August 9, 2011

The following are the minutes of the Brewster Golf commission held on 8/9/2011. The meeting was called to order at 4:00 PM by Rob Harris.

Commissioners present:                  Rob Harris, Chairman
                        Cindy Bingham, Vice-Chair
                        Jim Ehrhart
                        Lori Arnold
                        Anne O’Connell
                        Jeff Odell
                        Marc Fontaine

                                                            Joseph Shaw, Commissioner Emeritus


Staff present:                                     Mark O’Brien, Director of Operations
                                                            Steve Mann, Superintendent

Others Present:                                 Su Ballantine, Finance Committee Liaison

                                                            James Foley, Board of Selectmen

Approval of previous minutes-
Jeff O’Donnell asked to append channel 40 article to minutes

Moved by Cindy Bingham, amended minutes approved


Association Reports & Public Comment –

18 Hole Women’s Association, (Joanne Liberles)—Benefit for Cuda Women’s health center today, surveying members about adding another shotgun tournament.

Director of Operations' Report (Mark O'Brien):

Review of Last Month's Financial Statements

July financials are exceeding level of 2008 and the forecast also looks good for August. Calendar YTD revenue is back to where it was a couple years ago. Mark expects August to continue this way. Green fees are $40-50,000 ahead of where they were last August. The combination of  the new $76 rate, earlier start times, and change of AFP ratio have all been worthwhile. Play totals are up over last year, but have not returned to peak of a few years ago. The new fee structure and weather have helped, since volume hasn’t really increased. Everything is weather dependent.


Junior Golf Day will be held on Aug 15. Mark is hoping for big turn-out, and could use more volunteers. The club championship will be held the following two weekends, followed by the Captains Invitational in early September.


This is a tricky time of year as far as staffing goes, because college students will be leaving over the next few weeks.

Cindy Bingham asked about the recent computer system failure—Mark reported that for the most part, the system has been reliable; problems are sporadic and hard to diagnose. Rob Harris wants to look at a hosting service at Chelsea Reservation Systems. Right now, the host server is in Mark’s office, which can be a problem if it goes down and no one is here to address it. There was discussion of failure points in the current system and advantages to switching to a hosting service.


The food service contract has been signed by Nick and Antonella, but some more forms are needed before town officials can sign off on lease. Liquor license request will go before BOS when the lease is signed.

Superintendent's Report (Mark O’Brien read Steve Mann’s report in his absence):

The golf course in good shape. There is presently no summer patch disease. Steve is watching seasonal weather patterns. The Port collars have been aerified and overseeded. URI samples came back clean for disease, insects. Recommends more water. Summer help leaving next couple of weeks, losing 6 by end of Aug. Aerification beginning in September. There is now a Brewster – Dennis – Harwich intermunicipal agreement for a shared air compressor. The driving range will be overseeded around October 20, and will need to closed down for a few days to get the grass growing.

Tee times for AFPs with Guests (Rob Harris): 

Ed Lewis brought forward a concern of members misusing the reservation system. The policy states that the AFP is responsible for guest fees for times booked into guest time slots. Mark notified the player of policy, and reported that this particular player misunderstood the rules, had not done this before. The member was warned. Mark doesn’t think it is a prevalent problem. Clerks are instructed to watch for infractions, and they do report questionable transactions, but procedure can be confusing. Mark is monitoring the situation and will follow up with necessary actions. Lori Arnold recommended investigating the hosting system as a way to monitor abuse. Rob Haris requested associations remind league members of the course policy.

Requiring Riding Carts (Cindy Bingham):

Discussion of requiring carts on certain courses, at certain times of day, or for certain groups (AFPs, DFPs, etc). Specifically of interest is requiring carts only on the “non-member” course.
The first discussion point was whether Captains would have enough carts if we wanted to require carts on the guest course. Mark said probably there would be enough for one course. Mark presented some statistics about increased revenue, with the example of total revenue gain for the month of July as $13,952.61 on the nonmember course, but Mark doesn’t anticipate improvement in pace of play. Bayberry requires carts, Hyannis did, but rescinded plan. It would be logistically difficult to adopt on just one course. If carts were required on both courses, revenue would triple, assuming play continues and no one leaves. Marc Fontaine wondered about picking up cart fees at expense of green fees. Mark O’Brien also worries about loss of AFP members with an “all cart” policy. No action taken


Thank you letter from Cape Cod Womens Golf League for June event.

There was a request for a refund which was received after June 30. Discussion about published policy and past precedent. Rob Harris moved to refund membership fee, Jim Ehrhart seconded. The vote was: 0 yes, 6 no, 1 abstention.  Rob Harris recommended review of refund policy in the future.


Membership Promotion Ideas (Rob Harris): Discuss creating an off-season membership for 2011 in leiu of “Pay Now, Play Now” promotion used in past years. Discuss creating a new low-cost twilight membership. Possibility of replacing Paynow/Play now plan. Gives people a chance to join mid-year. All new rates to start after labor day. Gives more time to set rates for following year. Mark endorsed the idea. Reservation system can accommodate new memberships, Jeff O’Dell moved to approve, Cindy Bingham seconded. Motion passed unanimously. 

Topics the Chair did not reasonably anticipate

Water cooler—no quotes on replacements yet. Mark will look into the problem.

Plannng board notice-solar panels will be installed at water dept. The golf course was notified as an abutter to the water department.

Friends of Captains now has IRS ID and bank account. Rob Harris requested that no more than three commissioners serve on Friends board.

Notice about WIFI, Lori Arnold will follow up.

Next meeting will be September 13, 2011, 4:00.


Jim Ehrhart moved to adjourn at 5:10, seconded by Cindy Bingham.

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.