On the Fairways with Bill Tait

Paul McGinley was the victorious Ryder Cup captain at Gleneagles.
Paul McGinley was the victorious Ryder Cup captain at Gleneagles.

Girvan golf has been proceeding at a fine pace in all this good weather with the 36 hole tournament being won by George Coombe who managed to sail through both rounds with 37 Stableford points in each round giving him 74 points in total to bring safely in to harbour and pick up the trophy. You will appreciate from all this that George is a Captain on the Sea Link ferry as well as being a good golfer. George was followed by Martin Smith 43+31=74 and Richard McEvoy 38+33=71.

The Heneage medal which is for monthly medal winners and runners up gave us a champion in Ian Alexander (15)60 followed by Jim Cameron (12)61, Martin Lothian (10)63 and Gregor Wilson (9)63.

Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Girvan Classic was held over the Girvan golf course with Liam James of Dudley Golf Club winning the Main Trophy with a gross score of 195 over the three rounds, whilst Jim McCluskey of Loudoun Gowf Club won the handicap trophy with 185 off a handicap of 18. Along with the relevant trophies very nice engraved glass tankards were presented to the winners by Provost Helen Moony. Stuart White of Girvan Golf Club won several long drive prizes to pass on to his growing family.

The Girvan Probus under the guidance of Bob Cronie took on the might of Ayr Probus last Monday but unfortunately lost by 3 ½ games to 2 ½ games. However, before you shed any tears remember that this is primarily a sociable game with all players afterwards enjoying an excellent lunch in the Abbotsford Hotel where all the latest jokes were exchanged. But sociable or not just wait until Ayr Probus come down to Girvan next spring when hopefully revenge will taste sweet.


Dave Marr reckons that the three ugliest words in golf are ‘Still your shot’, or as some people say ‘It’s a dead sheep’ in other words ‘Still you’.


Congratulations to the European Team for winning the Ryder Cup yet again. No doubt many followed it on TV or at least the highlights in the evening which was presented by the delightful Hazel Irvine. However a bad taste was left in the mouth by the remarks that Phil Mickelson made which I consider should only have been uttered at a private meeting of the American Team. Still let them bicker amongst themselves and my admiration of Tom Watson is not diminished in any way.

Well what can I say about Ayr United’s defeat at the hands of Airdrie the division’s bottom club. Three minutes to go with Ayr winning 2-1 when Airdrie were allowed to score two goals. How Ayr managed to let that happen I do not know, mind you Ayr’s defence seemed to be going off injured, Micky Donald, one of Ayr’s most reliable players had a bad game and why the manager did not do his homework on Airdrie I do not know. Airdrie have three defenders all six feet plus whilst Ayr’s lone striker Donnelly is well below six feet, something amiss here.

If you look at the golfers in the age of Old Tom Morris and even more up to date in the time of Harry Vardon with their tight fitting jackets you realise that they must have had fairly short swings as getting the club back beyond shoulder height would put a considerable strain on the tweed jacket, braces, tight trousers etc. especially if it had been raining. A wet tweed jacket and trousers will weigh very heavy and be a considerable drag. Try it and appreciate what the current trend allows you to do without resorting to a Rab C. Nesbit’s string vest. That plus whippy shafted clubs allows even the elderly to keep up with the young stags. Golf has changed considerably over the years and when you consider the tremendous advances in equipment you wonder what will come next. Perhaps it will drive itself into extinction, I hope not but a lot of the challenges that Harry Vardon, J.H. Taylor et.al. faced, are not now a concern, those old golfers must have acquired a lot more skill to have fought their way around the course in those early years, having to manufacture shots to meet any situation. The present contenders have equipment and balls which can stop very quickly on the greens and clubs that hit the ball vast distances. Still we must all look to the future and by that I mean there is always a good time to stop changing things as eventually we could lose interest in the game for the likes of myself having to play around a seven hundred yards plus golf course.. Even with modern equipment a lot of us would struggle and the art of golf which those players of yesteryear could bring to the game would be lost. That would be terrible so keep going out and see if you can manufacture shots like those of Christy O’Connor Snr a master of the art.