Strathmore Golf Centre 2004
The tour welcomed two rookies this year - Gavin Bain and Graham Moir. As usual our luxury coach picked up the team at 07:30hrs, minus Dave Thain, who was in mini-crisis after running over his mother's cat whilst looking after it. At the start of the day 'Tiger' was in a full designer plaster cast which cost Dave a mere £300 in vet fees!! The tour also welcomed back Phil and Jim after their attempt on the Spanish Tour last year. Phil even cancelled his entry to the Evening Express sponsored 'Champion of Champions' tournament!
The team was looking as if they could actually play the game with everyone sporting the Official Team merchandise. Soon after departing Aberdeen, the scene was set - the first bottles of beer were opened at 07:45hrs, the The Chief was picked up at his usual Aberdeen residence and Stewart on the Stoney bypass.
On the journey to Strathmore, the pairings/groups were announced; with the usual suspects complaining about their playing partners - ie Round Bob (Reilly) and Dod who were paired together. The handicap committee was under pressure to change (increase!) individual handicaps due to "I've nae played since last summer" or "My official handicap has gone up". The committee was having none of it! The tournament favourite was current Peterculter Club Champion,Phil, who was attempting to try and emulate Iain Ritchie and Rod Snr and win the trophy for a 2nd time. As the bus journey continued, his odds increased as he 'necked the Buds' like it was going out of fashion! Unusually, Jim was quite sober and obviously confident, and Round Bob again was again proclaiming that he was "in the form of his life". The reigning champion, Iain Ritchie, decided to play it low key quietly claiming that "he'd not swung a club in ages". The spies were out as he had been spotted at the driving range on numerous occasions in the run up to the event!
The weather was again fantastic; warm and dry - perfect for low scoring. As it turned out, it was a day for setting records; the most consistent divot and the shortest tee shot being the highlights, along with Stewart winning both of the 'Longest Drives' and a 'Nearest-the-Hole' competition, and a new record winning score of 42 points.
At the first tee, the group gathered to witness one of the early, and most memorable highlights - Nick McLeod in the first group took 4 attempts to hit the ball! Cries of "move the ba' back te' the effin' divot" did not help his concentration, and amidst mass hilarity he managed to send the ball 100 yards up the fairway. The greenkeeper was sent to organise a JCB to repair the first tee in time for the afternoon round. Our resident greenkeeper, Stewart, was in tears at the damage caused to the finely manicured tee area. Not to be outdone, John Murray also decided to get on the record books at the 2nd hole, when he managed to record the shortest ever tee shot - 2 feet! He decided not to take a Mulligan and proceded to twat his next shot, with the same 3 wood but without tee peg, a massive 140 yards up the fairway.
Scoring throughout the morning round was of an extremely high standard with more than half of the competitors equalling or breaking a par score of 36 Stableford points. There was an almighty uproar in the clubhouse when rumours were rife about a potential 50 Stableford point haul, but after the handicap committee intervened normality resumed! However a decision was taken not to advertise this for maximum 'wind-up' effect, which worked a treat; ref Dod and Round Bob!! The defending champion, put up a good defence of his crown, scoring 39 points.