3 Off The Tee

July 2017

Proprietor's report

Once again the British Open provided us with some thrilling golf. There were however some dull bits, like Jordan Spieth taking 20 minutes to find the place to drop his ball having declared it unplayable. I know these guys are playing for a lot of money but there must be a better way to deal with an unplayable ball than we saw on Sunday. Perhaps the whole concept of an unplayable ball should go and you just have to take your punishment for a wayward shot, even if it takes 10 goes?

Another dull bit was the length of time we spent watching payers line up a putt, was there no other action we could have watched? In this fast paced world with instant gratification, dull play like this is never going to get the younger generation watching or playing golf and the myth that it is only for the old will persist.

We have ordered the new Huxley matt for the winter tee for the 12th hole and next month we will commence work on this hole and the new tee on the 6th hole to ensure that the new winter tees are in and ready for play when we need them.

I played the course recently, something I don’t get to do nearly as often as I would like, and it is in fantastic condition. Andy and his team have, as ever,  done a wonderful job.

Enjoy this wonderful summer and remember to have fun while you play your game.

Sally Haygarth 

Green Keepers Report

In between our twice yearly greens renovation program, we have started once a month lightly dusting the greens with six tonnes of sand.  This will help improve the speed of the putting surface and the underground quality of the root zone.

Green are currently being cut at 3mm and are averaging 9.5 on the stimp meter reading, just shy of the 10 of The Open green.

In the evenings we are bringing in the rakes from holes 16 and 17, as there is an ongoing issue of vandalism on these holes which has resulted in us losing lots of rakes.  Sorry for any inconvenience and please report any incidents to the pro shop if you notice any vandalism out on the course.

The bunkers at Hill Barn have been regularly edged, dug over, stones removed and filled with sand. We have 100 bunkers to do and are currently half way through.

The recent warm and dry weather has left a few dry patches on the greens despite the irrigation working at full capacity.  To stop the dry patches on the greens we are also hand watering each day, although the current heavy rain has alleviated this job!

All of the fairways have been sprayed with weed killer and in the next couple of weeks we will be spraying the semi rough to try and stop the clover.

The air compressor has now been fully fixed and is fully operational.

Finally the Autumn green renovations, which will involve solid tinning will take place in the week beginning 14 August.

Andy Paynter
Head Greenkeeper

News from the Academy

Golf Rules You Should Know!
Here at Hill Barn we have in place a local rule to protect the tee boxes in the event a stray ball should land on the wrong tee box, this article will explain what to do if this situation arises while playing golf at Hill Barn.

For example if your drive from the 8th tee goes right and comes to rest on the 9th tee box, you are entitled to a free drop.

On the back of the score card local rule 5 states that, a ball lying on a green or tee not being played, must be lifted and dropped, not nearer the hole without penalty.

Upon finding your ball on the wrong tee box, simply mark your golf ball with a tee peg, and then find the nearest

point of relief no nearer to the hole. The nearest point of relief is where the ball if dropped and your stance will be completely clear of the tee box.

Mark the nearest point of relief with a tee peg then you get a full club length to drop the ball.  Once the ball bounces as long as it stays no closer to the hole the ball is then in play.

Sadly you are not allowed to clean the golf ball while doing this and don’t forget to pick up your tee pegs.

When “not” to open the club face in a bunker.

When our shots land in a bunker, we don’t always find ourselves in perfect bunker conditions. The sand might be wet, or perhaps there isn’t much sand in the bunker (shallow lie). Or maybe our ball has come to rest on a down slope or upslope in the bunker. In these conditions, we must make adjustments to the usual sand-shot (splash) technique.

When playing out of wet or shallow sand, the technique and set-up may be the same as normal sand play except for the following: The club face may be square instead of slightly open and we might think about taking a less aggressive and shorter backswing.

When opening the club face (as in the splash shot) at the address position, the back portion of the bottom of the club head will tend to bounce off the sand (rather than having a digging effect). In wet or shallow sand, we try to discourage the club from bouncing off the sand into the ball. We would rather eliminate any bounce by addressing the ball with a square face.

Keep in mind we are still trying to enter the sand about two inches behind the ball. The ball tends to come out a little lower with more topspin which helps the ball run up the green to the flag.

Applying these principles for various sand conditions and lies will greatly improve the consistency of your sand play and will help reduce your scores.

If getting out of the Hill Barn bunkers standing on one foot, closing both eyes, left hand below right or praying still hasn’t helped, then please feel free to give myself or Simon a call – let’s conquer the fear once and for all.

Happy golfing
David Fluke
Head Professional – David Fluke

News from the pro shop

The long British summer is always an exciting month for any avid golfer, not only do we have day light until at

least 9:30pm there is also The Open Championship.  After playing four days of world class golf the eventual winner of the 2017 British Open was Jordan Spieth.  A victory he does deserve after playing great golf all year.  Once again The Open proved to be the most exciting of golf’s four majors.  Royal Birkdale was set up superbly and proved a very fair test to all competitors.

On the 18th July Lathaen Baylis and I had the pleasure of playing at Walton Heath in the PGA Lombard trophy.  Lathaen who won the May medal with a nett 65 qualified to play with me.  Sadly we finished Nine shots off the pace with a score of 1 over par.  It was a fair result around a very tough demanding golf course.  Next year we will once again be giving a lucky member the chance to play with myself in the biggest pro-am in Europe by qualifying through a club medal competition.

Congratulations to Jordan Russell who on the 25th June won the Hill Barn Club Championship, Jordan played great golf in windy conditions on the 2nd round to win by two shots, with a score of 150.  Lathaen Baylis shot a 71 in the morning which gave him a slight lead going into the afternoon, but sadly the wind got the better of him and he fell away. Colin Bruford won the nett club championship with a nett score of 138. The scoring on the day was exceptional with many golfers shooting below their handicaps.

Chris Smith the 2017 Hill Barn Captain presents Colin Bruford the nett club championship prize and Jordan Russell receiving the club champion shield.

Shop Special Offer

For a limited time we have a special offer on Under Armour Golf Shoes.  This is only while stocks last so please be quick to avoid disappointment.  Under Armour golf shoes were worn by many of the golfers at this year’s Open Championship.

Under Armour Performance spike less golf shoes were £109.99 now have been reduced to £99.99 and Under Armour Spieth One Golf Shoe was £149.99 now only £129.99.

Steven Wilford, PGA
Retail Manager

And finally......