With the Easter Weekend falling in March, the annual revenue statistics of our Club had to deal with some abnormalities! Whilst we did have a good season, the month of April, as a comparison to last year, did show a “softening” of income for the period.
The expected drop-off of visitor rounds are now showing effect, and we need to always remember the importance of this sector in our overall annual financial well-being.
Notwithstanding this, we can confidently say that our Club continues to enjoy a relatively good performance, and that we are regularly producing results, in the current economic climate, that show us performing well in this day and age of the “Sports Club” market.
Let me be clear however, our Club still needs to continue to strive to maximise our opportunities. We need to acknowledge that whilst we are (and should always be) a “members’ Club, we truly do need to embrace and appreciate the benefits our Club enjoys by welcoming our “Swallows” and visitors. It is now more than evident that the “Season” is an integral and important aspect of our Club’s continued good financial health.
Added to this, the current exchange rates are putting immense pressure on our Club. There is little doubt that we are currently enjoying the benefits of our Course in its outstanding condition. We continue to get huge accolades from both members and visitors. Dave Porrill, our Greens Superintendent, and his team, have done (and continue to do) an amazing Job.
To achieve and maintain these levels of excellence requires good quality, well maintained machinery, most of which is imported. The softening of the exchange rates puts huge pressure on us, not only for the procurement of spares, but when eventually required, for the replacement of our machines. Darius and his team are doing an exceptional job of keeping our equipment mobile. We owe them a great vote of thanks as well.
We continue to implement our ongoing programme of Course enhancements. These were approved by the Main Committee during Glen Witte’s tenure as Captain, and are now being expedited. The overall intent is to firstly improve your golfing experience and the overall playability of the course, and finally to improve our SA Golf rating.
To this end we have commenced with the extension of the dam at the tenth hole, and the material being removed from this exercise is going to be used to provide additional (alternative) tee precincts on the course.
We will be constructing a “practice” net, like at George Golf Club, between the practice putting and chipping greens to afford players the opportunity to “warm up” before their round. This will now incorporate all the practice facilities in one zone: putting, chipping, practice bunker and a warm up facility.
We are also going to be introducing alternate teeing positions on some holes. Initial changes will include a new “forward” tee position at the 7th and the 16th holes.
Next on the programme will be to increase the sizes of a number of the ladies tees. (3rd, 4th 8th etc.) We have a growing number of lady members and we need to address the high traffic wear and tear on these areas.
The Greens Committee has made the decision to fill in the bunker behind the back right hand side of the 6th Green. This bunker was seldom in play, has been costly to maintain, and always had difficult soil conditions. The area will be grassed and maintained as a “rough” area.
We are continuing our programme of trimming the lower branches of “in play” trees, and I believe that this has aesthetically improved the overall appearance of our Course. We have had had many very favourable comments about how “manicured” our course is looking!
We are in the process of procuring new Tee markers and it is our intent, with the proposed new tee positions, to include “Championship” tee positions. This will go a long way in improving our course rating when the next “Top 100” golf clubs are published.
Glen Witte has tirelessly worked on getting our course measurements correctly marked out. This is critical when printing new score cards, an exercise he is also championing. It is a very complex task and we are grateful to him for his thorough and exacting efforts.
Finally, some housekeeping matters:
- There still appears to be some confusion regarding what constitutes a “Bowled” tree! Please could you all take a look at the tree on the men’s first Tee. You will notice that it has a clearly defined square (or rectangular) pitched mound around it. This IS a “Bowled” tree! Any tree that does not have this feature is NOT a “Bowled” tree!
- Given that we do not have “preferred lies” in place, PLEASE can you repair all your divots! This will help immeasurably for all your fellow golfers.
- As with divots, please repair your pitch marks, there are a number of players who are currently not extending this courtesy to fellow players.
The winter rainy season is about to start and this, as always, does have an effect on our Course. Hopefully, this will not have an effect on your own ever improving handicap!!