This week is dominated by the impending change to Level 4 of the lockdown on Friday.
More importantly for us as a golf club, is the meeting between national golf representatives and the Minister of Sport on Thursday afternoon at 15h00. A comprehensive document has been prepared, outlining the steps golf clubs will take to ensure the safety of their staff, members and guests if we are permitted to return. One thing is abundantly clear – we will all have to adhere to all the measures that are implemented, with no exceptions. It is very important to note that this is a systematic approach with the emphasis on opening for golf as exercise first and slowly building up to pre covid-19 levels of operation as risks diminish. As soon as we have clarity on the outcome of the meeting and the approved measures put in place to ensure everyone’s safety, we will share them with all our members.
Behind the scenes
We have all been hard at work preparing for a return to the club, whenever that is permitted. Last week I outlined the basic maintenance that is currently permitted using only 15% of our staff. It is likely that under Level 4, the percentage of total staff allowed at the club will climb to just 30%. With so few staff allowed at work, the club will be operating on skeleton staff with different shifts.
With regard to work that has been happening, management has been hard at work along with select committee members. We have weekly Zoom meetings with the trustees, golf ops, catering and management. All staff able to work from home have been putting in long hours and a great deal of effort and we are being overly pro-active in the hope that we can return to the club sooner rather than later. Our thinking is to be as prepared as possible for any eventuality, so that when the time comes, we are ready.
Some of the areas that have received a great deal of attention are maintenance of the course, catering, Ters funding, cash-flow projections, legal matters pertaining to a number of issues and planning with regard to golf operations. The team as a whole have been incredible and a big word of thanks to everyone who has assisted, no matter the size of the contribution.
Obviously our original budget and specifically all the “nice-to-haves” will have to be put on the back burner for now. Projects like cart paths, billboards to promote the club and so on will be on hold for a while. Once we are permitted to re-open and if we manage to keep the virus out of the Club by observing strict protocols, we can look to the future again. For now, we are focussed on re-opening our doors, getting our members out playing the game they love and simply surviving what many are calling the biggest crisis since the Second World War.
On the positive side
It is certainly not all doom and gloom though. The growth on the course has been nothing short of breathtaking. The grass is lush and with no traffic and stress due to cutting playing areas very short, everything is healthy. That is not to say Raymond is not faced with challenges and agronomic best practices remain in place, preventing anything untoward from happening.
We are actively sourcing everything we will need in order to re-open. Compulsory items like face masks, sanitiser and thermometers are in short supply and without them, we may not open. One thing everyone will have to bring along when you do return for golf is a face mask and your own container of hand sanitiser, so you can prepare by getting these items ready, along with your golf equipment.
Another important thing you can plan for so long, is that all members will be required to have topped up their spending accounts, prior to arrival at the club, so that water levies, competition fees (where applicable), cart hire and refreshments can be noted by staff on duty and allocated to your accounts. We have been hard at work on this too and you can now do this easily at www.teesheet.co.za. This is the preferred method of payment.
Simply follow the following easy steps: Click here
Alternatively you can also pay into our bank account. Please note that there will be delays on this money appearing in your spending account due to different banks. Procedures for this are as follows:
Do an EFT into the Westlake bank account
Bank details as follows:
• Current Account
• Branch Code: 198765
• Account Number: 113 099 6441
• Reference used must be “TOPUP” with member number or “TOPUP” with initials and surname. EG. TOPUP 12345 or TOPUP DJA SMITH.
Proof of payment can be sent to email@example.com
You can view your spending account balance on your profile on the Clubmaster APP. (Available on Playstore as a free download).
There will be no cash payments allowed and the ATM will not be available at the club. The same goes for credit card payments. There is simply too much chance of exposure for staff and players, so Spending Accounts will be the only option under Level 4.
Until we hear the outcome of the meeting tomorrow, that is pretty much everything for now.
Have a good long weekend (Yes Friday is another public holiday, not that they are any different to other days any more) and keep safe.
David and the gutsy Westlake Team