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Spring Meeting Wed 12 April 2017

On a lovely spring day, 67 players took part in the 18 and 9 hole competitions. The bowmaker format helped team spirit and the increasing run on the ball, brought out some good scores with only 3 shots dividing the prize winners.

After a lovely meal, the serious business of the Cumberwell Bake off was judged by our own ‘Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry’ (Becky and Ali). The support and cake baking was impressive with 17 entries and very hard to judge. However a winner was decided and the winning entry was auctioned off.
The rest of the cakes were sold as portions for pudding.

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The grass may have stopped growing with all of the frosts we’ve been having, but that doesn’t mean that the greens team can take it easy over winter! We’re well underway with our annual winter conservation work here at Cumberwell and there’s still plenty more to do.

Throughout January we have continued the planting programme on the Par 3 course. Further blocks of hawthorn, blackthorn and cotoneaster have been planted which will help to add definition between the fairways. A seventy metre hedgerow has also been planted using a ‘Stewardship’ species mix including: hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, guilder rose and spindleberry. The hedgerow makes for a more natural looking border to the course and also provides a wildlife corridor for mammals to move around more freely.

The flowerbeds surrounding the island green lake are now well established and the dogwood will provide a vibrant colour display in the coming year. We have been adding woodchip mulch to the beds and around the base of the newly planted trees, helping to reduce weed establishment and aiding in water retention around the roots in the dryer summer months.

The rockery surrounding the amphibian ponds on the main driveway has now been planted with an array of grasses and ground cover, and will provide an eye catching display this coming summer.

Conservation work has also started on the main course with the coppicing of hazel. By reducing hazel stands down to a stump we can increase light to surrounding plants and encourage new growth. Coppicing also allows dead and diseased wood to be removed and helps to extend the life of the plant. We don’t remove every hazel stand each year as the course would lose some definition and character (and because there are so many!), but instead coppice selected individuals. We will also be thinning out other hedgerows in the weeks to come, particularly those surrounding greens. Opening up areas around greens will increase airflow and light, encouraging stronger greens with less disease.

Ditches around the course will also be cleaned out shortly as plants and silt have reduced the water flow.

Our tree survey is always ongoing and aims to ensure all of our established and ancient trees are safe around areas of play. Some of the trees around the car park have now reached maturity and are beginning to encroach on each other. We will be removing some of these trees to preserve and encourage the remaining specimens.

The birds at Cumberwell don’t get forgotten over the winter months either. During February we will be cleaning out and checking the condition of our smaller bird boxes. These boxes are occupied by blue tits and great tits and usually have a high occupancy rate. We will be repairing and replacing these as appropriate to encourage more birds to the course. The larger boxes for the owls and kestrels will also be checked and the bedding refreshed for the coming season.

So there’s plenty of conservation work to be done in the coming weeks and hopefully you’ll be seeing the fruits of our labours as you’re playing in the, hopefully, much warmer summer!

Jon Keepen – Head of Conservation

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Winter 2016

Paths

The relatively dry autumn has allowed us to make good progress with extending pathways as well as improving existing ones. Last winter highlighted the need to extend pathways and we have prioritised the worst areas. The initial aim was to excavate the area for the new paths and haul the bulk of the path material whilst ground conditions were suitable. This method has paid off as we can now spend time finishing the paths and adding a topping layer. When constructing paths, we have to consider how the path will behave during periods of heavy rain. You will have noticed we camber the paths in some areas in an attempt to shed the water off on to the grass. Paths that have been completed or are in progress include: 2nd tee area, 3rd tee area, 3rd green/4th tee area, 5th green/6th tee area, 7th green/8th tee area, 11th tees to fairway, 11th green to 12th tees, 13th tees to 13th green, 14th tees to fairway, 15th tees to fairway, 17th tees to fairway. The main aim of these pathways is to aid trolley and foot traffic through areas prone to mud. Please make use of them where appropriate.

Bunkers

A number of bunkers require major re-modelling whereas other just require the sand to be replaced. This will start once we have made further progress with the pathway improvements.

We have a number of bunkers which have suffered from contamination as a result of the excessive winter rain. Flood water has carried fine soil particles into the bunkers which, over a period of time, has restricted the ability of many bunkers to drain. The work will involve removing all contaminated sand, checking drains and replacing with new sand.

There are several bunkers on the orange course that will require more substantial works to improve them. The bunkers on the 32nd fairway absorb much of the surrounding fairway water meaning they often washout and fill with water. We will need to redirect surface water to remedy this. The base of these bunkers are very stony so this will be replaced by clay.

 

Matt James
Course Manager

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Paul Upton pictured below after scoring a hole-in-one in Monday’s Seniors friendly match at Manor House.

Congratulations Paul!

paul-upton

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Club Captain Mark Symonds held his Captains weekend on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July and it proved to be a great weekend raising over £4000 for the RUH Cancer Centre appeal – a superb effort from Mark, all his helpers and the members.

Saturday saw 128 people competing for the Captains Trophy and in windy conditions Dom Walter shot a superb 37 points to take the trophy and gave a great winners speech in the evening!

Captains Day Prizes Captains Day Hole Prizes

See below for a selection of photos from the hugely entertaining Captains Night..

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Hello Golfers,

We are well into February and still the rain hasn’t subsided but lets talk about something a lot more positive – an update on the development of the fantastic Par 3 course.

All has been going along very nicely during the winter despite the wet weather and as we move into Spring we will see the course take shape.
The hole numbers have been changed from the original plan to aid the access to the course from the Clubhouse and Car Park – the original 1st hole will now become the 9th hole with the 1st hole now being the original 9th hole. These hole numbers will remain in place until the 2nd 9 of the Par 3 course is opened and then these may change to fit in with the routing plan.

This will enable golfers to have the shortest possible access to walk from the clubhouse and car park to the course.

Below is a plan of the course with the New Hole numbers

par 3 course

 

We have some photos below of the progress of the course – some taken by our Architect James Edwards and some by our Head Professional John Jacobs

 

Architect James Edwards quotes about his work on the Par 3 course

“The James Family have allowed me to introduce and showcase classic architectural features into this course such as the ‘Amphitheatre Green’, a tip of the cap to the Romans as we are on top of Bath, the inspired ‘Island Green’ 7th (Thank you Mr & Mrs Dye), the ‘Tabletop/Fortress’ 9th (just 100 yards), the ‘Redan 8th from the low tees, the ‘Biarritz’ 4th with huge central swale etc etc and a inspired ‘Cape’ par 3, 6th where we have tees on a 80 degree splay – give or take over the side of the lake cutting away with the higher handicapers able to use collecting contours. Their support for the project and their enthusiasm for the growth of golf in general, has lead us too this exciting position of being able to present a facility that is 100% designed for ALL LEVELS OF GOLFER with 700m2 grass tees to accommodate high levels of play from ALL TEES.  Their investment into the construction is for all to see, with well constructed surfaces and surrounds conceived and planned by leading consultants and built by their experienced Team.  The lake feature on the entrance is something to behold.”

Course Manager Matt James has put together a short summary of the progress on the Par 3 course

  • Some mowing of the Greens took place during the Winter but the wet weather has restricted this
  • The Lake was re-examined in October – additional clay added to the base which seems to have rectified the leak – it has just recently filled to the optimum level.
  • Planting scheme developed with Matt, James Edwards (architect) & an ecologist.
  • Approximately 3000 shrubs will be planted this year, mainly around the lake and these consist of native species such as hawthorn, hazel & blackthorn. We have planted large areas of red & yellow dogwood which give a vibrant winter colour.
  • We are currently planting 150 trees, these are mainly out of play & more to improve the landscape and define the holes. They consist of native trees such as Oak, Field Maple, Lime, Beech, Sycamore, Hornbeam, Alder, Silver Birch, ash & Scots pine.
  • Some remaining sprinklers are currently being fitted to the tees – its hard to imagine we will need to use these in a few months time!!!
  • Once ground conditions allow, we will resume mowing.
  • Fertiliser will be applied to tees, fairways & greens in March; some overseeding required on greens where establishment was late.
  • Bunker shapes will be marked & cut in the spring – they will be excavated & filled with sand thereafter.
  • A pathway from the back of the 7th green to the 9th  tees will be installed in the spring. (this is a service paths for machines etc)
  • A pond & walled feature will be constructed between the driveway & 9th hole making use of the stone on site.
  • The course is expected to mature through the spring time along with regular mowing.
  • Some of the wet winter days have been spent producing new tee markers.
  • The irrigation system will be fully functional allowing us to water tees, greens, approaches & fairway by the touch of a button via our PC controlled system.

We hope to have the Course fully operational sometime in July or Early August – we hope you are all as excited as we are about the new venture!

During late Spring we will also be allowing you the opportunity to have a final Tour round the course before its open – by this stage the bunkers should be shaped and it will almost look like the finished article – so keep your eyes peeled for details of this…and don’t forget the Hog Roast after!

 

 

 

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The Ladies Section certainly embraced the festive spirit last week. On Monday 15th December; the ‘Christmas Canter’ took place followed by The Ladies Christmas Lunch.  50 ladies wore their Fanciest Fancy Dress, Jolliest Jumpers and some Hilarious Hats! They certainly brightened up what was a dull and dreary day weather wise out on the golf course!

The Ladies Committee also performed their own version of Strictly Come Dancing which thrilled the watching Ladies and lead to shouts for an ‘encore’!! – to which the committee duly obliged – its rumoured that video evidence of the performance exists!!

It was a thoroughly enjoyable the day. The raffle raised £375 for the Lady Captain’s chosen charity, ‘Age UK’.

Mel Probert – the Lady Captain and the Committee would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and look forward to a very successful year in 2016.

Plenty of competitions and fun took place and the winners are below:

Fancy Dress Winners:

Fancy Dress  –  Budgie Nock
Best Hat – Louise Virley
Best Jumper – Pat Traves

Pin the Ball on the Green – Val O Robb
Heads and Tails – Fiona Snape
Guess committee member – Maggie Christison

 

Golf Competitions Winners:

9 hole Red Winners and Runners Up
1st Sue Roberts, Sue Cooper, Marusia Collins
2nd Judy Mussell, Fiona Snape, Barbara Suri

9 hole Yellow Winners and Runners Up
1st Patsy Lewis, Maggie Christison, Katrina Hurley
2nd Linda Brown, Sue Warren, Di Finn

Please see below for photos of the day.. a great selection of fancy dress and of the visit from Santa!! (please click on the photos to enlarge and you can then scroll through them)

 

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