Committee Meeting Minutes 14/11/2011

Wimbledon Ancient Golf Society
? Minutes of Meeting of the Committee at The Rose and Crown
Monday November 14th 2011

Present Gerry Robinson (GR) (Chairman), Gerry McGuffie, Rhod James (RJ), Richard Latham (RL), Chris Bunning (CB), John Stembridge (JS), Mike Beament (MB), Anthony Shutes (AS)

1. Minutes of last meeting
The Minutes of the last meeting of the committee, on Monday 18 July 2011, were produced and approved.

2. Introductions
GR welcomed the “new” reshaped committee together for the first time. GM is now Communications Secretary (as well as Membership Secretary). JS now has a new role of IT Secretary. AS was welcomed to the committee in place of Steve Stoner.
GR reported that at the AGM in September, everyone forgot to table a motion in relation to the role of Fixtures Secretary (currently held by RL). The two year cycle in relation to that role finished at the September AGM. The committee decided however that they saw no issue with continuing with RL holding that role, until the September 2012, particularly given that no alternative candidates were put forward at the 2011 AGM.
The current “cycles” of all the current committee members are therefore now as follows:-

3. Finances
CB reported we have £4,879 in current account and £16,362 on deposit, a total of £21,241. This breaks down as:

4. Membership
The committee revisited the rules for when a Junior WAG converts to a full member. The point came up given that Sam Dearden was recently 25! It was agreed that Sam will therefore now be treated as a full member and everyone else who reaches the same age will also convert from Junior to full member status.
The current arrangements for Juniors is that they pay £10 annual membership fee (as opposed to the £85 that full members pay). They also pay the “net” fee for participation in each individual event. They are thus effectively subsidised by the full members.
It was noted that the number of full UK members is currently in the region of 50 which is the maximum figure in the WAGS Constitution. It was agreed that the Committee will revisit this cut off point as and when we need to in the future. There is no need to do so at present because we may yet lose a couple of existing members at the start of the 2012 season.

5. Fixtures
RL outlined the fixtures for 2012 (exact dates yet to be agreed with the clubs). The current list looks as follows:-

There was some debate surrounding the September and October fixtures. We have now had the AGM event at Wimbledon Park for several years. However there was a school of thought that the facilities were not as good as usual this year. There is a suggestion that we should go back to Wimbledon Common/ London Scottish. Those present agreed in principle to take this fixture back to Wimbledon Common/London Scottish. Ultimately however this must be the decision of Peter and Fred Berring who organise the event. RL to liaise with Peter and Fred to make a final decision.
There was a lot of discussion about the Foxhills event. Although popular, the general view was that this was expensive and a bit too corporate. It was suggested we should look to return to Worplesdon. There have been issues over price and availability with this venue in the past; however we have always gone there during the summer. It was therefore agreed that if we can book Worplesdon at a reasonable price in October, that should be the October 2012 fixture.
The discussion then turned to the increasing numbers of attendees at WAGS events and whether any changes should be made to the booking system. RJ produced data in relation to the last three years of WAGS fixtures showing numbers of members and guests attending each event. This problem has come to a head over the last two events. At Foxhills we had a 28 sell out with a reserve list of 6. Pine Ridge was a 36 sell out with at one stage a reserve list of 9.
Various different views were expressed as to how we should address this problem. One approach would be to prioritise in favour of members, so for example giving them a priority booking period, during which guests cannot be booked in. The counter argument however that this discriminates against the very people we see as future potential members i.e. our guests. It is also very difficult to say to a guest that you can come along but you may not be able to play at the end of the day.
The alternative is to simply increase numbers at individual events when we actually book them in the first place. RL advised that our relations with most clubs are such that they are extremely flexible over numbers and would not have an issue if we had over booked and say had to drop four slots close to the event. Another suggestion was that we should have members only events. We should identify those fixtures in the calendar which are always popular and say that you have no guests at those events.
The conclusion reached was that we should not implement a priority booking system for members. Rather RL, when setting up arrangements with clubs, will reserve larger numbers of tee off times than we have done previously. This will be with the sole exception of Pine Ridge which in 2012 will be a members only event i.e. no guests can attend.

6. Handicaps
Following his victory in the VL, GM is cut to 7.5. This means he will play off 8 at the start of the season.

7. Website
There was a long discussion about the current website arrangements. JS advised that the site is moving to a new ISP in the near future. It will therefore be out of action for a while but obviously this will be during the “down time” between the end of this season and the start of next.
The discussion then turned to the bigger issue of JS “going under a bus”. Because of the way the WAGsite was designed and set up, only JS can access the site. Various ideas were explored as to how to get round this problem. Ideally all committee members should have access to the site. JS explained however that there is a significant programming issue in order to set up this facility. JS explained the site essentially needs to be converted into a new “coding” so everyone can access it. This will involve several weeks of work and is a fairly significant effort. It was acknowledged by all that it is unrealistic to expect JS to carry this out himself.
It was therefore agreed that GR will speak to Graham Hansom and call on his IT expertise. Graham will be asked to advise the committee about our options about how to change the site and cost. It was acknowledged that this could, subject to advice, mean actually setting up a new website and simply archiving the data on the existing site.
GR will therefore liaise with Graham who in turn will speak to JS. It was acknowledged and agreed that the Society would pay for this work.

8. Merchandise
AS outlined proposals for 2012. He said we should have a quality item of merchandise for the year which should also be for the 2012 tour. Every full member should receive the merchandise. AS was given a budget and will come back with proposals in the first quarter of 2012. The objective is to have the merchandise available for the first event of 2012 at West Byfleet.

9. Further Meetings
RJ will arrange the next Committee Meeting during the course of January. We will also have the traditional WAGS social event on the last Friday of January which is Friday 27 January.

10. Any other business
Several matters were picked up from the AGM:-

  1. Brian Bachelor proposed there should be a WAGS Ball (as in social event). It was agreed that Brian should be asked to table a formal proposal in relation to a Ball which the committee would then consider.
  2. Peter Berring again spoke at the AGM about the concept of a Senior WAGS Tour. It was again agreed that Peter should be invited to present to the committee a fully throughT out and detailed proposals as to how this would work.
  3. It was acknowledged that the VL trophy is beyond repair! GM will therefore speak to Mike Lee and arrange for the acquisition of a new trophy which will be engraved with the names of all the past winners.?