11th July 2019
Present: Mr Captain, Lady Captain, Dave Tweddle, Dave Hughes, Richard Barnes
Apologies: Karen Green
58 completed surveys were received (a disappointing number!)
The results had been tabulated in a spreadsheet which was then used to provide a written report that was the basis for the meetings’ discussion.
The survey revealed that members really like the underlying course, with acknowledgment of the improvements made in the initial years of Richard and Tim’s ownership.
The main issue for members is inadequate maintenance with frustration that with a bit more TLC the course could be a real gem.
Most of the main issues relate to relatively simple things reflecting the presentation of the course. Richard acknowledged that sometimes a clearer focus on specific issues would help.
Course Presentation Standard
In order to address these issues it was suggested that it would be a useful step to prepare a ‘course presentation standard’ which would define what was expected and provide a clear focus for the green-staff to aim for.
Richard agreed that this would be a positive move. It was agreed that a first draft would be prepared and then discussed with Richard, Andy (Head Greenkeeper) and the greens liaison committee before finalising.
Once the standard is finalised a monthly course report will be prepared using the ‘course presentation standard’ as a reference
Richard agreed to look into a practice net(s) that could be placed next to the current teaching unit.
Shoe/Trolley Cleaning Area
Untidiness in areas around the clubhouse was an issue raised by several members. A significant contribution to this is the area around the shoe/trolley cleaning area. Richard proposed to modify the facility by building a larger grated area to collect the waste.
Off Course Facilities
Richard acknowledged the frustration of the members when impacted by an event. He pointed out that initially they had invested considerably in the course before moving on to investing in the event facilities.
Currently the weddings/event part of the business underpins the club and ensures the future of the golf course.
Richard confirmed that the new members area (to replace the current conservatory) is planned to be built this autumn (needs to wait for end of main golf and wedding season).
The final plans are being drawn up for planning submission and will be displayed in the club shortly. Richard hopes to begin work in October and finish before Christmas.
It is hoped that this will alleviate many of the problems well before next or before the start of next season which is welcomed as a significant investment in the future of club membership facilities.
Away from events/weddings the survey revealed that in general members appreciate the existing facilities in the clubhouse.
However, one area that features in the dislikes was the changing facilities. It was acknowledged that by the standards of some older/established clubs the changing facilities were small/limited.
However, Richard pointed out that the facility had been improved during the recent building phase and were as large as could be achieved within the limitations imposed by the building.
Everyone was happy to acknowledge the very positive view of the staff that was very strongly expressed in the survey returns.
A primary reason for setting up the Members Council was to provide a communication channel between members and owners.
While communication was not specifically raised in the survey, there were a number of comments that implied that better communication regarding the course condition and facilities would help. While Richard is very happy to discuss any aspects of the club directly with individual members, we propose to set up a formal communication pathway through the Member’s Council.
All members will therefore be encouraged to raise any issue with a member of the Member’s Council which will then be discussed with Richard and any outcomes reported. (Probably via a regular 2 monthly report or a specific report if something of particular significance comes up).
This vehicle will also be used to inform the membership of any developments or initiatives proposed by the owners.
Concern over disciplinary procedures was raised by 1 member in the survey. So not a major topic but it is an area that has recently been discussed by the men’s competition committee.
The men’s competition committee do have a formal procedure but (i), it is not clear if the other committees have defined procedures or (ii), whether such matters should be handled by individual committees or whether there should be a single procedure for the whole club administered by representatives of all members.
The discussion at this meeting was not able to fully resolve this, so further discussion is needed. We will consult with the individual committees and are happy to take views from any members in order to make a final recommendation.
Conclusions and Actions
Prepare/agree a ‘course presentation standard’ and issue monthly course reports with reference to this ‘standard’.
Richard to look into setting up practice net(s)
An extended grated area with underground collection pit to be built to tidy up the area round the shoe/trolley cleaning facility
Finalise and display plans for the new members area. Aim to have this built/complete well before next year.
The Members Council to act as a communication pathway between members and owners, with regular reports circulated to all members
Conduct discussions with the 3 committees (and take views more widely across the membership) with respect of consistent/appropriate disciplinary procedure.
The specific ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ raised in the survey and the additional comments at the end of the survey revealed that there is a great deal of positivity and genuine affection for the club but there are also some real frustrations that are preventing the positive member’s experience being fully realised.
Hopefully by revealing these frustrations and working constructively with Richard, as identified above, we can address the frustrations and take the club forward.