November 12, 2015:
The following is a report of the Travis Society’s general meeting at Hollywood Golf Club on October 9, 2015:
REPORT ON THE MEMBERS GENERAL MEETING
OCTOBER 9, 2015
HOLLYWOD GOLF CLUB, DEAL, NEW JERSEY
9:30 AM First Arrival – Main Clubhouse, Coffee, juice and pastries
10:30 AM Meeting convenes – Status of the Society, Hollywood History and Happenings, Roundtable discussion
12 Noon Lunch – ala carte from menu
1:00 PM Golf
Apre’ Golf Winter Club House – Cocktails & heavy hors d’oeuvres, networking.
The meeting was undeniably successful in terms of attendance; a welcoming attitude of all staff; friendly service; and quality food provisions. Very importantly, the rain held off until the first cocktails were in hand, allowing for an unhampered enjoyment of the golf course.
Hollywood Golf Club – Host Member Rob Wolf, Green Superintendant Michael Broome,
Golf Professional Kevin Weyeneth, General Manager Salil Bokil
Brian Schneider – Golf Course Architect of Tom Doak Associates
Stafford CC – Skip & Mari-Ellen Lamont, Ralph & Pat Garnish
Pennhills Club – Steve Kubiak
Sadaquada GC – Howie Schaffer
Oak Hill CC – Bernie Loehr
Columbia CC – Pete Creedon, Steve Northrup
Spring Brook CC – Tim Geary
Saint Andrew’s GC – Brian Siplo
Canoe Brook CC – Albert Costantini, Eric Lundberg, Joe Bardon, Jamie Devers,
Brae Burn CC – Kevin Mendick
Noah Agron – NYAC
Kyle Watson – Tour Caddy
Gary Watson – Kyle’s dad
President Ralph Garnish pronounced the state of the society as good and sound, and that our major expense has become the Scholarship Program due to the pace of acquisitions of Travisiana having slowed down considerably.
The need for a Membership Chairman was outlined, along with the efforts of the Exec. Comm. in certain areas of strategic planning: succession planning, permanent location for the collections and archive, a dissolution plan, backup for key functions, etc.
Treasurer Skip Lamont reported on our financial health. He described the very positive results of including an option for contributions to the Scholarship Program on the membership renewal form. Donations the past two years have fully funded the program, allowing for a Scholarship Fund to accumulate for future needs.
Vice President and Assistant Archivist Steve Kubiak read a report from Archivist Ed Homsey and spoke of recent activities in that arena, including the Spreadsheet Record of Travis’s competitions and the new discovery by Rudy Zocchi of many more. Steve personally delivered original Travis blueprints of Pennhills Club to USGA at Golf House.
HOLLYWOOD’S HISTORY AND HAPPENINGS:
Host Travis Society and Hollywood Member, Rob Wolf presented an informative and enjoyable view into the past; focusing on aspects of the golf course which we would not see as a result of the restoration.
Superintendant Michael Broome outlined the architect selection process, describing both why Brian was selected and their pleasure with the choice.
Head Professional Kevin Weyeneth addressed playing characteristics of the restored golf course.
Golf Course Architect Brian Schneider spoke at a high level of the restoration, stressing it was a restoration of Walter Travis’s art, not a renovation to someone else’s concept. Factoids – 220 bunkers once, then 128, now 175, 4 acres of sand. He was nearly effusive with his appreciation of the role which the Travis Society played in his research and ultimate success. That point is obviously directed to the efforts of Society Archivist Ed Homsey. He also described his deep regard and respect for all the works of Travis, his many contributions to so many areas of the game, and his esteemed place in the history of golf. Brian also mentioned that he has worked on a number of projects with Travis Scholarship winner Clyde Johnson.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION:
This was the most active and fertile roundtable we have had so far. Every person at the table participated. The following topics are neither in a particular sequence nor a complete record.
There was general agreement with funding a project to digitize appropriate pieces of the archive by hiring a person to begin scanning. No conclusion was reached on a permanent location.
Brian Siplo has volunteered to appraise our collections, gratis.
Canoe Brook GM Albert Costantini will contact his counterpart at North Jersey CC to stimulate interest in their joining the Society. North Jersey is the only NJ Travis Club not a Society member.
A suggestion was made and discussion followed on the merits of having a second day of golf at a second golf course included in the Members General Meeting. This is currently being explored with two possibilities to be pursued.
Kevin Mendick outlined a concept for Travis Book II, an estimate of costs, and various possibilities of funding the project. The concept is a focus on Travis’s golf courses replete with photos. Most of the expense would be travel for visiting the courses and photography. Enthusiasm from the table was expressed for the project, with details to be worked.
Kevin raised possibility of Round Hill and Westchester becoming member clubs. He has a contact with Westchester Pro John Kennedy.
Albert Costantini described his plan to recruit all Canoe Brook Green Committee members and others into the Society.
Various comments were made on the desirability of multi-year memberships and Paypal for ease of payment.
A suggestion was made that WJTS periodically host a Hickory Stick Tournament. Metropolitan Hickory Stick organization…? Challenge matches?
Another suggestion was for a tour or arranging for a group or groups of members to play Travis courses.
Comment was made that many of Travis designed courses are approaching their centennials. A marketing opportunity.
Bernie Loehr commented that with all their hundreds of members, and $150 / year dues, the Ross Society only garners 12 to 40 members at their meeting. Conclusion: we are doing fine with the attendance we experience.
The question was asked if our Constitution and By-laws address electronic meetings. The point being that such participation could promote more participation from members distant from Western NY.
Discussion was held regarding joint activity among Travis, Stiles and Tillinghast Societies. The Seth Raynor Society has also recently contacted Ed Homsey.
Ralph asked if the draw for attendees at Hollywood was the golf course or the Metropolitan NY location. A non-scientific summary answer is both. Suggestions of other desirable locations included White Beeches, Canoe Brook, Spring Brook, Westchester, Garden City CC, etc.
Following the meeting a volunteer for Membership Chairman came forward. Hopefully we can soon announce the filling of this very important position.
Ralph Garnish, President
* Contributors to this report by taking notes – Mari-Ellen Lamont, Pat Garnish