Fellow Members of Captains!

It is that time of the year when we anxiously await the return of warmer weather and plush, green grass so that we can pursue the game we love. If you have not been to the course lately, you will be pleasantly surprised to see the improvements that have been accomplished over the winter months.  The Golf Commission would like to provide you our assessment of the 2022 season and provide a peek at what we hope to accomplish in 2023!

Just as 2021 was an amazing year for Captains, sustaining that excellence in 2022 was an equally noteworthy accomplishment! Despite the moratorium on new non-resident members, our membership remained strong with more than 1,100 season pass holders. For 2023, the commission recommended (and the Select Board approved) bringing in 25 new, non-resident members from a waiting list of more than 100 golfers.

2022 Assessment

At Annual Town Meeting in May, town residents approved the conversion of the Golf Department to an Enterprise Fund effective July 1, 2022.  As such, Captains is expected to be a self-sustaining department, enabling Brewster to be transparent about the golf course’s revenues and expenditures. Enterprise funds allow for a structure where users pay directly for the service received and they are authorized to build up retained earnings for future capital needs.

During the 2022 season Captains golfers recorded 89,756 rounds which was the 2nd highest number of rounds ever played and a sign that golf remains strong.  A huge “atta-boy” once again to Course Superintendent, Colin Walsh, and his team for maintaining the magnificent condition of our courses given the incredible level of play and less than ideal weather conditions.

Over this past year the Golf Commission and Director of Operations, Jay Packett, remained focused on member satisfaction regarding access to ‘prime’ tee times. In addition to the moratorium on new non-resident memberships, a 37.4% member tee time allocation was implemented.  Our assessment is that these measures were effective and significantly improved member satisfaction.  Close monitoring of member access and the 37.4% tee time ratio will continue in 2023.

During 2022, Captains continued to attract marquee golf events, most notably a U.S. Senior Men’s Qualifier in July.

Our financial outlook continued to strengthen in FY22 and we ended the fiscal year with a surplus in excess of $1.49M.   This allowed  completion of several much-needed projects including IT upgrades for the pro shop and course management staff, new carpeting throughout the dining area, bar, hallways, and pavilion, and roof and ceiling repairs.  Additionally, FY22 capital projects that remain on-going include maintenance equipment replacements, installation of a new HVAC system for the restaurant and common areas, kitchen appliance replacements, cart path improvements throughout both golf course and sink hole mitigation as needed. Finally, Captains was able to transfer $400k of our retained earnings into our capital stabilization fund.  The purpose of this fund is to help finance our two future major capital investments:  construction of a new maintenance facility and replacement of the 36 hole irrigation system.  Currently, these are planned for the FY25-26 timeframe.

Looking Forward to the 2023 Season:

When the 2023 golf season officially opens April 1, we hope to have completed several projects enabled by our relatively mild winter.  Golfers should immediately notice improved landscaping throughout our grounds, bag drop area repairs, re-organization inside the clubhouse and, most significantly, a completely re-vamped traffic pattern in the vicinity of the starter shack. This new traffic pattern will facilitate smoother, transition to the Port and Starboard #1 tees.  Once on the course, golfers will see where crews have been busy with tree work, bunker re-facing, sink hole mitigation, new tees, and cart path prep for spring paving.

Strategic Planning and Capital Improvements

Given the turnaround in our financial outlook, Captains needed a strategic planning and capital improvement plan which identifies what issues need to be  addressed and prioritizes the time frame for addressing them.  In collaboration with Brewster Town Hall, Captains Golf leadership and the Golf Commission developed an initial draft of such plan.  Found below are links to some informative financial documents.  You are encouraged to visit these links to obtain additional, more detailed information.

Town of Brewster Annual Budget FY2024:

https://www.captainsgolfcourse.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/fy24_budget_forecast_pp_12_12_22_final.pdf

Brewster Capital Projects FY23-27 by Department:

https://stories.opengov.com/brewsterma/published/0_VJahki8

The two looming elephants in the room are the construction of a new maintenance operations facility and replacement of the entire 36 hole irrigation system.  These projects along with the replacement of windows and doors at the entire facility (which was deferred from FY23 to FY24) will require significant financial resources. Conservatively speaking, the combined cost for these three projects, in current dollars, is in excess of $9.M.

2023 Season Fees

An examination of the Captains FY24 budget vividly demonstrates that the cost of doing business has dramatically increased resulting in an 8.09% increase over last year’s budget.  To address rising costs while ensuring that course conditions remain outstanding, the Commission, in conjunction with Course Management, recommended to the Select Board a 4% increase in both membership fees and daily fee rates.  This recommendation was unanimously approved last December.  Of note, neither junior nor collegiate rates were impacted by this increase.

Things “Green”

Captains continues to make a positive contribution to Brewster’s ‘Green’ initiatives. The solar panels at the Starboard parking lot and practice facility continue to contribute to clean energy and provide annual revenue.

Steps taken this past season towards nitrogen mitigation including reduction of fairway sizes, location of teeing areas, and adjustments to maintenance and fertilizer programs have all been extremely effective in “greening” Captains.

The Golf Commission is committed to sharing with you, our members, the decisions and recommendations we make and the rationale behind these decisions.  The Captains would not be the outstanding facility it is without the support of its members.  We are particularly grateful to the Men’s and Women’s Associations and to the Friends of the Captains organization.

Thank you,

Anne O’Connell, Chair

Andrea Johnson, Vice Chair

David Valcourt

Jeff Odell

John Kissida

Rob David

Wyn Morton

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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024

The Golf Courses are open, and carts are available.

18-hole carts are available up to the 3:00pm starting time.

9-hole golf carts are available up to the 5:00pm starting time.

Drinking water is available at filling stations by the clubhouse. 

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