September 13, 2011

The following are the minutes of the Brewster Golf commission held on 9/13/2011. 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

Others Present:                                 Greg Levasseur, Finance Committee Liaison

                                                            James Foley, Board of Selectmen
Ann Lemaitre
John Peterson

Association Reports:

9 Hole Ladies (Ann Lemaitre) – Ann O’Connell is league champion this year, they have picked up new members.

Men’s League (Rob Harris) – 54 teams participated in Captains Invitational. A $10,000 Hole in 1 was scored by Jim Martin on #5 Starboard (tees at 175, back pin into the wind)

18 Hole Womens League (Cindy Bingham) – Solheim Cup at Ocean Edge is coming up.


Friends of Captains has been set up with the following officers: Cindy Bingham, president, George  Metzgar, Vice President, Jeff Odell, Treasurer, Judy Miller, Secretary. They have already collected $950 (net $800 less start-up costs).


Approval of previous minutes-
Name error corrected – O’Donnell/Odell

Moved by Cindy Bingham, amended minutes approved



Dotty Barnard sent a thank you letter re:Rally which raised $2200 for Cudha Womens Health Care Center.

Letter re: membership programs from Frank King will be discussed at October meeting.

Request from Megan Jordan – closest to pin to raise money for Autism Speaks. Cindy Bingham moved to accept, Jim Ehrhart seconded, carried unanimously.


Financial Report (Mark O’Brien):

FY Report numbers are correct, but not title. In August, Hurricane Irene closed course from day before she hit through the end of the month. Revenues still ended up ahead of last year. Many other courses were closed for much longer due to storm.
Many compliments from guests re: condition of course. All in all, finances good for August. Great Labor day weekend, then 3 days of rain, slightly ahead for Sept, weekends look strong.

Revenue pretty much on target for FY12 projections.

Question from Cindy: Why maintenance/wages line item so high? No increase in personnel, spending what was budgeted for maintenance staff, course on pace to stay within budget.

Question: why operating expenses so high? Not a set figure, number fluctuates based on need, such as fertilizer.

Water cooler–$1800 to replace, cannot be repaired. Budget will be tight this year, inter-municipal agreement for the compressor, more expenses out of operating budget. Mark recommends waiting until end of year to think about replacing water cooler. Still clean, not hot water.

NEIGA has made request for next year, looking to do a Sunday/Monday tournament (third week of October) Sundays are less busy. Recommends $30/player for Sunday, $15/pp for Monday. Does eat into member access for weekend times. Shuts both courses down until 2:00. Want to change day because players are missing too much class time. Thinks fees would be “revenue neutral”.

Marc Fontaine, hard time believing revenue neutral, what about cart fees,

Rob Harris: What will be criteria for decision?

Jeff Odell: Consider public relations opportunity, having difficulty with division one teams, not enough participating, might go away,

Cindy Bingham: weekend members would not be able to play. Rob recommends deferring decision until next meeting. 

Tournament would be 1 week later than in the past (last week of October, 2012).

Captains Log submissions requested by 9/26.


Superindentent’s Report (Steve Mann)

Course is presently in very good condition and  should dry as the weather changes. Crew is spraying for crane fly on port course. Black color on greens is algae. Algae brought on by rain. Aerifying will help get rid of algae and should be done next week.

$3700 is Brewster share of air compressor. Steve is looking for other areas for sharing costs, further savings. Don Smithson has retired (40 week employee). A groundsman had an accident with chain saw, injured foot. Operated to remove fragments, but no nerve damage.

New mowers in, signed lease agreement, will be selling other equipment as surplus.

Irene damage to trees: Some broken limbs, if too difficult to prune, will probably take some trees down.

Cindy Bingham: when can roughs be trimmed? Is US open over? Hard to find ball, morning dew, rough, grass being mowed as often as possible.  Steve reported that grass should stop growing soon.

Lori Arnold: Starboard 3, forward tees looking like a bubble. Please look at forward tees

Starboard 2: someone fell walking down to red tee. Should we post caution? Associations can email members and let them know about problem.

Jim Ehrhart: traps getting skimpy with sand, liner is showing through.

Financial Goals:

What are people thinking about financial targets.  Parameters for setting rates, generally what are people thinking?

Jim Foley to give representation from BOS. No discussion with BOS. Original charge was to maximize capability of providing town revenue.  Town became used to $300K return, efforts over last couple of years, particularly last year are starting to show results. From practical perspective, can’t pull number out of the air, take each of line items, look at way to maximize income, i.e. driving range, pro shop, food service.  Pro shop needs sprucing up, sales will go up. Mr. Foley stressed that these were his opinions, and that the Brewster BOS has had no discussion.

We’ve always had 1-price membership. Is it time to look at something different? Rob volunteered to look at plans if others are interested.

Jeff Odell: 2 years ago, commission investigated, looked at weekday, midday, etc, and determined that it would probably be a revenue loser. Questions size of market for more golfers.

Marc Fontaine: Looks like need to raise membership rate. Lots of members get great value, play lots of rates. Marc is in favor of looking at tiered rate structure.

Joe Shaw: when course expanded, recommendation was “pay for play”.

Cindy Bingham: thinks people get protective when you attach a number to how often people can play.

Jeff Odell: absolute goal has to be to continue in a manner that tax payer is not supporting golf course.  So far, course has been self-sustaining;  we don’t want to ask taxpayer to pay golf course bills.

Finance committee: no comment.

Cindy Bingham: never hurts to explore all avenues.

Jeff Odell: golf is still overall down market, 

Anne O’Connell: show taxpayers than we are exerting obligation on members to pay for what they use.

Rob Harris will bring rate structure plan to next meeting.

Consultant report not coming until the end of the year.

Joe Shaw: what do we want from membership in dollars?

Rob has a lot of data regarding play totals, etc, will share with commissioners who want to create a plan.

Member Cart Promotion
Rob suggests that for a one week period, starting next Monday 9/19-9/25 offer members the ability to rent carts after 12:00. Wants to find out how many golfers will wait until after noon to save $10. Will cost some revenue, but should give valuable data.

Can pro shop write down member numbers of people who use the promotion.

Jeff: doesn’t want to assume people will change long term members to change habits based on one promotion.

Marc thinks data will be distorted

Cindy moved to run promo, Lori seconded. 9/21/-9/27, $5 cart after 12 noon.

Passed unanimously.

Capital plan items

Asking at town meeting:

Parking lot lighting, carpet and fixtures for pro shop (52,000 total) Rugs in pro shop are worn down, no light in parking lot for pavilion events at night.

Solar panels: clubhouse, cart barns, maintenance facility—investigating possibility of installing solar panels.

Jim Foley: structural capacity of cart barn not sufficient to support panels.

Moving ahead with capital plan,

Jim Ehrhart asked about requesting water cooler at town meeting, then won’t come out of operating budget. No.

Pace of play and ranger duties:

If rangers did the duties according to sheet, pace of paly wouldn’t be a big issue. For instance –  #5—be visible. Every group should see ranger five or six times during round of play. Mark: every day is different, some days large groups need babysitting.  Rangers are trained to monitor pace of play. No easy solution, a second ranger could probably help, but not considerably enough to enhance revenues from it. Most guests are happy to play in under five hours. They don’t have any urgency about round. 

Other topics:

Marc: has commission received recommendation from Bill Glass about composite scoring. Tee system—combination of blue/white. Creates a yardage between blues and whites, and end up playing different yardage course.  Nice way to break monotony, need another set of scorecards, would have to have course rerated. Mark doesn’t want to encourage people to play longer courses.

Lori: wifi signs are up.

Web cam: Mr. Sumner does not appear to have privacy issue. Cathy Lambert will work with Mark to get camera up and going.

Cindy: Single players , how to get computer to hold a space for singles until there is a space in a threesome.

What is thought about coloring screen to indicate guest slots. 

Next meeting will be October 11, 2011, 4:00.


Jim Ehrhart moved to adjourn at 5:30, 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.