Annual General Meeting Minutes 29/09/2004


Present: Richard Latham, John Stembridge, Mike Dearden, Rhod James, Chris Bunning, Fred Berring, Gerry Robinson (Chairman), Gerry McGuffie, Martin Dilke-Wing, Steve Shaw, Andrew Phillips, Richard Trinnick.

Apologies: Peter Berring, Martin Sumpton, Steve Stoner, Mike Wells, Mike Beament, Richard Young, Mike Longmore, Simon D'Arcy, Nick Griffiths, Jeremy Whittle, Neil Gordon, Mike Foxton.

Individual Committee Member Reports

Richard Latham (Fixtures)

Numbers have been good this season. The average turnout has been 24. There was some discussion about whether we should continue the policy of having one or two more expensive events a season. This was agreed by the meeting.
It was generally felt that Burhill had been over priced for what we got. Mill Rise in Ascot is being considered as an alternative venue. Likewise Foxhills in Chertsey is being considered as a replacement for Wildwood.
The Shaw Shield, which will be contested at Crowborough Beacon this season, will switch next year to a Hertfordshire venue - Bushey Hall. It was also suggested that Andrew Phillips may be able to engineer a fixture in 2005 at the RAC Club. This is to be investigated.

Chris Bunning (Treasurer)

Finances are in good shape. There is 7,800 in the bank, of which 2,900 belongs to members. 4,900 is therefore Society money, of which 4,500 is currently sitting in a savings account.
2,500 out of the 4,500 is currently earmarked for the 2007 tour fund. It was agreed to transfer a further 500 to the tour fund, making a total of 3,000.
Martin Dilke-Wing volunteered to research the best venue for a savings account.
Chris Bunning reported that every member was in credit, save for a couple of overseas individuals, where the sums involved are minimal.

John Stembridge (Communications)

The meeting was highly complimentary about the new website designed by John Stembridge and Steve Stoner. John Stembridge reported that he plans to put some additional photographs on the current site.
The question of sponsors was raised. It was reported that there are no current sponsors. Gerry Robinson (as Chairman of the meeting) invited any ideas to be brought forward.

Gerry McGuffie (Membership)

It was reported that there are currently 44 members, including Martin Earley, who joins as from 1st January 2005. Two further applications have been received from Pearce Elder and Peter Paul Kimmon. Subject to approval those applications will take the membership to 46. There are currently 8 overseas members.
It was also suggested that we should create a new category of member i.e. country membership. It was agreed the Committee would take this idea away and consider it.

Mike Beament (Handicaps)

In Mike Beament's absence there was a general discussion about handicaps. It was argued that we should have a two tier handicap system whereby victory for a high handicapper should result, as at present, in a one stroke cut whereas a victory for a low handicapper should only result in a half point cut (which would then be rounded up). It was also suggested that there should be a minimum attendance at an event before a handicap cut could be awarded. Likewise it was suggested there should be a minimum score, before a cut applied. Gerry Robinson said the Committee would take all of these ideas away and produce a new handicap proposal which would take effect for the 2005 season.

Rhod James (Secretary)

Rhod James reported to the meeting that his role during the year has been to oversee the operation of the Committee and ensure that everyone does what they have agreed to do. It was also reported that under the WAGS constitution, the Committee has to meet at least 8 times per year. This has continued to happen, with the Minutes being posted on the website. Rhod James also reported that the Society continues to carry insurance for up to 50 members, which has been renewed recently.

Election of Committee Members

Gerry Robinson reported that the following positions on the Committee fell vacant, under the constitution of the Society. Gerry Robinson asked the meeting whether there were any other applicants for these positions. There were none. In the circumstances Mike Dearden proposed that all six individuals be re-elected. This motion was seconded by Fred Berring and carried. The six individuals concerned will now sit in these roles for a further two years.

2004 Tours Reports

Richard Latham reported on the Welsh Tour. He said that apart from St Pierre, the feedback in relation to the golf has been very good. It was generally felt that Rolls of Monmouth had been a real find. Richard said there had been a problem with Celtic Manor in that they had been inflexible over booking arrangements. However following legal input from Rhod James a compromise had been engineered.
The Cornish tour had again been a success, and it was agreed in the circumstances that this should be retained and a 2005 tour booked.
There was a discussion about the venue of the Sunday event for the next Cornwall tour. This was originally scheduled to be Lyme Regis. This is not open to Societies on Sundays however. Richard Latham is therefore considering returning to Moretonhampstead, where we have been before, and which is now under the ownership of Peter de Savery and apparently had considerable investment.
Other venues were canvassed for the Sunday fixture such as Saunton Sands, or something more on the route back to London such as Castle Combe or Bowood.
It was reported that negotiations are well in hand for the early 2005 tour. Mike Longmore is putting together a Dorset based package involving Broadstone (his home club), West of Dorset Golf & Country Club and Isle of Purbeck.

Team Match

There was a discussion about the invitational team match at West Byfleet on 12th October 2004. Fred Berring and Gerry McGuffie will see if there is sufficient interest to enter a team of 4 in the limited time available. It was noted however that this is the day before the Crowborough Beacon fixture.
Fred Berring raised the point again that at the corresponding event last year, it was impossible for WAGS to be competitive in the fixture because our handicap regime is tough compared to that being operated by some of the other participants.

2004 Social Event

This is in the fixture list for Friday 28th January 2005. There was the usual debate about low numbers at this and who is ever likely to attend. There were 32, including wives and partners at the race evening at Richmond Golf Club in January 2004.
Certain other suggestions were put forward, e.g. Ronnie Scotts. It was agreed the Committee will take this away and come up with a proposal for the event.

Members' Business

Mike Wells sought clarification about the rule that should apply in the event of a lost ball, his point being that different members were doing different things. It was agreed that the Committee would make an announcement about the rule that would apply.
Fred Berring asked that the Committee revisited the rules that should apply when deciding the handicap that a new member joined on. The current rule is that regardless of results, a new member's handicap is reviewed after three events. Other suggestions were made including a new member having to actually play with three committee members before his handicap is finally determined. Again this will be taken away and reviewed by the Committee.

Rhod James
3 October 2004