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Weyburn Golf Club holds annual meeting

Golf course season has positive start for 2010

The Weyburn golf course is off to a positive start this year, members and executive heard at their annual meeting on Thursday at the clubhouse The golf course has been busy and the conditions of the course are getting better with the warm weather. Golf club pro Dean Toles said of last season, "2009 turned out to be an awesome year, even though it was a slow start."

The executive members talked about the 2009 financial statement, staff reports, committee report, plans for 2010 and upcoming tournaments.

Over the next five or 10 years, the Weyburn golf course will be faced with some big challenges. The irrigation on the back nine holes needs to be replaced, and a more dependable source of water needs to be found along with a more effective way of handling sewage; a project for an irrigation system is in the process as well.

Dave Rommann explained about a change made in the organization structure of the golf course. "Brian Bakken has resigned as president from the board of directors and has accepted the position of general manager of the Weyburn golf course. All management staff employed by the golf course will report directly to Brian and he will report to the board."

During the staff reports, Bakken said, "I accepted the job as general manager of the Weyburn golf course because I feel that it's very important in this community to have a good course and I want to see it improve and grow, I hope I can do my part, I think that it's very important as an economic driver in this community."

Over the past year the golf course has completed several projects, such as rewiring the cart shed and starting a project on No. 3 to try to get rid of the standing water and alkali. Manager Brian Bakken said, "This winter, volunteers painted the inside of the clubhouse and the Ladies golf club replaced the carpet."

A different method of traffic control is being tried this year by having all ropes removed off the courses except on par three, on the right side of number two and 16, because they have been declared environmentally sensitive and no carts are allowed in there. On this topic, course superintendent Lach Reeve said, "Cart paths need to be focused on; some cart paths we will let go and we'll maintain the other ones properly, which we will work on this year."

Mike Melanson presented the financial statement for expenses for the golf course for the year ending October 31, 2009. Melanson stated, "The highest expenses was salaries, which rose six per cent. Employee benefits which are related to wages, also increased 11 per cent; fuel dropped by $7,925 and interest on the long-term debt also dropped $13,000, due to lower interest rates and a lower mortgage amount."

Other expenses mentioned were repairs and maintenance on equipment, which dropped by roughly $9,000, and repairs and maintenance on the building went up from $1,340 to $7,740. Irrigation repairs fell from $8,517 to $2,876 with other expenses rising slightly. Overall the expenses rose 2.3 per cent for 2009.

The statement of income and retained earnings for 2009 had a 10.7 per cent increase in income while sales increased 10.5 per cent. The gross profit rose 10.9 per cent, fees decreased from $516,684 to $430,099 with the main drop coming from the Legacy Project and donations were down; this gives a total net income of $64,618 compared to $141,316 to the year prior. The retained earnings within the club from the beginning of the year was $574,857, with the members equity at the end of the year standing at $639,475.

For the balance statement, the cash on hand rose to $120,945 and capital assets increased from $851,329 to $880,164. Major items purchased for the golf course included a work shop, barbecue, various small pieces of equipment and golf carts, with a loan taken out for the new golf carts for $28,000. The long-term debt decreased by $292,080, which gives the total equity of $1,039,271.

In fall of 2008, the golf course started a tree program with approximately 300 trees planted in the nursery and 75 were moved to the course. The grass is beginning to fill in with the warm weather and snow mold is very prevalent on many of the holes. In the Pro Shop this year there will be some new brands of equipment in apparel.

During his report, Reeve explained about a problem he's been working to fix. "The pond on No. 3 will be drained, elevated for the alkali problem and the landscape will be completed. The pond was filled in to lower the water table, but once we get the levels to where we need them, an extensive draining project will take place out there to see if we can wash the alkali into spots where we can pump it. (Once this is done) then we'll decide on a ground cover, whether it'll be to put trees or rocks there." He also added, "I added sawdust to the culvert on 15 and as of right now it's holding the water."

Gloria Scaddan stated of the RM of Weyburn Coun. Ron Fellner, "The RM has been working towards a special category for a non profit golf course such as Weyburn. To date, the provincial government has not responded to such a request. This is the last year of a five-year agreement to a base of portion of municipal and school taxes that the Weyburn golf club is paying. The RM would consider another such agreement if the public and separate school boards consent (to) such an agreement. However the RM is committed to working with the Weyburn golf club to find a solution to this."

At the Weyburn golf course starting on Saturday, May 15, golf lessons for juniors will start and they will run on Saturdays until May 29; registration with parents is on Thursday, May 6.

Golf pro Toles stated about the junior program, "One of the biggest things we did last year was increase the junior program," noting they had 126 students attending. On Wednesday, June 9, beginner lessons will begin and the provincial junior men of the high school championships will run from Saturday, Sept. 25 until Monday, Sept. 27. "There is a golf school program to reach all elementary school-aged students and it will be an amazing program once it gets up and running; we'd love to get those youth back out to the golf course," said Toles.

On Saturday, May 1, the golf club will hold a free pancake breakfast; on Friday, May 7, there will be a senior men's and ladies mixer starting at 1 p.m. with a supper to follow at the clubhouse. At the golf club on Wednesday, May 12, there will be the Par 3 and steak night. The golf club is hosting their 40th annual Crocus Tournament on Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20.

Men's night starts on Wednesday, May 5, and the Legacy tournament will be on Saturday, July 10. "The Legacy tournament last year ran into a deal where there were about three major events going on in Weyburn. We lost six teams out of ten, but we still showed a profit of $10,000," said Elmer Franks.

The spring banquet and fashion show will be held on Monday, May 3 with cocktails starting at 5:30 and a supper at 6:30, with a cost of $15. The ladies program called, Get Golf Ready in five days, starts on Tuesday, June 8. On Saturday, July 24 and Sunday, July 25, the 10th annual Ladies Pharmasave tournament will be held.