It’s my pleasure to present my second Chairman’s Report.
As a Board, we aim “To provide an environment for golfers to enjoy the spirit, challenge and healthy competition of the game of golf” and “To create opportunities for non-golfers to enjoy the experience of golf at their level and in their own way.” Around the Board table, we have created the vision, in a similar way to which a course designer works with contractors to create a golf course. Once the vision is created it’s then up to our onsite personnel, our club members and our visitors to determine the direction we take on a day to day basis.
At an AGM, it’s important to reflect on the contribution of key people and the various achievements from throughout the last year;
- Our Club remains the only Club in the Wairarapa to have one or more resident Professionals and to operate a fully resourced Pro Shop. During the year, the Pro Shop was refurbished and modified. Thanks to Shaun, Kirsten and Joel for their efforts during the year.
- Joel Macklin’s energy and enthusiasm have created a real point of difference for our club. Most of our new junior members are a direct result of Joel’s efforts. His individual lessons are inspiring and his group lessons are providing a great opportunity for those new to golf to give it a go in a relaxed and accepting environment. If you haven’t booked a lesson recently, perhaps it’s time to give it a try. Arnold Palmer once said, “It’s a funny thing - the more I practice the luckier I get”.
- Our office administration duo of Lorraine Stewart and Russell Stewart completed their final year of dedicated service to the Club. After nearly 4 years with the club, we wish you both well as you move forward into retirement.
All Teed Up have agreed to provide our office administration for the next 15 months at which time we will review the arrangement. Please support Kirsten in particular as she finds her feet. All office enquiries should firstly be directed to the All Teed Up shop who will be able to assist with the majority of your queries.
- I wish to acknowledge my appreciation to our grounds staff; Robin, Rob and Wade. Each of you has made a significant contribution to our Club during the year. Thank you for maintaining our course to such a high standard. We are all very proud of our course & the way in which you maintain it. Without doubt, our course provides the best golfing challenge in the Wairarapa.
- Last year I commented that we needed to consider what improvements should be made to our golf course. In some ways, the challenge of our course has changed very little. However, the recent purchase of the new coring machine will certainly help Rob Macklin and his team to continue to present our course in the best possible condition. Particular thanks to the NZ Racing Board, Trusthouse and our Vets for their generous contributions towards this purchase.
- Our men’s and women’s interclub teams remain strong in the Wellington competition. Our top men’s interclub team remains in the Premier / Otaki Cup competition with six other clubs. Two members of that team, Kerry Mountcastle and Dean Gray were included in the six-man Wellington Interprovincial golf team. Further, Kerry Mountcastle in particular has performed exceedingly well in tournaments across the lower North Island and recently competed in Australia.
- Twilight golf at the club has re-established itself as a great social way for all ages to enjoy the game of golf. Harry Quinn, in particular, deserves much of the credit for the large numbers who attend on Wednesday nights during the Summer months.
- During the year, Kerry Hefferen and her family moved into the Golf Club flat and took over the cleaning responsibilities, in addition to the catering responsibilities. It was pleasing to see the positive impact that resulted and the way that it created more of a family friendly atmosphere around the clubhouse. Her food and her service have impressed club members and visitors to our Club. It is unfortunate that in the last 10 days Kerry has confirmed her intention to resign as the club’s caterer, cleaner and tenant from the 8th of March. A similar replacement will be very hard to find, but we will do our best.
- Thank you to all our regular volunteers who tend the bar upstairs from Thursday through to Sunday. Bar sales are a significant source of income for the club and the profits are significantly higher without bar wages. Carl Christensen commits significant hours to ensuring the bar runs effectively – thank you Carl.
- Jenni Johnston has continued to focus on everything “House” in another year where there have been significant changes, developments and improvements. Thank you Jenni for all the time you have committed to the Club over the last year.
- The firewood team have completed another busy year; so much so, that we had to include the mountain of firewood on hand at 31 October 2016 as an asset in the Club’s financial statements. Thank you to Dave Brenkley and the firewood team for all their work during the year.
- As with all clubs, we are reliant on the invaluable contribution of our many volunteers. Some contribute through involvement on committees or rosters; others donate their time, services or expertise. Without you, our Club would be a very different place, if it existed at all. I won’t attempt to name all our volunteers, but many of you are here today and most of us know who you are.
In particular, I would like to thank Shura Lindsay and Tony Rowntree as last year’s Club Captains. The role of the Board has been made easier knowing that you had everything golf under control.
- I would like to thank my fellow Board members for their efforts during the year. Jenni Johnston, Shura Lindsay, Tony Rowntree, Carl Christensen, Andy Pottinger and Deputy Chair Jim Kettle. Jim retires from the Board this year but has agreed to take up a place on the Men’s Match Committee – thanks Jim.
- At last year’s AGM, we recognised Jocelyn Pollock’s fundraising efforts. Since then Jocelyn and Brian have continued to fundraise for the club and have now raised a total in excess of $20,000. Thank you Jocelyn and Brian for your continued commitment.
After writing 306 weekly golf reports for the club and the Wairarapa Times Age, Mike Dixon has now submitted his last report. Thanks Mike for all the time and effort you have dedicated to this task. In particular, we have always enjoyed your ‘off the fairway’ comments, which often added a little humour to the week’s results.
In addition to writing the weekly sports report, you have been involved in most other aspects of the Club including the Centennial Committee, Pro-am committee, the Men’s Match Committee, Club Captain and Board Chairman, to name just a few. For at least 10 years, you have also organised a golf trip for members to Australia.
At our January Board meeting, we unanimously agreed to recognise your contribution to our club at this AGM. Behind you, on my left we have an Honours Board that recognises our appreciation for members who have provided Outstanding Service to the Club. Mike Dixon will be added to that Honours Board in recognition of the time and effort he has put into the Club during his time so far as a member. Well done Mike and thank you !!!
Russell Stewart will shortly provide a summary of the October 2016 Annual Financial Statements. We remain focused on managing our expenditure at an appropriate level and ensuring we take the opportunity to maximise our non-golfing revenue such as grant income, facility hire and fundraising initiatives. Achieving an appropriate balance will continue to be a challenge in the years to come.
In the coming year we must do what we can to attract new players – some will become members whilst others may be green fee players. Further initiatives around junior golf and ‘She Loves Golf’ will go some way to addressing this initiative.
Finally, with respect to how each of us plays the game of golf, I would like to leave you with a quote I heard over the Christmas holidays;
This year I would like a low golf handicap and a high bank account balance. Please don’t mix them up like last year !!!”
Thank you and play well.