PLEASE SCROLL DOWN PAST THE ORIGINAL LETTER TO READ THE NEWEST MESSAGE.
[BEGIN ORIGINAL LETTER]
Thank you for your support and patronage of Linden Golf & Country Club. Throughout our history, the Board of Directors and staff have continually worked to operate and improve our beautiful course and associated facilities at the most reasonable possible price. Linden also has a strong tradition of members volunteering their time, talents, and expertise for the greater good of the club.
To maintain our current levels of service, and to ensure adequate cash reserves in the event of economic downturn, the club is implementing an assessment and an increase in monthly dues. Each membership will be assessed a one-time fee of $360, to be billed on the April statement. Single monthly dues will adjust to $199, and Family monthly dues will change to $268.
This decision was taken very seriously, and was only made after much research, consideration, and deliberation by the Board. Other potential methods to increase income included hosting more outside tournaments and/or a change to the bylaws to increase the number of memberships. In the interest of preserving Linden’s charm and appeal and to avoid overcrowding the golf course, the Board decided against these options.
Linden’s financial condition is much improved since the last recession when, from 2007 through 2012, we experienced all-time lows in membership, and simply keeping the club operational was at times a tenuous proposition. During this period, the club was forced to defer important maintenance and repairs. As a result of this economic situation, the club also went many years without significant increases in dues. Our dues did not keep up with the rate of inflation of nearly every recurring cost such as lease payments, sales tax, sand, fertilizer, and labor, just to name a few.
Due to the hard work of our staff resulting in the best course conditions in the history of the club, we have enjoyed a dramatic increase in membership levels which now currently stands at its maximum (300) and includes a wait list of 12 prospective members. This has allowed us to tackle several of the deferred maintenance projects that had been on hold. During the years 2016 through 2019 alone, the club undertook over $1 Million in capital improvements and maintenance equipment additions. Most of these improvements were accomplished with income in excess of what was budgeted, and the club also managed to increase cash reserves during this time.
Looking forward, we are building a sustainable business model so that we may continue to make improvements while responsibly managing expenditures and maintaining an appropriate cash reserve. We have also retired a substantial amount of debt from 2016 through 2019 and stand poised to continue to aggressively retire debt, including the irrigation system, over the next 5-7 years.
To hear more about the upcoming assessment and dues increases, all members are invited to attend an informational meeting on Thursday, March 12th, at 6:30 PM in the Linden Clubhouse. The Board of Directors will help explain all the factors that went into the decision-making process and answer questions you may have. In the meantime, we have posted some relevant information and data to the club website (click here).
Thank you again for being a member at Linden, and we look forward to enjoying many more years of wonderful golf together.
Linden Golf & Country Club
Board of Directors
[END ORIGINAL LETTER]
[IMPORTANT UPDATE ** MARCH 18, 2020 ** PLEASE READ]
The Linden Golf and Country Club Board of Directors met last night and by unanimous vote decided to cancel the upcoming $360 member assessment and instead increase monthly dues as follows: Single Membership $209.00 Family Membership $279.00. The increase will become effective on April 1st, 2020.
There was much discussion by the Board in making this decision, but the current economic downturn caused by the Coronavirus pandemic ultimately brought about this Board action. Based on our own observation and feedback from our members, we concluded that replacing the immediate large assessment with $20 and $23 per month increases for single and family memberships respectively, would be more acceptable to the majority our members. Members who have already paid the assessment have the option of having the amount be applied to future dues or receiving a refund.
We are happy to note that due to the outstanding work of our entire staff, the golf course remains in top condition. The pro shop staff continue to provide excellent information and service during this serious public health crisis. Meanwhile, our membership, which is holding firm at 300, can continue to enjoy Linden as an oasis of tranquility during these challenging times.
We would, however, like our members to know that the underlying financial concerns that led to the Board first selecting the assessment option remain. To continue to maintain the course in its current outstanding condition, maintain our facility and offer health benefits and equitable pay to our employees, we must expect costs to increase. Therefore, while this dues increase will certainly help, we expect that it will not be our last.
This Board pledges to continue to practice economic restraint and manage our budget conservatively. We understand that increases in dues and assessments are not popular with our membership and will strive to employ them only when other cost-saving measures have been exhausted.
In closing, for further information regarding the Linden budget and other important correspondence from the Board regarding Coronavirus updates, we urge members to visit the Linden website at www.lindengolf.com under the “News” pull-down menu tab.
The Linden Board of Directors