Author Archives: John Reynolds

SDL Win Presentation Day at Churston GC.

Congratulations to our SDL team on winning the SDL Presentation Day held at Churston. Well done to Dan Greaves and Ash Millar on winning the individual prize. Also huge congratulations to Teignmouth Golf Club on winning the South Devon League this season. Many thanks go to Rob Butterworth and all our excellent staff for putting on such a great day. We received so much positivity about the course and the food from all the visiting teams.  Together we are stronger.

Matt Curnoe – Assistant PGA Pro – 2017/2018 Lesson Deals

I have devised a way of setting goals to achieve more from your lessons. Whatever lesson package you choose I will help you set realistic targets and work with you as you achieve them.
Please contact me on 07402190390 or email and I will be delighted to talk through what would be the best plan for you. Lets make 2018 your best golfing year together.


Head Greenkeeper Report – Sept/Oct 2017

Welcome to our all new Greenkeepers Report, were we will be bringing you a monthly report at the start of every month.
We have decided to create this report in order to update all our members of what has been happening on the course over the past month. Also to inform you of future plans (updates, projects etc)

Well maintenance week is long gone and the greens have considerably improved, some members even saying the best they have been all year. However, with incredibly wet weather over the last couple weeks, the greens understandably have become a lot more saturated and soft. You may have noticed the front of 13th green has become incredibly worn out due to the wet weather and heavy traffic this area takes, and we advise all golfers to avoid walking on this area if possible as it will help it grow back quicker.

Also you may have noticed spots of dead grass on the 8th green, this is a disease known as Dollar Spot and is very common in warm wet weather. This will eventually grow out and shouldn’t be a problem for much longer.
Also, something that was brought up at the Half Year meeting was the spraying of ‘Copper Sulphate’ and the need for notice when sprayed. In my 35 years of being a greenkeeper I have never sprayed such chemicals as every club I have been at never have had a problem with moss.

Normally the liquid I spray is just fertiliser and isn’t harmful to humans or animals.
When spraying chemicals I normally advise the pro shop staff to let members know that chemical has been put down just as a warning.
Another point brought up at the meeting was the dead patch, from the oil leak on 15, should be marked GUR. You will have noticed that this has now been plugged out and is recovering very well.

Currently, the weather is still very mild and therefore the greens are still growing and are being cut every day at a height of 3mm, this will however change over the coming months due to the wet weather and extreme stress to the turf. We are currently verti-cutting the greens once a week to keep thatch levels to a minimum in order to keep free draining putting surfaces.
The greens are being ironed approximately twice a week depending on competitions and weather etc.

As it is getting a lot wetter, we kindly remind all golfers to repair their pitchmarks when entering the green. Unrepaired pitchmarks take 2 weeks longer to recover than a well repaired pitchmark.

You’ll probably agree with us that the fairways and tees are looking exceptional at the moment. As it is still growing season the fairways are still being cut twice a week and tees the same.

I know this is a subject most members have a lot to talk about but probably don’t realise how much time is spent trying to sort these bunkers out. All bunkers are raked every day of the week and edged and weeded fortnightly.
When being on the course in the last couple months, members have been asking what we have been doing to the bunkers because they actually have sand in and are a lot better than before. Well the answer is not much. There has always been plenty of sand in the bunkers but all in the wrong places. After playing a bunker shot 90% of golfers will rake the bunker front to back, meaning all the sand forms at the back of the bunker. Recently we have been raking the greenside bunkers back to front dragging all the sand into the middle of the bunker and this has certainly helped the condition of the bunkers. However this takes us double the time to rake, therefore we would be appreciative if members could do this too to save us time.
You would have noticed the two bunkers on the 1st hole have been filled in and seeded. This was advised to us by a course architect and has made the hole a lot better on the eye and more importantly, two less bunkers to rake.
There are plans over the coming months to fill in at least three more bunkers and we will update you on that when it happens.

You may have noticed the removal of two trees on the right hand side of the 15th fairway. These trees have been dead for a while now and needed removing. The stumps are still visible and are currently GUR.
As advised by a tree specialist we have ceased the operation of strimming around trees as there was a potential risk of damage to the tree. We have replaced this operation by spraying around the trees twice a year with a total herbicide.

As you know the weather has been very poor recently and as a result, the course is looking a bit worn in heavy trafficked areas. We would kindly ask golfers, with trollies and buggies not to follow the crowd and go exactly the same way as everyone else as this causes these areas to wear out a lot quicker than normal.
If you see a muddy area please don’t just walk your trolley through it as most of you do, please try and avoid it and find another route that is less worn. At the end of the day if you continue to wear these areas out, we will have no other option to put ropes out earlier and in extreme circumstances ban trollies altogether.
I think that is all for now and it is a pleasure to share our information with the members and hope you enjoy this report and look forward to it becoming a regular thing.
From all your green staff, we wish you a great month of golfing ahead and hope the weather is more fortunate to us, than it has been the past month.

Kelvin Millar
Head Greenkeeper
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Finals Day Winners Oct 2017

Sunday 1st October Finals Day.

The conditions were tough with light rain and gusts of wind. Everyone played exceptional and congratulations for getting to the finals. Below is the list of winners.

Captain’s Cup Non Congu – George Furneax

Matchplay Championship – Joe Davis

Stephen’s Scratch Cup – Luke Tooley

Senior’s Singles – Chester Barnes

Senior’s Pairs – Mikes Hales & Chris Coles

Britannia Cup – Gary Hoare

Dorward Cup – Keith Benton

Cooper Salver – Jacqui Bayley

President’s Cup – Martyn Hopkins

Foursomes Cup – Malcolm Jordain & Steve Maris

Captain’s Cup – Jack Dart

Bradford Cup – Lexi Dart

President’s Cup (Ladies) – Bev Turton

Bennett Foursomes – Sheila Jarvis & Val Bendow

Harry Keen Bowl – Dominic & Shaun Gagg

GolfMark Accreditation 2017 & Recruitment Action Plan

Ten women, over 60% of those who started the programme, took out the taster membership and some have already moved to Fairway Membership.

The Future
The ‘Task and Finish’ was disbanded after successfully meeting its objective. The Ladies’ Section is planning to set up a new group to target local women’s sports groups – such as hockey, football and cricket – to encourage more women to play golf at Churston.

Churston has successfully achieved re-accreditation of both the GolfMark Award and Sport England’s ClubMark. The process has been driven since the first award in 2010 by the hard work and commitment of former junior organiser Steph Francis. To achieve the latest accreditation Steph worked closely with the Club Manager and representatives of other sections of the club to ensure that all the criteria were met.

The Recruitment Action Plan is just one of the tools offered as part of the GolfMark process and the club’s Board plan to build on the success by working closely with Andy Jack, England Golf Club Support Officer for Devon.


Kim: “I found the course to be inspirational! From the outset, we were guided and supported in order to really be able to get a true experience of the sport.
“Churston provided not only excellent tuition but also an opportunity to meet other women players and enjoy the camaraderie of the club. The structure of the course enabled us to build skills and the willingness of members of the Ladies’ Section to mentor us gave us confidence and an insight into the pure enjoyment of golf. I know that will continue to play golf and this is solely due to the success of the programme.”

Vicki: “It wasn’t something I ever considered before this introduction but now I’ve started I wish I’d done it earlier, I love it! What I really like is that you compete against yourself, wanting to improve week on week. I’ve even made some new friends and we now play together regularly. I can think of nothing better than after work, on a lovely evening, playing a few holes with friends.”

GolfMark is a national accreditation designed to support all golf clubs, however big or small, to achieve a distinct operating standard in four areas of their business activity:Recruitment & Retention – Management & Sustainability – Coaching & Competitions – Safeguarding.

By gaining GolfMark accreditation our club will also be recognised by Sport England, as you also receive the ClubMark award.

Lexi Goes From Strength To Strength

Last Saturday Lexi played in the English Golf Champions of Champions stroke play competition at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire. The National Golf Centre and home of English Golf.
To be selected to play in this event you had to be an English County Champion. Lexi represented Devon in the girls event. She was competing against twenty-seven other English County champions.

Lexi played very well, did amazing and came in 6th. The S.S.S. Was 75 and Lexi’s score was 78 gross,which considering the awful weather conditions was excellent.

The competition was over 36 holes but due to the weather conditions only 18 were played.
Terry, Lexi’s very proud and supporting Grandfather, caddied for her on the day.

Coming 6th in the Country is such an amazing achievement and we are so pleased for Lexi. Lexi is going to go on to great things in the sport and Churston Golf Club are so proud to have Lexi leading the way. Well done Lexi all your hard work deserves these amazing achievements.

Lexi Becomes Devon Girls Captain 2018

Yesterday saw the Boys and Girls Devon County Championships held together at Tiverton with the boys playing 36 holes and the girls 18 holes.
All put in some great efforts with the girls probably coming out on top with all three of our girls collecting prizes.
Lexi won the Gross overall Girls Championship to become Devon Champion and win the Dorothy Baldry Salver.
The Ladies also announced that Lexi was forthcoming Devon Girls Captain for 2018.
Lexi is a future star and a great ambassador for Churston, we are certain Lexi will be the same for the Devon Girls in 2018.