. The day arrived just as the footy gods called it – Geelong v Sydney in the Grand Final but before that little game we gathered at the Hoe for a lovely day’s golf. The course was still a little damp in places and grass had not been mown for a while, making for a lot of lost balls, found balls and clubgrabbing shots – plus the greens had been sanded. We all have to play the given conditions! It was noted that of the 10 starters, 8 were from the Senior’s ranks. SOS and Chris J the only young ‘uns. Some of the players rocked up in their footy team colours and as it turned out, the Blue and white hoops brigade backed a winner – Go Cats! (writer’s privilege). There were plenty of ducks and wood hens and lorikeets and magpies around today but no swans (seems like they didn’t turn up in Melbourne at all today)
Comp Winner today was Michael Gourlay handing in a card of 71 off the stick and a Par round of +1. He played a very consistent, neat round of golf however one complaint of his behaviour was reported – SOS insisted that at one stage in the round he had been bitten by a wasp/bee (he is allergic to them too) but Michael told him to man up and get on with the game refusing to ferry SOS to hospital !! “Bastard” says SOS. (SOS survived the sting but went on to post a forgettable score on the day). Also today poor young Chris James unfortunately did himself a back injury early in the round at the second tee and had to withdraw from the game – get well Chris with the Annual Challenge in Cobram coming up in 2 weeks.
After starting with 6 wipes Targe stepped up on the 7th tee and hit a beauty straight at the pin and it rolled about 25 feet past. Michael enthused all the way down to the green that with 2 shots on the hole, if Targe could sink the birdie that would be a net zero (gotta love net zero said Michael the Greenie) and a triple plus! Alas three putts later it was just a regulation plus for Targe. Good to see you back on the course Targe.
On the first tee, Blighty teed off into the wild wet yonder, only to not find it when the group got down to ground level. Blighty promptly walked back to the tee to hit another ball (being 3 off the tee on hole 1 in a Par comp was said to be ambitious at least) only to be called back when the others found his first ball ….. Blighty went on to play to his handicap and register a square round (?!) for 2nd place. The new Mr Consistency, Chris J Priems kept his head and came in with a -1 to take 3rd place. He’s looking forward to the Annual Challenge by keeping a very useable handicap. Geoff Lyall posted a score of -2 to come in 4th, collecting the NTP along the way on the 4th hole for the huge sum of $10 – don’t spend it all at once Geoff. Coming in equal 5th on -3 were the original Mr Consistency, Craig Cameron for another competition point and Gordo, the original Mr Inconsistency who posted 5 minuses on the back nine.
NTPs for the Ball went to M. Gourlay on the 15th and to Blighty on the 18th.
Register to play next Saturday for the October Monthly Medal – it would be great to see a few more members playing. And here’s hoping for a break from the wet weather and some course drying over the next week.
The lows continue to circle about down the south, bringing front after front and rain band after rain band. So, would we get our round in between the latter? This was the question on twelve minds, however small, this morning at Ivanhoe. As it turned out, there was no need to worry. The precipitation stayed away for the duration. However, there was still a bit of casual water around, and the usual spots on the course were still pretty boggy. It does appear that there are some course improvements afoot. There are a number of steel posts set beside several tee areas around the course, and speculation is rife that they are intended to house ball washers. Just the vital thing that the course desperately needs. The greens, however, were good, if a little fast for some people’s liking, or was that the effect of last night’s imbibing giving super-human strength?
There was a bit of excitement during the week after somebody managed to play the course in five under the card. You would have to admit that is a fair sort of achievement in the current wet conditions. The course record of 62 off the stick that was set by ‘our’ David Primrose in 2002 therefore still stands. Nobody quite reached those sorts of heights today, but one member did show a turn about from his recent form. Gordo managed to crack a smile and his handicap with an 84 off the stick for a grand total of 37 points. He wasn’t 100% happy about his drive off the 3rd tee, but, nothing ventured, nothing gained, he took on the corner tree and sailed one over to finish just short of the hole. The putt rolled true, and his birdie counted towards the tally of five that we put together for the day.
Craig was his usual methodical self, but did not want to use the ‘b’ word to describe his game. He tried desperately to score nothing but fours on the back nine, but he spoiled it with one five and an over-compensating two on the 18th. This, very cunningly, played exactly to his handicap to take out second spot and to add a swag of points to his ever expanding lead in the Championship, all the while doing no harm to his handicap. JQ was out in the rough on the left of the 17th with any view of the green completely blocked by an intervening tree. His contact was just a little too good and the ball skittered across the green, potentially robbing him of a point and a share of second spot. However, he was reasonably happy with his 35 points and a spot in third place. He was joined in that location by Brendon, who had a bit of a shocker (for him) on the second, but he made up for it with his birdie on the 8th that scored him a whacking good four points.
Although Harry was frustrated with his missed 1m putts, he did strike a bit of luck on the 3rd where a very skinny chip was rocketing to who knows where. A shouted prayer to ‘hit the pin’ was promptly answered, and the ball stopped close enough for not even Harry to miss for his par. A tally of 33 points was good enough to get 4th place. Stan and his group lead out the field and set a cracking pace. He had his ups and downs, but a gash on the 13th and a fair sprinkling of singletons kept him from a much better placing than 5th. Matt started off on the first tee looking as if he was going to repeat last week’s performance. On the 17th, Matt opted to go for the green, and the consensus was that it looked to be a very good result. A search on and around the green, and even in the hole, failed to find the ball. That grabbertree that brought JQ unstuck last week had done it again, and Matt’s ball was found back on the tee side. Despite this, he did manage to par the hole. Unfortunately, the general approach game did not quite come up to the same standard, and he had to settle for his share of 5th. SOS struggled a bit on the front nine, but he really pulled out the stopper on the back to finish that half of the course only three strokes over the card to bring home his 5th place sharing score of 32 points.
The first BallPin was on the 12th, and, apparently, the result was a close run thing. Craig had his name on the card, but Dale was ‘visually’ very close to the same distance, if not inside Craig’s. After multiple measurement attempts by different people, it was reluctantly agreed that Craig had the prize by no more than a centimetre or two. Not to be outdone, Craig did it again on the 18th with a shot to 2.4m to take out Brendon from the BallPin and to collect the inside ProPin. As for our own ProPin, Brendon put his hand up again, only to have it slapped down by SOS who managed a shot to 3.74m. Interestingly, there was a discussion about splitting the pot, but JQ declined and, so, a two-way split was the order of the day for SOS and Craig.
Matt was spotted getting up close and personal with a tree on the 11th. Thing is, it didn’t look like a golf club that he had in his hand. He also wants to consult with Bob after he went close to running CJ down with his electric buggy. Even though it wasn’t raining, CJ was wearing a ‘Storm’ jacket after the round. Not that it would have offered much protection after the sleeves were hacked off at bicep level because they were ‘too long’ and rolling them up just collects water. Brent had a mild dose of the ‘shanks’ today, but he is confident of shaking them off before he finally meets up with Michael in the Matchplay final.
Results for Saturday, 17 Sep 2022
1st Gordon Hill (37) 2nd Craig Cameron (36) 3rd Brendon Mitchell (35) 3rd John Quinlan (35) 4th Harry Boughen (33) 5th Stan Blackshaw (32) 5th Matt Hunt (32) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan (32)
Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (37) 2nd Craig Cameron (36) 3rd Harry Boughen (33)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 1 – 12th Craig Cameron BallPin No 2 – 18th Craig Cameron
Seventy percent chance of rain, less than 1mm. So said Brendon’s forecast during the week. Interestingly, it probably proved about right. There was rain as we teed off, and it probably amounted to less than one millimetre. The only problem was the 5mm or more that came down during the night, which just sat on top of the already saturated parts of the course in nice little mini-oceans a few millimetres deep, There was soft ground to swallow a ball, and longish grass to hide it from prying eyes. Despite this, there were few reports of lost balls, although some searches possibly lasted longer than the regulation three minutes. Trees were reported to have sprung up and interfered with the trajectory of balls that were deemed to have cleared said tree by the proverbial country mile. But, then again, perspective can be deceptive. Everybody should be familiar with the shot that looks to be almost in the hole from fifty metres out, when, in reality, it is several metres away. Despite some early concerns about having numbers for a competition, in the end, we had a quorum and a half, with nine players battling it out for the points on offer. And, at the end of the day, nobody was disappointed, as there were just enough points available for everybody to score at least one. It’s probably been a while since that has happened. With that thought firmly at front of mind, some enquiries were made, and it was determined that such an event has happened four times in the last ten years. The most recent was almost exactly five years ago on 16th September 2017, from a field of eight. Records show that it has happened with fields of up to fourteen.
The man who didn’t really have to Hunt for his ball today was none other than Captain Matt. Although, he was wishing for a bit of luck on the 10th when the ball headed for the tree line on the right. A bit of a miss-hit or a stray ball did not prove to be a problem, as the approach game was exemplary. It was easy to lose count of the times that approach shots finished close to gimme distance from the hole. Matt reached the turn with one point on the credit side of the ledger, and then he really decided to play. He managed to complete the back half of the course with just 32 strokes (one under par) to amass five more points to bring his total to six for the round. This was more than enough to take out the top spot on a day when conditions for play were not all that great. The handicapper’s axe needed just a little more than a hone to do justice to the execution.
Geoff hit the ground running and was putting the lie to his rather generous handicap to be two strokes over the card after five holes. A bit of a bumpy patch around the turn took the shine off things just a bit, and the tally was all square after the 12th. At this stage, a show of form returned, and the double points paid dividends, so that he was able to finish the round in second place with a score of +3. The handicap is now slightly more realistic. There was some surprise expressed when Craig announced that his score was -1, as he had been ‘hitting them up the centre all day’. As they say, Old reliable can be deceptive like that! There were plenty of squares to be had on his card, but the plus putts just would not drop in. There were no reports on how up the centre SOS was, but he did manage to produce the same pair of nine hole tallies to match Craig and to share third place. However, there were reports on his sense of fashion.
Harry was pretty happy with his front nine as he took on the water soaked greens and sank putts from just about any range. The happy knack was rather short-lived, and the back was punctuated by numerous putts missed from short range, much to his chagrin. So, it was a pleasant surprise to be in at fourth place with his score of -5. Brendon was in a forgetful mood, as he arrived at the course without his trusty putter once again, and had to suffice with a borrow from the ProShop. Which club he blamed in large part for him also scoring -5 for a share of the spot with Harry. He was also spotted searching frantically in the pockets of his bag for his banana. There is no evidence available that he found it, and it can only be assumed that he left that at home with his putter as well. With only three members of the field left unaccounted for, it was up to Michael, Gordon and JQ to present with cards of -6 to fill the last placing available and to use up all of the players available as well.
Geoff was the only one left at the table before tee time, so he was asked to nominate the first BallPin. On the basis of having gone close to making a hole-in-one there last week, he nominated the 7th. With the tees placed well back, it looked as if there was a fair chance that it would go begging. No such luck. Michael did the deed, and put his name on the chit to collect yet another ball and save the Club a fortune with his predilection for cheapies. On the 18th, Matt managed to get his ball onto the green, and he almost seemed reluctant to put his name on the card. His reluctance might have been well-founded, because Geoff did manage to get closer to collect the ball. There was a suggestion that there was another contender who missed out on beating Geoff by a shoe length. Then there was the quadruple Jackpot ProPin on the 12th hole. The first group tried valiantly, but couldn’t quite get a name on the card after Brendon’s shot was accurate enough, but finished just a bit too long, and actually off the back of the green. The second group was a little more successful, and Craig managed to sneak inside the required distance, Then, along came Team Gourlay. As Michael’s shot was arcing assuredly towards the pin, frantic negotiations began about the possibility of sharing the pot. Actually, it had been decided beforehand that a split was in order, but that’s not nearly so good a story. Discussions within Brendon’s group for a similar deal had earlier proved fruitless, and demonstrated once again that he is, proudly, tight as a kiwi’s cloaca. Anyway, the shot to 2m was plenty good enough to score the money for the team. Michael did not make the birdie there, but he did manage one for the round to contribute to the field total of five.
Results for Saturday, 10 Sep 2022
1st Matt Hunt (+6) 2nd Geoff Lyall (+3) 3rd Craig Cameron (-1) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan (-1) 4th Harry Boughen (-5) 4th Brendon Mitchell (-5) 5th Michael Gourlay (-6) 5th Gordon Hill (-6) 5th John Quinlan (-6)
Seniors Results: 1st Geoff Lyall (+3) 2nd Craig Cameron (-1) 3rd Harry Boughen (-5)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 1 – 7th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 2 – 18th Geoff Lyall
Pretty much as expected, the course was a bit on the wet and slushy side as the rain clouds persist in dropping their load right over Ivanhoe. The rough is getting rougher and the fairways are getting shaggier as the ground staff were prevented from getting out with the mowers, again. It was therefore possible to spend an amount of time searching for balls that would otherwise have been easily found. The lack of run also contributed to some searching being carried out well in front of the final resting place of the ball. There was a bit of a mist falling right at tee time, and a couple of umbrellas were unfurled by the less hardy of the fourteen members who rolled up to take their chances with the vagaries of the weather and the course.
Brent is a bit cheesed off for a number of reasons. Firstly, he was all lined up to play Michael in the Matchplay final. Unfortunately, Michael had to bale for family reasons, but Brent pressed on regardless. And, he reckons that he played well enough to beat Michael on the day, specially with Michael having to give him nine strokes. Second, he had managed to avoid coming down with COVID despite visits to the footy, pubs, clubs etc. That is, until one of the littlies went to kindie and brought the bug home, and it spread progressively through the whole household, and prevented him from playing during the last month. As a result, he did not pass the qualification to win the Monthly Medal on offer. Third, as he had the best net score of 70, he copped the ‘winners’ penalty, which reduces the strokes that Michael has to concede when they do eventually meet in their match. Plus, it seems unlikely that he would get in enough games to claw the loss back in time. Harry, on the other hand, was less than enamoured with the way that his game went, with a fair number of cases of hitting the big ball before he hit the little one. Plus, there were any number of putts that were of a perfect length, but just a couple of centimetres to the side of the hole. Others were more optimistic that a net of 72 would be a good score for the round, and so it was that Harry slotted into second place, and collected the medal as well.
ChrisJ has bought himself a new driving iron, and his use of it from the first was the cause of a fair bit of comment from the peanut gallery watching on. Chris’s general opinion was that he will have to get himself to the driving range to learn how to use the thing. Things can’t have been too bad though, as he had a pretty reasonable round apart from a bit of a shocker on the 13th. As a result, he could only manage a net score of 73 to take out third place. Gordon came in looking a bit grumpy. Or, as he put it, he was ‘spewing’. The ProShop sent out a random group of four onto the back nine between our groups, who, variously, tried to ‘steal’ balls, removed the NTP marker from the 15th and tossed it into the rough (fortunately it was found), and, to rub salt into the wounds, played slowly. He might also have been a bit grumpy about some of his scores in general. However, his net 74 scored him fourth place and a couple of points to his total. Pepsi’s marker marked his net score incorrectly, and so, after a round that included some pretty ordinary scores by his standards, he didn’t end up with fifth place by himself as was reported at the presentations. Our pal, CJ, who admitted to some of his worst drives since he got his new set of clubs was moved into a share of that exalted position with his net score of 76, so the points tally does still keep ticking over, as they say.
Now we get to the controversy. It’s been all over the news of late about the shortage of skilled labour around the country. And, it seems, that shortage has spread to our little Club as well. There was great anticipation about the Triple Jackpot for the ProPin on the 12th. Despite having discussed the matter on the tee and having rued the fact that no one had got on, not one member of the first group remembered to put out the kit for the use of following groups. As a result, the ProPin today was declared No Contest and the pool will carry over to next week as an effective Quadruple Jackpot. This could also have contributed to Gordo’s grumpiness, as he did get onto the green, reportedly within the required distance. The first BallPin was on the 15th, and BrentR had put his marker out at a measured distance (with the ProPin tape – which marker he also put out) of 3.73m. Without the BallPin marker on the green, thanks to the interlopers, SOS ‘paced’ his distance as 4.1m, and, so, the ball was awarded to Brent. On the 18th, the pin was on the top deck, but the green evaded all comers, except Pepsi, who left his ball on the bottom deck. Even after his putt, the ball was still on the bottom deck, so there was no birdie there. Or anywhere, for that matter, and we ended up with a big fat zero for the birdie count today. This would just about have to be a first!
BrentL was with us today for the first time in a while, and he reckoned that the time away from the game really showed. He could still hit the ball a country mile, though, as he demonstrated on the 14th. His first tee shot headed sharply left, and finished out of bounds towards the 15th tee. His second headed the completely opposite direction, and went close to being out of bounds beyond the 16th fairway and about 200m out. Pepsi might have done better on the scoring front if he hadn’t lost a ball up a tree on the 11th. Given the reported ‘hairy’ state of the course, you could be forgiven for suggesting that it just was hidden in the herbage. Not likely, say the searchers, as the ground around the area is pretty bare. Bob has been having trouble with his hands, and his scoring today was not great. He managed a draughtie on the 12th, but it is suggested that it was not his lack of grip strength that caused the club to go flying backwards and whizzing within inches of Geoff’s head. And, while on the topic of Geoff, he got around all day with the zip of his jeans wide open. Whether this was a strategy to put off his playing partners or just shoddy manufacture was not clear.
After a fair sort of a break, the Birthday Birdie has to get his wings back into action to deliver some best wishes to Matt and Blighty. Have a great day, guys, whatever you might get up to, to celebrate.
Results for Saturday, 03 Sep 2022
1st Brent Rowley (70) 2nd Harry Boughen (72) 3rd Chris James (73) 4th Gordon Hill (74) 5th Andrew Petricola (76) 5th Chris Priems (76)
Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (72) 2nd Gordon Hill (74) 3rd Chris Priems (76)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th No Contest BallPin No 1 – 15th Brent Rowley BallPin No 2 – 18th Andrew Petricola