Impressive scores by Grafton male golfers

There is no doubt that the vast improvement in the condition of our fairways and greens has been a major contributing factor in the more than impressive scoring achieved in recent weeks. 

That was again highlighted in last Saturday’s 18-hole single Stableford with the winning score for the day being a very impressive 46pts recorded by Aiden Langford, 5pts clear of the best of the rest. Playing off a then handicap of 31, Aiden smashed the 114-player field with 21pts around the front 9 and backed that up with 25pts around the back. With a birdie on the Par 5 18th hole resulting in 5 points being recorded in his score, which was a major contributing factor of his result and the overall win. 

For the effort Aiden’s handicap has since been reduced by four (4) which is a just reward.

For the second week in succession, Tony Gallagher (8) cleaned up the A Grade fraternity with an outstanding score of 41pts, four points clear of his nearest rival Peter Sinclair (8) on 37pts and who had to survive a four way c/b from Paul Langford (5) Craig Langford (9) and John Dahl (6) to be awarded the runner up position in that grade.

B Grade was also decided by the c/b process with three players all recording 36 points.  In the final calculations it was determined that Shane Essex (12) was the winner from Dwayne Doyle (14) with Tim Newsome (14) relegated to the pro-ball status only.

The countback procedure was required to sort out C Grade with Ron Phillips (17) and Graeme Smith (16) recording 39pts and that was the order they finished in. Two points separated the leaders in D Grade with Rowan Butcher (34) posting the leading score of 40pts from Brett Paxton (21) finishing with 38pts. 

Pro balls went down to players with 33pts or better, again those winners decided by c/b.

With the slight relaxation of Coronavirus conditions, golf groups have returned to four players, however with several conditions still to apply. Firstly, only one player per motorised cart will be permitted. This requirement remains in place so that the social distancing requirements are strictly adhered too. There will be absolutely no variance to this requirement with penalties applied to anyone caught flouting these rules. 

As well as social distancing, flay sticks cannot be touched and the use of bunker rakes forbidden, the bunkers being in play. Any ball that finds its way into a bunker can be subject to a club length preferred lie in that bunker if required. Also mark your own card. 

These conditions are determined by Golf NSW and State authorities and our Club cannot vary them to suit themselves. 

All bookings for tee times must be made online, a provision that will most likely remain in place for all future time, post pandemic, including Tuesday and Thursday competitions.

Obviously, the problems associated with the coronavirus has resulted in chaos for our golf programme with many events either cancelled or postponed to a later date.

This relates especially to all the men’s knockout series. The qualifying numbers for the Singles Knockout, 4BBB Knockout and the 2-man Ambrose Knockout have been reduced from 32 pairings or Single qualifier to just 16. 

The first of the annual knockout series will be held on Saturday May 30 and will be the qualifier for the Undercover Storage (Trevor and Jen Townsend) Singles Knockout. The men’s match committee will soon determine the commencement date of the remaining two series and these dates will be advised as soon as they have been decided.

Over the past 12 months or so the establishment of improved and permanent cart paths has taken place and has proved a more than worthwhile asset to the course and subsequent playing conditions. The cart path project is still to continue with the 12th hole the next in line for some attention. 

Volunteers are being called for to progress this improvement campaign and if you can assist, please contact Bill Newman accordingly and he will advise of the proposed date for the working bee at that time on the 12th.

With the clean-up of the fallen and damaged tress in and around the course almost completed, the preferred lies playing condition is to be reviewed by the match committee at their next meeting. Preferred lies will most likely be discontinued at that time. All players should refer to the notice board before teeing off.  The current provision of a penalty free drop in the general playing area (except marked penalty areas) from bare patches is to remain at this time.

Last Tuesday’s competition attracted 100 players which is a little more than normal, what is not normal was the winner of the day with 42pts, and that was Neil Hayward (17) who seems to specialise in the Tuesday competitions, runner up to Neil was John Mannell (35) with 41pts, followed by John Brien (28) on 39pts.

Pro balls going down to those on 32pts.

In the Thursday competition Bonville golfer, Grant Rickwood (scratch) was the best with 39 from Sam Davidson (15) and Joe Fahey (10) both on 38pts. 

Pro balls went down to players on 33pts.

The social distancing requirements cannot be stressed too much, this includes the Pro Shop with a maximum of two (2) people allowed in at any one time. No exceptions; please assist Mark and his staff in complying with this requirement, they don’t make the rules, they have to enforce them.

Ray Hopwood