Chairmans Blog October 2013

Comments from the Chair : Chairmans Blog October 2013


We had a productive, happy and very quick board meeting on Monday night which lasted only 1 hour! The agenda was short and caused no real contention. The main decision was to purchase the leaf collector. At this time of the year golf at RGC is nigh on impossible with the white leaves spread across the course and it makes the round so much longer with all the searching. We hope members would endorse this purchase and notice the difference it will make!

We are advertising for "bunker rakers" and "leaf clearers" throughout the coming months. In exchange for 3 hours service we are willing to give a voucher for a free round of golf at the club. It was very noticeable this weekend that the bunkers were in very good condition due to having been raked making them very much more playable. We hope for this to continue through the winter months with this offer.

We are going to trial a change to the OOB on the right of the 4th. We hope you will give us your comments as we go along. The main thrust behind this move is to continue to make the course more playable. We hope there will be fewer competitors NRing in the future (Medal Comps of course). We are looking as to whether the OOB should be removed altogether, adjusted slightly or remain where it is. Time will tell.


Winter golf! The summer has come and gone in a wonderful blink of an eye. The long nights of a crafty 8 or 13 holes after work or getting up at the crack of dawn to avoid the crowds and the long hot days have passed! Well, that may be a little exaggerated, but it wasn't a bad summer was it?

How should I sum up the summer of 2013? It was successful in all ways! The course has never been better thanks yet again to all the staff who have given heart and soul to pleasing the membership (and visitors). Financially, whilst we have had to deal with some "unforeseens" and some "need to do's" we have had the money to spend on the "wouldn't it be nice if's". The strategy has placed a certain focus on our "club management" and we feel we have made giant strides towards securing the future of this "Friendly little club by the Tyne!"

The financial books have closed for another year and thanks to all of the hard work by Michael, Tom, Dave and the rest of the finance committee it would seem we are going to finish in profit yet again (2 years in a row) despite the current financial climate. I will await the accounts before I divulge the actual figures as they have to be audited of course, but it's looking OK. Our original targets have been achieved in the main and a few exceeded. Income from green fees have been extraordinary this year and subscriptions have yielded much better than many people would have dreamed of.  All's good in that area. We do however need to keep up the momentum for the forthcoming year!

Winter always brings a change in focus. This year we have more of a "winter strategy"! We will be bringing mats into operation as soon as we feel fit in order to protect the course. From 1st October it is "optional" but I would urge all of you to think of our course and start to use them on the fairways! It has made such a difference I believe this year considering we only started using them in January. We have come up with a plan for new  and in some cases different teeing areas to previous winters. It will be interesting to get feedback on this as time progresses (be gentle). I personally am looking forward to the new winter golf set up starting this weekend. It will be like playing a completely different course and we will most certainly be hitting shots from places we have never visited before. Interesting! The competition tees held up well this year and deserve a well earned rest in order that they fully recover and look even more splendid next year.

Well the Ladies Team have done it! They have got to the Grand finals of the Mail on Sunday and were Anderson Evening League Winners this year. Does it get any better. It's all off to El Rompido in November where the final four teams will battle it out! Us, Ingestre Park GC (Stafford), Nizels GC (Tonbridge), plus AN Other! It would be fabulous to be MOS Champs as well! Exciting times ahead.

I am very much enjoying coming down to the club as Chair right now. I am so proud of what we have achieved and the positive comments cement my thoughts. Many views come from well established members whose opinions I respect as they have been there and done it! A few sceptics have been persuaded that the present strategy indeed works! I know that we are not going to win the battle with everyone but it would be nice to have the backing of the majority. I have been someone throughout my life who believes in communication as the solution to many problems and I hope this year through emails and the website that all murmurs and rumours have been quashed and members' questions have been resolved in a sensible and adult manner. My philosophy of communicating does sometimes get me in trouble and I do have to bite my lip but I am learning the way to strike a balance.

I finish this weighty "missive" by paying respects to Ex Vets Chair and Past Captain Mr Malcolm Robson! RGC is a lesser place without you! His send off was attended by an amazing crowd of people which shows the mark of the person. We hope you are playing golf on those fluffy clouds up top right now Mal and that your H/Cap has significantly improved!  Mind you I bet the greens aren't as good as Ryton's!  R. I. P. my friend and know always that every Saturday I play the course I will hear your voice on the 1st tee box saying "Haven't you bloody lot gone yet!" You were and will always be in my eyes a great man!



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