Another 36-hole Spey Valley prelude resulted in early starters Peter & Brian finishing all square with Bob & Gordon.
On Friday morning, an individual stableford contest saw JDK win comfortably with a very fine 42 points over Peter on 38. In the matchplays, Peter & Donnie beat Dave & Gordon by 3&2, while Jim & Bob eased past Ian & Brian by 5&4.
Friday afternoon and a Bob-special pairs stableford format. First six, better ball; second six, total score; third six, scores multiplied. Donnie and Peter emerged comfortable winners on 84 points over Bob and Ian on 75. Gordon had a fine two at the 9th. In the matchplays, Gordon and Brian trounced Jim and Dave 6&5, while Donnie and Peter finished all square with Bob and Ian.
A three-man scramble was played on Saturday morning, and Donald, Brian & Dave annihilated the opposition with a fine 63.
The first 'Major' of 2010, the Spring Stableford, was held on Saturday afternoon, and very tight scoring at the top saw Ian, Bob and Peter all recording 38 points. Bob took the first silverware of the year with a better inward half of 20 points. A team competition resulted in Jim, Peter and Donald emerge as victors. Ian had a 2 at the 16th with a holed bunker shot.
Another scramble was held on Sunday morning, with Donald, Bob and Donnie the winners on 64. Donald had a personal two at the 16th.
6th to 8th August
A streaks and others format for the "feeble five" on Friday morning resulted in Gordon winning the first six on 14 points, Dave the second six and Par 3s on 13 and 8 points respectively, Bob the third six on 14 points, and Donnie the mystery five holes with 9 points. Somehow, this caused Brian to give Dave £5. Bob beat Donnie 3&2.
A few more arrivals at lunchtime allowed the semi-finals (first round) of the World Matchplay to take place. Dave and Donald beat Brian and Bob 2&1, and Gordon and Donnie beat Peter and Ian by 1 hole. Dave holed a bunker shot for a two at the 8th, and Ian converted a long putt for a two at the 16th. Very wet for the last ten holes.
An improvement in the weather on Saturday morning, and the first round of the 2010 Grantown Open was contested, still sticking with strokeplay (no JDK to protest this year!). Donald and Ian shared the half-time lead with net 69s, but with Gordon and Bob making up the "hot four" for the afternoon round just 1 and 2 shots behind, nothing could be taken for granted. The final of the World Matchplay saw Gordon and Donnie deservedly take the title with a 3&2 win over Dave and Donald. Peter and Ian beat Bob and Brian 5&4 in the consolation match. Ian had another 2 at the 16th.
On with the strokeplay in the afternoon, and Donald improved on his morning score with a net 65 to win his second Grantown Open by a comfortable five shots on 134. Dave emerged from the "duffers' three", also with a net 65, for a total of 139, along with Ian, but courtesy of the a better second round, Dave took the runners up spot (and the traditionally inadequate prize money!) Gordon and Donald beat Bob and Ian by 2 holes, and Dave beat Donnie and Brian in a format devised by Donnie.
Sunday morning saw a traditional Scramble, with Gordon, Brian and Dave trouncing Bob, Donnie and Donald with a 62 to a 66. Donnie had a 2 at the 16th.
Tuesday 14-09-10 – Travel
· easyJet Flight 6983, departing Edinburgh at 11:55, arriving at Lisbon15:05 (no time difference)
· Two hire cars from Lisbon Airport to Hotel Vila Gale in Cascais, driven by the two consuming least alcohol on the tour so far.
· Hotel details:
Nicolau de Oliveira, nº 80
Parque da Gandarinha
GPS: N 38º 41' 29.03' W 9º 25' 22.52'
o tel.: (+351) 214 826 000
Wednesday 15-09-10 (Round 1) – Penha Longa Atlantic @ 12:00
Back to the scene of the epic 2007 Masters, in which 40-point Ian Wilson distanced himself from the opposition by 6 points on the scorecard, and by about 50 metres due to his lurgi!
The Penha Longa course enjoys championship characteristics, an excellent level of maintenance and beautiful panoramic views over the Sintra mountain range. In 1994 and 1995 it was the location for the Portuguese Open Championships.
The Atlantico da Penha Longa is a fabulous eighteen hole course situated in Sintra, only 20 minutes from Lisboa. It forms part of the Protected Landscape Area of Sintra and Cascais.
Robert Trent Jones II, the architect of the course, designed it to best take account of the steeply sloping terrain and excellent views of the surrounding landscape, across the mountains to the sea beyond. This means that the first three holes and the final three are laid out in a valley wooded with pines and studded with granite outcrops. The 6th to the 13th holes, meanwhile, have been built on a hill offering extensive views over the region.
Its championship characteristics, as well as its excellent level of maintenance, contributed to its being selected to host the Portuguese Open Championship in 1994 and 1995. It was unanimously voted by golf professionals as one of the best courses on the European Circuit.
Penha Longa inaugurated a new nine hole course in 1995.
Penha Longa Golf Club is a delight to the eye: undulating, as richly green as emeralds and surrounded by cool, cool water. The course is justifiably considered an oasis - a river on one side and the Atlantic on the other. Additional inherent attributes include Penha Longa’s location within the confines of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Robert Trent Jones Jr. has designed only two courses in Portugal: they are the Atlantic and Monastery courses at Penha Longa. The 18-hole Atlantic has hosted numerous tournaments, among which the Portuguese Open figures twice. It is rated No. 32 in continental Europe by Golf World. The nine-hole Monastery course complements it perfectly. Head Receptionist Helder Ferreira calls Penha Longa, “A just course. You can make safe choices or take risks, but nothing is hidden here.” Overly ambitious players may get into trouble, but as a poet said, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp." The course begins with four Par 4 holes, allowing you to ease into your game. Pine trees and eucalyptus trees on a half dozen holes (1, 2, 3 and16, 17, 18) make accuracy a must. Number 6, Penha Longa’s signature hole, is a beautiful hole with a Roman aqueduct as part of its attractions. It is listed among the best 500 in the world. Not to forget your game while admiring the layout: spacious bunkers are in abundance and a large lake waits serenely to the left of the green. Hole 16 is the most demanding of skills and is recognised as a great hole by even those it has thwarted: the tee is elevated, the fairway slopes uphill towards the green; and hazards lay to both left and right. Facilities include two putting greens, driving range and a neat pitch set up. All of these are well out of the public eye and ideal for some concentrated warm up."
Format - Your Best 12
Stableford with only your best 12 holes counting but has to include a par 3, 4 and 5 in each 9 holes.
This turned out to be an interesting format with just five points spanning the whole field. Ewan, Gordon and Dave all led the field on 28 points, and through a process of countbacks and coin tosses, Ewan was first onto the official money list with €25 followed by Gordon with a totally inadequate €15.
It was decided to run a week-long matchplay league (for honour not money) and this was kicked off with Gordon and Ian beating Barney and Donnie 2 up, and Ewan and Dave beating Bob and Brian by 5&4.
We also agreed to keep a week-long rooms team competition, based on better ball, straight stableford points, and an individual eclectic score (despite the fact we were playing five different courses!) again just for honour.
At the end of day one, the week long teams will be selected based on how you did that day i.e. first and last are a team, second and second last, etc., with total team points in the format of the day counting towards the team score.
The teams became: Ewan and Donnie, Gordon and Bob
Barney and Brian Dave and Ian
A kind donation from absentee treasurer JDK was duly consumed at El (no so) Cheapo bar in the square in Cascais.
Thursday 16-09-10 (Round 2) – Quinta da Marinha @ 11.29
More familiar territory for the GGS stalwarts, having been based here in 2002, and played again in 2007.
Quinta da Marinha, set amongst beautiful pine trees and stretching down to Guincho beach, has some of the most beautiful scenery in Portugal. Its hole number 13, a Par 4 descending to the sea, is a picture postcard of Portuguese golf.
Located on the famous Estoril coast, 25 kilometres from Lisbon, the Quinta da Marinha course was designed by the famous Robert Trent Jones and is set in a private estate of 110 hectares, wooded with pine trees. The architect has worked on the flat terrain, laying out the course over 6,100 metres for a Par 71.
The most spectacular hole on this course is hole number 13, a Par 4 of 339 metres sloping down towards the sea. Once on the green, the golfer has the Atlantic Ocean as background. The whole of Quinta da Marinha course is surrounded by beautiful panoramic views. The following hole (a Par 3) requires a very precise shot for the ball to cross a cliff and reach a wide but not very deep green.
For most of the course, however, the fairways face inland with the beautiful outline of the Sintra mountain range forming their background. Many bunkers and a number of lakes make the player's task even more difficult. Hole number 10, for instance, has a green entirely surrounded by water.
In 1988 this course hosted the EMS-Quinta da Marinha Ladies Masters, a test which forms part of the Women's Professional European Circuit. It was won by the South African Laurette Maritz-Atkins.
Format – New Partners Day
Play with your partner as selected yesterday, and the stableford scoring is:
Holes 1-6 better ball
Holes 7-12 both balls count
Holes 13-18 better ball x 2
After initial complacency about easily finding our closest golf course, the club took its revenge by demolishing the old clubhouse and totally re-organising the course. Undeterred however, another close finish saw Dave and Ian just edge out Bob and Gordon by 60 points to 58, so two new entries onto the official money list.
Twos from Gordon (13th) and Dave (17th) also got the unofficial money stakes rolling.
In the matchplays, Ian and Dave beat Brian and Barney 2&1, and Bob and Gordon beat 5&3
Friday 17-09-10 (Round 3) – Lisbon Sports Club @ 13:00 – The 2010 Masters
A new course to explore
Lisbon Sports Club is situated very close to Lisbon and blends harmoniously into a romantic landscape. This is a course that demands both skill and imagination because of a water course that affects the nature of the game played over more than twelve of the holes.
Established in 1880 by English residents of Lisbon, it was only in 1964 that the club took up its permanent home, the Casal da Carregueira, which is in Belas, some 15 kilometres from Lisbon.
The course, which originally had only 14 holes, has recently been enlarged to 18 holes. Its overall length is now 5,278 metres for a Par 69.
Crossed by a stream that influences the game on at least 12 holes, the round starts out with a Par 3. A number of difficulties – woods to the left, stream on the right, and bunkers on both sides – challenge the player even with his first shot. Then, before the golfer is properly warmed up, he has to face another Par 3, though this time with even greater difficulties because of its 180 metre length. Up until the final hole, (a tricky Par 4 crossed in the middle by a stream) the player can enjoy unforgettable contact with nature, and admire the cypresses, the eucalypti and wild flowers, while at the same time facing up to shots that tax the imagination.
The original house on the property has been converted into the clubhouse. Its colonial style is very welcoming, and from its terrace one can see the fairways of holes 5 and 18.
Format – individual stableford
Quite a different set-up to what the guys were used to in this area, with a “quaint” clubhouse, and a more traditional course.
Another close finish saw Dave emerging as 2010 Masters Champion on 36 points to take his fourth Masters’ title (all overseas). Bob was runner-up on 35 points, with Ewan completing the podium on 33.
Ian and Dave shared the Par 3 Challenge with 13 points, but Ian took the prize of a tour shirt (courtesy of Brian) as Dave had already won a prize (and the shirt was a normal size!).
In the matchplays, Brian and Dave beat Gordon and Donnie 6&4, Bob and Ewan beat Ian and Barney 4&3.
Dave had a two at the 11th hole.
Teams for the two-man scramble teams were selected based on the results of the Masters, (1st with 8th, 2nd with 7th etc.)
Saturday 18-09-10 – rest day
General relaxation around the hotel pool during the morning, followed by
a full team outing to Sintra for lunch and sightseeing.
Sunday 19-09-10 (Round 4) – Quinta da Beloura @ 11.46
Quinta da Beloura,
with fine views over the Sintra mountain range and a course surrounded by trees
on flat terrain, provides a very pleasurable game of golf.
This is one of the newest golf courses built on the Estoril coast, set in a 60 hectare area halfway between Cascais and Sintra. It was designed by Rocky Roquemore of the United States.
The Quinta da Beloura course forms part of a residential development; it is very flat and so provides a pleasurable but not exhausting game.
Its eighteen holes, with excellent views over the Sintra mountain range, extend over 5,817 metres for a Par 73.
Along the fairways more than 40,000 trees have been planted. Oaks, pines, palm trees, cedars and magnolias all create a beautiful green landscape.
Several lakes help to create an enchanting scenery. These lakes are also the spots where golfers will experience greater difficulties.
The parallel holes 16 and 17 have narrow fairways with a lake between them, requiring very accurate drives.
At the eighteenth hole, a 384 metres Par 4, the green is hidden behind the largest lake, which creates an exciting and beautiful finish to your game.
Format - Two Man Scramble
Bob and Barney took the spoils on 36 points from Ian and Brian on 34. The pre-match favourites, low handicap hotshots Ewan and Gordon, finished a distant last on 31 points!
In the matchplays, Bob and Barney beat Dave and Donnie 3&2, with Brian and Ian defeating Ewan and Gordon by the same score.
Monday 20-09-10 (Round 5) – Aroeira 1 @ 13.04
Another new course for the GGS tour.
Aroeira Golf Course is set beside the south bank of the River, scarcely twenty minutes from Lisbon. Aroeira is a course that perfectly combines the requirements of a championship course whilst being set in beautiful surroundings.
Designed by Frank Pennick, the Aroeira course skilfully blends the needs of a championship golf course and the harmonious surroundings of natural landscape.
The course runs through a pine wood sprinkled with wild flowers, a genuine nature park where many kinds of birds live.
The English press named this the "Wentworth of Lisbon", and went on to describe the similarities between Aroeira and the famous London club.
Set in a 345 hectare estate very close to Caparica which has a long beach with 30 kilometres of white sand, Aroeira has become one of the most famous golf courses in the country, with the advantage of being just twenty minutes away from Lisbon, on the south bank of the river Tejo (one of the famous Portuguese long sentences!). On a clear day the Portuguese capital can easily be seen from the tee of hole number 1.
The course, which is played for a typical Par 72 (36 + 36), provides a variety of game situations; this means players may use almost all their clubs. On the first round, hole number 8 stands out, with its Par 3 for 190 metres and a green with a remarkable inclination.
On the second round the highlight is hole number 11, a par 4, redesigned by Robert Trent Jones. From here the tee-off is a blind shot into a narrow fairway with trees on both sides. It is followed by a spectacular approach to a green closely protected by water and bunkers, which reminds one of hole number 11 at Augusta National, where the U.S. Masters is played
Format - Several Large Ones
Stableford with the scores doubling at holes 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15. Trebling at the 18th
Yet another close finish with Gordon and Ewan tied on 51 points and having to be separated by better back nine again, with Ewan emerging as victor (again). Barney completed the podium line-up on 50 points.
In the final matchplays of the tour, Donnie and Barney beat Ewan and Brian by 4&3, while Gordon and Dave beat Bob and Ian, also by 4&3.
The week-long competitions were resolved as follows:
Team Format winners: Dave and Ian (329 points)
Room Stableford winners: Ewan and Dave (205 points)
Individual Eclectic: Gordon (52 points)
Individual Matchplay: Dave (8 points)
Check out all the results on the Charts page
Tuesday 21-09-10 – Travel home
easyJet Flight 6984, departing Lisbon at15:35, arriving at Edinburgh18:40
1. No handicap adjustments this year!
2. Official prize money approximately €40 per day + extra for Masters & Team Event
3. Unofficial price money of €5 for a two and €30 for a hole-in-one
4. Week-long competition for teams of two selected on results of Round 1 (first and last, second and second-last etc.). Points awarded in the format of the day, including the scramble
Another excellent tour to the Lisbon and Cascais area, and we’ll be back!