Golf Outing to Glen Isla - Friday 12th August
The Forfarshire Golf Outing which had been a regular feature of the social calendar for many years - was successfully resurrected last Friday when a busload of “golfers” made the journey to rural Perthshire to take on the challenge of the Glenisla course near Alyth.
Thankfully a full party of 20 attended – although we nearly were a man down and it was only the eagle eye of Butts who saved the day, when he spotted Clark (who travelled as the advance party)practicing his putting on the Alyth Golf Club putting green. A quick phone call informed him that he was on the wrong course and he sheepishly made his way to the correct venue leaving behind his new found green keeper friend.
The competition was played over 36 holes and thankfully the monsoons had disappeared and although the day was more like March than August – at least it was dry as the first group teed off after a yummy bacon roll.
It had been decided to play the match in Ryder Cup style format with the two teams being Dundee versus Dundee United. The Dundee team made a fine job of turning up in smart matching navy blue tops. The Arabs turned up in far from matching, varying shades of dayglo orange tops – with the shades ranging from light peach to pink. Maybe they can be Aberdeen next year and have a go at matching red tops? The Arab skipper Gus Hay made a point of handing out tangerine golf tees and poofy sweatbands to his team prior to the match in a show of wealth and extravagance to match the football club. The Dundee skipper Baz Stewart also matched his club’s financial clout by announcing a sponsored walk would take place around the car park to raise funds to by a navy blue tee between us.
The draw had been made in advance and the morning event was best ball foursomes and with much banter in evidence the players got out on to the course.
With all such events, the handicap system is often challenged and certain so-called “non golfers” can take advantage of this and receive extra strokes and chase glory. The main culprit in the morning event was Steven Sim who claimed to be a “non golfer” and proceeded to tear up Glenisla off his 20 strokes whilst wearing one of his father’s dayglo peach Pringle sweaters with a kebab stained front. After romping to victory his handicap was duly cut by the cheat Police at lunchtime. The younger Garden brothers hammered what started as a dream team but ended as a nightmare team of Ted and Clark. Ted managed to hit his drive one inch on one hole which took some doing.
The “pre match favourites” billing of the Arabs was in evidence and the Dees were looking to golfing maestro and record signing Ryan Watson to secure well needed points. As a master golfer (or so he keep telling us) there was no doubt that Ryan was the Dees banker for two points over the day. Word got out that he and Dennis (a self confessed non golfer) were strolling to victory over Chic and Howie and with the master golfer at the helm surely an easy point was in the bag. Imagine the shock when we got back to lunch to find out that Chic (off a 22 handicap and no Rory Mcilroy) had masterminded a magnificent comeback and taken the points from the Dundee professional’s grasp.
The result of this was that Dundee found themselves a point down to the Arabs at lunch - as we tucked into a welcome bowl of soup and a not so welcome Alyth pie. A rousing team talk from Baz fired the Dees up for the afternoon event although we felt he had taken it too far when he punched the door.
With a tight match going on and everything to play for the afternoon singles kicked off under gloomy skies and the threat of the promised rain looking likely to come to fruition. It was clear that it was going to be nip and tuck all the way and in the leading group Clark and Chic played a friendly affair with no real aggro and a sporting spirit. At the same time, Dundee skipper Baz Ballesteros was going head to head with the Duke and this game was played with lots of aggro, determination and accusations that the opponent was a “bottler” from both sides. This one went to the last green and Baz came out on top to add to Clark’s point and the Dees astonishingly found themselves in front. It was clear it was going to be a tight finish - and as the players came in word came back from the course, it became obvious that the tournament was going to be won and lost in the game between the two champion golfers on show – Arab skipper Delia “let’s be having you” Hay against Dundee professional Ryan “I am guaranteed two points” Watson.
Watson was hoping that fitness would matter over a grueling 36 holes against his chubby adversary and the Dees were hoping their pro would see them to victory on his home course. However, Delia somehow stayed in the tie and eventually got his stomach in front. Watson choked under growing pressure from Hay (and also the other Arab in the accompanying two singles match who (allegedly) showed why it would be tempting to hit someone from that family)
The ultimate outcome was that Watson was defeated by Hay – and the Arabs ultimately secured victory overall by a single point.
The awards were handed out afterwards. Dennis was the recipient of the wooden spoon as the lowest scoring Stableford golfer. He also won the prize as the worst turned out golfer – but Baz was not brave enough to hand it out. Neil McConnachie won the prize as the club’s champion golfer and was awarded the trophy and the green jacket which he wore with pride. Various other prizes were handed out including a sombrero to Steven Sim as top bandit of the day, A prize to Connie for longest drive, a prize to Teddy for shortest drive, a prize to Baz for nearest the pin on the 16th (“it should have gone in”) and the Tiger Woods prize went jointly to Ted and Bryce for their Casino efforts.
Of course, the big prize of the day was the Ryder Cup trophy which was awarded to the Arabs skipper Angus Hay who looked suitably smug on collecting the cup (which on closer inspection appeared to have been stolen from Dalhousie Golf Club)
Beers, a sing song on the bus and more beers in the Ferry ensued and a great day was had by all. Thanks went to Baz, Gus and Bryce for organizing the whole thing and the hope is that the Forfarshire Golf Outing has now been re-established on the club’s social calendar as an annual event.
One last thing is to mention that the whip round on the bus has gone towards golf lessons for Ryan and he has his first appointment with Gus at Carnoustie next Thursday.