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From Luke Welham, Golf Manager: Welcome to the September newsletter and I hope you are all enjoying your golf!

General news

We are pleased to announce that two new Course Marshals — Richard Warner and Ricky Agnew — will be joining the golf operations team and that Josh Day, who previously worked at Stoke by Naylands, will work in the golf office. Josh will be your first point of call for any membership/competition queries and is keen to help improve our Member and visitor service levels at Warley Park.

Future development plans

We have finalised plans for the Golf Office to be constructed beside the first tee, with installation scheduled for October. 

The Golf Office will include the check-in desk and some office space for dealing with membership renewals etc. By centralising this function close to the first tee, all golfing operations staff will be easy to approach and we hope will significantly add to our engagement with Members (oh and, if you are struggling with your game, please aim out to the right, we’re not big fans of Titleist-flavoured tea!).

Course news

From Dominic Rodgers, Course Manager: As this is my first report for a while, I would like to say hello to all new and old Members on behalf of the green staff and hope you enjoy reading our course updates in the months ahead. I would also like to 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.

2020 saw us get off to a slow start due to Covid-19 and an infestation of leatherjackets, which, thanks to the wet winter and no legal controls to manage them, meant the local birds had a field day pecking away at the greens. To remedy this, we have been Sarrel rolling, topdressing, verticutting and rolling the greens on a fortnightly basis (as you see from the pictures, which include a close-up of the holes created by the Sarrel roller and the green once it has been cut and rolled). They now look really good. 

Alongside this work we take moisture readings regularly to ensure the greens receive the correct amount of water to maximise the plants’ growth, which is why you will see us hand watering the hot or dry spots with a hosepipe. The result of this work has given us a great sward density.

To help us keep the trueness and speed of the greens we have purchased a Tru Turf greens iron that will be with us shortly 

Members may have noticed some new faces in the pictures and out on the course. Steve, Billy and Karl recently joined our team, almost doubling our staffing levels. They are settling in nicely, are extremely enthusiastic and keen to show the course off at its finest. As a result of having extra staff, we have, for example, been able to reinstate diamond cutting on the fairways.

Over the next few months we have many exciting projects and plans taking place. The first major development is that we are finally getting new maintenance buildings on the golf course, enabling us to leave the skip yard where we are presently housed. 

We also have architects drawing up plans for a phased new irrigation system to include all greens, tees and approaches. In addition, we plan to create some drainage ditches around the course to keep it playable in the winter months. 

The first week of September will see us scarifying, overseeding and topdressing the greens. This is vital to keeping the greens in good health and after a day or two you should not notice the work has been done. 

Finally, I would add that some of my pictures were from the greens on the Childerditch course — it would be nice to see a few more of you playing it! It has some really good golf holes!

New bells

To help keep golfers safer on the course, we are going to relocate and replace some of the bells that indicate the hole ahead is clear. Please make sure you use them, they not only keep you safe but they also help with the speed of play.

Change to the 11th

On the latter matter, we have noted in the last few weeks that the course becomes congested on the 8th, 9th and 10th holes during busy periods. We have concluded that this is due to the pace of play on the 11th hole and have decided to make it a mandatory call-up hole to quicken the pace of play. We will notify you when this rule is put into play, so please be conscious of the signs on the course and the emails that we send. 

Range news

The range is being taken over by Get Golfing on September 1st and we are having new range balls delivered during the course of the week to update the facility. Please note that the range will continue to be “irons only” until netting is positioned to avoid any balls landing in the surrounding gardens. 

Competitions news

Some incredible scores have been recorded in a recent competition. Edward Brown, the Lady Captain’s son, who has been marshalling our course for the past three months, shot a gross 68 playing off a handicap of 4. Lee Taylor was somewhat unlucky considering he recorded a nett 65 and finished second! Huge handicap cuts are pending ….

Warley Park is proud to boast such a strong junior section and it just keeps growing. We are delighted to announce that 13-year-old William Bailey scored a brilliant 44 points off a handicap of 7 in a junior Stableford on Thursday, August 20th. This is simply an unbelievable score and reflects his bright future within the sport. Keep up the amazing work.

We have many competitions in the future weeks so please keep note of the fixture list on our website or via the notice boards in the changing rooms. 

Currently, the competitions secretaries and the golf operations team are working closely to devise a 2021 Members’ Race to Le Touquet, which will consist of eight major competitions and will be similar to the Race to Le Touquet operated at Redlibbets Golf and Country Club. Please click the link for more detail The Race is on…

Warley Park’s poster is being created and will be posted in and around the clubhouse as well as being viewable on our website.

Pro news

We are delighted to announce that we will begin our FREE group sessions for Members. The session for ladies will be held on Monday afternoon and the men’s session will be held on Friday afternoon at around 5pm. 

Russell Killington, who has been a PGA coach at Warley Park golf club since 2006, will host these sessions to help Members improve their game, while also perhaps meeting some new  faces. 

We will create sign-up sheets for each session; these will be placed by the golf check-in desk for anybody to enter. Please note that there is a maximum of 10 people per group session, so anybody on the reserve list will be enrolled into the next week’s session. 

In addition, Wayne Selley, who has been a PGA coach at Warley Park Golf Club since 2009, will be running a FREE group session for juniors on Wednesday afternoon at around 4.30pm. 

These junior sessions will teach basic principles and are suited to complete beginners to the game. This is a fantastic opportunity to get your child involved in golf, so do get in contact with Wayne or put your child’s name on the sign-up sheet. 

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 Warley 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.