27/05/2020 – Hello all,
Some great news this week in terms of getting back towards ‘normality’ at the club.
Good News #1
Groups of fours, from the first tee only, will return to the booking sheets from Wednesday 3 June. Please continue to follow the distancing rules and abide by any instructions from the pro shop staff around congregations (max. 20).
Please note that groups of four from the two tees and permanent bookings will return when the congregation rule increases from 20 to 30+.
Good News #2
The new rules will allow the clubhouse and bar to open from Monday 1 June. There will be important restrictions in place which must be followed. Our General Manager Paul Curtis will send out all the details later in the week.
We are getting quite a bit of feedback, from those in favour of permanent bookings and those against them, all of which will be fed into the review. There have also been a few misunderstandings about what is and isn’t happening so I thought it would be useful to list the answers to some of the points raised.
We are well aware of the benefits of permanent bookings and we are also aware of the downsides. Every system has it’s pros and cons, and with this one in particular there is no simple answer. Nor are there just two alternatives to choose from:-
- Should we continue on with the current ‘grandfathering’ policy to gradually diminish the permanent bookings over time?
- Should permanent bookings be available to all members?
- Should it be for members with more than 10/20/30+ years of membership?
- Should there be no permanent bookings?
There are lots of alternatives to be considered. This is why the review will be over a longer period and look at a wide range of topics, and will not be rushed.
The online lottery system for bookings was introduced to overcome the mass booking squeeze caused by Covid-19. Now that we have experienced the lottery system, we can decide in the coming weeks if it should continue to be used after Covid-19 restrictions are fully lifted (in conjunction with permanent bookings for those that have to manually book each week). I can assure you that no members have priority access to the booking sheet.
The reference “Applicable to Sat and Wed AM members only” was meant to imply Saturday (all times) and Wednesday am (up to 9.30 only). I.E. These are the only times we have permanent bookings.
Copies of emails to all members are posted on the Notice Boards for those that don’t have email. If you know someone who is in isolation at home and not aware of recent changes, please contact them with an update, or instruct them to call the office.
There have been no motions or proposals regarding permanent bookings voted on at an AGM in my time. There may have been points made and discussion about it but never a vote.
I hope that addresses the concerns and questions raised. Please let me know if additional information is required.
22/5/2020 Emailed To All Members,
Some quick updates following the last email and some new directions from SA Police (who set and enforce the S.A. restrictions).
Permanent Bookings (applicable to Sat and Wed am only)
As previously outlined, the Match Committee is conducting a review of the current permanent booking system at the request of the Board. This review is essentially an information gathering exercise so as to better educate the Board on this complex issue. It will take longer than originally anticipated and is going to continue on for a few months. In addition, several members have put forward their thoughts for consideration, all of which will be included.
Some opportunities for improving the current system have already arisen. For example, the Match Committee can review and revise the number of people with permanent bookings who are either not using their spot, or have a permanent booking with just 1 or 2 players and can be amalgamated. This will open up more vacant groups for booking by groups of members who do not have permanent bookings.
The Board is not expecting to be discussing the permanent booking system again until the end of the year.
The Commissioner of Police has decreed via Clubs SA / Golf Australia that no takeaway food or beverages are to be sold for consumption on the course as this is considered ‘consumption on the premises’. As a result, cool drinks and snack food have had to be removed from the Pro Shop. The Adelaide golf clubs pushed back against this ruling, but to no avail.
You may be aware that some clubs are now playing in groups of 4. We have not implemented this as groups of 3 with 6 minute gaps provide the same number of booking spots as groups of 4 with 8 minute gaps (the gap at other clubs). And groups of 3 make it much easier to ensure we do not exceed the rule of 10 congregating around the 1st tee. The State Government announced this week that the maximum number allowed to congregate is going from 10 to 20 from June 5th. Providing this does not change, we are set to revert back to groups of four (1st tee only) from June 5th. When congregation rules go to 30 or more, we will be able to go back to starting from two tees.
Last Saturday, hitting off the 1st became gradually delayed to the point where the late afternoon groups were hitting off 20 minutes late. Naturally, this caused serious overcrowding around the 1st with a queue of people waiting to hit off. Fortunately no Police inspections arrived during this time. If this happens again, please abide by directions given by the Pro Shop staff or General Manager, which may include going back to your car to wait – as silly as this may sound it may be necessary and your cooperation is critical.
Online Lottery Booking System
The new lottery booking feature has been implemented in response to difficulties experienced by members during the current COVID-19 pandemic where we have experienced unprecedented demand as there is an absence of school sport, many people are working from home, have been stood down or made redundant. Increased demand combined with a reduction in capacity (initially 2 ball, now 3 ball playing groups and single tee starts) has resulted in most days approaching full fields. During a period in which the booking sheet can only be described as compromised, we didn’t feel it was equitable for those that are more tech savvy or have access to newer and faster technology to have the advantage of first access to the booking sheet.
In closing, the good news is that restrictions are starting to be eased and hopefully it is not too long before things are back to normal. In the meantime, please continue with your great attitude and cooperation and enjoy your golfing at West Lakes.
To All Members,
A new “Lottery” feature for the online booking system will be implemented from Thursday 28th May 2020.
This will apply to all subsequent time sheets and should provide a much fairer booking experience for all members, regardless of connection device or internet speed. This means that a member using an old computer using the slowest internet connection has the same chance of securing a booking as a member using the latest technology.
Members must click on the “Join Draw” button directly below the red countdown clock on the Golf Course Booking page. Once the countdown timer reaches zero they will be allocated a random position number in a virtual queue. The “Lottery” will send the first 10 members into the time sheet to make a booking, all others will wait in the virtual queue to enter the time sheet when those ahead have completed their booking.
MiClub suggest this should only add only 15 to 20 seconds to the current booking experience.
The lottery opens 30 minutes before and closes 5 seconds prior to the time sheet opening. As the draw is random it makes no difference at what time you enter the draw and any member who attempts to access the time sheet after the lottery has ended (trying to bypass the lottery) will be automatically sent to the end of the cue.
The benefits of the “Lottery” booking system are:
- No more fastest finger wins;
- Your device or internet speed will not affect your entry in the draw;
- Random draw for all;
- Resembles a traditional members draw at the club; and
- There’s less chance you will be receive the ”Row Locked by another user” message as less members are accessing the booking sheet simultaneously
For members who are not used to using the online booking system, the days and times that the booking sheets ‘open’ online are summarized below:
- Monday – open 7 days prior at 6:00am (previous Monday)
- Tuesday – Now opening one week at a time 8 days prior at 4:00pm (Monday of previous week)
- Wednesday – open 8 days prior at 12:00pm (Tuesday of previous week)
- Thursday – open 7 days prior at 6:00am (previous Thursday)
- Friday – open 7 days prior at 6:00am (previous Friday)
- Saturday – open 8 days prior at 12:00pm (Friday of previous week)
- Sunday – open 7 days prior at 6:00am (previous Sunday)