Committee Meeting Minutes 11/11/2003

Wimbledon Ancient Golf Society
Minutes of Meeting of the Committee at the White Cross, Richmond
Tuesday November 11th 2003

Present - Gerry Robinson (GR) (Chairman), Rhod James (RJ), Mike Beament (MB), Chris Bunning (CB), Steve Stoner (SS), John Stembridge (JS), Richard Latham (RL).
Aplogies - Gerry McGuffie.

1. Minutes Of Previous Meeting
TGR opened the meeting and referred those present to the Minutes prepared by RJ both of the AGM and the previous Committee Meeting. These were approved.

2. Membership
An application was received for overseas membership from Dean Casson. This was approved.

SS reported that Simon Johnson will resign as a full member with effect from the 2004 season. That will reduce our UK membership to 42.

RJ reported that Anthony Shutes will be joining for 2004 as will Alan Williams (a Partner of RJ's, who has played as a guest in the past). CB reports that Martin Dilke-Wing will be introducing Xen Xenophontos as a 2004 member. With these three individuals, the membership will increase to 45.

GR pointed out that there is always some fall out at the end of each season with people not renewing. The Committee therefore agreed in principle to try to introduce one new member each in the coming season.

3. Fixtures
RL outlined the provisional fixture list for the 2004 season. This is as follows:-
Thursday 30th March
Friday 23rd AprilBurhill (Walton-on-Thames)Dearden Decanter
Wednesday 19th MayLingfield Stembridge Sand Wedge
11th to 13th JuneSouth Wales Tour (see below)Tourist Trophy
Friday 25th JuneWildwood Beddow Dragon
Saturday 17th JulyHoebridge(Currently no trophy)
Friday 13th AugustRichmondWAGS Waistcoat
10th to 12th SeptemberCornwall and Devon Tour featuring Launceston, St Mellion and possibly Lyme RegisLatham Salver and Dilke-Wing Dodgy Dish
Wednesday 29th SeptemberWimbledon CommonBerring Bowl
Friday 15th OctoberCrowborough BeaconShaw Shield
Saturday 13th NovemberPine RidgeJames Jug
Friday 30th January 2004tbaAnnual social event

RL will now proceed to firm up these arrangements. At the start of the evening there had been a blank in the calendar as regards a "home" fixture for June. There was some debate about what exactly had been agreed on this point at the AGM. It was acknowledged that it was a good idea to have a home event in June notwithstanding the plan to do the South Wales tour in the same month provided there is a sufficient gap (which there is of 2 weeks).

As regards the Gatton Manor fixture on Saturday 15th November 2003, turn out is low with only 16 attending. It was agreed to close booking at this number and scrub the extra four places we are currently holding. MB will speak to Steve Shaw about arrangements.

There was then a discussion about the shape of the Welsh tour. RJ provided "local input". It was eventually agreed that we will play Royal Porthcawl on Friday 11th June. We will then stay at Celtic Manor overnight on the Friday and Saturday. On the Saturday morning we will play Coldra Woods, which is a par 3 course at Celtic Manor. On Saturday afternoon we will play the Ryder Cup course again i.e. Wentworth Hills. On Sunday we will play Rolls of Monmouth.

The total price is approximately 360. Celtic Manor will actually book Royal Porthcawl for us.

It was noted there were cheaper options for the Friday including Southerndown or Pyle and Kenfig. RJ advised that Porthcawl was the prestige course of these three and that the slightly extra cost was merited because of the quality of the venue.

As regards Cornwall it was agreed that Lyme Regis was a good option for the Sunday. RL will proceed to book this.

SS will again prepare a fixture list for 2004. The plan is that CB will send this out in early January with the subscription requests for 2004.

Given the popularity of the fixture it was agreed that RL will book 36 places for Pine Ridge in 2004.

4. January Social Event
It was agreed this would take place on Friday 30th January 2004. Various venues and types of event were discussed. It was agreed in principle that Richmond Rugby Club was the best venue. The featured entertainment will either be a casino or horseracing. JS and RL will investigate these options respectively. There will then be a debate by email, before a final decision is made.

Agreed that RJ would fix the next Committee Meeting for early January in order to finalise arrangements for the January 2004 social event.

5. Other Committee Members' Business
a) Website - SS distributed drafts of the new home page. It was agreed that we would set a target date for the new website to go " live" - the week of the January social event, i.e. that commencing Monday 26th January 2004.

b) CB reported on finance. There is 6,000 spread across the two bank accounts. Of this 2,200 represents members' subscriptions and 3,800 Society money. Of the 3,800, 2,000 is currently put aside towards the next major overseas tour.
CB raised the issue of paying some of the surplus into the overseas tour fund. There was a discussion about how much should be paid. No firm conclusion was reached about this.

c) There was discussion about an increase in the merchandise element of the 2004 subscription. The subscription for 2003 consisted of (a) 50 basic subscription towards overheads, (b) 15 contribution to merchandise, (c) 80 by way of deposits towards the 8 home events - this figure varying from member to member depending on what was rolled forward for previous years. CB said he proposed to do the same thing for 2004, increasing the overall payment however to 145 because there were 9 as opposed to 8 home events.
No firm decision was reached about an increase in the merchandise element for 2004. SS reported he was considering ordering a decent WAGS shirt, commenting on the success of the Portugal tour when many people wore the tour shirt which reflected well on us as a Society.

d) The date of the next major overseas tour was discussed. It was agreed this should be 2007 which would be the 15 year anniversary of the Society.

e) Handicaps - MB will review Bob Hill's handicap prior to the Gatton Manor event (given his victory at Pine Ridge). MB also confirmed that Peter Berring had been formerly cut to 16 following victory at Wimbledon Common.
There was a general review of how the handicaps are working. Two points have been made. Firstly Fred Berring as Captain had commented that externally at least, our handicaps are tough. This was reflected in the WAGS result in the Inter Society competition recently at Byfleet.
Secondly Gerry McGuffie said that victory in a WAGS event unfairly punishes the low handicappers because the difference between say 12 and 11 is of far greater impact than the difference between say 25 and 24.
After discussion it was agreed that amongst ourselves we are happy with the general level of handicaps. There was a feeling that we have got it about right. It was also agreed however that there may be an argument for giving people higher handicaps when they participate in external competitions. GR warned however that that may get us into trouble given we are an EGU registered Society with a website. If we are seen to be playing with handicaps other than those on our website that would cause problems.
No firm conclusions were reached about any alterations to individual handicaps or the system. It was agreed that this ultimately lies with MB who in any event will conduct the usual end of season review and make individual adjustments as necessary.

f) EGU membership - GR advised that renewal papers should by now have been issued. RJ to therefore investigate this and sort it out.

6. Any Other Business
Next meeting to be arranged by RJ in the week commencing Monday 5th January 2004

Rhod James
11th November 2003