Constitution, Objectives, Terms of Reference & Rules
January 1st, 2021
1 NAME AND OBJECTS
The Society shall be called the The Variety Club Golf Society (known as Variety Golf) and its object shall be to raise funds for Variety – the Children’s Charity (Registered Charity in England and Wales No: 209259) to purchase and present Sunshine Coaches to schools and other centres and institutions charged with the care and education of disadvantaged children, or such other charitable objectives for the benefit of disadvantaged children as shall be agreed and determined from time to time.
The Society’s further objective shall be to arrange first-class golfing and other events for the enjoyment of its business and celebrity members and their guests.
Membership of the Society shall be by majority vote of the Executive Committee (the Committee) and is open to golfers from all walks of life provided that they are duly elected as outlined below. In addition, the Executive Committee shall have the power to admit to the Society any personality or individual from the broadest description of the entertainment and sporting worlds who is considered to be of value in pursuing the above Objects.
Membership of the Society shall be limited with the maximum number of members at any one time being decided by the Executive Committee.
2.1 ELECTION OF MEMBERS
A candidate for membership of the Society must be proposed and seconded by current member who should be confident that the nominee shall uphold the high standards expected from all members of the Society. Following their proposal, nominees are expected to attend a meeting with one or more members of the Committee, including the Director of Golf, when they shall be made aware of the need to support the Society’s charitable objective by entering competitions and other events, as well as acting as sponsors, introducing other potential sponsors and other charitably-minded candidates for membership. Once the nominee has been accepted as a Member, the proposer and seconder shall be considered responsible for their good behaviour.
Once elected, a member of the Society shall be deemed to have accepted the Rules of the Society and be bound by them.
2.2 MEMBERS’ RIGHTS
Members shall enjoy the following rights and privileges:
(a) To wear the colours and ties of the Society,
(b) To receive annually a Variety Golf Membership Card which provides access to events arranged by the Society and allows discounted or reduced green fees at Moor Park Golf Club or such other Club as may be decided from time to time.
(c) To receive the Society’s newsletters, and regular communications by e-mail
(d) To receive invitations to regional and other events arranged by the Society for which members may receive discounted prices.
2.3 LIFE MEMBERS
Life membership may be awarded to a member who in the opinion of the Committee has given exceptional value to the Society and its charitable objects over a long period of time. Life members shall enjoy the above rights without payment of an annual subscription.
2.4 JOINING FEE AND ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION
Upon election to membership of the Society, each member shall be required to pay a Joining Fee, currently standing at £1,000. This fee shall be reviewed by the Committee from time-to-time.
Thereafter, members shall pay an annual subscription due prior to February 28th each year. This fee currently stands at £250 and shall be reviewed by the Committee from time-to-time.
2.5 WITHDRAWAL OF MEMBERSHIP
The Committee shall have the right to suspend or withdraw membership of any members who:
(a) have failed to pay their subscription within three months of the due date, unless the member is able to satisfy the Committee there is good reason or extenuating circumstances for non-payment.
(b) through their actions have brought the Society into disrepute or caused any embarrassment to the Society, the Committee or its staff.
3 THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee shall comprise: The President, the Chair, the current Captain, the Director of Golf and the Treasurer. In addition, there shall be places for up to three members who are committed to the fair and reasonable governance of the Society,
3.1 VARIETY THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY
A member of the Committee shall be elected to act as Liaison Officer with Variety – the Children’s Charity.
3.2 SUB-COMMITTEES AND CO-OPTED MEMBERS
The Committee shall have the power to appoint sub-committees and may co-opt members from outside the Committee as may be required from time to time.
3.3 APPOINTMENTS AND TERMS OF OFFICE
(a) The Committee may invite any member of the Society to be appointed to the Committee or any Sub-Committee. The member shall be expected to bring courtesy, objectivity and consideration to the Committee’s discussions, to attend meetings and devote sufficient time as may be required to the satisfaction of the Committee.
(b) Members of the Committee shall be required to disclose any conflict of interest prior to appointment and to disclose any potential conflict as soon as becomes known.
(c) The President of the Society is appointed by the Committee by a unanimous vote and shall serve for a period of five years, after which he/she shall be eligible for re-election for a further term by unanimous vote of the committee.
(d) The Chair shall be elected by majority vote of the Committee to serve for a period of three years, after which shall be eligible for re-election for a further term by majority vote of the Committee. The Chair shall take the chair at any meeting of the Committee and shall be an ex-officio member of any sub-committee and shall, subject to the Committee and in collaboration with the Director of Golf, be responsible for the overall management of the Association.
(e) The Treasurer shall be elected by majority vote of the Committee to serve for a period of three years, and shall be eligible for re-election for a further term by majority vote of the Committee.
(f) Members of the Executive Committee shall serve for a period of three years after which time they shall be eligible for re-election for a further term by majority vote of the Committee.
(g) The Captain of the Society shall be appointed by majority vote of the Committee and serve for a period of one year, except in unusual circumstances when the Captain may be invited to serve for a further year.
3.4 RESIGNATIONS AND NO CONFIDENCE MOTIONS
If any member of the Committee chooses to resign before the end of their period of office they must submit their resignation in writing to the Chair giving at least three months’ notice unless otherwise agreed by the Committee.
A motion of no confidence in any committee member may be called by a two-thirds majority at a Committee meeting (at which the member in question shall have no vote) and the member shall be required to offer his resignation or otherwise be removed from the Committee.
The Committee shall meet as often as is deemed necessary, but no less than four times a year. A quorum of five including either the President, Chair or Treasurer is required to constitute a meeting with all decisions being reached by a majority vote of those present. If there is no majority the Chair shall have the casting vote.
5 EMPLOYMENT OF STAFF
The Committee shall appoint the Director of Golf and any other members of staff as may be required to assist with the management and smooth-running of the Society and shall determine their contractual terms and levels of remuneration.
6 MANAGEMENT OF THE SOCIETY
The day-to-day business of the Society shall be managed by the Director of Golf who shall be responsible for all matters relating to the Society’s events and other meetings, as well as any disputes that may arise from time to time. The Director of Golf shall be responsible in all instances to the Chair and Committee who shall have full power of veto subject to a majority vote.
7 IMMUNITY AND INDEMNITY
Members of the Committee shall be indemnified by an indemnity insurance policy arranged by the Society in respect of any costs incurred by them and any damages awarded against them (including any sums paid under a reasonable settlement) being costs or damages incurred or awarded in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by them in the exercise or purported exercise of their function provided that they shall have acted reasonably and in good faith.
All complaints must be made in writing to the Director of Golf who, at his discretion, shall attend to the complaint or refer it to the Committee.
9 CHANGES TO RULES
The Committee shall have the power to amend or change the Society’s Rules at any time subject only to notifying members of such changes. Any member wishing to suggest any such changes should do so in writing for the Committee’s consideration.
10 EVENTS & COMPETITIONS
Members wishing to play in a Society event or competition shall be charged an entrance fee established and announced well in advance by the Director of Golf.
10.1 Payment of entry fees should be made at the time of booking and only in exceptional circumstances, and with the prior agreement of the Director of Golf, at or after the event. Any member who has booked for an event and subsequently wishes to withdraw must do so at least 5 days in advance of the event or forfeit his entry fee. Repeated abuse of this rule may lead to suspension or withdrawal of membership
10.2 The Society is the guardian of a number of valuable trophies. The winning member may retain the trophy until the same event the following year on condition that (a) he arranges for the engraving to be updated and (b) that the trophy is returned in at least as good a condition as when it was presented. Alternatively, the trophy may be left with the Society for maintenance and safekeeping.
10.3 Members are expected to adhere to a dress code at all events both on and off the course, with particular reference to the dress code adopted by the host golf club. Members should refrain from changing items of clothing outside designated dressing rooms, including car parks. Proper golfing attire is required, and shirts must be tucked in at all times.
11 HANDICAP POLICY
On joining the society, members shall declare their lowest club handicap as maintained by their club in accordance with the new World Handicap System effective November 2020. If not a member of a golf club, then the Society will accept the lowest handicap issued by another society. In the absence of a previous handicap, the member will be awarded a Society handicap at the discretion of the Director of Golf, with a maximum handicap of 24. In accordance with the new World Handicap System, the member’s original CONGU handicap has now been consolidated into a single portable index which can be now be used at the different courses where Variety Golf events are held.
11.1 At the start of each season, members will play off their official club handicap in accordance with the World Handicap System, unless they have won the Order of Merit the previous year in which case they will play off the reduced Society handicap they finished with at the end of the previous season (although this may be lower than their club handicap)
11.2 Members who win individual events during the season will be deducted 2 strokes from their club handicap until the end of that season. Members who finish second place or tied second place will be deducted 1 stroke from their handicap until the end of that season. Members who win again will be deducted a further 2 strokes (e.g. members who win 3 events in the same season will come down by 6 stroke from their original handicap)
11.3 At the first event of the following season, members will revert to playing off their current club handicap in accordance with the World Handicap System. In the absence of a club handicap, members will be awarded a society handicap at the discretion of the Director of Golf based on observed play (unless they have won the Order of Merit, see 11.1) However, new members cannot win their first Variety Golf event if they do not hold an official club handicap, but will be given a Society handicap at the discretion of the Director of Golf to be used at their second event which they shall then be eligible to win.