Your Golf Club Update - March

Thursday 17th March 2022

As we start to come out of winter and put February’s turbulent weather behind us, I hope you’re looking forward to the golf season getting back into full swing! As we enjoy lighter mornings and begin spotting those first signs of spring, it’s certainly looking like a busy few months ahead at the club.

Thanks so much to Elaine Johns for forwarding me the above truly stunning header photo – it’s by far the best picture I’ve ever seen of the lake on the 18th and the clubhouse from this angle!

Cams Hall Bunker Work

We have been working recently with International Golf Architect Jonathan Gaunt to provide us with a masterplan of how best to refurbish and improve the bunkers on the championship course. The first phase of works are planned for winter 2022 taking us into the first few months of 2023 and will involve bunker refurbishment to include new drainage and lining as well as some bunker remodelling and infills of areas no longer in play. We are confident the works will greatly improve the course and your golfing experience – not necessarily your handicap though! More details will follow soon regarding this fantastic investment.

Course Report

The team and I have been making great progress with the projects that were scheduled for this winter. The new range tee has now successfully been completed with the dry range cover installed, and the 3rd right hand side bunker on the Park course has been filled, taking a staggering 60 tonnes of soil to bring the base up to the correct height. Additionally, the bridges on the 15th have now been repaired (see work in progress photos) and I would like to say thanks to two of my team, Matt and Mason, for doing such a professional job. Work is now also well underway with repairs to the 5th bridge on the Creek course and it is our intention to get this completed by the end of the month. The Ventrac machine has arrived onsite, and we have installed its tough deck to enable us to tackle some of the bramble areas around the course.

One of the aspects of the course that I have been very pleased with this year is the condition of our greens; they have remained disease-free all winter which puts them in a strong position going into the playing season. This really does highlight the importance of all the cultural work that is carried out routinely throughout the year.

The courses survived the February storms remarkably well and we only experienced minimal damage to a few trees. Unfortunately, the woodland areas that border the Park course didn’t fare so well; two large trees came down across the footpath blocking access to these areas, but I’m happy to report that these areas have now been completely cleared.

I am delighted to hear that we have received a lot of positive feedback regarding our recent winter projects, this has been a huge morale boost for both myself and the team – so thank you so much for passing this on. Myself and my team are really looking forward to the golfing season ahead, so happy golfing and roll on the warm dry weather!

SafeGolf

Huge thanks to our Ladies’ Vice Captain, Claire Wallace, for kindly volunteering to be our new Club Welfare Officer. Our club achieved SafeGolf accreditation back in March 2021 when the country was in lockdown, but given England Golf’s recommendation that ideally this position be held by a club member as opposed to a club employee, it is now good to hand over this role to Claire. For those of you who are not already aware, SafeGolf accreditation is confirmation that our club meets the standards set out by England Golf – in that we share their mission to ‘safeguard the welfare of children and young people, as well as adults at risk, ensuring that all people have a fun, safe and positive experience in the sport of golf’.

I know Claire will be great in this role, and should you ever need to speak to her in her capacity as CWO, please see poster on the main noticeboard for her contact details.

Member of the Month

This month we've awarded MOTM to Linda Hanna. This is in recognition of her general good play in recent months, her fantastic achievement of a ‘Hole in One’ on the 11th hole during January, and her help in running our "Birdies" group for new and novice lady golfers; bringing them together and helping them become more familiar with on-course play. Congratulations and thank you Linda! 

Welcome, Stanley

We're delighted to welcome qualified PGA Professional Stanley Garland back to the team. Stan worked for us briefly in 2018 and is now returning to support the Greens Team out on the course and the Golf Operations Team in the Pro Shop.

Stan will also be helping Sam with our golf coaching offering that we are looking to expand in the coming months. We will be operating a wider program of coaching options to include day and 1/2 day golf schools for beginners/improvers, weekly group coaching sessions for beginner ladies and an extended Junior Academy. One of the great aspects of our game is no matter your age or ability, you can always get better! If you'd like to improve any part of your game this upcoming season, please check out the coaching page of the website for more details on coaching packages and coaching availability at https://sampleshette.proagenda.com.

Range work complete

The redevelopment of the practice ground is now complete, which saw the installation of the 3-bay cover in early February. This was given a stern test only a week later with Storm Eunice passing through, but we're pleased to report it passed that test with flying colours! This combined with 12 re-laid mats, more targets and an improved short game area, makes our range a very appealing place to come down and work on your game. We'll be hosting a launch event during Masters’ week (4th – 10th of April), so keep an eye out for more information on that in due course.

Custom fittings

We've recently upgraded our "Pop-Up Indoor Custom Fitting Solution", which will enable us to conduct Custom Fitting appointments with our three major equipment suppliers (Callaway, PING & Yonex) on a regular basis. You’ll now be able to book a fitting indoors in the warm consistent environment of the Avocet Suite, with our Skytrak Launch monitor capturing the all-important ball flight data. If you're interested to learn what the latest equipment custom fitted to you could do for your game, please get in touch with the Pro Shop.

Pro Shop News

From March onwards we’re seeing the arrival of our new Spring/Summer clothing range from Under Armour. Why not pop into the Pro Shop to see the latest trends in golfing fashion combined with the most advanced materials, designed to keep you feeling fresh on the course and assist you with playing your best golf this coming season!

In terms of golf development, we’re looking at offering some more "Member Mix-Ins" on a weekly basis; open for any member to enter, to mix-in and meet whoever plays on the day. If perhaps you and a playing partner play regularly at the same time each week and would be happy to host a couple of tee times (and get a guaranteed tee time each week), please do get in touch.

Mother’s Day 

If you have not already done so, there’s still time to book in and treat your mum to a delicious two or three course lunch on Sunday 27th March – with all mothers receiving a well-deserved glass of bubbly on us! There is currently availability for our 12:30pm and 3:00pm sittings, so for further information or to book, please speak to Rachelle in the office. 

Competition Overview

The Mens, Ladies & Seniors sections work extremely hard to ensure we have a busy competition diary here at the club. With the "main" golfing season almost upon us, the return of the white tees and the removal of winter rules, why not get involved with the various sections as a way to improve your handicap and meet a wider range of fellow members. The Seniors play on a Monday, the Ladies on a Thursday and one Weekend day, and the Men on a Wednesday and one Weekend day. Information on upcoming competitions can either be found via the 2022 Diary, or the Upcoming Competitions tab on the website. Most of our major competitions take place between April - October, so if you manage to scoop the honours in one of these, you'll have your name on one of the competition boards and cement your place in Cams Hall Estate Golf Club's golfing history! 

The Club Company Inter Club Championship 

We're proud to be hosting the West Region Qualifier for The Club Company Inter-Club Championship on 17th May. A tournament open for Seniors & Ladies, it is a team event of 8 pairs playing greensomes format where the best 3 scores will count. The winning team go through to the grand final at Chesfield Downs Golf and Country Club on 22nd June! With a home advantage, hopefully we'll see some Cams representation in the final. If you'd like to enter please contact Sam Pleshette.

Message from Ian Freegard MBE, Men’s Captain

As we look with eager anticipation towards better weather and the new season, the Men’s section has a number of matches arranged throughout 2022. If you would like to be part of a winning team and wish to be considered, please contact one of the respective playing captains: Friendlies (Ed Woodhouse); Gales Hockley Over 50s (Andy Ogilvie); Kindred Clubs and Annodata (Calvin Smith); and Pink Street League and County Sevens (Steve Trotman).

To keep up to date with all match details and more general messages from the club and the respective sections, make sure that you have ticked the appropriate check boxes in your IG account - go to My Golf/Preferences/Customise My Home Page. Don’t forget, you can also use the ‘Messages’ option under My Golf to contact other members.

Message from Jo Feast, Lady Captain

After lovely weather in January when we played some great golf, the weather has turned its back on us during middle/late February and the ladies have spent slightly more time in the Club House eating, drinking and setting the world to rights. After the soaking on the Sunday Valentines competition, we are all looking forward to drier, warmer weather. Golf overseas has never looked so inviting.

More successful is the wonderful work by some of our ladies promoting and collecting for our Captains Charity, CRY Cardiac Risk in the Young.

A fantastic amount was received from Brigid Buckley for her achievement in giving up the Prosecco in January. £365 was initially pledged and fivers are still coming in. Rachelle, our Events Sales Manager, came up with the idea of selling red roses for Valentine’s Day. This was an instant hit and my thanks to Rachelle for a great initiative.

And as ever, Chris Ward has been very resourceful in clearing the changing room of odd bits and bobs and turning it into cash for our charity.

Excellent ideas from the ladies and a big thank you for their contributions.

We continue to raise money through various raffles which the ladies coordinate and run themselves. This cannot be done without their support and endless enthusiasm, and my heartfelt thanks go to all who contribute.

You Asked, We Acted 

Please be assured that we continue to take your feedback onboard! For example, it has recently come to our attention that some members teeing off early on a Saturday morning, have been missing the opportunity to grab a bite to eat before they play. As such, for the next month we will be trialling opening the F & B department half an hour earlier on Saturdays (at 7am), to give members the chance to enjoy an early breakfast.

Meet the Pro 

We caught up with our resident Golf Pro Sam Pleshette this month to find out how golf tuition could prepare you for a busy season ahead.

Tell us a bit about your background in golf… 

I started playing at the age of 10 through golf lessons on our school field. I continued playing through my teenage years, started working part time at my local golf club after school at 16, then into a full time role at 18. Once I achieved a 4 handicap I started my PGA training when I was 21, and graduated at 24. I moved out to Spain to continue to work in golf from age 24-27, and returned to the Head Pro role at Cams Hall at 27 in 2009. 13 happy years later and I’m still here!

What do you love about teaching golf? 

The absolute best part of teaching is watching your student achieve something that they previous felt wasn’t possible. Whether that is hitting a particular shot or achieving a certain handicap brings an unparalleled joy to both teacher and student!

How is a typical lesson structured? 

Typically I would receive some background information on the golfers typical game, strengths & weaknesses and the areas they would like to improve either before the lesson or at the start of the lesson. I would then want to witness some of this for myself on the range or on the course and then really work on the plan of action to start making the improvement.

I'm already an experienced player. How could golf tuition help me? 

One of the great aspects of our game is that no matter what level you are at, there are always areas you can improve on. This is evidenced by the number of coaches on the range at a tour event (the most elite players). Often the more experienced the player the more their shortfalls frustrate them so absolutely coaching is for all levels of player.

What's the best way to prepare for a competition? 

I would say if you arrive to the course an hour before your tee time to give yourself a chance to warm up properly, hit some balls on the range or at least in the net, hit some short game shots and some putts to get the speed of the greens and you’re good to go. Be confident.

What are the top three aspects of the game that people are looking to improve on when they come to their first golf lesson? 

If they’re a current golfer they all I'd say is that it’s the inconsistency that frustrates them the most. Delve a little deeper and there are some common traits regarding ball flight – slices with the woods, heavy or thin shots with the irons. Often with a new golfer it’s just to get the ball airborne. Regardless of level if your bad shots can be less bad you’re on to a winner! The game is too hard to expect to hit great shots time after time.

How can I monitor my progress in the longer term?

Obviously we have the handicap system in golf which determines your overall level so clearly a decrease in that number and you’re doing well. Aside from that, just measuring shots on the range or on the course in terms of where they finished relative to your intended target will tell you if you’re heading in the right direction.

Are lessons ever tailored to the course or how to approach certain holes? 

Absolutely - we offer on course coaching sessions too which would cover more course management, shot selection, rules & etiquette. And a good place to test new skills/techniques that have been practised on the range.

What's the most common mistake you see beginners making on the course? 

Without doubt I would say it is having terrible self-talk. Often this is so negative that it makes it practically impossible to be able to hit a good shot. Thoughts determine feelings which determine actions, so you need to be able to see a good shot first to have half a chance of being able to feel it and hit it. Think of the words you would offer to encourage a child that had just started playing and tell yourself the same things!

Can you give me your '5 top tips on technique' ready for the new season?

1. Make your self-talk positive 

2. Picture a good shot before you try and hit it 

3. Invest time in your 5 fundamentals (grip, stance, aim, posture, ball position) 

4. Fully commit to any swing changes and give yourself time to increase the feel for those changes. 

5. Practice shaping shots - high/low, left to right, right to left.

How can I get started with golf tuition?

If you’d like to catch me for an initial chat I’m in the club most days, or by email it’s s.pleshette@theclubcompany.com From there my diary is available online at https://sampleshette.proagenda.com