Hope you are all doing well and looking after yourselves in these strange times.
The Pro shop opening hours are now extended to 5pm and the Staff are, as always available to receive calls and answer any queries you may have.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael McFeely and his Team for all their hard work under challenging conditions with all sorts of weather over the last number of weeks. A full report on ongoing work is laid out below but all their efforts and dedication is much appreciated and it is nice to get the opportunity to thank them all.
Stay safe and hopefully the tips below from Bernard will help to get us somewhat ready for our anxiously awaited return to golf!
Hugh & Rita
We all are missing the game massively at the moment so below I have come up with a putting drills to keep you in the groove over the coming weeks. One of the most common faults I see amongst golfers is the amount of movement the lower half of their body makes during the putting stroke, which ultimately leads to upper body movement and generally missed putts. Here’s one of the best putting tips I can give you to check what you are doing and give you immediate feedback.
Firstly, position your backside up against a wall or a door, you just want to be gently touching it but enough to give you good feedback. Set-up in your putting stance and build a solid, strong stance as if you were to take a putt. It is very difficult to keep your upper body quiet when your lower body is moving. Your lower half needs to remain quite, solid and stable. The usual faults tend to be excessive amount of lower body movement where the right hip comes away from the wall, and the right knee moves towards the hole almost trying to follow the ball, this leads to upper body rotating towards the hole and your head moving too much.
So now make a stroke where you feel that both sides of your backside remain in constant contact with the wall throughout your stroke. If you are doing this correctly you will notice how your upper body is now working independently of the lower half. Depending on how much lower body movement you had to begin with, this may feel a little different which is good. Once you have made enough practice then hit some putts using a ball. It does not matter whether you can only hit a putt 5 foot or 15 foot, you will still feel the difference. If you are limited for space and want to feel like you hit the putt a little harder position a cushion or pillow 5/6 foot in front of you and then you can hit your putts harder.
The bird located in the centre of our Club Crest is the kestrel. I have come to understand the relevance of this bird as the choice for our crest. The kestrel, a member of the falcon species, is a small bird of prey, bur ever-present, a little like our golf course. The kestrel’s natural habitat is largely in the countryside, Westmanstown being the last bastion of rural living surrounded by densely populated living areas. The kestrel hovers above its prey, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to strike, our golf club takes the appropriate amount of time to make the correct decisions.
Likenesses aside, keep an eye out for our symbol hovering above the tall grasses between the 2nd, 3rd and 17th fairways. Although the kestrel may drift away from time to time, as food becomes slim pickings, it will be omni present, much like Westmanstown Golf Club. Take time to think about the longevity of our strong golf club and what it means to be part of it.
All pruning and tree removal is now completed including the shredding and stump grinding of all relevant materials. The Laurel bush between the 10th green and the 11th tee has been removed to aid air flow and light onto the green and the tee box. Some trees have been removed between the 5th and 7th fairways and this area is no longer shaded and can now be reseeded as soon as weather permits returning this area to proper rough grass.
At the beginning of the month the drain between the 4th and 17th Fairways was cleaned out by hand, this work will also improve the drainage of both the 4th & 5th fairways. The area between the 18th green and the 1st tee box was cleaned out and tidied as well.
Fairways will be fertilised earlier than normal this year but not before the risk of severe frost has past. Fairways, tee boxes and greens continue to be mowed as required.
Greens were slitted, pencil tined and top dressed with nitrogen feed also applied in mid January.
Subsequently the greens were cut at 6mm and a liquid feed of sulphate of iron, nitrogen and silica applied. A new dispenser called aqua rapido is now applied weekly to prevent moisture building in the greens, and readings between 27% and 31% were recorded earlier in the month which are particularly good for this time of the year.
Rainfall in January amounted to 115mm and in the first 4 days of February we recorded 25mm. The drainage work undertaken in 2020, along the 11th tee box and fairway created a bypass drain which has prevented serious flooding on the course and in the vicinity of the cottages in this area. This demonstrates again the need for ongoing investment in the course preventing unnecessary issues on and around our course.
Michael McFeely reported that the amount of rainfall since the beginning of the year would have led to a loss of a considerable number of playing days in January and February from the sheer volume of rain and also from the snowfall and frosty overnight conditions.
The Club website has been in need of some care and attention for some time now. The good news is that a very dedicated Team have been putting in a huge amount of time and effort into bringing the website into the 21st Century. The work is ongoing so Watch this space!!!!!