Chairmans Blog January 2016
Happy New Year
Well I hope you all had a really great festive season and your batteries are fully charged for the coming "dank" months! Look on the bright side the shortest day has passed (Dec 22nd) so the nights are gradually getting lighter.
I suppose all it has to do now is stop raining! As I write this missive the course is closed and there seems no signs of any good weather any time soon!
"Whats been happening" I hear you say! "No December Blog!" I hear you say! Well I had a rest and a think! But I am back and looking forward to the future.
We recently held a "Past Captains Dinner" at the club which was fabulous. It was great to see so many "Old Hands" at the club to enjoy a "Joyce and Jim Special Carvery". Delicious! The "Pears in Red wine" have to be sampled to be believed! As is tradition the past captains voted on who they wanted as their "Vice Captain" next year and I am very pleased to inform the members that Nigel Bendelow was elected and shall work alongside Captain Elect Michael Thompson next year. It should be a good one! Good luck to both of you.
The AGM is upon us! It would be great to see a full house on Wednesday 13th January. We do have a decission to make regarding subscriptions so it is important you all have your vote. As you will know by now the committee have recommended that they go up by either £20 or £30 and have created two motions for the members to vote on. We will see what we will see on the night.
Before all this bad weather the course was holding up really well and we were able to play the normal greens most of the time. We still have not had a real frost to worry us but no doubt that will come in the next couple of months. I am pleased to see that people are using the mats and the ropes are working to keep traffic away from the "sensitive" areas. Well done green staff. We are aware that at times it becomes "plodgy" but ........ Hey Ho that is winter golf for you! Our course seems to heal very quickly when the better weather comes.
I will sign off now by saying that I hope you are happy at the club and that if you are not for any reason then you tell us so we can try to do something about it. It would be nice to think that come subscriptions time you all are very happy to stay at the club for another year.
Take care and winter well!
Chairmans Blog November 2015
Winter? Who cares? Its great to see the new "Winter Card"! I love the fact that we offer our members a "Valuable Winter Experience" and not the usual pitch and putt you get at most golf courses during the bleak months. I love the "FedEx" and the "DHL" but I am not so much a fan of being cut to 6! Its tough always scoring 31 or 32 points each weekend. Well, I just need to keep trying.
We are moving nicely towards the AGM and it will be interesting to find out where we have finished financially this year after the difficult time we had with the fire. I hope you have all read the email that has been sent out regarding finances. We certainly do not want or intend to raise subs if we can get away with it but we do need to think about how we can raise a little more money to keep the club on a even keel. Last year there was not one question about the accounts at the AGM, I cannot see that happening this year! We are continuing to work very hard to make the books balance. We intend to keep ourselves financially afloat by using the following tactics:-
- we will be inviting our membership to pay early (as usual)
- we are promoting a new membership deal, £399 until 31st March 2017 in line with our marketing/financial strategy. If a member can attract a new member then we are willing to give them a £50 back bonus!
- we are actively advertising / promoting the remaining tee box sponsorship packages. If you know of anyone............
- we have consulted a Loss Adjuster to submit a claim to our insurers following the coursework done during the recent fire problem (but we are not holding our breaths)
- we understand that HMRC are looking to settle the VAT issue which may bring in a few pounds!
In terms of personnel I think there will be a need for fresh blood on the board as one or two have expressed their intention to have a well earned rest!
Its very interesting when I read last years Chairman's report (and previous ones too) how much we were able to invest in our club. I have to say it has been disappointing to have been more prudent this year. My guess is that we will be able to move forward again next year and see further course and clubhouse improvements.
Its that time of the year when the "Social calendar" gets full. There are quite a few "do's" on. Don't forget:-
Presentation evening 14th Nov
State Express 5 are coming again (with very special guest star) 19th December!
As well as the usual Ladies and Vets Xmas Parties! C'mon!
OK then........ I would like to be one of the first to wish you a very Merry Xmas! Well if its OK for all the shops to do it this early then so can I! Lol!
Chairmans Blog October 2015
Sorry I'm late! Busy, busy, busy!
That's it then. Done and dusted for another year. Accounts are being prepared as we speak. The final figures will be very interesting baring in mind the cost of the fire!
The Board has basically 2 more meetings prior to the AGM and we have some very interesting and important decisions to make on what we intend to take to the members. I believe the club is doing well and if it wern't for the pesky fire......... who knows!
This weekend we reinstate "winter golf" with all that it brings! We remain on greens for as long as we can but we certainly need to think about the protection of our wonderful course. I ask you to think about the use of mats (before it becomes compulsory) on fairways as every divot is damage to be repaired from now on, as the grass will not easily repair itself due to the temperature and therefroe lack of growth.
I am however looking forward to the revamped "FedEx" comp which sees a separate comp on Saturdays and Sundays to allow more people to qualify for the "Shotgun Start" finals at the end of March (72 on each day!). I personally love the fact that we have created 2 different courses at the club and therefore 2 different challenges. It's exciting!
Tonight I am going to the Hadrain League presentation evening to pick up our 2 Trophies! The "Nett Team" winners and the "Singles Nett" winner (Matt Turton). I am really looking forward to that. We deserve it for all of the hard work and I am very proud! Next week is the NDL league presentation and then we move towards our own presentation in November.
I hope that you are all pleased with the way the club has opperated this year. To be honest there have been very few (direct) grumbles! So thanks for that. We do have challenges ahead but ........ it keeps us on our toes I guess. My thoughts now turn to the AGM and the nominations for the new board! I ask myself the question time and time again "Shall I run for office for yet another year?". Please have a chat when you see me and let me know what you think!
Have a good winter!
Chairmans Blog September 2015
Well that's it! Its all over bar the shouting! It's been emotional!
Another season is drawing to it's conclusion and what a good season it has been (except for the fire!). Now we have got white leaves, cold and damp days, early dark nights, winter tees and greens, no significant comps, crazy handicap alterations, mats, very little carry on our drives, a new winter card............ hold on a second........... I actually quite like the winter.................. and with an all new winter card it sounds like a challenge to me! C'mon bring it on!
However before all that there is a little matter of September. With an Indian summer (hopefully) on the cards October will be fine too I have no doubt.
The highlights of the season for me so far (remembering I am in the final of the Barthorpe this weekend) have been:-
- Shaun Embleton becoming a "Double Club Champion". Unbelievable!
- Winning the "Field Day" best net at Slaley Hall GC and Matt Turton winning the individual net! Magnificent!
- The Captain v Vice "A Little Bit Like Ryder Cup" Competition. Marvelous!
- The teams! We should celebrate and be proud of them this year. They have had been managed incredibly well by Capt Geo, Vice Mike and the incredible Matt "Carver" Turton. They represented us with pride and passion. I salute you all boys! Tremendous!
- The Ladies' Sivewright team won the northern part of the Durham League and by a small margin missed out on winning the League trophy outright. They came second and will receive their trophy at the AGM of the Durham Ladies Union. Wonderful!
- Winning the Peart Trophy yet again from the "Aulde Enemy" Tyneside GC. Quality!
- Jack Vincent helping Durham retain the Srixon JGT Trophy at Caris Green GC. Exceptional!
I am sure I have missed something out and will be reminded and I will of course add it!
I look forward to Novembers presentation evening. Always a great celebration and this year I have no doubt will be no exception.
Then it's Xmas. 105 sleeps to go! No doubt the Xmas adverts will be on TV soon! Yawn!
Chairmans Blog August 2015
Another busy month has flown by. All sorts of things happening at the club. Shame the weather hasn't been particularly good so that we can reap the benefits, but we have done OK. It has to be said that despite all of the rain the course has only been closed for one day. I am always amazed at the way the course drains. I am still so thankful for the foresight of the directors who decided that drainage was a good idea! Boy was it a good investment.
We are getting towards the end of the leagues now for both the men and the ladies teams. It's always a really tough 3 months for the captains and organisers. Thank you so much for your time and effort! The league season has had it ups and downs but we have always been competitive and represented the club marvelously. Well done to all of the players too!
I am looking forward very much to this weekends Men's Club Championship. Two days of fierce competition! This year is going to be a close one as there are many more good players at the club. I wish you all the very best of luck. I hope to finish at least in the top 10! The Men's Calcutta Cup, singles and doubles, are getting to the serious part (Semis). Good luck to all of you who have reached this stage. Fiercely competitive this year again!
The fire seems to be "under control" at present. Whilst it is still hot in places it doesn't seem to be worsening. Lets all keep our fingers crossed that it will eventually go out for good. It is so nice to have our 4th back to a par 4 but I have to say I play it completely differently now. No "Big Dog"! Just a baffie these days to ensure I don't go out of bounds. It would be interesting to get feedback from the membership about what you feel should be done to improve the hole. Fencing? Trees? Netting? so many options of course but the budget is tight! (Emails please, not on the course!!!)
The Shop! What to do! Its a real dilemma! Michael has done a fabulous job of stocking it with marvelous offers and tremendous quality. How we move forward with this is still under discussion. Your thoughts and ideas would be very well received on this subject also. (Emails please, not out on the course!!!!)
I completed my "Longest Day Challenge" at Bedlington shire Golf Club. Thank you to all who bought raffle tickets and sponsored me. The final figure is not in yet but it is certainly over £1500. It's all going to "Macmillan Cancer Research" which I hope you all appreciate is a very good cause.
I remain optimistic/positive that the club will be financially OK again this year despite the expense associated with the fire. This is in no small part due the hard work of all concerned at the club who have tried to make a positive contribution. Thank you to them. I would like to finish this blog with an offer to everyone out there who thinks they could do better and has ideas to get involved. It is important you stand up and be counted rather than comment in the background about how you could do things better! Please get on the Board at the next opportunity and make your ideas come to fruition.
To finish off.......................a 6 Ball in a 4BBB....................really? Need I say any more! I know what would happen if I did it! (Thoughts by email please, not on the course!!!)
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