Held in the O Parque Restaurant 10th January 2020
Present: Geoff Harnett Chairman, Peter McDonagh Captain, Brian Newsham Vice-Captain, Mike Abbott, Giles Fox, Linda Anthony, Mary Berry
41 members in attendance.
The meeting commenced at 6.15
Geoff Harnett opened the meeting by welcoming the members and thanking them for attending. He then requested that the members took a moment to remember David Haddon and Ralph Griffin.
Apologies: Rod and Rebecca Smith, Frank Finan, Alan Midgely, Peter and Louise Smith, Kelvin and Lynette Whittaker, Allan and Gloria Pooley, Bob Hart, Margaret Walling, Mr and Mrs de Ruig, Lewis Haycock.
1. Approval of 2018 AGM minutes
Proposed by David Walling, seconded by Terry Jennings. Approved.
2 Chairman’s Report
Good evening and a heartfelt welcome to everyone,
It is my fourth year as Chairman of Floresta Parque Golf Club and I have, again, the pleasant duty of giving you a general update on the activities that have taken place over the last year. After my update there will be more detailed presentations from our Captain Peter, known to us all as Macca, and our Treasurer Giles, aka ‘Foxy’
After the global financial woes of the last 10 years, 2019 has been a year of partial recovery on the Algarve and there are signs of renewed optimism with new property owners coming onto our resort, and new investment in properties and resorts generally all along the Algarve.
Whilst that recovery has given new challenges to most golf clubs, making life as their members a bit more challenging in getting good reliable access to their golf courses, our golf club continues to have the friendly atmosphere that is the envy of the other clubs in the Algarve and we continue to have access to our golf course for our twice-weekly competitions at sensible times & our social events are always popular and well supported.
Members and visitors can always rely on good company and good-humoured banter on the terrace after a round of golf. Visitors often comment about it – we are very lucky.
But most importantly – our club continues to prosper because it receives the wholehearted support of you, the members.
As well as giving you an update on club matters, one of the more pleasant jobs I have as Club Chairman is to thank, on your behalf, the people who keep our club running so well throughout the year. However, before that I would like to take a moment to reflect that we lost two of our good friends and fellow members in 2019. Ralph Griffin and David Maddison.
Ralph was a stalwart member of the club for many years and had during those years filled the roles of Vice-captain, Captain, Joint Captain, Immediate Past-Captain and then handicap secretary. His good natured if quite loud banter could be heard both on and off the course and not only did he fill the captaincy role consummately, he was an excellent and very fair handicap secretary.
David Maddison or to give him his full title of Sir David was an excellent and extremely popular member of the club, playing in all the competitions and attending the social functions when he and Indira visited their house here on the Parque. He was an unassuming and modest man who, before he retired, was a high court judge who presided over some very well known criminal cases.
In both Ralph & David’s case that horrible disease Cancer robbed us of these two lovely men and they will be missed by us all.

I will now make a brief comment on our financial health, whilst leaving the detail to Giles’s report later.
I’m delighted to tell you that income increased during the year with good competition revenues and new members joining, so in addition to the subsidised events that were reintroduced during 2019, your committee were also delighted to host the 2019 Captain’s dinner and entry fee.
The club has a healthy surplus and our account currently shows a credit balance of over €15000 giving Brian & Mary a great platform as they enter the New Year.
May I again assure members, as I have for the last 4 years that all club money is under our own control and under no risk from any change of ownership of GSA.
So, with a strong performance in 2019, and a good outlook for 2020 I’m pleased to confirm that our membership fee will remain at €60 again this year.
Giles Fox our treasurer will give you more details on the things I have mentioned in his report but I would like to take this opportunity to praise his commitment and skill in fulfilling a role that requires so many hours of hard work.
I hope you will join me in congratulating him for a job well done. Thank you, Foxy
I would also like to extend a very well deserved thank you to Michael Abbott, who has yet again managed the handicaps extremely well over the last year. Thank you Michael.
In 2019 as in the preceding years there were a number of handicap cuts for exceptional play and after analysing the annual review it is clear that the Federation again agreed.
Giles Fox deserves another big thank you as he continues to manage, maintain and improve our web site so that all our members and visitors are kept up to date with all the club’s activities. The website goes from strength to strength with the number of visitors to the site at very high levels. Thank you Foxy.
In addition to his role as both treasurer and web site coordinator Foxy together with Rod Smith succeeded on getting all of our membership onto a single database that now allows your committee to communicate with all the members on a regular basis giving general updates and also notices of specific dates and competitions to ensure you all know what’s happening.
We have a new Captain in Brian Newsham who is officially taking over the reins from Macca tomorrow.
I would like to welcome him to his new position and assure him of the committee’s full support during his tenure of the captaincy.
It’s now time to thank our outgoing Captain Peter ‘Macca’ McDonagh.
I know that you will all agree with me that he has been an outstanding captain this past year. I knew when he took on the role of vice-captain in 2018 that the commitment he showed that year would follow through into his captaincy and boy oh boy did it just. He has spent virtually the whole year out here and unlike a lot of us old fogeys he still has a business to run in the UK. Yet to the best of my knowledge he hasn’t missed a single major club event in his whole year in office. Macca’s lovely wife Sharon has also been out at their villa with him for weeks if not months at a time to lend her support, leaving her family back home which must have been a wrench and for which I believe she deserves our unmitigated thanks. So I would like you to show your appreciation not just for Macca but also for Sharon to. Thank you.
We have a new Vice Captain Nominee for 2020 in Mary Berry which is, in electing a lady vice-captain, an historic and long overdue first for our club and I would like to welcome her to the committee subject of course to the approval of this meeting. I’m absolutely sure she will be a great asset to the club in this role.
Apart from Frank Finan our immediate past captain, no other members of the committee are retiring this year, but there is a new role within the committee that will be nominated, seconded and voted on later in the proceedings.

Rui Gloria has continued to be very capable as golf manager of GSA and we are lucky to have a good working relationship with him. We are all aware of the financial restrictions he has to work under and the committee will continue to support him over the coming year.
We also enjoy a good working relationship with Nelson and the ground keeping staff. The course has, by and large, been in excellent condition all year, and GSA has had yet another record year in terms of rounds sold.
Mario and the team in the Spike bar and restaurant have also looked after us very well during the year with some really very good catering at our events.
My final ‘Thank You’ tonight is, as always, threefold.

Firstly, to all the members of the committee who give up their time to make sure all our members have a great club to play at.

Secondly, to all of the volunteer members who give up their time to ‘do the cards’ so that our competitions are expertly administered – with a particular thanks to Mick Berry for managing the rota.

And finally, a huge thanks to you, our members, – you continue to play your role in making our club the fantastic place it is – you turn up in rain (well sometimes!) and sunshine, you play with good humour, you are the single biggest asset we have. Thank you so much.

There will be plenty of opportunity for questions later, so for the moment I will hand over to Giles for the treasurer’s report and wish you all a Happy. Healthy & prosperous 2020 thank you

3 Treasurer’s Report
Dear Fellow members,
Before I start talking about financial results I would like to correct an inaccuracy I made in my report last year. I stated last year that for the first time that the club had a bank account entirely under its own name and control. Apparently, this is inaccurate because before the club opened and moved its account to Novo Banco 5 years ago the previous account was in the Club’s name. My apologies for any misunderstanding.
Let’s hope that is the last inaccuracy I talk about tonight!
You will have all seen the accounts for the year-end Dec 2019, and, as you can see, we have ended with a Net Asset Value of just over €15k which was the stipulated target made by the Committee last year and ratified by the Membership in this meeting last year. We have reduced this asset figure from last year and invested into the following initiatives for the benefit of the Club and the Membership as a whole.
Early this year we re-launched the Junior Golf. We have had 16 different juniors attend our Sunday morning lessons through the year and though some have fallen away we now have an established hard-core of 6 juniors attending week in and week out. We have also just recruited 2 new Junior Members and will carry on looking for more. We are about to Federate 5 of these juniors at a cost of €6 each so they can start to play in competitions next year. I would like to thank and congratulate Rui Gloria for doing such a magnificent job throughout the year. His commitment, energy and enthusiasm has been an inspiration. As a result of this initiative we recruited 2 new senior Members to the Club this year as a result with 2 more showing a real interest. More importantly we are starting to lead the way in this part of the Algarve on Junior coaching and this is important for the Club’s future.
One of the benefits to the Membership this past year was the reusable water bottle campaign. I am delighted to report 130 subsidised water bottles were distributed to the Membership and assuming these bottles are used just twice a week this means there are 13,520 less single use plastic bottles to be disposed of. The free water will continue to be provided throughout 2020, and access to the water will be opened up to the popular club roll ups that are played on Fridays. I remind everyone that this supply of water is for Members and Golf Shop Staff only and I ask in your support to help ensure that this facility is respected and used correctly.
It might have taken a little time but I am sure we all appreciate the warning light on the 6th and our collective thanks go to Bob Woodworth who created, constructed and kept tinkering until we have the reliable system that is in place now. Thank you, Bob. For greater awareness to you all the timer on the warning light is set at 12 mins which gives everyone ample time to walk from the tee, search for any balls for 3 mins as stipulated in the new rules of golf, play their shot and walk to safety. I hope this will help speed up the pace of play for us all as well as keeping us safe.
We will continue with the CNIT card scheme which gives all qualifying Members reduced cost access to most of the courses throughout the Algarve and beyond and any Member who wants one, as long as they have a qualifying subscription with the Golf Shop, just need to ask Michael to prepare and issue one.
Subsidies on club events have been increased to the extent that any Member attending all of these events would have had their €60 membership fee fully returned. We have also introduced on Captain’s Day a free bar for Members on the 10th tee, which I think, was universally popular.
Sadly, the ‘birds eye’ course guide drone footage generously provided by Paul Gibson is yet to make an appearance but steps are afoot to ensure this project will be completed this year. Our apologies to Paul for this delay.
I would also like to invite the Members to put forward any ideas they have to improve our club, help the environment or simply make our golfing experience more enjoyable and fun and I know the Captain and the Committee would warmly welcome these.
In 2018 Membership increased 16%. Last year this increased a further 12%. Already this year out of the 92 Federation Renewals processed 15 have come from new Members. Not only does this bring us an increase in Membership fees but also the income the club earns for competition and 2’s fees have substantially increased as well. We must always keep an eye to increasing the Membership and it should be front of mind for us all. Do you know anyone who you can recruit? Especially as there are loud rumblings from members at other clubs in the local area of dissatisfaction. 50 new members and we could get to the position that Federation Fees could be fully subsidised and we can continue with new initiatives and investments to the benefit of us all.
I would also like to remind the Membership that Club and Federation Fees are now due.
Thanks for all you’re the support and patience you have shown me in this role, I have really enjoyed this year and working with you all.
I am optimistic that the membership in 2020 will grow further on that basis I am sure Brian will be able to have a comfortable year – at least financially.
With thanks again for your support.
4 Approval of 2019 draft accounts.
Trevor Smith raised a query on the accounts and after some discussion it was agreed that in future years a member of the committee and a non-committee member would sign off the accounts. The accounts were then approved.
Proposed by Malcolm Berry, Seconded by Jeanette Griffin.
5 Captain’s Report
Good evening everyone, I would like to give you my Overview at the end of my year as your Captain.
In keeping with previous Captains’ yearly reports it is appropriate to start with the Company and the Administrator.
Extract from Rod Smith 2016 report
“Over the past several years many of you, like me, will have attended meetings with the Administrator and senior personnel where we are told that there are buyers waiting to buy the resort, and that a sale is surely imminent, no longer than 6 months. All of these promises have proven to be hollow and we seem to be no nearer to a new owner with appropriate investment funds than we have ever been. Even the rumours seem to have dried up!”
Nothing has changed in 3 Years.
Yet in spite of this situation we have seen quite a lot of improvement during 2019 from a golf club perspective. Nelson continues to deliver a golf course that is way better than the pay grade of 6 individuals These 6 members of staff continue to deliver the course in such good condition. Greens are fantastic and the16th Green has pretty well regenerated after the “Oil Spillage” last year.
Walking Paths at 9 and 14 are fabulous initiatives helping those Die Hard Walkers keep walking
Much more sand in the Bunkers is a great improvement and I genuinely cannot remember the course looking better!
Michael & I have been in constant dialogue with Rui and Nelson to go through areas of improvement we feel could be made to the course – Please feel free to speak to Brian/Mary/Michael or any other Member of the Committee for suggestions that you feel may improve our wonderful course (Sensible Ones)
Additionally, as many of you will be aware, the committee have continued to harass GSA over the amount of and the state of buggies and am pleased to report that during 2019 they acquired an additional 8 buggies to add to the fleet over the year which has been a great help
Our website, which is managed incredibly well by Foxy has continued to add significant value to us as members. Visits are up by around 20% over last year and I know Michael and Giles have ideas to improve things even further going forward.
Thanks to Rod & Foxy- Group Emails makes it easier for the Club to convey News/ Updates and I believe that this will continue more frequently in the future.
Michael has continued to manage our Handicaps in a measured and diligent manor. I was pleased to write to quite a few members during the year to congratulate them on reduced handicaps – some were pleased some of whom were less magnanimous!
As others had done before me, we have kept to the principle of 1 competition in every 3 being from the white tees, with 2 qualifiers per month, one white tee and one yellow – alternating so that there should only be a white tee medal every 2 months. Hopefully all would agree that the balance is about right.
Myself, Michael & Foxy had a meeting with the Portuguese Golf Federation in Vilamoura regarding the General Play Rule. Some people have commented that the General Play Rule is unfair however we have to continue with this policy or else we need to play considerably more qualifiers.
In Summary – there is no half way house- Its either qualifiers every Wednesday & Sunday or we continue with the varied and fun Comps that we run and utilize the General Play Rule. I know what I prefer and I think I speak on behalf of a huge majority within our club
The Charity Days have continued through the year and I am delighted to announce that we have raised in excess of 20,000 euro to donate to our good causes this year.
€15,000 of which was raised on our walk to Monte Rei, which has gone to the Madrugada and Stand Up for Cancer. Foxy and I sat in the Club after a few beers and decided that Walking To Monte Rei would be a good idea!!!
Massive thanks to Foxy & Chicken- but also Jim & Helen Brennan Mick & Mary Berry for their support in walking with us
The 15th Hole Charity Box initiative continually tops up the Coffers and long may this continue
At this point it is appropriate to mention and thank our loyal Club sponsor Rui Baptiste, he most generously supports our golf club through various competitions and social events throughout the year and also covers the cost of the Interclub team shirts. My thanks go to him and I know he wants to continue supporting the club for 2020
Whilst talking of the Interclub – I would like to thank Mikey Abbott for agreeing to Captain the Interleague team during my year. Sadly we were relegated but on the upside we have a whole new List of courses to Visit in 2020 and I wish Brian & Michael well for the coming season.
My congratulations go to our brand new Club Champions in Barry Pussell and Rie Cherubini . I am sure that they will be back in 2020 to defend their hard earned titles.
Finally, I am told that my Captains report at the AGM is an opportunity to talk about the highlights of my year
Before I talk about the Highlights I must mention the sad passing of our former Captain & Handicap Secretary but above all else our dear friend Ralph Griffin. His wit, charm, golfing prowess golfing knowledge and wonderful smile is and will continue to be sadly missed
Anyhow the Highlights, the trouble is that there have been so many that I could keep talking for a long time, but I will just pick out a few that I feel are worthy of special mention.
My Captains Day in September will live long in my memory with 122 people playing golf and 160 people at the dinner. A big thanks to My Daughters for running the Bar on the 10th, Sharron & Helen for running the Buggy Bar and Mario and the team for the Bifana & Beer!!!
Sincere thanks to Jim/Bobby/Terry & Mikey (All Former Captains) for advising me not to play on Captains Day- You were right!
My Captains away trip to Monte Rei – great course, great golf, great weather, great company and great fun (Plus Rod’s Hole in 1)
The Captains Changeover with Friends and Family.
St Patrick’s Day, Taca de Liberdade, Past Captains, Captain v Vice Captain – Where I got a good beating From Brian, Ladies v Gents, Members Charity Day, Captains Birthday Charity Day Sagittarius Salver
There were 3 Fabulously Well Supported Festivals Easter/Autumn and the New Advent Festival- Please support next year
Committee –
Geoffrey- our chairman
Linda – our secretary
Foxy- our treasurer
Mikey-our handicap secretary
Brian- our incoming captain
Rod & Frank our former captains
As is customary Frank Finan is stepping down- Thank you for your service, thank you for nominating me and having faith in me.
More thanks to:
Mick Berry and the Card Rota Team-
Mario and all his staff for their continued loyal service
My work partners for their understanding with my sabbatical
Sharron and my girls for everything
Above all else each and every one of you members for making Sharron and me so welcome in my special year
I am delighted for Brian and Mary and I know that I am walking away leaving the club in very safe and popular hands
From the bottom of my heart thank you to everybody and I wish you all a happy and healthy new year
6 Approval of Vice Captain
Mary Berry was proposed by Brian Newsham and seconded by Peter McDonagh. Approved.
Mary Berry thanked Brian Newsham for asking her to become his Vice Captain and said how honoured she was and how much she was looking forward to the coming two years.
7 Membership Secretary
The new position of the Membership Secretary and the responsibilities involved was explained to the meeting. Mike Abbott who has been fulfilling this post along with his position as Handicap Secretary for the past nine months. It was proposed to make the position a formal role on the committee with Mike Abbott continuing as both Handicap Secretary and Membership Secretary.
Proposed Brian Newsham, seconded Giles Fox. Approved
David Walling raised the subject of pin positions, particularly on the 13th; the committee do speak to the green staff about this and will do so again.
Mike Abbott explained the new out of bounds areas, which will be in position soon on the 5th and 6th holes.
Ian Galloway requested that results sheets for qualifying competitions be posted on the Club board.
Terry Jennings raised the subject of pace of play. Many ideas were put forward as to how to improve this. Members should be pro active in maintaining a good pace of play. A letter will be drafted to GSA requesting that the marshals take a more active role in maintaining pace of play.
Competition sheets will be left on the board until the day before the competition is to be played. GSA will be asked not to remove them earlier.
The date of the next AGM is Friday 15th January 2021
The Chairman closed the meeting at 19.25

About Giles Fox