Grass Clippings

2020 is sinking away with each rotation of the planet. We travel, on this vehicle we call earth, at an average orbital speed of about 30 kilometres per second. In other units, that’s about 19 miles per second. The earth’s spin, of course, is not the only motion we have in space. Our orbital speed around the sun is about 67,000 mph (107,000 km/h), according to Cornell University. Yet we feel like we are standing still? This year many of us have at some time felt like we have been in a stationary orbit, in a domestic lockdown.

Yet at the Club nature has continued to obey the seasons, trees bloom and unfurl into leaf and in the autumn time we have had leaf fall. Of course, the grass has continued to grow as well, and nature prevails in all her beauty. I’ve witnessed wildlife take advantage of the enforced vacation of players from the course and grounds. Our resident badger colony has become more brazen at patrolling the estate before dusk and other animals have also ventured into the property, to explore the vacated areas.

In a year where there has been little rhyme to the calendar of events of the Club, the experience of managing a golf course without play, empty tennis courts and the list goes on, was a novelty at first but again not one you wish to repeat time and time again. A Club set in aspic, isn’t a Club without its Members and the personalities that make up the Roehampton Club.

There’s not a groundsman or greenkeeper in the country who doesn’t have an innate sense of pride in preparing surfaces for play and in our case the membership. On the plus side, I hope that we have all learned something from ourselves or from others during lock down. We may have all had ideas of reading more, learning a language or getting fitter and I hope that everyone has had some success in achieving these ideas. If not then then don’t be too disappointed, there is always the New Year’s resolution to peg some hopes upon or soon into the new year to break. Getting things into perspective is important to us all.

To many at the Club, the value of comradeship of fellow Members is so important. Social interaction is a big part of belonging that cannot be replaced by Zoom or Teams alone. Inside our boundaries the team which comprises the course and grounds unit, as well as other sections of the Club’s management systems have been a constant, in keeping the whole estate in readiness for the return of the membership. I can only heap praise on the team I lead for all the work that they have done over the last 12 months and the difficulties they have faced in keeping the course, courts, lawns and gardens in such good condition during all the trials and tribulations each season has created. Again, they have been the constant that has made all the difference and I truly hope that 2021 is a much better year for everyone and that we shall see more Members on site more of the time in the coming years.

From myself and the team of Course and Grounds, best wishes for the festive season and keep safe.
Peter Bradburn
Course and Grounds Manager