Since Get Golfing took over Oak Park on June 30th, demand for the course has been unprecedented. Due to the volume of business and Covid restrictions, we have been unable to have an obvious impact on your clubhouse experience but, hopefully, you will have seen improvements in the course and its presentation.
Across the group we have invested circa £300,000 in new course machinery. When the clocks change we will be working with the three teams; course maintenance, food and beverage, and golf services on staff training so that by the start of next season (Covid allowing), you will have a far better member experience.
The good news is that the new government regulations do not impact golf as we play in fours, rather than eights! As a result, we do not see any effect on matches, competitions or society days.
The only limitation will be in the clubhouse where we would ask golfers to remain in their four and not pull tables and chairs together, no matter how sociable that may feel.
In addition, could we ask Members to wait at their tables to be served rather than going up to the bar area. As part of our efforts to safeguard both staff and Members, we have introduced table service, which we hope will be more relaxing for everyone involved. We thank everyone for their patience and hope that we will be able to return to a more normal environment at some point!
It is important, however, to remember that the government is currently being pretty lenient with golf, particularly in terms of numbers on the course, let’s not give them a reason to change!
In the meantime here are some things you could do to limit your exposure — and the continued spread of the Covid-19 virus:
- Sanitise golf clubs and golf bag before setting out
- Keep your distance from others (6 feet +)
- Leave the flagstick in
- Use your gloved hand to handle items or the PPE gloves provided at check-in
- Do not share golf clubs
- Use the elbow bump
Anthony Burnell, Course Manager: Most of you will have noticed that we carried out our greens maintenance in September. The surfaces are now well on the road to recovery, we recently applied a granular fertiliser to help speed this process, as we now look towards the autumn when disease management becomes paramount.
During greens maintenance we verti-drained/solid tined the greens to a depth of 9 inches, then hollow cored using 8mm hollow tines. We then back filled the holes with 35 tonnes of sand. This should help to keep surfaces drier in the autumn months and reduce thatch to create a firmer playing surface.
New machinery: Get Golfing continues to invest in our fleet of machinery at Oak Park, this month we have purchased a new Gator (all terrain transport vehicle) and a Fairway Mower, both are great additions to our equipment and it means that we can have two fairway mowers running at once and cut fairways well ahead of golf.
Seeding fairways: The fairways were seeded in September using a rented tractor-mounted disc seeder. The fairways were very dry at this time but the seedlings should start appearing with some rain. This will help to regenerate the areas lost to drought conditions in the summer
Flail: We also hired a flail mower in late September to take out some of the scrub that has become overgrown.
Please follow our facebook page ‘Greenstaff oakpark’ for updates as to what we are up to on the golf course.
Members should note that the club will be holding a Society Masters event this year on October 14th as a way of thanking organisers for booking the club for their society. The shotgun start event will consist of 18-holes, lunch and prize giving afterwards. As a result the course will be very busy/closed on the day. It may be worthwhile to note that, alongside this fantastic incentive, all Members will be credited for 5% of the total price for a society they introduce.
For a list of upcoming Member competitions, click here.
Members will be pleased to learn that we have begun resolution of an issue with subscription payments that occurred in the transition to ownership by Get Golfing.
Issues with the accuracy of the data provided by Crown Golf at the time of the takeover meant that some Members, who were due to renew after July 1st, have not yet received a subscription payment request.
Rather than jump in with subscription demands, we delayed requests for payment until such time as we were more confident of the validity of the data.
We are now in a situation to start the process of requesting payment for arrears and setting up the forward monthly payments. We would encourage those Members to whom this applies to contact the office and we can resolve any issues.
To help us identify any continuing anomalies, those few Members whose renewal date has significantly elapsed will be temporarily suspended. Please do not be alarmed, we are doing this in order to bring this issue to a swift conclusion.
Freedom Play: Those of you still on Crown Golf’s legacy Freedom Play membership might like to consider moving to a new Get Golfing membership category on or before October 26th. From that date the points matrix will be changing and will not provide the same value as it has historically. By shifting to a Get Golfing category, you can take your points balance across to a Flexible Membership or to a monthly membership category and get better value and we will of course honour the remaining points balance you have.
In other news, from October 1st you will be able to use your Club Card across seven Get Golfing sites and receive your discount at whichever club you play.
With the World Handicap System about to take effect this coming November, many of you will be wondering how it will affect you.
- If your handicap is 6 and below it is likely to go down by one or stay the same;
- If your handicap is between 6 and 12 it is likely to go up or down by one but could stay the same;
- If your handicap is between 12 and 18 it is likely to stay the same or go up by one;
- If your handicap is between 18 and 24 it is likely to go up by one or two strokes;
- If your handicap is 24 or higher, it is likely to go up by two or three strokes.
So the lower you are, and therefore the more consistent you are, the more likely it is you will see your handicap go down when the new system starts.
The higher your handicap, the more likely it is you will have some extra shots with which to play.
Remember, these are only general opinions. Your handicap will ultimately depend on your performance over your last 20 scores, your consistency, and how many of those scores you have actually entered.
One thing is for sure, though. We will all be glued to that touchscreen when those figures finally appear.
We hope you have enjoyed our seasonal summer specials and the efforts made to provide a high quality service under trying conditions. We are currently working on our autumn and winter menus with a hugely experienced chef, who has worked with some of the greats in the business. We are also reviewing our wine, draught beer and spirits offerings and hope to bring you some delicious tipples to try.
We are also very keen to work with local suppliers and would welcome suggestions from Members about local produce that they would like to see featured on the food.
We would like to introduce Paul Moger as our new Sales Manager. Paul comes to us with a wealth of experience in the golf industry, having been a PGA Professional for many years, teaching players of all abilities from beginners to Tour players, and having played in many tournaments around the world.
Paul has spent the last few years working and living in Florida, where he and his wife operated three golf courses, embracing the customer-focused environment. His motto is: “We play golf for fun, so let’s introduce new people to this wonderful game so they can see how rewarding it can be.” Please say hello when you are next at the Club.