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From Bradley Potts, General Manager: Welcome to the September newsletter. We hope you are all well and enjoying your golf! 

General news

While we have all experienced a rise in the numbers playing golf since the partial lifting of the lockdown in May, much of Oak Park’s historical trading has come from food and drink sales, as well as the events and functions side of the business, so overall trading has remained challenging to say the least. 

Get Golfing, however, sees Oak Park as a key site and will be investing in it significantly over the coming years. That said, any support Members can give to the staff and Club in the meantime would be greatly appreciated. For example, it would be a great help if Members could make sure they regularly use the kitchen and bar offerings and could introduce their golfing friends to membership of Oak Park as well. If you use the Member referral programme, you will receive 10% of the new Member’s first-year subscription as a credit on your bar card.

Future development plans

Since Get Golfing took over Oak Park, work has been going on behind the scenes regarding areas for investment and establishing budgets and timings. Our clubhouse and the surrounding clubhouse area will be undergoing some much-needed renovations. Work commences on the outside of the Clubhouse tomorrow (Tuesday September 1st). This includes weather proofing the property, removing the canopies, fixing and replacing windows, skylights and guttering, re-painting the external walls, and filling the potholes in the car park. We will also be installing a front gate to improve security. We anticipate that all the work will be completed by mid October. This is the first stage of bring the property up to standard.

Membership renewal

Members can now switch from their current Crown membership contract to a new Get Golfing contract, which means you can receive the additional benefits that Get Golfing offers. Please click here to review your options, including our new Buggy Membership category, which gives you unlimited use of a buggy for £50 a month, or contact me via email ([email protected]).

Buddy board

Are you new to the club or have previously played by yourself? We have introduced a buddy board system in the entrance to the club house. This is a great way for new members to meet existing members as well as an opportunity to obtain your handicap a lot quicker.  

Food and drink news

In the next couple weeks you will see some new faces behind the bar, which we hope will improve our service to you as a Member. If you have any issues with service or want to make a suggestion please contact one of the heads of departments. 

Amy’s return to work has resulted in some very interesting and tasty food leaving the kitchen. She will be running a selection of specials during the month, so please make sure to ask what is on the menu. We have also extended the operating hours of the kitchen to 6pm during the week and 8pm on weekends. Our current seasonal menu will run until late September and then an autumn menu will be introduced. As and when clubhouses are allowed to open further, the menu at Oak Park will be further expanded with daily specials and other dishes unique to the Club.

The drinks buggy will be making the rounds during the busy periods offering refreshments to Members and guests. 

Course news

From Anthony Burnell, Head Greenkeeper: The good news is we have two new members of the team in Gareth Hall and Andy Thomas. Both have joined us recently, so if you see them out and about on the golf course please say hello. They are fitting in well, and learning fast. I must say that Get Golfing’s focus on course conditioning and its financial support in terms of staffing, new machinery and the overall course budget is a breath of fresh air and will enable us to deliver a much better experience for all our golfers.

Rakes and bins: You will all have noticed that rakes and bins have been placed back onto the golf course. Please use a latex glove when raking bunkers and please carry hand sanitiser with you at all times. Avoid touching the bins when putting anything in them and, if you can, please take your rubbish home.  

Club Champs: The Club Championship is the highlight of our greenkeeping year and we always look forward to hosting it. Preparations for the big weekend went very well this year and we appreciated all of the very nice comments we received about the course. Congratulations to Gary Tims for winning the Men’s section and to Cathie Quent for winning the Ladies’ section.

New machinery/equipment: We recently purchased a new Turf Roller, which will improve green speeds. We can also use the roller during hot periods to reduce mowing frequency and stress on the grass plant. It will also allow for us to leave surfaces playable following any maintenance work.   

Maintenance: The weather put a halt to most of our maintenance schedule in August but we did tine and lightly sand the greens on the Village. The Woodland greens were tined and sanded before the end of the month to allow for minimal disruption over the Bank Holiday weekend. In the week commencing September 1st, we will scarify and sand all greens and then the tees as well as carrying out divoting. The current weather conditions mean we are having to work around sporadic rain showers, which is annoying for us and for you golfers but these works are imperative for us to produce good putting surfaces moving forwards into the autumn winter and next year.

Overseeding: Those of you who play from the fairway will have noticed that the dry weather has again scorched much of the grass beyond repair. As a result, you will see a tractor with a seeder attached as we try to regenerate badly damaged areas. We will also be seeding tees and approaches with a more hardy grass species that will be better able to cope with heat stress moving forwards.

Road crossing: Please note that we have recently installed a mirror for the road from the Woodland 18th green to the car park to assist when crossing Heath Lane from the Woodland side. Drivers using that road do not always see the concealed golf course exit.

Planned Autumn Winter project work: This autumn/winter we will be mainly continuing with scrub clearance work and clearing out drainage ditches. The nature of the site at Oak Park means that we always have plenty of scrub clearance to do. Some of the areas we will be clearing include the scrub to the back of the 11th green and the 10th tee on the Woodland side.  We should make faster progress this year as we will be purchasing some new hand tools to help us.

Follow me: In the meantime please follow Greenstaff Oakpark on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @burnellhgk for frequent updates on our work on the golf course. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have via [email protected].

Competition news

Congrats to our winners of this year Club Champions Gary Tims and Cathie Quent who played some great golf to become this year’s winners. 

Jean Deverill, Cathie Quent, Roxane Meister and Hilary King

Oak Park July 2020 Winners

  • July 1st: Village 9-hole Stableford (Q) — Philip Yates
  • July 4th: Men’s Medal (Q) — Palijar Tamang
  • July 5th: Village 18-hole Stableford (Q) — Durga Jimee
  • July 7th /11th: Ladies Bowmaker — Gill Hawker, Lyla Alleman, Val Cooper
  • July 8th: Seniors 18-hole Stableford (Q) — George Head
  • July 11th: Men’s Champions Trophy (Q) — David Johnston
  • July 11th:  Village 18-hole Stableford (Q) — Palijar Tamang
  • July 14th/18th: Ladies Stableford and Rabbits Cup (Q) — Susan Millerick
  • July 15th: Village 9-hole Stableford (Q) — Arthur Brough
  • July 18th: Men’s Rose Bowl Stableford (Q) — Omkumar Magar
  • July 21st: Ladies Triple Six — Jenny Thomas, Gill Hawker, Marion Steed
  • July 20th/22nd: Seniors Championship (Q) Gross — Barry Scott; Seniors Championship (Q) Nett — John Crawshaw
  • July 25th/28th: Ladies Medal (Q) — Jean Deverill Div 1, Susan Millerick Div 2
  • July 29th: Men’s midweek Stableford (Q) — Benjamin Walker

August 1st/2nd: Ladies Championship (Q) Gross — Cathie Quent; Ladies Championship (Q) Nett — Roxane Meister; Men’s Championship (Q) Gross — Gary Tims; Men’s Championship (Q) Nett — Omkumar Magar.

Interclub Matches

Oak Park beat Wokefield Park (3 ½ to 2 ½).

Oak Park beat Blacknest (6 to 0).

Upcoming competitions:

  • September 1st: Ladies Medal
  • September 2nd: 9-hole Stableford (Village)
  • September 3rd: Mixed / Seniors Stableford
  • September 5th: Ladies Medal; Men’s Medal
  • September 6th: 18-hole Stableford (Village)
  • September 8th: Ladies 123 Waltz
  • September 9th: Seniors Stableford
  • September 12th: All Members Hughie Lovatt Trophy (Old Course)
  • September 15th: Ladies Stableford
  • September 16th: 9-hole Stableford (Village)
  • September 19th: Men’s Crondall Cup; Ladies Stableford
  • September 23rd: Men’s MW Stableford
  • September 25th: Mixed Millennium Trophy
  • September 26th: Mixed Millennium Trophy

Friday Ladies roll up

The Friday ladies 9-hole roll up on the Village course continues to be very popular with around 27 ladies enjoying a fun game of golf, followed by socially distanced coffee and conversation on the patio. We would encourage all those ladies, who have not tried it yet to give it a go.

Captain’s message

From Nick Rodgers, Club Captain: Well what can I say, other than how great it was to see so many of you over the Club Championship days/weekends. Three months ago it wouldn’t have seemed possible to play golf let alone hold the Club Championships. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Anthony and his team for the standard and quality of the course. You all have done — and continue to do — a great job and it doesn’t go unnoticed. It was so good to have the bar back open and the BBQ is a great addition so thank you to Dan and his team. It is good to have you all back. 

Of course at the head of the ship was Bradley and I would personally like to say thank you to him not just for the weekend but for also making yourself always available to Members in what are some interesting times. I look forward to working with you in the future.

The Club Championships would never be able to happen without the support of the committee and for that can I just offer my thanks again. It is a privilege to work with you all. There are, however, two people I would like to highlight for their support over the weekend and that is Ray and Tina, who looked after signing in and the collating of the scores afterwards (although not sure I wanted mine collated!!). Overall it was a great weekend and it was so good to see the club back to where it used to be pre-Covid.

Lastly, can I draw your attention to the Hughie Lovatt Trophy, which is open to all members and will be played on Saturday, September  12th. Last year was the first year we ran it and it was a great success. Look out for the posters at the club outlining the day in more detail.

As I have said before can I offer my thanks to you all for following the Covid guidelines at Oak Park and ensuring that not only you but your fellow members are safe.

And here’s what a golf swing should look like:

Pro news

We will be launching FREE group golf lessons for Members in the next couple of weeks. Your place would need to be booked on a sign up sheet which will be on the notice board. We need a minimum of 4 members for the lesson to go ahead. We have a maximum of 10 per group lesson.

Adult members group lessons will be on the following dates in September: 3rd, 7th, 10th, 14th, 21st, 24th, 28th. Time to be confirmed.  

Junior group lessons: 5th, 12th 19th, 26th 

Online pro shop

With the closure of the pro shop, we are temporarily offering balls, gloves, hats etc at the check-in desk. Towards the end of the year, we will have our own online golf shop, which will enable members to buy their golf merchandise direct using their club cards and receive the relevant discounts that go with their membership category. Merchandise (including Club logo apparel) will be delivered to their home or on a click-and-collect basis at the Club. Get Golfing is confident that this will mean that members at Oak Park will receive outstanding value on their purchases and, if we may borrow a term, “never be knowingly undersold”. More information will become available in due course.