Golf Course Maintenance 
Winter Rules - Now in Play 
 
Since the article below in last week's BGC News, we can confirm that Winter Rules have been brought into play. This mean that golfers can mark, clean and replace their ball 'Through the Green'. For full details of the rule see: https://www.randa.org/Guidance-on-Running-a-Competition/Rules/3-Local-Rules/SubRules/7-Preferred-Lies-Winter-Rules 
 
We also advise all members to fit Winter Wheels to your trolleys to ensure you have maximum access to the courses throughout the winter period. 
trolley is fitted and ready for use for when the need arisesWith Winter Approaching - Winter Rules Are Imminent - Are Your Winter Wheels Ready? 
 
With our courses being in such fantastic condition for November, it's easy to forget that winter is approaching. It's amazing that we haven't needed to implement 'Winter Rules' yet, but the fairways have been so good there, there just hasn't been the need so far. However, weather conditions are changing and it is highly likely that Preferred Lies (Winter Rules) will be in effect shortly. This will mean that golfers can mark, clean and replace their ball 'Through the Green' from this time. For full details of the rule see: https://www.randa.org/Guidance-on-Running-a-Competition/Rules/3-Local-Rules/SubRules/7-Preferred-Lies-Winter-Rules 
 
Frost on the course makes the surfaces very slippery and it can be dangerous, and also damaging to the course, to use trolleys with standard wheels. These conditions will necessitate the Introduction of Winter Wheels Only, so please ensure your trolley is fitted and ready for use for when the need arises. 
 
We are very fortunate at Stagsden that we don't regularly suffer from excessive water on the fairways, even after heavy rain. There are times however, mainly during the winter months, when prolonged rain means that fairways are too wet to use trolleys with standard wheels. They will therefore be prohibited on some days to avoid danger to users and damage to the courses. Fitting Winter Wheels to your trolley now will ensure that you can play golf throughout the winter. 
 
Also, remember to never takes trolleys inside the white dotted lines in front of each green and especially between the greens and green-side bunkers. 
 
Protect Your Courses and Help Maintain The Excellent Quality of Golfing Facilities at Stagsden. 
Help to Protect Your Golf Course - Please keep your trolley beyond the green-side bunkers. 
 
We're sure you'll agree that our golf courses are in excellent condition and have never looked better. This is down to the hard work of the green-keepers in preparing them, and to you the members in protecting them during play. 
 
Unfortunately we have noticed an increasing number of both visitors and members taking trolleys between the greens and the green-side bunkers. Although the dotted white lines have not been repainted recently, it does not mean that trolleys should be taken beyond them. 
 
Trolleys damage the grass around the greens by flattening it and creating unsightly wheel lines which negatively affects the appearance of the areas around the greens. This 'flattening' also affects golfers' ability to play chip-shots to the green from around the fringes where the grass should be vertical. Grass will also take longer to recover as we move out of the main growing season, potentially leaving bare patches through the winter. 
Please protect the quality of your courses by always taking your trolleys around the outside of the green-side bunkers. 
 
NB: There are two greens (12 and 14) where white lines have been painted to the right hand side of the green. Trolleys can be taken between the green and right hand bunker on the 12th and between the green and the pond on the 14th to avoid unnecessarily long walks to the next tees. Please do not take your trolley any closer to the greens than these white lines allow. 
Bunker Etiquette - Please Rake the Bunkers 
To help maintain the standard of our excellent golf courses and your enjoyment when playing them, would all members please adopt a consistent approach to bunker etiquette? This includes: 
Always raking bunkers after use to include where your ball landed/rolled as well as divot scrape and any footprints 
If you see any other areas of the bunker which have not been raked, please also rake these where possible 
Try to keep the depth of the sand similar in both the centre of the bunker and around the perimeter. This way, all golfers are more likely to have a consistent base within the bunker from to play their shot 
Leave the rake “half in/half out” with handle pointing at 90 degrees to the bunker edge 
 
Thanks in advance and happy golfing. 
Looking after our golf courses 
Following on from the request to all members in last week's newsletter, we would like to thank all those who have gone out of their way to: 
repair additional pitch marks 
replace additional divots (or fill them with seed mix from the on-course bags) 
and raked bunkers where they saw foot marks and other indentations. 
 
The courses have already seen an improvement, but this is something that we need to continue, week-in, week-out. We have a reputation at Bedfordshire Golf Club of providing quality golfing facilities, which improve year on year. You can all help us maintain our position of providing Bedfordshire's Premier Golfing Experience. 
 
Please remember: 
 
replace divots (or refill with seed/soil mix from on-course bags) 
repair your pitch mark - and at least one other, on every green 
rake bunkers so that they are smooth and free from foot marks 
 
This will benefit all of us. 
Spring is here at last... 
 
As the weather starts to improve and the serious golf season gets under way it is worth us all taking a moment to reflect on the long golfing winter months from November through to the end of March. Five severe storms between November and February brought torrential rain and winds of up to 94 mph leading to the MET office labelling storm Doris as a “weather bomb”! 
 
Add to this numerous frosts and ongoing cold ground temperatures, and it is safe to say we have had a typical English winter. 
 
Throughout this period we have been able to play our golf, day in day out out, on a full course. Only on a few occasions when frost was coming out of the ground did we have to play on temporary greens. 
 
It is worth remembering that most weekends throughout the winter, there are in excess of 200 pairs of feet walking on our tees, greens and fairways in all weathers and the course gets little respite from continual play in poor weather conditions. I am sure you all agree that our dedicated team of green staff do a fantastic job in presenting the course in excellent condition for our pleasure. 
 
Bunker renovation work 
Recently, the greens staff have completely renovated two bunkers, front right on number 3 and front left on number 16 (below). The bunkers have had new drainage, a hard core base and a liner fitted (the material used for the liner is similar to the material used on the pathways). The sand will take a little while to bed in and we may experience one or two plugged balls during this time but I am sure we will all benefit from the fantastic job that has been done. 
Apart from the improvement in the condition of these two bunkers for play, many man hours will be saved as they were two of the bunkers that suffered most from flooding and flash storms. 
 
Finally, a gentle, but important reminder 
To all golfers - we are seeing an increasing number of divots left on the fairways, unrepaired pitch marks on the greens and bunkers left unraked. Clearly this is not the way any of us would wish our golf course to appear and does not show respect for other players! 
 
Please remember - replace divots, repair pitch marks and rake bunkers - this benefits us all.