Welcome, all to the March Edition of your favourite organ.
Your Humble Scribe has been in Australia for a week, hence the tardiness of your no-doubt-eagerly-awaited missive. Speaking of travel, I was unprepared for the task of doing everything myself checking in at Melbourne, but was totally blown away by the workload on cattle class passengers checking in at Sydney for an International flight! Checking in, loading your Passport details, weighing your baggage, tagging it and loading it, all without sighting an employee of the Flying Kangaroo. I was half-expecting a robotic request to take the left-hand seat up the front and head off in the vague direction of SE Asia in search of the GWK statue.
After logging up around 2m miles over my 20 years in a previous incarnation, this was a new experience for me…but not a good one.
The weather has been pretty kind to us in Bali, as usual, and the significant rain we had seemed to confine itself to nighttime, which kept the courses fresh, but didn’t interrupt our enjoyment of them.
Our new Board seems to have settled in smoothly, and Captain Tony has been out and about listening to Members’ suggestions. His Captain’s Report is below and involves some navel-gazing on his part about the “Spirit of Raffles”, which is worth considering. It also gives me the opportunity to re-use a photo in his report in the faint hope you will get the joke this time.
I cannot comment, at this time of writing, on the President’s column, as I have yet to receive it…Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…
So what brings us together?
As your Captain, I would like to take this opportunity to muse on the nature of what is called The Raffles Golf Club, Bali. This is promoted by the week we have had in Bali and what is happening in the global community.
I have thought about what makes ‘Raffles’, Raffles! Our club has a rich history, which we value and celebrate, though this is not my focus for this article.
In the first week of March, we posted more than one hundred and ten-member rounds of golf during three events. The size of these numbers are extraordinary for our club at this time of the year. So what brings us together?
We have more than six hundred and sixty members; we had seventeen new members last month; we host more than one hundred and fifty guests each year, ‘The Championships’ ten days in May already has full fields in ‘Club’ events and our numbers are increasing. So what brings us together?
Tony Brandenburg Navel Gazing
Last year Raffles had 5306 rounds of golf in Bali, an increase of 1010 rounds on the previous year. With a conservative estimate of 110 AUD per round, with all costs, this would suggest Raffles puts at least half a million Australian dollars into the Bali economy, and most likely more this year. By the way, since the 14th of October 2009, which is the first recorded handicapping round Raffles has had 33,007 rounds of golf. So what brings us together?
We are a Golf Club without a golf course of our own. Certainly, we are based at New Kuta Golf, though we play at Pandawa, at Handara and at Bali National. We can be members of these courses, as some people are, but we are all members of Raffles Golf Club Bali. I am very aware that our relationships with these courses are a result of many years of valued and trusted work between Raffles members and the courses’ administration teams; this is especially true with New Kuta Golf. I think that a few members forget we are the guest of these courses, thinking the courses are ours, as you would have in Australia and other countries!
We have a robust handicapping system (Golf Australia), we have strong relationships with golf courses and authorities all over the world and our member base is a melting pot of countries. So what brings us together?
The emails from many members during the past month congratulating me on being elected Captain have given me insight into what does bring us together. I would suggest it’s about relationships – yes, it’s about being ‘mates’ (I am Australian after all!), women and men together. Raffles Golf Club Bali is a social meeting place for like-minded golfers. People who like their golf and appreciate the social atmosphere. It’s because members are put first and while the golf they play can be good or bad, the friendly and welcoming atmosphere created by all the members is always excellent.
Yes, we have our issues, like any club. On occasion, members speak harshly about the golf courses, they occasionally say the wrong thing to the staff or the caddies, or sometimes they just complain to the captain. My experience is that the ‘Raffles Relationships’ we have are very much self-regulating, as issues seem to be fixed easily and effectively and usually not by the Captain or other Board members but by the relationships members have with each other.
Dear Fellow Members,
My topic this month is to report to you all with respect to both the AGM held in the first week of February and the executive positions filled by the new board of directors.
There were only three candidates standing for election at the AGM. They were Melanie Lange, Howard Otten, and me. As there was a vacancy for four directors able to be filled by the AGM it goes without saying that the three of us were elected unopposed.
Consequently, the new Board of Directors of Raffles Golf consists of myself, Melanie Lange and Howard Otten, with the three of us having been elected for a two-year term. The continuing directors, Mike Barber, Hugh Brown, Tony Brandenburg and Jon Dean still have a year of their two-year terms to run. They will, if they so wish, have to stand for reappointment next year under the way our constitution works.
The Board does have a vacancy for one more position which will be a two-year term. It has resolved to address this matter in the next few months and if deemed appropriate appoint a new director but not to appoint a new director just for the sake of having one. It is being constantly monitored.
Also pursuant to our constitution, the new Board elects the President, Club Captain, Treasurer and Secretary from the Board members. The Board elected the following directors to hold the following positions:
President: Robert Nelson
Captain: Anthony (Tony) Brandenburg
Secretary: Hugh Brown
Treasurer: Melanie Lange
Other than my appointment, all the other appointments are new ones, save Melanie, who was first appointed very late last year as the Treasurer.
In addition, our Administrator, Peter Manz has agreed terms with the Club and will continue in his position as Administrator.
I personally am delighted with all of the above, and am grateful for the continuing vote of confidence I am receiving from all of you, as well as from the Board.
The new Board has instantly become very active and indeed pro-active. Captain Tony Brandenburg has set a high standard for all of us to follow and indeed, all directors have already involved themselves in the Club in a very professional manner. I am delighted that I am able to say that. Tony has resolved to be a consulting Captain and I have seen him constantly seeking the opinion of members as to a whole host of matters. I am sure we have a great 12 months ahead of us with Tony at the helm of our golfing activities and being personally aware of commitment to our Club.
We have resolved at our latest meeting that we will be proceeding by default with Golf Week. Touchwood, the dreaded Covid-19 virus has yet to reach Bali and we are confident that it will not cause the cancellation of this wonderful set of tournaments that is now referred to as The Championships, being 10 days of events for which our Club has now obtained an international reputation. The Club will definitely keep you informed on this matter should the situation change in any way.
Until next month,
Yours in Golf,
(Inserted by the Ed. In the interest of humour. It in no way reflects the frustration of your humble Scribe having to wait for this report…)
February Jenggala Monthly Medal.
Our February event turned into a family affair, with the winner, coming from B Grade, an in-form Francisca Boedilistiati taking out the medal with a fine nett 70 from her handicap of 19. Cisca was put under pressure by fast-finishing Ron Fletcher on 71, who nudged Roy Humphries to third place on a countback.
Cisca’s husband Alan Legg ensured the Legg family ate well that night by taking out the Best Gross with a (for him) pedestrian round of 78.
A Grade winner was our Administrator Peter Manz on 73, Putu Mahendra was B Grade winner on 73, and C Grade saw Ron Fletcher take out the prize money
Best Gross Winner Alan Legg accepts the Jenggala Plate (and money!) on behalf of wife Francisca watched with barely contained delight by Skip
Member’s Trophy Day, February
Chris Denholm provided a fine trophy for the third time in as many years on Friday morning 21st, which was contested by a very enthusiastic field eager to take home the excellent bottle of Woodford Bourbon whiskey.
In the end, Alan Legg was a runaway victor, no doubt spurred on by the opportunity to compare one of the US’s finest with a single malt from his home country. Alan’s great score of 42 points was even more creditable, as it required the (then!), 5 handicapper, to turn in a sub-par round of 71.
Distant Second with a normally competitive 36 points was Mark Walker, who could not be consoled by cheery advice that “if just 7 more putts had dropped, you would have won…”
Alan receives his trophy from our Donor Chris Denholm and maintains his composure despite a small, bespectacled man seemingly crawling out of the back of his shirt.
World Golf Rankings