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
Winter Work Programme – Update
The awful weather has obviously had an impact on the Winter Work Programme. Progress listed as follows:
Additional drains and access points laid on the 18th hole and in font of the 17th green.
New drains installed on the 17th and 2nd greens. New drains laid at the back of the 17th green and front right hand bunker on the 1st. New drains laid to the right of the 3rd green.
Improving drainage will always be an ongoing programme. The purchase of the trencher means that this can be addressed at any time.
New sand has been delivered to mix in and create the correct consistency in our greenside bunkers.
Soil excavated during drainage has been used to fill the 3 scrape bunkers on the 9th hole. This needs levelling. They will then be turfed. It is still intended to build a new single bunker slightly further on to the left of the fairway. This bunker will be of a similar design to other fairway bunkers on the course. An assessment will be made in March to see if this can be completed this year.
Bunkering of the course to be reviewed by the Course Group this year. Dave Smith will provide the professional advice regarding removal and replacement. Plans for such changes will be produced and be circulated to members. This will be a long-term project and has obvious cost implications.
The tree Surgeon we identified who trains people in this field of work has as yet failed to give us any dates he can attend. The weather may have been the reason. We still hope to use his services. No cost implications for the club.
In the meantime our greens staff have started removing trees round the ponds on the 12th and 13th holes
The condition of the large pine tree by the first tee is still causing concern. Professional advice will be obtained before anything is done to this tree.
Health and Safety dictated additional work to reduce the gradient of the exit path at the rear of the 18th hole. Work is in progress. New stone will be laid on the surface. Areas will be turfed and flowerbeds created.
Work has commenced to renovate other paths on the course.
The donated astro-turf is too heavy to move and will therefore not be used for path construction. Other options for its use are being considered.
The club still hopes to purchase a TriLo Vacuum leaf collector. We will monitor the market for a suitable machine.
Out of bounds trenches
We will this winter dig trenches to clearly indicate out of bounds on the 2nd 6th and 7th holes. Work not yet started.
A programme for Spring, Summer and Autumn work to improve our greens will be circulated soon.
For the Course Group 2nd February 2018
Seasonal Work Programme
WINTER WORK PROGRAMME 2017-18
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 from the Board of Directors. I am now able to circulate this year’s programme.
On our clay-based course this will always be a priority. Top of the list is to dig out and relay the drain that runs down the 18th hole and in font of the 17th green. There are many other areas on the course where attention is required. I do not intend to list them all. The Course Manager will prioritise these and will lay new drains over the winter period.
We no longer have any Astroturf to line bunkers. The cost of other types of liner to renovate other greenside bunkers is too expensive at this time. Bunkers will therefore be maintained to a good standard by using additional sand. Unfortunately the “Bunkermaster” sand recommended has not compacted as well as expected. It is therefore intended to purchase a different type of sand and mix the two together to obtain the consistency we require.
Using soil excavated during drainage, the scrape bunkers on the 9th hole will be removed and grassed over. In addition it is intended to build a new single bunker slightly further on to the left of the fairway. 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.
The Professional has identified a tree Surgeon that trains people in this field of work. He obviously needs trees to fell and has done this on golf courses in consultation with Course Managers. We hope to be able to use his services. No cost implications for the club.
The removal of many trees, mainly Silver Birch is still required to allow other trees to thrive. This will take many years to complete.
The condition of the large pine tree by the first tee is causing concern. Some of the large upper branches have split away from the trunk and pose a danger to golfers who pass underneath. In addition it is reducing light to the practice putting green and uplifting the first tee. Unfortunately the tree will have to be removed.
This winter priority will be given to the removal of trees round the large pond on the 12th and 13th holes. All the trees on left side of the pond when playing the 12th hole will be removed. In addition when playing the 13th, some Silver Birch a large Poplar and a row of Hawthorns will also be removed.
The removal of the two trees on the corner of the dogleg on the 12th hole has been the subject of much debate. I therefore provide the following rationale why the Course Group has now decided to remove them:
The trees were never on the edge of a pond until it was extended backwards.
Our Professional believes golfers having hit the ball into a hazard. Receive an additional unfair penalty by having to negotiate trees directly in front of them.
The trees surrounding the pond obstruct the view of whether a ball has gone in the hazard.
The Course Policy Document states: All water hazards should be clearly visible and appropriately marked. In addition to making them more attractive, to comply with the rules of golf a player should be able to see if his ball has gone into the hazard.
The removal of trees round this pond is consistent with trees removed from round other ponds on the course.
We will upgrade the current paths on the course. 60 ton of stone is required to level them and bring them up to a presentable standard.
The path left of the 13th is unsuitable and needs digging out and laying on the surface nearer the green. It will be also extend to the 14th teeing areas.
We have some donated Astroturf (unsuitable for bunker lining) that we could use for new paths to prevent damage to the course. An example being the rise after the bridge on the first hole. If time allows over the winter we will lay one path as an experiment.
This has been an annual problem for years. We currently blow the leaves into the trees where they are allowed to rot. Ideally they should be removed completely. Machines are available to do this but finance has always been the issue. With a donation from the Joker Fund The Board of Directors have now authorised the purchase of a TriLo Vacuum machine. The Course Manager is currently looking for a suitable one for sale.
Out of Bounds Trenches
This work was not completed last year. We will this winter dig trenches to clearly indicate out of bounds on the 2nd 6th and 7th holes.
It is accepted that a large number of our teeing areas need levelling and relaying. We do not have time to undertake this project at the moment. It will be addressed in the future.
On behalf of the Course Group