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First it was Huntingdale, now Yarra Yarra - $$$$$$$$$


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#1 Uncle_Leo

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 05:13 AM

Picked up my copy of "The Golfer" at the HOG this afternoon. Interesting article on Yarra Yarra, who are apparently in severe financial strife and are looking to transferrable memberships as the solution to their woes, just like Hin tingdale did earlier this year. Apparently a breakaway group of half a dozen disgruntled members "The Visonary Group" are trying to take over the committee and force the changes. A few selective quotes from the article:

"the club is in desperate need of capital to overcome the urgent need for refurbishment to the clubhouse and golf shop"

"This proposal creates an opportunity where members have an option to invest in the club by purchasing a saleable asset...a transferrable playing right"

"the clubs general manager said the matter was a "private club matter""

"the club is facing a catch 22 situation with a disgruntled membership, a limited waiting list, negative trading results and a lack of capital. The six members have called on members to support their bid to stand for committee"

I have always held YY up as a classy, respectable sandbelt club with a fine pedigree and a high quality course. What went wrong to bring on something like this? Are there other sandbelt clubs who are also in trouble that we dont know about?

Jack


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#2 the_unreal_jeffrey

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 05:19 AM

I was talking to someone the other day who is looking into joining a sandbelt club. He suggested that Yarra Yarra were quite strongly ttrying to "recruit" him, and he has no qulifications that would make him wanted other than the ability to pay the rather modest joining fee. A far cry from the sanbelt of old.



#3 MatthewM

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 10:02 AM

Jack,

If YY had say 1200 members, and each became a shareholder in the club for 20K, they suddenly have $24,000,000 on hand.

They aren;t changing the membership roster at all. They aren't altering the requirements for membership. What is so wrong with this?

As you said, YY isn't the first, and wont be the last on the sandbelt to do this. Provided it's done properly, such a plan could work very well, and could be a sound solution to a sluggish financial status.

David Inglis must be up there in heaven, playing Augusta, and gently laughing to himself...

MM



#4 judgesmails

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 04:16 AM

I was told, and I don't know how accurate the information is, that there were un banked cheques totaliing thousands of $$ dating back 6 or more months in the managers office from past Charity/Corporate days. why they were never banked remains a mystery.
Than again, this is just what I have been told by a fairly reliable source who has an opinion on anything and everthing.



#5 Uncle_Leo

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 05:20 AM

Judgesmails, your mate is on the right track...rumours of financial hi-jinks abound at YY from what I have heard...



#6 henry

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 05:57 AM

MatthewM,
I must respectfully disagree with you. Introducting transferable memberships to a traditional club like Yarra Yarra has the potential to destroy the fabric of the place. Of course it will result in a change of membership roster/composition.

The transferable membership structure appears to work well at The National (not that I'd want to be a member of a club like that myself), but I don't see it as suitable for the older established clubs.



#7 amanda_wong

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 06:18 AM

Henry - why don't you see transferable membership structures as suitable for older clubs? You have made a statement without any logic or argument to back you up. You don't want them introducing younger members that might have fresh ideas?



#8 henry

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 06:36 AM

amanda_wong,
I don't see the transferable membership structures working because it tends to change the procedures of election to membership which have served the club well for many years (ie. proposer/seconder), in favour of one where "anyones money is good enough". I'm not suggesting that clubs should be elitist, but maintaining full control over membership candidates is essential for the integrity of a golf club. You lose that with transferable memberships.

I'd love clubs like Yarra Yarra to have more younger members - remember than I'm a younger member of my own club.



#9 golfer69

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 06:43 AM

Sorry henry, but no matter how you dress it up, it still sounds like elitism and snobbery to me.



#10 John J Jones

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 06:43 AM

Henry,

Grab your head, firmly with both hands, and extract it from your rectum. Good, now we can have a sensible discussion. When was the last time that someone got blackballed from joining a Sandbelt club? How brave is it for some spineless cretin to say, "not at my club" and put a cross thru the form on a notice board? The only difference between the "traditional" club membership and the new style of club share is that with one you can get some money when you have had enough.

I swear there are times when you are so conservative you must look for Menzies name on the ballot paper at election time. You make Little Johnny look like Lenin.

JJ



#11 henry

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 07:10 AM

John J Jones,
Now that I've had an illuminating phone conversation with MatthewM, I'll withdraw my comments about transferable memberships taking away full club control of membership procedures.

amanda wong,
On further reflection, transferable memberships only make it more difficult for young people to join a club. How many 16-25 year olds have a spare $20k to spend on golf? Thats the age group clubs need to attract for long-term survival.



#12 John J Jones

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 07:37 AM

Henry,

I think the Board of a transferrable membership club is more intune with the membership than the committee of a traditional club. When the share price is impacted by dumb decisions people get excited. Most traditional clubs where the joining fee is a sunk cost find the majority of members apathetic. I'm sure that we could come up with examples of both if we sat down and chatted about it.

JJ



#13 Jim

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 07:43 AM

Henry
Whether entry to a club is via a joining fee or transferable membership, it need not make any difference to the selection process. The fact is that when the financial heat is on, you can walk into a club whatever the structure. Or do you think it would be even easier to get into YY at the moment if the memberships were transferable? I'd suggest not.

Transferable memberships also entail significantly more risk than many people realise. I'd suggest that the bulk of the Victorian versions will not survive and their holders will lose the lot. And if you can't get out you are liable for large fees each year. And the reality is you CANNOT get out of most of them. I floated this issue a while back http://www.iseekgolf.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2255 and got zero response though, so they don't seem to have caught the imagination of anyone here.

That said though, if YY can get enough away to raise sufficient funds to get them out of strife then it is undoubtedly good for the club, just not necessarily for the buyers.



#14 ttitheridge

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 05:12 PM

henry,

I also want to try and feel a little upset about the change in membership structure.

But the traditional structure is the one that now has between 20-30 Melbourne metro area (including prestigious clubs) in big trouble, with absolutely no certainty of surviving the next 20 years.

The modern golfer wants "here and now", wants flexibility, and is willing to pay for it. There are too many prestigious sandbelt clubs that I could walk into the gates THIS MORNING without a booking, pay between $40-100 and just play. And that is without holding a membership anywhere else.



#15 DL

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 06:30 PM

There are too many prestigious sandbelt clubs that I could walk into the gates THIS MORNING without a booking, pay between $40-100 and just play. And that is without holding a membership anywhere else.

That's not such a bad thing is it?






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