A few 5 or 10 year transferable memberships are available; please contact me or Steve Burrows if interested.
- THE COURSE.
The course has recovered from winter and from the dry cold spell that followed course maintenance. I know that there has been some concern about the greens not being cut as short as usual at this time of year and being a bit bobbly as a result. The reason for this is that spring has been unusually cold this year and the grass is 5 weeks behind where it would usually be at this time. This has affected most of the country and even at Wentworth last week the pros, Justin Rose among them, were complaining about bobbly greens. Until now it has been too cold to scarify the greens but that is being done now and you should notice an immediate improvement in the putting surface. Simon and his team continue to do a great job particularly bearing in mind that they are also working on the two new holes.
Since I last wrote to you the bunker to the right of the 15th green has been rebuilt and the Men’s tee on the 7th has been levelled and re-turfed; both are now well established. Most recently the old greenkeepers’ shed to the left of the 6th fairway has been demolished, opening the line into the 6th green and improving visibility of players on the 7th tee. These are considerable improvements.
Over the winter some of the greens, particularly the 9th and 7th, were unusually wet. This was partly due to the high level of the water table after very heavy rain the previous year but the extent of the hollow tining we have done to improve aeration may also have been a contributory factor. Simon will be reducing the amount of hollow tining of the most affected greens in the autumn maintenance program. The team will also be putting in deep land drains just uphill from the 7th and 9th greens to divert ground water which might otherwise be running onto or just under those greens.
Our investment in course maintenance machinery continues. In addition to the excavator, the scarifier and the core collector that we have bought in the last 12 months we are now about to buy another greens mower and a replacement utility vehicle.
- THE NEW HOLES
The two new holes are now well established and we aim to open them in late June, but not before Festival Week. The exact date will depend on there being a run of warm weather. As most of you will have seen a gravelled path has been laid through a new opening from the current 4th tee to the new par 3 tee and there is a similar path from the par 3 green to the new par 4 tee and fairway.
When the new holes open we will close the current 12th and 18th for a few weeks while we build a new green on the 18th fairway. This is needed because in the final revised layout the current 18th will be a long par 4 and the current 18th green (which would be too close to the extended car park) will be the new putting green. During this short period the course will be played in the following order: 1st, 2nd, 13th to 17th, 3rd, new par 3, new par 4, 4th to 11th. The halfway point on the 18 played in this order will be after the new par 3. As this is a long way from the clubhouse we will be providing temporary toilets at that point.
When the new green on the current 18th has been built and turfed we will reopen the current 18th playing to the current 18th green (but with the new green as ground under repair) and close the 9th and 10th while we build a new green on the 10th. During this period the current 10th green will be available as a practice green for chipping, bunker play and putting, the current 9th fairway will be available as a practice ground and the course will be played in the following order: 1st to 3rd, new par 3, new par 4, 4th to 8th, 11th to 18th.
Having consulted with Cornwall Golf Union we are agreeing with the Captain and committee changes to the Standard Scratch Index for each hole for these two temporary layouts and new cards will be printed accordingly.
- NAMING THE HOLES
In my letter last year I asked for suggestions for an appropriate name for each hole on the course to be included on the card by the time we have the revised layout to go with the new clubhouse. A name could be appropriate because of the hole’ s physical features, its history, views of or from it, animals or plants around it, its archaeology, its association with a former member or otherwise. So far I have only had one suggestion, to name the 5th in recognition of Nessie Morton’s hole in one there at the age of 72 and I plan to accept that.
Other suggestions gratefully received.
- THE NEW CLUBHOUSE
The revised plans have now been finalized and a set is on display in the club entrance lobby. We are applying in the first week of June for the necessary amendment to the planning permission. We have agreed heads of terms with a contractor and are now negotiating the contract. Although the timing has slipped some preliminary work on the new clubhouse has just been carried out and we are aiming to start building in earnest early next year with a view to moving into the new clubhouse towards the end of next year.
- NEW WEBSITE
With the help of new member Simon Leek we are about to launch our new website which will be a significant improvement on the current one. One of the key features on it will be an online booking system for members’ non competition tee times and visitors’ tee times; competition entry will continue to be by the PSI screen outside the office and roll ups will continue to operate in the same way as now. The new website will be a work in progress, constantly evolving and all suggestions for improvement will be welcome.
- STAFF CHANGES
Steve Burrows has returned to full time work as Director of Golf and Donna has been promoted to Catering Manager while continuing her role on the bar. Sharon has moved on to other things after working here for 4 years and we have been joined by Martha and Jenny on the bar. We also have Chloe a new assistant chef in the kitchen working alongside
John and Lucy and Nicole helping out at weekends.
We welcome the new staff members and wish them success with us. My thanks to all who work at the club, including Nick and his team in the pro shop, for their hard work and enthusiasm, not least to our accounts manager, Linda, and to my fellow director Steve.
Thank you all for your continuing support, good humour, help, suggestions and occasional constructive criticism. I wish you all triumphant golf, good health and happiness.