What a difference a couple of weeks in lock-down can make. There were quite a few creaks and groans, like a gate needing a drop of oil on the hinges. However, the shots from the first seemed to be generally good. Gordon thought his should have been well up there, if a little off the best line. Search as he might (three minutes only, of course) the ball could not be found, so he pressed on and scratched the hole. As he played up the ninth, what did he spot but his ‘lost’ first ball, just off the ninth and just a bit more off the first. Blame the trees. And, what a difference a couple of days makes. On Thursday, the course was slushy virtually from start to finish. Today, you barely needed the preferred lies, although some of them were a bit on the bare side, it must be said. The sand on the greens has not yet settled in and, unfortunately, the pitch marks do not seem to repair themselves. That, and plentiful gum-nuts, made for some interesting putting, although the rusty gate probably had more to do with the plethora of misses that seemed to plague just about everybody today.
Of the eighteen members who turned out today, only two managed to beat the course and their handicap. Brent hasn’t been all that regular, and not because he doesn’t eat his All-Bran, and so it is perhaps not surprising that the interruption to competition did not seem to have had as great an effect on his game. Particularly when you consider the plus three on his card at the turn. The mid-round slump undid all of the good work, and more, and he had to pull out all stops to revive the good form to allow a finish on one up. Bob, on the other hand, is so regular that he doesn’t even consider All-Bran, but his start to the round was not particularly impressive, and he trailed Brent by a pretty massive five points at the turn. He put his pile of strokes to good effect on the back, and did not mar the card with a single lost hole to match it up for a plus one and a share of the top spot.
According to some reports, the crowd at the top of the podium could have been far greater, if the crowd that came in second had not missed just one of the many missed putts that were reported. But, you know what they say about aunties and uncles! Craig showed signs that the old reliability was not too far off, and he was probably disappointed to finish in the same bucket as Brendon, with whom he tussles at the top of the Championship Table. Targe very kindly invited a solo player to tag along with their group, and so there was quite a gap developed in the field, and the Brothers Priems were in danger of having to call an Uber as the shout swapped back and forth. Long story short, Targe squared both halves and did his handicap no harm, although he did have to wait quite a while, while Keith and Bob sorted out their cards. Brendon also did the square dance to share second place and keep his margin on Craig in the Championship. Brendon is also currently in a tussle with Noodles at the top of the Eclectic Table, and we have the unusual situation where the scores are tied. Can one of them get another birdie to break the tie, or will it be a contest to see who can get their handicap out the most between now and the end of the year? Or, can they be caught and overtaken?
CJ had one of those days that was neither exciting nor (I dare not use the ‘b’ word). There were no Priems miracle shots, and he was not blaming Damo for straightening him out, nor was he calling for Damo to come and straighten him out. He did get a birdie on the 12th, and that was one of the ten that we scored for the day. Blighty is somewhat concerned about the cumulative effects of ageing on the (his) body. Whether this is in response to his -2 and 4th place today, or due to some other life event, is not yet clear. Or maybe it was just Brendon trying to find out what is in store for him in years to come that brought on the discussion. ChrisJ is still trying to live down the dramatic plunge in his handicap in recent times, and looked to justify it perfectly by smashing one just about out of sight on the first. The short game proved to be a bit of a let-down as the round progressed, and the final result was not helped after abandoning a ball as ‘probably in the penalty area’ on the 13th, only to find it much further up on the 10th fairway.
The ProPin today ended up on the 15th, mainly because somebody ‘forgot’ to put it out on the 12th. Brent was particularly pleased about that little happenstance as he managed to make it to 300mm from the hole on the 15th. Two-hundred and ninety millimetres to the right, and it would have been in the hole. Definitely close enough to collect the money on offer by knocking out Brendon who also went pretty close by the hole with his shot as well. The first BallPin was on the 7th, which made it a pretty tough call with the tee well back. Craig’s shot was probably uncontested. On the 18th, the pin was on the top deck, but you only had to get onto the bottom deck to win the ball, and Stef was the man to do that.
JIm likes to think of himself as being ahead of the times, and so, today, he declared that he had driven the green on the 14th hole. The only problem was, the hole that he ‘almost’ got a hole-in-one on (and a grain of salt might go well with that) was the 16th. And, yes, he would have been ahead of the times if he had played on from there. While we are still on the 16th, Noodles managed to chip his ball from some way out to within about 600mm of the hole. Put me down for a par, says he, stepping up to tap it in – or not! A rather loud exclamation ensued. JQ might be considering replacing the grips on his clubs after one ‘slipped’ out of his hands on the 16th and went further than the ball.
The Birthday Birdie wants to wish anybody who was missed during the break a belated Happy Day. In the meantime, Ben and Harry will be lining up inside the next seven days to celebrate another milestone. Have a good one guys!
Results for Saturday, 31 July 2021
1st Bob McDonald (+1) 1st Brent Rowley (+1) 2nd Craig Cameron (□) 2nd Targe Mifsud (□) 2nd Brendon Mitchell (□) 3rd Chris Priems (-1) 4th Andrew Blight (-2) 5th Chris James (-3)
Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (+1) 2nd Craig Cameron (□) 2nd Targe Mifsud (□) 3rd Chris Priems (-1)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Brent Rowley BallPin No 1 – 7th Craig Cameron BallPin No 2 – 18th Stefan Belevski
DA, you’ve done it again!
Just when we thought we were going to get to play for the Fred Howe Winter Cup, the lockdown got extended, and the highlight of the soggy season had to be postponed once again. The event is now scheduled for August 14 and 21.
With any sort of luck, the restrictions will lift sufficiently for us to play next week, when we will contest for our favourite flavour – Par. Look at it this way, it is good for the soul, and not of the ‘r’ variety.
The following week is scheduled to be the August Monthly Medal, and, as announced during the week, the starting date for qualification will be adjusted to allow for any cancelled events regardless of how many there are that suffer that fate. Hopefully, we can avoid the fate of the sinny city, but I wouldn’t put the life savings on it if the idjits rampaging in the city yesterday were any guide.
Stay safe, get vaccinated and follow the rules.
Results for Saturday, 24 July 2021
No Competition due to COVID
Oh! No! Not again!
What a difference a day makes! One day, everything is fine, next day we have a truck-load of trouble. By now, we should have had a fair idea of who is making the strongest bid for the Winter Cup and the chance to leap up the ladder or to leave the rest of the field in the dust. Unfortunately, SARS-Cov-2-delta had other ideas and, like a cane toad in a box of bananas, it smuggled itself through our best laid defences, and put paid to the best laid plans of mice and men. If it is any consolation, the weather looked like being damp and cold, so it could have been a bit miserable out there, and CJ would have been off playing elsewhere.
But, all is not lost. On the assumption that the five day lock-down will be enough, and play will be allowed next week, the calendar has been modified, and the scheduled first round has been postponed until then, with the second round rescheduled to 31 July. Not wanting to sound too pessimistic, but there is a chance that more play will need to be abandoned. In that event, the next slot available to reschedule the Winter Cup will be 14 and 21 August.
Results for Saturday, 17 July 2021
No competition due to COVID
There was a certain amount of dithering as members milled around wondering whether the fog was going to lift sometime soon. The tee marshal was assuring people that the fog wouldn’t be as thick at the bottom of the hill. Eventually, the first of the twenty-one members lining up plucked up enough courage to tee off and the round got away. The first few groups had to give a shout when they figured they were far enough down the fairway to be clear, and ‘eyes on the ball’was the order of the day. The fog did clear, and it was much less obvious once you got down on the flat, probably something to do with being inside it rather than looking down into it. Good call, CJ! There was a bit of a panic before tee time as Joe Demir was here for the first time in ages and his name was not on the handicap sheet, and so an arbitrary call was made to have him play from 18 as it was thought that he probably needed another card to renew his handicap.
Ben reckoned that the highlight of his round was his tee-shot on the 17th that left the club as sweet as you like and the ball never deviated a millimetre as it sailed towards the green, over the trees, to finish just over a metre from the hole. There was a huge cheer went up when he rattled in the putt for the easiest of eagles to clean out the Eagle’s Nest once again. There must have been a few other highlights as he managed to tally 38 points with 5 singletons and one miss on the card. As it turned out, Joe did not need another card, and so he was qualified for the event. His handicap actually was 18 and the handicapper has given himself a rap over the knuckles for neglecting to get him on the sheet. For somebody who claims not to have played golf for absolute ages, Joe handled himself pretty well and also carded 38 points, and so he will not be on 18 next time around. Michael trudged in looking as if he had had a hard time of it, but when he had sorted out his score-card with Noodles, he also produced a final result of 38 points and shared the spoils and squeezed himself just in front of Old Reliable on the Championship Table. Maybe Old Reliable, isn’t being quite so reliable at the moment!
For somebody who was flagellating himself rather severely just a week ago for his passage from rooster to feather duster, Blighty made a fair start towards getting himself back onto the perch. Twenty-one points on the front was an excellent start, but a bit of a slump to only 15 on the back meant that he had to settle for 36 points and a share of second place. Porks might have been excused for being a bit rusty after having been caught up in one of the recent COVID clusters that ended up necessitating four weeks locked away, two at home and two in hotel quarantine (separate rooms in the latter, with no visiting rights!). Despite a little clutch of singletons he was able to join in on the second place podium. SOS was bragging about the fact that he has equalled par on the back nine, the first time that he had ever done that in his life (well done, by the way), and his tight little playing group. No, they hadn’t been on the beers early. Between the three of them, they scored no less than ten points on the 18th after SOS got close enough to take out the BallPin and sank the putt for the birdie for four points. He was ably assisted by JQ who scored three points with his par to also grab a share of second place. But the shot of the day went to Brendon who over-clubbed and finished off the back of the green. He then ‘flopped’ a shot onto the top deck and the ball ran to the edge, down the hill and into the hole for another birdie and to bring the total birdies for the day to 17.
Brendon, however, had to be satisfied with only 35 points and to share the podium with a couple of likely lads in 3rd place. Anthony started out well and also racked up twenty-one points on the front nine. A mini collapse in the middle third of the back might have robbed Anthony of greater goodies. And, what do you say about a bloke like Rob? One lesson and he is there or thereabouts again. His round wasn’t without adventure though. He did take a shot short of the reds on the 3rd, and he and Blighty were spotted doing guided tours of the 13th while in the process of playing the 10th. A shot on the 6th, played from the far side of the 7th required a nine iron that cleared the trees, carried to the green and finished just off the cut to the cheers of all who watched in awe.
Harry produced another mixed bag today with a goodly mix of good shots and wasted opportunities. One such he blamed on paying too much attention to the Pace of Play Tip of the Day and choosing to ‘tap in’ instead of taking time to clean the ball, particularly given the amount of sand that routinely accumulated from the freshly (and unevenly) sanded greens. Whitey didn’t have that problem on the 9th when he put his second shot to about 200mm of the pin and had no trouble in making the birdie. Both of them finished the round with 33 points and a share of 4th place. Gordon had a fair amount of trouble with the trees on the 10th and considered himself lucky to have scrambled for a single point after not one resulted in a Priemsium result, and he could only manage to scrape into fifth place with his 32 points.
There was a BallPin on the 15th and Michael claimed that he was closer to the pin than JQ, except that his ball was barely off the green. Sorry, no cigar, and the ball goes to JQ. The ProPin was on the 12th and Gordo was quite excited when Harry looked to have put his close. Perspective is a dastardly thing and the ball was well outside the marker left by Joe. But, in the end, Michael lined up for the money (again) with his shot to 4m.
CJ reckons that the Seniors competition is tough. Jim reckons that the age limit is too low. And Whitey, he’s just Whitey. The three of them played together today and came to the conclusion that they should be called the Junior Seniors. Not sure to what end, but there you go! Noodles seems to have recovered from his recent dalliance with the surgeon’s knife. Playing the 12th, he parked his buggy and reputedly applied the brake. While he was lining up his shot, the buggy took off down the hill, heading for the pond and a water-logged fate. Noods dropped everything and sprinted after it and managed to crash tackle the runaway a metre or so before a potential watery grave. Bob managed to capsize his buggy again today.
Results for Saturday, 10 July 2021
1st Ben Akdag (38) 1st Joe Demir (38) 1st Michael Gourlay (38) 2nd Andrew Blight (36) 2nd Ryan Porker (36) 2nd John Quinlan (36) 2nd Stephen O’Sullivan (36) 3rd Anthony Browne (35) 3rd Brendon Mitchell (35) 3rd Robert Priems (35) 4th Harry Boughen (33) 4th Rodney White (33) 5th Gordon Hill (32)
Seniors Results: 1st Michael Gourlay (38) 2nd Andrew Blight (36) 3rd Harry Boughen (33) 3rd Rodney White (33)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 1 – 15th John Quinlan BallPin No 2 – 18th Stephen O’Sullivan
Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 17th Ben Akdag