The weather makes it still feel like the height of summer, but fall is upon us and another golfing season is coming to an end.
We have enjoyed a great season. We are in great shape financially. Our course could not be in better condition. Given the record drought conditions throughout the province, Chris and his crew have worked magic to provide us with one of the best-groomed courses in eastern Ontario.
Our golf clinics with Robert Keyes have been a great success and you can expect more of the same next season. It’s always a great time to take up this wonderful game. Our junior program continues to grow and we can be proud of our young golfers.
Cheers to our Ambassadors!! You have all embraced the concept of what it means to exemplify fun, friendly, great golf. Our golf club is richer for having you.
I hope you have enjoyed the weekly e-blasts. We have endeavored to keep everyone up to date with club news and events. Please mark your calendars for the Members Closing Tournament & Awards Banquet on Sunday Oct 16th and the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday November 1st.
Please be sure to read the entire newsletter. There is lots of useful information you need to know from new Grill hours, to financial info, fall work to be done on the course and everything in between.
This is my last newsletter contribution as your Club President. My term on the Board is coming to an end. It has been an honour to serve in different capacities over the past 6 years. I want to thank my fellow Board members for their hard work, their passion for this club and for their support. I also want to express my sincere gratitude to Chris and Scott and their respective staff. They work very hard and not always under the most pleasant conditions. My hat goes off to you folks every day.
I am pleased to report that with only one month to go in our fiscal year, revenues are up $20K over the prior year, while expenses have been held in check. This has been accomplished despite the hot, dry summer which driven our Hydro costs up $10K over budget, as we have had to continuously run the irrigation pumps and AC’s.
The result: Our club was one of the few in the area which had green fairways all summer, and where you could enjoy a COLD beverage in the air conditioned lounge!
Membership of 307 for the year matched last year as we were able to attract the same number of new members, to replace those we lost. We hope to bring those lapsed members back with our “Pay Now, Play for Free” fall program now in place!
The balance sheet is solid and our cash position is strong.
This will enable us to continue to invest in ongoing course improvements so that you will experience FUN, FRIENDLY, GREAT GOLF!
For full financial details, join the rest of the members at the AGM on November 1st.
Pro Shop and Games
This season has been very positive in many areas this year. The drought has not been kind to the County, but we have been fortunate to have been able to provide excellent playing conditions for our Members and Guests this season.
A few highlights:
The Pro Shop has also had a very positive year with sales up 13% year to date. We are learning more and more about what our customers are asking for and we are using this to start our planning for next year. Don’t miss out on our season end clearances. We are in full swing and all clothing is 25% off now. We will be updating the specials and product promotions throughout the balance of the season, so check in often.
Our Fall Membership Drive is on. Tell your friends about our Pay Now for 2017 and Play Free for the rest of 2016 program. We have already had 9 new members join!
Our Fall Green Fee and Cart promotion for guest begins September 15th. $46.00 with cart any day any time.
On the Games front, I want to take an opportunity to thank both Jeanie Peruzza and her executive and Richard Linnett for all of their efforts this past season to ensure that we had successful and enjoyable Women’s and Men’s division activities. A Big Thank You!
As it relates to the Men’s Division, Richard has decided to resign from this role for the 2017 season. Richard has worked hard at coordinating the games program and his work is much appreciated.
To that end, we are looking for a new Men’s Games Captain. The Games Captain would also be part of a new Men’s Games Committee. The Games Captain along with the support group would be responsible for coordinating and directing all of the league play, opening and closing events as well as the Club Intersectional games. I could see that this group would consist of 2-3 members, along with the Pro Shop Manager. This is an evolving process at the moment, but if there is anyone that has an interest in being part of the Men’s Games Committee, I would look forward to hearing from you.
Despite the weather, the fall season is upon us. Thus the hours of operation in the Grill have been amended.
From Monday to Friday, the Grill will be open from 11am till dusk. Saturday and Sunday will be from 9am till dusk. Grab and go will be available from the first tee time. These hours will be until mid-October, after which the Grill will be open to members only until closing. The on course bar cart will be operating from Thursday to Sunday, starting at 11:00am.
Strategic Plan - Our Strategic Plan was again inclusive of Members, Employees and Board Members. We have made some nice strides again this year in many ways including our quest to become famous for a club that features "Fun, Friendly, Great Golf". We will be planning soon for next year and look forward to any suggestion. There will be another survey to help us in the planning process so keep an eye out for that and please participate.
Junior Program - The Junior Program this year was more robust with a number of training and competitive events added to the mix. Special thanks to Mike Pero for his major contributions year after year teaching our kids the various aspects of golf. This year featured the launch of Sr/JR Mentor Nights on Monday's and also we stepped up Jr/Sr Nights from once a month to each Tuesday night from June-August. Thanks to everyone who contributed to our program.
Mike Pero, Picton boy and former pro on the Canadian golf circuit once again held the Junior Drive, Pitch and Putt Challenge at the Picton Golf & Country Club on labour day. The winners were as follows:
Congrats to all the Junior participants.
Ambassador Program - A big thanks to our Ambassador team this summer. The following people have all made a contribution to our long term plan of becoming famous for "Fun, Friendly, Great Golf!" This year’s team consisted of Dick Shannon, Gary Campbell, Dave Greer, Maie Ilves, Brian Ramsay, Sheila Hobson, Ken Eccles, David Mackay, Tony Knight, Ken Murray, Steve Hyatt, Gaye Attwood, Jack Starkey, Kirk Reynolds, Karen Connor, Meribeth Edwards, Noreen Vader, Alice Carson, John Drexler, Karen Insley, John Chisling, Deb Rankin, Steve Ward, Glynne Jones, Andrew Laliberte, Riivo Ilves, Judi Edwards, David Franks, Bob Mauro, Jim JJ Johnston and Scott Bigg. Much appreciation to all and we hope you will be Ambassadors for years to come.
Marketing & Promotion
What a rebuild, renew, revise year this has been.
Starting with a complete rebuild of the club website. How fortunate to have found the extremely capable and dedicated OSM group. The website is still being grown and honed and will ultimately bring us to the next level promotion and communication via links to social media. Thanks to the dedicated team that saw this project through.
On the advertising and promotional side we coordinated local radio and print as well as an Eastern Canadian golf presence with Flagstick magazine and County-centric tourist promotional mainstays.
We are happy to have contributed to very positive sales growth in all areas.
Again we must mention staff. The old retail sales adage (pre metric) is advertising can make the phone ring or bring someone to the counter but its that last 30 inches that makes the til ring. Good job!
Our course has fared very well this year, despite severe drought conditions throughout most of the season. Our thanks to Chris and his staff for ensuring that we are able to enjoy such excellent playing conditions. As usual, we have received many positive comments from guests visiting at our club.
All greens and some selected fairway areas have now been overseeded. Due to the extremely hot and dry weather, we decided to forego our annual fairway overseeding program this year, as conditions were not favorable for successful germination and grow-in. Assuming normal conditions, we will return to this beneficial program in 2017.
Going forward, verti-draining of all greens will be carried out in mid- October. Construction of the additional white tee on No. 4 will be undertaken in early October. Several large dead poplars around the course will be removed following course closure in November.
We trust everyone will enjoy some great fall golf.
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