Beaconsfield Golf Club
Seer Green, Beaconsfield
Bucks, HP9 2UR
Beaconsfield Golf Club
Seer Green, Beaconsfield
Bucks, HP9 2UR
We welcome the following new Member to Beaconsfield:
We hope that you have a long and happy membership.
A note from the President
Those of you who have been members for a long time will be aware that, in common with many other clubs, catering at Beaconsfield Golf Club used to be a hit and miss affair. All that changed when David Jennings was offered the opportunity to run our catering on a franchise basis.
David's considerable organisation skills and friendly manner quickly transformed this aspect of club life. When I was appointed Club President three years ago, I was concerned that one of my biggest challenges would be finding a suitable replacement when he decided to retire. He told me that he would like to complete twenty years at the club and would give us plenty of notice to make suitable future arrangements. As always, he has been true to his word, indicating that he will retire at the end of next year, after 21 very successful years at the club. This gives us considerable time to make future arrangements. It will indeed be a challenge.
In due course we will be able to plan a suitable party to thank David for all that he has done and to wish him well in retirement. In the meanwhile I hope that you will all be supporting David by eating at the club as much as possible.
From the Captain
August has been another eventful month. The course continues to be very busy but notwithstanding, looking as good as ever - a credit to Stuart and his team!
The Charity Day on the 15th proved to be a huge success not just financially but in terms of further integrating the different membership groups. An amazing 42 teams took part enabling £2825 to be raised for Rennie Grove (this sum was generously rounded up to £3000 by a very good friend and longstanding member of the club). A witness to diversity, the winning team comprised a lady, a junior and two men (Claire Taylor, Dan Butteriss, Mike Harris and Paul Wright). Prizes were awarded to the top 8 teams. For me the most remarkable thing about the day was that one team had an age difference between the eldest and youngest members of their team of 79 years - answers on a postcard please. A big thank you to all those that took part including those who made successful bids for the 3 silent auction items.
The Presidents’ Cup always proves to be a most competitive event and the worthy winner this year was Ed Hucker (4) who in very tricky conditions won by 4 clear shots playing 5 under his handicap over the 36 holes. I must record a big thank you to Janet Beal, Dianne Regan and Katie who gave up the day to undertake the scoring.
The clubhouse and patio have been a hive of activity and unusually so on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays with a high uptake on the “eat out, to help out” initiative. Working conditions in the current situation are far from ideal for our bar and restaurant teams and I would like to compliment them on how they have coped thus far. We all hope things can get closer to normal in the ensuing weeks and months.
The proposal to dispense with the club diary has generated some interest. To date some 40 responses have been received, 80% of which have shown a strong preference to retain the diary - the balance have shown support for the initiative. Whilst virtually everything in the diary, bar members’ addresses, is available electronically the conclusion drawn is that it is too early to cease production and the diary will be available as usual for 2021. In the meantime members are encouraged to explore the club website where all sorts of riches are to be found.
From The Ladies Captain
Ladies Club Championship and Millennium Trophy
The weather could not have been better for this year’s championship. Thirty four ladies took part in the 36 hole competition.
Ella Butteriss proved herself a worthy winner of both with a score of 156 in the championship and a score of 150 in the Millennium.
The runner-up in the Championship was Jackie Thompson with a score of 168.
The runner up in the Millennium Trophy was Karen Platt with a score of 151 who was also third in the Championship with a score of 171.
Louise Corrin, the winner of last year’s Millennium Trophy was runner up in the club house for a while and eventually was a worthy third along with Sue Schmidt with a score of 153.
Ladies and Seniors
Rosa Lewis and Jeffery Coutts organised our annual match with the seniors. There were 26 pairs signed up up play. Due to the heat wave, temperatures of 34 degrees, it was decided to make the competition just 10 holes. The winners of the competition, with an impressive score of 29 points, were Judith Woods and Roger Clarke. Gill Thomas and Barry Dunton were second with 23 points.
Ladies and Juniors
Twelve pairs of ladies and juniors took part in this annual fixture. This was also reduced to a 10 hole pairs better ball competition. I joined Nathan Baggett for the better ball competition and for a long time we were leaders in the clubhouse with 27 points. However with a fabulous score of 30 points the winners were Ruth Lambert and Pearse Conway. Joint runners up were Helen Coughlin and Senan Conway and myself and Nathan Baggett. My thanks go to Dianne Reagan for organising the juniors to play with us ladies. All the ladies were very impressed with the juniors play and demeanour.
Pearse Conway and Ruth Lambert.
Our usual Senior ladies tea could not take place this year due to Covid 19 but the Senior Plate and Walmsley Salver competition took place.
Thankfully the weather cooled down for us and we all managed to compete. The winner of the seniors plate was Margaret Mardell with a score of 39 points. I was very happy to win the Walmsley Salver with a score of 33 points.
The Red Cross 150th Anniversary
A huge thank you to all those who kindly donated to the British Red Cross 150th Anniversary, and to those who played in the competitions. A total of £2031 was raised which will enable more services to help those people who need us most.
The photograph of Emily Gilmour, who won the Ladies Competition, shows a very happy 13 year old with her prize of a Commemorative coin from the Royal Mint, Emily plays cricket and tennis too; with her is Callum Rennie, who was the winner of the Men’s Midweek medal, aged 22, Callum is studying Sports Psychology at the University of Bournemouth and is another keen tennis player, Callum’s prize was a bottle of champagne, Mark Drummond has another bottle of champagne for winning the Saturday Medal, but was unable to attend the photo and prizegiving. All three played under their handicaps.
Beaconsfield Golf Club should be proud of the three winners because they all started their golf in the Junior section, all of them come from golfing families with Emily’s grandfather being the current Club Captain, Steve Lynch.
In the Golf Bag...... World Handicapping System
Only just over 2 months until the World Handicapping System is implemented, so I will continue with some answers to various questions that people have been asking.
There is a dedicated page on the BGC web site – see under Management/World Handicapping System, where more detailed information can be found.
Q How many competitions do you have to play each year to keep a competition handicap?
A Under WHS, there is no such thing as a competition handicap. Once you have a WHS Handicap Index then, as long as you are a member of a golf club, you will retain your handicap.
Q What are the buffer zones for the different categories of handicap?
A Under WHS there is no concept of handicap categories or buffer zones. The use of the average of the best 8 from your last 20 scores means that a few bad scores will not affect your handicap at all, as these will be the scores that are disregarded by the system.
Q Is there any restriction on supplementary scores?
A No. Anyone, whatever their handicap, can submit a pre-registered score (new name for supplementary), and can do as many as you want. The only restriction is that you play according to the rules of golf and have another person to verify your score.
Q What about scores from competitions at other clubs or in other countries?
A If you play in a competition at another club, your score will be submitted to WHS by that club and your Handicap Index will be updated. If you play in a competition in another country, your score will be acceptable to WHS, but I am not sure of the mechanism to get the score entered into your record.
Q Which tees can I play from?
A At Beaconsfield, men can play from any of the four sets of tees – Black, Blue, Gold and Green and ladies can play from Blue, Gold and Green tees (the Black are deemed to be too long for ladies). However, when you are playing in a competition, the rules of the competition will specify which tees you can use.
Q How many shots do I get?
A Once you have decided which tees you are using, then you need to look up your Course Handicap for those tees using your Handicap Index. There are look up tables available or you can use the IG Member App. Your Course Handicap is your ‘benchmark’ for playing the course, so if a man gets 36 points using his course handicap in a stableford from the Black tees, he has ‘played to handicap’.
Q When will I know what my Handicap Index is going to be?
A England Golf will calculate everyone’s Handicap Index, based on current scores, some time in September (we don’t have a date yet), and that information will be made available. Once you know your likely Handicap Index, you will be able to look up your likely Course Handicap.
All of the playing surfaces have recovered well from last month’s renovations, looking healthier and firmer than ever. The new bent grass sown into the greens is going from strength to strength as it begins to creep into the sward, hopefully becoming the primary grass species. Across Britain bent grasses have been used and introduced into putting surfaces for many years, with some success mixed with plenty of failure. The failure often down to the varied and unpredictable British weather and the bent grasses inability to outcompete our native species (such as annual meadow grass ‘poa’). Unlike its predecessors the ‘Crystal blue links’ is a 5th generation bent seed that has originated in northern Canada in a climate very similar to our own. It has a slightly coarser leaf which helps it combat our higher volumes of play and the harsher weather. We have always known the benefits of bent grass with its improved drought and disease tolerance, deeper rooting, reduced fertiliser inputs and lower levels of thatch. The problem with bent grass has been maintaining it after its initial seeding. With greater research and development in recent years it looks like one of the biggest factors that was ignored was the importance of the depth at which the bent seed is sown with the optimum being 6mm (¼ inch). The success of this seeding depth was clear to see in the early morning dew, with the new lines of bent seed standing up within the sward, close to a 100% strike rate.
The new Luke Donald green has a pure bent grass putting surface and has been surviving on 50% less water compared to the main greens. This could be a huge factor going forward with the dry springs and hot summers which has increased the demand on the clubs irrigation water supply. The Luke Donald green was successfully seeded late October when the cutting heights were raised from 2.75mm to 5mm, allowing more room for the seed to germinate and reduced cutting. Based on this success we are planning to over-seed the main greens again during the autumn, to prepare them for a full winters play. The new seeding machines are extremely accurate meaning we can over-seed the greens at 1.8 grams per square meter (1.8g/m2) in two separate directions, making a once expensive process very cost effective due to the tiny volumes.
The Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount scheme was a huge success, with turnover each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August being double what we would normally expect.
The members’ activity on the course and with bar and catering is high, but obviously - without matches, social events and private functions – the turnover for the bar and catering is significantly down. Sadly, I think there is unlikely to be much improvement this side of Christmas. However, we must stay positive and look forward for better times to come.
As you will have read, in the President's contribution, the time has come for me to announce my retirement from the club. I have given the President over 16 months’ notice of my departure and my last day will be 31st December 2021. I started working at the club on December 4th 2000 and I can honestly say that I have loved every minute of my time here. When the time comes, I know that I will miss the many friends that I have made here, but hopefully I will still come to the club on occasions and see some of you when I visit.
I have been fortunate to have had an extremely hard working and loyal staff during the entirety of my time here and I would like to pay tribute to each and every one of them.
I have also very much enjoyed the camaraderie of all of the Golf Club and Pro Shop staff during my time here.
I look forward to seeing you, in and around the clubhouse, in the near future.
Updates from The Golf and Comps committee
Important updates on:
Front Gate Update
You will have seen that the front gate has now been installed and once the motor and sensors have been added, the gate will be operational by the time you read this.
Initially, the gate will be activated automatically by the arrival or exit of your vehicle and this will mean a short wait for the gate to open on arrival or exit.
We are also working on a more secure way to activate the gate, triggered by members on arrival and this will be subject to a further announcement once details are finalised.
The entrance pillars are awaiting the fitting of the brass club emblem which will be floodlit at dusk.
The remaining elements of the project are:
News from the Juniors
We have welcomed six more juniors to our section this month:- Jack Davies, Zach Kirkham, Ben Litherland, Barnaby Ross, Scott Jackson and Ben Wood and we wish them all a long and happy membership at Beaconsfield.
Our 36-hole Junior Championship ‘The Ling Trophy’ took place on Tuesday 4th August 2020 and congratulations go to Tom Bell (1) who became our Champion with an impressive gross 142 (68+74), one shot ahead of scratch player George Johnson on 143 (74+69). Olivia Lee (2) finished in 3rd position on 146 (73+73) making her the winner of The McIntosh Trophy (for the best girl). In the nett competition, the winner of The Wisdom Salver was Alex Lee (17) on nett 134 (70+64) and the runner-up was Ben Suter (15) just one shot back on 135 (65+70). Ben was leader in the clubhouse for most of the afternoon, until Alex who played in the final group came in with the best score in the afternoon to beat Ben by the one shot – an exciting finish!
The Ladies & Juniors competition on the 11th August was played on one of the hottest afternoons this summer, so we decided to reduce the event to 10 holes. This is always a lovely format with one lady partnering a junior and playing better-ball. The winners were Ruth Lambert & Pearse Conway with a fantastic 30 points and the joint runners-up with 27 points were Barbara Harwood & Nathan Baggett, along with Helen Coughlin & Senan Conway. Everyone enjoyed the afternoon despite the heat, and I wish to thank the lady members again for treating the juniors to lunch. Many thanks to everyone who took part in this popular annual event.
We were all looking forward to our Junior Open on Wednesday 19th August when we had a full field of 72 juniors from the South East of England, competing for the Luke Donald Salver. Due to the current restrictions we decided to reduce the format to 18 holes rather than cancel this special event. The weather forecast predicted heavy rain from around 11am, but we were all hopeful that the players would be able to finish the competition. The two youngest players (11 & 13 years old) set off at 07.30am in dry conditions, but the rain started earlier than expected and by 10.30am (just as the first 2-ball finished their round), the course became unplayable and we had to abandon the competition. This is the first time in the last 10 years that we have experienced bad weather. Luckily, we have been able to reschedule the event for Wednesday 2nd September, so we are keeping our fingers crossed for a better day. Our Junior Committee wish to thank all the members who volunteered for ball-spotting in such terrible conditions and we are extremely grateful that most of them are happy to return in 2 weeks to volunteer again.
The Lady Captain has already reported on the Ladies’ Club Championship, but I would like to add our congratulations to Ella Butteriss who plays off 3, for becoming the Ladies’ Champion last Thursday with her solid rounds of 79 & 77 (156) to win by 12 shots. Ella also won nett competition – The Millennium Trophy by one shot on nett 150. Well done Ella!!
There were some fantastic scores in the Hamilton Trophy, which was held on Sunday 23rd August, with 10 out of 21 players finishing with nett scores well under PAR. The winner of the trophy was Harvey Dobson (8) who shot a magnificent 71 gross (nett 63) followed by 3 players all on nett 67-Alfie Burt (11) was runner-up on count back from Ella Butteriss (3) and Will Liddiard (12).
Everyone is now looking forward to The Beaconsfield Team Championship on Bank Holiday Monday 31st August. This is a great day in our calendar, when 8 Sections of the Club compete to win the enormous trophy donated by Tim Whittaker during his Captain’s Year 4 years ago. The Junior Team will be trying hard to defend their 2 year title and achieve the ‘Hat-Trick’, but their Intermediate friends, who are now playing for the 1st Team will have other ideas – so let the battle commence!
Sadly, I had to say farewell to two of our top young golfers last week, when Tom Bell and James Casserly, travelled to the USA to continue their golfing careers. Tom left last Monday on his way to The Hawkeye College in Iowa and James left on Thursday to join Maryville University in St Louis, Missouri. They have arrived safely and enjoying themselves, so we wish them both the best of luck for their futures and will look forward to seeing them both again in December for the Christmas holiday.
Happy Golfing Everyone!
Trophy Roll Of Honour