From Richard Hill, Course Manager: Since the recent lockdown, the work at Hampton Court hasn’t stopped. While November was dry, warm and sunny, December has been the opposite, cold, wet and windy. However, all the work carried out on the greens during October and November has certainly helped the course cope with the weather.
The historically wet greens, which have had drainage installed, are certainly performing better for this time of the year. This is a very positive sign, the additional hollow coring carried out is also helping move the water through the surface and dry the surfaces out on the all-important drying days. The lack of sunshine / light at this time of year and low cloud cover lessens the impact of this but the investment into maximizing this process is going to pay dividends over time.
The work we have so far carried out will provide a benefit well into the future and we will be receiving some new pieces of equipment in the new year that will certainly help with the presentation and quality of cut, especially on the fairways. With more investment planned for machinery and maintenance processes, it really is a positive time to be a Member at Hampton Court Golf Club.
Driving range: Elsewhere, as David mentioned, we are in the process of overhauling the practice facility. The teeing area of the driving range is currently being levelled and is due to be turfed as I write this piece for the newsletter. We are also working on the pathway down to the driving range and will be installing a new range ball dispenser and pathway in the new year if not before.
Short-game area: The short-game area next to range is now CLOSED and NO golf can be played from here as this is owned by the Palace and has become a public area. Please do not use this area for any golf.
Rough on No. 6: The area of rough on the left-hand side of the 6th was previously an SSSI but recent discussions with the Palace have resulted in an agreement to allow us to maintain this area. Under the agreement, we can cut it back and plant some new trees. It will still be a tough hole but it means you will be able to find your ball more easily and help maintain the pace of play.
Paths: We have also started work on the pathway between the 1st and 2nd. We have installed a big soakaway and started to remove and reconstruct the sub-base and surface of the pathway so that it will have a better drainage and water holding capacity. At present this pathway sub-base is simply too shallow. The project will take some time as we also proceed with other maintenance tasks around the course. The aim is to work the pathway in sections to minimize disruption.
Fairway irrigation: You will also be pleased to learn, on the subject of fairways, that the irrigation installation is scheduled for the new year. This will start on the 1st and 18th, which will remain open but with various new teeing areas added for health and safety reasons. It’s a huge project that will see installation on all fairways over the next couple of years. When you combine this with investment in seed, equipment, and maintenance processes, you will see that the fairways at Hampton Court are about to take a big step forward.
We have plenty of work scheduled for January and beyond, despite being in the most uncertain of times. If you would like to keep up to date with all of our new projects and course improvements, please refer to the Course Improvements section of the website.
All of this leaves me and my team to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year as we head into a very exciting 2021.
From Johnny Powell, PGA Pro: Looking ahead to 2021, in January I will be offering a 50% discount on one-hour lessons for the first 15 customers who book. As this is on a first-come-first-served basis, please email me via [email protected] to avoid disappointment and claim your half price lesson!
I will also have a new Member offer of an introductory 50% off a one-hour lesson for any Member that hasn’t had a lesson with me. You can use this lesson on any aspect of your game — from your short game to using the Flightscope launch monitor on the range to fine tuning your club face and club path management. Again, email me at [email protected] to book.
And don’t forget my gift-of-golf offer, which ends on January 7th.
I will also be running the following FREE lessons in January. Five Members per group, contact me via [email protected]
- January 7th: “Do you know how to read” — Understand how greens break depending on your desired speed. Learn how your green reading is affected by being able to start the ball on line;
- January 14th: “Need for speed” — Get a base line speed using my Flightscope launch monitor, then learn new drills to increase your club head speed;
- January 21st: “Are you pitched off by pitching?” — Learn some simple steps to help improve the quality of your strike to improve your distance control;
- January 28th: “Shot shaping” — Understand how to implement little changes to your set up to hit draws and fades with every club.
From Dale Brooks, PGA Pro: For January I will be offering the following FREE group lessons for five Members per session from 10am-11am:
- January 5th: No more slice (hit a straighter, more controlled ball flight)
- January 12th: short putts (never miss a putt inside 3ft again)
- January 19th: course management (save shots from decision making)
- January 26th: Gain yards off the tee (working on increasing swing speed resulting in distance)
Contact me via email at [email protected].
From Alex Vezey, PGA Pro: I will be offering some free tuition at the Club in January as per below:
January 6th and January 20th, 10.30am – 11.30am: Full Swing Class — Fault fixing and learning about your golf swing. Understand your faults and why they affect your ball flight. I will give you drills that you can use on your own to help fix your golf swing.
Class limited to five pupils.
Open to all Members
January 9th and January 23rd, 10.00am – 11.00am: Full Swing Help — Come along with your golf swing problems and leave understanding how you can fix them. Fully understand why you hit certain poor shots, how you can improve them and leave with a clear process on how to improve!
Limited to five pupils. To book a class please email me at: [email protected]
I am also offering a 15% discount to all Hampton Court Palace Members on coaching. Simply purchase a gift card to receive your discount off coaching for use in 2021. The offer runs out on December 24th, 2020. Click here: https://squareup.com/gift/MLPZ31DG4HPTN/order
From Pete Lockett, PGA Pro: Join me for the following key FREE training sessions! Five people per session to comply with the rule of six. Book via www.ptlgolf.com.
January 8th (12:00pm – 13:00pm): PTL Clinic — Join me for a New Year fundamental check up. Make sure you check out the fundamentals of your swing! This session will focus on:
- Ball position
- Balance points
January 22nd (09:00am – 10:00am): PTL Clinic — Putting. This session will focus on:
- Creating a perfect set up to hole more putts
- Drills that are based upon your own game
- Warm-up routines to lower your scores on the day
January 29th (09:00am – 10:00am): PTL Clinic — The Punch Shot, learn to play in the wind, develop that shot that will instantly improve your ball striking. This session will focus on:
- Key setup changes that will allow you to create a low penetrating ball flight.
- Wrist conditions
- Developing the Fleetwood finish position.
To book future lessons, please visit www.ptlgolf.com.
From Gus Mottershead, PGA Professional: My FREE Members’ classes will run from 12pm-1pm through January. The idea behind these sessions is to teach you how to practice effectively in order to help you score better where it counts.
- January 6th: Speed stick training to develop more club head speed with your driver;
- January 13th: 50 yard to 100 yard distance control practice in the scoring zone;
- January 20th: Pressure putting practice drills;
- January 27th: Short-game chipping drills to develop confidence under the gun.
My Saturday junior sessions will run as follows and will cost £45 for four weeks:
- January 9th: 10am-11am;
- January 16th: 11am-12pm;
- January 23rd: 1pm-2pm;
- January 30th: 2pm-3pm.
Game-based learning for all standards of juniors to help get everyone involved in the sport. For more information please contact me via [email protected].
From Jamie Savory, PGA Pro: Exclusive to Hampton Court Palace Members – FREE GOLF SWING EVALUATION:
2020 has been a frustrating year for many reasons and if not playing the golf you believe you can has added to it, then together we can uncover why and what needs to be done to achieve your goals and fulfil your potential. I would like to offer you a free golf swing evaluation to establish a plan of how we can move your game in the right direction!
To enquire and for further information you can reach me on my mobile 07795437359. All the best over this festive period.
Submitting a General Play score: General Play scores under the World Handicapping System (WHS) are similar to the Supplementary Scores that were permitted under WHS’s predecessor, the CONGU Unified Handicapping System.
General Play scores, so long as they comply with the requirements of WHS’s “Acceptable Scores”, will be included in the player’s scoring record used for calculation of their Handicap Index.
The following procedure is for General Play scores made at Pyrford. If you wish to enter a General Play score at an “away” club, please contact the Club Handicap Committee.
Procedure for General Play Scores at the Club during Covid-19:
- Rather than picking up a scorecard from the golf reception desk, you may wish to print your own scorecard. You can find a PDF file for the course on the Club’s webpage.
- Play with another Member as your marker, while observing no-contact, social distancing guidelines. Rather than exchange cards, record your gross hole scores on your own card and ask your marker to record your scores separately, so that you can cross-check during and, especially, after the round. Your marker must verbally authorise your gross scores, instead of signing your card physically. It is useful for you and your marker to keep totals, as this can help to identify any discrepancies, during the post-round authorisation check. However, under the Rules of Golf, it is the individual gross hole score, which is authorised by both player and marker, not the totals or points.
- You MUST register to submit a General Play round BEFORE you begin playing the round. This can be done via the Intelligent Golf App. When you press “begin scoring”, (found at the bottom of the SETUP screen), your round is then registered, with a timestamp. You can do this at any time on the day of the round, so long as it is before your booked tee time and before you tee off to start the round. The registration time stamp is verified as preceding your tee time booking.
- Once you have pressed “begin scoring”, you can enter your gross hole scores on the App, as you play the round. Alternatively, you can just leave the App in that state on your mobile and enter the hole scores after your round. If you make no score on a hole then mark with a zero. If you do not complete the round then mark any holes not played with NS. You must enter your scores before leaving the club. The App will not permit scores to be entered if you are not within the vicinity of the club.
- The screenshots for entering and finalising your score are shown below:
- After you have finished the round, ensure that your card has all the essential information, otherwise it will be rejected:
a) The date and time you played your round
b) Your full name, in the header, with your signature at the bottom of the card
c) Indication of which tees you played from
d) Your marker’s full name, written legibly, to indicate who authorised your score
e) In the box for “COMPETITION” write “General Play”
f) The gross scores for each hole.
- To avoid physical contact with your marker, or exchanging scorecards, take a photo/scan of the completed card and email it to the handicap secretary. Make sure that the image has the full card, so that no information is cut off. Your card must be emailed, no later than 10pm on the day of the round, even if you did not complete the round or did not hole out at every hole. If a card is not returned by the deadline, a “No Return” will be recorded. Do not put your card in the handicap cards box. Keep it with you for reference, until your score has been confirmed in your handicap record.