Beaconsfield Golf Club
Seer Green, Beaconsfield
Bucks, HP9 2UR
Beaconsfield Golf Club
Seer Green, Beaconsfield
Bucks, HP9 2UR
From the Captain
Who would have thought the year would end in “tiers”? The County moving into tier 4 has been a huge disappointment but at least we are allowed to play some golf and let’s hope that we will be able to continue to enjoy the new temporary outdoor sheltered seating fairly soon.
The craft fair was held in the nick of time and sales since the day have taken total proceeds to £3352, a fantastic achievement and the “craft contributors” can be hugely proud of facilitating an event that not only lifted everyone's spirits but generated important funds to help Rennie Grove carry out their invaluable work.
I am so pleased to report that the staff fund has got off to an excellent start but it is not too late to contribute if you have not already done so. I managed to speak to most of the staff immediately before the enforced clubhouse closure and I know they were as disappointed as the members that they would miss Christmas at the golf club. The office continues to be available by phone and email should members wish to contribute.
I was delighted to attend the virtual Junior AM earlier this month. It was sad to not see the happy faces of the successful trophy winners but Dianne made a superb job of running the event and it was so thoughtful and well deserved to see Ben and Bradley present a trophy in her name for juniors to compete for in future years. Well done the trophy winners and of course Dianne and her committee for their unstinting work. I wish the incoming junior captain Tommy Evans a successful and enjoyable year.
The Golf and Competitions Committee has become very adept at responding promptly to changes in regulations arising from the pandemic and the move to tier 4 proved to be no exception. Literally overnight, Nick Cray, Sue Schmidt and Katie again pulled out all the stops to ensure we had a compliant set of arrangements for the continuance of golf. No praise is too high - all we need now is for the rain to stop! On a related point Stuart and his team wish to thank members for accepting the temporary buggy and trolley ban in such good spirit. I realise that carrying is not ideal for many but I must say I have been blown away by the resilience of some of our senior members in particular. For me, I am finding 4 clubs, a putter and 3 golf balls a different but not impossible challenge and really quite satisfying.
I must make mention of Rob Quick’s remarkable round in the December stableford when he amassed 47 points including 5 points on the 6th with a net one! Congratulations Rob and like son like father, I wonder?
Please don’t forget you must not play without a booking and initially we are restricting members to 3 bookings each week (Sunday to Saturday). Given the restrictions we can expect the course to be as busy as ever.
Finally I would like to wish all members and staff a Happy (small) Christmas. I know it won’t be easy for some but I am sure everyone will do their level best to keep safe. The vaccine is on the way and let's hope that we can all look forward to a much kinder 2021. As ever if any member is in need of support, particularly over the holiday period, the office will do its best to find help.
From The Ladies Captain
Released from lock down the ladies got to work in decorating the club house for Christmas. As much of our entertaining was to be held outside it was decided to have a Christmas tree outside to continue the Christmas spirit. The flickering candles are a lovely addition to the decorations. My thanks go to Carol Isaac and her team of ladies for their work.
Having had to change our original planned date due to Covid it was a relief to all that we were allowed to hold the Craft /Christmas Fair.
The stalls were filled with an assortment of crafts including pottery, wood turning, art work, a huge contribution of craft work from Sue Lynch’s sewing group and many more. Thank you all for your donated work.
It was a great success.
I would like to thank all of you for making the event a great success by raising over £2500 on the day for the charity.
On the same day we held our Christmas 4BBB event. No Christmas lunch this year but let’s hope next year we can have one when we can invite all our non-playing ladies.
The winners of the event were Helen Coughlin and Alison Tingey with a score of 24 points after a count back form Heather Duffey and Penny-Grocott Mason. Well done ladies.
Many ladies dressed up for the occasion with the elves being the best dressed.
The winter league has now been cancelled due to many clubs not allowing visitors.
Thank you Christine and Regitta for all you work in organising your teams.
We have also had to cancel our annual Charity Bridge Drive.
I wish you all a merry Christmas and look forward to a more normal year in 2021.
In the Golf Bag...... HELP – Which WHS Handicap do I use?
We are now back on the course and using our new WHS handicaps, but there is still some confusion about terminology with handicaps. Under WHS you have a Handicap Index, a Course Handicap, and a Playing Handicap, which are all different, so I will try to explain what they mean, and where to use each of them.
Handicap Index (HI)
This is the basic measure of your ability. Under WHS, two players of the same ability, whether they play most of their golf from the championship tees on the West Course at Wentworth or from the yellow tees at Oakland Park, should have the same Handicap Index.
If a competition has a handicap restriction, or is balloted on handicap, then Handicap Index should be used to restrict or ballot players as this provides a level playing field for everyone based on ability irrespective of what course or tees they normally use.
Course Handicap (CH)
Your Course Handicap changes depending on which course you are playing and which tees you are using. It can be calculated using your Handicap Index and the Slope Rating of the course and tees you are using and there are look up apps and charts. There are two important things to remember about your Course Handicap:
Playing Handicap (PH)
This is the number of shots received for the competition and is dependent on your Course Handicap and the format of play. On the Intelligent Golf system, Playing Handicap is the value that is shown on competition results and is used to determine Divisions in competition results.
A new ‘feature’ with WHS is that we now get 95% allowance in singles competitions. This is ‘for equity’ as apparently higher handicappers would have an unfair advantage if it were not applied. However this can be confusing, as it is quite likely that your Course Handicap and Playing Handicap will be different, so which handicap do you use when deciding when to pick up in a stableford?
The answer is to use your COURSE HANDICAP whenever your score will be submitted for handicap purposes, e.g. individual stableford, but just remember your result for the competition may be worse than you have calculated, and to use your PLAYING HANDICAP whenever your score is not acceptable for handicap, e.g. better ball.
I hope that this goes some way to demystifying WHS and all of the handicaps you now possess.
The course is holding up remarkably well considering the wet weather as we close in on a yearly total of 1000mm (1 meter!), that’s 250mm’s above our yearly average.
Although lockdown has had a severe impact on us all, on a positive note it has proved to be perfect timing for the course. The four solid weeks enabled the green staff to carry out vital aeration works, with the added turf recovery from the reduced traffic. Every cylinder cut surface was ‘shockwaved’ which uses 8 inch counter rotating blades to shatter the soil. Next was the verti-drain, spiking the ground at 7 inches, followed by the pro-core, a shallower spike at 4 inches in depth. The biggest difference and benefit from any normal year was these processes usually require increased rolling and cutting to restore play. However, with the closure of the course every surface was left open to breathe.
Entering my twenty-second year in a row of clearing autumn leaves from a parkland golf course, the lockdown allowed us to take on this mammoth job in a different but very productive fashion. A typical day would be based around clearing the playing surfaces of the previous 24 hours of fallen leaves, but with the prospect of an empty course we allowed each hole to go for a full week before completing a mass clear up. To put this into perspective one mature oak tree can have around 200,000 leaves. My team have again done a fantastic job in some awful conditions, but with the end in sight with only a handful of oaks left to clear a very different and sometimes difficult year comes to an end.
Martin Hawtree's planned bunker renovations to the 6th and 16th greens complexes will begin on the 4th January.
Well this is not the article that I had planned to write for this month's Niblick.
It was very disappointing to receive the news that we would be moving into Tier 3 and then within days Tier 4, thus effectively shutting us down once again.
As you will know from the Captain's email to members, the locker rooms will remain open as will the toilets on the course.
There will be no access to the clubhouse.
Club diaries will be available to collect from the locker rooms.
On a brighter note, The Turkey Trot on 5th December was a huge success, with a full field enjoying lovely weather.
John Bailey, Stuart Wall, David Gray & Rob Fyfe
Saul Lockwood, Ed Spencer, Dan Oakes & Mike Harris
Richard Grocott-Mason, Peter Sidenius, Mike Ballard & Russell Francis
There is also a prize for the best outfit - Louise Corrin.
Well done to all the Turkey Trotters, it was a superb day!
I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a safe New Year.
Firstly I would like to thank you all for all your support throughout this year, it has certainly not been the easiest.
We are all hoping 2021 holds many exciting prospects in the golfing world. It should be a great year for golfers with all leading golfing manufacturers bringing out their newest clubs. Taylormade and PING just to name a few.
Fitting days will be decided once the clubs are out into the golfing market, so keep an eye out for sign up forms early next year.
We will be holding a January Sale on a click and collect basis if we are still in tier 4, we will be sending out what clothes are available in each size sometime in January, and also time slots for collection.
We wish all members the safest and best Christmas possible.
Chris and Pro Shop Team
By Michael Knox
In the last edition of The Niblick, it was suggested that I had seen lots of changes to the course in my 50 years as a member of Beaconsfield Golf Club.
In fact, before the recent renovation of the bunkers and tees instigated by Stuart and his superb team, there have been relatively few changes in that long period of time. Why tamper with a masterpiece?
The hole that has changed most has been the 15th. When I joined, there was a long sloping green, on which it was difficult to find suitable pin positions. So about 30 years ago it was turned into a two-tier green. Also there were no trees on the left side of the fairway. Dozens of mature trees from elsewhere on the course were replanted to make the copse you see today and make it a much tighter hole.
On the tenth, a small pit in front of the tee was filled in, while a bunker was placed to the right of the green to prevent golfers filtering the ball into the green.The hole was further tightened by a fully-grown copse between the 10th and 11th. If the long par-five 14th was not already hard enough, somebody in their wisdom decided to put a line of cross bunkers 80 yards short of the green, which still catch the errant third, fourth or fifth shot!
On the first, to my relief, a bunker to the right of the first fairway was converted into a grassy bank and was replaced by one on the left, which I think is the only bunker on the course I have yet to go in!
There have been other cosmetic changes, such as lessening the steepness of the slopes of the pit in front of the 17th green and the introduction of several new bunkers.
If I was asked to make an alteration to the course, I would light-heartedly suggest that we get rid of the first left hand bunker on the 14th hole, which I am always driving into!
One major improvement is the condition of the course. In my 50 years as a member, I cannot remember it being in better condition than it was in 2020.
News from the Juniors
The juniors have enjoyed a successful season, despite the difficult and challenging year.
Our Junior Annual Meeting was held by webinar on 6th December and the Trophy Winners were announced by James Casserly, who then reflected on his special year as Junior Captain. James then introduced his successor Tommy Evans, who accepted the role with great pride and is really excited about his year ahead. Thomas Creighton has become the new Junior Vice Captain and together they will work hard, to make sure that all our junior members enjoy their golf next season. They are already planning ways to encourage our new juniors and welcome them into the section once it is safe to socialise again.
I was taken by surprise at the end of the meeting, when Ben Quick and Bradley Hucker announced that they had donated a trophy in my honour, on behalf of the Junior Section. They have since presented me with this lovely trophy, which they have already had engraved with my name and it will be played for in July next year, by all the juniors and intermediates. I am extremely touched by this truly kind and thoughtful gesture.
There are three trophies which are competed for throughout the season, so the winners are not announced until the end of the year:-
The Joan Gutteridge Trophy (for the most improved junior boy) was won by Nathan Baggett (one of our youngest juniors) who reduced his handicap from 27.7 to 14.5.
The Christine Watson Quaich (for the most improved junior girl) was won by Emily Gilmour (for the second year running) with her handicap reduction 16.0 to 12.2.
The Colin Biffa Trophy (Junior Order of Merit – JOOM) was won by George Edwards, who also reduced his handicap from 17.7 to 9.6.
Congratulations to all the Trophy Winners this year and the full list of prize-winners is now on the website. The handicap reductions shown above were all before the new World Handicap System was introduced.
Christmas will be quite different for everyone this year, but I send warmest wishes to all our young members and their families. We are all hoping that 2021 will be a much happier and healthier year for us all, so have fun over the holidays and then you can look forward to another great golfing year ahead.
Happy Christmas Everyone!!
Trophy Roll of Honour