Minutes of the Isle of wedmore Golf Club
Members Committee Meeting
Held in the Clubhouse on: Thursday 31st August 2023
Present: Club Captain Jay James, Dave Bedford, Helen Tanswell, Martin Olive, Alan Richardson, Mary Lou Denny, Paul Stevenson, Lyn Bird, Ian Robson, Steve Sage, Ann Adams and Steve Dowden
The Committee introduced themselves to Steve Dowden, who is to become the Committee Secretary at the end of the year.
Apologies: Mike Garbutt, Kev Osman
The Minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday, 27th July, 2023 were approved and signed by Club Captain Jay James
Matters Arising from Meeting held on Thursday 27th July, 2023
1. Dave had discussed with Kevin Vaux, Lucas Kirk and Janet Robson regarding entering Competitions further ahead so that the Club Diary on IG would be up to date. Emma would contact IG for advice on how best to use IG for Competitions, Matches and associated diary entries.
2. Dave had discussed with the Pro Shop regarding playing off the path on holes 5 and 10. The wording had been circulated and Dave was thanked for his efforts.
3. Regarding transgender facilities, Management are communicating with England Golf to ensure that it follows their advice and inclusivity policies.
4. Discussion regarding the Hole in One prize took place for flag ship competitions. Dave had discussed this with the Office who said that whilst they were always looking at incentives, there were cost implications such as the cost of associated insurance.
There was none
The Summer weather continues to offer a variety of playing conditions with temperatures ranging from 12-28 degree and 32mm of rain in a couple of hours making the Course interesting and challenging. The scores in competitions have resulted in a broader range of results in the group frequency distribution, especially in the lower handicap divisions. Apparently missing the fairways has been particularly punitive this month.
The usual Stableford and Medal competitions took place with Sunday Medal Competitions showing a continuing trend of a low number of entrants. Maybe time to review the practice of alternate Saturday/ Sunday Monthly Stableford & Medal Competitions to attract Members.
Discussion on decline in numbers for competitions took place. Martin had produced data showing number of entrants for weekend competitions. With an increase in Monday-Friday membership, Executive members making choices when to spend their units on Saturday/Sunday and the number of Avalon team matches on weekends have all contributed to the fall in numbers. The suggestion was i) to promote the Monthly Stableford and Medal competition in newsletters ii) to canvass/survey members on their views on the Club’s competitions. JJ to raise with Management how best to obtain feedback as per the Open Week Survey.
The King Alfred & Queen Elizabeth Competition attracted the lower handicap golfers from the Men’s and Ladies’ Sections. This was the intention when the gross competition was devised by a former Captain. It was a family affair with Abbi Moore and Nick Parker taking home a Trophy each.
Earlier tee-off time for this event would enable the usual roll-up to take place – which would offer those who did not enter the chance to enjoy their usual Saturday game of golf. It would also encourage more golfers to watch the presentation of the cups in the Clubhouse.
The Absent Friends Bank Holiday competition proved popular. Thanks go to Malcolm Tanner for suggesting this idea of combining memorial competitions into one event and John Cutter for donating the Trophy. It is currently played as a 3 Ball Shambles and a suggestion has been made that this becomes a 4 Ball Shambles to enable more entrants. Must remain 2 from 4 to score so that the round continues at pace and 4 drives each, otherwise winners will amass over a 100 Stapleford points based on this year’s results.
Josh Barwell has now left his employment within the Pro Shop. Taking the unusual decision to spend less time at a Golf Club and more time in an Accountancy firm office. The opposite of most accountants who want to spend more time at the golf club and less time in the office. We will miss Josh in the Pro Shop but hope to see more of him on the course in the future. Good news for the ‘A’ team selection options and the Club Championship.
The Captains’ Weekend approaches and is scheduled to run from 8th-10th September. There is a nine hole, 3 club challenge on the Friday evening – with posters and Newsletter promoting it.
The Captains’ Cups competition on Saturday, which has been mentioned in Newsletters, word of mouth and it is a regular event could still benefit from more entrants. Especially as there are several Trophies and lots of prizes on offer. The customary evening event on Saturday night is slowly attracting diners. With competitions and their format on IG, all social events on IG and notice boards, plus promoted in Newsletters there are still members who are unaware of what is happening.
Discussion - Suggestion was made if IG could include a diary of forthcoming events or show and enable bookings for Competitions further in advance.
It was confirmed that due to lack of numbers the Captains Evening had been cancelled. Whether this is a sign of a wider trend of customers making choices about their spending on social events in light of current economic situation or a just a one off was discussed. Anecdotal evidence indicates that away days, golfing trips, social events etc have all seen a decline in participants. Future events will need consideration if they are to be viable and meaningful for participants.
The Junior Open and Club Championship has been well organised and Alan Richardson will provide an update on the event. It will be good to establish this as a regular annual Competition for Juniors and promote Isle of Wedmore GC to potential new Members.
The committee agreed to donate £100 towards prizes and entry gifts to participants to help promote the event. This has currently attracted 17 entries. The Treasurer to transfer funds to the Office.
To be discussed
• The Competition Spreadsheet to be raised at each Committee Meeting: to ensure information on IG, confirm format, confirmation of prizes, Trophy presentations and Starters if required.
Action: Spreadsheet to be include on Monthly Agenda
• Process for organizing engraving of Trophies following presentation to Competition winners & their return.
• Process for updating of Competition Noticeboards to record victorious winners. Action JJ to discuss with Management.
• Draft updated Constitution to be shared at October Committee Meeting
Once again there was no movement in Club Funds which means they still stand at £2276.97. However, I am expecting an invoice from Premier Trophies for some engraving that was carried out. I have not received this year’s levy yet but would expect to see it in the next couple of weeks.
The big change is in the Hole in One Club as, thanks to John Russell getting 2 holes in one within 9 days, I have had to get a new Hole in One Club going. At present I have 51 subscribers and I believe one of them, Lee Saxon, has already had a Hole in One but I have not seen the invoice for it yet. I have told the subscribers to the 2018 HIO Club that their membership will run out on 31st August.
The Charity Account went up by £35 as I banked that amount from the box on the bar.
Senior Captain’s Report
Seniors’ Friendly matches are progressing as planned, as is our general Competitions Programme. The busiest week of my season so far saw a straight five-day sprint as our calendar reached a crescendo. A Seniors’ “normal” Stableford Competition on the Monday, Friendly Matches on the Tuesday and Wednesday, against Bristol & Clifton and Long Ashton respectively; both of which we won. Thursday saw us compete in the semi-final of the Somerset Rose Bowl against Worlebury, at the neutral course of Wells. We managed to win 3-2, so we now play in the final against Burnham & Berrow on the 12th September, again on a neutral course of Enmore Park. To finish this hectic week, I took a team of 8 players to compete in the Enmore Quantock Stag Event. This is a multi-club competition comprising of teams from all over Somerset. Teams from The Mendip, Cricket St. Thomas, Taunton & Pickeridge, East Devon, The Mendip, Wells, Enmore, Long Sutton, Oake Manor, Long Ashton, Wheathill, Mendip Spring, Clevedon, Honiton, Bristol & Clifton, and ourselves went head-to-head in a Stableford Better Ball Competition, where all scores are combined to get the overall winning score. We narrowly missed out on victory, coming a very close 2nd to the eventual winners, The Mendip Golf Club. This is the third year in a row that we have come 2nd in this event. I was hoping that we might edge it as the scores came in, it was obvious it was close, and having won the Mendip Spring Anniversary event earlier this year, I was hoping for a magnificent “double”. However, it was a valiant effort and congratulations to my Team for such a great performance.
Our Avalon team are currently sat at the top of the Avalon League. However, this year the competition has been intense, and the title is still up for grabs. There are two teams with games in hand, which could present a threat to our position. Long Sutton have two games in hand and Stockwood Vale has one game in hand. Good results for either team could nudge us off of top spot. Whatever happens, our Avalon Captain Mike Garbutt and his Team are to be congratulated for putting a stern defence of the title we won last year.
Summer Away Day
On 23rd of August, our Seniors enjoyed an Away Day at Thornbury Golf Club. Unfortunately the numbers were well down on previous years’ Away Day outings, but nevertheless a great time was had by all. I had the pleasure of playing with the Club Captain Jay James and the Club Pro Liam Harper and another Seniors stalwart, John Russell. My grateful thanks to organiser Geoff Musson-Thorp who provided us with a well-run “Away Day” experience.
Ladies’ Captain’s Report
Ladies Sunday Roll Ups started on 13th August. These are being put on by the Pro Shop in response to requests from some Lady members who are unable to play on Thursdays. It was interesting to see only 2 Ladies turned up, both of them being usual Thursday players. However the date did clash with a Mixed Friendly so that may have had an adverse effect. The next one is booked for September 17th at 10.00am (a slightly later time) hopefully more Ladies will turn up.
Again, to encourage the Lady members who do work I am having this year’s Ladies AGM in the evening to see how many different members turn up and to give them the opportunity to share their views.
We held a very successful Autumn Open last week. Thanks must go to Pam Berry who with help from Jennifer Fell and their merry band of helpers on the Welcome Desk made the day such a special event for the Club but especially for the Ladies Section. 136 golfers took part, with 18 Away teams, 10 Mixed and 6 Home Teams.
A very successful Sock Draw raised £180 for the Ladies Section. The Raffle of bottles and plants raised an amazing £340.00 for Cancer Research (UK), how generous all the teams were. A small profit on the day is also anticipated. There were flowers everywhere from the first tee box, the Changing Room and the Presentation Table and the sun shone most of the time. Many Ladies stayed to eat so the Clubhouse was really busy, thanks go to Hannah, Libby and the Catering Team. It was a very good day.
Next Sunday afternoon, 3rd September, the Isle of Wedmore is hosting the finals of Somerset County Roger’s Cup and Centenary Plate. Followed then by Captains Weekend. Numbers are rather low for the Friday, 7 Ladies & 8 Gents to date, and 16 Ladies on the Saturday. I will put out a plea for more players. I am organising a Putting Competition on the Saturday for when people come in off the course, need to think about a Ladies and Gents’ prize for least number of putts, may be a hole in one prize? I will also get some Cancer Research marketing materials up and have Collection Boxes out.
Handicap Secretary’s Report
Martin had prepared a detailed analysis of entrants to Weekend Competitions. It confirmed that numbers are down on previous years. It was suggested that a Survey of our Members be carried out and could be done via IG.
Current position of each of the Knockout Competitions:
Bill Lander Summer Singles (HC 15.5 upwards)
FINAL: Rob Major vs John Steele
Frank Edwards Summer Singles
FINAL: Rich Vowles vs Kevin Harris
Peter Hathaway Summer Pairs
FINAL: Trevor Marshall & Moly McMillan vs Al Chetwode and Kevin Harris
Guys ‘n’ Gals
FINAL: Ruth Rogers & Ian Sentence vs winners of Shirley Gooding/Paul Stevenson vs Ange Webber/Nick Parker (playing this weekend)
You’ll note that Kevin Harris is in 2 finals. We generally suggest the pairs be played in this situation to allow more golfers to play on Finals Day. For the Singles Final though, the Competition states it is a 36-hole Final, traditionally played on one day. Kevin tells me that he has recently had a disc removed and does not feel able to play 2 rounds in one day.
My suggestion would be, in the first instance, to see if his opponent, Rich Vowles, is happy to play over 2 days. Assuming he is, I’ll encourage them to do that before Finals Day so Jay can present everything. What do we think if Rich is not happy?
Finals Day is Saturday 30th September this year. Jay/Helen/Steve – hopefully you will all be available to hand out your respective Trophies, although I’m sure Jay can cover if either of the other two cannot make it. Would one/some of them be available to act as Starter for the day too?
I’ll also be looking for Referees for the above Competitions – the Ladies and Seniors generally sort out their own. I usually referee the Guys’n’Gals, so if anybody fancies covering one of the others, please let me know.
Hope that all makes sense.
Discussion did take place regarding Kevin Harris’ request to avoid playing 36 holes in one day due to an injury and it was also noted that some winners are in 2 final competitions. It was agreed that Jay would speak to Kev to convey view of the committee, regarding the Finals Day.
The Junior Open is now booked, advertised, and taking bookings for Sunday 10th of September. It will also include the Junior Club Champs this year. This year it is restricted to 18-hole options this year and this may reduce number of entries but we shall look to run a 9-hole option in 2024 as well to increase the number of higher handicap and younger golfers to attend.
The Competition is still attracting entries and another advert push to go out next week. The target was to get into double figures.
Thank you to the Committee as a whole for their support and also to the Seniors’ Section who have contributed to the prize fund.
We have also agreed that we shall have a Monthly Junior Roll-Up to encourage those Juniors we have at the Club to play as a group on a regular basis. We shall run this as per the Club Roll-Up with a small entry fee and a small prize each month hopefully to build some momentum throughout the Winter before the Club look to begin lessons via Liam and his team in the Spring.
Mike, our Treasurer, had proposed that we give £100 to the Junior Section to go towards the prizes for the above Championship. This was agreed at the meeting.
Nothing to report.
Any Other Business
Steve Sage confirmed that the Seniors are through to the Somerset Rose Bowl final to be played on 12th September.
The Junior Open entry numbers are slowly increasing but as it was noted that it was originally advertised in the middle of July it was agreed that now Alan has provided enthusiastic and expertise to the role of Junior Organiser which is a positive for the future. Some prizes have been donated by Callaway & Ping. Updated Flyers have gone to all local Clubs.
The Meeting closed at 8.25pm
Date of Next Committee Meeting – (no September meeting)
So next meeting will be on 26th October 2023 at 5.00pm in the Clubhouse