When arriving for a game of golf at Puttenham Golf Club there are times when the first tee can be fairly busy. The club does not issue specific start times for players and as a result has developed a system using a ball chute which, when operated correctly is deemed to be fair to all players.
When a group (2, 3 or 4 players) arrives at the first tee and there are others waiting to start, one of the team should place a ball in the chute. When that ball comes to the front of the Chute, it is their time to start (remember to remove the ball). If you are ready to play and there is no one on the tee, even though there is a ball in the chute you may play.
The chute system only operates when the 1st tee is open for normal play. It is non-operational when the 1st tee is closed as a result of a major golfing event, an inter club match/competition or a society booking.
The other exceptions to this rule are –
1. The Men’s or Ladies Captain always takes priority on the 1st tee.
2. Special arrangements for recognised table groups which are as follows –
a) To be recognised as a Table, there should be a minimum average number of between 12-16 regular players in the group and entry into the card draw must be open to all members.
b) Throughout the week (with the exception of Saturday morning), each of the recognised Table groups will be expected to place a single ball in the chute (to represent all of the players in the group), which should be removed when the last of their group clears the first tee.
c) On Saturday morning the chute system will be suspended until the last group from the 9.00 am card draw has cleared the first tee. Exceptions may apply for official knockout competitions to tee off between each of the table groups, knock out competitors should consult with the relevant Table organisers before arranging their matches for a Saturday morning.
d) Table groups will have their card draw times published on the website diary and in the weekly ‘What’s On’ notices which will also carry the organisers details.
e) When larger Table groups (more than 40 players) qualify to use the sixteenth tee as an additional start point, the Table ball in the chute will not be removed until the final group from the sixteenth tee has cleared the first tee.
f) Each Table group should advise the Golf Shop staff of the number of groups playing, to give an indication of when the tee will be clear for later players.
3. Bookable Tee Times. At specific times we do offer members and visitors the ability to actually book a tee time typically these are between 10.30am and 1.00pm on Mondays and Thursdays and between 11.00am and 1.00pm on Tuesdays. In the summer months only we also offer bookable times between 2.00pm and 4.00pm at Weekends/Bank Holidays. Tee times are offered at 9 minute intervals between these times, members can book up to 10 days in advance and visitors up to 7 days in advance. Please phone the pro shop on 01483 810277 to book your tee time. During these times the ball in the chute system is suspended.
Players taking part in a club knockout competition do not have priority on the first tee and are required to take their place in the queue and to use the chute system if needed.
When permitted to do so, any games that have started at the 10th tee and are coming from the 18th green to continue their round should alternate with games starting at the 1st tee.
In the winter, during periods of dark mornings, we operate a daily course opening time to help protect both golfers and greenstaff. This time is advertised on the weekly What's On noticeboard on the exterior wall at the side of the clubhouse as you walk to the 1st Tee. The course opening time is approximately 20 minutes before the official sunrise time as listed in the Club Diary and play should not commence before this time.
If this system is not abused it ensures that all members, guests and visitors are able to start their rounds in an equitable way and without undue delay.