The finals of the Centenary Medal and Caledonian Medal over the coming days herald the end of midweek golf for the season; and the realisation that winter golf is only a month away. An Indian summer might help to lift the gloom and give the Greens staff some respite after months spent trying to maintain the course in the face of disappointing weather. By last weekend, the unremitting dampness had taken its toll and given the course that soggy feel reminiscent of Winter League. The matchmaking season is almost upon us; those who have lost a partner (of the golfing variety) are now looking around for a new relationship. The looking around has to be done in a casual manner, of course. As with other relationships, the appearance of being desperate is not generally considered to be an attractive quality.
Those golfers left on the shelf searching for a new partner will be relieved to know that looks are relatively unimportant. Being reasonably good at golf is a useful characteristic to have but perhaps of more importance is the commitment to turn up every Saturday. Volunteering to take charge of diary arrangements or marking scores can also be appealing qualities. By the time the second week in October comes around, merely being available may prove to be enough.
Arthur Macintosh is the kind of golfer who would not be without a partner for long. Solid, reliable and, for the past six weeks, playing golf at a level that has done severe damage to his handicap are all attributes that will ensure that, should he ever find himself on the shelf, he will not remain there for long. Last weekend, birdies on the Manor and Caberfeidh and twelve pars contributed to a score of nett 64, a score that was enough for Arthur to win the Jackson Medal qualifying event by a single stroke. David Black picked up another four birdies in his round but, despite a finish of two under par over the last six holes, he was left one shot short of top spot. Nevertheless, his level par round was the lowest gross score of the day by some distance.
Tied with David on nett 65 was Stewart Macdonald, fresh from success in the Consolation Cup. Playing brother Ken and Dave Rattray in the final of the pairs competition, Stewart and partner Peter Dickie looked to be on the end of a thrashing that might almost wipe that cheery smile from Stewart’s face. Five down after five holes, Peter and Stewart somehow clawed their way back into contention and then on to victory with, it has to be said, a little help from their opponents.
The midweek Caledonian Medal competition was the last qualifying opportunity before next weeks’ final. Like Arthur Macintosh, Ken Galloway has also been playing consistently well over the past few weeks. On this occasion, Ken managed a finish of even par over the last six holes for a total of nett 65, winning the competition by three strokes.
Three players were tied on nett 68. Magnus Johnson had a stunning finish of three under par over the final seven holes, including birdies on the Ranol, Caberfeidh, Foresters and Avenue. Colin Macritchie had a double bogey start and then completed the remaining seventeen in one under par for the best gross score of 69. Norrie O Macdonald also registered a double bogey – on the Foresters – but otherwise played another round of excellent golf.
The midweek Ladies’ competition had encouraging numbers of participants yet again. with Jane Nicolson returning a commendable nett 66 to finish five strokes clear of Flora Imrie in second place. Liz Carmichael took third spot.
A number of ladies travelled to Askernish for the weekend Open but, amongst those who remained in Stornoway, Jan Maclennan was in sparkling form, winning the Stableford event with a remarkable 43 points. Gill Chadwick was runner up.