On the Fairways with Bill Tait

John Shanks (L) was the winner of the Stevenson Trophy and is pictured alongside Girvan golf captain Jason Roberts (Centre) and winner of the handicap trophy Joel McCluskey.
John Shanks (L) was the winner of the Stevenson Trophy and is pictured alongside Girvan golf captain Jason Roberts (Centre) and winner of the handicap trophy Joel McCluskey.

Last Sunday Girvan Golf Club gents held their Open competition for the Stevenson Trophy. This is a popular tournament attracting golfers from far and wide as it has been in existence since the 1930’s and is accompanied by some excellent prizes. Unfortunately the entry from Girvan Club members was a little disappointing, surely the weather did not put local members off as they must be used to it by now . Entries overall were not too bad and plenty played in good weather with only a few suffering the bouts of quite heavy rain.

The winner of the Stevenson Trophy for 2014 which is for the best scratch golfer was John Shanks of Irvine Bogside with an excellent score of 59. John plays off a handicap of plus 3 so one can see the quality of golf he must have played. John. Johnstone of Ayr Belleisle came second with 61.

In the handicap section Joel McCluskey (11)59 came in to win followed by Jason Roberts (10)60, John McLachlan (10)61, Willie McMeikan (1)61 and C. Shand of Lanark Golf Club (14)61. Positions as stated taking in the better inward half where necessary. Unless stated all the aforementioned are members of Girvan Golf Club.

A good number turned up for the presentation which was held in the clubhouse in spite of all the work being carried out to bring the building up to the standard you would expect from a Club of Girvan’s standing. Stan and Margaret Milligan are doing their very best to give their usual excellant service during the disruption. The winner John Shanks in accepting the Stevenson Trophy complimented the green staff on the condition of the course and everyone agreed that Donald Cameron, the new Girvan head green keeper and his staff are to be thanked for their hard work and expertise in bringing the course up to this standard.

In the Ayrshire Summer Scratch League the Girvan team are to be congratulated on their very fine effort in beating West Kilbride last Friday by four games to two in spite of one of the West Kilbride players scoring a hole in one. The Girvan team were delighted to present the ace golfer with a bottle of whisky.

In the Saturday medal at Turnberry three players tied for first place, Craig McVicar (7)72, Jack Galloway (9)72 and Darwin Johnstone (5)72, dividing the sweep between them.

In the Turnberry Richmond Cup on 2nd. August Ian Rorison (5) 37 Stableford points and Chris Savage (13) also on 37 points tied so here we are with yet another play off. These two were followed by Kevin Doyle (10)30, James Byers (6)28 Jack Galloway (9) 27 and Alan Forbes (11)25 points.


H. MacNeile Dixon in his book ‘Golf & How’ back in 1944 commented that ‘Whereas the clubs used in golf have now been partially standardized , the putter has retained its individuality. It may be made of wood, iron, brass, or aluminium; there are those with wry necks, goose necks, bottle necks, necks like corkscrews; straight faced, long faced, curve faced; fitted with long handles, short handles, square grips, oval grips, round grips, -and just grips. In fact their number is legion.’ This was back in 1944 and you can imagine the additions to that list since then. There are also some very personalized putters such as the ones used by some famous professionals of years ago.


Well the Commonwealth games are over and what a wonderful success they have been. I can only congratulate all those involved in its organization plus all those who took part, in particular the volunteers (the Clydesiders) who played their part wonderfully.

It may have been overlooked in the hubbub surrounding the games, but last Saturday Ayr United beat East Sterling four goals to nil. So it seems that it will not be necessary for me to get my old football boots out.. Well done Ayr it appears that you can at least beat a second division side.

Remember that with all this dry weather the ball will bounce along the fairways flattering your driving distance. This will of course cease when the wet weather returns but enjoy it while you can, and remember that the ball will also bounce unflatteringly on the greens and leave you with long putts. But you will just have adjust to these oddities which makes golf so challenging and go out and enjoy the game.