Happy Christmas to golfers everywhere

I would like to wish all my readers and golfers everywhere a happy Christmas and may the new year bring them lots of birdies and pars.

That Christmas stocking will no doubt be bulging with all the latest golfing toys, and you will be keen to try out their effectiveness on the course.

If you have received instructional DVDs or books then curl up in front of a warm fire and enjoy them when the weather is unfavourable. .

I understand that some eight members of the Girvan Golf Club were out playing in the competition on Sunday, but with the scores yet to be recorded I will give the result next week.

QUOTATION OF THE WEEK

The young American golfer Jessica Korda was heard to complain at the Women’s British Open at Birkdale this year, ‘The wind was blowing so hard the ball was ovulating on the green’.

Keeping to the ladies, Pat Bradley, an American golfer, stated, ‘I cannot find a job that pays me $700,000 a year, so, until I do, I’ll be right here’.

The ladies always manage to come up with something to surprise us and usually have an answer for everything!

TALES FROM THE

CADDYSHACK

Well Ayr United sacked Mark Roberts this week and whilst the buck always stops with the manager I cannot help feeling that the players let him down. In Saturday’s game against Stirling Albion lying bottom of the division we struggled to a draw but I will admit that the referee gave a lot of debatable decisions, at one time giving the Albion a goal kick when everyone in the ground except him, knew it was a corner. Some of the tackles he blew up for were not as severe as those on TV’s ‘Match of the Day’ that evening that went without censure..

But to return to golf with the weather so bad, all we were left with was just keep our heads down and do some Christmas shopping instead.

A little bit of golfing tittle-tattle to amuse you while waiting to see if the weather improves. Did you know that the first American golf champion to play in Britain was an Australian. Well that may sound strange but Walter Travis was born in Australia in January 1862, went to America as a youngster and only took up golf when he was 34 years of age. He decided to see if he could make his presence on a golf course successful and within two years was semi-finalist in the US Amateur and went on to win the title in 1900 at the age of 38. He was a small man always smoking black cigars, a short hitter but deadly with a putter.

He won the US Amateur again in 1901 and 1903 and became the British Amateur Champion in1904.at Sandwich, Kent.

Before the final at Sandwich his putting had gone off so he borrowed a centre shafted Schenectady putter from another American competitor and putted the long hitting Edward Blackwell off the course.

He re-designed his home course of the Garden City Club, New York which was where in 1908 the US Amateur was to be held. Naturally our friend Walter Travis was well to the fore in this championship and had battled through to the final pairing where he came unstuck due to his own planning.

In re-designing the course Travis had put a nasty pot bunker at the 18th hole which was very unpopular with the members and.remember that this is before Gene Sarazen had perfected the sand wedge Well in the final against Jerome Travers, Travis found himself in this pot bunker and after two unsuccessful attempts to get out had to concede the match.

So there you are fate can intervene at any time. Travis was one of the first golfers to use the Haskell golf ball which was a rubber wound ball with a solid core. At that time this ball was unpopular as it bounced about a lot but a year after Travis’s success Sandy Herd won the Open with a Haskell ball using the same ball for all four rounds which was unheard of with a gutty. Four rounds with the same ball is also unheard of in this day and age when professionals get an unlimited supply of golf balls free. The things that come to light about golf in the early years makes us wonder at the perseverance of those golfers of yesteryear and makes it such an interesting sport to follow.

One wonders what they will say about us in a hundred years time playing with our antiquated equipment on courses with some holes of only five hundred yards long. However by that time no doubt the golfing authorities will have controlled the distance a golf ball can travel and how much spin can be applied and hopefully golf may not have altered all that much.. But in the meantime enjoy your Christmas and look forward to golf whenever the weather allows.