Dear fellow Members,
Welcome to shorter days with cooler and wetter weather. What a way to start life under Tier 2 restrictions! I hesitated to begin my letter with the plea and warning which follow. The combination, however, of these two things leave little alternative, given their importance.
COVID 19 issues
In recent days, the Board has been made aware of some unacceptable behaviour by a small number of Members. This prompted the Chief Executive’s message of 26 October, “Rules are not mostly made to be broken”. The vast majority of Members are observing the rules and guidance mandated by the Government. For that the Board is very grateful. The small minority are selfish and thoughtlessly putting the health and safety of other Members and the staff at risk. They are also jeopardising the continued operation of the Club. If, following an outbreak at the Club, the authorities considered that the Club is not a COVID secure environment, they could close us.
I wish to make it clear that the Board will not tolerate behaviour on the part of any Member which puts the health and safety of other Members and the staff at risk or which constitutes a breach of the rules and guidance governing the use of the Club. The Chief Executive has been asked to refer to the Disciplinary Panel any Member who has been in serious and/or repeated breach of the rules and guidance. The sanctions open to the Panel include suspension of membership and expulsion.
We sincerely hope this will not be necessary and I ask all of us to follow the rules, use common sense and act with consideration for us all, staff and members at the Club.
England Golf and Surrey County Affiliation Fees
Golf Members will be aware that the new World Handicap System comes into operation on 2nd November and they need to consent to having their details stored by England Golf (EG) to obtain a handicap. England Golf/ Surrey County (SC) have insisted that all Members who are eligible to play golf are required to pay an annual affiliation fee irrespective of whether they hold a handicap or not. The cost to the Club of this change is to double what it previously had to pay. The Board decided last month that there would be no increase in annual subscriptions for 2021 as per my letter last month. Accordingly, the Board has decided that the Club will absorb the cost of the EG and SC affiliation fees for 2021 but in future years, the £19.50 per person charge, will be added to the subscription of each Member who chooses to be eligible to play golf.
Piazza and Bar Terrace
Turning to more pleasant matters, work will start on Wednesday 4th November to install canopies in both these places. They will have retractable glazed walls, lighting and heating. This will provide weatherproof, well ventilated spaces in which to spend time with friends and family outdoors in a COVID secure environment without the need for planning permission. The aim is to complete these works by mid-December. At the same time, the Club will be acquiring its own refreshment trailer to replace the one currently on hire. Many Members have said over the last few months how much they valued to see and spend time with others in the Piazza. The Board believes that this investment will be welcomed by us all. It is intended to be a permanent, but flexible installation, so that in warmer and better weather, we can enjoy both spaces with the benefit of some shade, protection from the wind, whilst enjoying the wonderful flower displays which the garden team create for us. Please be patient with the disruption to walkways around the Club for the six week period. The refreshment trailer will be moved near to the Health Club/Courts 25-28 while the installation works are ongoing.
Surrey Golf Success
Congratulations to Vince Thorne who won the Surrey Mid Age Championship ten days ago. Roehampton Club has retained the title as Mike Piesse won it last year showing how strong our men’s scratch team players have become. Beating the Surrey County A Team the day before was another example plus Scott and Max Stanley were runners up in the County Foursomes Championship last weekend as were the Ladies team in the Derry Cup which went to extra holes to decide. All in all a successful golfing fortnight for the Club.