Response to the Friends of the Golden Golf Club (the FOGG)

Golden Golf Club Response to FOGG

Mr. Bob Munro wrote a letter to the Editor of the Golden Star on September 7, 2011.

This letter was the third letter that the FOGG group had issued in the last six weeks regarding the Golf Club; the first two were responded to and distributed to our members.

In addition, the FOGG group advertised a meeting in the newspaper that was held at the Curling Club on September 1, 2011. Mr. Munro presented his ideas to six FOGG members and one other Golf Club member. Four Directors/Past Directors representing the Board also observed the presentation.

Mr. Munro, many of the members and the Board fail to understand what motivates you to publish letters such as this one filled with half-truths and sentences cherry picked from the Club’s newsletter. Therefore to set the record straight here is the full story on some of the items you listed in your letter:

Your comment: “Despite repeated assurances that everything was fine, it is now so bad the President is contemplating asking local governments and third party corporations to take over the management of the club.”

Our answer: As reported to our Membership in our internal newsletter, we are exploring a management contract as one of the many ideas to return the Club to profitability. This does not mean that we are selling out or planning to imminently use an exit strategy. If we were to sign a management contract, the Board and it’s members would retain control and ownership of the Club.

Your comment: To make matters worse, in May of this year the Board sanctioned an agreement that gave one of the corporation’s top four executives free golf and provided their entire summer staff with a 50 percent discount.

Our answer: Our Board approved a tender process and the resulting winner of the tender was chosen based on the value that it brings to our Club. The agreement does allow the four executives to golf for free. As of September 12th, they have cumulatively used 15 rounds of golf, most of these on Men’s Night (Wednesday night) when the golf course has ample space. It is true that KHMR staff receives 50 percent off of golf, but only on a “walk up” basis, which means we never lose revenue from a paying client. In return, our staff and members, receive significant discounts for meals served in the restaurant (close to $6,000 in benefit) and in addition we have received generous marketing representation in all of KHMR materials. What everyone does need to know is that Mr. Munro was President of the Golf Club in 2009. Under Mr. Munro’s watch, the restaurant supplier received free personal use of a power cart and all his staff received free golf for the entire summer.

Your comment: We’ve provided the Board with a viable action plan. We know the road back to sustainability will be bumpy but we have plans to reduce unnecessary management and operating expenses, restore and increase membership levels and programs to increase guest green fees. We believe the club can achieve sustainable growth and profits.

Our answer: Mr. Munro did not provide us with a viable action plan. His group provided us with “ideas” and “goals” which are easy to develop. What is difficult, is to put real and viable numbers and budgets to these ideas. Our Club will be presenting a balanced budget to the Membership on September 25th at 7pm at the Seniors Centre. This will show how difficult it is to work in this recession and where the golf product is oversupplied. But the bottom line is this: we are paying for our debt on a timely basis (ask the Credit Union), we are employing 45 staff each summer, we have competitive green fee rates and our membership fees are in line with other member operated Clubs in our region.

Your comment: We believe in an open, transparent and accountable governance model. We believe a board should comply with the B.C. Society Act and the Bylaws of the club. We believe in providing members with access to all club documents and accounting records in accordance with Section 37 of the B.C. Society Act. We believe in providing members and the community at large with regular updates and full disclosure.

Our answer: We agree and we are compliant with the B.C. Society Act and our Club Bylaws.

Once again you cannot cherry pick Sections of the Act for your convenience. To fully understand your statement the reader would have to read and understand the Society Act, and the Golden Golf Club bylaws. As a result of your comments, we have sought legal and accounting advice. Both opinions agree that we are complying with the B.C. Society Act and the Club Bylaws.

The Board of Directors sends out monthly newsletters to the membership, we meet with local leaders and politicians regularly and through our Public Relations plan have held Community events, charity golf tournaments and a very successful Junior Program at our Club this year.

In summary, we once again want to emphasize that we are confused and dismayed by your letters and actions.

You tout that you want volunteers to run this Club, yet when we asked for volunteers, not you or any member of your group came out to help.

While in my second response letter to the FOGG, I stated I would no longer respond to your letters, but unfortunately you felt the need to go public with the business of the Society.

I am forced to once again take the time to reply.

The Board are volunteers and you are taking valuable time away from our efforts to manage the Club. If you are truly interested in the Club’s future, why don’t you meet with us?

How committed are you to our Club, when this year you did not join as a full member?

Respectfully submitted,

Krys Sikora

President, Golden Golf Club