Deer Park Hotel & Golf Club 2006
This years event was the 10th anniversary of the 5th Major and the event has now officially become an International event being staged in Dublin at Deer Park Hotel and Golf Club.
The weekend started on Friday 19th May at Aberdeen airport, where the majority were travelling from. Surprisingly, everyone arrived on time for check-in, nobody forgot their passports, Euros or golf clubs!
On arrival at Dublin airport we were met by our bus driver, who was causing commotion by holding up a sign looking for 'Seve Ballestaros and Party'. The locals that had gathered looked slightly disappointed in seeing the 5th Major squad turning up. The coach journey to Deer Park saw the first of the presentations where last years sinners Phil, Iain and Bob were awarded personalised sick bags. Thankfully these were not required!
After a few pints of the local brew the majority decided to have a 9 hole warm up. John, Dod and The Chief (The Duke or Larry 'Shut That Door' depending on the mood) decided to check out the local hosteleries in Howth.
Saturday saw the 18 hole Texas Scramble commence after breakfast. After 9 holes the 1st team of three were reduced to two when John decided to 'walk-in' when it started to rain, announcing that he was a 'fair-weather' golfer and that he was off for a swim. By the time he had reached the club house the rain stopped and the sun shone. That was to be the only golf John participated in. The Texas Scramble was eventually won by the team of Phil, Rod Snr, Iain Ritchie and The Duke (Larry 'Shut That Door' or The Duke depending on the mood) with a score of 61.95.
The afternoon round saw 5 teams of three participate in round 1 of threesomes - it was going to be foursomes but there were a couple of 'Guinness' casualties at lunchtime. Andy took the responsibility of official photographer, a role that he did so well in that he celebrated well into the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately due to the inclement weather on The Sunday, the threesomes competition was reduced to only 1 round, which was won by the team of Phil, Rod Snr and Nick Mcleod with a score of 38.0
The Nick McLeod putting competition took part in the early evening on the putting green, amidst a curious gallery. After two rounds of putting with the 'telescopic' putter and a couple of hefty nips of Drambuie, it was won by Rod Snr.
The evening entertainment consisted of a trip into Dublin for a curry. This is where it started to wrong for Stewart 'Hubble' McBain. He was unfortunate to lose/have his wallet stolen whilst in the Temple Bar area. But if that was not bad enough he got separted from his minders and had to join a massive taxi queue whilst being skint. To cap it all, when he eventually did get a cab - it broke down! Not the best preparation for an assualt on the 5th Major.
Sunday - The 5th Major - weather: pissing down. After alot of deliberation and pontificating 15 brave souls decided to play. John decided he would go for a swim. Andy, the official photographer decided to go back to bed, after all he didn't actually get to bed until 6am! The weather was atrocious, with the greens flooding by the time the last group returned to the club house. This was reflected in the overall scores for the day but there were a couple of highlights - Rod Snr getting nearest the hole at the 16th with a magnificent effort, landing the ball within 6ft of the hole. The other highlight was our eventual champion, Phil, who managed to scramble 31 stableford points with some sterling golf, including a birdie frenzy in the 1st 9 holes. Congratualtions to Phil in not only becoming two-time champion but also becoming the tours No.1 player, rising an incredible 13 places.
Last years champion, Graeme Meade, was gracious in giving up the title having given a good account of himself on the golf course. Last years No. 1 player, Nick Frost was simply just Sick as Dog at losing his status and slipped down the rankings to No.7.
Following the prize giving ceremony and dinner an additional putting competition took place - indoors at the reception area of the hotel. The course consisted of a ramp, a table (acting as an obstacle) and a beer glass situated approximately 80 feet away. Again after two rounds and a couple large nips of Drambuie the competition was won by rookie tour member, George Christie.
The weekend ended up with a marathon sing-song in the bar, with the majority calling it a night at around 1.30am. Big Bob however decided that the later he stayed up the more likely it would be that John would pack his bags - mission accomplished!!
Following an early breakfast, we waited for our transport to the airport, and waited, and waited, and waited. Following frantic calls to the bus company we found that the first bus driver decided not to come into work, and in true Irish fashion, the 2nd bus was sent to the wrong hotel. Taxi! - four taxis made it to the airport before check-in closed enabling 11 to make it back to Aberdeen. However, the Dublin 4 - Phil, Iain, Graeme and Jim had to reroute to Prestwick and drive back to Aberdeen.
Yet again, another memorable 5th Major.......