The Elephant in the Room
And we’re off! Our golf course improvement project has begun. In approximately 110 days we will have a spectacular course. Oh, excuse me I forgot that hole #2 won’t be open for play until June 15, 2018. Let’s talk about that elephant.
The Board appreciates all of the dialogue regarding the rebuild of hole #2. While the positive comments far outweigh the negative, we appreciate and acknowledge concerns about the accelerated time frame and increased cost. The Board takes our responsibility to the membership very seriously and this was a difficult decision.
To review the process: Members approved the current improvement project in October 2016 at a cost of $1.3 million. Even with member approval at 89%, the Board’s fiduciary responsibility led it to delay final approval until it was sure it understood 2016 year-end cash and membership turnover. These metrics turned out to be favorable, so in January 2017 the Board made the final decision to move forward, feeling it had a better vision of the future.
The discussion and decision on green #2 was very similar. The Board asked the Green Committee about the next steps on the Master Plan once the 2017 project was complete. The answer was to complete #2, 3 and 4. The committee also informed the Board that the most disruptive element of this project would be the green #2 rebuild. The Board in its fiduciary responsibility to the membership needed to consider bumping up this project into 2017 to take advantage of considerable cost savings and to eliminate future course disruption.
Since January, the Club has experienced great success. For the first time in the last 12 years we were at full membership by July 4th. Year-end cash projections and projections to achieve desired cash reserve goals by 2020 are all on positive trajectories. The Board consulted with the Finance Committee and felt it was in a position to make a prudent financial decision. In the final analysis it came down to the following options:
1. Accelerate the rebuild of green #2 to 2017 so golf disruption would happen at the same time as the rest of the course (plus the 8 week growth period in 2018).
2. Pay more for the rebuild and close the #2 green for an entire full season to do it at a later date.
Faced with the above options it would have been a bad decision to pay more to rebuild green #2 and to add additional inconvenience to members during a future golf season. Choosing option #2 would have been easy but we would have just been putting our heads in the sand. It would have happened sometime. It should also be remembered that the health of green #2 is tenuous at best and could leave us in a “must do immediately” position at any time in the future.
Decisions such as this one are never made without due diligence and process and the Board knows that members expect Club leadership to be transparent. Minutes are posted for all to read and it should be easy to track the decision making process. Your support and continued interest is greatly appreciated!