I know that we are all looking forward to exploring the fairways but operationally we will all have to deal with some significant changes for the foreseeable future. Apologies for the length of this message but you need to be familiar the the details so please read to the end. The situation is very 'fluid' but here is a range of info to advise what is in store:
- Glendale will not be taking payments at the Park and all players are required to have pre-booked and prepaid for green fees where appropriate before entering the facility. It is planned that staff will be on the gate and those who are not on the order of play sheets will be refused entry. Players are being asked to arrive at the Park no more than 15 minutes before their tee times. It may therefore be necessary to wait in the ASDA slip road if you happen to be in the vicinity exceptionally early.
- Glendale is not taking tee bookings over the phone. All tee bookings (except for the Club bookings mentioned below) must be made on-line via the Glendale website. In fairness to all players the website booking system now has a limit of two tee times per player per week. If trolleys are required they must be ordered and paid for at the time of the tee booking. Buggies will not be available this weekend. When buggies do become available they will need to be paid for at the time of the tee booking and buggies will only be permitted on a 'one player only' basis.
- For this weekend and maybe longer the Clubhouse will be closed. This means that there will be no access to the changing rooms or the loos; so we should follow the Boy Scouts motto - 'Be Prepared'.
- The driving range will be closed for the time being. The driving range will not open until a card reader is installed in place of the ball token system.
- Scorecards will not be distributed !!
- After golf everyone is encourage to depart as quickly as possible.
- One clear emphasis from the above measures is to ensure that there will be no social groups gathering either before, during, or after golf.
On the Course
- A starter will regulate the movement of golfers to the two first tees.
- No game will have more than two players. Three or four members of the same household wanting to play together in one game will not be permitted to do so.
- Tee intervals are being retained at 8 minutes for the time being.
- Bunker rakes have been removed. Ball washers, bins, and benches are not to be used or touched.
- Putting cups have been inserted upside down so as to prevent players from picking balls out of the holes.
- A reduced number of greenkeepers have been undertaking basic course maintenance during the lockdown period. Greens, tees and fairways and semi-rough strips have been mown. The rough is high and the advice is - don't go there. Don't forget that our ball search time is no more than three minutes, and play provisional balls if there is doubt about finding the ball in play. With two-ball play we should all get round quickly !!
- For the foreseeable future the block tee times available for the Club's members are likely to be :- Sunday 08:16 to 11:28: a total of 25 games Wednesday 09:36 to 11:04: a total of 12 games. We are expecting player demand to be high and on any Sunday or Wednesday members will be able to play at times outside the Club's tee blocks and still be able to enter Club competitions.
- We have opened a booking sheet for this Sunday and we will very shortly open a booking sheet for next Wednesday 20th May. We are not running competitions on these two days so as to allow everyone to get into the swing of things, and the experience will enable the Committee to set out some rules for future competition activity.
- PLEASE NOTE One or two days before each Sunday or Wednesday we will provide a copy of the Club's booking sheet to Glendale and this will be checked by the Glendale staff. Annual and monthly Loyaltee card holders can clearly play without any difficulty. However, as mentioned above, all players must have paid before entering the Park to play golf and if you are a 'Pay & Play' golfer on the Club's booking sheet there is a major difficulty because the Glendale system cannot take a payment without a corresponding tee booking. To get round this, we have agreed that the Club will accept the green fee payments of the P&P players and make a special block payment to Glendale. This routine is likely to change, but for this Sunday and Wednesday those that need to pay a green fee must let me know. We have some details of the annual and monthly Loyaltee card holders but our records are incomplete and we will endeavour to keep an eye on this situation.
- The Club's fixture list will be revised with the aim of restoring some of the events that have by-passed us during the last two months.
- As noted above, scorecards will not be handed out by Glendale. This means that you need to take your own, if you have spares, or you can print from the attached PDF.
- Fair play policy. We will monitor the tee demand and if appropriate we will have to consider the allocation of tee times so that all members have an opportunity to play some Club events. It is not difficult to see that a weekly total of 37 two-ball games is not likely to satisfy the demand of our circa 250 members. Members will have a tee priority over guests.
- At the beginning of the lockdown we were in the process of contacting members who had not paid their Club's subs for 2020, and this action was halted. This action will be restarted and members who have not yet paid for 2020 will not be permitted to play in the Club's limited tee allocations.
- We are introducing two major changes to our normal procedures and the first of these we wish to test with those playing both this Sunday and this coming Wednesday. On Masterscoreboard you will see the addition of the "Score Entry" tab under the Club's name. At the end of a competition it will be possible for us to enter scores into MS instead of us using the screen in the Clubhouse. Ideally, for each two-ball we want the 'marker' to enter the score for his/her fellow 'player'. For the purpose of validity it is likely that we will seek a confirmation of the score entry because it is not unknown for a few typos to occur. The Score Entry facility has been rolled out very recently by the HandicapMaster team and we need to check that the process is ok for the Club before we adopt it for competition golf.
- The second major change for us will be the introduction of another facility on MS called the 'Purse'. This will be outlined more fully next week but the 'Purse' is a cashless method of dealing with our regular £2 competition entry fee and the sweep. The Purse will not be not be activated until after Wednesday's golf.
- As we all slowly get back into the routine of playing golf there are general topics that the Committee needs to consider and we will provide info in due course; for example, the pairs knockouts are off the agenda at present, we do not know if we will have tee allocations for our Saturday fixtures, County and NAPGC events 'may' be restored, the inter-club friendlies are likely to be abandoned.
That's about as much as I can offer at present. Over the last few days there has been a deluge of email activity and Jon Dummett mentioned that he had received 500 emails this morning. The booking system on Glendale's website is run by Intelligent Golf and this site keeps crashing from the overload. We heard earlier that Mannings Heath opened this morning and had to close because the facility was mobbed. The overall message is that we have to be patient whilst the wheels start to move and it will no doubt be a slow progress to get up to a normal operating speed.
As usual, if you have any queries please just ask. Answers may not be immediate.
13 May 2020