Policy Clarifications

Since golf re-started in the post COVID era there has been a very significant amount of “churn” every week in the pairings. People signing up early and then dropping out at the last minute, while others want to be added at the last minute. Still others have had issues getting their pre-payments to us on time. This has had significant impact on the golf committees activity level. So as a result of the actions of a handful of people the Golf Committee has agreed that the following policies needed to be documented, published, and adhered to going forward.

* Signups

Because of the restrictions being imposed upon us from the courses due to the number of carts available, their cart sharing policies and whatever other reasons they have, we have been forced to reduce the number of foursomes we can bring to the course. With this reduction we have heard that many Branch 98 Golfers were unable to secure a spot in the September pairings. While we have welcomed, and will continue to welcome, our brother SIRs from other branches we feel it is only appropriate that Branch 98 golfers have priority for the limited number of slots available. So, starting with the October pairing we will implement the following changes:

  • Signups will open on the first day of the month at 9:00 am local time for all Branch 98 golfers or members of the “SIR Br98 GC” NCGA club. If the 1st day of the month falls on a Monday, then signups will open at 6:00 pm local time.
  • Signups for all others will start at 9:00 am on the third day of the month.

For example on Sept. 1st at 9:00 am anybody that is a member of Branch 98 can sign up for any October tournament. On October 1st at 9:00 am they will be able to sign up for November tournaments, etc.

On September 3rd at 9:00 am anybody that has a login can signup for any October tournament. On October 3rd at 9:00 am they can signup for all the November tournaments, etc.

Starting on the third day prior to a tournament all signups will be blocked. For example for our normal Monday tournament you must be signed up prior to Friday. Any attempt to signup after that time will show a “To Late to sign up for the tournament.” error.

* Pre-payment collections

  • All payments must be received by our Treasurer 72 hours prior to a tournament start. Typically, that means Bob Gilson must have your check, credit card payment, etc. by Friday 8:00 am for a Monday tournament. If you signup when the pairing sheet first opens that means you have anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to get these to Bob. If you sign up late you should pay by credit card to avoid being late. If you get moved from the Waiting List to the active list, you are notified and asked to make your payment immediately. As far as we are concerned THERE IS NO GOOD REASON TO NOT HAVE A PAYMENT TO US BY THE DUE DATE and going forward, we will not act as a collection agency and contact you looking for payment.
  • If you are in the pairings and your payment is not received by the end of the day on Friday we will assume that you intended to cancel and YOUR NAME WILL BE REMOVED FROM THIS WEEKS AND ALL FUTURE PAIRINGS no questions asked. You will be assessed a $10 late cancellation fine and you WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO SIGNUP AND PLAY WITH US UNTIL THE FINE IS PAID.
  • If you are in the pairings and your payment is received by the end of the day on Friday, you will be assessed a $10 late fee and you will remain in that week’s pairings. You will not be able to play in future tournaments until the late fee is paid.

* Cancellations, No-shows & Refunds

  • All cancellations made 72 hours in advance of a tournament will receive a full refund of any payments made and there will be no cancellation fees assessed.
  • All cancellations made less than 72 hours of a tournament will be assessed a $10 late cancellation fee. You will not be able to play in future tournaments until the late fee is paid.
  • If you have pre-paid for the tournament and then subsequently cancel between 48 and 72 hours in advance you will receive a refund of your payment but will owe a $10 late cancellation fee.
  • If you have pre-paid for the tournament and then subsequently cancel with less than 48 hours to the tournament you will not receive any refund plus all the provisions of item #2 above apply.
  • Anybody that is a No-Show at the course will not receive any refund plus all the provisions of item #2 above apply.

What do we expect?

For most of you the above changes will either have no or a positive effect. For the rest of you I hope you understand that these changes are really nothing earth shattering. All we are really asking is that you be responsible:

  • If you haven’t been getting regular notices from us, make sure we have your current email address.
  • If you are signing up more than just yourself, please verify with them prior to signing them up that they wish to play! If you don’t, you’re just making additional work for somebody else!
  • Whether you sign yourself up or somebody else signs you up you get a notification that your name has been added to the pairings for a tournament. When you receive that please check your calendars when somebody else has signed you up and let us know right away if you wish to be removed. This would also be a good time to plan for payment. Either follow the link in the notification email to pay by credit card, go to your normal online banking app and schedule the sending of a check(s) (This is what I do. I have my bank send Bob a check 10 days prior to every tournament. This way I don’t have to write a check, find a stamp and an envelope, address it and drop it in the mailbox. Thank you, Wells Fargo!). Or just put a reminder in your calendars two weeks prior to the tournament to send Bob a check. Bob has requested that you send him individual checks for each tournament. It easier to keep track of that way.
  • If something comes up and you need to drop out, don’t procrastinate. Send us a request to be dropped right away.
  • Check your email on a regular and frequent basis for notices from us. Also, reply to our emailed polls in timely fashion. It only takes a couple of quick clicks to tell us if you wish to remain on the pairing sheet or drop and/or if you can ride share a cart.
  • Check the website for changes to start times, pairing assignments and Waiting List changes!

Why is it necessary to have these policies?

As you all know the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the golf committee to make several changes in how we do business now. The two things most visible to you individual players
were switching over from shotgun starts to individual tee times, and how we collect your green fees and prize fund payments. What’s not so visible to all of you, is the amount of effort the committee members now need to expend in order to hold a tournament.

All our tournaments were scheduled in the Fall of 2019 when we locked in with each course the date, start time and a minimum number of players. Pre COVID all we had to do was send the course a pairing sheet a couple days before the play date so they could make the cart signs with your name and starting hole assignment. During the 60 – 90 minutes prior to the shotgun start we’d collect the fees from everybody and pay the course for all that showed up. If somebody didn’t show up there usually wasn’t much of a problem, we’d just adjust the payment we made to the course.

Today that’s no longer the case. There is no representative from SIR Branch 98 Golf checking people in, they would have to sit there multiple hours from the first tee time until the last! Plus we still have to pay the course prior to the first group going out. So, our payments are now based not upon our physical count of golfers, most of whom haven’t showed up yet, but upon the number of golfers whose names appear in the pairing sheet on the website. But if we tell them 56 people were signed up do you really think they are going to say “Oh no you only had 54 people show up so let us refund you that additional $90.00 you gave us when the first group teed off.” I don’t think so!

Secondly we now have to contact the course 4-5 weeks prior to the event to see what their COVID restrictions are; how many carts will be available, will they allow people to share carts and/or walk the course (and if walkers are allowed to try to negotiate a walking price) along with a host of other details which are then summarized and published on the website as “Course Specific Information”. The course is again contacted a week to 10 days prior to the event to determine what changes if any have occurred in the preceding 4-5 weeks. Based upon the most current info we then start trying to communicate that info to all of you. We update the “Course Specific Information” on the website, we inform all whose names are on the pairing sheet that they are signed up (it’s up to you folks to see if you’re on the waiting list or not!) and ask you to confirm that you still intend to play. In some cases, we ask if you’re willing to share a cart or walk the course to make room for additional players. All this information is collected and summarized and forwarded to the course in a timely manner so that they can be prepared for us.

Thirdly, on Friday afternoon Bob Gilson starts to verify that we have collected the fees from everybody that is signed up. Most weeks that means emailing, calling, texting and generally pestering typically 5-8 people to see where their payments are. Sometimes he hears “Oh, I didn’t intend to play so I didn’t send a check”. Other times he hears “The check is in the mail!” or “Oh S*^t I just forgot! ” Well that ends NOW! As of the Aug. 31st tournament at Auburn Valley the above policies are in effect!