Beaconsfield Golf Club
Seer Green, Beaconsfield
Bucks, HP9 2UR
Beaconsfield Golf Club
Seer Green, Beaconsfield
Bucks, HP9 2UR
50 Years Membership
Congratulations to Dr John Hill who this month celebrates 50 years membership. John, a retired GP hung up his playing boots a couple of years ago but remains a social member. He and his family have very fond memories of the club which hosted two family wedding parties and a golden wedding anniversary party for John and his wife Dee. His proudest golfing moment was winning the Bloomfield Cups in 1995 with his partner Tom McMichael.
We welcome the following new Members to Beaconsfield:
Howard Gough, Martin Murphy, Spencer Piggott, Peter Pulford, Paul Renucci, Bob Spence, Kenton Walsh
Henry Atkinson, Freddie Fyfe, Finn Henry, Josh Jankiewicz, Jack Lloyd, Zoe Peters, Lauren Peters, Olly Smith, Benji Southwell-Sander
We hope that you have a long and happy membership.
From The Captain
What a joy to see so many happy golfers at the Club particularly now we have dry sunny weather to accompany outdoor dining and drinking.
I must start by congratulating:
I would also like to record our thanks to Tom Evans for his excellent “top tips”, although I am still waiting for them to kick in. 🤔
Members may recall that the club did pledge to make the old tee stones available to members by way of auction - the funds to be shared between the Captains’ charity and the club. The stones are now all available and the office has worked out a way of creating an auction via the club website. Further details will be emailed to all members shortly.
Chris Dodds and I are keen to have another attempt at setting up some captain and pro matches during the next few months. A few games were set up last year but we were thwarted. Maybe we might be luckier this time? A notice will go up in the club house on the 17th May but in the meantime any pairs interested can click on the following link for details.... and email the office if they wish to take on the challenge. Those who have not played with me before can feel free to close their eyes at appropriate moments.
On the 22nd May the Club has its annual fixture against the Artisans when we will be attempting to retain the Lidgely Shield. Normally a notice would go up in the clubhouse inviting members to play but clearly that is not practical at present. Those members wishing to be considered for selection are encouraged to contact the office or me direct. For those who have not played in the fixture before the Artisans are very competitive and extremely sociable!
From the Ladies Captain
I am sure you are all happy to be back playing golf, good or bad, and of course catching up with friends. The weather could not have been better for our first Thursday Medal. Our congratulations go to Jane Garmon-Jones with a nett score of 72 on winning division 1 and Sue French with a nett score of 73 winning division 2, on count back.
A warm welcome goes to Lorraine Whillans who has joined our ladies section.
Let’s now look forward to a full calendar of golf with our next event being our Spring Meeting.
Tom's Top Tips
1st Team Frivolity
Well its seems a long, long time ago that the 1st Team had a competitive match and so when Millfield School asked us to confirm the away fixture at Burnham & Berrow, we grabbed it with both hands.
However, this instantly created a dilemma for us as we usually travel down the night before and stay in the dormy house which was closed until May and all other Burnham accommodation boarded up, so our trusted pre shot routine of a night sampling the delights of Burnham and all it has to offer was thwarted.
How could we properly prepare for this match when the entire squad would be turning up on the first tee sober ?? Our plight was further exasperated by our talisman and Captain Phil Kilgour withdrawing with baby care duties. It was turning into the most supreme test of mental and physical wellbeing and to be honest a nightmare.
Fear not, our team is not built on paper foundations and Moi was drafted in to provide stability and inspiration amongst the ranks. I quickly hatched a plan. Setting off in a 10/4 rubber duck convey from BGC we arrived in plenty of time for the 1.30 tee off. I quickly set up a tab and set about fuelling the troops with beef sandwiches and copious amounts of San Miguel and Guinness (Rose’ for Roger Taylor!!) . You could feel the relief and nervous tension slip away into the Burnham sand and it felt more like the Sunday mornings we’ve experienced in the 11 years this match has been running. That’s a lot of beer and hangovers over that time!!
But we could not have picked a better day, clear skies, 15 degrees and a mild but testing wind, the course was in fantastic condition and following my inspired team talk, the boys went about their work in methodical ruthless fashion and in the end cruised to a 3&2 win with only Boardman/Drummond and Booker/Taylor losing their matches 1 down, this was despite making dramatic comebacks only to wilt like a damp lettuce leaf on the 18th green. Many thanks to Richard Cotterill, Roger Taylor and new member Charles Kelly for playing and Big Joe who sat on the subs bench. The second leg of this fixture will be on home soil on Sunday 7th November.
A good start to the season and no doubt Phil Kilgour will keep you posted on 1st Team action throughout the year.
An honour as always
In the Golf Bag.... Using WHS in Singles Competitions
Now that we are back playing competitions there have been lots of questions about handicaps and scoring, so I wanted to explain some of the basics.
Hopefully we are all now used to our Course Handicap. This depends on which tees you are using and may certainly be different when we go and play other courses. You look up your Course Handicap on the tables outside the locker rooms, and all courses will have similar tables posted outside the clubhouse.
Your Course Handicap is important for two reasons:
The thing that causes the most confusion is the new 95% Playing Handicap for singles competition. This is intended to make the competition equitable for everyone. We are being told that if it was not used, then high handicappers would be more likely to win the handicap competitions.
It’s easy for those with a Course Handicap of 10 and under, as their 95% Playing Handicap is the same as their Course Handicap, but for everyone else there is 1 or 2 (and in some cased 3) shots difference. So which handicap do we use?
My advice is to use your Course Handicap – this is what has to go on your card and is also what to use when deciding when to pick up in a stableford.
When you are checking scores with your marker, you should ALWAYS check you gross score on each hole, NEVER the stableford points. It is the gross score you are signing for and this is the score that is entered onto the system and the system then works out the points.
However, when you put your score into the system, if your course handicap is 11 or more, you will lose 1 or possibly 2 points in stableford or gain 1 or 2 shots on your net score. This is for competition results only.
Under Covid we are not able to use the touchscreen, so we are still using the IG Member App on our phones to enter our scores onto the system. Please enter YOUR OWN score onto the IG App on your phone, you don’t need to enter the score of the player you have marked, or take a photo of your card, but you must leave the card in the box provided. If you are unable to enter your score, please ask your marker to hand your card into the pro shop for them to enter on the system.
The greens are in good shape, despite the cold, dry conditions. In recent years April has become our frostiest month of the year mixed in with being one of the driest. As we head into May and with a rise in night time temperatures the team can start working the putting surfaces. The cutting height has been reduced from 5mm to 4mm and will gradually drop to 2.75mm over the coming 4-5 weeks. There has been very little growth, but the greens have recently received their spring granular feed to give them a kick start. This feed, which was once a late February early March treatment has now moved to late April due to the ever changing weather patterns. Through brushing, light verti-cutting (scarification) and sanding we will refine the different grass species to produce a uniform putting surface. This will improve the trueness of the ball roll and create improved speed consistency over all of the clubs 23 greens. The team carried another very successful over-seed on the greens in March with the new crystal blue links bent grass that is now very visible in the morning dew. Year on year this process will be carried out spring, summer and autumn as we look to increase the population of bent grass within the sward. The reason for this being a finer leaf, improved disease tolerance, reduced irrigation, and lower fertilizer requirements. In general the bents produce less thatch and a better putting surface.
Introducing Rob Reeves
Rob will be a familiar face to members; he is our Head Greenkeeper and has worked at BGC for the past 14 years. He is also a great guy and delightful company. The adjoining picture shows two great golfers, for the uninitiated, Rob’s on the left!
With friends like Luke Donald, you can tell that Rob is a discerning golfer, so it interesting that one of his favourite holes at Beaconsfield is the 2nd.
‘It’s only a short par 4 but the Harry Colt cross bunkers really sets the hole off, with the lovely back drop. The 2 specimen pine trees to the left of the green makes for a visually good looking hole.’
Rob’s typical working day varies based on the time of year.
‘The team usually gets in 15-20 minutes before start time, we have a look at weather conditions then make a decision on the morning work schedule. For instance, despite being at the end of April we’ve had week of frosts and that can delay work we had previously planned. This doesn’t help in our efforts to work in front of the morning’s early starters. Through the summer months, work can be a little more predictable as we have cutting routines for greens, tees, fairways, semi and rough.’
Members will appreciate how much time and effort goes into presentation and detailing around our Top 100 course.
Rob particularly enjoys the construction side of the job.
‘It’s great to renovate and improve different areas of the course. This can be bunker construction, mounding or tee construction. Over the years we have had quite intensive winter programmes. These have really improved the playability and the presentation of the course. I also enjoy doing irrigation work and repairs.’
Rob’s proudest achievement at BGC is the renovation of most of the greenside bunkers.
‘Over the years we have tweaked and changed the designs with a focus on the highest standards to maintain the Harry Colt designs.’
Interestingly, over the years, Rob and the team have had some great feedback from other interested golf clubs regarding our bunker shaping and construction. Praise indeed.
Rob’s excellent greenkeeping skills and knowledge have come from a distinguished career starting at Mill Ride GC, Ascot.
‘This was a really good learning experience for me, a very hands-on approach to greenkeeping. I studied up in Scotland on a block release college course at Elmwood. I then spent a number of years working at Swinley Forest GC (another Colt classic), this was a different approach to greenkeeping and a really good and enjoyable experience.
‘I then moved house to Stokenchurch, having applied for the 1st assistant role at BGC working under Bill Patterson. I was later promoted to Deputy Course Manager by Stuart then recently made Head Greenkeeper.’
Understandably, in his spare time, Rob enjoys spending time with his family.
‘I also enjoy playing golf when I can, even though the ball doesn’t go where I want it to go anymore! I enjoy watching most sports but my favourite sport is boxing.’
When I asked Rob if he had a message for us members, he said, ‘the golf course has really developed over the last 7 years. It’s great that the members keep getting behind the greenkeeping team and keep pushing to improve the course year in and year out.’
Hear hear, well said Rob!
PS Some of you will know that Rob has been unwell and I hope that you will all join me in wishing him well.
It's great to be back serving food and beverages again. Tim Cray had the privilege of the first pint and trade has been brisk since we reopened on April 12th.
Thankfully the weather has mostly been on our side.
We now look ahead to serving members both inside and outside from Monday May 17th.
Then we all are holding our breath for a return to complete normality from Monday June 21st.
We have a very busy last half of the year and we will shortly be informing members of various social events, including golfing matches with lunches, a superb Tribute Night in September, our ever popular Quiz Night in November and our Festive events.
Looking forward to seeing as many members as possible as we further reopen.
News from the Juniors & Young Members
April is the beginning of our subscription year and the time when we can accept a new group of young members to the club, so I will begin by welcoming the following new members and wishing them all a long and happy membership at Beaconsfield: -
Henry Atkinson / Finn Henry / Olly Smith / Benji Southwell-Sander / Josh Jankiewicz / Lauren Peters / Zoe Peters / Jack Lloyd / Freddie Fyfe.
This month is also the start of our busy golfing season, with a full fixture list scheduled through the Spring and Summer months. Everyone was excited when the course re-opened on 29th March – just in time for Easter and the school holidays. It has been great to see our members back enjoying golf again, even though the weather has been quite chilly.
Club competitions started on 17th April and our Junior Captain Tommy Evans had a great start to his year, by winning the Grange Cup in the men’s Spring Meeting with a remarkable nett 67. Many congratulations Tommy and we all wish you a very successful year ahead.
The first junior competition was held on Saturday 24thApril, with a full entry of 21 young players eager to get back to competitive golf. It was a lovely sunny day, but still quite windy, but that didn’t put them off! The winner was George Edwards with 42pts, followed closely by Pearse Conway with 40pts. In 3rd & 4th position was Alfie Burt on 37pts and Nathan Iles with 35pts ocb from Daniel Butteriss and Kabir Hunjan. Well done everyone.
The Chiltern Junior Golf League will be holding their annual inter-club matches this year, starting from 17th May, when we should be allowed to have indoor catering again. The format for these matches is 5 a-side playing singles match play, so if there are any juniors who would like to play in any of these matches, please get in touch with me or the Junior Captain Tommy Evans. This season we will have 7 matches: -
3 x HOME matches vs. - Ellesborough – Gerrards Cross - Wexham Park.
4 x AWAY matches vs. – Denham – Harewood Downs - Hazlemere - Temple.
These matches are a great way of meeting other juniors and playing at different golf courses, so please get in touch if you would like the opportunity to play.
We also encourage our young members to get involved in some of the County events, which are run by the BB&O (Berks, Bucks & Oxon) & BCLGA (Bucks County Ladies Golf Association). There are so many opportunities for youngsters to meet and play with other juniors, either ‘Fun Days’ as beginners or those wishing to play in more serious external competitions. For further information, please visit the Junior Section page on our website, where you will find links to both the BB&O Futures Tour and fixtures for boys and the BCLGA for junior fixtures for girls.
Looking forward to seeing you all at our next junior competition, which is scheduled for Sunday 9th May (Tee times 12.00 to 13.00pm).
Trophy Roll of Honour