In conditions reminiscent of Scottish golf, the Forbes golfers managed to endure the cold, windy and wet experience to post some good scores.
On Saturday, the competition was a 4BBB Stableford Medley, playing for the Bob and Daine Doolin Memorial, and sponsored by the Francis Family. It was a small field, due in turn to the prevailing conditions and with some players attending the Cowra Open. However, the field of 32 did manage some good scoring.
The winners were the pairing of Mat Duff and Brett Slack-Smith with 45 points, and in what can only be described as a marvellous performance. They played consistent golf, teaming well to have near equal representation on the score card.
Runners-up, by virtue of a count back, were Don and John Ridley, also on 45 points. Their front-nine was very good, amassing 26 points with shared responsibility, but they faltered a bit on the back-nine. It is interesting to note that brother Don did exceptionally well on the back-nine, while the better golfing brother John was somewhat absent.
The ball sweep went to non-place getters, being: 43 - R Scott/ D Bernardi; 41 - A McDonald/ D Rhodes; 40 - R Smith/ P Pymont on count back. John Boyle (Tathra Beach) has recently moved to Forbes and could be considered a visitor, so is worthy of mention here. He really enjoyed the 19th hole, but had very little to say about the previous 18 holes, except that the company was good.
The NTP's went to: ninth - Ladies: D Tilley; Men: D Churchill; 18th - Ladies: Nil; Men: A McDonald. Doug did manage his two, and can rejoice in being the only player to score one all day. Many other players came close, but the damp greens influenced many putts causing them to come up short.
Both Deb Tilley and Jenny Fletcher braved the elements to ensure the men did not have it their own way. They were in company of Scott Kirkman all day and were often seen laughing after their shots. Jenny needed a swinging partner, while Jeff Haley was bereft without Max so he became the swinger with Jenny.
The conditions did produce variants in the pace of play. Some players were keen to get around quickly, reducing their exposure to the elements. Other players were keen on ensuring the weather did not unduly affect they stroke play, and played determinedly.
Then there were those who took a halfway break, warming up with a coffee beside the fire in the Golfie. The group of Duff, Slack-Smith, Earl and Morgan were well ahead of the determinedly-playing Ridley, Ridley, Scott and Bernardi, but spent a deal of time at halfway. They then had the Ridley group chomping on their heels for the back-nine.
Stu French was quite anxious at the start of play, eagerly awaiting his partner Peter Barnes whilst eyeing the weather. Pete arrived to calm Stu down, and they commenced their game with good form, scoring well for the first four holes. But then the euphoria of playing together wore off and their scoring rate diminished.
Doug Churchill was well pleased with his tee shot on the ninth, and the follow up putt which earned him a two. This was his only contribution on the front-nine to help partner Greg Webb.
Doug did warm up a bit on the back-nine, but this was tempered by his excursions among the trees. Overall, he spent so much time in the trees he was beginning to feel like a chimpanzee (his own word).
Some players did do well in the conditions. Alby Callaghan and Bruce Chandler shared the scoring on the front-nine. But a glance at their card shows the back-nine was either a case of brilliant play by Alby, or a complete melt-down by Bruce. Whatever the cause, Bruce did not feature at all on the back-nine, where Alby scored 20 points on his own.
The difficult conditions can affect golfers in many ways. Some players have difficulty keeping their hands warm. Others have trouble keeping their clubs and themselves dry. Yet others have trouble concentrating on their shots.
However, it does not help any facet of play when your equipment, such as an umbrella, is blown away. And it does not help a player's temperament when the errant brolly keeps blowing out of reach.
Paul Kay had pulled his shot among the trees to the left of the seventh. While playing his shot to the green his brolly 'ran away'. Paul then chased after it, finally snaring 'the blighter' against the OB fence. He trudged back to his buggy, proceeded to the green, then realised he had left a club back on the ground. At times this game is hard enough, without the elements having a serious deleterious effect.
Due to the very adverse conditions, there was no Sunday Stableford Medley. A few social golfers ventured out for a quick-fire nine holes, but there was little other activity.
Here is the News
The Sand Grass Greens Championship is underway this weekend, with Round 1 at Grenfell on Saturday and Round 2 at Forbes on Sunday. Saturday's play commences at 11am with a shotgun start, while Sunday's play begins at 9am, also a shotgun start. Walk-up starters will be accepted on the day, but you may not get a cart if so desired.
A group of Forbes players travelled to Cowra to participate in their Open Weekend. Results in this event were also affected by the inclement weather. However, on Saturday Andrew Dukes and partner managed to do well enough to win the 4BBB nine hole Scratch with 39.
Sunday was very bleak, with many greens awash with rainwater. Play was suspended for about two hours, with play recommencing and the Open reduced to 18-holes.
In a true measure of the pioneering strength of the Forbes players, they managed to appear on the leader board behind the winner, a player from Canberra who scored a Scratch 70.
Steve Betland finished Runner-up with 72, followed by John Betland in Third with 73. Andrew Dukes retained his form to finish equal 5th alongside Shane Sallaway on 75. Andy also managed Handicap Runner-up honours. Unfortunately, Brett Thomas was not so fortunate.
The Junior Coaching progresses well, although Pro Adrian would welcome more participants. Maybe with warmer conditions there could be more eagerness by junior players. Contact him (0423 356670) if you want to include your child in this activity.
Looking ahead we have a two person Ambrose scheduled for Saturday, August 31. This has involvement with GolfNSW, which ensures that winners on the day will progress through to Regional Finals. This is a quick format and very enjoyable.
Further ahead we have the annual Legends Pro-Am scheduled for Friday, September 27. Generous sponsorship has captured this event again this year, but we need good support by players to make it a worthwhile day for all. More details to be advertised soon.
Crystal Ball Time
Saturday, August 17 is an 18-hole Stableford at home, while the Sand Grass Greens Championships are played at Grenfell. Sunday will have the Forbes part of the Sand Grass Greens Champs. We thank the Forbes Shire Council for their sponsorship of this event. There is also the Condobolin Open on that day.
Saturday, August 24 is the American Foursomes, sponsored by Milton Cartwright. This event always seems to trouble many players, but is always enjoyable. Sunday has an 18-hole Stableford Medley, with the Peak Hill Open also on that day.
The frosty fairways did not deter a good field from playing in the four Ball Stableford Aggregate competition on Wednesday, August 14 sponsored by Enid Baker and the Jelbart Family.
Players went out in pairs with their scores combined to find the winners who were Sarah Black and Anne Read with a combination of 70 points.
Runners Up were Colleen Bratton and Barb Drabsch with 68 points.
The ball sweep was calculated on individual scores with Colleen Bratton(37) and three girls on 31 getting a ball on a count-back those being Jill Cripps, Verna Lane and Enid Baker.
NTP ninth Teresa Armitage and 18th Heather Davidson.
For those not playing at Grenfell in the Sand Green Championships this Saturday, August 17 there is a Stableford at home in one division sponsored by Elders Insurance with Ethel on cards.
Next Wednesday, August 21 a Stableford in two divisions sponsored by Blue Skye Outdoors will be played with Sarah Black on cards.