By the time you read this the 2022 version of The Masters will be underway in Augusta, Georgia, USA and by the time the championship ends on Sunday evening lofts, garages and assorted outhouses throughout Skye and Lochalsh will almost certainly have been subjected to the annual April search for those dusty old golf clubs and bags last seen and used before abandonment late last autumn.
Throughout the land The Masters golf on television traditionally heralds the start of the real golfing season for the majority of players as the juices once more threaten to start flowing, inspired by the world’s best strutting their stuff in the first Major of the year.
However we battle-hardened winter warriors have a more jaundiced conceit of the summer-softees as we simply take fresh guard before sallying forth in the sure and certain knowledge that ‘this will definitely be the year that it all comes together’.
Watching the denouement of a championship that traditionally only starts ‘on the back nine on Sunday’ is a rite of passage for most of us golfers and many Scottish eyes will be focused on Oban’s Robert Macintyre who once again will be treading the hallowed grounds where he performed with such distinction twelve months ago.
Rounds of 74,70,70 and 72 saw him finish in joint 12th place on his maiden visit to the prestigious championship and venue and the fact that he trousered the not insignificant sum of $218,500 for his efforts made his transatlantic journey very worthwhile indeed.
Good luck Robert and best wishes from us all at the IOSGC.
Back to Sconser and at long last our clubhouse is once again open for business. Two new stewards have recently been appointed and on behalf of the club they look forward to welcoming members and visitors back to a facility which has necessarily been mothballed for two long Covid-ravaged years.
In addition to taking green fees and selling club-branded merchandise the clubhouse also serves as a small cafe providing teas and coffees where and when required. It is also the social hub of the club so let’s all make use of a facility that has been sorely missed.
However, despite extensive advertising for extra ‘bodies’ to ease their burden the club is still quite significantly short of the manpower required to fully staff the facility seven days a week. Father Time has finally caught up with the old guard who have served the club so very efficiently and effectively for many seasons so if there’s any younger blood out there ready and willing to replace them?
Some volunteer club members have been busy painting inside the building following some excellent and much needed refurbishment of the toilet facilities. Additionally various work-squads have been tidying up the newly resurfaced car park and its immediate environs.
The ladies section has enjoyed it’s moment in the sun for the time being so consider now another recent, significant and very welcome ‘group’ addition to the club membership-an injection of paramedics.
Several months ago two of their number, on duty in their ambulance were passing the course when one asked the other if he fancied having a game sometime.
Ray Latham had never tried the game but had always fancied it while co-pilot Nick Morgan had played in the distant past but wasn’t averse to having another crack at it.
They duly had there game, enjoyed it and their discussion of the joys not only of the Sconser track but of the breathtaking surrounding views gradually spilled over into a topic of conversation in their workplace, interest there was stimulated and now they are ten in number-including one doctor.
The paramedics have only just joined the club as full members having played regularly throughout the winter months. Sgitheanaich John ‘Spod’ Macleod and Shockie McLennan’s shinty background and occasional forays round the Sconser track in years gone by will have given them a head start in their bounce games so the better weather and the sanctuary of a clubhouse finally open for business will provide them all with the perfect meeting place to chew the fat as the golf bug slowly but surely takes a firm hold of them.
The boys have also set up their own social media page to arrange availability for games when they are off duty and looking for some healthy outdoor exercise. Great stuff boys-and welcome!
The reimagining of the fixture list sees the charity Stableford competition in aid of Kyleakin Connections normally scheduled for Boxing Day moved more front and centre of the club’s activities this weekend of Friday 8th-Sunday 10th April-note the extra day for play here. Details and conditions for play are on the club website.
Finally all responsible members and visitors are reminded that they are still required to book a tee-time prior to using the golf course and facilities. It is very important that every player in every group-including guests-is registered for traceability purposes.