We are now truly in the grips of winter, and with that comes shorter days, fewer tee-off times and smaller playing fields. This naturally equates to quieter times and the lower revenue streams for the Club.
We can however be thankful for the very successful summer season which “banked” great returns, and all in all, our Club has had a rather good year.
Dave Porrill, our Greens Superintendent, and his team have all had their well deserved annual leave and are now back in full force ready to start preparations for the upcoming growth season. The first of the major tasks will be to do hollow-tyning of our greens, and this is scheduled to take place during the last few days of August and the first few days of September, weather permitting! (If there is inclement weather, it will be done one week later.)
A number of the course improvement projects have been expedited, with extensions to the Ladies tees at the 3rd and 15th holes, the upgrading of the forward tee precinct at the 6th, as well as the construction of a new “forward” tee at the 16th.
Next in line will be the widening of the men’s forward tee at the 15th, and the raising the back sections of the men’s tees at the 12th & the 16th.
These changes are part of the ongoing endeavours to provide greater flexibility through a number of alternate tee positions. In addition, it will allow the club to formalise four sets of tee options.
In due course we will install “distance marker bricks” on the tees (Yellow, White, Blue and Red), which will match the distances set out on the new score cards, and enable the specific course rating to be applied according to the chosen tee being played off. (New score cards available in September)
It will also pave the way for an easy transition to the new SAGU course rating system, which will be implemented countrywide within the next couple of years.
Sadly, we must once again address some ”housekeeping” issues!
I have recently been approached, as the Club Captain, to confront certain individuals who are apparently being accused of serious rules contraventions!
First and foremost, Golf is a self regulating game, and each player is fully responsible to ensure that they know, and play according to, the rules.
It has been brought to my attention that the following infringements have been repeatedly observed:
- The player has been seen to be improving their lie/moving their ball in the rough.
- The player has dropped a second ball into play (and played it as his first ball) after the original ball was lost in the bush/hazard.
For the purpose of clarity, the correct procedures to report an incident are as follows:
- The person marking the card of the “offender” is required to immediately call the infringement on the offender, and apply the appropriate penalty.
- Whilst this is often uncomfortable, it is incumbent on the marker to protect the interests of the rest of the playing field. Given the awkwardness that could arise, the scorer can hold over the incident and report it to the Captain for action at the end of the round, or as soon as possible.
- It is at the discretion of the Captain (and the management) to act on the report.
- Should the Captain elect to follow this up, he would be acting on behalf of the Club. If the Captain has not personally witnessed the apparent infringement, he will require the person(s) who lodged the complaint to appear as a witness/witnesses in a formal hearing.
- If the incident is not raised and dealt with by the marker as it happens, and is subject to a later hearing, it is critically important to substantiate the accusations with witnesses. If the witnesses do not wish to come forward, the Captain could put The Club at risk of legal action, if unsubstantiated accusations are made.
- If the accused is found to have infringed on the rules, the Captain (and the Club) may, at their discretion, impose sanctions on the offender. (Sanctions could range from short term suspension to total suspension, depending on the severity of the offence or repeated offences.)
It is understandable that it is particularly awkward for those who witness infringements!
As uncomfortable as it is, by dealing with the matter correctly, and at the time, we can hopefully solve the problem, and avoid future dissent.
My greatest wish is that the correct procedures are followed by us all, as and when required, and thus alleviate future concerns. We should all continue to act in a manner befitting the spirit of our Great Game!
As we look forward to Spring and the return of the growing season for our course, we hope that a lot of the wet areas will dry out a bit and we can all get a little more run on our shots. The tees that are always in shade at this time of the year, (11th, 12th, and 15th) will soon get sun back on them and regain their grass covering.
The upcoming Club AGM,s will provide you with more detailed results of the Club’s performance, and any additional “Project” news.
Here’s to great Golfing!