Letter #35

Happy Monday everyone,

My apologies for the radio silence of late. A bend in my career path to a new start-up was just the excuse I needed to halt my letter writing campaign and give all of you a break in the process. Well, there’s some bad news for you … I’m back (yes, things are great on the start-up front, thanks for asking). It’s been two months since my last update; a lot has happened at your Club and you deserve to be kept abreast. Here we go:

Holiday Party

This is first on today’s list because it sure would be nice to get a big turnout. You are all invited to the Club’s Holiday Party on Thursday, 12/12, from 7pm to 9:30pm – mark your calendars, clear the deck, let’s go! There will be quite a nice selection of hors d’oeuvre on hand all evening at no charge and the first hour of bar service will be complimentary as well. Please come down to toast the year that was and the year that will be, it should be a lot of fun. Oh, and please rsvp here (link) so that Mark can prepare the right amount of food, staff properly, and save us all as much money as he can in the process.

The Survey Says…

I know, it seems like ancient history but you did take a survey almost 2 months ago and you should see the results. The raw data is here; this is what distilled out:


1. I like having food available for lunch, dinner and snacks at the Club? Agree: 81% Disagree: 19%
2. I prefer the “California Casual” menu, similar to what we have already? Agree: 82% Disagree: 18%
3. I know the TPC’s kitchen is too small to offer even half the current menu. I want the kitchen expanded in order to meet the current demands placed on the kitchen but not more (cost ~$500k). Agree: 68% Disagree: 32%
4. I want a “California Casual” feel to furnishings in the dining areas with soft seating for groups located inside and on the patio and comfortable table seating as well. All similar to the project proposals (Cost ~175k). Agree: 65% Disagree: 35%
5 Fire pits and more outdoor heating are important to me and extend the comfortable use of the outside patio over the course of the year. (Cost ~$25k). Agree: 58% Disagree: 42%
6. Permanently tenting the outdoor patio area with retractable walls is important to me to even further extend the usefulness of the patio area for dining during the year (Cost ~$80k). Agree: 32% Disagree: 68%
7. I want a food minimum of $400 per year and understand that it will have no effect on families already using the Club but will effectively serve as a dues increase for members who do not use the F&B services currently. Agree: 45% Disagree: 55%

South Property Enhancement Project

1. I want to see lights on the lower courts in order to remove the single biggest capacity constraint our members face for court time during the year – when the junior programs must occupy 3 upper courts during standard time when the sun sets early. And I expect the lights to be programmed to go off at 7:30pm in order to minimize light pollution to the surrounding neighborhoods (Cost ~$80k). Agree:50% Disagree:50%
2. I want to see 2 new courts added for member use and another half court added for tennis training for tots (Cost ~$175k). Agree: 33% Disagree: 67%
3. I want a building for restrooms and the proper storage of maintenance equipment for the Club built. I realize the major costs of this portion of the project are for utilities not presently located south of Mar West Street (Cost $400k). Agree:41% Disagree:59%

Main Pool Project

While very early in the planning process, when the main pool requires a major overhaul, I would entertain the idea of combining the main pool and lap pool to create a more modern competitive pool facility for swimming and water polo (Cost: >$1MM). Agree: 44% Disagree:56%

And Finally

I am open to accelerating these projects forward to the present and paying a one-time assessment of $1,500. (We just want to see where people are on this topic). Agree:27% Disagree: 73%

An electronic ballot will go out this month so that the membership can vote on the pieces of the long term project that we can at least begin to move forward on at this time; Kitchen/Dining and South Property Project primarily. There is no plan yet for the pool replacement (nor is there an immediate need (knocking on wood as I type)) but I believe the Swim Committee is putting a plan together for presentation to the Board the first half of next year.


There were >150 member comments that accompanied the survey results all of which have been shared with the Board of Governors. One theme running through the comments concerned the Fitness Department and whether it would be the recipient of any capital spending in the foreseeable future (or more candidly, why the hell was it left out of the survey). Let’s cut to the chase; fitness will get attention ($) in the coming year. The survey concerned areas of the Club that are sub-standard to the general look and feel of the Club overall and we’re trying to measure member interest in bringing them up to par. The kitchen and area behind the kitchen, the whole south property area, and what will eventually be an expired main pool are THE three areas that are unequivocal eyesores relative to all the other areas of the Club. Bringing them up to par with the rest of the Club will require considerable planning, a lot of money, and require a member vote in every individual case. This is not to say that other areas of the Club will not get the proper attention (aka $) for maintenance and revitalization to keep them at the standards members have come to expect. The Fitness facility, as it stands today, is a standard bearer for the Club overall and so it wasn’t included in the survey. However, Fitness is seeing considerable member usage; equipment and space will be upgraded and reconfigured as a normal course of maintenance. Most of the exercise equipment, for example, is leased and will be upgraded with the latest and greatest when leases expire (about now by-the-way). Reconfiguring the space in the Fitness Building was a discussion point at the most recent Fitness Committee Meeting. That Committee will give their recommendation to the Board early next year. In concert with the House & Grounds Committee’s Grand Plan, we’ll expect to knock that project out in ’14 but it will not be of the size and scope of the projects mentioned in the survey. I hope this clears up any confusion or concerns.

Code of Conduct

While we’ve covered this topic in previous letters, we do have a follow up. At its most recent meeting, the Board approved a TPC Club Code of Conduct. In the future, all new members will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of receipt of the CoC and each January, every Club family will be asked to do the same electronically (not burdensome). Special thanks to Park Allen and Paul Bressie for delivering the goods – nicely done gentlemen and thank you.

That’s all for now – I hope to see many of you at the Holiday Party Thursday night and will be back to you again, digitally, before year end.

I hope you all have a great week.

All the best,


  1. Mona ogden says:

    Nothing new – but really hating the cafe closures (with more to come) and finding it hard to understand why at least drinks and packaged food cannot be sold in the afternoons while swim and tennis programs are running. The pools and courts are kept open on “slow days” – why is the cafe not considered a similar service to members? One part time employee could handle a 3-7 shift with no cooking involved…

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