From Andy Brett, Golf Manager, Jessica Jones, Food & Beverage Manager, and Richard Hill, Course Manager: Welcome to the September newsletter. We hope you are all well and enjoying your golf!
We would like to wish Ben Moran (General Manager) and Lauren Barnett (Events Coordinator) all the best with their future careers as both have chosen to take voluntary redundancy. David Harris, General Manager at Redlibbets Golf and Country Club, who has been working on an interim basis to help the team with improvements in and around the club, will now take on a permanent role at the club. He says, “I have really enjoyed my month at HCPGC. I think the site is special and am keen to develop its full potential. I have also been struck by the kindness and warm welcome I have received from Members and look forward to repaying them with a fantastic golf experience.”
While we have all experienced a rise in the numbers playing golf since the partial lifting of the lockdown in May, all most half of Hampton Court Palace Golf Club’s historical trading has come from food and drink sales, as well as the events and functions side of the business, so overall trading has remained challenging to say the least.
Get Golfing, however, sees Hampton Court Palace GC as a key site and will be investing in it significantly over the coming years. That said, any support Members can give to the staff and Club in the meantime would be greatly appreciated. For example, it would be a great help if Members could make sure they regularly use the kitchen and bar offerings. Many of you have already helped by introducing golfing friends to membership of Hampton Court Palace GC and it would be fantastic if all Members tried to do so as well. If you use the Member referral programme, you will receive 10% of the new Member’s first-year subscription as a credit on your bar card.
Future development plans
Since Get Golfing took over Hampton Court Palace GC, work has been going on behind the scenes regarding areas for investment and establishing budgets and timings. The current lease with “The Palace” expires in 2036 and discussions have commenced about an extension. If these discussions are fruitful, the extended period will enable Get Golfing to invest significant sums into the facility, which should provide you with a much better conditioned course and significant improvements to your bar and restaurant experience. We will keep you informed as discussions progress.
The new membership cards are here and most have now been collected. If you haven’t got yours, please ask at the bar so that you can get your discount and use any money on your account.
Members can now switch from their current Crown membership contract to a new Get Golfing contract, which means you can receive the additional benefits that Get Golfing offers. Please click here to review your options, including our new Buggy Membership category, which gives you unlimited use of a buggy for £50 a month, or contact Andy via email ([email protected]).
We are delighted to announce that the number of members has started to rise for the first time in three years and we hope to build on this progress. Our referral programme is being well received and many Members have referred friends. As we said earlier, any new Member referred by you means you will receive 10% of their membership fee to spend on your card. Refer a new 7-Day Member and that’s £174!
We have also started the process of reviewing some of Crown’s membership categories and, in particular, the corporate arrangements that existed. In order to qualify for a corporate membership in future, one needs to apply on behalf of a registered company and VAT will be charged on the flexible subscription. Individuals need to select from the individual subscriptions that are available here.
Food and drink news
The kitchen under Head Chef Steve Chatfield is now fully operational throughout the day, from 7am until 7pm, with our new menu and daily specials available for Members and visitors, along with a BBQ outside on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The drinks buggy is now available every day on the course, so please keep an eye out for it if you want a round of drinks or some food. We can now take orders for hot food and have it delivered to you, just ask the team before or while you are out on the course.
The new intelligentgolf system, which you use to book tee times, message others and see the latest news, will also soon link all competitions. This will allow you to enter competitions, see future dates, check results and track your handicap. We will keep you updated once the system has been installed and all competition and handicap secretaries are up to speed.
From Richard Hill, Course Manager: Firstly I would like to say that Get Golfing’s focus on course conditioning and its financial support in terms of staffing, new machinery and the overall course budget is a breath of fresh air and will enable us to deliver a much better experience for all our golfers.
Out on the course the high temperatures and exceptionally dry conditions at the start of August meant our planned greens maintenance work has been rescheduled and altered. This year it won’t consist of the usual hollow coring and lots of sand but will be lighter and less aggressive to take into account the impact that this kind of work can have on the course at a later time of year.
We have, though, booked the hire of the Oxyshot again, which will be on the course on Monday, October 12th. This enables us to blast compressed air half a metre into the ground, which breaks through the soil profile to create — and link — fissures. This in turn greatly helps with the movement of water away from the playing surface. It’s the same piece of equipment we used in January to good effect on several of the wetter greens.
We have also sourced some products to work with the Oxyshot process and these will be now built into the regular greens maintenance programme. The aim is to work continually with the soils, improving the health of the grass and the ability of the soil to retain nutrients, hold moisture and move excessive moisture away.
Across the rest of the golf course the significant lack of rainfall this year is obvious for all to see — the entire site is bone dry. The drop in temperatures and recent rainfall are a welcome break from the searing 36-degree heat. We have in stock various products to help restore the tees, approaches and fairways and we have started to apply them. We will continue to do so, as the ground softens, especially in the case of the fairways. We have managed to return the fairways from a much worse position than they are currently in. We are confident that with some more rainfall and carefully timed product application we will see a quick turn around.
I am pleased to announce that we will be carrying on with our regular fairway maintenance programme this year and we will be overseeding and applying a granular fertiliser. The timing of these processes is very dependent on the right conditions presenting themselves, which historically has been between now and the end of October.
It is normally at this time of year that the golf course starts to head back into its green phase and we are more than ready to help it along this path.
Don’t forget the deer cull starts on September 7th, which means midweek starting times will be slightly later than normal and can be seen online when booking.
Congratulations to Gus Mottershead who won The PGA Kent Open on -6 after 36 holes and will, hopefully, play many more great rounds in future!
We are excited to announce that ex-European Tour Professional and multiple winner on The Challenge Tour, Robert Dinwiddie, will be joining us to coach at the club.
John Powell, Gus Mottershead and Robert Dinwiddie will all offer their services at the club and will run a FREE weekly session from September. The free sessions will be a chance to meet the pros, socialise with other members, practice and get some great advice.
To book in for the lesson please email our professionals directly with your name, number and date you will be attending. Lessons may from the range, short game area, putting green and on the course. Please come to the main bar area to check in at least 10 minutes before starting time. Range balls are included within.
Professional: John Powell
Booking link: http://johnpowellacademy.setmore.com/bookclass
Dates: September 10th & 24th; Time: 10.30am – 11.30am
Professional: Gus Mottershead
Booking email: [email protected]
Dates: September 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th; Time: 4pm – 5pm
Professional: Robert Dinwiddie
Booking email: [email protected]
Date: September 18th; Time: 10am – 11am
Online pro shop
With the closure of the pro shop, we are temporarily offering balls, gloves, hats etc at the check-in desk. Towards the end of the year, we will have our own online golf shop, which will enable members to buy their golf merchandise direct using their club cards and receive the relevant discounts that go with their membership category. Merchandise (including Club logo apparel) will be delivered to their home or on a click-and-collect basis at the Club. Get Golfing is confident that this will mean that Members at HCPGC will receive outstanding value on their purchases and, if we may borrow a term, “never be knowingly undersold”. More information will become available in due course.