We all know that the last year has been extremely difficult and we have all missed a lot of golf. The executive committee realises that you have not had value for money from the golf club but it has been beyond our control. Knowing this we have looked carefully at our finances to give you the best offer we can. Those who have been members for a number of years know that our finances are precarious, and for several years we have had to borrow from members, and much of that has still to be repaid. For the first time in a good while, in the financial year up to March 2020 we broke even. In the year since we have had financial help from the government but there have still been expenses and money is still tight.
You know that we have had a lot of trouble with leatherjackets in the greens. The greens committee have been doing a really good job and have found that the greens have far too much thatch through lack of scarifying. With this in mind we have purchased a second hand greens mower. The scarifier can then be permanently attached to the old greens mower so that the green staff can now scarify regularly to reduce the thatch. Reducing the thatch means better drainage also helps to reduce the leatherjackets. Also the greens committee is looking to buy sheets of black plastic to cover the greens overnight, as this apparently will bring the leatherjackets to the surface and they can be disposed of. If you want to know more, ask Tom! All my information has come from him and like the others on the greens committee, he is passionate to improve the course for us all.
John Thorp, chair of the greens committee has sent me this to include from their last meeting:
The Greenkeepers have been working limited hours to complete essential maintenance
The Club have sourced several new winter tee mats which have been installed on the 4th, 9th, 15th and 16th tee’s.
We have purchased a second greens mower which will not only provide backup for cutting, but will enable us to scarify the greens.
The Greenkeepers are both geared up to return full time to get the course in top condition once we have a clearer picture of the lifting of restrictions.
I did an audit with Doug last year on the machinery and it is all old and will need replacing in the near future.
We need to improve the course and for this we need the money to do so and this has to be our priority. So we have tried to be as generous as we can be in subscriptions for next year based on a proposed break even budget. We will however review the situation later in the year when hopefully things are more settled. Then we shall see if we are in a position where we can afford, and therefore offer anything further to members.
For health and safety reasons we are looking to exchange the petrol buggies for second hand electric ones
We are still looking for quotes for the patio cover. Some quotes have been over the £5,000 donated by England Golf for that specific reason but it is still being worked on. We have an executive meeting next week and we will certainly be discussing it.
I would like to thank Aidie for his generous offer of not accepting the £50 on his card and for those who intend to follow his lead and those who have already informed the office that they too are willing to forego the payment. However there is no obligation to follow Aidie’s suggestion as this past year will have been very difficult for many of you financially and in other ways. Every members’ financial position is different, from members comfortable in life, to members with mortgages, children or other obligations.
It now looks as if golf will resume on Monday 29th March and I would remind you that you can book teeing off times up to 2 weeks ahead. Also, if we have to play in 2s and you want to play 18 holes the booking system previously only allowed 2 hours between 9s and so you would be advised to book the two 9s separately. The government’s pathway also suggests that beer gardens will open on Monday April 12th and the possibility of bar and catering opening for outside service only will also be on the agenda for the next meeting.
As a note of caution, I think that initially the two metre rule, washing of hands etc will still be recommended and we all need to bear this in mind when we will all want to socialise after such a long time.
Sue and the board of directors