Kilpailukauden 2012 Palkintojen Jako
Less than 12 months ago Timo Rikkonen and I made a proposal (to the annual meeting of Kytäjä Golf Ry) that there should be a competition committee at Kytäjä. That proposal was accepted... and that was the start of a lot of hard work over the 2012 season.
Why did we do this? We felt that competition activities are one of the most important aspects of any golf
club and we also felt that the offering at Kytäjä was poor and was not well organised. We wanted to do somehting about it!
The initial targets for the activity, presented to that annual meeting last year, were to
- Offer a varied program of events for all handicap levels
- Improve communication and availability of information related to competitions
- Improve the organisation of our competitions
- Understand the wishes of the members and work to meet those wishes
When looking at what has been achieved during 2012 it seems to me that the a few things are worth highlighting.
Firstly we have improved the program of events by adding a number of new competitions to the calendar. This year saw the addition of the KCT, Nelipallo Cup, Mens Eclectic, Kytäjä Cup and Margareta and 2 gins. These events are all aimed at a wide section of the membership and were well supported in 2012.
Importantly, we have put a lot of effort on communication. This started in January with a survey of the members to capture their opinions about competitive golf at Kytäjä and we were able to make good use of that input when setting our direction for the year.
The emphasis on communication led to the definition of a communication process (created by Markku Nokso-Koivisto) which we used for all the club competitions during the season. This gave a step-by-step guide about what things to consider at each stage of organising a competition (from initial information many weeks before the event right through to publishing the story of the competition after it had finished).
This communication focus also led to new information channels being opened during the year. This year was the first time for the competition noticeboards in the clubhouse, they were kept up to date with the latest competition news on a regular basis. Email was also used heavily, for example over 200 personal reminders were sent for different matchplay matches. The biggest change in this area however was probably the creation of this website.
The Kytäjä competitions web site started as a vague idea in my head in early March. I thought that it would be great if we had some online records of the events that we have, the trophies that are played for and the past winners. My idea was to make something during March and get that work out of the way before my competitive golf season started. Well, the first version was indeed made during March (it went live on March 20th) but it turned out that the project expanded a bit in scope from what I initially had in mind.
At the time of writing this blog there have been a total of over 33,000 visits made to the website in the 202 days that it has existed, with a steady increase during the year and peaks of activity around important competitions. The most popular pages have been those which are updated frequently such as this blog (over 12000 words written here so far) and the leaderboards for the eclectic competitions and the KCT. I have tried to include reports on all 2012 events (including pictures where possible) as well as all available historical information about our competitions.
It has been an interesting project creating this website, and I must thank all those persons who have contributed content or have helped out with the large amount of translation work needed so that the site can be primarily in Finnish. The most active of those helpers have been Timo Rikkonen, Markku Nokso-Koivisto and Johanna Järnström.
When it comes to the organisation of our competitions, this was another area where we wanted to make a difference. We had a named "Competition Director" for every single club event and that person was responsible for ensuring the smooth running of his or her event. This included taking care of all communication related to the event, organising practicalities together with the admin office, the caddiemasters, the greenkeepers, the restaurant and any sponsors as well as ensuring that the competition day goes well and that the results and prizes are properly taken care of. Besides myself the following persons have acted as competition directors at least once during the year - Timo Rikkonen, Markku Nokso-Koivisto, Henrietta Heikkilä, Marjatta Virtanen, Niko Helin, Reijo Viippola, Markku Munck and Tuula Puputti. Thanks to all for their efforts in this important task!
One measure of the effectiveness of these efforts can be seen from the participation rates in our competitions. 2012 has seen record numbers of participants in the Avajaiskisa (100), Kuukausikilpailu (288), Matchplay Events (125)Cub Championship (85) and also the Päätöskilpailu (112).
Quantity is all very well, but you also have to look at the quality of golf which has been played... in that regard we also had a very strong year. The mens club championship was won with a record total of even par for 54 holes, the mens eclectic featured 236 birdies and 4 eagles, and four Kytäjä members were able to reduce their handicaps by 11 shots or more! Overall, the total handicap of all the members came down by 320 shots this year, with 171 Kytäjä members ending the year with a lower handicap than they had at the beginning of 2012.
This has been a successful year for our club!
I have personally put a lot of effort into these competition committee tasks... but there has also been a significant and sustained effort from many other people. I would in particular like to thank Timo Rikkonen and Markku Nokso-Koivisto who were the most active in these matters over the course if the whole year. From the office Erkka Ravi has given excellent support throughout the season and the caddiemasters have also done a great job.
When looking towards next season, we can think about what might be improved further. We need to sit down during the winter and see what went well and what went badly during 2012. To help with that process I would welcome feedback, comments and suggestions from all Kytäjä members on any aspect of competition golf at Kytäjä. I would be happy to hear such input from any Kytäjä member, either in person or by email… in Finnish language is just fine... your feedback can be used to further improve our golf club in future.
One thing that can be said already now is that the workload to even keep things on the same level as this year is quite significant… and we already know now that some of the current members of the competition committee will not continue in this work in 2013. If any of you would be willing to get involved, either as a member of the competition committee or as a competition director for one of our club events, as a "competition reporter" for this website or even just to help with some Finnish translations for the website then please contact me!
Ok... that's it from me for now... I expect that these blog entries are not coming very often during the winter months but if I find that I have something to say then you will be the first to know.
Thanks for a great 2012 season!