February 18, 2022
Dear Valued Members,
All of us on the board would like to do a better job of communicating with the membership on a regular basis, so let’s start with that New Year’s resolution now. We thank you for electing us to represent you in making decisions in the best interests of the Linden membership. Everyone should be proud with how far Linden has come in a few short years, from the installation of a high-quality irrigation system to the addition of an excellent short game practice facility. We have also addressed a need by building additional cart storage that will be paid for by its tenants. Linden is truly a hidden gem, and we hope you all feel the same way. That said, we believe our outstanding employees are a big part of our success story. We must ensure we’re doing everything possible to retain our present staff and recruit quality new employees as they are needed.
Linden has a responsibility to our staff to provide fair and adequate compensation that is competitive in today’s market. Regretfully, we have not addressed salary increases on a regular and consistent basis over the past few years. Our staff’s increased workload brought on by historic use of our course and facilities, and new locations like the practice area and tee boxes which our limited grounds crew must maintain, has come at the same time as maintenance costs for the course have risen. And after years of attempting to keep dues increases to a minimum, we are now in the position that a very substantial adjustment is necessary. As your board, we do not take this decision lightly, but we must send the right message to our staff while ensuring that Linden Golf and Country Club is properly maintained.
Based on those reasons, our dues will increase as follows:
Current single membership $225/month to $270 /month starting April 1, 2022
Current family membership $295/month to $354 /month starting April 1, 2022
When comparing private golf course dues in our market, Linden remains an excellent value. Furthermore, we are excited for the improvements this year’s golf season will bring, especially through our partnership with retired USGA agronomist, Larry Gilhuly. Starting this March, Larry will help us focus our attention on caring for our golf course from the greens backwards while giving our superintendent additional tools and methods to make our greens better and our fairways firmer and drier.
We understand that financial surprises are not always welcome. The board is working to develop a plan that will permit the club to operate with more economic consistency. That plan would function in this manner:
The board will establish a reserve account (say $200,000) which will be used to cover expenses that are not included in the budget, like emergency repairs to the clubhouse deck or replacement of a vital piece of equipment that must be purchased during the golf season. Special capital projects, like the short game area, will be prioritized based on input from our membership. All of these types of expenses will be paid from the reserve account at the time the work is completed. If the board has found it necessary to spend from our reserves the prior year, members will pay an assessment to refill this account to its former level. If the board deems it necessary to levy an assessment, ample notice will be given to members.
In addition, members should also plan to receive an annual dues increase. These increases will be used to offset inflationary pressure on wages and operations and will be built using both the consumer price index and government inflation data. Every effort will be made to keep our dues low, but we don’t want to fall back into the habit of having to play catch up with a major increase ever again.
We trust you have appreciated all of the improvements that have been made at Linden and hope that we can count on you to help us make our hidden gem even better in the years ahead.
Linden Board of Directors