Summer 2019 is now behind us and we hope you have had lots of opportunities to play golf so far this year. Here is newsletter number 5 to keep you updated on a few things that have happened over the last while.
Lady President’s Day
Lady President Maureen arranged a day of fabulous weather for us to enjoy and Pauline Clarke took the main honours on the day with a fantastic score of 64 by getting around the course in just 78 shots, well done Pauline. Once again, the ladies of the club provided a fantastic array of delicious baked goodies and the atmosphere at the clubhouse was wonderful. The team at St Kyrans did an amazing job in the evening with superb food and service. Lady President Maureen’s designated charity was Virginia Cancer Care and the generous contributions totalled €492. Massive thanks from Lady President for all the help, for the lovely messages of support and for coming out to participate on the day.
Things didn’t augur well when 2 large branches fell on the Friday afternoon prior to day one of the 2019 Captain’s prize. Luckily enough, Peadar came to the rescue as he grabbed the chainsaw and set to work on the Saturday morning. Victor was at hand to put up the ropes and with a little pulling and dragging, the size of the problem was reduced. Day one went ahead in good conditions after a light early shower. Scoring was probably a little higher than normal as the wind combined with some tricky pin positions had an effect. The result was that 14 players were within 3 shots of the lead held by Ollie O’Dwyer. Ollie is a clever operator and seemed to find a way to stay away from trouble and 62 was a very good score on the day.
Day 2 was a fabulous day, weather wise. Pins were again tricky and scores had to be earned. It was calm though and Brían and Peter again had the course in immaculate condition. It seemed nobody could do quite enough to enable them to get over the line until late in the day when Tom Lynch produced a strong back 9 to emerge as the clear winner. He added a fabulous 59 to his steady 64 from day one and was a clear winner by 4 shots from Ollie who held on well to take second place.
The prize giving took place in the Lakeside Manor that evening with a healthy turnout and a great atmosphere. The Captain wishes to thank those who came along to join in the celebrations and congratulate the long list of prize winners.
The Captain wishes to acknowledge the efforts of all those who helped in any way over the 2 days. He also wishes to say thanks to those who sent their best wishes and he really appreciates every message. The memories will last for a long time.
Tree pruning to the right of the second tee box was completed in July and we must now wait and see what impact that will have on the first green over the winter. It will certainly mean the winter sun can hit the green and surrounding area and our hope is this will contribute to a greatly improved green over the winter months. A temporary green will be prepared in the coming weeks just in case we still have issues or maybe to give the green a break if required.
Tine forking of the greens was carried out immediately after Captains prize day. It did seem a shame as the greens were at their very best but we know it’s for the best in the long run. They are now well on the way to being as good as ever. Thanks to all for their patience over the 3 days and indeed for the immediate aftermath as many putts died just short of the hole. At least we had an excuse for a short period of time.
Our tee boxes were identified in the survey as a concern for many. We have now agreed a plan to rebuild three tee boxes. The work will begin in November and we are assured the tee boxes will be back in use by captains’ drive-in next year. If finances allow, the hope is we can complete any additional tee-boxes that require attention in time to come. For now, a little bit of patience will be required but we’re confident it will be worth it in the long run.
Members will have noted that we have had more than our fair share of tree problems recently as some large branches have fallen on the course. We are lucky that nobody has been hurt but we clearly need to reduce the risk. We have engaged the services of an arborist who will identify the immediate and longer term risks. Our plan is to then engage the services of a tree surgeon to carry out the necessary work. This may well prove expensive but we feel it’s a necessity.
If you have visited the club in the last couple of weeks you may have noticed that work has commenced on a refresh with the exterior painting one of the first elements of work being tackled. Many thanks to the Peter, Marie and Lucy Callaghan, Ray Foley and Gavin Tobin for their work. With limited funds available the help of volunteers is crucial and we would urge you to let Peter Callaghan (087 2436058) know if you can spare an hour or two to help out over the coming weeks or if you can contribute in any way. Other planned work includes floor repairs (men’s changing room), interior painting, new floor covering and a kitchen refresh. By getting this work done we will have a fresh and bright clubhouse for the 75th anniversary year of the club.
Seniors golf on Tuesday continues as normal, thankfully with very little weather disruption this year. Numbers remain high and the format seems to suit all and sundry. There are many more opportunities yet as the group will carry on until the end of October. The Wednesday 9 hole and the Friday scramble have succumbed to the autumn evenings but both were very successful again this year. The Wednesday stableford competition only took place 4 times mostly due to poor weather but still averaged 14 per evening. There were 7 Friday scrambles with an average playing figure of 31. Well done to all who contributed to the fun on the course and indeed those who supported our sponsors as the prizes were presented afterwards.
Junior / Juvenile Golf
Great credit to John Clarke and all who assisted here as the young stars of the future did their thing every Monday morning over the summer. Many thanks also to the parents for giving them the opportunity. We appreciate also the support of Darren Moore from Headfort. Darren has a great way about him and was very popular with the youngsters as indeed Bill has always been. The last event saw Michael O’Reilly win the Captain’s prize to the juniors on countback after a three way tie. Noah O’Sullivan went on to win the Captain’s prize to juniors on Captain’s day. Noah is one of four of our juveniles who have senior handicaps and we sincerely hope they will remain involved in Virginia in the years to come.
It was always our intention that as many finals as possible would be played on the same afternoon this year but in the end, it just wasn’t possible. For a variety of reasons we would only have been able to play a small number of matches on the appointed day. All matches will now be played by dates as determined by the competition committees. We would like to thank all the competitors who made an extra effort to play their matches in good time. We also wish to thank Peadar and Pauline and their respective committees for their hard work in ensuring the smooth running of the various competitions.
Consideration of an alternative management structure for the club is an important issue for the joint committee so to facilitate full committee attendance the planned meeting on this topic, supported by Rory Leonard from CGI, has been arranged for early October. Rory will present the findings of a “governance health check” to the meeting to enable a robust Q&A to take place and next steps to be formulated. The outcome of this discussion will be reported back to the membership in the next newsletter and at the AGM.
We are delighted to report that the club hire has proven to be a very successful venture to date. Once again our course ranger volunteer group are being a fantastic help in organising the distribution and collection of the clubs so thanks to all involved. We recommend that clubs are pre-booked so that arrangements can be put in place but sometimes golfers do arrive “on-spec” and may be interested in hiring clubs. If you happen to be at the clubhouse when such a scenario arises please contact any of the individuals listed below and they will be able to advise you as to the procedure or put a message on the course rangers WhatsApp group to arrange for someone to issue and take back the clubs. More volunteers to this group of course rangers are always welcome.
Captain Pat (087 3410703); Lady Captain Regina (087 1224473); Emily McHugo (087 7826586); Isobel Davidson (086 1907130); Mairead Denning (086 8812906); Mary Halligan (086 8238048); Tomás Lynch (087 7837204)
Dates for your diary
A few dates to note for over the coming months:
Friday, November 8th – Deadline for submission of Motions to be voted on at AGM
Thursday, November 21st – Ladies AGM
Friday, November 29th – Mens AGM
Friday, December 6th – Virginia Golf Club AGM
Congratulations to those who have made it to the singles and doubles match play finals and well done to all who took part and made the road to each final a challenging one. Thanks for making the effort to get all matches played by the designated play-by dates.
The line-up for the ladies finals is
- Singles – Breda McHugh vs Regina O’Brien
- Foursomes – Sheila Courtney & Aoife Galligan vs Linda Gill & Lorraine Iatridis
Representing Virginia Golf Club
Well done to Marion Clancy and Margo Keating who competed in the Granard Foursomes Connacht/Ulster Final in Ballinasloe Golf Club. Best of luck to Aoife Galligan at the All Ireland Captains Prize Winners Competition on Tuesday, September 17th.
Get Into Golf
Enthusiasm for and interest in the GIG programme is continuing and already a number of ladies have their names down for the 2020 classes. Great credit is due to all the ladies who have given up their valuable time to make this such a success at Virginia Golf Club over the last two years, well done all. If you know of anyone interested in the programme please do pass on their names to Lady Captain Regina or Lady Vice Captain Veronica.
Team Virginia had a rough day in Cavan in August as Paul Bates and John Kelly salvaged a single point against a very strong Cavan team. The remainder weren’t so lucky. In the end, it didn’t matter as the team did enough overall to claim a semi-final spot against Nuremore. It’s been quite some time since a Virginia team qualified for the semis so well done indeed to the lads. We wish them well. We also wish team Captain Declan a speedy recovery from his recent op and maybe he will be back in time to lift the cup. Let’s hope so.
Golfer of the month
Padraig Gorman finally won a golfer of the month award as he was the outright winner in July. I say finally because he seemed to have won everything else. The August award went to Vivian Connell which is a recognition of his steady golf this year.
Recent and upcoming fixtures
Congratulation to Tim Spicer on winning the vice Captains prize with a wonderful 57 nett. Second place went to Pat Brady with a fine 60. Competitions continue at a pace and it’s great to see the numbers continue to turn out every weekend. The variety of possible starting times certainly helps and we hope to see plenty of good competitive golf over the autumn and beyond. One to watch out for is the Towns Cup which always has an extra edge. Virginia North will be hoping to retain the trophy…so who can stop them?
Paddy McInerney Cup
On 12th October this year, we will have the second ever playing of the Paddy McInerney cup at Crover golf club. For the benefit of our many new members, this is a now annual match against our neighbours. Paddy died suddenly on 2nd December 2016. He was a former treasurer of the club and gave us many years of loyal service. My memories are probably the same as anyone who knew him. He was the ultimate gentleman. He was small in stature but huge in personality. He had the gift of being able to have good fun with everyone without ever making fun of anyone. He was a tidy golfer too with a distinctive swing and a wood for every occasion. You always felt the better of having played a game with Paddy as you realised that your score didn’t really matter so much. He was an example to us all and is still sadly missed.
Please feel free to chat to us any time, we are very happy to hear your views and suggestions.
Captain Pat and Lady Captain Regina