Chairmans Blog April 2013

Comments from the Chair : Chairmans Blog April 2013


I've just realised how much is going on at the club now the season has got into full swing. It's really hard to keep up with everything! If I do miss anything please email me and tell me what I've missed!


Questions Members Ask


Is it correct that weekend competition winners will receive the winnings at the time and not at end of year as previous? 


Yes.. It is felt that this is an easier way of doing it and suits the majority of members. There will be an option if someone so wishes to forego the winnings and receive a small trophy/medal instead. If someone would rather this than the £20 please advise. 


Do we have to play so many medal rounds during the season?


NO! the board discussed this at last nights meeting and it was agreed that non-board competitions within reason may have the format altered in order to mix up the competitions during the summer months.


Is it true that the secretary has an assistant? is this really necessary? 


Yes! and Yes! In order to run a successful business it needs to be adequately staffed. Lauren is used for admin, greenfee collection, bar cover. We now operate very differently to 12months ago, this requirement I expected for 2014. However, such is the success and growth that this has been required much earlier than anticipated. Interesting statistic for the membership... financial profit and loss report generated from Sept-March2013 Wages are 1k down on the same period last year!! Quite remarkable bearing in mind that there has been an assistant used since June 2012 to date!! I know the reason for that, do you??? Be assured that no money is spent without good reason or without the funds to cover.


Do we have a problem with the new Satalite TV?


Only when someone disconnects the interenet cable half way through the match!! No names mentioned!


Will the twos on a weekend be restored to order for the summer and return to 18th?




Will the payouts in weekend comps continue to be as healthy as the winter?


They will not be as good, but places will be extended to 8th place depending on number of entrants


What is optional and compulsary on competition entries?


Comp fee of £2 is compulsary, Sweep and Twos are Optional. 


How does the club justify offering meal deals on a weekend?


An arrangment has been in place during last few months whereby the caterers give a subsidised soup on the quiet days especially Monday and Tuesdays, in return the club offer to subsidise the pint which has created the 'Meal Deal'. This will only continue for as long as caterers need to generate business midweek. 


Is it true the leaflets in Newcastle are re-starting?


Yes, this will operate this week and dependant on results may be be continued! The deal offered is 'Free round of Golf for one' if they bring 3 people paying £10 or 2 people paying £15. Why? we still look to bring in new visitors and contacts to the club. Interesting from day 1 (yesterday) we generated 2 bookings of 3 people and a request for party of 14 from a City based company. 

Thats all for now folks


Some philosophy and a question to ponder:-

How does RGC move forward?

We have had some success over the past year and now we need to think "where next"! If we stocktake and look at our current position we would see that we have had to work extremely hard. In my humble opinion this is an untenable position for future growth and prosperity. There are only so many hours in the day and so much good will. A PLC such as ours cannot survive on good will alone. So do we speculate to accumulate or be prudent and stagnate?

This matter would cause a very interesting debate with as many views as there are members. I guess my point is that a new season brings new possibilities and a fresh resolve to improve our club still further. We need to embrace this opportunity.

It is difficult to move forward if we remain conservative. "You have to be in it to win it!"

We need to be strong and we need to trust! The club is moving in the right direction and the board and staff have the wellbeing of RGC at the forefront of their thinking. Bare with us, remain faithful and patient. We will not let you down. 


What a busy day at the club today. It makes me proud to be Chair of the club.

Wins in the Club Foursomes (Shaun n Kevin), the Ladies Mail on Sunday (Tanya, Sarah, Claire, Lucy n Bev) a beautiful sunny day for a wonderful Rochester Cup 1st round and to top it all off the Memorial Bench in situ in memory of Andrew Renshaw. Do days at golf clubs get any better than this?

Good luck to the Mens MOS tomorrow, but its a toughie away at Hexham.


It's subscriptions time again! Always an interesting time! Its a time where we find out if what we have done with the club has made our members want to stay or leave! I feel sure you will agree that this year has been a rollercoaster ride for the club! We have endeavoured at all times to keep members at the forefront of our thinking as we knew this time would come around! By the end of this month we will have an understanding of where we are with member numbers, financially and probably more importantly what we are going to have to do next year to make the club an even better place to be!

The summer season always brings a great deal of change. The course will perk up and long summer nights will allow more playing time both for members and visitors. We need to maximise the clubs potential during this very short period. We know that all clubs will be reviewing "Green Fees" for the summer, as will we! The careful balance between the revenue that guests can bring in compared with keeping members happy is always a fine balance and one which we are always considering. You will notice that we do have some visiting parties in at weekends. This is always a very contentious and emotive issue. Its difficult as a club to turn away large sums of money that are being offered to us for an hour or so on the 1st tee box. We have had to say "no" to many parties this year as RGC seems to be the course of choice by many. We know that there is a finite amount of time and we do monitor things very closely. We know each weekend group (sweep/comp) are going to "take a hit" with these groups taking their usual tee slot, but we hope you understand, realise the potential income and how it would be very difficult if not impossible for the club to make amends financially if we decided to say "no" to everyone! The Sec/Man has been directed by the board to "spread the joy!!!" and use his judgement to ensure fair play.

Good news. We have employed a new greens keeper! He started this week and this brings us to 4 full time staff on the course. This together with the implementation of mats during the winter months will hopefully pay dividends on the look of the course. What this space!

We have purchased 2 new FairwayRiders for the summer. This brings our fleet to 7! The usage of these so far has turned and excellent profit for the club and the demand for them has been high. We now intend to create a storage space for them to keep them safe, dry and clean. We also have been able to offer our members discounted usage of them for evening rounds in order to get more holes in!

Lets hope the weather is kind to us this year. We really could do with a beautiful summer, but its not been a good start has it. Its still colder than the national average for this time of the year Lets all keep our fingers crossed.

We intend to make further refurbishments/changes to the clubhouse this year in our programme of improvements. We hope you are enjoying the sofas, the coffee and the satellite TV. The clubhouse seems to be being used a great deal and we hope you will continue to support our programme of social activities.

Its competitions time again so I wish you all nothing but the very best for the season.

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