With the number of amendments growing we thought it best to allow members the full time to discuss and digest the proposals, the details of which will be on display in the clubhouse 4 weeks before the EGM.
There was always a dual purpose to the EGM, in that members who could not make the AGM because of the terrible weather in January, would be able to ask questions, and the revised timing will allow us to give an update on where we are, to take questions and also let new members meet other members.
Most of the information relating to the amendments to the articles will be as per the AGM but a couple of other items came to light when we started revising the AOA (Articles of Association). In the intervening period other ideas have come forth, eg a new category of membership, twilight membership after 3pm, which we wish to introduce so we will propose this. Some of the discrepancies in the AOA, from our practice are listed below but a full detailed set of amendments will be made available later as mentioned above.
Additional Cardholders – existing text
ADDITIONAL CARDHOLDERS 18. It shall be competent for the Council to offer this membership category to members’ spouses/partners at an Annual Fee of £10 plus VAT. Such Members will have access to the clubhouse but no playing or voting rights. When the Member who proposed the Additional Cardholder resigns his/her membership or leaves the Club the Additional Cardholder will lose the privilege of this membership.
In practice we introduced free membership for partners some years ago. All members can apply for their partners to have a social card and invite their friends or family for lunch, dinner or functions and receive the prevailing bar discount. All members wishing a card for their partner should contact the email@example.com
DIRECTORS AND OFFICE-BEARERS 36. (1) The Directors of the Club shall be twelve in number, to include the Club Captain, ViceCaptain and Captain of the Ladies’ Section who shall be Directors ex officio, and shall form the Council of the Club and unless otherwise determined, five shall be a quorum. All such Directors shall be elected from the Members of the Club. Subject to Article 29 hereof, the Directors shall be elected by the Members of the Club in General Meeting. (2) Each Nomination (except such as in hereinafter referred to) of any Member for election as Director and Member of Council shall be intimated in writing to the Secretary by the 30 November preceding the Annual General Meeting, shall be signed by a Proposer and Seconder and shall be endorsed with the written consent of the nominee. To be eligible for nomination as a Director of the Club, the nominee must have a minimum of two years continuous standing as a Member of the Club. The Proposer and Seconder must also have a minimum of two years standing as a Member of the Club. (3) If sufficient nominations are not received timeously (in accordance with the immediately preceding sub-article) the Council shall make the necessary additional nomination or nominations, provided, in either case, any Member so nominated has signified willingness to act as a Director of the Club. (4) The names and addresses of these Members nominated for election as Directors and Members of Council as aforesaid, along with the names of the proposers and seconders respectively, shall be exhibited on the Notice Board of the Club, and shall be intimated to the Members in the Notice calling the Annual General Meeting. (5) In the month of October preceding the Annual General Meeting the Secretary shall exhibit on the Notice Board of the Club the names of the Members of Council due to retire, indicating, which, if any, do not desire re-election.
Unpaid Volunteers working alongside full time employees are required if your club is to continue to prosper. From the ClubGolf volunteers through to your Council, there is in excess of £100,000 of work our volunteers do for their fellow members. With the changing circumstances of your club, we feel it is right that members with the enthusiasm and time to get involved in helping out the running of the club should be able to stand for council immediately they are a fully paid up member, as such we feel this article should be changed. Once members have had a time to discuss this we will firm up the proposed amendment, but currently we believe there should be no waiting period as we wish to encourage all members to be volunteers, guardians and promoters of our club.
On further reading there are references to the sale of tobacco etc and as the Articles of Association are what govern our club its important we have comprehensively and successfully update them further to the EGM.
The other main amendments as per AGM report involve the removal of a limit for 5 day members as we are very happy to have many more members in this category. Further to discussions with members, the junior category will be revised creating another category called club golfer, with different playing rights which will reflect what the ‘pars’, ‘birdies’ and ‘eagles’ categories reflect. As soon as these club golfers migrate to the cadets and have a handicap, whether it be 54 or whatever, they will be assumed from the revised articles to be juniors. The articles will therefore be rephrased appropriately.
Other information for members at the EGM.
Liz Taylor will be proposed as your club’s new Vice President and subject to the amendment of the existing article 36, Nicol Cunningham will be co-opted as Vice-Captain.
New members – we continue to actively seek new members and integrate existing members so they get value from their membership. There are applications for new membership in the clubhouse plus an automated form on the web. We welcome the 14 new members who have joined in the last fortnight, excluding the fantastic ladies get into golf day which SKYSPORTS covered and we expect to see many new members from during the summer. The ‘Member Get Member’ scheme, whereby a member introduces a new member, continues to encourage our members to bring their friends along. A discount of 20% is given to the new member and the introducing member will receive a similar figure, credited to their bar card, when the new member renews.
We will be taking questions at the EGM and also responding to some of the questions raised in the survey. Some examples are listed below.
Menu – further to the results from the survey we will aim to communicate better on items such as the vegetarian options. Last year we had vegetarian and gluten free options but judging by the survey we clearly failed to communicate these to members. Catering opening hours were also covered in the survey. Striking a balance on opening hours is difficult. We tried to encourage members to pre-order if they wanted a snack or meal after their round when the restaurant would normally be closed. This has worked well for those who do it and indeed for booking tables when the restaurant would normally be closed. We need to continue to get the message out and whether it’s a cheeseboard, soup or a tray of sandwiches we will also encourage staff to ask members and visitors to pre-order. This is a subject we would benefit from feedback on at the meeting.
We’ve had some very positive feedback and the PGC museum is taking shape with many members offering memorabilia from an earlier era. An update will be provided on May 10th.
Last year we said we would be putting up the subscriptions In line with the budget and minimum wage rises as stated in November. This means a little over 3% in June and we will confirm at the EGM the new figures for all the membership classes.
The levies – We would like to pass the following levies.
Retrospective levy – £10 for club golf to run from July 2017- June 2018
Lockers rent as previously outlined
Holdall locker rises from £12-£15
Bag locker prices from £24-£30
10 year locker remains the same £280
Trolley shed remains the same £20 per annum plus an additional £25 in your first year
Golf Levy – We currently pay £1.25 and £11.25 on behalf of every playing member to the Lothians Golf Association and Scottish Golf, respectively. This is paid from your subs regardless of category. We have asked Scottish Golf for discounts matching the discounts we give longer serving members who are over 65 and 75 as well as well as the discounts to the under 31s but they don’t agree. They believe all playing members should pay the same.
The Council believes that it is fairer and easier to specify on the subscription renewal letter each year that £12.50 will be paid to in levies to golfing administrative organisations: The Lothians Golf Association (£1.25) and Scottish Golf (£11.25).
Honorary members would be exempt and this levy would take effect from June 2018
The £50 levy – At the time we renovated the clubhouse in 2003/04, we raised nearly £50,000 per annum from the levy because we had 1000 members paying to service the excellent loans we took. Nowadays, interest rates have dropped, but not as much as the number of members we have, as we only receive £35,000 from this levy, and we currently pay £40,000 to service the loan.
This means, every year since 2008, we have been digging into reserves to pay off this mortgage. We will continue to drive membership numbers up until this reaches parity. The alternative is to change the levy to £64 which we as council do not wish to do. The good news is we will have it all paid off in 2029. The combined effect of the golf and clubhouse levy shortfalls has eaten £120,000 of our reserves in the last 10 years since the financial collapse in 2008. 2 years earlier in 2006 the boom couldn’t have been more pronounced. As a club in 2006 we were at the highest ever figure for membership returns at over £450,000. Nowadays its £350,000. In 2006 we lost members because they couldn’t play and filled the spaces with new members bringing joining fees.
The good news is that you can now book a time. The bad news is we need to make sure as much of our cost is backed up with revenue – and that means paying for it.
New members update
Taking on new members immediately won’t last forever and a waiting list is likely in the near future. It’s a fine balance and we will allocate different ceiling numbers to each member classification for the AGM. As an example 5 day membership may still be open while a waiting list may be formed for 7 day members.
Finally, we have a motion for a new class of membership: Twilight membership.
Motion to pass each of the levy changes.