NCC and coronavirue update #3 – Sent May 12, 2020
NCC and Coronavirus – Update #3 On behalf of the Board of Governors, we hope this note finds you and your extended families well. With Covid 19 cases coming down in the Tri-State area, plans are beginning for reopening businesses in states, cities, and counties, albeit carefully and slowly. Governor Ned Lamont has established May 20th as the date for beginning the process in Connecticut. Timing could not be better for us at the Norfolk Country Club. Our season typically gets started in the middle of May and we are pleased to tell you that we are on our way.
- As you know, the golf course opened on April 20th. While the weather has not fully cooperated, the course has been used extensively on the nicer days. Last Monday, the electric carts arrived and they are available for use. Members calling in advance to reserve an electric cart or pull cart has been working well.
- We have had many conversations with Putnam (the company that opens the tennis courts) and have been told that the courts should be available for play no later than Saturday, May 23rd. If the weather cooperates, it could be sooner. We are asking our tennis players to follow these rules carefully. By virtue of showing up to play, it affirms that you have read the rules and agree to strictly adhere to them.
- We are also pleased to announce that the restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner (take-out only) starting with lunch on Saturday, May 16th. Lunch will be open Tuesday – Saturday from 11:30am – 2:30pm and dinner will be available Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm – 8pm. The family style menu can be ordered during the lunch or dinner hours. The procedures for ordering and pick-up of meals are included in the takeout program document attached. Bottles of wine will be available for purchase. A wine list is included on the takeout menu.
- As we discussed in Update #2, the Board of Governors has decided to offer Social Members the ability to play golf up to five times through the end of June. The Board would also like to offer the same access to the tennis courts. Social Members may also play tennis up to five times through the end of June. We will revisit this policy as we get further into the season.
As the season progresses, we will expand as many of the Club’s activities as possible. We will do this based on our guiding principles of the health and safety of our membership and staff, the financial viability of the Club and the requirements of the State. In line with these principles, we cannot open the Clubhouse at this time. Additionally, we will not be able to hold our annual Memorial Day membership meeting due to social distancing policies and the rules regarding large gatherings. We hope these Coronavirus Updates are sufficient to keep you informed. We will continue to issue them as circumstances warrant. As in the past, the Club Manager will send weekly membership updates once the season gets underway. Some of the other things that may become a possibility at a later time in the summer:
- Offering takeout dinners other than just Fridays and Saturdays
- Allowing a reduced number of members to use the back patio for lunch or dinner
- Allowing members to bring guests other than those residing in their household
- Allowing tennis players to sit on outdoor furniture near the courts
- Offering the children’s program in late July and August
- Allowing bridge to be played on the back patio
- Tennis and golf tournaments
- Opening the Clubhouse
In the meantime, we ask that members carefully follow the current rules for use of the Club facilities in order for us all to remain safe and healthy. We also ask for your continued patience and understanding as we move ahead at a pace that ensures that our guiding principles remain intact.
For the Board of Governors: Amy Bernstein, Tom Carley, Russell Guthrie, Doug Healy, Liz Hilpman, Vanessa Lilly, Pepe Lopez, Grant Mudge, Roger Miller, Alyson Thomson, Tom Vorenberg
Click Here To See Golf Rules For Play
NCC and Coronavirus – Update #2 – sent April 18, 2020
On behalf of our Board of Governors, I would like to start by sending best wishes to our membership and extended families in this very stressful time. We hope everyone is healthy and safe. By most accounts, “social distancing” policies have been working in Connecticut and, thankfully, there have been very few Covid 19 cases reported in Norfolk. The big debate now is how and when to re-open the country.
We are working diligently on our own plans to open the NCC for membership use but understandably are proceeding with utmost caution. It is our intention to find the correct balance between protecting the health and safety of our members and staff, and desiring to give our membership as much access to the Club as possible. We must be mindful too, of how to ensure the financial viability of the Club. Of course, every decision will be made within the guidelines for the State of Connecticut. As you may know, the Governor of Connecticut has extended the stay-at-home guidelines until May 20th. The good news for the NCC is that golf can open, assuming we have strict adherence to safety rules.
With that in mind, I am pleased to announce that the golf course is ready for play. Many thanks to Joe Bunk and Ron Phaefflin for their hard work over the last couple of weeks. The golf course will officially open on Tuesday, April 21, subject to the following policies and strict adherence to the Rules for Play (see below):
- The golf course hours will be Tuesday – Sunday from 9am – 5pm. During that time, Ron will be on site at the Club. Pull carts will be available during these hours, upon request. It would be a good idea to reach out to Ron in advance to let him know when you are coming and whether you would like a pull cart. He can be reached in his office at (860) 542-5282 or on his cell phone at (860) 485-8383.
- Members may play at other times; however, they will be required to carry as the pull carts will be stored, outside of normal hours, for health reasons.
- Pull carts will be sanitized after each use. Electric carts will not be available until they can be delivered. The company who rents them to us is closed as it is considered a nonessential business. When they are available, they will also be sanitized after each use.
- Initially, members may only bring guests who have been residing in the household of the member for at least two weeks. No other guests will be permitted on the golf course at this time. Guest fees will apply.
- There will be a Port-o-San near the first tee and the seventh hole.
- Ron will not be available to give lessons. We feel it is important for him to be present in the pro shop to manage the golfers. We will revisit this as we move further into the season.
- We are asking our golfers to carefully follow these rules. By virtue of showing up to play, it affirms that you have read the rules and agree to strictly adhere to them.
With expectations for potentially limited social activities this season, the Board has decided to offer Social Members use of the sports facilities. Social Members may play golf up to five times through the end of June. We will revisit this policy as we get further into the season and will address the same for the tennis program as we get closer to opening the courts.
We are continuing to analyze other areas of the Club and will get back to you as soon as we have more to say. In the meantime:
- We await preparation of the tennis courts and are diligently working with Edgar and other tennis organizations to develop a set of Rules for Tennis Play. This is obviously more difficult than golf given the issue of social distancing, touching of tennis balls, etc.
- We are actively looking at the potential opportunities for the restaurant.
- For the near future, we are not planning any large social events, however July and August are still months away. As we mentioned in our first letter, it will not be possible for us to hold our Annual Opening Steak Dinner in May.
- The Green Book has been updated and is on the NCC website. We have also set up a section on the website for Coronavirus Updates.
- Thanks to Pepe Lopez, the door and window renovation project is moving along and is looking great. However, for the time being, the Clubhouse is closed to all members.
The success of the Club for the past 100+ years has been our strong community and support for each other, as well as the enjoyment of our great facilities. We want to thank the membership for your patience and on-going support as we work through this difficult moment. The Board of Governors is committed to doing everything possible to ensure a successful season. We will be back to you in a couple of weeks with more information and plans for the upcoming season. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy … and play golf.
For the Board of Governors: Amy Bernstein, Tom Carley, Russell Guthrie, Doug Healy, Elizabeth Hilpman, Vanessa Lilly, Pepe Lopez, Grant Mudge, Roger Miller, Alyson Thomson, Tom Vorenberg
NCC and Coronavirus – Update#1 – Sent April 1, 2020
Firstly, our best wishes go out to our membership and extended families and friends. We hope that everyone is healthy and safe, as well as managing through this difficult time. If anyone in our extended community needs assistance with shopping or other activities, please feel free to reach out to any of the Board of Governors or fellow members.
Since our last communication, the Coronavirus Task Force has met several times. While there are still 7/8 weeks before the traditional start of the NCC season, we wanted to update you regarding current plans and other items under discussion.
The Board of Governors are fully committed to keeping our club and community alive and thriving, notwithstanding the difficulty of the situation. We plan to manage the NCC carefully and with a close eye on our finances. First and foremost, we will be guided by the recommendations of our health professionals and state authorities. For us to have a successful season, it is going to take the entire community of our staff and membership to ensure the health and safety of each other. It will take everyone’s patience, understanding and cooperation as this season will likely be like no other.
While we don’t have all the answers yet, there are some things we can share with you now:
- Subject to the requirements above, we will open the NCC this season. There is an expectation that our membership will be anxious to get out on the golf course and tennis courts as soon as weather permits and it is safe.
- Over the next few weeks, Joe Bunk and a small crew will begin to put the golf course in shape for play. We will get back to you with rules for play and an opening date.
- We are on the list for Putnam to prepare the tennis courts. Typically given the weather and Putnam’s schedule, we try to get the courts ready as close to the middle of May as possible. As with golf, we will get back to you with rules and an opening date.
- There are many unanswered questions about the restaurant services. We are working with Chef Michael and Michael Sinclair to determine what can be done given our guiding principle of the health and safety of our members and staff. After seeing some of the other announcements in the local community regarding cancellations of large events, we have decided to cancel this year’s Opening Steak Dinner, as much as that disappoints us. We need to decide how we will handle other events that take place later in the season (e.g. Thursday night speakers, Dinner dances, etc.)
- We have solidified the return of the five senior club managers (Michael Sinclair, Chef Michael, Ron, Edgar and Joe Bunk) and have guaranteed them full employment for the season. The Board of Governors voted unanimously on this point to ensure the stability of our senior staff for the future. We are also looking carefully at our part-time summer staff and will do everything possible to have work for them this summer.
- We will not be printing the Green Book or the Calendar this year. These will be available on the NCC website in the coming weeks and a weekly calendar of upcoming events will be emailed to the membership. Please contact the Club Manager if you need any help accessing the website.
We will be back to you in a couple of weeks with more definitive information and plans for the upcoming season. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.
President For the Board of Governors: Amy Bernstein, Tom Carley, Russell Guthrie, Doug Healy, Liz Hilpman, Vanessa Lilly