Golf House Club Elie – April 2017 Today I had the pleasure of joining Course Managers and Superintendents from the Kingdom of Fife at the BIGGA Central Section Spring Outing.
I had attended the event last year at Aberdour and again this year I started the day by going to work with Gordon and as he worked in his office I worked from the conference room at the Jubilee Greenkeeping Centre.
At 9.30am I had a meeting with John Boyne at St Andrews Golf Club. John caddies at St Andrews and is a member of the club. We had a great golf chat before Gordon collected me and we headed off to Golf House Club in Elie.
Gordon is currently the Secretary of the Central Section and had bits and pieces to sort out so I helped write out our score cards and get menu selections for the meal post round.
I was in the first group out and was playing with one of the staff on The Eden Course at St Andrews, Craig Berry and Steven McInroy who works for SGM.
It was cold. The snow had nearly melted although the place had been blanketed in white until after 10am and there were still a few patches on the ground.
The 1st tee is in front of the clubhouse and up over the hill with a blind shot aiming at a post. My first drive went left into the rough and was never seen again. I had hit a provisional ball which was on the fairway so off we went.
I started the round in a red hat that covers my ears and ties under my chin (Gordon had told me I get a two stroke penalty immediately for the hat) and when I went to tee off on the 2nd, the tie blew up in my face. Not great for golfing.
So off with the hat on on with my other small knit hat, which also happens to be red.
I started quite ordinary but got a nice par on the 3rd and played quite well from there.
The boys were hitting some great shots and we were all fighting the wind. It would have been a four club wind at least and it was cold. At times swirls of snow stuck to us and at other times we were stung in the face with ice pellets. But it didn’t detract from the fun out there.
We were not going to break any records although Steven was scoring nicely bagging a couple of birdies.
After playing the 6th, the boys teed off the 7th but it turns out it wasn’t the 7th at all but the 10th (thanks to a lovely lady playing the 12th) so the boys left their balls until we swung back around and we turned once again into the wind.
It was fierce and my head was cold. I told Craig that I beanie envy and he laughed at me. I then asked if it was called a toque (Canada speak) but again he laughed and said in Scotland it is called a tammy. Of course it is.
The good news was he happened to have a thick beanie/toque/tammy in his bag and I told him I loved him as I popped it on. My ears certainly loved him.
It makes such a difference if you are dressed appropriately for the conditions.
My bag blew over numerous times but I loved it out there.
The course runs away from the clubhouse to the right then swings back in front before going across the road and down to the ocean.
While there were big black and grey clouds the sun was also shining and the water was sparkling.
We got back to the 10th and while the boys hit another ball just in case someone had picked up their first, I teed off over the blind hill.
As we came over the hill my ball was on the edge of the green heading towards the water. If I could drop the putt I would get my first eagle. I three putted and happily accepted a par.
The boys found their first balls and we then stepped up to the 11th. It is only 131 yards and from Craig’s GPS 114. I considered my driver into the wind until I confirmed it was 114 not 140. I took out my 3w and hit one of my best shots of the day and I was dancing on the green and for at least 2 groups was closest to the pin.
I finished with another par and drove into the strong wind for the 12th. My ball seemed to just sit in the air then come back towards me. The boys seem to hit through the wind but I hit into it. A couple of 3woods that were hit really well but didn’t go far then a 5 iron on to the green and then I stopped and just took a moment to take in the view.
From the bleating sheep and lambs on the side of the hill to the rock face of the cliffs and the sun shining over the water, what a spot.
I do golf in some great places.
I think it was about now that I said to the boys that I was looking forward to the lentil soup post round and Craig laughed at me and told me that I had at least another hour and a half before I would be eating said soup.
We chatted to a few other groups as we passed by on tees and greens and all laughed about the weather. We were all playing in the same conditions and it seemed we all had some rubbish coming of our clubs.
I was dropping some nice putts and managed to score some points even in the strong winds. I was quite happy with how I played although I some scratched holes and I picked up twice. Once in a bunker I just kept digging myself deeper/giving myself a worse shot – although Craig has given me some good advice so we’ll see how that goes next round.
On the 16th I had a wayward drive to the right that I followed up with a miss hit shot into the back of the bunker on the 9th. I then pulled out my 7iron thinking I could pop a shot nicely over the back of the bunker into the middle of the fairway but instead sunk it deep into the grass. I hit it another time and it finished 3 feet in front of me a little higher in the rough still on the back of the bunker.
I pulled out the card out and saw I needed to hole the ball from where I was in 3 shots, considered the wind and popped my ball in my pocket and ran up the fairway to join the boys.
Steven was pin hunting and throwing darts and while Craig hit some amazing shots and while I would have been doing cartwheels if they came off my club he was mostly disgusted with himself.
While it was wonderful company and a great day for golf, we were all happy to get out of the wind and sit in the warmth of the clubhouse.
We were then joined by the group who were out behind us, David Simpson, Elliott Small, and Mike Clark, for a delicious lunch while we laughed about our wayward shots and fighting the wind.
As I had given out the cards at the beginning of the day someone started giving me the cards and before I knew it I was checking the scores and organising them for when Gordon came in.
Turns out my 31 points were enough to win the visitors prize which was the same thing I won last year.
I scored a lovely golf towel and was given a hat that I will use for prizes at a fundraiser on PEI this summer.
I had a great day, made some new golf friends and will be teeing it up with David Simpson at Crieff Golf Club and may see if I can tee it up with Craig again if I have time this trip.
As I said to the boys when I left, see you again next year.