The Drax Journal – Issue 2

Welcome to the second issue of The Drax Journal, the new newsletter that will be circulated periodically around the club to keep you, the members up to date with what is going on.

Since our first issue back in February the team at Drax have been extremely busy.

Competitions Update

The new season is underway at Drax Golf Club! The golfing year began with the annual Captain's Drive In which saw the incoming Captains tee off together in front of over 50 members. This year sees the return of the junior section after a 7-year absence, and the new Junior Captain, Samuel Blackham was the first to launch his drive. He was followed by the new Senior Captain David Littlefair, before Club Captain Kevin Harrison completed the ceremonial occasion.

The day's competition was a Texas Scramble which was enjoyed in fine weather by the assembled players, the result was secondary to the welcome given to the new Captains!

Alongside the Drive In, the club chairman Roger Elliott has drawn the winner of the annual free membership raffle. This year's lucky winner was Steve Alexander, who was 'Chuffed to bits' with his good fortune.

After a fantastic Captain’s Drive-In, attention turned to the Captain, Kevin Harrison again as he took on Vice-Captain, Liam Ridgill in the annual team event.

The hype of the event got to both team Captain’s heads well before the event with joyful banter hitting and taking over social media about who would have the winning team. Well the hugely anticipated result came in from Captain V Vice-Captain... Well done to the BLUE team who were victorious with 334 points, only 8 shots clear of the reds on 326.

A massive thank you to all those who turned up and supported the day, we are sure you all thoroughly enjoyed it! So, as a forfeit for having the worse score of the day, here is our very own Vice-Captain, Liam Ridgill doing "The Chicken" who today came out of retirement! You can check out a video here:

A very huge well done to the inform Joe Threadgold who won the 2017 Seniors Captains day with a fantastic 40 points!

The competitions are now coming thick and fast with notable wins for Paul Blackham who was victorious in The Elvin Dickinson Memorial Trophy, Adam Thomas who won The Deborah Bowl and Joe Threadgold who won The Completion Cup.

Course Update

At the end of March, we welcomed Mark Sneap, our new Head Greenkeeper to the team. Mark joined us following a successful 13 years as a greenkeeper at Doncaster Golf Club, Bessacarr and a further 7+ years previous as greenkeeper at Thorne Golf Club.

Already the course is in fantastic condition with noticeable changes to cutting techniques, greens maintenance and competition setup. Read Marks first greens report below:

My first week in the role has been productive, making progress with jobs such as scarifying the greens twice over, reshaping the fairways and finding the centres of these areas. The cuts have been managed a lot better by lowering the machines to give a closer clean cut. The weather has also been good which has helped the growing season kick in.

Due to work that was previously planned but not completed before my arrival we are approximately one month behind schedule this is partly due to weather conditions and only having two staff members also.

To get back on track with the maintenance schedule and for the benefit of the course I have changed the greenkeeping staffs working times to 5.30am start. The reason being is that this will allow no interruptions for the golfers during play and will keep the bunkers, greens, fairways, tees and aprons maintained before play. I have taken the half day Friday out of the working times this will now be as every other shift a full working day.

From the above changes being made I have already received positive feedback from members and staff from how much improvements are already showing. This gives me the right prompts and is greatly appreciated and will help me to continue to do what’s right for all concerned at the Golf course.

To do in April/May:

  • Green Maintenance

  • Spike (aeration)

  • Light top dressing

  • Feed

  • Lower the higher cuts

  • Tees Maintenance

  • Spiking

  • Top dress and see

  • Aprons Maintenance

  • Scarify

  • Top dress

  • Spike

  • Overall General Maintenance

  • Trim sprinkle heads

  • Trim yard markers on fairways and tees

  • Strim the dykes

  • Strim the trees

  • Strim the posts

  • Weed kill areas

  • Edging bunkers


Now I have had a chance to look at the machinery and along with Graham Gilson's advice, I feel that the Proflex rough machine will cause long term detrimental wear and tear on the tractor. We recommend that this is sold asap to raise funds for a machine that will be right for what we require.

There are other machines and equipment that we do not need and would suggest also selling these to raise funds and generate money for the correct equipment.

Tees and Re-turfing

In my opinion it is now too late to do this job as this should have been done 2-3 month ago when the tees were built. The reasons are mainly that water is not going to be easily accessible to it and if we suffer a dry spell it will cause the turf to not knit together.

To help resolve this issue we could try and seed them which could possibly work and be more cost effective. We will level them off again, seed and update you with the progress.

Subject to weather conditions we may get these in play this season however this cannot be promised.

I the next few weeks I will however do my best to get the ladies tee on the 18th playable.

Course Walk

It has been discussed with the committee that a full course walk will take place on Sunday 30th April and the aim is to create a plan for the next 3 months, 6months, 1 year and 5years.

This will cover all ideas in drainage work, hole development, bunkers, tees, and trees etc. This will all be put into a report for the committee to review and then publish to the members when it is agreed.

The above meeting did take place and was a huge success. The greens committee gathered at 08:30 and spent 4 hours walking the first 5 holes. A further meeting has been scheduled for Sunday 28th May. Full details of proposed changes and improvements will be publicised shortly after this date.

Course Signs and Accessories

As we all know, our members are at the forefront of everything we do and where they can, members will always lend a hand to help improve the course for the better.

Yet again, our members have stepped forward to help us in our quest to be the best 12 holes in Yorkshire. We would like to pay thanks to Alan Beaumont who has very kindly made, supplied and put in place several new signs around the course for guests to find their way around. A big thank you also goes to Alan Puddyford who assisted Alan on this project and for his very hard work in painting fencing, the edges of tee boxes and distance markers across the course. We all agree that the little details do make the difference and this work has not gone unnoticed, again, thank you to the both of you.

Since making the direction signs, Alan has also produced several broken tee holders which can be found on par 3 tees. These can be used to store broken tees for other players to use.