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Club news

From Dan Lucking, General Manager: Welcome to our November newsletter, it’s been another busy month with lots of updates to share! 

The improvements to the golf course must take centre stage, Richard and his extended team are doing an amazing job with the bunker renovations, clearance works and lake bank restoration, come the start of next season we are going to have a very special place to play our golf. 

With the extra demand for the golf course brings a number of challenges: Car parking spaces has been one! Work has already started on removing the old shrub beds, we will be adding Type 1 and compacting the surface to increase the allotted spaces by 15 bays in the next couple of weeks. Once this is complete we will be looking to add more spaces to the end and far right of the car park, which should yield another 30 or so spaces. 

Pace of play: With a large number of ‘new to golf’ and ‘returning to golf’ visitors we have seen many issues with slow round times. While I do expect this category to flatten during the winter months clearly we do have a challenge to overcome. Our new starters and course marshals will be receiving training over the winter months and will be accompanied by a senior member of the team on a more regular basis. 

Winter clubhouse opening timesAs we all find our way through a COVID impacted winter season the clubhouse opening times will be much more fluid. 

Captain’s Letter

From Paul Stewart, 2020 Men’s Captain: On reflection, it was probably not the easiest year to take on the mantle of Club Captain! Three months of appalling weather and course closures was followed by a global pandemic and a two-month lockdown. We returned to restrictions on playing groups and competitions, a change of ownership and then the introduction of a new booking and scoring system. It was all going so well back in November last year at the Drive-In!

In time I will be able to look back at the honour of captaincy with pride and I am grateful for all the messages of support I have received during the year from club Members. My own difficult personal situation has meant involvement at the club has taken a back seat for the past two months and I am grateful for others stepping up to cover the breach.

Pyrford and golf itself is in a very different place to the one I inherited 12 months ago.   The course is undergoing dramatic improvements and the game has definitely changed with the huge influx of new players to the sport. There will always be members of every club who do not like change or complain about any small thing – one thing I have learned as Captain is to sometimes pay lip service to these people who are usually the most vocal but also the most factually incorrect.

If, as expected, my future takes me down to Devon, I will leave Pyrford both as Captain and a Member with sadness but also happy with what will happen here in the future.  The friendships and memories will last forever and I wish my successor all the best in the role that he inherits. 

Covid-19

The introduction of the three tier local alert system introduces certain additional restrictions on coming to the golf club and what can be done once you are at the Club.

We will keep the clubhouse open while we are in Tier 1 but we will have to close the clubhouse should Tier 2 occur. 

The courses will stay open throughout and we are working on contingency plans that will enable us to provide food and drinks to Members and visitors both on and off the course.

It is the responsibility of Members, their guests and those playing in golf events to comply with the government regulations as befits their personal circumstances. We would urge all staff, Members and visitors to report any Covid 19 symptoms to the appropriate bodies.

We ask Members to respect the latest government guidance, which seems to be increasingly complex. 

We recognise that these restrictions will have a negative impact on a number of events and those who might participate in them. This is deeply regretted, but we are obliged to follow the regulations and to adapt as they change.

Course news

From Richard Covey, Course Manager: As part of Get Golfing’s continuing investment in Pyrford Golf Club, we have taken delivery of a new fairway mower, which as you can see from the photo is already delivering results.

This month I thought I would deliver my course report mostly in picture of work carried out.

Work continues on reinstating the lake banks.

  • Excavator work to create an edge and level out banks
  • Topsoil added 
  • Banks hydro seeded (a mixture off seed, fertiliser, mulch and glue)
  • Bunker work continues.

 

Tidying around pond/lake banks continues.

Held the Society Masters which was a great success.

In early November we will be spiking the greens, which will help with aerating the soil profile to allow air to flow and also help with removing excess water through the profile to help with drier, firmer greens during the winter. 

We will roll the greens after this process to minimise any disruption to the playing surface caused by the aeration.

Depending on the weather, bunker work will continue as well as lake bank restoration until the ground condition means that it cannot take any big machinery.

Members should know that the course will still be maintained to the standard set in the past few weeks so that they can enjoy their golf in the winter months. 

Competition & event news

From incoming Men’s Captain Tony Brunt: So here we are, anticipating the excitement of another Captain’s Drive-in while having now ended the club’s cup-contesting season. 

At the time of writing who will be the last major winner of the year is still our predestined future. One of our numerous new Members perhaps immortalized on the Smart China Cup, for sure deserving like all of this autumn’s cup winners. 

There are various winter competitions over the coming months, we are not closing down because of a bit of rain or a chilly wind! Keep your eyes on the KO series and winter challenge, not to mention the many Stablefords. There is still much to compete in! From an administrative standpoint, we have a diamond team working diligently on your behalf, which will increase in carats moving forward!

Your Members administration team has been working hard to put together a programme of competitions for next year, this will be available shortly, in as many different forms as we can muster. 

We have all sorts of talent in the team, from super modern online wizardry to stone carving, something for all. We have been discussing the pros and cons of competition prize structure and are looking to keep improving the overall opportunity for us all to shine. The aim is to introduce a more inclusive, transparent and fair distribution of the prize fund. 

Stablefords will adopt a single division, including all members playing for an increased number of payouts (based on the number of entrants), the best scores winning the best prizes. 

The details of this will be posted on the Members’ board (as a start) so we can all target our golfing financial goals before going out on the course to let it rip! 

The single inclusive structure also offers the clear and straightforward view of payouts, providing for easier and quicker administration. 

The divisional structure is rather more awkward in that we often end up with a significantly different balance in players’ handicaps from week to week, needing specific tailoring. This makes for a variable and sometimes disadvantageous result for some players who performed well but lose out because the handicap split doesn’t work in their favour. 

This being said, we feel Medals still deserve a split as one may expect lower handicappers to be more consistent and so have a slight edge in this format (I do question this from my own experience, perhaps I need new clubs?). 

As we play our way through the coming club competitions we will endeavour to get a clear timely communication process so we can all be kept informed. Please feedback your views, this will help us coordinate with Member wishes.

An important change is happening with handicaps, as we all know by now we are moving to the World Handicapping System (WHS) imminently. To make sure you don’t miss the switch over, you need to give permission to the club to transfer your data to the WHS. This is a simple process via the website that Dan or one of many Members will be able to assist with. Please ensure you get it done. If you put it off and miss the deadline you may be unable to play competition golf.

Greg van Beurden is our latest admin team addition and is administering events in November. He’s got the big one, yes sir, the Captain’s Drive In, that’s me in case you don’t know! Frustrating virus issues permitting, we will run this fine fun event on Saturday November 14th. The sign up for this is now live so please get to it and get involved. It is a fun day, with a team event, food, prizes, you’ll even get to beat a pro at his own game…..not to mention watching me, yet again, miss the 10th green. We will publish full details in due course. 

Finally, entry to the winter KO series is soon going to close and will be drawn. Please get involved with this series, it lasts all winter (if you win your matches!) and you can play both greensomes and betterball formats if you have the energy. Book in now if you have not already, the events are dated November 2nd, so scroll down a bit to find it on the list…..

As the light hours draw shorter it is important to use our full booking window (2-3 weeks,contract depending). Please book early for competitions, it means we can all play together. We are a membership and as such we only benefit from this if we all take advantage of the events organised. There are many great people at our club to mix with and many golfing opportunities to do it, book in and enjoy the club!

Member news

Winter rates: Members should be aware that we put into effect a new points matrix on October 26th for the winter golf season to March 31st to reflect the new playing conditions in terms of light etc.

This will offer both Member guests and Flexible Members a much more economic rate when playing over the winter season. Details can be found here.

Membership migration: Some Members, who renewed just prior to the takeover, currently remain in their old chosen Crown category until their renewal next year. We appreciate, however, that Get Golfing’s new membership terms, including the booking window, are much more attractive than previous offers, so we can migrate a Member across to a newer category if they so want.

There are, however, some implications in doing this. Legally it is a new contract — so we cannot just migrate you over at the touch of a button. Also, because the previous owner’s rates included VAT that we cannot recover, there is a cost implication, which may affect your decision to change over. Please contact your General Manager to discuss ways in which we can tailor a solution most suited to your golfing needs.

We would also like to highlight the fact that we are committed to keeping your subscription flat in 2021, while at the same time continuing to invest significantly in delivering a high-quality course and great customer service.

Freedom Play Members: Those Members still operating under the old Freedom Play membership category have been contacted about our new better-value points system created in line with the wider Get Golfing group. If you are not in the process of moving across to this improved offer, please contact the office so you don’t miss out! See here for more details.

Join the Golf Passport: If you are an existing Member of a Get Golfing club, you can play UNLIMITED golf at our other venues for just £25 a month or £300 a year (with a 7-day lead time for booking your tee time). Why not organise a 4-ball with your friends and enjoy an away day at another course near you? Remember you can use your Club Card across all Get Golfing sites as well! Please note that flexible members have their points deducted based on the time and day of play. Please click here to learn more.

Golf news

World Handicap System update: As a golf club, we are the data controller for any data stored in IntelligentGolf about the membership. Members may be interested to know that, as part of the WHS license agreement with England Golf, certain fields of your member data are requested to be uploaded to the WHS.

The club’s data privacy policy has been set to require consent from all Members before any data is sent — and to send placeholder data for any Members who do not have an email address or who have not provided consent.

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.

FYI: If you click on the link below you will be able to view the latest communication sent out from England Golf to help golfers understand the new WHS system which comes into action from November 2nd.

Please remember that Intelligent Golf and all golf support companies have no access to anyone’s handicaps or playing records until November 2nd so any discrepancies or problems with any uploads cannot be resolved until after this date.  The last upload from England Golf to the WHS takes place at 8.00pm on the 1st of November so things are constantly changing on a daily basis until this time.

https://www.englandgolf.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/WHS_070_Golfers_Toolkit_FINAL.pdf

Pro news

From Andrew Blackman, Head Golf Professional (PGA 25 years): After such a great summer unfortunately the winter is nearly upon us, boo!! There is light at the end of the tunnel though for your golf games. Throughout the winter months I’ll be holding coaching clinics regularly covering all aspects of the game.

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: 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 that when you practice 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? Email me, I’m here to help and nothing gives me more satisfaction than seeing a student smile and improve. [email protected]

  • 1 x 1 hour coaching members £50 or 4 x 1 hour £180
  • 1 x 30 minute coaching £35 members or 4 x 30 min £130

 All lessons include video analysis for feedback and progression.

Sand school: Learn how to make more sand saves through better understanding of technique.

  • Thursday, November 5th: 12.30–1.30pm  
  • Friday, November 6th: 1.30–2.30pm  

Limited spaces so please book…£15 per person + FREE Tea/coffee

Par 18 skills challenge: Come and play and practice this great way to get up ‘n’ down more often with focus!

  • Tuesday, November 10th: 11.30–12.30
  • Wednesday, November 11th: 1.30–2.30pm

Free of charge to members! Limited spaces so please book

Putt, putt, putt!: Let’s get together and chat about the most important part of scoring, with tips and advice on hand

  • Thursday, November 12th: 10am–11am

Free of charge to members! Limited spaces so please book

Pitch perfect: Learn how to pitch more effectively, controlling distance and trajectory.

  • Friday, November 20th: 3pm–4pm
  • Saturday, November 21st: 3p –4pm

Limited spaces so please book…£15 per person + FREE Tea/coffee

Know your wedge distances using SkyTrak: Do you know exactly how far your wedges pitch? Find out precisely using SkyTrak to help make more birdies!

  • Wednesday, November 25th: 1pm–2.40pm (20 min slots)

Free of charge to members! Limited spaces so please book

Any lesson bookings or enquiries please email me at [email protected] or text me on 07977 652798.