Leek Golf Club Members - Blog 15
Well, I think that this is it. Now that we are out of the bubble of lockdown, I really do feel that the blog has run its course. We have lasted for 15 episodes, which is quite a lot longer than some television programmes, so I think that that is a result, and hope that you do too.
I am just having a bit of a reminisce and it is hard to believe that it was such a short time ago, that we were talking about how we were coping and what we were doing to keep ourselves occupied during lockdown. Not only that, but also how we communicated with each other. We all seem now to be experts on Zoom, Team and Skype. If nothing else our computers skills have dramatically improved. How good is that?
What has been great is the ability for me to say ‘hello’ to individuals and groups. It really has for me been like writing a letter to a treasured relative, and I have loved it. I hope that you have all felt a part of the Leek Golf Club family.
It started off as something to keep everyone informed about what was happening, and just checking that everyone was alright. It then took on a life of its own and was incredibly easy to write. You sent me funny things which had happened and things that you thought that other members would relate to - and they did. Like Marg Yeomans and me having the same Sunday tea when we were kids, and Trevor Eccleston and Tony Swindells remembering things about relatives from the war. Mike and Maria Wootton having a lengthy conversation with their daughter Nikki from either end of the drive. It was just fascinating.
Good too to hear from Angie and Gill in France when that felt like another planet. It is good to have them back now, albeit temporarily.
What about George Tatton? Yet again completing a round (gross) in less shots than his years. You are an inspiration to all of us George.
What a cause for celebration, and I go back to a blog some weeks ago, where I talked about celebrating what we can do and what we have.
During lockdown we were more appreciative of the finer and smaller things in life, like good neighbours and birdsong. We must not forget those really important aspects of our lives which mean so much but get lost when we spend our lives concentrating on more trivial and less important things. Lockdown enabled us to see the bigger picture, and we must not run the risk of putting the blinkers back on.
The members of Leek Golf Club have been totally brilliant at following the safety measures and considering other members. It has been a humbling experience. Please do not let us slip back into our own worlds. Do not forget about social distancing, keeping safe and staying vigilant. Keep going.
As from today, I would be grateful if you would send your comments and questions to Karen and Tracey in the office. Their email address is: email@example.com.
They will then send your emails onto the most appropriate officer. We have been turning around messages in less than 48 hours in the main, but this arrangement may now take a little bit longer. We will aim to get a response within 5 working days.
I have heard that our super assistant professional Jacob Bagshaw is working hard to raise £2000 so that he can compete on several mini tours this summer. As you can imagine, I have not found this out through Jacob, but Stewart Townsend contacted me to ask if I could put something in the blog, so that if any members felt that they could contribute to his fund, then that would be great. Stewart and the members that he plays with, have already decided to donate £200 to Jacob’s fund, and if anyone else, either as an individual or as a group would like to help Jacob on his journey, I am sure that he would be overwhelmed.
More good news is that our Financial Director applied for a grant from Sport England which was available to sports clubs throughout lockdown. This week a cheque for £5,000 has arrived, and we are grateful to Andrew for his efforts.
Our Greens Staff will be up to quota today when Steve Millar joins the team. Please say ‘hello’ to him when you see him on the course.
Finally, and if this is my last task, then I am delighted. It is to say that tomorrow is the birthday of the Club’s oldest member. Stan Hickman will 95 on the 30th June. HAPPY BIRTHDAY STAN. We send you lots of love and hope that you have a wonderful time.
Well that is it everybody. It has been a blast and I am very grateful that you have allowed me into your homes and your worlds. I would not have missed it for the anything. Thank you to everyone who has written in. Thank you to the team at the Club, who have been spectacular. Thank you to Leek Golf Club. By the way, I had to put in a’ how good is that?’, because Greg says that that is what I always say, so, back at you Greg- Perfect.
Take care you lovely people.
COVID-19 Qualifying Competitions
Information concerning the running of Qualifying Competitions (and Social golf) during the current Covid 19 pandemic.
CONGU and the R&A have agreed to amend the Rules of Golf with regard to not having rakes in bunkers by introducing Preferred Lies, and to explain when a ball is considered ‘holed’, along with a change to the status of ‘Stakes’ marking Penalty Areas.
PPREFERRED LIE IN A BUNKER
When a Player’s ball lies in a bunker, the Player may lift, clean, and place the ball within 6 inches, not nearer the hole.
NB - The player may NOT smooth any area of the bunker before taking relief under this rule.
It is now not necessary for the whole of a ball to be below the surface of the green to be considered ‘holed’.
If any part of the ball, up against the flagstick, is below the surface of the green it is ‘holed’, providing the ball is at rest.
If the ball has dipped into the hole and then bounced out after hitting the flagstick, or the foam insert, it is NOT holed and play of the hole must continue.
Red and Yellow stakes marking Penalty Areas must NOT be touched and are now ‘Immoveable Obstructions’.
Relief can be taken, (see Rule 16.1)
M Barker (Match Secretary)
Leek Golf Club Members - Blog 14
Blog number 14! Would you believe it? Are you sure you still want these? Do let me know and tell me what you think. I am happy to do whatever you want.
Well, our Club continues to evolve. As I promised from the beginning, we trial things to see if they work. If they do, fine, if they need a tweak, we do that, and if they are just not working, then we go back to the drawing board. We are trying to do the things which the majority of the membership want us to do, and I hope that you have felt that you can get in touch and let us know your thoughts, whatever they happen to be.
And, at this point I want to give my thanks on behalf of the team, to all of those members who have taken the trouble to send positive messages, and their thanks for our efforts – even when we do not always get it right. It is good to know that you realise that we are doing our best and will continue to strive to do so.
We have no problem in changing things backwards and forwards until we get it right. That may take some considerable time. But we will always listen, review, trial, review, and do this as many times as you like. The right solution is not going to happen overnight, but the journey is worth it. It is also very exciting, as so much is new and innovative. We are ‘going where no-one has gone before’. I have said it before, join us on the roller-coaster.
Right, why did I do that? Oh yes! We were talking this week about ‘what is normal?’. I keep hearing ‘when will this get back to normal?’ I am now suggesting that this is the normal, and what we did before was the ‘old normal’. For example, remember a few weeks ago, I told you that we are now having the Sentinel delivered, instead of me either making a special trip to Leek to get one, or trying to remember to pick one up on the way back from somewhere. Very dodgy that when my mind is thinking of something else. So many times I reached home without the Sentinel, a heinous crime. The big problem with picking one up, usually meant that I could spend anything up to £10 or £20, when all I had done was go for the Sentinel. Worked out to be a very expensive Sentinel. Now it is delivered, it not only saves me money, it is one less thing for me to think about, and I no longer get the ‘well I know that you did your best……’ after I have been to 4 shops searching in vain for the precious text, usually because I was late leaving golf!
The delivery has definitely become the normal for this household. It is positively liberating!
There are other things too. We eat more healthily. We waste less food. We enjoy each other’s company more because we have learnt to respect each other’s space. We keep in touch with loved ones more. The new normal? Bring it on. Let us embrace what is normal now. Take the best bits out of the ‘old normal’ and build on all of those precious experiences which we have had, are now having, and will have in the future. Does that sound like a plan?
It is not often that I become philosophical ( I can’t even spell it) or wax lyrical about issues, but in a way, the blogs allow me to do this, and I hope that you know that these are my thoughts and I do not speak on behalf of anyone else. So maybe I need the blog to be able to do this. This is getting a bit too deep. Stop it Nel.
On another theme, plans are afoot to open the Clubhouse as soon as the Club deems it safe to do so, and certainly not before July 4th. It will depend on the Government and England Golf to give us the go ahead. There is a lot of work to do and this is going to take some organisation and planning, so please bear with us. We will not be taking any risks with safety, and numbers are going to have to be carefully calculated before the doors are opened to the bar. There are a lot of decisions to be made and a load of preparation required.
Finally, there is now a lost property box in the Pro’s shop, which contains so much stuff that we could have a stall at the next car boot sale. Normally, members would pick up articles which players before them had dropped. But of course, that can no longer happen. If you have lost anything, then it could be in the box. Don your gloves, sanitise and keep safe before exploring its depths.
Take good care you lovely people.
Leek Golf Club Members - Blog 12
I hope that you have had another fine week, and that for the most part, the sun has shone on you.
To be honest, I do not really mind that it has rained, although I do not want it to go on for too long. It is good for the garden, and even more so, it is good for the golf course.
It has taken a bit of a hammering over the last few months, as there was only a certain amount of work which could be done, and then the weather, as lovely as it was, completely dried everything out, and then we started playing on it. A bit of a shock to the system I would say. However, it will recover, and now that Dan, along with Connor and Seth, are on the case, it will soon improve. Dan started his job as our new Head Greenkeeper last Monday and it already feels as though he has been here forever. Thanks to Kev Perkin for donating a Flymo to the team. How good is that?
I hope that you have noticed that the surrounds are looking a bit tidier too. It is great to have Kath back, as she continues to look after our site so lovingly and keeps an eye out for aspects that could do with a bit of touching up. Thanks also go to Jake Wilshaw and Harry Fearn, who are working their way around the site to keep everything tidy. Keep up the good work.
It has been my first week back and I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who let me through. I have played a couple of times on my own, just to get a few swings in, and without exception, groups in front of me have let me through. Thank you so much.
Members have been very careful keeping social distancing and following the rules and guidelines. I feel privileged to be part of an establishment where its members are caring so much for each other.
I played with my mate Deb Barnett on Tuesday, and we rattled all the way around – lovely for me, more annoying for her. I have been aware that I had only one topic to talk about – the golf club; it has somewhat filled my every waking moment for the last few weeks, but she did say that she felt the same, only her topic of discussion was her allotment. How can you spend nearly 3 hours talking about golf and food? – mind you, when I put it like that, quite easily. It was good to be back. Have you found it difficult to find things to talk about? Let me know what your topics of discussion have been about on: firstname.lastname@example.org
As you know, we have been trialling new formats of play, as 4balls were allowed from Monday. We asked for your comments on how it was going. You have been telling us, and we thank you for that. Keep the comments coming. Dave Gallimore wrote with his thoughts, and I wrote back to him. I have included some of my response, as it seems to put everything that we are trying to do into context: -
‘I am pleased that some of the changes are working for members. It could well be that some of the things we trial become the 'norm'. If they work, why change it? Some things may even be extended. However, if they do not work, we will chuck them out. I think that you could say that the situation continues to be 'fluid', and we will try to find the best plan for the Club.
We are in the discussion stage regarding competitions, and also how we want to move forward, including how we can continue to increase income, in order to safeguard our Club.
BRS is proving invaluable. It gives us so much information. Instead of the 'they say', we can use BRS to produce reports which have definitive data - these are the busy times; nobody plays at this time. Is there peak, and off peak? As a marketer, for me, this is gold dust! I will endeavour to put all of this data together for the benefit of the members.
We have this massive opportunity and it is really exciting.
Watch this space Dave and be sure that your thoughts will be part of the future of Leek Golf Club.’
Just to let you know that we are listening, and hopefully the plan which is ultimately approved supports the needs and requirements of the majority of members. Keep on letting me know your thoughts. You will be designing the future of the Club. I am sure that whatever we do, it will always remain ‘fluid’.
We are living in a time of great change, but if we embrace it, we can ensure the longevity of our club, and the wellbeing of our members. We are listening to what you want, and It is all unbelievably exciting.
Are you coming along for the ride? Join me on the roller-coaster, it is totally exhilarating.
This month we welcome 2 societies. On the 17th June, the Grumblethorpe Golf Society will be on the tee at 11am, and on 26th June The Globe Golf Society will be with us from 10am. The tee will be booked for about an hour on each occasion, so if you are around the course when they are with us, then do so hello.
For everyone who is still isolating, then I send you my very best wishes. Take care of yourselves at home and do let me know what you are doing. You never cease to amaze me with your imagination.
I have taken delivery this week of my very own mask, lovingly made by Lesley Powell. Lesley, I love it, and it will grace every supermarket I visit this week. Thank you so much.
This week’s blog has been much more about plans for the future, and we can plan what happens, so let us get going!
Take care and stay safe, and that means all of you.
Leek Golf Club Members - Blog 11
How are you this week? I hope that you are enjoying this beautiful weather.
It is great weather for playing golf, and I am venturing out onto the course for the first time today. I am going to finish this blog when I have played, so that I can report on my game, or lack of it. Keep your fingers crossed.
Yet another change by Boris, so from Monday, we can accept up to 4ball groups. I realise that this is fraught with difficulty, but all the safety measures are still in place. Please do your best and make life great for yourselves and everyone else around you. Keep up with play in front and consider those behind you too. I would also ask that as we may have more cars on the car park, that your parking is perfect.
We are trialling this new system for a couple of weeks. Please let us know what you think, send your comments in and they will be carefully considered. If you have better ideas, then we would be delighted to hear them. In the meantime, please remember that whatever we do is aimed at the wellbeing and enjoyment of our members. This may not mean that everything for you is magical, but as a whole does it satisfy the needs of most of the members? We can carry on tweaking until you feel that we are somewhere near, but if the majority of members are unhappy with something then we can alter it. If you think that it works, then please tell us that too. Send your thoughts to email@example.com
First this week is to welcome our new Head Greenkeeper, Dan Scanlon. Dan is coming from Tytherington Golf Club and he is bringing plenty of new ideas with him, along with a fresh pair of eyes. Please say hello to Dan and also to Steve Millar, who will also be joining Seth and Connor at the end of the month.
Congratulations go to Bernard Matthews and Neil Shenton who join Bo Robinson with holes in one. All happened on the 4th hole. Is this hole too easy? I need to speak to Dan.
Many thanks too to Phill Davies who has sponsored the new ball retrieving devices on each hole. They are attached to the pins and allow you to get the ball out of the hole without actually touching any part of the pin or the hole. Anything that helps with the health and safety of members is great by me. Reports back say that they are brilliant and make life much easier. Thank you Phill from everyone.
I have been talking to Barry Hughes this week. Barry and I were Captains together in 2009, and I, not sure about Barry, had a brilliant time. It was a great privilege to work with him, and I made a friend for life. Barry and his wife Gill are still very close friends. He told me this week that he has been writing stories for his granddaughter, and she is loving them. Keep them all together Barry, there is a book in there somewhere I am sure.
I remember when Georgie Taylor and I did the 100 holes in a day for my Charity, The British Heart Foundation, and we had 5 lots of caddies to support us all the way around the 5 rounds and 10 holes. For all those who helped, I will always be grateful. I had a brilliant day and hope that everyone else did too. Barry and Mike Wootton, who was vice captain, caddied one round for us. Mike caddied for Georgie and Barry caddied for me. Georgies clubs were safely looked after by Mike. Barry left mine all over the course, and the buggy had to be called into service to collect the pitching wedge or the sand wedge or the putter which had been left on various holes along the way. We were not always sure where! We loved it, and on a couple of occasions I was using completely the wrong club as the one I wanted was somewhere else. We had a great time and an unforgettable year. Thank you for making it so special Barry. I Have just spoken to him to ask permission to tell this story, and he asked me to ask all of you, that if you find any of his clubs, could you please return them to him? Mind you, I cannot give you any clues as to their whereabouts, as he has no idea where they are either! He is now down to 7 in the bag. Maybe I got off quite lightly, as I did get all mine back, eventually.
It is good to remember great days at Leek. Please tell me about yours, I would love to hear them. I can tell you that as I am typing this, I have a smile on my face, as I remember that particular day and many other glorious times spent at Leek.
Well, I am off to play and will report back later.
See you shortly.
Hi, I am back.
What a fabulous afternoon and evening. I have played 15 holes, and to be honest, I thought that I might have struggled to play 5, so I am well pleased. I have had some good shots and others which I have sprayed all over the place, but it has been fantastic, and it is really good to get back in the swing and onto the course. I thought that I might be joining the hole in oners on the 4th, but unfortunately the ball stopped close, but short. I thought to myself do not drop in the hole, because no-one will believe me.
Now I cannot wait to play again, but before then I need a soak, otherwise I may not be able to get out of bed tomorrow.
Whether you have played yet or not, I send you my very best wishes and please stay safe.
Oh, and just one more thing please, please park within the bays on the car park, and leave sufficient space for members to get in and out of their cars. If your car is too big for the spot, then please park on the bottom area.
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