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From Dan Lucking, General Manager, Lauren Scott, Food & Beverage Manager, and Adam Constable, Course Manager: Welcome to the September newsletter. We hope you are all well and enjoying your golf! 

General news

As part of our ongoing investment in the club, Members will be pleased to learn that the roof on the clubhouse is being cleaned in September. 

General trading

While we have all experienced a rise in the numbers playing golf since the partial lifting of the lockdown in May, all most half of Pyrford Golf Club’s historical trading has come from food and drink sales, as well as the events and functions side of the business, so overall trading has remained challenging to say the least. 

Get Golfing, however, sees Pyrford as a key site and will be investing in it significantly over the coming years. That said, any support Members can give to the staff and Club in the meantime would be greatly appreciated. For example, it would be a great help if Members could make sure they regularly use the kitchen and bar offerings. Many of you have already helped by introducing golfing friends to membership of Pyrford and it would be fantastic if all Members tried to do so as well. If you use the Member referral programme, you will receive 10% of the new Member’s first-year subscription as a credit on your bar card.

Staff news

After amicable discussions, Course Manager Adam Constable has decided that he would prefer to move onto pastures new and will be leaving Pyrford shortly.  Both Adam and Get Golfing leave on good terms and wish each other the very best. Adam will always be welcome at Pyrford and we thank him for his hard work and contribution. It is recognised that while the course needs improvement, Adam made significant improvements to the greens during his three years at the Club and we thank him. An announcement will be made shortly regarding his replacement.

Future development plans

A comprehensive overseeding programme commences tomorrow and will continue for most of September. This programme will continue on and off for several years to radically transform your playing experience. We will also be starting a complete bunker renovation programme in September that will be phased and weather dependent. We anticipate that all bunkers will have been renovated by late spring 2021.

In addition, we will continue the upgrading of the irrigation system this autumn. This will include green surrounds and approaches. Elsewhere, a specialist in-house team will start relaying the path network with a rubber compound. This work is also weather dependent so progress and completion dates could vary. Finally, throughout the winter we will have a team clearing the vegetation from the lake banks. These will be re-graded in due course and then hydro-seeded (likely to be in the spring). Members will appreciate that this is an ambitious programme and is likely to impact of the golf experience at Pyrford but we hope you will appreciate that, without this short-term disruption, the course will not improve.

Since Get Golfing took over Pyrford, work has also been going on behind the scenes regarding areas for investment and establishing budgets and timings. We are in the process of designing an extension to the patio area, with construction planned for 2021. We also hope to put in our planning application for a new maintenance building to the right of the 10th in the final quarter of the year. We will keep you informed as our plans progress.

Membership renewal

Members can now switch from their current Crown membership contract to a new Get Golfing contract, which means you can receive the additional benefits that Get Golfing offers. Please click here to review your options, including our new Buggy Membership category, which gives you unlimited use of a buggy for £50 a month, or contact Dan via email ([email protected]).

Food and drink news

From Lauren Scott, F&B Manager: Last month for the bar was the busiest I think it had been since it opened! We have lots of new friendly faces and to me this seems like the perfect time to join! 

Unfortunately ‘Moretti-gate’ is still very much a thing but just so you know I’m trying to make some positive changes for Pyrford in the future! A big announcement is that we will now have Pepsi on offer behind the bar. It’s the little things! We also have syrups so next time you ask for a white coffee, maybe have a dash of vanilla?

From Neale Garrard, Head Chef: The food on offer since we’ve been back has completely changed for the better. We started out just offering food outdoors from our brand-new barbecue and the burgers and one other special each day has earned us some amazing reviews. Other dishes since, such as the Cumberland ring sausage with fried onions, the chicken tikka burger or the pulled pork burger, have all gone down really well.

We’ve now moved inside and I have designed a menu that suits this time of year. Again, hopefully most of you have tried the latest new menu additions. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?! Our new Pyrford Burger, Chicken Caesar Salad and the Loaded Chips have been very popular. I know a few of you have been eagerly awaiting some chips with your food!

I have personally really enjoyed creating new menu ideas for you to have here at the club. There’s nothing better than fresh food, done well, and that’s exactly what we’re doing now. If you’ve got room after your meal, why not ask what the dessert of the day is and, trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

You may still occasionally see me outside on the barbecue. Towards the weekend, should the weather be good, it’s a great place to stop and grab something fresh off the grill. If we are not running the barbecue when you’re here, please order off of our new club menu.

If you don’t know who I am, and you see me walking through the restaurant or bar area, please say hello. Any feedback, whether it’s something you’re happy with or something you think we could improve on, please say so. I look forward to seeing you all soon, and hope to see you enjoying our new Club Menu! 

Competitions news

The 2020 Club Championships will take place over Saturday and Sunday, September 5th and 6th. The format will be the same as normal, with 18 holes of medal play each day and the Men’s and Ladies Gross and Nett champions being determined over the aggregate 36-hole score.

Play will be in order of exact handicap on the Saturday and then in descending order of gross score on the Sunday so the leaders will play in the final groups.

The start sheet for the event can be view on our Members’ app or online here.

Upcoming competitions:

  • September 1st: Ladies stableford 
  • September 2nd: Seniors stableford 
  • September 2nd: Midweek stableford 
  • September 5th: Club championships (R1)

Course news

From Adam Constable, Course Manager: The first thing I must say is that Get Golfing’s focus on course conditioning and its financial support in terms of staffing, new machinery and the overall course budget is a breath of fresh air and will enable us to deliver a much better experience for all our golfers.

The course has experienced all manner of weather through August. We started the month with 12 days of dry weather and experienced high temperatures of just over 37 degrees. The course fared well through this and the irrigation system held up through this period. 

A lot of days were spent hand watering and I was asked if the irrigation system was broken. It was not, the reason we hand water is because it gives us an opportunity to really target areas that would otherwise dry out. The greens at Pyrford are very undulating and the irrigation system alone will not keep the slopes healthy and green during dry spells. 

The beauty of hand watering is that we can add wetting agent tablets to the application gun and this should mean water penetrates these areas better. Hand watering is a far better option in hot spells like the one we have just experienced as it prevents over-watering some areas and then under-watering others as would happen if we used just the sprinklers alone. 

On August 12th, however, hand watering was the last thing on my mind. The course recorded over 28mm of rain in just half an hour. I can access our weather station at home and thought it was broken because of the speed it was going up, especially as it wasn’t even raining at home! The course took it well and the rain brought with it a flurry of growth as the days that followed were a mix of sunshine and showers. 

As I write this we are currently halfway through our summer course renovations and I would like to thank the Members and visitors for their support during this week. At the time of writing all greens have been tined, scarified, seeded, dressed, brushed in and fertilised. We are already seeing great recovery after just a few days and we have now started on a double scarify, seed, dress and feed on the tees. 

We have taken delivery of some pelleted organic feed for the fairways and rough, which needs to be applied in dry conditions and so far the weather hasn’t looked like it wants to play ball, so this will be done at the next earliest available dry window. 

We have also replaced the foam lagging at the bottom of the flags. COVID-19 restrictions and rule changes for golf could be around for some time so we have gone for a smarter-looking ball catcher with a plastic hole protector. I think they look a lot smarter but welcome any feedback as we want to find the right product for everybody. 

Moving forward, it’s shaping up to be a busy winter. Once our maintenance is out of the way I am going to start writing our winter projects calendar. To give you an idea of plans for this winter our winter work will include: 

  • Renovation of all the bunkers 
  • More upgrades to the irrigation system (this will include installing back nozzles to greens heads to keep surrounds alive through summer, plumbing in capped off heads on 4th fairway, 16th fairway and 18th fairway and we are looking at installing second runs on some wider fairways such as the 9th and 3rd) 
  • Re building a handful of bridges that are deteriorating such as on the 13th, 14th and 17th 
  • Rodding of key drains to improve the areas that got so wet last winter 
  • Clearing banks to open up the views across all the ponds here at Pyrford 

There are a few other projects that we would like to get done but this is, of course, all weather dependent. 

Pro news

From Andrew Blackman, Head Golf Professional ( PGA): It’s been an eventful few months for golf and Pyrford Golf Club. The announcement that golf could be played again was a massive relief to us all for many reasons, chief of which was simply being allowed to play the game we love so much!

The next announcement was us being taken over by Get Golfing, exciting times ahead we think!

As you can all see, golf has become very popular again. With that, we have taken on many new members to our great club, a very warm welcome to all of them!

Golf coaching has been very busy during the past few months, thanks to all those having one-to-one tuition along with some clinics too. It is nice to see people enjoying their golf again.

I have some dates lined up for future clinics, some chargeable and some FREE of charge to members:

Sand school: Learn how to make more sand saves through better understanding of technique. Runs: Thursday, September 3rd: 2.30pm – 3.30om and 4.00pm – 5.00pm. There are limited spaces for this so please book… £15pp

Putting get together: Let’s get together and chat about the most important part of scoring with tips and advice on hand. Runs: Friday, September 4th: 1pm – 2pm; Tuesday, September 15th: 2pm – 3pm. There are limited spaces for this so please book…Complimentary to Members

‘Pitch Perfect’…pitching clinic: Learn how to pitch more effectively, controlling distance and trajectory…Birdie time! Runs: Thursday, September 17th: 4pm – 5pm; Friday, September 18th: 1.30pm – 2.30pm. Again, limited Spaces please book…£15 per person

Par 18 skills challenge: Come and play and practice this great way to get up ‘n’ down more often with focus! Runs: Wednesday, September 30th: 1.30pm – 2.30pm. Limited Spaces please book…Complimentary to Members.

Seniors and Ladies classes: As before these will resume from Tuesday, September 1st   (Seniors) and Wednesday, September 2nd ( Ladies). Both run from 10am – 11am to include tea/coffee…£12 per person. Max five people so please book in advance.

To book any of the above classes either speak to me directly or email [email protected] I hope to see you soon and long may this great weather continue through September!

Online pro shop

With the closure of the pro shop, we are temporarily offering balls, gloves, hats etc at the check-in desk. Towards the end of the year, we will have our own online golf shop, which will enable members to buy their golf merchandise direct using their club cards and receive the relevant discounts that go with their membership category. Merchandise (including Club logo apparel) will be delivered to their home or on a click-and-collect basis at the Club. Get Golfing is confident that this will mean that members at Pyrford will receive outstanding value on their purchases and, if we may borrow a term, “never be knowingly undersold”. More information will become available in due course.