Stonehaven Golf Club – weather wins this weekend

Poor weather put paid to any notion of golf at Stonehaven Golf Club this weekend, the course closed due to flooding. Hardy members play in most conditions but the closure was unavoidable, enjoyable golf not being conducive to teeing off ankle deep in water or attempting to putt through veritable ponds. It’s a shame, I’d practiced all week for competition day and was set to reduce the course to ribbons. It’ll just have to wait till next Sunday instead. 

I adore Stonehaven Golf Club, so to be denied my weekly fix was a wounder indeed. I’m not the greatest player in the world, my expectations aren’t always high in terms of performance, but what I can always depend on are the surroundings, the views, the scenery and the welcome. Its a well kept course with an attractive clubhouse in a wonderful setting, heaven on earth to me that place. Some clubs are a little snooty, but not this one, everyone’s welcomed by friendly staff whether members or not. If you’re not golfing you can stop by for coffee or a spot of food, the restaurant’s excellent, with Ziggy’s varied menus and super service. (If this is coming across as an advertorial I apologise! I’m just proud of the place that’s all, and need to keep them sweet so they don’t remove my name from the junior championship winners board ?. 1986 for the record). 

The course was closed then for the weekend, but not the clubhouse, so I sauntered up there for a Sunday afternoon stroll, nursing a coffee upon arrival while chewing the fat with Mr Innes. Given the time he spends up there it’s bewildering that he’s such a poor golfer but with the course unplayable, I was spared his inept golf and subjected to his chat instead. Having bored each other half to death, I then wondered down to the 2nd green to take the photograph you see here, and this reminded me of a peculiar episode which occurred back in the eighties. 

Walking to the 2nd green from the clubhouse, you cross the 18th fairway, a stretch of turf which, inexplicably, became the resting place for my 5-iron club head over three decades ago. Back then, I’d launched a tee shot from the 18th only for my club-head to come clean off upon impact, disappearing in the same direction as my golf ball. I found my ball but lost my club-head and, despite several searches, haven’t found it to this day. I’ve a hunch it isn’t there anymore, thirty five years later, maybe I need to get over it, but I’ve always wondered what happened. How can you lose half a golf club from a distance of thirty yards or so? Perhaps someone found it one day. Maybe a green keeper after it’d mangled his grass cutting machine, maybe another golfer who repaired it and uses it even now. Or the grasses might have overwhelmed it after it lay undiscovered for a few weeks, submerging it beneath the turf. Who knows, but I still bristle over losing that club, it was my favourite. We hang onto some things don’t we? I think I need to let it go. 

No winter league update for you then this week, but hopefully we’ll be blessed by better weather next weekend after which I can regale you with details of a new course record.

Joyce Billingham - December 14, 2020

Enjoyed reading your article. I remamber your early golfing days only too well!

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