Now that Easter is out of the way and the chocolate eggs and bilbies have been scoffed (or at least had their ears bitten off), we can settle down to some nice Melbourne autumn weather. Towards the end of the front nine, you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was going to rain any time soon. But, for the first bit of the back nine, the sun was out and the jumpers were being stripped off. Then, just as suddenly the black clouds rolled in, and out come the umbrellas and the wet weather gear. Just as the round winds up, the rain stopped, but the sun didn’t quite come out. Is it any wonder that the 23 members who made it to the tee this morning finished showing varying degrees of dampness depending on whether they even had an umbrella or not. Melbourne’s meteorological medley should surely be familiar enough that some sort of protection should be carried. It’s a bit like Tinder dating, Noods!
The variability in the weather did not seem to affect the ability to score too much, at least for some people. Brendon claimed that he was having trouble judging the pace of the greens and a few of his chips and putts did have a bit of length about them. However, that did not stop him from scoring a very handy 38 points over the round. It wouldn’t have been quite as good if the rules hadn’t changed recently as a double hit on one of his chips would have cost him in the past. Ken, on the other hand, managed to get the same score on his card despite a few cases of the ‘shanks’. A particularly notable one on the 13th went close to taking out a couple of his playing companions. By the look of his card, there were one or two left out there so that handicap cut might be well and truly warranted.
Gordon started out with a four pointer and, with the second tee set as far forward as possible, he should have had every chance of following that up with another good score. The one pointer was a disappointment, but hardly the dreaded PBSU. His final tally of 37 points was enough to get second place on his own. Old Reliable continued to take advantage of the firm going and his habit of keeping the ball pretty much centrally located on the fairway and pretty well down in most cases. This kept Craig well up in the points and didn’t do his handicap any harm with 36 points. Ryan played pretty steadily for three quarters, but like a lot of footy teams, he faded a bit in the final. A chip-in on the 17th for a birdie saved the day a bit and he was able to tie it up with Craig in third place.
Harry claims to have lost count of the number of three putt greens that he had today on his way to a score of 35 points and a spot in fourth place. Gordon, playing in the group behind was able to verify that there were several. Michael did not lay claim to excessive numbers of three putts, but there was a fair amount of interest in his performance from the top deck on the 18th. Brendon was offering odds on the outcome of the second putt, but he decided that he didn’t have a bookies licence and all bets were off when the putt rolled in with the greatest of ease. Adam, Brent, and Whitey rounded out the podium list with cards of 34 points. All in all, a very close run finish with only four points covering the range.
Bobbie Dazzler took out the first BallPin on the 7th today with a shot that was reported to have virtually stopped before it got onto the green but then kept rolling and rolling. The second BallPin on the 18th was a real Battle of the Bs. The names on the card were Brendon, Brent and Blighty with Blighty getting the nod. He made a bit of a hash of the putting and so that hole did not make a contribution to the 20 birdies that the group scored today. Once again the ProPin was a bit on the controversial side. Adam had been tasked by the Grand Pooh Bah to make sure that the markers went out on the correct holes. Without making too much of it, the Grand Pooh Bah was a bit upset that the first BallPin was not out on the 4th. That is, until he checked his own running sheet and realised that the 7th was the correct location that he had nominated. Anyway, the ProPin was supposed to be on the 12th and both Harry and Craig were within the 5m limit, except that there was no kit left at the hole. Lo and behold, the kit was at the 15th, with a name on the card from the group charged with putting the kit out. Calls for a voiding and Jackpot were over-ruled and the ProPin went to Jason with his shot to 2.49m.
Quite a few Matchplay results were finalised today. Adam and Brent progressed by dint of Walkover. The remaining match in Round 1 was between Whitey and Rob. Rob was beset by an attack of the ‘shanks’ and, although he was able to win a few holes, he was a bit like King Canute and not able to turn back the tide. The match finished at the 13th, going to Whitey 6 and 5. Porks took on Gordo in what was probably the match of the day. Fifteen of the eighteen holes ended in a result one way or another and the largest margin was a mere two holes. Gordon managed to get the match back to square at the 15th with a chip in for birdie and took the lead on the 16th. There was pay-back on the 17th when Porks chipped in for his birdie and so it went down to the last hole to decide the match. It took them three putts each to decide the match that went to Porks, 1 up. Michael played with Noods and almost broke his heart on the first when he chipped in a three to Noods seven (not much doubt about the result there!). Things did improve for the young fellah a bit, and he managed to drag the match back to square by the turn. Unfortunately it was mostly down-hill from there and the match finished at the 16th 4 and 2 to Michael. Bob and Blighty were in the last match for the day and they both reckoned that they played horribly. Despite that caveat, the match did fluctuate a bit but Bob’s early lead proved difficult to wear down and, in the end, the match went to Bob 3 and 2.
The only report of a draughtie today was down to Stan on the 15th, but he reckons he cannot blame his new handicap from last week for that. There was some discussion whether Stan’s adjustment might have been the most severe ever. Not quite, it was the fourth most severe ever with the record cut coming in at 6.6 back in 1999. RodG was probably thinking that his birthday had come a bit early when he nabbed a birdie on the 6th after three shots up the middle left him with a longish putt that was never really in doubt from the moment it left the club. The Birthday Birdie also has to pay a visit to SOS later in the week as well.
Results for Saturday, 10 April 2021
1st Brendon Mitchell(38) 1st Ken Watson(38) 2nd Gordon Hill(37) 3rd Craig Cameron(36) 3rd Ryan Porker(36) 4th Harry Boughen(35) 4th Michael Gourlay(35) 5th Adam King(34) 5th Brent Rowley(34) 5th Rodney White(34)
Seniors Results: 1st Ken Watson (38) 2nd Gordon Hill (37) 3rd Craig Cameron (36)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jason Hopkins BallPin No 1 – 7th Bob McDonald BallPin No 2 – 18th Andrew Blight
Well, if anybody thought that today would be a good day to score some easy points, they had better have another think coming. Firstly, the field was not as small as you might have expected given that it was smack bang in the middle of a long weekend. And the field had promised to be somewhat larger if not for a few lastish minute withdrawals. The result was that we ended up with 16 members and one newbie to wait around for there to be enough light to have some chance of seeing where your ball went off the first tee. Our newbie was Anthony, who has now racked up his three cards, and he can now officially start raiding the points in regular competition. The first group set out bravely enough and did manage to get enough of a sight on the line (down the middle by the way) to be able to walk up to their second shot. The air felt cool as they wandered down the hill, but the promise was that it would warm up more than somewhat as the day progressed. Of course, the big disadvantage of being the first group is that there are no track marks in the dew on the greens to help with the ‘read’. The air seemed to be perfectly still, but that did not stop the early morning balloonists from tracking across the course at a remarkable pace until one of them decided to alight ever so briefly on the 6th fairway. You would have to say that there was more hot air on the course than usual as a result.
Despite all of the miscellaneous distractions of hot-air balloons and so forth, Stan decided that it was about time he stopped pretending that he was a 24 handicapper and play all the way out of his skin. As a result he was able to turn in a personal best off the stick of 82 of the best. His net score of 58 was plenty to take out the Medal by a wide margin, and it was the fifth best net score recorded in the Club since records have been kept and the best net for at least seven years. There were very few, what could be called, blemishes on the card and there was a particular highlight where Stan emulated Stef and scored an eagle with driver and wedge, but in this case he didn’t need his putter having pitched it in from 90m out on the 14th. A stand-out round all round.
Mark was another one who seemed to be reluctant to use his putter, and, maybe, it was because there were no tracks to follow on the greens. Two on the front nine for a 37 off the stick had Damo seriously questioning the handicapper’s wisdom in setting Mark’s handicap level. Things didn’t go quite so swimmingly on the back nine, but an overall result of net 66 would have had most people holding out hope for a podium topping result. MattV hasn’t had too many appearances on the track this year, but he did manage to drag himself out today to take on JQ in the Matchplay. Perhaps the prospect of teaching JQ a lesson spurred him on as he was able to stake a claim to third place with his bottom line of 69. The match was not quite the ‘lesson’ although, despite JQ getting a bit of an advantage early, Matt did manage to hold the match to all square after the 18th. So, off to the chip-off they went. Both chips finished a bit on the long side, and so it came down to a putt-off. JQ went a bit long and the gallery gasped. Matt went even longer and the gallery gasped again. The come-back missed, and it was up to JQ. With his favourite up-hill putt, John slotted it to take the match, technically on the first chip-off, but, in reality, it was really the second putt-off.
Just one stroke to the hindmost was a fair little cluster of talent with Craig, Michael, Brendon, and JQ all coming in with seventy of the best. JQ was only three over the card after the nine, and would surely have hoped for better things. Michael, on the other hand, really came good on the back and finished square with the card for the nine. Trev continues with his run of form in recent weeks, and, if it hadn’t been for several four putts (according to Trev), the result could have been better. Then again, just about everybody could lay claim to that.
The Nearest the Pin competition started out on the 12th, not the 4th, as some people seemed to think. Damo was pretty pleased with his shot for a ball, but he was counting his chickens just a bit on the early side as Jim was able to make it closer to take out the first BallPin. Damo also put his ball onto the green on the 18th but chose not to put his name on it because he was so far away that somebody else was sure to get closer. This proved to be a prescient move as the final winner was Anthony. The ProPin on the 15th was left to Brendon who just squeaked in under the limit at 4.73m, which led to some calls for the scrutineers to confirm that the measurement was accurate. The distance was too great for his putting and there was no birdie there to add to the total of eleven for the day. And, of course, the famous eagle that scored all of one ball from the much raided Eagle’s Nest.
The Birthday Birdie is fluttering off this week to deliver a great big Turkish wish to Mehmet. Perhaps he will get some Turkish Delight on the day!
Pepsi was a bit bitter today when he ‘blew’ his whole handicap (3) on the second hole after an ill-considered excursion into the wilderness at the back of the green. Damo went for the green on the 17th and didn’t make quite the contact that he would have liked, but the tail-wind looked to have helped the ball on its way. There was nothing obvious on the green, in the hole, or beyond the green, so the sad conclusion was reached that it must have fallen short and finished in the penalty area. A new ball was dropped and played, and as the group walked onto the green, the original ball was spotted (just) pretty much completely buried in the soft apron of the green. Damo was remarkably philosophical having pretty well walked past the spot when searching initially.
Jim didn’t have the greatest of days today with one draughtie that seems to be the only one for the day. On the 17th, his drive headed for Green Acres on the other side of the river, and he had the hide to ask whether that was out of bounds or not. SOS was off to work after the round and settled down to a hot chocolate because, if he had two coffees in the day, he would be ‘hyper’. Somebody should tell him that there is as much caffeine in chocolate as there is in coffee. He did seem to enjoy the marshmallow though!
Next week is scheduled for the Priems Cup. For those not familiar, there are rules included on the web-site, but basically the team Captains (for this round Rob and Chris) take turns to select team members who then play against each other in matchplay for team points and the winning team gets to hold the trophy cup until the next round. As we are in the midst of the main Matchplay Tournament, any of those matches will be allocated to opposing teams depending on the selecting Captain’s choice. But, it is important that matches to be played next week (three left in round 1 and any from round 2) are notified to Chris as soon as possible. The person on the top of the draw has prime responsibility, but either can take the initiative in arranging the match. The other important thing is, that, if you register, please be sure that you are going to turn up as it is not just a matter of juggling members of groups that is involved. The Captains will liaise on Thursday evening to settle the teams.
Results for Saturday, 03 April 2021
1st Stan Blackshaw(58) 2nd Mark Minney(66) 3rd Matthew Van Dam(69) 4th Craig Cameron(70) 4th Michael Gourlay(70) 4th Brendon Mitchell(70) 4th John Quinlan(70) 5th Trevor Jackson(71)
Seniors Results: 1st Stan Blackshaw (58) 2nd Craig Cameron (70) 2nd Michael Gourlay (70) 3rd Trevor Jackson (71)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Brendon Mitchell BallPin No 1 – 12th Jim Belevski BallPin No 2 – 18th Anthony Browne
Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 14th Stan Blackshaw