The commencement of summer gave cause for much joy as the Forbes golfers parried around the course. The good conditions also encouraged players to excel, a call well heeded by Denis Culley as he produced the best score of the day by far.
Play in the Mens comp on the weekend was the December Monthly Medal, sponsored by Central West Diesel, with 64 players competing. Many players started well but soon showed that a tune up was needed to gain scoring traction and power down the fairways.
The A grade players were expected to do well in the good conditions, but many found problems out there that wrecked their scores. Dan Bayley blistered initially but a couple of hiccups on the front-nine meant he turned two-over, then followed with a comfortable back-nine.
He finished with a 75 scratch, 70 nett. Richard Nixon also finished on 70 nett, comprised of the same score as Dan on the front-nine and an equally tidy back-nine. But Dan got the Medal on count-back. They were the only two A-graders to finish under par.
The B grade was a similar story in that only a few mastered the course, with some even raising the bat. Max Haley was a bit ‘all over the place’ but did well enough to use his handicap and snare the Medal with a nett 69. Only one shot back was Brodie Hodges, who has played well in the last few months. He played in Dan Bayley’s group and must have been inspired there. There were no real blemishes in his game, but it was not quite there.
In the C grade, Denis Culley had one of those days when everything worked. Even a couple of sevens could not slow him down, as they were offset by a few delightful pars. His 67 nett was two shots ahead of Ethan Gaffney, who can thank an eight on the fourth hole for blemishing his card. Apart from that he was very tidy.
The ball sweep went to 74 nett on count back, going to: 67 – D Culley; 69 – E Gaffney, M Haley; 70 – B Hodges, D Bayley, R Nixon; 71 – B Thomas, P Cowhan, B Squires, P Grayson; 72 – S French; 73 – C Alley, P Tisdell, R Borger, B Hazell, I Bown; 74 B Slack-Smith.
The NTP’s went to: ninth – C Alley; 18th – T Callaghan. Clayton got his two, but Todd will welcome his ball as compensation for his three-putt. In fact the only twos scored on the day were all by B graders. Amongst those was an eagle scored on the 14th by Clayton Alley. He said that it felt good off the club and he seemed to be in dreamtime as he watched it all the way into the hole.
There were a couple of visitors in the field. Brad Hazell (Hervey Bay) has enjoyed his time in Forbes as now heads home. Paul Bird (Byron Bay) also enjoyed the course, as did Bill Nixon (Cowra), having a weekend in Forbes with the family.
The atmosphere in the Golfie was abuzz as the players recounted their stories. And as per usual there were good and bad stories. Many bemoaned the fact that the course and conditions were fantastic, but the scoring was quite high for no apparent reason – other than the players could not hit the ball correctly.
While the 18th may not have treated Todd Callaghan well, it did do Max a big favour. Max putted in from off the green for a two on that hole, which complemented the two on the ninth, and ensured he had enough to win. It also says much for the quality of the surrounds when putters are the first choice.
The ninth was certainly a challenge for many players. Being above the hole was always a risky position. Ralph Baker tried the creepy-creepy approach. He played short of the green, intending to attack the hole from below. However, he was a little too cautious and ended up with a four-putt.
The pin on the 12th was easy enough to get to if you approached it correctly. However, Neil McMillan had a flyer out of the rough on the left of the fairway which carried his ball over the mound.
He needed a well-flighted, back spinning, ultra-softly landing chip shot to get close to the pin, but managed a partial ‘gutsa’ which shot the ball over the mound and rolled to the bottom of the green. Thankfully his putter worked to salvage a bogey.
There were some sad tales. Nothing seemed to work for Maurie Westwood, who has sent a request to the R&A to instigate a Double Handicap for Selected players, namely him. Will we see him back on the course? The challenge is there.
Alf Davies is one who also questions the way of the golfing gods. His score could have been so much better if it wasn’t for the many missed short putts. He could not try another person’s putter, mainly because he was the only ‘Leftie’ in the group, but also because it is illegal. But he was tempted!
The Sunday Stableford Medley was relished by but a few players. The great conditions enticed many social players out but not the golfers. Nevertheless, for those that played it was most enjoyable.
The winner was Peter Grayson, who enjoyed a lot of female company and managed to wrangle 35 points. There was no runner up or ball sweep.
The NTP’s are a tale in themselves. Peter Grayson got the NTP on the 9th, signed off by Ethel Coombs, and Ethel got the NTP on the 18th, signed off by Peter! Merely coincidence I presume.
Here is the News
It is always exciting to see a player set and meet his own challenges. We congratulate Tom Edols on his 89 birthday on Saturday, and further support his personal challenge to play a round on his 90th and beat his age! That will be something to write about.
Ben Gear, Head Professional, is settling into the Forbes lifestyle very well. He has been beset by golf equipment reps and will soon have all manner of things in the Pro Shop for you to feast your eyes on, and even purloin for a Christmas present. Ask him also about his Golf Lessons, for which he comes very highly regarded.
Ben’s first priority is to get the Pro Shop running but he has arranged for the Half-way House to operate for the remainder of the year, while he gets catering options sorted.
Over the next few weeks we have a number of Xmas-type events. These are run by Mens comps and also the Vets comp, with all welcome to attend. This gives everybody the chance to score some good food for the table. So check your Programme book and, if possible, take time away from work to compete.
Many of you will be aware that the new R&A Golf Rules will commence in January 2019. The new Handbooks are available on the Pro Shop counter, so grab one and start reading. But please, only one per player. It is intended to hold some ‘Information Sessions’ to explain the new rules, so watch out for those an attend them.
The Committees are working on the Programme Book for 2019-20. This will be available in late January. You can expect some good ‘golfing-fare’ for you all.
It is crystal ball time
Saturday, December 8 is an 18-hole Stroke event, sponsored by Knight’s Fabrications. Sunday, December 9 will be an 18-hole Stableford Medley. Unfortunately the AAA Cup Play-off has had to be postponed, due to some incorrect data.
On Saturday, December 15 we have an 18-hole Stableford Ham Day, incorporating a Mystery Draw. Make sure you attend to find out what the Mystery Draw is all about.
Then on Sunday, December 16 we have a quiet Stableford Medley.
Forbes Women’s bowling
There were no bowls last Wednesday, due the very welcome rain.
Remember to register your name for the Christmas Party Luncheon on December 12. Names must be in no later than Monday, December 10. Gather at 12noon for 12.30pm, dost $15.
Ladies please bring a salad or sweet for our lunch with the men, after bowls tomorrow.
The Glad Johnson Memorial Day bowls will commence 9.30am. Names in before 9am, please.
Lunch will be followed by the presentation of badges and certificates for the year.
The McLuckie Family will then present the trophies for the day. This will conclude our organised ladies’ bowls for the year with return to play in mid January.
Three ladies will blow out the candles to celebrate very special birthdays at the Christmas Party.
Members celebrating birthdays during the holiday period are:
Jill Taylor 13th, Lesley Dunstan 14th, Noela Girot 18th and Alice Allen 28th, December.
Anne Nixon fifth and Colleen Liebich 15th, January.