August 2017 Newsletter
In spite of writing this on a very rainy Tuesday, we are in a season of fine golfing, with the course and clubhouse looking good! Here are reports on what’s been happening, and plans for the future. There’s also an insight into the work of Carl Pigott, our Head Greenkeeper and the man responsible for much of the success of the course.
On the Course
We have seen the monthly aeration of the greens by micro-tining, selective weed-killing on greens, tees and some fairways, spraying of greens to keep at bay the fusarium, and marking and cutting around sprinkler heads, all of which has helped the course to look very good.
The sweep and fill machine and the spin dresser have been delivered, and the spraying unit modified by John Deere, who will deliver in the next week or so.
More paths are being upgraded with white stone chippings.
The fence and padlocked gate are installed next to the 10th tee, with further fencing to be installed at the kissing gate further up that 10th fairway.
Meanwhile, we have taken delivery of 300 tons of subsoil at the 10th tee, ready for the rebuilding and raising of the tee in October. Taking this early delivery has saved money, and limited damage by lorries running over hard summer, rather than soft autumnal, ground.
The 16th approach has been solid-tined and top dressed, as part of the ongoing programme to dilute thatch levels there.
Very soon the tees will be renovated, with solid tining, top dressing and reseeding, and some approaches will also get spin dressing.
The entry to the first fairway has been widened and the carry reduced by 12 feet, in response to a request from lady members.
A number of winter mats are being resited in more appropriate settings, notably on the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th tees.
A programme of tree pruning and removal will happen in October, in conjunction with the Whittaker estate woodsmen. The main focus will be the poplar trees near the 8th green, especially on the left, and the trees near the 14th green. The concerns are that these trees overshadow the greens, restricting sunlight and airflow, and in places roots are undermining the greens. Hence these greens are weakened and hit badly by disease.
Around the practice green, 20 bollards have now been erected, drilled and chains fitted, and repainted from their original Chinese Red (there’s a rumour that they started life outside a Chinese restaurant) to smart British Racing Green. Many thanks for the work by club members Neil Palmer, Mike Briggs and Andy Massey on this project.
We intend to provide divot bags, for members and visitors to carry and help in repairing the course.
Carl Piggott; a life in the day of the Head Greenkeeper
4.00am: Alarm. Glastonbury goes to bed, as greenkeepers get up. Ho hum.
5.00am: Arrive at Greens shed to meet greens team. Allocate tasks for the day. Check mowers and other equipment all working, and filled with fuel.
6.00am: Team set off to mow greens and tees; need to ensure that they leave the ones nearest the housing (5th, 10th, 18th and practice green) until later, to avoid complaints about noise from residents. Mowing all the greens takes 3.5 hours. Other staff take buggy to tour the course, raking bunkers, checking for damage such as vandalism, theft of rakes, tree breakages etc.
9.30am: Team regroups in Greens shed to report on completion of initial setting up of course and any issues/problems. Problems range from damage caused by motorbikes ridden across tees and greens near the railway, cattle breaking through fence near 14th fairway, to mowers breaking down. All these need to be reported back to Club Management, and dealt with.
10.00am: Team sets off to tackle the fairway mowing, rough mowing beneath trees, laying down of new limestone chippings on selected paths (part of the rolling programme to upgrade the paths this summer and autumn), and putting up heavy duty safety signs next to footpaths. Ear protectors needed for most tasks, so tune in to Hallam FM on mini radio earphones.
11.00am: Back to Clubhouse to meet delivery of sand from supplier and supervise drop-off. Take opportunity to check with Office about progress on training courses, such as chain-saw logging, for some of the staff.
12.00am: Grab sandwich and coffee, and strip down mower to repair broken blades
1.00pm: Discuss with some staff their training needs and longer term direction. Check machinery is ready for tomorrow’s work, and agree tasks for the coming days with staff.
2.00pm: Contact suppliers for delivery of fertiliser dressing. Contact John Deere to arrange a trial testing of new mower. Complete paperwork for pay etc for staff. Read latest STRI report and note key recommendations.
3.00pm: Drop off paperwork in Office, check for any new issues that need dealing with. Head home for family time, before returning to Club later.
6.00pm: Meeting with some of Management Committee and Members to discuss issues about the course.
8.00pm: Home for a meal and early bedtime.
Following an eventful match at Bulwell, the Scratch Team have won their League, moving Retford into Division 2 of the Nottinghamshire Golf Association Scratch teams for 2018. Congratulations to these players, who have done the hard work over the season: Liam Bennett, Norman Cook, Lewis Hunt, Tony Inman, Ralph Marshall, Chris Naylor, Shay Rafferty, Pete Wheatcroft, and Alex Woodcock.
The Men’s Friendly Competitions have been very successful this year, concluding with a well-deserved win over a Doncaster team that included a tournament professional. VC Ted Eccleshall and Capt Fraser Britton thank all the players who supported the team
There will be a Pro-Am 10 holes competition on Saturday 19th August, starting at 3.30pm. The format is one golfer and one non-golfer. The costs are £3.00 a pair, and £5.00 for a guest Pro. There will be a pie, chips and peas supper afterwards, at £6.00 per person. Please book with Craig in the Pro’s shop.
Gents’ Invitation Day is on Sunday 10th September; the entry sheet is in the Pro’s shop.
The Club Dinner-Dance is swapping dates with the 200 Club Dinner/Draw. The 200 Club event is now on Saturday 18th November, and the Dinner-Dance on Saturday 25th November.
We are still trying to plan for a successful New Year’s Eve event in the clubhouse. A disco has been booked, but we need your help and support.
Please tell us what sort of event you would be prepared to come to. What sort of food and catering would be best (set meal, buffet, theme meal)? Are there transport issues that we can help with? Do you want a dance event, or games, or what? What else would sell it for you? Please contact Mary Saddington with any ideas.
Other Club matters
The Management Committee meets every month, and separate sub-committees meet when relevant, to consider aspects of the Club’s work. If members want to raise any points/issues/queries for these meetings, please contact the chair of the appropriate sub-committee at least a week ahead of the date of that meeting.
Here is a diary of the dates of forthcoming sub-committee and full management meetings.
Management: Tuesday 26th September, 6.00pm
Greens: Monday 18th September at 8.30 am
House and Social: Tuesday 29th August, 2.00pm
Golf (competitions etc): Monday 4th September, 6.00pm
Marketing: Thursday 24th August, 6.00pm
Andy Massey, Dean Atherton, Mary Saddington
Communication Group (on behalf of the Management Committee and Club Members)