Oatlands Enews – Friday 22nd February 2019

Welcome to the newly formatted weekly E-news for Oatlands Golf Club. Having conducted a review of the existing format and discussing the content with a range of Club members, the OGC team have made some changes in an effort to produce a more informative and engaging weekly communication. We hope you enjoy this E-news and would welcome any feedback on the new format as well as any ideas for future content.

Good Golfing!

Sam Howe – General Manager  


This E-news covers the following topics:

  • Membership Renewal
  • Personality Profile – W.J “Billy” Bolger
  • From the Course
  • Volunteer Update
  • Ladies Update
  • Oatlands’ Social Media – Engage with your Club
  • Member Feedback
  • Club Events
  • Competition Update
  • Rules Update
  • Pro Shop – Product Review – Taylormade M5 & M6
  • Photo Gallery

Membership Renewal

Oatlands Golf Club is well placed heading in to the upcoming membership year, with a golf course the envy of many in the local area and a reputation as being the friendliest Club in the Northwest of Sydney. The interest in new memberships continues to be strong and with a new General Manager at the helm, and a range of new initiatives planned for the year ahead, along with an increased focus on new and existing member services, the Board are confident of a strong renewal rate that will see OGC buck the golf industry trend of declining membership and start to achieve positive membership growth. 

Members will receive their subscription renewal notices via email shortly which will include notification of the Board’s recent decision to absorb the monthly fees associated with paying subscriptions by direct debit, an initiative which will give members more options when paying their annual subscription.

If members have any questions relating to membership renewals or upgrading your membership from limited playing to full playing, then please contact the Club for further information. 

Personality Profile – “Billy” Bolger

Oatlands Golf Club has a long history forged by many personalities both past and present. This is evident by the walk of fame that members pass as they enter the Clubhouse through the front entry. It is important for Golf Clubs to celebrate their history while working toward a sustainable and thriving future. Each week, this section will provide a brief profile of past and present personalities that have contributed to the success of this great Club.

This week, we look at the Club’s first Golf Professional, W.J. Bolger (“Billy”). Billy was the Club Professional at the Club from 1931 – 1934 in an era where Club Professionals were amongst the leading tournament players. In 1934, Billy won the Australian Open at Royal Sydney with a world-record score of 283. It was the lowest aggregate in a four-round national open. Wielding a persimmon wooden driver with a steel shaft, Bolger finished three strokes ahead of the great American Gene Sarazen who had been invited to Australia on an exhibition tour.

To defeat Sarazen at his peak was significant for Bolger and Australian golf. He was certainly one of the world’s finest players at that time, probably regarded as the best having won the US PGA Championship three times, US Open twice and the British Open.

Bolger’s proficiency with a golf club led to his appointment as the first professional at what was to become Ashlar Golf Club in 1929. Two years later, he transferred to the newly formed Oatlands Golf Club. At the official opening there in 1931, Bolger entertained those in attendance by driving a golf ball from a plasticine tee placed on the forehead of his assistant.

PGA professional Tommy Moore recalls seeing Bolger at an exhibition in 1948 at Asquith Golf Club. Every time one of the pros achieved a birdie, the gallery would throw coins onto the green.

“He was a very unassuming sort of fellow,” says Moore who established the golf heritage movement in Australia. “He was a lovely bloke. As I remember him, he had a slight impediment in his speech, so he didn’t go in for talking a lot. They tell me he would arrive at the course just in time to put his shoes on. And he often didn’t do the laces up. He would throw a ball on the ground and hit it with a 1-wood [off the deck]. That’s how good he was.”

After leaving Oatlands, Bolger earned a living as a teaching pro for the sporting retailer Mick Simmons. For many years pre-WWII, he used to give lessons in the nets at its Haymarket store near Central railway station.

It’s worth noting, six months after finishing runner-up to Bolger at the 1934 Australian Open, Sarazen would win the ‘Augusta National Invitation Tournament’ in a playoff against Craig Wood. In the final round, Sarazen holed a 4-wood from 235 yards for an albatross 2 on the par-5 15th – described as “the shot heard ‘round the world”. That Masters’ victory cemented Sarazen’s place in history as the first golfer to win all four of the current Major championships.

Bolger passed away on 27 August 1977.

From the Course

Rainfall for the week: 11.5mm          Rainfall for 2019: 144.5mm                 Dam: 90%        Green Speed 9.0 feet

This week the team has been able to renovate the back 7 tees with our broom attachment on the Ventrac machine. The broom removes dead thatch material which accumulates over the growing season. This thatch layer slows water entry into the soil profile, and creates an environment for disease to grow. All tees are fertilised with Urea once they have been cleaned up to promote recovery growth.

We needle hollow tyned the 5th, 6th, 9th, 15th and putting greens this week to allow oxygen into the root zone, and enable the team to dry sub soils out to desired levels. The wet sub soils were only benefitting the Summer Patch disease that had started to appear in the 5th, 6th and 15th greens late last week. These 3 greens have definitely improved this week, with the Summer Patch symptoms fading away.

Our spraying program of kikuyu in couch areas continued this week, taking advantage of the warm weather on Monday. This herbicide works really well once temperatures are above 30 degrees. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 12th and 13th green complexes, and the 13th, 18th and practice tee complexes were all treated this week.

The cooler weather and showers to end the week have been very welcomed by our playing surfaces and staff members. Greens were treated with a fungicide to control Pythium Leaf Blight, Anthracnose and Brown patch. Growth regulator and phosphoric acid were also added to the tank mix for plant health.

This weekend, we plan to cut Friday, cut and roll on Saturday and only remove dew on Sunday. 

Good golfing!

Volunteer Update

Volunteers were on course Monday checking bunkers before the ladies competition, blowing fairways, mowing rough, checking hazard and OOB pegs, clearing debris from drainage pits throughout the course and stick picking. Joe and John also completed some clubhouse repairs and found a water leak which has been driving members of staff crazy trying to locate it. Thank you gentlemen for all your time and effort again this week!  

The volunteer program at OGC is an wonderful way to get to know new members while contributing to the ongoing success of this wonderful Club. The volunteer activities take place every Monday and there is always plenty to do. Anyone interested in taking part can contact the Club for more information or meet at the Clubhouse at 7am on Monday’s and join our ever expanding group of volunteers. 

Ladies Update

Monday 4th March is a shotgun start 4 person team event.  We are making this one of our “club shirt” days, so we ask all ladies to please wear their club shirt.  This will also be our first Slice Day for the year, so we would like to see as many ladies as possible join our field and enjoy a great day at golf.  Please sign up online (click here to  book) and if you haven’t got a team, we will find one for you.

Please also keep in mind that Monday 25th March is our Inter Club match against Pennant Hills at Oatlands (click here to book),  this will also be a Club Shirt Day.  More news to follow on this.

As from Monday, all our ladies who need a little “kick start” before  golf, the Pro Shop will be selling tea and coffee to go! ($3.00 a cup should get you going).  

We are today hosting the Ladies Grade Pennant Teams. We hope they enjoy our beautiful course and wish our own Grade Team good luck for the coming Pennant season.

Oatlands’ Social Media – Engage with your Club

The Club operate two primary social media channels, Facebook and Instagram. Many members will be familiar with these platforms which fundamentally represent the Club in the fast paced and ever-changing world of modern communication. The most interesting social media channels are those with multiple contributors, and as such we would encourage all members to engage with the Clubs’ Facebook and Instagram channels by posting photos and comments that show your pride in your Club and liking / following our pages.

To encourage contributions from our members, the Club will be offering a weekly complimentary guest voucher for the best post by a member.

To visit the Oatlands’ Facebook page, click the link below and “LIKE” our page:


To post a photo to our Instagram channel, please add the handle @oatlandsgolfclub

For those members new to Facebook and Instagram or have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, please feel free to drop in to the General Manager’s office for a quick rundown on how this all works.


Member Feedback

The Board and Management value the feedback that members provide and it is an integral part of determining the Clubs strategic direction. Going forward, this E-news communications will include frequent questionnaires and survey’s for members to complete. This will assist with determining the “pulse” of the Club from our member’s perspective. Some of these will be quite light-hearted and member’s will greatly assist with establishing the Club’s identity from the perspective of the membership which can then be used to assist in how we develop and represent our brand to the wider golfing community.

Enews Survey - 22nd February 2019

Club Events

The Club has hosted a number of successful events over the last fortnight including a Valentine’s Day Dinner that was attended by 40 members and guests, and received a standout review from a well recognised food blogger, click on the link below to check out the review:

Coco and Vine Bistro on Bettington Review – Click Here

Other events included a Friday afternoon chicken run which doubled as a farewell for the outgoing General Manager, Barnaby Sumner and was attended by 70 members and guests.

The Clubs’ annual Battle of the Sexes event will take place on Sunday 24th February. This event will see a 12:30pm shotgun start followed by a chef selection buffet. Members are encouraged to join this event and help your side to bragging rights over the opposing sex for the year ahead.

Click here to book online for this event.

Bistro on Bettington will once again take place on Wednesday 27th February. Following the success of recent events and the excellent feedback on the meals prepared by our award winning Chef, Paul Bacon, we are anticipating another wonderful evening of good food, fine wine and camaraderie.

Click here to book online for this event. 

OGC 2019 Easter Touring Party to Peninsula Kingswood

Every two (2) years the Club arranges a touring party to our reciprocal club Peninsula Kingswood and bookings for this event have just opened (April 18th to April 22nd). As in previous years, we will not only enjoy the wonderful facilities on offer at Peninsula Kingswood but we will also enjoy some time at Barwon Heads along with 13th Beach. The General Manager will be arranging tee times on all four (4) days and there will also be group dinners each night. We already have 40 members confirmed and would encourage anyone who hasn’t been on this trip previously to get involved as it is one of the highlights of the OGC calendar and a great way to meet new members.

Competition Update

Congratulations to Mark Foley who won the 36 hole AC Berk Trophy on Saturday 16th February with scores of nett 67 & 66 (133). Well done Mark!

Saturday 16th February:

A Grade: Craig Millen

B Grade: Pablo Hrdina

C Grade: Ben Mackay

D Grade: Brian Doherty

Scratch: Hugo Zhao

Ladies: Myeong Seon Kim

Thursday 21st February:

A Grade: Amy Kim

B Grade: Sarah Jun

C Grade: Myeong Seon Kim

9 Hole: Leone Townsend

Mixed Pennant

The final round of the 2019 Mixed Pennant season took place on Sunday with OGC playing host to Cronulla GC. Our side finished the season in style with a strong 4-1 win. Well done to all those who took part across the season!

Major Pennant

The second round of the Major Pennant season took place on Sunday 17th February with OGC hosting the return match with Monash CC. Unfortunately the visitors were too strong and our side went down 4-3.

Rules Update

With the new Rules of Golf that came into effect on 1st January, the Club has received considerable feedback on a number of inconsistencies being applied across the membership. These primarily relate to the following changes: 

  • The new procedure for dropping a ball from knee height as opposed to shoulder height – Note: in the event of an incorrect drop a player may re-drop without penalty given they have not played a shot prior to correcting the error.
  • Reduction in time for searching for a lost ball – Previously 5 minutes, now 3 minutes. Members are asked to diligently follow this change as it will assist Pace of Play and everyone’s enjoyment of their game.
  • The flagstick can be left in when putting – Many members are used to having the flag taken out and there is an argument for wanting to remove an obstacle in the hole, however the main benefit of this rule is that golfers can putt without having to wait for someone to attend or remove the flag and members are asked to utilise this rule whenever possible.
  • CORRECTING A MISUNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE 2019 RULES OF GOLF –Our Club is one of many that has NOT adopted the 2019 Model Local Rule that provides an alternative to Stroke and Distance for a Lost Ball or Ball Out of Bounds.

So, as has been the case in prior years, if your ball is lost or out of bounds, you MUST proceed under penalty of Stroke and Distance, applying Rule 18.2.

In recent weeks a number of members have asked why relief for an embedded ball has not been made a local rule. This is because the new Rules of Golf now provide for this as a default Rule rather than a Club based local rule. The explanation of the new Rule is provided below:

2019 Rule: The previous default position in the Rules has been reversed:

  • Rule 16.3 will allow relief for a ball embedded anywhere in the “general area”(that is, the area previously known as “through the green”), except when embedded in sand.
  • But a Committee may adopt a Local Rule restricting reliefto a ball embedded in those parts of the general area cut to fairway height or less (this is not the case at OGC).
  • In taking relief, the player will drop the original ball or a substituted ball within one club-length of (but not nearer the hole than) the spot right behind where the ball was embedded.

Pro Shop Product Review

The Pro Shop hosted another successful Taylormade demo day on Thursday 21st February with all available spaces being utilised by members. Taylormade have recently launched the new M5 and M6 range of woods which are currently being used by the likes of Jason Day, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

Click here for a review of the Taylormade M5 and M6 range of drivers and if you weren’t able to make the demo day the Pro Shop has a full range of these demo drivers in stock for you to take on course obligation free and see the difference they can make to your game.

Photo Gallery

Please see a couple of interesting images below taken at the Club during the week.

Please send us your interesting images to gm@oatlandsgolf.com.au

The OGC Pro Shop ready for action as the sun is about to rise on Saturday 16th February.

A birds eye view of the course on an overcast morning on Wednesday 20th February.



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