Durban Country Club:Make yourself at home at Durban's warmest place to enjoy
Durban Country Club:Make yourself at home at Durban's warmest place to enjoy

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Durban Country Club Report An Improvement in our Trading Results


3 September 2012

Dear Member

This report is a follow-up on my last report and furthermore deals with the half-yearly results.

1. Half-Yearly Results
Attached to my letter are the half-yearly results which consist of the management accounts for the six months ended 30 June 2012, the balance sheet for the six months ended 30 June 2012 and a commentary prepared by the Chairman of our Finance Committee and Board Member Jebb McIntosh. The results for the first six months of this year are not good although you will see from the commentary that there has been an improvement in our trading results which trend we anticipate will continue for the balance of this year. The Board is however confident that the cost-saving measures that are being put in place will start to show results during the course of our next
financial year. It is however imperative that we attract more members as indicated in the commentary and to this end a lot of work has been done by the Board and staff of the Club to attract new membership and increase the patronage of the Club. The attached commentary and financial reports otherwise accurately summarise the Club’s financial position.

2. Membership Model
The Board has been working since its appointment at the end of April this year on a new membership model. The new membership model that the Board has agreed on is the result of the input of a number of persons in addition to the views of the Board. We believe that the new membership model which will come into effect at the beginning of next year will assist in attracting new members, particularly those in the age group between 20 and 40 years and will have the effect of attracting back members who have resigned. In determining the model the Board has been mindfulof the need to balance affordability and generating additional subscription income to
assist the sustainability of the Club.

I do wish to highlight a number of important aspects of the new model and they are:-
  • Our inter-action with younger members and particularly people in their early 30’s revealed that once young people got to the end of their Associate Membership the cost of being a Full Member was too high and resulted in the Club losing a lot of potential members who would otherwise have continued with the Club. For that reason, and after consultation with a broad body of young members, we have introduced three categories of Associate Members. We believe and hope that this will have the effect of retaining young membersand encouraging people within the Associate age groups to join the Club.
  • We have introduced a provision for the payment of monthly subscriptions to assist with affordability for new members, and existing members, to join and remain with the Club. Our investigations have indicated that there are a number of younger members who budget on a monthly basis and by introducing this facility we would make the Club more accessible to them. The Board as an interim measure in attracting new members during the current year has introduced a monthly subscription facility.
  • We have re-introduced what we previously called a Social Member (now House Member) as it has become abundantly clear to us that these members, most of whom we lost in terms of the last changes to the membership model, produced a considerable amount of income through patronage of the Club. It certainly is a case of learning from one’s mistakes. We have however structured the membership model to try and ensure that members who wish to use the sporting facilities of the Club will not downgrade to House Members as there in most cases will be no advantage for them to do so. However the option is available for those who only play golf on limited occasions to be a House Member and pay the higher visitor green fees.
  • As far as sporting members are concerned ie non-golf members, what we have effectively done is add a cost of R100,00 per month to the House Membership to enable these members to use the sporting facilities other than golf. 
  • We have made the qualification for Senior Membership with golf simply age related which addresses the issue of previously disadvantaged members and those elderly members who joined the Club more recently.
  • For golfing members the introduction of two complimentary rounds of golf per month is extremely beneficial. The effect of this facility is not to increase golfing membership for 2013. Restructured annual golf packages will be notified to members in due course. 
The Board is mindful that membership models are not cast in stone and it will continue to monitor the model and adjust it as and when considered necessary. The Board will  also ensure that to the extent that it is necessary constitutional changes are effected to the Club’s constitution at the next AGM to accommodate the new model. A copy of the new membership model is attached for members’ information.

3. Golf
The Board resolved that it would be in the best interests of the Club to contract out the management and maintenance of its golf courses. It is believed that this will be a more efficient way of maintaining our golf courses at the levels that members expect and to maintain and enhance their status within South Africa. We also anticipate that there will be cost savings once the retrenchment costs have been “washed out” of the system.

What has thus happened is that the Beachwood golf course has been contracted out to Wallington’s Sports Turf (“Wallingtons”) who have taken over the full management, supervision and maintenance of the course. The Beachwood golf course staff were offered an option of either taking on employment with Wallingtons or being retrenched. The staff chose to be retrenched. Wallingtons are prepared to offer some jobs to the Beachwood staff but obviously in the light of their retrenchment the jobs will be on Wallingtons terms. The spring treatment is in the process of being done to the Beachwood course and the greens are currently being addressed by Wallingtons and we are confident that the standard of the course will rapidly improve.

As far as the Durban Country Club course is concerned it is not fully contracted out in that we have retained the golf course staff save for the greenkeeper. Wallingtons are entering into a management contract with the Club in terms of which they will manage and maintain the golf course. This entails providing the Club with a greenkeeper and appropriate managerial supervision. Wallingtons will also manage our staff on our behalf.

Wallingtons came highly recommended by Peter Matkovich who the Club has been using as a consultant in advising us on golf course matters. The Board is confident that the new arrangements will have the desired effect of improving the quality of the course and in time cost savings.

4. Tennis, Squash and Bowls
A new business model is in the process of being finalized relating to the management and running of these sections. It has been agreed that tennis and squash will in future be managed on the Club’s behalf by our tennis pros Roscoes. I have also mentioned
in respect of the membership model that members who wish to play squash, tennis and bowls will as part of their membership fee pay an amount of R100,00 per month. The bowlers will not be required to pay any further fees to play bowls. For tennis and squash members there will be charges directed mainly at the cost of the use of the facilities. The business model will also address the question of visitors and daily membership. The Board will be providing details in this regard once the new business model has been finalized.

5. Property Committee
Mick Hyatt is heading Beachwood golf course interests of the Club. In this regard the Durban Country Club Trust has allocated to
the Property Committee an amount of R500 environmental impact ass this regard bearing in mind that this is a longer term project.

6. Business Initiatives
There are a number of other business initiatives that are currently being investigated and pursued. In this regard the Durban Country Club Trust for their initiative and hard work. As these initiatives are still in their negotiation and/or early stages it would be premature for me to report on them. However as soon as the Board is able we will inform initiatives and how they will assist and impact on the Club.

Thank you for your continued support. If any they would like more information on they are invited to contact our CEO meeting with him and/or members of the Board who can assist.

Yours sincerely

Click on below link to view Durban Country Club membership Subscription Offers
Durban Country Club Membership - 0.2 Mb

Click on below link to view Durban Country Club Summarized results:

Durban Country Club Summarized Results - 0.1 Mb

Durban Country Club Report An Improvement in our Trading Results

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