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President 's Report - February 2014

2013/14 BUDGET
I am happy to report after a slow start to our financial year commencing 1st February 2013, that trading recovered as the year progressed enabling Carnarvon to post a modest overall profit.  With prudent management of finances by Chairman of Finance Barry Ryan assisted by Peter Richardson, Owen Madden, Steve Jacobsen and careful decision making by the Board we have been able to 'pull back' from the poor start to achieve an annual profit.
George and Nancy Middleton, both lovely people have been long time members of Carnarvon Golf Club.  Between them they have in excess of 110 years of membership.  George, our Patron and his good wife Nancy are both life members of Carnarvon.
Members may not know that George and Nancy donated the infant trees, shrubs and plants that were planted in the garden alongside the 13th tee.  The garden consists of flowering gums and grevilleas. Work has been carried out by Steve Jacobsen, his staff and our volunteer gardeners to develop the area into a blossoming garden of colour.  Our 'intrepid' volunteers include Phil McKinnon, John Honeybrook, Mick Brooks, Reg Savage, David Tucker and Brian Jones,  I wish to thank and congratulate them on the good work they do on the course
One of my more pleasant duties as President took place alongside the 13th tee on Tuesday 4th February 2014, this was to 'officiate' at a small dedication ceremony, when the garden was officially named the 'George and Nancy Middleton Garden'.  George and Nancy were invited to unveil signage dedicating the garden in their names.
Both Nancy and George explained it has been a long time wish by them both to add more colour to the course.  They would like to see this achieved by more planting of native trees and shrubs in selected areas throughout the course.
I am grateful to our Lady Captain Fay Butcher who brought to my attention the excellent achievement of our Ladies' 2013 Champion, Katrina Cho.  On 20th January 2014, Fay caddied for Katrina who represented Carnarvon at Manly Golf Club, playing in the Champion of Champions. Twenty two lady champions from various clubs played in the event.  Their  handicaps ranged from +4 to 15.
I am pleased to report Katrina (playing off 2) won the nett Champion of Champions. This was no mean feat to win the nett event off a handicap of 2, and on behalf of Carnarvon members I congratulate Katrina.  We wish her well, It is our hope she goes on to bigger and better things in golf.
The Board has approved our AGM to be held on 16 April 2014.  As per our constitution Owen Madden will be calling for Board nominations during the month of February.  Nomination forms will be available from Owen.  The next Board will be elected under the rewritten constitution.  The term for the newly elected 2014 Board will be two years.
After many years discussing the need for the 1st green to be replaced, the Board has this year budgeted and approved for the green to be re-designed and re-built. Plans for development of the green and surrounding area will take into account the close proximity of the 2nd tees.  There is the need for safety of male and female golfers teeing off on their respective 2nd tees to be considered in the planning. The plan for the re-development of the site will be placed on the noticeboard in the near future, for all to
Parking in the carpark is at a premium on Saturday competitions, I wish to thank Grace Bryce, the Ladies' Committee and members who have graciously agreed to allow  Saturday competition players kuse of the Ladies' reserved parking.  Thank you ladies.
Happy golfing
Nick Stoves
Special Congratulations to our 50 Year Members

Avis Berg     Jim Mortlock     Ron Chevell     Ed Richardson

Captains Report 

The 2014 Major Pennants started last Sunday.  Carnarvon made a good start to the season with a win over Rosnay winning 5 / 2.  The next game Carnarvon will again play Rosnay at Rosnay, we are hoping for a repeat win on Sunday.  Sunday 23rd February is the next home game.  This will mean restricted times for the morning players on the front nine.  The members of the Carnarvon Pennant Team this year are:
                                                Michael Lee
                                                Brett Sweetnam
                                                Sean Moylan
                                                Brad Lincoln
                                                Eugene Morozoff
                                                Philip Marshall
                                                Sid Sagdic
                                                Nic Sagdic
                                                James Lind
                                                Matthew Green
We wish the team good luck for the upcoming games.
I realise that by having the pennants and social players on the same day is an inconvenience to the members, the social players contribute financially to the club and bookings are usually made twelve months in advance whereas the pennant matches are not held at the same time each year.
The change to the handicapping system has taken place but not without problems.  These problems are slowly being ironed out and your patience is appreciated.  I would like to express my thanks to Ruth for all the time and stress she has put into ironing out the problems with the computer companies involved.
The layout for the first green has been marked out so members can get an idea on how the green will be.  The dark blue lines represent bunkers the green markings are the proposed green.  Having said that I hope the markings will still be visible on the weekend.  A detailed layout will be displayed on the notice board shortly.
Presidents Cup and Veterans Championships were played over the last two Saturdays with some remarkable scores recorded.
The winners being:

Presidents Cup - Peter Wickenden
Scratch - Brett Sweetnam
Veterans Championship - Peter Wickenden
Scratch - Michael Lee    

Yours in golf
Chris Thomson

2014 Men's Fourball Championship 
Club Qualifying Round to be played on Saturday 22 March

2014 Keno NSW Mixed Fourball Championship
Club Qualifying Round will be played on Sunday 23 March 

From the General Managers Desk

Dear Member,
Next Sunday 23rd February, the first of our 5 band nights over the next year will kick off with the ABBA Tribute Band- FABBA from 5.30pm. I hope to see many of our members supporting their club on the night. Don’t forget that the bistro will be open from 5.00pm to 7.30pm and the show should be finished reasonably early around 8.00pm…so it won’t be too late a night.
Over the past week or so, we have delivered 5,000 flyers to the local area in an attempt to increase the club’s profile and our social membership numbers. An increase in our social membership will have the end result of reducing the Club’s fixed costs that is carried by a smaller number of members, which in turn has a flow on effect of reducing the prices paid by all our members.    
I would also like to remind our members of the many promotions and incentives available and to which they are entitled. Many members may be unaware that the club heavily subsidises the following for their benefit:                                   
  • Wednesday Meat Raffle
  • Thursday Trivia- free entry and great prizes
  • Friday Meat Raffle
  • Friday Members’ Jackpot
  • Free Keno and drink vouchers through the Kiosk machine
  • Sunday $8 Breakfast
  • Members Birthday Dinner Voucher and prize give-away
  • Members discount on drinks and some food
  • Happy Hour discounts Monday to Friday          
 So, hoping to see you soon at the Club,
Best regards,
Owen Madden 

Finance Report 

The Club’s financial year ended on the 31st January, 2014 and while the accounts have not yet been finalised I can report that we will achieve at least a modest profit. This is something to be proud of given the current difficult economic circumstances. Carnarvon has no debts and no problems in meeting our financial obligations. Auburn Council has approved the extension of the lease of our course for a further twenty years which provides security of tenure for long term projects. The Board has approved the replacement and minor repositioning of the first green for April/May of this year.

The Club Industry generally is going through a trying period. Most Bowling Clubs in our area have been taken over by larger entities and many others outside the metropolitan area have closed. RSL Clubs in some areas are finding it difficult to keep the doors open and several have also closed. As I have reported many times in these pages conventional wisdom has accepted that there are now more golf courses than are needed to accommodate those golfers who wish to belong to Golf Clubs. The consequence is that all clubs in our immediate and near catchment areas are short of numbers and are resorting to price cutting and sometimes ridiculous deals to attract members and social players. For Clubs of our standing in the hierarchy of things there is now no such thing as a Joining Fee and consequently no loyalty or incentive to remain with a Club. At renewal time golfers just shop around for the best deal.

We are not being helped by Golf Australia, the sport’s governing body who you would expect to be on the side of the Clubs. Some decisions which impact on Clubs are:-
  • The $99.00 Club. These Clubs have an annual fee of $99.00 and provide an Australian handicap to members who do not have to play at the Club and who do not even have to visit the Club to join.
  • The Golf League which consists of members of social clubs who can obtain an Australian handicap under certain conditions.
  • The abolition of the requirement for Australian handicap holders to play a prescribed number of rounds on their home course to maintain that handicap.
I have taken the liberty of including some of the attractions being offered by local Clubs to attract business:-
  • At one Club all day on Thursdays a tee time costs $50.00 for social players so that 1, 2, 3, or 4 players pay a total of $50.00 for that time.
  • Monday and Tuesday between 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm social players pay half price for green fees and cart fees.
  • Now here’s a real doozie from Club X directed at both males and females aged between 21 and 35. Joining fee $125.00, annual subscription $1040.00 with NO competition fees or green fees
  • Recreational membership with a limited number of competition rounds and additional rounds at the visitors rate.
  • Club Y has eighteen categories of membership to try to cover all contingencies.
The Board is currently reviewing the membership and fee structure to attract more of the dwindling membership pool. In the meantime we look to our members to support the Club by using the bistro, dining and function facilities. We would hope that our own members would help in recruiting new members. If anyone has thoughts or suggestions in the membership area don’t be to Owen Madden or any of the Directors.

Barry Ryan
Chairman, Finance Committee

Lady Presidents Report 

On behalf of the Ladies Committee I wish you all a warm welcome back to our 2014 golfing season. I would like to thank Ruth and Michael for their assistance in ensuring the transition to the Slope System has proceeded smoothly for all players. If you have any questions about the new system I’m sure Fay, our Lady Captain will be happy to answer your questions.

Our Representative Season begins in February and any player wishing to be selected for a team please make your availability known to Fay or a committee lady as soon as possible.

Charity Day

 We believe in children.
This year we are supporting Barnardos Australia. We are holding the day earlier this year, 26 March in the hope that the weather will be kind to us. I would encourage you to get your teams organised, Ladies or Mixed, as we are planning an enjoyable day with good golf, a goody bag (value $10+), novelty events, card prizes and raffles.

To our new Lady Members we extend a sincere welcome and wish all Members a happy and successful golfing year!

Catherine Tucker
Lady Vice President   

Lady Captains Report 

Happy New Year in the year of the “Horse” to all and I look forward to a great season of golf in 2014.  Such a good start for the year with the very prestigious Event of the CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS 36 hole stroke play at MANLY on Monday 20th January.  This day was postponed from November 2013 owing to bad weather.  There were some 21 players competing with a handicap range from +4 to 15.  Katrina Cho represented Carnarvon and turned in a card with 146 off scratch/142 nett (with a handicap of 2) over these 36 holes.  She won the Major Trophy for 36 holes Nett and was runner up in the Scratch.  As you can imagine, she played beautiful golf in an elite field, and I was very honoured and proud to be her caddie for the day to witness her achievement in such a field.  The 2 girls in her group played off handicaps of 1 and 4 so the golf was “inspirational”.  Well done Katrina we are all very proud of you!!!  The Board has recognised her achievement with a small presentation on Friday 14th February.
The winner of the Rose Bowl, re-introduced after our Ladies Championships in 2013, was Young Soon Kim who was delighted with her final win of 3/2.  The runner up was Sung Sook Ryu who was also delighted to be in the winners circle and a very happy young lady.  I made an impromptu presentation to them both with quite a few players present and they were so happy that they could not stop smiling…...
The Western Districts Shield No.1 starts on Friday 14th Feb at Strathfield. 
The Women’s Grade Division 4 starts on Friday 21st Feb Camden Lakeside.
The Bronze II Salver starts on Monday 24th Feb at Fox Hills.
The Western Districts Shield No. 2 starts on Monday 5th May at R.A.E.
The Bronze I Salver starts on Friday 4th July at Strathfield.

Anyone wanting a copy of this Programme can see me or any Committee lady.

This year we have Team Managers looking after these players who are –
  • W.D.1 10-25 Handicap range - Lisa Kim                             
  • Grade 4 Plus upwards  - Fay Butcher
  • Bronze II  26-45  - Catherine Tucker
  • W.D.2  26-40  - Agnes Cho
  • Bronze I  20-30   - Agnes Cho
Our first match will commence within the next 2-3 weeks.  Anyone wishing to play in any of these events should see any of the Team Managers.  All Teams will have 5 players INCLUDING the Grade which has been reduced from 7 to 5.
The Entry fee of $5 for this competition was already included in your Annual Subs so you are automatically included in this event being the best 3 stroke rounds out of 6 played during our normal Club Medal Competitions from February to July.  If you wish to change from being a Wednesday Player to a Sunday Player, or vice versa  – just let me know.  If you are not already in this competition and wish to join in, then please see me or any Committee lady to assist you with your inclusion. 

We have received several Posters covering the following events –
  1. 2014 KENO NSW Mixed Fourball Championship (3-stage comp)
  2. 2014 NSW Women’s Fourball Championship (3-stage competition)
  3. 2014 Women’s Senior Championship 7-9 April
  4. 2014 Women’s Summer Meeting 3-6 March
  5. 2014 Women’s Medal Competition (as above) – 3 Divisions
  6. 2014 Women’s NSW Bowl  and  Goodwill Plate

The Mixed Fourball is normally organised by the Board but no details to hand – sorry!  The Posters will be displayed on one of the Noticeboards for your further information.
Towards the end of January, as you know, Golflink was closed to undertake the mammoth task of sorting out all handicaps.  The Slope Rating Notices are clearly shown on the Noticeboard outside the Juniors Room and the main interest to the Ladies is the 122 rating for the Red Markers applicable to Carnarvon.  The Jade is rated at 118.  If you are concerned. the best advice would be to arm yourself with the flyer from Golf Australia “Slope and my Handicap” which is available at the Reception Desk   The example clearly shows how to apply your GA Handicap to the Slope Ratings to arrive at your Daily Handicap.  It’s not at all “hard”!!!
I am sure that nearly everyone now has a new Programme Book. The new book is great!  The book opens up to 2-weeks-to-an-opening and every day is itemized for your convenience encompassing all 7-days in the week.  It has clean lines and is sharp.  I would like to commend those people for adopting this new layout.
A new format has been introduced in the way of an on-line examination.after you have enrolled in the Golf Seminar evenings held at various venues.  This is a good opportunity to test your knowledge on the Golf Rules.  You don’t have to “know every Rule off by heart” to attend these Seminars.  However, the important thing is to know where to look in the Rule/Decisions Books if a dispute arises and this type of Seminar/examination helps to do so.  Apply to Rod Clark 9505 9105 for further information.  It will be “good for your golf” to participate in this venture.
The VWGA Noticeboard in the Ladies Lockeroom displays this year’s programme of events.  One outstanding event is the 2-day Tournament at Coolamatong at the Snowy Mountains Country Club on 19-20/5/2014.  Vetsflash Newsletter is on the Board too.

Welcome to two new lady members, Sharon Yun and Ann Lee.

Fay Butcher
Lady Captain

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW is offering Carnarvon Members the opportunity to pre-purchase tickets to the Royal Easter Show.

20% discount on Adult, Children and Concession tickets.

Promo Code - H20S14EX01
This code will be active between 5 Feb and 31 March, ONLY.

Course Managers Report

Once again we find ourselves under the influence of a prolonged period of minimal rainfall. This year is a bit different to recent years as the amount of rainfall is not the lowest we have had, but the temperatures have been above average since August last year which has necessitated using a lot more water on the greens during the day than normal.
This has prompted a number of questions from the members about our water situation, so I will try to cover the answers to the main questions here as well as provide some general information about our water usage and requirements.
Our current water usage, which is at the minimum to ensure that the greens are okay and to try to maintain some sort of coverage on our tees is in the vicinity of a 120,000 litres (0.11ml) per day average. Our peak pumping capacity for overnight watering of the whole course is 1 ml of water. In the current climactic conditions the actual requirement to maintain a course in good condition is at least 1.5ml of water per day, with the figures for Kikuyu grass (like ours) golf courses to be a bit higher that those with couch grass. This normally averages out to an annual requirement of about 110ml of water for a kikuyu course and 80ml for a couch grass course. I estimate we have a total usable capacity of 18ml between the bottom dam on the 8th and the middle dam next to the 18th green. The top dam next to the 18th fairway has a total capacity of 11ml, but it is near impossible to access all this water so the figure is more like 7-8ml and serves as our last reserve guaranteeing a couple of months for just greens. There are associated problems with pumping from these dams after prolonged dry spells with water quality declining with increased water temperatures and increased salinity (salt) levels that have a detrimental effect on turf and soil structure, necessitating the application of corrective amendments to offset the affects.

In the past the club has investigated alternative long term guaranteed water supplies, but a viable solution has yet to be found. Potable water is currently available (not that we are set up for it properly in the volumes required) but is cost prohibitive at $2.16 per 1000L or based on our current minimum requirement is $1814 a week and some clubs are spending more than $1000 a day at this time. Test bores were drilled around 1990 in 2 locations and the ground water was found to contain very high levels of salt due to the shale that exists beneath the course. Shale was once part of the seafloor. Sydney Water did approach the club over 10 years ago about our interest in buying recycled water if a pipeline running through the old Potts Hill reservoir ever came to be. To date we have not heard anything further about this happening, but still there is a cost for this water. During the late 1990’s enquires were made about the possibility of sewer mining as we have a sewer line running through the course. A number of issues exist with this, including the cost (based on how much water to be obtained $3 million is a very ball park figure), the area required for the plant and tanks would affect the course and add to the cost as well as the ongoing costs of running the facility. Storm water is the cheapest option, but is not as reliable and for our club we have had our water storage volume compromised by years of sediment build-up. The one saving grace for the club is that we have a large catchment area (approx 200 Ha) including the 40 Ha of the course. This means that if we receive 15mm of rain it will half fill our dams and 25mm will guarantee our dams to fill up. This good thing has also caused a problem over time with an estimated 1.5 to 2 metres of silt now in the bottom of the 2 dams on the creek-line which has possibly nearly halved our usable water capacity. The club will be pursuing the possibility of addressing this issue this year with a grant application as part of this process.
At this point in time there are a number of clubs in Sydney that are still completely green for a number of reasons. Some clubs have been purchasing potable, others have water holding capacity that is well beyond 80ml, others have bores that deliver their water requirements everyday and others have natural springs or constant flow from sandstone shelves that extend over large areas. Recent years have not been normal in regards to rainfall with longer periods between large rain events rather than smaller amounts more regularly that was better for us in regards to optimising stormwater catchment. There are certainly times when the rainfall at Carnarvon suggests we sit in a bit of a rain shadow because there are times when Rosnay and Strathfield golf clubs get twice the rainfall that we receive.

Steven Jacobsen

A History Moment

One of the giants of Carnarvon was the late, great J.H.(Jack) Fisher, Club Captain 1937-51,  Club President 1955-65 and Club Honorary Solicitor, a position now held by his son Michael. During 1955 Jack wrote The Carnarvon Story which was published over five instalments in “The Bulletin”, the Club’s newsletter. I hope to publish extracts from this document over coming months.

My information prior to 1929 is that in the first few months after the Club began operations certain ardent members, because of the lack of sufficient finance, brought along their own lawn-mowers on Saturday mornings and mowed the “greens”, which were fitted out with jam-tins in  the holes, in order to prepare the course for the week-end’s play.  The mowing of the fairways,  of course, in those days was not even in prospect, the Carnarvon Hill Estate being a large tract of clay and ironstone land, entirely undeveloped, except for several unmade roads and one heavily bluemetalled road which ran diagonally across the 18th hole.

The earliest Clubhouse, I am told, was the large wooden signboard put on the highest part of the estate,   visible from Parramatta Road, by a well-known Sydney firm of real  estate specialists advertising lots in the estate for sale.

On this signboard enthusiastic early Carnarvonites drove nails  on  which to hang their coats and other paraphernalia whilst they devoted themselves to their golf.  When I first played on the course in 1929 the first small clubhouse  (of which more anon) had already been installed, but the signboard, with the nails still obvious, remained as a prominent feature of the course landscaping, so that it is not difficult to believe  that it was used as the first “Clubhouse”.

Those later members who played on the new course to which the Club removed in1932, and  grumbled about the ironstone and gravel, little know the troubles of their predecessors in this  respect on the Carnarvon Hill Estate.   With a few minor exceptions, the whole area was bare clay soil and red gravelstone, and the second hole had a fairway on an unmade road running across the course to the small Clubhouse, which gave off sparks every time an iron shot was played  from it, and was responsible for the ruin of more iron clubs than any fairway I have ever seen.

The greens were entirely unmade, being the natural couch grass coaxed along with a little top-dressing and week-end mowing, and followed the contour of the land where they were located,  so that it was quite a common occurrence on some of the hard greens on sharply sloping ground  to putt right off the green, and the hard greens made it impossible to play other than the pitch and run shot to the green.  Those members to-day who criticise their fellows for playing “pitch  and runs” might be playing with a member who was constrained to play this type of shot in his early life as a golfer of Carnarvon, because no other shot was possible.

The Clubhouse, when I joined the Club at the beginning of 1930, was a minute two-roomed shack with a small verandah, measuring about four feet by nine feet;   the two rooms providing shelter for members 10-ft.  X 10-ft.  And associates 8-ft.  X 8-ft.  Showers and dining-room were amenities of the future , and bottled beer was obtained from a local hostelry to members’ requirements notified to the Honorary Secretary during the previous week-end. 

The order was  left for the member on the floor of the members’ room, with a small card bearing his name, resting on a convenient bottle, and the arguments about ownership when the cards fell off or  were secretly removed by thirsty members who had forgotten to place an order during the previous week-end, are best left to the imagination!
Barry Ryan 
Club Historian
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
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