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Club news

From Paul Fileman, Golf Operations Manager: So we finally say goodbye to 2020 and look forward to 2021! 2020 was most definitely a challenging year with some highs and lows alike with Covid taking control of our lives and changing how we view the world in general.

The first lockdown saw Get Golfing take over the running of the golf course and once we could reopen we were excited to welcome everybody back out onto the course. Golf saw an unprecedented rise in demand and throughout the summer we saw a huge rise in visitors and welcomed many new Members onboard.

Our Captain Nick Pulham hosted a wonderful Captain’s Day in August, raising £3,200 for his chosen charity Little Havens Children’s Hospice. Get Golfing generously donated £500 to this fantastic cause but the kudos must go to Nick for his tremendous donation of £850! Warley Park has been very fortunate to have him as Captain this year and I am sure that no one will forget his contribution this year.

In September we said goodbye to Luke Welham when he moved on to become GM at Sherfield Oaks and I took over as Golf Manager here at Warley Park. I am sure you will be pleased to know that Luke is doing really well in Hampshire (but secretly misses being back here in Essex). 

The Ladies hosted two very successful “Ladies get into golf days’, both of which had a very good turnout, Let’s hope that this year we can hold several more of these events, which are always very popular.

October came along with more Covid tiers being introduced. Despite the further restrictions, Les Polden hosted the annual Poppy appeal day, even though the weather was against us there was still a great turn out. Les and everybody involved managed to raise £1,678 for the Royal British legion.

November came along and once more we found ourselves locked down again! During the lockdown, we managed to move offices over to the 1st Tee area and get ready to welcome everybody back to the course once the government allowed us to reopen. Even with a reduced team, the greenkeeping staff continued to maintain the course in very difficult times. 

WHS was implemented on November 2nd and I would like to say a massive thank you to both Keith Regard and Sarah Hughes for all their help getting WHS sorted out on everybody’s behalf. We have produced a longer item on the WHS as it relates to submitting scores under General Play below. By now, you should all be aware of your own handicap indexes as well as having an understanding of how the course slope rating affects your playing and competition handicaps. If you need any help with anything regarding WHS please feel free to approach either Keith Sarah or myself and we will be more than happy to help.

December arrived and we could finally reopen again, only to have the weather change for the worse, with local flooding all over Essex but we soldiered on and still managed to get some golf in. 

We were due to hold the first Santa Swing on December 21st with 92 participants taking part (all socially distanced, of course), and who were tasked to wear their best and loudest Christmas jumper to get into the festive spirit. 

Let’s hope that with the roll out of the new vaccines we can all start to see a return to some semblance of normality this year and look forward to a great year of golf.

I would like to thank everybody for their support throughout 2020 and your continued support in 2021. Happy New Year!

Season’s greetings from Get Golfing

A brief message from Edward Richardson, Get Golfing CEO, to wish all the golfers a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Captain’s update

From Nick Pulham, outgoing Club CaptainDear Members, Well what can I say? I would have loved to have hung up my jacket with a triumphant year as Captain behind me but sadly not!

As we all know my year started with flooding throughout Essex until March, then a pandemic of biblical proportions plus flooding again. Add to that new management at the Club and I think you would all agree that it’s not been the best year for a Captain. I was waiting for the plague of locusts to make me finally realise that it was not going to be my year.

Of course, it would have been wonderful to have played golf all year, won some cups, met new and old friends and had a hole-in-one — not a lot to ask! On the positive side, my Captain’s drive-in in January was in the good-old days before Covid-19 and all my guests — HOPEFULLY — had a wonderful time with my karaoke singing!

March saw my Captain’s black-tie ball, which came the weekend before the dreaded lockdown. The lockdown was clearly affecting people’s judgement as we saw when one winner chose a prize of toilet paper over a bottle of fine champagne!

It went from bizarre to alarming after I passed out twice at the end of the evening and twice again in the ambulance on the way to Basildon hospital for testing! The doctor did say, as I left the hospital with Jayne, that we were the best-dressed couple he had ever treated!

After lockdown came the opening of the new Clubhouse, which coincided with my Captain’s day. I can honestly say that was the highlight of my year. Luke, who has now left the club, with the help of Muhib, Wayne, Paul and Jayne made it a special day. Everyone of my friends and more turned up and raised nearly £4,000 for my chosen charity – Little Havens Hospice.

We have had a lot of changes to the Club this year but we need to stick with all the good work that Get golfing is carrying out to the course, with drainage and improved greens etc. Also hats off to Muhib and his team for all the great work they have put in.

I would like to say thankyou to all the people who have helped and encouraged me this year: the Get Golfing team, especially Ed Richardson, Luke Welham, Paul Fileman and Wayne Selley; all the past Captains of Warley, who showed me encouragement and lent me their ear; Keith Reagan and the committee members for their support in running the club; Liz Brown, our lovely Ladies Captain, Stephen Abbott, Seniors Captain, and Vice-Captain Dave Datsun, for helping me cope during my personal problems; and not forgetting the greens team, bar staff as well as all my friends and playing partners.

To all of you, I hope that 2021 will be a year that reminds us why we love golf and our friends at our great Club, Warley Park.

Finally, may I wish all the new Captains and everyone of you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Course news

From Dominic Rodgers, Course Manager: As with most courses, we returned to golf after our latest lockdown to find the weather decided to change for the worst! 

We have tried everything within our power to keep the course open while all other clubs in the area had to shut theirs. We moved the tees forward, implemented traffic management out on the course but sadly the weather finally got the upper hand and we had to close the course temporarily.

During this period we managed to complete plenty of planned maintenance on all of our greenkeeping machinery to ensure that once conditions improved we would be well prepared to crack on and get the course back up to the high standards that we all have come to expect.

With the old system having needed replacing for some years now, we have now signed off on the design for the new irrigation system and the work will commence in the new year. The new system is part of an almost £400,000 investment in the course and, while there will be some short-term scarring to be seen, the benefits will be long lasting. 

Myself and the team would like to wish all of our Members a happy New Year and we look forward to a successful year out on the course.

Food and drink

From Muhib Rahman: Most of us would agree 2020 has been an odd year but in the clubhouse we have been buoyed by the continued support of Members, visitors, patrons, Get Golfing, John and Isobel Brett, and our amazing staff. We continue to be in good spirits and, with renewed vigour, we continue to strive to make Warley Park one of the best clubhouses around.  

It was sad that we were not able to welcome the children to see Santa or enjoy some merriment at Christmas parties this year but the wellbeing of our staff and all our guests was paramount. 

The good news is that the works being undertaken at the clubhouse are progressing well and we are very excited for you all to see the improvements in the new year. We will definitely have the wow factor.

Finally, may you all remain safe and well and have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We look forward to a Covid-free 2021!

Pro news

From Wayne Selley, PGA Pro: Do you struggle with bad contact in your chipping? If you do, here are a few pointers to improve your stroke:

Open up the clubface in the backswing: One of the most important factors in a good chip is the way in which the clubface points in the backswing. When the shaft is parallel with the ground in the backswing, you should see that the clubface has been allowed to open, so that the leading edge is aiming up in the air. This way we are using the club properly to ensure the greatest chance of the club sliding over the grass as we make contact with the ground. 

An open clubface also allows you to release the club in the downswing and follow through. This means that you let the weight of the clubhead swing freely down towards the ball rather than steering the club head by tightening the muscles in your arms. It’s a good thing to release the club when you chip because this helps the club to slide over the ground rather than digging into the grass.

If you would like to improve your chipping and short game in general with some one-to-one coaching, do contact me via email — [email protected] — or give me a call on 07813 822842. I am offering a 50% discount on one-hour short-game lessons booked in January and February 2021.

And don’t forget those last-minute Christmas presents — how about a golf lesson voucher for a loved one or family member? These can be purchased from the golf club or by contacting me via email at [email protected].

Also, I have two spaces left for junior group golf lessons, which take place every Sunday at 2pm. For more info please contact me on the above email.

Merry Christmas to all.

WHS news

Submitting a General Play score: General Play scores under the World Handicapping System (WHS) are similar to the Supplementary Scores that were permitted under WHS’s predecessor, the CONGU Unified Handicapping System.

General Play scores, so long as they comply with the requirements of WHS’s “Acceptable Scores”, will be included in the player’s scoring record used for calculation of their Handicap Index.

The following procedure is for General Play scores. If you wish to enter a General Play score at an “away” club, please contact the Club Handicap Committee.

Procedure for General Play Scores at the Club during Covid-19:

Rather than picking up a scorecard from the golf reception desk, you may wish to print your own scorecard. You can find a PDF file for the course on the Club’s webpage.

Play with another Member as your marker, while observing no-contact, social distancing guidelines. Rather than exchange cards, record your gross hole scores on your own card and ask your marker to record your scores separately, so that you can cross-check during and, especially, after the round. Your marker must verbally authorise your gross scores, instead of signing your card physically. It is useful for you and your marker to keep totals, as this can help to identify any discrepancies, during the post-round authorisation check. However, under the Rules of Golf, it is the individual gross hole score, which is authorised by both player and marker, not the totals or points.

You MUST register to submit a General Play round BEFORE you begin playing the round. This can be done via the Intelligent Golf App. When you press “begin scoring”, (found at the bottom of the SETUP screen), your round is then registered, with a timestamp. You can do this at any time on the day of the round, so long as it is before your booked tee time and before you tee off to start the round. The registration time stamp is verified as preceding your tee time booking.

Once you have pressed “begin scoring”, you can enter your gross hole scores on the App, as you play the round. Alternatively, you can just leave the App in that state on your mobile and enter the hole scores after your round. If you make no score on a hole then mark with a zero. If you do not complete the round then mark any holes not played with NS. You must enter your scores before leaving the club. The App will not permit scores to be entered if you are not within the vicinity of the club.

After you have finished the round, ensure that your card has all the essential information, otherwise it will be rejected:
a) The date and time you played your round
b) Your full name, in the header, with your signature at the bottom of the card
c) Indication of which tees you played from
d) Your marker’s full name, written legibly, to indicate who authorised your score
e) In the box for “COMPETITION” write “General Play”
f) The gross scores for each hole.

To avoid physical contact with your marker, or exchanging scorecards, take a photo/scan of the completed card and email it to the handicap secretary. Make sure that the image has the full card, so that no information is cut off. Your card must be emailed, no later than 10pm on the day of the round, even if you did not complete the round or did not hole out at every hole. If a card is not returned by the deadline, a “No Return” will be recorded. Do not put your card in the handicap cards box. Keep it with you for reference, until your score has been confirmed in your handicap record.