Welcome to the first Captain’s newsletter of 2019. We intend to use this medium to keep you informed about club matters over the course of the year. As well as being circulated to members via email, we will also publish the newsletter on the club website and a printed copy will be posted on the noticeboard in the clubhouse.
Winter weather related course closure updates
There have been plenty of frosty mornings during January and many of you are already checking the website for updates relating to course opening times. While this may be somewhat less convenient than receiving a text message it has been introduced as a significant money saving measure. By way of context, over the last two winter seasons the text messaging service has cost the club almost the equivalent of two new members each year. If using the website is not viable for you and you need to continue to receive weather related course closure texts please contact either of us.
If you haven’t checked it out yet why not have a go. When you log on to www.virginiagolfclub.ie you will see a green banner at the top of the screen with the relevant message. For example “Saturday 2nd Feb – Course closed due to frost, update at 11.30am”, and once the 11.30 inspection is done this message will be replaced with the updated information “Saturday 2nd Feb – Course will remain closed due to frost”. If there are no weather related updates the message will be “Weather updates will appear here to advise of any course closures”.
While you have the website open do take a few minutes to note the information that is available there, including club information such as committee members, fixtures, a gallery of photos as well as a News and Events section where lots of current information is provided on an ongoing basis.
New data protection regulations came into force last year and Data Protection Policies & Procedures and a Privacy Statement have been developed and approved by the Joint Committee. Thanks to Honorary Secretary Ray for his work on this project. The Privacy Statement will be circulated to all members by email (or by post for members without email addresses) and will also be available on the website.
At a recent meeting with the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) they suggested seeking the views of the members through a survey to help identify areas where CGI may be able to provide us with support including amongst other things in relation to recruiting / maintaining members and club governance. This survey should shortly come to you via email and we would appreciate if you could take a few minutes to complete it so that we get as much feedback as possible.
Many of you have already paid your fees or have entered into standing orders to pay by end of July. If you haven’t got around to this just yet, perhaps you could do so shortly. Your co-operation here is much appreciated. Many thanks to those who have already paid.
We are currently engaging with existing and new sponsors and are greatly encouraged by the level of interest shown. Sponsorship is a significant part of our income and we encourage you to support our sponsors when you have the opportunity to do so; they would be delighted to know that you are reciprocating their support. A full list of 2019 sponsors will be displayed in the clubhouse in due course as well as in the 2019 fixtures diary and our generous flag sponsors will have their names on the flags on each green.
Taking care of our course
Those of you who venture out over the winter months will be well aware of just how dry it is and how well it looks. However, the damp but mild weather has caused disease on three of the greens, in particular the first green. We are assured that the greens will be back in great shape with the return of the growing season.
Unfortunately there is still evidence of pitch marks not always being repaired and of divots not being replaced. We would ask that you get into the habit of repairing all pitchmarks, even those which are not yours. It will help us to get the best out of our course, our greens are small and need TLC. As members we also need to be firm with others when we see this not happening and we should apply the same firm approach where we see divots not being replaced.
We are greatly heartened by the number of new members who have joined us since 1st November. At the latest count we had 17 new members. We believe there are more who only need a nudge to get them over the line. You may know somebody who is considering taking up or returning to the game. We encourage you to use your influence and remind them of the great value to be had at Virginia Golf Club.
In 2020 Virginia Golf Club will be 75 years in existence and Vice Captain Declan and Lady Vice Captain Veronica will be preparing to acknowledge and celebrate this occasion in various ways. If you are willing to get involved in any way please contact Declan or Veronica, they will be delighted to hear from you.
Dates for your diary
The fixtures diary will be available for collection at the Captains Drive In on March 31st but in the meantime there are a few other dates that you might like to mark in your calendar. June Bank Holiday weekend (May 31st to June 2nd) – Virginia Golf Club Classic, July 11th – Lady Captain’s Day, July 14th – President’s Day, August 8th – Lady President’s Day, August 18th and 25th – Captain’s Day.
Men’s Spring League
Our Spring League sponsored by The Chestnut Tree will now start on the weekend of 8th-10th February and run for 7 weeks. With 8 teams and in the region of 65 members playing, it promises to be very competitive. There is still time to enter though, if you haven’t already done so. Please note you can now play on Friday if you so wish for the duration of the league. Presentation of individual and team prizes is scheduled for Friday 29th March at 8.30 pm in The Chestnut Tree. These nights tend to be fun nights as well as giving something back to our generous sponsor and your attendance is encouraged.
As always, we very much welcome any support you can offer in terms of sponsoring individual weekend competitions. Joe Greene would be very pleased indeed to hear from you.
As we head into another golfing season, it’s only fair to point out we had issues last year (and historically) with players not turning up at their allotted times or not turning up at all. If you can’t play, please contact Peadar or any member of the competitions committee with as much notice as you can give. There have been occasions when members turned up on time for a late slot but had to go home without a game as their scheduled partners were already on the course or never arrived. This should never happen. We all need to make a special effort on this one.
Ladies Spring League
We have reached the half way stage of our spring league and it’s shaping up to be a tightly contested competition for both team and individual honours. It’s fantastic to see so many ladies out every week doing their best for their teams. As the Italian proverb says, perfection is the enemy of good, and while it may not be 100% ideal, the option of playing every day has been very beneficial in terms of facilitating participation each week. A special call out to team captains who have been doing great work to encourage their team members, well done ladies.
Get Into Golf
The Get Into Golf programme was extremely successful last year and we will run the programme again this year so if you know of any ladies who might be interested please ask them to get in touch. Weather permitting we plan to run the programme over 8 weeks commencing on Monday, April 8th. There are three bank holiday Mondays during the 8 week period so the programme will switch to the Tuesday on these weeks (23rd April, 7th May and 4th June). Volunteers to help are always welcome so if you are willing to lend a hand please do let us know.
Presentation of Prizes
The first presentation of prizes evening of the year will take place on March 14th at 8pm in the Riverfront. Outstanding prizes since the AGM will be presented; all prizewinners and supporters are encouraged to attend. These events are an important element of the social side of our club and are a wonderful opportunity to get to know our fellow members as well as celebrate the successes of the prizewinners. To encourage attendance, the ladies committee have introduced a new rule whereby any prizewinner unable to attend must nominate someone to collect their prize or make arrangements with Lady Captain to collect her prize. Any unclaimed prizes at the end of the year will be returned to club funds.
Golfer of the Year
On the basis of equity, the ladies committee have decided to reintroduce the full annual subscription as the GOY prize.
The dates for our Opens are May 2nd and August 8th. The format for the May 2nd Open will be Scotch Foursomes and this event is kindly sponsored by Compliplus Limited (Paddy and Breda McHugh). For the first time we will use the 3 Lady Waltz format for the August 8th Open. This is a very popular and fun format and we hope it will be very well supported. If you have contacts in any other golf clubs please let them know the dates of our Open competitions to encourage as much participation as possible.
Please feel free to chat to us any time.
Captain Pat and Lady Captain Regina