What a Season! The demands on the Golf Course and Clubhouse have been greater than ever this year, the result of which is a growing angst amongst the membership.
Although the Clubhouse is about to burst at certain times, it is the difficulty in getting good tee times that is frustrating our members the most. You have probably heard some member grousing about his 3 PM tee time, and blaming transfer members. No one playing 18 holes wants a 3 PM tee time, and that is understandable. However, I recently ran across some numbers that I think may really open your eyes on this issue.
The graph depicted here ( click on the link below) shows the 10 year trend of member play vs. transfer play vs. guest play, and the results are astonishing.
Guest play is down, and member play is up. Transfer member play is the same each year. It has not grown, and it is not the reason members cannot get a good tee time.
When we start to look closer at this issue, we are finding that there are more members here than ever before. The Golf Pro estimates at least 25 members who have never been here in season are here now playing regular golf. Maybe they are retiring. Maybe the economy has loosened up enough so that they can finally spend more time here. Maybe the people buying units now are more full time residents. The answer to why will likely come out in a future report from the Planning and Research Committee. But I felt it was important to share some of this information so that at least we can understand what is happening here and not misdirect our frustrations.
Another very important piece of information is this: members do not compete against transfer members for tee times. Members compete with other members, and transfers compete against other transfers. Here is how this works: In March, 25% of the residents in Spring Run were transfer members. Armed with that information, the Pro Shop staff goes about blocking off 25% of the tee times for transfer members. It is done in an orderly manner straight through the tee sheet with a transfer time available every 5th tee time. Once the tee sheet is open for tee time requests, member requests go in the member slots, and transfer requests fill the blocked off transfer times. Now…here is where some perceptions can change: not all tee times are filled. There are inevitably some later tee times that are not taken, and whoever calls in and requests a time is given what we have left over, with no regard to resident vs. transfer. And this is how it should be. If there are empty times, we should fill them with paying customers, as the residents had the opportunity to get that time earlier. A member studying a particular day’s tee sheet might see that there are more transfers playing then there really are on the average.
There are certainly some other valid issues that have been raised recently, and will be addressed before the start of the season next year. I will await the recommendations of the PAR committee on transfer member policy and their report on the impact of transfer memberships to Spring Run sometime in the near future, but for now, I felt sharing this information would be beneficial to our Community.