Hello to all members of the Manatee Chapter. The 20-21 Board has just wrapped up it’s first two months and we have all been very busy getting up to speed on what is required of us while trying to keep the great momentum of this chapter moving ahead full steam. Brenda Tiano, Events Director and Barb Maechtle, Leagues Director continue to do an outstanding job of keeping a full program of outings available to the chapter, and as we communicated, we are sad to see Brenda resign. Plans for restructuring will be forthcoming. Donna Brown wrapped up the Pelican Pointe (Venice) weekly league and fortunately, Anne McBride has picked it up and is continuing it at that location. Pam Ristuccia has also been instrumental in keeping the Venice area busy with 9-5 offerings and hopefully, will continue that in 2021. We are committed to continuing to offer a great calendar of events for our members, and your input will help us achieve that.
Kudos for the outstanding Jingle Bell Open on December 13th. 100 participants enjoyed a beautiful day on a wonderful course, Plantation Golf and Country Club. $4000 was raised for the two targets of our giving, Tidewell Grief and the Southeast High School Girls' Golf Team. In addition, a huge box of toys was filled for Toys for Tots. Thanks to everyone who participated and offered such generosity for this great event. Brenda Tiano deserves many rounds of applause for coordinating this huge event in such a fabulous manner! Thank you Brenda, and “no pressure” for 2021 which you have graciously offered to help with!
As the new president, I have a strong legacy to follow from Mary Cochran who worked diligently for the last 3 years to expand this chapter and fulfill the principles and requirements of our chapter and the emerging national leadership of the organization. Thank you Mary, and prior board members for your strong leadership over that time! I would like to outline the current Board’s priorities at this early stage in the year:
- Play golf!
- First and foremost, our charter requires us to provide opportunities for members to learn, play and enjoy the game of golf. So, the Board will constantly focus on golf programming, with an eye to options that are respectful and inclusive of our member geography, skills, interests, enjoyment and development.
- Enhance player development opportunities
- We have players at all levels. Newer golfers need the opportunity to learn in a comfortable environment. We want to enhance our mentorship programs and opportunities and have begun discussing events and outings that can focus on helping newer golfers to develop their game and play strategies.
- Get the “voice of the member”.
- We have just wrapped up our member survey and the Board is reviewing the responses, comments and suggestions. We asked about volunteers, and hopefully many of you will step up and take small assignments to help keep this large chapter running well. Stay tuned for a summary of the survey in an upcoming communication.
- Run the chapter effectively and efficiently.
- This is a strong chapter, in size and from a financial perspective. That gives us opportunities that other chapters may not have related to offerings and the financial support for those offerings that may be available. The Board is working on updating policies for the chapter to assure that play is carried out fairly and consistently, and that our financial position stays strong. We are looking for new options for leagues and other play events, and the member survey will help us target next steps.
Important process changes that affects members:
- A problem we have encountered relates to team event registrations. The registration software, Constant Contact, does not have tight options to assure that teams register effectively when we allow each individual to sign up for a team event. The Board establishes a budget and a plan for each event that includes meals and coordination with the venue. When we can’t control the head count, we face obstacles for the event with the course, the dining folks and possibly the budget.
Going forward, all team event registrations will require full team payment up front, with a listing of intended team members. For instance, if there is a scramble event that costs $60/person, the registration will require $240 and a list of the 4 players. Team members will need to work out the logistics within their team to pay each other the $60 etc. Our responsibility will be to give our members plenty of advance notice of the upcoming event so that they can establish their teams and prepare for the payment during registration. Board members can also help newer members find partners for events etc. so early notification will help to assure that all members have an opportunity to participate.
- Posting scores and handicaps: It has been noticed that some players are not consistently posting scores. This is a problem for team play, which involves leagues and also other competitive events. The Leagues Director and Handicap Chairperson will both begin auditing players posting practices. Players found to be out of compliance with the expected posting of scores will be contacted and may face restrictions from playing in various events. Maintaining an accurate handicap is part of the integrity of this wonderful game and is a respectful behavior for your potential team members.
Thank you for understanding the need to make these changes.
I am looking forward to a great year with Kick-off right around the corner in March (March 11th at Tara). Weekend golf is planned through April and additional scheduled play will be announced soon. The Snowbird/Sunbird match play competition will be held at River Club on March 21, so pick your partner and get ready to take flight (get it? Birds, take flight???).
Thank you all for your involvement and love of the game!
- Jan 10, 2021