First list of qualfiers in George Sprunt Memorial

We are into October and the weather is fine, so make the most of it.

Last Sunday the first round of the popular George Sprunt Memorial Invitation Sweepstake was held over the Girvan course with Tam Scobie coming in to lead the field with a very good score. Thirty competitors qualified for the final to be held on Sunday October 18.

There are some doughty qualifiers among this lot with Willie McDines, a previous winner, Bernie Mills a fearsome predator and the main sponsor R. Aird looking to be among the prize winners after the final round

The draw for the next qualifying round on 11th. October is in the Gazette and the qualifiers from both groups will play in the final on 18th.October. Remember all cards must be placed in the box in the clubhouse before thirty minutes has expired after the last game has finished. All cards must be signed by competitor and marker, all non-season ticket holders must pay a green fee, all competitors must hold a current handicap maximum 18 and all queries or problems must be reported to the Committee whose decision will be final.

Over at Turnberry on the final day 27th. September of the old Ailsa course the members played a team competition with the two best nett scores at each hole counting. The winning team comprised Alan Weir, Norrie Stevenson, Ken Mackenzie and Quintin Dunlop on 84 followed by Ian Rorison, Frank Blin, Ken Young and Campbell Devlin on 81 points with in third place the team of Jim Mills, Alan Boyd, John Broadfoot and Alan Connor on 77.

All played on a course that is now history..

The Captain’s Prize played over the Kintyre course on 3rd. October resulted in a win for Tom Campbell (12)37 Stableford points followed by John Wood (6)36 points and Bill Clare (16)36 points.

The final of the Gordon Stewart Salver has been played with Sylvia and Ewan Kemp coming out as victors.

QUOTATIONS OF THE WEEK

Billy Casper on golf back in 1970 ‘Golf is the greatest game in the world. It is frustrating. It is rewarding. It is humbling. It is exhilarating. It can send you into the depths of despair. It can rocket you into the orbit of incomparable satisfaction and joy. It teaches. It puts a man’s character to the anvil and his richest qualities – patience, poise, restraint – to the flame.’

Whew quite exhausting even thinking about all that let alone typing it.

‘I can’t win anything but money’ Frank Beard leading tour money winner in 1969 without one victory to his name.

TALES FROM THE CADDYSHACK

I bemoan the fact that good golf courses with plenty of character are getting altered to provide a greater challenge on the professional tour, mainly due to the distance a golf ball travels.

I notice that another person of note has joined my cause, Jay Townsend a former professional golfer now a Radio Five Live golf reporter whose voice has become recognizable to many, claims that golf balls travel too far and the significance of many historical courses are being lost.

Jay states ‘I know the ruling bodies are afraid of being sued by the equipment companies, but all they have to say to the manufacturers is this ; you can have a golf ball and a club combination that will be tested that a shot cannot fly more than 265 yards with a 117 mph swing speed. That’s faster than average on the PGA tour so it is still fast.

Then I’d tell them that they don’t have to make a ball that conforms. But if they want their players to compete in tournaments here are the rules: We are not saying that you have to do what we say. But if you don’t, you can’t play in our events’. Townsend goes on to say that the golf ball now travels so far that top players do not have to hit drivers any more. The art of shot making seems to have disappeared, but with ball restrictions the significance of many historical courses would be restored. My sentiments exactly.

We have had some beautifully sunny days of late and non golfers often say to me ‘This must be a great day for golf’. Now I appreciate that it is nice to play golf in warm, dry weather, but in bright sunshine it is not always easy to follow the flight of a ball. Consequently I, and this is purely a personal preference, prefer it to be a bright, dry, calm day with high cloud level. But nevertheless I always look forward to playing golf in good company and I am sure you feel the same.