By Short Putt
The golfing weekend can be described in one word - wet. The forecasts remained true to form with showers throughout the day, making for very tough conditions underfoot, in the air and on the greens. But some golfers relished the conditions and put in some scorching scores.
The Saturday Mens event was the July Monthly Medal, sponsored by Walkers Ag-n-Vet. The field was slightly down on previous weeks with 53 starters, who were all optimistic about the possible weather conditions. However, only 36 players finished their rounds, with many seeking refuge after nine holes and same lasting as long as 15 holes before turning for home.
The A-Grade proved to be a tight contest. Harry Callaghan took the honours and the Medal with a 74 nett, and relished the wetter conditions at the outset. Pars were rare but he did manage a couple of birdies. Runner-up was Kim Herbert (75 nett) who played in the last group of the day. He was doing well at 3-over after nine holes, then had a few hiccups on the back-9 to just miss out.
The B-Grade saw daylight between the winner and runner-up. Nick Ryan was seemingly unaffected by the weather and carded a nett 70 to grab the Medal. He had a very tidy front-9, managing three pars through the middle, and a similar back-9 but with only two pars.
Runner-up was John Murphy (Bathurst) on 77 nett. He had a similar story to Nick on the front-9 but had a string of 6's through the middle of the back-9 that shot his score out.
The C-Grade also had daylight between scores. James Tooth (Mudgee) shot the best round of the day with a nett 69, egged-on by his dad Bede. An '8' on the front-9 looked bad for him, but his back-9 was well controlled and earned him the prize.
Runner-up and winner of the Medal was Reggie Murray with a 75 nett. Once again the front-9 was well played, but the back-9 was a roller-coaster.
The NTP's went to - 9th: Lachlan Alley; 18th: Barry Parker, both of whom are not partial to wet weather but who managed to strike at least one good shot each, although neither converted for a '2'. There were five 2's overall with four scored on the 9th hole, all by A-Graders.
The 3rd Hole Super Pin went to Jake Hemming with a shot to 2700 millimetres. This is on par with the majority of winners on this hole, unless of course you score a 'H-in-O'.
Jake was the only name on the card, and having played early scared the others away. He did manage to convert for a '2'.
As a reflection of the difficult conditions, the ball sweep went to 84 nett on count back, going to: 78 - T Toohey, A Grierson, P Wells; 79 - M Duff, B Tooth; 80 - L Flakelar, M Skene; 81 - B Shine, D Tildsley; 83 - B Parker, Alf Davies, B Slack-Smith; 84 - J Thompson.
The visitors included James Tooth (Mudgee) and a group of 12 players from Bathurst. The best of the Bathurst players was John Murphy with a nett 77, but most of them succumbed to the conditions. They vowed to return on a sunny day.
Yes, it was wet all day. There were moments of relatively clear weather but also moments of 'significant precipitation'. There were some advantages though. Some players managed to devise the 'skip shot', where they deliberately (?) shot the ball low and sent it down the fairway by skipping it off the puddles.
This was also a real test of enthusiasm for first-time comp players. Stephen Quirk was looking forward to quality time with son Harry, and also to doing well in his first comp game. He started okay with bogeys on the 1st and 3rd holes, but the double-digit scores on the 2nd and 4th holes were unsettling. But unlike others he did finish, and while his final score was daunting, he relished the challenge.
Amongst the difficult conditions there was some good play. Fons Melisi had a wayward drive on the 4th that put him among the trees on the right. He saw a glimmer of daylight through the crowns and proceeded to play a low, driving hook through the gap. His ball glanced off a branch, dropped and skipped off the water enabling it to run up to the front edge of the green. Just like Lucas Herbert!
At one stage there was a bellow from the crowd on the17th hole. This was due to the conversion of a pin-point pitch shot by Robert Scott to record his first par for the day. It was yet another example of the mirth shown by the golfing gods, following his chip-in from a distance on the 15th for a creditable '6'. But the one and only par was better.
Adverse weather does encourage good companionship. Within a group there may be one golfer doing extremely well while the others suffered.
Kim Herbert was lucky that Peter Cowhan stayed with him for the full 18-holes, despite Peter's score approaching a bat-raising moment.
And Barry Shine also put his shoulder to the wheel. Despite the putting woes, Barry played on to ensure that Reggie Murray got full value from his score. And it worked a treat, with Reggie getting his second successive Medal.
The group of Bathurst players were all enthusiastic about playing. While the rain was a distraction from the day, they did comment that at least it was 'warmer than playing at home'.
They all joined the comp, while also having their own fun event. Their best score of the day was by John Murphy, Runner-up in B-Grade, who kindly requested it be used to promote the Junior players.
There were a number of players who did not complete their rounds. It may be said that they were sensible enough to say 'Enough is enough', but then one could question their sanity, or over-enthusiasm, for commencing their game at all. But above all else was the desire to play this game of golf and enjoy the social aspects of the experience.
In much the same way as those that slog it out on the football field, there is enjoyment in giving it a go. Well done to all players who ventured out on the day.
There was no Stableford Medley on Sunday due to the inclement weather.
Here is the news:
You will see the smiling face of Michael more often in the Pro Shop from next week onwards. Michael has been helping to fill the gap in Pro Shop staff and has agreed to spend more time there. Being a registered Golf Pro, Michael can help with equipment repairs and enquiries, and be able to 'talk technical' about all of the equipment.
Head Pro Adam will still be at the Pro Shop, providing coaching for individuals, groups and Juniors, and generally running things. And they both can play good golf, so there will be the opportunity to have some real story-swap conversations.
The gravel heaps you see around the course are not new hazards for golfers. Instead they are the material to provide initial pathways through some of our major problem areas until such time as more permanent pathways are constructed. This will be most welcome for the avowed walkers on the course.
Golf Club Members are reminded that their Annual Membership Fees are now overdue. However, you have until the end of the day on Sunday 10 July to get you payment made. After that you will be deemed un-financial.
It is crystal ball time:
Sat 9 July is an 18-hole Stroke event, sponsored by B&M Tooth. Sun 15 May a Stableford Medley.
Last Thursday Grenfell played host to 31 Lachlan Valley veteran golfers for their monthly 18 hole stableford competition, and the locals showed how to play the challenging layout dominating the trophy table.
Those who attended praised the lush condition of the course which due to 'seepage' from the surrounding hills played longer then usual. "And the meal after was as expected, excellent," one reported.
Winner in A grade was the hosts and staunch supporter Barry Green with 37 points from West Wyalong representative Bratt Whittaker on 36 points.
Best score for the day came from Grenfell's Steve Grace with an excellent 40 points while Forbes member Allan Rees had his best ever round at Grenfell for 38 points to be runner-up.
In a sign of the times four ladies from Grenfell played with Sally Mitton winning with 35 points from Jan Myors with 34 on a count-back.
Nearest the pins, 9th hole Rob Oliver (Cowra), 18th Jan Myors (Grenfell). Ball sweep winners from Forbes were Ross Williams 33 points and Jeff Haley 32 points. Interesting to note that a majority of the scores were in the 28/29 bracket.
Grenfell with nine representatives took out the Coles/Miller Shield posting 112 points from their best three scores. Next was Forbes (13 players) 102 points, West Wyalong (5) 99 points, Parkes (3) 70 points, Cowra (1) 28 points.
'Twin Towns' vets from Parkes and Forbes members will be in Forbes, noms from 9.30am for a 10am shot gun start.
Last Tuesday 12 social golfers showed courage playing in sub-zero temperature and heavy frost where the sweet swinging Alex McKinnon found the middle of the fairway (most times) to win with 33 points from Anthony Alley next best with 27 points.
All golfers are invited to play the Tuesday 12 holes, simply be at the Pro Shop from 9am and your guaranteed a game.
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