Present: Gerry Robinson (Chairman), Mike Wells, Richard Latham, Gerry McGuthie, Fred Berring, John Stembridge, Roger Tarling (Guest and ex-WAG), Mike Beament, Steve Stoner, Simon Johnson, Tony Bennett, Mike Dearden, Pearse Elder, Peter Berring, Rhod James.
Apologies: Peter Middleton, Nigel Caufield, Chris Bunning.
Mike Wells proposed that the six individuals concerned should be re-elected for a further two year term. This motion was seconded by Peter Berring and passed by the meeting. The six individuals concerned will now serve for a further two years.
Gerry McGuffie reported that the membership currently stands at 42 UK members with 10 overseas members and 8 juniors. There are therefore 8 available slots for UK membership. Steve Stoner complained (again) that he was still the youngest member of the Society.
Richard Latham reported in relation to fixtures. It was agreed that in May 2007 we will return to Lingfield, which we should alternate as a fixture with Chartham Park. It was also agreed that because of the Spanish Tour in April 2007, the "surrounding" fixtures will be pushed forward and back accordingly.
It was suggested we should return to Worpleston in June 2007. It was agreed that the Richmond fixture in August should consist of an early 18 holes followed by a large lunch.
Richard confirmed that after taking soundings he had rebooked Cornwall for September 2007. Although it had been agreed in principle by the Committee, at an earlier stage, to not have a Cornwall tour in 2007 (because of the Spanish tour), it was now felt that there was sufficient interest, particularly from guests, to merit a 2007 tour.
Richard confirmed the continuation of a "northern" fixture at Bushey Hall. It was also agreed that the end of season "social" would again be at Barbarellas in Fulham.
Simon Johnson suggested that we should consider switching Pine Ridge and Richmond, to make Richmond the end of season event. There was some debate about this subject with no particular conclusion being reached.
There was some debate about whether to retain Wimbledon Common as the venue for the AGM. It was agreed, after a vote, that the venue for the September fixture and AGM should be switched to Wimbledon Park. Gerry Robinson will discuss this with Martin Sumpton.
Mike Beament reported in relation to handicaps. This prompted a long and lively debate about the present system. In particular it was suggested that in order to bring Society handicaps into line with the outside world, we should possibly move everyones' handicap up two or three, across the board, with a cap at 28 (save for Richard Latham). This debate was left on the basis that if anyone had any particular proposals to make, they should refer them to Mike.
The discussion then turned to the treatment of new joiners. Gerry Robinson reminded the meeting that the current system permits a review of performance (and a handicap cut if necessary) after three events. It was argued however that the damage could by then be done.
Simon Johnson eventually tabled a formal motion that no member can win the VL in his first year of membership. This motion was passed.
Rhod James reported on finance in the absence of Chris Bunning. A current income and expenditure sheet was circulated to the meeting. This confirms that the cash balances held by the Society currently stand at £14,199.07. This figure is broken down as follows:-
Rhod commented that the Society was in excellent health financially, and the meeting noted the continuing excellent job being done as Treasurer by Chris Bunning.
John Stembridge reported in relation to the website, commenting in particular on the difficulties at the end of season when the website crashed. It was acknowledged by all that this emphasised how much we had all come to rely on the site, which was now a critical tool in the operation of the Society. In response to a question from Fred Berring, John advised about the disaster recovery programme that is in place in the event of further difficulties with the site.
Steve Stoner reported on merchandise. There will be a new colour hat for juniors. After some discussion it was agreed that the item of merchandise for 2007 would be another golf shirt, possibly with the Spanish tour in mind. Steve will also deal with the necessary "upgrade" of individual caps for people who have moved into new categories.
Finally Rhod James reported on his role as secretary. The Committee have met during the course of the year for the requisite number of occasions as required by the constitution of the Society. Rhod also reported that on-going insurance arrangements had been put in place for Society members.
Rhod reported that the 28 places originally booked for the tour were now taken. He had been able to secure four further places, three of which were also now taken. There was therefore only one remaining place available. It was agreed that Rhod will circulate an email to the membership promoting this. It was also agreed that there will be no further extension of the numbers.
Rhod reported that the final price of the tour will be £750 (save for those making their own flight arrangements). For those people who had paid a £250 deposit, and who qualified for the subsidy, there would therefore be a balance due of £350. This is payable by 31st December 2006. Rhod said he would email everyone individually to confirm the balance that they owed.
Fred Berring raised the recurring problem of slow play. He said this was a particular issue in the Society. There was then discussion about what could be done to address the problem. It was agreed that the organiser of each event would remind people at the start, about the need to speed up play. Individual members should also not be shy of moving people along on during the course of a round.
Simon Johnson said there were two particular problems. Certain people took ages to play shots. Also too much time was wasted looking for lost balls.
Fred Berring raised a separate issue of people leaving early at the end of an event. This was disrespectful to the organisers and fellow players. It also defeated the object of a social day out.
There was also a debate around this subject. Richard Latham said there were occasions when people genuinely had other things to do on a given evening. To counter the problem we would therefore try to secure earlier tee off times during the course of next year.
The meeting closed at 8.10pm with Fred Berring thanking the Committee for their on-going efforts in running the Society.