President’s Report – August 2021

I am writing this report during another COVID-19 enforced lockdown in Brisbane. I am sure we share concerns for my fellow Queenslanders and more particularly our own golf club community. At moments such as these it is important to reflect upon the importance of our community and to try and support each other during these uncertain times. Please keep in touch with friends and family, especially those who may live by themselves or are socially isolated. Ensure also that you keep safe, respect the government regulations, get tested if you are unwell and most importantly have your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. Let’s hope that this lockdown is able to be lifted soon and the Club can return to normal operations.

Strategic Plan

I am pleased to report the Club’s Committee and our management team have been working together this year to complete a new 5-year strategic plan for the Club. It is nearly complete and will be available shortly for Members to read on our website. This is a very important and comprehensive document that will guide the Club’s direction and operations through to 2025. It presents Members, Committees and our management team and staff with not only broad visions and core values, but also identifies all key initiatives and tasks to complete over this 5-year period. I would like to thank our CEO, Geoff Kuehner and his management team, for their tireless work in assisting the Committee to complete this outstanding document. I encourage you to read and actively engage with the vision that is our strategic plan.

Irrigation Project and Course Works

Despite the current lockdown, all irrigation and golf course works has continued this week as per normal. Indeed, with no golfers on the course it is a great opportunity for our course staff to attend to many of those extra maintenance jobs ahead of schedule.

The irrigation project continues as planned and we are generally very happy with the progress and works completed at this time. The work will now start to concentrate on the second nine holes and although we have lost significant time due to unseasonal wet weather, we are hopeful the project will be completed in early November. I am confident irrigation will lead to improved course conditions and water usage, more efficient use of staff time, and ultimately a better golf experience for Members. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period.

21 Hole Naming Project

After reporting the results earlier this year of the Member survey for hole naming project, the Club Committee has been committed to completing this task. A hole naming steering committee was formed (Margot McNee, Lloyd Cotterill, Bruce Richter and Geoff Kuehner) and chaired by Richard Garnham. This committee included Members with a wonderful knowledge of the history and natural environment of the Club. I would like to thank this group of individuals for sharing their expertise and knowledge in discussing the options for names on all holes. Our course architect, Ross Watson, was also consulted. Finally, I wish to formally acknowledge the immense work and passion that Member, Al Haydock, contributed to the initiation of this work.

The names recommended by the steering committee are endorsed by the Club Committee. These names will be published on our website shortly with a “story” explaining the rationale behind each name. We will also add the hole names to our scorecards in the form of a watermark on each card, as well as updating the Miscore App. Finally, we intend to add the respective names to our tee plaques, in the future.

Ultimately, this project will become a lasting historical and nature respecting legacy for our Club’s Members. The names of holes will no doubt create vibrant discussions among both Members and guests.

Hole Names

  1. Founders Way
  2. Lagoon
  3. Paperbark
  4. Moolabin Waters
  5. Lake
  6. Rocky Waterholes
  7. Fairfield
  8. Jacaranda
  9. Hoop Pine
  10. Kauri
  11. Curlew
  12. Flinders View
  13. Egrets Snare
  14. Old Mill
  15. Corner-Stone
  16. Home Run
  17. Swamp Cypress
  18. Blue Gum
  19. Carnegies Vision
  20. High Ridge
  21. Billabong

Club Championships and Pennants

The Club enjoyed large fields across all Club Championship events this year. The spirit and enthusiasm shown by Members was clearly evident. It was also wonderful to have a true “all of club” experience with our Women and Men’s events being held together as well as the Junior Championships. It was a celebration of golf as well as recognition of the best players within the Club. I especially wish to congratulate our 2021 Club Champions – Lesa Lambert and Sam Slater – well played.

Another highlight of our 125th year has been the performance of our Women’s Pennant Teams. From a total of five teams participating, three BGC teams won their division. This is an outstanding achievement and I thank Ladies’ Captain, Helen Caris, as well as all players and caddies in these squads for their time, efforts and obvious camaraderie.

The Men’s Pennant Team is currently playing their fixtures and we wish them well. The COVID-19 lockdown has prevented Round 3 and Round 4 of this competition and we will await BDGA guidance as to whether the season can be completed.

New Club Motorised Cart Fleet

The Club will replace its current motorised cart fleet and purchase 40 new carts. This new fleet wil be delivered to the Club around November this year, although we should have two prototype carts on the course by next month.

The Club Committee has extensively researched all options for this cart replacement project. A local Brisbane based company ( ZED ) is an industry leading innovative engineering and construction based business. They also are working in the renewable energy and solar energy space. Our negotiations with this company have been outstanding and they are currently building our new cart fleet locally at their Ormeau headquarters. We have been closely involved at all stages of this process and Geoff Kuehner, Joe Janison, Reece McRae and I visited their team multiple times over the past months. I am confident we will have a cart fleet that is “state of the art”, with solar charging options, extremely long battery life and all carts will be GPS equipped. They will be energy efficient and cost effective for our Club in the long term as well.

I look forward to seeing this cart fleet being enjoyed by Members and visitors on the golf course.

125 Year Anniversary Dinner

The 125 Year Anniversary Dinner is sold out and we are expecting a wonderful evening on Friday, 10 September. The evening will be hosted by well-known Member and sporting identity, Andrew Slack. It promises to be an evening of celebration, good humour, and fine food and wines. There will also be a 125 Year Anniversary Book provided to all guests which will contain many contributions regarding the history of the Club. I look forward to welcoming all Members to the evening and sharing the stories and history of our remarkable Club.

I also thank Members for their ongoing support of our events during the year. Attendance continues to be high and the feedback tells us that our events are a wonderful opportunity to socialise, appreciate good entertainment and enjoy great hospitality.

Financial Update and Member Renewals

The overall financial position of the Club remains pleasing. We continue to attract a large number of new Members and the overall financial performance of all departments within the Club is tracking ahead of budget. Clearly the COVID-19 pandemic remains an ongoing challenge especially if lockdowns persist for long periods. Also, we are constantly monitoring our membership category numbers and playing field numbers. This is always a balancing act, but we wish to maintain the ability of all Members to enjoy golf at times of their choosing. We also wish to invest in the ongoing maintenance and improvement of our biggest asset – the golf course. The new strategic plan will also be strongly linked to our financial position and goal setting.

You will receive your annual subscription notice before the end of this month. The annual increase in fees this year will be a modest 3.8% which reflects the average CPI over the past 2 years and is slightly lower than the 1 year CPI increase. You will also recall that we did not increase fees last year. I hope you will positively reflect on the many benefits of ongoing BGC membership.

It is also important that you check the Member directory to ensure your contact details are correct or updated prior to these renewals being sent. If you require assistance with this process, please contact the Office.

Finally, I wish you continued good golfing, safe and healthy family times, and ongoing warm friendships. These are indeed uncertain times, but we benefit greatly by remembering it is our family and community that truly matter most during such adversity. The Brisbane Golf Club is proud to be a part of your local community.

Kind regards

Mark Deuble, President