March seemed like May until we got to the end and it turned cold again.  Possibly we will see a repeat of last year’s weather.  At least at the start of April we had some welcome rain showers which have helped the grass to start growing and the course maintenance work to take effect.

Unfortunately, in early March we lost Barney McDowell a longstanding member of the Club.  Our sincere condolences to his wife, Katie, and the family at this difficult time.

We had an excellent quiz night one Friday evening on behalf of the Captains’ charity, Disability Challengers www.disability-challengers.org .  The father of a play-leader at Challengers was quiz-master set a great variety of questions.  Everyone had a good time and we raised a splendid £557.

Another good occasion was the presentation of this year’s Academy Girls Scholarships.  Lee Mucklow gave us an informative presentation and there was also a short talk by Julia Brook from Surrey County LGA.  The recipients of the two year Windlesham Academy Girl Scholarships were Sarah Wilmore, Vicky Patel, and Georgia Christie who will join us from Sunningdale Ladies.   

Alastair Higgs gave us his regular update on course management activities at April’s Committee meeting.  The tidying up and maintenance activities on the second 9 holes are now nearly complete.  The course maintenance week went well, with only minor glitches for Alastair.  Now that we have some sunshine and showers the new seedlings are starting to come through on the greens.  Additional work includes applying wetting agent and seaweed to tees, greens, and approaches, applying herbicide to all steps, and servicing the irrigation system (in case we ever get permission to use it!).

When you are out on the course you may notice some blue lines.  These lines indicate the shape of the greens and fairways that is being established.  The blue line closest to a green delineates the area of the green, and the shape of some greens is being modified.  The next blue line delineates the closely mown fringe of the green beyond which is the first cut of rough and beyond that the secondary cut.  On the fairways you will see the line which denotes the closely mown fairway, and about two mowing strips outside of that will be a second line which defines the first cut of rough.  Going beyond the first cut may harm your score so as Lee Mucklow would say ‘Straight is best’.

Another change which is coming is that we will no longer using be the white, yellow, and red flags on the greens.  Instead the pins will be placed in pre-determined A, B, or C portions of the greens.  Which pin position is in use will be shown on a board at the Starter’s Hut and in the Pro-shop.  A card which shows the ABC areas of each green is now available in the Pro shop.  As we move into the busy summer season there will be increased use of a starter and an additional coursemarshall.  More details in the near future.

The Men’s Summer Knockouts have now started and the draw sheets are posted in the airlock of the locker room.  Do please ensure you get your matches played by the date required as no-one likes to ‘win’ or ‘lose’ on the toss of a coin.

Lee Mucklow and I played our first Captain/Pro match and it wasn’t quite as frightening as I thought it might be.  Actually it was hugely enjoyable and very relaxed.  The result was an honourable draw against Lee and Gill Wood who played very steadily.  We have a spare slot on Tuesday May 15th so if you would like to take up the challenge, please sign up on the Mixed notice board.

One thing which kept me busy last month was organising the Bob Gilby golf day which took place on 10th April.  There were 70 golfers and some 80 for dinner, including Jean Gilby, his brother Michael, and their best man.  Hard work but well worth it as everyone enjoyed the occasion.

That is it for this month.  From here on there is lots of golf, sunshine, and showers to look forward to.  As I go around the course I am still disappointed by how much litter I see and have to pick up and take to the next bin.