The installation of the new member’s handicap and booking system has gone well and I would like to thank Keith Pyott in particular for all his hard work in this regard. Members seem to be getting used to the system and hopefully by the summer it will be second nature to us all. I’m glad to see the men are taking advantage of the new systems random draw facility with their next competition.
This winter has seemed very long and wet and with the most recent “beast from the east” rather chilly. Cheltenham was reported as the wettest in 40 years and many courses are closed or have many temporary greens and trolley bans. Hill Barn has not escaped unscathed, with the occasional temporary green on the 2nd hole and 9th hole. To address this we will be putting in a drain swale across the 2nd fairway this spring to aid drainage next winter. In addition we hope to get buggies back on as soon as possible.
Andy and his team have been working hard to tidy up the overflow car park ready for our building work this summer. Building a new greenkeepers shed and compound is the first step to activating our planning permission for a new function barn. We think this first phase will cost about £200,000. Next year we will look to relocate the car park to the back of the Clubhouse and we are then in a position to renovate the old greenkeepers shed and create a new function room. I know that this has been a long time coming but we are now starting!
Hopefully we have now seen the back of this winter and spring is really on its way – the clocks change this week which will give us all more light for golf!
Pro Shop Report
As the new season gets under way, many golfers will notice the shop starting to fill up. We are taking stock of some very exciting new products, almost too many to mention. We are once again working closely with Under Armour to offer you a fantastic range of quality golf apparel. We offer the full range of under Armour Clothing and golf shoes here at Hill Barn in a wide range of sizes. Please visit us in store to view the range for yourself.
The Under Armour Fade Shoe priced at £99.99 comes with a full year’s waterproof guarantee. These shoes offer an excellent level of comfort and look amazing.
Is it time to ditch the traditional white golf ball? Generally most golfers use a plain white golf ball, but times are changing and the golf ball is going through somewhat of a re design. Forget the plain white golf ball, it’s time to inject some colour into the game of golf. Introducing the Wilson Optix Dx2 Golf Ball.
Priced at £17.99 per dozen, the Wilson Optix golf ball offers tour level performance at a very reasonable price. We have the full range in stock at Hill Barn. Come and see this revolutionary golf ball for yourself.
Rule of the Month
The following situation occurred in a recent singles match at Hill Barn:
Player A hit his ball from the 7th tee. The ball went left into the trees and was clearly heard hitting timber. Player A hit a provisional ball in a similar direction but not as far to the left. Both balls were then found within 10 yards of each other in the rough to the left of the fairway. Player A had not put his own identification mark on his golf balls, and his original and provisional balls were identical.
Player B suggested that both balls should be declared lost as it was impossible to determine which ball was the original and which was the provisional.
Is this correct?
No – this is not correct. The Decisions on the Rules Of Golf Book covers this scenario in decision 12-2/1.
Player A pointed out that he had been playing with his original ball since the first hole and it was quite heavily marked through general play. The provisional ball, on the other hand, was almost new and had only been used on the practice putting green before play. The decisions book considers this to be a satisfactory method to identify one ball from another. So player A can carry on playing with the original golf ball.
Moral of the story – firstly, always identify your ball before play with your own unique identification mark. And secondly, ensure your provisional is a different number to the original.
It’s a funny old game!
Here we go again, Monty Don has suggested last week in the newspaper it has been the wettest year since 2001. Even free draining golf courses such as Hill Barn have felt the affect. We have been busy spiking all the fairways and tee boxes on the course to help with drainage. All the greens have been slitted and spiked whilst we have applied wet agent which will penetrate the playing surface and help dry the greens out.
In the upcoming weeks when the grass growth improves, we will be topdressing the tees and feeding tees, greens and fairways to encourage the grass growth and coverage on the surfaces.
This coming month we plan to start the bunker edging program, we are planning to top up the bunkers which require sand to get them ready for the start of the playing season. With over 100 bunkers to do we hope to get this work done in a timely manner.
There will be an application of fertiliser applied to the greens, the fertiliser is called 505microfine cold start. Which will help bring the greens on and get them growing.
I have recently ordered a new fairway mower, the mower is a Toro mower which has cost over £45,000. We are hoping to take delivery of this mower by the end of the week. I look forward to seeing all members out on the course over Easter while I am riding on my new mower!
We have all seen Andy Paynter working hard on the course, but how much do we really know about him. This month we tracked Andy down and asked him a few questions.
Name/Nickname: Andy Paynter
Job Role: Head Greenkeeper
Best golfing achievement? I won a BIGGA summer golf event, playing off 22 handicap. I got 47 points.
Favourite place in the world and why? France, because of the people and the excellent food.
If there was a movie made about your life, which actor would star as you? Johnny Depp
Favourite Golf course? La Manga in Spain
If you were stranded on a desert island which two items would you take? Bottle of rum and a slice of cake.
What’s the strangest talent you have? I do the best Donald Duck impression around.
Membership Open Day
The Hill Barn membership open day will be held on Sunday 29th April between 9 am and 3 pm. There will be various special offers on membership on the day. If you have any golfing friends or family who wish to know about membership please ask them to register on the web site as they will be entitled to a goodie bag and if they join using your referral, we will add £40 on your membership levy card.
There are many benefits to membership at one of the friendliest clubs in Sussex.
- Unlimited play (days as per your chosen category) at Hillbarn Golf Club, Chichester Golf Club and Horton Park Golf Club, including the 18-hole and 9-hole courses
- 30 day advance booking rights if you book online or 14 days for other bookings
- Discounted member’s guest rates and discounted buggy hire
- 10% Discount in the Pro Shops (exclusions apply)
- 10% Discount in the bar
- Preferential rates for functions
- Competitions during the week and at the weekend
News From The Academy
Practise with purpose.
When a golfer says” I’m heading out to practice”, most people just assume they are heading to the driving range. Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes into the game of golf than just practicing your full swing. Everyone that plays golf realizes how important practicing is when trying to lower your scores. We hear a lot of technical talk about the golf swing and putting stroke, but we don’t hear much on how to get the most out of your practice time. Hopefully the following tips will help you get more out of your practice time and help you figure what to practice and how often.
- Practice the shots you use most
For most golfers, practice time is limited, so the big question is if I only have an hour, what do I focus on. Most experts agree that your practice session should mirror the strokes you take on the course. If 70% of your shots are from 100 yards and in, then spend 70% of your practice time on it. With about half of that practice time on putting.
- Always have a practice plan
One good thing to remember when you’re heading out to any part of the practice facility whether it be the driving range or putting green to practice is to have a plan. Practicing isn’t a race to see how many balls you can hit in an hour. There are plenty of other less expensive ways to just get exercise. The first part of your practice routine should be to stretch and loosen up. A lot of PGA TOUR Professionals stretch for 30 minutes before they hit the first ball. This probably isn’t realistic for most golfers, but many people forget that golf is a sport just like any other and you need to stretch. If you do start your practice session on the driving range, remember that most good players loosen up with a short club like your pitching wedge and then make their way to the longer clubs.
- Always find your target
Now that you’re working your way through the bag, do yourself a favour and practice to a target. Golf is one of the most target-oriented sports that you can play. So, your practice should reflect this fact. It can be a target green at a driving range or a tree in the field behind your house. Remember to pick as small a target as you can. For example, instead of trying to hit a ball down the middle of the range, try to hit the pole that divides the range. Picking a target will get you quality practice instead of simply hitting golf balls. As strange as it seems, most golfers like to practice the shots that they already are good at hitting. Everyone likes to stay in their comfort zone and feel good about themselves. A big difference between an experienced player and a beginner is knowing what they need to work on and then actually putting the time in to fix the problem areas. Seeing a Professional can also help in this area. A good coach will not only help with technique but also give advice on what are the parts of the game that need attention. It’s also helpful to have a trained set of eyes to help you determine if what you feel is what is real.
- Mix up your shots
Another practice fault is to hit the same club repeatedly until you finally feel it’s perfect. Try to hit practice shots at random. When was the last time you hit ten 7 iron or lob shots in a row on the golf course? Random practice is much more challenging and provides faster improvement. So, don’t be the golfer who heads to the practice facility with a driver and 5 iron.
- Don’t be afraid to practice on the course
Lastly, let’s discuss if it’s OK to practice on the golf course. It is, but just don’t do it in prime golf time and hold up the course or more importantly don’t hit 4 or 5 balls into every green. Use your practice/friendly rounds to attempt the shots you have been practising on the range. At the end of the day you need to trust your golf swing under pressure and pulling shots off on the course is great for confidence.
I hope these tips help you with your practice routine and I hope that with quality practice you reach your goals a lot quicker.
Hill Barn – Club Professional Team
Improve the productivity of your practise sessions! Simon Buckley is going to show us how to get the most from your practice sessions before the start of the season.