Some golfers never make a hole in one; others seem to have them regularly – regularly as in once every five years or so. If you are going to go to the trouble of making a hole in one and dealing with all the expense of free drink that entails, then it would be advisable to do it when you have a good score. Nothing can be more frustrating than a hole in one when the rest of the scorecard is peppered with double and treble bogeys.
Perhaps there is something more frustrating: a hole in one when technically you are playing three off the tee.
Fortunately for Cal Robertson, his hole in one on the Short was achieved in the middle of what proved to the winning round of the weekend for Cal and his partner, Richard Galloway. With the hole cut close to the bunker at the front of the green Cal holed out in the only manner possible: he sent a wedge shot over the pin and watched as it spun back in. A birdie on the following hole, the Manor, was mirrored by back to back birdies on the Redan and Memorial in the second half. A further birdie on their final hole, the Long Caber/Foresters, was enough to give them maximum points with a nett 42.
The consistent Cal and Richard have picked up scoring points in all three of the Winter League rounds to date. Another pairing that is the epitome of consistency took second place one stroke behind on nett 43. Bryan Geddes and Colin Macritchie have posted the same superb six under par gross total on each of the last three weekends.
Last Saturday, Bryan and Colin birdied the Gunsite and Manor to sit two under par at the halfway point. Birdies on the most challenging holes on the course, the Castle and Dardanelles, were followed by another two on the Memorial and Long Caber/Foresters. That display earned 12 scoring points and took them to first position in the overall league table, ten points clear on 41 points.
If points were awarded for playing golf while singing – not necessarily in tune – Jamie Duncan would be jockeying for top spot. Last weekend, Jamie and his comparatively silent partner, George Macaskill, were certainly in tune. Birdies on the Redan and Memorial gave them a healthy level par outward half and, with a handicap of 8, a steady back six gave them a nett total of 44 and 9 scoring points.
Huw Lloyd and Marten James made up one of three teams returning nett 45 for 7 scoring points each. That the other two teams scored well was a great relief to Garry Murray and Dave Gilmour. Both have been missing while their partners have made an impressive start to the Winter League. There is little more embarrassing around the golf course than a partner playing better without you. Fortunately, Dave Gilmour helped his playing partner, Alastair Henderson, to their best score of the winter, courtesy of birdies on the Manor and Short.
Similarly, Garry Murray and Eddie Rogers picked up birdies on the last hole of each half, the Manor and Long Caber/Foresters. To Garry’s immense relief, that gave them their best score to date and took them into the top ten overall.
Four teams posted nett 46 and collected 4 scoring points apiece. Andy Macdonald and Arthur Macintosh responded to the expectations raised in last week’s Gazette with an improved performance for their first scoring points, and the promise of more to come. Putting was erratic but, with birdies on the Memorial, Heather, Gunsite and Long Caber/Foresters, there are plenty signs of a ridiculous score in the offing.
Donald John Smith and David Macleod also opened their scoring account, building on a decent outward half with six solid pars on the return leg. In contrast, Murdo and Peter O’Brien are one of only three teams to have taken scoring points in each of the first three weeks of the campaign. This was another impressive round and, as was the case on the previous Saturday, they birdied the Manor, Memorial and Long Caber/Foresters.
The fourth team on nett 46 was David “Kiwi” Macleod and Stephen Moar. Birdies on the Manor and Redan helped push them up to fifth position in the overall league table on 20 points.
Richard Galloway and Cal Roberston jumped to fourth place on 25 points after their weekend win. They are three points behind Murdo and Peter O’Brien, while Magnus and Murdo Johnson slip to second spot on 31 points. The only encouragement – and it is a huge encouragement – for those chasing the runaway leaders on 41 points is that Bryan Geddes and Colin Macritchie are now playing with the real handicap of plus 2. That should keep them quiet for a few weeks.