Category Archives: news

Newly Designed Seminar Room Open For Business

Our newly designed Seminar Room is now open for business.

  • Modern and comfortable seating and desks
  • Free WIFI
  • Top of the range screen and projector available for use
  • Tea, coffee and buffet snacks or lunches available for purchase.
  • Seating for up to 25 people
  • Free Parking

Please contact Matthew Gill for hires prices and to find out how Churston GC can cater for your business meetings in style.

Greenkeeper Report – Feb 2018

Dear Member,

Since our last report a couple of months ago I’m sure you’ll agree we have suffered from some very wet, lousy weather conditions. These weather conditions unfortunately have had a detrimental effect on the maintenance practices that we have been able to carry out.
Firstly, I would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding regarding the course closures and the inevitable trolley/buggy bans that normally follow such closures. Closing the course is always our last resort and only ever happens after a course tour and consultation between the Head Green keeper, Director of Golf or Greens Chairman. Unfortunately the inordinate amount of rainfall has on many occasions left the course unsafe for play. We are however very fortunate that we have a free draining course and often a simple change of wind direction and a little bit of sun ensures that we can get the course open within a couple of days. Hopefully the awful weather will soon depart as we approach the start of spring.

Despite the wettest January and February for some years, the greens are very healthy for the time of year. Monday 26th February sees us continue our aeration and drainage programme which will of course require us to spike the greens. Once spiked, 15 tonnes of top dress will be applied, brushed in and then rolled.

The summer tees are recovering well from their winter rest. As the weather improves, the cutting regime of these tees will intensify. Polite reminder: the blue tees are only to be used for club matches.

Winter Programme
The bunker on 6th has now been filled and turfed over. The same process will shortly be repeated to the bunker on the 16th. The proposed removal of the fairway bunker on 11th has for now been put on hold. Despite the appalling weather conditions we have now completed approximately 80% of the winter programme. The outstanding projects will be completed within the next month.

All bunkers are currently being edged, weeded and topped up with sand in an effort to produce consistent bunker conditions.

Gravel has been ordered and pathways will be made tidy in the not too distant future.

I think that is all for now. As always, please repair all divots and pitchmarks.

Happy golfing and Kind Regards

Your Greens Keeping Staff

Greenkeeper Report – Jan 2018

Firstly, from all of your greens staff we would like to wish you a very Happy New year and look forward to seeing you on the course very soon.

Well where do we start on the weather!!! Christmas was a complete and utter wash out leaving the course saturated. From Christmas Day up to New Years Day, we have had 4 inches of rain, unfortunately there is also more forecasted.
Just a short report this month as not much change since the last one due the Christmas break.

Despite the course being incredibly wet, the greens are the driest they have been for some years. I think you will all agree the drainage work on the wet greens has been a massive success as we have not been forced to use a temporary green since the works were carried out. The bumps produced by said works are gradually flattening out and should return to normal in the not too distant future. Due to the mild, wet weather the greens are still growing and are quite long at the moment. When we get a bit of dry weather and are able to get the hand machines out, we will cut the greens once a week. The holes are still being changed twice a week as normal. We have noticed that a lot of the holes are sustaining damage by golfers using the back of their putter to pick the ball out of the hole. We kindly ask players to refrain from doing this and ask that you politely inform your playing partners from doing so. If you need assistance with picking the ball out of the hole, the pro shop will provide you with a ball remover to go on the end of your putter.
New Sprayer
Our new sprayer arrived just before Christmas and I am extremely pleased with its performance. This is a vital piece of equipment and ensures the greens keepers stay safe whilst spraying the greens and other areas on the course.
Winter Course
The winter course is up and running and we would like to remind you to check the card as a few stroke indexes have been altered. All general play must be played off the winter course (white tees) whilst the blue tees are only to be used for club knockouts (Manning Trophy etc)
Winter Programme
After doing a review of the winter programme, we have completed approximately 40% of it and are on course to fully complete it by the end of March, weather permitting of course.
Extremely poor weather conditions over the last couple weeks have resulted in a few trolley bans. However, we are trying to keep trolleys on as much as possible to allow play for the players that genuinely can’t carry a bag. If you can physically carry a bag we strongly recommend you do as it will help the course dramatically and quicken the recovery period as we enter the spring growing season.
Finally, as always we would like to remind you to repair your pitchmarks and replace divots

Thank you for your co operation

Kelvin & The Team

Churston Juniors – Our Future – 2017 Review/ Speech Christmas 2017

Good evening everybody and welcome. It’s fantastic to see so many people here tonight, all to celebrate the achievements of Churston Golf Club junior section for 2017.We will start the evening with the traditional review of the year read by the outgoing Captain and incoming Captain and Vice-Captain. Mr Captain, Ladies & Gentleman, I give you our 2017 Captain – Callum & your Captain and Vice-Captain for 2018 – Jacob and Callum.

We should like to start by welcoming you all to the Christmas prize-giving with a special welcome to our Captain, Mr Chris Wills and his wife Jacquie.

(Callum J)
First a few “thank you’s”

To the bar and catering staff; Dean, Jimmy (who set up during the day) and Laura and team for looking after us tonight.

To Kelvin and all of the green-keeping staff for their hard work keeping the course in such good condition.

We would also like to thank the Junior Committee for their continued hard work and also to Heather, Jo and Ellie in the office for their assistance.

Last, but by no means least; thanks to Rob and Simon for their support during the year and especially Matt for his work with the existing and prospective new juniors, thank you.

(Callum M)
As always our juniors have been involved in County events at all levels.

In the Girls’ County matches, Lexi, Karrie, Lauren and Lucia have all represented the County this year. Lauren and Lucia represented Devon in the Tyler Trophy- a match between the Devon County Ladies Golf Association 2nd team and the Devon Junior Girls. Both girls put in strong performances and Devon Girls went on to win the match.

In July, a home posting at Exeter Golf Club saw the annual Girls’ SW Inter-Counties Tournament. This is the highlight of the Girls’ calendar, a tournament played over three days, playing five other counties being individual match play. Karrie and Lexi were both part of the Girl’s Inter Counties Team, which finished second, to a very strong Gloucester side.

The County Boys and Girls Championships were held at Tiverton in August, where Churston were represented by no fewer than four girls and three boys (the boys having to qualify through previous Order of Merit performances).

All of the girls won prizes with Lucia carding a nett 74 to win the Nett prize in the Under 14 category, Lauren a nett 76 to win the Stableford prize and Lexi with a gross 74 to win the Devon County Girls’ Championship and take the Dorothy Baldry Salver.
The boys, playing over 36 holes put in some good performances with Jack Dart finishing in fourth place in the Under 14 category, Luke Tooley, sixth in the Under 16 and Jacob Priestley finishing in tenth place in the Under 18 age group.

Winning the Devon County Championship qualified Lexi for the English Golf Champion of Champions competition held at Woodall Spa in September, normally a two round affair but curtailed due to weather conditions, resulting in one round with Lexi finishing an amazing sixth position.

Our boys also featured in the prizes in the Junior County competitions.

In the Spring Meeting held at Churston, Luke finished second in the Under 16 division and at the Whitsun Meeting at Yelverton he was third with Jack Dart also third in the Under 14’s.

In the boy’s County matches, Jack and Luke continued to be regulars in their respective teams.

Also at the Whitsun Meet at Yelverton, it was the Devon County Team Championships with the winning team then going on to represent Devon in the Team Championships to be held at Woodall Spa in August. Superb performances from Lauren, Lexi and Luke ensured that Churston took the Championship.

(Callum J)
Unfortunately for Lauren, holiday commitments meant that she was unable to play at the final but fortunately for Jacob, he stepped into the team and off they went to Woodall Spa – the home of England Golf. An opportunity to play on the Hodgkin Championship course over two days was quite amazing, with bunkers over six foot high – it was certainly a challenge.
A fabulous time was had by all and although they didn’t finish in the top placings, there were some super performances.

(Callum M)
Our juniors have again performed well at Regional and National level.

The Devon Schools Championship held at Borringdon Park in horrendous gales and rain in March saw a tough task ahead. Lexi came second which meant qualification for the SW Regional Schools Finals at the Avon Players Club in Bristol. This event was then held at the end of May and Lexi finished in fifth position meaning further qualification to the English Schools Girls Championship at the Kendleshire in Bristol played over 36 holes at the end of June with Lexi finishing in twelth position.

Lexi played in the Devon County Ladies Championships at Tavistock at the beginning of May, a 36 hole competition with the top players qualifying for match play for a place in the final the following day. Lexi had two amazing rounds on the first day, also achieving her first hole in one and consequently qualifying for the play off. A close fought affair, with her brother Jack on the bag saw the match go to the 22nd. Unfortunately, Lexi had to settle for runner-up but her performance saw her come away with the Phillis Collett Memorial Bowl, but more importantly a place in the Devon Ladies First team playing at Inter-Counties Match Week at Wrag Barn for a week in July.

(Callum J)
Juniors have again been part of our Churston adult teams this year. The men’s SDL team faired much better this year, beating Torquay 7-0 here at Churston and beating eventual league winners, Teignmouth 4.5-2.5, one of only two defeats they suffered all season. The winning putt on the 18th hole being holed by our soon to be captain – Jacob.
In all Jacob scored 4.5pts from his 8 matches and was voted men’s SDL player of the year – a fantastic achievement.
Also representing the men’s team in the Torbay Cup from the Junior section was Luke who paired up with Jacob for the 4BBB, scoring the most points for Churston. On day two in the singles, Luke had a great round, topping the score for Churston with 13 points whilst Jacob came second adding a further 10. Luke and Jacob were the only 2 players to play all 54 holes and received great compliments from all the other teams.

(Callum M)
There have been some junior successes in adult competitions this year with Lexi winning the Centennial Ladies Putter and in the Summer finals – the Bradford Cup.

The Churston Junior Open in June was this year sponsored by Snows Toyota.
We entertained players from many clubs, some travelling from Bristol for the day. The best boy’s gross & best gross by a Churston player went to Luke with a 74 & best nett went to Lucia with a 66.

Also in June of this year there was another great day for the Junior Section of Churston Golf Club. This particular Sunday saw five new junior members make their debut appearance. Full of trepidation together with a mix of excitement and nerves, they all successfully completed their first eight hole competition and are returning every Sunday competition complete with huge smiles and massive enthusiasm. Following on from the first competition we have added several other new members and I would like to ask them to stand so that we can give them a round of applause – Teddy, Belle, James, Mackenzie, George, William, Will, Sean and Josh.

These new younger junior members have also been tasting success in open events. The final Devon Golf U14 Access Tour took place at the end of October at Teignmouth Golf Club. In Category 2, Will Parker won with a great score of 26 points and in Category 3, MacKenzie Nettleton-Stokes won with a nett score of 32 with Isabelle Tarr in 2nd place on nett 36. This resulted in Will Parker being the Devon Golf U14 Order of Merit winner for Category 2.

All of the prize winners for our junior silverware competitions will be announced after this review.

The Junior South Devon League format continued this year in a team Stableford format.

The format makes for a close finish and this one was particularly so with it all down to the last round between Churston and Stover. Playing Stover on their home course was not easy, particularly when the Stover lead player cards a course record. The team tried to match this, but eventually it was victory to Stover.

Three players made their team debut in 2017, so if Oliver Gagg, Ed Luscombe, and Callum McGinnis would like to come forward. (Pause while Callum J presents tie)

(Callum M)
Further team success this year came in the Devon County Basil Steer Trophy. A matchplay team competition with the following players all being part of the team: Lucia, Lauren, Lexi, Jack Dart and Jacob. Fantastic performances meant that we found ourselves in the final held at Tavistock in September with an all girl affair of Lucia, Lauren and Lexi. Credible performances from all three players gave us the runner-up place to Royal North Devon but specific mention to Lucia who played four out of the five rounds.

This year we do not lose any members of the section and it is hoped that with the Club’s Saturday morning coaching in place, the support of Dan at Cayman and Neil at the Driving Range, that numbers will grow next year.

(Callum J)
This year I nominated the the Trevor Ward Foundation as my chosen charity. After my Drive-In competition in January & Easter Egg raffle in April and various cake sales, we have raised just over £300 for a very worthwhile charity. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support.

That is the end of our 2017 review. We hope that you will all join us again on Sunday 7th January for Jacob’s Drive-In competition in aid of Torbay Young Carers Service, details are now on the junior notice-board. His Drive-In board will be available immediately after presentation for anybody wishing to have a go.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish Jacob all the best for his Captaincy next year; if you enjoy it half as much as I have you’ll have a great time. (Shake hands)

Thank you for supporting today’s Christmas Tankard competition & presentation. All that is left for Callum, Callum and I to do is to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Great New Year and now it’s back to Tasha.

Thank you!

Greenkeeper Report Dec 2017

Greenkeeper’s Monthly Report

Dear member,

December is upon us and it is officially winter. This past month’s weather has been kind to us and the course is looking and playing fantastically for the time of year. The report below details some of the projects undertaken by the Greens Team in what was a very productive November.

With cooling temperatures and slowing growth, we are now cutting the greens once or twice a week at a height of 4mm. The Greens are also ironed once a week to keep the surfaces rolling smoothly.
Last month I notified you about the disease we had on the greens, well this has mostly grown out however on some of the greens it did return as the temperatures got a bit warmer in the middle of the month. This isn’t a problem as it is dead and with time will grow out.
You will have noticed that on the 20th November contractors installed a new drainage system into our ‘wet’ greens (12,13,14,18). Favourable weather ensured all work was completed by the Wednesday afternoon just in time for a massive downpour to test out our new drainage. On Thursday morning I was intrigued to whether the new drainage system had worked. I walked onto the 12th green and it was as dry as a bone with water running freely out of the pipe. After so much rain, there was no puddle on the green and the drainage was working perfectly. The contractor’s equipment left little damage to the putting surfaces and the slits should grow out in a couple weeks or so. We have received many positive comments from members genuinely excited with the improvements to the drainage. The 12th and 13th greens look slightly rippled due to the installation process but worry not, over time these will flatten out. Shortly we will use a piece of equipment called a verti drain to help flatten down the lumps and ensure that the surfaces return to their former levels.
I am very pleased with the work that was carried out and certain it will solve the flooding problems on these 4 greens.
The air2g2 was hired to help relieve compaction and improve the drainage in the greens. This machine drills holes into the greens and injects them with air to help break up compacted soil.
Winter Programme
The winter programme has been drawn up and is available on the website. We have begun the programme and hope that kind weather will allow us to complete all works by the end of March.
Winter Tees
It is now only a couple of weeks before we move onto the winter course. The new winter cards are in so when we do move onto the course please note that some of the stroke indexes and yardage’s have altered. Winter grass tees will be cut to a height of 30mm. The seed under the rubber matting on the 3rd winter tee has grown exceptionally well and looks very neat and tidy. In the next couple of weeks we will begin the same procedure on the 8th winter tee. When we move on to the winter course we would like to inform members that the blue tees may only be used for The Manning Trophy knockout competition and not general play. Thank you for your co-operation.
When we move onto the winter course, in general play, the 10th will be played as a par 3 from the beginning of the fairway.
15th bunker
You may have observed that work has started on the reshaping of the short left fairway bunker. This is being carried out in line with a golf course architect and will improve the aesthetics of the hole whilst providing a far better surface from which to hit.
6th Bunker
The pot bunker on the 6th has been filled with soil which was removed from the trenches on 12,13,14. This will be levelled and turfed asap.
Tree overhanging 11th Tee
There were a few reports of a number of large branches overhanging the 11th teeing ground. These have been removed and cleared away.
Clearing of scrub in front of clubhouse
At the start of the month, we began clearing the scrub next to the entrance to the clubhouse. Healthy trees were left untouched. Now finished the wow factor has been returned to the front of the clubhouse and projects a great image to the passing traffic. Many thanks to Richard and my staff for the completion of this.
Sponsor Signs
Two of our brand new sponsorship signs have arrived and will sited shortly.

Finally please remember to always repair your pitch marks, replace divots and rake bunkers after use.

Thank you very much.

That’s all for now folks, from all of your Green Staff here at Churston we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a brilliant new year.

Kelvin Millar
Head Greenkeeper

Rolling Draw Has Been Won. Nov 2017

Well the Rolling Draw has been another huge success. Massive congratulations to Iris Butler who scooped the amazing £400 giveaway last night. Iris very kindly donated £50 to The Lady Captain’s Charity, The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. What a lovely giving gesture Iris. On the evening two St Austells four balls were won by John Houghton and Heather Jeffreys. There was another special draw won by Phil Tomas and Lee James, they both won a St Austells four ball. This draw raised £100 for the Junior’s Christmas Tankard. Thank you all so much for your kindness, I know the Junior Section will be delighted with the support. A massive thank you goes out to Grant Clements your Vice Captain. Grant has worked hard to ensure these nights worked well for the members and the club. Well done Grant you are doing an amazing job. These nights would also not be successful without the hard work and dedication of all our staff. So a big shout of thanks goes to Jimmy, Dean, Jo and Ellie. The curry was amazing last night and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. One last thank you goes to all our members who have supported these nights, without you they do not work, so thank you very much. Stay tuned for more exciting Rolling Draw News.

The Board Vote For Lee Tyrrell

Last night the Board unanimously voted for Grant’s choice of Vice-Captain. Lee has been a member for many years and is dedicated to the continuing growth and success of Churston GC. Lee is an avid golfer, a successful business man and entrepreneur. Lee is humbled at the Boards decision and he is an excellent candidate for the prestigious role of VC and Captain at Churston Golf Club. Lee will be declared as the VC in waiting after the members vote in the up and coming AGM.

Course Management – Winter Programme 2017/2018

Winter Programme 2017/18
Autumn has arrived and it is nearly time for the winter programme to commence. The successful aeration done in August means that only limited work to the greens will be carried out this winter. The head greenkeeper will continue to needle & use air injection to the greens when drier ground allows, to keep the greens as dry as possible. The winter work schedule is set out in broad terms below. You will notice that the emphasis this year will be to look at the course hole by hole and fo-cus on its detailed maintenance and presentation. However, some tasks on the programme may rely on finances & will be weather permitting
Weather permitting, verti-cutting will continue until mid-late November. Whilst still mild, greens will be cut by ride-on machine at 4mm, 4-5 times a week. When growth slows down, greens will be hand-cut twice a week. Greens will be sprayed for leather jackets. Greens will be pencil-tined at least once and the Air2G2 will be used once also.
All the tees to be solid tined, followed by over seeding and a light top dressing. Any winter growth will be topped at a height of 20mm. If possible, uneven tees will be levelled out.
In early November, all the rough will be cut to 25mm to ensure good playability during the winter months and for the grass not to maintain moisture. In late December/early January, all long rough will be cut to ensure even growth next spring.
All the bunkers will be deep raked, edged and weeded. Any ones low on sand, will be topped up with new sand. As you will see later in the programme, a number of unnecessary bunkers will be filled in and seeded/turfed.
Fairways will continue to be cut at a height of 18mm until a stop in growth. Fairways will be sprayed for weeds just in time for spring. Fairways to be cut as detailed on the Course Architects Drawing and as per Chairman of Greens instructions.

Start February/March time
A programme of maintenance will be carried out on the above, to ensure health and safety policies are met. These will be edged, weeded and topped with new gravel. Any pot holes will be filled in.

Woodland & Coastal Path
During the winter it is intended to continue the programme of clearing scrub areas around the course. This allows light and air flow to these areas which in turn encourages the natural flora to return and flourish. The fence on the coastal path will be checked and repaired to reduce the risk of people getting onto the course and cause vandalism.
Complete action of spraying Herbicide at the base of all trees in close proximity of the fairway. Complete by December.
Tee Furniture & Course Signage
All hole information stones to be removed and disposed of. New tee signage will be applied in the New Year. Tee furniture will be refurbished, cleaned and painted.
Irrigation System
The irrigation system has been drained and turned off for winter months.

Hole By Hole Programme
Hole 1
· Remove scrubs by 1st Tee Done
· Fill in front right bunker and seed Done
· Fill in front left bunker and seed Done
· Renovate posts around 1st Tee (Replace Broken Chain) March 2018
Hole 2
· Replace fence between 2nd Tee & the road March 2018
· Place directional Sign to second Tee (once across the road)
· Clear back hedge overhanging pathway up to 2nd fairway December 2017
· Clear hedge/bank along right hand side of hole November 2017
· Remove dropped hanging branches from Fir Trees on the left mid-way up the fairway Done
· Remove rough from base of trees to left of the green.
Hole 3
· Renovate winter teeing area (rubber matting) November 2017
· Clear hedge along 3rd tee Done
· Replace rubber matting behind green December 2017
· Clear bank behind green and right hand entrance to 4th Tee (improve condition of the path too uneven, remove large stone located at immediate exist from the 3rd) Novem-ber/December 2017

Hole 4
· Reinstate pathway beside tees. (Add sleepers beside mens tee) March 2018
· Clear rough in front of Tees December 2017
· Clear hedge/bank along right hand side of hole. From Tee-Green December 2017
· Repair and return left hand bunker March 2018
· Add hand rail to the Ladies Tee Nov 2017

Hole 5
· Clear scrub overhanging pathway to left of tee December 2017
· Edge and tidy pathway December 2017
· Clear along wall (Remove any overhanging branches) January 2018
· Clear scrub left hand side of 5th green November 2017
Hole 6
· Clear scrub right of ladies tee and along wall February 2018
· Clear scrub along wall of tee in the field February 2018
· Fill in 1st bunker on right hand side and seed November 2017
· Clear long grass to right hand side of 6th green and leave short November 2017
· Remove long rough around the two small trees copses in-between large firs on the left. November 2017
Hole 7
· Repair pathway adjacent to tee March 2018
· Reshape fairway to right hand side March 2018
· Add new sand to both greenside bunkers January 2018
Hole 8
· Renovate winter teeing area (Rubber matting) November 2017
· Renovate summer tees (Aerate, sand, seed) and keep golfers off March 2018
· Clear scrub in front of ladies tee January 2018
· Clear scrub behind green and to right of green February 2018
· Raise floor level of back left hand Bunker December 2017
Hole 9
· Reduce height of gorse in front of tees January 2018
· Remove 2 yew trees in front right of ladies tee January 2018
· Clear wall and remove any overhanging branches December 2017
· Clear and tidy around bin/shelter December 2017
· Remove long rough up left of fairway Done
· Add soil to base of trees right and short of Green. Reshape path to 10th Tee. End Novem-ber/Early December
Hole 10
· Clear scrub next to tee December 2017
· Clear wall and remove any overhanging branches December 2017
· Clear scrub behind green and to right of green December 2017
· Clear scrub left hand side of fairway February 2018
Hole 11
· Clear scrub right hand side of tee January 2018
· Continue to clear scrub right hand side of hole Tee-Green March 2018
· Fill in left hand fairway bunker and seed February 2018

Hole 12
· Clear scrub left of green November 2017
· Green Drainage November 2017
Hole 13
· Clear scrub right hand side of hole and remove overhanging branches January 2018
· Lower face of right hand fairway bunker and reshape January 2018
· Clear scrub behind green and left hand side of green November 2017
· Remove old ball wash pole Done
· Clear Scrub around large tree on left hand to improve access to left temporary green End November
· Reduce length of rough to area left of left side fairway bunker. November
· Green Drainage November 2017
· Renovate path leading to 14th Tee March 2018
Hole 14
· Renovate pathway January 2018
· Clear long rough in front of ladies tee (all Tees) and leave short March 2018
· Clear along wall and remove any overhanging branches December 2017
· Move fairway further right March 2018
· Green Drainage November 2017

Hole 15
· Clear bank public footpath November 2017
· Reshape 1st fairway bunker (lower face) and fill with new sand January 2018
· Trim up fir trees left hand side March 2018
· Reshape greenside bunker (lower face) January 2018
Hole 16
· Fill in 1st fairway bunker on left and seed March 2018
· Clear hedge on right hand side of hole Done
· Repair edge of greenside bunkers March 2018
Hole 17
· Remove sapling in front of ladies tee January 2018
· Remove scrub to right of mens tee January 2018
· Repair greenside right bunkers March 2018
Hole 18
· Clear scrub along left hand side of hole. (especially where winter tee is placed) January 2018
· Widen entrance to Tee from the road. (should be able to walk through with umbrella up!) January

Kelvin Millar
Head Greenkeeper