CAPTAINS BLOG, MAY 2016

Crikey, Doesn’t time fly – here we are at the end of May and I am not far off being half way through my Captains year. I have really enjoyed the role so far and am really grateful for the encouragement and support I have received from everyone.
I thought it worthwhile to give you an update on a few matters, perhaps starting with our financial position as I have been asked about it recently. For those who were not at the AGM in January it may be worth putting things into context first. Over several years, particularly during the stable period before Vigia’s problems, the club accumulated several tens of thousands of euro – to the point where it was decided that it would be more sensible to manage the cash reserves down to a level of around 15,000 euro. This was achieved by keeping membership fees low and by sponsoring lots of events and social activities. We have all benefited from this and as a result we have a great golf club with a lively and well supported social calendar. Our past Captains, their committee’s and particularly Carol as Treasurer, have done a great job of ensuring that we remain in a good financial position over the years.
However, as we entered this year it was clear that if we kept spending at the same rate as previous years, with the same level of income as previous years, then we would fall below the target 15,000 euro of cash reserve. We have managed to avoid this so far by asking members to pay for some events that have previously been free – for instance we asked players to pay 15 euro for the barbecue at the Captain v Vice Captain event, and the same at the Past Captains tournament, this saved us almost 2,000 euro. The club will still sponsor some events like the meal at Members day in June and will contribute to events during the Club Championship – by continuing in this balanced way, where we are trying to be mean and generous at the same time, we are hopeful of ending the year at, or near to, the target amount of cash.
As we get to the end of this year we will make proposals for both income and spend for next year that maintain the cash whilst keeping our club atmosphere as we want it to be.
The Course is in great shape at the moment, as I write the hollow tining on the front nine holes has been completed, with the back nine due to start in the coming days. The weather has started to improve and buggies are on the fairways which will hopefully continue through the summer.
Speaking of buggies, many of you will have received a copy of correspondence I had been having with GSA over their level of investment in batteries etc. I remain concerned that, with visitor numbers increasing, our members may not always have access to a buggy if they want one. We all like to see visitors on the course, but GSA must invest appropriately to make sure that members don’t become disadvantaged. If there is any occasion where you wanted a buggy and couldn’t get one then please let me know by email and I will ensure that those who need to be aware are informed – each and every time it happens.
We have around 50 people signed up to the Captains Away trip to Vila Sol in November, thanks to all of you, but there are still places available if you are not signed up but would like to go. I need to confirm a final amount of tee times around the end of June or early July so please let me know if you can come. I am also looking forward to Captains day in September and hope that as many of you as possible can make it. We have Men v Ladies in July and I am hoping to get a bit of Bingo and Quizzing organised in the Autumn so there is a lot to look forward to.
Our Interleague team are doing really well under Bob’s Captaincy, good luck to them for the rest of the year, and I would also like to thank Michael for the help and support he is giving me this year – I know he will make a fine Captain when he takes over in January.
It is also appropriate to thank all of the club committee and the Card Rota team for the largely unsung work that they do – without them we simply wouldn’t have a club to enjoy at all.
Finally, I need to mention slow play during our competitions – it is one of two subjects that many members raise with me all the time as it causes frustration and bad tempers, which is not really the point of why we play golf in the first place. If there is a clear hole in front of you in a competition, then PLEASE either speed up to catch up, or let the group behind you through. It is simply a matter of etiquette and good manners.
The second subject that members raise is un-raked bunkers and un-repaired pitch marks. It may be fair to blame much of this on visitors (although alas, it is some members too) but the visitors are not going to come back to rake or repair so – if you see an un-raked bunker, please take a few seconds to rake it and when you get on the green please repair your own pitch mark and at least one other if you see one.
Enough from me – I would like to thank you again for the chance to be Captain of this wonderful golf club, in this beautiful location, with such a good crowd of members – aren’t we all very lucky.
Happy golfing wherever you are
Rod
ps – Congratulations to Helen Rorison and Rebecca Smith for their Holes-in-One in recent weeks (although my congratulations to Rebecca are somewhat muted as I got the bar bill!)

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