The latest Stonehaven Golf Club by the Scurrie Tweeter

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Scurrie Tweeter is urging everybody to get a move on – I couldn’t possibly say his wordsmithery was late.

The first Saturday of 2017 blessed those assembled for the winter league continuation with sun, flat sea and calm, almost idyllic, conditions. Even though we are in the depths of winter, the course was dry and we played on our summer greens.

Messrs Scurrie 2Gs and Flago pitched up (well, Scurrie and 2Gs did) at 10am for coffee and a review of Hogmanay revelry with our fellow competitors over a very welcome strong coffee in a sun drenched clubhouse.

Expecting to be quickly into the action, we were then informed that play was already running 35 minutes late. With that in mind and not wishing to name and shame (nae like me) we need to give careful thought to how we play our rounds.

Back in the day – when my hair was flourishing and a beautiful chestnut brown – winter golf seldom took more than two to three hours and late tee-offs were the exception rather that what seems to have become the rule.

Now, I am totally convinced that nobody wants to be slow or even realises when they are most of the time, but on two occasions as we made our way round the excellent new lay-out we saw gaps of complete holes or more between adjoining groups.

I do realise that there can be hold-ups at 17 where the mightier of our colleagues can drive the green, but surely not enough to have three groups at the tee at once!

Given it’s winter and a wee bit chilly round the nether regions, it’s not too pleasant standing around with the wind whistling round our ProVs.

So may I suggest a few pointers for consideration: if you’re using an iron or fairway wood off the first we don’t need to wait for the green to clear; adopt a play when ready approach, it’s winter so there is no need to measure who is furthest from the hole; five minutes lining up putts on hollow cored greens is not going to help, quick line up then pull the trigger; always keep up with the folks in front, not ahead of the folks behind; if you are struggling to keep up let people through, they will thank you and you will be considered a ‘damn good egg’, and when less than a wedge from the green in the winter there really is not a lot of advantage taking time with your range-finder to get exact yardages – it’s a feel shot.

Oh yeah, and mark your card on the move and not standing on the green when you’ve just finished putting.

Remember the sooner we get around the sooner we get round, the sooner we can get in for a pint from Brenda and a plate of steaming soup from ‘The View’.

Good to see that Graham and the team are busy hollow coring, removing nasty bumps and getting stuck into the drainage. Well done lads.

Meanwhile, week 13 of the winter league was played out last weekend and was the 13th consecutive week conducive to competition being played. Long may it continue.

Fine scoring continues to be the norm this season and leading scores were as follows:

Scratch Doubles – N Irvine/H Roulston 59; Gr Andrew/W Pittendreigh and I Taylor/S Soutar 62, S Dempster/B McGillivray 63.

Nine pairings have completed 10 rounds and messrs Irvine and Roulston lead with a 10 round average of 62.8, closely followed by I Taylor and S Soutar on 63.4 although a number of groups have plenty time to get 10 round tallies in.

Handicap Couples: K Duncan/I Wood, N MacArthur/M Griffin and G & F Lamont all shot 58, J Neal/D Henderson 59.

K Duncan and I Wood had a terrific 10 round average of 56.3 with N MacArthur and M Griffin close on 57.9. Gone are the days when an average of 60 saw a qualification to the finals!

Leading single points: Boill Chalmers 43, D Barnard 43, K Duguid/M McCraken/D Hepburn and G Graham all on 41.

Kevin Duguid leads the 10 round average with 38.4 and Paul Bertolotto close by on 37.8.

In the Clubhouse: Burns Night at the club on January 28, tickets cost £20 and include a three course meal with tea and coffee.

And the Club AGM is on January 19 at 7:30pm, proceeded by the EGM at 7:15pm. A good turnout is hoped for.