Gordon, Ewan, Brian, Jim, Donnie and Bob contested the Friday morning 'best last six' competition with Bob just edging it with 16 points from Donnie on 15 for an unlikely round-buying £12. Gordon and Ewan each lost a bottle of wine to Brian. Gordon converted his nearest the hole shot at the 16th for a 2, to lose a few quid on a round of large drinks.
Ian and Dave jetted in for lunch from Florida and Egypt respectively (via the Lexus dealer for a new motor for Dave). Friday afternoon saw the first round of the Spring Stableford and a streaks competition, won by Brian Gordon, Jim and Bob. In the wine matchplays, Jim & Gordon beat Dave & Donnie 5&4, Ian & Ewan beat Brian & Bob 2 up. Ian had a 2 at the 8th.
The Saturday morning format was to be two fourballs, with the total Stableford points of each team deciding the winners. However, with Ewan having disappeared on Friday night for a vital board meeting, Bob invented a format whereby in the team of three, one of the players counted double at every third hole. The mystery player somehow turned in the best round of the morning with 39 points to give his team-mates Donnie, Ian & Jim a narrow one point victory. Dave & Brian finished all square with Bob & Gordon.
Ewan breezed back up the A9 to record 43 points to win the Spring Stableford on a highly impressive 81 points from Bob on 78, and a mere 26 points ahead of Dave! Ewan & Brian beat Donnie & Dave 4&3, Jim & Bob beat Gordon & Ian 5&3.
To get a game on the Sunday, we had to endure a very early start to join in the club shotgun scramble starting at 8am. Neither team featured in the prizes.
No recollection other than JDK was leading the Grantown Open after one round, but couldn't convert in the afternoon.
Sack the archivist!
UPDATE: Extensive notes found (in archivist's car!) and summary follows (archivist reprieved)
Prelude: Gordon, Peter, Bob & Brian played the Macdonald Spey Valley Course, where Bob & Brian triumphed over the singing duo by 5&3 over 36 holes for dinner in the Ben Mhor.
Friday: Dave, Jim, Ewan, Donnie, Donald & Ian joined the tour after a fine breakfast on the beach.
A gentle start with an individual stableford competition, with Gordon coming out on top with 40 points from Donald on 37. Bob had a 2 at the 16th, despite JDK being closest to the hole. Donald & Brian beat Ian & Peter by 4&2.
Friday afternoon saw the first round of the 2009 Grantown Open, and everyone's favourite holiday format of strokeplay. Despite heavy rain over the last seven holes, scoring was very respectable, and JDK recorded the magical score of net 59, followed closely by Bob on 61. Gordon and Jim each recorded a 2, and Bob & Jim beat Ewan & Donald 6&4. A simultaneous stableford 6-hole streaks competition saw Bob, Jim and Donnie take the spoils on 17, 15 and 15 points respectively
Saturday morning and the second round of the Grantown Open (minus Peter). A minor slump by Jim (15 strokes more than the first round) allowed Bob to sneak ahead and take his fourth Grantown Open on 131, two shots clear of Jim, with Gordon completing the podium on 138. A concurrent stableford competition say Gordon take the front nine spoils with 20 points, and Donald the back nine on 21 points. Dave had a 2 at the 11th.
Donald headed down the road after lunch on Saturday, so a 2-man scramble was contested by the eight survivors. Donnie and Gordon emerged narrow victors on 68.
Sunday morning saw Brian electing to drive south and Ian oversleeping! A three man scramble sat Bob, Donnie & Ewan edging out Jim, Dave & Gordon with a 66 to a 67.
GGS TOUR DIARY
Monday 21st September
EDINBURGH to Murcia
Monday, 21 Sep 2009 Departs: 11:55 Arrives: 16:10 Flight No.: LS821
Good flight, on time, and despite a minor wait for taxis at Murcia Airport, we were at the splendid Intercontinental Hotel la Torre by 5pm local time.
George Burley and Peter Cormack were on the same flight from Edinburgh to Murcia as part of a veritable “who’s who” of footballing legends who were staying in the hotel for the Ray Clemence charity golf event at La Torre and El Valle. On arrival at the hotel, the GGS squad was enthusiastically encouraged to drink copious levels of cava at the official welcome reception, which for some, went on for an extended period due to the rooms not being totally ready.
After doing a runner from the local Irish bar (without paying) and an adequate meal of tapas, nightcaps with the celebs rounded off a fine first day.
Tuesday 22nd September
Golf Day 1 – Hacienda Riquelme, 11:20
Individual Stableford, Winner €25, Runner-up, €15
Room Knockout Semi-finals (Matchplay, better ball off ¾ Donalds Handicap difference)
Jim & Donnie vs. Ian & Bob
Donald & Dave vs. Gordon & Brian
Dave made a strong start (mainly by staying out of bunkers) and took the first prize on 33 points from Bob on 31. Other scores ranged down to 21 points, allowing handicaps to rise and the treasurer’s pot to swell by €37, from the Donald adjustment system.
No 2s, so no unofficial money.
Ian and Bob beat Jim and Donnie by 2 up
Donald and Dave beat Gordon and Brian by 4 & 3
Reasonable weather until five minutes after we finished, when the heavens opened.
Longish bus trip back to the hotel via Mar Menor Golf Resort.
Into Roldan for drinks and dinner at an English pub/restaurant (Darren & Lisa) who provided free transport between the hotel and restaurant.
Wednesday 23rd September
Golf Day 2 – La Torre, 11:30
Scramble, Winners €15 each
Bob, Brian & Dave were particularly poor with a gross 74 including seven bogies and just one birdie. The other teams faired much better, each recording gross 67s, with Donald, Barney and Jim being awarded the prize money, courtesy of a very fine better inward half of just 31 shots.
No personal 2s, so still no unofficial money, but two team 2s by the winning team, including a putt (of allegedly 100 feet+) by JDK at the 17th helped secure the win.
Gordon mislaid his golf shoes
Back into Roldan; tried the Roldan Grill and had a drink in their “beer garden”. Restaurant was quite busy, but the lady pointed out the “best tapas bar in Roldan” across the road, where after some debate, we decided to give it a chance. Several beers, six bottles of wine, lots of black pudding sandwiches and even more plates of Tortilla and crisps, all for €9 per head. A shortage of taxis led to the local plumber (not sober) ferrying seven back to the hotel in his Citroen Berlingo. Probably not the safest thing we’ve ever done on tour!
Thursday 24th September
Golf Day 3 – El Valle, 11:40
The Masters, Winner €40, Runner-up €20
Donald, Dave, Brian & Donnie
Barney, Ian & Bob
Gordon, Jimmy Litterick & Jim Kay
With Gordon’s golf shoes still missing in action, he had to dig deep for a new pair at the El Valle pro shop. In contrast to Barney’s prediction of more rainy weather, the conditions were perfect with cloudless skies and little wind. A little re-adjustment of the groupings was necessary on the first tee, but the 2009 Masters was off and running on schedule at what was rumoured to be the best of the three courses we would play over the week. Fairly feeble efforts from Dave, Donnie and Donald saw them just scraping into the top ten, with scores in the low twenties, but Barney’s solid performance in the scramble the day before was consolidated with a very fine 35 points to take the Masters trophy by one point from Bob. Further adjustments in the Donalds handicaps for Donald, Dave, Brian and JDK would surely help the cause when the team format resumed on Saturday. Lack of buggies/fitness and surplus of sunshine meant that Dave elected not to play holes 17 and 18, on the grounds that his score was unlikely to improve and the clubhouse was adjacent to the 17th tee!
Twos from Ian (9th), Donald and Jimmy L (both 15th) meant that the unofficial money chart was finally up and running, and plenty winners’ rounds would be forthcoming.
The first round of the room teams’ best ball eclectic was also recorded, with Brian & Gordon sharing an early lead with Bob & Ian on 46 points, from Donnie & Jim on 38, with Dave & Donald comfortably last on a miserable 32.
A very reasonable Italian meal at the Acacia restaurant adjacent to the hotel, followed by several winners’ rounds in the Irish bar (to honour Arthur Guinness’ 250th anniversary) rounded off Golf Day 3 of the tour.
Friday 25th September
Jim, Donald, Brian, Donnie & Dave elected to travel into Murcia city by train, followed by Gordon, Bob, Ian a little later (by taxi) after some relaxation by the pool. A snack lunch, followed by lots of pit stops (punctuated by the odd shopping excursion), then train for all eight back to Balsicas, where we met Barney and eventually tracked down a fine if unusual restaurant in the industrial estate, with Barney ferrying us there in his Chevy! Essentially Indian cuisine, but with choices from all other parts of the world, the chaps did not go hungry, then it was back to the Irish Bar for nightcaps.
Saturday 26th September
Golf Day 4 – La Torre, 14:10
Best 2 from 3 Team Competition, Winners €15 each
Quite a close competition saw Ian, Jim and Brian triumph on 92 points from Gordon, Donald and Bob on 89, then Barney, Donnie and Dave on 86.
2s for Ian (15th) and Barney (17th).
Sunday 27th September
Golf Day 5 – El Valle, 12:00
Room Knockout Matchplay Final, Winners €20 each
For 3rd and 4th place play-off: Gordon & Brian vs. Jim & Donnie
For the championship, Bob & Ian vs., Donald and Dave
Room team best ball eclectic from Days 3 & 5, €15 each
Spectacular thunderstorms and torrential rain put paid to any golf, despite the guys’ valiant efforts to get to El Valle for a fine lunch and a viewing of the Singapore Grand Prix on TV.
With the rain continuing into the evening, another meal in the local Italian restaurant was the order of the day, with just a short walk from the hotel.
A failure of the electronic door lock on Donald and Dave’s room resulted in a very late night while the hotel had to call out a team to drill out and replace the complete lock. Fortunately, the hotel recompensed them with complimentary drinks from the bar.
Monday 28th September
Murcia to EDINBURGH
Monday, 28 Sep 2009 Departs: 17:00 Arrives: 19:15 Flight No.: LS822
With no respite in the rain, any prospects of an extra round were literally washed out, and after lunch at La Torre Golf Club, it was back to the airport for an uneventful journey home.
Good value for money, but not a venue we would rush back to, was the general consensus of Murcia.