Almost sixty golfers took part in the Greenkeepers’ Benefit competition last weekend.
In what were clearly the best conditions of the season - although some of us who played were sadly unaware of that - more than a third of the field posted scores of par or better.
Iain Mackay was one of half a dozen participants on nett 63 who must have believed that they were in with a good chance of having posted the winning score.
Iain had suffered the ignominy of disqualification in his previous competition for breach of a rule he did not know existed.
Iain was engrossed in playing a few holes prior to the latest qualifying round for the Centenary Medal when he was informed that practice is not permitted on the course on the day of competition.
The penalty for breach of this Rule 7 of golf is disqualification; it would have been good to see Iain get his revenge on the game with his first ever win. That was not to be and Iain had to settle for sixth place.
Of the others on nett 63, Peter Dickie had two birdies in his outward half, while Donald DJ Macleod birdied three of the opening six holes.
Ken MacDonald has finished outside the buffer zone only once this year and this was the best of these rounds.
Robert Rankin saved his best golf for the inward half, completing the last nine holes in only two over par. A birdie on the Gunsite was the inspiration for an impressive run that saw Iain Macleod play the remaining ten holes in level par, putting him into third place.
Two shots better, on nett 61, Al “Greens” Macleod had a stunning round. Birdies on the Manor, Redan and Gunsite helped Al to a halfway total of two under par.
After starting the inward half with back-to-back bogeys, Al resolved that with an eagle on the Caberfeidh.
His gross 67, one under par, was the best of the day. On any other day this season, Al would have won with his nett 61 but Peter Grant had another plan.
His nett 59 was a sensational, if not embarrassingly low total, but Peter can claim it could have been so much better.
He began with a double bogey and, after a birdie on the Cup, leaked three shots on the last two holes.
In between, however, Peter had a consistency that he would love to replicate every weekend.
Apart from the trophy, Peter also has the huge bonus of a three stroke reduction in his handicap, beautifully coinciding with the start of the Club Championship.
The ladies also played a Greenkeepers’ Benefit competition. Jane Nicolson’s nett 71 gave her a healthy margin of victory over Donna Young.
In the junior section, the Greenkeepers’ Benefit was a tightly fought contest.
John Macleod was the eventual winner, his impressive nett 64 edging him ahead of John Morrison by one stroke.
John Morrison had the consolation of posting the lowest gross score of 79, the first time he has broken 80 in competition.
John Macleod finished in the runner up spot in the Nine Hole handicap qualifying competition, which was won by Euan Morrison.
The midweek qualifying round for the Centenary Medal attracted another healthy field of almost forty and another glut of low scoring.
Spare a little sympathy for Colin Macritchie, who hit one bogey and seventeen pars and missed the buffer zone.
Kenny Macleod - of the “Wang” rather than the “Pongo” variety - took third place with 39 stableford points after a steady round, particularly in the middle section where he dropped only four shots through ten holes.
For someone with a handicap allowance of twenty strokes, that is sailing perilously close to Peter Grant territory.
Bryan Geddes has not had the most encouraging start to this season but put all of that behind him with an excellent 41 points.
Bryan picked up birdies on the Memorial, Miller and Cup and will take particular satisfaction from an inward half played in one under par.
George Mould collected a haul of 10 points from his first three holes and had at total of 23 by the time he reached the halfway point.
The inward half may have been slightly less dramatic but George was a comfortable winner with 44 stableford points.
This weekend sees the opening rounds of the Club Championship taking place tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday, with the final two rounds next weekend.