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Any Committee members in here?

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George1507
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Post by Mercurio Tue 06 Dec 2011, 6:07 pm

I ask as this time, next week, I may be one.

P.S. If I am, can I be a part of a clandestine committee members user group?

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Post by Maverick Tue 06 Dec 2011, 6:18 pm

Something i'd strangely like to do but need be a member at my place longer.


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Post by Adam D Tue 06 Dec 2011, 6:30 pm

Mercurio - PM in your inbox.

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Post by liegerwoods Tue 06 Dec 2011, 6:32 pm

good luck merc.

i am part of the handicap committee and have done many jobs over the years at my club. it can be very rewarding but also quite frustrating when you trap up for a game of golf and someone wants to DISCUSS something. but even more frustrating when you are on the course and someone thinks its ok to approach you mid round to have a rant..........thats the only time i think its acceptable to tell a member to faff off !

well done for stepping up merc.

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Post by Maverick Tue 06 Dec 2011, 6:53 pm

Adam D wrote:Mercurio - PM in your inbox.

sounds ominous

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Post by Shotrock Tue 06 Dec 2011, 6:54 pm

Yes - Golf and Traditions committee. Good for you for helping out.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Tue 06 Dec 2011, 7:13 pm

Maverick wrote:
Adam D wrote:Mercurio - PM in your inbox.

sounds ominous

Mav, I think Adam D's got the wrong end of the stick. In the light of the changes to the golf boards thread I think he has taken Merc's question to mean something else. Meaning Merc wants to know about being part of the golf board super community rather than has anyone served on a committee at their golf club. Must admit it took me a few seconds to work out what Merc actually meant.

Hopefully clarity will prevail.

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Post by Adam D Tue 06 Dec 2011, 7:16 pm

1GrumpyGolfer wrote:
Maverick wrote:
Adam D wrote:Mercurio - PM in your inbox.

sounds ominous

Mav, I think Adam D's got the wrong end of the stick. In the light of the changes to the golf boards thread I think he has taken Merc's question to mean something else. Meaning Merc wants to know about being part of the golf board super community rather than has anyone served on a committee at their golf club. Must admit it took me a few seconds to work out what Merc actually meant.

Hopefully clarity will prevail.

Nothing to do with this thread Laugh

But thanks for trying to confuse me anyway thumbsup

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Post by GWR-Golfer Tue 06 Dec 2011, 7:30 pm

Hi Mercurio - go of it.

I am next years Vice Captain (was Head of Entertainment this year).

BUT

You need to be prepared to accept that you cannot please everybody. Each section of the club - Seniors, Ladies, Juniors, Regulars all have a different agenda and will find it hard to acquiesce to other sections even if it's right for the club.

I would say tho' that all committees need level headed, sensible people who have the best interests of the club at heart - after all, every member is there because of a COMMON interest .... Golf

Another way of looking at it is a "larger 606v2" Yahoo
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Post by super_realist Tue 06 Dec 2011, 7:49 pm

I was on a committee once for about 24 hours before I decided that I couldn't be ar$ed with the hassle.

Maximum respect for those who do though, it's mostly a thankless task and you get nothing but hassle from the members who are all suddenly better qualified than any greenkeeper, clubhouse manager, pro or anyone else associated with clubs, oh yeah, and they want a course in better condition because xxxxxxxx down the road is in better condition, but they pay less, yadda yadda yadda.

Big respect to anyone who does it.

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Post by McLaren Tue 06 Dec 2011, 7:57 pm

One of the things that always becomes apparent when you look into the history of courses is that the greens committee should never be allowed to alter the course as it costs both enjoyment of the course and money. It seems that greens committees think they can make alterations without employing a professional architect only to find they have to pay for one years later when the course has eventually become unpopular and member numbers have dwindled.

If they had only used professionals in the first place then maybe smaller cheaper changes could have been made that not only made the course better but ensured members stayed.


Shotrock

What is a traditions committee? sounds interesting.
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Post by Shotrock Tue 06 Dec 2011, 8:24 pm

Mac - Actually it is interesting (to me at least!) ... right now pretty mundane stuff however, inventory and scan all documents, etc. If you really want to know a club's history ... access to board minutes is almost certainly the best source. We have a dedicated archive room for members, too.

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Post by McLaren Tue 06 Dec 2011, 8:32 pm

Shotrock

It sounds like your club has been very careful to document its history, I imagine the position would have limited scope at some clubs if documents have been discarded over the years. If it ever comes to mapping the physical changes of the course over time you will be the guy to go to.
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Post by George1507 Tue 06 Dec 2011, 9:38 pm

I did 4 years as a committee member, then another ten as a board and committee member.

Remember that you are doing it for the benefit of the members, not for yourself. Sometimes you have to make decisions which you know will not benefit you yourself. It's hard.

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Post by GWR-Golfer Tue 06 Dec 2011, 10:05 pm

McLaren wrote:One of the things that always becomes apparent when you look into the history of courses is that the greens committee should never be allowed to alter the course as it costs both enjoyment of the course and money. It seems that greens committees think they can make alterations without employing a professional architect only to find they have to pay for one years later when the course has eventually become unpopular and member numbers have dwindled.

If they had only used professionals in the first place then maybe smaller cheaper changes could have been made that not only made the course better but ensured members stayed.

Don't agree with any of this statement - it is too general. At my club (and i would bet the majority of clubs) an agronomist, or similar professional, is paid to inspect courses and advise on changes. The Greens committees need to review the recommendations and then take appropriate action. I would suggest that it is rare for a Greens committee to make alterations without a lot of debate.

I know that the decision wasn't an easy one as we spent a long time debating whether to remove 2 bunkers (recommended by the agronomist) - we decided to leave one and fill in the other - but it was not a quick simple decision.
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Post by McLaren Tue 06 Dec 2011, 10:11 pm

GWR

Maybe lessons have been learnt over the years, it just seems to have been a common story at many clubs especially in the 60's and up to the 90's in some cases.
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Post by super_realist Tue 06 Dec 2011, 10:18 pm

Mac, Many courses are run by more than just a head greenkeeper, they study more than just green keeping these days, and are often referred to as Course Managers, they are better placed than you or I as to decide what might improve the course. For example, removing gorse/broom to allow better airflow/sunlight onto certain areas, but which also may speed up play due to fewer lost balls.

The committee is there for a reason, to communicate with greens staff and course managers to set up a course the way that they would mutually want it to play. You'll never please everyone, but there simply isn't a need to call in a "professional" whenever making small changes.
It's expensive, and often you'd end up with the same anyway.

Your obsession with course architects as if they are some kind of deities who can do no wrong is becoming an irritant.

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Post by GWR-Golfer Tue 06 Dec 2011, 10:36 pm

McLaren wrote:GWR

Maybe lessons have been learnt over the years, it just seems to have been a common story at many clubs especially in the 60's and up to the 90's in some cases.

Mac, It's very technical nowadays - i will freely admit i have been wrong for a number of years - now that I have access to information I will admit have changed my mind about a number of things that happen to the course.

I would also say that communication with the membership is something that is not done enough from Greens committees - this year we held a forum and spent 3 hours running through why we were doing certain things and why we weren't following other routes. We also, importantly, allowed a lot of time for questions & answers. Out of that we started a regular survey (which I got the short straw of managing) - I have now collated the results from 4 surveys - next year we will match them against this year's results, so should be interesting.

In Summary I would say - that generally Greens Committies are doing what is best for the members (but it will not suit them all). A simple example is the length of cut on the fairways - Cat1/2 players want them cut short, Cat 3/4 handicaps want them left longer - so what does the committee do ?????????
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Post by ralphjohn69 Tue 06 Dec 2011, 11:16 pm

Have been on the committee at my place since I was 19, 13 years now; had a committee meeting tonight actually!

Currently match & handicap secretary which I've done on/off for most of that time. Takes up a lot of time but I like being involved in the running of the club and all it entails. Can get annoying as yes, every member seems to be an expert on everything and they sometimes choose the most inopportune moment to "ask me something", usually when I'm on the course on a score in a medal!

Also had to chair last year's AGM as I was acting captain for 4 months after the vice-captain & captain both resigned; most scary experience of my life but it went well thankfully. Cool

Suppose I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it and there are a few perks as well such as picking my own tee-times for comps, picking the league team, and I've also got my own parking space! Whistle


Last edited by ralphjohn69 on Tue 06 Dec 2011, 11:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : My 1-finger typing is rubbish)

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Post by Rangiora Wed 07 Dec 2011, 6:03 am

On greens committee here and really enjoy it.

Main issues are keeping the machinery running and allocating funds in the future for it's eventual replacement, to that end will spend 2 hours on a chainsaw tomorrow morning as part of our firewood team.

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Post by George1507 Wed 07 Dec 2011, 9:09 am

Rangiora wrote:On greens committee here and really enjoy it.

Main issues are keeping the machinery running and allocating funds in the future for it's eventual replacement, to that end will spend 2 hours on a chainsaw tomorrow morning as part of our firewood team.

Leasing is the way round that.

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Post by LadyPutt Wed 07 Dec 2011, 11:02 am

I've been variously ladies' secretary, Lady Captain and ladies' Competition Secretary of two of the clubs I belonged to and two of those posts also meant I sat on the main club Executive comittee. I'd say "go for it" because there's nothing worse than someone who is not prepared to put something in to a club but wants to take all the time. On the other hand, I found committees to be pretty tedious affairs and, especially with the ladies I'm afraid, pretty pointless as well (too much tme spent talking about flower arranging and not enough about golf!). But it's all down to the Chair in the end and so when I had a chance to do that, I tried tomake meetings, short, to the point and entertaining. Not sure I managed it though Erm
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Post by GWR-Golfer Wed 07 Dec 2011, 10:09 pm

George1507 wrote:
Rangiora wrote:On greens committee here and really enjoy it.

Main issues are keeping the machinery running and allocating funds in the future for it's eventual replacement, to that end will spend 2 hours on a chainsaw tomorrow morning as part of our firewood team.

Leasing is the way round that.

Interestingly we are looking very seriously at that option - up to now we have always bought our equipment but we are likely to go the leasing route. We will make a decision very early next year and if we can get the right financial balance i think that 's the way we will go.

Have you found any drawbacks? What's your experience of leasing ?
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Post by George1507 Wed 07 Dec 2011, 10:48 pm

We used to buy all the green keeping machinery. It's now all leased. It evens out the cash low spikes, makes it easier to budget and removes the responsibility of getting rid of old machinery. We haven't found a downside.

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Post by Doon the Water Wed 07 Dec 2011, 10:55 pm

Well done Merc.
Nice to see someone step up to the plate, far too many folk nowadays seem happy for Sam Wannelse do all the work.
I have done about 25 years at club level and 5 at county level and short stints at national level.

I had a very successful machinery R&R system where we employed a mechanic [greenstaff of eight for two courses] and no machine was over 5 years old. Everything was bought [not keen on leasing] We got good trade ins and bought well. Sounds expensive but it was not.
We also had good 'swapsy' deals with a couple of local clubs.

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Post by Rangiora Thu 08 Dec 2011, 4:27 am

George1507 wrote:
Rangiora wrote:On greens committee here and really enjoy it.

Main issues are keeping the machinery running and allocating funds in the future for it's eventual replacement, to that end will spend 2 hours on a chainsaw tomorrow morning as part of our firewood team.



Leasing is the way round that.

Talked to Green keeper and Greens Chairman this morning and we'll be looking into it after Christmas. Used to lease tractors on the farm i worked on back in UK and always good to get new shiny kit every year or so.
Cheers

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Post by GWR-Golfer Thu 08 Dec 2011, 9:04 am

George - thanks of your comment re leasing...

We haven't made our minds up yet - we are in discussions with basically 2 suppliers. There are Pro's & Con's with each supplier equipment - one does better tractors but not so good mowers etc etc

i think of me the fact of balancing out the cash-flow is a very strong one. Which helps with the budget calculations and subsequently the annual increase in fees we go through at the AGM
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Post by Doon the Water Thu 08 Dec 2011, 10:04 am

GWR
If your club had a solid repair and renewal fund over a rolling 10 year period you will save quite a lot of money.
Leasing.........do you save money.........I don't think so. You just have to be organised.

Do you lease your private car?

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Post by George1507 Thu 08 Dec 2011, 12:37 pm

I didn't say that you SAVE money, but I don't think leasing costs any more, especially when you factor in intangibles like time involved in disposing of old greens equipment. So much less admin time involved as well, it's well worth doing.

There are leasing companies that will do you a good deal on kit supplied from almost anywhere, so no need to limit yourself to whoever has the best mowers.

As Doon says, if you have the discipline in the club to have a 10 year fund, that's a good solution too. In these uncertain times though, and with committees and secretaries lasting 3 or 4 years, it's tough to have that discipline. Money in reserves is all too easily moved to serve another purpose.

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Post by Doon the Water Thu 08 Dec 2011, 1:21 pm

It was quite a few years ago that I was involved in the course management side but the biggest problems were replacing an old bit of kit without any funding put in place. In my time I was the first course manager to buy a Cushman [with kit] and a Vertidrain, Cushman had a 5 year replacement plan Vertidrain 10 years.
The full time mechanic was a huge benefit, down time of important equipment was miniscul. Nothing worse than clearing a week for coring greens and the machine to break down on the second green.
We used to hire out the Vertidrain and operative to local clubs and made an unexpected bob or two

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Post by GWR-Golfer Thu 08 Dec 2011, 2:24 pm

Doon - thanks for your comments . We have had good budgeting & 10 year plan, however the last 2 years have been difficult for us.

With the economic climate we lost all the "casual" members who didn't play that frequently - now we have a reduced membership but they all want to play. Which is good but the challenge is that the course gets more wear & tear whilst the revenue is down.

A problem i am sure that exists in most Members clubs.

So we were looking at the leasing option as it brings stability and predictable future costs whilst getting good quality equipment.

So alll-in-all a juggling act Smile
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