BGC – Captain’s Message – 26th October 2023
Dear fellow Members,
The current position on each of the key matters affecting the development is summarised in the following paragraphs.
Phase 1 construction work has been completed and concentration is now on grow-in type work until the end of October when grass growth slows down. The weather has continued to be generally unfavourable and we suffered some damage in the major rainfall event on Friday 6 / Saturday 7 October.
Phase 1 work involved the building of new holes 2,3,4 and 7, the green and approach for new hole 6, the tees for new hole 8, the green for new hole 9 and the practice putting green. As we know, the work on the former Buchanan land has involved the most difficult construction aspects of the project. The general view is that the shaping of the new holes and, in particular, the greens is impressive.
There will be a fuller update on Phase 1 in due course but progress was severely hampered by the poor weather from July which resulted in a delay in completing construction work. This meant that grass growth did not get established as soon as had been hoped for. Expert agronomy advice has been taken to accelerate growth and the situation has improved in the last few weeks.
The grow-in phase 1 is heavily dependent on the weather from now until March and progress can only be realistically assessed when we get closer to the Spring. That progress will dictate when we can expect to bring the new holes into play, which is important because Phase 2 cannot start until the new holes are in play. Given the late completion of phase 1 play on the new holes is unlikely before June 2024.
In the coming weeks we will be working on a fully focused winter work programme and a detailed Phase 2 plan which is awaited from Graeme Webster.
At this stage costs are running within the parameters set and the main elements of Development Project spend to 30 September 2023 inclusive of VAT, are as follows-
Purchase of Buchanan land £ 2,046,565
Course costs £ 2,337,153
Course equipment for the project £ 62,042
Greenkeeping shed £ 29,894
Storage container and fit-out £ 10,110
We are progressing on the clubhouse plans, where it may be necessary to allocate further funds, but we need to be mindful of the important need to maintain momentum on spending to obtain maximum rollover relief for tax purposes. Our VAT recovery is better than expected at this stage but this may only be a timing issue.
Ideas on entrance features
We are looking for ideas for an impressive entrance feature or features as you arrive at the Club and all ideas are welcome.
In general terms, co-operation with Robertson Homes remains satisfactory and they appear to be satisfied with their own site progress and sales.
Robertson are reluctant to complete the new access road to the required specification until deliveries to the Club have stopped. This probably means late 2024 which is acceptable to us because early completion would mean that subsequent road damage would leave the Club exposed to a substantial repair cost.
I have attached recent pictures of holes 2, 3, 7 and the 9th green.