Bob came up with the idea that the GGS team would get more use out of their 2012 Grantown memberships by having more trips north with a mix of midweek and weekend outings. Sadly, due to an outdated institution called work, your webmaster could not attend all outings, so not all highlights of the year are covered below. Thanks to Gordon for keeping his reporting skills honed with the Spring weekend coverage.
The Grantown training camp was hit this year by several withdrawals due to a variety of spurious excuses.
JD couldn't face a possible drop of rain and opted instead for the wrinklies' retirement home in Tenerife; Brian was injured; Peter was on standby for another grandchild; Barney was probably sunning himself on some Iberian golf course; Davy and Ewan were occupied by something called work (whatever the hell that is);
and Wils was with the snowbirds in Florida.
Gordon and Donnie bravely formed a vanguard - a personal health sacrifice - and arrived in an overcast Grantown on Wednesday morning for a head-to-head which Donnie won 5 and four. His prize was a lunch served by the usual Miss Grumpy (she couldn't possibly be a Mrs!). In the afternoon, Gordon got the better of Donnie 2 up, including a highly improbable chip-in for a two at the 15th. During the course of the afternoon, the twosome stumbled (sic) across a wandering Bob and he joined them for the last few holes.
In the evening, Gordon enjoyed a nice roast courtesy of Donnie and Donald joined the ranks .
The following day, a couple of showers didn't seem to put off Bob and Donald as they trounced Gordon and Donnie 8 and 6 to win the 36-hole steak challenge. The losers knew they were up against it when Donald went 3, 3, 3 at 8, 9 and 10 in the morning. They seemed to enjoy their meal - well, they never stopped telling us that. Later, Donnie was up to his usual trick of ordering extortionately priced whisky.
Friday saw the playing of the Spring Stableford even though your correspondent believed it was due to be played in May. Bob scored 29pts, Donnie 30 and Gordon and Donald tied at 34pts. Gordon won on a bih from Donald. Gordon and Donald won the match 2 and 1 and were rewarded with a pathetic soup and sandwiches (sadly. no fillet steak sandwiches) at lunch before we all headed down the road.
Based on your scribe's rather cryptic notes, here goes:
On Friday morning, a three-man scramble was held, with Donnie, Ian and Ewan seeing off Gordon, Bob and Jim with a 67 to a 70.
On Friday afternoon, a variant of the Dispatch Trophy was held. Gordon and Dave beat Ewan and Jim by 4 up, whilst Ian and Donald beat Bob and Donnie 1 up. Apparently that made Gordon, Dave, Ian and Donald the champions on +5. Gordon had a 2 at the 8th - two inches from being an expensive ace.
The 2012 Grantown Open was held over two rounds of strokeplay on Saturday. Dave elected to visit the Highland Wildlife in the morning and JDK had a lie-in to try to shake off his lurgi. Something recorded as a "Best ball, dyslexic abc" was also played in the morning, and was one by Gordon, Donnie and Ian on 69 somethings to Donald, Bob and Ewan's 81 (presumably similar things). Ewan had a 2 at the 8th and Donnie at the 11th.
In the afternoon round, a sideshow stableford competition was won by Bob on 39 points from Ian on 37.
In order to find some purpose for the Seniors trophy, an eclectic for the over-60s was held over the two Saturday rounds, and Donald just came out on top with a highly creditable 60 shots from Bob on 61.
In the main event, Ian claimed just his second Grantown Open (and first this century!) in fine style with a pair of 69s to ease past Donnie by four shots.
In the matchplays, Bob and Ewan beat Jim and Dave by 1 up, and Donnie and Ian beat Gordon and Donald by the same score. Donnie had a 2 at the 16th.
On Sunday morning, a two-man scramble with a difference was held. In a matchplay format, the semi finals were played over the first nine holes, and the final and play-off over the second nine. In the semis, Gordon & Dave beat Ewan & Donald 3&2, and Bob & Ian beat Donnie & Jim 1 up. In the play-off match Ewan & Donald trounced Donnie & Jim 5&3 (over nine holes remember!), and in the final, Gordon & Dave edged out Bob & Ian 2&1. Highlight of the final was Gordon birdieing the last six holes (except for one token contribution form Dave at the 15th), including a two from 12 inches at the 16th. As usual, too late for exploiting prize funds or 2s money.
Welcome to the 2012 GGS overseas outing at the La Manga resort near Murcia, Spain. We nearly had JDK back on tour after an absence of two years, but home duties and the lure of some paid employment eventually persuaded him to devolve his valued place to John Paterson. John actually made a virtual appearance on the GGS tour (in 2000 I think), when he and Barney joined the main group for one game and a couple of evenings out in Vilamoura, but this is his debut on the full (or is it fool?) tour. John has been allocated a generous handicap of 18 for the tour, playing out of the famous Thistle Golf Club.
Welcome also to Michael Porteous who joins the tour in a non-golfing capacity could this set the pattern for others in the future?!
Loose theme for the week honours the Olympic Games.
Provisional room allocations in the Las Lomas apartments:
Apartment 1 two bedroom Bob & Ian, Donnie & Barney, the suicide squad who had elected to travel early to get acclimatised.
Apartment 2 three bedroom Gordon & Brian, Dave & Ewan, Michael & John, the sensible squad.
Due to a low level of competence by the La Manga organisation, the courses and tee-times were all changes, to the details below are not necessarily accurate.
Day 1, Sunday, West Course, first tee-time 09:48
Format: The Olympic Bins. Record your personal stableford score and bin your worst five scores. Simples!
Groups: 1. Bob, Brian & Ian, 2. Barney, John & Dave, 3. Ewan, Gordon & Donnie
On the day. the groups were mixed around to accommodate some "incomers" added to the team. Serious rain for the first six holes saw sun-worshipper Barney retire from the fray, but the rest battled on and by the end of the round, we were just about dry again.
As usual for this format, results were very close with Donnie coming out on top on 28 points for 30, from Ewan, Gordon and Dave all on 27 points for a token 10 each. Dave edged the Par 3s with 10 points for a sleeve of Golfbreaks balls, and a nominal 5 unofficial prize money.
Sunday evening was spent in the Last Drop bar for the unforgettable climax of the Ryder Cup, with the three runners-up clubbing together to buy a luxurious dinner of carry-out pizza from the shop next door.
Day 2, Monday, North Course, first tee-time 09:00
Format: Triathlon Drive/Iron/Putt (i.e. 3-man scramble). No handicaps, 4 drives each, no restriction on putting
Groups: 1. Bob, Barney & Ewan, 2. Brian, John & Gordon, 3. Ian, Dave & Donnie
Another very close finish with Dave, Ian & Donnie tying with Bob, Ewan & Barney on 70 shots (37 points), with honours going to Dave, Ian & Donnie with a bih of 35 (19) to 38 (16). The winners were accompanied by a very confused Frenchman, who must have contributed significantly to the sale of golf balls due to his affinity for finding the 'barancas'.
Still no 2's
Day 3, Tuesday, South Course, first tee-time 09:48
Format: The Masters, 5km (5.429km to be exact if the ball is hit straight, therefore more like 10km for us). Individual stableford scores
Groups: 1. Bob, John & Donnie, 2. Ian, Barney & Gordon, 3. Brian, Dave & Ewan
Dave maintained his overseas Masters form with his fifth European title on 37 points. Donnie continued his domination of the money list by taking second place on 33, with Bob completing the podium on 31. Donnie also took the Par 3 prize with 10 points.
Another dearth of 2's
Day 4, Wednesday, Nae golf
A split in the camp as Donnie, Brian, Michael and Dave visited the historic town of Cartagena, whilst Bob, John, Ewan, Gordon, Barney and Ian elected for the La Manga beach resort.
Day 5, Thursday, South Course, first tee-time 09:48
Format: Changed from the original idea of synchronised singles (deemed too difficult) to a team format of best two scores at each hole counting.
Groups: 1. Bob, Dave & Gordon, 2. Brian, Barney & Donnie, 3. Ian, John & Ewan
Yet another close finish with first and second, both on 74 points, having to be separated on a better inward half. Brian, Barney & Donnie with a bih of 38 points edged it from Ian, John & Ewan on 37.
With three firsts and a second place so far, Donnie was annihilating the opposition in the official money list, and the unofficial list finally came to life with a fine two from Gordon at the 2nd hole. Gordon also took the Par 3 prize on 8 points.
Ewan was beginning to realise this was not going to be his week, as he had twice lost out on countback, and had only 10 to show for all his efforts.
Day 6, Friday, North Course, first tee-time 09:21
Format: Closing ceremony with a podium finish. Stableford points counting as follows:
1st six holes Bronze = score x 1
2nd six holes Silver = score x 2
3rd six holes Gold = score x 3
Groups: Played in overall money order: 1. Ewan, Bob & John 2. Brian, Ian & Barney 3. Dave, Gordon & Donnie
Brian had obviously been biding his time all week and walked off with a first prize of 30 for his score of 78 points, from Gordon on 76 (20) and Ewan on 74 (10). Dave and Donnie had clearly peaked early in the week and were well down the order of merit.
The unofficial money list positively exploded with two 2's from Gordon (4th and 8th) and one from Ewan (16th). John finally escaped from the "hee-haw" club with a solid 9 points on the Par 3s to take the last sleeve of balls and a nominal 5 entry on the unofficial money list.
On the novelty week-long competitions, the sensible six trounced the suicide four by 734 points to 602, but no prizes could be extracted. As would be expected, the low handicap men, Ewan and Gordon, topped the eclectic chart on 51 points.
After a week of mediocre dining, we finally had a high quality authentic Spanish meal (off campus), serenaded afterwards by Barney (and John unfortunately!)
Many thanks to Barney for his excellent transport service all week in his trusty Berlingo. It certainly saved a few weary walks or waits for "wah-wahs".
1. Prize money about 60 per day, therefore generally grossly inadequate for its intended purpose (buying large rounds of large measures).
2. 2s - 5 from each player