The 50th Anniversary of the Isle of Skye Golf Club, formerly Sconser Golf Club was marked in May 2014 when club captain Jamie Beaton welcomed our golfing friends and neighbours from Traigh and Skeabost to participate in the celebrations.
On what was a fine day of weather and drawn randomly the IOSGC ‘A’ team of Alex Munro 41pts, Jamie Beaton 38pts, Martin Bird 37pts, Alasdair ‘Starsky’ Campbell 37pts and Graeme Wilson 35pts won the day with their total of 188pts.
Runners-up were the IOSGC ‘B’ team of Chris Mackinnon 36pts, Shaun Escott 36pts, Mike Mace 35pts, Ronnie Duncan 31pts and Jill Mackinnon 29pts for a total of 167pts.
Alex Munro won the individual prize for the best score on what was a memorable day.
Some of those mentioned have since moved away from the island and some sadly are no longer with us-but we remember them all for the contribution they made to our club.
The Anniversary Quaich is now played for annually to commemorate the occasion and on a recent Saturday, the first of the ‘new normal’ competition weekends it took pride of place.
There was a healthy turnout of competitors considering it was Easter weekend, school holidays and temperature-wise with the added wind chill it was more like February conditions but one man was just too hot to handle.
Step forward Chris Hanley.
In what must have been one of the rounds of his life nine-handicapper Chris was quick off the mark covering the opening holes in 3,4,4,3,3 before settling down into a rhythm that saw him require just 33 strokes to complete the first lap of the nine hole track.
35 more shots completed an excellent day’s golf as he signed for a one over par score of 68 and with handicap subtracted a nett score of 59. The not insignificant total of five birdies was recorded in this remarkable round of golf.
In the good old days, still defined by ‘yours truly’ in these pages as pre-WHS(World Handicap System) Chris would have done his sums,waited for the club handicapper to authenticate the calculation then justifiably celebrated the instant reduction of his handicap to it’s new lower mark.
Unfortunately these days are gone now(and in the past they must remain?)and this brilliant score simply goes into the melting pot together with his last nineteen ‘returns’ awaiting elevation to one of the ‘best eight scores’ required for handicap purposes-and the moment suddenly becomes rather unremarkable.
To digress slightly I see the same unfortunate scenario with VAR* in football. Following the thrill of a ‘goal’ players, officials, supporters and even television viewers frequently have to wait sometimes for two or three minutes for confirmation of the decision and consequently the explosion of spontaneous joy and celebration is gone.
Back to the golf though and Chris,concerned about his driving of the golf ball in recent weeks arrived early at the course to hit some shots on the practice area.
The headcover having been removed from the Big Dog, the gremlins were duly addressed and after about 15/20 mins work he pronounced himself satisfied before heading for the first tee.
Chris’ assessment of his round offered that his driving thereafter was solid but his putter was red hot and he was “rolling them in from everywhere”.
Strange then that one or two who didn’t play quite so well on the day were a wee bit critical of the early season putting surfaces but ‘twas ever thus I suppose?
Great stuff Chris and very well played.
Albeit some distance behind in the rear view mirror early-season form-horse Geoff Williams secured second place with his nett score of 66.
A birdie three at the opening hole was immediately cancelled out by a triple-bogey seven at the second but despite a six on six Geoff still signed for a creditable 40 shot outward half containing as it did the pair of aberrations.
Things were both tighter and tidier second time round though with 37 biffs required to complete the inward half and an eminently respectable performance on the day.
Three players tied for the bronze medal position one stroke further in arrears-Archie Macaskill, John Finlayson and John Maclean and the handicapper assessed them to finish in that order.
Archie sprung quickly out of the traps with an opening birdie three whereas John Finlayson got stuck on the blocks with a six, five commencement to his round.
Spare a though though for Greens Convener(the GC acts as a conduit between the GK and the committee)-John Maclean?
En route to a very good score having by all accounts played some very nice golf he only required a par four on the final hole for a nett score of 63.However, a slight misjudgment with his approach to the green resulted in his golf ball landing on the very top of the steep slope fronting the green before spinning viciously back into John Green’s cunningly positioned open drainage ditch.
From there the Greens Convener made a bit of a brochan of things and the moment was gone.
Suffice to say there was considerable speculation among the membership in the following days as to whether or not an order would be issued from ‘on high’ for the offending drainage ditch to be backfilled!
Next day, continuing the ‘new normal’ competition configuration turned out to be a huge disappointment. Whereas nearly twenty players competed the previous day only two players were up for the challenge of the Stableford competition.
Let the record show that Geoff Williams shot another very good score in compiling his total of 38 points while it looks like Breakish resident Bob Beatson will take a wee while longer to settle back into the island routine on returning from his other base in sunnier climes.
With the exception of one single six Geoff’s score was made up entirely of fours and fives. Out in 40 and back in 38 was a decent effort off his eleven handicap.
Unfortunately no ladies were able to participate in their scheduled competition.
This weekend the gents have yet another Stableford Saturday before the monthly medal on Sunday.
The ladies will also be playing a medal on Sunday before, unlike the gent’s section their midweek competitions resume come Tuesday when the ‘dish of the day’ will be the first round of the Isle of Skye Shield.
*VAR in Scotland has been given the thumbs-up by the clubs. What chance that the first time it’s used in anger the decision is ‘penalty to Rangers’?
Saturday 16th April, Anniversary Quaich.
1) C Hanley 68(9) nett 59; 2) G Williams 77(11) 66; 3) A Macaskill 72(5) 67 bih; 4) J Finlayson 78(11) 67 bih; 5) J Maclean 75(8) 67.
Sunday 17th April, Stableford.
1) G Williams 37pts; 2) R Beatson 28pts.