Theydon Bois Golf Club

Introduction to new members


We are pleased that you have chosen Theydon Bois Golf Club and hope that this information will serve you well, introducing you to the various sections, traditions and rules. 

As a club which celebrated its Centenary in 1997, we have many traditions and established practices, having said this, the Club has always evolved and moved with the times. We are aware that it takes time for new members to settle in, we hope this helps, enabling you to play a full and enjoyable part in the day to day events, competitions and general activities that are available to you as a member.

For over one hundred years we have been a club run by the members, for the members, and we hope that from these pages you will learn some of the rules, procedures and traditions that have evolved over those years. 

Each year every member receives a copy of the club diary which details all club matches, competitions and social events planned during the year.

Information & communication

Web-site: www.theydongolf.co.uk

In addition to the visitor pages, you will also be able to access the member’s pages using your email as your user name and your own password. The Club Manager can assist in setting this up for you. The web-site also contains information on golf and social activities, full details of the year’s competition programme and the criteria and format for entry into each competition.

Notice Boards: there are several boards in the hallway and changing rooms and are always worth a glance in order to keep up-to-date with any news.
There is a pigeon-hole at the foot of the changing room stairway for internal post, so do check as you pass.
Whilst a suggestion book is kept on the bar enabling all members to communicate their issues to the Board (this is always read at the meetings generally held on the second Monday of each month) the Board members are always approachable should you have any problems.

Board & Committees

Members of the Board are elected by the members and serve for a minimum 3 years. A Chairman is elected from and by the Board at the first meeting following the AGM.

Various committees are formed from member volunteers (As a new member, do not hide your light under a bushel. You are encouraged to play an active part in your club) each being chaired by a Board member and makes recommendations to the Board for approval as and when necessary:

Course: making decisions and overseeing the running of matters relating to the course 

House: The bar, catering and general maintenance of the

Clubhouse and surrounds come under the control of this committee

Finance: This committee sets and maintains the budget for the year

Membership & Marketing: responsible for marketing all aspects of the club and its facilities to potential new members and visitors.

Competitions and Handicaps: setting and running the competition programmes and ensuring that member’s handicaps are appropriate to their ability.

Dress Code

Although some relaxing of the code has taken place over the years, the general attitude of our members seem to indicate that dressing in a smart but casual manner both in the clubhouse and on the course does help to preserve the friendly club atmosphere. 

We have excellent changing facilities which we expect all members and visitors to use although it is now permitted to change your shoes in the car park. 

Lockers are available to members on an annual rental and visitors can also hire a locker on a daily basis.

We do have a trolley store but unfortunately a waiting list exists at the moment as space is limited. The Office Manager, will happily put you on the list should you wish.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones can be used in silent mode in the clubhouse: we only ask that you use your phone with discretion, respecting others using the clubroom. Their use on the course, except in an extreme emergency, is not allowed. We do however think it a good idea to have your phone with you on the course for any emergencies with the club numbers on your phone for easy use. Wifi is in use through the clubhouse to enable use of email etc. by phone or tablet.

The Captain

Each year new Captain’s for both the men & Ladies are selected and their appointments confirmed by a show of hands at the AGM. Both Captains are given Director status for the period of their captaincy.

A Club Captain is selected by the Board at their first meeting following the AGM.

The General AGM is usually held on the first Friday in December. 

Whilst our ladies and men have equal rights and are very much integrated, the ladies have an additional committee and an AGM (first Thursday in December) enabling them to organise their own competitions, fund-raising and open events etc. 

The duties of the Club Captain are very much involved in the day to day running of the club taking the lead in social events, interclub matches and competitions.

Traditionally, the Men’s Captain is available on Saturday and Sunday mornings before 8.00a.m., for the men’s section, to fix members and particularly to ensure that new members get a game and are introduced and quickly received into the Club. Fixing by the Men’s Captain does not take place on competition days.

At lunchtime on Saturdays the Men’s Captain rings his bell in the lounge, makes any announcements necessary and carries out prize-giving etc. This is followed by the draw for the weekly ball sweep, and the draws for the 200 club which are organised by the Club Professional (see web-site for details.)

Social Events

All categories of members and their guests are welcome to join the many social events (dinner dances, quizzes, band nights, etc.) held during the year. The events are usually well advertised in the club house, via email and by the various means previously mentioned. 

Social events are listed on the club website. Your support for such events would be very much appreciated.

As a member, you will be issued with a card which apart from being a ‘swipe’ card for entry into the clubhouse, also can be used at the bar to obtain the 15% member discount. The card can be ‘topped’ up either with cash or the use of a debit card.

For a small sum, you can also purchase a fob which can be used for clubhouse entry (can easily be attached to car keys) 

Etiquette

The Rules of Golf, section 1, lays down general guidelines covering safety, pace of play, care of the course etc. Everyone playing the game should be familiarised with what it says. There are however a few additional points relating to Theydon.

The Captains should be offered priority on the first tee, unless starting times are in operation.
Practicing on the course is not allowed. We have 2 excellent fields, a putting green and practice nets for this purpose.
Please always use tee pegs when driving. Please collect any broken tees and place in the bins provided.
Sand boxes are located by each tee for repairing divots. (Please note that divots taken on the tee should not be replaced.) 
Please ensure that pitch marks on the greens are repaired immediately, as it is a proven fact that if repaired within 5 minutes they will recover within 24 hours, if left overnight and then repaired they will take several weeks to recover.
Always replace your divots on the fairways
Keep trollies off the greens and tees and where applicable follow the routes advised by the signs.     

Slow play is the scourge of modern golf. By following a few good habits it is not difficult to play Theydon in three hours or so in a 4 ball. By using common sense and following the R & A guidelines this should not be too difficult.

Safety on the Course

Accidents do happen. To keep to a minimum special care should be taken when using the wooden steps on some of the tees and when crossing the many bridges, especially when wet.

Always be very careful when playing out of the trees. Golf balls can rebound in any direction. 

Always give a loud warning shout of 'FORE' if your ball is inadvertently travelling towards other golfers or walkers.

Take great care when crossing to the 15th hole as traffic doesn’t always slow down to accommodate golfers. 

Finally please give our green staff all the space they need.

Playing Times

As a seven-day member the course is available for play at any time except when tee reservations are in operation. 

Thursday mornings are traditionally set aside for the Ladies competitions but there are also some weekend competitions for ladies throughout the year to allow for those working weekdays to compete. 

Men’s competitions are predominately held at the weekend, mostly on Sundays, and in the main have starting times. (See later). 

Again, we will mention that full details of competitions for both men and ladies, showing the criteria for entry etc., can be found on the web-site and are listed in the diary.

The tees are often also reserved for Club matches, societies, mixed events etc. A notice board is located by the putting green and this displays all reservations for the week ahead (also available on the web-site).

There is also a monthly diary on the notice board in the lobby. If in doubt a phone call to the Professional shop or Manager will clarify. 

You can also consult the website.

Members' Guests

Visitors and guests paying green fees are welcome at all times. It is recommended if intending to bring a guest to play the course that you check with the Club Professional for tee time availability. This applies particularly at weekends. The Professional will always endeavour to fit you in.

It should be remembered that no more than three guests can be signed in at the reduced rate at any one time and no individual can be invited more than ten times in a twelve month period. There are no restrictions when paying the full green fee.

Christmas and New Year

This period is generally kept free from tee restrictions and members and guests can play at any time. On Boxing Day a nine-hole Greensome competition is held to which guests are invited (free) and is followed by the Professional’s annual draw.

On New Year’s Day there is a Two Clubs and Putter competition open to all members.

The Christmas social events are very popular and it is recommended that you book early.

Handicaps

To obtain a handicap certificate, play three rounds of golf with another member (it doesn't have to be the same member) who will complete and sign your scorecards. Submit your signed scorecards to the club pro, in due course your cards will be submitted to the handicap committee. You will then be given a handicap and a lifetime Central Database Handicap (CDH) number which is for life, which will allow you to enter competitions. Enter a minimum of three competitions a year (hopefully a lot more) to keep your handicap "Active".

If you wish to play at other clubs, they may require to look at your handicap certificate, you are able to print off your certificate using the club website.

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You will be able to consult the interactive website to see how you and everyone else played.

Competitions

At Theydon we hold a wide and varied number of competitions, more than enough to cater for all tastes. These include qualifying medals and stableford, bogey, foursomes and greensomes together with mixed and various team events. Some are run over more than one day. There are also match play knock outs in different categories

A notice titled “Condition of Competitions” is posted on the board in the changing room and all members should familiarise themselves with its contents.

The salient points for the men are that all singles competitions must be played in 3 balls (2 balls if a third is unavailable) and that all competitions must start at the 1st or 10th tee. In match play starting at the 10th is by agreement.

For men the starting time sheets when applicable are posted either on the notice boards or in the pro shop usually three weeks to the day before the event.

Make sure that on the day you:-

(Men) Sign the book in the pro shop and have paid the required entrance fee.
Check your card at the end of the round ensuring that both you and your marker have signed it.
Your playing handicap is on the card.
Enter your score in the computer terminal: touchscreen Personal Score Input (PSI) located in the hall.
Put the card in the “competition” box. Note that it is a rule of golf to return cards even with a “no return”. NB: Once you have signed up for any qualifying competitions your score will count for handicap purposes. This also applies if you give a ‘nil return’ or fail to put in a card. By failing to put in a card it does make the Competition Secretary’s job more difficult than need be.  
For ladies, most of the above also applies. However the signing up sheets, are, of course in the ladies changing rooms together with the signing in sheets on the day of the competition. Traditionally all knockout competitions for the ladies are played off of the 1st tee.

Match Play

The Club run numerous knock out competitions. The closing date for entering is usually the first Monday in March, and as soon as the draws have been completed these are displayed on the various notice boards. The closing dates for each round have to be strictly adhered to as no extensions are allowed. As many finals as possible are played on Finals Day (end of September / beginning of October).

Mixed Competitions

Various mixed events are held throughout the year and are very well supported, including Bank Holidays and some Tuesday evenings during the summer. Most are followed by a meal which is part of the event. The entry sheets are displayed on the notice board in the entrance lobby. Partners can be found if required.

Wednesday Club

All members over the age of 55 (veterans!) are welcome to join this section of the Club. Although there are no official booked tee-times, traditionally it is held weekly on a Wednesday morning and surprisingly early seeing as most are retired.

It has its own handicapping system which will be explained, but it does allow for all participants to win prizes (golf balls) regularly.

One Wednesday a month between April and October the Club proper has a midweek stableford which of course is open to all members who can play at any time during the day.

The Vets also hold many inter club matches both home and away throughout the summer months.

Informal Clubs

It has to be mentioned that, as in many clubs, there are several groups within the club that meet for social golf.

None of these have official, booked, tee-times but do meet on a regular weekly basis and are open to all members.

The ladies for example meet on a Tuesday morning with a 9 hole turn up and play comp. (This is a good place for newcomers to the game to start to learn the course and begin to get to grips with the rules)

Other groups, mainly men include the ‘Mushrooms’ ,‘The Car Park Club’, the ‘Greensiders’, ‘G.O.A.T.S’ and the Theydon Boyzs. Just ask around if you fancy joining them. 

On a Saturday, a couple of groups of ladies tend to play once the men have all teed-off (usually mid-morning) and before visitors are allowed onto the course. 

The Baron

The Baron, for all members, is held on Thursday evening between April and September. This is a fun competition followed by an optional meal to which partners and friends are more than welcome.

It is played as a singles stableford over the first 11 holes and members can go out at any time after about 4 pm. Just turn up, you will invariably get a game. In this event play in four balls is currently permissible. 

The prizes are handed out at about 8.45pm, depending on daylight, and the winner receives a joint of beef. (Hence the title.)

On about four Thursdays each year when the Ladies have an all day event the Baron is moved to a Wednesday (see diary). We also have fun competitions including a “Chicken & Rabbit” and “Guest” evening and Cross Country. 

Playing the Course

As with most clubs there are ‘local rules’ applicable to our course and these can be found on the reverse of the scorecard. Additionally, from time to time you may see instructions regarding the conditions and playing of the course on the noticeboard. It is always wise to check the board before stepping onto the course.

General Guidelines

All benches, signposts, huts and wooden benches on the course are immovable obstructions. Relief is under rule 24-2b(i).

All plastic hole covers on the greens are also immovable obstructions and if you are on the green and one is on the line of your putt or interferes with your stance relief may be taken under rule 24-2b(iii).

Relief is not allowed from tractor ruts unless marked as G.U.R. (ground under relief areas are marked with a white line)

All artificially surfaced paths are obstructions and relief may be taken under rule 24-2b(i).

All ditches that are not boundary ditches are water hazards whether or not they are marked with stakes. (Exception Hole 14).

All bridges are integral parts of the course and the ball must be played as it lies, however you may ground your club at address.

For a ‘Hole by hole guide’ you may wish to purchase a course guide from the pro-shop (only a few pounds and always handy even for the most experienced player).

Full details of the course and its play are also available on the web-site.

Practice ground.

The practice ground is in two parts. Players should hit their practice shots uphill only.

Members should be aware that the public may stray onto the practice ground from the nearby right of way.

The Club Professional has prior right to use the driving bay for teaching purposes.

A free copy of the Rules of Golf can be obtained from the Manager’s Office.

Please remember that all of us were once new to the game and club. No one here was born with a golf club in their hands! The club golfing experience is one to be savoured, bringing with it new skills, new friends and many experiences playing this game which we all love or hate in equal measures depending on the state of our golf at the time.

We are privileged to enjoy this “Jewel in the Heart of Epping Forest” which we lease from the Corporation of London. Members have nurtured and cared for it for the past century.

We are pleased that you have joined our friendly club, becoming part of that great tradition and helping to preserve it for the future.









   













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