As a token of respect for Donnie Martin no competitive golf was played at Sconser on the day of the funeral.
The Highland Cup was the competition of choice and with a nod to the past a draw was made to determine the day’s playing companions.
The weather was glorious following as it did a whole week of wind and rain but yet again the turnout to play was disappointing.
However you can only beat what’s put in front of you and once more John Finlayson recorded what on paper looks like an easy victory.
Playing in the company of two ‘strangers’ John once again had a minor disagreement with the second hole where he racked up a seven. Another aberration on the sixth hole resulted in quite a demoralising total of 41 shots being required from this normally very steady golfer to complete his first circuit of the Sconser track.
The temporary volatility of this round was to continue but this time on a much more positive note with only a miserly total of 34 blows required to complete a round that was very successfully recovered.
A total of 75 then minus 11 for a winning total of 64 and victory by the considerably large margin of four shots.
Good, stoical effort there from a man who just twenty four hours earlier was attending the funeral of his lifelong friend.
Runner-up was another Kyleakin man Chris Mackinnon who returned a nett score of 68. Off to a slow start on lap one Chris got to the turn with some steady if unspectacular golf signing for 38 shots.
He would have relished the challenge of lap two but a another stuttering start left him with too much ground to make up on his fellow villager as a further 40 blows were required to complete the card.
Third place went to club captain Ally Young whose two ‘nines’ were negotiated in 45 and 41 shots respectively.
‘Nine’ was unfortunately not a good number for the skipper as that was how many blows he struck to complete the 373yd sixth hole which is however one of the real tests on the golf course and is stroke index one.
The stroke index on a golf course is a method of ranking the difficulty of the holes from hardest to easiest. The first nine holes are given the odd numbers and the second nine even numbers for handicap purposes.
Unfortunately Ally topped his tee-shot only as far as the rough and thereafter we draw a veil. In fairness the tee-shot is one of the hardest on the course with the teeing area actually being outside the line of the boundary fence. Now if only it had been a stableford?
The first of very few midweek competitions this season was the first round of the Strath Cup where the best three scores from four will determine the winner.
The morning weather was atrocious and made the course completely unplayable for golf and apparently there was a football match of some significance on tv in the evening but four players still managed to register an afternoon score-in very difficult conditions indeed.
The wind howled all day long but mercifully the rain stopped to allow the boys to play their game. There were puddles everywhere as a reminder of the morning’s deluge but by and large their play was uninterrupted.
The conditions dictated that the winning score would be significantly lower than the normal 40pts minimum required for victory and indeed Andrew Long’s 34pts was good enough to take the day with John Finlayson in second place.
Andrew navigated the first lap in 39 shots converting to 16pts before requiring another 38 shots for 18pts and a three point victory. The second circuit was going very well for the eventual winner until there was a wee incident on the 16th hole(we do like ‘wee incidents’).
Thanks to John Greens there is now a new tee which has stretched the yardage of the hole to 150yds and the shot was into the prevailing hoolie. Andrew is one of the club’s bigger biffers and even he thought he needed a 6-iron for the uphill(meaning there’s not going to be any ‘run’ on the ball)shot.
By this time in the late afternoon the wind was no longer consistent in strength and was gusting and at the last minute he changed to a 5-iron.
Unfortunately just at he was about to pull the trigger the wind dropped and the well-struck shot cleared the green-and the trees behind it never to be seen again!
The result was a triple-bogey six so 38 shots for the second nine holes with that aberration in those conditions was still excellent golf!
John Finlayson’s run of good form continued as he battled conditions for a 40-shot first nine and 17pts but the second nine proved more problematic as conditions took their toll and 43 shots converted to 14pts and second place. Maybe he was distracted by looking forward to watching the football match later in the evening?
Chris Hanley and Willie Urquhart were the other two competitors and great credit must go to all four players who actually submitted scores for every single hole.
In 72 holes of play there was one single birdie and that came from Andrew Long’s final shot of the day!
Nothing to report here as a combination of appalling weather, holidays and other commitments means the ladies season is off to a rather prolonged, stuttering start I’m afraid.
This Saturday’s fixture is a Two-Person Scramble and is available to both gents and ladies.
The following day both sections offer their respective Stableford competitions for play.
Sunday 15th May, Highland Cup
1) J Finlayson 75(11) nett 64; 2) C Mackinnon 78(10) 68; 3) A Young 86(17)69.
Wednesday 18th May, Strath Cup, Round One
1) A Long 34pts; 2) J Finlayson 31pts.