In a day and age when any increase in playing numbers would be deemed a success, a 17% annual increase in rounds played during 2016, was great news for the Counties-Manukau Veterans Inter Club golf conveners when they met for their annual meeting on 17 March 2017.
In announcing the result, COVIC Convenor Russ Ford noted that the increase represents 1309 annual rounds over 15 events. An average attendance of 88 players per event, up from 75 in 2015. This result was achieved in spite of two events being played on 9-hole course layouts where the fields are restricted to 80. A further two events saw weather postponements and a 15% annual drop in eventual event numbers due to ensuing date clashes with other events. The collective annual revenue contribution to the dozen existing COVIC clubs is estimated at over $50,000.
Ford was quick to lay credit at the feet of his hard working Club Convenors and their assistants and recognised the role of club administrators and managers, staff and green keepers. He stated that, “Without their collective efforts our events would not be possible. A mix of hard work and enthusiasm along with support for our product and pricing structure has made COVIC the 20-year success story that it is. I trust that your club’s continuing involvement and our ongoing success, will give you a banner of identity and a status of respect, that will enable your voice to be heard in matters related to competition and change. In 2017 it is our age group that is sustaining most clubs.”
In his annual report Ford states, “COVIC is a non-entity, being an informal community of veteran club golfers from within the historic Counties-Manukau districts, operating as a voluntary and not for profit coordinating body of inter club fixtures, on behalf of our participating member clubs and their veteran members. In effect COVIC is no different in organisational status or governance structure, than other district association overseen regional pennants age groups. COVIC straddles two association regions, Waikato and Auckland, neither of whom have ever offered or encouraged Veteran Pennants Play. While we desire to facilitate affordable Veterans golf of a fun, fitness and a competitive nature, we also desire to contribute within our restricted pre and post retirement means, to the financial health and well being of our golf clubs. Our successful modus operandi has now survived twenty years and it will continue with further growth anticipated, as the ‘nineteen fifties and sixties’ baby boomer generation bubble reaches retirement age.”
In its 20-years of activity, COVIC has contributed in excess of a $500,000 in club revenues, a fact that Ford reflects on, “That achievement alone should satisfy most clubs and help them to actively attract potential sponsors when hosting our COVIC events. There are not too many other groups contributing as much as COVIC does to the game of golf.”