Our May 2023 Update
We hope the year has continued to be fantastic so far for you all. Here’s our update for everything that’s happened at the club during May and a look ahead to June as we head into summer.
Think you can do better?
All you butchers’ bakers and candlestick makers out there why not register your trade profession or
talent onto the club’s contractor data base and show us that you can.
Join our growing list of professionals and tradesmen willing to use their skill set to help us to
improve both the clubhouse and course and contribute to our 5 year plan.
Once registered you or your company will have the opportunity to provide competitive tenders for
future works and if successful will for years to come be able to sit back and admire your handiwork.
For those of you retired or with free time on your hands if you feel your experience and knowledge
is going to waste you also can sign up and assist in our goal to provide first class facilities to our great
Please contact – Manager@stmellonsgolfclub.co.uk and provide brief description of trade or profession, company name and works contact number and you or your company will be contacted to quote for future works.
Update From The Board
We have now been using BRS for some 3 / 4 weeks now , and are pleased to report good progress. From a technical / business perspective the system has settled down really well – just one or two very minor blips (of our own making). On the members side the vast majority of golf members have now registered to use the BRS App and are using the app.
One or two little niggles with members phones have been resolved primarily by Brian & Russell. Two comments about the app have been forwarded to BRS and are as a result seriously looking at adopting specific mods into future software builds.
Members are now going over to use the Club V1 BRS upgrade app as well as the standalone BRS app – but that choice is yours.
For those who don’t have direct access to the BRS to book a tee time we are currently working modifying the two PSI terminals. This has not been as straightforward as we had hoped / liked and is definitely work in progress, so in the meantime for those without direct access please go to the Proshop Team in the first instance.
As mentioned in last month’s newsletter we have implemented a “change freeze” which has allowed the Implementation Team to monitor / review the use of the application, Checking amongst other things the back office settings, member and visitor useability. Also ensuring that the booking profile is working (or not) as per the original baseline. This comes to an end next week, at which point we will consider any appropriate tweaks that may be necessary to improve the system.
So how is it all going some 4 weeks on? Cautiously optimistic so far as it is looking promising.
- Members are gaining more confidence in its use by the day in it’s use.
- Requests for assistance have reduced significantly.
- We have seen an increase in Members casual golf bookings for Members & their Guests. Visitor numbers are also showing positive signs of increase. This has also been helped by the work by Simon (and his team) have done to date on promoting SMGC via Social Media.
By next month we should have sufficient data / information to see if the initial trend(s) is / are confirmed. Hopefully we will be able share some high level info with you.
A Safeguarding Working Group has been established, this to implement both the Adult & Children & Young Persons Safeguarding Policies that we approved earlier this year.
The team comprises of:
- Bev Dobbs (Welfare Officer)
- Brian Trendell (Director)
- Geoff Chadwick (H&S Advisor)
- James Lewis (Junior Organiser)
- Russell Thomas (GM) p/t
The Team will also be working with Wales Golf and any necessary agencies during the implementation process. A short guide for Club Members will be published / communicated to members in due course advising of their safeguarding responsibilities on this subject.
The first task ahead of the team is to undertake an NSPCC Safeguarding in Sport self-assessment, which will help shape the implementation.
A Message From Our Captains
From Our Ladies’ Captain
At last, the month of May has brought some fine warm weather allowing us to improve the course,
our golf and handicaps. May was heralded with our Coronation Competition, followed by a delicious
buffet lunch which we all enjoyed and Ann was crowned a worthy winner! Our Club Championship
Qualifier was won by Karen (nett) and Jo (gross) and it was lovely to see Jane win the Vets Cup.
Congratulations to all winners. The Dorothy Meacock qualifier was held on Sunday 7th April with
Lizzie and Gill winning the qualifier. They will represent St Mellons in the County knock out stages.
Good Luck Ladies! The Flirtation Cup was once again well supported with Annie and John winning
with an impressive score of 38 points. Our ladies 1st Team has had mixed fortunes but with a busy
few weeks ahead we will continue to support, enjoy and try our best to succeed.
Our New 2 Golf ladies have now become members of our golf club and ladies section. It was a
pleasure to meet our new ladies in our Welcome meeting and I look forward to playing with them
and encouraging them to enjoy their golf. Fun competitions have been arranged for these ladies and
I must thank Tom and Frances for their commitment and dedication to enable our ladies section to
continue to grow and develop.
Our Members and Guests provided us with the opportunity to once again showcase our fabulous
course. The guests thoroughly enjoyed their round of golf with many compliments about our club.
Bev and her guest Jo won with an excellent score of 45 points.
The PING Mixed Foursomes team of Sandra, Annie, Jeannette and partners had a successful
preliminary round against Greenmeadow at Newport G.C. Congratulations to the team and good
luck in the next round.
Looking forward, good luck to the ladies that are competing in the Medals and Bowls Area Qualifier
at St Mellons and to the Ladies 1 st team playing their Welsh Team Championship Qualifier at Radyr.
The committee are busy organising the Ladies Open Day and we are all looking forward to
supporting the Generation Cup and Family Fun Day on June 18th .
From Our Mens’ Captain
Something I would like to encourage during my tenure as Captain is a sense of belonging, in which we all work together for the greater good. I would also encourage every member to be a good and responsible member, ensuring pitch marks are repaired and bunkers are raked. However, for those of you that have the time, I would encourage you to give a little bit more back to your club by becoming an active volunteer. This would involve sparing an hour or two to help with the general tidying and upkeep of the course and surrounds as everyone working together could make a huge difference. As some of you may have seen on Monday evening we had our 1st working party. Thanks to the amount of support we got we were able to repair the divots on every fairway.
A big thank you to all who attended:
Dewi Dudley Jones, Marc Anderton, Steve Anderton, Gareth Jones, Gurnam Bhogal, Sion Parkhouse, Steve Borja, Rani Bhogal, Alan Jones, Paul Clatworthy, Mike Davies, Phil Crean, James Clatworthy, John Rivers, Sam Pleace,Tom Benjamin, James Hawkins, Keith Madsen, Sally Madsen, Gill Rees, Steve Jones, Andy Thomas, Tom Benjamin, Lorraine Thomas, Neil Ayres, Andrew Pleace, Jo Graham, Shelagh O’Keefe.
And a special thank you to all the children who got involved.
I am currently putting the necessary arrangements in place to have our 2nd event, so should you wish to volunteer please let me know.
I have received a lot of positive feedback recently regarding the continuing improvement of the course, especially the greens, well done to the Greenkeeper and his team. Thank You
Updates From The Pro Shop
NEW 2 GOLF UPDATE
This month has seen the launch of our 2023 New2Golf scheme. Building on the success of last year we have now introduced a Mens group as well as Ladies and Juniors. We have welcomed 8 new lady members and 14 new junior members from last years scheme. A special thanks to Frances Duffy and the ladies section for making the new ladies feel so welcome.
We are extremely grateful to have been awarded a grant through Sport Wales which has enabled us to improve practice facilities and equipment which will all be used in this years New2Golf courses. Equipment purchased through the grant includes beginner golf sets for mens, ladies, and juniors from 6-16, new range targets, mats, bay dividers, balls, practice nets and short game area mats. Also purchased through the grant were new plastic “mow over” tee markers which will allow us to create a permanent “academy” course. The new “blue tees” will be for anyone to use and we aim to get the course slope rated as soon as possible.
Thanks to all members who have spread the word about New2Golf at St Mellons which has help insure this years scheme has been very well supported. The Mens and Junior classes have been extremely well received with a total of over 30 new players now enrolled onto the course.
The ladies New2Golf starts next month with a free “Taster Session” on Monday 5th June at 6.30pm. Please spread the word to anyone who you think may be interested at giving golf a go!
All equipment is provided by us and it’s completely FREE. Just turn up and if you enjoy the session,
you have the option to sign up to participate in the 6 week group lessons costing just £50 per
Ladies New 2 Golf will be starting Monday 5th June at 6.30pm, contact Tom on 07746489151 to learn more.
Eagle Series (Greensome Foresomes), Generation Cup & Family Fun Day
We wanted to make all members aware of the Eagle Series/Family Fun Day event on Sunday June
Format of the day:
- Greensome Foresomes 18 hole Eagle Series Event.
- Open to all players with an active handicap.
- A separate Generation Cup is available to be won by a winning Generational pair, related
either by blood or marriage. Visitors are allowed to participate as long as one player is a
member of SMGC.
- Members price £10 including comp entry, spot prizes and BBQ meal voucher.
- Visitors price £25 including greenfee, comp entry, spot prizes and BBQ meal voucher
- Tee times will run from 8.30am – 11am and booking is now available on Club V1 (tee times
will be extended if fully booked)
Ladies New 2 Golf players to play in a fun competition starting around 1pm.
Junior New 2 Golf players to play in fun competition starting around 1.30pm.
We will run a putting competition, a magician will provide entertainment between 3-5pm and a BBQ
will be available for players’ friends and families after the competition.
It is Father’s Day so it will be a great way to spend the day with the family!
If you have any questions, please contact the shop on 01633680408 option 4
From The Proshop
We still have 153 members with money on their account in the pro shop.
A reminder, THIS MUST BE USED BY 24/12/23.
Any outstanding credit passed this date, cannot be claimed with either myself or the incoming professional.
It’s time to use it or lose it!
EX DEMO EQUIPMENT
As the date for ordering equipment has now passed, we can now sell our ex-demo clubs and rental trolleys.
Drivers available from £300:
Ping G430 SFT
Titleist TSR2 & TSR3
Callaway Paradym 3D, Standard & X
Fairways available from £200:
Ping G430 MAX & SFT
Taylormade Stealth 2 HD
Callaway Paradym X
Hybrids available from £200:
We have a variety of shafts available and the Professional Team will be happy to advise which is best for you.
We have 2x Powakaddy FX5 GPS ex rental trolleys for sale @ £300 each.
Both have been recently serviced, are hired out regularly, come with a lithium XL battery, three prong charger and GPS with thousands of golf courses preloaded.
If you’re interested in a brand-new trolley with a long warranty, we have Powakaddy and Motocaddy trolleys now available from £599
May Course Update From The Head Green Keeper
The golf course has seen a huge transition this month with the course drying up considerably due to prolonged dry weather. The greens remain in good health and are performing well following the frequent scarification/verti cutting carried out on them. This month the greens have been receiving light nutritional inputs and regular applications of seaweed extract and molasses to alleviate turf stress and increase microbial activity. A slow-release organic fertilizer will be applied at the start of June which will provide slow and sustained nutrition throughout the summer months. The greens are now being cut at a
height of 3.5mm and will remain there throughout the playing season. With the weather now largely dry the greens have now started a full wetting agent program and regular watering is being carried out to maintain optimum moisture levels within the rootzone. Moisture levels are being monitored daily at the moment using the AT soil moisture meter which enables us to keep levels at optimum to promote the establishment of Bentgrass and out compete Poa annua (meadow grass). The levels of Bentgrass in the greens are increasing year after year with our overseeding program proving successful and showing fantastic results.
The presentation of the fairways has increased greatly this month having received an application of nitrogen, iron, selective weed killer and plant growth regulator. This combination of products supplies both nutrition and colour to the plant but also slows the production of gibberellic acid, a plant hormone that is responsible for cell elongation. This in turn causes the vertical shoot growth to slow, while lateral and below ground growth of rhizomes, stolons, tillers and roots become stimulated creating a stronger, deeper and more robust root system which will lead to better heat stress tolerance, less wear and tear and improved disease resistance. The tees and approaches have also received an identical spray
to that applied on the fairways.
Irrigation and drainage update
As some of you may know we have had major issues with the irrigation system over the last few years. The system continued to show its age last year with multiple breaks predominantly due to pipe fracture and joint failure consistent with a system 35+ years old. The wiring remains faulty which is resulting in the automatic watering system being inoperable and our current pump is not capable of maintaining consistent pressure throughout the course.
This problem is causing significant stress to the greenstaff who have had to resort to 3.00am starts just to keep the greens alive. As our current pump is not capable of producing enough pressure this is also resulting in the greenstaff only being able to water half a green at a time on certain greens. As you can imagine in very hot conditions this can be very time consuming as one green can take up to 20 minutes to water hence why the greenstaff are forced to start at 3.00am to reduce the amount of water lost through evapotranspiration during the day. During the hottest period of July last year when we had consecutive hot and very dry days evapotranspiration rate (crop water loss) was measured at 7mm per day.
As much as we would all love an entire new system and new pipework, the cost of this would be estimated at around £450,000 which is not possible for the club to finance. The best option for us is to upgrade our current system prioritising what we need most and most of all what would get us out of trouble. The proposed upgrade will consist of two new Grundfos hydro multi e pumps which will work in parallel with each other at a lower pressure resulting in less pipe breaks and consistent pressure throughout the course. At present we currently have no way of isolating areas of the irrigation system should we suffer a burst and need to carry out repairs. This could cause major consequences if we suffer a break in the middle of drought conditions and cannot repair the break quickly to get the system back up and running. The second part of the upgrade would therefore be new isolation valves enabling us to carry out repairs without shutting down the entire system. The final part of the upgrade will be 18 new valve assemblies with Hunter Bluetooth nodes. These controllers will be battery operated so there will be no need for new wiring throughout the course and can be programmed to come on at night using a smartphone. A new borehole pump is something that will also have to be looked at as the current flow rate coming from our borehole cannot keep up with the amount of water we need to apply to
both greens and tees throughout prolonged dry spells.
This upgrade is essential to the health and safety of the greenstaff and of course maintaining a high-quality golf course. An upgrade almost identical to this was implemented at Wenvoe castle golf club who were suffering the same problems as us. The upgrade has proved highly successful with a reduction in bursts and a safer and consistent irrigation
There are also plans to improve drainage on the holes of the proposed winter short course. The standout areas which the greenstaff will be addressing are the 1st , 4th and 10th holes. The first step in this project will be to expose and excavate all our existing open drainage ditches throughout the course which have become blocked and overgrown with vegetation over the years. Once this is complete, we will then look at installing new drainage in problem areas and sand banding to reduce surface water and increase percolation rates.
Here are the Team results for May 2023:
First Team – 3-2 Win vs Monmouthshire (Home), 5-0 Loss vs Greenmeadow (Away)
Second Team – 4-1 Loss vs Woodlake Park (Away), 4-1 Win vs Llanwern (Home)
Ladies Team – 2 Wins vs Radyr & Newport, 1 Loss vs Glamorganshire
That’s all for this month’s update. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and thank you to all who have left feedback. If you wish to leave feedback, then you can do so using the form below.