Today at Bowood

Changes have been afoot at Bowood too, with a re-think of our memberships and a push towards a new approach and era for the club. Identifying the barriers to play and how we can elevate the experience has been top of our agenda.

Golf is seeing tough times. But why? A recent article in Golf Monthly suggests a ‘recalibration’ within a growth and decline cycle is the reason behind some facilities closing.

But is the true nub of the problem just basic economics? Supply and demand? It’s not quite so black and white, but what we do know, is without external investment from the golf-playing public, clubs will continue to decline and courses close.

We thought it would be good timing for an update on what has been going on at Bowood so far this year. How we are building upon our latest appointment as an elite PGA member – read our Blog for what this means to Bowood, and our plans and aspirations for the club in order to secure its future.

Membership Exceeds Expectations

A recent article in Golf Monthly highlighted that the simple fundamental economic practice of matching supply and demand is the key to a successful golf club.

We recognise this fact and as a result, appointed Mark Sealey as Membership Manager in late 2018 to redress membership and its direct effect upon the club’s future and community.

He didn’t waste time, identifying the need to introduce new membership categories to increase accessibility especially for the younger golfers who were previously priced out.

If the club is to prosper, we need to look to the next generation. A fantastic course without players simply won’t survive.

With the help of our Director of Golf, Ben and the Golf Team, membership has increased by 40% in the last 6 months – a feat worthy of praise but more importantly, the right social glue to secure its future.

We are very close to having a waiting list for 7-day golf members here at Bowood with Academy and Junior Academy Membership increasing significantly over the past 12 months. Much to our delight, female members have doubled moving towards a membership equilibrium inspiring the next generation.

Challenges from the Course

Challenging times for our Head Greenkeeper, Jaey. We hope you’ve been following his monthly Course Reviews as he and his team keep us informed with what is happening on the course.

His hard work may not always be evident so it’s a great insight into how he manages the weather, plans maintenance and presents a course in tip-top condition.

So far this year Jaey and his team have been building upon last years’ extensive fairway renovation programme with the aim of improving play year-round.

The benefits of intensive overseeding with bentgrass will soon become evident as the greens show signs of seed taking root.

Keep an eye out for work due to start shortly on re-levelling selected tees too.

The Captains’ Vision

As membership has gained traction, so have our Captains Sue and Chris. They have been fundamental in making the club a more welcoming and informal golf experience for members and visitors, existing and new.

How? By adopting a fresh modern forward-thinking attitude. An attitude with ambition.

They recognise the importance of bringing golf into a new era and how younger golfers will be instrumental to the growth of golf and life of the club at Bowood.

Interesting facts…

England Golf research shows that in 2017, 67% of all young people took part in some form of golf activity. That’s about 5.35 million youngsters in England but to the backdrop of ‘traditional’ junior memberships in decline.

The ‘one size fits all’ approach to junior membership turns its back on the needs of younger players and their families. Not everyone wants to become the next Tiger Woods and what may be fun for a 6-year old won’t float-the-boat of a teenager.

You need to onboard the parent too. It takes a commitment from both parties. From the feedback we’ve received, the introduction of a comprehensive junior development programme for specific age groups has been successful.

Let’s not avoid the issue of fees. Quite frankly, younger players were priced out. The new Membership and Tuition Packages acknowledge the needs of young players and have been adjusted. Last year, as part of our Black Friday initiatives we gave our junior members and other young golfers locally free Academy Course Membership to help break that barrier to entry.

We appreciate we must compete with other sports and activities so pricing needs to be competitive and offer value for money.

Our Professionals

Our Pro golfers are PGA professionals with over 50 years’ experience. If you’ve played on our course before and experienced some coaching, you’ll know the skill level of our coaches and their ability to progress junior, beginner, intermediate and even “European Tour” players.

They do this through their in-depth knowledge of the game and coaching expertise.

Using our Trackman, TPI, Flightscope and Swing analysis services alongside custom fitting sessions and being down with the latest advances in equipment means our Pros can take your game to the next level.

Their love of golf is apparent and being on-hand and approachable, key to the experience we want to cultivate here at Bowood.

Junior Golf Director Gregg, inspires the little ones and works tirelessly to ensure coaching is fun, relaxed and informative whilst challenging in our Junior PGA Golf Academy.

Courses are specifically tailored to junior golfers of all ages. They run on week nights during term time then throughout the school holidays. Private tuition is also available to develop your child further.

Ben, our Director of Golf and one of Today’s Top 50 Golf Coaches in the UK is always on hand for inspiration, tips and the latest equipment recommendations. He’s learnt from the very best and has a great aptitude for bringing out the best in your game.

Sustainability & Eco-Friendly

Our Pro golfers are PGA professionals with over 50 years’ experience. If you’ve played on our course before and experienced some coaching, you’ll know the skill level of our coaches and their ability to progress junior, beginner, intermediate and even “European Tour” players.

They do this through their in-depth knowledge of the game and coaching expertise.

Using our Trackman, TPI, Flightscope and Swing analysis services alongside custom fitting sessions and being down with the latest advances in equipment means our Pros can take your game to the next level.

Their love of golf is apparent and being on-hand and approachable, key to the experience we want to cultivate here at Bowood.

Junior Golf Director Gregg, inspires the little ones and works tirelessly to ensure coaching is fun, relaxed and informative whilst challenging in our Junior PGA Golf Academy.

Courses are specifically tailored to junior golfers of all ages. They run on week nights during term time then throughout the school holidays. Private tuition is also available to develop your child further.

Ben, our Director of Golf and one of Today’s Top 50 Golf Coaches in the UK is always on hand for inspiration, tips and the latest equipment recommendations. He’s learnt from the very best and has a great aptitude for bringing out the best in your game.

Entering An Exciting Era

Attracting players to a course is one thing, maintaining them is another. There’s no room for those that ‘rest on their laurels’. As a result, golf is entering a transformational and exciting period.

Yes, a great course is paramount. Yes, the clubhouse needs to be welcoming, the Pros friendly, juniors thriving and fees value for money.

But golf must move forward. Open its arms, and get with the program.

We hope you will join us at Bowood for this new exciting era of golf.

Unlimited Summer Golf Day Pass

Our Unlimited Summer Golf Day Pass is just one step towards making golf more accessible, affordable and enjoyable for everyone.

Unlimited golf can be enjoyed by all as it’s valid on our 18 hole championship PGA Course and Academy Course and includes driving range balls, access to the Putting Green and handy 10% discount for our Pro Golf Shop.

Get some practice in before an upcoming tournament or better still, round up some friends for a golf social and have a few games for less Monday to Thursday. Don’t’ forget we have the Halfway House for on-course refreshments or for something a bit more substantial, our Clubhouse Brasserie so you can make the most of your day.

 

 

Appropriate hip rotation in the backswing will help store power, maintain balance and improve your swing sequence.

Part 1

  1. Place the grip of a mid iron directly on your trail thigh with the sole golf club sitting flat on the floor.
  2. Take the club away with arms followed by torso. We don’t want to see the hips turn early!!

Part 2

  1. Once the arms reach a position parallel with the floor, allow the trail pocket or your trousers to start rotating around and behind you. The club will start to fall.

 

  1. Keep rotating your hips until you complete your backswing. The club will be at rest on the floor.

 

If you find this exercise difficult, it may be a physical limitation that inhibits your form during this movement.

To analyse your swing in more detail book a TPI screening assessment with one of our golf Professionals.

Book on your appointment on 01249 823 881

After the highly successful launch of Britain’s new running festival RunFestRun at Bowood House & Garden in May, Virgin DJ Chris Evans says he has big plans in store for the event...

Created by Virgin Radio DJs Chris Evans and Vassos Alexander, the three-day running and music festival took place over the weekend (31 May – 2 June) at Bowood House and Gardens in Wiltshire. It saw thousands of families from all over the country take part in a range of running events from a half marathon, a 10k through to a bug-themed fancy dress immersive 5k fun run. Chris Evans was delighted with how RunFestRun went and is already planning big things for the festival’s future. He said on this morning’s Virgin Radio Breakfast Show:

 “We have returned leaner, meaner, fitter, lighter and shinier which is a festival first. That’s not what happens when you come back from a festival, which means that RunFestRun is already the greatest festival on our planet!”

Evans, who moved to Virgin Radio in January, is a keen runner and happily took to the running trail through the beautiful Bowood Estate with his fellow festival revellers. He continued:

“It was a celebration of everything that is good about being a human being”.

 “A hit straight out of the blocks. Friday afternoon we thought ‘oh my goodness me, this is beyond our wildest dreams’ and it just got better and better and better.

 “I ran 42km and I’m not aching at all this morning – RunFestRun has magic in it.”

The event kicked off with ‘Feel Good Friday’ which saw Evans and Alexander introducing everyone to the four team captains Paula Radcliffe, Natasha Evans, Colin Jackson and Steve Cram. They warmed up with a light run, before rockers Razorlight and Reef took to the stage to entertain a crowd of over 6,000 festivalgoers.

After an action-packed Saturday full of running, inspiring talks, fun and energetic fitness classes, music fans were treated to a show-stopping Faithless DJ set, toe-tapping indie from The Coral and Ten Tonnes, followed by high energy headliner Olly Murs, who really brought the feel good to Bowood.

Presenter, DJ and author Fearne Cotton, Britain’s most successful athlete ever Christine Ohuruogu, marathon runner Ben Smith, and BBC presenter and keen marathoner, Sophie Raworth were just some of the successful, inspirational and famous faces giving talks and in attendance.

Team Butterfly Captain, Paula Radcliffe said...

“What a resounding success. It was an amazing family festival of fun that has us all still smiling. There was truly something for everyone and the whole weekend proved what a wonderful and special group the running community is”

Team Bee Captain, Steve Cram said...

Well Done Run Fest Run! What an incredible weekend we all enjoyed being part of. All ages, abilities and distances covered in a riot of colour and energy with an infectious atmosphere from dawn until dusk! We ran for miles and danced with smiles. Can’t wait to do it all again next time!”

Team Ladybird Captain, Natasha Evans said...

“What an absolutely magical weekend. It’s not often you leave a festival feeling stronger, fitter, happier and healthier! Thank you RunFestRun! The collective energy and passion from every single person will keep me going until the next time,#makingmemories”.

Team Captain Dragonfly, Colin Jackson said...

“What an inspirational weekend, a huge pleasure being part of the inaugural RunFestRun event. It was a pure joy to see so many happy faces and so many children enjoying running. The icing on the cake of course, was my team being crowned the champions, which was never really in doubt was it, bring on the event in 2020”.

 

 

What's On

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Back in the days of chunky film cameras, wedding photography was a regimented affair. No low light settings, no tardis-like storage cards, no point and shoot.

The photographer would round up guests, like herding cats, and stage colossal group photos and austere portraits. Even with versatile digital cameras, the conservatism of weddings is persistent.

Traditions, traditions. Thankfully, evolution has picked up its pace and attitudes are changing.

Now, for your wedding, the photography can be endlessly creative, and far more naturalistic. Even portraits can be inventive. We’re in a golden age of technological and artistic possibility. Do you want Victorian style “oops, the camera’s over here” “no smiles please” snaps of your big day? Of course not.

Read on, for this year’s top photo thinking.

Trend #1 – Relaxed Wedding Vibes

This isn’t so much a trend, as a reflection on how we’ve changed as a society.

The formality of traditions, and old-fashioned weddings isn’t what we’re after. We want humanity captured. The tears of happiness, the belly laughs.

If your wedding reception is chilled out, perhaps with soulful street food, and no seating plan—it’ll be the perfect backdrop for photo-realism.

Trend #2 – Hashtags & Hip Filters

Alright, here’s the deal. Wedding photographers can get upset if you slap Instagram filters over their mini works of art.

Much editing and post-processing work goes into finished wedding photos. Some may include a copyright clause in their contract.

However, you have phones, as will your guests. Why not set up a personalised Insta hashtag and get arty?

Trend #3 – Photojournalism Style

Documentary wedding photography, or reportage is taking off in a big way. It’s about telling the complete story of your wedding day, from start to finish.

There’s nothing so natural as the morning before your ceremony. You cannot pose, and it cannot be staged (or shouldn’t).

This fly on the wall style photography guarantees your wedding pics a candidness, and authenticity old-style methods can’t.

Trend #4 – Personal Not Generic

Imagine if, every detail of your wedding was decided for you. Your dress or suit, the flowers, the invitations, the place cards, décor—everything.

What makes your wedding, is the fact it’s your wedding. Right down to the fine print. You didn’t want care bears on your invites, you wanted Beatrix Potter characters. And, oh no, the place cards are in comic sans. The worst.

Your wedding is your dream. You have all the little details planned. It’s these that will help set off your wedding photos.

The more individual you can make your wedding, the better the photos.

Trend #5 – First Look, a Game Changer

This is a lovely trend, becoming more and more popular.

Traditionally (that word again), the father of the bride is a stoic figure, handing his daughter over to her soon-to-be husband.

Really, he’s a loving and proud dad—and this illuminates it. The idea is to capture the precise moment dad sees daughter in her wedding dress for the first time.

We still live in a society where it’s not always easy for men to show their emotion, and this cuts through that in a moving way.

Trend #6 – Fun.

Fun can’t be a trend, surely? It’s not really. It’s a mind set when it comes to picking keepers from your wedding photos.

It’s about remembering they don’t have to be perfect: it’s okay to show yourselves, your family, and friends in an honest way.

When you look back on them over the years, knowing they are raw and genuine will help you re-live one of the best days of your life.

Red Maple Photography at Bowood

At Bowood we work closely with Alicia, of the award-winning Red Maple Photography. Originally from the prairies of Canada, Alicia is a Cotswolds based wedding photographer at the top of her game.

Alicia is talented, and passionate about her craft, and this reflects in her beautiful images, showing the real story of your wedding. She loves a challenge too and is happy for bespoke requests.

See Alicia’s amazing portfolio. She will also be at our next Wedding Open Evening on Thursday 1st August.

RSVP here

Weddings at Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort

Wiltshire wedding venues don’t get any more picturesque than they do Bowood Hotel, surrounded by achingly pretty countryside and grounds.

Not only this, but we—

  • Cater for weddings of all sizes
  • Have a brand-new wedding pavilion
  • Can do outdoor weddings
  • Are licensed for civil ceremonies
  • Can accommodate up to 160 guests
  • Offer 43 luxurious rooms

If you’re looking to tie the knot sooner rather than later, graze our last few Saturday dates for 2019/20 here.

Thank you for reading.

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The chest muscles are made up of 3 muscle groups, Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor and Serratus Anterior. Each group of muscles have their own function from helping to pull the shoulder forward and down to moving the scapula.

Pectoralis

Pectoralis Major

The pectoralis major is a large, substantial, fan-shaped muscle. And as you might guess from the word “major,” it makes up the majority of the chest muscle mass. It originates at your clavicle, ribs, and sternum, and inserts into the upper portion of your humerus (upper arm bone from elbow to shoulder.)

Pectoralis Minor

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle that is found underneath the pectoralis major. It attaches at the 3rd, 4th and 5th rib, and it reaches to the scapula (shoulder blade.) Think of it as the little (yet very powerful) brother of the pectoralis major. Its job is to help pull the shoulder forward and down.

Serratus Anterior

The serratus anterior, although not truly part of the chest anatomy, is commonly grouped as part of the chest muscle group because it attaches near the pectorals on the ribs. Its functions are to move the scapula forward and upward.

Chest Exercises

To fully develop your chest, you need to hit it with heavy weight using a couple smartly chosen exercises, such as….

  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Fly
  • Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Pullovers
  • Push up

For more information or help with exercises talk to a member of the gym team. 

May I quote the opening sentence of last month’s write up... "The weather continues to surprise and to a degree, challenge as we move towards summer through this beautiful stretch of May sunshine".

Well, challenge it continues to do!

As we move through the early and mid-part of June following the dry, cool spell of April and May our rainfall total for June as I write this is approaching 60mm,  2.5 inches, meaning that we have hit our monthly average total already with no respite on the horizon to the continual system of rain and showers moving across the country over the coming week.

Weather

Predominately it is steady, useful rain that is being absorbed into the ground quite effectively and helping to develop a sound supply of ground water. Although on occasion we have been subject to some intense downpours that are merely running off down the hill and into the nearest stream. Let’s hope that this spell of rainfall knocks on some benefit for later in the year when we will need some soil moisture.

Generally, temperatures are staying quite mild overnight with only occasional instances of minimums dipping below 5 celcius. Maintaining mild overnight temperatures is helping to move growth on which has been sadly lacking this year. There are still areas that have been repaired and renovated from last summer’s scorch that are only now starting to fill in despite assertive action to them.

As I was walking Eddie up along the Wansdyke a couple of weeks ago it was really apparent how slow the year has been so far, the hawthorns were in full flower and it occurred to me that this is the first year in certainly ten but maybe more that the “May flower” was actually flowering in May rather than April.

Greens

We are now moving away from the seedhead phase for Poa annua that plagues May with seeding in decline and leaf growth picking up across all heights of Poa. Height of cut remains at 4mm and keeping on top of brush cutting we are seeing good density in the grass sward to aid ball roll.

There are small patches of localised dry spot on a few of the exposed greens. The patches are areas of soil that repel water and hence do not absorb either irrigation or rainfall readily and remain dry. The repellency is a result of a waxy residue left on soil particles by previous fungal activity with the soil. Managing these spots is difficult because they are so very localised and generally bordered by soil that is sufficient in water.

Increasing irrigation across the entire green will not remedy the problem; it will simply over-irrigate areas adjacent to the patches. What we are doing to address these problems, which are a very long term occurrence that does evolve, is two-pronged. The first is a systemic approach where the products that we are using alongside our fertilisers are effectively living, liquid composts. These composts are encouraging soil biology that over time will consume the waxy coating and therefore reduce the effect.

The second technique is the use of a regular wetting agent type product that helps to break the surface tension of water falling to the green surface. Using a wetting agent will help water penetrate these dry areas by preventing the water beading on the surface and not running into the soil. Regular, light aeration will also contribute to increased infiltration as pictured below showing micro slitting post-mowing.

It is small procedures like this that aid water infiltration to the soil and over time will reduce the incidence of dry patch rather than simply increasing irrigation which will create separate problems.

Fairways and Tees

As I outlined last month the ryegrass seedheads are now starting to pop up, rearing their ugly heads maybe…Managing these seed stalks requires double mowing with a rotary rough mower before running the usual cylinder mower over them or hand pulling the stems, either way a double dose of maintenance.

The great thing is that the season for ryegrass seeding is much shorter than for Poa and within a couple of weeks it will be gone. Fairways and tees are both receiving their full season fertility which included light fertiliser input plus this year a regular application of liquid seaweed which will contribute to increased root development and overall plant health particularly through periods of stress, such as all of 2018 really.

Etiquette

A final word on golf course etiquette which I feel needs to be mentioned. Particularly through periods of rainfall, putting green surfaces do become softer because moisture content increases. The result of this is that pitch marks from golf balls are more severe.

Our members and playing visitors need to be putting in the effort to find and repair any ball mark that their shot has left on the greens surface both as a part of their responsibility to fellow golfers and to the greenkeeping team that maintain and care for our greens on a daily basis.

Pitch marks ruin putts; the onus is on you to do the right thing by your greens and your fellow players.

Thanks for reading

Best always

Jaey Goodchild

Head Greenkeeper

Protect your skin with our Holiday Spa Treatment of the Month at Bowood this summer June & July…

This month’s Treatment of the Month is a complexion-healing full body exfoliation, followed by a mineral defence facial shielding you from the damaging effects of overexposure to the sun.

Stone Crop Revitalising Body scrub

For the full body exfoliation element of the treatment, we use Eminence Organic’s Stone Crop Revitalising Body Scrub.

It’s a gel based formula which when lathered turns into a lightly abrasive yet creamy foam which helps to detoxify the skin without drying it out. The balance of sugar and salt in this formula leaves your skin feeling hydrated, soft and glowing.

About Stone Crop

Stone crop is a robust plant which can often be found growing in either wet or extremely dry gardens in various parts of the world.

While dermatologically it has a vast number of miraculous properties, it is also incredibly good for the environment, it provides food for bees and butterflies and it also has the ability to remove make up and unclog pores. Read more here.

Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant

For the first stage of the facial element of the treatment, we use Eminence Organic Skin Cares’ Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant.

The key ingredients which make this skin-healing serum so effective include the hugely hydrating and moisturising stone crop.

Additionally to stone crop, this oxygenating exfoliant is packed with detoxifying complex microgreens including broccoli, radish, clover sprouts and detoxophane from Swiss cress sprouts. Rice and adzuki powder can also be found in the product, both equally exfoliating, buffing and rejuvenating the skin.

Lilikoi Mineral Defense

The second part of the facial element of the treatment, we use a moisturising product from the Eminence skin care range called Lilikoi Mineral Defense.

A combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the two main ingredients which help shield your skin from UV rays helping to protect your skin from sunburn.

Lilikoi (more commonly known as passionfruit) seed oil is packed with vitamin C as well as various antioxidants which can help ease and reduce the visible signs of ageing.

You will also find satsuma mandarin peel extract and larch tree moisturiser in the mix. The peel helping to fight off and prevent your skin from absorbing toxic pollutants in the air while the Larch Tree protecting the skin from dryness.

Want to book in for Holiday Skin?

This treatment is available throughout June and July either as an upgrade should you wish to join us for a Spa Day or Spa Break or to book as a treatment (£80.00 for 60 minutes).

To book, call us on 01249 823 883 or email us here.

 

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Our weather continues to surprise and to a degree, challenge as we move towards summer through this beautiful stretch of May sunshine.

Rainfall has been on the lean side with the annual total currently sitting at around 230mm which is over 50mm short on where we were at this time last year.

Greens

May is guaranteed to bring us trouble on the greens, every year we are challenged to produce a smooth surface through the spell of Poa annua seeding. As the season progresses and the growth starts to increase the annual varieties of turf across the course move into a seeding period.

There are two botanical consequences to this period, first the plants are producing seed heads which follow a different growth habit to leaves and this habit disturbs ball roll by taking an upright stance on stems in comparison to regular leaf tissue. Second, while the plant is committed to seedhead production the use of energy within the plant is diverted from leaf growth to seed production and there the plant responds less than usual to fertiliser applications giving the plants a hungry appearance, less than pretty you could say.  Now you could ask why don’t we just use more fertiliser?

One reason is that if we simply feed more the plants that are not seeding they will grow faster thus exacerbating the problem of differential growth across the two species. The other reason is that we have been increasing the population of “non-seeding” perennial  bentgrasses and reducing the population of “seeding” annual Poa annua.  As the trend of population change continues we will see less and less seeding as the seasons continue. The prime example of species conversion is the ninth green where we have seen a green with roughly 90% Poa annua five years ago swing around to contain only around 20% currently.

This rough period is an annual, historical occurrence that we address every May and as the seeding period subsides we will see a vast improvement to the greens performance. Our management processes to reduce the impact are regular brushing before mowing, regular topdressing and maintaining our regime of rolling.  We have reduced the height of cut on the greens to 4mm which will be our season’s height in line with the previous two seasons.

 

Bunkers

As I mentioned in weather round up, the deluge that we experienced on 19th May caused us significant problems with every single bunker on the golf course. The entire greenkeeping team spent more than two full days shovelling, raking and pushing up washed out bunker faces and bases to get these back into play as soon as possible. It was a great effort by the team having to man handle literally tonnes of sand back into position, firm it all back in and then hand rake for a playable finish. Thanks for your patience while the work was being done as I am sure you experienced less than ideal playing conditions if you were unlucky enough to end up in a bunker.

May I also take this opportunity to remind all of our golfers that raking a bunker to remove your footprints once you have played from it is your responsibility.  Leaving footprints or grooves from club swiping instead of raking leaves a less than desirable surface to play from for the golfers following you around the course but also shows little regard for the hard work that our greenkeeping team put into keeping your course to a high standard.

Fairways

Our fairways are keeping their year round height of cut at 15mm, a fair length for shot playing but also just long enough to withstand a bit of stress caused by foot traffic and summer conditions. We have commenced a programme of light feeding combined with a growth regulator that reduces the amount of clippings produced when we mow. Using the regulator we also see an increase in colour and strip appearance because of an increase in chlorophyll concentrations in the leaf, this product really acts to increase the stress tolerance of the plant with the reduction of leaf growth being a pleasant side effect.

Now the aforementioned seedhead problem is also something to watch out for on fairways, particularly on the twelfth. The ryegrass population there will start to produce very woody stems which will not be mown off with the cylinder type fairway cutting units. In previous years we have taken our rotary rough mowers over the fairway to knock these seed stems off before we mow at fairway height. This is a pretty effective measure but does mean that we need to enlist the help of another team member to the fairway prep operation.

I suppose I have never considered it like this but spring really does present some unique challenges to greenkeeping and course presentation, equally so it brings us a time of real change to the course and an opportunity to present some fantastic vistas across our site, particularly at dawn and dusk.

Thanks for reading

Best always

Jaey Goodchild
Head Greenkeeper

To gauge the force needed for a putt, our brains use the information our eyes feed it.....

and unfortunately, that information isn’t always accurate. Here is a drill to discover how well your eyes gauge distance… and another to improve it.

Are your eyes lying to you?

All you need for this exercise is two golf balls. Keep hold of the first one, but roll the second randomly across the practice green. Take a good, long look at its position on the ground. Now close your eyes. Walk towards where you think the ball is, and try to drop the first one on top of it. If you get pretty close, your eyes are giving you an accurate picture. If you’re well off, they are not. Repeat this drill to see if any patterns emerge.

Ladder drill & Seeing straight

Ladder drill

To help your eyes get a better grasp on reality, set up a ‘ladder’ of three balls on the practice green, around 5, 10 and 15ft away from you. Now putt three balls normally. Try to get each one opposite a ‘rung’ of the ladder, starting with the 15-footer or the furthest one away from you. Have three goes at this.

Seeing straight

Now repeat the drill, but this time hit each putt with your eyes closed. Again, try this three times. Finally repeat this drill a third time, but this time look at your target as you strike each putt. Practising with these three elements – looking at the ball, eyes shut, looking at target – will begin to help your eyes tie in perception to reality… and that means better judgment of distance

The Bicep Brachii (Latin for “two-headed muscle of the arm”) are the two muscles on the front of the upper arm.

Their uses are to flex and extend the forearms.  Both heads of the muscle origins from the scapula and join to the forearms at the same point.

Where is the Bicep?

The Bicep is located at the front of the upper arm. The word biceps literally means two-headed, and refers to the fact that the muscle attaches to two different parts of the shoulder.

Possible injuries to the Bicep

There are a number of injuries which can occur to the bicep including  –

Strain – Can result from over stretching and tearing of muscle fibre or tendons.

Tendinitis – Repeated use of the biceps or shoulder issues can irritate the proximal biceps tendon.

Proximal Biceps tendon rupture – One of the tendons which connects the biceps to the shoulder is torn away from the bone. Sudden shoulder pain and a weird shaped bulge in the bicep are the symptoms.

Bicep Exercises

There are number of exercise you can do to strengthen your biceps including –

Barbell Curl

Concertation Curl

Hammer Curl

To find out more about these exercises and how to perform them, talk to a member of the gym team.

Bicep Stretch

There are a variety of stretches that can be performed to help flexibility and conditioning of the Bicep.

Ask a member of the gym team to help you perfect your stretches to keep your muscles in good shape.