As we approach the festive season I would like to wish all members and staff a very merry Christmas and a happy new year on behalf of the Board of Directors. The Board also extends a big thank you to management and staff within the clubhouse and on the course for their efforts throughout the year.
There have been a number of registered clubs in our area that have recently been forced to close their doors or seek mergers with larger clubs. These include Lidcombe RSL sub-branch, Birrong and Regent Park Bowling clubs and Liverpool Golf Club. We have been informed Auburn RSL will soon merge and move to Granville RSL Club premises.
Carnarvon like many clubs over the past 5 or 6 years has had reduced revenue from poker machines. Added to this is the sharp decline in revenue from membership subscriptions which has dropped from 1048 members in 2010 to 730 members YTD 2013. No smoking rules (although healthier for all) inside the club have also contributed to reducing our revenue streams.
I want to make the point that Carnarvon Golf Club, is very well managed, albeit we continue to lose members each year. Unfortunately it is a sign of our times. Thanks to previous Boards at Carnarvon, over many years, the scene has been set for excellent procedural guidelines, budgeting and responsible governance. This has continued with the present Board of Directors, who under the watchful eyes of our Chairman of Finance, Barry Ryan assisted by Director Peter Richardson and General Manager Owen Madden we are able to keep a close watch on spending. I wish to thank all Board Members, Captain Chris Thomson, Gene Levette, Reg Armstrong, David Crowe, Barry Ryan, Peter Richardson and Shawn Singham for their sterling efforts this year. A special thanks to Mike Callaby and his staff Alex Wiffin and Gerry Hyde who continue to provide us with a service beyond their 'Memorandum of Understanding'.
The Board and management spend many hours researching and discussing both new and old ideas to implement. Hopefully some of these ideas will create a willingness for members to participate more in club activities. One such idea will result in Owen programing a series of entertainment nights during 2014 for members and guests. These events will be advertised in advance and it is our hope they will be well patronised by all. We will also strive to 'win' many more functions including weddings, corporate days, birthdays and christenings to name a few.
Our situation is not all gloom and doom, as we head towards the end of the year our financial situation has improved greatly from a poor start during January through to March 2013. The good news is that Council is currently considering our lease with a view to renew for a further 20 year term.
2014 will be rather momentous for the Club when all financial golfing members, male and female will have an opportunity to stand for the Board. The term for the next Board will be two (2) years as apposed to our previous one (1) year term. I suggest anyone contemplating standing for the Board should research and have a good working knowledge of the following legislation, policies and best practices:
The Carnarvon Constitution and By-Laws;
The Club Code of Practice;
Best Practice Guidelines;
Registered Clubs Act 1976 and Registered Club Regulation 2009;
Liquor Act 2007 and Liquor Regulation 2008;
Gaming Machines Act 2001 and Gaming Machines Regulation 2010;
Corporations Act 2001 (Commonwealth);
Work, Health and Safety Act 2011
The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (forms, fact sheets and guidelines;
Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Act
The Rules of Golf;
Complaint resolution and negotiating;
This list is not meant to be exhaustive as there are many more everyday problems to make decisions on. Also there are compulsory workshops and courses run by the Club Industry to attend, that are in line with State Legislation. Being on the Board does not just mean turning up twice a month for Board meetings.
To our Ladies' Committee under the Presidency of Grace Bryce, a big thank you for your contribution, your input and co-operation throughout the year.
I must on behalf of the Board thank Owen Madden and Steve Jacobsen for the very professional management of their respective budgets and staff.
Finally again Merry Christmas to all especially those members who may be ill, our wish to you is for a speedy recovery. To those who have lost loved ones during the year please accept our sincere condolences.
MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Match Play Championships were completed recently and the final games were hotly contested. I would like to thank all the members who competed in this competition.
A Grade - Brett Sweetnam defeated Eugene Morozoff 3 & 2
A Reserve - James Ji defeated Richard Lee 3 & 1
B Grade - Oscar Bevz defeated John Park 3 & 1
C Grade - Paul Gill defeated Tiger Lee 4 & 3
Congratulations to all the winners and runners up.
On December 15th & 16th, The Christmas Ambrose takes place once again. These two days are sponsored by PARMALAT and the Club appreciates the continued support of the company and its CEO Craig Garvin who is a member of Carnarvon.
As its a member's competition, we do not allow visitors on these days.
In the coming weeks there will be some alterations taking place to the left hand side bunker on the 3rd green. This will mean the 3rd hole will be closed during the week and the 19th tee will be utilised. After the completion of the 3rd green side bunker the next planned project is the left hand side bunker on the 16th green which will be reshaped taking away the ditch at the end of the bunker, at the same time the practice area will have the drain dredged and land fill installed to raise the level to alleviate the water build up in this area. The practice bunker will also be upgraded. As per usual the deadline for completion will be dependant upon the weather.
THE LAST BOOKING IN NIGHT FOR THE YEAR WILL BE FRIDAY 20TH DECEMBER. On this night, the sheets will be open for the following dates:-
26th Dec - 28th Dec - 29th Dec - 1 Jan - 4th Jan & 5 Jan.
Friday night booking in will recommence on the 10th January.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy & Safe Christmas and happy golfing in the New Year.
Yours in golf
From the General Managers Desk
Well, Christmas is once again upon us and our Christmas Ham Raffles will be on every Wednesday and Friday before Christmas. As an added bonus for those early-birds, we will have an extra Full Ham raffled off just after 6.30pm every Friday night.
As many members will no doubt be aware, it has been difficult to attract younger patrons to the Club. Unfortunately, the Club has very little to offer younger patrons and it is further disadvantaged by being poorly serviced by public transport.
As a way of providing a venue more suited to the needs of a younger generation, we have installed dart boards in the TAB area. To continue with this attempt to attract a younger market, we will soon be installing a pool table on a trial basis in this area. As an added incentive to attract more patrons, our Texas Hold-Em poker nights will extended to Wednesday nights as well as the traditional Friday night game.
Many members will also be pleased to know that we are scheduling 5 band nights over the next year with the first one being FABBA, on Sunday 23rd February from 5.30pm. I have been able to keep ticket prices to a measly $15 per person AND provide a complimentary drink on arrival…so NO EXCUSES!! The next night to book Sunday 27th April with a Johnnie Cash cover band to entertain our members called CASH ONLY. For those who think they don’t like Johnnie Cash’s music, I can guarantee you that this will definitely change your mind…it is a great show and once again all this for the pitifully low price of only $15…AND with a complimentary drink.
In closing, I wish all our members and Club staff and their families a very merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. See you at the band nights!!!
Trading results for October and early indications from November have the Club operating close to budget forecasts which is quite an achievement in these days of doom and gloom in the Club industry. The first three months of the financial year were below expectations but trading has improved to an acceptable level due in no small part to the strong returns from the catering area.
We are now in the initial stages of preparing the budget for the financial year 1st February, 2014 to 31st January, 2015. This will be a lengthy process with many competing claims for the limited funds available. The current budget was finalised after nine revisions of the original document and new budget is likely to go down the same path. The Clubhouse is now fourteen years old requiring additional funds for repairs and maintenance, the furniture could benefit from refurbishment and painting throughout would be nice if we could afford it. We cannot continue deferring rebuilding several greens and laying some more paths. The wish list is extensive.
As I have mentioned frequently in these pages Carnarvon, like most Golf Clubs, has to compete for its share of the market. Clubs generally have undercut their prices to an almost dangerous level to try and stay afloat. The joining fee has disappeared in all except the more exclusive Clubs and subscriptions set at bargain rates to encourage membership shopping. There is no Club loyalty anymore. We are fortunate in being able to present a well maintained, attractive course week after week in a location with good accessibility which helps in maintaining our pricing at a sensible level while still retaining our share of the market.
Chairman, Finance Committee
25 Dec - Course & Clubhouse CLOSED
26 Dec - Clubhouse & Halfway open, Bistro Closed
27 Dec - Clubhouse open, Bistro limited menu - lunch & dinner
28 Dec - Clubhouse open, Bistro limited menu - lunch & dinner
29 Dec - Clubhouse & Halfway open, Bistro open for breakfast & lunch
30 Dec - Clubhouse open, Bistro open for lunch
31 Dec - Clubhouse open, Bistro open for lunch
1 Jan - Clubhouse & Halfway open, Bistro Closed
2 Jan - back to normal trading
Lady Presidents Report
Merry Christmas and congratulations, we have all made another successful year at Carnarvon. The Club seems to be back on course with the Members and Ladies committees dedicated to getting the social, as well as golfing scene, to be a pleasure to be a member.
The Ladies have continued to roll up on Wednesdays and are even ready to participate in any games or pennants that we ask of them. Carnarvon has a great reputation for its hospitality in the fielding of visiting golfers and the course is always in good condition.
Unfortunately, we have lost a number of our playing Ladies during the year, but most have stayed on as social members and continue to support the club.
We had a Xmas and Presentation lunch recently and thanks for your attendance. It was wonderful to see a group of our 'Matriarchs' present. We owe the foundation of our club on these Ladies and it was great to see them. I can't name them as most are "Under Age". Never could spell !!!
To the Ladies Committee a big thank you for your untiring work during the year. A sometimes thankless and tiring job but everyone gone ahead and worked their butts off. I hear most Lady members and some members, are happy with their efforts.
To Ruth, our heartfelt thanks for your help above and beyond your duties. She does keep everything rolling.
To Heidi and Malcolm and their staff, Carnarvon is proud of your work. It is a pleasure to bring visitors to our Club through your efforts.
To Kathy and David our grateful thanks for your help and especially with my keys and cards.
To Mike, Alex and Gerry, many thanks for your patience especially on Wednesdays.
I wish all Members a happy & safe Christmas - you are all precious to us.
Lady Captains Report
The past month has been all about “Finals” with various games to be played off…
To begin with the CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS event to be held at Manly on 11th November was cancelled owing to the course being closed after heavy rain. So, this event has now been re-scheduled for 20th January 2014 and we wish our “little Champ” Katrina Cho, all the very best on this day.
Another re-scheduled event for the WGNSW Gold Medal was to be played at Oatlands in November but has been re-scheduled for 10th January and our representatives are JaniceMcBlane and Mi Kang. Hopefully Mi Kang will be back from Korea by then. Good luck girls!
ROSE BOWL Match Play
This event is proceeding smoothly and, as of today, we are at the semi-finals stage with Julia Cramer v Sung Sook Ryu; and Young Soon Kim v Soon Ae Choi still doing battle.
It would seem that the 16 girls participating in this event have enjoyed the challenge of Match Play. The Finals will be next week, so early congratulations to the ultimate winner!!!
BRONZE I Competition for 2014
Our commitment has now been confirmed with the Clubs involved with the new Bronze I Competition for next year. The new Handicap range will be from 20 – 30.
REPRESENTATIVE PROGRAMME Sheet for 2014 will be available in January when all the Draws are received and collated into one Programme for you. The Programme will cover Division 4 Grade, Western Districts I and II, Bronze I and II and the Interclub Competition.
SLOPE SYSTEM & NEW HANDICAPPING SYSTEM
This will be introduced on 23rd January 2014. A very informative Flyer is available at the Reception Desk outside the Office called “SLOPE AND MY HANDICAP” published by Golf Australia. It deals with the Slope System, GA Handicap, Daily Handicap and some interesting “questions”. Please be sure to pick up one at the Club.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Review Committee (2 men and 2 ladies) for their diligence and attention to detail in their Review of the Ladies Wednesday Competition where we were trialling the use of the 1st and 10th tees for September, October and November. Their Report covered all aspects of the trial in an open and fair manner. I look forward to this system continuing under these conditions from February onwards. Well done Review Committee!
VETERAN DELEGATE’S REPORT
It has been a good year and lots of activities held by the WVGA and hopefully some of you did attend. The New Constitution has been passed without any problems. The VWGA is not intending to join with the Men’s Vets and this was voted on as well. I don’t think the men have as much money as the ladies !!!
Your Annual Subs are due at the 31st December and the cost will be the same $6 per year.
Christmas is only a couple of weeks away and I hope that everyone has a very Happy Christmas with lots of family and friends gathered around to share in this Festive Season. Take care on the roads and Good Golfing to all in 2014 under the new System.
Course Managers Report
The drought has broken, for now anyway with 140mm of rain falling during November and there has been an easing in the extreme temperatures of the past 3 months. This has allowed the course to become green again and recover from the damage caused by the hot, dry conditions. The dams also have some clean water in them again as we had virtually emptied the dam on the 8th prior to the rain starting.
Upcoming works include the repair and re-shaping of the left hand bunker on the 3rd staring next Monday with the re-shaping of the 12th fairway the following week to direct surface water into the stormwater pit that was installed there a few months ago. In the New Year we will be undertaking the work on the bunkers on the 16th as well as the re-shaping of the chipping green fairway and bunker.
Carnarvon GC has also become involved in a pilot program being run by the CMA and Hawkesbury/Nepean Catchment Authority about promoting and conserving biodiversity on golf courses in Sydney. Owen and myself attended the opening workshop a couple of weeks ago at Liverpool GC where the aims of the program were explained as well as the obligations that landowners may have depending on their existing flora/fauna species on site or on surrounding lands. The next step will be to complete onsite inspections that will lead to obligation free recommendations in how to best manage or enhance the biodiversity on our golf course. This will be followed by practical workshops for all staff in the basic skills required to undertake this work and would be along the lines of basic bush regeneration methods.
Biodiversity is becoming more of a hot topic in recent times as golf courses now represent some of the biggest pieces of park or bushland in a lot of suburbs as urban pressures increase across Sydney. This also applies to all creek lines, cemeteries and easements like powerlines and pipelines and the aim is to try and link as many of these areas as possible to allow movement of fauna to keep genetic pools viable. We have a very good range of birdlife and plant life, but lack reptiles and other ground or tree dwelling animals. Down the track this program may help us to identify opportunities to obtain funding to help achieve these objectives as well as enhancing the aesthetic qualities of our course.
We have played seven games since our last report with an average of 46 players per week. The winners of these games are as follows:
Winner Ron Kirby - 20 Points
Runner Up Leo Kinch - 19 Points
Fred Cherry Award Jeanette Bromley - $20-00
Winner Jack McKendrick - 21 Points
Runner Up Phil Russo - 20 Points
Fred Cherry Award N/R to jackpot
Winner Daphne Penrose - 22 Points C/B
Runner Up Norm Roberts - 22 Points
Fred Cherry Award Bill Lang - $40-00
Winner Sun Sook Park - 20 Points
Runner Up Neville Brown-18 Points
Fred Cherry Award Laurie Mason - $20-00
Winner Mary Brown - 22 Points C/B
Runner Up Nerelle Meredith - 22 Points
Fred Cherry Award Grace Bryce - $20-00
Winner Barry Ryan -20 Points
Runner Up Mick Mottee - 19 Points
Fred Cherry Award David Le Claire - $20-00
Winner Neville Brown -18 Points C/B
Runner Up June Clarke - 18 Points
Fred Cherry Award Jeanette Bromley - $20-00
Our former long term member, Ron McCarthy passed away in late November and we pass our deepest sympathy to his family in their loss.
The Vets ’Club Christmas party will be held next week and catering arrangements have been made with Heidi and our Chef. I am sure I have included all our regular members in the catering arrangements so there should be no panic re inclusion.
The committee and I wish everyone a happy Christmas and New Year and extend our best wishes to the committee and members our parent golf club and the wonderful staff who have looked after us so well during the year.
Thanks also to Michael Callaby and his staff as well as Steve Jacobson and his staff for looking after the admin side of handicaps and hit off and the high standard of the course that we play upon.
Thanks to our members for their support during the year and we look forward to a successful 2014.
I look forward to seeing you on the golf course.
A History Moment
This months item is an extract from the Clubs history.
THE COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS
This history and succession of Course Superintendents at Carnarvon is not as clear-cut as that of the Secretaries and Professionals. It can only be assumed that the members built and maintained the first course. in his "Carnarvon Story" Jack Fisher relates that "A tall, rangy, middle aged Scot, golf professional, had been engaged as greenkeeper to design and build the new course (2nd course - At Silverwater ED)".
The Committee Meeting of 22nd October, 1935, approved the appointment of an "Acting foreman-greenkeeper on three months trial at 4 pounds per week". No names were mentioned in this regard. Over the next 10-15 years there are occasional references in the Minutes to "Course Foreman", "Foreman/Greenkeeper" etc. It would seem that the Committee generally and the Captain and Green Committee in particular directed work on the course and a senior member of the course staff was responsible for day-to-day supervision. During the war years staff was difficult to obtain and only essential maintenance was carried out. From 1947-1949 the present course was under construction to the design and supervision of Arthur East. A foreman/greenkeeper from the "Old Course", a certain Mr. Smith had returned from the war and resumed his old position.
At some time in the early 1950's Mr. E.C. Bolger was appointed Course Manager in addition to his position as Club Professional. Up to this stage the Minutes of Committee Meetings have been extremely vague regarding names and positions of ground staff. So, for want of another starting point, Mr. E.C. Bolger will be assumed to be the first real Course Superintendent. Ted continued in this position until his retirement on 30th March, 1966. Ted Bolger was followed by Ray Strachan from 31st March, 1966.
Ray Strachan left the Club to take up another position in April/May 1975. The Minutes do not record his leaving or his replacement. This information was located in payroll records. Ray's replacement was Mr. R (Bobby) Dransfield sometime in April/May 1975. The omission of significant matters regarding the course staff in the minutes may reflect the social mores of the era.
Bobby was with the Club for some seven years and implemented what must have been an extensive drainage project (Phases A-B and E-7) of which virtually nothing is recorded for posterity. Bobby's stay with the Club ended with his resignation on 16th February, 1982. He was succeeded in turn by Shane Bissaker who stayed until 27th May, 1984. when he too resigned.
As an economy measure the Club operated without a Course Superintendent until 16th February, 1985. During this time the Course Superintendent from North Ryde Golf Club, Mr. Gordon Latham worked one day per week as a Course Consultant Laurie Reid was Course Foreman for the other four days. Wayne Pounsberry was appointed Course Superintendent on 16th February, 1985. Wayne was involved in the update of course equipment and Stage 1 of the Automatic Watering System Project. Wayne left Carnarvon on 20th August, 1989.
The new Course Superintendent was Craig Easton a member of the Club then working as Assistant Course Superintendent at Muirfield. Craig was a member of a Carnarvon Junior Pennant winning team. He completed the automatic watering system and a number of green reconstructions and tee re-builds. In March 2005 he left us to pursue a career change.
The succession remained within the Club with his deputy Steve Jacobsen took over the reins in April, 2005 and is now know as Course Manager and long may he hold that position.
Best wishes for a happy & safe Christmas and New Year!
ABBA Tribute Show - FABBA - SUNDAY 23rd February 2014
Bistro Open from 5pm - 7.30pm
Show starts at 5.30pm
Tickets $15 per person - includes free drink voucher