3 Andy on course for US

Bath Golf Club Course manager Andy Boyce has been selected to attend the American Golf Course Superintendents Education Conference, to be held in New Orleans in February.

It is a major accolade for both Boyce - who is one of just 10 British greenkeepers chosen for the trip - and Bath Golf Club.

The golf course, known as Sham Castle, has a reputation for being one of the best prepared and most enjoyable to play in the area. This year has been no exception, with visitors and members high in their praise of the playing conditions.

The benefits of the well-drained course were clear to see during the wet conditions in autumn and early winter, with the fairways remaining in superb condition with no mud and very few pools of water. The main greens have also been fast and true, with temporary greens rarely used.

Boyce - who maintains the course with his team of able and dedicated greenkeepers - has now been rewarded by the US selection, which comes after he got through a process of interviews with The British Golf Greenkeepers Association and Bernhard and Co, the main sponsors of the trip.

The week will involve not just the visit to the show and conference but also field trips to several golf complexes and a Golf Course Research Institute.

Boyce, who has been at Bath Golf Club for 12 years, hopes the knowledge and experience gained will be of great benefit back home.

"Although the climate and make-up of the courses tend to differ from British courses, there is a lot to be learnt from American superintendents as the investment into research and development is far greater," he said.

"One of our aims at Bath is to produce a golf course of a good standard all through the year. This puts big demands on a course which is over 125 years old and one which would have been designed with summer golf in mind.

"We have seen a huge improvement in the drainage capabilities in the greens in the last few years and are fortunate that the rest of the course, lying over limestone, drains incredibly well, meaning we rarely have to close due to waterlogging and are able to keep trolleys in use on the course at times when other clubs are closed or having to instigate trolley bans."

Bath Golf Club has recently opened up its doors for other golfers to enjoy the great conditions at Sham Castle by inviting them for a winter fourball special which comprises 18 holes of golf for four golfers followed by ham, egg and chips all for the princely cost of £80 in total.

Of even more importance is the one-off Gateway To Golf package, where golfers aged 33 and over can join Bath Golf Club for just £150. It is £120 for those aged 26-32 and £100 for golfers aged 18-26.

Those who take advantage of the offer will have free golf until March 31, 2009. All they need to do then is pay the annual sub on April 1, 2009 with no further entry fee.

For more information, contact club administrator Debbie Cole on 01225 463834 or e-mail debbiecole@ bathgolfclub.org.uk.

RESULTS

Shotgun Texas Scramble - Saturday, December 20: 1 G Marr, M Derrick, D Morgan, M Daniels, 58.8; 2 S Calvert-Jones, A Craig, D Green, J Trenchard, 60.1; 3 R Nunn, P Rees, P Glanville, R Young, 60.4; 4 R Briggs, M Nott, P Rivington, 60.6; 5 A Akers, R Preston, A Lowe, G Phillips, 62.7; 6 P Scilly, A Smith, R Newman, G Sant, 62.8; 7 P Owen, A Lapham, P Binns, A Jones, 63.2; 8 S Palmer, P Carter, T Iredale, A Jenner, 63.3. Prizes not collected will be behind the bar.

Source: Bath.co.uk

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