Captain – Mr Colin Drury
“This has been the worst weather we have ever, ever, ever had at this golf club at the start of the year – thanks Captain!!” I’ve heard this a lot since taking the helm and I can only………………….. apologise, it’s totally my fault!! However, I will promise you (fingers crossed) the best summer ever and an Indian summer lasting well into October – famous last words!
125 years – what an achievement, it is incredible to think that this jewel in East Lancashire is 125 years old, we have weathered many a golfing storm and are returning to better times. Why is that? Hard work, determination, a strong will, a great team spirit, a great course and proud and loyal members, surely a recipe for success. I cannot tell you how proud, if not a little daunted, I am to be Captain and represent you and this great club.
The full season is now upon us; Captain’s first qualifier is on the 21st April and St Georges day is the following Tuesday, so, with your help, I’d like everyone that’s playing on Saturday to wear only red and white and no other colour if possible, how great would that look? In the evening we are going to have a St Georges night party, again, dress in red and white, there is no charge, we have a great singer lined up, Nat Griff, no food and we are going to celebrate like never before. It doesn’t matter that St George was born in Turkey apparently!!! We will still go for it.
Good luck to everyone in the competitions, I know some of you really want to win a board competition and why not!
As my thoughts turn to the new season;
Thanks for the hard work of the Greens Staff with the support of the Greens Committee & Directors, we look back on a winter which has provided some excellent golf on a course that has been very well maintained and presented under extremely trying conditions.
It will be fantastic over the summer, it’s our course, it’s a lovely course, and it’s a great place to play golf and spend time with friends. Let’s keep it that way.
So, in closing, enjoy your golf this year and if you need me for anything please don’t forget firstname.lastname@example.org
C.E.O. – Mr Peter Houston
A very big welcome to our incoming Officials, Club Captain Colin Drury, Lady Captain Lil Dykes, new President Alan Smith and my best wishes to Lady President Carol Simpson who is continuing in office. I wish them all every success as we celebrate our special 125th anniversary.
My thanks go to the outgoing officials Andy Partington, Julie Walker and Jim Yates for their fantastic contribution to the club in 2017.
The Interim Board has now been in place for just over a year and I am satisfied that the new structure is benefitting the club. Our strategy for investing in the course to make it the best in the area is taking shape and I’m confident that the Winter work improvements will deliver the course in great condition for the season. We also recognise the importance of a good team and have introduced appraisals for the General Manager, Head Greenkeeper, Bar Manager, and annual salary reviews for all staff.
The Board are working well together and our ongoing focus is to improve processes within the club. In the last 12 months we’ve addressed, Purchasing, Marketing, Meeting Structures and introduced a Members Forum to give everyone the opportunity to understand and contribute to future course improvements. Our ability to implement timely targeted decision making is making a difference.
We are currently working on budgets and preparing for the end of the interim period in July, proposals are currently being worked on and will be presented to the membership prior to the EoGM outlining the future board structure, this will go to the members vote at that meeting.
Communication/Marketing Director – Mrs Julie Walker
Hope you like the new coloured flags kindly sponsored again by Bollington Insurance, the colour scheme chosen mirrors the colours on the tee markers and is supposed to help you better plan your approach shot, reduce the length of putts and lower your score.
Many thanks to our new score card sponsor BMW, this 18 month deal should take us to Winter 2019. We’re making good progress on sponsorship renewals but as ever looking for new sponsors from as little as £250.
We’re working to our Marketing Plan which this year, as part of our Membership Recruitment Strategy includes some advertising. We are promoting the Golf Club through the April edition of the Local Herald, this circulation targets 11,000 homes in our catchment area. We’re also featuring “Golf Express” our 9 hole offer in the Hyndburn Community Sport publication that’s available in sports venues and tourist information throughout the area. The advertising budget has been kindly sponsored and feedback will be closely monitored to assess income generated.
Our website has been recently updated with 125 logo, video and 2018 updates and a new Course Update phone line is now operational on 01254 350119. Our Website is now automatically linked to Twitter and Facebook and we will continue to provide club news and updates.
We need to better utilise our club house, we have a great venue and superb catering available. If you have a family/business event or a Xmas party to organise, could you please consider holding it at the club.
The notice board outside the Pro-Shop requires replacing and we’re currently working on ideas to provide a weekly event board.
Junior Section/Junior Organiser
We had some success last year with Jonny coaching in Benjamin Hargreaves School, our half term taster and the popular weekly Summer School. We also have all the right tools in place with the Junior Passport Programme ready to go, coaching equipment and clubs funded by the Golf Foundation. However, we urgently need a Junior Organiser, without this role being filled we are unable to move forward. If you would like to know more, please speak to Paul or myself, lots of help and support will be provided, all you need is enthusiasm.
Some Assistance Required
Having completed 12 months in this role, it has become obvious that to continue investing in the course and facilities, the club needs to generate additional income from external sources through Sponsorship, Visiting Parties, Clubhouse functions etc. Tony Alveston’s help with sourcing and retaining local business sponsors is invaluable but somebody with additional Sales & Marketing skills would be a great help to me particularly at this time of year.
Course Director – Mr Dave Byrom
The Beast from the East v. The Best from the West……no contest. What has been probably the most disruptive 3 months I have ever known, stop, start, rain, snow, yet the team have really come out on top.
They’ve managed to do 95% of the work we had planned to do, with the other 5% still in progress and at least another 100% that was pencilled in for the next few years, just looking at the amount of changes that have been made in a period that only ducks go out in is a credit to Jason and his team.
At times we may have pushed ourselves to the limits, but a limit we knew we could sustain even if the weather was against us, and I think the only differences would have been is that you wouldn’t now see as many tyre marks and ruts as they are, these will be rolled out as soon as it’s dried up and disappear, but needs must.
We have also managed to drain an extra green the 13th which will be coming out of the 2018 budget, this is now back in play and is being played on after only two weeks from start to finish, it was a must but also a bargain as the company whom we employed to do the 14th & 15th still had their machinery on site, we managed to negotiate a price with them that saves us around £1000 on what it should have been. Some of you may have noticed that recently we have been working on the bunkers, an area that we just couldn’t keep on top of, with one thing or another, there was big plans this year to address this issue and so we’ve started, we as a team feel that you yourselves could help us here if you would. If you see a bunker that needs raking whilst you’re walking past it, please take a few seconds to rake it (who knows) someone might have just done you the favour next time you find the sand. Also if you see a tuft of grass in a bunker there is a fair chance the greens staff aren’t trying to grow it in there, so please pull it out.
We are still having issues with pitch marks and divots, surely if you’re good enough to hit greens, your good enough to repair them…. it does and would help immensely and also keeps them true which is our objective. If everybody repairs one or two then there won’t be any (it is possible). Please repair as many divots as possible as a replaced divot takes around 24hours to repair themselves with a left out divot taking more than a month to repair, please bear this in mind. Litter, bottles, cans and rubbish should be put in the bins provided, we have enough of them out there now.
That’s enough of the preaching, I am only trying to help in every way to make Accrington a special place to be a member.
Hope you’re all looking forward to the new season, I for one am.
House/Social Director – Mr Bill Fleck
Outside the men’s locker room rendering has been completed and is presently being painted (between snow showers). Thanks to Colin Wright for his time.
New soffits, facias and guttering has been put up around the Men’s locker room.
At present, donations for a compressed air shoe cleaner are being taken in the Pro Shop each week and we would like to thank all those who have donated each week and those who have donated one off amounts – these are greatly appreciated. As this shoe cleaner is for use by all the members of the club we would be very grateful if all playing members could make a small regular donation.
You will be aware of the contribution and service of our new bar manager and his staff, and we wish them continued success for the future.
On the social side we have had good attendances to our; Hot Pot, Ladies Evening, Xmas Fayre, and New Year’s Eve Party Night. This has continued this year with the Annual Dinner Dance, Ceilidh Night, and Captains Drive In – even though we have had some awful weather. Please continue to support our social events to raise funds for the club. Bring your family and friends and ask your playing partners to come along and join the entertainment and fun.
Thank you to everyone involved in this, especially the ladies section who are always heavily involved in making events like this worthwhile. Considering the re-arranged date due to the weather, it was amazing that we actually raised over £1400 (not including bar sales).
UP COMING EVENTS:
Sat 21st April
ST. GEORGES NIGHT
British Pop – Mr Nat Griff
Fri 18th May
Still being planned
Sat 9th June
LADY PRESIDENTS NIGHT
Sat 30th June
These and other events will be advertised on the social notice boards in the clubhouse.
I would also like to thank the social committee and everyone who has been involved in the organising of the events to make them so successful.
Here’s hoping for some good weather for the rest of the year.
General Manager – Mr Paul Wright
Unfortunately due to family circumstances Brian Stephenson has not been able to add a Finance Directors report to this edition or our newsletter, so I will give you the latest update on the subscription income so far in 2018. We are currently approx. £2.5K ahead of 2017 for subscriptions received to date which is always a positive start. As mentioned in the Marketing & Communication section we are working on increasing our exposure via advertising, to increase membership numbers implemented as part of our Membership Recruitment Strategy. Visiting party green-fee income for 2018 is also an area that we think has room for growth to surpass the £18k generated in 2017. With that said, we do not want to overcrowd our members tee times with visitors, and I do understand that this has to be perfectly balanced to accommodate everyone.
The sponsorship target figure for 2018 is £20K, this would be a great achievement and would be a huge 18% increase on 2017.
Finally, I would like to welcome all the new members who are looking forward to getting started this season, I am sure everyone will make you feel welcome. We have 17 new members so far in 2018 and we are hopefully going to grow that number throughout the year. Unfortunately we have lost approx. 25 members (in various categories) to date, still with a large number of subscription fees outstanding, but again not one of the resignations reflect on wrongdoings within the club.
I really do hope we get the weather this year to put the icing on the cake, 2018 and our 125th anniversary will definitely be one to remember.