February saw the introduction of the 2023/24 membership year, bringing a conclusion to the 2022/23 year. To start this new year, I wanted to head directly into Club business, particularly in relation to the subscription increases.
The Board would like to thank those members who took the time to meet with them on Wednesday 14th December 2022. The benefit of this drop-in session allowed in person discussions surrounding several areas of the club and the budget / financial planning for 2023/24. This, in conjunction with the written communications received, has enabled us to provide detailed information on the most common themes throughout both communication channels.
Members are invited to read the FAQ's document which has been put together to centralise common questions raised. Please click here to read the FAQ's document.
The team continue to work their way through the winter maintenance programme. Information on this can be found in the latest Course Managers Blog (which can be viewed here) but I wanted to place on record my gratitude for the efforts that are going into such an extensive programme of works, the results of which look fantastic – example of the newly refurbished bunker on the 9th hole:
This winter we are preparing for another excellent summer of golf, whilst setting the foundations for better year-round golf through the improvement of drainage. Frustratingly, drainage on the Fylde Coast continues to be problematic and this emphasises the need to keep increasing control of water and drainage within our boundary. This issue has been visible in recent weeks, particularly around the back of the 9th green and in front of the 8th tee.
Winter has and continues to present pressure particularly in terms of course condition. Previously, the club have adopted a model of visitor income that sees a select few large groups during the winter period. The course is arguably at its most vulnerable during the winter period and to ensure protection whilst maximising income from external groups, the decision has been made to restructure the winter green fee strategy. To create such a balance, we will see an increase in member opportunity during the winter period and the addition of two open competitions, one being in March and the other October, two months which are more stable in terms of weather patterns than November through to February. The generated income from the open competitions will off-set that lost from the removal of larger groups in the winter period.
It is believed that this will facilitate greater financial benefit whilst reducing the impact to members and the course throughout the winter period.
GENERAL COURSE ETIQUETTE
Unfortunately, we feel the need to raise three main points regarding general etiquette whilst using the course and surrounding facilities.
CLEANING TROLLEY WHEELS
Members will note the collective efforts going on to battle the increase in wormcasts. Disappointingly, we are still seeing a vast number of members cleaning the wheels of their trollies on the fairways and this comes with significant impact. Please can members using a trolley refrain from cleaning wheels on the fairways and ensure that if the need arises this is done well into the sections of rough, ideally at least 5 yards in. Consideration is being given to the requirement of winter wheels in future winter periods. The reason for this consideration is that winter wheels reduce contact with the soil, making trollies easy to move and in turn provide additional protection to the playing surfaces.
Unfortunately, we are again finding an increase in the number of pitch marks on the greens. Last week a member reported that his group had repaired no fewer the 8 pitch marks on the 17th green. This followed a week in which no visiting groups came to the club so it is only member play that can have created such damage.
Please can all members ensure they repair any marks left on the greens, irrespective of the position of the pitch mark to finishing position of their ball. If all members were to repair their pitch mark and any other within the vicinity we would see an improvement in the general playing surfaces which our team take such pride in maintaining. Please help us help them to keep them in such good quality throughout the year.
This time of year inevitably produces additional waste from the bottom of our shoes. Whilst our handyman is regularly cleaning the area, there is only so much time he can spend doing so. I must ask members to ensure that the area is left in a tidy and clean state when used, a brush and a spade has been left for the purpose of removing any debris and I would be grateful for your assistance in maintaining a high standard for all users.
My thanks must go to those members who are often seen tidying this area.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
As expected, 2023 has started with notification of a price increase on several items of bar products. Taking a proactive approach to this challenge, we have made two bulk orders on several products within our January purchases. Whilst this will result in an increase in our stock holding, we believe this to be the best option available to us to retain prices at the current level for the longest period of time.
Recently, the club invested in furniture which will be sited in the Pheasant Lounge. It is widely accepted that the furniture available to members could be comfier and in an effort to improve this, we have purchased 20 leather bucket chairs. It has been pleasing to see the use of these almost instantaneously and the enhancement in the member experience.
In the coming weeks we see the return of European Football and it certainly returns with a bang. Special evenings will be put on for these events and we hope members will join us away from the hustle and bustle of Lytham taking advantage of the warm environment available here at the club. Further information on these events can be found on the ‘What’s On’ page on the member area of the club website: https://www.fairhavengolfclub.co.uk/club_events.php
The Halfway House…
Recent weather has dictated that the Halfway House be closed more than normal. This for a period was mainly as a result of the heavy rainfall preventing access the facility itself. This caused problems with availability of service and also the installation of our new coffee machine.
On Tuesday 31st January a new coffee machine was installed at the Halfway House. The reason we have decided to purchase a new machine is due to the failings of the previous one which would not allow us to provide a full range of coffees expected. We believe this will improve the member offering for your mid-round refreshment.
To improve the offering further, we have taken the opportunity to provide staff training. This means the staff who service the Halfway House are trained to Food Hygiene Level 2 as a basic standard which in turn will result in an upgrade in the quality of offering we are able to provide at the facility. Whilst we are still looking into the menu and offering, we are aiming to launch a new menu in the Spring.
As part of our commitment to continually improve our member offering, we are pleased to introduce Fulford Golf Club to our reciprocal scheme. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Fulford, it sits just 6 miles outside of York. The club is famous for one of the game’s most iconic shots which saw Bernhard Langer play his ball from the ash tree at the side of the 17th green when his wayward approach stayed in the crook of two branches. EFFECTIVE FROM 3RD APRIL 2023.
Other notable visitors include Peter Baker, Tom Weiskopf, and Ian Woosnam, who still holds a European Tour record of 8 consecutive birdies at the venue.
We are pleased to present members with another fantastic reciprocal course, and look forward to hearing about the stories of their visit to Fulford over the summer months.
Mark Duncalf | General Manager | February 2023