Grafton golfers represented at Virginia competition

Although a strong contingent of almost 30 regular Saturday players were representing our Club at Virginia Golf Club, in a inter-club competition, a excellent field of 104 starter participated in last Saturday’s annual Thompson, Wheelahan & Hampshire sponsored Irish Four Ball.  

This unique team event, which attracts its own special playing conditions, was played in the spirit of the Irish and it is unfortunate St. Patrick’s Day only comes around once a year; which enables this competition format to apply. There were no surprises in the results, with the foursome of Billy Newman (14), Alan Hodge (26), Jack Harvison (30) and Jimmy Cross (17) taking the win with a total of 92 points.  Each player of that team contribution to their card was spread fairly evenly across the 18 holes with Billy on the card 11 times, Hodgey 7, Jack 9 and Jimmy on 9 occasions. Their 2 best scoring holes were the 7th with 10 points and the 17th with 9. Just one point in arrears of the winning team was Paul Grieve (6), Matt Worthing (scratch), Rohan Ford (4) and Kahu Tweedie (28).  The major contributor to their 91 points was Paul Grieve who featured on their card 11 times.  In the second runner-up position with 90 were Deano Hayes (20), Jeff McKelligott (22), Dougie Hughes (10 and Andrew J. Fletcher (19).  This group’s star players were Deano and Andrew who both featured on their card on 11 occasions each.

Competition for the available pro-balls was very tight and you had to be better than just good, as you required a score of 82 or better to qualify for one.  Only 6 teams qualified for a ball. With his tee shot finishing just 49cm from the cup, Jim Packwood (17) claimed the Pro-ball on the 1st, sponsored by Mark Harvison. The only time a ordinary tee shot is awarded a prize in the nearest the pin category is during the Irish 4 Ball.  That honour went to Paul Hewitt with his tee shot on the Par 3, 10th being measured as the furthest from the pin. Our thanks to Chris Wheelahan and his colleagues from Thompson Wheelahan and Hampshire for their continuing support of the Irish 4 Ball; which they have been associated with for more than 25 years; that association to continue again next year.

Next Saturday the event will be an individual 18 hole Stableford, with the trophies for this competition being provided by City Centre Conveyancing.

For the first time in the Club’s history nominations for our competitions can now be made on line, as well within the Club as normal. All members with a registered Email address with the Club will receive an appropriate email, which will outline instructions how to proceed with the online booking process. This no doubt will prove to be a convenient process for our members and will be a popular innovation with all membership.

There will be a format competition on Easter Saturday (31st March) and will be Stableford event. Any visitors to the area will be more than welcome to play on that day should they desire a game.

The midweek competitions continue to attract good fields, with 104 starters last Tuesday and almost 60 starters on Thursday. Leading the field home on Tuesday was Neil Hayward (15) with 40 points on a countback from Billy Newman (15).  The 2nd runner-up position went to Doug Clark (23) with 39. It has been some time since Doug has made an appearance, with this result it may inspire him to play some more. Although that form was apparently went missing at Virginia.

In Thursday’s Mark Harvison/Tooheys Iron Jack Tallowood Challenge it was Chris Wheelahan (13) with a nett 72 claiming the win from Len Franey (15) and Geoff Shephard (18) who both finished with 73.

The annual Clayden Shield, sponsored by John & Judy Clayden, and hosted by the Glen Innes Veterans at Glen Innes is scheduled for Tuesday 10th April with entries to close on the 5th April. The cost for the day will be $30 per player which includes morning tea and lunch. The nomination form can be found on the Veterans notice board.

Ray Hopwood