Junior golfers are able to compete in the senior Jackson Medal events at Stornoway Golf Club, providing their handicaps are at or below 20. For Adam Longdon, starting this season with a handicap of 25, one target would have been to qualify to compete for the Jackson Medal by the end of the summer. That ambition is now almost reality, two weeks into the season. A superb performance two weeks ago was followed by another at the weekend. Adam picked up birdies at the Memorial and Miller on his way to racking up forty points in the junior stableford competition and putting a major dent in his handicap. Adam now needs just one more solid round to qualify for the next Jackson Medal event at the end of this month.
Michael Jefferson is no slouch in the Junior Section either; he has already taken four strokes off his handicap this season and could conceivably be playing with Adam for the Jackson Medal within months.
Another golfer coming out of the blocks at speed is Jane Nicolson. Having taken second spot in her first outing of the year, Jane took first place in both ladies’ competitions last week. In the Tuesday Medal qualifying event, Jane posted nett 68, and went on to win the weekend Flag competition with a nett 70, which included a birdie on the Gunsite. Ann Galbraith was runner up in midweek, with Liz Carmichael securing second spot last weekend.
The Golf Club is always looking for new recruits. Any female golfers, of all ages and standards, who are interested in playing golf in Stornoway are welcome to enrol in coaching sessions, which are currently being run every Thursday at 6.30pm.
The midweek competition for men was a stableford event and, given the ferocious wind that developed over the course of the afternoon and evening, it was probably the only competition format that would have survived the weather. Most golfers struggled to cope with the conditions but, as has been the usual story so far this season, one golfer in particular seemed to flourish in adversity. Cal Robertson once again defied the elements to post a superb score.#
Cal produced a flawless round of seventeen pars and one birdie, on the Heather, for a total of 39 points. His closest challenger was Norrie “Tomsh” Macdonald, whose birdies on the Ard Choille and Redan, helped him to 35 points.
Cal could not sustain his early season form at the weekend: a personal best in the previous evening’s 10K run probably brought on the rubber legs that made the weekend Lewis Cup a struggle for Cal. On the other hand, Norrie “Tomsh” survived the terrifying start of birdies on his first two holes, the Castle and Manor – almost always a portent of disaster – to post a nett 67 for a top ten finish last Saturday.
The beautiful spring sunshine of Saturday attracted a field of over sixty golfers, with ten competitors returning par or better. Roddy Martin made an excellent start to his round and a birdie on the Heather was part of the reason that he stood on the sixteenth tee only four over par, with a handicap of twelve strokes burning a hole in his pocket. One triple bogey, one double bogey and one bogey later, a slightly shell-shocked Roddy completed a round of nett 66, good enough for fourth place on the day but not exactly what Roddy had hoped for some thirty minutes earlier.
Murdo O’Brien endured a torrid start to last summer’s golf, but he ensured that there would be no repeat this year with an excellent nett 66 for third place. Back to back birdies on the Glen and Heather contributed to a one over par outward half. The return leg had a similar outcome, thanks in large part to a strong finish with a birdie on the Foresters.
Bob Rankin continued his fine run of form with a performance that brought well-deserved promotion to Division 1 Golf. A birdie on the Caberfeidh was the highlight of a round of nett 65, which not only gave Bob the runner up spot for the Lewis Cup but also reduced his handicap by another stroke.
Paul Maclean’s bogey on the Glen was his only slip in a one over par outward half. Despite a double bogey on the Ranol, Paul finished level par over the final six holes, with the bonus of a birdie on the Caberfeidh. His nett 63 brought Paul his first silverware of the season and confirmation that he may soon be as good a golfer as his son, Jordan. Jordan has been collecting silverware himself recently, as the recipient of a Sportscotland award based on his academic and sporting achievement at Abertay University.
There are plenty of trophies up for grabs this weekend. The men compete for the Bain Morrison Shield and Healthworkers Charity Trophy, while the ladies have their own Healthworkers Charity Trophy to play for. The Juniors commence the first round of the Kenneth Mackenzie Jubilee Trophy. In addition, there are still places available for the annual trip to Scarista next Monday and a match against Harris Golf Club.