General Manager’s Report (Feb)

Published on 5th February 2020 in Guests News

We are now one month into 2020 and I am writing to update you on the first 6 months of business at your club.

Proceeding the AGM in October last year, working groups were established to review the Club’s operational activities. The Board are currently still evaluating many of the recommendations put forward and have planned to hold a members forum in early March to inform the membership of its short, medium and long term strategies.

Every club is a labour-intensive environment. Without labour resources, we will not be able to offer service. Our staff is our asset. Without staff, we would not have service.

We made difficult decisions to our staff levels in the last 12 months. A major decision was the redundancy of two full-time positions that equated to a total savings of $170k for the Club. We recognised that the remaining staff would need to pick up the slack and enabled us to reinvest into our course resources.

We listened to the members at previous forums and any dollar spent should be spent on course – our golf course is also our asset. It is our product. At one point in winter last year, the staffing levels on course was down to 6 course staff.

As a result, the product suffered. We suffered. The talks around employing 6 course staff are not feasible. We had it to a level of 8 staff before the start of summer and it still wasn’t enough. For our course standards and members expectations, we require a minimum of 10 staff and that’s what we have right now. Comparatively, our staff level to neighbouring clubs, Keysborough and Southern, we are comparable at 10 staff.

Our Golf Service Centre is the hub of our service and it is open 6am to 6pm, 7 days a week. We need staff to service members and guest. We have 3.2 FTE (excluding casuals) in Golf Service Centre and we have 2 ranges to service, most clubs have one range only.

Last year, we invested in a new partnership with Titleist and Footjoy. This partnership has revived our sales and resource in the centre, increased our retail sales ($54k increase or 14.2% increase from the previous year) and secure a deeper partnership with one of our main suppliers, Titleist and Footjoy. By investing in the business, we have seen continued growth in our retail sales and provide our teaching professionals with the opportunity to teach.

After 6 months of trading (end of December), here are some facts: –

  • We lost a crucial staff resource for membership sales for 4 months but we have now clawed back and introduced over 30 new members in the space of 2 months.
  • Our Golf Service Centre is our best performing department with a 9% increase in income compared to last year and $6k better than budget in expenses
  • Compared to last year, we have saved over 60k in overall operational expenses. This was achieved with the majority of savings in labour costs but with fixed expenses like electricity 30% more than last year, we are fighting very hard to keep expenses under control.
  • The main area of concern is the declining income is Food and Beverage. Members spend has significantly decreased in comparison to last year to the effect of $10k per month.
  • The biggest expense in our cash flow in the last 6 months has been the withdrawal of debenture from our existing members. The Club to date has paid $350k and by year-end $560k which has weakened our cash flow. Compare this to the last 5 years, we averaged $120k per year in debenture redemption.

Why do we exist?

We exist for our members.

All the movements above are heavily influenced by our members. Our members decide the future of this Club.

So, for now, what does this mean for our members?

We need you. It is up to you on whether the Club moves ahead in this financial year.

What can you do for your Club?

Key takeaway #1: We need members to spend at the Club. As I’ve advised, food and beverage is our biggest loss right now. If every member spends an extra $10 per week (coffee and sandwich), it will make a huge difference.

When you buy your bottles of wine every month – consider buying it from us! Support your Club and not the local Dan Murphy’s. We will price match, we will offer great options, and we will even deliver if it comes to it! We need you to buy from your Club.

Think about it, this way – from our membership, I would say at least 100 of you are spending at least $100 in wine purchases every month. If you purchase from the Club – that’s $10k per month of profit for your Club. If you spend more than $100 – even better! Come and spend it at the Club.

Key takeaway #2: Bring your friends to the Club. We were tracking 25k behind in our green fees and only because of President’s Cup week, we were able to claw back some of the deficit. That said, at the end of December, we are still tracking 10k behind budget for members guest green fees.

When it comes to the future of the Club – my only key message here to all members is that we need to change. If we want to evolve, survive and thrive – we need to ask ourselves – are we ready to accept change?

A wise man once said to me “Without roses, weeds will grow”.

Let’s stop the weeds. Stop the rumours and finger blaming. It’s time we plant roses around the Club. We love this Club and we want the Club to move forward.

I am here, to plant some roses. Let’s plant some beautiful roses around the Club.

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