29/7/2020 – Captain’s Day 22nd & 23rd August 2020

Good morning ladies,

I hope you are having a lovely week so far.   Warm congratulations to Anne O’Hanlon who is our Player of the Month (Category B) for the month of July.  Player of the Month for August will be from Category A.

This year our Captain’s Day golf competition will be held on Saturday, 22nd August.  A change to our usual practice will see the prize giving event taking place on Sunday, 23rd August at a BBQ lunch.    Splitting the event over two days has become necessary due to the change in our Saturday tee-times, arising from Covid-19, leaving too tight a timeline for the results to be produced and for everyone to get home, changed and back out to a dinner venue.

The BBQ lunch will take place at the Radisson, St. Helen’s Hotel, Stillorgan on Sunday 23rd August.  In line with Covid-19 guidelines, which currently permit 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors, the venue provides a combination of indoor and outdoor space.  The hotel will cater for a maximum of 70 people, 35 inside and 35 outside.  Both areas are adjacent to each other and the indoor area has large French doors that will be kept open allowing fresh air to filter through.   The BBQ will be served directly to your table so as to avoid queueing and close contact with each other.  Spacing at and between tables will be compliant with the social distance recommendations.

Access to the BBQ area is via a gate at the front of the hotel which will be restricted to the Saturday Strollers, thus eliminating the necessity for you to walk through the main hotel.

The BBQ lunch is €30 per person and must be paid via banking on-line on or before Friday, 8th August.  Places for lunch will be reserved on a payment’s received basis and I attach the BBQ lunch menu together with our bank account details.  Cheques and Cash are not acceptable in the current environment.

The BRS system will be used to register your name for the golf competition.   The timesheet will open up on Monday, 11th August at 19.00 hrs and will close on Monday, 17th August at 18.00 hrs.   If the timesheet is full when you go to book please put your name down on the Waiting List.

Once your name is on the timesheet please email me to confirm if you are playing 9 holes only.   If I don’t hear from you in relation to playing 9 holes it will be taken that you are doing 18 holes.   When the timesheet issues the 9 hole players will have been separated from the 18 hole players, so your tee-time will most likely have changed.

If anyone has any questions in relation to arrangements for golf or for the lunch please let me know.   Times have changed and events such as ours require more certainty and pre-planning in order to keep us safe.   We are a great Society and have managed to keep the spirit of friendship and community going despite Covid-19 restrictions.   I am really looking forward to my Captain’s ‘Week-end’ and hope that you are too.

With very best wishes,
Lady Captain

July 6th, 2020: Match Play Competition 2020

Hi ladies,
I hope you enjoyed returning to competitive golf on Saturday last.  It is one more step in moving towards our new normal.   The results from Saturday have been posted to the web-site and can be found in the Members Area.
I am currently organising the annual Match Play Competition.  For those of you who may not be aware of this Competition I attach the 2020 Rules.   If you would like to participate and be in with a chance to win the Match Play Cup and cash prize of €50 with runner-up prize of €30, please let me know by Friday, 10th July. All members are eligible to participate.  Because we currently have no access to the Locker Room I will coordinate the communication for this Competition over email.
Player of the Month for July will come from category B and for August will come from Category A.  You may recall that we had  a Player of the Month awarded to Therese Cahill from Category C, back in January.
In response to a few members queries and concerns could I remind everyone that if you are feeling unwell in any way, to please abstain from playing golf on Saturdays.     Also, anyone who travels abroad for either essential or non-essential visits, could you observe the two week isolation period upon your return, in relation to Saturday Strollers golf.
As a reminder, there is no golf this coming Saturday, 11th July.  The timesheet will open on Thursday, 9th July at 19.00 hrs for play on Saturday, 18th July.
Have a great week everyone.
Best wishes,
Lady Captain

July 2nd, 2020: 4th July Competition & Other Updates

Hi ladies,

I hope you are all keeping well and looking forward to getting back to competitions this Saturday, 4th July.   To celebrate this milestone there will be 3 prizes in each category!

I have made some good progress in getting the 2020 Events calendar back up and running.   It is not quite ready to be circulated yet but I do have a few of the more significant dates confirmed and you might like to pencil them into your diary, as follows:

Captains Day – 22nd August 2020
Away Day – 12th September 2020
Charity Day – 19th September 2020
President’s Day –  10th October 2020

With regard to Captain’s Day I would like to remind you of a few rules in respect of prizes.   In order to be eligible to win the Captain’s Prize each member MUST have submitted 3 cards from the 6 weeks of competitive golf immediately prior to Captain’s Day.  Because there is no golf on the 11th July the six weeks commences this coming Saturday 4th July and ends on Saturday, 15th August.   New members are not entitled to win the Captains Prize but, in the company of all other members, you can compete for an array of fantastic prizes on the day.

A lot of our social events will not be the same as before.   Everything that we do will be done with your health and safety in mind.  Before each event takes place I will give you a detailed update on the logistics around the event.

I am delighted to say that 11 out of the 12 new members this year have been awarded handicaps.   I would like to thank everyone who assisted them in completing their cards over the past few weeks.

Because of a change in procedures around marking cards, for the foreseeable future the results will not be posted to the web-site until early the following week.

Many of you will know one of our long term members Ger Duignan, who is a tourist guide and whose work has completely ceased due to Covid-19.   She has offered to take interested members of the Strollers on a ‘walking tour’ of central Dublin in small groups of 5-6 people where social distancing can be observed.   She would be delighted to impart her knowledge on a leisurely stroll around the city centre.  If you are interested her email is gerduignan22@gmail.com and her mobile 086 3837318.

As a reminder, there is no golf on Saturday, 11th July so there will be no timesheet opening tonight.

I am really looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.  Fingers crossed for a nice day.

Best regards,

Lady Captain 2020

June 25th, 2020: Timesheet 4th July & General Update

Good morning ladies,

I hope you have the sunscreen to hand as I believe it will get up to 25 degrees in Dublin today!

I want to sincerely thank the ladies who held back from the timesheet last Thursday.   It afforded a more even spread of players across the timesheets over the last number of weeks.   After play this coming Saturday 27th June we will have completed both Phase1 and Phase2 of re-opening and out of 122 members 110 will have played as follows:

10 members – 6 times
22 members – 5 times
19 members – 4 times
25 members – 3 times
23 members – 2 times
11 members – 1 times

The very good news this week is that from the 4th July we will have 4 balls every 10 minutes, giving us capacity for 92 players, which is 1 slot short of the total slots we had available to us before Covid-19 arrived.   On that basis, I don’t envisage there being any issues getting onto the timesheet this evening nor will there be any need for me to continue to monitor player frequency.

Our start time is now 11.40 a.m. and finish time is 15.20 p.m.   While it has not been confirmed by the ILGU/GUI, Leopardstown are of the view that it will not revert to the 6 minute gap between teetimes so its possible these start and finish times will continue into the foreseeable future.

Competitions are permitted from the 29th June and Leopardstown have confirmed that there will be no official signing in.   Scorecards will be left at a table in the doorway beside the hand sanitiser.

It will not be necessary for cards to be exchanged between players or for the person who is the ‘marker’ to touch the player’s scorecard.   Instead, each player can mark up their own score and ask their marker to verbally certify the scores.   The player can then write the name of the marker on their scorecard.

All of the Saturday Societies intend to commence competitions from the 4th July and I am meeting the other Captains to discuss various logistics around returning scorecards (the normal box in reception area will not be in use), marking cards and re-scheduling the Calendar of Events for the duration of 2020.   I will provide further updates on this as soon as I can.

The Café is hoping to reopen the week of June 29th and it will be a very different set-up from previous times.   The offering will be reduced as will the seating capacity.   There will be extra seating available on the terrace when weather permits.  This will be a work in progress while Leopardstown tries to find the best way forward and they have asked for your patience and for you to follow all instructions provided onsite.

From 29th June visitors will be allowed to play golf in Leopardstown again.  They will have to book the same way that other society members have been doing in the afternoons, by providing names and phone numbers.   Priority will be given to society members when it comes to booking.   They will be permitted to book golf from Friday at 8 a.m. for the following week.   Visitors will not be permitted to book until the following day.

As expected, the Waiting List is working well.   Could I ask that anyone who needs to take their name off the timesheet after the booking system closes at 18:00 hrs on Friday, contact Leopardstown on the SATURDAY morning to do this.  If you contact them on Friday evening it is possible that they may not have received our timesheet yet and your cancellation may not be noted.  This did happen last week resulting in a vacant slot on one of the player lines.

Finally, based on feedback received could I give a gentle reminder that ‘fresh-air’ shots are counted as one of your shots.  Also, with the reduced 10 minutes tee-off times, please keep the players ahead of you in sight.   If you loose a ball you have a maximum of 3 minutes to search for it.  In most cases, if a ball is going to be found, it will be found within the first three minutes.

Please note that there is no golf on Saturday, 11th July due to racing.

Thank you all for your patience and good natured attitude to the ‘new way’ of managing our Society golf.   I hope you enjoy this Saturday and that the weather is kind to us.

Best wishes,

Lady Captain 2020

June 17th, 2020: Wait List and General Update

Good afternoon ladies,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well.   There is a bit of a change in the weather but hopefully it will pick up by Saturday.

After play this coming Saturday, 20th June, 101 out of 122 members will have played and the breakdown is as follows:

25 members will have played 5 times
13 members will have played 4 times
16 members will have played 3 times
34 members will have played 2 times
13 members will have played 1 times

I am reluctant to suggest this but perhaps the members who have played 4-5 times might hold back this week and let some of the others catch up in order to level the playing field, so to speak.

I have enabled the Wait List on the BRS System.    When the timesheet is completely full there will be a Waiting List option at the start of our tee-time. Click on this and you will be able to access the list.   You will be offered a start time from 12.00 hrs to end time 16.00 hrs.   You can make yourself available for the full four hours or you can select a specific time line i.e. 13.00 hrs to 14.00 hrs if that is the only time you wish to play.  When someone cancels their booking the first person on the list will automatically be moved on to the timesheet and will receive an email confirmation of the booking.

When the timesheet closes each Friday evening at 17.00 hrs we are reverting back to the manual system.   The timesheet will have been submitted to Leopardstown so normal golfing etiquette will apply.   If you have to cancel your booking you must telephone or text your playing partners and phone Leopardstown and ask them to remove you from the list.   Most of you received the Members directory of phone numbers at my Captain’s Drive-In last February.   If there is anyone who hasn’t got one please let me know and I will make sure that you receive one.

We received 4 new member score cards after last Saturday’s play, which is great.  There will be a few more new members out this coming Saturday and I would be grateful if you could keep an eye out and help them complete their score cards.

Leopardstown have confirmed that as of Monday, 15th June society members may bring one guest per member on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.   Wednesday and Sunday will continue for society members only up to the 28th June.  This relates to reservations made between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.  After the 28th June visitor tee times will be introduced and will require advance booking.

Both McGuirk’s golf shop and the bathroom facilities are open.   There is no word yet on the date for re-opening the restaurant.

I really enjoyed meeting and greeting most of you who were out playing last Saturday.   It’s a great feeling to be back out playing and meeting people in person again!

Take care for now.

Best wishes,
Lady Captain

June 11th, 2020 – BRS Booking and New Member Update

Dear members,

I hope that this email finds you well and that those of you who are getting out to play in Phase 2 this coming Saturday 13th will really enjoy it.

After play on the 13th June, 101 of the 122 members will have played leaving 21 members yet to play.  Out of the 101 members who will have played:

29 members will have played 4 times
12 members will have played 3 times
22 members will have played 2 times
38 members will have played 1 times

In advance of the BRS system opening up for booking this evening I would like to let you know that each member can now only book for themselves and one other member.   The rational behind this is to open it up to a larger group of people gaining access to the timesheet to book.   Technically, leaving it as it was meant that 18 people could dominate the timesheet, although I don’t believe that was happening.

Some of you may not be aware of this but when you gain access in the timesheet to a particular time slot, you are blocking out the whole row/4 slots from anyone else accessing them at the same time.  Therefore, could I ask that when you have made your booking that you exit the timesheet immediately so that the next person can access the row.

Commencing next Thursday, 18th June I have updated the BRS booking system to enable a wait list.   This means that if you don’t get on the timesheet for the 27th you can join a wait list and as soon as someone cancel’s their booking the person on top of the wait list will automatically be moved into the vacant slot.   I will send you more detail on how to operate this next week.

Out of our twelve new members this year only three of them managed to get 3 cards in for handicap before the lockdown.   This leaves nine of them awaiting handicap.  I am keen that they will be in a position to play in competition as soon as it opens up and so, in consultation with the Handicap Secretary, Maire Barrett, I have put in place an arrangement for the nine members to take a record their own score on their own notepaper.  They will need the assistance of one of their playing partners to verbally agree with them their score after each hole.   The new member will enter the score on their notepaper and at the end of play will sign and date the record.  In place of the assisting playing partner signing the record they will take a photo of the record and send it to me via WhatsApp or email.  The reason I am informing you of this is because you may be asked by a new member to be their assisting playing partner.

I have nothing further to add for now so fingers crossed the weather will be good on Saturday and happy golfing to everyone.

Best regards,

Lady Captain

June 2nd, 2020 – Golf Preparations for Phase 2 of Re-opening

Dear members,

I hope you are all keeping well and that those of you who have been back playing golf in Phase 1 have enjoyed the long awaited experience!

I am maintaining a log of members who have/will have played over the 3 weeks in Phase 1 and, out of the full complement of 122 members, the following are the stats:

32 members played 3 times
25 members played 2 times
16 members played 1 times

A total of 73 members have been back playing, leaving 49 members yet to play.

It was brought to my attention by a number of people in recent days that there were 3 groups out playing on Saturday last with only 2 players.   With timeslots at a premium I was very disappointed to hear this.   Can I remind everyone that if for any reason you have to cancel your booking after the booking system is closed on Friday evening, the usual golfing etiquette applies.   You must let your two playing partners know by phoning or texting them and you must also phone Leopardstown and ask them to remove your name from the time sheet.   They will then be able to re-allocate your slot to someone on the waiting list.

There are some welcome changes coming in Phase 2.   The ILGU/GUI are allowing 4 balls every 14 minutes from the 8th June.    This means that we will have an extra 18 players with capacity for 72 players each Saturday from the 13th June.   In pre Covid-19 times we had 93 slots available to us with general take-up in the 65 to 70 number bracket.

When the timesheet opens this coming Thursday, for those of you who have not logged in recently, the screen has a new look which I believe was amended by the BRS.   I was not aware of it last week so I could not give you the ‘heads up’ in advance.

You may find that your user id and password does not automatically come up like it did before, when you try logging in.   I suggest that you try to login well before 7 p.m. on Thursday next and if you need a reminder of what your password is you can email/text me.

Phase 2 sees the ‘eligibility to play’ distance extend from 5 km to 20 km.  This is a welcome step and opens it up to the 49 additional members who have not yet played.    I am keeping the priority list going for the duration of Phase 2.    For clarity, this means that anyone who has not played to date can email/text me and I will allocate a slot on the time-sheet for you.  Could I ask you to do this by 12 noon on Thursday, 4th June for play on the 13th June.   You can only be on the priority list once.

Leopardstown have re-iterated their request that you go straight from your car to the 1st tee.   You do not have to register your arrival at reception.  Please do not tee off before your allotted time so as to ensure that the 14 minute gap is maintained between groups.

Club competitions can commence from the 8th June but the Committee and I have decided to hold off until Phase 3.   While it is up to each society to determine when they will recommence competitions Leopardstown are not encouraging it.   They have advised that quite a number of golf clubs across the country are planning to hold off on competitive golf until Phase 3 of the roadmap, which is 29th June.   Score cards seem to be the biggest issue in relation to this and the Committee and I will need to be comfortable with how the card exchange/marking process is conducted.

Phase 2 allows for members to bring guests to their golf club to play.   Leopardstown have advised that as the demand for golf is huge amongst the ladies societies they have decided not to allow guests in the first week, from 8th to 14th June.  They will provide a further update on this.  This relates to bookings made directly with Leopardstown for play between between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day, after ladies societies play is finished.

McGuirkes Golf will re-open their store on the 8th June.   There is no date yet for re-opening the Café.   The driving range is open with every second bay in use.  You can pre-book or just turn up.

That is as much information as I have for now.   I am looking forward to playing on the 13th June and to seeing everyone again.   As always, please feel free to email/text/phone me if you have any issues or need clarity on any aspect of Phase 2.

Take care for now.

Best regards,

Lady Captain 2020

May 13th, 2020 – Return to Golf Saturday, 23rd May 2020

Hi ladies,

I attach the text of the email I received from Leopardstown providing further information in relation to the rules and protocols to be adhered to in preparation for our return to golf of the 23rd May.     It is very important that we make our best effort to follow these rules and, whilst all of them are important, I have highlighted some of the ones that I believe will be of specific interest to the Saturday Strollers.

The first thing to note is that Leopardstown has no special exemption from the public health advice on over 70s age demographic and for the 5 km travel distance limitation.   It is up to each individual member to ensure that they are compliant in these matters.

Our normal allotted timetable has changed and for phase 1 of the reopening of the course our time slot will run from 12 noon up to 4 pm.   This provides us with one additional hour of play and the ability to facilitate 54 players in total with a 14 minute interval between each tee-time, which is great news.

The time-sheet will open and close at the usual time, i.e. open at 7 p.m. on Thursday, 14th May and close at 6 p.m. on Friday, 22nd May for play on Saturday, 23rd May.  All tee times MUST be booked in advance.  You cannot turn up on the Saturday morning hoping to find a vacant slot.  Once Leopardstown receive the timesheet from us on the Friday evening they will keep it for up to six weeks to facilitate contact tracing.    If you need to take your name off the timesheet please do this before it closes on the Friday evening, so as to permit someone else to pre-book into your vacant slot.

I am very hopeful that the number of players that fall within the guidelines for this phase will be accommodated within the 54 available tee-times.  However, in the interest of fairness I will be monitoring the timesheet to ensure that everyone who can play will get a turn to play, if not in week 1 (23rd May) then they will be given first preference in week 2 (30th May).  Please feel free to contact me if you fail to get a tee-time on the 23rd and would like to play on the 30th May.

Outside of our society timelines the course will be open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday for society members only.  No guests or visitors will be permitted.  The regular fee of €10.00 will apply.   A timesheet will be available each day and times must be booked over the phone in advance.   Players should go to reception to let them know you have arrived and you can pay by tapping your card.   They will start taking bookings from Monday, 18th May when they have re-opened.

I am sure you are as excited as I am with the prospect of getting back to golf and I hope you thoroughly enjoy your ‘day out’ whilst observing social distancing.

Best wishes,

Lady Captain

May 9th, 2020 – Return to Golf Phase 1: 18th July 2020

Good morning ladies,

I hope this email finds both you and your families well.

Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel!   As Ireland starts to re-open we golfers are among the lucky ones who are included in the first phase of the gradual easing of restrictions for sporting activities.

Leopardstown Golf Centre have been in touch and confirmed that golf will be returning for societies starting from Monday 18th May.   The governing bodies have issued protocols for both Golf Clubs and Golf Players and I attach a PDF of the full set of those protocols and the road map for each phase of re-opening.

There are a number of different things that need to be adhered to in order for this to happen.

The main thing is to ensure social distancing and, as confirmed by Leopardstown, tee times must have 14 minute intervals and a maximum of three players in each group.

This will impact the number of players that each society will be able to accommodate but that is what the longer intervals are trying to achieve. Less people on the course and around the whole facility.

By my calculation this facilitates a maximum of 42 players, within our usual 3 hour timeframe,  restricted to those members who are living within 5 km distance of Leopardstown Golf Centre.  If you are unsure of your distance you can check it out via http://www.2kmfromhome.com

Leopardstown will revert to me again during the week with an outline of how things will work and have asked that we do not open our timesheets until then.

I am sure you will all appreciate how fragile this situation is and they have assured me that they will prioritise all of the ladies societies as we are a vital part of Leopardstown.

I will revert during the week when I have more information to hand.   In the meantime, have a lovely week-end and enjoy the lovely weather we are having.

Best regards,

Paula Lady Captain

April 10, 2020 – EASTER GREETINGS

Dear Members,

As we head into what is a very unique Easter weekend I hope you are keeping safe and that you find hope and peace during these challenging and uncertain times.  

Under normal circumstances we would have been gearing up to a fun Easter weekend of golf with three prizes in each category, not to mention the Easter Bonnet Competition!

However, the last few weeks have been very strange.   Most of us rush through life, forgetting to enjoy the present because we are weighed down by the past or worried about the future.   We have had to slow down the daily rush, simplify our lives, spark our imaginations and inspire ourselves and those around us by taking each day as it comes, moment by moment.   As Mother Theresa said ‘Be happy in the moment, that’s enough.  Each moment is all we need, not more.’

The Committee and I send our warmest wishes to you and all your loved ones this Easter and look forward to meeting up again soon.

Best wishes,

Lady Captain