Minutes of the Members’ Committee Meeting held at 15.30 on 30th November 2015
John McNamara, President (JM)
Stuart Patterson, Captain (SP)
Yumiko Smith (YS)
Steve Cullen (SC)
Mike Munden, General Manager (MM)
Tom Richardson (TR)
JM opened the meeting and apologies for absence were received from Greg Peck.
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved.
3. Matters Arising from AGM:
JMN noted that the AGM was a successful meeting and an enjoyable occasion. JMN also noted that offers of assistance to the Committee had been received from Martin Ingham and Catherine Shiels. The Committee welcomes this spontaneous offer of help and would like to place on record their thanks to Martin and Catherine.
Martin Igham (MI) also recently wrote to MM with some observations and suggestions on the system and organisation of the members Monday, Wed & Fri roll-up competitions. As the Members Committee (rather than MGCC Management) is responsible for these competitions, MM passed MI’s comments to the Com-mittee. There was agreement all round that MI made some very good points and the Committee will adopt some of the suggested approaches as far is reasonably and practically possible. However, given that the AGM hosted a lively and, at times, heated discussion on this subject following which the AGM voted over-whelmingly in favour of reverting back to the old registration sheet as a simple list of names with the groupings to be made on the morning of the competition by the organizer, it was felt that this system should be retained at least for the time being.
There was a suggestion that in view of MI’s offer of assistance to the Committee, perhaps an appropriate place to start could be in taking the organiser’s chair for either the Monday or Friday roll-ups.
4. Course/Green Committee Update (MM)
New windows have been ordered for the dining room. These will be tinted glass – not plain glass with tinted film. The wooden windows frames will be retained but any necessary renovation of the frames will be carried out as the new windows are fitted. The bar and dining room will be repainted.
New carpets for the dining room, bar and corridors have been chosen and ordered. The new carpets will be Forest Green with Gold detailing (MGCC colours) and have to be custom made. Delivery is expected in January 2016.
Course (SC & MM)
Appended to these minutes are the minutes of the last Green Committee meeting that contains details on current and near future works on the course. MM remarked that since the Green Committee minutes were issued, he has given further thought to the timing of the project to re-surface the 11th Green and proposed that this be postponed until summer (around July) so that there would be (a) less traffic on the course and (b) better growing conditions for the new turf. This was unanimously agreed. SC has already circulated to Committee members a draft of the suggested ‘crib sheet’ – A Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf …and how they should be applied at MGCC. This guide was well received and it is proposed that it should be distributed to all existing members and be included in the welcome pack for new members. MM suggested adding a reminder that stakes or ropes removed in order to play a shot should be replaced. (Post meeting note: Done. SC)
5. Captain’s Report (SP)
SP commented on the reaction by a number of members to the handicapping of the Thanksgiving Texas Scramble Competition. The competition ruling for that day was that a group’s handicap allowance would be 10% of the combined playing handicaps with the added condition that the maximum allowance would be that of the lowest handicap player in the group. This condition was introduced in an attempt to level the playing field after a string of Texas Scrambles were won by group’s comprising 4 low to low-mid handicappers but, unfortunately, the result turned out to be a different tilting of the playing field, not a leveling. Some groups containing 1 low, 1 mid & 2 high handicappers were at such a disadvantage that they had no realistic chance of winning. Throughout most of the world of golf, the standard stroke allowance in 4-ball Texas Scrambles is 10% of combined playing handicaps. This also has its imperfections and on most days a group comprising 4 good players all 12 handicap or lower would be at an advantage compared with a group of say 1 low, 2 mid and 1 high handicapper. TR and YS both remarked that for some Fun Friday scrambles, the 4 balls had been selected by the organizer based on combining 1 low handicapper with 2 medium and 1 high – and this system appears to have worked very well. For ‘major’ competitions where trophies are at stake, this would work in terms of leveling the field but the concern with this approach is that a number of members would not support the major event and the associated social function if they were not able to form a scramble team with their best golf ‘buddies’. SC suggested a compromise whereby members could make up their own teams for these ‘major’ tournaments with the condition that their total team playing handicaps add up to no less than 50. It was agreed that this approach should be tried.
6. Ryder Cup
JMN expressed great satisfaction with the 2-day Ryder Cup event held in mid-November and he added (with an excellent attempt at sincerity) not just because the President’s Team was victorious. All agreed (even the Captain) that it was a good 2 days of golf and fun. JMN then asked for any feedback on the event. YS said that the ladies were generally very pleased that they competed against each other rather than being drawn against the men. It was agreed that this formatting will be used next year, providing there is an even number of ladies registered to play. SC suggested that having the singles draw immediately after the doubles matches in the presence of all the players would add to the fun of the occasion. SP noted that it had been done that way the year before and it did, indeed, go down very well and it was agreed it should be done again next year. JMN reported that several members had complained about the food after the 2nd day’s golf. The complaints were about the quantity, not the quality. MM said that it was unfortunate that the food was delivered to a buffet table whilst one team was celebrating and taking photographs lifting of the trophy, allowing members of the other team an opportunity to descend upon the spread. (It seems that on the day the Captain’s team might not have played their best golf but their scrimmaging would have put the England World Cup team to shame!). MM did point out that those members who were left staring at an empty table did have some food prepared and delivered directly to their table. He also said that, in future, he will not provide tapas on such occasions and will offer members a choice of main dish, e.g. Hamburger or Pasta or Curry.
7. Any Other Business
YS reported that several members had made comments to her about some members holding 2 different handicaps at different clubs. TR pointed out that golfers who are members of more than 1 club must declare which of those clubs is to be recognized as his/her home club and that club is his/her handicapping authority under the European Golf Association’s (EGA) policy on the handicapping system. SC added that he feared that there may be a number of members (maybe the majority) who do not have full knowledge or understanding of the EGA Handicap System in particular the specific obligations of the player. He also pointed out that not only are there obligations on the player but also on the club to ensure that the EGA system is being properly applied and made reference to some relevant clauses in the EGA Policy document. As this is a lengthy piece, extracts from the EGA rules and comments are attached as Appendix I to these minutes. SC asked if some ‘modesty screen’, either staggered panels or swing doors (like saloon doors) could be installed in the corridor between the men’s changing room and the storage room to avoid ladies who enter the clubhouse at the lower level from the cart garage area being put off their lunches by the sight of semi naked (or worse) men walking to and from the showers. SC also commented on another potentially unedifying sight from the bar through the door of the adjacent men’s washroom. MM will investigate the possibility of re-hinging the door to open from the left rather than from the right. JMN asked if something could be done to reduce the severity of the slope at the left side of the first fairway. MM agreed to look into this and will report back via the Green Committee.
8. Date of Next Meeting
The date for the next Committee Meeting was set for 3.30 pm on 8th February 2016.