The past ten years have been challenging for our club to say the least. At the same time as the national economy was tanking yet another private club, Tetherow, joined the already saturated Central Oregon golf market. 2008-2009 saw membership numbers decline to levels that made ensuring our clubs survival a challenge. In the three years I have spent on your Board we have endeavored to grow membership, decrease losses in Food and Beverage and eliminate the debt burden so many previous Boards have had to deal with. The road wasn’t always straight and mistakes were made but I’m proud to say we are accomplishing all of those goals.
When all categories are counted we have more than 550 members at our club and making all of you happy with every decision we make is something we strive for but know will never happen. Please be assured that nothing we have done during my term wasn’t thoroughly discussed, researched and considered consequences before any change to our operations were implemented. Future Boards will face the same challenges and having served I will always give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to decisions I disagree with.
Two of the controversial decisions we have made included the land sale and name change. I’m happy to say that for the most part most of you now understand the benefit of selling the land assets to get us out of debt. I’m still hearing grumblings about our name change. This was a tough decision but based on feedback from potential new members we realized our name didn’t represent who we are. Those looking for a fancy ‘country club’ thought we fell short. Others claimed that they were wary of what they felt would be an exclusive and snooty ‘country club’ and were glad they decided to come have a look to find out we weren’t that. We considered both Golf and Racquet and Golf and Athletic Club as name options. We decided that two indoor tennis courts didn’t make us a racquet club and our athletic facility, while great for us, wouldn’t compare favorably with other offerings in Bend.
The name change was done for marketing purposes. As you have experienced, none of our amenities nor the experience here has changed. The Club will need to do more to stress to the community all the amenities we have in addition to our amazing golf course. We have fallen short in this area for years. When we were calling ourselves Bend Golf and Country Club, prospective members and acquaintances from other clubs were surprised to hear about our additional facilities. We will do better.
Membership at a private club is both a privilege and a responsibility. I love our club and its members. So many of you I call my friends. That is the privilege I enjoy as a member of Bend Golf Club. I encourage all of you who have the time to volunteer for Committee or Board service. You will be amazed by what you will learn about the operations of your club.
The responsibility of any member of a club is to leave the club they are privileged to belong to in a better state than they found it. I believe in the time I have spent serving on your Board we have done just that. I thank all of the members of the Boards and Committees I have served with. I thank you all as members for entrusting the future of your club to me and the Boards I have served on.