Numbers continue to increase at Grafton golf

Our mid-week golf fields continue to impress, with record numbers for both our Tuesday and Thursday competitions being achieved. 

This was highlighted last Thursday when 75 players took up the challenge, a huge leap in numbers over the pre- Coronavirus era. 

There were some rather healthy scores achieved with a countback required to determine the eventual winners. Two players were the best on the day recording scores of 41 points to claim the win and 1st r/up spots. They were Bill Dougherty (26) and Dwayne Doyle (16). The 2nd r/up position went to Dek Pabian (21) following a further countback with Shane Essex (13) both players recording 40 for their 18-hole.

Pro-balls went down to all players with a score of 34 or better.

In the preceding Tuesday competition 98 players teed it up, again a substantial increase over our regular Tuesday competition. 

Brian Baldwin (19) was the outstanding player of the day with 42 points, which gave him the win in the members component of the days competition, as well as the winning position in the Veteran’s side of things, taking out the Amgrow Challenge. Runner-up in both the members and Veterans competitions was Geoff Crispin (14) with 39. Rohan Ford (4) picked up the 2nd r/up place in the members competition, also with 39.  The 2nd r/up spot in the Veterans competition was taken out by Peter Brennan, again with 39. 

Pro balls went down to 33 for members and 31 for Veterans. 

The numbers in last Saturday’s May monthly mug were also very impressive with 102 starters taking up the mug challenge. With an outstanding score of 66 nett Brendan Breitnauer (12) was easily the best on the day establishing a two-shot lead over his nearest rival. Unfortunately for Brendan, as well as the sponsor for the day, Valley Signs, due to restrictions imposed due to the Coronavirus, a formal presentation of the mug was unable to be held recognising his win. For the same reasons Brendan will be unable to claim the regular advantages which our mug winners normally receive.  However, he does qualify for the gold mug play-offs to be held later in the year. 

John Dahl (7) ended up on the right side of the c/b procedure to take out the A Grade division with 69 nett from fellow A Grader, Jeff Hackett, who had to settle for the runner-up position in that grade. The B Grade winner was Dwayne Doyle (15) with 68 nett, two shots clear of David Morgan (10) on 70.  David’s time in B Grade was short lived, he is now back where he should be, that is A Grade. With a score of 70, Peter Tziavaras (18) was the best of the C Grade fraternity from Graeme Smith (17) on 72. The Langford name keeps popping up on a regular basis each week, on this occasion it was Jesse Langford (22) who put the family name up front by taking out D Grade with a score of 74.  Mark Stephenson (23) was the runner-up on 75 nett.  Jesse was not the only Langford to star, as Paul Langford (5) scored an eagle on the par 5 11th for which he received a couple of balls for the effort. 

Pro balls went down to all those players with 76 or better.

The shot of the week undoubtedly belongs to Matt McKee (plus 2) who in Sundays mixed medley scored an Albatross on the par 5 11th hole for which he scored four Stableford points. He went on to record an eagle on the 18th supported by six pars and just the one bogie on the 12th. For the 9 holes Matt scored a total of 22 points to take out the event.

Following the storms that hit the course in recent weeks, a great lot of trees were ripped out of the ground resulting in some holes more difficult than normal to navigate. Commencing this week, the clean-up of those trees has begun and shall be completed over the next week or so. When that project has been completed it would not be a surprise that Club Captain, David Morgan, will lift the preferred lie playing condition, the course being in such great condition. To avoid any possible transgression of that playing condition, be sure to check the notice board outside the Pro shop, prior to heading out.

To assist with the accommodation of the huge increase of players, the interval between the 2-man groups has been reduced back to six minutes. Hopefully with any reductions in the current level of restrictions those groupings will eventually increase to three or four man groups. However, that will only happen should Golf NSW or Government Officials approve such a move.

Ray Hopwood