On The Fairways, with Bill Tait

LAST Monday was the final night of the Girvan Golf Club’s Junior Championship - and what a wet night it was!

However, the youngsters battled round and did very well in difficult conditions, with Gregor Mackintosh coming in as Junior Champion with 202 gross (67, 69, 66), followed by Robbie Allan 246 (91, 75, 80) and Greg Mellon 261 (93, 89, 79).

All very good scores considering the conditions and Girvan Golf Club can rest assured that they have some excellent juniors coming through.

Robbie won the handicap championship with a nett total of 198, followed by Gregor (199) and Greg (201).

This will, of course, be the last time that Gregor plays in the junior championship as he has now moved up to the seniors, where I am sure that he will do well. However, Robbie who is only 13, is well capable of becoming a champion of the future and we will follow his progress with great interest.

Greg won a Sunday Post Auchterlonie putter last year, but he did not use it in those wet conditions. The trophies were presented by the Girvan captain Robert McMaster, who congratulated all the juniors who took part, in particular all the winners, who played so well on a very wet final night.

The Girvan ladies and gents competed for the George Robb Trophy played in memory of a one-time Girvan greenkeeper. Jack Galloway came in to win with (7)61, followed by Robert McCluskey (8)63, Bernie Mills (8)65 and Robert McMaster (7)65.

Jack had the lowest gross score of 68 and assured himself of a place in the prizewinners photograph at the annual dinner.

Last Sunday, the Girvan Golf Club gents played in very windy conditions with Robert McCluskey coming in to win the prestigious Walter Linton Trophy on (8)63, followed by Dougie Hamilton (9)65, J. Simpson (10)65 and Stuart White (2)65. Stuart White had the lowest gross score. 67

The Girvan Ladies competed in the Handicap Trophy last Thursday, with Isobel Connor coming in to win on nett 70, ahead of Lynda Gordon on nett 73. They felt that they were playing in wintry conditions. Ah well, that is Ayrshire for you.

Girvan Golf Club members have the Grant Cup to look forward to tonight (Wednesday), for both ladies and gents, and on Sunday, the Girvan gents will compete for the Ford McCartney trophy in memory of a keen golfer and member of the club who sadly died at a young age.

Tomorrow (Thursday), Girvan ladies will compete in the Cancer Competition, whilst, on Tuesday

May 31, they will play in the Coronation Foursomes

Turnberry Golf Club Wednesday medal was won by David Strachan (1)71 followed by John Broadfoot (5)77 and David Courtney (13)81.

In the Dr Scade Trophy, which is competed for by over 50s, Douglas Edgar came in to win with (27)68, followed by J. Foster (15)89, David Gray (13)70 and Jim Crawford (20)70.

As a reminder, Dr Scade was a very dapper gentleman who lived in Louisa Drive and, if I remember correctly, always wore a bowler hat. He was a very keen golfer and my doctor when I was very young.

Quotes of the week

A competitor from New Guinea filling in the section on a tournament entrance form which asked ‘Any unusual achievements?’ wrote ‘I have four wives’.

Louise Nelson offering some advice to husband Byron in 1936: “Honey, why don’t you quit kidding yourself? It just can’t be the clubs. Your trouble is you.”

Caddyshack tales

O ye of little faith – and, by that, I mean all those who did not think that Ayr United could bounce back into the first division. They did that in very windy conditions up at Brechin on Sunday, with Ayr being by far the better team.

Mind you they left it very late and a lot of fingernails must have been well and truly bitten by the time the final whistle went. So Ayr are up there again and we will just have to wait and see how they get on in the First Division.

Celtic convincingly won the Scottish Cup as expected, so the football season can now wind down with some very satisfied customers.

Have you noticed of late that many of the overseas golf courses advertising for golfers to come and play always show holes with attractive water features?

They look wonderful from an aesthetic point of view. Some even have fountains in the middle and attractive water falls but, for a golfer standing on the tee knowing that he/she has to hit the ball in the air the best part of 180 yards to reach the green or fairway, water can be very intimidating.

I realize that countries who suffer from a dearth of water in the summer have to collect water in their rainy season, but to place these lakes in front of tees and greens seems to be the thinking of a very masochistic mind. No wonder you see so many lake balls advertised for sale!

I remember playing Walton Heath outside London where there are two really excellent golf courses. No water, but plenty of heather. We were playing off the back tees on the championship course where, on most holes, you had to carry perhaps about 120 yards over very tough heather to reach the fairway.

This may not seem much, but you stand there somewhat intimidated at the thought of duffing your shot with a nervous lunge at the ball and burying it in the heather. As there was no water on the course, there was the consolation was that you did not lose your ball, but heather is very difficult to play out of.

You just have to hit the ball gently with a wedge to the nearest bit of fairway, forsaking any though of distance.

Another feature of the course were the bunkers adorned with a fringe of heather at the top. If you hit the ball towards the bunker you hoped it would be in the sand rather than heather and, coming out of the bunker, you had to be sure that you cleared the heather. All these hazards and problems to beset the golfer, who still finds pleasure in overcoming them.