CHANGES AT THE TOP - IN CLUB AND COMPETITION
The sight of John Morrison reading out the results of the latest round of the Car Hire Hebrides Winter League was a reminder that there have been changes in the organisation of Stornoway Golf Club. John was one of a number of new Committee members elected at the Club's AGM last month; he now joins Colin Gilmour in running the match and handicap section.
Pete Middleton was the unanimous choice as Club Captain. If he does receive an invitation to Pippa's wedding this summer, he will be able to accept graciously as Captain Middleton and mingle comfortably with royalty and the other titled guests. And, of course, whether or not he is invited, we will have another opportunity to flog this dead horse of a joke at least once more this year.
Andrew Reeves is the new Vice-Captain, with Dennis Wingate taking over the post of Club Secretary. The death of Alec John Mackenzie last year meant that the post of Honorary President was vacant. Ken MacDonald steps up into that position and Ken Galloway is the new Vice-President.
On the golf course, another change of course presents plenty of birdie opportunities on a number of short par 4 holes; on the other hand, there is the Cup/Foresters. Some pairings did take advantage on what seemed to be the perfect spring day. Four teams posted a three under par gross total, while Donald and DJ Macleod carded the lowest gross score of the day, a four under par 42. Teams had to be at least three under par nett to qualify for points.
David Gray and Gordon Kennedy were tied with Iain Maciver and Tom Danks on nett 42, each team collecting seven points. One stroke better, three partnerships picked up ten points apiece for a share of second spot.
Donnie Graham and Marten James played an inspired opening half, reaching the turn only one over par. Despite some slips on the inward half, there was no sign of a double bogey on their card as Donnie and Marten pushed themselves into contention in the overall competition, while still retaining a handicap allowance of nine strokes.
Richard Galloway and Cal Robertson made a typical start of five par holes in succession before making a birdie on the Long Caberfeidh. There was an almost identical start to the inward half until the pair obviously tired of the monotony of making par and threw in successive birdies on the final two holes, the Short Dardanelles and Cup/Foresters.
Bryan Geddes and Ali Gillies made an impressive start, with three par holes followed by a birdie on the Gunsite. A return to par golf for the next two holes kept them under par at the halfway point. Ali hit the green with his tee shot on the Avenue to bag another birdie, but a bogey on the Miller pegged them back. Fortunately, birdie opportunities on the Short Dardanelles and Cup/Foresters were both taken, with the result that Ali and Bryan have now eased themselves into the top ten in the overall competition.
The weekend winners were George Macleod and George Mould, whose nett 39 put them two clear of the field. The two Georges had a handicap allowance of eight strokes and probably realised they were onto a good thing when a birdie on their fifth hole, the Short, brought them back to level par. That was the catalyst for a fine inward half played in level par. The eight stroke handicap allowance is long gone but the maximum points pushed them right into contention for the major prize.
In the overall league table, the weekend performance by Bryan Geddes and Ali Gillies has moved them into a tie for eighth place. They are joined on 35 points by Iain Macleod and Norman L Macdonald, who earned a useful two points last Saturday, and Pat Aird and Arthur Macintosh.
Three pairings also share fifth position on 37 points. Last Saturday's winners and runners-up, George Macleod and George Mould and Richard Galloway and Cal Robertson respectively, have joined Willie Macaulay and Donald Macsween.
Three points ahead, Norrie "Tomsh" Macdonald and Murdo Maclennan share third place with Angus Innes and Lewis Mackenzie. David and Michael Black are now second on 45 points, two behind leaders Donald and DJ Macleod.
Coaching sessions for juniors aged 7 and upwards will be run by the Golf Club during May and June. For details, see the Club's Facebook page or contact the Club directly.