A reminder of the previous information provided.

From the Committee

Thank you to those that have provided feedback in relation to the proposal to outsource the maintenance of the Golf Course. In most instances the feedback has been very useful in helping the Committee consider the issues that Members would like to see addressed.

As outlined in our last communication, we are proposing to hold an information evening for Members to understand a bit more about the rationale and key terms, and we are to hold this on 14 June at 6pm at the club.

We felt it may be helpful to set out some of the parameters that we have set if we are to move forward. In many respects these have been shaped by the feedback and concerns of Members, which as you would hope, are the very same issues that the Committee has identified through our due diligence process

Why are we even considering it?

Operating with a small course team, we have been heavily dependent on the dedication and skills of the Course Superintendent and their commitment to go above and beyond, including their hands-on contribution, often 7 days a week.  When we have the right person in place, this has served us well for maintaining the course at a high standard within a tight budget. However, even with that, we have had team performance and resourcing issues as well as having inadequate Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) practices, chemical safety protocols and equipment maintenance schedules.

The current employment environment presents additional challenges in finding the right person and assembling and retaining a high-quality team at a manageable cost – whilst it continues to be no easy task to move-on the wrong people.  Hence, the current employment market challenges the sustainability of the model we have previously enjoyed and feel comfortable with.

We also often lack the scale and depth of resources required to do all the things that we need to do to maintain the long-term health of the course. In the past we have borrowed equipment from other courses and used contractors. With a professional contractor, we can leverage their scale of operations to provide infill resourcing (covid), professional supervision and management, modern equipment, ancillary services (coring, Verti-mowing, equipment maintenance) etc.

So, whilst it may not be our long-term preferred option, in the short term an outsourcing proposal maybe the only way to balance our need for green keeping expertise, labour, supplementary resources and governance (people, health, safety and environmental management).

We also do not discount the potential for long term advantages from the approach if we can achieve the required course outcomes in addition to more objective performance management, more robust internal processes and less dependence on a key individual.

Following the Committee’s preliminary considerations and incorporating the recent feedback from Members, we have established the following broad outlines of a proposal we believe Members can support.

Preferred Contract Terms

  • The contract should be annually renewable with clear Outcomes and Key Performance Indicators to enable the regular benchmarking of the contractor’s performance
  • If the contract is not renewed, a 6-month transition plan will automatically come into effect to ensure the course is properly maintained while NGC source replacement services or build a team to take the maintenance back in house.
  • NGC will retain ownership of our current plant and equipment (at least initially) to allow for the services to be taken back in house if performance does not meet expectations
  • The Contractor will need to maintain the NGC plant and equipment for the duration of the contract
  • There must be dedicated on-site staff including the Course Superintendent. NGC has a right to interview and approve any on site staff.
  • The overall costs should be broadly similar to our current spend (including course maintenance, consumables (petrol, fertiliser etc), repairs and maintenance and equipment and depreciation)

Next Steps

It goes without saying that we are only moving forward on the basis that we have satisfied ourselves in regard Turfmaster’s competence and ability to ‘do the job’ that is required. We now need to satisfy ourselves that we can put a contract together that meets the objectives above, mitigates the risks in moving to an outsourcing model, and gives us the flexibility to adapt as future conditions change.

We are in regular meetings with Turfmaster to draft a contract with a target of having the key scope of work and contract agreed and able to be put in place by the first of July.

We are  holding  a Members information evening on 14 June at 6pm at the clubhouse.

This will be an opportunity for us to provide a more detailed background to the proposal, our rationale for considering an outsource model, and the key terms and conditions proposed. Members will have an opportunity to ask any questions or provide further feedback before the Committee makes a final decision whether to move to contract execution or not.