Captain’s Message - 16th February 2017

Dear Fellow Members

Well we didn’t quite achieve my target of obtaining over 400 responses to the recent membership survey, but we came close with 372 respondents taking the time and the trouble to complete the questionnaire. Thank you very much to all of the respondents – you have provided the Club with a very rich seam of information that will be of huge benefit to the Club as we now know the views of the majority (59%) of the membership. I think this could be a first in the history of the Club.

I am very pleased to inform you that the report on the survey is now available. For those who just want to get a quick overview of the results, there is a short summary report, while those who want to see the full set of analyses should take a look at the full report of 37 pages. Hard copies of both reports are available in the bar – please don’t take them away! Soft copies of both reports are now available on the members-only section of the website. Additionally, the standard report produced by the survey software and the full list of publishable comments are also available on the members-only section of the website.

Members who don’t have a password for the members-only section should contact Steve West asking for the reports to be emailed to them. Please do not ask for hard copies as collectively they amount to over 100 pages.

The Captain’s Committee invites members to comment on the report in writing or by email to Steve West by 31 March 2017. The comments received will be reviewed by the Captain’s Committee who will then determine whether the report’s recommendations should be modified. The Captain’s Committee will then oversee the implementation of the final set of recommendations and keep members informed of progress. It would be appreciated if members making comments could please ensure that they read the full report first as this gives more detail on how the recommendations have been arrived at.

I am aware that a number of members are concerned that the survey has been a devilish plot to introduce tee booking by the “back-door”. I can assure you that this is absolutely not the case. I would ask such members to note that the Trustees have reviewed the original responses received and have confirmed that the report’s findings and assessment form a fair reflection of respondents’ views.

This is my last Captain’s message before I step down at the AGM. I would like to thank Steve West, the Captain’s Committee, the Management Committee, Claire’s team, Christian’s team, Tim & Belinda McSherry and Mike Phillips, Immediate Past Captain, for their tremendous support, encouragement and advice in my captaincy year. I wish our new Captain-designate, Richard Price, all the very best in his captaincy year and will endeavour to support him to the greatest possible extent.

Happy golfing and very best wishes.

David Parlby
Club Captain
16 February 2017

Captain’s Message - 2nd December 2016

Dear Fellow Members

Regrettably I was remiss in not writing a web page update in September so hope to make up for it by providing a significant update for December.

With the winter season now in full swing, (as much as it can be when wearing four layers of clothing in the recent bright and cold but fortunately dry spell of weather!), my playing duties as Captain have reduced considerably.  I have therefore turned my attention to trying to help the Club behind the scenes in the areas of membership communication and looking at how effectively we make use of the course so that members can play more frequently when they want to.

In the communications arena I held a workshop in early November with a small number of members drawn from all sections of the club in order to identify what improvements members would like to see in the way the Club communicates with members and vice-versa.  This was an extremely constructive and useful meeting in which many very good suggestions were made by the participants.  A summary of the discussion can be found on the through the login page.

As a result of the workshop, a number of recommendations as to how to improve Club communications were agreed by the Captain’s Committee in late November and will be put to the Management Committee for approval in December.  Most of the recommendations are pretty straightforward to implement and it is my hope that members will soon see a number of changes for the better.

Regarding course usage, the Captain’s Committee has agreed that we currently have very little hard data about how and when and by whom the course is used.  It has also agreed that the Club does not have a good view of members’ preferred social golf playing patterns, in terms of when and how frequently members want to play and in what format, such as informal roll-ups of 8 or more players or friendly four-balls. Without this information, the Club is unable to identify an appropriate mix of solutions designed to improve course availability for members

To address this lack of information the Captains’ Committee has agreed that two separate, but linked data gathering exercises will be initiated:
1.    Members will be asked to register with the Pro Shop before playing.  Just one member of the group needs to register the players in the group be it 2, 3, 4 or more players. This will enable us to identify precisely when the course is used throughout the week and by whom.  Tim McSherry will shortly issue a note setting out the details of the registration process.

2.    We will issue a survey questionnaire in mid-December to all members asking a number of questions about their preferred playing times and patterns.  This will be done through an e-survey which will take no more than 10 minutes to complete.  For those members who do not use the internet, hard copy questionnaires will be available.  A report on the responses to the survey will be prepared and discussed at the next Captain’s Committee meeting in February and the report will be published to all members.

I hope that members will support both the data gathering initiatives and I look forward to updating you on the results in February.

David Parlby
Club Captain
2 December 2016

Captain’s Message - 9th June 2016

Dear Fellow Members,

It’s been a busy first three months as Captain: two Captain’s Committee meetings, two Management Committee meetings, one Handicap and Competitions meeting, 11 Captain’s Evenings, three club matches, one Captain Pro match, five competitions, 100 sausage rolls and the season is only just starting to get into full swing….

It has been particularly enjoyable to have had the opportunity to play with so many members who previously I only knew by sight and start to get to know them.  I had no idea that we have members who have previously worked on the Queens Flight and the Royal Yacht Britannia, are keen horticulturists specialising in orchids, pub owners and nuclear engineers, all of which combine to make for some fascinating conversations between shots and in the bar.

The Captain’s Evenings have been well attended when we’ve had good weather, with a variety of competitions including playing the course to the Pine Lakes, Myrtle Beach card where players could fill their boots on the 6th which at Pine Lakes is a par 5 stroke index 3 hole.  And be severely challenged at the 8th which is a par 3 stroke index 14 hole!  To enable members working in Plymouth to participate more easily in Captain’s evenings we have extended the time slot to finish at 6pm so I hope that members will take advantage of this and also of the excellent and good value meals in the bar afterwards.  By the way, congratulations to Graham Norris who currently heads the leader board for the series, noting it’s not too late for him to be caught!  So do pitch up and find out the difference between nuclear fission and fusion (yes, I did get it wrong…).

So far the Club has a near perfect record with our matches in the Plymouth Area League, the Palairet and friendlies with no losses – long may this continue and congratulations to all the players involved.

The Vets in particular are to be congratulated on their incredible turnaround victory in the Emerton Court Trophy against Downes Crediton, winning the return match 4½-½ at home.  The final result was only settled on the 20th hole in the final match to our advantage and apparently involved some extremely tense moments which required a lengthy stay in the bar to bring heart rates down to normal levels.  Good luck to the Vets in the next round.

The Ladies are going from strength to strength under Caroline Theyer’s inspiring leadership with the Ladies Taster Day proving to be most successful, resulting in a considerable number of ladies now taking lessons from Tim McSherry and hopefully becoming members.

Our Juniors, though small in number, are playing some impressive golf, so much so that our Rob Frost and Joe Newcombe whom we lent to Staddon Heights at the Centenary match helped increase the margin of our defeat there.  On that note, with the school holidays approaching, I urge members with children and grand-children under the age of 13 to encourage them to get into golf and help fill the long days ahead.

Congratulations to Sean Carter and Brad Richardson on winning the Dartmoor Foursomes with Brad taking some time off from restoring the paintwork on the clubhouse, and Roger Joesbury on winning the Jubilee Trophy on the Gala Day.  Finally I’d like to thank Christian and his green-keeping team for the excellent condition of the course for the Gala Day and all the Club staff for creating a real buzz in the clubhouse through the post-golf entertainment, food and drink.

Happy golfing and best wishes
David Parlby

Dear Fellow Members,

parlby mar16I feel very honoured to have been elected as Captain for 2016/17 and pledge to do my very best to carry out my duties for the benefit of the club and all our members over the next 12 months.

For those who don’t know me, I’m 61, live in Yelverton and I am married to Geri and have two grown up kids, Becca and Mikey.  I’ve had what has been described as an eclectic career, which has included being an English teacher, management consultant, pub owner, chef and CEO of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.  I’m now fully retired job-wise, so I do quite a bit of community work and try to play as much golf as possible, plus a bit of long distance cycling.

I first started playing golf almost 50 years ago and joined YGC in 2003, when we moved down to Devon.  I believe that the club is in very good shape with a great course, a waiting list for new members and a highly professional team and Management Committee running the operation.  That said, no organisation is perfect and I do believe that there are various ways in which we can make YGC even better.

I see the role of captain as being ambassador for the club, both externally and for the members generally.  As your external ambassador, I’ll do my utmost to represent the club in the manner that you expect when playing other clubs and at other external events.  As internal ambassador, I’m very keen to hear of members’ views as to how we can continue to make playing golf at Yelverton such a hugely enjoyable experience and to remain the envy of all other clubs in Devon and indeed the South West.

For me a key element of golfing enjoyment is the meeting of new friends on the golf course.  I therefore look forward to playing with as many of you as possible.  I would also like to see more YGC members get to know each other better, partly through greater interaction between the various sections of the club.  I therefore also look forward to working with Caroline Theyer, Lady Captain, Tim Douglas-Riley, Veterans Captain and Bob Taylor, the Pounders Captain, to see how this might be achieved.  One small step in the direction of a “one club” philosophy is that my chosen charity for the year is the same as Caroline’s – namely, St Luke’s Hospice.

My intention is to refresh this page on a regular basis, so do keep coming back to it for updates.  In the mean time I hope that you all have a great golfing year once this relentless spell of awful weather goes away!

David Parlby

General Manager

Steven West

01822 852824 Ext: 1


Claire Smith

01822 852824 Ext: 4


Tim Wilkes

01822 852824 Ext: 5


Tim McSherry

01822 852824 Ext: 3

Direct line: 01822 853593