Backworth Golf Club

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The Agenda and Reports for the Golf Section's Annual General Meeting can be accessed by clicking HERE

Owing to lack of interest the Ladies' Section have decided to cancel the Ladies open that was due to take place on 20th May, 2015. It is intended to try again next year when it is hoped it will be better supported.

The Welfare Trustees, in liaison with the Golf Committee, are in the process of  introducing a policy relating to the use of Ride On Buggies. All members who use a buggy must complete the form attached to this document and abide to the conditions stated.

 Members are reminded that annual subscriptions are now due. Current fees are as follows

Adult Members£399 plus £25 golf levy
Adult Members over 65 yrs - 7day membership£379 plus £25 golf levy
Adult Members over 65 yrs - 5 day membership£359 plud £25 golf levy

Ladies' fees are as above with the following exceptions. Ladies golf fees are paid seperately to the Ladies section and reduced terms commence at 60 years rather than 65 years.

Members can choose an option to extend their payments over 4, 5 or 6 months. The rates (excluding golf levy) are as follows:

Full Membership4 payments£100.75
Full Membership 5 payments£80.80
Full Membership 6 payments£67.50
7 day Senior Membership4 payments£95.75
7 day Senior Membership 5 payments£76.80
7 day Senior Membership6 payments £64.17
5 day Senior Membership4 payments£90.75
5 day Senior Membership5 payments£72.80
5 day Senior Membership6 payments £60.83

Please note that the date for the Annual General meeting has been changed from the 20th to the 13th January. The Meeting will commence at 7:30pm and all members are welcome to attend.

 Members are reminded that Fairway Mats must be used from 28th October, 2014. Any members who does not own a mat can purchase one from the hall (£5.00). Visitors can hire a mat from the bar for £6.00 - £5 of which will be refunded when the mat is returned

A charity day was held on 26th September in support of the Bobby Robson Foundation and the Esophageal Cancer Charity. This was followed by a fundraising night on 12th October. Both days were organised by Ladies' Captain Christine Jordan and Men's Captain Jackie Reay with assistance from Alf Pearson, the club steward,  and Dean Bailey. These  were very successful and to date have raised just short of £5000. This is a tremendous effort and our thanks must  go to everyone who sponsored these events by donating prizes and items to be auctioned as well as those who supported these charities by attending the events.

The Brian Hart Memorial Charity Day took place on Sunday 15th September 2013. Brian joined Backworth in January 1997 and remained a member until his sudden death in February this year. The event was arranged on behalf of Brian's family by his Nephew Ken Burn's jr. The support from Brian's friends and fellow members of Backworth Golf Club on the day showed the high regard in which Brian was held, and he will be sadly missed by all. The Charity Day itself was a fantastic day, a celebration of Brian's life. The money raised was used to purchase a defibrillator which is situated in the men's locker room.  The Trustees and fellow members would like to thank Ken, all the sponsors who provided prizes, the players who came along to supported the event and finally Brian's son who came along and presented the winning prizes and the raffle.


Local Rule- Distant Measuring Devices.

The use of distance measuring devices is contrary to the Rules of Golf however the note to Rule 14-3 allows the committee to decide whether it wishes to allow the use of distance measuring devices for play on the course or in any of its competitions. The Golf  Committee have introduced the following  local rule allowing the use of Distance Measuring Devices

 1. In all competitions and for all play at this course a player may obtain information by using a device that measures distance only.

2. If during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g. gradients, wind speed, temperature etc.) the player is in breach of Rule 14.3 for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used.

Non-conforming features.

If your DMD has e.g. a compass, spirit level or can gauge temperature or wind speed, the penalty is disqualification.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you have actually used those features.  Most ‘usual’ DMDs are fine e.g. GPS type DMDs or optical rangefinders because (or if) they only measure distance.  However, be careful, some optical models can measure ‘slope’.  If yours can, it doesn’t conform and the penalty is disqualification.

The welfare would like to remind members that those paying by standing order need to pay their £25.00 golf levy at the club. Until this is paid they will not receive their 2013 bag badge.  Any members who have not yet paid their fees are not eligible to play in competitions.

The Welfare have recently announced the increases in the fees for 2014. Com

All Golf Clubs have been advised by England Golf to introduce a local rule to control the use of Distance Measurement Devices. Please find below the proposed draft rule for Backworth.


In all Club Competitions, a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. If, during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g. gradient, wind speed, temperature etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3, for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used.


 a) Used as a distance-measuring device (DMD)  

 If you use a mobile phone as a DMD, the phone must not have any other feature or application that can gauge or measure other conditions that might affect your play e.g. gradient, wind speed or temperature. If the phone has such a capability, irrespective of whether it is used, you will be disqualified. For example, if your phone has a non-conforming feature or application such as a thermometer, spirit level, compass or anemometer (wind speed gauge), you will be disqualified, regardless of whether any such feature or application is actually used. b) Making/sending or receiving calls and texts Mobile phones may not be used on the course (including on practice days) by players or caddies for making/ sending or receiving calls or texts except in cases of emergency.

Copies of the full England Golf recommendations can be obtained from the secretary.

It has been noticed that there are a number of divot marks on the winter greens. Members are reminded that when your ball lies on ANY green that is not in play, the ball must be moved to the nearest point of relief (NO PENALTY). The penalty for playing off the "wrong green is either 2 strokes or loss of the hole (See rule 25-3)

Most members will be familiar with the North East Golfer magazine which is distributed monthly in the locker room. Members may be interested to know that this magazine can also be obtained on the 'net at Another excellent site (with a very similar name is the North East Golf site. This site is published by Dean Bailey and is certainly well worth a look.

The Welfare have recently appointed Craig Fetherston as the attached professional to the club. Craig has over 17 years experience as a golf professional is available to give lessons on all aspects of the game. Craig can be contacted on his mobile telephone 0787 587 1333

Changes to the Rules of Golf 2012-15

Whilst there are a number of changes this year (17 new decisions, 22 revised, 90 or so decisions revised due to rule changes and minor decisions, and 30 withdrawn decisions) to the Rule Book and the Decision Book, I just wanted to highlight 3 rules changes that the R&A think are significant.

Time of Starting

This rule is amended to provide that the penalty for starting late, but within 5 minutes of the starting time stipulated, is reduced from DQ to 2 stroke penalty or loss of the first hole in match play.  Previously this penalty reduction could be only introduced as a condition of competition.

 Rule 13-4.  Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions

Exception 2 to rule 13-4 is amended to permit a player to smooth sand and soil in a hazard at any time, including before playing from that hazard, provided it is for the sole purpose of caring for the course and Rule 13-2 is not breached.

 This means, in effect, that if a player was retrieving the rake from a bunker at the far end away from his ball, he can smooth over the footprints created, or any others, provided it does not take place near his ball or on the line of his intended stroke. 

Similarly, if the player inadvertently removed some loose impediments whilst doing this tidying up, there would be no penalty.  However if the loose impediments, say pine cones were inadvertently moved from his line of play, or indeed the tidying up, enabling the player, for instance, a further option of shot, he would still be in breach of rule 13-2. 

This would also apply to a ball lying outside the bunker.  If a player tidied up the bunker that was on his line of play rule 13-2 would be breached.

So a certain element of common sense has to apply, but the purpose is to speed up play, and not have silly penalties when no advantage had been gained.  The idea of “testing the sand” has been largely disregarded as a result.

 Rule 18-2b.  Ball moving after address.

A new exception is added that exonerates the player from penalty if his ball moves after it has been addressed when it is known or virtually certain that he did not cause the ball to move.  For example, if it is a gust of wind that moves the ball after it has been addressed, there is no penalty and the ball is played from its new position.

This is to get over some unfortunate rulings that have been made when the player has grounded the club on the putting green.  The ball has moved which had nothing to do with the player and the rules official had no option but to penalise.  This does not, however, give carte blanche to players, whose ball has moved, to escape penalty just because it is windy.  It is very important that it is ascertained that the player did not cause the ball to move.

See below “addressing the ball”.

 Definitions – Addressing the Ball

The Definition is amended so that a player has addressed the ball simply by grounding the club immediately in front or behind the ball, regardless of whether or not he has taken his stance.  Therefore, in addition, the Rules generally no longer provide for a player addressing the ball in a hazard.

 There had been an incident in The Open at Birkdale when a player took his stance to the ball on a slope in a bunker.  A thoughtful spectator reported the ball might have moved.  Prior to 2012 he was deemed to have addressed the ball as soon as his feet were in place, so would have been penalised 2 strokes, but there was deemed to be corroboratory evidence that it had moved, and he escaped penalty.