The following are the minutes of the Brewster Golf Commission meeting held on June 8, 2010. The meeting was called to order at 2:00 PM.
Commissioners present: Bob Weiss, Chairman Cindy Bingham Jim Ehrhart Rob Harris Anne O’Connell Jeff Odell Karney Ovian Joseph Shaw, Commissioner Emeritus Former Commissioners present Josephine O'Connell Future Commissioners present Lori Arnold Marc Fontaine Staff present: Mark O’Brien, Director of Operations Steve Mann, Superintendent
Others present: Jim Foley, Board of Selectmen Liaison Anne LeMaitre, Pres. Women’s 9 Hole Ass’n Pat Eggers, Secretary
B. Weiss introduced and welcomed the new commissioners: Anne O'Connell, a 9 Hole Women's Association member will be replacing J. O'Connell. Jim Ehrhart, CCMGA member and former selectman, will be completing the seat vacated by Stote Ellsworth. He also introduced future new commissioners: Lori Arnold, a new Women's18 Hole Association member will be taking the seat vacated by K. Ovian and Mark Fontaine, CCMGA member and former golf course owner will be taking the seat vacated by B. Weiss.
The minutes from the May 11, 2010 meeting were reviewed. A motion made by R. Harris, seconded by K. Ovian, to approve the minutes passed with all approving with 1 abstention by J. Ehrhart since he had not read them yet.
- A thank you note was received from the Samaritans of CC & Islands for a recent donation of a gift certificate for a foursome.
- The Housing Assistance Corporation – Cape Cod sent a note of thanks for the support of their upcoming Closest the Pin event to raise funds, and also for the donation of a gift certificate of a foursome.
- Carol Parisi, AFP member, wrote a letter complimenting Captains on the great job of marketing via email, and also commented about the fine condition of the course and selection of merchandise in the Pro Shop.
- Judy McCarthy and Susan Eifert, members of the Women's 18 Hole Association, wrote a letter of thanks for the support for this year's WGAM State Spring Teams. They noted the great job that was done by the pro staff supporting the two events held at Captains on May 6 and May 13. Many comments were made by participants as to the fine condition of the course. Captains supports 2 teams, and for the second year in a row, the first team won their cup!
- Requests for gift certificates for foursomes were granted to Independence House of Cape Cod, and denied for Boys and Girls Club of Providence, the Jared Tuccolo Memorial Golf Tournament in Windham, and the David Burke Golf Tournament in Boston.
- The Women's 18 Hole Association has previously hosted an event in alternate years with Chequessett for the Solheim Cup tournament. They now want to change this event to partner with Ocean Edge and are requesting a tournament date of September 29 for a 1 pm shotgun for 32 players. All would pay cart fees, and guests would pay half greens fees. A motion made by J. Odell, seconded by K. Ovian to approve the date passed.
- Bob Weiss received a thank you note from Pat Mann, Steve Mann�s wife, for the flowers that were sent to her.
- J. O'Connell read a request from John Mano, AFP, regarding replacing the yellow flags with red/white/blue to indicate pin position. He believes they are more classy like what is used at Cranberry Valley. S. Mann responded that the USGA recommends white and yellow flags as the best colors for visibility. Many equally classy golf courses do it either way, and the course will continue to use the yellow flags.
- Phil Dupont, AFP, requested that when purchasing a cart for use that both sand canisters be full, the windshield/seat wiped and that pencils be on the cart. Mark responded that is consistent with the current procedure, and he will double efforts to ensure it is followed. C. Bingham also commented that if the cart signs are not fastened properly they fall off. J. Shaw asked if consideration had been given to selling advertising for the carts when they are not in use for other club purposes. Discussion followed, and R. Harris suggested that John Cleary be invited to the next meeting to provide more input on this idea.
- May financials were distributed and reviewed. Although the weather was great in May, the financial results were not as good as hoped. Mark surmised that with the excellent weather, the courses up north opened earlier than ever, so may have reduced travel to play on the Cape. The results mirror what is happening elsewhere on the Cape. Currently Captains is on target to finish just above breakeven for this year. It was noted that with the elimination of the 10 Play card, there is about $11,000 in lump sum revenue in last May's report that should return in other play revenue during the rest of the season.
- Resident AFP memberships are down about 40 over last year for a total of 769 + 39 Junior members to date. Non resident AFP's are the highest number ever at 176.
- R. Harris noted that play May 24, 25th Anniversary celebration with throw-back prices, had 143 18 hole rounds played, the highest of any weekday for non-member play.
- Pro Shop financial results are on schedule to hit the target of 25-30% gross profit margin, currently at 24% in May. Inventory levels are on target, with additional inventory purchased in May for the golf season.
- S. Mann reports that course condition is excellent, although the course has been dry due to lack of rain, so water usage is up considerably. The new stump grinder has been in use for 3 weeks with all stumps on Port complete, and half of Starboard done. Grubs are active and will be sprayed at the end of June/early July. Staffing levels are on target.
- Steve toured the course with K. Ovian for a final review of the improvement list for the year.
- C. Bingham noted that last year it was agreed that the water currently provided on Port #14 would be moved back to #13 to make it available sooner after player's make the turn. She also mentioned that broken tee boxes are now located on all the par 3 tees. Cape Cod Tech produced them for Captains at no cost, and there are 18 more in the maintenance garage. She will write a thank you note to them. She also commented on what a nice job was done in putting the flowers in the bed at the front entrance.
- The final Policy Manual handbook changes were distributed to all. B. Weiss thanked R. Harris for the great job he did completing this project.
- C. Bingham asked Mark why the call in time for members requesting non-member vacant tee times had not yet changed from noon to 8 pm. Mark commented that it has not be instituted yet since there is no need until daily fee player demand increases. An email will be sent out shortly to all members advising them of the change, and the desk will be advised.
- K. Ovian, C. Bingham and M. O'Brien had met previously with Joe Spiata, Casual Gourmet to discuss recommendations for changes to the food offerings. The meeting was very positive, with several changes expected to be implemented, but nothing has been observed to date. Mark will follow-up.
- C. Bingham reported that the 25th Anniversary Celebration on May 24 was a great success: very well attended, good speed of play and the food was excellent. R. Harris thanked C. Bingham and J. Odell for all their hard work organizing the event, and thanked J. O'Connell for coming up with the idea for the celebration. J. O'Connell thanked Cindy, Jeff and Mark for picking up on the idea and making it happen, saying it was a special event for golfers and residents, and all had a great time and learned a bit more about the contributions of the golf course to the town since inception.
- C. Bingham asked for status on the Stote Ellsworth sign for the Pavilion and was advised by Mark that it has been ordered and will be in shortly. Funds were raised by contributions from Stote's friends as well as $5 per person from the entry fee to the Anniversary tournament. Plans will be made for an 'unveiling' with Ann Stote and friends/colleagues of Stote when the sign is ready.
- B. Weiss noted that J. O'Connell has retired from the golf commission, but missed the last meeting, so asked her to attend today so her contributions could be publically recognized and read the following:
For the past 11 years, Jo O’Connell has been an invaluable member of the Brewster Golf Commission. She came aboard while an active member of the Women’s 9-Hole Association and one of its past presidents. And she became a strong advocate and voice for all the women golfers of the club. Jo always was a positive force for new ideas to better the club. She could discuss policy, weigh the pro and cons, and only when all the sides had been truly discussed would she give her final OK. From the very beginning she handled the Suggestion Box and was adamant that every question asked by a member deserved an answer, whether from Mark, Steve or herself. She was the Commissions’ star recruiter, always able to involve both the 9- and 18-Hole women golfers in the club's charitable and special events. And because of her enthusiasm …you found that giving your time was so worthwhile, and that it made these events successes. Jo has left her mark around the course and club house with her many contributions. Her contributions range from helping to decorate the Pavilion and other areas of the club house to suggesting and implementing ways to recognize golfers. She has been a wonderful steward of the Captains Golf Course, caring only for its success and helping to provide both the town and the members a unique and special place. We are so appreciative to have had Jo working with us all these years and wish her the best, on and off the golf course.
- R. Harris received a request for a member refund and is proposing a review of current policy. Jim Hardman, non-resident AFP since 2003 had an accident with a table saw almost severing his thumb on April 28. He had surgery yesterday, but does not know when he can return to golf as of yet. He may be able to return later in the year, but if not, would like consideration for a credit toward next year. He wanted to get the request in before the June 30 deadline. However he played 9 times in April, more than the 3 times in the policy. Rob noted that he is not asking for a refund, and if he were billed the daily greens fees for the 9 times played it would be $415. As a non-resident AFO, he also has spent about $20,000 since 2003 for his Captains membership. Rob would propose granting him a $1,085 credit against his membership for the 2011 season if he is unable to return to golf this year. Discussion followed, and R. Harris, C. Bingham and M. Fontaine were appointed to a subcommittee to review the refund policy and make a recommendation to the committee.
- The organizers of the Chip in for Haiti golf event are AFP members, and are requesting a waiver of the requirement that only 25% of members in a golf event will get member greens fee rates. A motion made by R. Harris, seconded by C. Bingham to approve the request passed unanimously.
- J. Odell asked for volunteers to work with him over the next few weeks to develop a revenue opportunity in conjunction with the NEIGA tournament. He'd like to work with local B & B's to offer a Friends and Family offer to include golf at Captains on the day before and/or after the NEIGA event. This offer could then be sent out to players, their families and alumni of the schools participating in the event. J. Shaw and M. O'Brien will be meeting with George Jacobson on Monday and will discuss the idea with him and report back.
- K. Ovian thanked Charlie Sumner, and past/present Selectmen and Commissioners that have supported him during his past 10 years on the Golf Commission. After 40 years in the golf business and 10 years on the commission, it is time for him to step down and spend more time actually playing golf. He also thanked Mark O'Brien and Steve Mann for their support over the years, and has enjoyed working with everyone. He commented that the new team coming on board will be a great asset to the course. B. Weiss thanked K. Ovian for all his work over the years to support Captains, and read the following:
- On behalf of the Brewster Golf Commission, The Captains Golf Course, and the Town of Brewster, we would like to thank Karney Ovian for his many years of service. His knowledge of golf course maintenance and operations has proven extremely valuable to enhance the efforts of the entire team. His style has been one that enhanced and strengthened the entire Captains Golf Course community. Karney has been instrumental in developing, prioritizing, and explaining to the Commission the maintenance and capital plans for the golf course. In addition, he has been a strong voice for the entire membership. His personal style has made working with him a pleasure for all of us. We wish only the best for Karney and hope that he will come back often to offer suggestions and insight to the Commission anytime.
- B. Weiss opened nominations for leadership for the Golf Commission. K. Ovian nominated R. Harris, C. Bingham seconded the nomination. There were no other nominations, and the vote to elect Rob Chairman was unanimous. J. Odell nominated C. Bingham for Vice Chairman. The nomination was seconded by B. Weiss. There were not nominations, and the vote to elect Cindy Vice Chair was unanimous. B. Weiss commented that he was impressed with the qualifications of the candidates for the commission and that the selection provides a diverse group, representing the key constituencies well. The new board should be very effective.
- R. Harris thanked B. Weiss for his service to the commission and read the following:
- Bob Weiss has served The Captains Golf Course well. His efforts to reorganize the Pro Shop sales operations have begun to show the fruits of his labor, and we expect the shop to continue to improve with its new direction. Having served as Chairman for the past year, Bob has represented the Golf Commission well with sensitivity, compassion, and a desire to make The Captains Golf Course a successful operation for the Town of Brewster. We will miss Bob as he leaves Brewster for warmer climes, but we wish him well in his future endeavors.
- R. Harris noted that the financials for the course don't look good with the fiscal year ending at just over breakeven so changes should be considered. Discussion followed. J. Odell moved that M. O'Brien be authorized to move the last 3 member tee times before 11 am to the afternoon in order to free up 3 more tee times on the 20% member course for daily fee play. Motion was seconded by J. Ehrhart and approved 6-1, with C. Bingham opposed. R. Harris will work on a more detailed proposal to come up with a formula to allocate member tee times based on membership for future consideration.
- R. Harris suggested that consideration be given to cut the member cart rate to $5 in the afternoons to see if it would help shift more play to the afternoons and free up more times for daily fee play in the morning. Discussion followed, and no action will be taken at this time.
- R. Harris advised all new commissioners that they need to go to town hall to get sworn in. They also need to take the ethics test and should review the Open Meeting Law pamphlet available at town hall.
Since there was no other business, the next meeting was set for July 13 at 4 pm. A motion made by J. Ehrhart to adjourn the meeting was seconded by C. Bingham, and the meeting adjourned at 4:10 PM.
Pat Eggers Secretary