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Club news

From Luke Welham, Golf ManagerFirstly, I would like to say that Ross and his team deserve a huge applause for their efforts during the driest April on record. Despite the leatherjacket damage, the greens have rolled well, and the course has been very well presented every day. 

As a result of this, our membership continues to growWith more golfers joining in April, the total now stands at 800 and our target for the end of this year is to have 950 active Members at the golf club. 

To achieve this, we really want to improve the sense of community at the Club, which has been absent because of the COVID restrictions. We are working hard to organise events to bring us all together, so please visit to see the exciting calendar ahead. 

I can tell you that the staff are all excited to return to the fully refurbished clubhouse  it is exciting to work in a modern and rejuvenated environment. It is also pleasing to find that all our Members have been very supportive of the growth at the golf club, and we hope to build upon this progress. The renovation was just the first phase.  

From May 17th, we are delighted to say that you will be able to enjoy a full range of services from inside the clubhouse, not just on the patio. It has taken about five months for the complete overhaul, but we know it is worth it and wnow want to use the golf club as effectively as possible. If you have any great ideas for open social events, then please let us know. 


Course news

From Ross Cook, Courses ManagerIt’s amazing how quickly mother nature changes. Last month, I was saying how glad we were that the rain had stopped, and we were on the road to recovery on damaged areas from them winter. Now, I’m sitting here praying for rain like we do in middle of a summer heatwave! 

April 2021 has been very difficult for all golf course managers due to the following stats: 

  • Zero rainfall (only 2mm of snow melt)  
  • 21 out 30 days with frost  
  • Average air temperature of just 5c  

It is enormously difficult to grow grass in these conditions, which also means that we aren’t getting any recovery from filling divots on the tees, wormcast smearing from the winter on the fairways and approaches, and the leatherjacket damage to greens.  

In a normal spring, temperatures do not dip much below 6c at night and climb to 16c in the day but most nights we are seeing -2c and only 12c in the day, with a biting north easterly wind making it feel even colder. The result is the plant thinks it is still November!  

Rainfall isn’t normally too much of an issue, as we can use the irrigation system to provide the plant with the required amount of water for growth but, as we haven’t got the temperature, we are essentially just keeping it alive at the moment.  

On the golf course, we have employed more staff this month to take our total to 13 (including a gardener and mechanic). We only had eight under the Crown Golf ownership. This increased staffing has allowed us to work the weekend rota more efficiently, so that we have a minimum of five staff working each Saturday/Sunday morning (previously only two) and, consequently, we have been able to set the same standards at weekends as we do throughout the week.  

Work on the golf course has been difficult this month due to multiple morning frosts that mean we can’t get the mowers out in front on golfers. I apologise if we have disturbed your golf this month at any point but if we are to produce a great product, we have to mow during the mid-mornings and afternoons when it is like this.  

In April, we predominately concentrated on presentation and the burning-in of new cut lines. The approaches have been fertilised and now look great. We have also managed to squeeze in some greens’ maintenance, with a verticut at -2mm and a top-dressing of 0.5 tons per green. 

This will promote new growth once the temperature picks up and fill in any remaining leatherjacket damage, the greens don’t look pretty with the sand on, but they will play much better for it.  

The frosty mornings have had one benefit as it has allowed us to tidy up the fallen trees on the 13th on the Waterloo and the 15th on the Wellington. There is still some work to completely remove them, which will be outsourced due to their size. We have also removed a 10-yard section of the hedge on the left-hand side of the 13th on the Waterloo fairway to open up the tee shot more.  

Elsewhere, all the track marks left by Surrey Forestry last year on the 14th (Waterloo) have been filled in, levelled and seeded. The walkway through the woods from 10th green to 11th tee on Waterloo has been levelled. The pond on the driveway has been tidied up and made into a feature and all tree limbs have been lifted to allow brambles to be cut back and encourage grass to grow through. The range has had a makeover, with the practice bunker being fully renovated and a new chipping area created around the bunker. The outfield is now strip mown for better presentation and the grass tee is in operation. Please do stick to the roped-out area only for practising, plans are also afoot for new yardage markers and targets. 

Finally, I have arranged with the Captain to do a monthly course walk, so that Members have an opportunity to speak to me about anything of concern, whether that is about course setup details, future projects or something they’ve noticed while playing golf. Our first meeting is May 5th at 5pm, I hope to see plenty of you there. 

Competition news 

The Race to Le Touquet begins this month! May 8th will see our first Race to Le Touquet event and the team at Sherfield Oaks cannot wait. As a reminder to anybody who is not currently entered, you can book yourself into the competition via the IG app or the Sherfield Oaks website. Good luck to everybody taking part. 

April saw not one, not two but three holes-in-one! One was in a competition, so huge congratulations to Phil Duncan, who recorded an ace on the 14th hole (Wellington) in the Saturday Summer League on April 17th. Apparently, it was no fluke! In fairness to Phil, he stayed around the clubhouse to offer his fellow golfers a deserved drink. 

There were some noticeably low scores but, Shawn Rowland’s 41 points on April 17th is the standout performance of the month because he told the check-in desk that he would win the competition at 7am in the morning. Brave, yet truthful! 

Captains’ update 

From Norah McphailLadies’ Captain: The weather was very kind to us on our first week back after lockdown, especially for Ladies Morning when 26 of us teed off in skorts and shirts. A week later it was back into our thermals for a snowy Stableford. Despite that, we had a great turnout and our Tuesday mornings continue to go from strength to strength with most of our lovely new ladies joining in. We have all enjoyed being able to get to know each other over a cuppa at the clubhouse. The coffee has definitely improved since the refurbishment and as for the cakes… 

Our April competition results were very close, especially in the Medal where thanks to my handicap I managed to secure the win. Two medals in nine years — that’s got to be some kind of record! 

Staff news 

As many may be aware, there have been delicious treats by the golf check-in area in recent weeks and this is all thanks to our brand-new pastry chef, Sharman, who has a wealth of experience in baking. She says she will be continuing to produce seasonal treats over the coming months, some of which are rumoured to help you drop a couple of shots off your score!  

Hopefully, many would have welcomed the staff members that transferred from Oak Park. Charlie and Scott are the most noticeable acquisitions, and some members would have played alongside the guys in the Sherfield Swindle.  

Events news 

We would like to extend our gratitude to everybody who participated in the Sherfield Swindle, which was a huge success. It was fantastic to meet a lot of new Members and help them meet existing Members along with the greenkeepers and clubhouse staff.  

We are very focused at improving the social aspect of the golf club so we will continue to host COVIDfriendly events where new Members can meet a lot of new people.  

As well as the Quiz night on Thursday, May 20th, we are also introducing a dogwalking club and a book club this month that will allow Members to bring friends to the golf club even if they are non-golfers. We will adhere to all the government guidelines and will take full advantage of being able to re-open our newly renovated clubhouse on May 17th. 

Pro news  

From Barney Whytchard, PGA Pro: Golf is back, and it feels better than ever. It’s been an amazing couple of weeks at the club, it has been nice meeting some of you and I look forward to meeting more of you as the year goes on. Over the past couple of weeks, we have had 15 juniors attend each week for the FREE sessions, which has been amazing to see. I will be launching full programme at the end of the month that will include 12 weeks of term time coaching, half-term camps, social events and much, much more. The term time sessions will run on midweek evenings as well as Saturdays.  

The FREE Sessions will also continue to run alongside the full programme. These sessions are a brilliant introduction to the game of golf and will cover all the basic skills in the game of golf. Starting April 24th, these sessions will run on a Saturday at 11am and on a Monday evening at 6pm.  

Alongside the juniors I also offer adult tuition. Each session includes video analysis, as well as use of the latest technology, which includes a GC Quad launch monitor. Having coached players of all abilities, my coaching revolves around making everything as simple as possible, ensuring that everything we cover in a session is transferable to the course. 

For more information about anything I offer please email me at: [email protected]I look forward to hearing from you! 


From Paul Tedder, PGA Pro: For those of you who have recently joined Sherfield Oaks or are new to the game, I am running a free taster group lesson on Tuesday at 11am for one hour. If you would like to join in, please put your name down on the sign-up sheet, which is in the reception/ booking area or ask a member of staff for more details.

My knowledge within golf is extensive so if you have any questions or I can help with your game, please get in touch. I would like to wish you all the best for the golfing season ahead and if I can help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me. 



From Adam Glass, PGA Pro: After seeing a wide range of emotions from those walking off the golf course in the past two weeks, allow me to ask you all a question: how do you measure your golfing success?  

If your answer is either a target score or by winning, then you will need to equip yourself with a unique set of skills and tools to handle the emotional roller coaster that golf provides.  

We live in a world where we expect everything to happen instantly. Our phones provide us with emails, texts and music at the press of a button and, as humans, we are always trying to make things as easy as possible. This can mean that we fail to invest the time and effort needed to develop ourselves and our golf. Berating yourselves because your game does not match your expectations after the long lockdown is madness. So, I suggest you make a change in your behaviour where you make a commitment to introducing practice to your weekly routine. The reality is two practice sessions, and a lesson will not make you a golfer but three short, structured practice sessions per week over a period of the next three months and a lesson every four weeks will provide results. 

I want you to make a full commitment and a long-term investment. Start to measure your success by the effort level you put into your practice and your commitment to improving, rather than just the outcome. If you start to measure the success by how much you committed to the process of improving, you will be able to deal with the odd bad score and keep your motivation to play high and stick to your commitment. As this weekend has shown with the odd bad outcome that’s just golf, it is how you respond and manage it that is more important. 


From Dan Keen, PGA Pro: Thanks to everyone who took advantage of my April offer and apologies to those who missed out but there is some good news  

While onetoone lessons are back to their normal price, I am making the 3for-the-price-of-2 option and all game improvement programmes available again. Please contact me via [email protected] if you are interested. 

Also, please sign up to my newsletter to stay in touch on a personal level with all my goings on and any news. This mailing list is always the first to get my information and soon there will be something you won’t want to miss out on. Sign up here. 

In terms of free lessons in May, these will run from 1pm-2pm on the following dates: 


  • 6th 
  • 13th 
  • 27th 

Partner Card Members 

  • 2nd 
  • 9th 
  • 16th 
  • 30th 

Please sign up in the golf shop and look out for future dates in June and please watch out for the next newsletter when I will be revealing a very special subscription service! 

Pro Shop news 

We have had a great start for the new Pro Shop, with well over 600 Members across the sites, logging in to see what we have to offer.  

We would like to encourage all of you to sign in to your exclusive Pro Shop and get your special Member discount on a variety of new products, such as the current golf ball promotion we are running. 

  • Buy 2 dozen Srixon AD333 for only £34.99 less your discount.


We can also announce that you are now able to top up your Club Card via the Pro Shop without having to purchase anything — i.e. you can add (beer) funds to your account from the comfort of your own home! 

WHS news 

We thought you might be interested in this information about your World Handicap System Index and Course Handicap — they are not the same thing! 

In the new world of WHS you have two numbers you need to remember:  

  • The first is your Handicap Index, which is the exact calculation of your handicap. This is equivalent to what was your CONGU handicap. This number usually expressed to a decimal pointis the average of the best eight of your last 20 scores in terms of the score differential. So, if you are asked, ‘what’s your handicap?’ That is your Handicap Index and that is how we compare each other now. 
  • The second is your Course Handicap. Whenever you play on a golf course, wherever you are, your index willchange, and you will have a different Course Handicap. It looks at the difficulty of that golf course for the scratch and bogey player and works out what your Course Handicap is based on the slope rating of the golf course you are playing. Your Course Handicap can change depending on the course, or even the tees from which you are playing. As we mentioned above, your Course Handicap could be vastly different to your actual WHS Handicap Index depending on the course you are playing. For example, say you are playing your home golf course: the white tees have a slope rating of 145, the yellow tees are 125, and the red tees are rated at 95. You are going to have three quite different Course Handicaps over those golf courses. You are going to lose shots on the red colour, you aregoing to gain a few on the yellow and you are going to gain quite a lot on the whites. 

It is all about the difficulty for the two players – scratch and bogey – playing that golf course. We are not comparing Course A to Course B. We are comparing the same golf course but for two players of different ability. 

Course Handicap 

Your handicap is no longer based on playing one single course. It is recalculated and that is why we call it a Course Handicap. It can change for every course you play. 

There are many ways you can check what your Course Handicap is going to be on any course. You can do it via the My England Golf app, IG Member app, via the club boards, or you even manually work it out if you know the calculations.Your Course Handicap is of primary importance because that is how we work out where you are going to get your strokes. 

So, if you know what your Handicap Index is, you will choose the right tee for your game on that day, work out your Course Handicap, and go out and enjoy your round of golf. 

Playing Handicap 

You receive a Playing Handicap during club competitions, but it does not affect the score that goes forward for handicap purposes. The playing handicap is purely for competition purposes. You may find the score you recordbecause that score is based on your Course Handicap will be different to that shown on the results sheet. 

That is to be expected. It is going to be slightly less if you play a medal, for example, because that format comes with a 95% allowance. Do not worry too much about the Playing Handicap, it is purely for competition results purposes. If you are recording your gross score, we will use your Course Handicap to work out your new Handicap Index. 

Social Rounds 

The idea of WHS is you have more opportunity to return scores for handicap purposes. It is not limited to competition scores or to scores played at your home golf club, as it was with supplementary scores. 

You can now return a score in general play whenever you wish, either home or away. So long as you play a measured golf course and pre-register your intent to score before you go out to play, you can return a score from anywhere. 

My England Golf App and IG Member App 

These useful apps have a range of features – primarily the ability to look at your handicap record. You have full access toyour scores and they highlight which scores are included in your handicap calculations. 

They also show your handicap trends. They have a Course Handicap Calculator, which allows you to select the golf course you are going to play, the relevant tees, and will do the calculation for you. They tell you what the Course and Slope ratings are and reveal, based on your Handicap Index, what your Course Handicap is.