CAPTAIN’S ANNUAL REPORT – 2017
It has certainly been a quick year since I took over this post from Graham. 2017 has been a full on year where the club has strived to keep its head above water. There has been help and assistance from a great many of you, both practical and financial, and I would like to begin my report by sincerely thanking you all for this support. Skelmorlie may well be a small golf club but our greatest assets are our members.
We started this year with a whole new committee and will freely admit that it took us a number of weeks and months to get to grips with the finances and procedures of running the club. My position as Captain was made considerably easier by the help and backing of Kevin and my committee, and I would like to thank them all for their commitment and hard work and I look forward to a further year of their assistance.
Jane, in particular, has worked tirelessly on behalf of the club and although we have struggled with income she has set expense budgets which in general have been achieved and have been helped considerably by numerous supplier negotiations, which has helped cut our costs. She will enlighten us on the current financial position during her presentation at the AGM but at this point I would like to thank her on behalf of the membership for all her efforts. Roger, also, has been kept extremely busy with the website and administrative duties and we thank him for his time.
As you will all know, 2017 has not been the best weather wise, particularly in the past few months, but we have managed to complete the season with very few cancelled competitions and special mention and thanks must be made to Sid and Wallace our two hardworking green-keepers, they do a sterling job in keeping us on the course when many clubs in the area have to close due to the conditions. There have also been a number of occasions when members have pitched in to help with on course maintenance and this is greatly appreciated by us all.
At the start of the season we aimed to advertise Skelmorlie Golf Club to the surrounding area and with the help of the local scout groups and some willing volunteers from the committee we delivered 3000 leaflets within a very short space of time to all the houses in Skelmorlie, Wemyss Bay and Inverkip. This did result in a few new members but also advertised our presence as a venue for parties and social occasions to the wider community and we have had a number of bookings from this, which all helps to keep the bar busy. Thanks to Tricia and the bar staff for their hard work in this respect.
Back in April a working party of members spent a very busy day tidying up around the car park and road, painting the decking, benches and touching up the exterior walls. It is amazing how a few hands can make light work of many jobs and this was again proved when, in the middle of the summer, the old pool room was converted into a very pleasant lounge which is proving extremely popular and a worthwhile renovation and addition to the clubhouse facilities.
There has been a year of mixed fortunes with all our external competitions.
A team of the gents – John Anderson, Malcom Doull, Jim Anderson and Donny Campbell took part in the Presidents Putter competition. This is an inter club competition for Ayrshire and we managed to reach the quarter finals before a strong team from West Kilbride beat the guys with home advantage. Well done to all four in the team.
Graham Anderson and Graham Todd were our club representatives in the Ayrshire Four Ball competition. They did really well and reached the quarter finals before finally succumbing to a team from Troon Wellbeck.
Unfortunately our 2016 champion, John Anderson, was not so lucky in the draw for his round two in the Champion of Champions competition and Royal Troon proved just too tricky on the day for him. The Ladies team did well both home and away, in their friendly matches, and the hospitality and camaraderie were enjoyed as much as the golf. The Gents senior team had a mixed season winning all but one of their home games. Unfortunately, they were not so lucky away from home but consistent, having being beaten in every game. In the senior league, Gleddoch took the wooden spoon and Whinhill finished champions.
The club championships were played on a lovely July day, where waterproofs and warm jumpers were, once again, the order of the day. This year’s club champions were Ross McGinn, Alex Sargent, John Burrows, Fiona Agnew & Alastair McNeill and a huge well done to them all for their achievements.
This year we also launched our new 9-hole Medal competitions. There are now two courses, The Front Nine and The Flat Nine, within the confines of the 18-hole course, rated by Scottish Golf enabling us to run these competitions and allow them to be used for handicap purposes. These have proved popular and are a fun way to retain or gain your handicap without the commitment of hours on the course. We will aim to try and run one a month over the winter, although again, this will be weather permitting.
Fund raising has been one of our main objectives and this has been boosted in no small part by Tommy and his intrepid social committee of Elspeth, Grace and Mick. We have had a number of events from quizzes to live music and all have been very popular with many being sell outs. Again these are also helping to attract a wider audience from the village and this has boosted bar sales.
The Joker board is also a great fundraiser for the club and is proving to be very popular. We are now onto Game Four and it is worth the investment of £1 a go – it all helps the club and can be very beneficial to all concerned!!
Our 200-Club has also been well supported and has been a good source of income for the club so a big thank you to everyone who bought a number this year. There are still 4 draws to go, with a chance to win £100 each month (£200 in December) so if you don’t yet have a number you can join for just £8 for the remaining draws. We’ll be making some changes next year so look out for those details in February.
Ideally we would like social media to play a big part in our advertising for next year. If you are on Facebook or Twitter it takes two minutes to like, share or retweet any post thereby ensuring another bit of free advertising for the club. Please feel free to share.
As intimated earlier this year the wind turbine and the land sale projects have been foremost in our attempts to generate further revenue for the club. We now have a conceptual display in the lounge area as regards the proposed land sale to the west of the 1st fairway (the old practice area). We would urge members to have a look at this display prior to the AGM whereby we would hope to have further information available.
Things are never going to be easy at Skelmorlie but I think we should all be proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time. We would encourage every member to play their part in our progress whether it be encouraging friends and family to join, bringing along visitors, using the bar facilities, or even something as simple as buying Joker tickets, it all helps.
This time last year there was doubt that the club would still be here moving forward and although we are definitely not out of the woods yet, we are in better command of the situation.
We all look forward to 2018 and fingers crossed for better golfing weather!!
Captain – Skelmorlie Golf Club