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Presidents Report - August 2014

Our trading so far this year has been encouraging both on the course and in the clubhouse.  We are however down on visitors, so if you have friends wanting a game please invite them to play with you in our competitions.

2014/15 Fees
It is that time again when our fees fall due, this annual dilemma seems to come about too quickly. The good news this year is that the Board, after much discussion made the decision there will be no increase in Carnarvon's membership fees, that we have control over. Having said there will be no fee increase, the Board has no control over Golf NSW affiliation fees which each members pays as an 'add on' to our fees and which tend to rise slightly each year. 

The decision not to increase the fees was made based on a number of factors, one was,  many members are placed under financial stress each year to continue their golfing membership.  We can attest to this fact having lost in excess of 300 members in the past 4 years.  Another factor was, we have over the past 3 years managed to finish each year with a modest profit.

Carnarvon can attest to the fact that our fees are amongst the lowest in Sydney.  The golf course and clubhouse provide excellent value for money, with a championship par 72 course and a clean well set out clubhouse providing excellent meals and functions. 

We do however need new members, should you have family or friends looking for a new club or thinking of taking up golf, please bring them to Carnarvon.  We will even sponsor them to a free trial round of golf to help them make up their mind to join our club. Speak to Mike Callaby or his staff in the pro-shop for this opportunity.

Our GM
Much of our improved financial position over the past 4 years can be attributed to our General Manager Owen Madden.  Owen was contracted in 2010. Since taking up his position he has cut administrative costs, brought life back to the club in terms of its usage for functions, meals and entertainment. 
Whilst some previous managers relied mainly on poker machine takings and were found wanting when those takings started to decline, Owen has championed other initiatives to improve the club's viability.  When I speak to Owen about the club's improved usage and finances he puts it all down to having good staff in the clubhouse, in administration, on the golf course and in the pro-shop.  He is a modest person who gives credit to his staff. 

I agree with Owen, we are very fortunate to have good people working for us in the clubhouse and on the course.  I wish to thank all of our staff for their continued efforts that make Carnarvon the successful club it is.
Our last night of entertainment namely 'The Elvis Presley Tribute' saw 170 people attend, they were entertained by a 'look alike' Elvis with a good voice.  There was plenty of fun singing, dancing and an excellent meal.

Don't forget to purchase your tickets for our 'Tom Jones Tribute' on the 30 August 2014 costing just $10.

1st Green
We are looking forward to opening the newly re-developed 1st green for play on medal day 2nd August.  Steve Jacobsen and his staff have done a good job on the green and surrounds.  Costs for this green was within budget at $53,000 with a further cost of $18,000 for the pathway and cart turning circle alongside the 2nd tee.

Carnarvon Website
Our new website was recently launched.  The site has been professionally developed, is easy to navigate and shows Carnarvon at its best.  I would be pleased to hear feedback from our members how you have found the website in terms of user friendliness and content.

New sliding wall
The Board has approved the fitting of a new sliding wall in the southeast of the club.  This will allow us to have two separate private function areas.  Recently, Owen travelled to Macau on a bursary he won sponsored by the Club Managers Association.  Whilst in Macau he was able to 'network' with people from various private and government agencies.  Through these associations he has brought some extensive business to the club in terms of its usage for training and development of industry staff.  By providing two function areas we will have the opportunity to double our potential for both functions and business seminars.

Staff Education
Congratulations to staff members Heidi Manson, Anna Thornton and Chrissy Jesse. After much study and hard work, they have successfully attained formal and nationally recognised qualifications in Hospitality. Heidi and Anna achieved a Diploma in Hospitality, whilst Chrissie achieved a Certificate 4 in Hospitality. Well done ladies.

To our members who may be ill, in hospital or have recently undergone surgery I extend our very best wishes for a speedy recovery.  To those who may have lost a loved one please accept my sincere condolence on your loss. 
Happy golfing
Nick Stoves

General Managers Report 

Dear Member,
Well, it seems summer is knocking at the door and once again, and the year is gearing up for footy finals, Melbourne Cup and of course the Yuletide season.
On a really positive note, our Club Concert nights have gone from strength to strength. Commencing the year with FABBA, then CASH ONLY, ELVIS and coming up soon the TOM JONES TRIBUTE night on Saturday 30th August.  For all those club committed members who have come along and enjoyed the entertainment- I thank you for your support and I know you had a great time.
For those members who for one reason or another could not attend, I urge you to dig deep into your money box to find the $10 entry cost. For a further $15, you can enjoy a great meal on the night in our bistro, or even at your reserved table in the function room.
As President Nick has mentioned in his report, I was very fortunate in being one of 12 bursary winners in Australia chosen to attend the Asian Gaming Conference at Macau and Singapore in May this year. I am very happy to report to members that the most beneficial outcome of the events I attended were the networking opportunities that has generated well over 50 days of training functions for the Club in the 5 months to November this year. I am confident that with the renovations and modifications to the Club entry, the function room and the installation of a new operable wall to create an additional private room, that we will be able to generate even more training business in 2015 as a direct result of the time I spent in Macau and Singapore.  
Members will also be pleased to know that we have increased the number of prizes we have on offer for our Friday night raffles to 66 prizes. The raffles now commence at 7.00 (on sale from 6.30pm). Members can still purchase tickets for the second raffles from 7.30pm with the second draws commencing at 8.00pm.
The Jackpot as of Friday 1st August is a staggering $3,400.00.
And, don’t forget, there are 3 draws every Friday night at 6.45pm, 7.45pm and 8.45pm.
For all of our Golfers who have fully paid their subscriptions prior to the draws, we have once again given you EARLY-BIRD GOLFERS the chance of winning one of nine (9) x  $500 cash prizes over the next 3 Friday nights- on 1st, 8th and 15th August. Please note the conditions available at the club to be eligible to win.

Owen Madden 

Captains Report 

Since the last newsletter, the Master Pennant team had a very good year going through undefeated and winning their division and qualified for the playoffs. Unfortunately they were beaten by Asquith in the 1st round. Congratulations to all the players who made themselves available to represent Carnarvon my thanks to the caddies and the spectators for their contribution.
The final of the Master’s Pennants will be held this Sunday 3rd August.  It is to be hoped that there is not too much disruption to our members regarding slow play.  This no doubt will be policed by the Rules Officials on the day. 
Friday 8th August is booking-in night for the Foursomes Championships.  Members playing 36 holes will be given preferential times for booking in on the front nine.  Anyone wishing to play 18 holes will have to start on the 10th tee.  Members who are playing the 36 holes have to change playing order after 18 holes.
As everyone is aware this winter has been the driest we have had for many years with the total rainfall for July being 28mm which left us below average for the last 3 months.  During this time the daytime temperatures have been above average and the nights being cool with a couple of heavy frosts occurring.  These conditions have impacted on the condition of the fairways.  The course staff is working under difficult conditions trying to prepare the course in good playing order.  One good thing is the greens are performing well with the cold winds slowing growth and firming up the surface of the greens.  All construction work has been completed on the 1st green, now all that is needed is some good weather to prepare the turf for play.  The surrounds will not hold up the opening of the green which is hoped to happen on the Monthly Medal weekend.
Member’s subscriptions are now due.  The fees were kept at last years rates.  This was done in the hope that we hold onto our present members and hopefully encourage new members to join Carnarvon.  For those members who pay their fees early there is a reward with nine chances over three weeks of winning $500 if you are at the club and your name is drawn out. You are only able to win once.
For those playing members and social members who are ill, I hope you will have a swift recovery and are back at the club soon whether playing or socialising.

Yours in golf
Chris Thomson

Congratulations !!!!!

3 June

Alex Wiffin on the 3rd Hole !!!!!

The Rules of Golf Seminar 25 August 
Rules of Golf Seminars conducted by senior qualified Rules Official from Golf NSW Start Time: 6.30pm Duration: approx. 2hrs.

It is preferred that you book in prior to the session. If you are interested in attending please visit and go to: “Rules ” then “Rules Accreditation” you will then be guided on how to register.

Proshop August Special

25% off all regrips!!!

* minimun 8 grips

Finance Report 

By now you should have received your Subscription Renewal for 2014/15 with the welcome news that your fees have not been increased and will remain the same as last year. The Board took this step because of the difficult current economic circumstances and to ease the burden on our members. This will allow us to keep our fees (including $300 bar voucher) for full membership below the psychological barrier of $2000. The Club is in a sound financial position with capital expenditure for three new poker machines and some items of course equipment planned for coming months. The only debts are the customary hire purchase arrangements for equipment purchases and the repayment arrangements are less than 50% of depreciation allowances.

The costs of running the Club have increased at least by the CPI so we will have to generate more income from non golf sources to cover the shortfall. Members can assist in this regard by patronising the Club facilities for after golf drinks and snacks, bringing the family to the Club for birthday celebrations, give your partner the night off from cooking and come to Carnarvon for a meal and then there are  the obvious functions such as christenings, weddings, engagements and wakes. Just a few extra usages by each member will keep the Club running nicely. We don’t want Carnarvon to become a well kept secret so tell your friends about Carnarvon and better still bring them here for a meal or a game.

After five months of the Club financial year the Club’s trading entities are operating to or better than budget expectations with poker machines performing above forecast. Income is down for green fee players due mainly to the cut price deals being offered by some Clubs. We have introduced special rates for Mondays to reclaim some share of the market. It is early days yet but patronage is increasing on a week by week basis. Visitor’s fees for the Tuesday competition and Sunday morning social clubs are running on budget.

Expenditure for the year to date is significantly below forecast and both General Manager Owen Madden and Course Superintendent Steve Jacobsen are to be congratulated for their contribution. Owen has achieved savings in negotiating better deals in the renewal of the various service contracts, revising work rosters and fine tuning the Club’s administration. Lots of little things add up to big things. Steve as usual runs a very tight ship. He excelled himself with the 1st green project. I don’t normally quote figures in these reports but I will make an exception in this case. The first green including surrounds was built for $53,000 which was $14,000 below budget and was finished on time. This was achieved by good planning and management, use of stockpiled soil and plain and fancy wheeling and dealing.

As it is now coming up to membership renewal time can I invite you all to rejoin us for another year. We can offer a financially stable, well run  Club and  well maintained course which more than holds its own with neighbouring Clubs.
Barry Ryan
Chairman, Finance Committee

Ladies Match & General Committee News

The Ladies Match and General Committee has begun its duties with a very busy round of events since its formation.  We are settling in well with the help of our membership and have received some very welcome feedback from our Committee members and our lady members.  It has been most helpful to work in conjunction with the Board of Directors to ensure our members have a varied and interesting program of golf to enjoy for the remainder of 2014.
One of the most requested events we have received from our members is that we have some draw-for-partners days included in our year and as we have been informed that many of our ladies would like this to happen we have scheduled two such days for 27/08/2014 and 17/09/2014 on a trial basis which will help us gauge the value of this format for future competition days.
As you will have seen via the flyer included with this year’s Subscription Renewals, due to the generosity of one of our most valued Carnarvon Lady Members, Mrs Marie Cross, a Captain’s Trophy event is to be held on 13 August 2014.  Marie is retiring from a very distinguished golfing career and in recognition of her achievements as both an accomplished golfer and a tireless worker for Women’s Golf, Carnarvon Golf Club would like to hold this special event during her last year of her membership of our club.  We would love to see all of her old friends and golfing partners either playing on this day or just joining us for lunch to salute this lovely lady.
In closing our Committee would like to thank all of our members who have taken part in our Pennants Program this year.  Thank you for representing Carnarvon GC in the various events offered and for travelling far and wide on early freezing mornings to form our teams in these competitions.  We are very proud of your efforts.
Barbara Lynch
For the Ladies Match and General Committee

Ladies Veterans

The LADY VETS ANNUAL Lunch and Presentation Day will be held on Thursday 28th August at 12.30pm in the Bistro area.  The Rene Buxton Salver for 2014 will be presented and the winner of the Points Score Competition will also be acknowledged. 

The results of the VWGA Challenge Brooch may also be decided by then also. This year, we have “multiple winners”, so it is hoped that all the winners will be present on the day to receive their due acknowledgement.  There is also a Ball Competition result which was run in conjunction with both these competitions.  I hope to see “YOU” there…Invitations have been distributed but if you are a Lady Vet (without an invitation) and would like to attend – please come along and enjoy the special Luncheon at a very reasonable cost as always.  A Special Guessing Competition will be available and the proceeds will go towards the cost of trophies and the luncheon.
VWGA OPEN DAY ENTRIES FOLDER has been newly introduced and is located outside the Juniors’ Room (next to the New Folder for the regular Open Day Sheets).  All Entry Forms for Vets from other Clubs will also be included in this Folder rather than on the Noticeboard in the Ladies Locker Room.
On Thursday 24th July I lost my gold Wedding Ring on the Course during the Vets Competition.  The ring is plain and quite narrow.  There is a Reward and my eternal gratitude to anyone who finds the ring.
Spring into better-golf as Springtime gets closer

Fay Butcher


11 August - Senior Order of Merit
16 August - Mens Foursome Championship
20 August - Course Closed after Ladies Comp for Coring
21 August - Course Closed for Coring
22 August - Course Closed for Coring
5 - 6 October - Carnarvon Bowl

Saturday 30 August - 7.30pm 

Tickets $10 


Veterans Report

Average attendance per game was 43 members and I thank the members for their support.

Believe it or not we were washed out on 5 June.

The Annual General Meeting was held on 10 July and the new committee for 2014/15 is:-

President/Secretary - Keith Speer
Captain - Roy Dockery
Vice Captain - Graham Stepto

Christmas in July was held on Thursday 10 July and was enjoyed by 46 members.

Starr Partners Real Estate Agents at 146 South Parade, Auburn (ph: 9749 4949) have decided to sponsor the Veterans' Club to the tune of $30 per week.  We thank Greg Okladnikov for his generous sponsorship.

Winners for the above games were as follows:-
29 May
Winner - John Davies - 22 points
Runner Up - Judy Emmett - 18 points c/b
Fred Cherry Award $20 - Phil Russo

5 June - washed out

12 June
Winner - John Davies - 19 points
Runner Up - Ron Kirby 17 points
Fred Cherry Award $20 - Barry Munro

19 June
Winner - Dave Simmons - 18 points c/b
Runner Up - Mary Brown - 18 points
Fred Cherry Award $20 - n/r

26 June
Winner - Neville Brown - 19 points
Runner Up - Margaret Chevell - 18 points
Fred Cherry Award $40 - Barry Munro

3 July
Winner - June Clarke - 18 points
Runner Up - John Causely - 17 points
Fred Cherry Award $20 - Owen Madden

10 July
Winner - Barry Munro - 19 points
Runner Up - June Clarke - 17 points
Fred Cherry Award $20 - Graham Stepto

17 July
Winner - Mary Brown - 20 points
Runner Up - John Davies - 18 points
Fred Cherry Award $20 - Peter Prineas

24 July
Winner - July Emmett - 23 points
Runner Up - Barry Ryan - 19 points
Fred Cherry Award $20 - Neville Brown

17 July
Winner - Inja Kim- 20 points
Runner Up - Martin MacDonald - 19 points
Fred Cherry Award $20 - Bill Lang

Thank you for your support and I will see you on the golf course
Keith Speer
Do you know anyone in this photo ?

A History Moment

This month’s item is the final part of “The Jack Fisher Story” and deals with the move of Carnarvon to the current site.

I remember a Committee meeting on the new ground one Sunday morning early in 1948, when the site of the clubhouse and its dimensions were decided, after the construction work on the new course had commenced.  The course architect was Arthur East, and in charge of construction was our old faithful stalwart, Bill Smith, who had been the greenkeeper on the old course, and had been on loan to Roselands Golf Club to build that course during the war years and after.   The work started early in 1948, and a comparatively favourable weather period with bounteous rains - on occasions too bounteous for satisfactory working conditions - was vouchsafed us whilst the work progressed.  The preparation of the course was expedited greatly because there was a “deadline” for our departure from the old course, where our lease had long expired, and we were now on sufferance.  Construction of the clubhouse posed a difficult problem under the then building restrictions, and only used and unwanted materials were available.  The clubhouse, I make bold to say, is a beautiful and lasting tribute to the technical skill, ingenuity and ready improvisation of Gordon Speers who built it under such trying circumstances.
The course and house were finally ready for use at the end of 1949, and there was a Grand Opening early in December.  Records were hastily searched for a formula for officially opening a golf course, and Charlie Phillips eventually unlocked the front door in traditional fashion and drove the first ball from the first tee and actually got over the drain.  A dance was held to celebrate the great event, and the attendance that night was an all-time high for the clubhouse, but it was a case of “the more the merrier” in our brand new home.

New members were now being accepted in greater numbers than ever before.  The Club was in debt, but there was an unbounded confidence in our future, which has since been pleasurably justified.  Capital had been raised by debentures from the members, and so ready was the response when the call for debenture loans went forth that a limit had to be imposed by the Committee on the amount to be accepted from any one member.

 This debenture capital provided only a small part of the total expenditure on the new course and clubhouse, the major portion coming from Club funds carefully reserved from revenue in the years before the venture began, and from funds made available on loan by Auburn Municipal Council on acceptable repayment conditions.  The debentures were redeemed by the Club in a few short years, and  those who played their part in responding to the call for financial assistance have earned the Club’s undying gratitude, and may look on Carnarvon as always being a part of them.
The late Bill Harris, one of the oldest members, who was loved and respected by everyone, notwithstanding a very human weakness which manifested itself in extreme irritation when his golf concentration was interrupted, died about four years ago, and, in his passing, made history.  His ashes were, in accordance with his wishes, scattered on the rose garden at the southern side of the clubhouse by the President one sunny Sunday morning in the presence of his Club friends and certain members of his family, whilst the members went about their golf enjoying  the benefits and privileges which Bill and those other pioneers of the Club like him had laboured cheerfully throughout the years to provide.  No better resting place for the last remains of a golfer who loved the game and his fellow-golfers could be imagined.

The last few years, and the progress made by the Club during them, are too fresh in the minds of all of us to rank as history and to qualify for inclusion in this record.  One thing occurs to me, however, and this is, that after competing for many years and narrowly missing out several times, Carnarvon won its first Inter-Club Pennant in 1953, and by a strange coincidence won also the Junior Pennant in the year on its initial appearance.  When the pennant is being admired, please think of it as a monument to more than a quarter of a century of high endeavour.

In conclusion, I feel that, after years of wandering in a metaphorical wilderness, Carnarvon has come home and that it is here to stay.   Ambitious but justifiable claims for its future include the belief that it will be in the years ahead the best inland course in the metropolitan area.   On that confident note I end this story, with a feeling inside me of great pleasure from my association with Carnarvon Golf Club for more than twenty-five years, and of great pride in its progress and achievements during those years.”

Barry Ryan 
Club Historian
Copyright © 2014 Carnarvon Golf Club, All rights reserved.

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