This is now my 15th August at the helm of Carus Green, and I’m trying to remember how many times I’ve heard the phrase “Wettest Summer Ever”. I think it’s 15 in a row now.
Once the jet stream sits on top of Cumbria, it causes untold problems in presenting the course as you and I would like it, and this month has been particularly difficult. We were forced into some mid-season aeration work - which I know has been disruptive - and I hope it did not spoil your enjoyment of our excellent golf course. We have had record numbers of rounds of golf played this year which again takes its toll, so I ask you to bear with us through this period and give Chris and his team your full support.
If I could once again remind every member of their personal duty to help maintain the golf course. Pitch marks are a perennial problem, which only you, the players, can solve. Please repair yours and one other pitch mark. Please name and shame your friends who constantly ignore their duty, and please educate as many people as you can in the benefits of taking responsibility for the upkeep of your course. It’s a long term win-win if you all get on board with us.
Competition numbers have once again been excellent this year with an average in men’s comps of around 115. Opens are always full and the ladies’ and senior sections continue to thrive. It is truly fantastic for me to see the club flourish like this, and there are lots of ideas for improvement in the future. Recently we saw 150 people compete in the President Alan Farnsworth’s day - another massively successful event with the extra entrance money going to Multiple Sclerosis. Around £840 was given to the President’s charity, and I thank you all for dipping into your pockets and helping Carus help others. As a club we are approaching capacity, as we can only cope with so many wanting to play. In the current golf climate we are seriously bucking the trend and this can only mean good things for the future, as we continue to invest. There are a handful of Winter Memberships left - if you know of anyone who wishes to join, they can contact Margaret in the office.
One major area of investment this year has been our new website. If you have not yet seen the site it is well worth a visit – it will become the focal point for news and information from Carus in the future. Information on competitions, social events, offers and news blogs will all be there as well as our new online golf shop, where you can browse, select and order many of our Carus Golf Centre products and services and have them delivered to your home.
Our Golf Centre has had an amazing year. It is now the premier Golf retail store in the South Lakes and probably well beyond. Lee and his team have created something very special in a very short time since the new shop was built. Alex Wood has recently joined the team and made a massive impact behind the counter and I am personally delighted to have a man of his quality join the Carus Golf Centre. We have, without a doubt, the best custom fitting studio in the North, with Andrew, Lee, Adam, Tyson and Dave providing a wealth of fitting, teaching and product knowledge to get the right kit into your bag, with all the top brands at internet prices, including the new Ping 400 series - what a bonus to have all that on our doorstep. Academy memberships are available again at the incredible rate of £220 for the year; that’s the same price as 37 baskets of balls, but it actually gives you 365 baskets of balls and use of all the other facilities!! Seriously good value.
I hope you have had chance to follow our three tour players this year. Gary Wolstenholme is still doing very well on the European Seniors Tour, whilst our new signing Jack Senior has had a few excellent weeks on the European Challenge tour as he goes for his full European tour card. Adam Chapman has had great success in his first year as a touring professional. He is first on the 1836 tour money list and challenging for his first win on the Europro Tour. It is a great honour to have our club represented so well on tour and we are delighted to support these local stars in their quest for further glory.
In June we held the Trilby Tour event as I’m sure a few of you will remember. The final of this year’s tour is at Hull Golf Club on the 31st August where Sam Wilson and Gaz Hudson will be hoping to become this year’s Champion. I will be going to support them and I hope to see a few of you there. Our edition will be televised around the end of October on Sky Sports. Watch the Website for information as we will hold a celebration party in the new Sports Lounge and watch the TV debut of Carus Green!
The Clubhouse, Grill Restaurant and Carus Function Suite have also had a tremendous 2017. The Sports Lounge has proved to be exactly the space the club needed and fulfils many different but necessary roles, from presentations to football nights. We have BT Sports and Sky Sports, and each week a full programme of what will be shown will be advertised on the new Carus Green Sports Lounge Facebook page. Many thanks for all of your positive comments about the extension and don’t be afraid to thank Steve Selby and his team for building the whole thing in under 5 months!
I am delighted to announce a couple of promotions within our team in the Clubhouse. Louise Gilpin has been promoted to Daytime Manager to help Helen with our ever busy trade and Amy Ferguson is stepping up to Grill Manager. This is a big step for Amy and I know you will all give her your full support and best wishes in her new role. Best of luck to you both!
Nicola Thompson continues to do an excellent job running the function suite (as anyone who was at the fantastic 80’s night last week will tell you). She has recently been joined in the office by Laura Valentine. Laura joins us not only to assist Nicola with the organisation of functions but also to manage our overall marketing, website and promotional strategies. This includes the use of Carus for corporate meetings and functions. The old office has been recently converted into ‘The Board Room’ which is perfect for meetings of 16 and under. I wish Laura all the very best at Carus and I look forward to working with her.
Two more notes of congratulation in the Carus ranks: Firstly to Margaret in the office, for reaching the very young age of 50 (enjoy Kingsbarns), and secondly to Course Manager Chris, and his wife Hannah on the birth of their third child, George.
Carus is, and always has been, an exception to the rule in the world of golf clubs; for a proprietary club to operate with the warmth and friendliness of a pure member’s club is unusual, but to surpass this and become a genuine destination, is unheard of. It is this mix that is at the heart of our success, both now and in the future, and I hope you are as proud of Carus as I am 15 years in and counting!