THE END OF THE BEGINNING
As we move towards the end of another year we can reflect over the past twelve months and appreciate how special the months have been for the Club. The Millennium Celebrations with so many members deciding to meet at Machrie to enjoy the once in a lifetime occasion. The success of the Icicle Trophy and John Tam struggling to finish the dregs. The match against Kilmacolm, staged by then Captain David Wilson playing for Islay and his undoubted triumph over the visitors. The increased number of entrants for the Machrie Open and Ian Middleton adding the trophy to his list of golfing achievements. The match against Luffness GC organised by Dougie Adams in June was another success for the home team. Like most places in Scotland we also won with the weather during the early summer. The warm dry spell lasted till Cross time and gave Simon and his team extra work in preparing the course. The centenary of the first playing of the Kildalton Cross was a winner for everyone, not just the ones taking home the trophies. The special atmosphere from beginning to end had been captured on video. We were on another winner when the Machrie was taken off the market after Malcolm King had been unable to find a suitable buyer. His loss our gain.
On a personal note my only achievement was reaching our Ruby Wedding in November. Many friends and relations travelled from the mainland to join the locals in what is being called 'the party of the decade'. All due again to the Machrie Hotel and its staff.
To enjoy all these good times there has to be times of sadness and so it was when we lost Jim Snow early in the year. He and Joyce had been coming to Machrie for many years and latterly became members.
In September we suffered the untimely loss of Eddie Brown. A true character who will be sadly missed for his stories - some of them were even true - and his punchline on your downswing. Happily his visits to Machrie during Cross week were recorded and are included in the video with the obligatory 'bleep, bleep'
After years of illness, fought with unequalled determination, Drew Hyslop passed on in November. His bravery in earlier years was recognised by the Queen, his bravery in latter years was recognised by many more.
Good times or sad times, ever optimistic we now look forward to a new year and the prospects of more good times for the Club.
CENTRALISED HANDICAPPING SYSTEM
The SGU and the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association are now progressing the computer system for recording handicaps. Our full database showing 370 members has been sent to the SGU. The next stage will be regional roadshows and our team will probably be at Lochgilphead in March. Only local resident members are being treated as 'Home Club' for handicapping purposes (except for a very few) All others are bring treated as though they had a 'Home Club' elsewhere in Scotland. If you are a mainland or overseas member and wish Islay Golf Club to be nominated as your 'Home Club' for handicapping purposes, please write to the Secretary before the start of next season.
KILDALTON CROSS VIDEO
After weeks of editing the Cross 2000 Video is now ready for sale to members. It is, as planned, a taste of all the activities during the week, recording for posterity the events and characters to be remembered in the future. I have taken the liberty of enclosing a copy with this Newsletter to selected members who were present during Cross Week and who may have taken part in the production. If you do not wish to purchase the video please return it to the Secretary - unseen. (Vee haff vays of knowing you peeked). Postage will be refunded. The cost of the video, including postage and packaging is £12. Anyone who does not receive a video with this Newsletter and would wish a copy please contact the Secretary. The only regret is the loss of the recording of the Special winners dinner on Thursday night. The event however is marked with use of still photographs taken by Gilbert Stevenson. These, together with John Gordon's pamphlet on the Reverend James Pease, complete the picture. Restricted to slightly less then three hours, each of the events could not be shown in full but if there were special requests for example, the whole of Alistair McLachlan's Auction or the hilarious speeches after the Cross Dinner, these could be accommodated.
The Club is now in possession of a camera and scanner to help promote the Club on the web site. Sponsored by the Argyll and the Islands Enterprise Company the purchase will enable us to record events and send them round the world almost simultaneously. Our site is linked to the Island's Portal web site, the purpose of which is advertising the Island in broader fields.
Simon and his team are still working on the new 9 hole course which should be partly ready for next year. The first tee on the existing course will be resited nearer the fifth green making the first hole a dogleg right and brings the deep hole in the fairway into play. It might be filled with sand by next year. New paths and steps have been created at the sixth and eighth tees and returfing has been done on the eighteenth tee which suffered from the drought in May June and July. Remember? The Club is presently negotiating the extension of the five year agreement which we have enjoyed since Malcolm King took over. New Clubhouse accommodation is still in hand. To attract more golfing families/parties the hotel have created four new package weeks for next season. Details are printed in next seasons Fixture Booklet. The Gents and Ladies Fixtures will be displayed in the one calendar of events Also included for the first time will be a section at the rear of the booklet for the hotel staff to mark on each occasion the member pays for a guest. The number of guest visits remains at six and the fee per guest is still £6. This concession must not be abused.
The Cross Week 2001 starts on Saturday 4th August
The Club's web site can be found at
To distinguish between members with e-mail facility only and those with internet access would members who are able please visit the web site and record the visit with comments in the 'guest book' . This way I can save postage once a proper e-mail address book is completed.
Some time back the Junior Section received a very substantial donation from Mr and Mrs Paterson which was very gratefully accepted. A small part of the money was used to bring Ken Campbell, PGA teaching pro from Machrihanish during Octobers school holidays. Ken was kept busy and gave a full days coaching which was thoroughly enjoyed. He will be back next Season through the Golf Foundation. A new trophy for perpetual competition was added to the Juniors list. The Paterson Trophy for the most improved player of the year. The first name to be inscribed was Greg Hyslop. Another substantial donation was given by Tim Morrison from his family trust, to help the youngsters from Jura in their travelling expenses to Machrie. The Junior Prizegiving was well attended with a good turnout of seniors to play in the Scramble. A bottle of whisky donated by CWS at Bowmore for the senior player nearest the hole at the 5th was won by Libba. It is rumoured that no one actually was on the green!! Prizes were presented by Simon Freeman and Angus MacAulay.