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CGL tee’s off in South Africa








Dear Members As a lot of you know, I went away to Florida during the middle of the January to attend the PGA Merchandise show. All of the worlds golf companies in one massive conference hall for 3 days was a spectacle to behold. I was able to look at some exciting new brands and you will notice an influx of new products coming into the shop in the coming months. One brand I was especially impressed with is the newly relaunched Greg Norman brand of clothing. The quality and price of these items are amazing. I have had every piece logo'd up with the castle of Castletown Golf Links, and I hope you all like the look of them. I also have the Spring/Summer collection of Peter Millar, Daily Sports and Brodie Cashmere in stock, with new colours and patterns. I am very pleased to say that my lesson diary has been steadily busy and I really appreciate the feedback I have been getting from the members on how I have been conducting the coaching. The members support is crucial and I cannot thank you enough for it. The Junior lessons on Saturdays are running again for the next few months and I have been so impressed with the quality of some of the youngsters. If the juniors continue to improve, the future of isle of Man golf is in good hands.

Whilst I was in Florida, I was lucky enough to get invited to play in a Club Pro invitational event, where I partnered up with the Head Pro of Trevose Golf and Country Club. We both played pretty steady for a better ball score of 69 around the beautiful and tough Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. We ended up finishing 3rd and I will look forward to going 2 better next year! I will be looking to get out on the course a little more in the next few months, so if you want to have a game, please come into the shop and ask. I would love to play some golf with everyone.

Kind regards


Pro Matches ‘'If you'd like to have a game, why not take me and our Men's Captain, Mike on! Selected Wednesday dates available, drop into the shop to book your place"




A party of intrepid CGC members played their way through the Cape and Garden Route courses of South Africa in February to celebrate a very special birthday this year for Kevin Amphlett. Pinnacle Point, Simola, Arabella and Steenberg were all tackled. The highlight though was when Phillip Vermeulen kindly arranged a match at the exclusive Fancourt links on February 26th against 20 of their members on what is rated the best course in South Africa. Regrettably CGC members were no match for the extremely difficult course and fierce opponents and the cup was presented to the Fancourt links team. Kevin and his partner Tom Raatgever {+3} were unfortunately no match for the legendary professional John Bland and Ben Vermeulen (3) who finished in a remarkable 10 under par!! At least the hospitality was good with Jon Wild and Roger Raatgever coming in a little worse for wear having been plied with a crate of beers before they reached the 19th hole!! Julie Amphlett and Jane Holt did manage to return an excellent result beating two of Fancourts top ladies with a win on the 18th. Phillip invited the Fancourt members to a return match back on the Isle of Man. Lets hope this becomes an annual tradition and that our fabulous course and its slightly more challenging climatic conditions return a more palatable result!

Best regards

Ladies Vice-Captain

Julie Amphlett,



ANNUAL HANDICAP REVIEW “What is the Annual Review and what is it we hope to achieve?” The objectives of the Handicap Committee were twofold: 1.

To provide every member at Castletown with a fair and equitable chance to compete in Club Competitions.


Provide the best possible opportunity for an accurate CSS and therefore accurate ongoing handicap adjustments.


To implement those changes made by CONGU with relation to Appendix M and new Handicap Categories introduced.

CSS statistics for 2017 ·

41% of the time it was above the SSS


25% of the time it rose to at least 2 shots higher.

Key findings in our analysis No change in An increase in handicap made handicap occurred Average number of shots away from playing to handicap per round (VS. 36)



CONGU Performance Against Target



% no. of rounds where score was 32 points or better



% No. of scores of 36 points/ Net 73 or better



Best competition score last 12 months, irrespective qualifying or not



Average handicap category



In more detail The Annual Review is an essential element in the CONGU handicap system, and for players within a club to be correctly handicapped, the committee must carry out the review on all home players within a scheduled window of 31st October and 1st March. The annual review is not just the time to reduce members' handicaps – many players will have failed to play to their handicaps and this is the time to increase their handicaps to something realistic. This is important because if they continue to return scores outside their buffer zones, then their scores will skew the CSS calculation.

A computer generated report has been designed to assist Handicap Committees in the Annual Review and the report is part of the handicap software package. The report 'flags up' those players whose playing performance over the year is outside the expected scoring pattern for their Handicap Category and who should be the subject of

further consideration for an increase or decrease in handicap, as appropriate. It must be emphasised, however, that the list produced must not be taken as an automatic authority to adjust the handicaps of the listed players, or as indicative of the only players requiring review. A committee should take into account the player's achievements in Non-Qualifying Competitions, match play competitions, four-ball better ball competitions and other forms of team events in addition to Medal play. During the annual review you should also look at the handicaps of players who have not returned many/any scores during the year. These players tend to be 'decliners' and may well have given up altogether on entering competitions. Using the knowledge the handicap committee has of the club members, between you, you may decide to increase the handicaps of such players. It is as important to identify players of declining ability who have handicaps that are too low, as it is to identify players who have a handicap that is too high. It is to be expected that some golfers will not be happy about the increase in their handicap but it is essential to communicate to those players who are incorrectly handicapped that this can have an effect on the CSS calculation and therefore the handicaps of all other players. (Cat 1-4).

“What were the findings of the Handicap Committee?” Over the course of the Annual Review process, the Handicap Committee looked at several key data points to assist with building a complete picture of each individual player. What we found, was an alarming percentage of members who realistically could perhaps never achieve playing close to their handicap and therefore their enjoyment of competitive golf was of genuine concern to us. Ÿ

A player should be scoring on average between 4.5 - 5.5 shots away from their handicap. Taking steps to lower this figure in a balanced manner must be better for player confidence and enjoyment of their golf.


A player should be scoring 36 points or better between 15 - 20% of the time. The closer this percentage is to 20% the better for member morale and enjoyment of their game.


A player should be scoring 32 or more points (net 76 or better in medal rounds) between 35 - 55% of the time. What is suitable per player will need to be considered in conjunction with points A, B, D, and E. It should be expected that a lower handicap golfer would have a better result on this data point than a member in a higher handicap category where naturally they may be a little more inconsistent.


The players best score over a period of 10-20 rounds is a strong determiner as to how they could play if really on form.


The 'Performance against target' figure is a CONGU generated calculation which assesses how closely a players current handicap reflects their actual performance over the current calendar year. The closer the number is to 0 the more accurate a players handicap appears.

For those players where a handicap increase was recommended, on average, those golfers were 8.2 shots away from playing to their handicap. Conversely, those players who were more consistent and were recommended for no change in handicap had an average of 4.9 shots away, much closer to where we would expect an average golfer's performance to sit. Continues on page x


Competition Survey results for 2018


Shortly before the New Year we completed a basic survey of member opinions on Club events. Thank you to all those who took part and please do continue to provide your feedback. Here's what you said!

1. Respondents Handicaps:

6. What would be your preference for number of holes

36% - 13 – 20

played in Sunday Competitions over the Winter period?

32% - 6 – 12

53% said 18 holes

16% - 5 or less

42% said 12 holes

13% - 21- 28 7. Medal competitions 2. 86% of respondents were male and 14% female

90% of respondents feel medals are a positive addition to competitive golf

3. How regularly do you think team competitions

31% would like more than one medal per month

should be played on weekends during the period

59% say that they enjoy medals but one per month is

March – October?


83% said they would like at least one per month 8. Speed of play on Saturdays 4. How many handicap qualifying competitions would

44% of respondents agree with the idea of having a

you like to have available on weekends during the

split pace of play during the day with earlier tee slots

period November – March 70% said at least 1 qualifier

requiring a faster pace of play. 47% of respondents disagree with the idea

5. What would be your preference for number of holes played in Wednesday Competitions over the Winter

Action =Trial a pace of play requirement of 3 hours 40


minutes for all golfers teeing off from 7am – 8:30am

60% said 12 holes

beginning on Saturdays from 24th March 2018,

20% said 9 hoels

allowing those who wish to play faster than the

20% said 18 holes

standard 4 hours 10 minutes (fourball pace) an opportunity to do so.

St Patrick's Day OPEN AM-AM

Saturday 17th March 2018 Team of four (Mixed) Full handicap Men – White tees • Ladies – Red tees Members: £4 entry • Visitors: £25 total (green fee & entry)

Every entrant gets a FREE ½ pint of Guinness (non- redeemable/transferable) Prizes to the top 3 Teams NTP & Straightest/Longest Drive Prizes

Irish stew special available after your golf from No.19 Bar & Restaurant. Tel: 822211 or email

Show you're keen by dressing in green! * Please note. 6 Day Members may also play with tee times being available from 13:00 pm onwards*








Traditional Drive – In

The Lady Captain's Drive In on 7th March was a great start to the season. The fun tone for the evening was set with the Lady Captain's drive, where the thirty ladies cheers turned into laughter, as the drive only reached 35 yards! Heather McKenna, the only person to estimate a distance below 100 yards was the lucky winner of a bottle of Moet. While enjoying a welcome drink, Charlie gave a presentation about different golf balls and suggested trying a lower compression ball. He also had a lovely display of clothes on mannequins for all to admire and try on.

Will and Caroline treated us to a fabulous meal that was also a feast for the eye . Vice- Captain Julie Amphlett organised a few games of Bingo after the meal that went along with a great deal of laughter. All the ladies were very generous with their donations towards the Lady Captains Charity, The Together Trust, that will train nurses to work with Dementia patients on the Isle of Man . What a fabulous evening.

The Ladies Fixture List is at the printers and will be ready soon. The next social get-together will be Lady Captains Day with lunch and for those interested a 9 - hole, 3 Club Challenge! Hope all of you can join us again.

Louna Vermeulen Lady Captain.




Dear Members, As always, thank you for your continued custom. We hope that with the onset of Spring, some good golfing weather is on the way!

Mother's Day on Sunday 11th March we are fully booked for the Carvery. Our Carvery's are proving very popular and we would strongly advise members to book in advance; if you have yet to try our Sunday Carvery why not make a booking, as they are excellent, and only £14.95 less your membership card discount.

St Patrick's Day is on Saturday 17th March; on behalf of the Links we will be offering all our members a FREE Half Pint of Guinness; Caroline will be cooking a superb traditional Irish lunch offering with dessert at discounted prices:

Main: Homemade Irish Coddle with Artisan Bread - £8.00 Dessert: Homemade Chocolate Guinness Cake - £2.00

Please note that we offer breakfasts every Sunday up until 11am, then during the busy last hour before the Carvery starts at 12pm, we stop cooking Full Breakfasts but still offer Bacon/Sausage/Egg Baps etc.

Kindest regards,

Will and the team Lady Captain's Drive – In Dinner at No.19



The 18th Hole...Coming Soon!

It feels good to be back outside again! For 4 days last week, in the wake of our 3rd severe storm of the winter, even the greenkeepers were unable to get out. Fortunately, with weather forecasts becoming more and more accurate we were able to pre-empt the impact of Storm Emma. The micro-climates at golf courses can of course have a massive impact on turf conditions. With the sea being ever-present around the golf links salt spray presents one of our biggest challenges through the winter months.

Action taken – notice the dark green colour on greens – what causes this? Shortly before the arrival of storm Emma all greens received a strong dosage of iron to help toughen up the sward. As this iron settles into the soil it has the effect of darkening the turf, hence the vibrant dark green colouring we see at present. In fact the combination of the strong, dry, easterly wind and severe cold have meant a complete colour change across the course, such is the beauty of nature!

The greens feel like they've come through the storm well, but to help them on we are applying a salt releasing agent this week which, in combination with rainfall due, should see a positive leaching effect of the excess sodium from green surfaces.

Rabbit Repairs We've taken the opportunity of the recent poor weather to get out and focus on repairing rabbit damage. We apologise for the impact on the appearance of the turf protection - basically despite holes being dug out and re-

07 turfed completely rabbits are able to find the scent back to where they previously scratched. We're experimenting with the idea of keeping these holes covered for what will be only a few weeks before the growing season kicks in. Our hope is that the rabbits will be put off by the protection and we'll see a successful reduction in the number of holes on the course.

A busy few weeks ahead

Rabbit Hole Repairs

Bunker Renovation short left of the 6th green We're making rapid progress in completion of the new revetted face which is much needed in this bunker. We feel that the bunker itself is well positioned which means an easier re-build process than some others which have been tackled, such as left of the 1st green and so weather permitting it should be complete by the end of next week.

Adjusting the position of the 15th fairway, re-marking all fairways on course, and verti-cutting of the rough With the winter period harvesting very little growth the definition across the course naturally begins to fade. Within the next couple of weeks, we'll be marking out the shape of fairways and semi-rough for the summer. This will include the agreed fairway shape adjustment on the 15th hole – a movement of approximately 10

Jack hard at work

yards further to the right in the area between the fairway opening and the 3 bunkers half way up.

As discussed as part of our course setup plan last autumn fairways in 2018 will be between 25 – 30 yards wide with between 10 – 12 yards of semi-rough either side where possible.

Just as growing season begins we also intend a further verti-cut and collect of all managed rough areas.

Scotch Broom planting to add character to the new 18th hole Following consultation with the experts at DEFA and the Manx Wildlife Trust we have decided on the planting of Scotch Broom to add character to areas surrounding the new 18th hole and practice putting green.

Our goal is to extend the pockets of greenery and yellow spring flowers that already exist, to further surround the new hole. Following the earth works that have taken place the nitrogen and ph levels in the soil on the new berms at




Photo 1 Berm to receive Scotch Broom Photo 2 Pre-existing gorse pockets past bell, the character of which we aim to extend Photo 3 An example of broom on another coastal Links the back of the 18th green, and along the length of the new fairway are deemed too high to allow gorse to thrive. Scotch Broom presents a suitable alternative with a similar character to gorse but a better ability to deal with the higher ph levels.

Weather permitting some 600 plants will be put down within the next 14 days. We've been advised that the best strategy is to plant large sections randomly and progressively over time some plants will thrive where as others will dwindle leaving a character of pockets of broom remaining.

Polite reminder to all members – Divot anchors and sand – It's very clear to see that in general golfers are not using divot anchors and sand on the golf course. Our location on Langness with the ever-present

The effects of divots

breeze almost ensures that divots simply replaced and stamped on will not

simply stamped down

remain fixed to the ground.

without a divot anchor

Divot anchors take a split second to push into replaced divots and will have a very positive effect on course condition for all. Whilst the course is wet bigger divots are a regular occurrence. In this case please place two anchors in each divot at the front and back sides. Thank you. Removal of mats from tees – All being well mats will be removed from tees for the 1st scheduled handicap qualifying event of the season on Saturday 31st March. Thank you to all members for your patience in helping to protect tees through the winter period. All tees will be aerated, over-seeded and top dressed as the soil temperature rises.

Mark Kitching




BEST SOCIAL MEDIA POST FOR MARCH Posted by Golf Isle of Man CGL Ladies favourites' Mike and Jack promise they are'nt trying to make this little beauty more challenging #golfisleofman #greenkeepers #bunkersparadise "A big congrats to Jack who has been selected to represent the island at northern region amateur Order of Merit events, the Wilpshire Trophy and Penwortham Rose Bowl!”

Join the fun and share your socila media photos with us!

Rated at Top 10 of the most spectacular courses in the British Isles



IOM Golf Fixtures 2018 March Thursday 22nd – IOM Golf AGM

April Sunday 22nd – NEDBANK/DANDARA OOM – KEB GC

May Sunday 6th - NEDBANK/DANDARA OOM – Peel GC Sunday 13th – Ladies Spring Meeting – Castletown GC Monday 14th – Men's Scratch League Sunday 20th – NEDBANK/DANDARA OOM – Mount Murray GC Monday 21st - Men's Scratch League

June Saturday 9th – Friday 15th – Peel Golf Week Monday 11th - Men's Scratch League Saturday 16th – Willie Kirkpatrick – Rowany GC Saturday 16th – Saturday 23rd – Mount Murray Golf Week Monday 18th - Men's Scratch League Sunday 24th – Saturday 30th – Douglas Golf Week Monday 25th - Men's Scratch League Friday 29th – Kay Fox – Peel GC Saturday 30th – Ramsey GC Town Cup

July Sunday 1st – Sunday 8th – Ramsey Golf Week Monday 2nd - Men's Scratch League Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th – Castletown Golf Week Sunday 8th – Junior Championships – Mount Murray GC Monday 9th - Men's Scratch League Saturday 14th – Sunday 22nd – IOM Golf Championships – Rowany GC Saturday 28th – Saturday 4th August – Rowany Golf Week


August Sunday 5th – NEDBANK/DANDARA OOM – Douglas GC Sunday 12th – IOM Golf Senior Championships – Castletown GC

September Friday 7th – 3 Legs Challenge – Mount Murray Saturday 8th – 3 Legs Challenge – Ramsey Sunday 9th – 3 Legs Challenge – Peel Sunday 16th – NEDBANK/DANDARA OOM – Ramsey GC Sunday 23rd – Ladies Autumn Meeting – Ramsey GC

VOLUNTEERING IN GOLF STARTS HERE! Volunteering in golf can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. There are lots of opportunities to get involved within our Club and Isle of Man Golf, the governing body for golf in the Isle of Man. Immediate positions available: CGC Castletown Golf Club Treasurer, please contact Robert Braide via e-mail if you are interested. Mixed social committee, please contact Andi Howland via e-mail if you are interested. IOMG IOMG are looking for three new Director nominations, please contact Roy Clague via e-mail if you are interested.

ANNUAL HANDICAP REVIEW CONTINUED “What do I need to know as a golfer?” (Important information every member should be aware of) We recommend that all members spend 5 minutes and just take a quick look at this excellent CONGU players guide….

“What are the upper handicap limits now?” From 1st January 2018, CONGU have now made provision for the upper limit of both Male and Female golfers upto 54 by introducing a Category 6 for Ladies and Categories 5 & 6 for Men. Before the changes, men and women who did not have the ability to play off either 28 or 36 respectively, could own a higher handicap but they would not be able to play off them in competitions. Therefore, all members with a handicap of 28.0 or 36.0 have been given extra consideration to ensure they are encouraged to continue entering competitions. “What happens if I can't play very often in Club Competitions?” In another amendment to the Unified Handicap System for this year was the relaxation of the rules to allow an unlimited number of Supplementary submissions per year and removal of the restriction of one per week for Categories 2-6. Category 1 golfers can only return supplementary cards between September 1 and December 31 if they haven't met the required amount of qualifying rounds. “How about if I also play competitive golf elsewhere?” Those members who also play at other golf courses throughout the year should be mindful of their responsibilities with respect to returning scores achieved elsewhere as this can assist us with maintaining their handicap as accurately as possible. If we are unaware of away scores we cannot bear these in mind in relation to future Handicap Reviews. “Did you know you do not have to NR if you blob a hole in a Medal competition?” Whilst your score will not count for that specific Medal competition, it is important to remember to record your scores on all the holes you did complete as this does not automatically mean your handicap will increase 0.1 providing you are still within your buffer zone.

thank you


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