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Mutual Respect : The Key to a Great Randpark

by | Aug 13, 2021

No power at home so I couldn’t send emails. Frustration. But I needed to enter my latest 18-hole score for handicap purposes. I phoned the club. “Hi, Gugu here,” said the very cheerful lady on the other end of the line, “what can I do for you?” I told her my problem. “Don’t you worry, I’ll sort it out,” she replied. A moment’s pause and then she added, “Actually, I see you have two open rounds.” Another moment’s pause and then she said: “All done. I’ve already fixed everything.” I had been speaking to Head Concierge Gugu Sikhosana and she couldn’t have been more friendly, more efficient and more gracious. It was such good service. All in less than a minute. Yes, a small gesture in a big organisation like Randpark, but a gesture that summed up the “Mutual Respect” ethos that CEO Francois Swart and his team are implementing at the club.
“It all comes down to the club being a place of enjoyment,” says Francois. “With so much happening with Covid and the chaos that’s been happening around us, it’s natural to feel stressed, threatened, frustrated and angry whether it be because of crime, the economy or challenges at work or whatever. The pressure builds up and you need a release. So that’s why we are striving to make Randpark your favourite place – your home from home. When you drive through the club gates, you can leave your anger and stress behind and enter a world that goes well beyond golf. Randpark is indeed a place for golfers, but also a place for families and friends to gather in a warm and friendly environment that strives to offer personal attention and added extras to create what is hopefully an unforgettable experience. We want to create an atmosphere and facility you can be proud of – where you can meet for golf, or just re-unite and re-connect with friends over breakfast, lunch or dinner, have some fun and leave your troubles and frustrations behind. And if there’s all-round mutual respect so much the better as we’re all in this together.”
Francois feels strongly that members need to respect the club’s staff. “Times have been tough for them, work-wise. One week the club is closed, then it’s open, then it’s closed again. It’s been difficult for them to adapt and they’re trying their very best. The last thing we want, when staff are trying to observe protocols, is for people to bite off their heads with some uncalled for, nasty comment. How much better things can be if you show mutual respect.”
Men’s Club Captain, Derek McGowan has no trouble in buying into all this. “If you are feeling stressed don’t take it out on your wife (or husband) and kids. Rather come to the club and let off some steam here on the golf course. Have a drink afterwards and enjoy the camaraderie. It’s a place to release your tension. And remember, just like you’ve chosen your family, so you’ve chosen this club. You can’t be treating your family or the club or its members or staff as your punch bag, no matter what your frustrations are. Again, it all comes down to mutual respect. Yes, in golf and at the club and indeed in life there are rules and regulations but one rule pretty much covers all of these and that is to treat others like you want to be treated yourself.”
One player who can identify with our CEO’s desire for people to leave their stress behind when driving through the club’s gates is 27-year-old Zethu Myeki, who played for South Africa as an amateur before turning professional at the beginning of 2020. “I think our club is doing a great job with all its facilities and also for observing all the protocols necessary in this time of the ‘new normal’, so you can feel safe,” she says. “Yes, we may get frustrated out there in the world but we’re so blessed here at Randpark to come through the gates and, as Francois says, feel at home among our fellow members. And as far as facilities go, by the way, the Inrange facility is absolutely fantastic if you want, like me, to work hard on your game and know exactly where you stand, whether it be how far you’re hitting the ball, or whatever. It literally does everything you need to improve your game.” And Zethu’s hours of Inrange practice is clearly paying dividends in tournament play as she takes part each month in the Standard Bank Pro-Am Series for the lady professionals and won the June edition of the competition with a sizzling 67 at Parkview. This coming week she’s at Glendower.
Jock Wellington, a relatively new member of Randpark, has for the last 20 years been a dominant player in South African Senior Amateur Golf. He is a multiple winner of the SA Senior Amateur and long-standing member of the over-50s national side, has been No 1 in the rankings for a good chunk of the last two decades and has been a stalwart for Central Gauteng in the annual Senior Amateur Interprovincial.
“Mutual respect? Of course, it’s needed,” says Jock who still plays scratch golf at 70. “Especially in these difficult times, we need to be far more tolerant. Here at Randpark some of the people have been months without a proper income. So, there’s definitely no need to jump down someone’s throat if there’s no ice in your drink. As golfers, we should just be extremely grateful that we are allowed to tee it up and play this wonderful game on two fine courses at such a great club. Yes, there are issues out there with lockdown and the frustration it has brought, but let’s not translate that into aggro at the club.”
And yes, there have been stress-induced aggro and unfortunate and unnecessary altercations. There is no need for this in golf. Yes, times have been hard during the pandemic, but all the more reason to show gratitude that we can at least enjoy our passion for the game away from what’s happening out there in the world.

Long-time member Otto Knabl feels that one very important way of showing mutual respect is to get vaccinated. Otto, an Austrian, but a permanent resident in South Africa, is a regular visitor to his country of birth and was there in May and June. “In Austria and Europe generally, they won’t let you on the golf course if you haven’t been vaccinated. I know that for practical reasons this can’t happen here just yet but ideally, it should also be the case. In that way, we can all be safe and isn’t that what we all want? You know, in Europe, of every 100 people that die of Covid, 99 haven’t been vaccinated. So Randpark golfers, get vaccinated if you can so you and anyone else you come into contact with can be safe. That’s how you can show mutual respect to other golfers.”
Another member, Richard Way, agrees: “I’ve been playing golf regularly at the club week on week and thoroughly enjoying it here at Randpark, but since June last year I haven’t been either into the halfway house or into any other part of the club. Okay, it could be argued that this isn’t good for the club finances as I haven’t been buying drinks! But I just think it’s the responsible thing to do in order to ensure social distancing and avoid being with a crowd of people as we all know this is how the pandemic spreads. So, as Otto says, get vaccinated and be responsible.”
Lady members, Jacqui Jones and Janene Matsukis are fairly new to golf, describing themselves as “learners” (although they’re far from hackers and already hold down handicaps in the low 20s). They have a different take on mutual respect: “What does happen some of the time is that because we’re still learning, we might find a fourball behind us getting irritated because we’re holding them up,” says Janine. “Here again is where mutual respect can play a part. They perhaps need to be more patient and for our part, we must be ready to let them through and we make sure to do this,” adds the former Zimbabwe squash and basketball international. Says Jackie: “Janine and I both own technology companies and out there in business we’re in opposition to each other. But we’re such good friends and we team up well on the golf course. Yes, times have been difficult. But let’s be thankful we can actually play this game and feel safe and at home here at Randpark when so many other people are struggling. Be patient with others and there’s no need for irritation.”
With a good deal of mutual respect here at Randpark we can make a great club even better. Thanks Francois, thanks Derek, thanks Gugu, thanks everyone!

Written by Randpark Member, Grant Winter


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From the Blog

Golf Terms & Conditions

1. The Club reserves the right to impose a cancellation fee of up to R250 for any tee-times booked in peak times (as determined by the club) which are cancelled within 24 hours regardless of whether that actual member made the booking and /or cancellation.

2. The Club reserves the right to impose a no-show fee of up to R500 for any tee-times booked in peak times (as determined by the club) where the member failed to show up regardless of whether that actual member made the booking and /or cancellation.

3. Golf specific disclaimer: When entering the Club’s premises, the member is fully aware and understands the risk and hazards inherent to the golf environment which includes but is not limited to the risk of being struck by flying golf balls and lightning strikes. In the case of the latter, the member further acknowledges that the shelters provided on the golf course are rain shelters only and are not lightning proof and the club accepts no responsibility in respect of death or injury of persons or destruction or damage to property as a result of any lightning strike whether it occurs at or near a rain shelter or at any other place. All persons using any such rain shelters or any other shelter on the property do so entirely at their own risk. It is to be noted that whilst the Club makes use of an automated lightning detection system, the Club makes no warranties and accepts no responsibility with respect to either the reliability or accuracy of the equipment. It is further noted that a member always has the right to stop play if he/she deems any condition, including lightning, to be a danger to his or her personal safety.

4. A member is not entitled to a refund of golf fees in the event a competition or round is cancelled due to weather.

5. The notional base number of rounds for a CLUB10 and CLUB20 playing cards is 10 & 20 respectively regardless of any reference to an unlimited playing card. When these golf round thresholds have been completed the cost of the playing cards has been consumed. The rounds cannot be carried over to the following financial year, and thus lapse on 31 March.

6. Unlimited golf is subject to booking restrictions as per the specific membership category. The rounds cannot be carried over to the following financial year, and thus lapse on 31 March.

7. Graduates may book for a Sunday PM two weeks in advance via the booking ladies and 11 days in advance on the online platform. Bookings for the weekend will open on a Thursday (2 days before) at 06:00 am. We will introduce a graduate booking sheet which will allow graduates to add their names for a slot which the booking ladies will fill closer to the weekend. Saturday morning games will be charged at R500.00 – all other periods include the Unlimited ticket.

Membership Terms & Conditions

1. Upon the club receiving this application form, signed terms and conditions, letter of good standing from previous club and credit check approval, an invoice will be sent and membership will only become active upon full upfront payment of all applicable fees and/or signature of a debit order arrangement and payment of first instalment. If a debit order arrangement is signed, the first instalment of membership is payable via EFT, there after the debit order arrangement will take effect.

2. Membership at Randpark is subject to approval by committee. A probation period of 3 months will apply to all new applicants. In this time Randpark reserves the right to refund unsuccessful applicants.

3. Family Membership is subject to membership of principal member.

4. Club membership would without interruption continue year on year but is subject to the payment of an annual fee as determined by the club.

5. The membership may be terminated by the member giving the club twenty business days’ notice in writing of his/her intention to do so.

6. The Club reserves the right to impose a 10% cancellation fee on a member who elects to cancel his/her membership during a financial year; however, no cancellation fee will be charged if a member gives notice not to renew his/her membership at the end of the club’s financial year.

7. There is a 3 month "cool off" period applicable if a member elects to cancel his/her membership. If a member reinstates his membership within this period the Club reserves the right to charge an entrance fee.

8. The Club may cancel a member’s membership if the member is in material breach of his/her obligation to pay annual subscription fees and the Club has given the member twenty business days’ notice in writing to remedy this breach and the member fails to do so.

9. The Club may suspend a member that is in default on his membership fees paid on debit order if that debit order is not successful. The Club will inform the member of this and the member has 3 business days to rectify his/her account. If the 3 business days lapse without any payment of outstanding amount the club reserves the right to suspend the member.  Membership will only be reinstated upon receipt of amount in arrears. If a member has 3 consecutive failed debit orders without arrears being paid up, the Club may cancel his/her membership given twenty business days' notice in writing to remedy this breach and the member fails to do so. When a member is suspended he is not deemed to be a member.

10. Any levies e.g. Capital Development Fund or special fees payable on an annual basis or as lump sum for a period are non-refundable and not related to usage of the Club.

11. By either Party submitting any personal information to the other, the disclosing Party unconditionally and voluntarily, consents to the processing of the submitted personal information for the following purposes; Invoice, Debit Order, Statement, Newsletter, SMS, WhatsApp, Randpark App.
For more information on how the club uses your personal information please see our Privacy Policy (https://bit.ly/3N7TDYj) on our website.

12. The Applicant hereby agrees and consents to the Applicant’s personal information being processed by, or on behalf of the Club for the purposes set out herein.

13. It is understood by the member that it is necessary for the Club to communicate with its membership from time to time and that by signing these terms and conditions a member gives the club his/her express permission for the Club to communicate with him /her via any means of Club communication unless he/she has informed the Club in writing that they do not wish to receive such or all communication. As mentioned in Section 69 of the POPI Act.

14. By signature hereto, the member expressly acknowledges he has read, and understands, the following disclaimers from the Club Constitution and the Club Bye-Laws.

15. General disclaimer: Randpark Club does not accept liability or responsibility whatsoever in respect of death or injury of person or destroying or damage to property or loss of any nature, whether arising from negligence or any other cause including lightning, which is suffered by any member or any person who enters the club premises and/or uses the golf course or any other amenities or facilities provided. Members and other users of the Club facilities use the facilities at their own risk and are advised to insure themselves for loss and injuries they may suffer and for claims against themselves.

16. A member is not entitled to a refund of golf fees in the event a competition or round is cancelled due to weather.

17. Vouchers which may be given to a member upon joining are given on a complimentary basis and do not form part of the subscription.