Commissioners Present: Anne O’Connell (Chair), Andrea Johnson (Vice-Chair), Carl Blanchard, John Kissida, Wyn Morton, Jeff Odell, and David Valcourt
Others Present: Mark O’Brien, Director of Operations, Colin Walsh, Golf Course Superintendent, Jay Packett (Asst. Oper. Mgr.), Rob Harris (CCMGA), Donna Potts (9-Hole Women’s Assn) and Bill Meehan (Finance Committee liaison).
THIS MEETING WAS HELD REMOTELY WITH AUDIO AND VIDEO RECORDED. The meeting may be viewed at: http://video.brewster-ma.gov/CablecastPublicSite/show/5122?channel=1
Anne O’Connell called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm after reading remote meeting guidelines and procedures.
- Mark O’Brien reported on the consultants’ studies. The National Golf Foundation has been selected. The contract was sent out today. Three consultants submitting proposals were Indigo Golf Partners which was formerly Billy Casper Golf, the National Golf Foundation and J. J. Keegan. Prices were similar, Indigo was the low price. After checking references, Indigo was disqualified. National Golf Foundation was the next lowest price; their references were good. The selection process took longer than anticipated, causing the date to be pushed back from February 15 to at least March 1 or 15 to give National Golf Foundation enough time to prepare their report. Discussion followed.
- Jay Packett reported a request for an outing from the Eastham Chamber of Commerce for September 16 for a 1 p.m. shotgun start.
- A motion was made by Andrea Johnson, seconded by Wyn Morton to amend the calendar to include the Eastham Chamber of Commerce. Motion passed unanimously.
- Jay Packett reported since the beginning of the year there have been six requests for group outings throughout 2021.
- Colin Walsh reported the winter maintenance program is proceeding on a reduced schedule. The memorial bench for 18 Starboard will be installed in May.
- Mark O’Brien reported it was another record month for play in December. There were 2,500 rounds played; a little over 2,000 rounds were member rounds. The previous high for the month of December was 2090 rounds. The yearly total is 84,758 rounds; last year was 73,416 rounds. This is the most total rounds played since 2006. Discussion followed.
- Mark O’Brien reviewed the tee time allocation formula. Member play was 48,648 rounds this year compared to 38,492 last year. Members are playing more. In the past, Mark O’Brien has always felt the business model was based on 2/3 of the revenue needing to come from outside play with 1/3 coming from membership, allowing the annual fees to be maintained at a reasonable rate. If the allocation is changed to more member times, it will cut into outside play, requiring an increase in member fees, i.e. a 15 to 20 per cent increase as opposed to the current 3 to 5 per cent increase. The level of play needs to be reviewed: is it going be maintained or is it going to drop off as the world gets back to normal? It appears that working from home and being able to do less will probably allow play to remain up for 2021. He would hesitate to make any changes. Tee time allocation formulas and projections were discussed, and caution is recommended in making any drastic changes going forward. Anne O’Connell said based on her reading of the Town’s By-Laws, any change in the tee time formula would have to be approved by the Board of Selectmen. Discussion followed. Mark O’Brien recommends keeping the current allocation practice in effect at least through February and probably through March.
- Anne O’Connell read a question asking about rates and increases. Mark O’Brien thinks his 10-year projection, which will be reviewed by the National Golf Foundation when they do their report, will be a good guide as to what can be expected as far as rate increases needed to continue to be solvent. Consistent small increases would be preferred. There was a discussion of possible future debt, options for short-term borrowing and leasing equipment. Bill Meehan suggested the golf course keep the town’s finances in mind. Rob Harris asked for Mark O’Brien’s thoughts on the reserve account. Discussion followed. Events for charities were discussed—available tee times were considered. When approved, the charities raised money and the golf course brought in greens and cart fees. Captains rates for these events are comparable to those of other golf courses. The number of these events has gone down over the past several years and are currently being booked at private clubs. The only college event at Captains is the NEIGA. In that regard, reaching out to the younger golfer is recommended. Captains is hosting Mass Am qualifier this year. The Captains could host the Mass Open and would do well with a state tournament.
- Regarding the Chelsea System, as far as the non-member bookings go, the requirement for an account and a password is difficult. Once logged in bookings are easy. On the member side, the lottery system works well. Costs for other systems have not been investigated.
- The back-9 issues requiring tee times have not been solved. Jay Packett will reach out to Chelsea. Points for back-9 players will be reviewed. Discussion followed.
- Rob Harris brought up point allocations especially for twilight members. Mark O’Brien said this needs correcting. This matter will be discussed at a future meeting.
- Wyn Morton asked if Chelsea can determine if players booking on line are booking at Captains because of marketing presentations at various websites. Jay Packett will inquire when he speaks with Chelsea.
- John Kissida asked for an update on the irrigation project. The contract for the irrigation study has been signed and Mark O’Brien told the contractors they could start work. Colin Walsh will be handling this and so far has not heard anything. John Greene will be working on this project. Mark O’Brien will reach out to Irrigation Consulting to determine a timeframe.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats memo:
Questions and comments from Associations and liaisons:
Review and approve minutes:
- Anne O’Connell reported there is no mention of the Friends Tournament under events.
- Under FY 2022 budget review and vote, change there is no contract to there is a one-year contract currently in place.
- A motion was made by Jeff Odell, seconded by Wyn Morton, to approve the minutes of December 22, 2020 as corrected. Motion passed unanimously.
Topics the Chair did not reasonably anticipate:
- Solar carport construction.
- Jay Packett spoke with Peter Lombardi yesterday regarding filling his position. He received an email from Susan Broderick which he approved, with a job description and posting to fill his position with a salary range. This will be an internal posting for the first ten days and
then an external posting, with Susan Broderick’s approval, inviting anyone interested to apply. The external posting will be forwarded to the New England PGA , the PGA of America and other outlets. The anticipated closing date will be January 29.
- Peter Lombardi is working on the job description for the department assistant.
- Anne O’Connell thanked Mark for his all his work and all the information he shared with the commission.
- Mark O’Brien noted Dottie Vesperman will be stepping down as department assistant and thanked her for her work.
Future agenda items and meetings:
- Chelsea points…
A motion was made by John Kissida, seconded by Andrea Johnson, to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 5:41 pm.