Captain's Corner
Club Report
Good morning golfers
Once again the weather was the winner at the club with results from Sunday the only ones to report.
I have a couple of matters to discuss this week.
First, frost delays.
I'm taking a risk by making comment before I reply to a message but there is a need to understand that the grounds staff/club manager will close the course for frost (frost delay) until such time as the frost has lifted sufficiently for the greens and fairways to be not damaged by foot traffic on frozen grass.  I can always tell when the course has been played while frosted by the black footprints and wheel marks which are made by feet and wheels along the grass.  The black grass is dead and the surface will need remedial work.  In the fairways this will be less of an issue but on the greens as we head in to spring it is quite a headache.
In the winter time if there is a frost delay you must wait until the green staff are happy that the course is thawed sufficiently for no damage to occur.  If you have booked an early tee time it may mean that when the frost has cleared you will need to tee off on number 10 or if you need to be somewhere and you are not able to conclude a round of golf that's just the bad luck that comes with the weather effects on golf.  For the good of the course and our continuing enjoyment of the game a little bit of inconvenience will produce benefits later on.
Many of you will have noticed that a team of people have been working very hard to give our course a good renovation.  There is still a very long way to go to get back to an acceptable condition and we ask that you all be a bit patient as those who work for us as paid staff and our team of hard working volunteers do this work for you.
I am not a scientist, I rely on the advice I recieve from those who understand about this stuff but I am clear that when the person with the qualifications says stay off the grass I am not going to stand around to debate it.  Neither should anyone else.
While I was away on Sunday, I am aware that there was a frost delay.  I hope that I have this right (if not I will hear about it) that a former Club Captain sent a number of early morning golfers delayed by the frost off on number 10 while those with later tee times kept their tee slot.  The result was that everyone that wanted to got a game of golf.
Finally on this point, please respect a staff members' direction.  If there are any concerns about what you are asked to do by the staff you may take it up with the club manager and if there is a legitimate point it may be discussed later with the staff/volunteers who are only too willing to please.
Next, are we a golf club; or somewhere to play golf?
I've been cogitating about this for a while now.
My experience this weekend has raised the matter to the front of my thinking and I think that as a club we need to give this some consideration.  I do think that it may well determine how and if our club develops.
Last year at the prize giving held after the annual general meeting,  very few people attended.  The only person who attended to collect their Club Championship Trophy was the senior club champion.  The only committee member there was the club captain Fiona Kearns who did her best to engender some life into proceedings.
Looking through last years' competitions there was a dearth of entries which indicates the interest levels.  Our premier club competitions, The Club Championships were so poorly patronised that fields of eight played for the trophy.  The only field where a full sixteen golfers could have competed was in the intermediate grade.  Two of the golfers in the latter stages of the senior club championships played their inter club golf for clubs other than Karori.
So the issue of club spirit is a real one.
At the weekend I played in the Fiordland Classic at Te Anau.  Interestingly so did Peter Kirkman a former member of the Te Anau Golf Club.  The field was full; two hundred and eight golfers played a four ball better ball nett on the Saturday and a combined nett (teams of two) on the Sunday.  Peter Kirkman was in the prizes in 27th place with his team partner.
The Classic was partonised by golfers from 52 clubs throughout New Zealand.  In the past there have even been golfers from Australia who have travelled to be part of the event.  The field is full.  There is a waiting list for entry in to next years' tournament.  This from a club of just over 100 members, at the bottom of the South Island in the middle of winter.
The course was superbly presented, the greens true and fast and the fairways firm to walk on (no mud, no temporary gur, no impossible to play out of rough unless you were so wide you were likely out of bounds, one green keeper).  Everything organised and executed by volunteers supported by the paid people at the club. 
The competition ran smoothly.  There were no holdups in the field and everyone teed off on time.
This is the hallmark of a golf club.  To give an indication then what  the raised in terms of revenue in entry fees alone (no bar takings, no catering, no raffles and other fund raising activities included, no account of sponsorship) was twenty six thousand dollars ($26000).  I bet our treasurer would be really happy to see these numbers from one of our events.  The entry fee was $250 per team.  Nobody gipped at this.
In the last couple of Captains Corners I have promoted both the Ken and Rose Rigarlsford Trophies and the Club Championships.  The Ken and Rose Rigarlsford is being held on the 19th of August.  To date there are only three entries.  This is a free event but very slow uptake in the way of entries.  In the club championships so far we have eight entries.
So, do we care?
Well I do.  That is why I took on the Club Captains' role this year. 
I am keen to develop the club spirit that exists among even the very small golf clubs in Southland.  Clubs of thirty or forty members totally kept in condition by members alone but who compete in the pennants and hold an annual tournament at their club each year.  One of the very small nine hole clubs even won the Presidents Pennants one year  (Wyndham) which is akin to the Duncan Cup in Wellington from a membership of less than fifty.
We have our Shirties, our Matts Mob, our Gaskies but nothing else creates much excitment.
I am not going to pretend that life is easy, that people don't have commitments and so on but I also believe that it is possible to find a sweet spot that will allow for club activity which regularly fills the club house with contented happy golfers enjoying each others company.  Golfing for Gabrielle proved that.
So at the very least if this prompts further entries to both the Ken and Rose Rigarlsford Trophies event and the club championships then it will have served a purpose.
If it doesn't and all members want to do is to play in their usual fours then that answers a question too.  The focus then should be to cater for green fee players once our members have had their morning golf.
As for my golf this weekend I shot a dismal 94 on Friday and a slightly beter but equally dismal 89 on Sunday.  And that's the rub.  It's not about the winning.  I will be among the first to enter next year too.
And now to the pigs.
I don't have photos but the recent infestation of pigs into our course is a tragedy.  TK is doing his very best to manage this to the extent of camping out at dusk to try and catch them.  I note that we hope to have Wellington Regional Council coming out to help but somehow I have this fear that we will still be tasked with keeping our course pig free.  Just another challenge for those who look after the playing surface for us all.
Please keep your eyes peeled for any damage you might observe and let Robyn know.
And cut the staff some slack if the greens are a little hairy for a while.  Pig eradication is probably the most important thing that they can do right now to keep our course in good nick.
Let's all hope this gets sorted sooner rather than later.
Thank you TK particularly for going the extra mile.
1. Sunday Golf results
a) Sunday Club Day
While the weather was the winner there were some good results.
Best on the day was Phillip Watts on 39pts, Kevin Norquay 38pts, and Philip Hartley 36pts
Twenty eight players troubled the scorers.
b) Westward Ho
Boyd Kenna prevailed over Nicholas Mills, Matthew Everett over Russell Turner, Dick Borgdorff over Philip Hartley, and Keith Atkinson over Luke Underwood.
This weekend  is the quarter finals.  Matt Grubbi plays Gail Kirkland, Matthew Roche plays Boyd Kenna, Matthew Everett plays Grant Pollard, Dick Borgdorff plays Keith Atkinson.
Good luck to all players.
2. This weeks golf.
a) Our women are playing today battling strong winds and pig rutted fairways.
b) Wednesday Competition is tomorrow at 10.30am
Be at the club house by 10.15am for the disc draw.  $5 entry fee pays your match entry and buys a raffle ticket. 
This competition is open to all members and affiliated visitors welcome. Lately the fields have diminished.  Come along and join in the fun.
c) Sunday Club Day
Shirties, Matts Mob and Gaskies support Sunday Club Day.
You may join in with any of these groups and if you are on your own and want a game come to the picnic table by 8.45am for the card draw.  All members are welcome.
Hopefully the weather will improve this week and we will get a good team of players on the links.
3. Comings and Goings
a) Welcome back Robyn.  You have been missed. 
b) I'm back.  Holiday over, back to work.
That's all for this week.
As best you can get out and enjoy our very unique course.  And go on, enter some of the events.  I know that you will enjoy them and it is good for the club.  Contact Robyn at to enter one or both of the Ken and Rose Rigarlsford trophies and the Club Championships.  I will get Robyn to post a sign on sheet for the Club Championships in the downstairs foyer this week sometime.
Mark Peck
Club Captain

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