Whitstable Tidings Issue 4 2013

The monthly journal of Whitstable and Seasalter Golf Club
Collingwood Road, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1EB Tel 01227 272020
e-mail wandsgolfclub@talktalkbusiness.net
Web site www.whitstable-golfclub.co.uk
Volume 4 Issue no.3 1st April 2013
Editor Bob Ireland, 01227 638425, 07802874914,robert.ireland@gmail.com


During the past Month there has been a Main Committee Meeting and a Board Meeting and the more important subjects discussed were :-

• The question of changing the Subscription year from November to April to fall in line with the Company Financial Year was discussed at length. There were no serious financial implications and it was felt that an April renewal date would be of great benefit to Members and the Club. It was agreed to proceed, with the change being made over 17 months, using an interim renewal date of 1st July 2014. The Secretary would prepare a Notice for Members making the costs clear, and also explaining that a change in Club Rules at a Special Meeting would be required before the AGM.
The dates of the Captains Year, the Drive-In, or the Annual General Meetings would not be affected by the change of Subscription Year

• A Welcome Pack for new Members was being prepared with input from each Section. It was hoped that it would be finalised in time for issue to new Members from April onwards together with a Centenary Book.

• It was agreed to increase Green Fees from 1st April and a Notice would be posted outlining the new Fees

• A Promotional campaign for new Members was to start in March along the same lines as previous years.

• Graham Williams, the new Health and Safety Officer, had prepared a Report in relation to the Clubhouse and Greenkeepers Shed, which had identified some areas of concern. It was agreed that all of the issues would be dealt with as promptly as possible

• A decision regarding the re-positioning of the 3rd Tee was deferred pending further enquiries re Health and Safety being made by the Secretary.

• There are currently 260 full paying Members, to which could be added Honorary, Senior, Junior and Social Members

• The Finances of the Club for the current year showed that Income was still in excess of budget and that Expenditure was slightly under budget. However there are several projects in the pipeline which will need to be budgeted for next year, including further expenditure on course drainage, and the Borehole if we decide to proceed, after the Sub Committee has prepared its final report.

• The kitchen and bar improvements had now been completed in line with Hygiene requirements. The Catering Director and Secretary would be reviewing the existing bar / catering arrangements in due course.

• It was agreed that there is a need for a Course Director, and the Secretary is to post a Notice giving fuller details of the post and inviting applications from Members.

AGM Minutes

Any member wishing to read the minutes of the last AGM or for that matter any previous AGM minutes may get a copy from the Secretary.

Forthcoming Events for your Diary

Wine and Wisdom

Friday 12 April 1900hrs for 1930hrs
Teams of eight, table snacks and wine, these are popular events so get your team together and remember no I phones or like, trespassers will be disqualified! (as you all know the use of ‘phones in the clubhouse is prohibited)
The entry fee is £7.50 per person- book early to avoid disappointment!

Games Night

Saturday May 11th 1800hrs
This is a new event we would love everyone to come to.
The sports you’ll be competing will be Darts, Shove ha’penny, giant Jenga, putting, skittles, cribbage, Backgammon and wind up horseracing. The last event will be a quiz on the rules of golf!
The format will be mixed teams of 8 players. One player will be selected from each team to play a maximum of 3 games each.
The putting, skittles and giant Jenga will be pairs competitions, the quiz a team event and all other games individual. The scores will be allocated on a league basis, the winning team winning bottles of booze!
Table snacks will be provided and the entry cost will be £5 per person

The website has been revamped and there are still some small problems to sort out. If you are having trouble accessing the members page e-mail Bob Ireland at robert.ireland@gmail.com and all will be resolved! Your comments on the website would be appreciated any improvements you can suggest will be considered.

Greens and Course News

Greenkeepers Forum

This letter was received from Andy Selwood and passed to the Greenkeeper. His reply is published below.
11th February 2013

In the winter months instead of using the mats if a strip of grass tee at the very front of the tee box was used each week it need only be approximately 8′ wide. As we do with the mats we can use the same tee for both nines, on most of the tees this would mean that the same piece of ground would probably not need to be used twice. If a mat is necessary in extreme conditions then we could also relocate the mats that are needed to a corner of the grass tees. It is very frustrating that we seem to move to the mats according to the calendar rather than according to the conditions. I have played at a number of other local clubs recently and they all seem to be more flexible i.e using grass tees for the par 4s where divots are not usually taken. Although we do suffer from a heavy soil and poor drainage we don’t seem to have a problem growing grass.

If we do have to use mats can we have a small supply of road salt in a small bin near the tees so that they can be defrosted on frosty mornings?
Some of the mats (1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th and 9th especially) need either a good clean or replacing.
Andy Selwood

I also added a subsidiary question about the use of electric trolleys in winter pointing out that as they all had 3 wheels the weight was more evenly distributed than on a 2 wheeled pull trolley.

Steve Suttle Head Greenkeepers reply to the above questions

As there are a good number of queries raised concerning the tees, I will endeavour to answer them in order

1) Allowing the men to play off the front of the grass tees in the winter months would lead to severe damage to the playing surfaces. The tees are simply not large enough to take the wear. In the growing season, apart from being drier the growth is sufficient to counteract the wear.
2) Relocating the mats onto the grass tees would be very damaging to the grass tees. When the winter mats were originally set out all those years ago they were placed in the most sensible position for good reasons; these being, good accessibility avoiding wet areas and most importantly giving the grass tees a rest from foot traffic.
3) In years gone by it has been the normal practice to move on to the mats in October. Last year the grass tees were on until the end of November despite inclement weather conditions. The reality is that the grass tees are used for an appreciably longer period than in the past.
4) Other local clubs may their grass tees but this will be because they either have separate winter tees or have very many larger surface areas and have better drained areas around them. If you let me know the courses you refer to, I will be happy to visit them to confirm if this is the case.
5) Grass grows much less in winter due to the low soil temperatures.
6) As you know the course is only opened once the frost has begun to melt so salt would be superfluous. The shaded 1st tee is routinely treated on frosty days.
7) The mats are routinely brushed on a weekly basis.


Electric trolleys damage the course more than pull trolleys because of the following reasons:-
1 They are generally heavier because apart from their battery their construction and purpose means that a large bag can be fitted with usually a full set of clubs along with the usual items.
2 The powered wheels can easily wheel spin in wet conditions thus damaging the turf
3 Electric trolleys go in front of the golfer thus are more inclined to go through vulnerable areas than trolleys pulled by golfers would hopefully avoid.
As the vast majority of the course is laid out on London clay we are always going to struggle in a wet winter and this has been a very wet one following an exceptionally wet 2012. Last winter was the opposite and electric trolleys were used throughout other than for snow closures.
I trust that I have answered the questions you raised,
Steve Suttle

20th February 2013

To Steve Suttle, Head Greenkeeper.

Why was it this year the Greenkeeper (as far as I am aware) did not use the slicing machine on the fairways before the winter set in? Perhaps if this had been done it would have assisted the fairways to drain into the dikes.
I understand there is our own mole draining equipment available which could be used to drain some of the low lying puddled areas
Why are the dikes very low in water? I am aware the penstock valve are nearly fully open so why is it that the water is not draining into the dikes?
Has the fact of lack of water in the dikes had a detrimental effect on the wildlife therein and what is being instigated with regard to the report of the visit by the Wildlife and Environmental people last year, in particular the clearing of sections of the dikes as to help the wildlife survive?
Perhaps expert drainage advice could be sought, as the answers to this serious problem do not seem to be available at Seasalter Golf Club.
It is all very well to quote rainfall statistics but it is solutions to our drainage problem that are required and until we investigate all avenues I consider the present status quo is unacceptable!
When was the last visit by an agronomist? What recommendations did he make to help solve this problem? If he has not made a visit for some time perhaps now would be a good time for one?
As the average age of members must be around 60 they need to be able to use their trolleys as often as possible. Those who use buggies and have a Doctor’s Certificate already know that if the course is open they can use their buggies by law but they are concerned that if they do the course may be closed to all members “for it’s protection”
The golf course has been here for over 100 years and we have seen similar conditions in the past but seldom was the course closed for play as much as it has been recently.
Of late it seems to be becoming an obstacle course rather than a golf course with painted lines and ropes to guide one through various chicanes. It is also apparent that the no trolley notice to the left of the 8th green has been there for at least 3 years, if trolleys cannot go there shouldn’t the grass be replaced or perhaps a weatherproof strip of matting put there to offer an alternative route to the 9th tee, 3 years of minimal traffic over it do not seem to have had any beneficial effect whatsoever but there are definite signs of wear on the right hand side of the green where everyone is forced to go.

John Shepherd

Reply from Steve Suttle

1. We have a programme of slitting of the fairways and also occasional solid tining when the conditions are absolutely right, which is rare. This was last carried out on October 6th after which the ground was far too wet. However both slitting and tining are carried out to assist aeration, and have little effect on drainage
1. The mole draining equipment is used regularly, but this cannot replace proper drainage such as has been carried out in recent years. There is of course plenty of scope for the cutting of additional drainage channels when there are funds available.
2. The reason the course has been so wet this year has purely been due to a wet summer being followed by a very wet winter, with record rainfall, and that the course is flat and on heavy London clay. Once this clay gets waterlogged it takes time to dry out.
3. The dykes have been deliberately kept at a low level in an attempt to aid the course drainage. The difference in levels is just a few inches and we do not believe that this has had any effect on wild life.
4. Where the Wild Life Report is concerned we are currently awaiting for a list of specialist Contractors to be supplied, to give us some idea of costing’s. The current feeling is that the costs will be higher than anticipated.
5. The Club has of course had advice on drainage in the past, and we believe that the improvements in recent years have been dramatic. Even this year, once the rains stopped, we were playing within 1 week, and using electric trolleys within another week (and mowing the course). You are completely wrong in your assertion that the course has never been closed for play as much – in 1996 the course was closed for 4 months and in 2001 for a lengthy period.
6. The Agronomist’s Reports were discontinued 4 years ago mainly because the Reports were so favourable. We do intend asking for a Report again this summer.
7. The lines of ropes and wire, which have been introduced, recently have enabled us to open the course when it would have remained closed. They are purely temporary.
8. Contrary to what you say the grass to the left and rear of the 8th Green has improved considerably since trolleys have been kept away; nor do we think the right hand side has deteriorated. The advantages for chipping on to that green will become obvious in time.

Steve Suttle

Any members having questions about the greens or course in general, or wishes to comment on the answers above, can write to me or e-mail and I will get an answer from our Greenkeeper. The question and answer will be published in the newsletter and on the web site.

Away Days
Kent County Cricket
I have access to some Stakeholder days at the St Lawrence county ground. The day comprises tea and coffee on arrival, two-course lunch, afternoon tea, coffee and biscuits plus entry to the ground for only £35.00.
Dress code is formal so jacket and tie for men.
Anyone wishing to take advantage of this fab offer should contact Bob Ireland on 07802 874914, 01227 638425 or leave a message on the club notice board.

The Old Salts Captain Colin Chapman, Secretary George Bawden

Junior Section Captain Richard Smith, Vice captain Jack Tucker
Secretary Peter Wade.

Ladies Section Captain Jackie Witten, Vice Captain Linda Bawden
Secretary Jean Hudson

Men’s Section Captain Richard Gremo, Vice Captain Andy Sargeant
No report from the Men’s Section for obvious reasons!

Midweekers Section Captain Peter Shearing, Vice Captain Ray Thomas
Secretary Peter Fox
The postponed P. Glenn Shield played on 20th March was won by Michael Moore with 38 points 2nd Tony Benstead 35 points 3rd Bob Ireland 34 points. The captain’s team finally won a challenge, beating Bob Ireland and Don Crawford 1 up after a par to the temporary green at the last by V. Captain Ray Thomas.

On Friday 22nd March the John Bills Trophy, played for in a very strong wind blowing straight down the course, was won by Dave Chalk with 35 points 2nd Trevor Croxton on 33 points and 3rd Roy Lee 34.The captain’s team won their 2nd match in a few days by 2 and 1 over Tony Lavender and Dave Chalk, the turning point was a birdie by the V. Captain Ray Thomas at the 6th.

PS only mentioned captains challenge as Ray is desperate to get his name in the paper,ha,ha.

A date for all your diaries, Friday 11th October. A Charity evening will be put together by the Midweekers more details to follow, check The Tidings for more info.. Any member with a particular talent (or no particular talent other than a yen to draw attention to him/herself!) who would like to take part please contact Peter Shearing.

Veteran’s Section
Captain Barry Broadbent, Secretary Bob Ireland

Players are required for the Vet’s matches as shown on the fixture list below. These are good matches; teams composed of 10 a side play betterball fourballs against some great clubs and good courses. The cost is £12.00 per match home and away and the only qualifications are a maximum handicap of 20 and to be over 60 years of age. If you haven’t played for the club before come and give it a try it’s great fun and very competitive.
An entry list and fixture list are posted in the men’s changing room; please indicate if you are unable to make any fixture.

2013 Fixtures
Monday 25th March The Ridge home 0900 hrs
Friday 5th April Etchinghill home 0900 hrs
Friday 10th May Canterbury home 0900 hrs
Friday 24th May Chestfield away 0830 hrs
Monday 3rd June Tudor Park home 0900 hrs
Tuesday 25th June Broome Park away 0900 hrs
Friday 12th July Broome Park home 0900 hrs
Friday 19th July Chestfield home 0900 hrs
Tuesday 23rd July Tudor Park away 0830 hrs
Friday 9th August Etchinghill away 0830 hrs
Friday 16th August The Ridge away 0900 hrs

Please note the change of date from Friday 19th April to Friday 5th April!
(This is due to the birthday celebrations, on that day, of one Tony Love who is to join us in the Kent Vets by then having achieved his entry age!)
First result
The match played at Canterbury on the 18th March was as no one will be surprised a win for Canterbury 4-1. The winning partnership for us was Ian Burton and Stuart Brown, well done to them. Other games were close but it is always going to be hard to win there. Wait till we get them at home though!

Super Seventies

The list for the opening match of the season, at home to Chestfield on April 9, is now up and ready for those who fancy a game against our neighbours. If you are over seventy and OK to play off 21 or better, give it a go. Alec needs ten names for the game, including two reserves. It is a fiver a go, with no dressing up for a meal or suchlike. Just a hot cheese and bacon baguette, courtesy of Tony Love before the 1pm tee-off, and then a gentle swing and a laugh with some nice people of similar afflictions.
The full programme is also on display in our cloakroom. Etchinghill are the most recent newcomers to League C, having played themselves in with a couple of friendlies against us last year.
Just to repeat the standings at the end of 2012. We finished ahead of Chestfield with 37 points, bettering them by five at the end of the year, and twice as many points overall than in 2011.
Broome Park (who we meet at home for our second match this year on May 15) strode away from everyone at first but were pressed hard by North Foreland at the end, who only lost out on countback after we surprised them away when we drew two matches each. What fame! But they were not happy for us robbing them of the League win.
Our results last year showed us winning three, losing four (all away) and drawing three. This year let’s do better and get some away games sorted. Magicians please apply.

Fixture List
April: Home v Chestfield on the 9th. May: Home Broome Park 14th May. Away Canterbury 24. June: Away Chestfield 21. Home Canterbury 25. July: Away Broome Park 25. Home Etchinghill 29. August: Home North Foreland 13. September: Away North Foreland 12. Home Etchinghill 24.

Fundraising 100 Club
This fundraising venture costs £1 per month, with monthly prizes of £30, £20 and £15. There is a bonus double draw at Christmas each year. You’ve got to be in it to win it!

January Winners
1st £30.00
2nd £20.00
3rd £10.00

Fixture List 2013 Notes on Tee reservations
Tuesdays 0800 -1130 Ladies
Tuesdays (Summer) 1600 -1700 Men’s Social
Wednesdays (Summer) 1230 – 1300 Ladies Social
Midweekers Tournaments 0830 – 1130 2nd Weds Last Friday each month
Friday (Spring onwards) 1730 – 1800 Social
Our Captain Richard Gremo is looking for support for a 9 hole qualifying competition to be held on a Friday which will hopefully replace the social golf which seems to have died a death last year! There is a form in the clubhouse for you to put your name to if you are for the proposal.

On Mondays (Summer) Tees 1, 2, 10 and 12 will be closed from 1700 – 1900 for the Juniors

Monday 1st pm Mixed Greensome
Tuesday 2nd am Ladies Competition
Thursday 4th am Old Salts Ken Vickers Trophy
Friday 5th 0900hrs Kent Vets v Etchinghill (home)
Saturday 6th am Ladies Coffee Morning
Saturday 6th 1300hrs Juniors Medal
Sunday 7th am Monthly Medal
Monday 8th am Old Salts v Walmer and Kingsdown
Tuesday 9th am Ladies Medal
Tuesday 9th pm Super Seventies v Chestfield (home)
Wednesday 10th am Midweekers P West Easter Cup Medal
Wednesday 10th am Old Salts v Chestfield (away)
Saturday 13th 1300hrs Club v Westgate (away)
Sunday 14th am Ex Captains Skinners Trophy
Sunday 14th am Stableford
Monday 15th Old Salts V Sheerness (home)
Monday 15th 1100hrs Ladies v St Augustines (away)
Tuesday 16th am Ladies Spring Greensomes
Saturday 20th All day Centenary Bowl
Sunday 21st am Club v The Old Salts Invicta Trophy
Sunday 21st pm Ladies Medal Winners
Monday 22nd am Old Salts v Westgate (home)
Tuesday 23rd am Ladies Cancer Spoon Stableford
Friday 26th am Midweekers K Bills April Cup Stableford
Friday 26th 1200hrs Ladies v Sheerness (home)
Saturday 27th 1300hrs Allard Cup Medal Juniors under 12yoa
Saturday 27th 1300hrs Comer Cup Juniors Scratch Medal
Sunday 28th 0830hrs Daily Mail Foursomes
Tuesday 30th am Ladies Competition


Thursday 2nd am Seniors Open at St Augustines
Friday 3rd 1200hrs Ladies v Hythe (home)
Saturday 4th am Qualifying Medal
Saturday 4th pm Directors Cup
Sunday 5th am Match v Sheerness (home)
Monday 6th pm Mixed Greensomes
Tuesday 7th all day Ladies Spring Meeting
Wednesday 8th am Midweekers D Fewtrell May Madness Shield Medal
Thursday 9th am Old Salts Norman’s Trophy Medal
Friday 10th 0900hrs Vets v Canterbury (home)
Sunday 12th am Captains Swindle
Sunday 12th pm Grandparents Trophy
Tuesday 14th am Ladies Fourball Betterball
Tuesday 14th pm Super Seventies v Broome Park
Wednesday 15th pm Ladies Presidents Day
Saturday 18th pm Ex-Servicemen’s Trophy
Sunday 19th Captains Swindle
Sunday 19th 1300hrs Match v Sheerness Mixed (away)
Tuesday 21st am Ladies Competition
Wednesday 22nd pm Ladies White Elephant
Friday 24th am Midweekers Martins Trophies Trophy Stableford
Friday 24th pm Super Seventies v Canterbury (away)
Friday 24th 0830hrs Vets v Chestfield (away)
Friday 24th 1030hrs Ladies v Chestfield (away)
Sunday 26th am Harry Johnson Cup
Sunday 26th am Monthly Medal
Monday 27th pm Mixed Greensome
Tuesday 28th am Ladies Competition
Wednesday 29th am Midweekers Invitation Day

Ebb and Flow (letters section)

The Editor would appreciate your comments or suggestions of ways to improve the club, course, magazine, web site, social activities, or anything else that comes to mind! Get writing – it’s your club say what you want!

Flotsam and Jetsam


Answers to last months Ditloids

15 Men On A Dead Man’s Chest, 3 Pins On A Plug, 1 Conker On A String, 1 Ring Pull On A Can, 4 Suits In A Pack Of Playing Cards + 2 Jokers.

Any contributions of any type will be considered, puzzles, stories, history, Anecdotes, your chance to get your stuff in print!


A man was playing golf with his wife and on the 14th green she suddenly clutched her chest and fell to the ground; whatever’s the matter asked her husband. I think I’m having a heart attack she gasped call a doctor. The husband rang the clubhouse and enquired if there was a doctor in the vicinity and was told there was one just teeing off on the first.
On repeating this to his wife she said how long will it take him to get here? Not long he replied all the other matches are calling him through.


If you have any unwanted clubs or equipment sell them through this Publication or the Web Site and donate 10% to the Captains Charity! Send the details to my e-mail robert.ireland@gmail.com , by post or place the details on the notice board marked for my attention.