Your Golf Club Update - May

Monday 9th May 2022

It feels as if spring has truly arrived now, with sunny days and warmer temperatures!

It’s so nice to see the club buzzing with energy and more members getting back out onto the course. We’re looking forward to a summer full of golfing events, so why not book into a competition and put your skills to the test?

Don’t forget to keep an eye on our website and social media channels to stay updated about all the social events we have planned over the next few months.

Course Report

We have just successfully completed our course maintenance which consisted of a 16mm solid tine followed by 90 tonnes of sand across both courses, which will help to provide smooth greens for the playing season ahead. The greens have had a healthy coverage of grass this year and we have been disease-free all winter, which is a massive achievement as it will provide us with firm greens as we move into the summer months. We are now at our summer height of 3.5mm which is a drop of 1.5 mm; this decrease will enable the greens to speed up and run true. Our final drop in height will be 3mm three weeks before the Club Championship - we will then be focusing on greens speed using the roller more before applying various chemicals to achieve this.

The project work that we committed to this year has now been completed, and I trust you will agree that my team has done a very professional job on all the works undertaken. The new range looks great, and we have lowered the height of the first 100 yards and introduced striping to the front part of the landing area, which I personally think has given it a more professional appearance.

After the winter months the course is really springing back into life and we are starting to see some excellent definition; all tees and approaches have been tined and fertilized and this will duly aid and promote growth. This month we fed and sprayed all the long rough, fairways, tees, and approaches for weeds, which should ensure they are all in great condition as we move into the main playing season.

The recent news regarding our planned bunker renovation work is incredibly exciting, and following a recent visit to Nizels Golf & Country Club, I am pleased to report that having had their bunkers refurbished recently, their Course Manager was raving about the workmanship of the contractors. Our planned works, under the guidance of renowned golf course architect Jonathan Gaunt, will include relining of the bunker bases to stop stone contamination, re-shaping as required and the installation of drainage to ensure the newly refurbished bunkers remain puddle free. I would like to wish everyone a great golfing season ahead.

Peter Varlow, Course Manager

Men's Captain's Update

Following discussions with club management, most of you are aware of the requirement placed upon us to make adjustments to the earliest start times for all competitions. Consequently, please be sure to check the 2022 diary, which has been amended and reissued to reflect the new competition start of play stipulation of 07:00 hrs or 48 minutes after sunrise - whichever is the later.

I was delighted to be able to announce details of the Men’s Invitational to be played on 11th June 2022 - more comfortably back in its traditional summer slot after the Covid tribulations of previous years. The list is filling up fast so please do not hesitate to sign up for this great day. We will of course be doing what we can to raise money for the Captain’s Charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), so if you are able to donate a prize for the raffle it would be greatly appreciated – please bring the item on the day or leave it in the Pro shop for me. We were also lucky enough to host the Haylett-Atkins Trophy on Sunday 8th May 2022. I was so pleased to auction off specific days for use of my car parking space, raising £164 for CRY. Thanks to all of you who took the time to table a bid.

Ian Freegard MBE

Lady Captain's Update

The Ladies' Spring Lunch took place on 7th April with 71 ladies booked in. The golf format was a waltz and the competition was played over 18 and 9 holes resulting in a great turnout, albeit in extremely windy but dry conditions. The raffle raised an excellent £370 for our charity CRY.

We held the Ladies and Mixed Coffee Morning on 29th April which was a major fundraiser for the Ladies' Section. Various stalls were available, including cakes, preserves, golf clothes, books & puzzles, plants & pots, handbags & scarves. We also had a human fruit machine and raffle, as well as a bran tub.

The Ladies’ Away Day has been booked for 3rd August @ East Horton GC. This was last played in 2019 and at last we look forward to updating our Ladies’ Section team photograph. Julie Carrier and Maz Webber were the overall winners of the Coronation Foursomes and will play in the Area Final at Mid Sussex on 3rd August.

Pauline Howarth and Lesley Waterman played in the Daily Mail Foursomes against Rowlands Castle, and after a very close battle lost on the 17th hole. A valiant effort, ladies. Gina King and Sian Roberts won their match against Barton on Sea in the Knight Cup on the 20th hole and meet Alresford in the next round.

Jo-Anne Feast

Welcome to the Team

I’m truly delighted to welcome Catrin and Robert to our lovely team. Both live locally in Portchester, so luckily they only have a very short commute to work! Catrin, who will be studying for a degree in Events Management at Winchester University from September, joins the Food and Beverage Department as a part-time Assistant. Robert has joined our greenkeeping team on a permanent full-time basis; he is an avid golfer who has been playing for around twenty years and currently plays off 18. Both Catrin and Robert have settled in very quickly and are already proving to be very valued members of the team. I trust over the coming weeks you’ll join us in making them feel really welcome.

Golf Development News

As we continue to encourage families and children to take up the game of golf, we'll soon be adding two new "tees" (placed down the fairway) on the Park course to give those players a course length they can play and enjoy. Keep an eye out for the aqua tees (holes 50 - 80 yards) and purple tees (holes 100 - 200 yards). Likewise, don’t forget that these tees can also be used for any members looking to sharpen up their short game. Further news on this initiative coming soon!

Pro Shop News

We recently received delivery of our spring/summer 2022 ladies’ clothing range from JRB Golf (I have to say, I’m loving the colour scheme), so why not pop in and grab yourself an outfit for the upcoming season? Also a reminder that there’s still time to take advantage of our 30% off SALE on previous season's collections too!

We hosted our first Demo Day of the season on 12th April, with popular brand Yonex coming along with their market leading range of hardware for members to get fitted for. Those that attended were impressed with the performance gains they were achieving, so keep an eye out for our next Demo Day scheduled later this summer.

The Albatross has landed

Congratulations to member Mark Thornton, who in between the snow showers on Thursday 31st March managed to hole his tee shot on the Par 4 9th hole for an incredible albatross/hole in one. An awesome achievement Mark, well done!

Practice makes perfect

Masters Week (April 4-10) saw us host our "Practice like a Tour Pro" FREE sessions on the driving range for members, whilst launching our new-look practice area. The sessions were well received by all who attended. See below picture of Men’s Captain Ian Freegard MBE who attended the opening session.

Coaching News

Sam and Malcolm recently hosted a members’ coaching trip to Malaga, Spain in March. Despite being extremely unfortunate with the weather (the area’s first significant rainfall in 18 months), the 14 ladies that attended had a great time, enjoying four days of playing and coaching. If you're interested in a future foreign coaching break why not drop Sam a message, or for information on individual and group lessons simply check out the coaching page of the website for more details.

Night Golf

Our final event of the season was a great evening. Watching illuminated golf balls arching across the sky really is a unique sight! Congratulations to Paul Higgs for taking top honours on the night. Look out for this series of events starting up again from November 2022 onwards.

Upcoming Event

We have provisionally booked the Royal Navy Volunteer Brass Quintet for an evening this summer. The evening will include a delicious three-course meal with cheese and biscuits, and the band will be playing some traditional navy songs along with a selection of upbeat sea shanties. It will be a black-tie event, so please speak to Rachelle in the office for further information or to book your tickets for this great night. We look forward to your support!

Other Club News

With the current atrocities occurring in Ukraine and the ongoing urgency for supplies to be sent to those most in need, our team came together and donated items ranging from clothes, food and even toys for the children. It was humbling seeing the generosity for such a worthy cause, and particular thanks to Milly May for organising this.

This month we launched our new spring/summer menu which in addition to our club favourites, offers healthier options such as build your own salads and new dishes like katsu curry and half a Piri Piri chicken. There is plenty of choice and something for everyone, so please do come in and have a try! Milly May and Kyran spent a couple of days at one of our sister clubs sampling the new menu, so they’re especially eager to find out if your favourite dish is the same as theirs!