Golf Update – Wednesday 01 April, 2020

The Club has been advised today that the NSW Government has reconsidered its decision to close golf courses in NSW.  This is the first positive news we have had in several weeks.  

The following is an an extract of the media release from GolfNSW (dated 01Apr2020):

After reconsideration, the Office of Sport – NSW Government has advised that golf is considered an activity that can continue to be played in line with Public Health Orders relating to public gathering limits, social distancing, and the elderly.

The statement from the Office of Sport – NSW Government is as follows:

The Office of Sport would like to clarify the advice that went out on Monday 30 March 2020.

As you know, there are now restrictions around public gatherings and rules around leaving your home. These new measures are in place to keep the community safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. But it is important to note that people are allowed to leave their homes for the purpose of exercise. For more information on the new restrictions, please visit  https://preview.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/public-health-orders.

The NSW Government has issued guidelines allowing people to go outside and exercise. Any form of exercise is to be undertaken in compliance with the Public Health Orders, meaning that people must not participate in groups greater than two persons at any point in time. Therefore, individual sports such as golf and tennis can continue provided the Public Health Orders are complied with.

As a result of this decision, the Golf Course will be re-opened from 02 April 2020 on the following basis:

Members must now play in groups of two (2).  Members should access the online booking platform and consolidate groups into 2 players only.

There is to be no sharing of carts or clubs even if you are partners.  Please note, we did not make this rule, we are simply trying to get our Members back on to the course and to comply with regulations which have been imposed on us all.

Pro shop, Half Way House and Golf Course operations may change at any time and without notice.  Social distancing rules apply when entering the Club breezeway, Pro Shop and Half Way House (please do not use seating in this area).

We are changing to a one tee start and tee times have been extended to accommodate this.  Members are to arrive to tee off on time and then leave the Club property immediately at the conclusion of your game.  If Members are observed to be gathering on tees and joining into groups of more than two (2), offending Members will be immediately suspended from further use of the course.  All course social distancing practices previously communicated to you must be followed.  Please be aware that there is no room for breaking these policies and non-compliance may result in suspension from further use of the course.

Course Hours:

The following opening hours will apply:

Monday OPEN 7 am to 5 pm

Tuesday – CLOSED

Wednesday OPEN 7 am to 5 pm

Thursday – OPEN 7 am to 5 pm

Friday – OPEN 12pm to 4pm

Saturday OPEN 7 am to 5 pm 

Sunday – OPEN 8 am to 4 pm

The Tuesday Ladies Comp has been moved to Monday, tee times available from 8.15 am to 9.30 am.

The Monday Medley Stableford will now be two separate competitions.

Further updates will be provided when necessary.

Chris Graham

Sports Manager

Ocean Shores Country Club Ltd

Important Golf Course Notice

While the club is closed the golf course is still open.  For the course to remain open we need to be extremely vigilant and follow government regulations for social distancing and reduce the risk of infection.

The following local rules have been introduced and will remain in force until further notice.  Please adhere to these each and every time you visit the course.

Maintain social distancing at all times (1.5m)

Please follow hygiene principals, wash / sanitise properly and regularly

Leave the Flagstick in at ALL times

Don’t pick up playing partner’s clubs or ball

NO Handshakes

There are no rakes in bunkers, please smooth the sand with your feet, take a preferred lie in bunker if you are in a footprint.

Preferred Lies, in the General Area and bunkers until further notice

No Nearest the pins or pro pin

Please do not approach Course Staff at any time

Note that there will be no access to water bubblers on the Course

ONLY ONE PERSON per GOLF CART, we have relaxed the rules so that 4 carts can be used in any one group.

We strongly encourage walking if possible as it is the most hygienic way to play golf in these times – Plus it is good for you!

Score cards are to be marked by yourself and then placed into the score card door, there is no need to be countersigned by your playing partner.

Wednesday and Thursday Tee times will remain a two tee start but moving forward we will condense this into a one tee start.

Cash will still be accepted but we strongly encourage members to use the ‘Paywave’ facility or provide your member number to use your account

There is to be no congregation around entry points, please immediately vacate the area of the Clubhouse on completion of your round.

Only two people (plus staff members) are permitted in the Pro Shop at any one time, social distancing is to be maintained.

The Halfway House will be open for TAKEAWAY sales only.  Remember the 1.5m rule in this area.  Seating is not to be used, players should proceed to the next tee as soon as practical.

By following the above rules, we hope to be able to continue to provide our Golf Course to our Members and Guests.  Failure to do so will result in the closure of the Course.

The pro shop team will continue to update everyone as more information comes through. This can change at any time – please check your emails regularly.

Be safe and take care

Regards

Chris Graham

Sports Manger

Certified PGA Professional

Golf Director’s Report for February 2020

  1. All cameras on the 1st and 10th tees and 10th fairway are now fully operational with monitor in the Pro shop and security screen installed on monitor at Halfway house.
  2. With the continuing good rains the course is very quickly returning back to our “normal” excellent standard. The GMC has acknowledged the hard work put in by our greens staff after the long sustained dry spell.
  3. Course Projects:
    1. 6th Tee redesign completed, anticipate will be back in play by end of February 2020.
    1. Re bitumen of path between 1st green and 2nd tee boxes to be completed in early 2020
    1. Returf of 7th tee completed, 3rd  & 17th tees to be done.
    1. Looking at the various options to reduce bank erosion around the 4th and 5th hole lakes.
    1. Replacement of damaged netting at the 4th tee.
  4. Reciprocal arrangements being processed for both Nambucca Heads Island and Surfers Paradise Golf Clubs.
  5. A 1 month trial 9 hole completion on Friday afternoons to be started in March.
  6. Men’s Golf to start a 100 Club to assist players when representing the club at other venues.
  7. When new golf member join the club, the relevant SIG’s will be notified so the member can be contacted and made welcome.

Constitution Review Update

Review of the Constitution of Ocean Shores Country Club

Information Session 26 February 2020 – Key Issues


Mr Ron Browne from ClubsNSW provided the following information to Members

What is a Constitution

  • Effectively a contract between the Club, the Board, and the Members; with each party agreeing to observe and perform the Constitution as rules

Why do we need to review our Constitution

  • Important for Constitution to be consistent with the law
  • At least six key pieces of legislation for Clubs to comply with
  • Changes have occurred in legislation since the last OSCC 2017 amendment
  • Also important for Constitution to reflect and support best practice
  • Best practice is essentially processes and methods that are generally accepted as superior to any other alternatives because there is demonstrated evidence that it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other processes and methods undertaken

How do we review our Constitution 

  • OSCC has commenced a best practice approach to the Constitution Review
  • Importance of consulting, informing, educating and considering all views
  • Final decision rests with the Board to decide on what and how many proposed amendments to submit to members
  • As there has been changes in legislation since the 2017 amendment to the Constitution there will need to be amendments to the Constitution to cater for these legislative changes
  • Obtain external legal support to finalise proposed amendments and Special Resolutions
  • If the proposed amendments cover a range of different topics then the Special Resolutions should be presented in topic groupings to ensure members have genuine flexibility in their voting options noting they may agree with one topic area of change but not another topic area of change
  • Ordinary Voting Members and Life Members then vote on each Special Resolution at a General Meeting

Area for discussion: Titles of Board of Directors

  • There is a trend for change in titles from Chairperson to President, however there is no considered best practice of what titles to adopt
  • There is no legal requirement for there to be a Treasurer position as all members of the Board have shared responsibility and duties for finances

Area for discussion: Election Cycle

  • Best practice for the election cycle is considered to be three-year terms which is referred to as the Triennial Rule and in effect involves a third of the board being elected each year
  • The advantages of the Triennial Rule are greater stability and continuity on the board, reduced chance of members making wholesale changes to the board, greater ability to prepare and implement strategic plans, and greater opportunity to pass on valuable knowledge between directors as an important component of succession planning
  • This has now been adopted by over 40% of Clubs in NSW and fast increasing
  • One third of the positions on the board are elected each year, and once a person is elected it is for three years
  • The members choose the Directors at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and then the Directors who are elected chose who will undertake the various roles such as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.  Given the OSCC Constitution makes specific provision for the election to positions on the Board of Golf Director and Bowls Director this would need to be considered
  • To implement such a change at OSCC there would need to be a transition process.   There are a lot of examples from other clubs on how they have successfully transitioned
  • There is also the option of biennial elections where the whole board is elected every second year for two-year terms of office

Area for discussion: Board Tenure and Board Diversity

  • There does not appear to be any established best practice for including in Constitutions a maximum period a member can be on the Board
  • The focus should be on ensuring the Board establishes diversity, is representative of both the membership and the local community, and has a pipeline of potential future directors to support succession planning

Area for discussion: Voting Options

  • Postal and / or pre-poll voting is worthwhile to consider to facilitate the participation of members who cannot attend the AGM
  • Proxy votes are not permitted under legislation
  • To undertake electronic voting it could be challenging and potentially costly, with the need for discussions with the Australia Electoral Commission
  • Some Clubs are facing serious challenges due to a range of external pressures which includes reduction in gaming revenues, changes to smoking regulations and reduction in core member numbers.   The changes to core member numbers means that in some clubs there are significantly more social members in the club than there are core members (such as bowlers and golfers) and consequently there is pressure for social members to be given full voting privileges and in some clubs the ability to be elected to the board 

Information Session details:

  • There were 55 participants (22 women and 33 men) in attendance
  • The session commenced at 1703 and concluded at 1814
  • The presenter (Ron Browne) then undertook informal discussions with various members (both in groups and with individuals) responding to their questions. 

Golf Course Condition Report – February 2020

As you are no doubt aware, we have had a significant amount of rainfall on the course over the last 5 days, 615 millimeters has fallen since Thursday 6th giving a year to date total of 808mm.The entire year of 2019 the course received 887mm! Furthermore we have had King high tides this week adding to the inundation of water on the back 9 holes.

As I write this the Goonies and the Course Maintenance team are out there getting the course playable for our Members to enjoy as soon as possible, with the Ladies today been given the opportunity to play a Par 3 competition. Due to the amount of rain we have had our 64 bunkers have been washed out and this will take a considerable amount of manpower to restore. Also, we are unsure that this rain event is not yet over and the last thing we want to do is get all the bunkers playable again only to be washed out a few days later. So our bunkers will remain GUR until we are confident this weather event is behind us.

So if we don’t have significant rain today, we are confident we will be able to have the course open and a par 3 competition available on Wednesday the 12th. Naturally, it will be CARTS ON PATHS So please be responsible an ensure you keep your golf carts off the playing surface and help our course return to normal.

At Ocean Shores Country Club we are experiencing weather extremes unlike what we have seen before. Just 4 weeks ago we were in a drought with no significant rainfall in over 4 months, now we are at the opposite end of the scale with more rain than we can store. Our water storage capacity is about 3 months of normal watering and previously that has been more than sufficient to maintain our course. But as we are now seeing longer sustained dry spells, we need to look at alternative water sources of either bore, or treated sewage the 2 potential options. The Board are now looking closely at this and will invest in whatever is the best option for us.

On another matter, several members have asked why has the left rear bunker on the 8th green been filled in and made a grassy mound? Back in early 2019 the Course Superintendent identified to the Golf Management Committee (GMC) that something needed to be done with this bunker as it was impossible to keep it playable. A simple repair was not an option and the only answer was a total rebuild of the bunker at an estimated cost of up to $10,000. The concern was that we knew at some point in the future the 8th green would need to be relocated due to golf balls impacting the homes on the right-hand side. So it seemed impractical to spend that amount of money on something that potentially would be ripped up in 18-24 months time.  The GMC considered the options and decided filling the bunker in was the best option for now. This decision was not taken lightly; contact was made with Andrew Robb (Manager Game Development, Rules and Handicapping) NSW Golf to ensure this was not a major modification to our course. We also asked our Golf Professional to monitor the 8th hole score average both before and after the modification to ensure a correction to the hole index was not required. He found prior to the removal of the bunker the average score was 1.7 over par and after was 1.6 over par, a change of 0.1 was insufficient to require any change to the hole index. So although a few members have suggested there was a breach to the Clubs constitution, claiming this was a major modification to the course, both the GMC and the Board with the backing of NSW Golf, are confident that this was not the case.

Under the Constitutional review that is being undertaken, clarity as to what is deemed a major modification of the golf course will be determined for the future.

Happy Golfing

Lance Selleck

Golf Director

Golf Director’s Report for December 2019

  1. Camera on 10th fairway is now fully operational and just waiting on protective cover for the monitor at Halfway House. Cameras on 1st and 10th tees operating, awaiting installation of monitor in Pro-shop.
  2. Course Projects:
    1. 6th Tee redesign completed, anticipate will be back in play by January 2020.
    2. Re bitumen of path between 1st green and 2nd tee boxes to be completed in early 2020
    3. 13th, spike fairways to aerate.
    4. Returf of 7th tee completed, 16th, 3rd  & 17th tees to be done.
  3. One tees starts implemented for December/January (Holiday period) to give social players more opportunity to book tee times. Ongoing 1 tee starts will be revisited in the new year
  4. Charity Day 30th November excellent attendance with support from all sections of the Country Club. Great success looking to do again in 2020
  5. Driving Range: 3 month trial to began on 23 November. Operational and generating a steady income.
  6. Course Condition: Dry weather still causing less than ideal playing conditions with preferred lies implemented. Water Management plan being developed by Course Superintendent.
  7. Greens recovery after renovation: Taking longer due to the harsh weather conditions and deteriorating water quality. Continuing with customised nutrition program to promote growth.
  8. Reciprocal arrangements being processed for both Nambucca Heads Island and Surfers Paradise Golf Clubs.
  9. World Handicap system to be introduced in January 2020, Club Professional indicated minimal impact to our current handicaps.
  10. 9 hole completion being investigated for Friday afternoons.