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The Drax Journal – Issue 3

Welcome to the third 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.

Competition Result Update

The summer holidays creep slowly towards us and then proceed to rush by in a blink, so here we have July and August teamed up in a bumper results edition from the ever busy Drax Golf Club!

The highlight of the July programme was Kevin Harrison's Captains Charity Fun Day with nearly 100 players revelling in the occasion! This was a mixed competition with members and their guests enjoying delights such as 3 Mulligans and a goody bag. The day was enriched by the presence of the Captain's wife Donna and sister in-law Amanda Corbett hosting a superb halfway house. The winner was former member Sue Randall whose 41 points put the rest of the predominantly male field in the shade!

July also saw the ever popular Senior Open which was won by the Thorne duo of Martin Shaw and Richard Blake, both Drax members. Thorne also provided the winner of this month's Senior Cup in Ken Williams. The Senior Medal was won by Snaith's John Tate. The club likes to spread the trophies around the region and Selby provided the winner of both the prestigious President's Trophy in Dave Minto, and the Station Manager's Cup won by Kevin Kozicki. The quirky Yellow Peril competition was won by the persistent Neil ‘Gawain’ Tams. The annual Jubilee Pairs competition was clinched on countback by the last-minute pairing of Craig Shelton and Matthew Forde who pipped Phil Skilbeck and Neil Alexander.

July's Medal winners were led by Dave Lawson whose nett 60 took Division 3 honours. Other winners in July were Tex Williamson, Neil Alexander, David Gisbourne, Ian Mileham and the consistent Richard Blake. They were joined as Medal winners in August by the familiar faces of David Minto and Neil ‘Gawain’ Tams as well as a new name in Martin Rusling. On the Seniors front, there were the perennial winners in Colin Taylor, Kevin Hudson, Peter Greenwood and Greg Pickston, all winners of Senior medals. Senior Captain David Littlefair, of Goole, continued his impressive form with victory in August's Senior Cup.

The biggest prize in August is the John Scott Cup and former Captain Garryk Slaywe clinched the trophy in style, pipping current Captain Kevin Harrison on countback! The corresponding competition for Rabbits, the Barlow Cup was also won on countback, with a return to form, by Club Chairman Roger Elliott who shaded out that man David Littlefair with the better back nine!

Drax Golf Club hosted the Ladies Invitation Day on Saturday 29 July.

The weather was kind after the heavy rain the day before, and the course was in excellent condition. All ladies and their guests had a good competition with Jenny Hammond taking first prize for the Drax ladies, closely followed by Maxine Wagstaff and Denise Robinson and Muriel Walton, Geraldine Barker and Sandra Kitching took the prizes for the guests.

All ladies found the course challenging, especially the new tee on the 18th hole, but everyone enjoyed the day immensely and the excellent meal afterwards.

Don’t forget, if you would like to play on a competition day but not directly play in the competition, you can still play casual golf so long as you book a tee on the entry sheet.

Rules and Competition Update

As we all know, our members are at the forefront of everything we do and where the committee has declared that all constructions on the course, including the green-keeper's shed, shelters, halfway house, electricity substation building, and man-made constructions around tees (e.g. sleepers) are 'integral parts of the course' and therefore players are not entitled to free relief. The ball may be played as it lies, or deemed unplayable and then proceed under Rule 28 under penalty of one stroke.

Handling of additional non-qualifying cards

England Golf have made the decision that as of 1st January 2017, all players are required to return away non-qualifying scores to their home club. To do this England Golf will enforce Clause 4.5b and 8.12 of the CONGU UHS: –

Clause 4.5b - The Union has some discretionary powers. It may require a player to return to his Home Club information regarding scores in Non-Qualifying Competitions as provided by Clause 8.12.

Clause 8.12 - The player must: Provide to his Home Club information regarding scores in Non-Qualifying Competitions if so directed by a Union – see Clause 4.5(b).

Although England Golf have introduced the above, in no way have they advised on how to record such scores. We will be speaking to other clubs to see how they handle this process.

The UHS is based on players returning their own cards for review. We need to further investigate how we can enter this into our Handicap master system. We currently carry out an annual review of handicaps and apply the continuous observation method.

These scores must not directly affect a player’s handicap, but should be used as ‘supporting evidence’ of performance when it comes to a handicap review.

Individual scores or Team results must be returned in all Singles, Am-Am and 4BBB except for Texas Scrambles, Foursomes and Greensome competitions, or casual social rounds.

In addition to this, clubs should also be aware of regular roll-ups that take place at their club, and the performance of players in the various formats of those roll ups, without the need to formally record individual scores.

To assist with the return of scores, we advise that clubs outline a process to allow players to record these scores. It is recommended that this is done directly to the Handicap Committee, and that the Committee keep a copy of all information for the current year and one previous year.

The information does not have to be recorded on the handicap software, but should be stored in a format that can be used for any handicap review.

Information to be recorded:

  • Date of Competition

  • Format of Competition (inc Handicap Allowance)

  • Venue/Course

  • Tees used

  • SSS of Course

  • Names of playing partners (if a team/pairs event)

  • Score returned

Failure to return these scores by the player could result in loss or suspension of handicap under clause 24.1.

Ready Golf. What’s it all about?

Using the R&A’s ‘Ready Golf’ Method to Speed Up Play

As you may already be aware, the R&A have proposed the ‘Ready Golf’ approach to help speed up play, but only for non-match play formats.

Below is a summary of this approach, but for full details, visit the Ready Golf section of the R&A’s Pace of Play Manual at

“Ready Golf” is a commonly used term which indicates that players should play when they are ready to do so, rather than adhering strictly to the “farthest from the hole plays first” stipulation in the Rules of Golf.

“Ready Golf” is not appropriate in match play due to the strategy involved between opponents and the need to have a set method for determining which player plays first.

In stroke play formats, it is only the act of agreeing to play out of turn to give one of the players an advantage that is prohibited. On this basis, it is permissible for clubs to encourage “ready golf” in stroke play, and there is strong evidence to suggest that playing “ready golf” does improve the pace of play.

When “ready golf” is being encouraged, players must act sensibly to ensure that playing out of turn does not endanger other players.

“Ready golf” should not be confused with being ready to play, which is covered in the Player Behaviour section of this Manual.

The term “ready golf” has been adopted by many as a catch-all phrase for several actions that separately and collectively can improve pace of play. There is no official definition of the term, but examples of “ready golf” in action are:

  • Hitting a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess their options

  • Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters should wait

  • Hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play

  • Hitting a shot before helping someone to look for a lost ball

  • Putting out even if it means standing close to someone else’s line

  • Hitting a shot if a person who has just played from a greenside bunker is still farthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker

  • When a player’s ball has gone over the back of a green, any player closer to the hole but chipping from the front of the green should play while the other player is having to walk to their ball and assess their shot

  • Marking scores upon immediate arrival at the next tee, except that the first player to tee off marks their card immediately after teeing off.

Course Update

As we can all see, the course is in fantastic condition with noticeable changes to cutting techniques, greens maintenance and competition setup.

Lots of hard work and dedication has been put into the course already this season with the greens having regular aeration to improve the run and the speed along with fairways being split and tee boxes starting to be refurbished.

The Winter plan will commence in the first two weeks of September. Our priority will be drainage work on the 5th,6th, 7th and 8th.

We would like to take this opportunity to openly thank Graham Gilson for his ongoing support to the green staff. Over the past 3 years Graham has spent lots of his personal time on the course helping with cutting and machine maintenance which has been invaluable to the club. Unfortunately, due to outstanding personal commitments Graham has taken the tough decision to take a step back from his work with the club to focus on some outstanding personal ventures. He will however still be available in emergency situations where machines need repair and for general servicing.

Course Walk

Earlier in the season, the greens committee carried out an in-depth review of holes 1 – 5 to see what improvements can be made with an aim to create a plan for the next 3 months, 6months, 1 year and 5 years.

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 taken place to finalise the remaining holes. We are in the process of writing a comprehensive report to present to committee and members alike, however no timescale has been set on this but we will keep you updates as to its progress.

Etiquette - Care of the Course – As Per The R&A Guidelines


Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by them and any nearby made by others. If a rake is within reasonable proximity of the bunker, the rake should be used for this purpose.

Repair of Divots, Ball-Marks and Damage by Shoes

Players should carefully repair any divot holes made by them and any damage to the putting green made by the impact of a ball (whether made by the player himself). On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by golf shoes should be repaired.

If you repair a pitch mark badly it can do a lot more harm than if you had left it alone, so it’s essential you know how to do it correctly.

It’s not just for the sake of the greens either, there is nothing more infuriating for a golfer than to see a perfect putt knocked off line, especially through no fault of their own.

But it is alarming how many golfers seemingly neglect to repair a pitch mark, don’t know how to repair a pitch mark in the correct way, or perhaps think they are not allowed to because of the Rules of Golf.

As you can see below, the product of a badly repaired pitch mark is an ugly brown scar left on the green that not only looks awful, but that also affects the roll of yours and other peoples’ putts.

Successfully repaired pitch marks however, can heal within twice the time it takes for a half-hearted attempt, and look more like the images below.

How do I repair a pitch mark correctly?

To achieve the ideal look, you need to push the earth inwards as demonstrated above, rather lifting it upwards, which is what causes the unsightly scarring. Once you have circled your pitch mark gently pushing the earth inwards towards the centre of the crater, you can then tap down any excess material to leave the smoothest possible surface.

Preventing Unnecessary Damage

Players should avoid causing damage to the course by removing divots when taking practice swings or by hitting the head of a club into the ground, whether in anger or for any other reason.

Players should ensure that no damage is done to the putting green when putting down bags or the flagstick.

To avoid damaging the hole, players and caddies should not stand too close to the hole and should take care during the handling of the flagstick and the removal of a ball from the hole. The head of a club should not be used to remove a ball from the hole.

Players should not lean on their clubs when on the putting green, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.

The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before the players leave the putting green.

Club Feedback

At Drax Golf Club we love to hear and take on board our members and guests suggestions. Should you have anything you wish the Committee to consider, you can now complete one of our feedback forms which can be found in the foyer of the club and post them in our new suggestion box. Alternatively, you can complete our online feedback form and you will receive a timely response once your feedback or suggestion has been reviewed. In advance, thank you for your feedback.

That concludes the third Issue of The Drax Journal. We hope it has proven to be useful in passing on club information thus ensuring we remain clear and transparent. Remember the journal is not a monthly publication and will only be issued as and when there is a need to circulate the latest news, so keep your eyes open for the next issue which will be with you very soon!

Should you have any suggestions or good news to publish, please email me on

Liam Ridgill,

Marketing Coordinator

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