Inverness Golf Centre Open
Mel returns to Orkney this weekend to play host to a brand new event that will rotate round the clubs each year.
Stromness will host in inaugural stableford event this Saturday with various prizes for men and ladies spread across handicap sections (0-12 and 13+ in the men, 0-20 and 21+ in the ladies).
There will also be multiple nearest the hole prizes up for grabs too.
The draw will be made midweek and can be viewed in usual HandicapMaster sections.
Over seventy competitors took part in this year's Argos Open which is fast becoming one of the most popular events in the calendar thanks to the very generous sponsorship and extras that Ewan and Jenna supply - free doughnuts plus food and drink at the halfway house! Oh yeah, there was some golf too...!
It was early starter, in fact first out, Robbie Stanger who set the target with a nett 63. Normally this wouldn't hold out all day in decent conditions but a rather testing collection of rolling pins made this a solid target and got most of the field hot, crossed and bothered. Smart cookie George McKinlay used his loaf to plot his way around and match Robbie's 63 as did fellow McKinlay, Pete, whose 67 gross proved to be best on the day.
The dreaded countback was required to decide who won the dough and it was Robbie who won - the icing on the cake for his season?
One hundred and eight players took part in the 52nd Stromness Open on Saturday and thankfully heatstroke, sunburn and midgies were not a concern.
Yes this may have been the best summer for 40 years but the Open wants to find the best players out there and that can't be done in calm warm dry conditions can it?!
In strong westerly winds and heavy spells of rain it took the 36 holes for the cream to rise in both sections. At halfway the gross section had a familiar look about it with defending champion Pete McKinlay (67) a shot ahead of Steven Rendall (68). Remember, these two players between them have won the past 9 Stromness Opens and the tenth would be settled head to head. The nett section was also bunched with Colin Chesser from Thurso leading the way (60) ahead of Richard Brunton (62) and a host of 63s.
It was one of those early starting 63s who set the target for the rest when Kirkwall's Wayne Small added a 61 for a 124 total. Mid draw locals Robbie Oag (128) and John Heddle (129) came close but with the weather worsening and only lower handicappers left the cup belonged to a delighted Wayne. It was good to see Wayne hold on as he's a regular visitor to the club and his second round especially was deserving of the win.
In the gross both Pete and Steven struggled through the opening tough few holes but Steven steadied in the mid part of his round with a string of pars, odd birdie and a stunning eagle at 12 proving crucial. Pete to his credit fought back being -2 for his last 7 holes but Steven held on for a 67 and a 4 shot win for his 8th Stromness Open title. We do take for granted how good Steven's scores are but just how good that 67 in round 2 was will be appreciated by all who played in those conditions!
Best SGC member was Denis Harvey who took third with rounds of 71 and 70 while Andy Woodward and Bruce Moar finished a few shots back on 145 to round out the top 5.
Thanks as always go to our sponsors Bank of Scotland and Highland Park who once again issued out miniatures to everyone and dozens of prizes to boot. Judging by the bin at the 15th the miniatures went down well!
Thanks also to Rae and Lee our greenstaff who once again presented the course in fantastic condition and were widely praised by visitors to the club - always a good sign! Thanks too to Robbie Stanger for his voluntary divot filling and pond clearing. JP for his starting duties - that was a long day and John Heddle for co-ordinating the whole event - good to see him get a prize too for all the time put in. And also the ladies section for the halftime meal and homebakes - my personal highlight of the day!
Finally thanks to all our visitors this weekend from OGC & SRGC, Sid's Thurso gang and those from further afield. Stromness really does appreciate you coming to our event and helping to make it such a special day in the club's calendar. We hope to see you all back again soon.
Stromness Seniors Open
These old guys are getting tougher - normally the hint of a breeze or a slight drizzle and they postpone this event but not this year! They fought through the mild SE zephyr and lived to tell the tale.
Best of the bunch was Graham Bevan who not only tied with Donald Rae and Davy Garson for best nett on the day but was also a shot clear to win the gross with a 76 nett 65. Graham's a bit of a poor weather specialist and showed his skills here with some low ball flights and compact putting stroke, perfect for the conditions.
The dreaded countback had to be deployed for the nett cup between Donald and Davy and it was Donald whose back 9 proved worthy. A triple bogey at 16 proving Davy's undoing.
As always the club is indebted to sponsor JP Taylor and his autograph prizes which once again prove a different and popular memento for the winners (its not HIS autograph I might add!).
If you wish to join our club then just fill in and return this form (with some cash of course!).
2018 SGC Membership Form
Course footage by drone
Some great drone flyover footage from Scott here:
Course fly by
Holes 1 to 3
Golf in Orkney
Here's a good feature on golf in Orkney: Golf Passport