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Club news

From Gemma Smith, Interim Club Manager: In spite of the recent rains temporarily spoiling our lovely golf course, we still managed to hold a very successful and much-enjoyed Captains’ Charity Turkey Shoot at the Club and we were even treated to some blue sky and sunshine! The day raised more than £700 for charity MIND, so well done and thank you to all who supported such a great cause. 

We are hopeful that we can stage the Open Turkey Trot on Sunday, December 20th,  but it looks like the weather gods may have something to say about it.

It’s been a testing few months to say the least and the recent course closure due to appallingly wet conditions has been frustrating at the back end of the year. We’ll stay optimistic for some dry weather as we’re all eager to get back out there and play the game we love. 

On a positive note, we are extremely excited about our refurbishment plans, which will begin mid-January 2021, starting with The St Swithin’s Suite. Upgrading this beautiful room will give us more of a modern, welcoming space for club events for Members as well as conferences, weddings and other private events. The lavatories will also be modernised to bring them into line with the other facilities. The functions business is hugely important to the financial wellbeing of the Club and has been greatly missed, so we are hopeful that 2021 will see us able to hold events once more. 

Thank you all for your continued support and patience during a testing year and the transition of the Club to new ownership. As members of staff, we are all looking forward to an exciting journey moving forward with Get Golfing and hope you will all be joining us. 

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. 

Team BGC 

Season’s greetings from Get Golfing

A brief message from Edward Richardson, Get Golfing CEO, to wish all the golfers a merry Christmas and a happy New Year (please note this was filmed before the weather closed the course).

Food and drink news

Don’t forget to take advantage of the St Swithin’s snack menu, serving hot food, including pasties, sausage rolls, sweet treats along with tea and coffee or a festive Baileys hot chocolate, which is delivered to you on the 10th tee! 

Course news

From Dave Taylor, Courses Manager: Merry Christmas to you all and I wish you all good health and hope you are all able to meet with your family this year and enjoy the festivities together. 

With the return to golfing at the start of the month, we also saw the return from furlough of two of our assistant greenkeepers. We wasted no time in getting them back in the thick of it, giving them the task of hand mowing those areas of the course where we cannot use the larger machines because of the softer ground conditions. 

Having either never done it or had very little experience of it, they were given expert instruction in how to hand mow by Jonny, another of our assistant greenkeepers. He and my Deputy Kevin had really got back into the swing of hand mowing during the second lockdown. So much so, all tees, collars and approaches were cut them. H

There is a real sense of team building and accomplishment when they come together to help each other improve and develop their skill sets. As you will see, they did some great work on the academy course’s tees, collars and approaches. 

Unfortunately for us though, the main issue of late has been the weather. It creeps up on us and spoils all the hard work that comes before it. While writing this, we have just seen 16mm of rainfall overnight and, at present, we sit at 38mm of rainfall for the month so far, with further heavy rain showers forecast. 

It means we have been forced to close the course because allowing golfers on it will not only damage it in the short term but will impact its recovery well into spring next year. It is also unsafe: we have many sloped and banked areas around the course, which can become very slippery and unstable under foot during these periods of heavy rain. 

The team is making a big effort at this time of year to reduce any unnecessary damage to the course. We use a combination of white liner with sharp sand on the heavily trafficked areas to reduce damage and also lots of posts and ropes to keep everyone to the areas that we deem safe and cause less impact on the course.

It is very disheartening to the team if we find roped areas unhooked and the rope trampled into the ground. Please, if you have to remove the rope to play a shot, return the post and rope to where it was before and do not just leave it on the ground for the next group to walk over. Likewise, if you come across any areas that look like the rope has been unhooked and left lying on the ground, please put it back in place. 

You will also notice that most tees are now playing off winter mats, with the exception of Nos. 4, 9, 13, 15, and 18. 

Unfortunately, we are still catching people trying to sneak onto the tees and play off the grassed areas. 

If you see this happening we would ask you to give the golfer a polite reminder directly or call the shop so that we can deal with them. We don’t want to spoil people’s enjoyment but damage that is inflicted on the course now will be carried through to April/May. Divots out of the tees will not grow back quickly and will mean the percentage of clean teeing areas will be reduced. We all take a great sense of pride in the Club and course and need to stick together in helping to maintain it to the best we can.

Pro news

From Daryl Kelley, PGA Pro: Now that everyone has their new WHS handicaps ready hopefully for an uninterrupted 2021 golf season, why not book a lesson or two to get your game ready as well?

Lessons on putting, driving and course management are available. 

Lesson prices:

  • £30 for 30 minutes 
  • £50 for an hour

(Deals and block-booking offers available) 

I will also be taking on club repairs, so if you need your clubs regripped or a reshafted contact me via [email protected]. As an incentive, throughout January and February,  with every iron set re-gripped, I will check the loft and lie of your irons for free and adjust them if needed.

WHS news

Submitting a General Play score: General Play scores under the World Handicapping System (WHS) are similar to the Supplementary Scores that were permitted under WHS’s predecessor, the CONGU Unified Handicapping System.

General Play scores, so long as they comply with the requirements of WHS’s “Acceptable Scores”, will be included in the player’s scoring record used for calculation of their Handicap Index.

The following procedure is for General Play scores made at Pyrford. If you wish to enter a General Play score at an “away” club, please contact the Club Handicap Committee.

Procedure for General Play Scores at the Club during Covid-19:

  1. Rather than picking up a scorecard from the golf reception desk, you may wish to print your own scorecard. You can find a PDF file for the course on the Club’s webpage.
  2. Play with another Member as your marker, while observing no-contact, social distancing guidelines. Rather than exchange cards, record your gross hole scores on your own card and ask your marker to record your scores separately, so that you can cross-check during and, especially, after the round. Your marker must verbally authorise your gross scores, instead of signing your card physically. It is useful for you and your marker to keep totals, as this can help to identify any discrepancies, during the post-round authorisation check. However, under the Rules of Golf, it is the individual gross hole score, which is authorised by both player and marker, not the totals or points. 
  3. You MUST register to submit a General Play round BEFORE you begin playing the round. This can be done via the Intelligent Golf App. When you press “begin scoring”, (found at the bottom of the SETUP screen), your round is then registered, with a timestamp. You can do this at any time on the day of the round, so long as it is before your booked tee time and before you tee off to start the round. The registration time stamp is verified as preceding your tee time booking.
  4. Once you have pressed “begin scoring”, you can enter your gross hole scores on the App, as you play the round. Alternatively, you can just leave the App in that state on your mobile and enter the hole scores after your round. If you make no score on a hole then mark with a zero. If you do not complete the round then mark any holes not played with NS. You must enter your scores before leaving the club. The App will not permit scores to be entered if you are not within the vicinity of the club.
  5. The screenshots for entering and finalising your score are shown below:
  6. After you have finished the round, ensure that your card has all the essential information, otherwise it will be rejected:
    a) The date and time you played your round
    b) Your full name, in the header, with your signature at the bottom of the card
    c) Indication of which tees you played from
    d) Your marker’s full name, written legibly, to indicate who authorised your score
    e) In the box for “COMPETITION” write “General Play”
    f) The gross scores for each hole.
  7. To avoid physical contact with your marker, or exchanging scorecards, take a photo/scan of the completed card and email it to the handicap secretary. Make sure that the image has the full card, so that no information is cut off. Your card must be emailed, no later than 10pm on the day of the round, even if you did not complete the round or did not hole out at every hole. If a card is not returned by the deadline, a “No Return” will be recorded. Do not put your card in the handicap cards box. Keep it with you for reference, until your score has been confirmed in your handicap record.