Dear Members,

I wanted to start the latest Member Update by looking at the golf course and practice ground.

Since the turn of the year, we have seen excessive amounts of rainfall which has disappointingly led to the implementation of course closures and restrictions such as ‘carry only’. To provide further insight into the levels of rain we have had, on average for the months of January and February, we have historically seen approximately 61.2mm (2.41 inches) of rain. So far in 2022, we have received 139.19mm of rain (5.48 inches).

As documented within the Winter Maintenance Programme, drainage in the region continues to be an issue. We are proactively seeking ways in which we can manage the water on-site more effectively and this can be evidenced in areas such as the left of the 8th teeing ground and the area between the 11th green and 12th tees.

The idea behind such works is to create deep enough water retention areas that create a natural pull. This will see them appear as sandscrapes during the dry summer months and wetland areas during the winter months whilst hopefully keeping these pathways drier.

Engaging with the specialist advice of a course architect, we will look to explore the site for further opportunities to create such areas, which will help us keep the course open for longer periods, particularly whilst we continue to experience high volumes of rainfall during the winter months.

Below, we have collated images from the course, all of which have been taken over the past week, and show the challenges we are having predominantly with the wet access to teeing grounds.

Practice Ground

Moving on to the Practice Ground. As is the case with repairs of this size, there are various factors involved, all of which have contributed to the delays experienced. For transparency, I will aim to provide a full insight into the challenges experienced so far.

When the storms hit back in November, we raised a claim with our Insurance provider at the very earliest opportunity. However, due to an administration error on their part there was a delay of around 4/5 weeks. Having had the opportunity to meet with the loss adjuster, it was requested that we source accurate quotations from contractors once the fallen trees had been removed from the area. This would enable all damage to be accounted for accurately. This of course created an additional 1/2 week delay whilst the contractors carried out further investigations.

Alongside the above, we have also experienced delays with sourcing materials, as is the case in many walks of life at present. To provide a working example, the lead time on the netting alone was 6-8 weeks at the time of order.

We have agreed costings with the contractor and we are the next job on their schedule. Once ground conditions permit, we will confirm the start date for the repair work.

During the repair process, we have taken the opportunity to explore options to improve the facilities for the benefit of members, and improving the foundations for future developments / upgrades. It would have been financially irresponsible of us to purely return the netting and stanchions to their previous state and then spend more member funds at a future time.  

I would to like reassure members, that whilst we fully appreciate the inconvenience this is causing, we are attempting to move as fast as external factors will allow.

Shoe Cleaner

Members will be aware that the shoe cleaner is currently out of service. Unfortunately back in January the machine broke down.

Having had the machine inspected, it became apparent it had exceeded its life expectancy (by approximately five years) meaning the cost of repair did not make financial sense, particularly in comparison to the cost of a full replacement.

A new machine is on order. We aim to have this facility back open and operational as soon as possible but remain dictated to by the supplier. 


As part of our commitment to provide a safe place for members to enjoy club facilities, the Director of Health and Safety and I wish to take this opportunity to provide an update on Health and Safety.

This update will cover the following key areas:

1) The Golf Course

a) A guidance document on when the course will close for safety reasons.

b) Course procedures:

i) The use of ‘FORE’.

ii) Priority on the Golf Course.

2) Insurance cover 

3) The procedure for buggy rentals.

4) Reminder of the Fire Evacuation Procedure.

5) Reporting of Accidents/Injuries/Near Misses and Health & Safety Issues

1a) The Golf Course

This winter, we have experienced almost every type of weather imaginable. With this in mind, the Team and I felt it would be good to advise members on the course closure policy, providing particular guidance on weather conditions such as fog.

Read the Course Closure Policy Guidance Document Here

1b) Course procedures:

i) The use of “ FORE!”.

If you play a ball in the direction where there may be danger to a fellow golfer, member of staff or visiting party, you must shout “FORE!” immediately.

On hearing a shout of “FORE!”, crouch, cover your head and count to 10 to ensure an appropriate amount of time has passed.

ii) Priority on the Golf Course.

Please be aware that on the course green staff have priority at all times.

If a member of green staff is present, You MUST NOT PLAY until they have acknowledged you, stepped aside and waved you through.

Please DO NOT assume that a member of the greens team will be able to hear and respond to shouts of “FORE!” whilst they work.  They may not be able to hear due to machinery noise, their use of ear defenders and the fact that they are concentrating on the job they are doing.

This priority rule is in place to protect staff against the risk of being hit by golf balls while they work, as one of several safety measures, including: -

  • Greens staff ensure they are visible to other persons on the course
  • Traffic routes around the course have been planned to minimise operator exposure to golf balls.
  • Green keeping work is planned, where possible, to avoid it taking place when holes are in play.  This includes greens staff starting work at dawn, to try to get as much work as possible done before golfers begin.
  • Record of “near misses” is maintained and reported to the General Manager on a regular basis.”

Wherever possible, green staff will move to one side, to allow golfers to play through.

However, there will be times when this will not be the case: -

  • Green staff may not notice you, as they are concentrating on the task in hand.
  • Certain jobs cannot be interrupted.  For example, when spraying greens, the job must be continuous to ensure constant and complete coverage.
  • The job maybe nearly finished or by holding you up once, the green staff will pull away from you and not disturb you again.

Finally, please shout “FORE!” even if a green keeper has waved you through, if you hit a ball in their direction.  Please do not assume that they have seen your ball and are aware it is flying towards them.

2) Insurance Cover

May we remind members that you are required to have adequate insurance cover for all third party liabilities when you are playing golf and also, if required, to cover illness/accident as the subscription is annual so no refunds are offered should a member find they are unable to play for all/part of the year.

3) The procedure for buggy rentals.

In order to ensure the club are compliant, we will be implementing a procedure for the rental of buggies. Moving forwards, anyone hiring a buggy will be asked to sign in order to acknowledge the terms of the risk assessment and buggy policy for their use. For those hiring a buggy, this will be requested each time a buggy is rented.

The member of staff in the Professional shop will also sign to acknowledge that they have checked the condition of the buggy and that it is ready for use.

4) Fire Evacuation Procedure

On discovering a fire: -

•  Activate the fire alarm using the nearest call point, located at every exit.

On hearing the alarm: -

•  Leave the building immediately, by the nearest exit.

•  Proceed to the assembly point.

•  Do not re-enter the building unless you are told to do so.

•  The emergency ASSEMBLY POINT is located on the CAR PARK.

5) Reporting of Accidents/Injuries/Near Misses and Health & Safety Issues

If you do injure yourself whilst on Fairhaven Golf Club premises, to ensure the Club is compliant with the Health & Safety at Work Act (and the management of this Act), there is a process for reporting and recording of accidents/injuries/near misses which must be followed.  Please report all Health & safety issues and accidents/injuries/near misses to the General Manager as soon as practicably possible at or contact the office 01253 736741 (opt1)

Food and beverage 

Throughout 2021 and into 2022, our Food and Beverage Team demonstrated great resilience to the challenges presented by the pandemic. Despite said challenges, we believe the department has retained its excellent service to members whilst delivering some memorable club functions along the way, with Burns Night being a particular highlight.

We are firm believers that this year has been a year of putting foundations in place to lift the overall clubhouse experience for members. Within this period we have been required to invest in some major infrastructure within the back of house facilities and most noticeable on this front was the goods lift. In order to ensure economic viability moving forwards, the decision to replace the lift was made.

In addition to these infrastructure works, we have also upgraded our collection of plates to prevent the club needing to hire in such items in the future, and have taken advantage of previously under utilised funding within our agreement with the brewery to improve general amenities such as the beer mats and napkins.

Unfortunately, in the up and coming month, we have been advised that we will experience an increase in costs, particularly in the beverage offering. Whilst we await further information on this, we have started negotiations with our suppliers in order to move to a best price system which will see purchase savings given back to members in order to try and limit such increases.

As we head towards the start of the golfing season, the Team are very excited to have been able to launch the new Daily Dining Menu which we believe will improve the quality of the food available to members, whilst retaining excellent value. The new Daily Dining Menu can be viewed here.

And finally, from Monday 7th March, the opening hours of the bar will extend to 7pm meaning the new opening hours will be as follows:

Clubhouse 07:30 - 18:30
Bar 09:00 - 19:00
Catering 09:00 - 16:00


New Member Bag Tags, Dress Code, Trolley Store and Member Guest Bookings

Member Bag Tags

I am pleased to advise members that member bag tags are available for collection in the Professional Shop. Feedback indicated that the previous bag tag was causing some issues, particularly with the adhesiveness of the sticker and we have therefore updated the bag tag entirely to prevent such issues in the future.

Each member will be issued with one free bag tag.

Dress Code

Recently, dress code has been discussed by the Membership Committee with recommendations presented to the Board. Please can I take this opportunity to provide a copy of the updated dress code which can be viewed here.

Trolley Store

We currently have a sizable waiting list for the Trolley Store, but are aware that some members subscribe to the facility without using it. Members wish to have access to the Trolley Store for a variety of reasons, ranging from transport issues through to storage issues within their homes, and with this in mind, we would ask members who currently pay for a space in the Trolley Store, but do not use the facility, to consider relinquishing their place so that their fellow members can utilise the store to its full capacity.

Member Guest Bookings

Members will learn from the February Board minutes that a recommendation was put forward and approved which will see an alteration to the way in which Member Guest bookings can be made.

The Membership Working Group, which has been tasked with, and are still, reviewing access to the golf course, have considered the data/information available to them. This data has shown that year-on-year there has been an increase with the number of member guests brought to the club, with a particular spike between 9am and 11am.

It was noted that there is a significant member benefit to the member guest scheme. In order to balance the member benefit with the desire for greater course access, the following booking restrictions will be implemented from the 1st April 2022.

Permitted Booking Window

4 x Member Guest Bookings prior to 13:36     |     Unlimited after 13:36


4 x Member Guest Bookings prior to 13:36     |     Unlimited after 13:36


4 x Member Guest Bookings prior to 13:36     |     Unlimited after 13:36


4 x Member Guest Bookings prior to 13:36     |     Unlimited after 13:36     |    Subject to no competitions


4 x Member Guest Bookings prior to 13:36     |     Unlimited after 13:36


4 x Member Guest Bookings prior to 13:36     |      Unlimited after 13:36     |     Subject to no competitions


Unlimited after 13:00

The Working Group are mindful that this alone will not eradicate the problem, but hope that this will reduce pressure with advanced Member Guest bookings being managed in a more structured way. As is always the case with such decisions and recommendations, regular reviews will be carried out to monitor its impact. 

As Spring quickly approaches, we can start to look oppomistically to drier weather and an exciting Summer of golf. 

Best regards,

Mark Duncalf

General Manager