The Border’s Golf team of David Gillie, Simon Fairburn, Colin Riddle, Jackson Berry, Paul Johnson and Paul McVie set off to distant Aberdeen and the courses of Newmachar golf Club to face the other 15 Areas of Scotland.
The format of the competition was 36 holes of stroke play over the two courses and the best 5 scores would be totalled. The top 8 teams would go through to the Match Play on Saturday and Sunday.
It is over 200 miles from Langholm to Aberdeen and Newmachar is 15 miles further north. A practice round was arranged for Thursday afternoon and the first car left Langholm at 7.30. We had the pleasure of driving over the new bridge which is, of course not on the Sat Nav. This recorded us swimming over the Forth. The second car had a slight problem when the road was blocked by an accident which delayed the practice by 30 minutes. The Hawkshill course is a par 72 with a SS of 74 which means it played 2 shots better than par. Our players were impressed with the course which is tree lined, a fair amount of water and plenty of bunkers. A driver was not always best option with playing for position the more sensible approach.
Our first tee time was 8.30 and breakfast at 6.30 at the Premier Inn in Aberdeen and a 25 minute drive gave just time to hit some balls at the range. The team was split into two with 3 playing the Hawkshill course and 3 playing the Swailend Course which is shorter. The order would be reversed in the afternoon. I followed the players on the Hawkshill course and it was not the best start, one in the trees, one in the water and one in the bunker, all to drop shots on the first hole. Simon recovered to return an excellent 3 under par, 69.
Paul Johnson was also under par on the Swailend course. Our best 5 scores totalled 379 which put us in 10th place. A quick turnaround, a bite to eat and a change of courses and off we went again.
Paul Johnson returned a par score of 72 on the Hawkshill course and Colin Riddle was under par on the Swailend Course. We ended up with a total of 745 to finish in 13th place. Simon had our lowest score with 1 over score closely followed by Paul Johnson who was 2 over.
For those of you who are interested in statistics here are the stats.
Hawkshill Par 72, average score 75.75, Eagles 3, Birdies 197. Pars 1080, Bogeys 358, Double Bogeys+ 90.
Swailend Par 72, Average score 72.52, Eagles 12 Birdies 327, Pars 1041, Bogeys 302, Double+ 46.
So we had to return home early, only 15 shots away from making the last 8. Well there is always next year.