General Managers Update - December 2018


07/12/2018

The 2017/18 year on the back of one of the Club’s most difficult years (2017) has been a year where we have continued to improve and I am very excited about what the future holds for our Club. Whilst the financial result was probably a little less than I was hoping to achieve the golf course has improved across all areas and I think I can safely say that its easily the best condition it has ever been in, so these additional expenses have been worth it.

 

Our membership has grown substantially in the last 12 months. The results of a quality golf course and some more modern and flexible membership offerings have seen not only a large number of members joining the Club but one of the lowest attrition rates in the Club’s history. With both factors we have grown our membership to over 850 and we now have the most members than any other time in the Club’s history.

 

 

Junior Program

Possibly one of our finest achievements in the last few years has been in the area of Junior programs. It’s been an area I have been focused on since I started back in 2010 however its not an easy area to succeed in. Thankfully we have found a model that works, and we are also very fortunate to have possibly the best Junior Coach in Australia leading our programs in Kate Dunn. We have now also added Angus Porter to our team who is providing support to Kate, both in delivery and planning so we are now able to really drive this area and I am so excited about what lies ahead for us in 2019.

 

 

Our Club has a partnership with Kimberley College to deliver a number of programs including a Golf Excellence Program

 

We have been developing relationships with a number of schools which is now starting to provide some exciting new opportunities and with our team focused on juniors as their priority, we will continue to grow our programs and ensure that the future of our Club is bright.

 

2019 will also see us do more in the female space and have a new focus on the area of disability/ inclusivity which offers some great opportunities to our Club. If you have been fortunate to see any of the All Abilities Championships in the last month you will appreciate what golf can mean for people with disabilities.

 

Major accomplishments in the last 12 months

 

Bunker Renovation Program

In 2017 we had a massive project after the flood to renovate all of our bunkers with many of them destroyed and whilst we almost got there we didn’t quite complete it. In 2018 we finished off the program with another 6 bunkers completed mid-year as well as the reinstatement of the 1st fairway bunker on the 3rd hole. There is no doubt that our bunkers have gone from one of the worst areas of the course to something we can now be proud of. The next challenge is to try and educate our golfers to assist in their maintenance by raking them properly and to leave the bunker rakes in the right location where they won’t cause a problem for other golfers.

 

Nurseries

Late in 2017 we created a greens nursery using the stolons (Tifdwarf grass) from the old 2nd green. This is now settling in and we are doubling the size of this nursery over the summer of 2018/19. We also created a tees nursery using the stolons from the 2nd tee and this is now taking shape and is being used for our new 14th tees that are being built across this summer. Having these two nurseries is a massive asset for the Club moving into the future as it means we have full control over our grasses and not reliant on bring in foreign grasses that may or may not be of the same standard that we have become used to.

 

9th Green and Car Park Project

Late in 2017 we finally pulled the trigger on the project to fix the failed retaining wall around the 9th green. While we fixed this major issue, we also took the opportunity to fill in the pond in the car park that had become superfluous and stagnant. While it may not have seemed to be that big of a project to some, it was actually a huge project and came at a large cost to the Club. It would have been much higher except for the use of materials such as rock that we had already stockpiled on our site and proved to be extremely valuable. The Club addressed some health and safety issues in doing what we did, and I am very comfortable with the outcome that will now stand the test of time and will not fail in the future.

 

Finance

We have managed another surplus this year, albeit a very modest one of just over $20,000 (after allowing for depreiacation of approx $150,000). We continue to make sure that the golf course is as good as we can possibly afford and at the end of the day that is what our members enjoy the most and is no doubt where we should spend our funds when we get the opportunity.

 

It has been a challenge however to continue to improve our course and we have one of the best Superintendents in the business leading our team in Brett Thomson. He has been supported by his team again this year, and I must add also through an unbelievable network of volunteers. There is too many to list individually as there is over 30 of them that turn up regularly and help us create what we can with the size budget we have. We track their hours every month and the average is over 500 hours from volunteers per month. 

 

I often hear from non-members that one of the things about Carbrook is that every time they come and play that they notice something new and improved. That is something I never get sick of hearing and I think that is what our secret is. We just get a little bit better ever year. We don’t have a massive budget where we can make huge changes, we just choose small projects and do them well, making the course a bit better each time. Over a matter of 5, 10, 20 years those small differences add up to enormous improvements that we as a Club should be very proud of.

 

Thanks to our great team of volunteers that have made a huge difference in 2018

 

Committees

Thank you to the various Committees we have at the Club including:

Ladies, Veterans, Greens, Match and Course Design. All of these groups have again done a great job through the year looking after their various areas of responsibility, so the Club can continue to improve.

 

Board of Directors

Our Board over the last 8 years has continued to be stable and diligent in their efforts to manage our Club from where we were and into the future. They are a quality group of members that bring a variety of skills and create a balanced and educated perspective that is now more strategic than ever. We used to focus much attention on the immediate future of the Club as this was necessary a few years ago when we were struggling financially. With the momentum of 8 surpluses we can now start looking ahead to the future and explore what the Club might look like in 5-10 years which is exciting. So, thank you to all 7 of our Board who create a great working environment for myself and the staff to perform our duties.

 

2018 has been a solid year for the Club and a year of continued improvement. We look forward to 2019 and what we can achieve.

 

Enjoy the festive season with your families and thank to the members for making Carbrook Golf Club such a great place.

 

 

Scott Wagstaff

General Manager