A happy, healthy and prosperous 2018 to all our members and staff.
My year as Captain has only a few months to go and the time has flown past.
The competitive season was successful and it has been enjoyable to present the trophies to those who, on their day, excelled.
Work is progressing to make the course ready for the 2018 competitive season. If you have watched the greenkeeping staff rebuilding the bunkers on the 13th and 16th you cannot fail to be impressed at the workmanship involved. Given a reasonable winter some 30 bunkers will be rebuilt or repaired ready for next year.
The white posts to protect the fairways and light rough are of necessity in operation again. They are for bounce games but not for medals and competition ties so hopefully will not impinge too much on members’ enjoyment of the course.
Work is nearing completion on two enclosed practice bays at the practice area to allow members to practice regardless of weather conditions. Landscaping will eventually screen the bays from the 5th and 6th holes. Advice from the Secretary’s office on arrangements for access will be issued shortly.
Work has also begun in preparing the annual accounts for 2017 and the budget for next year is at the approval stage. Successive Committees have made a priority of forecasting and controlling clubhouse and course expenditure so we can live within our means whilst building up reserves for unanticipated events. The replacement of the boilers this year was such an unanticipated item because spares were no longer available but fortunately our reserves covered that cost.
Our Managing Secretary, Eddie Prentice and Assistant Secretary Margaret Low represented the Club at the recent Scottish Golf Tourism event at Trump Turnberry and in conjunction with that we also entertained a group of golf tour operators from China, the U.S., Ireland and mainland Europe. All were delighted with the condition of the course, the hospitality extended and the history of our Club. In particular the tour operators were impressed at the Club’s commitment to Junior golf. Many of them did not realise the gem which is our course existed. Feedback suggests we are now on the International map……not bad after 166 years, 125 at this location.
In planning next year’s fixture list, we have allowed for hosting the Scottish Senior Women’s Amateur Open Championship from 26 to 29 June, a testament to the regard in which our course and Club are held. Arrangements are being made with other Clubs for courtesy on the days of the competition.
Finally, may I, on behalf of the Club, wish Kevin Jackson one of our greenkeepers for 14 years, all good fortune as he begins his new career with the Scottish Fire and Rescue service.