As I write this, Storm Dennis has just done its worst. Given the misery it and its sister, Ciara, a week ago have inflicted on much of the country, it helps to keep some perspective on the disruption caused to the enjoyment of our golf course, outdoor courts and croquet lawns. Our green keeping and grounds staff are doing sterling work in keeping them fit for play and I am sure we all recognise this and are very grateful to them.
When I became Chairman just under three years ago, I was keen to enhance the way that the Board and management communicate with Members. I remain keen to do so as do all my colleagues. The traditional methods we use are via the Recorder, emails and the notice boards. We know, though, many Members still have not signed up to receive Club emails and/or the Recorder. It’s also clear to me that not everyone who receives them reads them, but that is another story.
We’ve also introduced Member surveys, informal consultations and six-monthly meetings of Committee Chairs and Captains of the various sections. These elected Members who take part in the relevant activities are a vital link not just in the administration and organisation of what takes place but also as a channel of communication. They naturally can just focus on the affairs of their particular activity, so we instituted the six-monthly meetings of Chairs and Captains with the Board to try to get a more holistic ‘club’ view. Two such meetings have been held and last week’s meeting was well received.
We aim to hold more informal consultations as our thinking on the Clubhouse and Sports Shop redevelopment progresses to share ideas both on design and financial matters. These are big projects which will have a long-term impact on the Club. It will be important to involve Members at an early stage and receive feedback on what is proposed from initial thinking to concrete proposals, before the Board makes any final decisions.
The Committees are an important channel of communication, but not the only ones, even though they are elected. Some years ago, the Board approved the creation of the Family Forum to advise the Board and management on issues of interest to families. The Health Club Forum has been in place for many years for the same purpose. At its meeting next week, the Board will be considering how to further improve communication and whether there is scope for extending this type of forum to other Member groups.