Clarion June 2021
Hello sports fans.
This edition of The Clarion is going to be a bit ‘preachy’, I’m afraid. Shall we start with some positivity? After me everyone: Oh, yes please! (I love pantomime).
Membership is thriving, the course is being used, loads of new people to meet and perhaps get to play with at some point soon. Competitions are buzzing, knockouts are underway, and: the SUN IS OUT AND THE WIND HAS STOPPED BLOWING. For now.
Plans are being drawn up to construct the patio outside ‘Kesters Cabin’. Here is the first red flag: it is already apparent that the Cabin is encouraging the occasional group of golfers to congregate. This presents a two-fold problem: groups are still frowned upon (social distancing etc) and they are quite noisy, clearly affecting the concentration of golfers on the first tee, as I have already observed as part of a noisy group behind the tee. My apologies on everyone presents behalf to that group of young golfers.
We are going to have to be careful going forward that we do not spoil others enjoyment when using this area, by being disrespectfully noisy.
The Committee has asked me to remind all members about the (already fairly relaxed) dress code, as outlined in the Members handbook on the Club website. Members are responsible for the dress standards of their guests, to whom the rules also obviously apply. There has been several complaints made to the Committee regarding poor attire and the next move will be some form of enforcement if the rules are not adhered to. Golf shoes, tailored trousers, tailored shorts, shirts with a collar (ladies excepted) on them and without a number on the back or an advertising logo anywhere (ladies not excepted), other than the makers branding. The maintenance of standards is a good concept and there is no need for anyone to deliberately flaunt the clearly stated guidance. No football shorts, track suit bottoms, warm up pants, warm down pants, cargo shorts or Rugby shirts. Simples!
I have also seen that complete no-no on the course: the reversed baseball cap. There used to be a saying that when someone put a baseball cap on, they probably lost 50% of their intellect: when they turned it round, the other 50% went. It looks awful and achieves nothing in terms of keeping the sun out of ones eyes. If you want to protect your neck from the sun, use sun block, a Kepi or a wide brimmed hat. If you want to keep your flowing locks under control, either wear the cap the correct way round or wear an Alice band. Please contact Ian White for Club logoed Alice bands (only kidding).
Another observation: divots are not being replaced. If you gouge a lump of turf out of a fairway, or even a delicate slither as I do, please go and find it (it is often found stuck to your clubface) and replace it. No divots on the tees from practice swings please!
My own experiences of speed of play have been very positive recently, with several slower moving groups inviting me to play through. There have, however, been observed incidents of slow moving groups of four ahead of two-balls (that are obviously moving more quickly), ignoring those following and slowing everyone on the course down to their pace of play. It is your duty as a golfer to keep up with the group in front, not stay in front of the group behind. If that is all you can manage, stand aside and let the faster moving group through. If there is no one in front of you, make sure to look behind and invite your fellow club members through if they are waiting. We have lots of par three holes on the course and all you need to do is play up to the green then stand aside and let the following group catch up and play through. This consideration is vital on a nine-hole course and any other approach can spoil your fellow golfers enjoyment of the golfing experience offered.
Congratulations to our Club Champion, Ray White, on his hole-in-one on the first in a recent competition. Well done, Ray. That pitching wedge of yours is deadly: how do you hit it so far?
Captain Bob has managed to get Club matches going again and has led the Senior team in a couple of tough but enjoyable away confrontations with Pavenham and The Millbrook. Both were lost but the teams chosen performed well at 2 courses that probably offer a challenge so different from our own that we were always third favourites. Good contacts have been re-established with these prestigious clubs, mostly due to the leadership shown by Bob but also by the team’s ability to treat defeat as it might treat success. I think Bob needs to exercise his privilege as Captain (how Harvey Weinberg does that sound?) and pick better partners for himself, as evidenced by his choosing me (what a loser) at The Millbrook. Club Match away vs Overstone on Saturday: watch this space! I have a good feeling about this one: c’mon Sharnbrook!
The course is now coming to itself. The greens suffered badly during the winter and are being nursed back to health. I have played several outside courses recently and none are where they would normally be at this time of the season. We have had a setback for the weekend medal on Sunday in that the mower used to cut the rough has broken, so: if you are playing this weekend, play provisional balls when in any doubt, stick to the 3 minute rule and KEEP MOVING please! We really need to try to get competition rounds down to four hours maximum.
Terry Eley (Course Chair) would appreciate the help and support of any able bodied member (irrespective of gender or age) that can offer skills, time and/or energy to help him and his team to improve course and playing conditions for all. A lot of work gets done (and has been done in the past) by members giving up their time and I feel that a lot of members, especially new members, are not aware of this.
I expect I have missed stuff that should have been included but I am bored now. Not as much as you probably are, but bored anyway.
And finally………I got hired by my local golf club to keep the players cool in the locker room. It was a difficult job because I’m really not a fan.
Clarion April 21
Hello to all of you, vaccinated or unvaccinated.
As we emerge from what has probably been for most of us the oddest 15 months of our lives, it is time to think about our Golf again. The course is open, the sun is sort of shining, the temperature is becoming more favourable (occasionally) and we hopefully now have a full season ahead of us. The unwritten phrase that will not need to appear in the following gibberish is ‘considering the circumstances’, as it applies in nearly every area of the running of the Club. So; let us ‘talk sport’…..
The Committee have continued to be very active in many areas. Membership, Finance, the Ladies section, the Course, Marketing, Competitions and the new WHS transition, the Captain arranging a match structure, and of course, Kester’s Cabin.
If you require a 20/21 sticker for your Beds County Card, please contact Roger Tunn as he has a supply of same.
Membership is amazingly healthy. As at 24 April the membership across all categories was 220. At the end of the last year it was 250. Our financial position is best described as ‘healthier than in recent years’ and work will soon start on making the area around the Cabin look more appealing and will include the construction of a patio area (work might start as early as May on this). If you intend to rejoin, get on with it!
I have already seen lots of new (and not all old) faces on the course. I have also been the beneficiary of some very good etiquette, having been invited to play through by slower moving groups on several occasions, mostly new members. A big thumbs up to those that are aware of those around them: ultimately, the whole course moves faster if you keep up with the group in front, not just in front of the group behind! There are areas of the course where voices carry a long way (the 2nd specifically). Those that know me will see something of the ‘pot calling the kettle black’ here, but it can be off putting to surrounding golfers if your conversations from 20 yards away from your playing partner reach the decibel levels of a Vulcan bomber taking off. Adjust the volume control, if you have one, especially around other golfers.
Our Ladies section rep, Diana Britton, is preparing a report on how other clubs are increasing Women’s participation in the sport. Despite various incentives and a ton of effort over the last few years, SGC seems to struggle in regard of attracting and keeping lady members. Any new ideas would be welcomed, as a thriving Ladies section is a one of the fundamental parts of any club with aspirations.
The course (as all courses seem to have) suffered badly during the very wet winter. Some photographs were circulating of the 7th fairway and green showing just the flag sticking out of the water! The extent of the damage was not just water related: we seem to have had some ‘hungry birds’ and probably Badgers who have decided to attack some of the greens and the surrounding areas. I have played 4 outside courses since we were released from bondage and all of these also had areas of similar damage to some degree. All of these courses were also a good month behind in their condition: it has been impossible for course staff to actually get on to the course for most of Winter and do what usually gets done in the off season. We need to be thankful that we can get out and play!
The greens have been top dressed (Tuesday 27th) and with the sprinkler system now having been repaired, we should start to see a rapid improvement in the condition of these. The 6th tee box should be back in use soon and there is a lot of general maintenance being planned for the course. I have seen the Course and Greens Chair, Terry Eley, out on the course ploughing a lonely path in his efforts to tidy the course up. On that point, the numbers of Fusiliers seem to be dwindling, with a regular party of 6 now attending. The Fusiliers can always use new members to help in their vital supportive work on the course supplementing the efforts of the ground staff. If you can help, please let Terry Eley know.
John Greevy and the Marketeers have produced some new A5 flyers and A4 posters: they are available in Kester’s Cabin and members are encouraged to distribute these at their workplaces, local Pubs/Clubs and to prospective members. Again, this is vital as if we can reach a critical mass of members, the Committee can start to invest residual income in the course and its general playability, which is to everyone’s benefit and future enjoyment of the facility. We also now have an ‘eco-friendly’ banner on the side of the Sharnbrook A6 farm shop. John has also re-established contact with Sharnbrook Academy and is looking at ways of developing a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Colin Hook has restarted the competitions as of 6th April. Tuesday morning roll-ups have been well attended. The Club monthly Medal on 11th April was won by Jerry Stringer. Summer knock-outs are due to start as of May. If you want to enter any comp, let CH know asap (that was all a bit ‘line of duty’ ish: I am ‘down with the kidz’, I’ll have you know). The Diary of club events is now available on the website. It is important that you check this for 2 reasons: so you know when the competitions are to allow you to enter them, and; it will give you a good idea as to when to avoid arriving to play social golf and finding the course heaving with competitive 4 balls! The first of the main competitions is scheduled for 16/5: the Bogey Cup. Also a reminder to download the MYEG app to allow you access to your personal dashboard.
Captain Bob Damon has been very active on our collective behalf, organising a timetable of Club fixtures. He is hopeful that most of our previous timetable can be re-established and played this year, using Sharnbrook Playing Field Club as the after match venue. The first Senior team matches are away at Pavenham (20/5) and Millbrook (25/5). It is very important that we get behind Bob this year to successfully fulfil our fixtures and to get the Club name out into the County again: we are open for business. The away days at Greatham Valley, competing for the Jimmy Stott Salver, are now confirmed as 14/15 July with 38 attendees. Ian White has overseen the organisation of this event. Sharnbrook is hosting the prestigious 4 club challenge in October between ourselves, Rushden, Priors Hall and Colmworth.
Let us all be aware of others on the course, look after the course and enjoy our liberation.
Arnold Schwarznegger runs a golf shop in his off screen time. He has never been good with numbers so instead of numbering the aisles, he uses a letter system.
Last week a customer came in and asked Mr. Schwarznegger where the golf gloves were. He keeps things simple.
“Aisle B, back”
Clarion November 20
The curse is upon us again! No golf for at least a month, unless someone realises that 2 golfers walking around in a big field is no different to 2 non-golfers walking round in a big field. Hey-ho.
Where shall we begin? Ah yes: where else but the retirement of our long-standing and much appreciated groundsman, Ray Kester. Ray, along with his various teams, has nurtured and developed the course for the benefit of all members over his time at Colworth/Sharnbrook. We have been very lucky to have someone with his commitment and ethos as the curator of the course and he will be missed by all who have played the course and those who have worked with him. Ray was presented with a gift from all of the membership and as a mark of our thanks for his work, the new building is being christened ‘Kester’s Cabin’ (I hope they don’t decide to spell cabin with a K!), Ray: thank you and have a great retirement.
Phil Britton will now be in charge of the Golf Course maintenance and the Club wishes him every success in his new role. He does play some golf at the Club, so please: do not pester him when he is playing!
In the same vein, Paul Carter, who has done a brilliant job as Course chair, intends to stand down at the next AGM. Paul took over from Dave Hersey a couple of years ago and continued the good work that Dave was involved in. Paul has instigated many positive changes to the course and its playability. He doesn’t just talk about it; he gets on and does it. He has also galvanised and organised a band of willing and sometimes enthusiastic members into a real workforce; Carter’s Fusiliers. During the Club’s ‘difficult’ period, the working parties, under Dave and then Paul’s leadership, effectively ensured that the course remained playable and continued to develop, despite financial constraint. Again; thanks from all of us, Paul
The new Covid fund funded Cabin build has progressed very well, thanks to all involved. The membership should be grateful to those who have freely given their time (a lot of time in some cases) and expertise on this project, which has needed to be completed against the clock. The project is ahead of schedule in all respects except for the electrical installation. This is being undertaken by external contractors. England Golf (who set a time scale for fund funded projects) are aware and are being kept up to date with progress. For those who have not yet seen the building, it is an impressive structure which blends in superbly with the local environs. Contrary to any rumour, there is not a special prize for the first golfer to hit the structure.
There have been a few leaks from the ‘Cabinet’ as to next years tariff and proposals for the AGM. The full membership fee will be £500 but for existing members renewing, £480. Proposal to limit second club membership to 25. More will be ‘leaked’ at a later date.
The Ladies section scheduled event for 14th November has obviously been cancelled and will now be rearranged when the situation is clarified.
The Women’s Charter is nearing completion.
Course and Greens news: A meeting was held regarding the forward winter tees as there is a requirement to move, upgrade and even scrap some of the existing tees, with an aim to provide a consistent standard for all tees. There is a full report available as to the outcome of discussions. All decisions have been taken with regard to course rating and slope rating issues.
The Marketing team are busy in their role and are continuing to successfully focus on membership. The Club now has 258 members in all categories. As a past (it) Secretary, I think that this is a brilliant result from a group of members whose work has a tendency to go unnoticed, due to the fact that they work on external projects. John Greevy is now exercising a different approach to this area and is pursuing more focussed advertising.
John is also pursuing a solution to a problem that has been a bugbear for some time: how to put people in touch with each other for social golf, especially members new to the Club. Any good ideas that will work in this GDPR conscious world would be appreciated by the team.
Competitions have been continuing right up to the bitter end (for now).
Summer (?) K/O’s:
Captains day was won by Kevin Bishop, who won on countback from Ian MacDonald. The day was a great success and Bob Damon wishes to thank all 48 who supported the day, which only went ahead thanks to the hard work of the green staff. It was great to see Jimmy Stott there and all wish him a speedy recovery. Bob also wants to pass his thanks via the Clarion to Joe Giamassi who continues to support the Club in a very friendly and generous fashion. The day also raised £100 for our chosen charity, the ‘Flipper Club’, and this will be passed on to Graham Wright for this purpose.
Bob also organised some ‘awaydays’ at Elton Furze (x2) and Colmworth, all of which have been well supported, hotly competed for and enjoyed by all (except maybe Carol Fosbrook, who got hit on the hand by a golf ball at E F. She is still suffering some pain but is improving).
The other Weekend and Tuesday morning events have been ‘hoovered up’ by the same ‘old’ faces mostly.
The Winter Pairs league is up and running with an entry of 21 pairs over 3 divisions; brilliant response!
The WHS transition is now complete, with 114 members key data having been processed via Club V1. This is everyone with a current handicap who nominate Sharnbrook as their home club. You will need to check your new handicap under the WHS as it may differ from previously held handicaps. There does seem to be some anomalies with ex-Embankment members which is in the process of being sorted out. The slope rating panel will be erected in a visible position by the first tee/entry to the course area.
And finally (thank goodness)…….
I saw this in Her Majesty’s Telegraph and it is about the transition of handicaps to the new WHS. The writer of the article outlined 3 types of golfer in regard to their handicap. The first type just see their handicap as a changing reflection of how they are playing at any given time. Type 2 sees their handicap as a measure of them as both a golfer and a person and never wants to get shots back under any circumstance. Type 3 prefer to have a handicap with which they are ‘comfortable’. He finished his article with a short tale about one of his elderly relatives who had been playing for 60 years and said ‘Some days I start 7,7,6,9,7 and on other days, I hardly seem to be able to play at all well’.
Endure the lockdown, people. Be kind to all and be safe.
Clarion September 2020
It is a good news edition. No; it really is!
A group of members on your Committee recently put together a document requesting a special Covid-19 grant from England Golf, with an aim to financing the purchase and fit out of a new building to replace the existing ‘Cabin’. Their proposal has been completely successful and England Golf have sanctioned the payment in principle of £8,550, which should cover the full cost.
That’s it: good news over. The club will need some volunteers with the skills and energy to see this project through, so don’t be shy if you think you can help in any way. No timescales in place yet.
• The Club still intends to arrange target marshalling events, as it is felt that there is still a need for this activity, unfortunately. Non-payment of green fees, poor etiquette, non-conformance with the (already quite tolerant) dress code and non-members using the course are all areas of concern. You are all members: please do not be afraid to introduce yourself to anyone whom you consider may not be conforming to the rules and then politely but firmly let them know their responsibilities. Anyone who is challenged and is a bona fide member of any category should be grateful that someone is bothering to carry out this task on their behalf. We all pay our membership: why should a few abuse the course, the rules or even steal ‘free golf’ at your expense.
Austin Curtis has asked that I remind all of you about his upcoming offer, as follows:
SHARNBROOK Autumn and Winter SENIOR 50+ coaching: The more that sign up, the less you pay!
It’s for 3 months to begin with but can be extended for an extra 3 months.
Clarion August 2020
Hello, sports fans
Flaming August is damply upon us. An island in the Atlantic Ocean: what should we expect?
Things are slowly returning to a form of normality on the course: the club played its first inter club match on Saturday 15th vs Overstone. It was Captain Bob’s first team match as Club Captain and those that survived the deluge managed a 3-3 draw against a strong team from Overstone. The opposition were very positive about the condition of the course, so a BIG thank you to Ray and his team, Paul Carter and the Fusiliers and especially John Greevy for going out and raking all of the bunkers prior to the match. These inter club matches are an important thread in the fabric of what golf is all about. They allow us to measure ourselves against other clubs and courses, make friendships and alliances with like-minded people, to promote the sport, and; are also a great advert for our club in themselves. With a few local clubs facing closure, getting a positive response about the course is a huge benefit.
Competitions continue to be well attended. A recent Seniors qualifying Stableford attracted 44 entrants and the monthly events are up around 28 players for the first time in 4 years. This is really down to the good work being put in by Colin Hook and his team on the Competitions sub-Committee.
The match on 15th was originally an away fixture but needed to be re-arranged, at short notice, as a home event. These matches and most competitions generally require either a course closure or a temporary tee closure for a set period of time. Wherever possible, ample notice will be given of closures but it was only possible to provide a 4 day notice period on this occasion. An e-mail was sent out on Tuesday 11th but a few groups still turned up to play and were turned away. If you want to play at the weekend, especially in the morning, PLEASE check your e-mails and the website for any closure notices.
Course and Greens (this is not a vegetarian delicacy from Louisiana)
The Fusiliers provided 45 hours of work on the course in July. Paul Carter has been Chair of this sub-Committee for the last 2 years and has built on the excellent groundwork done by the previous Chair (Dave Hersey). Paul has built bridges (in more ways than one) and has worked hard in a focused and pro-active manner to make great improvements to the course. He leads and organises his group of Club members in assisting the Unilever Groundstaff team on projects around the course, making it a better and safer environment for us all to play in and enjoy. On behalf of all of the membership; thank you, Paul. He has decided to stand down at the next AGM (in December) and the Club will need to fill this position to continue the momentum achieved to date. The Committee has a clear business plan for the course but please could anyone who has the required skills and energy to take the role on, contact any Committee member to let them know of their interest, sooner rather than later, thus allowing a seamless handover.
The Ladies winter mats are being replaced.
The existing practice facility is due to be refurbished. On that point: a charitably-minded (some say addled) member deposited 55 new and nearly new Srixon golf balls in the practice net. The plan seemed to be that members and their guests would have some good quality golf balls of the same profile to practice with, prior to starting their round. They lasted 8 days (that long, you ask) before all had been re-appropriated. It would be nice if the gesture by the member could be fulfilled by the return of these balls asap.
The Colworth Club remains closed for the present, unfortunately.
The Golf Club has put in a request for a CV 19 grant from England Golf, with a plan to replace the Cabin with a more suitable building to include toilet facilities if possible. Irrespective of the grant outcome, the Club intends to pursue this goal, even if it means self-funding the project.
A drop zone is to be set up on the 1st/10th fairway for balls coming to rest within 2 club lengths of the security fence, as most players do not (or cannot) apply the rule as set out on the course card for that situation. The rule is there because the fence is a boundary fence for the Science Park and is ‘potentially’ alarmed (more like petrified usually, as it gets ‘peppered’) and we are not supposed to touch it at all.
On the subject of the rules: the huge machine that staffs this newsletter is alarmed (see what we did there?) at most golfers lack of awareness of even the basic rules. There is a set of abridged rules for players available from the R&A at no cost (and online). They take about 45 minutes to read and are very clear: they will give you about 98% of the rules applying to most common situations and additionally, there are some excellent online quizzes to check your interpretation and understanding. There is no excuse for seasoned (more culinary references) players not having a working grasp of their duties and options under the rules, especially when you are playing in organised competitions. Respect everyone else playing in the competition by learning and playing to the same rules as them. Learn the rules and you will save yourself 2 shots per round (probably).
After a particularly bad round of golf, Bob decided not to go to the Sharnbrook Social Club and started to go straight home. As he was walking to the golf car park to get in his Jaguar, a policeman stopped him and asked ‘Did you tee off on the seventeenth hole about twenty minutes ago?’. ‘Yes’, Bob answered. ‘Did you happen to slice your ball so far that it went over the trees and out of bounds and completely off the golf course?’. ‘Yes, I did. How did you know?’ Bob questioned. ‘Well’, said the policeman gravely, ‘Your golf ball flew out onto the main road and crashed through the windscreen of a BMW. The car driver lost control and crashed into six other cars and a fire engine. The fire engine was unable to reach a fire in time and the building burned down. Now, what do you intend to do about it?’. Bob thought it over very carefully and responded, ‘I think I’ll close my stance a little bit, tighten my grip and lower my right thumb.’
Clarion July 2020
Hello, sports fans.
You may have already received my first dismal effort at sending the newsletter via Club V1. The lack of any information was completely down to the operator (not the system), so for speed of communication , I will stick to the old method for one more month. Fingers crossed for my next attempt!
Let us start todays sermon with Club V1 and HowDidido (HDID). We have 207 members now, of whom, 113 have handicaps (inc away members). To date, only 46 have registered with HDID. As opposed to having them crossed, fingers out all who have not yet registered and downloaded the application. It will be the only way that you can check your handicaps and competition entries/results going forward. The weekend competition (see below) seems to have worked very well using HDID.
Club V1 System up and running and training provided. Touch screen in the Cabin on hold until CV 19 over. All seems to be working well, data transfer smooth thanks mainly to Cliff Stromdale. System should serve all our needs for time being and will be WHS compliant. Useful for managing membership data, subscription renewals, competitions, handicaps, newsletters, other communications and provision of easy to access management information.
Information/instruction for membership will need to be given.
This weekend just passed, saw the first club competition for a long time. It was a medal and was won by Ian White with a net 66, with Chris Marriott and Clint Raermecker in second and third places. Looking at the general scores returned, the course was a challenge to most competitors. Big thank you to Colin Hook for his efforts in getting competitive golf moving again, and for being on the first tee as we teed off to offer heartfelt sympathy and genuine support as we showed our talents to the full.
The sign in for the August Medal is now open and will accommodate up to 32 players, starting at 07.30. The course will be closed to social golfers until 12.00 on that day and non-competitors will be asked to leave the course if they are challenged.
Colin has also set up a sign in for the Seniors Roll-Up on 21st July, starting at 08.30 and played as a shotgun start arrangement. There will be space for 40 golfers and you can sign in via HDID or by contacting Colin Hook or Cliff Stromdale. Colin needs all competitors to either sign in via HDID or register with him/Cliff. PLEASE do not just turn up and expect to play. Cjhook48@icloud.com or email@example.com.
To coincide with the move to the World Handicapping System (WHS) in November, posters will be positioned for further information.
It remains vital during these competitions that we maintain social distancing on and off the course, to ensure we respect the commitments made by the club to Unilever and our duty to each other.
A quick reminder about the dress code; I have personally had to remind someone of their duty to observe our dress code just yesterday. If you are a member and you bring a guest, you need to let your guest know in advance that they must be suitably attired on the course. Their adherence to the rules is your responsibility. Untucked tee shirts with non-golfing logos on the front combined with gym sweat shorts is not ‘smart casual’. It never was and it still is not.
Another reminder (to some who should know better): the maximum number of golfers allowed in any single group is 4 (not 5 or 6), unless designated by the terms of a Club sanctioned event.
To all of those awaiting their 2020 County Card sticker: they have probably been sent to us but I suspect that they are in our post within Unilever. As soon as I get them, I will let those with cards know they are available for collection, but in the interim, most clubs seem to accept that it is difficult at present to sort these things out and are accepting last years card sticker. If you want to play somewhere on the card at present, just ring them and ask nicely.
Austin Curtis has asked that the following offer be included:
I wanted to forward some info for the members but, as this is a national offer, stocks will sell out quickly.
Owl make golf bags for lynx golf and I’ve just been notified of a 2020 stock clearance
Full set of customised #BB IRONS 4-PW
crazy price RRP £549-00; £300. Can customise length and grip size too !!
Carry bags with stand £69 RRP £119
Waterproof carry bag with stand £99, RRP £149
Cart Bags £69-£89, RRP £119-£149
Members can contact me (Austin, not ‘Me’; please, not me) directly to take advantage of these offers. Tel 07986448200 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
PGA Golf Professional
Austin Curtis Golf Academy
Located at Rushden Golf Range & Sharnbrook GC
There is now a box of course cards available on the first tee. They are in a box, attached high up on the veranda wall of the storage shed, just behind the tee.
Popular demand (?) asks that I offer a precis of the July Committee meeting minutes, excluding items already covered above (as time has moved on since the meeting):
The Club are considering applying for a grant from the Covid-19 support fund from England Golf.
Sign to be erected limiting use of the through route over the bridge between 4 and 5 to ‘buggies for disabled use only’. Trolleys can be left on bridge, but path through woods to be used by all except disabled members.
Discussion ref establishing bio-diversity action plan for course. PC to discuss with Ray Kester.
PC gave notice of intention to stand down as Course Chair in December 2020. Thanks for efforts of PC expressed by all at the meeting, course as good as it’s ever been.
JG welcomed to his first regular Committee meeting.
JG has successfully restructured the sub-committee and is building good working relationships.
JG has identified contact for England Golf Courses website and will investigate whether to advertise through them. Name change on that website has been achieved. Direct link is now established on Sharnbrook on line web site. Our web site development very nearly complete. Thanks to Adrian Percival for his hard work.
Diana Britton has agreed to try and develop more interaction within ladies group.
Members of the Bedford (Great Denham) have been informed that the club is closing as of October 2020 allegedly.
Captain (transcript of BD’s report)
Club matches have been put on hold until further notice, and 3 of those clubs have already indicated they will not be participating in any club matches during 2020 and are now planning for 2021. Nonetheless I have written to all 13 clubs that we play in both Club matches and Senior matches and explained our own position and how the virus has impacted on us as a club. This has proved a useful exercise in maintaining a good relationship with all those clubs involved, as well as finding out their own stance and how they are dealing with the virus and the restrictions imposed on their own clubs.
Like ourselves a few clubs have left the door open subject to Government Restrictions at the time to the possibility of participating in either club or friendly matches later this year. Overstone Park for example have indicated they may be open to a home and away fixture before the end of the season and other clubs have indicated they may also be willing to play the odd game. To date I have received a positive response from a number of those clubs where fixtures have already been confirmed for the 2021 season and already the 2021 club diary is taking shape.
I have approached Sharnbrook Club and their Steward who have offered us their facilities in the event of any matches being arranged. As well as the main club house they have erected a marquee which could easily cater for 2 teams of 12 players safely whilst maintaining social distancing. Their Steward is also willing to provide food if required. Sharnbrook Club wouldn’t normally open at lunchtime but their Steward is willing to accommodate us in the event of the Tuesday morning roll ups being resurrected with drinks being available, should this be agreed by the Committee.
The annual away trip to Greetham Valley has been confirmed for 2021 and has been booked for the 14th and 15th July 2021. This has already been circulated via the Clarion but Ian White is currently putting together a reserve list in the event of anyone dropping out. I am hopeful of arranging a few away days before the end of September. Greetham Valley, and Elton Furze are being considered as well as a couple of others.
Ian White has asked me to mention that he remains the supplier of all our catalogue club clothing. You can access the catalogue via the members section on the club website. Ian’s details and methods of payment appear on the front page. IW is intending to place an order in early August and as there are a few new items listed, it would be worthwhile taking a look at this.
I have also been tasked with writing the Sharnbrook Golf Club Disciplinary Regulations. This is nearing completion and will be circulated once finished.
Marshalling now ceased as Members seem to be complying with rules and system working well.
PB raised issue of non-playing people accompanying games and although not seen as significant problem, Committee to continue monitoring all aspects.
Consideration will be given to targeted marshalling events to check legitimacy of course users and Covid arrangements.
Cabin and Club House to remain closed, although Unilever and Colworth Club are trying to organize a way of opening the toilet facilities for specific periods. With regard to the Colworth Club, there is a rumour circulating that the club will not be re-opening. This is not true (fake news) and there are no plans to shut the facility: they just do not know when they will re-open and what form that will take at present.
E mail received from a member, objecting to discount for new members and reward for members introducing new members, requesting that Committee consider discount for long-serving members. Discussion took place and it was agreed that the trial arrangement to encourage new members should run until September (to take advantage of recent upsurge of interest in our sport) with a review in October 2020. Committee was not minded to pursue discounts for existing members based only on age grounds. The discount for ladies, which was introduced as positive action to recruit more lady members, will cease at start of 2021.
Beds Junior Tour event still scheduled to go ahead on 15/11/2020 in spite of Club House not being available.
Sponsorship requests made by Graham Wright are noted. Matthew Nicholas (Estate Agents) will provide £500 for course improvements: letter of thanks sent.
ElctroKart will provide advertising materials to go up in Cabin (NOT on the course) in return for donation. Website link to be provided. (Not yet finalized).
And (after all that) finally:
Miranda stood over her tee shot for what seemed an eternity. She waggled, looked up, looked down, waggled again, but didn’t start her backswing.
Finally her exasperated partner asked, “What the heck is taking you so long?”
“My husband is up there watching me from the clubhouse,” Miranda explained. “I want to make a perfect shot.”
“Good lord!” her companion exclaimed. “You don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of hitting him from here.
Clarion June 2020
Fellow swingers. All the nooz that is nooz (and some that is not).
Before the latest torrent of vacuous guff begins; may I please request that you do not respond to me with enquiries about the content within that would be better directed to the relevant sub-Committee Chair. I have included the e-mail addresses of each of them at the foot of this and previous Clarion editions for your reference. I am not a Committee member and I cannot make binding decisions on their behalf. I am more than happy to respond to any complaints about the style, content or format. I cannot take payment for green fees. I thank you in anticipation.
I am also happy to receive any thought through editorial that you would like considered for inclusion.
And so to the good bit:
Colin Hook and Cliff Stromdale have both successfully sat and passed the World Handicapping System exam and are ready (?) for this change in November. Well done to both of them!
Lots of footfall on the course and it is great to see everyone out and enjoying the weather we have been having (until yesterday). The course looks fantastic and is playing equally well. The Greenkeepers and the Friday (9 am to 11am) working parties (Paul Carters Fusliers) are doing a grand job on our behalf. Here is a list of work carried out this month or currently in progress, hot off the pigeons leg from Paul Carter:
All branches from snowdrop spiny now chipped and spread on bluebell path. Please use this path.
Sand being added to bunkers. All surrounds cut and cleared.
Ditches have been strimmed to speed up play.
New gate posts placed on roadway entrance and slabs being laid to tidy muddy entrances.
Irrigation fixed on 6th tee and whole watering system has been serviced and now functioning.
Drainage under First tee entrance repaired and cleared out.
Astro turf being laid between 5th green and 6th tee.
Fairways may not be cut over weekend as cylinders being repaired.
Hedges trimmed by your Club Captain (Bob ‘where is my fuel bottle?’ Damon)
The Fusiliers need some additional numbers now with some works they wish to undertake on the course. As you are probably aware, it is usual for a clubs Senior section to provide these working parties, as a ‘quid pro quo’ for the privilege of having exclusive use of the course for a Seniors morning once a week. This does not mean that the Senior section must exclusively provide this workforce and any willing volunteers would be welcome. You will need to take a short Health and Safety test online prior to being able to join this happy throng. Adults of any gender are welcome to participate. Please contact Paul Carter on the e-mail below to express your interest.
The website upgrade has continued apace and now offers a much brighter and more functional portal to our Club, Please visit the site and familiarise yourself with it. Big thank you to Adrian Percival et al for all of their hard work here. A request:
Adrian is responsible for the club website, as I am sure many of you know. The committee is concerned that he has been alone in doing this for a long time now. We would like to have at least one other member to support him, so that if (as has recently been the case) he is incapacitated, then someone would still be able to access and update the website. You don’t need to be a website expert, as Adrian is more than happy to train someone in the basics of site management. So if you have some basic I.T. knowledge and would like to learn more about website development and design, then let one of the Committee know or -mail Adrian direct at email@example.com
The knock-out competitions are now up and running. Please try your best to stick to the dates as shown on the draw sheet that all entrants will have received. I would firmly suggest that you and your opponents come to a firm agreement before you tee off as to how you are going to deal with putts that would obviously have dropped but which subsequently just bounce across the hole. I would proffer the suggestion that if it does not rest within the circumference of the cup, it is not in the hole. Just agree a solution that suits both/all 4 of you in advance.
John Greevy has been seconded on to the Committee subject to full confirmation at the AGM in December, taking on the position of Chair of the Marketing sub-Committee and thus allowing Graham Wright to stand down from the Committee and free up more time for his role as Safeguarding lead.
Graham has worked tirelessly for us all over the last 3 very difficult years for the club. Along with his team, he has kept the interest in the club going by searching out new members. Without his efforts, our current position would be a wish and not a reality. On all of the Clubs behalf: thank you, Graham! Thank you to John as well for stepping up.
A message from the Secretary, Roger Tunn.
The Club is investing in the Club V1 system to replace the current Master Scoreboard. Club V1 will give all members access to the popular HowdidIdo app.
Enables us to move to WHS in November and provides lots of other benefits:-
C l Cloud based system – Use the system from anywhere using a secure username and password
Support team based in Manchester and available at weekends
Local account manager looking after the area
Preferred partner with England Golf
ClubV1 will be WHS2020 compliant
Ability to send subscription invoices out through the software and post payments
CONGU scores and handicapping
HowDidIDo and HowDidIDo APP – Free of charge for members with over 400,000 golfers registered
HowDidIDo offers fantastic promotions – If a member scores a hole in 1 in a singles qualifying competition, we will send the golf club a Hugo Boss BOSS watch to present to the member. Image attached
HowDidIDo – Members can become friends with members of golfers at other HowDidIDo clubs
Data conversion and training
Online Open Booking
Online Competition Booking
Email members facility within the software to keep members up to date
This software has been installed at over 1,600 golf clubs over the U.K and Ireland
The cost is not significantly more than we currently pay for Master Scoreboard and offers huge benefits for our Club.
Could Members and guests please refrain from cleaning shoes and trolleys etc at the back of their cars in the carpark. Please do it somewhere off the tarmac.
A Finance update from Richard Lowther (Treasurer)
I am pleased to announce that due to your faith and commitment to our golf club, we will be able to meet our financial liabilities this year. To achieve a healthy and thriving club in 2021, we need to increase our membership by approximately 30 full members, as this would give the Committee the scope to invest in the course and facilities to everyone’s benefit. To this end, I would like to announce the following incentive for members:-
Any member introducing a full category member who subsequently completes the joining process before 30/09/2020, will receive £50.00 off next year’s membership fee. This will rise by a further £50.00 off next years membership if the new member renews in 2021. Introduction of a 2nd club category member would be rewarded by £25.00 rising by a further £25.00 on 2021 renewal. Any new members will receive a 10% discount on the pro-rata subscription cost (as detailed below) with effect from 1st July 2020. It is worth also noting that our yearly rate includes the affiliation fee to England Golf, which most clubs charge as an additional fee of around £10 pa.
Membership subscription rates Sharnbrook Golf Club
pro rata July 2020 to 31/03/2021
Full membership with 10% Discount for the same period
21 – 30
80 or over on 1/4/2020
31-79 full membership
Second club membership (CGU handicap held at another club with higher subscription rate)
Slow play is always a problem, but is more so when we can only get limited numbers onto the course in the first place. There is nothing in the Covid-19 rules that says you cannot let a faster moving group play through if you are holding them up. While it has not happened to me as yet, I have observed a few examples of 4 balls holding up 2 balls (that sounds so wrong) and in one instance watched as two 2 balls joined up in exasperation (doesn’t really help with distancing) at being held up. There is no real excuse other than a lack of awareness of golfing etiquette or of other golfers (or maybe it is just old fashioned bloody-mindedness: let us hope not). Be aware of the pace of golf around you: you should stay in touch with the group in front, not just aim to be in front of the group behind. There are plenty of places on the course (ie; any par 3) where it is easy to let the following group or any singleton through if they are moving faster than you. Think.
Marshalling continues to be carried out on the course, with sessions being carried out every day. Whilst Covid-19 rules are being adhered to very well, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are a few ‘rascals’ helping themselves to free golf. This is either with the co-operation of a member who decides (forgets?, cannot be bothered?) not to follow the stated green fee payment procedure, or just the occasional interloper trying their luck. It is incumbent upon all members to ensure that golfers playing the course have a right to be there, so please do not hesitate to challenge anyone you think may not have that right. Clearly displaying your own bag tag is the most obvious starting point in this matter. Golfers who have no right (ie; no green fee paid or just ‘bunking-on’) to be on the course are not insured in the event of them being hit, or if they hit you, with a stray ball. There appears to be a level of antagonism toward the nominated Marshalls (occasionally with good reason, I am sure) but the job is being done to benefit all fully paid-up members. The answer lies with all of the membership, not just with a dozen souls who freely give up their time. Put up with it until things get better, please. The alternative will be an even heavier presence, which no one wants.
For clarification: show your bag tag clearly and pay the required green fee online to the Treasurer in advance. For further clarification: in advance means before you play, not ‘I was going to transfer the money later. Who do I pay it to?’ when challenged.
Two grumpy old men, Nigel and Roger, are sat on a park bench feeding the pigeons and talking about golf.
Nigel turns to Roger and asks, “Do you think there’s golf courses in Heaven?”.
Roger thinks about it for a minute and replies, “I dunno, but let’s make a deal — if I die first, I’ll come back and tell you if there’s golf in Heaven, and if you die first, you do the same.” They shake on it and sadly, a few months later, poor Nigel passes on.
Soon afterward, Roger sits in the park, feeding the pigeons by himself, and hears a voice whisper, “Rog… Rog… .”
Roger responds, “Nig! Is that you?”
“Yes it is, Rog,” whispers Nig’s ghost. Roger, still amazed, asks, “So, is there golf in Heaven?”
“Well,” says Nigel, “I’ve got good news and bad news”.
“Gimme the good news first” says Roger.
Nigel says “Well, there are some great golf courses in Heaven’’.
Roger says, “Brilliant! What news could be bad enough to ruin that?”.
Nigel sighs and whispers, “You’ve got a tee booked at 07.15 this coming Friday’’.
Useful e-mail contacts:
Roger Tunn (Secretary) firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Lowther (Treasurer) email@example.com
Bob Damon (Club Captain) firstname.lastname@example.org
Colin Hook (Competitions, handicapping, rules and Vice- Captain) email@example.com
Paul Carter (Course) firstname.lastname@example.org
John Greevy (Marketing) email@example.com
Adrian Percival (Website Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Clarion (Special Edition Late May 2020)
As of Monday 1st June, the course will be open for 3 and 4 ball play. These larger groups can all come from separate households. No car sharing, unless you are from the same household please. REMEMBER: all of the other ‘Play safe; stay safe’ rules, as previously informed and posted on the course and car park still strictly apply. Also remember that you are playing 9 holes, so if you want to play another 9, then you will need to join the back of any existing queue of people waiting to play. The ‘filtering in’ rule remains suspended at present.
There is regular marshalling continuing to be carried out on the course. All members have the right to challenge anyone they suspect may not be a member or a bona fide guest and are encouraged to do so. We are currently experiencing a problem with 2 errant young men (about 19/20), neither of whom are members. They stick out like a sore thumb because they are young! They have now been challenged 3 times but seem to keep returning. There is no real sanction that we can apply (and please: no aggression, violence or poor language as we are guests of Unilever, whose image will not be enhanced by poor publicity) but please endeavour to let any interlopers know that they have been spotted and politely ask them to leave the course. If we all display our bag tags prominently it will help enormously in this matter, so please do not be offended if you are a fully paid up member who is challenged: who knows; you might make a new acquaintance! I asked a player if he was a member recently and he responded by saying ‘only for the last 23 years!’.
Reminder: if you wish to bring a guest, it must be pre-arranged and paid for via the Treasurer, Richard Lowther (see below).
The Club has a Pastoral Officer: Phil Dams. If you are aware of any member, past or present, who you feel could benefit from a kindle voice from the Club. please let Phil know their contact details. Phil’s e-mail is: email@example.com
Now a message from your Committee:
The Committee would like to thank the membership for sticking with the rules, especially the 15 minute gap. Unilever are pleased with our discipline and have agreed to carry on as we are for the time being.
Reminder: do not to touch anything on the course. Some golfers have been using the divot mix from the boxes to repair divots on the tees; please desist from this practice, as we have a team who are making repairs using personal scoops.
Big please. At all times, help the green keepers by giving way to them, unless they tell you differently. They are doing a great job but tend to have less time available to wait than we do. What else are you going to do with your time?
The seemingly ‘unpopular’ OOB has been removed from between holes 7 and 8. Please do not deliberately play down the wrong fairway it can be potentially dangerous. Remember to accompany any misdirected shots on the course with a very loud FORE LEFT! (occasionally) or FORE RIGHT!! (a lot more frequently). Of course, the regularity depends on whether you are left or right handed, before pedants corner raises its voice.
On the same subject don’t tee off on 3rd until you hear the bell – unless, of course, you are taking the conservative option of laying-up short of the pond.
We still have a few vacancies for new members and YOU are the best advert the club could have. Recruit friends, relations and even enemies. Golf is enjoying a period of great interest and growth, with post-lockdown applications to golf clubs up by 15%, most of whom seem to be returners to golf.
Your Committee is still meeting via videoconferencing: next meeting is on 1st June
Any comments (brickbats or bouquets) please email; firstname.lastname@example.org