The following are the minutes of the Brewster Golf Commission held on 1/23/2012 at the Brewster Town Hall. The meeting was televised. The meeting was called to order at 1:00 PM by Rob Harris.
Commissioners present: Rob Harris, Chairman
Cindy Bingham, Vice-Chair
Staff present: Mark O’Brien, Director of Operations
Steve Mann, Superintendent
Others Present: John Evans and John Miller of The Golf Consulting Group, LLC
Many in audience
The Golf Consulting Group, LLC Report:
John Miller and John Evans did a power point presentation of their report titled “An Operational Analyses of The Captains Golf Course”. The presentation was an overview of their 92 page report. While their overall conclusion was that the course was well managed operationally and agronomically, they did point some areas that need attention in their opinion:
· Marketing budget may be under funded and more emphasis to on-line marketing.
· The survey conducted indicated that there should be more effort directed at customer service issues.
· Sink holes and cart paths are capital improvements projects that should be undertaken.
· While the maintenance wage line item is in line with area courses, it is high compared to other regional and national benchmarks. There could be some savings realized in reducing winter staffing levels.
· Membership rates and membership revenue per round is low. They feel there is room to increase these rates and/or adjust member tee time distribution.
· Credit card processing fees seem high. We should try to negotiate a better rate.
· Signage on the course and directional signs to the course needs to be improved.
Questions from Golf Commission and staff:
J. Odell pointed out that the Golf Commission did last year adjust the member tee time distribution to recognize the fact that there were fewer members.
M. Fontaine asked whether they felt that there would be a demand for 9-hole play. The consultants felt that this is an area that could be tapped.
C. Bingham asked if the difficulty of the course kept people from playing. They said that there is a trend toward creating shorter (easier) sets of tees to accommodate beginners, juniors and seniors, etc. This could be accomplished by just placing a set of tees at the beginning of some fairways.
M. O’Brien said he was concerned when he saw the negative customer service indicated by several of the surveys (the survey consisted of 16 people). He did an on-line survey which went out to about 6,000 non-members. 286 non-members completed the survey and indicated that the customer service was very good. The Consultants said that the 16 people they questioned were not necessarily meant to be a survey, but rather give them some input as to areas of concern that may need further investigation. They said that the survey that Mr. O’Brien conducted could be a good marketing piece. M. O’Brien also indicated that a 9-hole fee was offered after 12:00 noon and there was fairly significant demand for this.
L. Arnold asked what three areas the consultants would recommend us focusing on going forward. They said: marketing, including maybe a dedicated sales person; controlling payroll; and sink hole and cart path repair.
R. Harris made a point that much of our current member play is in non-peak times. He also asked about range memberships. He also asked about credit card processing fees to which John Miller replied that he was at a course that was able to negotiate their fees down to 1% by saying they would move their deposit accounts if a better rate was not offered.
S. Mann made a correction to some of their numbers regarding maintained acres at other golf courses. They said they would make the change for their presentation to the Selectmen. S. Mann said he would investigate the cost associated with prepping the course for back 9 play as the consultants indicated this may be an area for cost savings.
Orin Segall made a point about the survey saying that he did not think 16 people were representative.
Su Ballentine had a question about the increase the consultants noted in the fungicide expense line item. It was explained that the increase was from FY11 to FY12 not from FY12 to FY13. She also saw that the consultants indicated that a resident green fee rate could not be offered and she wondered why. It was explained that a resident green fee rate could be offered if we desired.
John Miller, one of the consultants, brought up a point that was asked by the Golf Consultant Screening Committee at the onset of the project. That was, would the course benefit from having a female golf professional. It was his opinion that it all depends on the professional. There are many good female professionals that make the learning experience very enjoyable for female students and there are many male professionals that also do a great job and vice versa. So he would not necessarily recommend hiring a female golf professional.
C. Bingham made a motion to adjourn, seconded by L. Arnold. Motion approved unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.