At the end of a major golfing tournament, the Open for example, a television production team will put together a montage of clips to summarise the week’s highlights. You know the sort of thing; a qualifier holing a raker to make the cut, the pre-tournament favourite fluffing his lines to miss it, the obligatory hole-in-one from a guy who then sinks without trace. You’ll also get footage of sunburned spectators lying asleep in sand dunes having supped one too many ales, cute kids making a mess with their ice creams and John Daly lookalikes in pantomime trousers. It’s standard fare.
So, given it’s the end of another calendar year at Stonehaven Golf Club I’d proposed to post a similar offering, however global media seems not to have recognised Stonehaven Golf Club’s appeal quite yet. Since, therefore, prime time television’s cameras have overlooked us this year, I’ve been forced to compile a written narrative of this year’s highlights rather than a video recording. I hope this in part compensates for the media’s oversight.
So, 2021 from my perspective and that of my Wednesday crew…
…Michael Wood scolding me, as a schoolteacher scolds a child, for ‘watering the plants’ on a part of the course he believed wasn’t sufficiently discreet, Craig McKechnie moving the 8th fairway six inches closer to Stonehaven with an air shot that sent tremors throughout the district, Roger Smith’s electric trolley mounting the cemetery wall by the 18th causing a series of expletives from him in front of me and my young children minding our own business at the practice area, Keith Douglas’s trolley malfunction leaving him to heave an enormous pro bag all around the wrekin, a camper squatting to park her breakfast on Skatie Shore in full view of us stood up on the 14th tee, Craig McKechnie (again) carrying two sets of out of bounds posts with his tee shot on the 8th (again), clearing the railway and bouncing his drive down the 12th fairway, the fire brigade stopping play on the 2nd hole one Saturday morning to rescue dog walkers marooned on the beach below, Angus Martin taking an eternity to deliberate over a routine two foot birdie putt on the 15th only to leave his attempt a foot short, Simon Mitchell duck hooking his tee shot on the last hole so severely that it horseshoed the cup on the practice green narrowly avoiding the most tragic ‘hole-in-one’ in history, Steve Guzik requiring a range finder for his second shot to the par 3 final hole in the club championship; a visiting quartet wondering why they’d played just 17 holes (turned out cos they’d sent their tee shots from the 5th tee to the 6th green in error); Ziggy crashing four consecutive drives from the first tee over the practice green and into the North Sea. This barely scratches the surface but you get the gist. There’s never a dull moment at Stonehaven Golf Club when you mix with the herberts I do, other players all have their war stories too.
There have been difficult moments too, not least the sad passing of several beloved club members. It’s our hope that each of them remain in as much peace now as they enjoyed when walking Stoney’s fairways over the years. The memories these individuals created at Stonehaven Golf Club will live on within the club’s fabric, as will our memories of them.
And so here’s to next year, 2022, another opportunity for hundreds of us to enjoy our favoured pastime and make new memories. That’s what Stonehaven Golf Club is all about, making memories, enjoying ourselves and cementing friendships. We’re thankful to all those who share the journey with us and look forward to doing it all over again.