David Collyer to CHAIR OF GREEN
Your Suggestion / Comment
The recent email from the Chair of Golf dated 4 October 2022 clearly explained the latest position regarding Temporary Local Rules (TLR) for Winter 22/23.
I note that TLR 5 will only be implemented “if the course condition indicate it”. For clarity, could I ask for some clarification as to what that actually means and how frequently would you expect TLR5 to be in place through the coming winter?
I raise the question because I have ‘heard’ that there may be an intent to impose TLR5 as early as 10 October 2022 and keep it in place throughout the winter. This fear is somewhat supported by the fact that the pro shop has a large stock of artificial mats already available for purchase. If there is any truth in what I have heard, I’m not certain how that fits in with the stated policy of “if the course condition indicate it”?
As someone who plays more golf in the winter than in the summer, I would be very disappointed if TLR5 is implemented in anything but the worse conditions, and then only until those conditions improve. I hit the ball into the rough enough as it is, and to have to move the occasional ‘fairway finder’, or play of a mat would be somewhat unfair, and for want of a better phrase… a bit Mickey Mouse’.
I understand that there is a desire to maintain the course in as good a condition as possible, but the whole idea of a golf course is to have people playing golf on it. And yes, we all want the course to be in as good a condition as possible, but achieving that by not playing golf on it is perverse! Presumably, it is the role of the ground staff to maintain the course for members use all year around (subject to extreme weather conditions of course).
I do hope that my fears are unfounded and TLR5 will not be introduced as a blanket imposition for the entire winter, or indeed for any periods of time other than the most extreme weather conditions. I pay my full membership fees just the same as everyone else and within reason I would like to be able to play the course to it’s best extent.
I worry that justification for TLR5 being implemented may be ‘other courses do the same thing’ and ‘we want the course to be better in the summer’. To my mind, neither justify discriminating against the hardy band of winter golfers.
I apologise if I have misunderstood the situation and am worrying over nothing, but I would still appreciate your reassurance on this matter.
Good morning Dave
Many thanks for your email and enquiry.
Last year and for the first time we introduced the winter Lift and Place policy which was proposed by the Course Manager and the Green Committee and endorsed by Council.
The feedback from a significant number of members who expressed an opinion on the subject were very supportive and many stated that they couldn’t understand why we had not introduced it previously.
This winter in response to feedback from some members we are adding the option of playing from the fairway but from an Astro turf mat so that those who find the fairway are not ‘penalised’ by having to move to the first cut of rough.
You are correct in saying that the professional has a supply of Astro mats available for purchase by members and this merely allows members to be prepared for introduction of this rule. We will also continue with the option of lifting from the fairway and placing in the first cut of rough for those who prefer not to purchase or play from an Astro mat.
In response to your specific question, ‘if the course condition indicates’, in short means that when the ground is so wet, and recovery of the turf is such that reducing divots on the fairways is viewed as necessary to protect the fairways and assist in improving condition throughout the year.
As we are now beyond the 10th of October and the lift and place policy has not been introduced you will appreciate the rumours in respect of its introduction on the 10th were unfounded.
I can however confirm that the lift and place policy will undoubtedly need to be introduced during the winter. It will not only be introduced in the very worst of ground conditions and it is likely to be introduced for an extended period, i.e. several weeks, if deemed appropriate to do so.
I disagree that introducing this policy creates an unfairness to golfers and as stated those who find the fairway will not be ‘penalised’ for a good shot by being allowed to play from the fairway but from a mat.
We have not introduced this rule merely to follow what many other clubs do but because it makes sense in trying to present the course in the best possible condition.
I appreciate that this response has not provided the outcome or reassurance you had hoped for and although I understand you are opposed to the introduction of this ruling in the circumstances as outlined, I hope that it has at least provided you with some clarity on the matter.