BROADSTONE T2GREEN NEWS BULLETIN
Welcome to another edition of T2G.
Pace of Play
As I'm sure you've noticed from the amount of layers of clothing you have to put on nowadays when you're going out to play golf that it's getting cold! So what we really don't need at present is to be hanging around waiting to play our next golf shot!! To ensure that no one has to stand about and freeze I implore you all to play your golf a little quicker at this time of year, after all most rounds that are played at present are simply for fun, with no scorecard being kept there should be no concerns if the odd putt is missed! Please, please try your very best to get round the course as quickly as possible to help add to everyone's enjoyment. With Saturday's being one of the worst days for slow play we will be keeping a very close eye on the pace of play, so don't be the guilty party and make sure you try to get round as quickly as possible please.
As I mentioned last week in T2G, the Club are at present looking into sourcing a defibrillator via the South West Ambulance Service. It's hoped that we will have one installed on site in the clubhouse within the next 2-3 weeks. The life-saving defibrillator not only protects member's lives but also those of our staff and visitors. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a safe reliable computerised device that can analyse heart rhythms and enable a non-medically qualified rescuer to safely deliver the life saving shock. The use of an AED can dramatically increase the chance of survival if a casualty's heart stops beating, but it must be used promptly and early treatment with an AED could increase the victim's chance of survival by a third. The AED also needs to be used in conjunction with effective Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Members of staff both in the clubhouse and on the course will be trained in these techniques to coincide with the Club acquiring an AED.
As you know Russell and his team will be taking over the Bar & Catering at the Club from this Sunday, 1st of December. Due to the timing of the handover there will be a limited service in Catering this Sunday, you will still be able to get the usual hot & cold filled rolls and sandwiches etc, apologies in advance for any inconvenience caused.
Below is the latest news update from Huckleberry's Kitchen -
Huckleberry's Kitchen are very excited and looking forward to joining you at the Golf Club from this Sunday, and to providing you all with some lovely food & beverages. Each day we will be offering a breakfast menu from 8am and hot food will be available until 5.00pm during winter months. On a Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening we will be offering an A-La-Carte Menu in our Restaurant. Sunday Lunch will be a "Traditional Roast" day with a selection of two roasts and help yourself to potatoes & vegetables from the Carvery. We will also be offering Italian Coffee, Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha, Hot Chocolate and Tea Infusions, these will be available for take-away too. One of our specialities that we will also be offering is Afternoon Tea, this will include fresh sandwiches and delicious home-made pastries & cakes served from 2.30pm until 5pm.
We are also looking forward to welcoming you all to this year's Club Christmas lunch on Sunday 15th December, it promises to be a lovely day with the P&P choir in attendance signing Christmas carols and our delicious menu (click here to see menu) The table plan & menu will be up in the bar, to buy your tickets pop into the Club office and speak to Tracy.
Changing in the Car Park
It's been brought to my attention that there are some members who are not utilising the club changing facilities to change shoes etc prior to and after playing golf. Can I just remind any members who are changing in the car park, this is not permitted, please use the locker room facilities provided, many thanks.
Course expenditure - simplified
This week I will try to explain in broad terms where our subscription money goes in relation to the course (all of the figures I use are not exact amounts but approximate).
A few years ago the pinch points in our expenditure that needed addressing were staff costs, the cost of maintaining an ageing fleet of machinery and the limited amount of money we were spending on the course itself and the surrounding heathland.
Staff restructuring – we had in effect a Course Manager and 5 working staff who were all experienced. Their working practices were old fashioned and did not allow a proper organised work plan to be either organised or enacted. In terms of cost it limited the amount of staff that we had and at one time it was considered necessary to reduce the numbers to reduce costs! In real terms we were spending more than 50% of our course budget on wages.
In fact what has now happened is that we have re-structured their working practices and indeed changed their management structure. This now means that we have eight working staff at more or less the same costs, albeit now less than 50% of our course budget. They are now properly supervised and organised by the General Manager and Head Green-keeper Martin Coward. I hope you will agree that the amount and quality of work they now produce is a far cry from the past and all are to be congratulated.
Course sustainables (fertilisers, dressings, seed etc..) – our total income now is around £810k of which £410k is used to maintain the course and heathland environment. Also as above, around £200k is already spent on salaries leaving us limited funds to maintain and try to further develop and improve the course.
So for instance in those previous years we put about 45 tonnes of top dressings on the greens and seldom anything on the surrounds or tees. Now we put 200 tonnes on the greens alone and regularly dress the surrounds and tees. This has shown a dramatic improvement in the quality of the surfaces and has extended the length of time in the year that they are really good, especially the greens. As I said previously this comes at a cost and does not happen by magic alone.
I regularly received complaints about our paths as across the course there were many types of surfaces and generally they were unkempt and untidy. We now have a philosophy whereby we are gradually replacing all paths with just the one type of surface. This also comes at a cost and once this winter’s programme has been completed we should see more paths with their different surfaces replaced. In the last 12 months I have had no complaints re paths!
Machine maintenance – as I stated previously we had an aging fleet with some equipment at least 15 years old which meant our maintenance costs were unquantifiable. Obviously the older the machine the more likely it is to break down. When you put your car in for a service you get an oil change, filters and general checks. When you put a mowing machine in for the same it is not only this that happens but all the mowing cylinders are re-ground and the hydraulics replaced which usually amounts to around £3k per machine! We have now replaced most of our machinery so we have nothing older than 5 years and are moving to a situation where we can enter into a fixed cost maintenance contract with an established supplier such as Toro (or similar). This will enable us to have a fixed cost each year for maintenance and will further enable us to control our costs and plan more efficiently.
Heathland environment – our course and its environs is huge and consists of about 250 acres inclusive of heathland both wet and dry and woodland. Our property is also subject of SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and our working practices are monitored by the Environment Agency and Natural England.
In order to maintain the whole site we have entered into a stewardship agreement with Natural England who at the same time recognise that golf is the main use of the land. We receive a regular income for the cattle grazing and the majority of the costs of the fencing and cattle grids have been paid for by grants. The regular income we get is ploughed back into maintaining the heathland the majority of which is undertaken by contractors releasing our staff to concentrate on the course. This is a ‘win win’ situation for us all.
Course improvements and development – any improvements to the course are treated as a separate entity and each year we set aside specific money to undertake the work. Everything is contained within our 10 year Business Plan which is available on the members section in our website. We also through the Open Forums try to get a feel each year from the members so that as we go forward we have some sort of general consensus, albeit we cannot please all of the members all of the time. After each forum we discuss pertinent points raised by the members attending and will adjust our plans if a member has raised an issue we did not consider.
I hope this gives you a quick snap shot of how we work and with the resources available to us. If you want to read a more in depth document about the course then our bible is the Course Policy Document (see link).
All this has been possible because of the way the club is structured with one Committee who set the strategy and the General Manager who delivers the plans which again can only happen if we have dedicated staff, which fortunately we do.
If there is anything specific subject that members would like me to explain or give a rationale for then please let David Morgan know and I will oblige. I will try next week to explain our current course philosophy including Heathland Management.
Chris Dennis Chairman (on behalf of the committee).
News from the Ladies’ Captain - Jane Best
The highlight of the week - The day the Head Greenkeeper entertained the ladies.
On Thursday Martin Coward took tea with the ladies as their guest. He was at his most charming and after tea he gave a wonderful presentation which he started by telling us a bit about himself, where he came from and how he got into green keeping and about his first week at Broadstone GC and about the pink jacket (you’ll have to ask him about that one yourself!).
The presentation covered all aspects of the golf course, the history of the land going back many years and the development of the course; but what made it so much more interesting were the little stories he told about tumulus and preachers and the musket balls he found using his metal detector.
The photographs he showed illustrating the development of the course were fascinating, but other photos, like the one of the ‘secret garden’ at the back of the 9th were intriguing and allowed our imagination to run free.
Time stopped still for us and although it was getting very dark outside, we didn’t want to let Martin go………..but he had had a very early start that morning and eventually we had to ‘release’ him!
I cannot begin to tell you all how much we ladies who attended tea on Thursday, enjoyed Martin’s company and his presentation. He is a passionate man who knows his subject so well and makes it so interesting…..…who would have thought?
We asked many questions but the last question we asked Martin was about what he personally would most like. We ladies never like to miss an opportunity to give a man what he really wants so……brace yourself Martin and keep your eyes open. More about that next week.
News from Club Captain - Allan Hutchins
Captain's Away Day
After some serious doubts about the weather 20 brave individuals boarded a bus at 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday for the trip to Hayling Island. The mood was good despite the knowledge that we were going to get wet, the question was how wet! After a hearty breakfast on arrival, it was time to put on the Under Armour and hit the links! Everybody was given one last chance to say "I am a wimp Get me out of here" but of course no one did.
Within the hour the predicted storm arrived. Neil was heard to say "in all my years of golf that was the worst hail storm I have experienced". True enough but the good news was that it soon passed over and we were left to finish the round in what could be described as a very pleasant Autumn day!
The scores did reflect the very difficult conditions with the winner on the day, and a very good 34 points, going to Chris Roberts.
There was however a much more important match taking place at the back of the field. A challenge from the Chairman and GM who were confident they could spoil our unbeaten Capt and Pro season! The challenge was of course accepted. The match was predictably tight with no more than a hole in it for much of the game. However the Cap't & Pro turned up the heat over the closing stretch to win 3/2 and maintain the unbeaten record. The bragging rights were, of course, much more important than the £5 winnings!
It has to be said, despite the weather, everybody thoroughly enjoyed the day on what is a great course. The general feeling was "we should do this more often" and I have to say I quite agree!
One last thing, can everyone who's got their name down for the New Year's Eve Party please make sure that they have paid for and collected their tickets from the Club office before 14th December. If tickets are not paid for and collected by this date we will assume that they are not coming.
I am now off on a week's holiday, yes you have guessed it more golf but this time hopefully in the sun!
Until next time.
Weekly Course Report
Welcome once again to this week's course update.
I would just like to start by thanking Jane Best, the Ladies’ Captain for inviting me along last Thursday to their afternoon tea. To say I was a little apprehensive beforehand was an understatement but the ladies section did a fantastic job in making me very welcome, so a big thank you again.
After the tea I gave a photo presentation and covered various topics such as the history of the club, daily course set up explaining how course status decisions are made first thing in the morning, up and coming plans for the future, concerns/regular issues that occur and how golfers can help us. At the end of the talk some questions were taken and answered. Hopefully the ladies enjoyed the talk and I can only apologise for drifting outside of my allocated time allowance… once in full flow I couldn’t be stopped!
Onto work this week and steady progress is still being made on the 5th tee. We are now starting to remove the turf and topsoil off the existing tee and as the soil is of very good quality we will be able to reuse it once again in the construction of the new tee. The turf removal is working well in conjunction with the construction of the new ‘forward’ tees and this week work has been carried out to improve the playing surfaces on these areas. The turf from the old 5th tee was ideal to turf the new short game tees. These forward tees will be another great asset for the club and will be in play from early spring. A measured yardage will also be given to these tees with purple markers being added and will be able to be enjoyed by anyone wanting to play a slightly easier course.
New forward 3rd tee
If all goes to plan then next week we will be looking to turf the new 5th tee and also start some work on the 5thbunkers. The top edges of the new bunker faces will be improved with a small layer of revetted turf to stop any stones coming in and to tidy the general appearance of the bunkers. Extra heather will also be placed around some of the bunkers as will natural looking fescue turf. We are still weighing up our options with regards to the sand as to whether to mix more angular sand with the existing. As is clearly documented in various articles bunker sand is one of those things that take a good while to settle down and weather. Soil gradually makes its way into the bunkers from shoes etc and this also has an effect over time of changing the way the sand reacts
Other news and last week we took delivery of two new pieces of machinery. Our old greens mower and rough cutter had clocked up a huge amount of hours use and during the last season or two were both starting to be plagued by regular problems. This obviously starts to become non-cost effective and also due to the high hours and wear and tear starts to bring about the problem of unreliability, which to us in the full growing season, are critical. Always another worry with an old machine is the risk of hydraulic oil leaks especially leaking onto the greens. The new greens mower incidentally helps to alleviate this potential problem. It is fitted with a system that alerts the operator with a loud bleeper if a very small amount of oil is lost out of the hydraulic system. With regards to the rough cutter we were starting to have problems with the hydraulic oil pressure, which in turn was slowing the cutter blades down whilst cutting the semi-rough. This was becoming very evident through the summer when cutting longer grass as the blades were chewing the grass and leaving round patches instead of a nice clean cut. Hopefully next summer the semi rough should look much better.
New Toro rough cutter and greens mower
This week we have again verti drained the greens this time with the smaller machine with half-inch solid tines to a depth of approximately 4 inches. Hopefully weather conditions permitting we will also be applying a wetting agent to the greens this week. The greens will benefit from both of these jobs by way of allowing air into the soil and also improve the removal of surface water through the soil profile to try and ensure the greens remain firm.
Before I finish up just a couple of points again briefly of things to be aware of as we head well and truly into winter. The first being frosty mornings. Always one that brings about tricky decision making for us with regards to winter holes in play etc. Our procedure now is to send a member of the team around the course as soon as we arrive to determine how many winter holes are possibly in play. This then gets updated onto the phone message, twitter and course status from the website. As we are unable to predict when the frost will come out our initial updates will normally inform you of a guaranteed minimum amount of winter holes.
Obviously by the time golfers arrive on the back nine then it is possible the frost will have gone. By travelling around the front nine this gives us a good indication as to how any winter holes to expect for anyone out very early. A staff member will then monitor frost coming out of the greens and start to put them back onto mains. Please bear in mind that greens can come out of frosty conditions anywhere across the course at anytime dependant on whether the sunlight can reach them, lower areas generally are the last to clear, waiting for the frost to clear entirely can take a while so it does take a little time to eventually get them all back on.
Whilst on the subject of frost it is not uncommon for us to start checking frosty greens and finding them clear only to notice shortly after sunrise that the greens have then become covered in frost once again! This seems impossible but I have researched it thoroughly on the Internet and various articles agree and give technical reasons as to why this happens. One of those phenomenon’s that start to make you think you are going crazy but it does happen which then gives us a real headache with regards to winter holes! A typical example is shown below taken from our weather station. The temperature from the time we came in after sunrise generally started to drop, bizarre!
The other point worthy of a mention is ice build up on shoes. More often than not the situation arises when the greens are clear of frost but the remainder of the course is white. If this occurs and the greens are in play it is extremely important that golf shoes are cleared of ice build up underneath before stepping onto greens. Failing to do this can cause damage to the greens by the lumps of ice denting the greens.
Last but not least again if trolleys can be kept away from greens to reduce wear it would be much appreciated.
Very many thanks for reading and I’ll be back again next time.
I am pleased to announce the recent competition results -
Stableford – Sunday 27th November 2013
52 Entries CSS 71
Winner Neil Irish 42 pts
Runner up Rob Atherton 40 pts
Third Place Simon Burke 38 pts (bih)
Ladies Turkey Trot Competition – 21st November
18 Pairs Non-qualifying
Winners Lyn Whiting & Alma Walker 36pts
Runners up Elba Jones & Jane Best 34pts
Third Place Maggie Bray & Caz Rosselli 33pts
This year’s Frank Cup moved on to the second round on Sunday 24th November. In near perfect conditions 8 pairings set off hoping to reach the semi finals.
This year’s pairings were again set with a lower & higher handicap golfer being paired together. Whilst this is well received by new members, some established members are not being attracted to the competition. This is a shame, as the Frank Cup was once a prestigious tournament.
First group into the semi finals were Stuart Merrell and Jay Martin, quickly joined by Chris Roberts and Simon Percy who managed a very narrow victory, 1 up on the 18th hole. Chris winning with a par. The next pairing through were Kevin Phillips and Leigh Couling who were much too strong for Nigel Thompson and the Vice – Captain, closing out on 16th. Finally through in the last match, Chris Terndrup and Ken Gerrard kept up their good form from the last round to win again.
Semi-finals to be played on Sunday 8th December.
Fran Cup Match report kindly supplied by the Vice-Captain.
More updates next week, have a good week
Pro Shop News
Well I think we’ve all just thawed out from our Captains away day at Hayling Island this week. Despite the ferocious wind, rain and hailstones it was a really enjoyable day on a course that was in exceptional condition for the time of year. The proshop boys held their own against the members with myself and Barry claiming 2ndand 3rd place on the day but well done to Chris Roberts who won with a very respectable score of 34 points on a very difficult day.
Speaking of cold weather, we have just the thing for you all in the pro shop with a large selection of lined jumpers, lined trousers, compression tops, thermal tops, winter mitts and everything else you can imagine in what looks like it may be a chilly winter. We also have some incredible bargains on sets of irons, drivers, fairway woods and hybrids as we are clearing out this year’s TaylorMade RBZ and R1 range to make way for the new JETSPEED driver which will be with us in early December. We also have a few cracking deals on sets of irons such as:
AP2 irons reduced from £625 down to £425
TaylorMade Burner Irons from £399 down to £279
Mizuno JPX800 irons (Ladies) £699 down to £325
Mizuno JPX800 irons (Graphite) £699 down to £325.
The Christmas draw is now up and running and first prize this year is a Motocaddy S1 electric trolley! Tickets are £5 each or 3 for £10 so come and grab your tickets. All entry money goes into the prize fund so the more tickets we sell, the more prizes we can give out.
On the lesson front, don’t be put off by the bad weather as we will be teaching from inside the teaching bay in the worst of weathers. The new Swingplane machine has proved very popular and very effective with those who have used it. It really gives the pupil a proper feel of the correct Swingplane and what it should feel like. Take advantage of our 15 minute sessions on the Swingplane for only £10 and also don’t forget my 4 lessons for £100 which I will be running all the way through to March.
Keep an eye out for our December Christmas specials we will be running which will be with you soon.
BARRYS TIP OF THE WEEK
It’s never easy putting at this time of year. The greens were so fast and true throughout the summer it can be hard to adjust now they have slowed down.
A lot of golfers I coach tend to have short putting strokes and use their hands to ‘hit’ at the ball to determine the distance of the putt. Now the greens are slower and you need to hit the ball harder to get it to the hole. This kind of stroke can be twitchy and lead to misses right and left.
The best way to putt (not just on slower greens) is to take your hands out of the stroke and rock your shoulders. This is more of a pendulum motion and relies on lengthening the stroke to increase distance rather than pushing the hands through faster.
Set three balls out on the putting green. The first 10ft, second 15ft and the third 20ft away. Putt one ball to each in turn ensuring the length of your backswing increases as you putt to the further targets.
This will give you better distance control and help you deliver the putter face squarely into the ball.
That’s all for now.
Look forward to seeing you all soon. Neil and the Pro Shop team.
Winter Rules/Preferred Lies have been introduced with effect from 1st November 2013, until further notice. To view the notice for winter rules - click here
Temporary Greens – Please treat as GUR
Winter Golf – Restriction to Member’s Guests at Weekends
Due to the lack of daylight hours during the winter, the Club will again repeat last year’s position of suspending member’s from inviting guests to play golf on Saturday's (all day) and on Sunday mornings before 11.30am. The restrictions will be in force from Saturday 23rd November through to Sunday 16th February 2014 inclusive. Thank you for your understanding with this matter.
Download the Broadstone App
For all the iphone, android phone and ipad users out there you can now download the "Broadstone Golf Club App" The app is a bit of fun and is free to download and share with other users.
Apple version - Click here
Android version - Click here
Virgin Active (Corfe Mullen) or Marriott High Cliff Hotel Health Club Membership
The Club have secured some corporate rates/discounts at the above venues for membership at their Health Clubs. To view the offers and for more info click on the links below
Virgin Active membership Marriot High Cliff membership
Thanks for reading this bulletin and we'll be back again next week with all the latest news. Please feel free to contact me either by phone, email or better still in person should you wish to discuss anything at all to do with the Club.