Stonehaven Golf Club – Winter League Winners

This winter has not been kind to Stonehaven’s golfing fraternity, Baltic temperatures and grey skies testing the resolve of the hardiest of souls. Such conditions don’t come as a surprise given we live in northern Scotland, but still it takes an admirable level of commitment to see the season through.

Finals Day was at the weekend there and held in typically cool conditions, though mercifully remaining dry. Finalists rugged up in as many layers as is possible still to permit a golf swing and headgear was of the bobble hatted variety as the first tee shot was struck to signal the commencement of the three respective finals; Singles (nett), Doubles (nett) and Doubles (gross). Two of the formats still had all to play for, but the Doubles (nett) in truth seemed all over bar the shouting.

In the event, the Singles trophy was won by Damien Shine, his splendid closing round of 40 points spreadeagling the field. In all formats the leaders carried aggregated advantages following the qualification stage and after his final round score was added, Damien won by a 1.6 shot margin over runner-up Alex Keith, himself notching a fine 39 points in the final. Adam Smith took the bronze medal (not that there is one, or a silver for that matter, or indeed a gold, the winner gets a trophy) with the chasing pack not so much chasing as treading water. They’d done well to qualify for the final after months of gruelling golf but left themselves way too much to do. Apologies if that qualifies as being damned by faint praise but well done for trying as my mother used to say.

The Doubles (gross) trophy had a very exciting finish, Chris Brown & Fraser Stark victorious with a closing 61, demanded of them by runners-up Kevin Riddell & Ross McAllan who knocked it around in the same score. The club’s blessed with several very good golfers and the scoring in the Winter League scratch competition brings that to light. Yes the course is foreshortened but the conditions, above and below, even out the relative difficulty somewhat. A winning average score of 5 under par each week over an entire season takes some doing.

The Doubles (nett) competition was won at a canter by old hands Stuart Wright & Gordon Ironside who scored a tremendous closing 56. Between them they’ve played Stonehaven Golf Course at least a zillion times and took the trouble this season to put their vast experience to good use. The equally well golfed duo of Neal & Henderson came second following a respectable closing round of 60, the remaining competitors simply making up the numbers. The final standings are listed below, congratulations to all those who qualified for the finals and in particular to those who ended victorious.

The Summer season begins in April but not before a sprinkling of pre-season Saturday warm up events to tempt the non-winter leaguers out of hibernation and back on to the golf course. We have a Stableford on the 16th, 2 ball Texas Scramble on the 23rd and a Strokeplay on the 30th. Hopefully players will by then be reducing their number of layers from five to four.

Singles – Nett (Stableford)

Damien Shine 78.5

Alex Keith 76.9

Adam Smith 74.1

Douglas Barnard 72.4

Scott Reid 71.9

John Findlay 69.4

Raymond Shearer 65.9

Malcolm Ritchie 60.0

Doubles – Nett (Stableford)

S Wright/G Ironside 111.6

J Neal/D Henderson 117.5

R Walker/A Stewart 119.0

I Brattey / M Halliday 119.8

Doubles (Gross Strokeplay)

F Stark/C Brown 121.4

K Riddell/J Barbour 122.0

I Taylor/R McAllan 123.3

N Irvine/S Irvine 131.5