By Dave Ward
With the competition being new and participation beyond expectations there has been some interest in how the finances of The Natterjacks have worked out and so I’ve decided to take the unprecedented step of publishing them on our club Whatsapp sites for members to see. Last year we only managed to play five rounds because of Covid and bad weather but this time the 2021/22 season ran all the way through bringing the finances up to a whole different level. This meant that there were decisions to be made where none had been necessary before. For example: How would the entry fee be divided between the weekend prizes and the Order of Merit [OOM]? How many rounds played on the day or over the weekend would constitute a competition? Should we have just one OOM or a separate one for the Ladies with its own prize fund? The 36 rounds played in round 1 brought in £108 which allowed me to pay out £60 in weekend prizes and put £48 into the OOM/Natterjack fund. There were lots of unknowns at that point. How would weather affect income? What would happen if only a few played? A decision on that question had to be made in advance, in order that players could know before they played and be treated fairly. Nobody would want to make the effort to play in bad conditions only to find out afterwards that it hadn’t counted. So I settled on a minimum of 6 rounds played. If only six played, generating £18 then another decision had to be made as to what the prize fund for that weekend should be. With £48 in the OOM/N fund I decided to be positive and try having a prize pot of £60 for each round played, with a review after round two. This meant that an average of 20 rounds needed to be played to cover each weekend prize fund. There were 29 rounds played in round two, generating £87 ie [20 x £3 =£60, £87 – £60 = £27] £27 to OOM/Natterjack fund which now stood at £48 + £27 = £75. It now looked very likely that the OOM/Natterjack fund could now afford to supplement the weekend prize fund when necessary and still grow but what would happen if two consecutive rounds each produced only 6 players? Unlikely but possible! Two subsidies of £42 could mean £88, the prize fund had £75. Let’s review again after round 3! 39 played in round three, generating £117 which after paying £60 produced £57 for the OOM/Natterjack fund which secured the future and justified the decisions made. Rounds 4 and 5 did require subsidies with 16 playing round 4 [subsidy of £12] and 18 playing round 5 [subsidy of £6] but no more were needed after that. Rounds 6 & 9 were abandoned due to bad weather. But the competition continued to find support and by round 7 I decided to introduce ‘balls for 2’s and purchased 2 boxes of Srixons at £18 =£36 via a club source [Thanks Pete.] Below is a breakdown of the 10 rounds played and the end of season balance. Through discussions with Peter & Diane & Jon & Helen Holmes it was decided to keep the ladies as part of the weekend comps but give them their own OOM, with proportionate prizes down to third and I made the decision to have prize money for the men’s OOM down to fifth. The future of The Natterjack 9’s now looks secure and it has therefore become necessary to formalize the format and rules it’s played under. With hindsight and after consultation it’s been decided to make it 10 rounds played to constitute a competition for season 2022/23, otherwise the format will remain the same. The last and most controversial decision has been over what to do with any excess at the end of the season. After lots of listening and discussions it has been decided that the Natterjack Fund will take on the expense of small projects around the club and course, as suggested by those who have played in the competition. In this way you will be able to see where your money has gone.
53 People participated
Total Rounds played = 326
Entry fees [326 x £3] = £978
Weekend prizes [10 x £60] = £600
OOM prizes: Mens £130 + Ladies £60 = £190
Subsidies = £18
Balls [2 boxes] [18 balls retained] £36
£978 – [£600 + £190 + £18 + £36] = £134
Excess held = £134
There’s a world of difference between organizing a comp on one day and another which takes place twice a month over six months through the winter. And for me it was a big learning curve. Fortunately I kept financial records, score cards and entry sheets from every round played so if there are further questions please feel free to ask. But the single biggest question, will people support it? has been answered. You did and thank you. I consulted whenever I faced a decision of importance and I would like to especially thank Peter & Diane Clark, Jon & Helen Holmes, Dave Boyce & Ank Robinson, who have always found the time to listen and offer guidance.