Well, we are locked down for a further three weeks, with no prospect of golf until mid-May at the earliest. Like most golf clubs, we are working hard to keep the Club viable, and to find ways to improve our cash flow, as many of you will be doing for your businesses.
John Cunningham continues to do a fantastic job, and the course will be in great condition for opening. When the Club does re-open, we want this to be as smooth a process as possible. It is likely that we will only be given a few days' notice of being allowed to play golf, and we want to ensure that membership rejoining is straightforward.
We are grateful to those who have paid memberships already, in spite of the lack of golf and clubhouse being closed. The income is essential (and much appreciated) at this stage – although the Club is closed we have ongoing costs (wages, lease payments, utilities, etc.). Visitors fees and related income from shop and catering amounted to over 40% of revenues last year – currently this is zero and is likely to be negligible for some time after the course and clubhouse re-open. Although costs are also reduced, there is still a large hole in our finances.
Current membership is well below half compared to last year. This is no doubt due to a mixture of the economic situation many will find themselves in, not to mention that we cannot play golf at this time. However, if the Club is to survive financially, we need members to rejoin as soon as possible, and ideally before the course-re-opens. Membership fees are currently our only source of income.
Many golf clubs will be applying additional levies/fees on members to get them through this crisis – whilst we do not, at this stage, believe that this necessary for our Club, we cannot afford to reduce membership fees even though the course is currently closed.
So membership fees will remain at the levels approved at the last AGM. These include golf insurance – note that we took the decision not to start the insurance until after the course opens, when (hopefully) memberships return to normal levels. Past members cannot play in competitions until membership for this year has been arranged – and can play only by paying a green/guest fee. It would be unfair on those who have already paid memberships to do otherwise.
If you can afford to do so, then please pay your membership as soon as possible. However, the Club remains committed to assisting anyone who is having a difficult time in continuing with membership. If you would like to discuss this, or have any other questions please address these to either the Captain or Vice Captain. In the meantime, fingers crossed for an early return to golf at Sconser.