In recent years, many members’ owned golf clubs have put in place Boards of Directors with relevant business experience that has proved to be successful in the vast majority of cases.
So, that just leaves the General Committee, the Captains Committee, a House Committee, Greens Committee, Handicaps and Competitions Committee, Social Committee plus the Ladies Committees, Vets Committees, Junior Committees and in some cases, Marketing Committees. Hmmm.
On one hand, this is the essence of a not for profit members’ club run by the members – for the members.
On the other hand, such a plethora of committees resembles the structure of a local council or even government who seemingly have an endless supply of committees. And, as we all know, they can manage to make a complete mess of everything!
So, ask yourself a question, when have you ever seen in any set of minutes from these committees, the words – ‘everything running well, nothing to discuss’?
I thought so … never.
And that is the problem. At your typical private members’ golf club, shortly after the AGM, the incoming Captain forms his committee for the year and allocates certain responsibilities to individual members, such as Chairman of Greens, Chairman of House, etc. That person scurries away and forms a committee. And that committee has to have meetings, and meetings have to have agendas and minutes. And at those meetings each committee member feels they have to contribute to justify their existence.
It gets worse. We end up with enthusiastic amateurs (committee members), telling professionals (greenkeepers, chefs, etc) what to do and, even worse, set prices, install new bunkers, lay down dress codes, etc. These sub-committees report to the General Committee who report to the Board of Directors and somewhere along the line one committee disagrees with another committee and, as a result, nothing happens. The old showers have still not been replaced, neither has the ageing fairway mower, the inefficient gas boiler, the oven in the kitchen. In fact, the only piece of equipment that has been replaced is the photocopier that gave up the ghost having churned out forests of committee minutes distributed to all in sundry.
I could go on but I must go as I am due to play golf with John, who is the only other club member I know who is not on a committee!