On the fairways with Bill Tait

Girvan Golf Club members have certainly been enjoying the good weather of late with George Morgan having won the Dalquharran Cup (12) 58, followed by Alec Kerr (12) 61, Jim Brown (7) 61, Ken Smith (22) 62, Willie McMeikan (3) 62 and Steven Stamper (0) 63. Steven Stamper had the best scratch score of the round. Meanwhile, the Girvan ladies competed for the Ladies Bogey competition, which was won by Isobel Leitch, five up, with Roz McCulloch, two up. This is a difficult competition to score well in as it is matchplay against the course. Isobel Leitch consequently beat the course by five holes with Roz McCulloch similarly beating the course by two holes which are both very good scores.

In the Girvan ladies August medal, Elinor Heggie came in to win on net 66, with Lynda Gordon, Jan McCrorie and Kathleen Thomson all tied for second place on net 70.

The Girvan ladies had an inter-club match with Ayr Dalmilling and won 2½ games to 1½ games. A good sociable evening was held afterwards as these events, although nice to win, are in the main enjoyable get-togethers with other clubs. The next event in the ladies’ calendar will be the Roydon trophy on tomorrow.

The Girvan gents held their Open competition for the Stevenson Trophy last Sunday in showery weather. Nearly 90 competitors turned out and, with Darren Clarke unavailable, Stuart White picked up the trophy with a magnificent gross score of 63. Steven Stamper was runner-up on 65, with Scott Brown in third place on 66. In the handicap section, Kevin McCrorie of Maybole was first with (12) 59, followed by Terry McMaster (Turnberry Staff) (18) 60, Girvan club chairman Jack Galloway (7) 62, David Nelson (6) 63, Gregor Wilson (Turnberry Staff) (18) 64, and Martin Campbell (11) 64. Nearest the pin at the 5th was W Frier (Torrence House), at the 10th R Green (Maybole) and at the 18th S Johnston The longest drive for the second class was by D McDade (Brunston), with Scott Brown driving the furthest for the first class. Unless otherwise mentioned all are members of Girvan Golf Club.

Jack Galloway thanked South Ayrshire Council for the use of the course, Roz McCulloch in the starter’s hut for her help in getting everyone away, the staff for the excellent condition of the course, Ian McCulloch (match secretary) for his hard work, Margaret and Stan for use of the clubhouse and providing all the refreshments. He also thanked everyone for turning up and making it such a good competition, and then introduced vice-captain John Hilliard to present the prizes. A good day was had by all in competing for a trophy that has been in existence since the 1930s. For all who did not win a prize, there is always next year .

At Turnberry, in the Sunset Trophy, Ronnie McLellan, Stuart Crosbie and D Carr have qualified for the final. In the Saturday medal, Kyle Faulds came in to win on (9) 63, followed by Nicholas Faulds (5), 67 and John McMillan (7) 69. I know a certain grandfather, if he had still been with us today, would be sticking his chest out with pride at his grandsons doing so well.

For the past 26 years, colleagues of David Girvan from the Liverpool Victoria, and his family and friends have met annually to play at Girvan for various prizes in memory of David, who was very popular and a keen golfer.

The winner this year was Martin Farrell on a remarkable 49 points, with Paul Smillie runner-up on 41 points. Jean’s Vase was won by George Morgan, 37 points, with Jenny Morgan runner-up on 35 points. The Seniors’ Prize was won by Miller Craig (how quickly time passes) on 35 points, closely followed by Michael Morgan on 32 points. The Survivors’ Trophy, for those who can only manage eight holes, was won by David Muir, with Jennifer Ramsay runner-up. A large party sat down in the evening to a dinner out of Maggie’s Pantry. Even though it was a memorial event, it was run in a most enjoyable fashion with plenty of good spirit.

Quote of the week

Horace Hutchison back in 1890 gave the following sage advice: “If your adversary is badly bunkered, there is no rule against you standing over him and counting his strokes aloud, with increasing gusto as their number mounts up: but it will be a wise precaution to arm yourself with a niblick before doing so, so as to meet him on equal terms.” I know several golfers whose language would belie their upbringing if you counted their shots in a bunker out loud.

Tales from the caddyshack

I was listening to the radio the other morning when they were discussing the very early years of ladies golf. Back in 1795, as far as I could ascertain, apparently the fishwives of the east coast played a golf event over the Musselburgh golf course. This is one of the oldest golf courses in the world and has seen all the famous players of yesteryear on its links.

The fishwives’ golf became a regular event and they even carried their clubs in a fish creel with a band around the forehead. No mention was made of who won, but it was not considered a ladies’ game in those days and ladies were not supposed to swing the club above the shoulders, as it was very unladylike to do so, but then the fishwives were classified as women. This women’s golf must have continued for many years as they even had a recorded account of the event from a lady whose mother had been a fishwife and had proudly taken part in the golf.

There was even a mention of one fishwife whose tweed skirt had become so heavy with rain that she left the course to put it through a wringer then returned to catch up with her game. It is nice to hear of these hard-working ladies playing golf and doing so in their normal working clothes which were not as restricting as the clothing of the ladies of fashion who came onto the scene later when it appeared that only the more affluent females played golf and were limited to an attire that must have been very difficult to play golf in. We all saw at the recent Ladies’ Open ay Carnoustie how far the ladies’ game has advanced both in clothing and technique. But those ladies have to thank their predecessors for standing up to the prejudices of the day and bringing the game into their world. Golf is a game for everyone to enjoy, and enjoy your gin and tonic afterwards.