Management Newsletter

14th June 2024

Dear All

The season is now in full swing, a fact that is unmistakably confirmed as I glance out of the window. The sunshine has given way to a downpour, underscoring the dynamic nature of this time of year.

Feedback from both members and visitors has been overwhelmingly positive, with reports highlighting the course’s “excellent condition,” “continuous improvement,” and that “the greens have returned to their optimal state.” Whilst these comments are gratifying, we remain committed to achieving complete satisfaction. Accordingly, we have scheduled a top dressing for the greens next week. Prior to this, the greens will be sorrel rolled and then brushed in, further enhancing the playing surface.

Additionally, the course has undergone another weed treatment. This should facilitate locating golf balls in the semi-rough or rough areas, improving the overall experience for our players.

We trust many of you have observed the newly installed ladies’ tee markers on the course. Rest assured, the men’s markers are next in the production schedule, followed by the white markers, and subsequently, junior posts will be introduced (these will be purple). The junior posts will be strategically placed on the fairways, with varying distances from the greens. This initiative aims to assist juniors in transitioning from the Par 3 course to the main course, ensuring the process remains enjoyable and engaging.

We are also pleased to announce the acquisition of an additional 6000 range balls and new baskets. In conjunction with this, the range will receive a partial facelift, including a new coat of paint. We anticipate that these improvements will enhance the range’s appeal and encourage increased usage.

We kindly request that all range users return the baskets to the designated area near the ball machine upon exiting. Please note that the range balls and baskets MUST NOT be removed from the range. Thank you for your cooperation.

Many thanks,

Best regards,
Richard Parnell.
General Manager

23rd April 2024

Dear Members

We hope this newsletter finds you in good health and eagerly anticipating the upcoming golf season. As Spring unfolds, we are excited to share with you the latest updates and improvements.

The course is in exceptional shape considering the amount of rain that we had in previous months and the short amount of time that we have had to work on it. Thanks to the dedication of our greenkeeping team and their meticulous care and attention, they have ensured that every fairway and green is primed for your enjoyment. Recent maintenance efforts, including Verti cutting and top dressing have enhanced the playability and aesthetics of the course, on average we have taken 12 boxes full of seed heads/thatch and lateral growth cuttings off every green with the practice green included. As you tee off this season, expect a more consistent roll and a heightened challenge that rewards accuracy and precision.

Step into our refreshed foyer and experience a new level of sophistication. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the committee and Head of Maintenance, the clubhouse now boasts a clean and professional look. Members and visitors alike have already remarked on the impressive transformation, and we are thrilled to offer you a space to be proud of.

We understand the importance of smooth pathways for a seamless golfing experience. We have managed to gain the use of a power rake, this is to rejuvenate our pathways, ensuring they are not only visually appealing but also practical for trolley and buggy use. Additionally, we are addressing drainage concerns caused by the record rainfall earlier this year. This work may cause temporary inconvenience but rest assured that it is all in the pursuit of maintaining a facility for all the members to enjoy, no matter what the weather brings.

We are also working on some new ‘off course’ ideas in and around the clubhouse.

As we embark on another exciting golf season, we remain committed to your satisfaction and enjoyment at Lakeside Lodge. ‘Stay tuned’ for more updates on events as we continue to elevate the golfing and social experience.

Many thanks,
Best regards,
Richard Parnell.
General Manager

20th March 2024

Affiliation Fees

Following some enquiries from members and their disputing the payment of affiliation fees, I have sought clarification of the rules from the Cambridge Area Golf Union.

Their response is below.

Best regards.
Managing Director.

Hi Ian,

To clarify the position.

Firstly, all members of a Club MUST pay an affiliation fee, the criteria is they have a right to play on a rated course. This has nothing to do with playing in competitions and maintaining a handicap. There were questions raised by the previous owners at Lakeside Lodge and they did have an inspection by England Golf.

The England Golf and the County affiliation fee is only paid once, so if a golfer of 2 Clubs within Cambridgeshire the affiliation fee should be paid by his nominated home Club. If the golfer is a member of 2 Clubs in 2 different Counties, then he should pay an County affiliation fees to both Counties.

I hope that the above clarifies your question and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

Kind regards,
Alan Todd
Director of Finance
Cambridge Area Golf Limited
T/A Cambridgeshire Area Golf Union

23rd February 2024

We are very unfortunate with the persistent difficulties that the rain and consequent flooding has given us, but it seems that the decision to delay the bunker work was indeed a prudent one. Preparing for the ‘New Season’ in such circumstances is proving quite a challenge, but the commitment to the course’s readiness is commendable with the green keepers working hard to get it all ready. 

On the course, there is the addition of coloured fish into the lake near the 9th and 18th greens. Please keep an eye out for them. This not only enhances the aesthetics but also provides golfers with an additional point of interest while navigating the course. It is these unique features that can make the golfing experience even more enjoyable, despite the weather challenges. Let’s hope for improved weather and warmer temperatures so we can all get out and enjoy the golf course.

Please remember that even though the golf course is wet underfoot, the clubhouse is fully open. Bowling is proving very popular again and we still have a number of theme nights coming up; USA night on the 1st March is next on the agenda. Mothering Sunday bookings are also being taken with 2 sittings, at 12 noon and 3pm with spaces still available. Sunday lunches are as popular as ever. Why not pop in for lunch or just a drink and a bite to eat.

Please phone the Club if you would like to book any of the special events or Sunday lunches.  

We again thank you for your understanding, co-operation and support and look forward to seeing again soon.

Best regards.

Richard Parnell.
General Manager.

16th February 2024

Now that we have January out of the way, and we are into the second week of February we can hopefully see some decent golfing weather on the horizon. I am aware that I am tempting fate by saying this but following an exceptionally wet January when a month’s rain fell in the first week, we can only hope that we have seen the worst of it. As members will have noticed that we doubled the size of the 9th/18th lake last year and even that is full to overflowing. The course has held up remarkably well considering the amount of water that it’s had to absorb and the buggy and trolly restrictions have kept damage to a minimum. We have not found it necessary to go onto temporary tees, unlike other courses. We thank everyone for their co-operation on this.

Members will have noticed the work that is being undertaken on the bunkers. This is ongoing and further improvements in the course, the greenkeeping equipment, etc., can be expected over the coming weeks, in time for the start of the new season. This is a further illustration of the investment that the owner is putting into the course, and we hope that it will be noticed by the members and their guests.

Animal damage is a further nuisance. Moles and badgers continue to damage the course and it is an ongoing and time-consuming process, carrying out repairs on a daily basis.

A further expense is that the regulations are continually changing regarding the fertilisers and pesticides that can be used on the course. More ecologically friendly agents are becoming compulsory and as usual, these are more expensive than the type that have been used over many years. Couple this with the Government’s policy of raising the minimum wage by more than inflation each year and it is obvious to everyone that these costs, which are beyond our control, make it increasingly difficult to balance the books.

Bearing these factors in mind we have looked at the membership fees for the upcoming year. We have tried to keep any rises within an acceptable margin and roughly in line with inflation, although with the increase in costs as previously mentioned this is becoming virtually impossible. Inflation in the U.K. is running around the 4% mark, and we have tried to stay as close as possible to this benchmark. We are also mindful of what other golf facilities in the area are charging and feel that we have remained comparable and competitive.

Additionally, listening to comments made by members, we are having our booking software amended to allow our valued 7-day Members to book up to 3 weeks in advance. 5-day Members, Limited Members and Junior Members (including Intermediates) will continue to be able to book up to 2 weeks in advance, but unfortunately, in an effort to free up more peak tee-times for the higher category members we have to restrict Clubhouse Members (formerly Associate Members) to only being able to book up to one week in advance. This will give the full 5 and 7-day golf members more opportunity to have first pick of the peak tee times. Also, as a further concession to members, after last year’s reduction in the price of buggies, we have maintained the same price for this year in appreciation of their loyalty, whilst increasing the price for visitors. The fee for buggy hire for members therefore remains unchanged at £20.

We hope that you are pleased with the progress that has been made and renew your membership for the upcoming year. We look forward to seeing you on the course, supporting the events that have been arranged and using the clubhouse. The more the clubhouse is used the less burden there is on membership and green fees.

We hope you have a good golfing season and enjoy the benefit of all the work and investment that has gone into the facility over the winter.

Best regards.

Ian G. Abdee.
Managing Director.

24th January 2024

It’s truly impressive how well the golf course has weathered the recent challenges of heavy rain and very cold weather. The positive feedback from golfers is a testament to the meticulous maintenance of the course.

With warmer weather on the horizon, the anticipation of new growth sets the stage for an exciting upcoming season of golf. The planned contractor work in February, focusing on adding new elements to a number of bunkers, is a promising enhancement that aims to complement the existing difficulty of the course. This thoughtful approach to course improvement reflects a commitment to providing golfers with a diverse and rewarding experience.

A crucial reminder regarding the upcoming bunker fill-ins: it’s essential for everyone gathering golf balls to avoid trudging across the new growth. Doing so could create additional work and result in uneven surfaces, particularly when the grass is cut short to enhance the golf hole. This consideration helps maintain the integrity of the course and ensures a smoother experience for all golfers.

On a lighter note, the theme nights add a social and enjoyable aspect to the golf club. The Tapas night on January 26th, with 90 bookings already, is expected to be a fantastic evening. It’s an excellent opportunity for members to come together, enjoy the festivities, and strengthen the sense of camaraderie around the complex.

Overall, the positive response from golfers is a testament to the effective management and care invested in the golf course, making it a resilient and enjoyable environment for enthusiasts despite adverse weather conditions. By actively listening to our members comments, we hope to demonstrate responsiveness and a genuine interest in ensuring that the golf course meets the standards and preferences of those who enjoy it most regularly.

Thank you for your continued support.

Best regards,

Richard Parnell.
General Manager

6th December 2023

The cold snap has arrived and has brought along a few showers! Also, we’ve had a few frosty mornings on the golf course but all will be well if you are wrapped up to stay warm.

The tees are holding up very nicely negating the necessity to go onto temporary tees this winter. We are hoping that this is the correct decision. The traffic and work marks on the course are being kept to a minimum. Once this batch of work has been complete we will cover and blend any heavy marks using the sand that was taken out of the bunkers that have now been filled in.

The attachment shows a picture of the 15th greenside bunker. This is a ½ fill in; we have another 6 bunkers to be partially filled with further sculpturing. This work is scheduled to take place in February by the same outside contractor. The fill in on the first was an especially large job. It is sloped perfectly well to encourage any wayward shots to slide off into the water hazard and the bank will be cut tight to help this, so anyone ‘having a go’ to get there in two will have to be aware of the consequences!

We also have 5 bunkers that will receive face lifts, this work will be carried out by our greenkeepers, these bunkers have signs of wear and tear, the bunkers are:- 2nd hole – greenside right, 6th hole – greenside right, 8th hole – greenside right, 10th hole – greenside right & 13th hole – greenside right.

Our party nights have been very popular: we are 95% full over the 6 evenings that have been advertised.

Please remember our Theme Nights, these have temporarily stopped for the Christmas period. Our next one is on Friday, 12th January and is a French Gastro night. We have our regular ones still to come: tapas, Italian, etc, so be sure to book and not miss out.

We thank you and look forward to your continued support throughout the winter months.

If any further information is required, please pop in, or stop me around the clubhouse and ask away.

Best regards,

Richard Parnell.
General Manager

20th November 2023

A lovely cozy hello from us. We hope you are all keeping wrapped up when venturing out on the course,

The weather hasn’t seemed to have spoilt any of the course. Our irrigation lake has returned to its fullest and served its purpose perfectly well throughout the season.

As most of you will be aware, the programmed work has begun on the course. Please be aware of the digger and the earth moving vehicles around the course (try your hardest not to aim at them when they are working!). We have placed piles of materials near the railway line that we will be looking to use whilst renovating/altering the course. A work schedule of 4 weeks has been planned; initially 2 weeks with a further fortnight in the New Year.

We have created a schedule of the order in which bunkers will be worked upon.  This takes into consideration the position of the bunkers and trying to keep as much traffic off the course where necessary. Not only are we having bunkers filled in but we have also organised face lifts for bunkers that have had damage or constant wear and tear over the years of play.

As requested by a few members and with all the work that we have had done on the greens, can we ALL please be aware of our own ’Pitchmarks’. If we repair our own and at least 2 others, this will make for better, more consistent greens. With this “can do” attitude we can eliminate the damage sooner rather than later.

Rule 16-1c Repair Of Hole Plugs, Ball Marks And Other Damage

The player may repair an old hole plug or damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball, whether or not the player’s ball lies on the putting green.

If the ball is moved in the process of such repair, it shall be replaced, without penalty. Any other damage to the putting green shall not be repaired if it might assist the player in their subsequent play of the hole.

A pitchmark only takes a few seconds to fix correctly, however a pitchmark repaired incorrectly takes over 3 weeks to heal. Correct repair will help protect the grass root system and benefit all members and visitors to the course.

Happy winter golfing  😊

1st November 2023

Good afternoon all,

The article (please see attachment) is regarding Lakeside Lodge. Both the Managing Director Ian Abdee and I attended the hearing, and we successfully defended the case. You will all be happy to hear that Lakeside Lodge was victorious.

With regards to our winter course work, we have a four-week programme scheduled; the first two weeks’ work will hopefully be starting within the next fortnight. With modern technology in both golf balls and golf clubs, it seems that the industry has advanced at a fast rate. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for some golf courses and the way that they have been designed/created. Taking technology into consideration, this means that some parts of the golf course have now become obsolete. Some bunkers are no longer in play as the catchment areas are further down the fairways, trees have increased in size and totally block out approach shots and for a very few golfers, holes have become too short. A hole that used to measure 350 yards is now a mere drive and ¾ wedge. Golf courses need to adapt and here at Lakeside Lodge we are well aware of this and are trying to keep abreast of the times. I have had numerous course walks and discussions regarding all of these points, and we will be looking to improve the course with reducing, filling in and relocating some of the bunkers. In time, we will also be looking to add new tee positions and water hazards, just to keep you all on your toes!

The course, as some of you may have seen, has now been solid tined and top dressed, this is currently being finished between the outbreaks of rain. We have also procured a granular feed which will be applied together with a further treatment of fungicide, to help in the damp/cold conditions throughout the coming winter.

If any further information is needed, please contact me or pop in and ‘ask away’.

Wrap up and enjoy your golf and course.

Don’t forget our upcoming theme nights, Friday 3rd Nov, Greek Night & Friday 17th Nov, Mexican Night. Please call us to book a table. 01487 740540

Best regards,
Richard Parnell.
General Manager

18th October 2023

Good Afternoon All,

I hope this email finds you all well and gearing up for the very fast approaching festive season, and of course our very popular Theme Nights. The Theme Night dates are advertised just outside the main entrance to the bar/restaurant. This year we have kept with the favourites but added a few ‘newbies’ We hope to see many of you here to enjoy the many different types of food on offer.  

Just a reminder of a date, Mon 30th October, the greens will be getting solid tined, top dressed and overseeded. We have an outside contractor carrying out this procedure, but all the work should be completed within 3 days.

We will be applying a granular feed onto the greens before the tining. This will be laid to put nutrients back into the greens. Being a granular feed, this will have a slow release and therefore be a longer lasting feed which should help the course through the coming cold winter months.

Solid tining
This is the most frequent aeration treatment carried out on golf greens in this country as it introduces air into the soil profile whilst causing minimal disruption to the playing surface.

Ten reasons for aeration
It allows air into the soil (turf grasses need oxygen for respiration).
To improve the drainage of the turf surface and underlying material. This improves the playing surface and helps avoid soil compaction (wet soils are more easily compacted).
To help in the control or reduction of thatch in the turf. The use of hollow tines is suited to this role as a plug of thatch is physically removed during the aeration process. But new deep scarification is now replacing this for that removal.
To alleviate soil compaction. Compaction reduces drainage, root growth and resistance to drought as well as creating a hard playing surface. It is caused by compression of the soil particles by the movement of players and machines across the turf surface.
To encourage root growth. If done at the correct time of the year the slicing of the turf roots stimulates the turf grass to produce new root material, increasing its mass and depth. The holes left by aeration also offer an easy route for the turf grass roots to progress downwards into the soil.
To increase oxygen levels in the soil, this in turn stimulates soil bacteria, which are vital to soil health. Bacteria in the soil break down fertilisers for plant growth as well as breaking down organic matter (thatch). It is also thought by many, that soil bacteria are beneficial in controlling some damaging fungi in the soil.
To aid the penetration of irrigation water. This is particularly important when compact dry soils occur on a sloped area where run-off of irrigation water is a problem. Sorrel aeration is best for this.
To reduce the occurrence of some fungal turf diseases such as fusarium which find it easy to spread from plant to plant in moist conditions.
To help in the process of rootzone improvement. After aeration, at the end of the season top dressings can be applied to the turf surface which can be then worked into the aeration holes to help improve drainage etc. Fertilisers and chemicals (such as wetting agents in granular form) can also be worked into the rootzone in the same way.
To help maintain all round soil and turf grass health thus reducing problems such as fungal diseases and certain weeds and moss which thrive in the presence of high moisture levels.

We have other work marked down on our winter programme. Once this is finalised I will add it into the next news Bulletin sent out so please keep an eye out for it.

Happy golfing and wrap up now that the weather seems to have turned.    

Best regards,
Richard Parnell.
General Manager

6th September 2023

I hope you are all managing to get out onto the course and enjoy the lovely hot spell that we are experiencing.

We still have ongoing irrigation niggles; the leak on the 2nd is bigger than was first thought. Once the hot spell has passed, we will look to tackle and deal with this.

The greens have started to react to the treatments that have recently been applied. One of the main issues that we are experiencing now is worm casts. We have a couple of options and will be trying these out over a period of time to see which one has the greater effect and the best time to apply them . A full application will be applied to all the greens but the treatment that was applied in the past to combat this problem has now been banned, so an alternate product needed to be sourced.

The number of ball washers are going to be reduced. They will be only on the 1st tee and then on even numbered holes. We have experienced a few problems with the washers, like brushes being stolen and ball plungers being taken out and either thrown , or the complete washer being removed. The main issues have been with the tees and greens adjacent to the railway line/public footpath, hence the decision to only have the ball washers on alternate tees.

Bunker renovation is ongoing. We still have a fair number to complete but we have a good stock of sand available to refill and top up the bunkers, as needed.  

The senior management try to play the course once a week and pass comments to the green-keeping staff, so we stay on top of what is required. We hope that you will appreciate that every effort is being made to maintain and improve the course, that you are noticing the difference and you enjoy your golf.

Have a good remainder of the summer.

Best regards,
Richard Parnell.
General Manager

Course update – 13th July 2023

The irrigation system has had a few niggles as follows:

We have unearthed the pipes behind the 1st green, this will need further investigation as the leak is further down the pipe.
2nd hole (just in front of the tee box) will be next on the agenda, following that the leak near the 8th green.
The hole behind the 18th green has been filled, the pipe has held, and no leaks have shown themselves. The pressure hasn’t decreased either which is great news.

When the irrigation system does require a fix the full system needs to be turned off.  We try our hardest to do this when we have a forecast of rain on the horizon. Otherwise, we run the risk of the greens having no water and depending on how severe the leak and the if parts need to be ordered, we could find ourselves leaving the course a considerable amount of time, without any water which is not ideal for any Golf course.

We are now up to 11 bunkers these have all been recently renovated, with new sand being added to the 1st bunker, we have now started working on the 3 bunkers on the 7th hole as our next challenge. Slowly and surely, we will work our way through them all. 

The greens have been sprayed for weeds already, it is now time for the fairways to be done! This will be happening over the next week, signs will be put up on the first tee and around the clubhouse, if any uncertainty arises over which dates this will be happening, please contact Pro shop.

14th June 2023

I hope you are enjoying the current good weather; rain is on the horizon to help clear the humidity. 

Here is a current update on the work taking place on the golf course.

The irrigation is currently in full swing both day & night with the temperatures that we are experiencing the priority is keeping the greens hydrated, this will limit the dry patches and keep the greens running as smooth as possible. Further work on the greens is booked in and will commence in the coming days.

The sprayer finally turned up, It will be put to good use very soon (the fairways will be sprayed for the daisies/weeds and the spraying plan will start for the greens)

The renovation/refurbishment of the bunkers is ongoing, (please see attachment) once the edging/clearing and the rotovating has been complete, new sand will be placed into the bunkers making them more consistent to play out of.  

Please ensure that you repair all your pitch marks and replace all your divots, this way we can all enjoy the greens and the course.

Thank you to all of you for your patience, understanding and willingness regarding the maintenance and upkeep of the golf course.

Best regards,
Richard Parnell.
General Manager