By John Marshall
On a gloomy and distinctly unappetising Sunday morning a handful of ladies came out to play golf, but with poor conditions and the threat of worsening weather they decided a ‘bounce’ game consisting of one single lap of the track would be perfectly adequate, thank you very much.
A ‘competitive’ game was unanimously reckoned to be imprudent on this occasion.
A couple of days later though, they were on the course again – this time to do battle in the Glamaig Stableford competition.
Only two played in the competition won by Sandi Beatson – that’s three-in-a-row for her.
The boys to come out to play and play they most certainly did in earnest competition for the RNLI Shield.
There was a very good turnout on the Saturday of this weekend competition with the weather conditions certainly predicted to favour that particular day’s cohort.
Covid 19 restrictions meant that instead of the normal random ‘draw’ for partners players arranged their own ‘friendship groups’ and appropriate tee times on the required booking sheet.
Battle commenced – and what a scrap it turned out to be.
Five players reduced their handicaps but there could only be one winner, and that was Robert Macaskill.
Off the first tee at 8am his golf was very steady with 37 biffs required to navigate the outward nine but a miserly 35 hits required to conclude his great round.
His ‘touch’ round the greens was apparently sensitive in the extreme with a chip-in for par on 7, ‘up and down’ from Billy the Bunker on 9, a chip-in birdie on 14 and several other good chances.
All in all just a very good, tidy performance.
20 points then for loop one and 23 points for loop two and that strong finish was to be the decisive factor as his margin of victory was only decided by virtue of the ‘better inward half’ in a photo-finish with good friend and Vice-Captain Ally Young who was to submit his tremendous score in very inclement playing conditions some 24 hours later!
Ally’s two nines, off his 19 handicap were 39 and 40 with a birdie thrown into each loop for good measure and a stableford points conversion for his halves of 22 and 21 points respectively.
Incidentally, the putter must have been behaving because it holed a 20 foot putt on the fourth hole and a 10 footer on the 17th for ‘birds’.
NB it was the tool and not the workman.
Ally also had the consolation of reducing his handicap by two shots – the biggest reduction among the prizewinners – because of the status of his exact handicap which, like all players is calculated to the decimal point.
We had enough jargon last week so we’ll let that slip by unnoticed shall we?
No question his was the better performance in the respective conditions but it’s Robert who will receive the trophy-and quite properly regain the bragging rights in the house of Macaskill.
Two points behind the leaders a trio of players each returned very respectable totals of 41points.
Andrew Long made contact with the ball 36 times on his outward half with the highlight being a good birdie on the difficult 6th hole and required but 34 strokes coming home with a remarkable run of ten straight pars from holes 9 to 18.
John Maclean played steadily, albeit with early drama in his round – a nasty triple-bogey seven on the second hole.
Chapfallen? No chance as composure regained he recorded 37 for his first lap of the circuit followed by 36 blows next time round.
Ross Cumming’s two nines were 40 and 39 off his ‘mark’ so in the company of his ‘old fella’ that day he showed who was ‘the man’.
Ross too suffered an early dig in the ribs with a triple bogey on the second hole but also did well to recover and tickle a touch off the handicap on completion of his round.
No midweek competition for the gents this time round but the ‘Trouts’ came out to play in a pop-up Seniors Mixed Stableford competition later that week.
With outdoor catering billed as an ‘attraction’ for the silver sharpshooters the beau monde of the area swarmed like locusts to the feast.
The format for the day was successful as almost 20 of the area’s finest ladies and gentlemen golfers paraded their skills on a course displaying promising signs of extremely rude health – apart from the reepach humple on the second fairway – and it was to be an overseas raider who was to return home victorious.
Ally ‘Doc’ Mackenzie, now domiciled in Plockton was to be ‘the man’ with an extremely comfortable victory following a rich harvest of points in the forgiving Stableford format.
His winning total of 42 points was four clear of Chris Mackinnon in second place.
Alaisdair – a ‘friend’ said his father couldn’t spell – rather limped out in 44 strokes but a fine 40 off his 22 mark coming home garnered a whopping 24 points to add to the earlier 18 and his unassailable total.
Nothing much of interest in the 44 but an evil nine and an excellent wee two showed the extremes to which our man travelled on his homeward journey.
Rumour has it that ‘our hero’ offered to buy free drinks for everyone – in the sure and certain knowledge that with the lockdown still to be relaxed his money was safe!
I also have it on good authority that his often misunderstood droll countenance momentarily offered a fleeting smile of satisfaction in victory before swiftly and almost immediately reverting to type.
Chris Mackinnon started brightly with only three dozen shots required to pilot his ball round the opening nine holes but 39 coming home with an horrendous triple bogey 7 on the final hole may have left a wee bit of a bitter taste in the mouth afterwards.
Third place went to Dave Webster who returned a very impressive total of 36 points off his 28 handicap mark but a few more performances like that and he could be back playing with the big boys again.
The size of the field offers a wee bit more scope for reflection and Donalda Johnston found form and Peter Mackenzie, kin to the winner smoothed in one further point behind Dave Webster.
Honourable mention too for George Neill who might have ‘thought he was Archie’ having recorded two birdies in his opening seven holes but sadly thereafter the ba’ burst.
A bold eagle
And finally to the mystery of the ‘Captain’s eagle’.
It’s been difficult trying to untangle the whole story occurring as it did in an unofficial, non-counting charity game but a source, when catechised offered the following description -“a Phil Mickelson-type shot landed like a dislodged swan’s feather on the green with precisely the correct velocity to carry it to the hole with not a millimetre to spare”!
What preceded the shot that elicited that magniloquent delineation is still to be ascertained.
Tues 30th June, Glamaig Stableford (Ladies): 1. S Beatson 27pts; 2. S Dew 21pts.
Thurs 2nd July, Senior Stableford: 1. A Mackenzie 42pts; 2. C Mackinnon 38pts; 3. D Webster 36pts; 4 D Johnston 35pts bih; 5. P Mackenzie 35pts.
Sat 27th/Sun 28th June, RNLI Shield (Gents): 1. R Macaskill 43pts bih; 2. A Young 43pts; 3. A Long 41pts bih; 4. J Maclean 41pts bih; 5. Cumming 41pts.