NEWCASTLE GOLF CLUB
PRESIDENT’S REPORT TO MEMBERS
It is with pleasure that I present to you the annual report as President for the 12 months
ended 30 September, 2013.
CLUB ACTIVITIES
Since the beginning of the G.F.C. in 2008 the well-being of most Australian golf clubs has
had a dramatic change with declining income streams in all revenue areas, as well as a
declining membership base.
Newcastle Golf Club was not immune from these trends. We have had to deal with
decreasing membership numbers, smaller fields on all competition days, smaller and less
corporate days, decreasing bar, food and function turn-over, as well as decreasing visitor
numbers.
To add to this the club needed a new watering system and the clubhouse was in need of a
re-vamp to encourage function use.
Your board in the last 6 years has addressed these issues in a very considered yet brave
fashion. We have invested in the business, with a new state of the art watering system,
refurbishing the club house, built a golf academy, replaced our on-course equipment and
this October replaced our cart fleet. Our aim whilst focusing on our golf course, the main
asset of our business, was to improve our product and hence keep our members happy
while hopefully attracting new business.
It has been a difficult 6 years, but those decisions have finally begun to have a positive
effect on our operation, with our income having just passed 2 million dollars in turnover
for the first time. A combination of strong member numbers, high numbers in the field on
competition days, increased corporate days, more club and member functions, and
increased visitor revenue has resulted in the club posting a small profit for 2013.
Your Board continues to investigate an accommodation option as a way of generating
income for the club. This is however, a long and involved process and will only be
considered with membership support and only if it will improve the financial position of the
club in the long-term.
I would like to thank all members for their support, generosity and help to make
Newcastle Golf Club the great club that it is.
COURSE
The quality of the course will always be the main focus of the Board. Several major
improvements have continued to take place this year. Our Superintendent Matthew
Goodbun’s weekly use of a series of United States Cultural Practices on our greens has led
to a continued improvement. Needle tyning, star slitting, verti mowing and top dressing
with a high clay content loam is leading to our greens becoming increasingly firmer,
stronger and truer putting surfaces than ever before. As the “poa” grass becomes stronger
NEWCASTLE GOLF CLUB
PRESIDENT’S REPORT TO MEMBERS
in all our greens, we will have putting surfaces that are more uniform in speed and profile
right across the course.
The focus last summer and this summer will be on the removal of foreign grasses in the
fairways. This may lead in the short-term to some scaring but will eventually mean that
native couch is the only grass species on our fairways.
Congratulations must go to our team of volunteers, led by Dave Rolston and Ross Wilson,
who have done a great job this year helping the course staff in a variety of undertakings.
Dave Rolston has told me this year they will be focussing on bunkers, paths, foreign
grasses and any other weekly jobs allocated by the Course Superintendent.
The recent member survey (89 responses) and the follow-up meeting has shown that
most members are pleased with work done clearing shot lines and penal rough but at
present enough has been done.
This advice has lead to the Board’s decision to leave clearing and tree removal decisions to
be overviewed by our course arborist, our Superintendent and/or our newly appointed
Course Architect, Bob Harrison.
Mr Harrison, generally regarded as one of Australia’s top golf course architects has a great
love of our course and in every top 100 listing he has placed us at number 7 in the
country since these ratings have begun. He and his bunker builders, the Fleming Group,
will hopefully teach our team how to build good bunkers sometime in the future. Bunkers
have always been the problem on our course. In time, when money is available, a remedy
may be in sight. The Board had intended to proceed with upgrades to two holes in 2014
but our Treasurer has suggested, quite rightly that we consolidate for another year to see
if our positive revenue streams continue, before spending on this project.
JASON LAWS GOLF ACADEMY
Jason continues to provide a great teaching experience with all his skills on show in the
academy. This is truly a world-class facility, and any member not familiar with it should
walk in and ask for a tour. It is truly amazing. Well done Alison and Jason.
CLUB HOUSE
Our refurbished club house continues to host more and more corporate, club and member
functions. Sandra Plumsted seems to be improving all the time, with quality and variety
changing with the seasons throughout the year. The high standard she produces is
encouraging repeat business which is very important in hospitality. All the kitchen and
function staff deserve congratulations for the consistent quality and service they provide
at all events held in the club. Ross Halliday and his bar team keep all members refreshed
with quality beverages and a high level of service.
NEWCASTLE GOLF CLUB
PRESIDENT’S REPORT TO MEMBERS
STAFF
I would like firstly to thank Paul Foulcher for his continued efforts in improving staff
service and performance in all areas of our club. His continued commitment to keep our
costs in the club down, while at the same time building new business, has been a major
reason for the clubs improving financial situation.
Accounting and audit guru, Mike Armstrong is an increasingly important volunteer whose
help with our bookkeeping is invaluable. Thanks Mike!
Our Course Superintendent Matt Goodbun and his team continue to improve in every
aspect of their work on the course. The presentation on a daily basis for our competitions
is of a very high standard of which we should all be proud.
Mark Gilson’s appointment as our Professional is already showing results in presentation of
merchandise in the pro-shop and an improved and professionally presented team working
with him. Well done all!
This year saw the retirement of Veronica McGuigan after 29 years of valued service and
her absence has been noted by the club. You have done a great job Veronica! We will miss
you!
In her place we welcome Seranda Duniam who has relocated from Brisbane to join the
administration team and her smiling face is a welcome addition to the Club.
I would like to thank all the Administration, Kitchen and Bar Staff who continue to give us
attentive and efficient service throughout the year.
FINANCE (FROM THE TREASURER):
An improved financial performance this year has seen the club achieve a profit of $25,993
(2012 Loss $68,947) which is an improvement of $94,940 over the previous financial
year. The quality and condition of the course continues to attract increasing visitor and
member numbers and pleasingly revenues from both visitor green fees and carts were up
by approximately $30,000 this year. These revenues i.e carts and visitors fees now
contribute a total of $465,567 of our annual revenue. This has increased by $209,056 in
the last 4 years.
Both bar and catering activities saw consistent revenues with bar profits improving and
catering making a smaller profit than the previous year. Catering Profit in 2012 was
boosted by the NSW Open held in November 2011. The support of our members is
acknowledged here.
NEWCASTLE GOLF CLUB
PRESIDENT’S REPORT TO MEMBERS
The pro shop managed to effectively breakeven this year after settling into a routine after
the initial year of operation in 2012, it is now showing a consistent financial performance.
The addition of Mark Gilson to the team has added a new level of professionalism that the
Board is confident will continue to add to our pro shop and golf services. Paul and his team
have continued to increase our corporate days and other functions around the Club and
this should continue to improve over the next 12 months.
Rental receipts again increased due to the signage that has been erected on Nelson Bay
Rd delivering an additional $11,200 per annum. These new streams of income have been
essential in reducing our reliability on members subscriptions and ensuring a more
diversified source of income into the future.
Sundry income for this year included the following major items:Members Donations (for Excavator)
Ladies Donation
Apprentice Govt Subsidies
Golf NSW reimbursement for NSW Open
$ 20,000
$ 4,000
$ 14,000
$...4,600
Our expenditure was very consistent with 2012 with the increase being $43,000 or 2%.
Whilst course costs increased the wages cost overall remained consistent with 2012. The
focus by the Finance Committee and Management on costs has been a high priority and
will remain so whilst economic conditions remain subdued.
The major capital expenditure items for this financial year were the signage, excavator
and trailer, new pontoon in the 8th dam and new clubhouse equipment and computers,
with a total cash outlay of $60,193 for these items.
Overall our debt reduction for the year was $139,585. Our total debt level at 30th
September 2013 was $507,035 (2012 $646,620). We reported last year that we have
been requested by the Port Stephens Council to connect our system to the sewer line by
30 June next year. This was deferred for 12 months so will most likely occur in this
current financial year. Initial indications are that this could cost us $80,000.
The improved performance this year is indeed encouraging but the challenges still remain
to generate sufficient resources to continue to reduce debt levels and improve and
enhance the golf course. The Board focus continues to be on increasing revenues and
maintaining expenses at acceptable levels.
Ian Neale
Treasurer
GOLF:
We enjoyed another successful golfing year with Captain Michael Mulvaney and his
Match Committee providing a comprehensive playing calendar. Competition at all levels of
NEWCASTLE GOLF CLUB
PRESIDENT’S REPORT TO MEMBERS
the club has been held in a friendly and competitive manner as is befitting Newcastle Golf
Club.
Congratulations to all members representing our Club throughout the year.
CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP .................................................................... Steven Slappendel
Runner Up ............................................................................................. Daniel Terry
A RESERVE ................................................................................................. Ben King
Runner Up ....................................................................................... Robert Matthews
PRESIDENT’S CUP ...............................................................................Nathan Harvey
Runner Up ............................................................................................... Bob Turton
CAPTAIN’S CUP ................................................................................Pierre Bredenbac
Runner Up .......................................................................................... Jack Saunders
SENIOR CHAMPION (Over 55)...........................................................Stephen Docherty
Runner Up ............................................................................................. Greg Hopper
SUPER Senior Champion (Over 65)........................................................Owen Beldham
Runner Up...............................................................................................Mike Bevan
COLTS CHAMPION (Under 24) ................................................................. Daniel Terry
Runner Up .................................................................................... Steven Slappendel
JUNIOR CHAMPION (Under 18) .......................................................... Hayden Gulliver
SINGLES KNOCKOUT .......................................................................Graham Robinson
Runner Up ........................................................................................... Mark Orchard
FOURBALL KNOCKOUT ........................................................ Daniel Terry/Aaron Jeffries
Runners Up ............................................................................... Bill Murray/ Phil Daly
FOURSOMES CHAMPIONS..................................................... Daniel Terry/ John Twohill
Runners Up ....................................................................... Ron Walker/Craig Crossley
MIXED FOURSOMES CHAMPIONS ...................................... Daniel Terry/Deirdre Brander
Runners Up .................................................................... Brett Walsh/Jane MacDonald
FERN BAY MEDAL .......................................................................... Steven Slappendel
Runner Up ............................................................................................. Daniel Terry
A.A. RANKIN MEMORIAL .................................................................... Robert Matthews
C.S. HAWKEN TROPHY ..............................................Robert Matthews/Nathan Hartigan
NEWCASTLE GOLF CLUB
PRESIDENT’S REPORT TO MEMBERS
LAURIE CURRAN MEMORIAL TROPHY ................................... Ron Walker/ Craig Crossley
SUMMER CUP ......................................................................................... Daniel Terry
MEDALLIST OF THE YEAR ......................................................................... John Naylor
AUTUMN RECORD .................................................. S. Cameron (St Michael’s Golf Club)
NEWCASTLE CUP ................................................................................... Seaton Jones
LADIES:
Lynda Stuart (President) and Susie Davies (Captain) together with the Ladies Committee
organised another successful and busy golfing year. Thank you to the Ladies for their
continued efforts throughout the year. Congratulations to Jocelyn Savage (President) and
Linda Russell (Captain) for being elected to these positions at the recent AGM.
Congratulations are extended to all winners and runners up of major events during the
year.
CHAMPIONSHIP CUP ................................................................................. Jill Blenkey
Runner Up ........................................................................................ Jane MacDonald
DIVISION 2 (Leigh Wood Salver) ................................................................ Juliet Clark
Runner Up ........................................................................................ Margaret Power
DIVISION 3 (Claire Brown Salver) .......................................................... Joan Wansey
Runner Up ......................................................................................... Mary Molyneux
FOURSOMES CHAMPIONSHIP
(Jean Pearce Rose Bowl) ....................................... Deirdre Brander/Jane MacDonald
Runners Up .................................................................... Jill Blenkey/ Tess MacDonald
SINGLES KNOCKOUT Div 1(Betty James Salver) ....................................... Linda Russell
SINGLES KNOCKOUT Div 2(Fran Laffan Plate)...........................................Susan Mingay
FOURBALL KNOCKOUT
(Barbara Henderson Salver) ....................................... Deirdre Brander/ Rachel Kelly
VERA RANKIN BOWL ...........................................................................Elaine Plowman
Runner Up .............................................................................................. Anne Oliver
FERN BAY TROPHY ............................................................................ Deirdre Brander
FERN BAY CUP .......................................................................................... Newcastle
Well done Ladies on another successful, memorable and enjoyable year as we look
forward to 2014 and continued success.
NEWCASTLE GOLF CLUB
PRESIDENT’S REPORT TO MEMBERS
GENERAL
During the year 6 members passed away. John Hastings, Jim Robinson, Ivor Wonders
(club notified 29/1/13), Barry Bailey, Beryl Balfe and Life Member Joyce Fletcher were long
term supporters of the Club and will be greatly missed.
I would like to thank our current Board of Michael Mulvaney (Captain), Ian Neale
(Treasurer), Chris Chapman, Michael Coughlan, Greg Hopper, David Rolston and Ross
Wilson, all of whom have contributed much to the management of the Club. I thank all of
these men for their dedication and service to the Club.
As you can gather from the above it has been a busy year for the Board all of whom have
put in considerable time and effort attending to the day to day management of the Club.
Once again it has been an interesting and fulfilling year as President.
I wish all members a safe holiday period and a successful 2014.
John Twohill
PRESIDENT
23rd December 2013
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It is with pleasure that I present to you the annual report for the 12