26 May 2020
Firstly, I sincerely hope you are all taking necessary precautions to remain safe. As we all wait patiently to return to our beloved golf club, there are still many uncertainties to overcome. The latest round of announcements regarding the change to level 3 from 01 June has still not provided golf with a green light. We remain in constant communications with GolfRSA and our Southern Cape Golf Union with regards to how and when golf will “open up”. We will endeavour to keep you informed.
I can in the interim assure you that your committee is making every effort to ensure that we all return to a safe and viable golf club environment. At this point, it’s only fair to share some thanks. Thank you for all the efforts made by our committee as well as our club manager and staff during lock-down. Thank you to our members who have been sending us valuable suggestions and who have made generous contributions towards our caddie relief fund.
While we still cannot say exactly how or when we may return to golf, I would like to update you on some points of interest.
Firstly, our club treasurer has spent many hours revising our 20/21 budgets. Our finance committee had to make tough assumptions and decisions while protecting our club’s finances as best possible. On this note I am pleased to inform you that our family of 43 staff members have received their full salaries at the end of April and May. We are busy negotiating individual salary reductions with our staff for the end of June and to date there are no foreseeable job losses. We are of course trying to protect our most vulnerable staff while we remain dependent on some level of golf re-opening relatively soon.
Secondly, although our 31 registered club caddies are not our employees, our caddie relief fund, which was initially created for a three week lock-down period, has supported our caddies to the tune of R186 000 in grocery vouchers. We distribute R30 000 every 10 days to our caddies. Our members have thus far contributed a whopping R130 000 to this worthy cause. We kindly ask that you continue if possible (refer to our website).
Thirdly, once we have more certainty, we will communicate our club’s re-opening conditions. We will assess which facilities may function and all the health and safety requirements linked to each. We kindly request that these criteria be respected and adhered to. Compliance will determine our success. In the interim, we recommend sending funds electronically to your club spending account in advance, in order to minimize personal contact with our Greens office personnel.
The next point deals with our golf course. We have been fortunate to have our greens staff working tirelessly on our course in order to prevent Winter diseases and to maintain the usual high standards. We do however have to manage our expectations and appreciate the circumstances under which we have had to look after our golf course.
With no revenue coming into our club at the moment, you will appreciate that austerity measures have been implemented forthwith. Besides respective salary reductions, we have scaled down on the number of active security guards and have suspended our 20% member discount on bar and halfway house purchases. We will continue to perform basic course maintenance and aesthetics. There will be no specific capital expenditure or any further course re- construction for the foreseeable future.
Based upon our revised revenue assumptions and budget, our club remains financally sound for the medium term. During July we become reliant on receipt of our annual subscriptions. You will receive a letter with your subscription invoice quite soon detailing the clubs needs and your options.
Although we all wish to be back at our club and making birdies, the biggest concern remains the welfare of our members and staff. Please take care. We miss you.
In the spirit of Knysna Golf Club, we decree that every member will have a “mulligan” on the first tee once our course re-opens.
On behalf of Knysna Golf Club committee