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GCMA East Midlands Region
Half Year Report (January-June, 2013)
Three business meetings and a golf match have been held since the beginning of January and all have been very successful. The year got off to a good start with the Winter meeting and New Year's Luncheon held at Beeston Fields Golf Club in January. As usual at this meeting we were pleased to welcome the GCMA Chief Executive - in this case Bob Williams, attending his first Regional Meeting. The National Captain, John Edgington, also spoke and coffee before the meeting was provided by Steve Robinson of Rijo42. Steve also gave a presentation.
At the Spring Meeting, held at Wellingborough Golf Club in April, we were pleased to welcome the new Regional Captain, Frank Clapp. Although he had only come into office the previous month he had already visited five Regions! Our main speaker was Steven Brown of Inn-Formation. Steve hosted an hour long question and answer session on the bar and catering operations at golf clubs and I am sure everyone went home a lot wiser! Declan Hayes (Eagle Golf) also gave a short presentation on the company's new golf app.
The golf competition, run by Tammy Hewins of Intelligent Golf, was won by Jim Lammin (Carholme) with the excellent score of 41 points with Steve Shaw (Boston) runner up with 37 points. Thanks must go to Stephen Gomes of Premium Credit (and Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal) for sponsoring the event. Based on the criteria of performance in the competition and being a Fairway Credit user, the two managers making their way to the Fairway Credit golf day at the Forest of Arden in September are Ron Beckett (Regional Secretary/Norwood Park) and Steven Shaw (Boston).
In between these two events, and at the specific request of members, the Region also ran a full day workshop on Business Planning and Marketing Strategy at the Nottinghamshire Golf Club in March. This was run by Jane Carter of Golf Unlimited and was a most productive day. Managers were encouraged to bring or send club officials and this proved very popular, attaining the twin aims of being educational and letting other personnel at a club see the benefits of their manager's membership of the Association.
Out first match of the year was held at the beginning of June against the Yorkshire Region. The venue was the magnificent Notts (Hollinwell) Golf Club, a regular member of the UK's top one hundred golf clubs. With the weather sunny and warm and the course in superb condition, I am pleased to report that the East Midlands Region regained the trophy with the emphatic score of five matches to two with one match halved.
As with all our Regional matches this year the new format of meeting for a brunch before the match and partaking of afternoon tea afterwards was used. This is generally proving very popular as it allows those travelling many miles to get away at a reasonable time.
Mention must be made, and thanks given, to the managers of the clubs hosting these events - John Lewis at Beeston Fields, Bill Mackenzie at the Nottinghamshire, David Waite at Wellingborough, Martyn Bonner at Notts ( Hollinwell) - and to the club committees for allowing us the use of the course (where appropriate) and the other club facilities.
Regional Captain, John Ashton, National Captain John Edgington and Chief Executive Bob Williams look on as Philip Vince once again extols the virtues of Majestic Crystal at the winter meeting at Beeston Fields Golf Club.
Yorkshire Captain, Albert Guest, presents East Midlands Captain, John Ashton, with the trophy after East Midlands regained it following some excellent golf.
Afternoon tea is taken on the lawn outside the clubhouse in the beautiful surrounds of the Notts (Hollinwell) Golf Club.
AUTUMN 2012 REPORT
This was held at Cosby Golf Club, Leicestershire on 20 th September. Thanks are due to the Club Manager, Frazer Baxter, and the members for allowing us the use of the course and clubhouse. Frazer has just taken over as Manager from Peggy Remington, having been the golf professional at Market Harborough Golf Club for many years. No doubt his golfing prowess has much to do with his father, Paul, who most will know as the current President of England Golf.
The Regional Captain, Tim Hartley, chaired the meeting and welcomed new members Mark Tottman (Kibworth), Andy Mee (Assistant at Lingdale) and Amy Goodman-Brown ( a possible future member from Notts (Hollinwell)).
This was Tim’s last meeting as captain and, after giving his report, he said it gave him great pleasure to hand over the reigns (and the chair of this meeting!) to the new captain, John Ashton, and presented him with the chain of office. John gave his sincere thanks to Tim and congratulated him on a successful year. He then introduced the proposed new Captain Elect, David Dalby (Kirby Muxloe). Following further reports by the Regional Secretary, Ron Beckett and the National Treasurer, Derek Linton, the main part of the business got underway.
The Captain welcomed, in turn, David Colclough, a PGA professional working in the PGA’s Education Department at the Belfry and Steven Pickering and Nigel Bennett of String Computer Systems . David gave an excellent presentation highlighting the need for the club manager and the pro to have a good working relationship and detailing how the Pro could help drive the business forward. Steve and Nigel said String Computer Systems was formed 15 years ago. It began by supporting a few local businesses, one of which was a golf club. Through recommendation it now has 25 golf clubs on its books. Its basic aim is to release the manager from the day to day problems caused by the club’s IT system – in effect acting as the club’s IT support department. Both presentations were enthusiastically received and prompted lively discussions.
Our other guests who were sponsoring the day - Dean Poynter from Eagle Golf, Stephen Gomes from Premium Credit, Wesley Clayton from Intelligent Golf and Philip Vince from Majestic Crystal , all then had the chance to say a few words. Finally, there was just time for a short Open Forum before the meeting closed for lunch.
The golf competition in the afternoon was played for the Eagle Trophy with t he first three prizes being provided by Eagle Golf and six further prizes by Majestic Crystal. First prize went toRoy Tomlin (Retired, ex-Wellingborough Golf Club) with a score of 32 points. The runner up was Frazer Baxter (Cosby) with 31 points (on count back) and third place went to John Noble (Retired, ex- Kibworth Golf Club) also with 31 points. (The highest score of the day, however, was recorded by Dean Poynter (Eagle Golf) with 36 points.)
Three matches, all away from home, have been held during the summer.
v Yorkshire Region at Alwoodley Golf Club Lost 1 ½ to 6 ½
v Midlands Region at Burton Golf Club Lost 2 to 6
v East Anglia Region at Brampton Park Golf Club Won 3 ½ to 2 ½
While perhaps not performing at our best, all the matches were very enjoyable and it is always good to renew old acquaintances (and rivalries!). We are already looking forward to the return matches next year at Notts (Hollinwell), Erewash Valley and Kirby Muxloe respectively – and also to our biannual match against the Anglia Region of BIGGA.
Our Guest Day this year was held at Scraptoft Golf Club, sponsored by BRS Golf. Unfortunately the first attempt at staging the event had to be cancelled because of the atrocious weather but on 22 August, twenty members and their guests (many of them club captains) enjoyed the facilities at Scraptoft and recorded some very creditable scores. First place went to Roger Spencer (a late replacement for GCMA member Gerry Hyde) and Brian Payne from Birstall Golf Club with a better ball score of 43 points off three quarters handicap. Second were Simon Moody and Paul Brackenbury from Louth Golf Club with 42 points and third Andrew Burrows and Gary Block from Erewash Valley Golf Club also with 42 points. Thanks are due to the captain and committee at Scraptoft and to Bob King and BRS Golf.
Past Captains’ Meeting
The annual Past Captains’ Meeting was held at Elsham Golf Club on 26 th September when Ben Fawcett (Retired, ex-Woodhall Spa Golf Club) won the Region’s Past Captains’ Trophy from Tim Hartley (Elsham Golf Club) in second place.
The Immediate Past Captain, Tim Hartley, presents the Past Captains’ Trophy to Ben Fawcett (ex Secretary at Woodhall Spa Golf Club)
The new captain, John Ashton (ex Secretary, Cleethorpes Golf Club), pictured after being elected at the Autumn meeting at Cosby Golf Club.
John Ashton (Regional Captain) (left) and Dean Poynter (Eagle Golf) (right) present Roy Tomlin (ex Wellingborough Golf Club) with the Eagle Golf Trophy at the Region’s Autumn meeting at Cosby Golf Club
SPRING MEETING ELSHAM GOLF CLUB 24 APRIL, 2012
The Spring meeting of the East Midlands Region was held Elsham Golf Club which is situated near Brigg in Lincolnshire and proved an excellent venue in terms both of the facilities afforded and the quality of the golf course. Twenty members were in attendance – which was a somewhat disappointing turn out - and 33 apologies had been received. The Club Manager, who is also our Regional Captain, Tim Hartley , chaired the meeting.He thanked the officers of the Club for allowing Elsham Golf Club to host the event. The Club Captain, David Hewitt, welcomed everyone to Elsham and hoped they all enjoyed the club’s facilities. He was sorry that he was not able to take part in the afternoon’s golf and commented that, to say the region was officially in drought, the course was somewhat wet following the constant rain of recent days!
Tim welcomed the two main guest speakers, Bob King from BRS Golf and Matt Roberts from the 59Club. He also welcomed Philip Vince from Majestic Crystal and reported that Tammy Hewins from Intelligent Golf would be arriving later to run the afternoon’s competition. He said that Stephen Gomes from Premium Credit had been delayed by the traffic and would be arriving shortly. He reminded members that the afternoon’s golf competition was the GCMA and Fairway Credit qualifier for the national final at Moor Hall Golf Club on 24 th September. Also in attendance was Rob Corcoran from TeeOffTimes.
Following reports from the Regional Captain , the Regional Secretary, Ron Beckett and, in the absence of the NEC representative, the National Treasurer, Derek Linton , the main business of the meeting got underway.
Stephen Gomes of Premium Credit Ltd said his company had a great relationship with the GCMA, both at HQ and in the Regions. As 60% of the managers attending this meeting already used Fairway Credit, he didn’t intend to speak in the meeting about the benefits but invited any managers not using the facility to have a chat to him over lunch. He hoped everyone would enjoy the golf in the afternoon.
Bob King, BRS Golf, outlined the history of the company and said that there were now over 600 clubs using the system. He said it was not just about booking tee times on line but there were many other functions and benefits such as data collection, use for marketing opportunities, diary, co-ordination between departments, smooth organisation of society visits and open events and the running of club competitions. Many of these facilities were demonstrated.
Matt Roberts of the 59Club then gave a presentation on the benefits of using the 59Club and said the company was a unique benchmarking company focusing on member surveys and mystery shopper audits within the golf, leisure, spa and events industries. It worked with businesses across the country to help develop, improve and maintain a high level of customer service, in turn increasing customer satisfaction, revenue and profits.
He demonstrated the product’s main aspects by outlining two main activities - first a telephone call to make a society booking and secondly a visit by two golfers to play the course. The aim all the time is to evaluate the level of customer service and to see if the staff help to deliver this and also whether they try to increase the club’s revenue at the same time. All the club’s facilities – car park, signage, club house, course, pro shop etc - are scored and a detailed report provided. This allows the club not only to see how well they perform in the customer service area but also how they perform against the best in their business.
Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal then gave a short and – again -very amusing and informative presentation which included a film show which demonstrated many of the innovative products available from his company.
Tammy Hewins of Intelligent Golf said she did not wish to give a presentation but would obviously be around for the rest of the day while running the competition and would be pleased to speak to anyone about the benefits of using her product.
The Regional captain thanked all the speakers and sponsors for their input at the end of their presentation. Fortunately, as there had been a very full programme, no-one had any pressing issues they wished to raise in the Open Forum and the Regional Captain closed the meeting by thanking the club captain, the speakers, the sponsors and all members for attending and hoped they had found the meeting as useful as he had.
The stableford competition for the Brader trophy and Fairway Credit qualifier was won by the Regional Captain, Tim Hartley, with 35 points. Andrew Thompson (Cleethorpes) was second with 34 points and Mick Mulhern (Mapperley Park) third with 32 points on count-back from Paul Thornton (Norwood Park). The first three are all serving secretaries and will therefore represent the Region at the Fairway Credit finals. (A full list of results is on the Region’s web-site www.gcmaemids.co.uk ). Golf was followed by an excellent carvery dinner and prize presentation.
Winner of the Fairway Credit Qualifier and Regional Captain, Tim Hartley (second left) pictured with (l-r) Paul Thornton (first reserve), Ron Beckett (Regional Secretary), Andrew Thompson (second place) and Philip Vince (Majestic Crystal)
The Winter Meeting and New Year Luncheon were held at Beeston Fields Golf Club on Thursday 26th January. The magnificent clubhouse dates back to 1837 and many of the rooms still have the original oak panelling. All members and their guests agreed that the facilities provided for the meeting and the catering were first class. John Lewis, the Manager, and his staff ensured that everything ran smoothly. The Club Captain, Mel Dean, was also able to join us and welcomed everyone to Beeston Fields.
The Regional Captain, Tim Hartley chaired the meeting and thanked the Club for hosting the event. Tim welcomed the guest speakers, Graham Starkey from the Foremost Golf Group and Philip Vince from Majestic Crystal. He reported that our main speaker, the GCMA Chief Executive, Keith Lloyd, had been delayed on his journey from Harrogate where he had been attending the BTME exhibition. He would be joining the meeting later, together with the National Captain, John Dinsdale, who was travelling with him. He also welcomed Rob Corcoran from TeeoffTimes.
He said it was good to see a number of members’ guests and hoped they found the meeting interesting and informative. He and the Regional Secretary, Ron Beckett , then gave short reports before the main business of the meeting got underway.
Graham Starkey, Foremost Golf Group, began by apologising for the absence of Ben Hoskin of the Regency Group who was to have co-presented. Unfortunately, his wife had been taken ill yesterday. Graham outlined the history of the Foremost Group and its long association (26 years) with Club professionals. He gave the reasons for recently extending its scope to cover all purchasing requirements of golf clubs and gave examples of how successful it had been in such a short space of time. There was no membership fee to join the group and they took their commission from the suppliers, not the golf clubs. (He did say that the no fee rule may change in the future but only at those clubs where the pro was not a Foremost member).
The talk provoked a good discussion with a number of questions and the Regional Captain thanked Graham for his very interesting talk.
Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal then gave a short but very amusing and informative presentation based on various song lyrics to promote his products and his company. Again, the Regional Captain thanked him on behalf of the meeting.
Keith Lloyd, the Chief Executive of the GCMA , then gave his presentation. He began by reminding members of the aims of the GCMA, its structure and its sponsors and partners. He also reminded members of the Volvo car scheme and that the web-site had been completely re-vamped and re-launched last year. The most important part of this remains the electronic library which comprises over 600 documents. The search facility has been greatly improved and staff ensure the documents are kept up to date and further ones are regularly added. The Safety Management System has also been upgraded and is free to members via the Library. Keith feels there should be no need to employ outside consultants if this system is used.
Other areas that Keith covered included the training courses; the success of the conference at Hinckley, outlining some of the talks given and their usefulness to Managers; changes to the rules of golf, Congu and Amateur status, the latter item provoked a lively discussion on prize vouchers; on line booking systems; the importance of retaining members and working out how much a typical member is worth to a club over a seven year period.
He said that some of the best received presentations at the Conference were those given by individual golf club managers on ‘sharing best practice’ and also sessions led by Andy Poulton on social networking etc. HQ is therefore arranging a series of seminars around the country covering these two items.
Keith concluded his talk by re-iterating the benefits of membership which, in addition to those already mentioned, included the monthly magazine, networking with other managers, the link with the NGCAA and liaison with other organisations such as England Golf.
A lively discussion followed and the Regional Captain warmly thanked Keith for his wide ranging, informative and thought provoking presentation and led the meeting in a well deserved round of applause.
Rob Corcoran, from TeeoffTimes, then introduced himself and thanked the Region for allowing him to attend as a follow up to the presentation his colleague Richard Barker gave at the autumn meeting.
Following a short open forum the Regional Captain thanked the club captain, the speakers and all members and their guests for attending and hoped they had found the meeting as useful as he had. A superb luncheon was then taken in the sun lounge by 39 of the 42 who had participated in the meeting.
L-R Tim Hartley (new Regional Captain, Elsham Golf Club Manager), Dean Poynter (Eagle), Diana Watkinson (Manager, Kenwick Park Golf Club)
Diana receives first prize in the afternoon stableford golf competition
The Autumn Meeting was held on a lovely early autumn day at Newark Golf Club on Thursday 22nd September. All members agreed that the facilities provided for the meeting, the course and catering were first class. Simon Collingwood, the Manager, and his staff ensured that everything ran smoothly. The Club Captain, Maurice Mayfield, was able to join us for our meeting but unfortunately could not stay for the golf.
Our main sponsor for the meeting was Eagle who were represented by Dean Poynter. Stephen Gomes form Premium Credit was also present and Tammy Hewins from Intelligent Golf also kindly attended and ran the golf competition in the afternoon. The ever present Philip Vince from Majestic Crystal also provided a number of prizes and chocolate at the Halfway House.
The Regional Captain, John Harris was unable to be present on account of family illness and all present sent on their good wishes to him. The Captain Elect, Tim Hartley, therefore chaired the meeting and thanked the Club for hosting the event. The Club Captain, Maurice Mayfield, welcomed all members and guests to Newark. He said the course was in good condition despite the exceptionally dry period the East Midlands had endured, although the fairways were suffering and placing had therefore been instigated earlier than usual. Tim then welcomed two new members to the Region who were attending for the first time and Gerald Pearce from Holme Hall and Chris Elgenia from Kibworth introduced themselves. He also welcomed the guest speakers, Paul Keeling from the English Golf Union and Richard Barker from TeeOffTimes.
The Regional Captain had very kindly provided a written report which was read out by Tim. John Harris thanked everyone for giving him the opportunity of being captain and for their support during his year in office. It had been a very good year, with interesting and informative speakers and he hoped even more serving secretaries and managers would be able to attend the meetings in future. The region had managed to hold on to the trophies for the matches against Yorkshire, Midlands and BIGGA. Unfortunately, the Anglia Region had given us a drubbing in our last match of the season! He thanked the Regional Secretary, John Noble, for all his help and wished him well for the future as he was stepping down from the post.
In the absence of the Regional Captain, John Noble then proposed that Tim Hartley, the manager at Elsham Golf Club, be appointed as the new Regional Captain. This was unanimously accepted and Tim gave a short speech of acceptance before proposing a retired member, John Ashton, to be his vice captain. Again, this was unanimously accepted.
The Regional Secretary, John Noble, said that regional membership had slightly increased from 116 to 119. He reported that the Region was still solvent and felt there was no need to increase the regional subscription at present but this would be reviewed this year. He said that his final set of accounts would be presented at the winter meeting.
The National Committee Representative, John Lewis, had had car problems on his way to the meeting and had therefore phoned through a summary of current topics. These included the proposal to install p.v. solar panels on the roof of the HQ building; information that the national EGM relating to the GCMA's proposal to become a Limited company was to be held in the region at Beeston Fields Golf Club on 2 November; that further delegates to the national conference would be welcomed; and that there was still a need to try and persuade the managers/secretaries at the 50 or so clubs in the region who had no GCMA members to sign up.
At the spring meeting, John Noble had expressed his desire to step down as Regional Secretary and had reported that Ron Beckett had volunteered to take on the role and that any other members wishing to be considered should let him or the captain know. Tim Hartley thanked John for all his work over the past 4 years or so, to which John suitably responded. In the absence of any other names, Ron Beckett, was duly appointed as Regional Secretary.
Paul Keeling, Club Services Manager of the EGU then gave a varied and very useful presentation. He said that the EGU had developed a number of systems to help clubs achieve sustainable club houses and courses. 'Greener Golf' produces written environmental policies and identifies where the club is not complying with the law. The R and A are supporting this initiative with two web sites – the course health check and the course health tracker. A second EGU developed tool is the carbon calculator which calculates the annual carbon footprint of the club and then gives help and ideas on how to reduce this, including the names of companies who supply 'greener' equipment. Many of the initiatives will save money and a payback calculator is included. Paul also outlined the current financial advantages of installing pv solar panels and/or wind turbines and described government initiatives in this area. Because of generous feed in tariffs, payback periods of 10 years are the norm but the inflation linked income is guaranteed for 25 years. Paul then went on to talk about 21st century marketing. This included the EGU's 'Local Competitive Market Review' which gives the 'wealth' of people living within a10, 20 or 30 mile drive of your club. A report can be produced outlining where quite likely potential members may live. He also talked about the importance of on line tee booking, facebook etc. Paul concluded his talk with an update on, amongst other things, the EGU/EWGA merger, he handicap and amateur staus seminar road shows about to begin and the members' benefit card.
The Regional Captain thanked Paul for his talk which had given everyone a lot of food for thought. Richard Barker of Teeoff times then gave a short presentation outlining the history of the company (part of Golfbreaks.com) and the marketing opportunity the product presented. The increase in rounds booked on line is increasing at a remarkable rate and this activity provided an opportunity to increase not only green fee revenue but also society business, bar and catering income and the ability to sell tee times that would otherwise not be used. He stressed the times made available were in the golf club's hands, and gave a number of statistics regarding the age profile of users, the time the bookings were made (usually at times when the pro shop was closed!) and the number of visits made to the web site year on year. He also outlined how the company worked and the costs to the clubs of using the product.
To conclude the meeting short presentations were given by some of our sponsors – Dean Poynter from Eagle who showcased a new line in golf prizes/mementos, Stephen Gomes from Fairway Credit and Tammy Hewins from Intelligent Golf who was running the competition and providing the leader board etc. The Captain thanked the sponsors and all the members for attending.
Lunch was followed by a stableford (qualifying) competition for the Eagle Trophy. This was won by Diana Watkinson from Kenwick Park with the magnificent score of 44 points. The runner up spots were dominated by the two new 'officials' – Ron Beckett gaining second place with 41 points, just pipping the new captain, Tim Hartley, who had 40 points.
Tim Hartley (Manager, Elsham Golf Club) newly elected Regional Captain
Ron Beckett, the new Regional Secretary
The Regional Captain John Harris presenting the Brader Trophy to winner Tim Hartley
The Spring Meeting was held on a superb spring day at Sleaford Golf Club on Wednesday 20th April. All members agreed that the facilities provided for the meeting, the course and catering were first class. Neil Porteous the Manager and his staff ensured that everything ran smoothly. This meeting was sponsored by Fairway Credit who were represented by Stephen Gomes, and Hilary Clamp and Simon Barratt from Club Systems also kindly attended and ran the golf competition in the afternoon. The ever present Philip Vince provided both a most amusing presentation, and refreshments during the golf. The Regional Captain, John Harris thanked the Club for hosting the event, and the Club Captain Roy Webb welcomed all members and guests to Sleaford. New members to the Region introduced themselves. He congratulated Trevor Ireland on his election as President of the Lincs County Union where GCMA is already represented by Jim Lammin as League Chairman and Harvey Harrison as County Secretary. He also congratulated Derek Linton on his re-election as National Treasurer.
He welcomed our newly elected National Captain John Dinsdale and our speakers from the EGU, John Petrie the Chief Executive, and Paul Keeling the Club Services Manager.
Finally he explained that John Noble was retiring as Regional Secretary in the Autumn and that Ron Beckett had volunteered to take over. If any other members wish to put their names forward, they should contact John.
The Regional Secretary said that regional membership had been maintained at 116 with those that had resigned having been replaced by new members. There were 55 clubs within the Region with no GCMA member and he encouraged all members to play their part in recruiting. The accounts for last year had been circulated and showed a small surplus. Our Regional subscription was lower than most regions and no increase had been made since 2006. With rising costs an adjustment may be needed in due course.
The national Committee Representative, John Lewis summarised current topics including the need for ongoing Health & Safety advice when Brian Butler retires and the discussions with the US managers Association regarding Educational strategy. National membership numbers were holfding up well with fewer resignations. A new car scheme was now in place with Volvo. Players were required for the International matches.
The National Captain was attending his third meeting since election and gave some details about his golfing background, including his time as Secretary at Newport and Royal Porthcawl. He spoke about the history of Sleaford Golf Club which he was visiting for the first time and had managed to find more easily than his trip to Sutton Coldfield for the Midlands Region Meeting. He also highlighted the problems of falling membership in Clubs and the need to try new ideas such as the "Power-Play" format which is to be featured on television and sponsored by Volvo and others. Free tickets to these events are available through Keith Lloyd. He concluded by making a presentation to Terry Walker of Lingdale Golf Club who was runner-up in the Secretary of the Year Competition.
John Petrie said that the EGU considered the Club Manager to be the most important role in golf and that they were seeking to provide as much support for Clubs as possible. It was essential to encourage people to play golf in some capacity first and then some of them would become Club members. Communication was paramount in this process and the EGU was trying to ensure that Clubs were well informed of their initiatives.
He detailed the content of the Members Benefits Package sent to all Clubs, but regretted that many of them had clearly not bothered to assimilate and communicate this to their members. He hoped that as news of the benefits spread, the take-up would increase. There is no cost to either Club or member. Their target is 100 thousand registered members as this is considered the critical mass for maximising negotiations with potential supporting companies.
He updated members on Golf Central and the tee-booking facilities available through "One Golf Partnership". and summarised the coaching schemes and championships run by the EGU in association with County Unions.
The proposed merger with EWGA has been discussed for the past two years and is approaching decision time. One view is that such a merger may remove some of the "negative image" about which some people comment. The ratio of men to women (7:1) in this country is much higher that in many countries and the merger if approved may change this. A vote will be required, which is hoped for by the end of the year.
Paul Keeling explained some of the initiatives and support available regarding "Sustainability". More environmental advice will be on the EGU website from 1st May with tools for clubs to use. A policy document can be developed using the questions on the site and the R & A website will also have similar "healthcheck" information from July. A "carbon calculator" is also available and Paul summarised the schemes which can be used with both Solar energy and Wind turbines. Paul will provide more detail and assist clubs if they contact him at the EGU. The Marketing Workshops are continuing and he can also help with demographic information for individual clubs.
The Regional Captain thanked both John and Paul for their most interesting and informative presentations.
Stephen Gomes from Fairway Credit reminded members of the service provided by the company and advised members to look at the Consumer Credit Directive. He confirmed that they are again sponsoring the Fairway Credit Finals which will be held this year at Moor Hall Golf Club in Sutton Coldfield. The qualification procedure was explained.
Hilary Clamp from Club Systems said she and Simon Barratt were pleased to join us again and would be running the scoreboard for the afternoon golf. They were very happy to discuss and demonstrate their systems for members.
Philip Vince from Majestic Crystal gave a highly entertaining slide presentation explaining the work they do to produce the highest quality engraving results.
The Captain thanked both the sponsors and all the members for attending.
Lunch was followed by a stableford competition for the Brader Trophy which was won by Tim Hartley from Elsham with 42 points from David Foley and John Harris with 39. The qualifiers for the Fairway Credit Finals are : Simon Lawrence, Michael Mulhern and Brian Noble.