July 7, 2009

The following are the minutes of the Brewster Golf Commission meeting held on July 7, 2009. The meeting was called to order at 1:00 PM.

Commissioners present: George Flemming, Chairman Joseph Shaw, Vice Chairman Cindy Bingham Stote Ellsworth Josephine O’Connell Karney Ovian Bob Weiss

Staff present: Mark O’Brien, Director of Operations

Others present: Ed Mahan, Finance Committee Liaison Jim Foley, Board of Selectmen Liaison Ray Gomez, VP CCMGA Rob Harris, CCMGA Board Member Pat Eggers, Secretary Diane Conrad Steve Litwinowich Regina MacIntosh Linda Nichols

The minutes from the June 2, 2009 meeting were reviewed. A motion made by S. Ellsworth, seconded by C. Bingham, to approve the minutes passed.


Four AFP members wrote to request refunds of their 2009 membership meeting. All met the guidelines in the policy: Art Stringer, Jonathan Rice, Paul Berry and Mary Loftis Levine. A motion made by J. Shaw, seconded by C. Bingham to approve the request passed.
Thank you notes for donations were received from Children’s Cove, Disabled American Veterans, and March of Dimes.
The following requests for donations were declined: Team 6 Boosters at Cape Cod Air force Station, Christ the King Golf Classic and Friends Fighting Cancer in Derry, NH.


The Housing Assistance Corporation wrote to thank Captains for supporting their recent Closest to the Pin contest which helped raise $1,500.
The Nauset Girls Golf team wrote a letter to thank Captains for hosting them again this season. In addition, Bob Wilkinson, the coach of the team wants to put on a golf tournament to benefit the girl’s golf program. He would like to have a 9 hole event on June 6, 2010. This item was tabled until Mark can get more specific details on the request.
A request for a donation of a foursome was made by Cape Cod Community College for their benefit in Hyannis on September 20. A motion made by J. Shaw, seconded by J. O’Connell to approve the request passed.
A request for a donation of a foursome was made to support the Gary Philbrick Memorial Scholarship tournament at Olde Barnstable. The scholarship is to support Cape Cod students that are pursuing a career in the golf industry. A motion made by C. Bingham, seconded by J. Shaw to approve the request passed.
A request for a donation was made by Dream Day of Cape Cod for their July 27 tournament at Ocean Edge. A motion made by J. Shaw, seconded by J. O’Connell to approve the request passed.
The Chatham branch of the Cape Cod Hospital Auxiliary request for permission to have a table outside the pro shop to solicit donations on August 6 was declined.
A member wrote to request consideration for a concession toward this year’s membership fee since they had been a member last year but did not play at all due to injury. Request was denied.


Financials for fiscal year ’09 are not yet complete, but should be ready later in July. June results were poor due to the horrible weather during the month. Greens fee rounds were off 18% in the month of June over last year. Overall for the fiscal year, greens fees were off 5.5%. July so far is flat compared to last year. Fourth of July business was strong since the weather was good. A motion was made by K. Ovian, seconded by B. Weiss to give Mark the discretion to eliminate opening up unsold tee times to members at noon the day before play. Discussion followed as this is a change in policy. K. Ovian withdrew the motion.



In Steve’s absence, Mark reported that the course is in great shape, and there are no issues to report.


The subcommittee discussed promotional opportunities in the real estate community with Joanne Liberles, an AFP member and realtor. She suggested that Captains get in touch with Tracy Oranger to discuss sponsorship of one of the weekly Brewster real estate weekly meetings that are held prior to inspecting new listings. Generally about 20-30 Brewster realtors attend. The proposal is to host the meeting at Captains on July 24. The cost would be to pay for half of the coffee, juice and muffins that would be provided ($4.50 per person for Captains). Mark O’Brien will make a brief presentation to the group about the benefits of membership for Brewster residents. A motion made by K. Ovian, seconded by B. Weiss to approve the sponsorship passed.
S. Ellsworth presented a summary of the marketing initiatives to date. E-mail lists for all the hotels/motels/B&B’s east of Hyannis as well as the e-mail lists from the local Chambers of Commerce in towns that don’t have golf courses that Captains is a member (Brewster, Eastham, Chatham, Orleans and Wellfleet) are utilized. In early May, the Captain’s Stimulus Program mailing generated 4 responses from innkeepers wishing to discuss doing golf packages —- one has some potential. A second email to the hospitality list (about 250 addresses) went out on July 4 —- as of July 7, only 65 had opened the email. That mailing will also be sent to the C of C’s above. Captains also participates in the Sand Bucket promotion done with the rental agencies in the same towns mentioned above. About half the realtors in those towns take advantage of this promotion with their clients. Our brochure is in the bucket which is distributed to about 16,000 rental clients each summer. A similar program is planned for new homeowners. Each visitor’s center in those towns has a promotional material for the golf course —- includes the brochure, teaching programs and the Golf on Cape Cod golf guide. These materials are also given to the agencies that don’t utilize the Sand Bucket promotion. There has also been advertising in several papers from April to October. Stote and Mark also participated as exhibitors in the Fun Expo, sponsored by the CC Railroad/Highland Tours. There were 40 exhibitors there in an expo targeted at concierges on the Cape —- seemed to be a very good event.
Captains log articles are due on July 20 for the August/September issue.


B. Weiss presented final results of the survey of non-renewed AFP players, both resident and non-resident. There were 97 responders to the 240 emails sent out. There were no significant changes to the results. Major reasons for not renewing are health and economic —- didn’t play enough to warrant the expense of the membership or too expensive were 50% of the responses. Only 4 of those surveyed replied that they had joined another club. Mark distributed an historical review of the number of members. Adult AFP members are 15% off last year and 23% off the best year.


Rob Harris reported that at the June 17 CCMGA meeting suggestions were solicited from the board. Orin Seagall suggested that the club offer a residential couples rate. B. Weiss reported that of the 97 responders to the survey, 3 were couples. Jim Foley also suggested that when reviewing an option for couples, perhaps a Family Membership should also be considered. Rob will give feedback to the board that this suggestion will be reviewed in more detail.


Various proposals and suggestions for the AFP fee schedule for 2010 were reviewed and discussed. C. Bingham noted that the mission of the golf course in addition to the recreational benefit was to cover costs and provide a reasonable return to the town, and questioned whether in this economic climate was $300,000 return to the town reasonable, and if it was negotiable. J. Foley commented that it was negotiable; however the town does rely on it since it supports other town programs. There are mixed views of the members on the Board of Selectman as to how negotiable the return should be. It was also noted that in addition to covering all the golf course operational and capital expenses, $90,000/month goes to pay for the bond. S. Litwinowich asked whether there were any reductions made to the capital plan. G. Flemming advised that the plan had already been reduced by about 30%.
B. Weiss has produced a model that analyzes various options for “pay for play” pricing structures. More work is needed to make the appropriate assumptions when setting rates.
S. Ellsworth strongly recommends consideration of afternoon memberships for next year.


J. O’Connell has looked at a membership gives you a limited number of rounds for the year, then charges additional for rounds above that amount.
M. O’Brien presented a plan that introduced a tiered system of membership, with the goal of freeing up more premium time to sell more daily fee times. Premium members would pay more for unlimited play, and be able to make tee times 4 days in advance. Weekly play memberships would also be sold, with play restricted to Monday through Thursday from April to October, and restricted to after 12 noon in July and August. Members could play during restricted time by paying half greens fee, and can play back 9 any day, and can make tee times 3 days in advance. He is also proposing a Resident Card for purchase that enables cardholders to book tee times up to 2 days in advance anytime and pay half the greens fee rate, and still allow cardholders to join the associations. Mark is also proposing moving the CCMGA and 18 Hole Women’s Association play to after noon during July and August, and potentially moving some of the tournaments for both the club and the associations out of July and August.
R. Harris questioned some of the assumptions and potential unintended consequences of the tiered offering, and offered to get feedback from the CCMGA board at their next meeting. P. Eggers suggested the commission consider convening some focus groups to get a better idea of what the take rate would be on the various options to improve the accuracy of the assumptions made in forecasting revenue.

Since there was no other business, the next meeting was set for August 4 at 1 pm. A motion was made by Joe Shaw, seconded by C. Bingham to adjourn the meeting and the meeting adjourned at 4:15 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.