December 14, 2009

The following are the minutes of the Brewster Golf Commission meeting held on December 14, 2009. The meeting was called to order at 2:00 PM.

Commissioners present: Bob Weiss, Chairman Cindy Bingham Rob Harris Josephine O’Connell Jeff Odell Joseph Shaw, Honorary Commissioner

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

Others present: Jim Foley, Board of Selectmen Liaison Nancy Segall, Pres. Women’s 9 Hole Ass’n Ray Gomez, CCMGA Orin Segall, CCMGA Pat Eggers, Secretary

The minutes from the November 4, 2009 meeting were reviewed. A motion made by C. Bingham, seconded by R. Harris, to approve the minutes passed.


  • The Cape Cod Hospital Auxiliary asked for a donation of a raffle prize which Mark approved. They also ask permission to sell raffle tickets at the course next season which will not be allowed.
  • Thank you notes were received from: o Lighthouse Charter School for donation of foursome o Community Connections: their raffle raised $57,000 o Cell Phones for Soldiers: closest to the pin event o Nauset Regional HS Girls Gymnastic team tournament and donation o Brewster Elementary Schools Parents in Education for donation o Alzheimer Services of Cape Cod: for donation, raised over $65,000
  • A request for donation from St. Johns Prep School, Danvers was not approved


  • Homes for our Troops, Taunton requested a donation of a foursome for their fundraising efforts to build/equip homes for disabled war vets. Discussion followed as to consideration for this organization as one of the 10 off Cape ones to support (only 1 has been granted so far to date). A motion made by J. Odell, seconded by J. O'Connell to approve the request passed.
  • Gary Mann wrote asking for consideration for either a pro shop credit or extension to June 30 for the 10 Play Card his wife bought for him as a gift. He was only able to use it 4 times because of medical issues. A motion made by B. Weiss, seconded by C. Bingham to approve the request was defeated unanimously.
  • B. Weiss advised that he was getting copies of the minutes of the Board meetings from the three golf associations, and will arrange for all the commissioners to get copies.


  • Copies of the revised Ethics Reform Act were previously distributed to all town boards due to recent changes to the open meeting law and conflicts of interest. Mark stressed the importance of exercising care in the use of email between commissioners. It cannot be used to discuss issues or it is a violation of the open meeting law, but can be used to distribute documents. All town employees must take an on line ethics test. C. Sumner is checking to see if this is also required for volunteers on town boards. Mark will also advise the commissioners as to when the next town training session on these issues will be held.
  • The budget preparation for the fiscal year 2011 has begun, with input due in early January. Discussion followed as to the role of the commission in this process.
  • November financials were distributed to all. Weather was very good; however there was no spike in non-member play which was a concern. It appears that people are still being very prudent with their money. Pro shop inventory is down to about $100K at the end of November and is projected to reach the goal of $90K by year end, down from $200K last December. Jay Packett has done an excellent job managing the inventory which should be reflected in his performance review. There will be significantly less equipment stocked next year. Callaway has agreed to provide some clubs on consignment and for demos, and will take them back if unsold. Anything else can be special ordered on request.


  • The 5-Year Capital Plan has been submitted. There is a meeting Thursday at 10:15 am to review the plan with the Capital Committee. Mark will give copies of the plan and cash flow report to all prior to the meeting. J. Foley had two requests for consideration in the plan —— lights for the parking lot due to the safety issue, and funding for new fixtures in the pro shop, since some of the shelving is falling apart.
  • Mark distributed the schedule for outings for next year. A motion made by J. Odell, seconded by R. Harris to approve the calendar dates passed. Mark also would like to increase the outing greens fees by $5 next year, and consider charging members who play in them greens fees (currently members don't pay greens fees in these events). Discussion followed, and the decision on rates and member fees in events was tabled until January.


  • S. Mann reported that with the heavy rain in the last few weeks, the golf course is still in good shape, but is very wet and not yet dormant. There has been 5.65 inches of rain so far this month which is well above normal. The maintenance staff will be reduced to its winter levels (full timers only) on Friday. The pipe repair project work is expected to start tomorrow and be complete in about 3 weeks if the weather cooperates


  • C. Bingham reviewed the new draft of the Rules and Information guide after getting everyone's input last month. She asked for clarification on the Pace of Play policy and what should be in the book. J. O'Connell asked if these could be printed and given to all, since her concern is that no one reads them anymore. Discussion followed and an email blast will be done with a link to the website for getting this document on line. Some copies will be printed to give to new members, and will be available in the pro shop for those that don't have a computer or want a paper copy. A sign will be posted at the desk so members are aware that this is available. Cindy also has identified some discrepancies between the policy book and the guidelines, and will distribute those in advance to the commissioners for resolution at the January meeting.
  • C. Bingham asked for status on some earlier requests: updating the website with hours of operation, sign out front with directions to driving range, and replacement of the home made signs instructing cars to pull up to the club drop area. In addition, a sign is needed as players come off the 9th green of Starboard with directions to the restrooms and Galley Grill, since people often get confused. She also agreed with J. Foley that parking lot lights are needed. Mark will have new signs in next spring.



  • C. Bingham asked if the agenda sent out in advance could be more specific and informative as to the issues under consideration for the meeting for those that may choose to attend. Discussion followed and due to logistics and posting requirements, the generic agenda will be continued for posting.
  • C. Bingham asked if the Galley Grill can be asked to not allow the staff's truck to park in the loading dock area for the purposes of dumping garbage during the day, since it detracts from the appearance of the entrance. Mark will review alternatives with them to see if a better solution can be found, but will tell them the truck can't park there all day. There is limited space to store garbage that accumulates during the day. Additional screening of the loading dock area will also be considered.
  • In honor of Stote Ellsworth who recently resigned from the commission due to health issues, B. Weiss presented the following resolution be read into the minutes to thank Stote for his outstanding contributions to the Captains course:


The Town of Brewster Golf Commission wishes to thank Stoughton L. Ellsworth for his tireless service to the Commission and his significant accomplishments at the Captains Golf Course. For over 10 years since Stote joined the Commission in 1998, he has been the driving force for the Captains marketing and promotion program. Working closely with Director of Operations Mark O'Brien, Stote has worked very hard to extensively and successfully promote our course.

Perhaps the most significant among his many contributions was the modernization of marketing at Captains by developing an informative and interactive website. Working with Community Internet, Stote has helped us create an online interface to keep up with events at Captains, as well as review tee sheets, book lessons or tee times, and of course an advanced booking system available to anyone who wants to play at Captains.

To communicate broadly with members and guests, Stote rejuvenated the all but forgotten Captains Log. Today the publication keeps AFPs and guest players current with what's happening at our course.

Constantly reaching out is what characterized Stote's promotional activities. Always a participant at Golf Expos in Boston, Springfield and Portland, Stote would help with manning the Captains booth and promoting golf in Brewster. Well known in local tourism, strong working relationships with 15 hotel properties between Hyannis and Eastham including those who specialize in the business of corporate conferences to promote player packages and extend billing privileges with special discounts. This has resulted in hundreds of incremental rounds at Captains.

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Golf Partners Program was organized to market the Cape as a golf destination. Captains has been very active in this program with Mark O'Brien as the current Chairman of the Chamber's Golf Committee and Stote providing considerable input. This has provided Captains with considerable exposure in the Chamber's Golf Guide and as a host course for golf media promotion days. Combined with Stote's active interface with the local Chambers of Commerce we have gained advertising in their Visitors Guides and the ability to place our course brochure in Visitor Centers. Stote has worked tirelessly to distribute 25,000 of these brochures annually!

Finally, Stote has driven all our media advertising in all the major Cape publications. This has been successfully augmented by Stote getting us included in the famous Beach Bucket advertising program, where real estate agents from Dennis to Provincetown distribute beach buckets to their rental customers full of brochures and discount coupons. Moreover, Stote helped initiate a comprehensive program of email advertising using our course database and access to Chambers emails.

No single member of the Commission has done more to market golf at Captains than Stote.

Finally, we should note that it was not just the marketing efforts enumerated here, but also Stote's even temper, kind heart, sense of fairness and noble voice that have contributed to his work on the Commission, and to our privilege of having worked with him.

We wish to thank him for these efforts.


  • A motion made by B. Weiss, seconded by R. Harris to approve the resolution passed unanimously. It was noted that the Selectmen signed a thank you note to Stote at their last meeting.
  • B. Weiss distributed a list of the tasks that Stote had handled for reassignment to other commissioners. A new commissioner is expected to be appointed shortly, so reassignment will be tabled until that time. Discussion followed as to other ways for the course to recognize Stote's contributions.
  • J. Odell presented two potential approaches for cart fees for members next year, since it is believed that the high cost of carts impacts the purchase decision for annual fee membership. The other municipal courses in the area offer members preferential pricing on carts. The first approach would be to simply offer members a lower rate. The second approach would be to implement a prepaid card with a discount for volume purchases of carts, similar to the range ball key concept. It may also be beneficial offer both. Mark advised that operationally there would be no problem from an operational standpoint in implementing a prepaid cart card. R. Harris presented some data analysis on the frequency of play and the use of carts by the members. Approximately 40% of all member rounds are played with a cart (about 15K rounds). It is also estimated that based on detailed review with pro shop staff, 60% of all members generally ride in a cart when they play. The conclusion is that those that have to use a cart to play don't play as frequently as those that walk. The expectation of the new cart pricing would be that more rounds would be played with carts, and that more AFP memberships would be sold/retained since for many, the cart fee price is considered with the membership fee as the total cost for the membership. There was a general consensus that something should be implemented to address member cart pricing. Jeff and Rob will propose a plan with some additional financial analysis and assumptions for review at the January meeting. S. Mann raised a concern about the potential impact of reduced cart revenues in funding the capital expenses for the course.
  • B. Weiss asked for input on the future of the 10 Play Card for next year. There were 78 cards sold last year, 12 to Brewster residents, and 686 rounds played with those cards, generating an average of $45/round. Discussion followed as to the effectiveness of the card and its impact on cannibalizing AFP revenue. Mark does not feel there is much value to that card now with all the other discounts implemented this year ($10 discount after 1 pm for example). A decision was tabled until the January meeting.


  • Discussion followed on whether to continue selling the Frequent Player card. Mark's view is that it has more value than the 10 Play card, but perhaps consideration should be given to raising the price of the card. 129 people bought the card last year —- it gives them discounts when they play. It is mostly used for back 9 play and twilight play. No change will be made at this time.

Since there was no other business, the next meeting was scheduled for the second Tuesday in January on the 12th at 1 PM. At that meeting vacation calendars will be reviewed to determine the best dates for the future meetings during the winter months (first or second Tuesday). A motion was made by R. Harris, seconded by J. O'Connell to adjourn the meeting, and the meeting adjourned at 4:25 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Pat Eggers Secretary

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.