COULSDON COURT VETERANS GOLF CLUB

Minutes of 69th club AGM held on 10th of January 2018


Before starting the club AGM business Brian Bourne, the retiring captain, presented a cheque for £1,230 to Hanna Burgess from his charity, ‘The Guys & St Thomas Charity Initiative’, who thanked the members for all their contributions.

Also Peter Mills had sent a cheque for £200 to the charity from his ball collecting work.

1. Attendance:

41 members were present.

2. Apologies for absence:

Were received from Mark Elliott, Bob Mackison, Barry Townsend, Ernie Smeeth, Tony Boniface, Ed Collins & Nick Getting.

3. Last Year’s Minutes:

No queries & acceptance proposed by Roger Lewis, seconded by Mike Dallison & motion carried.

4. Matters arising:

None

5. Club Secretary’s report (John Connell):

JC started by thanking Barry Townsend for the orderly handover & the support he had given him over the year.

He had two areas he wished to report on: -

a) The online booking system

This had been devised & set up this year for the club by himself & Roger Harding & after a few teething problems was working well & has been extended to include the knock-out competitions.

They & the committee were very pleased with the members willingness to adopt the system & the positive feedback they had received.

Roger has now taken full control of the system.

b) Slow pace of play

This he felt was a universal problem in golf today& it tended to have a negative effect on the enjoyment of the game. In acknowledging this the R&A and the USPGA had arranged a consultation on potential rule changes to try & speed play up. These included a max score per hole in stroke play, picking up in stableford when you cannot score & putting on the green with the flag in.

These are to be introduced in January next year. But the committee approached England Golf to offer for CCVGC to be a pilot club to test the rules by starting now but the offer was not taken up.

Finally (& sadly) JC explained that he was standing down as secretary & will be leaving the club as since moving to Greenwich last year, he had found the travelling to the club a bit too much.

He thanked the committee for their support & hard work & to all the members he had been able to play with as he had enjoyed playing with them & had felt privileged to serve as secretary.

He wished the next incumbent all the best for the future.

6. Treasurer’s Report (John Butler)

JB presented the accounts for last year & explained that cash in the bank at the start of last year was £3,300 and the club income was £3,200 and the cash in the bank was now £2,300. The reason for the drop of approximately £1,000 was that the money had been spent on items that had arisen during the year & were not in the original budget.

These were £200 on the club sign, £470 on the supply of club ties & £478 on the two tee mats the club had donated for the short holes on the course.

Having produced the budget for this year JB proposed that membership fees should remain at £55 per member which would result in a manageable deficit for the year.

In answer to a question he confirmed that for club matches green fees for the visitors were included in the budget.

Acceptance of the accounts was proposed by Mike Jordan & seconded by Ian Brown.

The motion was carried by all the members.

6.i) Easyfundraising

Roy Bennett explained that a short while ago he had persuaded the committee to use this facility on the internet to raise money for the club. The club has been registered there and when members join it every time they purchase anything on the internet at no cost to them a small percentage of the purchase price is donated to the club. Also every time they search through the internet for every website they visit a halfpenny goes to the club (which may not sound much but builds up over the year).

Roy’s son’s school has been running in it very successfully & in the short time that CCVGC has been in it 14 members have joined & so far raised £34. He recommended that as many members as possible take part.

He then explained how you could register to join it which he felt was quite simple but emphasized that via the secretary he would be sending everyone an email with written instructions.

7. Match Secretary’s Report (Chris Watts)

CW explained that his report on how the awaydays & matches for 2017 had faired was set out in the November copy of the Court Circular.

All the fixtures for this year had been arranged with the matches all confirmed & the dates for the awaydays fixed but the venues to be arranged. In the plans for Mondays there would be less social days

He referred to the questionnaire he had sent to all the 60 playing members & he had only had 27 replies. Regarding the question on wanting to go on awaydays 23 had said yes & 4 said no. In answer to the suggestion for courses to visit CW read out the list the top three of which were Bletchingley, Woldingham & High Elm.

The answers to the other question about looking at all the information on our website suggested that not too many did.

8. Members Secretary’s report (Brian Roberts)

At the start of last year it looked as though our membership number would go down due to older members not renewing due to poor health. However thanks to the leaflets we have displayed over the year five new members have joined us bringing our playing membership up to 61.

In addition in the autumn / winter we had three players going through our new Associate system and the good news is that they have now become full members and we all welcome them & hope Ken Boyden, Gary Enyon & Alan Henning will enjoy their time with us.

He felt we needed to get as much Free advertising as possible and in this respect Nigel Messett who is a member of U3A got an advert for us put in their members magazine. He was then contacted by a member, Keith Robertson, who although a member of Addington Court playing off 22, would like to join us as an away member. He is going to contact BR when he is ready to play.

Also Ernie Smeeth got our leaflet put in his Resident’s Association Magazine for four issues & Chris Watts got a free advert in the CR5 magazine. This all makes people aware we are here & BR asked that any members with access to such magazines or papers should try to do likewise & if they needed help to let him know.

Also it is clear that the leaflets that had been put on various notice boards by members had been noticed & BR was keen to handle this in a better organized way. Later this year, with some helpers, he wished to select the widest area where prospective members are to be found, to discover where all the notice boards are & get leaflets on them.

The associates idea is still ‘a work in progress’ the handicap committee are developing to help & encourage prospective members to learn about the etiquette ways of playing club golf & to encourage them to improve their golf so that they can fit in well with the club.

BR mentioned the need to develop better communication between the committee & the members & the chairman confirmed this is a subject to be discussed at the next committee meeting.

8.i) The club Public Liability Insurance (Brian Roberts)

BR explained the reason for having this cover. The club is not a legal entity like a limited company & in the event of a third party bringing a claim against the club it would be the committee, as individuals who would have to incur the cost of defending it & possibly the rest of the members.

This would not be covered by the personal liability cover under our householder’s policies (which covers us playing golf as individuals).

The policy covers us for £2,000,000 any claim including defence costs & covers both claims made by third parties & also members of the club brought against the club & other members.

BR explained the details of a fairly recent case where a golfer claimed for the loss of an eye against his club & another member & was awarded £400,000 plus legal costs.

The existing policy had been renewed for £156.80 which was £2.80 more than last year. He had tried to get alternative quotes without success.

9. Handicap Secretary’s Report (Roger Harding)

RH explained that the handicap committee had carried out the annual review of all the handicaps & not just those that Handicap master proposed should be changed.

When we started using Handicap master it was suggested that it would take some time for the handicaps to adjust to it but the committee feel the system has it about right.

From now all entries for competitions would be on the website including the knockout comps. & the list for the spring singles was already on there. Anyone unable to use this should do it through a ‘buddy’ in the club or contact RH to enter for them.

Re. the pairs competition the format would be different as everyone should enter as individuals & pairs would be selected with the highest handicap being paired with the lowest & so on.

A suggestion had been made that on monthly medal days money prizes could be arranged with those wishing to take part in this could leave their ‘entry fee’ in an envelope in the golf shop. It would be a purely optional event.

A new local rule is to be introduced from December to February Whereby a player may lift his ball from the rough, clean it & have one drop.

RH requested that anyone who had reached the young age of 75 & wished to join the 9-hole league should let him know.

10. Welfare Officer’s Report & Hotel Liaison (George Paulson)

Re. welfare GP felt that the club had been well represented at the funerals of past members Ken Collins & Neville Wilkie to show the club’s appreciation of two good friends.

Re Geoff Laraman the story was different. Late last year the club heard that he had died in hospital but were unable to get confirmation of this or detail of what had happened.

George, Peter Mills& Don Lee had all tried to find out & George had visited his house & spoken to some of his neighbours but nobody seemed to know.

Then on the 28th of December the police called the pro-shop & confirmed he had died in hospital on 18th of November & his cremation was taking place that day (28/12).

GP made contact with Geoff’s lady partner Naz & was able to find out the details. It appears Geoff was out shopping & had a bad fall. He was taken by ambulance to St Heliers hospital & he subsequently died there. Naz explained that it was always Geoff’s wish to have a very private cremation so it is probable that members would not have been able to go.

Nevertheless GP suggested we should invite Naz to a small gathering at the hotel in his memory & will look into this. It was also suggested by Des O’Brien that a collection could be made to buy a bench to go on the course in his memory & later the idea of a cup or trophy was brought up which the committee will consider. David Holmes commented that Geoff had been a good member & friend of the club.

GP explained that as we knew, Brendan Tyrrell was due to have an operation at the specialist hospital near Harrow. He was admitted there on 27th of December ready to have the op. next day but at the last minute, as it was not classified as critical it was postponed. But he was admitted again yesterday & should be having the op. today. GP would keep the members informed.

It was good to see Ted Kelly at the AGM & he had recently had his 91st birthday. GP gave him a belated birthday card signed by some of the members.

Re. the hotel GP had had 2 meetings with the management along with the other clubs & 2 private ones with the manager. There were no plans to sell it & £100,000 had been spent on various renovations & more funds were to be released.

Re. golf some improvements had been made including stock orders for the pro-shop. Also the 10 new LP Gas buggies were now on site & Matt was very impressed with them. They would come into use when the course was able to take buggies again. The old ones will go but they might be cannibalised for two to be used by the ground staff.

The compressor is being replaced as soon as odd-job man Colin was free to do the work. There were also plans to improve the pathways on the course.

GP felt his rapport with the manager was good but as ever they were short of cash.

11. Outgoing Captain’s Report (Brian Bourne)

BB thanked the members for their support for himself & his charity. He had enjoyed his year during which he had played with 45 of the members. His bunker had raised £110 for his charity.

He wished the incoming captain all the best for his year.

12. & 13. Elections of Officers & H/C Committee.

As there were no additional candidates other than those already shown on the list one vote was taken for all & was carried unanimously.

14.Incoming Captain’s Presentation (Mike Jordan)

MJ felt Brian B had had a very good year & thanked him for his good wishes. He was looking forward to his year & hoped to play with all the members. His charity bunker was to be the long one on the 17th fairway & the ‘warning’ sign had already been installed.

His nominated charity would be The Brain Tumour Charity as he had lost a very good close friend as a result of one.

15. A.O.B.

a) The Chairman proposed an amendment to the reference Item3 Membership of our constitution of ‘men over 60’ so this could be more flexible to men around the age of 60. The motion was carried.

b) The Ladies Club have invited us to take part in their Quiz Night on 10th of February in aid of their Dementia Charity. The cost is £12 per person which includes supper. They have already reserved one table for us.

16. The trophies for the winner’s of 2017 comps. were presented by the outgoing captain.

17. The meeting closed at 11.55 a.m.