The creation of the new company Swinton Park Golf and Country Club 2017 Ltd means that the original terms of reference for The Course Liaison Group formed in April 2014 need to be amended.
The new Course Group will consist of the following members: -
- The Course and Facilities Director. (Jason Haye and Kevan Morris)
- The Course Manager. (Paul Massey)
- The Club Golf Professional. (Dave Smith)
- Two full playing members appointed by the Board of Directors. (Steve Bailey and Mike Stanfield)
The Course Groups terms of reference are: -
- To provide a forum for discussion of members’ ideas and suggestions on golf course presentation. They will ensure that full and objective consideration is given to all matters raised by members of the club. They will objectively convey member’s views as a whole rather than any subjective personal view.
- To communicate to members the reasoning behind actions or work on the golf course.
- To contribute to the production of policy documents recommended by the R&A and English Golf Union.
- To liaise with the Competitions and Handicaps and Ladies’ Committees to ensure that their views are communicated effectively.
- To market the financial potential of the “Golf Course” side of the business by increasing membership and visitors. Including Opens, Societies, General Visitors and the use of “Teeofftimes”. The interests of members’ access to the course will be considered during this process.
- The Course and Facilities Directors are responsible to the Board of Directors for all Financial and Personnel matters.
- The Course Manager is directly responsible to the Course and Facilities Directors.
- The Course Manager is professionally qualified to manage the playing condition of the golf course. Professional decisions on how and when work on the course is to be carried out will not be overridden.
- The management of the golf course will be in accordance with The Course Management Policy Document.
Latest Update From The Course
Seasonal Work Programme
WINTER WORK PROGRAMME 2018-19
Each winter the Course Group identifies a programme of work. There are many things we can do to improve the course, however the first thing to consider is the cost and time of any proposals. There is no point in setting targets that are not achievable. With this in mind and having had approval of the expenditure I am now able to circulate this year’s programme.
The Second Hole
Residents have complained of damage and personal danger from balls struck from the white yellow and green tees. They have now involved the local authority. We obviously need to take immediate steps to prevent future damage and possible injury. Failure to do so could lead to a Court Injunction preventing us using the hole.
As from Monday 8th October 2018 a temporary forward tee will be used. A new tee will be constructed for the start of next year. This will create a new par 4 of approximately 370 yards in length. Dave Smith will arrange for new measurements to be submitted so a new Par and SSS can be recorded for the start of next season. He will also arrange for new cards to be printed. The existing teeing ground will be maintained whilst we explore to cost of erecting a protection net. Hopefully this may allow us to use the back tees in the future.
On our clay-based course this will always be a priority. Top of the list is to improve the drainage on the 4th and 7th and 13th holes. Existing drains will be rodded and hopefully cleared. In addition new more efficient drains will be laid. On the 7th hole it is intended to dig an out of bounds trench down the left hand side of the hole that will connect to the stream in front of the tee. Drains will be feed into the trench.
There are many other areas on the course where attention is required. I do not intend to list them all. Experience has shown that we need to be flexible, as new wet areas seem to appear without prior warning. The Course Manager will prioritise these and will lay new drains over the winter period.
It has been a difficult year and members did complain about the quality of the greens. Unfortunately there was no quick solution, however the year long process of aeration dressing and overseeding has now resulted in firmer greens and a better quality sward. The greens were top dressed again this week. Nearly 80 tons of sand has been applied this year. In addition Lime has been used to increase the pH level and increase growth. The greens will be aerated on a regular basis over the winter.
We have recently had on trial some hand mowers for the greens. It is intended to purchase two of these machines. They can be used on a regular basis during the winter when the greens are cut less often, reducing compaction from the triplex machines. They will also be an additional tool for the summer cutting and rolling programme.
The Course Manager states we should never play on the greens in frosty conditions as root damage is caused. Temporary greens have been cut and verti drained for the winter and will be used when it is frosty.
Many members have complained that they strike the Astroturf liner when their ball is located at the front of the bunker. To resolve this we have already reshaped some of the bunkers and removed some of the Astroturf. This process will continue over the winter period. Bunkers will be maintained to a good standard by using additional sand.
A new single bunker will be built on the 9th hole on the left side of the fairway, slightly further on from where the scrape bunkers were removed last year. This bunker will be of a similar design to other fairway bunkers on the course.
As at most clubs the bunkering of our course needs reviewing. The Course Group will address this issue and identify areas where removal and replacement of other bunkers is appropriate. This will be a long-term process and have obvious cost implications. Members will be informed of any proposed changes.
Over the last number of years we have removed a large number of trees. Financial restrictions meant that the stumps could not be removed. The impact being that damage has often been caused to the blades of machines used to cut the rough within the tree line. This winter we will start removing tree stumps on the course using a stump grinder. It is intended to hire the services of an outside professional to complete this work.
Many other trees, mainly Silver Birch still need removing in accordance with the Course Management Policy Document. The Course Group will identify a realistic number of trees that can be felled. We will start by concentrating on a limited number of holes. Martin our new greenkeeper is chainsaw trained.
The overgrown untidy copse at the rear of the 5th green has already been removed. It is intended to plant Rhododendrons there to add colour to the course
The condition of the large pine tree by the first tee is still causing concern. Some of the large upper branches have split away from the trunk and pose a danger to golfers who pass underneath. We intend to have the tree assessed by a Tree Surgeon. We are aware that many members do not want it removed. Hopefully all that will be required is some branch removal and re-shaping.
At some point the club still hopes to purchase a TriLo Vacuum Leaf Collector. The cost is about 12k for a second hand machine. The advice from our Course Manager is collection of all the leaves is very manpower intensive and has to be balanced against using man hours for what he considers more pressing work. That together with other financial priorities means that for the time being buying a leaf collector will have to be put on hold.
Many of our tees suffered during the long hot summer and are in poor condition. This will be addressed over the winter by application of 70/30 rootzone for divoting and overseeding the worst affected tees.
The wooden sleepers on the first tee have rotted and need removing. The tee will be re-shaped as part of this process. It is accepted that a large number of our teeing areas need levelling and relaying. We do not have time to undertake such a large project at the moment. It will be addressed in the future.
On behalf of the Course Group
7th October 2018