Time for a Change

Golf issues in Golden

Two weeks ago we wrote about the need for members to get involved.  It is even more urgent that you do so as the Board has released their proposed budget for 2012.

What is the urgency to approve or reject the budget?  Why has the Board only provided members with 16 days notice? Why hasn’t the Board provided the assumptions on which their budget is based?  Why hasn’t the Board held a number of Budget Information Sessions? Why hasn’t the Board provided members with an opportunity to question and suggest changes to the budget?

Are you prepared to vote on this budget without knowing all of the facts? On this basis alone members should vote to reject this budget proposal.

As predicted the 2012 Budget includes another assessment of $300 per year; $50 if you are a Social Member, continues to cut back on course maintenance,  shows a very modest increase in guest green fee revenue and does not even attempt to begin to bring member annual dues in line with current market conditions.

The Board has again failed to establish a proper Capital Fund which would be utilized to fund much needed infrastructure/renovations to the course and facilities.

The budget continues to show poor results for the Food & Beverage operation.  For the second year in a row the budget is showing income levels that are 45 per cent less than historical patterns and well below the three year average of $49,000 for the years 2008 to 2010.  The 2012 budget is also well below the $35,000 a local firm offered in the fall of 2010 for the food and beverage concession.

It appears the Board is recommending the club continue to fund both the general manager and head pro positions.  Why not eliminate these two roles and implement a new management structure (Director of Golf) that combines these two roles into one?  Wouldn’t the $60,000 – $70,000 saved under this new management structure be better spent on course maintenance and mosquito control?

Why are we now allocating significantly more of the club’s scarce financial resources to Administration Costs while continuing to spend less on Course Maintenance?  Which adds more value and brings guests to our club?

The 2012 Course Maintenance budget proposes to reduce spending on this key area of the operation to levels not seen since the 1990s.   If this budget is approved and we hope it isn’t; we predict that 2012 will result in another year of Operating Losses, continued degradation of the course and club facilities, the continued loss of club members, a further reduction in guest green fee revenue and the need for an even larger assessment in 2013.

We have also learned the Board has had discussions regarding further restrictions on Social Members.  They have discussed eliminating the discounts social members and their guests receive on green fees and other measures that will increase costs.  Is this really the best way to show our appreciation to the largest group of club members?

We believe it’s time for a change and urge all members to reject this budget.

The Friends of Golden Golf have a plan that when successfully implemented will increase guest green fees, grow our membership base, restore funding for course/infrastructure maintenance and significantly increase Food & Beverage revenues.

Our plan reduces management and administration costs, increases revenues   and eliminates assessments.

Our plan reduces management and operational expenses by $150,000. Our plan increases revenues by $250,000. Our plan improves the overall financial situation of the club by $400,000.

We accomplish this by: Creating a new management structure which  combines two positions into one; the Director of Golf, Restructuring the operation of the Administration, Pro Shop and back shop areas, offering very competitive guest green fees to both local residents and guests from Canada and around the world, aggressively marketing the club via low cost methods in Calgary, Edmonton and central Alberta, implementing a Member/Guest Referral Program that offers members and their guests a very competitive daily golf package. Winning back members, increasing membership levels, revising the Initiation Dues packages, implementing an annual Capital Fund Fee, hosting a celebrity golf tournament with all proceeds going to the club, taking back ownership and management of the Food & Beverage concession.

As indicated we are proposing to create a new management structure that combines the roles of the general manager and the head pro into one position; Director of Golf.  This is the business model many clubs are now adopting as they try to reduce expenses.

In order to recruit the best candidate for this new role we are pleased to announce that we have obtained the support and services of several senior golf professionals. These individuals (one Director of Golf, two General Managers and two Head Pros from B.C., Alberta and Ontario) have agreed to provide the club with assistance and advice.  They have agreed to provide their expertise at no cost to the club.

In addition to assisting us with the recruitment of a competent and experienced Director of Golf, they have also agreed to provide their expertise and advice on ways to improve profit levels, achieve operational efficiencies, increase guest green fees and grow our membership base.

All of this at no cost to the club.

Let’s insist on having an open and frank discussion regarding the future of our club. Let’s provide members with options and choices.

Let’s provide members with the supporting rational for the Board’s budget and the Friends of Golden Golf’s budget. Let’s provide members with opportunities to ask questions and gain a better understanding of what is being proposed?

You wouldn’t buy a car without kicking the tires or looking under the hood.  Why would you vote for a budget you haven’t had a chance to question and understand?

We urge members to reject the Board’s budget proposal. Help Us Save Our Club. Yours truly

Bob Munro

On behalf of the Friends of Golden Golf