The weather conditions on the weekend greeted the Saturday golfers with chilling and threatening conditions, but provided a beautiful day of sunshine and calm conditions for Sunday.
Strangely the scores were better on the Saturday than on the Sunday
Saturday 23 May was an Individual Stableford comp sponsored by the Hodges family. The field continued the recent trend of high numbers with 90 players starting their round, but only 87 managing to keep their card together. And the heavy clouds late in the day sent the golfers heading home quickly.
Most Division 1 players never had a chance once Brodie Hodges started his round. His score of 45 points was way ahead of everybody else. He demolished the front-9 with five birdies, including consecutive birdies on the 6th and 7th, ensuring a 26 point start. His back-9 was tidy but less spectacular. Runner-up, with 39 points, was Tony Wallace who started with great relish but finished more like an old yogurt. He was well pleased with his bevy of birdies though.
The Division 2 players were more constrained in their scoring. Andrew Grogan, taking inspiration from Brodie alongside him, won the day with 37 points. He also had a good front-9 then faltered on the back. His score was not helped by trouble on the 7th and 15th holes, as well as an unfortunate 'miss' on the 16th. Runner-up was Brian Clarke, who returned to some good form after indifferent scoring in the mid-week comps. His score was quite composed, except for some real trouble off the tee on the 12th, leading to a 'miss'.
The ball sweep reflected the lower scoring, going to 32 points on count back: 38 - D Earl, M Haley, T Cogswell; 37 - J Betland, S French; 36 - T West, C Dwyer; 35 - B Everest, A Norton-Knight; 34 - B Jordan, P Maher, J Dobell, T Callaghan, T Griffiths, I Bown, D Bayley; 33 - E Gaffney, J Haley, A Dukes, K Herbert, N Ryan, N Duncan, K Sly; 32 - A Borger, B Slack-Smith.
The NTP's went to: 9th - J Roylance; 18th - E Gaffney, neither of whom got their '2'. Of the ten 2's scored the Div 1 players got nine of them, and mainly on the 9th hole. Poetic isn't it? The lone Div 2 player was Andy Grogan, on the 3rd hole.
Despite the less-than-welcoming weather there was some good fun out there. Neil McMillan almost had a 'bookend' game. He started with a birdie on the 1st hole, then at the 18th his birdie putt from the edge of the green stopped only two inches short. It was oh so near.
Then there was the 'could have' story. Max Haley complained of having too many 3-putts, yet still managed 38 points. If a few of those had dropped he may have threatened Brodie. And Ken Sly was very pleased to finish with a creditable 33 points in his first competition game. He shall be a winner soon.
But generally speaking, most players lamented that there was more poor form than good play. It was a case of the 'TSS', otherwise known as the Terrible Swing Syndrome. Many players shaved the hole all day, leading to higher scores. And some players had trouble finding the fairway, with an example being Niel Duncan who found one fairway all day, and that was the 17th.
It was not the best day for water sports. Scott Kirkman found the water on the 9th, possibly due to the TSS. And Jordan Brett, enjoying his time away from Uni, found the water on the 10th. He cold-skulled his tee shot which bounced and bobbled into the water. Stevie G found the water, but this time on the 14th. He was not concerned as the ball he lost had been used for nearly eleven rounds so it was getting tired and due for a change.
Later Stevie G was too strong with his approach to the 17th green, with his hot finishing very close to the big gum at the rear. He was able to play a skilful shot onto the green, unlike Josh Coulthurst in the group before.
Josh's approach shot to the 17th carried on the wind, struck the big gum, and bounced around on the ground. Somehow, possibly due to the golfing gods, his ball finished hard up and behind the tree, giving him no shot to the green. He did salvage a bogey and 2-points.
It was difficult to keep the attention going. Ken Sanderson suffered badly, finishing in the first place, but at the wrong end, of the Div 1 players. And many players found the addition and card marking difficult. Dave Earl dropped from a promising 40 points to an also-ran 38 points on his addition error, but he was not alone.
I won't embarrass anyone but Kim Herbert, Warwick Judge, Ash Hogan, Josh Coulthurst, Ray Taylor, John Ridley, Dave Bernardi are just a few that need some help.
But surely the worst 'bad luck' story goes to Alex McKinnon. His tee shot on the 8th strayed into the trees, leaving him a gap, not overly wide, to play his second shot. He swung with gusto, connected with the ball which flew forward, but only as far as the nearest tree from which it rebounded. But on rebounding it struck Alex on the nose, giving him a bleeding nose. Not only was it sore for the rest of the round, but it would dribble when he was in his putting stance making life very difficult.
Despite the beautiful day there was only a small field for the Sunday Stableford Medley.
The winner was Barb Drabsch with 38 points, and one step better than last week. Runner-up was Peter Dawson with 34 points. There was no ball sweep and again no NTP's were contested.
The 9-Hole Winter Comp, sponsored by Niel's Complete Carpet Cleaning, is very popular and requires some sharp scoring to be amongst the winners. For week 5, the voucher winners were: Members - David Lickess (26 nett) and Non-Members - Linda Cowhan (34.5 on c/b).
The ball sweep went down to 36.5 nett on count back, going to: 32.5 - Jenny Ridley; 33.5 - John Ridley; 34.5 - J Davenport; 35 - R Pike; 35.5 - H Callaghan, S Ridley; 36 - Rocket Taylor, Luke Evans, 36.5 - W Baxter.
There are some consistent performers in the comp. But also some good family tussles. Jenny Ridley earned the bragging rights this week, and Riley Pike keeps on scoring well.
Head Pro Ben has been doing quite a deal of coaching over recent weeks. When asked to reflect on the performance of his students, Ben summarised two major problems. These are: not getting the body through on the shot, and not swinging to the target. You may like to reflect on this yourself, and book with Ben to get any corrections made.
Do not forget to keep practicing 'social distancing', and especially at the end of the round when we are swapping stories. Keep in touch on our Facebook page - '.../forbesgolfcourse/' and the Instagram page - '.../forbesgolf2871/'.
And one last chance to clear your account at the Pro Shop. All accounts will be reset at the end of May.