Stonehaven Golf Club

week #3 (part II)

Cowie Cup Rd 1 & Willie Watt Qualifier

Most Stonehaven golfers commence the season with a personal aspiration, perhaps to reduce one’s handicap, qualify for the last two rounds of the club championship or simply complete the campaign without chucking their clubs over a cliff. We’re rather like marathon runners in that we’re either looking to clock up a personal best time or finish without suffering cardiac arrest.

For my part, I entered the new season with one solitary aim; to shoot no more than 75 in any single round. I have a handicap of 7 so with the course’s aggregated par of 66 I’d allowed myself a couple of strokes leeway. This target may seem penal but there’s no point setting yourself an objective if it’s so easily achieved as to not be a worthwhile objective at all. Well, just two competitive rounds into a six month season, I’ve already managed a grade A fail because on Saturday I produced an early contender for ‘lowest point of the season’, notching a woeful 80.

Golfers are past masters at excuse finding, poor scores rarely being our fault. Instead we attribute our failures to the weather, the condition of the course, the off-putting nature of playing partners, niggling injury, you name it, there’s always an ulterior factor. On Saturday I could probably tick a couple of those off (it was cold, the greens were bumpy, my haemorrhoids were giving me gyp) but in truth, I simply played like a drain.  Worse, I failed even to achieve the revised target that struggling golfers set themselves during the back nine when they know the game’s up. Walking up the 15th, I knew all was lost in achieving 75 or better, so challenged myself at the very least to beat 80 but didn’t even accomplish that, tapping in for an 80 on the 18th green. Yes 80! A full fourteen shots over par, double my handicap, on a course I know like the back of my hand. Quite preposterous. I’m not going into detail, it’d be too traumatic, but in summary; no par achieved until the 6th hole, a ba’ oot on the 10th, a chunk on the 14th then three putts, a knifing on the 15th then three putts and enough duck hooked tee shots to make a grown man weep. If I repeat this performance next Saturday I’m taking up darts instead. Finishing 75th out of 98 competitors does nothing for the male ego.

Others fared little better looking at the scores. The cold temperatures kept us all beneath three layers of clothing and didn’t help with ball flight distances (poor excuse that one, I’m reaching for sure) and the boggy conditions meant the ball didn’t travel far having clattered the ground after it’s journey from the tee. But, as always, a handful of players belied the testing conditions to notch creditable returns and remind the rest of us that our excuses were really just that, excuses.


John Findlay             61 (20)

Raymond Shearer      62 (16)

William Shepherd       62 (22)