The most regular visitor to the golf course in recent weeks has been the midge, closely followed by Allan Macleod. It was fitting that both should play leading roles in the Centenary Medal Final held last week.
Attendances at golf competitions by the midge (or, to be exact, several million of them) appear to be close to an all time high. They tend to congregate in areas where competitors often have most problems on the course – the tees on the Heather, Gunsite and Dardanelles and, to be honest, virtually everywhere on the Short. That would suggest that they are less keen on watching a high standard of golf and much more interested in the misery of competitors. They do not only attack in numbers during a golf swing; they compound the misery by tracking their victim into whatever bush he has hacked his ball and sucking what life is left from him.
Allan Macleod was a more welcome visitor to the course for the Centenary Medal final, although only marginally so, because of his irritating habit of sitting on top of the leaderboard in qualifying competitions. His victory last week was thoroughly deserved: Allan has been the leading low handicap player in three of the last four qualifying events. His total of 36 points was enough to win the Medal from Pat Aird in second place. The highlight of the evening was without doubt the performance of Bryan Geddes, who had not qualified for the final but, nevertheless, stole the thunder of all those who had with a superb gross 66, which included five birdies.
The tentative promise of an Indian summer makes winter seem slightly further away, as does the fact that the Winter League will now commence a week later than scheduled. The change has been made to accommodate the last competition of the season, the Dalglish Bethesda Challenge, which will now be held on 9 October.
Kenny and Marina Dalglish have a strong association with the Bethesda Home and Hospice and, despite his current heavy involvement in the management of Liverpool FC, Kenny has once again arranged to host the biennial golf tournament and dinner in Stornoway. The event, sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland, has raised staggering sums in past years and is also one of the highlights of the local golfing calendar.
Last Saturday proved to be one of the better days of summer and a large field competed for the Glennie Trophy. Four competitors were tied in second position on 38 points. Dave Rattray, spurred on by recording par on the first three holes, posted his best round of the year. David Black made his obligatory double bogey early on in his round before consecutive birdies on the Memorial, Redan and Gunsite brought him back on track. Norrie O Macdonald continued his recent run of impressive form, netting an eagle on the Caberfeidh in his level par round. The foursome was completed by Al ‘Greens’ Macleod, who overcame the setback of a double bogey on his opening hole by completing the remaining seventeen in one over par.
The eventual winner was David ‘Kiwi’ Macleod with 40 points. David has spent a frustrating summer watching his handicap creep relentlessly towards double figures but that trend was comprehensively reversed at the weekend. Given the relaxed approach to the round taken by David and his playing partners, complete with refreshments, expectations were not high. However, what began as a leisurely stroll around the course in the late afternoon sunshine ended with a nett 64 and the Glennie Trophy. The only noticeable change in David’s preparation for this event was a long overdue haircut. It would seem that a short back and sides could be the remedy for all our golfing ills.
Those of us prepared to follow any advice in an ever more frantic attempt to find the holy grail of golfing prowess will be appearing shaven-headed on the first tee in this week’s competition. Stornoway barbers will be inundated with customers asking for a ‘Kiwi’ cut although, to be brutally honest, no self-respecting hairdresser would admit to trimming Kiwi’s hair in the style he now sports. However, for those whose golf game is 5% ability and 95% superstition, this is far too good a tip to miss out on.
Once again, the ladies had a healthy turnout for last Saturday’s medal competition and, once again, Liz Carmichael took third spot. The runner up was Mary Joyce and the winner, with nett 70, was Gill Chadwick. Whether or not Gill was sporting a fashionable trim is uncertain but, if she has any ambitions to continue winning, a visit to her hairstylist should be Gill’s immediate priority.