We are sorry but due to ongoing electrical and gas work our kitchen will remain closed for the foreseeable future. We will update this page as soon as we know when it will be open again.
Captains Update 4th May 2020
Welcome to our update.
First and foremost, great thanks must go to you the members, your continued support at this time of uncertainty is greatly appreciated.
The positive engagement from members by email and telephone in support of the Covid Committee work has been much appreciated. The achievements in this period have been huge, the outline of work completed and plans to move forward are explained below. We hope this update will allay rumours and speculation regarding the clubs’ position going forward.
Regrettably we inform you that Mr. Ross Law has resigned as Hon. Secretary. Ross cited ‘being away for so long has had an impact on developments at the club’ he went on to say, ‘I would like the Covid Committee to continue the momentum it has gained during the coronavirus outbreak’. Ross has been an asset to the club both in his short time as secretary and as immediate past Captain. We thank him for his services and wish him well. The Club also accepted the resignation of Mr. Phil Ball from the management committee for personal reasons.
The committee co-opted Mrs Caroline (Caz) Smith as interim Hon. Secretary, an acting role she took up at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak whilst Ross was away, then formalised upon Ross’ resignation. Caz has selflessly suspended her position as Lady Captain; the Ladies committee met agreeing to support her decision to assist the wider club at this time, they will take over her duties so she may focus her energies to this role. Barbara Farrar will represent the Ladies on the Management Committee. The position of Hon. Secretary will be reviewed at the next AGM, when other club members will be able to stand for election, should they so wish; at this time the club needs stability and consistency and going forward the Management Committee feel that Caz can offer this. We would like to bring you up to date with the work undertaken by the Covid Committee members during this period of closure.!
Course management – Mike Dixon reports the course is in good condition, the becks will soon need to be cut back ready for opening, quotes have been sought to assist his team to complete this. The use of volunteers was discussed; however, it was deemed unsafe at this time, the logistics of managing this with the complex health & safety requirements around coronavirus makes this currently impractical. We will certainly revisit the use of volunteers, who we appreciate enormously when restrictions are a little more relaxed.
Administration/Staff. Caz has undertaken an overhaul of the staff management processes, with support from Citation (HR and H&S advisors), making the club compliant with the Good Work Plan. The staff handbook has been rewritten, encompassing the many policies needed to meet current legislation. Caz & Sue Blaeford led on the furloughing of our staff, supporting them throughout the process. Caz has dealt with all aspects of admin during this period, dealing with cancelled opens, visiting party queries, members queries, service/supplier queries and a host of other correspondence and calls, including how many Yorkshire puddings do you get with a Sunday roast!!
Caz has aligned the numerous email accounts we had, ensuring members and suppliers use the two we have in operation, going forward a staff training plan is in place, to ensure compliance.
Caz undertook a review of the role of secretary and office administrator, explaining that, ‘it is evident that the roles are inextricably entwined; whilst their integration is integral to the club functions, both roles need clarification and direction’. Along with Sue Blaeford, role functions have been clarified. Part of the administrative plan moving forward is to ensure the administration office is manned more efficiently, staff training is up to date, and we meet the legislative employment, health & safety and safeguarding frameworks for staff, members and volunteers.
Sue Blaeford supported by Alistair Diniwiddie has worked tirelessly to secure funding and grants to support the club. Our major expenditures remain the rent to Raby Estates, salaries for the two remaining greens staff and our leasing commitments. Sue has updated all members billing accounts on Club Systems, issuing annual subscription bills to align them for next April, she has streamlined bill payments, chased debtors and also worked to ensure we have cut all unnecessary expenditure to help our financial position. Sue continues to support the day to day financial aspects of the club functions. At this time, we are able to compile a list of tasks for immediate actions to ensure compliance with mandatory regulations, we will also be able to revisit the golf projects agenda for improvement going forward. Alistair continues to work on a financial plan to move the club forward in the future.
We are about to undertake significant repairs to the kitchen, which will help Dave and Jackie streamline and improve the clubs catering facilities. This work is essential.
We are also looking at undertaking the decorating of the clubhouse and repairs to the external render. Again, essential maintenance.
Finally, we are looking at some potential course improvements. The scale of these will be dependent on the availability of grant funding.
Paul Raine is working on an opening day plan and looking at how we manage any sanctions that maybe imposed, he continues to update us on the guidance for rescheduling issued by England Golf, PGA, TSU and Durham County Golf Associations.
Paul is hopeful golf can commence soon, with the fixtures in the book being followed from June on-wards, due to our full fixture list not all postponed competitions can be played, some will need to be cancelled for this year. The main focus will be to get us all playing golf again and then rescheduling the major club competitions and Opens where possible. Members will be updated about competitions on the noticeboards, via social media, the BRS booking system and our website. We will be led by the Government and England Golf guidelines to re-commence competitive golf.
Whilst we all as members wish to open fully at the earliest possible opportunity, we must adhere to national guidance for the opening of the course, playing of competitions and of course all facilities.
We anticipate that the following measures will meet compliance for social golf as soon as permitted
- All tee times to be booked online prior to arrival to club
- Golfers to arrive at club a maximum of 15min prior to tee time with no group gathering in car park or locker rooms etc
- Locker and washroom facilities open with hand sanitiser at entrance to locker room. Club house otherwise will remain closed until further notice
- Practice facilities shall re-open in accordance with final point.
- Play in numbers to be advised, possibly 2 or 3 balls.
- Leave club immediately after completion of round
- All rakes will be removed from bunkers, use of shoe and / or club to be used for smoothing of sand after shot, Golf ball washers to be covered / removed.
- Flags shall remain in hole at all times and should not be touched or removed
- Upturned cups to be utilised as prior to course closure.
- Social distancing shall be maintained at all times in all areas of course, clubhouse and car park.
It is hoped this will see a gradual return to a full playing schedule in due course, however I am tempted to suggest this is a trial position and may be subjected to future restrictions once more should the situation prove unmanageable.
Phil Hartley has overseen the management of our utilities, all have been streamlined, and are now available online for regular review. Phil has updated the members database, a huge task, ensuring we have your correct contact details; he has also looked after the clubs Facebook page and the BRS booking system.
Darren continues to update his social media pages, he currently has some great offers on bags, footwear and clubs, take a look and support our professional.
Sadly, we were informed of the deaths of Harry Ashmore and Keith Waine both long time members of the club. Our condolences have been sent to their families.
Thanks to the team’s huge effort we should be able to move forward more efficiently when we reopen. Having been asked by several people, I would like to reassure club members, the work undertaken by the Covid Committee is being completed without renumeration.
I would also like to thank you personally for your ongoing tremendous support, to date my Captains stairlift fund has raised a little over £1100, I am hoping to achieve the target for this project during my captaincy.
Please continue to support the national efforts, stay in, stay safe and keep well. Hopefully, it won’t be long until we can return to our much-loved golf club.
Club Captain & The Covid Committee.