Prepared for Delegates Meeting
The purpose of the Officers’ reports is to provide information regarding the work of the CLCGA in the period leading up to a Delegates Meeting and to enable delegates to inform their committees and members. In this case the areas with which I have been concerned since our meeting in June are predominantly ongoing matters that have been discussed over a period of time and for which we are now seeking decisions. For this reason they appear on the Agenda as Matters Arising and in one case as a separate item (Item 5) relating to forthcoming developments. I have therefore set out this report under the relevant headings to update delegates on the current situations, and hopefully enable effective decisions to be made on 18th October.
Item 3 – Matters Arising
- Cornwall Golf Development There has been limited progress on the details across the summer because of time pressure and the change of CSO in August. However, the general structure has been agreed, with members numbering no more than six or seven, and some suggestions as to individual roles have been discussed. Members will be nominated on the basis of their experience and expertise in the four areas for which sub-committees will be established, with the addition of a representative from each of the CLCGA and the CGU. The CSO, a representative of the PGA and a member of the regional England Golf staff will be invited to attend in a consultative capacity. The diagram illustrating this which was circulated in June 2017 remains valid, and a copy is attached to this email.
It needs to be emphasised that the role of this committee is to encourage golf development by working to support clubs, and this will be more effective if the CGU and CLCGA work in partnership. This has recently been demonstrated by some incidents involving clubs, where I have been able to access legal and technical advice from both the CGU and the CSO. The CLCGA has much to gain from this in terms of resources and planning, but both we and the CGU will continue to manage county golf and fulfil our current roles independently. By working in partnership where it is appropriate, we will be able to explore and assess the benefits that result, and eventually to make informed decisions about a possible merger. That, however, would be at the end of the three year plan, after consultation with England Golf and a thorough consultation and review by both the CGU and the CLCGA Delegates Committee. What is currently sought is the approval of delegates to begin the process by establishing the committee so that we learn from the experience what the most effective version of a merged Cornwall Golf would be. On this basis the officers have agreed to support the proposals and to recommend them to the delegates at the October meeting.
- League Team Selection: Two items relating to League Teams were discussed at the June delegates meeting, and broadly supported. However, it was agreed that delegates should consult their club committees and members before making a final decision.
The first was a proposal from the Competition Secretary that, in view of the increasingly complex range of membership offers available at different clubs, selection for teams should be clarified and simplified by a rule stating that players should only represent their ‘home’ club – defined as the club that manages their handicap. Officers have received a number of expressions of approval, but also some opposition, especially from some clubs with affiliated members who also play in other counties.
The second proposal was that the requirements regarding the number of Silver and Bronze players to be selected for League teams should be simplified because they have become overly restrictive and are causing difficulties for some clubs in providing a team to play. The initial request was for a completely free choice, but the discussion revealed a variety of problems in different clubs, and a compromise proposal of 2 Silver players, 2 Bronze players and a free choice of three others was widely supported as offering a level playing field for both clubs and players. There have since been further expressions of support for this proposal, and only one club has dissented.
Having discussed both issues in the light of this feedback, Officers felt strongly that the interests of the whole should take precedence over the needs of particular clubs, and that the proposals put forward in June were fair and relevant. We therefore wish to encourage delegates to reaffirm the decisions taken in June.
- that players should represent only their ‘home’ club, which they are free to change between seasons, offering a balance between individual rights and fair treatment of clubs;
- and that the League teams should consist of 2 silver players, 2 bronze players (up to 30 handicap) and three players chosen from both divisions. This allows greater freedom than at present, provides consistency across all divisions (and therefore minimises the impact of promotion and relegation) and treats all players and clubs equally.
- Match Concessions: This season has seen some problems with clubs having difficulty in raising a team at times, and therefore conceding a match at 7-0. The rules regarding these issues are clear. A shortage of players, or of players of a particular quality, is not a valid reason for conceding a match, unless the shortage is so great that there is no chance of competing i.e. there are fewer than half of the players needed. In that eventuality, a club may concede the match, but must attempt to rearrange it. The problem is particularly significant in League matches, where the number of games won can affect the League positions held by a range of clubs at the end of the season. This year one club has missed out on promotion by one individual match, which illustrates the narrow margins that can occur and the possible impact of an unearned 7-0 victory. In the Gammon competition, where there has also been a problem, the effects are not as direct, but it is extremely galling for a club that has lost out in a preliminary round to see another club that did not have to qualify that way simply give away a match because players refused to participate. In contrast, a number of clubs have fielded teams that they knew would struggle to compete, but went out and did their best.
For this reason it has been proposed to the Officers that the rules should be amended so that a club which concedes a match (and fails to offer alternative dates if it is a League match) should be barred from entry in the following season. We are currently not convinced that such drastic action is justified after a single concession, but would certainly have to consider it if the situation arose more than once with the same club. For the moment we are seeking to draw attention to the problem and ask clubs to fulfil their responsibilities and try to ensure a fair system. For example, if a club has only three players available for a League match, and are unable to rearrange it, they should consider playing the match even though they cannot win, because they can win individual matches and help to influence promotion and relegation boundaries in a way that is fair to all. If they are facing problems on a regular basis they can withdraw from the competition for the following season and take time to address their problems. In the mean time they may well able to rebuild their strength by entering the Mini-League and offering experience to new players. This option of withdrawal is even more relevant in the Gammon, where the number of entries influences the shape of the draw. In both cases clubs are free to return to the competition as soon as they fee able, as has been demonstrated this year. The Officers would ask all delegates to make their clubs aware of these problems, and to be ready to offer a response to this item at the meeting in October in order to help address the problem.
- League Playoffs. The arrangements for the League Play-offs are now complete, and the draw will take place at the Jubilee Scramble on 8th The successful clubs – Newquay, Falmouth, China Fleet and Cape Cornwall - have been informed and a reminder about the event was sent out to all clubs recently. There will be three matches played, the first teeing off at 9.30 am, and they are expected to be completed by about 5.30pm, with a presentation and meal to follow. All supporters and spectators are welcome to attend all or part of the day. A brief report on how it works out will be presented at this point in the Delegates meeting.
Item 5 – Roles and rotation of Officers. Having announced earlier this year that I will need to step down from the Secretary’s role in December, I have been taking steps to reduce the secretary’s role in the hope that it will encourage possible volunteers and also make it easier for the officers to manage the situation if none are available. I am also aware that volunteers bring a range of skills and experience to the roles that they undertake, and that it is sensible for them to be revised from time to time to make the best use of our resources. As a step in this direction I am delighted to inform the meeting that after discussion with The Competition Secretary and her likely replacement, it has been agreed the role will include the arrangement of Competition venues from 2018-19. The venues for 2018 are already confirmed, but consideration of those for 2019 will begin shortly. The Championships are to be held at Tehidy in 2022 (the club’s centenary year) by which time there may well be a change in the situation at a number of clubs, which could impact on the ability and willingness to host a major competition of this kind. In order to enable a smooth transition I have fixed the Championship venues from 2019-21 and set out the (already agreed) AGM rota to 2022.
To do this, I analysed the spread of events at different venues since 1980, and used the information to select the Championship venues and offer suggestions for other events from 2019-22. This has created a point in time when the distribution of the Championships will have been relatively even across the county, and it is therefore a useful point at which to review the existing patterns and consider any changes. The details of these arrangements are attached so that delegates can raise any queries and clubs can then consider the options and discuss them at an early stage of 2018, to allow Jacquie to compile a list of those willing to host different events and begin to make decisions with the support of clubs and their members.
In addition I am delighted to announce that Jenny Potter of Perranporth G.C. has volunteered to take on the role of Hon. Secretary from December. Her experience of golf in Cornwall is extensive and she is well aware of the traditions of the CLCGA and of the current developments in golf across the county. She has also acted as Ladies Secretary at Perranporth. Her responsibilities at home would not allow her to take on the duties of SW representative and EG Voting Member, but Sue Roworth intends to continue in that capacity for the present and there are significant benefits in the County Captain and/or Vice-Captain being involved at that level. I have discussed the role as it stands with Jenny, and have every confidence that she would do an excellent job.
Angela Anderson, Hon.Sec. CLCGA