Annual General Meeting, 28 February 2019
The following papers were circulated prior to the meeting to provide members with a resume of events and actions undertaken within the last year.
I am pleased to report that the club is going from strength to strength. Membership numbers are being maintained against a national trend of decline and we have Club Manager Tom McGinley and his team to thank for that. They have worked tirelessly over the year attracting new members.
Our visitor income has increased from what was a very good year last year. By increasing the green fee, we have increased the revenue with less footfall on the course which is good news for everyone. The Starters are our visitors’ first contact with the club and I thank the four of them for the professional way they deal with both members and visitors.
We have again put our VAT windfall to good use over the year. This has resulted in a deficit in our accounts which is within the limits the committee set. The clubhouse has been painted both externally and internally and the heating and electrics were also improved. The Course Manager received the new machines that were on his wish list and the garage is now filled with more modern machinery, but we still have a few relics to change. The heating in the shop and office has been improved and the office got a new carpet and a lick of paint.
The shop changed franchise, Fraser Malcolm has taken over and is providing a service to both members and visitors. Fraser has also taken on an Assistant Pro Michael Bacigalupo which again shows how the club is moving forward.
Our catering contract with Coastal Catering was due for renewal later this year and when told we intended to go out to tender, Dave Wakefield decided it was time for him to retire and told us he would go at the end of November. We held interviews for the position and Clint Clayton trading as Redcoll Catering was the most suitable applicant. Clint has some excellent ideas for social events going forward and the club wishes him well and hope that our members support him.
Marion Currie has now been Match Secretary for 18 months and has done a fantastic job to date and I am happy to say the position is in safe hands. I thank Marion for all the time and effort she has given to ensure we all enjoy our golf.
Congratulations to Willie Halliday, Shelia Blackwood and Harry Bent being our Gents, Ladies and Junior Champions for 2018.
John Lunn after many years is handing over the reins of the Junior section to Lynne Malcolm who has been running a successful junior section at Gullane for the last few years. Lynne has some new and exciting ideas for the section and I am sure the Juniors Section will flourish.
Some of you will have noticed that the website has been re-built for which we have to thank John Campbell. It has become more user friendly but importantly it can now be updated from the office which was a facility the old site did not allow. We are now able to keep the members better informed and in a more timely fashion. I thank Trish Morrish for all the years she kept the old website up and running.
The course has once again been our biggest asset and I thank our Course Manager Des Kerr and his staff for all their hard work over what was a difficult summer due to the period we endured without any significant rainfall. The course was once again looking like a links course.
It is with regret I have to report the passing of long standing members Ian Phillips, Kyle Hardie and Lilias McNicoll. Past Captain David Dolan also passed away.
There are 4 vacancies to fill on the Management Committee due to the retiral of Douglas Paul, John Campbell, Stevie Albiston and myself. I thank all who have served with me on the Committee and after eight years look forward to being able to sit back with the other Past Captains and commenting “It wasn’t like that in my day”
I finish by thanking you the members for having given me the opportunity to Captain what I believe is a great club and I have thoroughly enjoyed my two years and now look forward to being able to play more golf in the future.
Finance Convenor’s Report
This past year GCC financials have again been heavily influenced by the options provided to the Committee by a healthy cash balance. As mentioned by Ian last year, and Jim today, the Committee authorised project type expenditure in both 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 to deal with several items which could not be funded in previous years. Additionally, the Members’ Survey feedback provided a view of Members’ priorities.
The major item of project expenditure this year was the clubhouse painting, outside and partially inside, for a cost of £18k. The sofas in the clubhouse were renewed, waste bins fenced in, clubhouse carpets cleaned, improvements to both ladies and gents toilets were completed, white lines are now clear in the car park, smiling ex-captains watch you enter and leave the clubhouse, and new heating improvements for the office were also progressed. Many of these items were highlighted by the Survey feedback.
On December 1, 2018 a three year catering contract was signed with Redcoll Catering (AKA Clint). In preparation for the start of this new catering service the Committee remedied a situation that had developed over the years, and bought from the outgoing caterer all equipment owned by him (and deemed necessary by Clint) including carvery equipment, coffee machines and some white goods. GCC now owns all kitchen equipment and accessories. Additionally, expense was authorised to ensure a sufficient supply of good quality crockery, cutlery, table linen, glasses etc. Total cost for these purchases, renewals and replacements was around £9k.
As reported by The Captain the Income and Expenditure deficit for the year of £24k should be seen as (mostly) planned. There are a few items unplanned, but on balance expenditure incurred or income earned reflects a superior financial performance, of which more below.
Subscription income, very slightly better than last year at £290k versus £288k, has resulted from a concerted effort by all at the Club, particularly Tom McGinley and the Marketing Committee, to attract new members to replace leavers. The Glen is maintaining this line of income while many other Scottish clubs are struggling in this area. A superb result for The Glen.
As you will have heard by now, subscription levels will remain unchanged for 2019/2020. For visitor fees the result is even better. The year’s visitor income at £299k is up £10k over last year. This result is despite the “Beast from the East” reducing expected early months’ income, which then caught up and passed expectations in the long and sunny summer. Credit is due, again, to Tom and the Marketing Committee and collaborators for attracting so much new as well as repeat business (at a lower marketing cost versus previous year).
As reported by the Captain, and recorded in last year’s AGM minutes as a Committee objective, the visitor fee income increase was achieved with lower year on year visitor rounds (10.1k v 10.8k) resulting in a lower footfall on the course and more times available for members. This was made possible by, on average, a 7.5% income per round increase for both weekday and weekend rounds.
Bar and catering contribution was up on last year (£40k versus £36k), benefitting from timing differences on receipt and payment of Bellhaven invoices. The opposite effect reduced last year’s income. The Management Committee is confident that the new catering arrangement will continue to meet income expectations.
Shop surplus, for two main reasons, was substantially down on last year at £14k versus £34k. Half of this was due to the new pro shop relationship, shared at last year’s AGM, where rent ceased from March 2018. The other half was due to lower buggy net income following an increase to the rate of depreciation on the new buggy fleet. The increased rate was adopted after a loss on disposal of the old buggy fleet (£7k) was recognised in 2017/18. This higher depreciation will ensure there will be no loss on the disposal of the current buggy fleet in (say) three years’ time. None of the above should detract from the message that buggy hire charges contribute strongly to Club income.
Overall total income is down £6k versus last year. This represents a very positive outcome given the Shop Surplus situation.
Clubhouse expenditure was £7.5k higher than last year, almost all in the repairs and maintenance category. The low level of this increase reflects the fact that both this year and last year carry significant project costs. With much lower clubhouse project costs forecast for next year, we expect to reposition to a lower baseline for this category.
The quality of our course continues to be the main focus for the Club, and is most deserving of specifically targeted expenditure. In the past year, in addition to the new buggy fleet, a sprayer and two cutting and mowing machines have been leased. Also large quantities of sand have been used on greens and fairways with fairly obvious improvements to course condition, general drainage and quality of greens and surrounding areas.
Total year on year additional cost for the course was £18k. Roughly half of this was for sand, chemicals and water (due to the hot summer) and half for additional machinery & equipment lease costs.
Admin and Customer Service costs are £17k lower than last year as a consequence of lower bank interest on the RBS mortgage loans. Historically, of the two loans one has been fixed rate and one has been variable rate. In mid-2017 the fixed rate loan also became variable rate. Overall this has reduced our interest charge. However, going forward we will be more exposed to changes in the Bank of England base rate.
This year saw a strong financial performance with excellent main revenue lines and specifically targeted expenditures to demonstrably improve the course and clubhouse experience for members and visitors. There is every reason to expect an equally strong performance in 2018/2019, with lower project costs and a return to (a modest) surplus. Thank you all for your support, and may all your bogeys be singles.
Course Manager’s Report
I hope everyone has enjoyed their golf in the past year, 6 weeks of daily sunshine in June and July were most welcome after the Beast-from-the-East. The spring start was slow as seems to be the norm these days, sudden flushes of growth in late March early April seem to be a thing of the past as we tend to experience a much more gradual transition.
We hollow cored the greens at the end of March and applied 25 tonnes of sand. This is the bare minimum required before the start of the main playing season, and is usually complimented with two supplementary light dressings in late winter/early spring but the weather made it impossible. If we are to have firm, true, disease free greens that drain well we must increase our sand input! Following measurements of organic matter taken during the STRI agronomy visit in May a decision was made to use a sand injection machine, the benefits of this machine are: Higher sand input (30 to 40 tonnes per application) less surface disruption, increase removal of undesirable organic matter and quicker healing of the surface compared to hollow coring. The ideal timing for this operation is early autumn when soil temperatures are still high enough to speed up recovery, It is not advisable to do it in the spring because a late cold snap could slow recovery considerably and we would be left with lines throughout the season, coring is better at this time of the year. Some small areas of greens 4, 14 and 15 suffered from reduced cover due to irrigation problems, this has now been rectified.
One area that suffered most from the dry spell was the sand based fairways (the 14th to 16th). Some grass cover was lost - the remedy was application of a wetting agent and a low dose feed which helped them to recover; this proved highly successful and will now be factored in to the overall fairway management plan. All fairways are now receiving a biannual dressing of sand which based on feedback is having the desired effect of firming them up. Intensive rough thinning was carried out twice this year using chemical and mechanical methods.
Bunker renovations are now complete and will be ready for play come April. It is generally felt from feedback that, off the tee we are particularly weak and out of position. A complete course review was done last autumn and a 5 year plan is in place. As well as general bunker repairs 2 bunkers on the 4th hole have been filled and a new bunker on the left of the 2nd and right of the 17th installed, careful consideration as to the degree of penalty was factored into the design. Please remember there are 12 inches of sand to go into the bunkers before they are open for play!
We look forward to the season ahead and hope it is an enjoyable one for you to play, thank you as always for your positive feedback… See you on the course !
Lady Captain’s Report
The Glen Ladies have enjoyed a great year of competitions, friendlies and social events. Our aim has been to offer something for everyone, so we have developed the social side of the Section whilst maintaining a good calendar of competitive events.
Most Club competitions have been well subscribed though we struggled a little to get players, especially in the bronze division, to play in the Club Championship. We hope to improve on this next year and encourage all our Ladies to get involved. We also enjoyed the Ladies and Mixed open events and invitationals as well as our annual Ladies & Seniors competition.
We competed in the Carol’s Trophy 5-aside competition now in its second year and as a handicap competition this enables the Glen Ladies to compete at county level. Whilst we didn’t reach the top of the table this year the teams played well, and we particularly enjoyed a 5-0 win over the West!
In County competitions five Glen Ladies picked up prizes this year including the County Championship Bronze Quaich, the season aggregate bronze prize and runner up in the summer knockout competition. A total of eight prizes between them, this was a great result for the Glen. My congratulations to all the prize winners.
We have played 7 friendlies with our neighbouring clubs in East Lothian and hosted Murrayfield Ladies in a return match. The friendlies have been well supported and played in good spirit.
The Committee have worked hard to build up the fun and social side of the Section. We started with a Golf Fashion Soiree in May, we have held 3 Nine and Dines and more recently we have started Tee and Toast. These along with the regular turn ups, which remain well supported, have helped draw the Section together even more. The outing to Eyemouth was great fun and Lady Captains Day was well attended and a lovely social occasion. We finished the year with a Christmas Cha Cha Cha, fun competition, prizes and lunch.
The Ladies raised over £400 this year through raffles and social events. North Berwick Youth Project was chosen as this year’s charity and they will receive £300, £27 has been raised for Cancer Research and the rest will go into Section funds.
This year the Glen started a Get into Golf programme and as a result around a dozen Ladies new to golf are playing regularly at the Glen, some have already joined as full members and we hope others will join as full members in April.
The Programme has been thoughtfully put together by the Management Committee and our Pro, Fraser. Our Ladies have also been involved supporting the new starters and getting them out onto the course. With a warm welcome and professional approach, the Glen is getting a great reputation as the place to learn golf.
My thanks go to my Committee for all their work and the Ladies for their support throughout the year. My thanks too to the Captain, Management Committee and club staff all of whom have contributed to another successful year for Glen Ladies.
Junior Convenor’s Report
The Glen junior section had a steady year in 2018. Fraser Malcolm continued his golf academy coaching at the younger end of the section. All medals were played for competitively with some excellent scoring over the season and a variety of winners. Our junior league team competed in the East Lothian junior golf league again, and finished mid table. A number of boys have again turned out for the gents' winter league team this season, which is a great testament to the quality of their golf and the maturity they show on and off the golf course.
Our congratulations go to Harry Bent who was Glen junior champion and Order of Merit winner at the age of 12. Harry will go forward to represent the Glen in the Lothian Boys Champion of Champions later this year.
A final thank you to Cameron Spencer, our junior captain for 2018.
I am standing down as junior convenor after six years in the role. I am pleased to say that Lynne Malcolm has volunteered to take on the role, subject to approval at the AGM. Lynne has previously been one of the junior convenors at Gullane GC, and has some great ideas to take the junior section forwards.
Match Secretary’s Report
The 2018 season got off to a slow start with both our Ladies and Gents Open Stableford competitions affected by severe winter conditions. The club competitions got underway in April and throughout the year we had good support from our members in competitions. The trend followed that of previous years and numbers did tail off in the latter part of the season. Gents numbers averaged 75 per medal which equalled that of 2017. The Ladies section welcomed a number of new members and this helped increase numbers playing in competition.
Club Competitions are entered using Freetime and this year I have added dates of competitions onto the calendar that are entered via the Starter in the hope this may serve as a reminder of what is on at the club throughout the season.
The Club Championship Competitions were not well supported particularly in terms of those who had qualified being then able to play in the knockout rounds. We received feedback regarding the dates of the Club Championship and as it clashed with trade holidays impacted on the numbers available to play. This year we have moved the competition to run from 9-16 June in the hope this will encourage more participation and revive some interest in Championship week.
The SSS rating for all courses was updated at the beginning of the 2018 season. The Gents SS on the white tees increased to 71 and the yellow tees to 70. The Ladies SS increased to 74 and new score cards printed to reflect the changes.
The removal of the restriction on the number of supplementary cards returned was reflected in the increase in number of supplementary scores I received in 2018. Although the club in the course of the playing season organise an adequate number of competitions to provide ample opportunity to participate, the use of Supplementary Scores can provide an alternate format in which to submit scores and augment information from competition play to maintain a handicap that reasonably reflects playing ability.
A Prizegiving Texas Scramble was trialled in October in the hope that we could capture a few more prize winners and encourage them to remain after the competition for the presentation of prizes. The shotgun start proved to be a reasonable success and we hope you will support the competition again this year.
Golf's new rules came into effect on 1st January this year. The key changes have been posted on club noticeboardsand there is a very useful pocket size rule book available to members at the Starters. A notice has also been posted to remind players that any question regarding clarification of rules can be directed to the Rules Committee. This is very important particularly in qualifying competitions and it allows a player to check a ruling before signing and returning their card.
I would like to thank Tom McGinley and the office staff for their support and Kenny, Jos, John and Jim for running our club competitions throughout the year.
Senior’s Section Report
Another successful year for the Glen Seniors with a lot of new faces appearing for bounce games where attendance remains healthy. Quite a few of those new members are already playing their part in the club matches and are very good golfers, so good to have them on board. Our welcoming approach to new members is one of the hallmarks of joining The Glen and I hope this continues to be the case in the future.
In April we held our annual Mens and Ladies Mixed Foursomes where the ladies did an excellent job of hosting the event. They also generously sponsored a number of the holes and provided a lot of prizes so we will have to try and match, if not better that, this coming year when it will be our turn to host it again.
In June we contributed to the running of another successful Club Seniors Open. The new policy of having our desk in the starter’s office seemed to work well making it easier for the golfers to check-in on arrival. We ran a successful ‘Twos and Raffle competition’ on the day and made a tidy sum of over £300, which will go into our coffers for this year.
In September we had our annual Away Day to Eyemouth, a club that we have recently become friendly with through the club matches. There were 35 of us who travelled, including a lady member. We made the trip on a very sunny day and our hosts did us proud with an excellent welcome on arrival and first class catering before and after the golf. I know quite a few of our members were not too happy with our decision to go to Eyemouth feeling that the course was too long and hilly but I think you need only ask those who played on the day and I’m sure everybody “to a man and a lady” would say they enjoyed the whole experience. Perhaps next year we can go up a rung in quality of golf course, given that our finances are a bit healthier now than they were when we were booking the away day last year.
Our Texas Scramble in December was also another successful day with 54 players turning up to play golf on a quite awful day of weather which shows the enthusiasm there is amongst the ranks for this popular event.
One regret I did have as captain is that we didn’t manage to have our Annual Senior’s Dinner with a speaker as it was felt ‘there not to be an appetite’ - excuse the pun - for this amongst this year’s Committee.