On the Fairways with Bill Tait

Peter Alliss the legendary BBC golf commentator.
Peter Alliss the legendary BBC golf commentator.

Turnberry golfers have had a busy period of late with on 11th. May Alan Forbes (11)72 winning the Crawford Cup which is open to both the ladies and gents section of the Club. Alan was followed by James Byers (6)74 with Roddy Gardner, John Foster and John Rutherford all on nett 75.

In the Dr. Scade Trophy open to gents over fifty years of age Alan McKinlay (7)69 and Roddy Gardner (12)69 tied for first place which will require a play-off. David Semple (9)72 came in third place.

The Wednesday medal played on the 14th. May resulted in a win for Paul Zonfrillo (10)68 followed by John Foster (14)70, Steven Stamper (+1)71, Duncan Kerr (5)71 and David Nelson (5)71.

In the latest qualifying round of the Sunset Trophy Duncan Kerr (5)71, Neil Dawson (6)74 and Jack Galloway (9)74 all qualified.

Next week I will give the latest news of the Girvan Golf Club’s results.

With all the good weather of late you will appreciate that golf courses have become crowded


‘It’s not over yet’ said BBC commentator Peter Allis when Phil Mickelson rolled in the winning putt in the 2004 Masters. I wonder who else he was expecting to roll in another winning putt.

‘I owe a lot to my parents, especially my Mother and Father’. American gymnast Paul Hamm after winning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics. The things people say at inopportune moments, in many cases caused by the media asking awkward questions at the wrong time. David Coleman the well respected sports commentator was blamed for a lot of sporting bloomers, but he was not alone. More next week.


With the football season over, well as far as Ayr United are concerned, I have little to feel sorry about, but The Open at Hoylake will be upon us soon and we can consider some of the events that happened there to create a history of not only the course but of the Open itself.

It was there that golfers were taken completely by surprise when back in 1907 a Frenchman, yes a Frenchman, Arnaud Massy won the Open beating such luminaries as Harry Vardon, James Braid and J.H. Taylor. Well I never, but another surprise happened before that as in 1902 Sandy Herd played with the new fangled rubber cored Haskell ball and found that he was out driving his opponents by as much as twenty yards. Herd went on to win beating both Vardon and Braid to bring about the demise of the old gutta percha ball, There are also other moments of glory like when the flamboyant Walter Hagen, a true character of the sport, sank a ten foot putt at the 72nd. hole to win the 1924 Open and Fred Daly winning the 1947 Open being the first Irishman to achieve this feat.. All of golf is full of great historical moments and we must not forget them. Going back to Sandy Herd playing with the new Haskell ball brings thoughts of what has followed it and the distances golf balls travel today. They say that it is the ball that is mainly responsible for the distance it travels, helped of course by the new clubs but principally the ball which flies further and straighter than any of the balls used by our predecessors back in those early years. It is perhaps time that some restriction is put on the future of golf balls before we find that the old golf courses are superseded by those with holes well in excess of seven hundred yards making even walking them a stretch too far for most of us. The old wonderfully historic courses have been stretched as far as the land allows, in fact I believe that one hole at St. Andrews has its tee in an adjoining field. If they would only leave these lovely old courses alone and stop trying to make them trickier and harder each year would be a boon to most of us. Hope to see you out enjoying a game on one of these unadulterated course one day.