April 2020 – Coping with the reality of social distancing
When I last wrote to you all in March we were just about to go into “lockdown” and all wondered what the impact of the Corona Virus pandemic would have on us individually and as a golf club. I think it is fair to say that none of us could have contemplated how seriously this dreadful disease would affect everyone and, already, most of us know family or friends that have been directly hit by the virus. The many Whats App, Email and text messages I receive, illustrate how caring and concerned our membership is, with the prime concern focusing on everyone’s welfare rather than golf matters.
I guess we have all become experts in the art of social distancing and, never before, has so much attention been centred on gardening, DIY, daily exercise, car washing and daily communication with friends and family. Indeed, the current situation reinforces the importance of family and a social network.
The Golf Course
With our clubhouse, Pro’s Shop and Office shut down, I know some of you will be concerned about any possible deterioration of our golf course and I wanted to take this opportunity to bring you up to date on the actual situation. Our chairman’s letter of March 25th (emailed and published on the club website) informed everyone that some maintenance of the course was permitted providing strict health protocols were in place. I am indebted to our Greens Committee who have put together the following brief report on the work being carried out on the course. I also include an email message I received from Neil which, I trust, will reassure you all, that extreme care is being taken by the greens staff to protect themselves from Covid 19.
A Message From Your Greens Committee
In a time when most of us have been told to stay at home, for the safety of ourselves and others, our greens staff have been continuing to carry out course maintenance, an activity permitted by the government, with golf courses considered important leisure facilities. Echoing what Richard Coles, our club chairman, has already reported to members, I’m sure you’ll agree that the health and wellbeing of our greens staff must be our highest priority, and every recommended safety precaution is being followed, together with strict adherence only, to those areas deemed necessary for essential maintenance.
For anyone who has had the pleasure of making the most of their one walk a day on the course, they will have noticed that, with the improvement in weather, the continued hard work from our green staff, and the fact that they are not hindered by golfers, the course is now looking in really good shape.
With the turn in weather, clear definition is now being achieved and a small positive from a very bad situation is that the course is now benefiting from the rest, particularly those areas which suffered from a heavy winter.
Bearing in mind these unique circumstances and the reduced maintenance programme, our green staff of Neil, Richard and Matt are doing a great job and we are all extremely grateful. Incidentally any messages of support you would like to send would be very welcome and we would be more than happy to pass these on to the guys. (Please email the captain)
Thank you to those who have purchased a ticket in our fund raising ‘Masters Sweepstake’. Under the circumstances, we thought it best to hold onto the monies until further notice. Tickets were selling very well so thank you all for your support… please look out for similar run sweepstakes and other events in the future where any profits will be going towards new machinery.
We look forward to welcoming our new rough mower that the club has purchased from Toro. Apparently we have got a bit of a bargain, so well done to the chairman and Neil on securing this after a long and frustrating search! This should prove to be a great asset to the club and help us further improve playing conditions throughout the year.
With a public footpath through the golf course it has inevitably become a popular place for people to have their one walk a day. This has provided the club with an extra layer of security with many members, and their families, helping to keep an eye on things.
Glenn (Cripps), Trevor (Sparling) & Mark (Langford) – Your Greens Committee 7th April 2020
A Message received from Neil Barber (Head Green Keeper)
Hi Alan, thanks for the nice comments, we are fortunate to be able to carry on working at these troublesome times, please rest assured that we are taking no unnecessary risks by being at work, we all come to work individually and have staggered our start times reducing a gathering (3) we have anti-viral spray for machines and lots of hand sanitiser in the workshop + lots of hand washing, we keep our 2m distance and head out on separate machines, we endeavour to keep the course ready to be in great condition for when play is allowed and hope to give the members a “wow” when they do get to play, so far so good weather wise and I hope to give you a bunker update later this week if all goes well. take care,
I know you will all join me in thanking Neil, Richard and Matt for their considerable efforts during such a difficult time ………. It really is appreciated.
It is a shame that I am not able to tell you about all the golf activity taking place, which would normally mark the beginning of our season but, frankly, none of that really matters in the greater scheme of things! Sadly, the scheduled visit of our friends from Royal Guernsey in May, to celebrate our 50th Anniversary of the fixture has had to be cancelled.
We must hope that the peak of this crisis happens sooner rather than later and that all of you and your loved ones stay healthy. Hopefully some semblance of normality returns and that we are able to enjoy our club again soon, but only when it is completely safe to do so.