A clear pattern is developing in the ‘new normal’ format for weekend golf competitions at the Isle of Skye Golf Club.The smaller version attracts a mere handful of competitors while the bigger one attracts significantly more with very few members playing both.
However these are still the embryonic days of the 2022 season with a decent amount of regulars still waiting to break their competitive ducks.
And so it came to pass that ‘strokeplay Saturday’ saw only a handful of players tackle the Sconser course-and that on a fine morning of weather.
Archie Macaskill was victorious when an excellent first lap of the track was navigated in a mere
33 strokes with an additional 36 required to complete his morning’s task.
69 then minus 5 for a nett score of 64 and a two shot victory over playing companion Alex Munro.
Birdies at 1, 8 and 10 were the undoubted highlights of his very tidy round of golf.
Alex gave the young fellow a decent run for his money though by going out in 37 shots and back in 36 and although it could have been better, it could have been worse as he signed for a nett 66.
A new day dawned and a gentle zephyr greeted the early morning starters but as the day went on so the intensity of the wind increased and play was certainly affected-one group describing their last few holes as “brutal”.
Playing mid-morning Jim Cumming shot the lights out and his total of 41pts was good enough to win the RNLI Shield.
One wonders if in his new role as a club steward Jim is actually working on his short-game skills on and around the practice green when things are quiet in the clubhouse?
Additionally it appears that ‘our man’ is no stranger to playing in strong, gusty winds as his formative days in blustery Braemar were spent learning how to flight the ball down as and when conditions dictated.
Whatever the reason he played the first nine holes in 38 shots more properly converted to 18pts as it was a Stableford competition before igniting the after-burners in his accumulation of a massive 23pts from his circumnavigation of the second nine in just 34 more blows. Three birdies too for good measure so very well played sir.
The runner-up was the man who secured second place 24hrs earlier but this time instead of only a fistful there were nearly twenty competitors.
Alex Munro negotiated lap one in 34 strokes before falling away a little in requiring 37 more next time round and the points harvests were 21 and 18 respectively.
Alex has always been a regular combatant on the Sconser scene but for several months now he has been conspicuous by his absence due to a succession of long-term injuries.
However it looks as if ‘the boy is back in town’-as the song goes?
A good effort by the Breakish man-welcome back.
The judges were required to separate Chris Mackinnon and Ross Cumming with the latter getting the nod courtesy of two more points scored on the second circuit.
Ross only secured 14pts from the first nine holes but a great effort second time round garnered 22 more to secure third place.
Chris too had a weakish first effort for 16pts but another 20 on the way home would have boosted his confidence.
Only the two old soldiers again as early-season rustiness combined with an ever strengthening wind led to below par performances from both ladies.
In the unforgiving format that is medal-play each player suffered a blowout on one particular hole that resulted in them leaking oil for the rest of the round.
Jill Mackinnon’s wobble came as early as the ‘second’ when the fairway just wasn’t quite wide enough to accommodate her shots while Donalda Johnston required her bucket and spade before completing the ninth hole.
After that the ba’ was well and truly burst for both girls.
Following on from Ryan and Archie MacAskill’s outing at Fortrose recently four of Sconser’s ‘finest’ headed to Inverness Golf Club, there to throw their hats into the competition ring in an Open Texas Scramble.
On a lovely sunny day on a course apparently in extremely rude health the team of Alastair Sutherland, John Maclean, Andrew Long and Chris Hanley acquitted themselves and the Isle of Skye Golf Club extremely well by finishing in 11th place out of 56 teams in the Scratch Division.
Good news on the leatherjacket front.
Thanks to a programme of overseeding, top-dressing plus much rolling to bind the crumbling soil together and flatten the ground there has been a remarkable transformation on the affected areas of the course ie. the 3rd green and the practice putting green.
Our greenkeeper has been swapping tales of woe with colleagues the length and breadth of the UK as they work together to find a solution now that the relevant pesticides have been withdrawn from availability and banned.
More good news.
Club member Calum Beaton has been engaged to work two days per week to assist John Cunningham. Calum has volunteered his services to the club for several years, mainly cutting the fairways and the rough so it’s great for all concerned that now he’s officially part of the team.
While John Green’s kids might consider their dad to be a super-hero when the grass starts to grow there is way too much work for any one man to do.
Hats off then to the committee for this appointment which will ensure that our course is in the best possible condition for members and visitors alike.
This weekend the Saturday competition is open to those ladies and gentlemen who declare themselves to be fit enough to go round four laps of the Sconser circuit in the only 36-hole competition on the club’s fixture list.
The David Murray Quaich is played for in honour of one of the club’s greatest servants back in the day and if the weather holds fair it’s usually a very enjoyable experience.
Usually played with a shotgun start the craic in the clubhouse between rounds is usually of a very high order as copious amounts of Texas strawberries and assorted goodies are consumed.
On Sunday the gents can compete in a strokeplay competition.
The ladies have the second in their series of events where each player with a golf handicap will adopt a group of newbies as the integration process continues apace and they play and chat their merry way round the golf course.
The kick-off for the ladies is 1pm and all involved will be hoping to build on the success of the previous outing.
We at the Isle of Skye Golf Club were saddened to hear the tragic news of the death of Donnie Martin.
Although he played and enjoyed the occasional game at our Sconser course it was to Skeabost Golf Club that he belonged.
We send our condolences to his wife Alice, to Scott, Kim and the extended family.
Sat 7th May, Strokeplay Competition.
1) A Macaskill 69(5) nett 64; 2) A Munro 73(7) 66.
Sun 8th May, RNLI Shield.
1) J Cumming 41pts; 2) A Munro 39pts; 3) R Cumming 36pts bih; 4) C Mackinnon 36pts.
Sun 8th May, Ladies Championship, Rd One.
1) D Johnston 95(19) nett 76; 2) J Mackinnon 95(16) 79.