Minutes of the Members’ Committee Meeting held at 15.00 on 17th November 2014
John McNamara, President (JM)
Stuart Patterson, Captain (SP)
Greg Peck, Vice Captain (GP)
Tom Richardson (TR)
Steve Cullen (SC)
Yumiko Smith (YS)
Mike Munden, General Manager (MM)
The meeting was opened by JM, who thanked all for attending.
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved.
3. Matters Arising from AGM
JM referred to Mrs Susan Owen’s question about an on-course toilet. MM responded that it was indeed the intention to build this facility earlier this year but the project was overtaken by events, especially the collapse of the Tee Box on Hole 3. It is now rescheduled and it is expected to be completed in the coming months.
The issue regarding prizes for the Members’ Competitions was covered in a separate discussion (see 7. below.)
4. Course/Clubhouse Update:
MM reported that:
• The works on the lake on Hole 6 have now been completed. Fish will be introduced into the lake in the near future. It was decided that a fountain would not, after all, be a good idea due to the risk of it disturbing or damaging the seal.
• The pot bunker in the fairway short of the 18th green will be removed as it is virtually redundant being extremely rarely visited by players and, therefore, not worth the investment in maintenance.
• Greens will be spiked and top-dressed on 18th and 20th November.
• Other future plans:
o The 4 bunkers on the right of the 4th fairway will be merged into one long bunker and shaped so that balls will not run through them into the bushed. Also, making them into one will make it possible to machinery to enter and thereby maintain the bunker in good condition.
o Work on the aforementioned toilet facility will commence within the next 3 months.
o Next spring there will be a programme to more clearly define the fairways by introducing ‘first-cut’ rough borders. On some of the holes the grass beyond the rough will be killed off and left as ‘dead pan’.
JM thanked MM for his report and for the good work that has been done to the course. All agreed, in particular, that the works to the lake on Hole 6 have significantly enhanced the look of the hole.
5. Green Committee Report
The Green Committee scheduled for 10th November was unfortunately cancelled and will now take place in late November.
However, a number of informal discussions have taken place in which some key items have been identified and a summary of these is as follows:
• Control of Carts on the course is a constant problem with players frequently ignoring the buggy-signs and even the roped-off areas. Carts carrying Blue Flags are a particular concern as it has become a quite common occurrence for these to be driven right up to – and sometimes even onto – the aprons of the greens. Not only do they damage some of the more delicate, more closely mown parts of the course but, in some instances, it is a serious health & safety hazard, most notably when carts are driven to the greenside where there are steep slopes, such as Hole 4. Committee members resolved to communicate with Members about the use of Carts and the need for all of us to respect the course.
• Clearer definition of Hazards, Lateral Hazards and Out-Of-Bounds (OB) areas.
This led to a long discussion about Hole 15 where there is OB at the left boundary, the hazard of the lake to the right, as well as the inclination of some players to aim their tee-shots deliberately to the right of that lake into the 14th fairway. The conclusion was that balls either played into the vegetation to the left or into the lake would be played from a compulsory drop zone (the new drop zone created in front of the lake) – with a 1 stroke penalty.
The question of making the 14th fairway OB when playing the 15th was also raised and whilst it was concluded that an internal OB should not be created to stop this practice, the risk to the health & safety of players on the 14th fairway was recognized. It was also noted that the vast majority of players taking the route via the 14th fairway are Members of MGCC (as it would not occur to most visitors to consider it) and that we should instruct Members that if they are intending to play to the 14th fairway, then they should make sure that the fairway is clear before they play their shot.
It was further concluded that OB should remain to the left of the 14th fairway.
• Despite information given to them prior to commencing play and information contained on the scorecard, many visitors remain blissfully unaware of the location of drop zones, especially on Hole 4, 5 and 8. Long ball searches and confusion about drop zones significantly slow down the rate of play on these holes and cause log jams. Notices on the tee boxes to make the drop zones clearer.
• YS mentioned that the overhanging branches from trees to the left of the 4th and 14th tees are blocking shots to the fairway. MM said these would be trimmed back.
• GP asked that the Yellow Logs (daily/visitors tees) not be placed close to the yellow Members Plates to prevent excessive wear and tear around the area of the plates. MM agreed but noted that occasionally some teeing areas need to be ‘rested’ and allowed to recover and that, therefore, not always could the ‘logs’ be on a separate tee box from the ‘plates’.
• SC presented a Hole-by-Hole summary of issues that will be taken up at the Green Committee and prioritization recommendations will be made to the main Committee at its next meeting.
6. Handicap Systems
SP reported that changes were made to the Spanish Federation Handicap system at the end of last year. All Spanish Federated players must play at least 4 Federated competitions or hand in cards with results outside competitions in other words Extra day scores EDS. (EDS are only feasible for players with handicaps of 11,5 or above.)
It appears that a number of MGCC Members have not played the 4 necessary competitions this year. Mostly these are either Overseas Members or Life Members with a small number of Annual Members who do not regularly play in the members’ competitions. The RFEG Handicaps of Members who have not completed the 4 qualifying rounds in 2014 will become “not active”. To re-activate a handicap, 3 new results in 2015 need to be registered from participation in ‘federated’ competitions.
Consequently, MGCC needs to decide if:
1. Players with active and non-active federated handicaps can participate in the competitions and win a prize, or
2. Players with active and non- active federated handicaps can participate but only players with active handicaps can win a prize, or
3. Restrict competitions only for players with active handicaps
Following a lengthy discussion and after acknowledging (a) current practice with a number of new members and (b) the “Catch 22” contained in Option 3 – in other words, players need to play in federated competitions to obtain an ‘active’ handicap and therefore disallowing them from competitions will prevent them from obtaining an ‘active’ handicap – it was decided that Option 2 would be the policy adopted and that this will be applied from January 2015 onwards.
7. Distribution of Prizes in Members’ Competitions
Following up on an item raised at the AGM, it was clarified that the number of prize winners would be dependent upon the number of participants on the competition day. Previously, there was a schedule that defined when prizes would be issued beyond 3rd place and it was decided to review this schedule, update it in view of the reduction in the participation fee (from 5 to 3 Euros) and re-issue for reference in competitions from January 2015, or earlier if possible.
8. Roles of Committee Members
JM remarked that the committee members’ roles and responsibilities were now clearly and mostly well distributed with JM President, MM General Manager, SP Captain, GP Vice-Captain, TR Competitions & Handicap Sec., SC Secretary & Green Committee Chair. As the only remaining member without portfolio, YS was asked to be Organiser for the Weekly Friday Members’ Competitions. YS agreed and GP offered to provide advice and assistance, especially in ‘showing the ropes’ for first few weeks. Friday Member Competitions will generally be reserved for fun events of differing formats depending on the numbers playing.
9. New Weekly Tuesday Competition
Mr. Martin Ingham, Member, has proposed holding a new, weekly competition on Tuesdays to be played from the White Tees off Federation Handicaps with a 10 euro entry fee and winner-take-all prize.
The committee decided to accept this proposal on the following conditions:
1. The Competition will not be a recognised ‘federated’ competition. However, those players taking part who wish to submit their scorecard from this competition may do so, if they wish, instead of submitting their scorecard from the weekly Wednesday Federated Competition.
2. The Competition will not be organised or run by the Committee but by Mr. Ingham himself or any other Member nominated as its organiser and notified to the Club as such.
3. Tee times will need to be booked by the organiser and these can be in the usual daily slot of 10.00-10.40am.
10. Any Other Business
The question of MGCC’s membership of the Spanish Federation was raised. This is a significant expense to the Club and to its Members. Despite this expense, it was concluded that it was not in the Club’s best interests to withdraw from the Federation, not least because of insurance/liability issues and the eligibility for Inter-Club Competitions in the region.
11. Close and Date of Next Meeting
JM thanked all for attending and reminded everyone that the next committee meeting will be held on 19 January 2015.
MGCC, 18th November 2014