With the 2019 golfing season now in full swing we would like to keep you updated on a few topics in newsletter number 3.
Virginia Golf Club Classic 2019
The annual classic is a key fundraiser for the club and is being held from Friday May 31st to Sunday June 2nd. Peter Kermath and the fundraising committee members are working hard to make this one as successful as prior years and there are fantastic prizes to be won, both for team entries and in the raffle. Your support for this event is much appreciated and also very necessary. The timesheet is on the noticeboard in the clubhouse. If you are willing to help out in the clubhouse for a few hours over the weekend please let us know as we need volunteers for the office and the kitchen.
We think most of you will agree the course is in excellent order right now. The first green is recovering, although slowly due to the lack of real heat in the ground. As mentioned previously, the tall trees to the left need to be pruned to allow more sunlight reach the green and we are making arrangements to get that work done. We recently got some work carried out behind the 6th green which should allow it to better retain moisture. We would like to thank Peter Kermath for securing sponsorship for the mini digger used on the day and also Martin Sherry who secured the services of Martin Sherry senior to drive it.
At the time of writing, 28 new male members and 4 new female members have joined the club. If you are one of the 32 new members, we will be writing to you again in the very near future with an updated membership pack. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact either of us or any of the club officers.
We also expect a number of ladies from the Get into Golf programme to join when the initial 8 week period ends shortly.
We recently had an open day at SuperValu shopping centre which proved very successful. There was plenty of interest and 2 new members signed up on the day. We also created an awareness of the club which should benefit us down the line. We would like to thank those who gave of their time to help out and to Padraig and Laura McEvoy for facilitating us with the use of the space. We are currently working on a mail drop campaign in Virginia and surrounding towns and we would like to thank those who have assisted with that.
We now have results of the survey we conducted recently and we will advise you of those results shortly. A total of 121 responses were received, giving us a response rate of 51%. This is well above average for this type of survey.
Social golf and Representing the Club
One of our key selling points when recruiting new members is the amount of social golf we play in its various different forms. The Tuesday Seniors golf continues to grow with huge numbers now taking part. A record number of 40 played in the most recent competition. The Wednesday mixed singles has also started promisingly with 21 members playing on day one. The Friday Scramble again looks like being a huge success with 35 taking part in the first such event of the summer. We believe these events are crucial for the success of the club and we are delighted with the interest shown so far.
Well done to the team who represented us in the Irish Mixed Foursomes qualifier in Rossmore recently. The team of Peter Kermath/Aoife Galligan, Vivian Connell/Marie Gillick, Pat Murphy/Regina O’Brien, Martin Sherry/Caitriona Keogan and Ray Foley/Pauline Hutchinson put in a creditable performance despite not getting through.
Every member should have a fixtures book and 2019 sticker for your bag tag. If you do not have these please contact either of us.
Capital Sports Grant
You may have seen recent news coverage with regard to the allocation of sports grant funding. We still await official confirmation but it does appear that our grant application submitted in October 2018 may reap some rewards. For information, the Sports Capital Programme is managed by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and provides grants to assist in the development of sports facilities and the provision of sports equipment throughout the country. There are many limitations on the type of expenditure that qualifies for grant aid and all expenditure must be part funded by the recipients so we still need cash to supplement any grant award. Our application covered the replacement of some of our critical, and in some cases quite outdated, maintenance equipment so that we can continue to keep the course in tip top shape.
Junior & Juvenile Golf
As the school holidays are approaching preparations are well underway for the junior and juvenile golf Monday morning programme over the summer months. We very much appreciate the work done with our young golfers by the Junior/Juvenile Committee members who have also taken time out this year to attend Safeguarding training and apply for garda vetting. The registration evening will take place on Wednesday June 5th from 7pm to 8pm at the clubhouse.
In order to ensure that the club does not lose out on green fee income you may see our volunteer course rangers on duty over the next few months. We would kindly ask you to identify yourself as a paid up member by showing your 2019 membership sticker – you may know the volunteer but they may not necessarily know you so taking this initiative will spare any blushes. If you can spare an hour or two at any stage to assist please add your name to the list in the clubhouse or just let one of us know - our phone numbers are in the fixtures diary.
Dates for your diary
A few dates to note for over the next couple of months:
Friday May 24th and fortnightly – 9 hole mixed scramble (Note: we have scheduled one 18 hole scramble for Saturday July 6th at 5.30pm, not Friday 5th as shown in Fixtures Diary)
Wednesday May 29th and fortnightly – 9 hole stableford, ladies and gents (Note: these are not listed in the fixtures diary but will be held on the weeks when there isn’t a scramble)
Friday May 31st to Sunday June 2nd - Virginia Golf Club Classic
Bank Holiday Monday, June 3rd – Janelle Cups - 18 hole singles stableford competition - ladies and gents
Sunday July 14th – President Mr Tom Hutchinson’s Prize
Thursday July 18th – Lady Captain Regina O’Brien’s Prize
Matches are now being played on a regular basis which is what we all want to see. Please keep an eye on the closing dates to ensure all games are played in good time. Don’t be shy about putting your number down beside your name or about calling an opponent who already has his name down. We will be somewhat stricter this year as we work towards the Finals date of September 21st.
Vice Captain Declan’s merry men got off to a decent start with a draw at Crover. Stephen Smith and Peter Gill got a maximum 4 points from a possible 4 to get us off to a great start. Declan himself played with Padraig Gorman and they emerged with 3.5 points after an excellent performance. Paul Bates and Liam Murphy battled back to halve the back 9 to get us another half point. Spring League specialists Arthur Tormay and John Kelly ran into some tough opposition and it didn’t happen for them. The overall result was a draw and that point could prove very important before the section is played to a finish. Next game sees us home to Belturbet on a date to be agreed.
Spring League – sponsored by the Chestnut Tree
It seems like a distant memory now but the Spring League was hard fought as ever and went right to the wire. Arthur Tormay’s team of John Kelly, Brendan Clarke, Stephen Smyth, Neil Skeffington, Richard Kennedy, Canice Hogan, Pat Murphy and Captain Arthur eventually won out by a mere 4 points after 7 weeks of golf. Vivian Connell’s team hung in well and took second place. Congratulations also to “young” Tom Lynch who took the overall individual prize. Well done also to the individual team winners and indeed to everyone who took part. We should also acknowledge the continued support of our sponsor, Paul Glackin.
Golfer of the month
John Kelly was the winner of the Golfer of the month award for April. This is the first of 7 such awards right up to October. John has played consistently well all year and is a deserving winner. With the scalpel applied to his handicap, it will now be a little tougher but it wouldn’t be a major surprise to see John feature again over the coming weeks and months.
Some members have come forward and sponsored various Sunday competitions as well as donating to various events. The club wishes to thank those people for their kindness and thoughtfulness. Every contribution is very much appreciated. Of course, we are happy to accept any further such offers with Joe Greene waiting at the end of the line with his pen and paper.
Singles and Foursomes Matchplay
The draws for the singles and foursomes matchplay competition are on the notice board in the ladies room. Please do take note of the play by dates and make arrangements for your matches early to avoid potential diary issues as the deadlines approach.
Representing Virginia Golf Club
Well done to all who have recently represented the ladies section of Virginia Golf Club including Caitriona Keogan’s team in the ILGU Junior Foursomes, Aoife Galligan’s team in the Revive Active Fourball, Pauline Clarke and Mairead Denning in the Silver and Bronze Medal competition respectively and the teams who played in the Breffni Shield comprising Caitriona Keogan / Madeleine Farrelly McCabe and Catherine Denning / Mairead Denning.
You will note from your fixtures diary that we have Perpetual Trophy competitions coming up over the next few weeks. First prize for the Tom McGurk Perpetual Trophy competition on May 23rd is generously sponsored by Raymond McArdle of the Forge Restaurant. The Cathleen Gallagher Perpetual Trophy is scheduled for June 6th and we have a wonderful first prize of a €100 voucher for the online retailer “Miss Designer Golf”. The Elizabeth Murphy Perpetual Trophy is scheduled for July 4th and Michael and the Murphy family continue to generously sponsor the 1st prize with net competition proceeds going to Cavan Hospice – thank you Michael.
An important note regarding draw times for all competitions that you may have seen in the competition book - please arrive at least 10 minutes before your draw time so that you are ready to tee-off when the draw is done. In the interest of fairness, and the promotion of “Ready Golf”, anyone not ready to play will have their card held for the last draw.
Presentation of Prizes
Outstanding prizes since the May Open competition will be given out when you are playing on Lady Captain’s Day. Hopefully I will meet you all then but if you won’t be around just let me know your nominated person and I will give them your prize.
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