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It was a wedgetail eagle on 03 April 2021

The eagle has landed.
I didn’t really need the putter!

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.

Up, up and away.
Things are about to get hot.

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