Middlesbrough Golf Club Brass Castle

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Members Notices

Posted Tuesday 26/09/17

Managing Committee Minutes of the Meeting held 18th September 2017 issued to Members in pdf format for downloading. Hard copy can be viewed in the file in the bar.

Posted Friday 25/08/17

In June a note was issued to members advising that signage had been placed at the range instructing users not to hit shots that could reach the 11th fairway unless they were certain that there were no players in the vicinity. A notice was also posted at the corner of the 11th

Since then, there have been several instances of balls reaching the 11th when players were on the fairway. This is attributed, for the most part at least, to problems of visibility.

The alternative approaches to addressing the range safety issue involve erecting fencing to protect players on the 8th and 11th holes, ensuring that range users do not hit balls when players are present, or adopting a combination of both approaches.

Erection of fencing cannot be guaranteed to prevent all balls reaching the fairways. Conversely, by giving range users good visibility of the 8th and 11th, and placing the onus on them to avoid hitting balls that could reach when players are present, the risk would be removed at source as long as rules were adhered to.

Following discussion at the July and August Managing Committee meetings, it was agreed that the following approach would be adopted:

• More of the lower branches will be removed from trees bordering the 11th to further improve direct visibility of the fairway from the range (complete).
• Cameras will be installed at the range (later this month) to monitor and record range activity. On-course cameras will then be added to enable range users to view the 8th and 11th fairways on a large monitor on the range wall. Arrangements will be made to check visibility of the screen display prior to its installation.
• New notices will be erected at the range to emphasise that it is the responsibility of the user to ensure players are not present on the 8th and 11th fairways before hitting balls that could conceivably reach these areas
• Notices will be erected at appropriate positions on the 8th and 11th holes requesting that players report any near miss to the Office Manager, identifying the time that the event occurred and the location.
• Video records of range activity will be used, as necessary, to investigate any incidents.
• Fencing will be erected, as necessary, if there are continuing problems with the above approach that cannot be addressed.

Following on from the latest Managing Committee meeting Mr C Rhodes, as the Club’s Health & Safety Advisor, has confirmed that the proposed approach, in general terms, is a satisfactory and proportionate response to the risks that have been identified. However, some further discussion involving him and those with operational responsibility for the range is required to finalise the approach. Mr Rhodes has also advised that the Club will be required to monitor the effectiveness of its actions on an ongoing basis.

As a separate action, in order to reduce the number of balls reaching the 11th, a 15m stretch of 3.5m high netting will be placed to the left of the trees bordering the 11th.

Until the above measures are in place, range users will be instructed not to hit balls that could possibly reach the 8th, and to take extra care to check that players are not visible prior to hitting a shot that could possibly reach the 11th. Members will be asked to report any near miss to the Office Manager and appropriate action will be taken. This may involve restricting all range users to playing clubs that cannot reach the 11th until the camera system has been commissioned.

Bryan Sloper
Club Chairman

Posted Friday 04/08/2017

The turfed surrounds to the paths are now established and are in play.

Local Rule – Ground Under Repair; Play Prohibited

The artificial turf paths are ground under repair from which play is prohibited. If a player’s ball lies in this area, or if this area interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing, the player must take relief under Rule 25-1.

See notice boards for further details.

Posted Thursday 18/05/2017
MEMBERS NIGHT – Wednesday 27th March
The following topics were presented to members

For a list of each topic presented select the link below:
Handicaps – MGC Handicaps.pdf
Rules – Rules.pdf
Course Update – MCG Course MAR 2017 Final.pdf
Clubhouse & Entertainment – MGC – Clubhouse 29 March 2017.pdf
Pro Shop – MGC Professional.pdf

Posted Thursday 27/04/2017

Use of the Driving Range is running at 180-200 baskets/week plus the coaching activity of our Professional staff and I am pleased to say that member reaction has, in general, been extremely positive.

Some work on drainage is continuing and the area to the front of the range has now been seeded. There has been some further landscaping work between the car parking area and the range.

Work on the toilet block modifications is now at an advanced stage and will be complete in 2-3 weeks, depending on plumber availability.

Now that the range has been open for several weeks, we have taken the opportunity to review its use and consider what might be done to address a few operational issues.

On a couple of occasions the dispenser has run out of balls. We will, therefore, be taking several actions to minimize the risk that this is a recurring issue. Specifically, we will:
• Buy additional balls so that we can run with a larger buffer stock. The ball cleaning and storage system has ample spare capacity.
• Install low level restraining netting at the far end of the range and to the left of the range, in front of the ditch, to restrict the number of balls that run into areas where they are difficult to recover.
• Ensure that there is a mechanical ball collection every day. As the timing of this will vary from day to day, the time of each day’s collection will be posted in advance on the Club’s diary system. In the longer run, it is intended that a collection vehicle with caged protection for the operator will be used, thus obviating the need for any disruption to use of the range.
• Recover, on a weekly basis, balls that have been hit beyond the areas that are readily accessible.
Note that the netting at the far end of the range may also reduce the number of instances of balls reaching the 8th fairway, but this will be reviewed.

Monitoring of balls going onto the 11th fairway is continuing and erection of high fencing along the out of bounds line between the range and the 11th hole is currently being assessed and costed. In the meantime, range users are reminded that it is imperative that they do not hit shots that might reach the 11th fairway or rough if there are players in that vicinity. As at all times and all parts of the course players should shout a traditional warning “fore” if there is any danger of hitting someone, seen or unseen.

The Professional and his staff are committed to ensuring the range is kept clean but please would members using the facility make every effort to use the waste bin provided.

As the individual bays are marginally narrower than some driving ranges, a number of the mats have been moved off-centre and back to avoid the risk of dividers being hit on follow-through. One bay was adjusted for left hand use but mats in this and the “right hand” bays can be adjusted by two persons if required. Any particular difficulties should be discussed with the professional or his staff.

There is some concern that balls mis-hit by right handers from the bay nearest the entrance could strike the column and rebound to hit the player. Additional protection will be installed in the near future to reduce the risk of such an event.

Nick Brown
Managing Committee

Posted Thursday 23/03/2017
Health & Safety on the Course

Following the issue of the Club’s Course Health & Safety assessment in July, some safety signs around the course have been removed, some changed and some added in line with agreed recommendations.

At its March meeting, the Managing Committee decided to re-issue the assessment and associated documentation in an effort to ensure members are fully briefed.

Copies have also been posted on Clubhouse notice boards and hard copies can be obtained from the Office on request.

Karen Smith
Office Manager/Secretary
23 March 2017

A copy can be downloaded here; MGC – Course Safety Letter to Members 20 July 2016.pdf

Posted Wednesday 22/03/2017
Notice to Members Regarding unaccompanied Juniors

The Licensing Authority encourages applicants and premises licence holders to regularly review their procedures and processes in relation to protecting children from harm.

The Act makes it an offence for any junior ( under the age of 16) who is not accompanied (supervised) by an adult to be present at any time on pub premises or other premises being used primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on those premises.

With this in mind, the Management Committee are seeking advice and clarification from the relevant authorities regarding unsupervised use by juniors of the various Clubhouse rooms.

We hope to resolve the position quickly but, in the meantime, unaccompanied (unsupervised) junior members (under 16) will be required to use the lounge for refreshments and food. Staff will be asked to take orders when the juniors are seated, meals and drinks will then be delivered to the table.

Apologies for any inconvenience to our junior members during this period.

Sheelagh Whittaker

Posted Monday 13/03/2017

Further to my recent update I can now advise members that we have reached a stage of completion where the range will be available for use from Saturday 18th March 2017. Although we have carried out extensive mole drainage, along with excavation of a new drainage ditch along the left side of the range, it is still drying out and mechanised ball collection may be difficult. However, we do expect conditions to improve over the next few weeks.
Gordon Cattrell, our professional, has some state of the art technology on offer in the coaching area and I am sure this will be of real benefit to golfers of all abilities. Lessons should be booked with Gordon and his team.
A lot of effort has been expended by those involved in planning and developing the range, and it is intended that the facility should be used and enjoyed by members for many years to come. We would appreciate your help in trying to keep it in first class condition and as clean and tidy as possible, so please report any incidents of abuse or misuse.
Please note that members will be permitted to bring along guests to use the facility but will be responsible for purchasing their tokens and for their conduct. There will be no general access to the public but, from time to time, the Professional and his team will be arranging for the supervised use of the facility by organised groups such as schools and colleges. These events will be identified in the Club’s online diary. Note also that visiting parties and visitors paying golf green fees will be permitted to purchase tokens for practice prior to playing.
Some ancillary work is ongoing, including completion of work on the disabled toilet, and this will be completed prior to a formal opening. At that time we will properly express our thanks to all those who have committed their time and effort in bringing the project to fruition but, for now, I would just like to thank all those that have given their support in all manner of ways to get us where we are today.
From 18th March members will be able to use (and recover) their own balls on the practice area adjacent to the third hole. Users of this facility must continue to follow existing instructions regarding use of this area (viz play only from designated areas using no more than a 7 iron). Note, however, that during the summer months, it is intended to mark out a grassed teeing area close to the permanent tees that can also be used for practice.

Hebron Oxley
13 March 2017


This note provides members with guidance on use of the range. It covers access, arrangements for purchasing and using cards and tokens for ball dispensing, and safety instructions.
1. The facility can be reached via the greenkeeper’s access road. Please observe safety notices and use passing place.
2. There is car parking at the range for around a dozen vehicles. Please use the spaces provided and do not block access to the greenkeepers’ area.
3. The access path to the range and the walkway inside the range building must be kept clear at all times.
4. Use of the five bays is on a first come, first served basis. If there is a queue for a free bay, then players should limit use to a single basket of balls. The two secure bays at the far end of the range are reserved for use under the Professional’s supervision, and are only available for lessons and coaching.
5. Only persons who are practicing are allowed inside the bays.
6. Players who are waiting to use a bay, or observing those practicing, must remain behind the red segregation line.
7. Players must not step forward beyond the front edge of the bay.
8. Under no circumstances must any player access the driving range from the front.
9. If there are golfers to the left of the 11th fairway and players using the range consider there to be any risk that a ball will reach them, then they should delay playing until the 11th is clear. We will be assessing the need for netting to prevent balls straying out of the range area.
10. Any accident or near miss should be reported to the Office Manager.
11. For safety and security reasons, the driving range will be monitored using CCTV.
1. Only balls purchased at the range may be used
2. Balls can be obtained using either cards or tokens – NO CASH PURCHASE FACILITY IS AVAILABLE
3. Tokens and cards can be purchased from the professional, and tokens can be purchased from the bar
4. Each token will cost £1 and will discharge 30 balls from the dispenser. The token should be inserted into the token slot after placing a basket underneath the dispenser, and balls will be discharged automatically without further action needed
5. Pre-loaded cards will cost £10 and have 10 credits, each of which will discharge 30 balls. The pre-loaded card must be inserted into the card slot after placing a basket underneath the dispenser, and £1 worth of balls will be discharged automatically. The card needs to be withdrawn and re-inserted for each credit used. When a card’s credits has been fully discharged it will no longer operate and a new card will need to be purchased

Any operational problems should be reported to the Pro Shop
Nick Brown
13 March 2017

Posted Tuesday 14/02/2017

Members playing with guests outside of Pro Shop opening hours are reminded that they must complete a form and post it through the office door prior to play to show that they are on the course. (Forms are located on the wall to the right of the office door). The green fee must be paid on finishing the round or the following day depending on time of play.

Posted Thurs 15/12/2016

Currently, to establish whether the course is open or closed, or there are restrictions on use, members must either access the Greenkeepers’ telephone answer message (01642 300889), contact the Pro Shop or check the Club’s website diary.

Accessing information can be difficult early in the morning when the Shop is not open, the website has not been updated and a large number of members are trying to access the answerphone message.

In an effort to give members an improved service, the Club is to set up on a trial basis a Course Status system that is based on a free mobile phone application called WhatsApp.

On days when there is any doubt as to whether the course will be open or closed, Greenkeeping staff will post a message on WhatsApp at the same time as the answerphone message is set. All members who have registered their mobile phone number will be sent the Greenkeepers’ WhatsApp messages.

To register, members should first download the WhatsApp application (App) to their mobile phone. They should then send the following text to the number 07902 417229, adding their name at the end of the sentence.
“I agree to abide by the conditions of the WhatsApp Course Status trial – “
The conditions referred to above are as follows:
• The member accepts his/her mobile phone number will be stored on the Club’s mobile phone memory
• The member agrees only to receive WhatsApp Course Status group notifications and will not, under any circumstances, send any message to the group. Any member posting a message to the group will be removed from the list forthwith.

As texts to register are received members will be added to the group. Note that this is a time-consuming task, which will be completed by volunteers, so your patience will be appreciated.

In parallel with the above trial, it is planned to add Course Status information to the HowDidIDo app.

Peter Douglas
Gents Handicap Secretary

Posted Mon 17/10/2016

The company supplying the software that we use to manage the affairs of the club including competitions and handicaps, are also responsible for the HowDidIDo web site. This site provides information about many of our competitions, handicaps and other information.
It is now available as an app for your smartphone, which can be downloaded from whichever store you use for apps.
It can be useful for checks on handicaps or forthcoming competitions, as well as results of previous competitions.
Worth a look at.

Peter Douglas – Handicap Secretary

Posted Thur 16/06/2016

Members are reminded that when entering a competition the card taken out must be returned to the box in the bar. Failure to do so will in future result in disqualification. Thank you for your cooperation.

M. Davidge.
Captain 2016.

Posted Thurs 26/05/2016

ALL members MUST display their bag tags in a prominent position whenever they are playing the course.

Members who have not collected their tag must do so as soon as possible from the Pro Shop.

Posted Mon 17/11/2015

The Managing Committee has decided to formalise Terms & Conditions for the booking and use of Clubhouse facilities and to make some minor changes to the existing Terms & Conditions for Visiting Parties and casual visitors.


For future Clubhouse bookings, the organiser will be required to sign up to the attached Terms & Conditions in advance of a booking being confirmed. A deposit will also be required in some instances, details of which are set out in the Terms & Conditions.

Enquiries and event bookings will continue to be handled by the Office Manager/Secretary and the Food & Beverage Manager.

Details of future bookings can be viewed on the Club’s electronic diary.

Members are advised that, if there are any problems during events, they should be reported to the senior member of staff on duty at the time. If necessary, he or she will seek input and advice from any member of the Managing Committee who is present or contactable.

Visiting Parties & Casual Visitors

The attached Terms & Conditions will be issued to all future Visiting Parties.

If members identify any problems with Visiting Parties or visitors, they should be reported to the Club professional or his staff who will take action as necessary.

Mark Braithwaite
21 October 2015