CLWYD & BORDERS GOLF ALLIANCE
Minutes of the 27th AGM held on 6th August 2018 at Old Padeswood Golf Club at 7.30pm.
There were 15 members present including President David Penn; Chairman Wal Browett; Match Secretary Alec Thomas; and Treasurer Rodney Grace.
Bob Ellis - Market Drayton
There were only 5 apologies for absence.
4a) Chairman’s Report
I would like to open the meeting by thanking you all for attending.
On your behalf, I would like to thank the members of the committee.
I will start with our lynchpin, the public face of the Alliance, the person who most of our members deal with on match-days. Last year I described Alec's manner in glowing terms, such as “having the easy practised manner of a veteran” and having carried out his duties with “ his trademark quiet, understated, efficiency”. This season, at our request, he has begun the gradual transformation of the fixture list and as you will see from the new fixture list, the style of the competitions.
So from us all, well done Alec and thank you.
Ian Smith, our secretary, has been through a tough patch and I am pleased to say he is back and has taken up the reins again and is keeping us firmly on track.
Rodney Grace, the treasurer, again has had a good year, casting his proprietorial eye over our finances. He will deliver his report in a minute, but we are in good shape.
The rest of our committee consists of President David Penn, David Jones and co-opted members Stephen Jones and Dennis Humphries.
Kevin Hughes, from Abergele, hasn't been able to attend the meetings, but I am that he has made a full recovery and is here tonight
There was a “guest appearance” at one of our meetings by Vice President Dave Reidford.
This mixture of old hands and new members, has meant there have been a lot of good ideas put forward, as well as different perspectives on established ways of doing things. The discussions, sometimes heated, are evidence of an active and engaged committee.
On a sad note, Vice president, Alan Barker, has retired. I believe he was one of the founding members of our Alliance. Over his time on the committee, he has taken every role.
I would like to publicly thank him for all of his years of service and feel it only appropriate that he is invited as our guest to the Christmas event at Maesdu Golf Club.
4b.) Secretary’s Report: (Read out by Treasurer in his absence)
This has been a very different season for our Alliance, one in which we lost a number of fixtures to the weather, one where playing numbers were down on previous years as well as a drop in membership. The combination of all these factors has led to a loss of income which will be expanded upon by our Treasurer in his report.
On a brighter note four of your committee were again invited to play at Llanymynech in their Christmas Event. This year we sent the B team who were strong enough to hold up all the other teams but enjoyed the day despite the result.
The new fixture cards are ready for distribution by Alec and also new rule books if required. You will notice that Royal St David’s is back on the list on February 13h. This has been achieved thanks initially to David Reidford and then some hard negotiating by our Match Secretary. Well done to you both.
Unfortunately however some problems have arisen at Conwy which are yet to be solved. I am sure our Chairman will explain more during the meeting.
Whilst your officers and committee members continue to work tirelessly on your behalf it is with great sadness that Alan Barker has decided to retire after many years of service at every level apart from Secretary. On a personal note I wish to thank him for helping me over many years and I wish him well for the future.
As many of you know I was absent from duty for some weeks earlier this season due to a minor stroke and I would like to thank all of my fellow officers for taking over my duties during that period.
We have a very devoted team looking after the Alliance which allows you the members to turn up and play your golf every week. Long may it continue. Have a good season.
Following this report, our Chairman explained the situation with Conwy where they are asking for a considerable increase on green fees. 3 members of the Committee were invited to Conwy for a round of golf and after which in-depth discussions with their manager took place where various options were debated. Following that meeting the options were discussed at committee and it was agreed that we would not deviate from our current position on green fees for are participating clubs. A letter has been sent the Club outlining our position to which we are awaiting their reply.
4c.) Treasurer’s Report:
This is my report on the audited accounts for the year ending 30th June 2018.
It does not give me pleasure in having to say that this year has not been a good year having finished with a large deficit. When I took over I pointed out that our assets were too high but we should keep a reasonably level for ongoing unexpected expenses. This year unfortunately we have exceeded that level which I had in mind and we cannot sustain anymore losses.
Let us examine the accounts, copies of which I believe you have in front of you, in detail. At the bottom left hand side you will see that deficit I mention, in brackets) was £930.00 to be precise an increase of nearly £500.00. Fortunately though for most of us we have had some very generous members who did not cash in their vouchers to the sum of £314.00 which helped to reduce the loss just over £600.00.
Now look at the Income and Expenditure Accounts on the right-hand side, the first item Competition Receipts. This was down £2000.00. These are the monies taken at each meeting and supplement the Membership fee to cover our costs most of which are fairly static. When analysing the attendance at our meeting we were 20 members per venue down on average over the year, hence the drop in receipts. Out of this money also comes the prize money and it can be seen that, although it was down about £1000.00, it was not proportional to the above loss. The committee realised that this imbalance could not be sustained and as a consequence the Voucher Allocation for 2019 has been revised to reflect the drop in numbers and eliminate any future loss. This situation will be closely monitored but to put it crudely, we need to get those bums back on the tees. I will leave the reasons for this drop for the Match Secretary to try and explain but mention that the Committee has asked the Match Secretary to monitor the daily situation and will fully support him in applying the rules as laid out in the booklet, specifically the Section on Competition Booking, section 2 and 3. New books are available for anyone wanting one.
Moving swiftly on and part explanation for the above, membership was down £300.00 giving a £1100.00 drop in our Total income of £8105.00.
On a happier note, our expenditure was reduced this year but with costs rising, this will not be sustainable. I would anticipate a 5% rise next year.
As an ongoing commitment, the committee always has to review our costs and one of these items is our obligation to our participating clubs and the green fees we pay them. Green fees have not increased since 2014 but inflation has risen annually and therefor the Committee is recommending to this meeting that green fees for our participating clubs should rise to £14.00 for here on. It is felt this figure is sustainable for the next five years at least.
A vote on this proposal will be taken at the end of my report. The good news though is that although we have had a bad year there will be no increase in the match fee or subscriptions.
Finally I would like to thank Noel Popplewell for auditing our accounts and in and so quickly. As he has not yet fully retired and is willing to do so, I would recommend to use him as auditor for the coming year.
Thank you Gentlemen, that concluded my report and I open the floor for any questions.
Proposed by Mike Edge and Seconded by Dennis Humphries, the Audited accounts were unanimously approved by the membership.
Following on from this report, a long discussion took place over why’s and wherefores’ of the Treasurer’s proposal to increase the green fees to £14.00, the main point being made that there are very cheap offers about and we might find that our membership drops even more. The proposal was seconded by David Jones and vote taken. The motion failed by 3 votes to 12. An alternative option was proposed by Steve Jones and seconded by Alec Thomas that perhaps £1.00 increase would be more acceptable. A vote was taken and the proposal was defeated by 8votes against and 7 vote for.
4d.) Match Secretary’s Report
Hello everyone, and thanks for coming.
My second year as Match Sec for CBA was as enjoyable as the first, and after a couple of months off, I was glad to get things back and running last week at Abergele.
First I’d just like to say a few thank yous, firstly to the players, and in particular the ones who play week in week out, no matter where the venue is or what the weather is like. You know who you are, and myself and the Alliance are extremely grateful for your enthusiasm to play every week.
Also the organisers from each club. You make my job so much easier, and without you guys keeping in check your clubs players I don’t know what I would do!
Thank you to our secretary Ian for all the invaluable work he puts in, and to our treasurer Rodney who does a lot more for the Alliance than the finances, he is whizz on computers and is always there for me when I’m struggling with something on the excel sheet, or maybe an inquiry about the constitution. Thank you to our chairman Wal, and everyone else on Committee for their support and stepping in when needed on Double Fixtures.
As you will be aware I have tweaked the Fixture List a bit this season, mainly taking into account how much each club on the rota supports the Alliance. Obviously the other main factor to look at is the time of year and probable condition of the course. With a limited number of venues being links courses, this is almost impossible to do, so some courses will be wet when we go there, it just depends on how bad a winter it is. I am delighted that we are returning to Royal St Davids, a championship golf course, and we will play there in February and I can only pray we have at least dry weather, to appreciate it there.
I have also introduced a few different formats this season, including an AM/AM and scramble, just to mix things up a bit. We will see what the general consensus is, and perhaps do a few more next season if it is positive. The Scratch comp will always be run each week, obviously not when a scramble is on, but numbers for that seem to have increased last season and hopefully will continue to do so this season. As well as the Closest to the Pin
Numbers at each venue seem to have dropped last year, and this is obviously disappointing. The main reason for this I feel was the horrific Winter. It didn’t seem to stop raining from August 2017 until April this year, together with frequent downpours of snow. Amazingly there were only three cancelled fixtures last season, as there did seem to be a rest bite on Wednesdays as far how much it rained, but courses were obviously extremely wet, and people just didn’t fancy playing in general, not just in the Alliance. A decline in membership numbers will also obviously mean a decline in people who play every week.
After the doom and gloom from last Winter, the Summer so far has been glorious, and more people seem to be playing and want to play back where I work at Hawarden Golf Club, and I got the same enthusiasm from those at Abergele last week. There were nearly 120 playing which is around double the number which played at last season’s opener. This season, I have been asked to find extra tees for groups from Northop and Eaton and a 4-ball from Market Drayton hope to play regularly, so I am hoping the average number of competitors each week increases this season by some way.
I’d like to remind you all that I have a new email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org. Any emails sent to my old Tesco.net one since around July time would not have been received, I haven’t been ignoring you honest! My mobile number is still the same; 07834554920. Please don’t try and get hold of me at Hawarden Golf Club.
Finally I’d like to wish you all luck for a great 2018/19 season ahead, and for this fine weather to continue for as long as possible!
5) Appointment of Officers & Committee:
Chairman Wal. Browett into his final year no election required
President David Penn into his final year no election required
Secretary Ian Smith proposed by David Penn seconded Wal Browett
Treasurer Rodney Grace proposed by Ian Smith seconded by David Jones
Match Sec. Alec Thomas proposed by Ian Smith seconded by Wal Browett
David Jones into his third year no election required.
Kevin Hughes into his second year no election required
Steve Jones proposed by Wal Browett seconded by Ian Smith
Dennis Humphries Proposed by David Penn Seconded by Ian Smith
All of the above were voted upon and returned unanimously.
a) There was a very fruitful discussion Membership numbers. It was pointed out that with the aging population through the sport, weather played a big part in the decision to play or not especially with more use of buggies which can be restricted in bad conditions. Also it was pointed out that handicaps were rising with age.
Ron Pugh suggested that it may be time to review our handicap rules and asked the committee to look at the matter urgently suggesting that we should change to club handicap less 9/10th’s. The meeting generally agreed with the principle but realised that it would require an EGM to make any changes. It was agreed that the committee should deal with the matter with some urgency.
b) David Reidford raised the question of the winter rule and whether it was necessary as the trial did not seem to be that satisfactory and was open to abuse. He felt are current rules covered the main problems and had worked well since the Alliances inception. After a full discussion, it was proposed by Kevin Hughes and seconded by Alec Thomas that the decision whether to play “Preferred Lies” through the green should be according to the local club rule on the day. The ball would be marked, cleaned and place back no further than six inches from the mark, not dropped as our current rule states. A vote was taken and the motion was defeated 11 to 4. An alternative proposal was made by David Reidford and seconded by Rodney Grace that the ball should be played as it lies except in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of Alec Thomas when it can be marked, cleaned and placed back within 6 ins. The motion was carried by 11votes to 4. A notice to this effect will be placed on the table when the rule applies.
c) The question again of slow play was raised with comments that it was taking up to 5¼ hours later in the day. It was agreed by the meeting that “Ready Golf” should be brought in as a matter of policy. A notice will be issue and placed on the table and members advised of same. The situation will be monitored.
d) The presentation to the winners of the Jackie Robinson Trophy was made. Cliff Roberts, Denbigh accepted the trophy and engraved glasses on behalf of himself and his partner Llew Davies.
The meeting closed at 21:08.
Date of next AGM AUGUST 5th 2019