 10am start. 

Sand School 

Do you want to lower your scores and make more sand saves? Come along to Sand School and learn how to be a master with better knowledge and technique. Maximum five in a class for this one-hour session, £15pp please book. Dates as follows: 

  • Tuesday, May 4th, 3.30pm-4.30pm 
  • Thursday, May 6th, 10am-11am 
  • Friday, May 14th, 3pm-4pm 

Putting Get Together 

Let’s get together and discuss the most important part of the game for lower scores. FREE of charge to Members, this is a one-hour session on the putting green with tips and advice on hand. Please book your place. 

  • Tuesday, May 4th, 11.30am-12.30pm 
  • Wednesday, May 5th, 11.30am-12.30pm 
  • Friday, May 14th, 1pm-2pm 
  • Saturday, May 29th, 12pm-1pm    

Fades and Draws 

Have you ever wondered how to fade and draw the ball? Come along a learn the basics of how to move the ball in different directions. £15pp (max six in a class). Please book to reserve your place. 

  • Thursday, May 6th, 10am-11pm
  • Tuesday, May 18th, 11.30am-12.30pm 
  • Saturday, May 22nd, 4pm-5pm 


Looking for an edge for the new season? If you play on average once a week, GolfPride states that you should change and refresh your grips once a year. How old are your grips? Have they ever been changed? New grips make a huge difference to grip strength and feel. 

Speak to me about the right grips for you, different sizes, prices and feels. GolfPride, Lamkin, Winn and SuperStroke grips held in stock. 

Remember, I’m always here for a chat about your game and what your goals are and where you would like to be. I can then devise a plan and advise the best route to take. 

Onetoone lessons are the best and fastest way to improve, check out my google reviews at and sign up to my emails for special offers and game improvement. 

You can email me at [email protected] or call me on 07977 652798 

Junior Golf

After a very successful April starting our Junior Classes, we continue into May on Saturdays — May 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd — with a maximum of six juniors per class. It’s not too late to register. 

There are three class times for 5–11-year-olds: 

  1. 9am-10am 
  2. 10am-11am 
  3. 11am-12pm  

And two class times for 12-17-year-olds: 

  1. 1pm-2pm 
  2. 2pm-3pm 

Price for the four-week course is £50. To sign up or find out more information please contact Gus at [email protected] or call him on 07507 682969 or Andrew at [email protected] or 07977 652798 

Real Golf

From Richard Ellis, PGA Pro and founder of Real Golf: We hope you have enjoyed the return to golf as much as we have! We would like to say a big thank you for our warm welcome to the Club, it has been a pleasure to meet so many of you.  

We had our first REAL GOLF school at the Club last month and it was great to help the four students with their short game. Our sessions create the finest environment to improve your golf fast, as this testimonial from one of last week’s students demonstrates:I attended the intensive chipping class and found it incredibly helpful, very impressed at how Richard zeroed in on what I needed to work on, and his explanations were very clear. I knew some of the weaknesses in my technique but didn’t know how to remedy them until now. Thanks for giving me so much more confidence around the greens!Mr Gee Sung at the Chipping Masterclass. 

Our May schedule is now open for booking, please click here.  

If you see any of us around the club please come and say hi, we look forward to meeting you all and fixing your golf. 

WHS news 

We thought you might be interested in this information about your World Handicap System Index and Course Handicap — they are not the same thing! 

In the new world of WHS you have two numbers you need to remember:  

  • The first is your Handicap Index, which is the exact calculation of your handicap. This is equivalent to what was your CONGU handicap. This number usually expressed to a decimal pointis the average of the best eight of your last 20 scores in terms of the score differential. So, if you are asked, ‘what’s your handicap?’ That is your Handicap Index and that is how we compare each other now. 
  • The second is your Course Handicap. Whenever you play on a golf course, wherever you are, your index willchange, and you will have a different Course Handicap. It looks at the difficulty of that golf course for the scratch and bogey player and works out what your Course Handicap is based on the slope rating of the golf course you are playing. Your Course Handicap can change depending on the course, or even the tees from which you are playing. As we mentioned above, your Course Handicap could be vastly different to your actual WHS Handicap Index depending on the course you are playing. For example, say you are playing your home golf course: the white tees have a slope rating of 145, the yellow tees are 125, and the red tees are rated at 95. You are going to have three quite different Course Handicaps over those golf courses. You are going to lose shots on the red colour, you aregoing to gain a few on the yellow and you are going to gain quite a lot on the whites. 

It is all about the difficulty for the two players – scratch and bogey – playing that golf course. We are not comparing Course A to Course B. We are comparing the same golf course but for two players of different ability. 

Course Handicap 

Your handicap is no longer based on playing one single course. It is recalculated and that is why we call it a Course Handicap. It can change for every course you play. 

There are many ways you can check what your Course Handicap is going to be on any course. You can do it via the My England Golf app, IG Member app, via the club boards, or you even manually work it out if you know the calculations.Your Course Handicap is of primary importance because that is how we work out where you are going to get your strokes. 

So, if you know what your Handicap Index is, you will choose the right tee for your game on that day, work out your Course Handicap, and go out and enjoy your round of golf. 

Playing Handicap 

You receive a Playing Handicap during club competitions, but it does not affect the score that goes forward for handicap purposes. The playing handicap is purely for competition purposes. You may find the score you recordbecause that score is based on your Course Handicap will be different to that shown on the results sheet. 

That is to be expected. It is going to be slightly less if you play a medal, for example, because that format comes with a 95% allowance. Do not worry too much about the Playing Handicap, it is purely for competition results purposes. If you are recording your gross score, we will use your Course Handicap to work out your new Handicap Index. 

Social Rounds 

The idea of WHS is you have more opportunity to return scores for handicap purposes. It is not limited to competition scores or to scores played at your home golf club, as it was with supplementary scores. 

You can now return a score in general play whenever you wish, either home or away. So long as you play a measured golf course and pre-register your intent to score before you go out to play, you can return a score from anywhere. 

My England Golf App and IG Member App 

These useful apps have a range of features – primarily the ability to look at your handicap record. You have full access toyour scores and they highlight which scores are included in your handicap calculations. 

They also show your handicap trends. They have a Course Handicap Calculator, which allows you to select the golf course you are going to play, the relevant tees, and will do the calculation for you. They tell you what the Course and Slope ratings are and reveal, based on your Handicap Index, what your Course Handicap is.