April 14, 2015

Commissioners Present: Anne O'Connell (Chair), Jeff Odell (Vice-Chair), Ed Pavlu, Cindy Bingham, Marc Fontaine, Carl Blanchard, and Wyn Morton.


Others Present: Mark O’Brien, Director of Operations, Jerri Carlin (Friends of Captains), Sharon Marotti (Women’s 9-Hole Assn.), and Jackie Ferraguto.


This meeting was held at the Town Hall and was televised. The video of the meeting may be viewed at: http://view.earthchannel.com/PlayerFlex.aspx?PGD=brewsterma&eID=783


Call to Order: Anne O’Connell called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.


Public Comment:


  • Sharon Marotti reported that the Women’s 9-Hole Association currently has 58 members which is down a little.
  • Jerri Carlin reported that the water coolers will be in place soon and that the Friends of the Captains will hold a 50/50 raffle on April 25 in conjunction with the Captains Open House. In addition, the Friends will run the closest to the pin contest again during the Brewster in Bloom weekend to benefit the Brewster Elder Scholarship Fund and the Friends. Lastly, the Friends will be hosting the Welcome Back Snowbirds golf tournament on June 7.


Correspondence and Suggestion Box:


  • A suggestion was received about moving the ball washers closer to the white tees. Cindy Bingham commented that the only one she could think of that should be moved is #18 Starboard. Cindy will respond to the person who sent the suggestion and follow up with Pete Ervin.


Superintendent’ Report: (Reported by Mark O’Brien in Pete Ervin’s absence)


  • The Starboard Course fairways and tees were aerated on April 6 & 7. The Port Course was aerated (fairways, tees and greens) yesterday and today. There is just a little clean left that will be completed tomorrow. The Starboard Course greens will be aerated on April 17 & 18.
  • The course came through the winter in very good shape.
  • The construction work on the course is nearing completion. We are waiting for some sod to complete the sink hole areas and port tee #8 & #10. Cutting sod was delayed due to the bad winter. We still have to do the excavation and repair of the sink hole on Starboard #10 which was an add on. All work should be complete by mid-May.
  • Cindy Bingham asked about damaged areas on Starboard #10 & #14. Mark O’Brien thought that was damage from when they were trying to clearing snow off of the greens.
  • Cindy Bingham asked about cart path paving. Mark O’Brien stated that after the construction work is completed it appears as though we will have about $30,000 for cart path improvements.


Director of Operations Report:


  • Mark O’Brien reported on the financials for March. No play in March. Memberships are behind last year’s numbers by about $21,000. This is to be expected as people aren’t thinking about golf now due to the poor winter.
  • Mark O’Brien stated that we should do a survey of the new members to see where they came from and how they heard about us.
  • Marc Fontaine would like to find out in the survey why people did not join.
  • Mark O’Brien reported that there has been more turnover in part time staff this year as compared to previous years.


Update on FY2016 Budget:


  • Mark O’Brien reported that there are no new changes in the budget. It is projected to be breakeven, although that does not include possible increases in union contracts. The FinCom at their last vote did not support the golf budget. The Selectmen have not voted as yet although the indication was that they did support it.
  • Mark O’Brien reported that he will be meeting again with the FinCom on April 29 to review the golf budget one last time.  


Marketing Update:


  • Mark O’Brien had a booth at the Lower Cape Home and Garden Show. It was well attended but not many golfers. It was positive but probably will not do it again next year.
  • Mark O’Brien met with the woman who does out “pay per click” program through Wicked Local. The program has been very successful with 533 phone calls generated, 168,000 people saw the web site url from the search engine and 7,000 of them clicked through. The click through rate of 4.4% is much higher than the average of 1.5%.
  • Mark O’Brien talked about the social media seminar that he attended. He stated that it was largely about promoting discount programs.
  • Cindy Bingham asked about getting zip codes from customers as they check in. Mark O’Brien said he would check on whether that can be done through our software.
  • Wyn Morton asked about having someone on staff assigned to posting on FaceBook.
  • Mark O’Brien reported that he has not had any feedback from the ads run on WOMR. Probably will not use that in the future.
  • We will continue the radio and tv ads that we did last year, although we will cut back the radio a little.
  • Mark O’Brien reported that the Ocean Edge newsletter would not allow us to advertise with them.
  • Jeff Odell asked if we planned on doing an Open House for the press. Mark O’brien stated there are no plans to do that.
  • Mark O’Brien stated that we will be promoting our Open House that is happening on April 25 through email blasts, posting on Facebook and possibly a press release in the Cape Codder.   


Action Items:


  • Memorial Bricks – Jackie Ferraguto reported that she called five different places and they are all charging $17.50 per brick and $6.50 per letter of engraving.
  • Mark O’Brien reported that Cape Tech will be painting the snack shack after their April vacation. They will not do any of the other painting. Mark O’Brien will be contacting other contractors about doing some of our other work.
  • Anne O’Connell went over the by-law wording regarding the Commission’s mission. It was felt that it needs some updating.
  • There was an ice dam that built up on the clubhouse. Pete Ervin shoveled part of the roof and that alleviated the problem. There was no damage to the roof.


Pace of Play:


  • Marc Fontaine talked about the importance of pace of play and the importance of communication of the starters to the customers. Mark O’Brien agreed that this is important. He stated that our starters do talk with the guests before hand and he will reiterate the importance of this. He also stated that the rangers need to do a better job communicating and being visible. We have some new rangers coming on and there will be a training session in mid-May once the staff is all on board.


Future Agenda Items:


  • Jeff Odell mentioned that the work that Pete Ervin and his crew did during the snow storms should be acknowledged by the Town.
  • Survey of members.
  • Aerification in house.
  • Updating of handbook.
  • Rerating the course.
  • Yardage for holes only shows from white tees on web site.
  • Projection of future needs for the golf course.


Approval of Minutes:


  • Cindy Bingham made a motion to approve the minutes of March 10, 2015. Jeff Odell made one correction. The amended motion was seconded by Jeff Odell. Motion approved 7-0-0.


Topics the Chair did not Reasonably Anticipate:


  • Mark O’Brien mentioned that he gets a lot of requests from people to pay with credit cards for membership. We do not accept credit cards for memberships as that would increase our credit card costs. We do accept credit cards for membership using the on-line system, but there is a surcharge for doing so. The Commission did not feel that this policy was a barrier to membership and no change was needed in this policy.


Cindy Bingham made a motion, seconded by Ed Pavlu to adjourn the meeting. The motion was approved 7-0-0. Meeting adjourned at 5:57 p.m. The next meeting will be held on May 12, 2015 at the Town Hall.


Respectfully Submitted,

Mark O’Brien, Director of Operations

The Pro Shop is closed to the public until further notice. Face coverings must be worn at all times on the Captains Golf Course property. 18-Hole riding carts are restricted to those with a 12:00 tee time or earlier and 9-Hole riding carts are restricted to those with a 1:57 tee time or earlier. The driving range is closed until further notice and the Freemans Grill is closed for the season. RENTAL CLUBS ARE NOT AVAILABLE. Non-Member tee times may be reserved up to two days in advance. Reservations are required for all play - WALK-ONS ARE NOT PERMITTED.