Tough conditions mean managing any golf is something to boast about

The poor weather is still with us and golf is becoming a very elusive game to play. You find golfers coming in boasting that they have managed to play 6, 8, or 10 holes before succumbing to the conditions, last Saturday wandering out to the first tee I past four ladies coming in wrapped up as if they were travelling to the Antarctic and looking as if they had suffered enough.

However, Bernie Mills the Girvan Golf Club subscription Secretary is looking to pick up more annual subscriptions and to that end will be in the clubhouse between 6 and 6.30 pm. this coming Friday 28th. February and between 11.30 and on Saturday 1st. March.

The Turnberry gents medal last Saturday resulted in a win for David McDowall (7)75 followed by Duncan Kerr (5)80, Tom Bennett (6)81 and David Semple (9)81. You can see by the scores that the weather was not in the golfers favour.


Arnold Palmer once stated ‘There are hazards in golf: the unpredictability of your own body chemistry, the rub of the green, the wind and the weather, the bee that stands on your ball or at the beck of your neck whilst putting, the sudden noise while you are swinging, the whole problem of playing the game at high mental tension and low physical tension’. Whew! One wonders why we play the game with all those problems, some I had never ever considered in the past and will make a note not to consider them in the future.


I will not mention Ayr’s defeat to Dunfermline but rather mention Scotland’s stunning defeat of Italy by a drop kick right at the end of the game.

I tried to play a few holes before the match started but the weather was so fierce that I was chased in to watch the second half in which Scotland appeared to be the better team.

I noted that confusingly one Italian player’s name was Luke McLean which found me wondering whose side he was playing for. I did play rugby at one time but the game has evolved so much since then that I have great difficulty in following the rules. Everyone seems to be playing for penalties and each side has someone who is a great kicker of the ball. It does not seem very sportsmanlike and very different from my day. It would be a better game if free kicks were given which could not actually score points unless they were within a short distance from the posts.

I am delighted to learn that the revetting of bunkers is under consideration as the ‘powers that be’ are finding it very expensive and a waste of good turf. At Turnberry marram grass is being re-introduced which I remember as a lad was there long before revetting was ever thought of. At Girvan I understand that grass is going to be folded down over the face of the bunkers, all music to my ears. By this I of course refer to the fairway bunkers which I have always thought should provoke a challenge to the golfer as to how far he/she can recover by getting the ball well out down the fairway, rather than just a lost shot with a sand iron.

Golf should get back to its roots with natural challenges rather than manufactured hazards which are often ill thought out.

Scotland has always been considered the home of golf and if your first name was ‘Willie’ you were always welcomed in America as a good golfer this of course in the early years.. Willie Smith was the professional at Midlothian, Illinois, Willie Campbell at The Country Club, Brookline, Willie Davis at Newport, Rhode Island and Willie Dunn at Shinnecock Hills. All these lads were from the Carnoustie area. So it was only natural that Willie Anderson, son of a green keeper, be lured to America to be set up in the Myopia Hunt Club, New York at the very young age of fourteen. The US Open has been in existence since 1895 with Willie Anderson holding the record of three consecutive wins, a record which still stands today. He won in 1901, 1903, 1904 and 1905, three in a row and four in all with Laurie Auchterlonie breaking the sequence to win in 1902. Unfortunately Willie died at a young age perhaps due to the pressure of having so much expected of him at so young an age without any family support. .However in 1913 at his first attempt Francis Ouimet a 20 year old amateur and the son of a local green-keeper, defeated Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a play-off to win the US Open, which created quite a sensation. The early years of golf are always fascinating but you must consider the equipment and the course conditions that were available at the time before comparing these players results with those that pick up a fortune on the course today. Still go out and enjoy the odd bob or two which you may pick up after a successful round.