Chairmans Blog July 2014

Comments from the Chair : Chairmans Blog July 2014


It would seem that at times my blog touches raw nerves. I never intend to offend, merely to prompt thought and discussion (it seems to do that rather well). Could I mention once and for all that this blog is my personal thoughts and not necessarilly that of the board. It is simply "The Chairmans Blog".

The club is doing well at present but must never rest on its laurels. I am very open to ideas to improve the club so please tell me what yours are. (Remember always, who is going to implement your idea and at what cost!)

Despite an improvement in the economy still golf clubs are going to the wall. I quote from England Golf:- 

"Weekly participation in the game has dropped by 12 percent since 2005, and the authority has now revealed that memberships at England’s 1,900-plus clubs have fallen from 882,640 in 2004 to 675,000 in 2014. This spectacular drop has meant that several golf clubs have closed down since 2007, while many more have struggled financially."

"We ignore the declining numbers of golf club members at our peril"

How do we ensure we are not part of this statistic. I can inform you that over the last 3 years our numbers have been relatively stable. How can we ensure members stay with us. We need to be better, cheaper, friendlier, smarter, richer, etc etc than all of our competitors and that simply is my driving force.


I am proud to announce that I have a new job! I started on Tuesday as "County Development Officer" for the "Northumberland Golf Partnership". My main role is very simple "Grow the game of golf!". The job however is far from simple, one might say challenging! I see this role as complementary to the role of Chair @ RGC. The ideas I see at other venues to bring members in, could obviously be replicated at RGC. I will of course keep you informed of my progress.

We had another "interesting" Board Meeting on Monday night. Anyone who levels the accusation at me that I get what I want need to look at the minutes! I certainly was put in my place!

We agreed another advertising campaign and a new membership subscription fee for "1st time members" only. We are in a position that while finances are OK they are not at the levels that they were last year at this point. We need to raise approximately £12,000. Whilst this seems a great deal on face value it is doable but will require another very aggressive advertising campaign with some very tasty offers. With this in mind we have decided on a £200 membership from the beginning of August through to the end of the year. This is based on a £100 winter membership (which we have done regularly in the past) and £100 for the months of August and September. Also we agreed a £600 membership for the rest of this year and the next. We hope that these will sell and we will see our finances improve.

The "Visiting Parties" problem has reared its ugly head yet again. After a very slow round on Saturday there were many members who were disgruntled (to say the very least). I would like to offer some easier solution to financial problems but I cannot. The simple matter is we need VP's to survive. We need to obviously get the balance correct so that members are least affected and sometimes we do get it wrong but in the main this year has been a lot better than the last. I urge you all to be patient and accept that 2 or 3 times a season you will have a round that lasts 30 mins or so longer. Please reflect on the fact that a little inconvenience equal a long term benefit to the club. We could alway put subscriptions up to a level which would offer exclusivity but the cost would be prohibitive for many and they would leave, we would then be in a position to require VP's and visitors to make up the deficit. In short I would prefer to kep subs below £500 and continue to subsidise that fee with £80,000 in visitors fees per year (a saving in real terms of £200 per member)

Just to inform you all that the White Tee's are only to be used for Competitions from now on. The tee of the day will continue to be yellow with the option of playing off the blues should you wish. The Red tees are for ladies and competitions.

It is interesting that we have had a few comments recently about the rough on the course. After watching the "Open" I would consider our rough to be fairly straightforward! Again their are many different opinions at the club about this and we know that it is impossible to please everybody (but we try!)


Sorry I have been a little bit "off the radar" in the last couple of weeks. However I am back and am really looking forward to the rest of the season. Time flies by and the nights are drawing in yet again! This is always a very sad time for us golfers when we realise that autumn and winter are rearing their ugly heads!

However, we are now preparing for the winter by looking at how we can make the best of the new synthetic grass tee boxes and changing the SI's and Pars and creating a new card! Exciting, can't wait. Take a look at the ideas we have and give us your feedback.

I have to report that I have been away for a week in Scotland with 17 of the nicest guys that you could ever meet. This annual trip was again organised magnificently by Past Captain Keith Pearson and Gentleman John Hardisty! 7 founds of golf and 7 nights accommodation for a snip! Tremendous and a big thanks to all who made the trip run so smoothly.

I was sorry to "miss" the Andrew Renshaw Mixed Open this weekend. I did come up to have a look and was pleased to see some great pairings and some fabulous golf. A huge congratulations should go to Kevin and Maureen Rook for their magnificent 45 points to win the comp. It's great to see a home pairing win an Open and especially good to see such a dedicated pair at the top of the pile. I was so pleased to have a hug and a chat with Debbie Renshaw. I know she really enjoyed the day, with a massive amount of emotion thrown in! Luv ya! 

It was wonderful to see Chris Stavers playing with his Mam. It must be emotional for them too of course!

There are still some good competitions to come. I cannot wait for the Captains Texas Scramble day with the added "bits and pieces" that i am sure he is going to put on. There is the Embleton and Sovereign this weekend and the Little to come. Good comps to win of course.

We have some interesting things to debate at the board meeting next week. Of course I would advise you all to read the minutes when they are posted. I will of course give you a small incite as soon as i can!

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