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 Minutes of the Delegates Meeting held at Merlin Golf Club

Wednesday, 7th June 2017, at 11.30am

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, a short presentation was be given by Paul Cloke (EG Regional Manager) and Jamie Tresidder (Cornwall CSO) to inform delegates about current developments and EG strategies, and their likely impact in Cornwall. A summary of the information provided and the brief discussion that followed will be forwarded as a separate item for reference  PDF.


Officers:Cynthia Penhale (County President) Helen Davey (County Vice-President) Sue Roworth (County Captain) Vicki Stevenson (County Vice-Captain) Angela Anderson (Hon. Secretary) Margaret Swayne (Hon. Treasurer) Pearl Carne (Competition Secretary) Cath Andrew (U18 Junior Organiser)

Delegates and club representatives: Jill Tucker (Bude and NC) Ros Thomas (Cape Cornwall) Jill Jones (Carlyon Bay) Margaret Ware (China Fleet) Kath Kelly (Falmouth) Pat Crowson (Killiow) Rita Worswick (Lanhydrock) Bridget Christophers (Launceston) Margaret Thomas (Mullion) Lorna Parfitt (Newquay) Mandy Wright (Perranporth) Brenda Morton (Porthpean) Revd Judy Harris (Praa Sands) Gill Shephard (St.Austell) Trudy Tremain (St.Enodoc) Anna Harris (The Point at Polzeath) Jane Watts, Patricia Davies (Trevose) Mary Robson (Truro) Edwina Thomas (West Cornwall)

  1. Apologies for Absence: Elaine Harper (St.Austell) Evelyn Postles (St.Mellion) Di Peat (Isles of Scilly) Jill Simmons (Mullion) Joyce Pinhey (Whitsand Bay) Jenny Dunbar (Looe) Sheila Baker (St.Kew) Sue Phillips (U14 Junior Organiser).

  2. Minutes of Delegates Meeting held on 22 February 2017 – (already circulated) - to be confirmed. 
    The County Captain signed the Minutes as a true and accurate record.

  3. Matters Arising:
    1. League Play-offs October 2017: Angela confirmed that after discussion in February and the decision to hold a League Play-off Competition in October 2017, arrangements are now in place. The competition will be held on Sunday 15th October, with a trophy donated by Killiow Ladies. It will consist of three matches, with two semi-finals in the morning, a final after the lunch break, and a meal and presentation to follow. The meal is likely to be a carvery buffet, and all players and supporter/spectators are invited to attend. Final details will be circulated nearer the event, and it is hoped that all those who have played across the season will come to enjoy the day if they are able to do so.

    2. Competition Entry Fees 2017/18: Pearl confirmed that following discussion in February, it was agreed that in 2018, competition entry fees should rise from £20 to £22 to allow for the rising cost of food. We currently pay £13 to clubs for a two-course meal, and this will need to rise to £15. There were no objections from the delegates, and the decision is confirmed.

  4. Officers Reports:
    1. Captain: Sue stated that, shortly after the last Delegates Meeting in February, the County Squad had held a get-together at The Point at Polzeath, followed by the annual match against Staffordshire at Trevose in March, which we won 11.5 to 0.5. In April we had a match against U18 boys, which we lost, but which provided an enjoyable experience. In May 9 of the 11 first team players were able to travel to Wrag Barn for a practice session in preparation for Match Week. Closer to home, the County Championships were a great success at Mullion, with brilliant weather and a beautifully presented course. Thanks are due to Gordon, the Head Greenkeeper, and his small team, for their hard work in the months leading up to the competition. The County Champion for 2017 is 17 year old Laura Andrew, and all four semi-finalists were under 20. Thanks are due to Katie Rule, Grant Slater and Cath Andrew, whose hard work with the Juniors came to fruition with such a strong Championships for the U18s. Our next challenge is at Wrag Barn during the first week in July, where we hope to win the SW Match week.

    2. Vice-Captain: Vicki stated that the 2nd Team had played a match against the Senior County Ladies, who have all previously represented Cornwall, at Truro G.C. on 14th May. The match consisted of four Foursomes matches, and resulted in a 2.5 to 1.5 victory for the 2nd Team – an exact reversal of last year’s result. All the matches were played in a good spirit, and it was a nice fixture to start the season. Our first inter-county match is against Devon at Yelverton this coming weekend, after which we will play Dorset at Truro in July. At the other end of the SW region, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire all play each other. The winners of each group of three will then play in October to decide the SW 2nd Team championships, of which Cornwall are currently the defending champions.

    3. Treasurer: Margaret provided a brief summary of the current position, stating that the bank statement yesterday shows £22,076.32 in credit. There is a drop from last year but she is expecting the CGU to forward subscriptions they have collected on our behalf by the end of June. She also expressed her appreciation of the work put in by the CGU Secretary, Chris Pountney, in collecting and forwarding these fees. We should also remember that the bank balance is healthy because we are holding entry fees for all forthcoming meetings, these fees will be paid out for prize vouchers and to the clubs hosting the meetings. In conclusion Margaret stated that raffles at our meetings are an important
      source of income for the County, £582 having been received so far in raffles this year, and she would like to thank everyone who purchases tickets and help to keep our costs down.

    4. Competition Secretary: Having previously circulated her report with the Agenda, Pearl asked if there were any questions or queries to discuss. There being none, she added a plea for those attending the forthcoming Bronze Shield competition at Truro to share cars wherever possible. With the current changes to roads leading into Truro and pressure on parking space around the club, it would be most helpful to reduce the number of cars that need to be accommodated. She also pointed out the need to allow plenty of time for travel, given the current road conditions.

    5. Junior Organisers: Cath pointed out that she had already circulated her report because of its length and detail, and asked for any questions. There being none, she emphasised her thanks and appreciation of the help and support that the Juniors receive at the Development Academy at Mullion and from the clubs and centres who host their practice sessions and matches. The benefits are clear from the results.

    6.  Hon. Secretary: Angela stated that she was not presenting a formal report, because the main area of activity that it would cover would be addressed in item 5, to follow. She would therefore move on to consider that item.

  5. Cornwall Golf Development 2017-20
    She began by referring to the document and diagram that had been circulated with the Agenda, and offered a brief summary of the key points. She emphasised that the proposal was primarily aimed at strengthening golf in Cornwall by setting up a joint development committee, led by the CGU and CLCGA. The aim of the committee would be to devise a three-year strategy to improve recruitment and retention of golfers at all levels, while also supporting and strengthening golf clubs and centres by offering expertise in areas such as business planning, marketing and sponsorship on which they could draw as they felt appropriate. The strategy would be managed jointly, and in the process would enable moves towards a merger of the CLCGA and CGU into a single unit under the title of Cornwall Golf. The establishment of Cornwall Golf offers considerable legal and financial benefits. Talks about a merger have taken place for some time, and there has been increasing co-operation in areas such as Junior Development and financial management, which have demonstrated that there would be considerable benefits in terms of efficiency and resources. The purpose of the development strategy would be to draw on existing expertise and offer practical experience of how closer working could be achieved, while also increasing participation in golf as a sport and providing new resources for Cornish clubs and golfers to enjoy.

    At this point delegates were invited to offer comments and raise questions, to express any concerns and seek clarification. There were a number of responses and the ensuing discussion enabled certain key points to be emphasised, before delegates were asked to take the issue back to their clubs for further discussion. These were:

    1. That the proposal is currently at an early stage, and further clarification of the role and structure of the committee will take place and be circulated to clubs over the next few months. It is envisaged that a small hub committee of 6-8 members will be established, made up of (an equal number of) representatives from the CLCGA and CGU, with other members co-opted to provide experience and expertise in areas such as business, marketing and sponsorship. In addition, the EG Club Support Officer would attend meetings and organise related activities for both club support and recruitment/retention. The committee members would also work with a series of sub-committees, supported by volunteers, to develop the practical activities needed to make progress.

    2. The committee will be overseen by the CLCGA committee and CGU executive to ensure that both bodies are kept informed, and that clubs are fully involved and represented. This will include the raising and management of resources, the direction of development, the range and nature of activities and channels of communication. It is essential that all aspects of golf in Cornwall are properly considered and represented, and responsibility for that lies with the existing county organisations.

    3. The role and work of the CLCGA will continue in its present form. Our central role, the organisation of golf competitions, matches, teams and events, will not be affected by these developments, although we may well benefit from improved numbers and resources. In addition existing bodies such as the Joint Junior Development Committee and the Cornwall Golf Development Group will continue their work, becoming sub-committees of the central hub.

    4. While eventual merger as Cornwall Golf is the ultimate aim of this development, it will not be directly addressed until the end of the three-year period, after review and discussion. It is hoped and envisaged that a successful development strategy will lead to a simple and straightforward merger, with the possibility of incorporation (offering helpful legal protections) to follow. However, this cannot and will not be attempted without a review of developments and consultation across the county organisations. We will also be able to draw on the experience of other counties, some of whom have merged (or are currently in the process of doing so) and on the help and advice of England Golf. At that point an informed choice can be made by the CLCGA, CGU, clubs, and the members of all three.

    In conclusion, the officers asked delegates to take the issue back for discussion in their clubs before considering it at the October Delegates Meeting. Angela emphasised that there will be more detailed information available as the proposal develops over the summer, and that she will discuss the outcomes with the officers before circulating a proposal and supporting information to be raised at the October meeting

  6. Any Other Business:A number of items were raised under AOB, as set out below.

    1. The Lady President took the opportunity to present the Vice-President’s badge to Helen Davey, which had been overlooked at the AGM.

    2. The Competition Secretary raised an issue relating to representation of clubs in events and competitions. The current rules permit ladies to be members of more than one club, both within and outside the county boundaries, and when entering competitions, to represent the club of their choice. It is stipulated that they cannot represent more than one club in any given season, and that they must nominate their club of choice at the beginning of the competition season. However, a number of queries have arisen recently, and are likely to do so more often as clubs offer a growing range of flexible memberships. It has been difficult for some Lady Captains to be clear about their options, and there is a risk that they could inadvertently breach the rules and cause an individual or a team to be penalised and/or disqualified. Because it is impossible to explicitly cover all eventualities within the rules, the Competition Secretary, with the support of the Hon. Secretary, put forward a proposal - that from 2018 all players must represent the club that holds and manages their handicap. This would create an automatic procedure and clarify the options, while allowing members a choice of which club to represent by placing their handicap with the club of their choice. The current stipulation that they can only represent one club in any given season would still apply, and would relate to clubs both within and beyond the county borders.
    This would mean that members could change their club of choice between seasons by moving their handicap from one club to another. If they chose to move it during the course of a season (or simply to move from one club to another) they would be able to represent the new club in that season, as long as they had not previously played for another one. If they had done so, they would have to wait until the following year to represent the new club. They would also be unable to represent their old club, because they had moved their handicap.
    The proposal led to some discussion among the delegates and it was accepted that it would remove some current anomalies and simplify the current arrangements. However, because it would involve some restriction of members’ choices, if only for a short period of time, it was agreed that delegates would take the issue back to their clubs for discussion, before a formal proposal is set out for a decision at the Delegates Meeting in October.

    3. The delegate from St. Enodoc raised concerns that a number of clubs are experiencing difficulty in finding teams for League matches, and suggested that it might be helpful to remove the current stipulations regarding the number of Silver and bronze players required. A significant discussion followed, in which concerns were expressed about large differences in handicaps and the impact on players, and their willingness to participate. After listening to these concerns, the Hon. Secretary suggested a compromise that might simplify the arrangements and create greater flexibility if the current stipulation that a team must include two Bronze players could be matched by the same requirement for Silver players.

    This would simplify the current rules across the four divisions and allow captains a free choice of three players in each match, instead of only one or two in divisions 1 and 2. It would also create an equality of status for all League divisions and remove some problems regarding promotion and relegation, as well as indicating equal status for different handicaps. The proposal was well received by delegates, but it was agreed that the issue should be discussed within their clubs before a formal proposal and decision is made in October.

    4. A related issue was raised by Perranporth regarding a match with Bude that had to be cancelled. While Bude were willing to concede the match, the Perranporth Captain had concerns about the reasons for cancellation and the impact on the record of matches won. The Hon. Secretary pointed out that the recent amendments to the rules covered the situation, and while there are concerns that too many cancelled matches could affect League positions at the end of the season, there was no doubt that Perranporth were entitled to a concession, with the relevant points and a match result of 7-0. It was agreed that all clubs should try to rearrange any cancelled matches, but that if that is not possible the concession should stand, and the County Captain would write to both clubs to confirm this.

    5. The Competition Secretary was asked about the current stipulation for players to carry recent handicap certificates when participating in competitions, and after a brief discussion it was agreed that the EG regulations and CDH numbers make this unnecessary now.

    6. The delegate from The Point at Polzeath raised a query regarding medal competitions and the impact of standard scratch changes on players’ handicaps. It was suggested that difficult course conditions could impact harshly on higher handicaps, and there was some discussion of the different arrangements applied by different clubs. While it was emphasised that all arrangements must be in accordance with Congu rules, the exchange of information and experiences was helpful.

    In conclusion the Competition Secretary announced that she will be standing down after this year, and that Jacquie Lang of Perranporth has agreed to take over. The Hon. Secretary took the opportunity to remind delegates that she will also be standing down, and that as yet there is no sign of a replacement. She asked them to look out for anyone who might be interested, and to encourage any possible volunteers to get in touch with Angela and find out more about what is involved. The County Captain then brought the meeting to an end at approximately 1.30pm.

  7. Date of Next Meeting:
    Wednesday 18th October 2017

Angela Anderson