Chairman’s Blog - May 2013
Welcome to the Chairman’s May blog, although given the current weather, it should perhaps be re-named the March blog! A combination of frost, rain, hail, high winds, thunder, lightning and occasional warm sunshine – often all in the same day (!) – has made it seem a very long spring, but despite it all, there are green leaves on the trees, the lilies are coming out, and, at last, the grass is starting to grow. Although the recovery of the damaged areas on the course has taken far longer than we had hoped, there are signs that we are moving in the right direction, albeit slowly, and we can only hope that a spell of good warm weather will accelerate the process, and that we will have the course back to tip-top condition within the next couple of months. In the meantime I can only thank Jeff Purdy, Gareth and the greens staff for their continuing hard work, and you, the members for your forbearance in the meantime.
Once again it is with regret that I have to report the passing of another long-standing member, Fred Bellingall, who passed away after a short illness during the month. Fred was a great supporter of the Club, a former Seniors’ Captain, Seniors’ Team player, and, with Sue a keen member of the Mixed Team, so our condolences go to the family at this time.
I am pleased to report that your Captain, Peter Gill, successfully underwent surgery on 22nd May, which seems to have gone well, and Peter is now recovering at home. Judging by the stream of emails which continue to emanate from Bingham, his recovery is well on the way already, and we look forward to seeing him up and about, and back at the Club in the near future.
On the down side, Tuesday 22nd May will see the departure from the Club of Phil and Mandy Doubleday from their positions as Steward and Stewardess. Mandy h as been with us for seven years, and Phil for four (seems longer, Phil!) and they and their family have given the Club great service during that time. We wish them well, and I’m sure we will continue to see them round the course and the clubhouse in the future, where they will be most welcome.
After a thorough recruitment process, we have secured the services of Andrew and Tracy Stirzaker as the new Steward and Stewardess. They are joining us at the beginning of July from a club on the outskirts of York where they have also held the positions of Steward and Stewardess. Prior to that, both of them have extensive experience in the catering industry, and Andrew has been a finalist on more than one occasion in the “White Rose Catering Awards” (despite being a Lancastrian!), so we are very much looking forward to welcoming them to the Club. During the changeover period there will inevitably be the occasional disruption to the normal levels of service which members enjoy, but I would ask members to be both considerate and sympathetic to all those people who will be managing the transition.
There have been two “big days” at the club during the last month, both of which have been handled brilliantly by our members. On 15th May 125 players from 36 Clubs took part in the Seniors’ Open, ably organised by Seniors’ Captain Mick Rance and Committee Member Malcolm Edwards. The overall winner was Richard Kerkham from Kings Lynn, with 39 points, with the Ben Tyler Trophy for the best score by a Stoke Rochford member going to Trevor Broadhead, with 37 points.
On Friday 17th May our President, Neil McCorquodale ran a Charity Day at the Club which was once again a great success, and enjoyed by a large field of guests. A lot of the organisation was handled by Stoke members, particularly Rod Rawson, Gary Sharp and Roger Smith, but helped on the day by an army of assistants, so my thanks to all those who helped to present the Club in the best possible light.
Those of you who are observant (and not hard of hearing!) will have noticed a number of welcome additions on the course – new ball washers on the 7th, 11th and 17th tees, both the refurbished bells on the 6th and 18th holes, and the tee plates on every tee.
Our thanks to Past Captains Jil Watson and Roger Smith for their generous gift of two washers, and to the competitions fund for the Chris Jones commemorative washer on the 17th. Roger Rawson arranged for the support posts to be powder coated, and John Lemon handled the installations, so we are grateful to all of them for their worthwhile contribution.
Michael Bailey and the team at Bailey Trailers have also made a great job of the bells, which not only look good but sound good also, so our thanks to him for his generous gesture towards the Club.
It has been some years since we purchased the tee plates for the posts on each tee, and they have inevitably deteriorated over time. However, with a great deal of ingenuity and a greater degree of skill and patience, these have all now been refurbished, repainted and replaced by Dave Cartwright, who has made an even better job of them than the suppliers did originally!
I hope that our members will take the opportunity to thank them all when they see them around the Club.
Management Meeting – April
On Tuesday 3rd May we had a management meeting, the relevant points from which are summarised below :
Greens Chairman – (Jeff Purdy)
Growth on the course continued to be slow, and behind what would be expected at this time of year. However, over the last 10 days there has been a noticeable improvement. Greens, tees and walkways had been fertilised as part of normal course maintenance at this time of year. The greens had been over-sown to aid their recovery from last autumn’s applications, and bare patches on the greens and their surrounds had been hand-filled with a mix of seed and top dressing to try to increase the speed of recovery and improve smoothness
There was some discussion regarding the access to and from the 8th green. A question had been asked whether it would be possible to install any steps on the right hand side of the Green as there was quite a slope in places and wear was becoming apparent. It was reported that at the last greens meeting a discussion had been held about the possibility of reducing the slope of the bank. In addition, work was being put in hand to reinforce the bank behind the green and on the path, for which sleepers had been obtained. Hopefully this work would be undertaken before the Spring Open.
New ball washers had been installed on ladies 7th, 11th and 17th tees and all bunkers now had rake stands.
With regard to trees on the course, the pine trees on the right of the 14th hole had now been removed by Stoke Rochford Estates. Their removal had opened up the vista towards the Hall’s lake, and some further trimming would take place to improve the view. The tree on the 7th ladies tee was still in need of pruning.
At the last meeting the question of a new notice board on the approach to the course, which would contain all the playing notices which were presently attached to various golf club shafts had been raised but as yet, since metal ones were neither as aesthetic or affordable as wooden ones, and no members had been able to offer an alternative solution, the situation was still under review..
House Chairman (Mrs June Miller)
The House Chairman reported on the actions which had been taken following the receipt of Mandy and Phil’s unexpected resignation on 29th April
The vacancy had been advertised on the Golf Club Stewards’ website, and the Club had received applications from fifteen couples.
A schedule of interviews had been arranged, and these took place on Monday & Tuesday 9th and 10th of May. A shortlist of candidates had been drawn up, and an offer had been made to the most suitable couple. (Subsequent to the meeting, the couple had accepted the offer and would be starting at the beginning of July, subject to their being able to negotiate the termination of their current employment)
The Captain had run a Race Night on Friday 19th April where approximately 50 members and their guests attended. The evening seemed to be enjoyed by everyone, and it had raised sufficient funds to cover the shortfall required for the purchase of the new life-saving defibrillator which was to be installed in the Clubhouse.
The Vice-Captain, Gary Skerritt continued to develop the low-energy LED Lighting Scheme for the Clubhouse, as well as making a suggestion regarding the replacement of at least one of the paper hand-towel dispensers in the Gents with an electric “air blade” hand dryer.
The continuing saga of the damaged fence at the back of the Clubhouse, between the cellar area and the garage had not yet been resolved, despite pressure from the Club. This was now being elevated to a higher level, as the club continued to be vulnerable to attack through this area, which was out-of-sight to the garage employees.
Treasurer (Roger Rawson)
The Treasurer reported to the meeting that he was receiving membership renewals at a satisfactory rate in line with the renewal rate last year. He was continuing to chase those that were outstanding, as they had now become overdue from 30th April. He would also be having a meeting with the Professional shortly to identify those members who were continuing to play but who were no longer paid up members.
Prompted partly by the offers around Christmas time, the Club had enrolled 30 new members, and so far had received only 18 resignations, but it was still early days, and the picture would become clearer as slow payers were chased up.
The new “Country Cards” for members who did not get them at the time of their renewals, as they had not arrived by then, were now at the club for them to collect.
The “New Member’s Handbook” which had been produced by the Marketing Group had been posted out to recently joined members, and the Club were receiving positive feedback about them.
Bar takings in general had been down in March, but this was attributed to the heavy snowfall we had experienced in the month. The Treasurer had scheduled a meeting with our current beer suppliers Greene King, to review the terms of the beer supply agreement for a further period.
H andicap & Competitions (Chairman - Steve Cullington )
The Handicap and Competitions Chairman informed the meeting that, following information gleaned from a beer mat (!) “How-did-I do” were presenting players who achieved a hole-in-one with a watch Congratulations to Jil Watson, last year’s Ladies Captain, for being the first player in the Club to qualify for one.
With regard to Club competitions, particularly the open events, the Spring Open was almost fully subscribed; however the club had received fewer than 30 entries for the rescheduled “Golden Jubilee” competition on May 27th, which was giving cause for concern. The Captain undertook to give it special mention at his presentation night on Friday, but the format and viability of the event would be reviewed by the Competitions Committee
There were concerns about our Pro-Am in June, for which we had initially only 6 entries. Unfortunately this was in line with most of the Lincolnshire Pro-Ams, most of which were seeing a low take-up. Although this could be seen as a result of the economic downturn, the problem was more complex for SRGC as the Club declares the prize money in advance of the event. The situation had, however, improved considerably subsequently, thanks mainly to the energies of the Professional and was now back “on-course”.
The Club would be running an additional competition in conjunction with the scheduled Pheasant Cup, on Sunday 26th May 2013. The Competition, in aid of the “Help for Heroes” charity, was being sponsored nationally by Volvo Cars, and the Local Grantham Volvo Dealer, Marshall’s. They had requested permission to display their vehicles around the course. In addition, they also wished to run a special, one-off, Hole-in-One completion, with a £5 entry fee, with numerous prizes for each of the Par 3 holes. In the overall national competition, the top five gentlemen’s and top five ladies’ scores would go forward to produce the Stoke Rochford Team’s combined score. If the total was high enough, it would entitle the players to represent the club in the Regional Finals.
The Competitions Chairman passed round the meeting, for the committee to examine and approve, the replacement for the “Elms Cup”, the original having been lost by last year’s winner from Chesterfield GC when he moved house.
Club Marketing Group (Chairman – Graham Miller)
The advertisement on the information board on the London departure platform of Grantham Station went on display on 18th April. The advertisement will stay in place for one year.
The latest membership offers, including the £99 green fee offer and the twilight golf offer were now on display in the gymnasium at Stoke Rochford Hall.
With regard to the David Wilson Homes offer of a complimentary round of golf for two at Stoke Rochford, 6 vouchers so far had been used, details of which had been collected by Angus Dow for a follow-up call
New Members continued to join the Club, in addition to which two “£50 taster” offers had been taken up in April 2013
The last marketing meeting had taken place
on Thursday 25th April.
Matters discussed included :
No lady member had yet been nominated to replace Dorne Werner on the Marketing Committee. The Lady Captain had this in hand.
Andy Watson and Nick Nixon had joined the group.
With regard to promoting the Club via the social media systems, Facebook and Twitter – Nick Nixon and Chris Jones were going to prepare a note for the group on the strategy that the Club should adopt.
Steven Greenfield had done further work on the Corporate Sponsorship of tees – the pricing the offers, also on the cost of the boards. This would be finalised at the next meeting.
In addition to the tee sponsorship, the group had also looked at flexible options for corporate membership and sponsorship. The Club had also been approached by a Company in Grantham who were interested in what SRGC could offer, and this was being actively pursued.
Press coverage – Chris Jones was now providing an excellent media service for information from the Club, but inputs from team captains and others who had “newsworthy” stories was still in short supply.
Following feedback from various members of the Committee, the first formal version of the New Member’s Booklet had now been completed. Copies would be sent to all those new members who had joined since November 2012, accompanied by a welcome letter from the Club Captain. Copies had also been left in the Clubhouse for existing members to see. All new members would get a personal copy in future when they received their bag tags and diaries. Feedback from new or existing members would be welcome, since we wished the booklet to be as helpful and informative as possible
At the last meeting, Committee Members had asked for a proposal for twilight golf for the summer of 2013. This had been discussed at the Marketing Group Meeting, and it was proposed that the times for twilight golf would be after 4pm in May, 5pm June/July/August, revert to 4pm in September, and 3pm in October. The price would be £15 per player, but we would also offer a three-for-two option – i.e. 3 players for £30. However, four-balls would not be accepted, to avoid any problems of slow play in front of Club Members. This proposal was approved by the Committee
The Club had been represented at the latest England Golf Marketing Seminar, held at Woodhall Spa on 23rd April. 21 out of 52 Lincolnshire Clubs were represented. The message from EG was that there was little potential to increase affiliated membership, but that the growth market was in “pay-and-play”. Golf was now a 4-hour leisure commodity, to be sold in competition with other leisure-time activities, and that, while price was still an important factor, the “whole package” – visibility, the quality and reputation of the course, ease of booking, friendly approach, prompt response, additional options (food etc) – would determine whether clubs were ultimately successful in maintaining or increasing their income.
Stoke Rochford scored quite well on the “marketing check-list” but there were a number of areas and a number of initiatives where we could still improve.
Finally It was proposed that the scheme which had been discussed last year, for committee members to mentor new members, be resurrected and put into practice.
Any other business
The Lady Captain expressed concern about the number of trees that had been taken out between the club and the A1, and, following consultation with Stoke Rochford Estates, they have provided wooden fencing panels which should lessen the visual impact of the work and, hopefully, keep the buggy park secure.
A number of members had complained that the shoe cleaner outside the Professional’s shop was not working correctly, and seemed to be lacking power. This would be looked into and a report presented to the next meeting.
Once again congratulations on getting this far! However, to finish with there are just one or two final things to mention.
The next Captain’s presentation night will be on Friday 7th June, and once again it would be great to see the Clubhouse full. The May presentation night was extremely well supported, and as ever, members – particularly some of our new members – are welcome at the evening.
The re-arranged Golden Jubilee Trophy will be held on Monday 27th May – the format is “member and guest” better-ball, so it’s a great opportunity to show the Club off to your friends by inviting them to play with you in this new competition. There are still places available in both the morning and afternoon shotgun starts, so it’s not too late to enter by contacting Steve Cullington.
An unexpected and unique (well, unless you are a “C” team player!) opportunity on Thursday 23rd May! As part of the Kingfisher Lighting Golf Day at the Club, our Treasurer, Roger Rawson, has arranged a visit from Geoff Swain, currently the World Trick Shot Champion, to give a demonstration to which, in addition to Kingfisher’s guests, Roger has extended an invitation to Club Members to come along and see some extraordinary feats of golfing ability! The demonstration will take place at approximately 4.45pm, so those who are able to come will be in for a real treat!
Once again may I remind you that we always welcome publicity in the local press for the Club and its players, and through Chris Jones, our Press Officer, we have a ready-made channel to all the local papers and magazines in the area. So for those who manage our teams, or any other member who has a newsworthy event that they would like to publicise, then Chris’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . Let’s see if we can get Stoke Rochford up there in the headlines, and hopefully our results for the coming season will keep us there!
Finally, to all those members who help the Club voluntarily in so many ways, my thanks to you, as ever, for all that you do for the Club – for without you we would have a Golf Course, but not a Golf Club. We appreciate and value your encouragement and support, in return for which we hope that the Club delivers all that you would expect of it. All we need now is the co-operation of the weather ………!
Thank you for reading this far. May I wish you good golfing, and goodbye until my next blog.
Stoke Rochford Golf Club
Chairmans Blog. January/February 2013
Since my last “Blog” it was with great sadness and great shock that we heard of the passing
In our continuing effort to communicate more effectively about matters which affect the Club, I will try in this blog to summarise some of the management items which may be of interest to members, which have arisen since the start of the year.
Greens’ Chairman – Jeff Purdy
The estate had been contacted again about their wish to see the removal of the fir trees on the right-hand side of the 14th hole (Colonel’s hide) and we had been advised that the work would be done shortly.
We had approached the Estate to see if they had any trees to donate to the Club this year, but they had responded that none would be available. To commence our long term tree under-planting, we may therefore need to purchase some, if the Woodland Trust are not going to be giving any away this year
The course spring maintenance programme has been started, with fairways being solid tined during the past 2 weeks, and is still ongoing. The Greens were still growing and needing to be cut, which was encouraging, with some of the more damaged areas on the surrounds beginning to close in.
The new bunkers on the 4th had had their turf laid, and, weather permitting, the bunker linings and turf base layers will be installed by the middle of January.
The bunkers on the 3rd would be altered to address members’ concerns raised at the architect’s open meeting regarding the distance to the back edges of the bunkers, and these would be extended to provide a more level and fairer playing area.
The tree surgeon had visited on 7th January to discuss this seasons’ work, and it was hoped that the work identified would be started in February
A comment had been written into the member’s book regarding stones in bunkers to which the Green’s Chairman had responded . If the drier spell continues, other bunkers on the course would receive much needed work, moving sand and topping up during January.
House Chairman – Mrs June Miller
Handicap & Competitions Chairman – Steve Cullington
The Handicap and Competition Chairman reported that the Christmas Competitions had not been a great success, due mainly to the poor weather conditions that had prevailed throughout the week, but after the cost of prizes had been deducted £77 had been presented to the Captain’s Charity.
A handicap review was scheduled for Monday 21st January, after which those handicaps which had been revised would come into effect on 1st March
The Vice-Captain’s suggestion for a review of the format of the Captain’s Presentation Evening was still being considered, and it was noted that, somewhat disappointingly, there was £500 of uncollected vouchers outstanding from last year from prize-winners who had not attended to collect their prizes.
Treasurer – Roger Rawson
The Treasurer was due to have a meeting with the Green’s Chairman and Head Green Keeper with regard to their budget proposals for the coming year which was scheduled for 16 January 2013
Takings from the gaming machine had declined substantially with the passing of one of our well-known members, and the gaming machine was not now generating a profit after leasing and licensing costs are covered. An agreement had been reached with the Company from whom we lease the machine, that, for a trial period, they would cover all the costs, so that we had no outgoings at all, other than electricity, and they would now take 50% of any takings made, with the Club retaining the remaining 50%.
The Committee discussed a proposal that members should be allowed to pay for their 2013-14 subscriptions up front, at the 2012-13 rate, in line with the special introductory offers that were available to new members joining the Club for the first time. The financial implications were spelled out, including the benefits of improved cash flow during the months of January, February and March, against the loss of income of the increase in April. After some debate, there was a vote not to proceed with the suggestion, as the loss of income outweighed any financial benefit we could obtain by using the cash generated profitably.
Club Marketing – Graham Miller
The Club had received a good response to the £50 “taster one-month membership” offer, and so far three prospective members had taken up the opportunity to join as full members.
.The “Christmas Cracker” green fee offer had had a modest take-up and the response was somewhat disappointing.
The work to set up Twitter and Facebook accounts had come to a standstill with Chris Jones’ passing, but this would be resurrected as soon as possible, although some help would be required from Members who were familiar with the operation of these social media systems.
Steve Greenfield was still actively pursuing sponsors for tee signs, and a proposal would be developed for a number of alternative sponsorship packages.
We now had 1000 new Stoke Rochford brochures in the Club House, including an application form to join, which would also contain a single sheet insert which detailed the membership fees for all categories. As these inserts were loose, it would be easy to keep them current. Dorne Werner was thanked for her design input to the leaflet which looked very professional
Secretary – Arthur Wheeler.
Three proposals had been received for the AGM, two generated by Management, relating to the proposed subscription increase from April 1st, and a proposal to change the basis of the Club’s subscriptions from 2014 as a single Club subscription for both gentlemen and ladies, in addition to which the various affiliation fees to England Golf, the County Associations and the LGU would be shown separately. This would allow the Club to comply with the discrimination & equality legislation, as well as making a fairer comparison between competing Club subscriptions, where the majority of Clubs in the area already showed their subscriptions on this basis.
A third proposal had been received from Mr Jim Price requiring the Management Committee and Sub-Committees to publish their minutes within 10 days of any meeting taking place. The proposal, having been seconded by Mr Trevor Harvey, would be debated at the AGM.
The Captain reported that he and the Lady Captain had arranged a meeting with the Ambulance Service with regard to the cost of a defibrillator and the necessary training.
He reported that after due consideration he had decided to cancel his “Last Supper” event.
With regard to the ball washers however, negotiations were progressing, and it was hoped to be able to install between three and five new ball washers around the course.
Steve Greenfield reported that following an entry in the suggestion book, he had looked into the situation with regard to Wi Fi in the Club House and he was still waiting for cost figures.
Andrew Watson informed the meeting that he would take on the role of “B” Team Captain, for what would have been the last year of Chris Jones’ tenure. The “B” Team players had requested that as a tribute to Chris, they be allowed to wear red team shirts for the coming season. This was agreed.
The Secretary told the meeting that sponsorship for the 2013 diary was progressing well and he hoped to be receiving the draft proof very soon.
This summarises the proceedings of the Management meeting.
Annual General Meeting
On the 6th Feb we held the Stoke Rochford Golf Club’s AGM, which was attended by 90 members. Once again I would like to summarise the proceedings for those members who were unable to attend :
The captain started off the AGM in presenting a cheque to the Alzheimer’s Society for £4256.85 and, on Roger’s behalf, I would like to thank everybody who contributed to this very worthy charity.
The Chairman then called for a few moments silence to remember absent friends
After apologies for absence and approving the minutes of the AGM held on 1st February 2012, there being no matters arising, each of the officers of the Golf Club then presented their reports. In accordance with the Club’s rules, individual reports were received from the Captain, the Secretary, the Green’s Chairman, the Handicap & Competition Chairman, the Fixture Secretary, the House Chairman, the Treasurer, and finally my own report on the year as your Chairman.
Questions were invited after each report, and after the treasurer’s report, which reported an operating loss for the year, club member Mr Trevor Broadhead expressed great concern over the future viability of the golf club if the continuing financial climate were to continue. After a long and open discussion where these concerns were openly debated, the members were told that the Finance, Marketing and Management Committees were watching the club’s finances with great diligence, all costs and expenses were being monitored, and every opportunity would be taken to reverse the trend of the last few years.
After all the reports had been presented, the three proposals notified to the Secretary and displayed in the clubhouse were tabled :
The first proposition, “That the Standard Rate Annual Subscription for 2013/2014 shall be increased to £660 with the House Membership to remain at £5 “was proposed by Roger Rawson and seconded by Graham Miller. Both detailed the reasoning behind the increase, after which I invited anyone to speak for or against the proposition, and as no comments came from the floor, a vote on a show of hand took place and the proposal was passed
The second proposition “In order to comply with the Equality Act 2010, and to recognise the merger of the English Golf Union & the English Women’s Golf Association, Section 4(e) of the Club’s Constitution and rule book be changed, reference to the EGU and EWGA be changed to “England Golf” and the words “ agrees to pay” be amended to “agrees to collect and remit” was proposed by Graham Miller and seconded by Keith Helstrip and was in line with the explanation for the changes to which I made reference in my summary of the January Management meeting. Once again I invited anyone to speak for or against the proposition, and as no comments came from the floor, a vote on a show of hand took place and the proposal was passed
The third proposition, that “ Stoke Rochford Golf Club Management Committee and each of its “feeder” sub-committees must publish the full minutes of each and every meeting within ten(10) days of a meeting having occurred. The first time of publication must be for meetings held in March 2013” was proposal by Mr. Jim Price and seconded by Mr. Trevor Harvey
After Jim Price had spoken in favor of his proposition and a somewhat shortened supporting speech was received from his seconder, Trevor Harvey, I asked if anyone else would like to respond to the proposal, at which point the Secretary, Arthur Wheeler explained in detail that the Committee had discussed this request on three occasions in the last 12 months, and spelled out why they had voted not to accede to it, on the grounds that a number of personal and commercially sensitive issues were covered at Committee. The Committee had decided that it would not always be in the best interests of the Club or its members if these were put in the public domain. I had already pledged that as much non-sensitive material would be included in my regular blog, and after the Vice-Chairman elect Mr Graham Miller had made a couple of further points, and there being no more speakers from the floor, a secret vote was taken at the request of Mr. Price in accordance with section 9(d) of the club’s rules. With 30 votes in favour and 60 against, the proposal failed
The last item on the agenda was the election of the Club’s Officers & committee members for the following year. The results were as follows :
Messrs Richard Skelton, Rod Rawson, John Martindale, Gerald Morley, Fred Atter and Ralph Davenport
Chairman : Myself, Kevin Dodds
Vice-Chairman: Mr Graham Miller
Captain: Mr Peter Gill
Vice-Captain : Mr Gary Skerritt
Secretary: Mr Arthur Wheeler
Treasurer: Mr Roger Rawson
Fixture Secretary: Mr Keith Helstrip
Handicap & Competitions Chairman: Mr Steve Cullington
Greens Chairman: Mr Jeff Purdy
House Chairman: Mrs June Miller
Immediate Past Captain: Mr Roger Smith
Committee Members: Mrs Marion Carvath, ( Ladies Captain ), Mrs Carol Hamilton, (Ladies Secretary), Messrs Malcom Edwards, Steven Greenfield, Simon Glencross, Peter Mills, Gary Sharp and Andrew Watson,
At the AGM James Footitt and Greg Shelton stood down from the Committee, and I am very grateful to them both for their work throughout the year on your behalf.
With James Footitt standing down, we have a vacancy for the position of Junior Organiser, which James has filled with distinction for the last 3 years, and who helped us to achieve our “GolfMark” accreditation for the organisation of coaching at the Club for our junior members. We are always grateful to any adults who are able to assist in the development of our junior section, since the juniors are the “seed corn” for the Club’s future, so if you are interested in finding out more about what might be involved, please contact me and let me know.
In addition, our Handicap and Competitions Organiser, Steve Cullington is looking for a Captain and organiser for the Club’s Social Team for the coming season, so if you would like to give him a hand, please do not hesitate to give him a call.
The meeting concluded with your outgoing Captain, Roger Smith, presenting his successor, Peter Gill with his Captain’s tie and pullover, and in turn, Peter giving a gracious acceptance speech, as well as presenting Roger with his past-captain’s tie and a framed souvenir – a Stoke Rochford flag surrounded by details of all the Club’s Presidents, Chairmen and Captains – to mark his year as Captain.
If you have had the stamina to read as far as this, you will be pleased to know that you are nearly at the end! Just one or two points of general interest to finish off this version of my blog.
The Captain’s Drive-In will be on Sunday 3rd March, where Peter Gill and Marion Carvath will be organising a shotgun-start competition, followed by the actual drive-in and a buffet in the Clubhouse. It would be great to see as many members supporting your new Captains and the start to new season by coming along on the day. Look out for the posters for details.
Easter Monday - 1st April 2013 will see the 50th anniversary, to the day, of Stoke Rochford Estates handing the management of the Club to its Members, and Steve Cullington & the Competitions Committee are organising an event to mark this special occasion, so please look at the noticeboard to see what they have in mind, and come along and take part in the celebrations!
These and other fixtures will be published shortly in your Club diary, which this year, through the hard work of your Secretary Arthur Wheeler, will be self-financing on the back of advertising from our suppliers.
I am sure you all agree the winter weather has not helped either the golf course or the finances, but now the snow has gone, we are still one of the few golf courses that are not playing on winter greens, so please spread the word that Stoke Rochford is still one of the best winter courses in the area, and that you can play golf at Stoke when you cannot on a lot of the other local golf courses.
Our promotions have brought in an encouraging number of new members since Christmas, to whom we offer a warm welcome, but we could still do with lots more, so with the new fees now in place for golf up to 1st April 2014 , which are very competitive with those of our neighbours, who still have to fix theirs, any new members that we can attract will certainly improve the financial position of the Club. Please remember that the “ Member Get Member Offer” which we improved last year, and which allows you to introduce another member and get £75 off your next year’s subscription, is still open. 6 members were able to take it up last year, but It would be nice to think that we could all spread the word to attract new members and ensure the continuity of the Club.
I hope that you have found this blog both informative and interesting. I always welcome feedback, preferably positive (!) but as long as its constructive and helpful, then you may rest assured that it will be carefully considered by both myself and your Committee. Until the next Blog, may I conclude by wishing you “good golfing”, good weather and goodbye until the next edition.
Stoke Rochford Golf Club