Regional Director's Update
24 AUG 2023
I hope this message finds you well. As we mark 133 days since the start of the 2023 season at RattleSnake Point, we find ourselves just beyond the halfway mark of the golf year. This juncture presents an ideal opportunity for a mid-season update, during which I'd like to share some insights from our recent Members' survey.
So far this season, RattleSnake Point has hosted 38,865 rounds of golf, a 7.1% decrease compared to the same period in 2022. The breakdown of rounds played reveals that 67% are attributed to our Members and their guests, 27% stem from interclub activities and interclub guests, while corporate events equals 6% of the total play. Rounds across the GTA west are down 3.8%.
I am pleased to share insights from the Member survey conducted in July. RattleSnake Point’s response rate of 35%, surpassed the ClubLink-wide average of 26%. The feedback provided in response to the two key questions is as follows:
- What does ClubLink do well to make it a good Club to be a Member of? (155 comments)
- Staff – 35%
- Reciprocal Play – 21%
- Course Conditions – 18%
- Member Events – 8%
- Facilities – 4%
- Other – 13%
- What can ClubLink improve to make your experience even better? (196 comments)
- Tee time access – 26%
- Food – 13%
- Course Conditions – 9%
- Costs – 9%
- Pace of Play/Range Access/Water on Course – each 5%
- Carts/Beverage Carts/Facilities – each 3%
- Bunker Rakes/Sand Bottles/Course Changes/Cleaning Clubs – each 2%
- Other – 12%
In response to this invaluable feedback, our management team and I are actively crafting plans to address and elevate various aspects of your experience.
We understand that the demand for tee times is still up significantly from the 2019 season when the average RattleSnake Point Member played 42 rounds a year versus 64 in 2022. We have made some significant changes to how we operated in 2019 versus 2023 by reducing the number of Corporate Events from 39 to 16 a year and starting tee times earlier. This has helped significantly by providing more access to the courses.
We understand that weekend morning times are still difficult to book, especially on Saturdays. If you don’t get the desired tee time you are looking for, we encourage you to email our Golf team at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the waiting list. We will try our best to accommodate your request in the order that they come in.
There has been a softening demand for tee times across the GTA West and Clubs have been opening up empty Home Club times to allow for more interclub play across all Clubs. Times that are not taken by Home Club Members are being released for interclub play generally 48-72 hours before the time. Each Club still has protected areas for Home Club only play, just like RattleSnake Point does, and at the same time will have a minimum of six reciprocal times available a day. We also encourage you to use the MANAGE feature in Tee Times Plus, which is new this year. It allows you to maintain your current tee time and to look for better options throughout the 5-day booking window.
Stephanie Berriman and the Golf team are here to make your golf experience the best it can be and help with any special requests. If you are looking for a special booking for clients, family or friends please reach out to our Member Experience Manager, Jesse Gronkowski at email@example.com.
As most of you are aware, costs are constantly rising, and it is no different in the golf business. Higher restaurant prices are an industry-wide issue, and many factors currently contribute to pricing. A main factor in increased prices is a rise in food costs due to inflationary pressures. ClubLink has an advantage of purchasing volume over one-off golf clubs and has leveraged this advantage to offer the highest quality food at the best possible price. We want to assure you that Executive Chef Ryan deLeon and his team are committed to offering value while maintaining the high-quality dining experiences our membership is accustomed to.
We also understand the importance of hospitality as it’s an integral part of the food experience here. Beverly Finlayson has put together an amazing Front of House team that is truly focused on providing you with a great experience. We are constantly striving to personalize the experience by using names, creating unique daily specials and accommodating our Member’s requests. If you are looking to host a family function, please reach out to our Catering Sales Manager, Tanya Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been a unique year with respect to the weather. We have certainly seen higher amounts of precipitation this year which has affected play. In the month of July, we received more rain than all of 2022. All the rain has made the courses green and lush which has helped with all the new sod that has been laid. We are hoping to have Copperhead completed by mid-September and then we will continue the bunker renovations on Sidewinder. We have been limited at times, due to the weather, to provide an uninterrupted experience on the course but we hope those days are behind us. I would like to thank Superintendent Bill McAllister and his team for their incredible work in providing everyone with outstanding turf conditions. Also, a big thanks to the membership for “respecting the course” and doing an amazing job fixing ball marks and divots.
We continue to explore ways to improve the range experience for RattleSnake Members. We have been looking at the addition of a second self-picking Roam-eo unit for 2024, which would free up time for the range attendant on duty. We know how important the range is to many of you and we will continue to look for ways to improve the experience. Our clock for the range has finally arrived and you should see that going up this week. On course we have cleared a new and safer path to the green on 8 Copperhead. We are also auditing the rakes on course weekly to make sure they are safe and in good order.
Last year we implemented a new protocol for days with a forecasted high of 27 degrees or higher. On those warm days, Members will be given a bottle of water to take with them out onto the golf course, and the hope is that they will use it again to fill up at our refill station at the halfway house between your 9th and 10th holes. While we understand it may not be a perfect solution, we’re committed to continuously improving our services. We are working closely with vendors to explore permanent and environmentally responsible options for water availability while on the golf course. The major struggle for RattleSnake Point is that the only drinkable water is trucked in to the clubhouse on a daily basis which prevents us from being able to provide more filling stations on course. In the meantime, we’d like to remind our membership to use the refilling stations with either the provided water bottle or reusable bottle and leave the 1st tee prepared for the elements.
Looking ahead, our capital plans include the continuation of the bunker project, cart path repairs, new golf carts for 2024, and a repurposing of the pool in 2024. We’d also like to assure you that we are actively looking to purchase, or operate additional golf courses. Golf’s boom in popularity has made the availability of course options scarce; however, we are passionate about adding golf inventory for our Members in the near future.
Your feedback is invaluable as we strive to consistently provide the exceptional quality and service you deserve at RattleSnake Point Golf Club.
Before I conclude, I extend my best wishes to all participants in the upcoming Club Championship. May the competition be as enjoyable as it is spirited, underscored by camaraderie and skillful play.
Wishing you all the best,
Regional Director of Operations