Tag Archive for: Oxford

Oxford GC encouraging Covid vaccine

Oxford GC encouraging Covid vaccine: An Oxfordshire golf club is doing its bit to encourage young people to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations by offering free membership for a year to one lucky player.

Oxford Golf Club will include all student and Colt members who can prove they have been double vaccinated by Christmas Day in the one-off draw which will entitle the winner to a year of free golf.

Oxford GC encouraging Covid vaccine

Oxford GC encouraging Covid vaccine

The historic course, located on Hill Top Road in Cowley, Oxford, is running the competition after NHS England data revealed only 70% of all 18 to 29-year-old’s living in the UK had received their first jab by August 12.

It hopes the prize, worth up to £1,225, will encourage its Student and Colt members, aged up to 35 to get vaccinated. On top of a year’s worth of free golf membership includes free function room hire, reciprocal golf at selected UK courses, up to 15% bar discount and the chance to win Oxford United tickets.

Steve Greenwood, General Manager at Oxford Golf Club, said: “Oxford has been at the heart of the UK’s vaccine rollout, which is responsible for the freedoms we are so privileged to currently have. Being vaccinated means you are not only protecting yourself, but also those around you.

“We appreciate it is a personal choice and some people have concerns, but as a community-based club we felt it was our duty to help raise awareness of the benefits of getting vaccinated and encourage youngsters to do so.

“The team were talking about what we can do, and we decided to be bold and do something to really help make a difference. It should appeal to our younger members, but at the same time also help spread this important message.”

Oxford Golf Club Professional Joe Pepperell backed the club’s giveaway and said getting the jab is quick, simple and stress-free.

He said: “My experience of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination was excellent. In minutes, I booked my jab online and, on the day, I was in and out within half-an-hour.

“The pandemic has truly underlined the importance of taking care of our own physical and mental health. Right now, there is no better way to protect your physical health by getting the jab.

“Golf has been a lifeline to many people in the last year with participation levels reaching a new peak as players of all abilities enjoy our great sport in a fun, outdoor, environment.

“Being outdoors and enjoying exercise is proven to be one of the biggest contributors to boosting our mental wellbeing. We’re lucky to be located so close to the city centre yet provide our community with 18 quality holes set in picturesque green surroundings.

“Our location means we have a lot of student members from the city’s universities and colleges, which is another factor in why we felt it was important we played our part in the vaccination education campaign.

“It’s a fantastic prize and I would like to wish everyone who is eligible to enter the best of luck.”

Founded in 1873 Oxford Golf Club was the original club of Oxford University and to this day features an 18-hole course designed by legendary golf architect Harry Colt.

Further information about the club’s free membership draw to student and colt members is available via admin@oxfordgolfclub.net.

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Master Green Keeper Helps Oxford GC

Master Green Keeper Helps Oxford GC: Renowned Agronomist Greg Evans has taken the lead a two-year turf maintenance programme that has transformed the historic Oxford Golf Club.

Oxford Golf Club recruited Mr Evans on a consultancy basis to help create and implement a detailed green keeping improvement and maintenance strategy at the 18-hole course. The programme of focused activity has enhanced the greens, tees and approach areas. Mr Evans help devise the bespoke strategy and worked in partnership with Head Green Keeper Doug MacGregor. The Green Keeping team all welcomed the new philosophy and worked together to transform the course.

Master Green Keeper Helps Oxford GC

Mr Evans said: “Oxford Golf Club is a fantastic course and has always been well regarded. Following the implementation of a targeted agronomy plan it now has perfect greens and the rest of the course is of a very high standard.

“The club was really supportive and allowed us to close the competition greens for a tight maintenance window to enable us to really focus on a big agronomy programme. The greens have a good sand profile and so we carried out deep aeration activity and then followed a strict maintenance plan. This included targeted hard watering and tight cutting to produce faster, smoother greens. Within nine months the greens were performing very well, and they are the jewel in the crown of the course.”

The green-keeping team also focused on tees and approaches as part of the wider agronomy plan. Mr Evans added: “As with a lot of older clubs the Oxford Golf Club was built before irrigation systems were introduced and so the course tends to hold water. We hired in a verti-drainer to fully drain the course and changed the fertility programme to add small amounts of nutrients every ten days.”

Head Green Keeper Doug MacGregor said: “The introduced and continuation of the intense agronomy plan has been fantastic for the course, members and staff. It has been an excellent experience for the green keeping team and we can all take great pride in the enhancements we have made to the course.”

Stephen Nicholson, General Manager at Oxford Golf Club, said: “As a club we are committed to continually improving the course and the agronomy plan has formed a key part of our strategy. The club has really reaped the rewards of this intensive activity and our members and visitors alike have commented on the quality of our greens and tees. The Green Keeping team have all embraced the change in philosophy and done a fantastic job.”

Oxford Golf Club is the oldest course in Oxfordshire and features a Harry Colt designed 18-hole course, putting green, practice area and coaching school. It is located on Hilltop Road, Oxford. The club’s head professional is Joe Pepperell, brother of European Tour player Eddie.

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Oxford United Groundsman On A Career In Grass

Pitch perfect: Oxford United’s groundsman on a career in grass: There is a sign stuck to the whiteboard behind Paul Currier’s desk which reads ‘Every day is a holiday for a man who loves his job’.

Five minutes with the head groundsman at Oxford United is enough to know it is not a hollow statement.

Oxford United Groundsman On A Career In Grass

Currier, 58, is in the 40th year of a career which has taken him from school pitches to a host of Football League clubs – including tomorrow’s opponents Northampton Town – via a spell tending the lawns at Northamptonshire Police’s headquarters.

For someone who is quick to admit he was not the most academic at school, it has been quite a journey.

“I’ve always had this philosophy that if you get up in the morning and can’t wait to get to work then you’re enjoying your job,” Currier says, leaning back on a desk chair in his office, tucked under the East Stand.

“You’ve got to be dedicated. It can be seven days a week, it can be 12 hours a day and it’s not one of the best paid jobs in the world.

“But I’m passionate about my football and I’m passionate about my grass.”

Those who look after pitches tend to have a gruff demeanour, forever barking at people to ‘keep off the pitch’.

 But then they have plenty to worry about.

Currier, who reckons he walks 15 miles on a matchday to prepare the pitch, said: “All groundsman are the same, we’re all classed as grumpy sods.

“You have to police it because otherwise everybody will go on.

“They’ll think ‘it looks all right, I’ll go on it’, but you don’t see the damage until Christmas, so you’ve got to keep the traffic to the minimum.

“I have a checklist that I do pre-match, everything’s done, but you’ve still got that worry at the back of your mind.

“You wince when players go into the back of the net and they pull themselves up with it. It just pings everything off.

“The worst nightmare for any groundsman is to be called on while the game is going on.”

Then there are pests and diseases to lose sleep over, but his main obsession is the weather.

Pitch technology has improved markedly in the last 20 years, with the Kassam Stadium among the increasing number of surfaces in the Football League to mix the grass with artificial fibres.

Currier, brought in when the pitch was completely relaid by GreenFields in 2015, checks the forecast every four hours in the winter months.

And here, the Kassam Stadium’s open western end can be either a benefit or a hindrance.

He said: “I’m pretty confident you won’t get a game called off here for waterlogging.

“Because the pitch is so wide open to wind, it can dry twice as quickly as anywhere else.

“You can get a downpour while you’re playing and it won’t affect it, barring the odd splash.

“Temperatures drop and there’s constant shade down one side – because of the South Stand – which is two degrees colder than the other side.”

While he is a West Bromwich Albion supporter, spending so much time at a club tends to create a bond.

But United have had a stronger pull than most, as the first club where he is invited into the manager’s office after games.

He said: “I’m lucky here at Oxford because they treat me as one of the team, there’s a good rapport with the managers.”

Given the expertise built up over four decades, you might presume Currier has a perfectly-tended lawn at home in Northamptonshire.

“No, mine’s artificial,” he grins.

“When I’m at work I’m constantly thinking about grass, so when I’m at home I just like to chill out and relax and go ‘I shan’t be cutting that today’.”

Even for a man who is always on holiday, there are limits.

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