Scrambling golfers head into winter

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The result of last weekend’s Texas Scramble competition would have been a foregone conclusion had his teammates displayed the unerring accuracy shown by Stewart Macqueen in lobbing a golf ball to Ken Galloway.

Ken lost the flight of the ball in the glare of the sun – and yes, despite an ominous weather forecast, the day was unseasonably mild and calm – and only became aware of where it was when it smacked the bridge of his nose.

Those who might observe that such a target is fairly large and therefore easy to hit would do well to remember that the ball was thrown from some thirty yards away.

No lasting damage was done and Ken and his team finished a creditable four under par on nett 57.

On a day that witnessed in the region of ninety birdies, eleven under was not nearly enough.

With a gross total of 60 (nett 54), Allan ‘Biddley’ Macleod would have had the hope that might be sufficient to guarantee victory.

With hindsight, his team may have rued the loss of Allan’s brand new three wood, which could have been the difference between victory and the third position they actually achieved.

The magical club was discovered in Inverness by Allan, who found that it was impossible to mis-hit and sent the ball prodigious distances.

Allan brought it home on the plane; he had hoped to sit beside it but was told that it would have to travel in the luggage hold.

Unfortunately, one of the magical powers not available to the three wood was remaining in one piece, as Allan realised at the luggage carousel in Stornoway Airport.

His club finished its short life span, and even shorter inaugural flight, in two pieces, neither of which is of much use to Allan although it could be adapted for use by a very small junior golfer.

Liz Carmichael had a memorable eagle on the aptly named Memorial, when she holed her second shot after her drive had been selected as the ball in play.

Despite that, and her team finishing eight under par (nett 53), Liz had to settle for second place.

The winning team comprised Iain Moir, Graham Morrison, Stephen Moar and Campbell Martin.

Four birdies on the first nine holes put them in a strong position but that was merely the prelude to some stunning golf.

A par on the Whins was followed by birdies on the next two holes, an eagle and then two more birdies to complete an unforgettable five holes.

Their gross ten under par became nett 53 and, needless to mention, their superb inward half took them clear of the field.

Adam Longdon has been one of our most promising junior golfers in recent years and he is now producing evidence of his talents.

A few weeks ago, he participated in a Pro-Am event at Royal Dornoch and was in the winning team. A fortnight ago, Adam returned to Dornoch for the prestigious Donald Ross Junior Open.

The tournament commemorates the contribution to the game by the legendary Donald Ross, the first professional golfer at Dornoch Golf Club.

Ross had served his apprenticeship with Old Tom Morris at St Andrews and eventually went on to become one the most influential golf course designers in the USA.

His family firm is responsible for the design and layout of over 400 golf courses, including Pinehurst and Oak Hill.

Donald’s brother Alec won the US Open in 1907 and the family name is synonymous with golfing excellence throughout the world.

This year’s Junior Open competition consisted of one round on the Struie course and one on the Royal Dornoch championship course.

Adam shot gross 82 (nett 69) on the championship course, winning the Dornoch Firth Trophy for the best single nett round on the second day.

A glance through the field shows participating golfers from the UK and Europe, making his achievement is even more impressive.

This weekend, Adam takes on another challenge as he and over 100 others begin the long campaign to win the Car Hire Hebrides Winter League.

The golf course had shrunk to twelve holes although, on occasion, it seems to be longer than when there are eighteen.

In his tilt at the title, Adam has the benefit of an older and wiser head, albeit one with a swollen nose; his partner is Ken Galloway and, together, they make up one of the handful of teams likely to be leading the chase next March.