It’s a long walk to the 15th hole at Girvan these days

Last Sunday Girvan members played for the Finnie’s Shield a greensome competition and I am awaiting the final result from the computer.

This will be reported next week. There were however quite a few complaints about the time it takes to walk from the 14th Green to the 15th Tee, a problem that was promised to be solved some time ago by South Ayrshire Council.

Work is due to start very shortly in decorating the changing rooms and toilets in the Girvan clubhouse. All lockers must be cleared of all golfing equipment as soon as possible to enable the refurbishment to take place.

Turnberry members played in the Sunday medal on 20th. Match bringing in Edward Irvin as winner on (9)64 a very good score. He was followed by Stewart Hay (14)68, Stephen Simpson (16)70 and Peter Keenan (2)72. Edward Irvin also had the lowest gross score of the day a 73.


Larry McCarthy a bartender in California on giving advice to a golfing customer ‘Tee it high, let it fly, ain’t no trouble in the sky’.

Peter Dobereiner ‘Hickory golf is a game of manipulation and inspiration; steel golf is a game of precision and calculation’.

Peter Dobereiner was a very well respected golf writer and a pretty good amateur in his day. His day covered the transformation from hickory shafted clubs to the metal shafted ones so he should know.


Despite the odd shafts of sunshine providing a little warmth there has still been a very cold wind, enough to encourage the golfer to race around the course to get back into the clubhouse for some warm refreshments. Imagine what it must have been like in the very early days when golfers played in a buttoned tweed jacket. If it rained hard you may have kept warm but the tweed would stretch with the rain and the jacket become very heavy.

Another problem in those very early days was the amount of sand on the greens coming from the rule that you teed the ball up within a club’s lengths from the hole previously played, in order to drive for the next hole. Wooden tees did not come in to use for many years to come and a small pile of sand was placed on the green to tee the ball from.

It makes you wonder at the difficulty of those playing behind you to be able to putt on greens covered in sand.

Some time later the teeing position was extended to two club lengths no doubt to accommodate all the sand, that is until the 1870’s when separate teeing grounds were introduced. You could well say that the golfers of today are spoiled with all the facilities now available including being able to wear light weight waterproof clothing.

However those forebears of ours enjoyed their round as much as we do. In many cases their fairway was at the mercy of sheep who kept it cropped short which must have also included the rough.

The ladies who have been gracing golf courses for many years found that in the early years they were expected to wear long skirts and large hats, not the most advantageous clothing to play golf in no matter the weather. Joyce Wethered born in 1901 was excused that as by the time she was winning five English ladies championships the ladies were attired in more practical clothing.

In 1930 Joyce played St. Andrews off the back tees in a decent breeze in the company of Bobby Jones. She scored 75 and afterwards Jones said ‘I have not played golf with anyone, man or woman, amateur or professional, who made me feel so utterly outclassed. It was not so much the score she made as the way she made it. It was impossible to expect that Miss Wethered would miss a shot- and she never did.’ A very complimentary remark by one of the great gentlemen of golf. Playing in Norfolk in 1920 Joyce faced a putt to win when a train steamed past. Asked later about that distraction she exclaimed ‘What train? ‘ A remark that has passed down through time. Wethered commented later that she was so concerned with the putt that if the heavens had fallen she would not have noticed. Joyce Wethered married Sir John Heathcote-Amery in 1937, retired from golf and moved to Devon where her garden became her pride and joy. She lived a full life dying the day after her 96th. Birthday. A true lady of golf who obviously enjoyed her game no matter who she played with. That is what golf is all about.