Golf club to save $6,500 by dropping Golf Saskatchewan

by Phil Ambroziak

The Meadow Lake Golf Club hopes it’s hit a hole-in-one with a recent decision on where to spend a portion of the annual membership fees it collects.

During the club’s annual general meeting held May 29, executive member Chris Reid explained how last year $6,500 of money collected in membership fees went to Golf Saskatchewan – the governing body of amateur golf in the province.

“That’s a good chunk of change for us,” Reid said.

Although the local club did receive close to a $1,000 of that money back in the form of a grant, Tyler Brouillette, the newly hired golf pro in Meadow Lake, said the only real benefit of being associated with Golf Saskatchewan was the scores and statistics it maintained for competitive players, something he said could still be accomplished by joining a Player’s Club and entering scores online.

“That kind of money ($6,500) could go to other things,” Brouillette said. “It’s a matter of whether or not you really think it’s worth it or not. Personally, I don’t think it benefits the club except for the five per cent who play tournament golf, but those people could still join a Player’s Club and not be affected. I think there are better uses for that money.”

Club president Robin Parr agreed, stating Meadow Lake’s association with Golf Saskatchewan has done little to attract provincial events to the course primarily because of Meadow Lake’s geographical location when compared to the province’s major centres.

“In Alberta, where I came from, more and more clubs are saying screw this big fee,” Brouillette added.

Following the brief discussion, a motion was made from the floor calling for the club to drop its affiliation with Golf Saskatchewan. The motion was carried and, although not part of the official decision, it was also suggested the money be used to establish an equipment fund to assist golf course superintendent Daryl Wood. Earlier in the evening, Wood said the club is in dire need of some new equipment to help maintain the course.

“We have some pieces with more than 3,000 hours on them,” Wood said. “In the turf business, one hour can sometimes be the equivalent of 100 kilometres on your car, so hopefully something happens.”

Meanwhile, Brouillette spoke about what he’s been doing since recently embracing his new job.

“When I got here, a lot of stuff was really in a mess,” he said. “Now that I have the pro shop opened up – I got rid of a lot of the club rentals and things that were clogging up areas that could be used for actual sales. I’ve also been trying to get a handle on some of the revenue that’s not been collected.”

Brouillette has also been working to attract new members and to establish a junior program by working with the various schools in the community.

“I’m very excited to be here and I want to be here in the future,” he said. “I’m impressed with the membership overall and how great everyone’s been.”

Brouillette came on board around the same time Peter Mack was hired to operate the restaurant at the club.

The meeting also included a financial report courtesy of Kevin Chapman. He presented a series of figures that indicate the club had a total income before expenses of $535,578 in 2012. Expenses totalled $519,326, resulting in a remainder of $6,252. In comparison, 2011 saw a total income of $433,257 and expenses of $438,410, resulting in a shortfall of $5,153. Two new executive members were also declared during the meeting. They include Gina Bernier and Ken Morley. Meanwhile, Neil Curtis and Reid were selected to return for another term.

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