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Since Get Golfing took over Mill Green on June 30th, demand for the course has been unprecedented. Due to the volume of business and Covid restrictions, we have been unable to have an obvious impact on your clubhouse experience but, hopefully, you will have seen improvements in the course and its presentation. 

Across the group we have invested circa £300,000 in new course machinery. When the clocks change we will be working with the three teams; course maintenance, food and beverage, and golf services on staff training so that by the start of next season (Covid allowing), you will have a far better member experience. 

Club news

Members will be pleased to learn that we have big plans for the Clubhouse both internally and externally.

In order to service our continued investment in the course and Clubhouse, we believe there is an excellent opportunity for Mill Green to cater to the events and functions market in the area. We have identified the potential for a self-contained hospitality suite that can accommodate circa 140 people using both the main dining room and the lounge. 

We will also create an exclusive informal Club room by removing the partition walls within the existing pro shop and entrance to the main bar. This will offer Members the ability to relax, socialise and watch sports events from around the world within a sports bar environment. 

Outside, our plan is to extend the function patio out to the edge of the buggy path that goes to the Par 3 course and range and connect it to the existing patio to provide a wraparound casual drinks and dining area.

Looking to divide the clubhouse into a formal and an informal area so functions and events can take place in the function area, and main lounge without impacting on the members. The Club Room will have its own bar and carry all the main sports with a series of TVs. A schematic plan can be seen here: 20.044.Priv.G 002B Proposed Plan copy

Work will commence in January and be completed in March, contingency plans during the building works will be provided in due course.

Covid-19

The good news is that the new government regulations do not impact golf as we play in fours, rather than eights! As a result, we do not see any effect on matches, competitions or society days. 

The only limitation will be in the clubhouse where we would ask golfers to remain in their four and not pull tables and chairs together, no matter how sociable that may feel.

In addition, could we ask Members to wait at their tables to be served rather than going up to the bar area. As part of our efforts to safeguard both staff and Members, we have introduced table service, which we hope will be more relaxing for everyone involved. We thank everyone for their patience and hope that we will be able to return to a more normal environment at some point!

It is important, however, to remember that the government is currently being pretty lenient with golf, particularly in terms of numbers on the course, let’s not give them a reason to change!

In the meantime here are some things you could do to limit your exposure — and the continued spread of the Covid-19 virus:

  • Sanitise golf clubs and golf bag before setting out
  • Keep your distance from others (6 feet +)
  • Leave the flagstick in
  • Use your gloved hand to handle items or the PPE gloves provided at check-in
  • Do not share golf clubs
  • Use the elbow bump

Course news

From Andy Copeland, Course Manager: We’ve had an amazing run of weather for grass recovery and new growth. We started to see some areas of the golf course wilting mid-September but, fortunately, we then had a large band of rain come in with cooler temperatures to restore it back to normal.

At the beginning of September, we successfully overseeded the golf course with 2 tons of seed. The process — a double pass at 4mp/h over the entire course — took a whopping 65 hours to complete. We’ve had a great strike of growth from the seed and we are already seeing the benefits of the new grasses across the fairways, green surrounds and high traffic areas. 

We dropped the height of cut (HOC) on the tees and approaches from 12mm down to 9mm, we also dropped the HOC on the fairways from 18mm to 13mm. This gives a much smoother and uniformed cut across the surfaces. Another key area for improvement was the turf coverage in front of the greens and approaches. To an extent we want to treat them the same as our greens because we want the lies in and around the green to be fair and playable by all golfers but also creating a much more defined golf course.

We have recently topped up the bunker right hand side of the 3rd green as well as spraying glyphosate (total weed killer) on all bunker perimeters to help keep on top of the weeds in bunkers. We also sprayed glyphosate on the buggy paths to keep them to their original widths. 

At the back end of September we lightly spiked the greens with 10mm tines and a light top-dressing of sand. As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, we will continue top-dressing greens as much as we can until the weather doesn’t allow it. This will help retain firm, dry and smooth greens heading into autumn/winter.

Looking into October we have a tractor and flail booked in for hire to trim back the internal/boundary hedging, areas of bramble and pond banks. This will enhance the look of the golf course for next year and help us maintain a neat and tidy presentation heading into winter.

We have started to look at areas for drainage and create ‘new’ open V ditches around the course. This will help catch the water flow from the high ground and take it away into existing open ditches. For example, on the left hand side of the 3rd hole, we plan to extend the current ditch towards the 3rd tee into the hollow between the 3rd & 8th tee. The soil from this will be tipped on the left hand side of the yellow tees on No. 3 to widen and level off the top of the tee.

We will also put in an open ditch on the left hand side of the 7th green running into the open ditch on No. 3. We want to clear and define the ditch in front of the 2nd tee down to the 8th pond and, finally, cut a new open ditch to the right hand side of the 18th hole catching water coming off the driving range. 

Staffing: We have recently taken on an eighth member of staff called Jon, who will help assist with range duties, rake bunkers, divot tees / fairways and strimming around the course. We have now reached a point where we should have minimal peaks and troughs in golf course condition as we have the numbers to maintain it to a very high level all the time thanks to Get Golfing’s continued investment. 

Machinery: Investment in machinery is a major part of the Get Golfing plan and we are looking at a new tees and approaches mower to improve the cut quality and reliability. There are other extremely exciting things in the pipeline but they will come to light in due course. 

Finally, myself and the team are over the moon to finally have the club championship booked in over October 3rd and 4th. We’ve had the strangest of years on the golf course and it would be a great way to end the summer season with a great club championship. We will push the course to its limits and extract the very best out of it for you. I wish you all the best and let the best man/woman win the championships. 

Competition & event news

Society days at Mill Green are still able to go ahead with extra Covid restrictions in place, so, as a member of Mill Green, why not consider bringing your golf society or group of friends to enjoy your home course? 

We have the additional excitement of all Society Organiser’s of Golf Days with 12 or more non-members being eligible for a place in our Mill Green Masters on Friday 23rd October 2020 (or next year’s Society Masters if your Golf Day is not prior to this date), where we invite the organiser and one friend to a fun-filled day at Mill Green with breakfast, lunch and excellent prizes all included for no fee! 

If you are interested in holding a Golf Day with us please contact Zara at [email protected] or call 01707276900.

Members should note that the club will be holding a Society Masters event this year on October 23rd as a way of thanking organisers for booking the club for their society. The shotgun start event will consist of 18-holes, lunch and prize giving afterwards. As a result the course will be very busy/closed on the day. It may be worthwhile to note that, alongside this fantastic incentive, all Members will be credited for 5% of the total price for a society they introduce.

For upcoming competitions please click here.

Member news

Members will be pleased to learn that we have begun resolution of an issue with subscription payments that occurred in the transition to ownership by Get Golfing.

Issues with the accuracy of the data provided by Crown Golf at the time of the takeover meant that some Members, who were due to renew after July 1st, have not yet received a subscription payment request. 

Rather than jump in with subscription demands, we delayed requests for payment until such time as we were more confident of the validity of the data. 

We are now in a situation to start the process of requesting payment for arrears and setting up the forward monthly payments. We would encourage those Members to whom this applies to contact the office and we can resolve any issues. 

To help us identify any continuing anomalies, those few Members whose renewal date has significantly elapsed will be temporarily suspended. Please do not be alarmed, we are doing this in order to bring this issue to a swift conclusion.

Freedom Play: Those of you still on Crown Golf’s legacy Freedom Play membership might like to consider moving to a new Get Golfing membership category on or before October 26th. From that date the points matrix will be changing and will not provide the same value as it has historically. By shifting to a Get Golfing category, you can take your points balance across to a Flexible Membership or to a monthly membership category and get better value and we will of course honour the remaining points balance you have.

In other news, from October 1st you will be able to use your Club Card across seven Get Golfing sites and receive your discount at whichever club you play.

Congratulations are due to Mill Green’s own Zainab Jeppe (pictured second left), who recently finished runner up in the Hertfordshire County Championships at Knebworth Golf Club late last month.

Zainab, who is a member of the ladies section and also works in the Clubhouse on the check-in desk, endured a nail-biting route to the final, only finishing off her semi-final opponent on the 23rd hole. She then led for much of the final against Jackie Foster but, at all square on the 18th green, she narrowly missed her putt leaving her opponent with a short putt for victory. 

Elsewhere, congratulations to the Men’s Chiltern Breakfast League and Foxes League teams in reaching their respective finals.

Mill Green played its postponed Chiltern Breakfast League (CBL) winter 2019/20 final against Three Locks Golf Club on September 19th. Playing at home were Tim Thetford/Steve Garwood, Rhys With/Alan Parker and Steve Hinchliffe/Bob Davies (supported by the injured team selector Chris Myers), while playing away were Chris Lane/Derek Warren, Dave Brown/Glenn Rees and Dean Marshall/Adrian Gould. A close but well deserved 2-1 win at home was combined with close individual match scores but a disappointing 3-0 loss away resulted in an overall 4-2 loss in the final.

Thank you to all CBL Squad players that represented the club in last year’s summer league and winter knockout competition and also to our sponsor Brian Robson Coachworks for shirt sponsorship contributing to the 2019 charity HAD.

With the summer 2020 league matches cancelled, in April 2021 the CBL squad of players hope to resume battle again for the Summer CBL trophy, with hopefully a better result, as we were also narrowly pipped into the runner’s up league position in summer 2019.

Mill Green also reached the final of the Foxes KO beating Brickendon, Essendon and Letchworth on the way. Unfortunately, we fell at the last hurdle losing 1.5-2.5 to Arkley. Playing in the final, which was held at Knebworth GC on September 18th, were Chris Lane/Roger Butcher (half), Rob Davies/Glyn Ratcliffe (lost), Rob Clayton/Kab Adda (won) and Alan Parker/Chris Tilbury (lost). Chris Tilbury came in for Chris Myers who was injured but played in the first three matches

In the Ladies section, a Macmillan Coffee morning raised nearly £600 for this great cause and congratulations go to Zainab Jeppe (again) and Bex Osman, who won the Ann MacLaurin trophy on September 13th with 40 points! The competition was played at Aldenham G.C.

Golf news

With the World Handicap System about to take effect this coming November, many of you will be wondering how it will affect you.

  • If your handicap is 6 and below it is likely to go down by one or stay the same;
  • If your handicap is between 6 and 12 it is likely to go up or down by one but could stay the same;
  • If your handicap is between 12 and 18 it is likely to stay the same or go up by one;
  • If your handicap is between 18 and 24 it is likely to go up by one or two strokes;
  • If your handicap is 24 or higher, it is likely to go up by two or three strokes.

So the lower you are, and therefore the more consistent you are, the more likely it is you will see your handicap go down when the new system starts.

The higher your handicap, the more likely it is you will have some extra shots with which to play.

Remember, these are only general opinions. Your handicap will ultimately depend on your performance over your last 20 scores, your consistency, and how many of those scores you have actually entered.

One thing is for sure, though. We will all be glued to that touchscreen when those figures finally appear.

Food & Drink news

We hope you have enjoyed our seasonal summer specials and the efforts made to provide a high quality service under trying conditions. We are currently working on our autumn and winter menus with a hugely experienced chef, who has worked with some of the greats in the business. We are also reviewing our wine, draught beer and spirits offerings and hope to bring you some delicious tipples to try. 

We are also very keen to work with local suppliers and would welcome suggestions from Members about local produce that they would like to see featured on the food menu or at the bar. Send us a note or tell us when you are at the club.