Introduction & History
Arscott Golf Club was formed and founded in 1992 and opened for play in the summer of 1972. The layout was cleverly designed by land owner Martin Hamer to make the most of the beautiful site and fantastic views located in the heart of the west Shropshire countryside.
The resultant 18 holes have become a golf course which challenges golfers of all standards. The course tests every aspect of a player’s skills not least their course management. It offers a range of short and long holes which rely on the player thinking their way around the course, placing tee shots to give the ideal angle for the second shot.
The course is a par 70 measuring 6218 yards from the white tees and a par 71 measuring 5218 yards from the red tees. The current course is arranged in two loops of nine holes with the 9th and 18th greens returning to the clubhouse. In addition to the 1st and 10th tees, the 12th, and 15th tees are all located close to the clubhouse should a multi-tee start be required.
The owner of the land upon which the course stands managed all aspects of the course and clubhouse until 2018 when a 25 year lease was taken up by the membership. Subsequently further investment has been made in developing the whole facility for the enjoyment of members and visitors alike. The investments include clubhouse and changing room redecoration, purchase of tractor driven leaf blower and new greens mower and iron.
The management and members should be proud of the progress made in just over two years, especially in the quest to make an attractive option for both membership and casual golf.
Under the mantra “Always Improving” the Club seeks year on year to improve the facilities it has to offer. This document will explain in detail the areas in which the club intends to implement significant enhancements over the next 5 years. This will primarily be achieved by investing further in making improvements to four key areas:
Clubhouse & Surrounds
Staff Training & Team Development
The aim is to accomplish upgrades in all these areas whilst retaining the ethos of being a friendly member-orientated club; in touch with modern trends, not afraid to move with the times but committed to retaining the best traditions which the wonderful game of golf offers.
This is a working document initially developed by Geoff Harding and subsequently updated by the Greens Committee comprising Andrew Lewis Head Greenkeeper), Paul Buckley (Chair), Nick Jones, Steve Turner and Glyn Sadd (Professional). It will be subject to change as time moves forward and new ideas develop.
Incorporating significant feedback from club committees, the wider membership and staff, an appraisal of the four key areas will be carried out by the Board via an annual survey of the membership.
The work highlighted is in addition to the annual maintenance works carried out by Andrew Lewis and his greenkeeping team.
Clubhouse & Surrounds
Thanks to our successful bid for grant funding of £10,000 from the R&A Covid-19 Support Fund we plan to provide for Clubhouse balcony and outdoor seating area improvements, to include balcony extension, or replacement, with outdoor decking and landscaping together with minor adaptations to the Pro Shop and lobby.
Our aim is to grow the club as a hospitality venue for member and visitors with events, lunches, dinners and functions.
Over the winter period 2019 / 2020 work to modernise the décor in the clubhouse was undertaken to give a warm yet professional welcome to the club. Upgrades to the general internal and patio furniture will continue through the five year plan.
Specific areas that will be concentrated on over the next five years include:
Changing rooms, showers and toilets to be renovated. Decoration and some modifications undertaken in February / March 2020
Bar – The bar will be redecorated to give a more modern and classy feel. Old fixtures will be removed and will be replaced by new beer pumps. Completed Spring 2020
New tables and furniture. New carpet and light fittings.
Kitchen equipment – This is assessed annually and improvements/replacement will occur when necessary. A replacement oven was installed in 2019
As part of the 5 Year Plan we need to consider what external aesthetic enhancements should be undertaken.
Driveway Entrance – We hope to install a new, more appealing walled entrance which will hopefully form a grander sense of arrival at the Club. These works will be subject to obtaining the necessary planning permissions and availability of funding.
Car Park – Significant resurfacing, pothole repair and line painting will be necessary within the plan. This is the responsibility of the Landlord.
Shoe and Trolley Cleaning Area – We will undertake a review of the shoe and trolley cleaning area to ensure this area is not unsightly but instead create the right lasting impression. An enhanced shoe and trolley cleaning area will hopefully evolve which include improved air-cleaning equipment and larger steel grids for ease of use.
Trolley / Buggy storage – We will look to provide an enhanced area to reduce congestion around the Clubhouse
The Club’s long-game practice facilities are limited by a lack of space. However, there is room to significantly improve the short-game practice facilities.
We also wish to enhance the warm-up area by adding two new warm-up nets. Completed Summer 2020
Staff Training & Team Development
Arscott aims to provide excellent careers in an exciting, positive, and safe working environment. Further actions have been identified to enhance HR practices and service standards at the Club, including;
Develop the new staff induction process with additional mandatory online training courses prior to first shift.
All staff to undertake First Aid training. Training course booked in January 2021
All staff to undertake customer service training.
Annual staff appraisals and job description reviews.
Identify training required to encourage career and team development within the Club enabling excellent staff satisfaction and retention.
Review and implement staff handbook with revised ‘standard operating procedures’.
Improve staff knowledge of all aspects of the business. Each department should be able to answer simple questions relating to other departments.
To improve course appearance, playability, interest and safety.
To further enhance the character of the course.
To redefine the areas in need of cutting, thereby easing workload.
To adopt “best practice” to improve course maintenance.
Improve quality to green surrounds & mounding around the bunkers so that these areas reach the same standard as the aprons.
Improve teeing areas.
Repair and install extra drainage where needed.
Install irrigation to first tee and practice putting green.
Improve the greens through the use of a twelve month plan drawn up by Amenity Land Solutions, Telford, our preferred suppliers for turf products.
Ensure that the irrigation system for the greens is in full working order before the summer.
Replace decoders on the 6th and 11th greens and replace any broken sprinkler head around the greens, in particular on the 14th. Completed summer 2019
That the Green keepers fully understand the computerised system that controls the automatic sprinklers on all greens. Completed summer 2019
Obtain a plan from the owner which outlines where the underground pipe system lies to each green.
Improving the green surrounds to create finer turf so that a variety of short-game shots can be played.
Review the size and make-up of each tee (men’s and ladies) with a view to carrying out re-design where necessary and in particular in respect of levelling off tees that currently do not present with a flat and true playing surface. Provide a plan of work to be carried out over the winter period and within the life of the five year strategy.
Consider the aeration, feeding and top dressing of tees from this year on. Tee improvements will take place over the next five years and details about which holes are to be given priority can be found in the hole-by- hole analysis later in this document.
Continue a programme of drainage improvement on all fairways.
Consider aeration of the fairways with a view to improving the playing surface.
Continue with the pilot of sculpting fairways to enhance the golfing experience.
Fairway weed control to be continued as appropriate.
The Club benefits from many varieties of wildlife living within our ecologically diverse environment and one of the main aims of this 5 Year plan is to enhance the club’s ecological reputation. Enhancements, particularly through woodland management and a sympathetic attitude to the use of fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides have always been part of the club strategy but our desire is to create further biodiversity over the next 5 years and beyond.
Woodland management is an important task that needs constant review.
Having a variety in the age of trees as well as a variety in the types of trees planted is good woodland management. Removal of a number of poplar trees will reduce root encroachment where roots are starting to invade fairways, bunkers or greens/surrounds, and also reduce autumn leaf litter. Diseased trees will be identified and removed.
Identify a programme of replacements.
Identify overhanging branches which are starting to interfere with golf shots from tees or to greens, such as on the 1st tee, 9th tee, 16th tee, 17th green and 18th fairway.
Coppice trees around the course to improve air flow to fairways and greens, such as around the 8th green and fairway.
Bunkers provide a strong visual impact on the course and for many players dictate their shot choice. Arscott has significant but not excessive bunkering.
Maintain appropriate levels of sand in all bunkers throughout the year.
Maintain structure of each bunker and review early each year whether there is a need for remedial work on their structure.
Identify work to be carried out through the winter.
The path network is an essential part of winter golf at the club. The existing network will be refurbished where necessary and extended in persistently muddy areas, particularly during the winter months.
Review and put in place a plan for repairing paths throughout the course, work to be carried out in the autumn / winter period.
Identify areas of the course which might benefit from constructing new pathways, such as a buggy path down the bank between the ladies tees on the 6th hole.
Purchase tractor driven leaf blower. Purchased November 2018
Provide a new greens mower and greens roller as soon as possible, placing the old mower as backup and for use on greens that have had work carried out on them such as hollow tining, slitting, top dressing or verti cutting. Completed summer 2019
Continue to review all other course machinery for signs of wear, and repair breakdowns as soon as practicable.
Look at the feasibility of keeping the Toro tees and greens mower working throughout this year with a view to replacing.
Look at the possibility of providing greens staff with a welder generator.
Look into the possibility of purchasing a loader for the John Deere tractor.
We believe that the proposed improvements will both add to the enjoyment for golfers of all standards whilst embodying the spirit of the Game. Course conditions greatly influence the playability of any course and we believe that the measures outlined will enhance the playing surfaces on a year on year basis.
During our assessment, we have considered the effect any changes will have on safety.
The principal areas considered for greenkeeping & course maintenance improvement are:
Fine turf areas will continue to be developed through top dressing, aeration and revised mowing regimes.
Ecological enhancement through woodland management.
Selective tree removal and canopy raising throughout to widen the feel of holes, aid air circulation and to allow more sunlight to the grasses beneath the trees.
Develop sward density to allow improved definition between approach, fairway, semi-rough and rough areas.
Complete the renovation of all bunkers creating excellent drainage, stone-free bunkers and consistency of sand.
Enhance and refurbish the path network to particularly help winter golf.
Improve existing teeing areas to selected holes.
Annually invest in new machinery so that the club’s fleet develops.
Hole-by-Hole Works Analysis & Proposals
Improve the area by the first tee to enhance first impressions.
Refurbish and straighten path alongside the tee.
Improve quality of turf around greenside bunker
Improve bunkers to front and right side of green.
Improve drainage around green.
Fill in the hole on top of the mound.
Level White Tee
Create Buggy path from Ladies tee to fairway
Renovate men’s tee.
Tree works to the left of Ladies tee.
Refurbish path at winter tee.
Installing additional drainage in fairway.
Continue to tidy base of hedge between 10 and 11
Re-align yellow tee.
Improve quality of turf around greenside bunkers.
Replace some poplar trees from right side of fairway with evergreen
Clear embankment immediately in front of tee
Clear undergrowth in copses.
Clear undergrowth in copses.
Reduce width of oak tree to left of fairway.
Keep pond surround tidy.
Improve quality of turf around greenside bunker.
The proposals contained within this Five Year Plan will be expensive to achieve, however the Board are committed to making the investment and by doing so continuing to take the Club forward and grow our reputation both locally and in the wider golfing community.
These are exciting times for the Club and it is hoped that these proposals will be supported wholeheartedly by the membership and that this is demonstrated through your continued membership.