February 2018 Newsletter

  • Post comments:0 Comments

February 2018 Newsletter

Webmaster’s Welcome

February 2018 Newsletter 

Well, it feels like a long time since the last newsletter.  That’s because it’s been a long time since the last newsletter.  I know you have all missed it terribly (I’m even getting gyp off of Swainey!) but now that we are beginning to thaw out a bit after the Winter, it’s time to get back in the swing of things, so to speak. 

Lots to see and do this month so pay attention! Especially to the section explaining the new, upcoming booking system for Saturday mornings.  

Hope you enjoy the newsletter.  Any feedback and especially pictures of people doing silly things should be sent immediately to simonhinton@ymail.com.  

Captain’s Address

Hello golfers

With spring just around the corner I’m sure we’re all hoping the weather brightens up and brings a warmer climate. It won’t be long before we’re trading various jumpers & woolly hats for shorts & t-shirt. The course has been playing well with the adverse conditions so hopefully that means the course will be in top condition for the summer. 

As I’m sure we are all aware by now the club is growing each week which is fantastic but it has brought with it’s problems with allocated tee times. We as a Committee have acted as best & as quick as we can to sort said problem. We now have a new system to sign in using both the terminal in the Pro Shop and online with your HowDidIDo account if it’s not possible to get to the club. We all must get into the habit of booking in online. 

The new season is fast approaching meaning there will be a lot of golf to play. We will be playing in various competitions for all standards so please get behind Michael & give him a long list to select teams from. It’s about time we got a few trophies for our cabinet!

Lastly from me in my penultimate newsletter section I ask that you all do your best to attend the section and/or club AGM’s. It was a poor turn out last year so now’s your chance to have your say. If anyone has any questions that they would like discussed before the AGM please send any of the committee an email and we will discuss before the AGM so you have an answer at the meeting. 

Tom Gallagher


Secretary’s Report

Results since the last newsletter

Saturday Winter Medals:
November Was won by Phil Gregory with 39 points from Steve Swain and Paul McEwan with 36.
December Was won by Steve Swain with 37 points from Phil Gregory with 34.
January Was won by Steve Swain on countback from Paul Cheadle with 40 points.

Sunday Winter Medals:
November Was won by Sam Feltham with 32 points on countback from Malcolm Stamp.
December Was cancelled due to the snow.
January   Was won by Calvin Keighley with 40 points from Bob Morris with 37.

November Competitions
Guy Fawkes Gamble  
The competition was won by Garry Phillips with 35 points from Phil Gregory and Bob Morris with 34.
Gordon Mawer Pairs  
Was won by Phil Gregory and Paul McEwan on countback from Rich Moore and Roy Wilson with 41 points.
December Competitions
Turkey Trot
Was won by Steve Swain on countback from Roy Wilson and Kevin Fisher with 36 points.
Alan Sinfield Pairs
Was won by Roy Wilson and Steve Foskett on 44 points from Brad Davey and Rich Moore on 43.

The Winter League
The winter League has started and after 7 rounds.
The standings are:


Graham Newell’s Rules Masterclass

This section of the newsletter is a quick update on the actual rules, peoples general understanding of the rules of golf and ‘local rules’ employed by both the club and the course.
If you have any interesting occurrences or questions arise during your rounds please feel free to pass them on to me for possible inclusion in future newsletters.
Are you aware that?
Your National handicap is allocated and managed under CONGU (Council of National Golf Unions Limited (‘CONGU’)), Unified Handicapping System.
CONGU® has recently announced changes to the UHS system which will come into force on the 1st January 2018. In view of the proposed introduction of the World Handicap System (WHS) these changes have been kept to a minimum. They also take into account some of the options likely to be adopted in the WHS.
The Manual has been updated with all the new changes and can be seen on the CONGU website. Again due to WHS, CONGU will not be issuing hard copies of the manual but pages/chapters can be downloaded and printed individually as the manual is in PDF format.
The full list of changes can be seen on the website (@ http://www.congu.co.uk/) but the principle changes include:
– Retirement of Club and disability handicaps: As a result of their low impact, these have been replaced by a new Category 5 for men and Category 6 for both men and women providing a maximum handicap of 54 for all golfers. After 1st January 2018, handicap committees will be able to increase handicaps above the current limits of 28.0 and 36.0.
– Non Qualifying Scores: Consideration of non qualifying scores need no longer be limited to the annual review, however all adjustments must still be carried out in accordance with Clause 23.
– Supplementary Scores: To encourage players to submit sufficient scores in order to produce a handicap that reasonably reflects their golfing ability, a player may now submit an unlimited number of supplementary scores in a calendar year instead of the current limit of 10. The current restriction for Category 1 players will remain.
– Mixed Tee Competitions: A single CSS will be prepared for two or more competitions played on the same day. All scores will be entered into a single competition, the CSS calculated and then the software will allow the results to be separated for each group of competitors.
There are 17 changes in total but the ones listed above are the main ones. Of the others, many are clarifications and confirmations. A full list can be seen on the website. Any queries should be addressed to your national union, whose address can be seen on the website.
There is lots more detail available on the CONGU website @ http://www.congu.co.uk/

Rules Refresher

One of the earliest things you get to learn playing golf is where you stroke the ball, having missed all the grass that’s available, into a hazard.
So as a reminder, here is a nice simple situation.

The key point here is to identify the point where the ball entered the hazard. The drop zone is identified by the line from the flag to the point where the ball entered the hazard.
So, beware if your ball goes into the right-hand side of the water on 17 you may not have anywhere to drop the ball.
This also applies to the stream in front of the 16th tees, the further right you go the less room you have to drop the ball.
Impediments and Obstructions
Here is a quick reminder of what constitutes an Impediment or Obstruction.

Note: Stones in bunkers at Stevenage are covered by local rules printed on the cards. Remember the last newsletter, this may not be true of all courses.
My thanks to Nick Monk for finding the pictures.

Meet The Member


NAME: Steve Howarth



This edition we find out more about Steve Howarth.  Former Captain, Chairman and current Committee member – he’s done and seen it all at Stevenage!  Steve is definitely a very active member. 

Q. Any hobbies other than golf? 
A. Definitely NOT plastering!  I enjoy going to the gym and a bit of swimming. As many people know I’m a huge Manchester United fan and I’ve watched them around the world  – in the USA twice, in China and around Europe! 

Q. What is your most memorable golf moment?
A. Loads over the years but my most memorable moment was winning the Clapham Common Shield with Stevenage a few years back – a pretty big deal.  I remember I was playing with Dave Mudd.  My shoulders were really sore afterwards from carrying him all the way round!!  But it was a great day for Stevenage and everyone played really well. 

Q. How did you get into golf? 
A. When I finished playing football me and a few mates thought we’d try golf.  I have to say from the first time I tried it I was hooked! I remember one of the first rounds I played I scored 115. On the flip side in July 2008, at Stevenage, I hit a gross 72 off of a 14 handicap for a net 58!  It was just a social round but if that was in a competition I would have taken some serious abuse. 

Q What is your favourite thing about Stevenage Golf Club? 
A. I love the course – I never get bored of playing it – and I love the people too. I think the social side of SGC is superb and I always like to take advantage of Happy Hour….

Q. Is there something about you that the other Members don’t know? 
A. I was at an event once and I saw Frank Bruno and David Haye there.  I decided I was going to just walk up to them and have a chat.  I’m really glad I did because it was a great moment for me.
Also, in the 10 years I’ve been a member here, I’ve never won a boarded competition! It goes to show how fair my handicap is and that I am a super honest golfer! 

Q. What are your ambitions for 2018?
A. 2018 is definitely my year.  Life is really good for me right now and this season I’m going to dedicate myself to shooting some low scores. I’m challenging myself to be an 8 handicap by the end of the year.  I’m sure I can count on the support and encouragement of the other members!! 

Tap In Birdie Club

How’s this for a tap in birdie for Sam May on the second hole? Very close to an ace.  Great shot Sam but try hitting it a little harder next time……! 
Photo courtesy Tony May

Stevenage Golf Club

Phil Gregory getting super close on 14.  He does look pleased with himself, doesn’t he?  And rightly so. However, looking at the direction his putter head is facing, I don’t fancy his chances of making the birdie putt. 
Photo courtesy Steve Howarth Media Productions. 

Steve Swain Stevenage Golf Club

Swainey within a putter head on 11.  Would you give him the putt? Nah – me neither! Great shot, Swainey! 
Photo courtesy Steve Howarth Media Productions. 

Layup Corner / Rogue’s Gallery

Here’s Wayne laying up on 14.  Classic.  Beautiful.  Timeless.  And in the Newsletter! 
Photo courtesy Steve Howarth Media Productions.

Graham and Dave enjoying the wonders of Calvin’s perfect layup on 14.  I am sure they are offering appropriate words of encouragement 

Tony May Stevenage Golf Club

Tony May’s gold medal newsletter bid. WINNER! 
Photo courtesy of Alec Wilson

Rob McDonald Stevenage Golf Club

Rob McDonald getting in on the layup action! 

Competition Entry – The Future


As we all know, we are often in the situation where more people turn up on a Saturday than there are spaces available in our pre-booked tee times. So, in fairness to everybody, the Committee are acting on this proactively. 
Unfortunately, we simply cannot continue with the current “turn up and play” system. As a Club that is based at a municipal course, we only have a specified number of tee times and we have to find a way of accommodating our Members and the requirements of SLL. 
A  week or so in advance, you will be able to book in through your How Did I Do? account (online or app) as well as via the terminal in the pro shop.  You will not be booking a tee time, you will merely be booking in for the competition. You will receive confirmation by email. You will still need to sign in on the terminal on Saturday morning and we will perform the draw as usual at 9.00am on Saturday. The only difference will be that the computer will perform the draw randomly. 
Simon has made a short video on how to book in to a competition on the terminal in the Pro shop, which is below:

Once all the available spaces are filled, no more entries will be accepted by the system.  At the time of booking in you will be able to see how many spaces are filled and who has booked in for the comp.  The important thing to bear in mind is that if you are not booked in, you unfortunately will not be able to play in one of the Club’s reserved tee times and will have to wait for the next available tee time which could be some time after the Club’s reserved tee times.  And clearly, it is absolutely vital that if you have booked in for a competition in advance, that you ensure you turn up and play. 

It’s a system that the Committee will have to refine and tweak as the weeks pass, and your input is welcomed. But you will appreciate that we have to be proactive in ensuring that busy Saturday mornings are run in a proper, organised fashion.  

If you have any questions, please direct them at either Graham,  Michael or Simon.  We’ll be happy to answer them or explain how it will work.  

FINAL NOTE: Please be assured that the Committee have made great efforts to refine the software to ensure that when the computer performs the random draw, Sean Weatherburn will be drawn in the last group each week. 


How to Book In for Comps on the Terminal – A Video Guide

Online Bookings

Matt Bannister has informed us that both Members and Visitors can now book tee times at Stevenage Golf and Conference centre online!

Members can book here: https://stevenage.intelligentgolf.co.uk/memberbooking/

Visitors can book here: https://stevenage.intelligentgolf.co.uk/visitorbooking/ 

A Day On The Beach

The practice bunker on the range has been filled with sand! Bring your buckets and spades and maybe even a wedge and perfect your sand technique!
Photos courtesy of groundsman Bobby Kitchener (Twitter: @bobbykitchener)

Stevenage Golf Club Practice Bunker 1
Stevenage Golf Club Practice Bunker 3

If you have enjoyed this newsletter and would like to get your picture in it, why not consider becoming a member of Stevenage Golf Club? For further details and all the benefits, please click here to be taken to our Membership page

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.