Firstly, happy New Year to you all and we trust that you are all keeping well and safe in these unusual times and longing for the return of golf. The purpose of this newsletter is to keep you informed of what is or what is not going on at the moment within the Club.
One of the upsides of the lockdowns is that it has given us the time and opportunity to look at how we operate and evaluate how well the present structure is functioning. This exercise led to a reshaping of the structure, as detailed below.
New committee structures:
With the agreement of the proprietors and the present Members Committee we engaged on a restructuring exercise of the existing committee structure in order to best align ourselves with the challenges we are likely to face in the future. The present structure is arguably too large to hold effective and constructive meetings which impacts on the ability to take timely decisions.
This was in some way triggered by the coronavirus pandemic which highlighted a need to be better placed to take urgent decisions in a timely manner.
In addition, it became apparent that there was a need to spread the workload amongst the committee members, make better use of their skills, and not rely on the few who are doing a high proportion of the work to date.
The anticipated result, and I say anticipated as the restrictions imposed on us as a result of the virus has limited our use of the new structure. Once we are clear of restrictions, I am sure that the restructure will enable us to focus on areas of significance and put in the necessary resource to create an environment which will enhance member satisfaction and the feeling of belonging to and being part of the golf club.
The major areas of significance fall into three areas, namely:
Under the umbrella of the Management Committee, who’s role is to govern the organisation on behalf of its members and comprises of the following positions, Chairman, Club Secretary, Treasurer, Handicap Secretary, Gentlemen’s Captain, Ladies Captain, Golf Centre Manager and proprietors, a number of sub committees have been created to assist in carrying out these duties.
Three sub committees, namely Membership, Competitions and Handicapping, have been created. The members of each committee will have the primary purpose of focussing on that specific area, interact with the membership and make recommendations to the Management Committee on behalf of the members.
The restructuring of the Members Committee has not resulted in a reduction of numbers, the major change being the redefining of the roles of the Committee Members leading to greater job satisfaction and better use of time spent.
At the Annual General Meeting there will be the normal election process for the officers and the only difference for the ladies and gentlemen’s committee members is that they will after election, be allocated to either the Handicap or Competitions Sub Committee.
Members Fund Holiday:
In order to assist the Golf Centre cashflow position over the last 9 months, agreement has been reached with the Centre that the portion of the annual membership subscriptions regarding the ‘Members Fund’ contribution would not be invoiced in 2021 as the monies collected in 2020 were not used. The members fund is the contribution made by the members towards the running of the club and currently stands at £7.00 Gold members, £5.00 Silver members and £2.50 Intermediates/ students and Bronze members, this forms part of the annual membership subscription. This charge will re-commence in 2022.
England Golf have informed golfers that further representations will be made to Government via the all-party parliamentary committee putting the case for golf to return early, something which is backed up via another petition. Whether this will bear fruit only time will tell. Until such time unfortunately we will need to remain closed.
This further lockdown has created additional headaches in running the club, especially in connection with the Annual General Meeting and current or near future competitions.
Annual General Meeting:
The 28th Annual General Meeting will be held, government restrictions permitting, on Thursday 8th April 2021 at the Golf Centre, commencing at 7.30pm. The business of this meeting will be curtailed and therefore we will be sending out advance copies, by email, of the reports normally presented on the night. This will provide Members with the opportunity to raise questions by email prior to the meeting and they will be taken as read at the meeting.
In relation to the accounts, a copy will be forwarded to members prior to the meeting and will be taken as adopted unless we receive any comments to the contrary.
The business of the 28th Annual General meeting, in addition to the normal elections will also include elections for the Senior Captain, Senior Vice Captain, Junior Captain, Junior Vice Captain, Junior Organiser and two members of the Junior Committee.
Notification of the AGM together with nomination forms will be circulated at the end of February and we would ask those individuals wishing to stand to ensure nomination forms are completed, this includes those positions i.e., Captains, Vice- captains etc which will roll over, and returned to the Secretary by close of play on Friday 19th March 2021.
In the event of Government restrictions preventing us holding the normal meeting, then the elections will be held remotely via Zoom.
Regrettably we have taken the decision to cancel the 2020/21 Ladies 9 Hole Winter League, and Seniors Winter League. Members entry fees will be refunded in due course.
In relation to the Winter Singles Competition, each day was a standalone competition. The intention was then for the top 32 players with the best 6 aggregate scores to qualify for a knockout stage. Unfortunately, due to the enforced lockdown of the course the knockout stage of this competition will be cancelled.
Due to be held on 17th April 2021. Under present restrictions this cannot be held as a shot gun start and the Clubhouse is closed apart from the toilets. We propose to hold fire on making a decision at this time and will make a final decision on 27th March. In view of a congested programme of events and club matches in the event of cancellation it is unlikely that this fixture could be rearranged.
Worcester Union of Golf Clubs:
The Worcester Union of Golf Clubs have decided to incorporate. This simply means that with effect from 1st January 2021 the workings of the Union will be taken over by a newly formed company, Worcestershire County Golf Limited. This is a company limited by guarantee, thus removing the unlimited individual personal liability for the Executive and Club members that existed under the old structure.
There was a requirement for each Club in Worcestershire to formally agree to become voting members of the new company in order to retain the benefits of the affiliation. This has been done on behalf of the members of Bromsgrove Golf Club.
For those interested copies of the Articles of Association and Rules of Worcestershire County Golf Limited can be found on the county website.
Minutes of Management Committee meetings:
It is proposed that future copies of the minutes will be available to all members via the website.
Diary of events 2021/22:
This is a work in progress with the dates for many of the main trophy competitions finalised. However, dates for some of the Club team matches are still awaited. Once completed a copy will be posted on the website
Meeting of various Committees:
Present guidance issued by England Golf stipulates that Club Committee meetings and AGM’s if they need to take place then they should be done online. Whilst we are hopeful that the restrictions around AGM’s will be relaxed prior to April. We are investigating the practicality of holding the meeting online and will keep you informed.