As we turn the page to October, the golf season is officially starting to wind down. Although the weather was far from ideal for nearly the first two months of the season, we enjoyed some great late summer weather and course conditions. The forecast for the early fall looks encouraging, hopefully we can each get a few more rounds in before the weather begins to turn.
Since my last report, a lot has been going on, so please read on for a complete update.
On the Golf Course
The golf course conditions have been great this year. In order to help ensure this continues into the future, October will be a busy month for course cultural practices. Aerification is slated to start the first week of October. Please take a minute to check the golf calendar for the schedule outlining when each portion of the golf course will be completed.
In early September, contractors were on site to complete the necessary work to alleviate the liability of additional erosion in front of the 6th tee. Due to a combination of favourable weather, and help from Erindale United Church, crews were able to stage in the parking lot adjacent to the 5th tee and therefore, limit construction traffic on the golf course. This reduced overall damage to the golf course, limited the inconvenience to the membership all while reducing the overall cost of the project. I am happy to report that the project finished ahead of schedule and 9% under budget.
In early October, the same crews will be returning to Credit Valley to correct two portions of the river wall that have begun to collapse. Leaving these areas much longer was not an option due to the risk of the wall failing. As you can imagine, fixing the wall after a failure would be a much more expensive project. Weather permitting, this project should take about one week to complete. As the work begins, there will likely be adjustments to how we play the 6th hole. Similar to the slope erosion project, this will be clearly communicated on the 6th tee during construction.
About the Inclinator
Our contractor, Quality Allied Elevator, has taken delivery of the custom mechanical equipment for our new inclinator. Currently, the inclinator committee is working with the subcontractor responsible for the cab construction to finalize the design. At this point, the plan is to install the cab and all other equipment before the winter. In the early spring, technicians will return to finish the electrical work with the goal of having the inclinator running for opening day.
Our trial program has been successful once again, and with little marketing we were able to attract 33 trial members in our golf and social categories. Last year, we had 111 trial members sign on across all categories, so it has been a busy year with trial conversions this year.
With approximately half of our 2018 trial members converting to date, we have added 36 new golfing members and 11 new social members to the CV family. We plan to increasing our marketing programs for 2020 to help us attract more prospective members, but we always encourage our existing membership to promote the Club to their family and friends.
The member ‘Valley View’ survey has been well received by the membership in its inception year. Overall, we have received a higher response rate for these surveys than in the past for our annual survey. Initially, over 40% of our members replied to the departmental short surveys. In total, we have received over 735 responses to these surveys. If we received a rating of 6 out of 10 or lower, management was able to communicate directly with the member who completed the survey, as these surveys are no longer anonymous. This allowed the management team to ask for additional information and resolve issues quickly. Overall, the responses have been very positive, with most of the negative comments being about the inclinator not being functional or about pace of play concerns.
This time of the year is always busy for both managers and the finance committee, as efforts are already well under way to compose the 2020 operating and capital budgets. Amongst the many assumptions and factors to consider, managers will be considering the recent trends of harsh winters and poor spring weather when forecasting revenue and expenses.
Through utilizing operations management software, we are in the process of building a database on each of our buildings at Credit Valley right down to the course washrooms. This software will allow us to accurately forecast the useful life of each of our building components. Forecasting will allow us to accurately budget capital expenses for years to come.
Next month’s President’s report will contain the nine-month finance report as well as a full update on all club committee activity.
Lastly, during Ian’s Celebration of Life I had the opportunity to speak with a few past Credit Valley staff members who have moved on to positions at other Clubs in the GTA. Everyone commented on how much they missed Credit Valley and the membership. It’s the people at Credit Valley that have helped the Club through the difficult times, both past and present, and what separates us from nearly every other Club. I want to personally thank everyone for their support, words of encouragement and, in particular, everyone on the staff at Credit Valley for their ongoing commitment to team and excellence. Ian would absolutely be proud.