Commissioners Present: Cindy Bingham (Chair), Jim Ehrhart (Vice Chair), Anne O'Connell, Ed Pavlu, Rob Harris, Marc Fontaine, Jeff Odell.
Others Present: Mark O'Brien (Director of Golf Operations), Steve Mann (Superintendent), Jim Foley (Selectmen Liaison), Jim O’Leary (FinCom), Dennis Hanson (FinCom), Jerri Carlin (9-Hole Women's Association), Judy McCarthy (18-Hole Women’s Association), and several others in the audience.
Call to Order: Cindy Bingham called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.
- Jerri Carlin reported that the Women’s 9-Hole Association is looking at the possibility of incorporating the family tees into their Thursday play.
- Ray DiPietro commented that the course conditions were poor and that the divot mix bottles on the carts need to be filled more often.
- Ed Lewis said that we should reach out to other area courses to find out what practices they use that enabled them to get through this summer in better condition.
- Judy McCarthy reiterated that course conditions are poor.
- Mike Austin also commented on the poor course conditions emphasizing the problems with hole plugs.
- Mark O’Brien said that Steve Mann is constantly on the staff about hole replacement, even to the point of issuing written disciplinary warnings. He also stated that Captains over the years has been in better condition than most of the other courses in the area, when they experienced problems that we were able to avoid. This year was the exception.
A motion to approve the minutes of July 9, 2013 was made by Rob Harris, seconded by Anne O'Connell, motion passed 6-0-0. (Jim Ehrhart not present at vote)
Reorganization: Mark O’Brien asked for nominations for Golf Commission Chair. Marc Fontaine nominated Rob Harris and Anne O’Connell seconded the nomination. There were no other nominations. Mark O’Brien called the vote. The vote was 5 in favor and Cindy Bingham abstained. (Jim Ehrhart not present at vote) Mark O’Brien asked for nominations for Golf Commission Vice-Chair. Cindy Bingham nominated Jim Ehrhart and Anne O’Connell seconded the nomination. There were no other nominations. Mark O’Brien called the vote. The vote was 6 in favor, none against. (Jim Ehrhart not present at vote)
Suggestion Box: Anne O’Connell
Follow up from last meeting’s suggestions:
- The water in the club cleaner bucket at the range is now cleaned regularly.
- A menu at the snack shack has not yet been posted.
- Mark O’Brien checked with Charlie Sumner about hiring interns for loading and unloading clubs at the bag drop. They would have to be paid, and cannot work just for tips.
- Mark O’Brien had not passed on the suggestion about the ball washers to Steve Mann. He now knows.
- The ceiling tiles in the women’s room have been replaced.
- Liners showing in the sand bunkers on 15 Port and 10 Port. Steve Mann will address.
- Joanne Hughes questioned the cutting around the pond on 14 Port.
Director of Golf Operations Report: Mark O'Brien
A member made a request for a refund or a credit of her AFP fee due to an injury. The request was received after June 30, 2013 so the Commission did not grant the request.
Financial Presentation: Mark O'Brien
Although the Fourth of July holiday weekend was strong the revenues for July were down overall. Other area courses experienced the same thing. It is felt that the hot, humid weather was a contributor to the drop. However, the revenues in August for the first 12 days are up significantly over last year. The FY 2013 rear end report was reviewed. The poor spring caused us to miss projections by about $29,000.
Mark O’Brien reported that he, Cindy Bingham and Steve Mann met with Sue Leven, the Town Planner, and a representative from Horsley Witten who are working for the Pleasant Bay Alliance to discuss the positive impact the golf course has on the Town of Brewster’s overall cost associated with wastewater management. Cindy Bingham commented that they said the golf course, due to Steve Mann’s reduction in fertilizer use over the last several years will save the Town several millions of dollars in regard to the required actions the Town will have to take for wastewater management. When the numbers are known, we will publicize this fact.
Mark O’Brien reported that the Golf Department has submitted warrant articles for a $400,000 course improvement project and $15,000 to replace the driving range vehicle.
Superintendent's Report: Steve Mann
- Steve Mann said there may be very localized conditions that made our course be affected more than other courses as far as turf loss.
- There is no disease in the turf.
- Cindy Bingham noted that the independent report distributed regarding course conditions mentioned that greens built to USGA specs would not have been as affected. Steve Mann stated that the greens on the original course were “push up” greens and not built to USGA specs.
- The water permit from DEP has been received and we are approved for 75 million gallons water withdrawal.
- Dennis Hanson suggested that the Golf Commission write a letter to the Cape Cod Commission voicing our dissent over the proposed Area of Critical Planning they are proposing for all of Cape Cod in regard to fertilizer applications. Rob Harris said he would draft a letter and send it to them.
Randomization of Tee Times trial period: Mark O’Brien
Mark O’Brien stated that the survey results had 321 respondents. 53.3% were in favor of the new “request” system; 34.3% were in favor of the old call in system; and 12.5% had no preference.
- Jerri Carlin said she liked the new system as it was more fair and easier to use.
- Alan Godfried said there are not enough member times before 9:00 a.m. to meet the member’s needs, and that maybe fees should be raised for those that play before 9:00.
- Tim Carroll said he did not think the new system was fair to those that only play on weekends. He also stated that he is very appreciative of the facility here and the course conditions over the 27 years that he has been a member.
- Steve Litwinowich said that the Tuesday and Wednesday Association block times should be eliminated and subject to the randomization system.
- Jon Peterson suggested that those that made a course specific request were less likely to get a satisfactory tee time.
- Orin Segall said that raising fees won’t help the situation.
- Jim Ehrhart felt that the new system was not fair to those that just play on weekends.
- Tom Delnickas said that the system should be set up to give those that play less preference in the tee time placement process.
- Steve Litwinowich asked about adding more member times. Rob Harris explained the formula for tee time allocation.
- Ray Dipietro felt that there was no difference in what tee times are assigned between the old and new systems, but that the new system was much more convenient.
- Rob Harris stated that he reviewed the data from the trial period and 2/3 of the tee time requests were placed within one hour of the request. There were 400 members that used the system over the trial period.
- Ed Pavlu asked why we did this trial system. It was because there was dissatisfaction expressed by several members on the old system and it was felt that it could be impacting AFP renewals.
- Kevin Hart felt that it was easier on the old system to fill in at 8:00 p.m. the night before play as opposed to the new system. It was explained to him that there are no differences between the two systems in that regard. It just seemed tougher because the trial period was during our very busy season.
- Jeff Odell stated that we cannot add member times and still meet our revenue projections.
- Tim Carroll wanted to make sure that if any changes are going to be implemented that it be well publicized when the AFP renewals go out.
The old tee time system will remain in effect for the remainder of the year.
Lightning Policy Procedures: Cindy Bingham
Mark O’Brien stated that in the past legal counsel has advised that having no lightning warning system makes us less liable than having a system; as if the system fails we would incur liability. Therefore we are currently a play at your own risk facility. Mark O’Brien said he will check with legal counsel again to see if that opinion still holds true.
Frequency of Play: Cindy Bingham
Cindy Bingham distributed a chart outlining frequency of play of the AFPs. The chart showed that the average AFP plays 34.8 rounds. This will be discussed further at future meetings.
Off Season AFP rates: Mark O’Brien
Mark O’Brien recommended offering the same program as last year which was:
- Resident AFP – $349
- Resident Twilight – $149
- Non-resident – $599
The AFP status would run from September 3, 2013 through March 31, 2014. The Resident $349 membership would have no restrictions on time of play.
Ed Pavlu suggested doing the pay now play now program which would allow people to sign up on September 3, 2013 and their membership would be valid through March 31, 2015 paying the full fees that are currently in place. This proposal was rejected as we may be changing the membership program for next year and that would create complications.
Jeff Odell made a motion to approve the program recommended by Mark O’Brien, seconded by Cindy Bingham. The motion was approved 7-0-0.
Anne O’Connell asked if there has been any meeting with Bill Marsh, the owner of the development adjacent to #7 Starboard. Jim Ehrhart stated that Charlie Sumner has tried to make contact, but no meeting has taken place as yet.
The next meeting will be held on September 10, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
Meeting adjourned at 6:18 p.m.
Director of Operations