19 August 2021 | ISSUE 72

On the Course | Off the Course
Members and Guests
Dear Member,
The Club

Member Survey

The member survey was an important initiative to assess the current Club experience, and we have received a great response. As it stands, we received 319 reviews, which is a great sample size; it will give us important insight into the overall experience, and where we can improve the Club. We received a lot of positive comments, but also important constructive criticism. The focus of management will be to understand the feedback, put an action plan together on how we can improve on areas of concern, implement suggestions and ideas, but also take the time to share the positive feedback with the team.

Thank you to all the members for taking the time to complete the survey. We will post the results in the newsletter next week.   

Golf Courses – Change of Season – Spring Treatment

We are all excited about the fact that it is warming up, especially after this last cold front, and we can already see the change in the courses. But this also brings a different set of challenges, and we ask for our members’ support and understanding in weeks to come. The change of season is, without a doubt, the worst possible time of the year for greenkeepers, coupled with the fact that we have endured a lot of rounds on both courses. We are fully aware of all the challenges, and we are working on addressing these issues.

As you can imagine, a lot of growth starts to happen, but not the grass we want to see on the courses. One of our biggest enemies, Poa Annua, will start to stand out, as it thrives in cooler temperatures. You will recognise it in the pictures below, and it does make it look untidy.
The seasonal change in the next few weeks will result in some untidy and scruffy areas for a short period. We will start spring treatment, which involves a lot of work, like top dressing, scarifying, and we will be irrigating certain areas as higher temperatures cause heat stress. Topdressing of tees on Bushwillow was done this week, and you will note the green shoots already coming through. These best practice tasks are crucial to prepare the courses, and we ask our members to please be patient whilst this is underway. You will enjoy the benefit of this hard work as soon as the first rain comes down.
Focus on Bunkers

We have identified three key issues with bunker presentation, and implemented a few changes, coupled with extensive training of staff.

1. The depth of sand on the bunker floor has a profound impact on playability. If the sand is too shallow, bunkers may be wet and firm. However, too much sand yields soft conditions that increase the probability of buried lies. This is especially a challenge on Firethorn with the steep faces, which requires a lot of sand to keep it up against the face. The inconsistency in sand depth develops daily due to normal play, raking and wind exposure. The recommended depth for bunker sand is 10 cm to 15 cm. The course team will be doing quick tests of bunker depths, as the bunkers are being raked, each day. A new raking programme, where the sand gets raked in a different direction up and down slopes on alternating days will also improve the bunker edge condition.
New sand probes for checking the sand depth
2. We are looking at coarser sand to top up the bunkers within the next few weeks. This will improve playability, but more importantly, ensure a more consistent experience all year round, taking into account seasonal changes.
3. Compressed bunkers are also a constant issue, especially when irrigation of courses start again. If bunker sand is shallow, contains fine materials such as fine sand, silt and clay, or has been contaminated with organic matter, like most of the bunkers on Bushwillow, it will retain moisture. Wet sand plays firmer than dry sand, so bunkers that receive more irrigation and retain more moisture will likely play firmer than those that are well-drained and out of the way of irrigation. A new system will be introduced to turn up the sand every week using the bunker rake machine. This programme will improve the sand compaction.
8th Bridge – Bushwillow

The new bridge is complete and will be open from tomorrow. We are still busy with a few small add-ons, including a rubber strip for walkers to ensure that the bridge is not slippery.
Happy golfing,

We always encourage communication between our members and the Club. If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to either contact our CEO, Francois Swart at ceo@randpark.co.za or our Club Captain, Derek McGowan at captainslog@randpark.co.za.
How to play 'par golf' time-wise at Randpark
(Written by Randpark Member, Grant Winter)

There is no doubt that slow play can detract from the enjoyment of the game for many golfers. An 18-hole round taking five hours is starting to push the limit. A fourball taking a fair chunk of time upwards of this, spoils the day for pretty much everyone as the whole field is held up. Six hours is criminal.

This is why Randpark has instituted at the club what the R&A have termed “time par” or “time allowed”, which is more or less what “par” should be, time-wise, for each hole on the two courses. So, depending on which hole, on Firethorn the par-4s should take, on average, 14 or 15 minutes to complete, the par-3s 12 or 13 minutes and the par-5s 18 minutes or 20 minutes. It all adds up to 2hr 13min for the first nine, and 2hr 12min for the back nine. Therefore, allowing 15 minutes for the halfway house, an ideal round should take 4hr 40min.

“For slightly shorter Bushwillow we’re also looking at 14 minutes for the par-4s and 12 minutes for the par-3s, and 17 minutes for each of the par-5s,” says the club’s Senior Golf Manager Rikert Schalkwyk. “And with 15 minutes at halfway, the ideal round in Bushwillow’s instance would, therefore, be 4 hours 31 minutes.”

These details are already printed on the back of the new scorecards.

Of course, golf can never work out exactly like this in practice. But for the enjoyment of all “time par” is more or less what we should all aim to achieve.

Also, on the back of the scorecards are further hints to achieve an acceptable pace of play. One of these, importantly, is by playing “ready golf”, which both the R&A and USGA have found to have speeded up and revolutionised the pace of play worldwide. In the old days, it wasn’t etiquette to play out of turn, but now, as Randpark members are discovering, “ready golf” is the perfect way to speed up play. If it’s safe for you to play, and you’re not interfering with your playing partner or endangering anyone, even if it’s technically not your turn, go ahead and play. It’s for everyone’s benefit.
 Unless someone made birdie. Then they keep birdie honours.
“Another very important factor,” says Rikert, “is to be fully aware of when your starting time is and to give yourself plenty of time to get yourself and your equipment ready to be able to tee off promptly on time. A delay of five minutes will cause a snowball effect and hold up the whole field behind you by five minutes.”

Rikert adds that for the most part, Randpark’s members are very much aware of the importance of pace of play, as are the starters and marshals. But juniors and newcomers to the game, for instance, may need help and encouragement to fall into line.

Professional golfers tend to play faster than us mere mortals – mainly because they don’t hack around in the bush looking for balls like we do! – and here’s an interesting fact: The great South African golfer of the 1940s and 1950s, four-time British Open champion Bobby Locke, was castigated throughout his career for what was seen as his slow play. He won the 1952 Open at Royal Lytham, but after the third round the Australian, Norman von Nida, complained to the Championship Committee about Locke’s “funeral-like pace”. Locke’s crime? Playing the third round in 3hr 30min! Let’s just say times have changed because today that would be considered fairly brisk.

At Randpark there’s no urgency to have to clock 3 hours 30 minutes for a round. “It’s not a race,” says Rikert. “We want all our golfers to enjoy the whole experience of a day out at the Club, the company, the halfway house (be it ‘grab and go’ because of Covid protocols), the courses, the service, the booking procedure, the pro shop, whatever …”

Stick to the ‘time allowed’ guidelines, and we’ll all enjoy our day and our golf that much better.

For further information on pace of play visit the R&A website and their “Pace of Play” manual.
You Spoke … We Listened

We now have Windhoek and Heineken on tap at the Range!


 Please note that the reception hours have been amended and are now:
Monday to Friday: 07:00 - 17:00
Saturday and Sunday: 07:00 - 16:00

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Please diarise the below dates for the Ladies AGM, Company AGM and Club AGM:
Ladies AGM – Saturday, 28th August 2021
Company AGM – Monday, 13th September 2021
Club AGM – Monday, 20th September 2021
We look forward to seeing you there.
Rule of the Week

Rule 16.1: Abnormal Course Conditions (including Immovable obstructions)

The rule covers free relief that is allowed from interference by animal holes, ground under repair (GUR), immovable obstruction and temporary water. A clear definition of each interference can be found in the Rules of Golf book under definitions. Rule 16.1 stipulates when a player can get free relief from all the above areas, and the biggest area within the rule is ground under repair.

What is ground under repair? As per the definition ground under repair is as follow and free relief can be taken from these areas:
Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise). Any defined ground under repair includes both:
All grounds inside the edge of the defined area, and
Any grass, bush, tree or other growing or attached natural object rooted in the defined area, including any part of those objects that extends up above the ground outside the edge of the defined area (BUT not when such object is attached to or below the ground outside the edge of the defined area, such as a tree root that is part of a tree rooted inside the edge).
Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:
Any hole made by the Committee or maintenance staff in:
o Setting up the course
o Maintaining the course
Grass cuttings, leaves or any other material piled for later removal. BUT:
o Any natural materials that are piled for removal are also loose impediments and,
o Any materials left on the course that are not intended to be removed are not ground under repair unless the Committee has defined them as such
Any animal habitat (such as a bird’s nest) that is so near a player’s ball that the player’s stroke or stance might damage it, except when the habitat has been made by animals that are defined as loose impediments (worms and insects)

To find out more about this rule the whole description can be found under rule 16 in the R&A rules of golf and all the definitions in the back of the Rule book.
Entries will be limited to the first 120 paid entries. Participants must be 50 years and older on the day of the tournament. Entries close on the 6th of September and the draw will be done on the 7th of September.

Entry Fee: R200 (incl. hospitality stations at registration, comp fee, gift and warm-up buckets at the Range)
Tee Times: Sat, 11 Sept, Bushwillow PM Field 11h14 – 13h06 off both tees
Sun, 12 Sept, Firethorn AM Field 06h30 – 08h30 off both tees
Halfway House: Grab & Go – players own account
Sunday Prize Giving Lunch: Optional at an additional cost of R150 pp
Registration: click here or contact Leanne on 011 215 8600 | clubevents@randpark.co.za
Enter the Windhoek 5 Star National Pairs at Randpark on Saturday, 28th of August, and stand a chance to win an entry into the Regional Playoff.

Format: Betterball Stableford
Cost: Normal Saturday Competition Fee will apply
Prizes: Stand a chance to win an entry into the Regional Playoff worth R5000. The winners of each Regional Playoff will be flown to Cape Town to play in the Final at Pearl Valley Golf Estate
One overall winner per course
All-day through the field competition
Normal Club Prize-giving will be at 14h00 (morning field) and 18h00 (afternoon field)
Saturday booking procedures will apply. Please ensure you and your playing partner are both available, if required, to take part in the regional final (date to be confirmed)
Thursday’s Curry Night Specials

Sit down or take-away from 5 pm to 8 pm. Take-aways must be ordered with your service host.

Spicy Chicken Curry Meatballs - R90
Simmered in a spicy tomato cream sauce, served with bay leaf fragrant Basmati rice
Durban Style Fish Biryani - R100
Hot and spicy, with yellow rice, topped with boiled eggs and fresh coriander leaves
Durban Style Beef Curry - R110
With potatoes and carrots, served with Basmati rice

All curries served with poppadums, sambals, chutney, desiccated coconut, mango achaar and spiced tomato chutney.

You can also order your Club-favourites from Monday to Saturday between 11 am and 7 pm and Sunday between 11 am and 4 pm for take-away collection. Click here to view our take-away menu. Contact 011 215 8600 to place your order.
Click here to book your table and click here to view the menu.
Have a great weekend
Stay Safe, Healthy & Happy!
The Randpark Team


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