This weeks nonsense is a look back at the past (well not too far back I’m only 54) and a deep delve into what looks to me an awful lot of ‘’Le plus ca change, Le plus c’est le meme chose, I always good at German!
I was lucky, in fact privileged, to grow up in the heart of the Highlands in Elgin, Morayshire, a beautiful countryside that ran from the Cairngorm Mountains in the South to the warm waters of the Moray Firth in the North.
As a boy I never knew the meaning of golf snobbery. Golf was from my boyhood in the 60s a sport for everyone from Distillery workers who inspected the malt grist in the Mash tun to Lawyers and Barristers who funnily enough inspected the output from said mash tuns. Golf was a sport that could be played from school to dotage by everyone.
Every week or so in summer the two School Golf teams set out with Mr Milne our woodwork teacher to play amazing courses like Moray, Grantown, Inverness, Duff House Royal, Nairn West ... all for free and we even got fed. In fact we even played against Gordonstoun ... so my Royal Lineage is pure.
In the winter members from Elgin played in the ‘Winter Alliance’ kids like me with a handicap of 8 or below could join in for the princely sum of 50p per week and that included Royal Dornoch.
Golf was encouraged and senior players were more than happy to take juniors under their wing and help them develope, at one time, Elgin could field a team of 8 players whose highest handicap was scratch.
So we step forward 50 years to the terrible destruction wreaked by irresponsible generations, or do we?
All wonderful wonderful memories I’m sure but over the past months lets take a look how our wonderful club held those ethics and not only matched them but under great pressure, I believe, improved.
In the recent past Stonehaven GC has become a ‘Club’ again, with hearty cheer, fantastic staff and a course to be proud of... No longer aspiring to be something its not it has grasped its old values of companionship and sporting life and enhanced them. Plumbers play with Plutocrats, Joiners with masters of Juriceprudence, Mechanics with Managing Directors, not an OUNCE of snobbey to be seen.
How wonderful to see all the young aspiring Tigers and Jordans up on a Sunday evening getting coached by Chris and his team. Neil Robertson a man in his 70s who still regularly beats his age on the course demonstrating the finer points on chipping to a kid a 10th of his age. All done with a smile on everyone’s face.
Each week we see the young stars of the future teeing off in the Saturday seniors medal. I have loved playing with some of the sons of my friends and being kicked in the ass both in scoring and raw power off the tee. A humbling but uplifting experience
Then we have the Deeside League, Pennant League, Scratch cup.. all fantasic interclub events affording free golf, cameraderie and healthy competition.
All that before we come to a club that purveys pick-me-ups in the morning by a bright and happy bar team. Not only that but a catering crew feeds us from the crack of dawn with Bacon rolls that could rival the Horn in the Carse of Gowrie
Nostalgia? I had a wonderful childhood but, that I’m aff tae play wi ma Pals the morra at Stoney!
On the course, the winter action is getting to the business end – great news, it means spring isn’t far away!
Some confusion abounds as to how many rounds will count. If we have the course open the next three weekends then it will be ten rounds. If the course is closed for a day on any of the next three weekends then your top nine scores will be counted as your qualifying score.
The top scorers for this weekend were:
Scratch Doubles: S Dempster/B McGillivray 64, N Irvine/H Roulston, A Russen, K Douglas and R McAllan/I Taylor (all 65).
Current ten round totals are: Irvine/Roulston 636, Dempster/McGillivray 636, C Arthur/ A Officer 660, R McAllan/I Taylor 672.
Handicap Doubles: K Duguid/E Campbell (55), N MacArthur/D Henderson (58), R Pyper/N Cattanach (59), A Barnett/T Simpson (60)
Sub 600, current ten round totals are: N MacArthur/D Henderson 576, M Halliday/ S Campbell 590, Messrs K Duncan/I Wood are still vying for a scratch qualification place but if that eludes them they are handily placed to qualify for the handicap competition with a current 10 round aggregate of 593.
Singles: D Hepburn, J Alexander (both 41 points), G Docherty & T Middleton (both 38).
Ten round leaders are: S McGhie 383, I P Smith 365, A Darragh 348, AD Smith 346
Regular winter leaguers will know that the current scores only tell half the story and a more accurate picture will be seen over the next two weeks.
Members are reminded that all subscriptions are due by 1st March and a range of payment methods are available. Patron memberships available for £10 per year and only £5 for playing members’ spouse or partner.
In the clubhouse: Mothers Day carvery scheduled for Sunday, March 6. Please book in advance.
Ladies Quiz Night– Open to all lady members and signed in guests , Friday, March 11