Chairman's letter re Coronavirus 21.3.2020.

22 Mar 2020

Posted by: Sarah Cross

Subjects: Coronavirus

I promised to keep you updated on the measures we are taking to provide the best possible service to members during the coronavirus crisis. Our highest priority is to ensure the health and wellbeing of both staff and members whilst ensuring the financial viability of Eaton Golf Club. Whilst the Board and staff are fully engaged on this task we cannot get through these difficult times without the wholehearted support of you the members. This letter will explain how you can help.

We are particularly conscious that a large proportion of our members are in the vulnerable category for coronavirus and all the decisions the Board make will be against that background. 

Yesterday, the government announced that pubs, clubs, restaurants and indoor sports and recreation facilities were to close immediately. However, at the press conference, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer stated that exercise outdoors was recommended as long as social distancing was enforced. On that basis we can keep the course open. We have taken all possible precautions such as immobilising ball washers, and shutting off the air hoses, removing rakes, putting with the pins in and inserting spacers in the holes. You will have also seen from the Competitions Director that we have amended the format of certain upcoming competitions.

However, to get through this crisis we need the unreserved cooperation of you the members. Please stay at home if you feel unwell or have coronavirus symptoms; regularly wash your hands with soap or hand-sanitizer for 20 seconds; take the appropriate ‘social distancing’ measures around the car park and changing rooms and note the advice to vulnerable people. Although not UK government policy we also ask that those of you who have recently returned from overseas to not come to the club for 7 days. Our Club Manager, Peter, is following this policy. Last, but not least please follow the advice on social distancing when playing.

 Public Health England - guidance on social distancing

Following last night’s announcements it became clear that we could no longer continue to operate the Half Way House or maintain seating in the patio area. These facilities will therefore be closed from today and the staff will be standing down. We have also closed the coffee machine in the Pro Shop so recommend you bring your own hot drinks. 

To counter the loss of income from visitors and the suspension our social programme, we are actively looking into a range of financial measures to help us through a very uncertain period. Last night the Chancellor made some very welcome announcements that will allow us to support our staff while they are standing down. We will be looking closely at the details as they emerge and will brief members when we have more information. We are already negotiating to delay payments to HMRC, scrutinising discretionary spend and seeking to restructure our mortgage repayments.

You can help us through this period of financial challenges by settling your invoice promptly. This is good practice at all times, but is even more important now. 

Although recorded before yesterday’s announcements you may like to hear our club manager Peter Johns being interviewed on Eaton’s approach to the coronavirus crisis on Thursday for BBC Radio Norfolk by Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk

Only four short weeks ago we gathered to celebrate our 110th anniversary. At that event we heard about the drive and determination of our founders and their successors as they established Eaton as the 'hidden gem' that we all know and love. The challenges we are facing now are unprecedented and the outcome is far from clear, but together we can ensure that Eaton Golf Club emerges from this as an even stronger community. Thank you for your continued support.

Chris Cooper

Chairman, Eaton Golf Club