Comments from the Chair

Golf : Comments from the Chair

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Chairmans Blog January 2014

16/01/14

Well the AGM has come and gone and it was "interesting"!

104 members turned up to the evening which is a tremendous turn out (quite a few of our new members turned out). Thank you to all who attended! I guess there were some motions that required careful consideration, full and frank debate and a true reflection of the members feelings by the vote at the end. I certainly feel like we achieved this. The Q&A session after was a little less radical and far more conservative than last year. This suggests to me that things are going OK at the club in the main and our members are reasonably happy.

I would like to thank you all for allowing me another term of office. I will try to serve you all well and validate the confidence you have shown in me. Onwards and upwards.

I would like to welcome Steve Dix and Michael Thompson to the Board for the next 3 years. I look forward to their valuable contributions at the monthly club meetings. I am pleased that Claire Miller and Tom Carr were re-elected as they have both contributed so much over their last terms in office. It was very sad to loose both Nigel Bendelow and Richie Bainbridge but they both served the Board admirably and I thank them and wish them the very best.

11/01/14

I urge you all to read the "Right to Reply" letter from Dawn in the News section of the website.

Dawn of course has made some very valid points and sheds further light on the reason behind Motion 4. It now comes down to the members to view the pros and cons of the proposal and make a decission at the AGM.

31/01/14

Could I be the first to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year and a great many good wishes for the forthcoming year. Lets hope this year is going to be another success story and that all our members and partners thrive and prosper.

Looking back on 2013 i would argue that it was an expensive year. Most of the money that was raised by the hard work of the Sec/Man, the Board and the staff of the club was spent on wages, improvements and repairs. It is with this in mind that I stress how important it will be over the next 12 months to keep the momentum going. The generation of income is of course paramount. We are unable to continue to progress as a club if we do not have the finances. Our Strategy Document has many projections for the future and we do want to act on them! This coming AGM (14th January) is crucial to the financial situation of the club! I implore you to be there to show support and to vote on the very important motions.

Motion 1 proposes an increase in the subscriptions of £10. This would have a net effect of raising and extra (depending on membership numbers of course) approx £4000. This would cover any increased costs of County Registration (which will probably occur due to county lost revenue!). This could also be used towards further improvements both on and off the course.

Motion 4 proposes ‘THAT DURING THE GOLFING YEAR OF 2014 SUNDAY PLAY IS RESTRICTED TO MEMBERS ONLY, UP UNTIL 4PM ON THAT DAY’ - This would have a net effect of a loss of approx £10,000. My opinion as Chair is that any motion that causes lost revenue needs to be thought about and voted on very carefully due to the knock on effects that it may have.

We would obviously have to operate in a different way to accommodate the loss. It would be a very important subject for the Board to discuss at future meetings and the strategy would have to be altered to accommodate this.

It may have effects on:-

  1. The upkeep of the course and staffing levels on the course, 
  2. The possibility of improvements in and around the clubhouse, 
  3. Staffing levels off the course and therefore possible restrictions to marketing (which would also have a further negative effect on finances),
  4. Further raises in subscriptions,
  5. Possible problems with regards emergency and unforeseen financial needs (such as the clubhouse boiler this year), 
  6. The necessity of putting more visiting parties in on a Saturday or other times during the summer to make up for the deficit
  7. The income for the caterers who run on a very tight budget as it is (it may be the straw........)
  8. The income for "Glyde Golf" who pays "rent" to the club for the usage of the space who requires the regular footfall of visitors to the club to supplement his income.

Our expenditure this year on the course and staff wages has gone up by over £30,000 from the previous year, this in an effort to make a difference to RGC. In effect the lost revenue would put a dint in this type of expenditure.

£10,000 equates to approximately £25 extra per member. This is the price to each and every member in order to have the exclusivity of the course on a Sunday. Should we be asking all members to pay this extra payment? Exclusivity never comes cheap! Even clubs with extremely high subscriptions have to "put up with" visitors to make the books balance.

As you may tell from this blog I will find the motion a very difficult one to accept. We have worked so hard to get ourselves out of a financial hole and to a point where we can start to move forward and we would be jeopardising this position. We would be asking our Sec/Man to work even harder to find ways to cover the loss which would be unfair after the effort that has been made over the last few years. Would/Could this motion had have been proposed if we had made a loss over the last 2 years?We have seen many clubs go bankrupt over the last few years and the country is in a financial mess, do we want to cut (by choice) a revenue strand which may be the difference between prosperity and austerity?

We all know that slow play and interrupted start times are frustrating. We pay our membership subscriptions in order that we are able to enjoy our golf at the club. I understand that VP's are a cause of frustration with regards this matter but suggest that we would be far better off looking at other solutions including better scheduling of tee-times in order to maximise the usage of the course and better on course management (ie Rangers)

From 7.30 - 4.00 is peak time. We have (using 10 minute slots) a maximum capacity of approx 200 golfers on the course during a Sunday. A party of 20 would leave slots for 180 members which should be enough (50% of the total membership) if managed correctly.

This could perhaps raise the spectre of a "Booking System" at weekends (not simply an online diary). This is a very unpopular option with the members in general but could be a solution to the problem. It would seem to me that we are moving in this direction anyway due to the volume of users of the course.

In summary then, it would be good to have a full and frank debate over "Motions 1 and 4" at the AGM. Opinions from all sides should be heard of course. I would request therefore that there be a full house on the 14th Jan, of those of you who have an opinion, so that your voices can be heard and your votes registered. I would dare to suggest that it is wrong to complain about decisions made if you dont attend.

Happy New Year to one and all!

Created: 15-Jan-14 22:48
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