According to a recent BBC programme, there is a genius over in Uig developing an engine that will run on water. It is slightly more complicated than that but, since most people read this column in the hope of finding some golf news, there is no point in baffling readers with science. Suffice to say that the plans are fairly well developed, improbable as that may sound.
Equally improbable is the use of the words “Uig” and “genius” in the same sentence. That kind of bigoted statement is, of course, exactly the kind of thing that will shortly be made a criminal offence by the Offensive Behaviour at Football, Threatening Communications and Generally Saying Hurtful Things About People Bill, currently wending its tortuous way through the Scottish Parliament; and not before time.
The truth is that Uig people have always been a resourceful crowd. Our own amateur carbon dating of the Lewis Chessmen suggests that they were playing chess in Uig before the game was actually invented; and the words “mad genius” is an anagram of “sad Uig men”. That should settle any argument and hopefully avoid legal action.
The reason for mentioning the use of water as fuel is that, unless we find some useful purpose for the vast quantities of water falling on us, we are in danger of drowning. The need for water to maintain life is paramount but we seem to be soaking up so much of it that the ground is permanently waterlogged and the whole island is slowly sinking.
Last weekend, another deluge ensured that golfers came close to doubling their body weight during a round that they may have begun as smartly dressed golfing hopefuls but ended as dripping sponges. More than half of the field failed to return a score, either through giving up early or simply losing the will to try to write with a pencil on a piece of soggy tissue.
Two competitors for the Autumn Medal managed level par. John Sommerville refused to wear waterproofs and the result may encourage him to soak his sweater in a bath of water before commencing his next round. His steady performance gave him a deserved third place.
Gordon Kennedy has missed almost all the summer competitions and this display suggests that he will be more at home in the Winter League. A gruesome start meant that Gordon was eight over par after two holes but he clung on for the rest of the outward half. The return leg was a huge improvement with the bonus of an unlikely birdie on the Dardanelles. A strong finish helped Gordon to runner up spot and a welcome cut in handicap.
Occasionally, golfers can find themselves in a place where they actually play the shots they intended. That form breeds the confidence that allows them to swing more freely and score at their best. There is no doubt that Alastair Henderson has been in that place for the past month. His improvement really began with a superb display at the challenging Askernish Open and since then his handicap has tumbled by more than a stroke, no mean feat for a golfer playing off a single figure handicap.
Alastair began with a double bogey but that was soon forgotten with a birdie at the Ard Choille followed by another on the next hole. A further birdie on the Redan took him to the turn in level par. Given the deteriorating conditions, it was no surprise that the return leg was more challenging but a birdie on the Miller helped him to a gross 70. His nett 65 won the competition buy a comfortable margin.
The juniors and ladies had more sense than to venture out in the conditions but a healthy number of club members made the weekend trip to the mainland for the biennial match with Golspie Golf Club.
The Golspie Do is about much more than golf and a great deal of what happens is shrouded in mystery. Even some who are part of the team have difficulty in recalling what actually took place. For their benefit, Golspie won the team event by a single point but the rest of the trip will no doubt go unreported. After all, “Golspie Do” is an anagram of “Police Dogs”. Enough said.