Chairmans Blog January 2015
Well what a week! What with Board Meetings and AGM's we have all been pretty busy.
Lets deal with the Board Meeting first....... We are moving forward next year with a few more new ideas. I ask you to take a look at the minutes. Its all very exciting and little bit "new territory" but we hope that next season will be even better.
I am sorry to see Claire leave the Board because she contributed a great deal to the meetings and she is a very positive person. But good luck to her in the future.
Now the AGM...... Wow! It seemed to go very smoothly this year. There were absolutely no questions about the accounts which completely floored me. It is extremely pleasing that they were accepted without question! That probably will be the first time and last that we will see that. I know that Michael Rutter, Michael Moffitt and Dave Wilson too were extremely happy with that reaction.
Its great to welcome some new blood onto the committee. We welcome Steve Wilson Snr, Geoff Ross, and Past Captain Keith Pearson on board. They will all no doubt put their stamp on the role and bring fresh sets of eyes to matters. I look forward to the next Board Meeting!
Again a big thanks to Paul Stocks for his year as Captain and I wish Geordie Allison the very best for the year. C'mon!
The Q and A session afterwards was a little more "intense"! It could never be classed as enjoyable to be questioned by the membership but I have to say it remained very upbeat and positive. I felt that some very good ideas came out of this process too. They will be all discussed at the next board meeting where we can action those that we feel will make a difference and are in the best interests of the club and its members.
I finish this blog by thanking the 75 members who took the time to come out on a very cold January evening to partake of this annual event and hope that they feel it was a positive and worthwhile experience.
Chairmans Blog December 2014
Well preparations are going ahead nicely for the AGM in just a little over a months time. I am pleased to report that the club has continued to move towards financial stability by showing its third consecutive year of profit. I am very pleased with this considering the amount of money we spent this year on the course. I am pleased now looking back that we did this although at times I was not so sure. After all its just one big juggling act, there are no sure ways to get the job done and still balance the books.
We are going to have some places spare on the board this year. One or two "tenures" are coming to an end and a couple of members have decided to stand down. We did operate one short for half of the year this year and it would be really nice to have a full compliment. So please carefully consider the opportunity to be a director of the club. If you have something to offer, you have the club at heart and you are able to commit a bit of time to helping us improve the place still further then you maybe the ideal person.
As we are moving towards the festive season let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours an absolutely fabulous Chrimbo and wonderful New year. You all deserve it as you have been fantastic members and very patient with me (in the main) this year. I am going to stand again this year if you will have me but I put it out there that if there is anyone with a huge desire to have a go at the job, then stand! Put your name on the board when the list goes up! The only criteria for the job as I see it is the following:
- Broad shoulders
- Deep pockets
- Time rich
- A massive sense of humour
- A good memory
- An ability to work under extreme pressure
and I can hear you saying under your breaths "How the heck did Paul Whittaker get the job then?" I agree of course! Haha!
Looking back if someone were to say to me early 2012 (when co-opted as Chair) that this would be the position at the end of 2014 then I think I would have done it all again! So no real complaints then!
Chairmans Blog November 2014
Firstly and of course most importantly:-
I am very pleased to report that Lucy Harris, our very special and beautiful board member is now finally back home. Having met with her yesterday the improvement she has made is amazing. She was even able to get down to the club during the week. I am so pleased to see this marvellous progress. I cannot wait to see her back hitting a ball. C'mon. Luv ya!
The job of County Development Officer for Northumberland has become more and more all consuming and my involvement at the club has been less and less over the past 2/3 months. I am not happy with this situation but graft comes first as it pays the bills! I am as still committed as ever as my heart is still very much at RGC and maybe as the job becomes more settled then I will be able to spend more time at the club. It would seem however that by saying little and doing little I am getting a lot less aggravation! Catch 22!
I have not as yet had sight of the books but we have a board meeting Monday night and from this meeting we begin the preparation for the AGM (that's come around quickly). I am very much hoping that they show that income and expenditure were very close. I always like that we spend on improvements (investing!) when we have money and this I think we have done. The course still looks fabulous and the greens although a little soft run true as ever. I cannot wait to sample the new winter card with the 2nd and the 12th as par 5's (should be easy!!!!!!!!). I hope you all see it as a good addition to our marketing campaign! "Come to Ryton GC and sample its long par 72 course!"
Well its time to dust off the yellow balls. (Those pesky white leaves!) and wash the winter woollies ready for the very cold days. I am always fascinated to see what people wear to keep warm through the short days of the year. Hats with big bobbles on the top seem to be the latest fashion statement and with Xmas patterns on! I think I will be getting one real soon. I see Ciaron has got a marvellous selection of waterproof trousers! They will sell like hot cakes. I have to be honest I always embrace winter golf and in some strange way look forward to crazy bounces off frozen temps (crackers)! Its always great fun and I just can't wait to hear all of those people who say time and time again "This is ridiculous!" "Why are we playing!" and "We must be mad!" but they still turn up week in and week out (to get their monies worth!) They love it really. Bring it on!
Chairmans Blog October 2014 - Lucy Update
Lucy Update 19th October 2014
Spoke with Lucy today and she is now at home! Wooooohooooo!
She is doing really well and walks on her own around the house. Her arm is gradually coming back to life and she and everybody else is extremely pleased with the progress she is making. C'mon
We love her and miss her so much and if we all send positive thoughts she will be back down the club before we know it!
Lucy Update: 12th October 2014
Spoke with our beautiful, wonderful, darling Lucy tonight and I can inform you all that she walked down the corridor on her own today. She is doing so well! She has some way to go with her left arm and hand but there are definate signs of improvement every day. She thanks you all for the many cards she has had (over 60) but she made a special mention of the wonderful card she got from the vets section (which brought her to tears). Lets continue to send her love and positive thoughts. C'mon!
I am going to start by saying that I am absolutely devastated that our darling Lucy Harris is in hospital as I write, having had a stroke! I cannot wait for her to get better and get back down to the club. I know she is sorely missed by everyone. I ask you all to send her love, best wishes and get well soon messages. Luv ya!
Now to extremely less important things, golf!
That's it! Summer has come and gone and we must now baton down the hatches in preparation for the long winter months. But hey......its been a dry summer and a good season! Today was the last day for us to play off the whites on summer tees until April next year. Hopefully however we will still be on the greens until well into the winter (fingers crossed). As from Monday the usage of mats is optional. This is to begin the process of protecting our beautiful course. We all know what a difference the usage of mats over the winter months has made over the last two seasons. So let us all have a long hard think about how we want the course to look in April and get the mats out now. You know it makes sense.
The financial ledger is closed for this year! "I wonder how we did financially this season" I hear you ask! Well the answer seems to be "as predicted"! A satisfactory year taking everything into consideration but not turning a huge profit due to all the money spent on the course! We will need to wait until the accountants have weaved their magic and come up with the final audited accounts which we will of course present to you at the AGM in January.
I have to be honest I have been thinking long and hard about being "Chair" moving into the future. Its not the easiest or nicest job at times and this season has been littered with comments which have made me wondered why I bother. I think to myself "Surely people can see that the course and the financial position has improved!" "Surely people can see that the 70 odd thousand pound the club gets in from visitors is essential!" "Surely all the tree work we did has had a positive effect on our course!" "Surely members appreciate the hard work of the Secretary/Manager!" "Surely ................!" I sincerely hope that this is the case or then it really is time to give someone else the chance to try to please our members.
I would like to say a huge congratulations to Steve Lee for becoming this years Calcutta singles winner and to Peter Liddle and James Lambert for winning the doubles this weekend. They are all very deserving of the title of Champions since it has been a long hard journey to the final. well done
Chairmans Blog September 2014
September already. The season is about to draw to an abrupt close! Its been a good year so lets give thanks for that. The weather has been relatively warm, the course has stood up well to the battering it has taken, the captain has behaved himself, the finances are looking OK, so the future is relatively rosie! What could go wrong?
I have taken it upon myself not to be contraversial in my blogs in the future for fear of upsetting people. So please note that they will be short and very carefully composed hence forward. Whilst there are still many things that I would like to raise and have the membership seriously consider, it would seem, from recent feedback, that I have been rather too contentious. If I get the chance to talk with you individually in the clubhouse maybe you can give me your thoughts. It is interesting though that when people speak with me they do not "censor" their words.
It was great to welcome some new names onto the boards around the clubhouse. On this note can I congratulate Geoff Ross for becoming Mens Club Champion 2014 and Claire Miller for picking up the ladies championship once again.
I also congratulate Peter Tomlinson and Maggie Myers for their magnificent win in the Barthorpe. I had the pleasure of being their cross partners on the day and was extremely impressed with the way they calmly and carefully plotted their way around the course! Well done.
Congrats should also go to Jack Vincent for representing Durham on behalf of RGC in the "Srixon Junior Golf Tour" finals at Wynyard on Sunday 7th Sept. He is someone to watch out for in the future!
Well done also the Hadrain League Field Day team who won the Best Net competition on the day. The Captain should be praised for bringing silverware to the club.
Its another "Board Meeting" tonight. Of course, I advise you all to read the minutes when they are posted. We are still working hard to move the club forward.
I hope you have appreciated the new signage around the course. I believe it has made a great difference to the feel of the course. I am pleased also to see that the sponsorship is coming in to cover the cost.
I now look forward to the end of the financial year (end of Sept) and viewing the final accounts. Hopefully it will be similar to last years where we have run the club within budget and have still been able to make significant adjustments/advances/changes to the course. It is then all about preparations for the AGM in January. Lets hope we have another big turn out and our members are happy with what has been done on their behalf.
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