We’re already into Quarter 2 so we wanted to continue to keep you posted on a few things.
A massive thank you to all who came along to our Captain’s drive-in on Sunday 31st. It was fantastic to officially drive into the golfing season with such a great crowd and a terrific atmosphere around the club and afterwards at the Lakeside Manor. Congratulations to the winning team of Peter Kermath, Tomás Lynch, Frank Fahy, Caitriona Keogan, Maura Tierney, Breda McHugh, Sonya Nevin and Ann Kinsella.
Many of you will have collected your 2019 fixture books at the drive-in but if you didn’t they will be available for collection at the clubhouse on various dates over the next couple of weeks (see clubhouse noticeboard for details), or contact either captain to arrange collection.
We wish to acknowledge the great work done by Brían over the winter months and Peter also, more recently. The course is in superb condition for the time of year. The first green is now almost back to full health following a spell of TLC and is ready for the season ahead. We are looking into the possibility of preparing a temporary green later in the year but hoping it may not be necessary. We hope to carry out some tree pruning to allow more sunlight to reach the first green. If that makes enough difference, we may not need that temporary green. Time will tell.
Declan and Veronica have been beavering away with this project and have now enlisted some additional help. Margaret Bowles, Margo Keating, Seamus Sheridan and Finbarr O’Reilly have joined in and bring extra knowledge and experience to the group. Please let them know if you can help in any way. You might have old newspaper clippings or pictures which may just come in useful.
Thanks very much to the large section of members who have already paid or have entered into arrangements to pay by instalments. If you haven’t yet done so, please arrange as soon as possible.
Unpaid green fees
This is not a new issue and of course it’s difficult to know how much we lose in this respect. However, we need to take it seriously and we will shortly place a notice in the clubhouse asking for volunteers to give their time to do periodic checks. For members, it’s very important to ensure you have your new 2019 sticker on your bag. It’s also important you don’t take offence if approached by a volunteer who may not know you. It’s simply a club volunteer doing his/her best for the club. Volunteers will be asked to wear the hi-viz course ranger jacket before approaching anyone around the car park or clubhouse or out on the course.
Many thanks to those who have already completed the survey. If you haven’t got around to this just yet, perhaps you could do so by Friday April 5th as we have extended the closing date by a few days. Everybody’s input is important and makes the final conclusions more meaningful.
As always, we are keen to attract new members to the club. The membership committee are planning a number of initiatives over the coming months including a leaflet drop, social media promotions and other local advertising and marketing activity.
As you probably know, the Virginia Golf Club website contains lots of information about the club as well as club news and events. The club is also active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These are great platforms for promoting the club and boosting membership numbers and green fees. We encourage you to utilise these social media platforms and Like and Share stories to your own timelines. Feel free to pass on any nice photos you have or take during the year to Peadar or Linda Gill and they will be happy to include them.
Get Into Golf
Once again, interest in the Get Into Golf programme has been extremely high and the classes are fully subscribed. Similar to last year, the course will be closed on Monday evenings (or Tuesdays where there is a bank holiday) over the 8 weeks from next Monday, April 8th. The 2019 class will have lessons with Bill Noble on the 8th and 9th holes. The ladies who did GIG last year and are staying on as members will play on the rest of the course. Volunteers to come along any evening to play the 7 holes with last year’s cohort would be much appreciated – please contact Regina (087-1224473) or Veronica (086-1656659) if you are available any or all of the evenings between 7pm and 9pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the friendly and inclusive reputation for which Virginia Golf Club is known.
Junior & Juvenile golf – volunteers welcome
Another extremely popular programme is the junior and juvenile golf which will kick off on June 10th, once again under the watchful and efficient eye of John Clarke. If you are interested in helping out with this programme on Monday mornings during the summer please contact John so that garda vetting can be arranged in good time.
Last call for entries to play in the mixed matchplay – Pauline Hutchinson (086-0843948) or Peadar Gill (087-6813387) will be happy to add you to the list if you don’t already have your name down. The draw will take place on Friday next, April 5th. Please do adhere to the play by dates so that the competition can run smoothly.
Dates for your diary
A few dates to note for over the next couple of months:
Easter Monday, April 22nd – 18 hole singles stableford competition - ladies and gents
Bank Holiday Monday, May 6th – Ned Gilligan Cups - 18 hole singles stableford competition - ladies and gents
Friday May 10th – commencement of fortnightly mixed scrambles @ 6.45pm
Friday May 17th to Sunday May 19th – R&A 9 hole mixed qualifier
Ladies Spring League
Massive congratulations to all who participated in the Spring League, it was a battle to the end and it was great to see the competitiveness and eagerness to get out each week. Well done to all the winners – including the winning team captained by Mairead Denning, second placed team captained by Bernadette Daly and Golfer of the Spring League Catherine Denning.
Presentation of Prizes
On the evening of the May Open (May 2nd) we will have the presentation of outstanding prizes from March 18th up to the Open competition. Both prizewinners and supporters are encouraged to attend. If you would be due to collect a prize but are unable to attend please make sure to formally nominate someone in advance to collect the prize on your behalf. Venue for the presentation will be confirmed asap.
Competition Entry Fees
It has been decided that entry fees for competitions such as majors, perpetual trophies, Open days and charity competitions will be €12. Other competitions will remain at €6.
Open Days - Sponsorship
As mentioned in the first newsletter, our first Open on May 2nd (Scotch Foursomes) and this event is kindly sponsored by Compliplus Limited (Paddy and Breda McHugh). Since then it is fantastic to be able to report that James O’Neill of Centra in Mullagh has come on board to sponsor the second Open (3 Lady Waltz), now scheduled for August 1st. Many thanks to Lady President Maureen for arranging this. Please do pass on the details of our Opens to any other golf club contacts you have to encourage as much participation as possible. And of course, if you get the opportunity to support our generous sponsors that would be great.
Singles and Foursomes Matchplay
Pauline will be doing the draws for the singles and foursomes matchplay before the end of the month so be sure to get your name on the entry sheets if you are available to play this great competition format.
Our Spring League, sponsored by The Chestnut Tree, has been running for 6 weeks and is now drawing to a close with the final day’s play scheduled for Sunday April 7th. Many thanks to all for competing and hanging in there right to the end. The format offers a little forgiveness and so it remains competitive for most right to the end. Arthur’s team have led from the first bell but can they get over the finish line. There are at least 2 or 3 teams ready to pounce. Team and individual prizes will be presented at the Chestnut Tree on Friday April 12th at 8.30pm and all are welcome. Presentation of all outstanding prizes will also take place.
Entry sheets for all matchplay competitions are on the noticeboard in the men’s room. You are encouraged to take part as this format is great fun and offers something different from other forms of golf. Closing date for entry will be a little earlier than normal to allow all to finish in good time for the final’s day. Your co-operation in meeting play-by dates will be much appreciated. Finals date is scheduled for September 21st.
Vice-Captain Declan will be spotting form over the next few weeks as he draws up a short list of in-form players prior to the start of the league. This year, we are one of a group of 5 teams with 2 to qualify for the semi-finals. Dates have yet to be finalised but we start with an away match at Crover followed by a home game with Belturbet. Future newsletters will include results so there will be no hiding place for those fortunate enough to be picked. Sorry about that lads. Now is the time to make your mark and Declan will be watching. You will find details of the different cup competitions here also as they emerge.
Golfer of the month
For 2019, the men’s competition committee will award a “golfer of the month” prize. This will begin in April and end in October. Each player’s results, in singles competitions, will count towards the prize, based on rankings in the competitions. Points will be awarded for the top 10 places in each competition with the prize calculated over the calendar month. This will be separate from the existing GOY.
Golfer of the year
As winner of last year’s club player of the year, Stephen Smith will represent Virginia at the All Ireland club golfer of the year 2019 in Mountrath on Saturday 18th May. Stephen is a top class golfer who is a great ambassador for the club and we are delighted he is available to represent the club at this prestigious event. Thanks go to Declan Smith who has kindly sponsored Stephen for the day in question. Good luck Stephen.
Please feel free to chat to us any time.
Captain Pat and Lady Captain Regina