Remember the recent article about lawn speed? Perhaps a bit baffling when it got to the maths? Well, here is a plain person's guide to lawn speed, kindly provided by Messrs Patel, Clark and Aiton. One or two tongues firmly in cheeks, methinks!
Remember the Lambertometer made by Michael Bowker to measure the speed of our lawns? Well, here it is in use.
The CA has introduced new tournament regulations mandating a dry lawn speed of 10 seconds on the Plummer test. This translates into a Lambertometer reading of 3.73m (12.2 feet) for our lawns, which we will be working towards.
For the technically minded we achieved a distance of 3.02m (9.90 feet) averaged over several readings at different angles, on a damp lawn. The Plummer test (time it takes for a ball to travel 35 yards) was 9.0 seconds. We will have to maintain a record of simultaneous Lambertometer and Plummer readings to allow us to calculate a conversion factor between the two, using a particular mathematical formula (lawn speed = constant * sqrt(distance).
On the basis of this first test the constant is 2.86 (measuring distance in feet), but we'll refine this as time goes on.
Subject to Covid restrictions, of course, here is what is planned for the next few weeks, in addition to the usual weekly schedule of club sessions.
As from Monday 29th March 2019:
Max 6 per lawn
There is still time to join in our club’s heat in this year’s National Charity One-Ball Competition. Our club has participated in this for the last five years.
This will take place on Sunday 18th April 2021 (Covid permitting), with the winner going on to play in the final hosted by Surbiton on Sunday 9th May 2021.
The one-ball game is a simplified version of AC which is most suitable for GC players as well. It will be a fun day and handicapped. We will set aside one or two short sessions beforehand for anyone who would like to go through the rules and practice on the lawn with someone experienced.
The day is a charity event and this year’s charity is the British Heart Foundation. Donations will be collected on the day of the heat. In 2019 it was suggested by our club committee that each person should pay a minimum of £10 to enter, payable on the day. Last time (2019) over £6000 was collected by the association for their chosen charity.
The closing date to enter is 28th February 2021. Please let me know if you would like to take part.
Summer Solstice Weekend Fundraiser
The weekend of 19th and 20th June is the summer solstice weekend and the Club is planning a major event over those lovely long hours of daylight - based, of course, on the hope that all will be well for us getting out and about again.
We are inviting all members to take part in a 24 hour continuous play croquet marathon!! And No - no one person has to play for 24 hours!! Here are the details:
All who are up for this will play two 2 hour GC games within a 24 hour period from lunchtime Saturday to lunchtime Sunday - one game at a 'nice' time and one game at a 'not so nice' time!
The idea is that we make it a bit of a challenge for everyone taking part, not too much of a challenge, but just enough to be able to justify your asking for a little sponsorship from friends and family. So achieving the dual purposes of bringing us all together in a fun challenge event and raising some much-needed funds for the Club and for charity at the same time: 50% charity (helping the homeless -https://www.wyhoc.org.uk) and 50% to Club funds.
I am delighted to have been asked to bring this together. All the details of the play are scoped out in my mind and I have more 'Cunning Plans' than Baldrick to make it a fabulous time for all who'd like to get involved!! So, this is an early request to ask you to consider taking part.
The plan is to play doubles GC, therefore 8 on the lawns at any one time. Thus, there will always be a community of players together throughout the 24 hours (obviously, the final details will have to reflect any Covid restrictions but this is the plan as at today). Further down the line, the details will be finalised and I will do my best to get any requests for pairings or fours, timings, etc, all sorted out.
A team of helpers will be at the Club all the time providing appropriate refreshments for the time of day, whether it be BBQ lunch, tea, dinner, midnight feast, early breakfast, or brunch!!
What to think about?
From your point of view, there are these three things to think about:
· Can you keep that weekend free?
· Do you think you could target raising £200+ (50% to helping the homeless; 50% to Club funds)
· Would you be happy to play 2 x 2 hour slots over the weekend, one of those being at some point during the evening, night or early morning.
What to do next?
Please do throw your hat in the ring - the more the merrier. At this stage, I'd simply love to hear from all Members who are 'up for the gig'. My email address is below to reply to.
Importantly, could you please reply to me by the end of February to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hoping we get a good response, if so, PARTY ON! - And see you under the stars!
Even in lockdown, there is work to be done to keep the club working well. Here’s a great example of a way we’ve worked out to maintain our wonderful lawns whist controlling the costs.
We needed a better system of monitoring the activities relating to lawn maintenance. This has resulted in an Excel spreadsheet of the lawn work being created by Keith Winning (husband of member Pat). It's an amazing, all-singing-all-dancing program, able to produce a timesheet that lets our groundsmen Russell and Aaron know what to do and when.
It also allows us to budget and track costs such as labour, materials (e.g. iron to kill moss, white lining paint etc), machinery maintenance and plant hire for the year. We will be able to adjust frequencies and see the effect on the annual budget, (eg by not cutting the longer fringe grass in Jan, Feb, Nov and Dec there is a significant annual saving).
Thank you to Keith for setting up the program, and of course to Russell and Aaron for the care with which they look after our lawns.
After many years of being our Lawn Manager, Duncan Reeve will be moving out of the area in about March.
Duncan has also contributed hugely at a practical level, never afraid to get down and dirty when it was needed. One of many examples: last year he was incredibly successful at ridding our lawns of moss by using the Sisis scarifier. And who can forget this image of Duncan last summer pretending to be a horse (spreading top-dressing with our lute):
Step up Joy Biggs who I like to think has volunteered to take over the lawn responsibility (but she insists I twisted her arm up her back!) Either way, she’s agreed but she prefers the role title to be Lawn Administrator. Unlike Duncan, we are not expecting Joy to drag the lute!
Thanks go to Duncan for all his work as Lawn Manager and to Joy for taking up this important role.
It is useful to know how fast or slow a lawn is. For major competitions, it is vital. As we all know, speed affects your shot, and may affect your choice of tactics. But how do you measure speed?
The traditional method was to time very precisely a ball struck from the South boundary to North. The time in seconds is the 'Plummer' rating, where 1 second = 1 Plummer. Tricky -- far trickier than any of our coaching tests!
Michael Bowker has come to the rescue by making a 'Lambertometer' after discussion with Duncan and Richard. The Lambertometer is a simple device for measuring the speed of a croquet lawn. In essence it is a 4 foot ramp raised 1 foot, down which a croquet ball is run. The distance the ball runs gives a measure of lawn speed. So, for example if the ball rolled 16 feet, this would be a lawn speed of Plummer 12.
Thank you, Michael, for yet another helpful practical contribution to the club!