NGC Members Newsletter - October 2017

Keeping you informed


  • Well done to Scott & Callum
  • Out on the Course
  • Membership News/Events
  • Project work update

After managing to qualify for the final of the Lombard Trophy (previously reported) Scott & Callum went out to Portugal with no illusions about the size of the task they faced. However in spite of the high quality of the opposition they both played magnificently to finish level 1st after 18 holes. In a 3 way play off they unfortunately lost on the 3rd extra hole to finish in joint 2nd place, a quite tremendous achievement by our pair of Normanton lads. Well done again!!

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Out on the Course            
Looking back on the golfing season, the course has managed to cope with almost everything that “mother nature” has thrown at it, whilst still playing to an acceptable condition that pleases members, visitors and societies, alike. Yes we know it’s not perfect, no course is, but flooded bunkers, wet patches, etc. are the bane of most golf clubs and Normanton is no exception.

Planning for this winter’s additional work has already begun and it should come as no surprise that Bunkers, Wet Areas, Paths and Tees will be prominent in that schedule of work as they were the 4 top items in the recent members survey. Mention must also go to 2 of our members, who, for those playing the course recently, must have seen them busy chopping away thinning out those areas of heavy tree congestion like between the 14th and 17th. Well done John (Stirling) and Mo (Stucky) your voluntary hard work is much appreciated by all, Members, Greens Staff and Directors alike.

Membership News/Events
The Rabbits and Tigers Sections have combined to hold their end of season dinner. This is to be on Saturday 11th November where everyone is welcome to what is sure to be another great night in the Hatfeild Suite. Please see the office, or, Mick Tinker, Paul Sims or any of the Section members for tickets, priced at £15 Including 2 course meal and 2 live acts, not to be missed!!!!

Members are reminded of the Club’s decision to implement a time bound voucher system for competition winnings. 
This will commence from 1st November 2017 when all winnings accumulated during the winter season ending 31st March 2018 must be redeemed in the Pro Shop before the commencement of the next winter season on 1st November 2018.  Similarly, all Summer season winnings between 1st April 2018 and 31st October 2018 must be redeemed before the commencement of the following summer season on 1st April 2019.

Project Work Update
Many members will be aware of several capital projects that have been mentioned in recent years and are probably wondering what’s happened to them? Well, below attempts to give you an update as to the latest position.

  • Improving the practice facilities e.g. Driving Range feasibility

This issue has been raised on behalf of several members, to provide improved practice facilities that would help existing member development and also to help in attracting more low handicap and junior/lady golfers to NGC. A quote has been received from the company who did Waterton Park’s driving range, for 10 covered driving bays to be situated at the bottom of our practice field. In addition, we would need to obtain estimates for the ground works aspect (concrete base) and “kitting it out” (dividing nets, etc.) plus the need for high chain link fencing (safety aspect) around the site, as well as other accessory costs such as a ball dispenser m/c, ball retriever vehicle, etc. which would suggest we could be looking at, in the region of £70k.

  • Providing a members private buggy store

I have met twice now with interested members who would look to use this facility. It is clear that the longer this goes on, more and more members would be interested (currently 16-18). I have received 3 quotations and because of the increasing interest we have had to consider a larger area (side of existing buggy store). The next stage is to seek planning permission from the council, which won’t be straightforward because of our “listed” status which affects everything on our land. If successful, we would look to eventually recover our initial outlay through members renting their space over a period.

  • Construction of a new Halfway House incorporating toilet facilities

The original demand to look at this came from the obvious shortage of toilet facilities on the course, particularly for lady golfers. Ideally we would like something like what Waterton Park GC have, which is a substantial stone building, where members have the opportunity to shelter out of the rain at the half way house as well as using the toilets, without having to leave the course. We need to get some companies to come and submit estimates for the work and then as is the case with all development work at NGC, we would have the strict “listed” planning rules to overcome.

  • Construction of a buggy track

This was raised at the last AGM as a means of making the course more available to many of our older or disabled members, particularly in the winter months. However, whilst the Directors are fully supportive and sympathetic towards the needs of these members, preliminary enquiries would seem to indicate that it would be cost prohibitive, as estimates suggest that between £250-300k would be needed to fund one.

  • Construction of a stone entrance wall with pillars either side

Unfortunately (I say this, as from a Marketing point of view it has so many 1st impression benefits) this project has been put on the “back burner” as once the results of the members course survey was known, it would be difficult to justify spending considerable money (in the region of £20-£25k) on creating an impressive course entrance, when members are telling us there is so much that they would like doing out on the course.

  • Widening of the balcony area to accommodate more members/visitors

The same applies as to the entrance wall, e.g. focussing on spending out on the course.

  • Sale of unused/spare land to free up resources

We have some areas of spare/unused land which might have the potential for release for residential development. Namely, land to the right of the 3rd fairway, land to the right of the 7th fairway and land where the current Green keepers building is (would need to re-locate Green keeper’s building to top of our car park to accommodate). We need to further explore these possibilities with potential land developers/planners, as if successful, it could release considerable money to spend on many of the above projects and more, including obviously, considerable on-course development.

If any member is in the building/construction trade and would be interested in participating in any of the above projects, then please get in touch with any Director, your interest will be most appreciated.
The Directors are fully aware that many of these project are welcomed by some groups/members, but not others within the club (e.g. buggy track, driving range, buggy store, etc.) but this is our dilemma, that there is virtually nothing that has universal support of all members across the club. However, the role of the Directors and why we are elected, is to make difficult decisions that might not suit some groups/members but the Directors see it as in the overall best interest of the club as a whole.

*Anyone with any news items for future letters, please contact Richard thro the office.