Anyone venturing upstairs in the Golf Club recently will have been impressed by the quality of craftsmanship in the renovation work taking shape. Although many volunteers have been involved in the project, the standard of finish is largely the work of John Mackinnon and Peter O’Brien, two pensioners possibly known better and more affectionately as Jack and Victor. The work completed to date is staggering and the Club owes John and Peter a huge debt of gratitude.
It seems ironic that after putting so much effort into obtaining quality materials at bargain prices, the only thing to have fallen off the back of a lorry is Peter. Fortunately, his recent accident does not appear to have caused any lasting damage which suggests that Peter may have landed on his head. In any case, hopefully he will be able to return to complete the work and then have a thoroughly deserved period of convalescence.
For those members able to play on the course, it was a week of sunshine showers and blustery winds. Mary Joyce had the frustration of being runner up in both midweek and weekend competitions. The midweek medal event was won by Jan Maclennan, while the Charity Bowl was won by Jane Nicolson. Mary’s fighting finish of two over par on the final three holes fell one stroke short of equalling Jane’s total in the Charity Bowl competition.
The midweek Caledonian Medal qualifying competition took on a look of deja vu, with familiar faces filling the top spots. Alasdair Maclean, Iain Macritchie and Cal Robertson all returned nett 66 for a share of third place. A birdie on the Caberfeidh helped Ken Galloway complete the last twelve holes in just three over par for an excellent nett 65. That total fell just short of the winning score posted by the irrepressible Kevin “Lava” Macleod, someone to whom the term runner-up is unacceptable. Once again, Kevin beat his previous best score, as birdies on the Memorial and Ranol contributed to a nett 64. Kevin has now won four of the ten competitions held this season.
Despite the adverse weather forecast, the ARC Shield charity competition attracted a healthy field. The forecast turned out to be disappointingly accurate but some participants appeared to be unaffected. Graeme Tait continued his good form from the midweek competition with an excellent nett 64 to secure third place. There was no birdie on his card but with the sole exception of the Dardanelles, this was a steady round and his best for some time.
In second position was Martyn “Mig” Macleod. His nett 63 was demoralising for his fellow competitors for a number of reasons. The main reason is that Mig has not played a competitive round of golf for about a year; nor does he appear to practice; and he was also enthusiastic about recounting his round in detail. For those who missed the action replay, Mig made nonsense of warm-up routines and regular practice with a superb start to his round. By the eighth hole, with a birdie on the Memorial, he was only one over par. The only double bogey on his card came at the Short but he settled down to a solid back nine and a runner up spot in the competition.
The fact that people often wonder why Neil Maciver is playing off a handicap of nineteen suggests that he is capable of a much higher standard of golf. Last weekend, he made progress on that front with a steady round that contained eight pars, a round to be more associated with a player with half his handicap. His nett 62 not only won the ARC Shield but also reduced his handicap to a more realistic 17.5.
The Juniors completed their second round for the prize of the Kenneth Mackenzie Jubilee Trophy. Adam Longdon continued his excellent form with a nett 67, four strokes better than George Rennie on the day. Adam’s first round nett 62 meant that no one could catch him and simply confirmed that his golf is moving on to another level.