Cross comes home
The next time you are in the bar at Machrie have a look at the Kildalton Cross. Sitting on the plinth is the replica Cross presented to the 1904 winner Archibald MacVean. The Club was contacted in the Spring by Mrs Gillian Findley of Gateshead enquiring whether we would be interested in the return of the replica Cross that she had bought at a car-boot sale in the North East. How this part of the Club’s history found itself at a bric-a-brac sale remains unclear, but we are delighted to have it back in our possession. While Mrs Findley would not accept any payment for the return of the replica Cross, at her request the Club has made a contribution to the Gateshead Health NHS Trust. Our thanks go to Mrs Findley for taking the trouble to return the Cross to the Club.
Ian Patrick is standing down as Secretary of the Club at this year’s AGM. Ian has been a source of knowledge, advice and support for Captains and the Committee since 2003. I know that all the past Captains he has worked with have been reassured to have him by their side at Committee meetings, Cross draws and raffles and AGMs. Thank you Ian for your service to the Club.
After four years in the role as Match Secretary, John Campbell has decided the time has come to hand over the reins on this time-consuming task to Keith MacDonald. Keith will be assisted by Alistair MacMillan and Charles Holyoake.
On behalf of the Club, I would like to thank John for the work and effort he has put into the role of Match Secretary and for building on the foundations that Bob Hogben and he laid in computerising both weekly competition results and the infrastructure for Cross Week. John, though standing down from the Committee due to work and family commitments, will continue to offer help and advice to Keith and his team.
Alec Chasemore has resigned his post as General Secretary from July 31st. Again I would like to thank Alec for his efforts on behalf of the Club. We are in the process of advertising for a replacement General Secretary. In the interim Alec will continue to work on a voluntary basis with John McIntyre Jnr on the tasks required to ensure the smooth running of the membership aspects of the Club. We will also seek Alec’s input in defining the role of the new appointee to this role.
As a result of the efforts of a number of the Committee members, particularly Charles Holyoake and Keith MacDonald, along with a revision to the entry and starting arrangements for competitions and a restructuring to the fixture list I am pleased to report a sharp increase in the number of participants in weekly competitions. Though early days, the introduction of mid-week monthly medals played from the yellow tees is also proving a successful innovation. Just to recap, we are now running a draw system at 8am on the day of weekend competitions. There is now no need to place your name on the competition sheets in the clubhouse if you are entering via the 8am draw. Simply turn up a bit before 8am, sign in for the competition, pay entry and sweep monies and make out a card in your own name. A committee member then organises a draw of the cards for playing partners. This system ensures that everyone wishing to play gets a game and that playing partners vary through the year. It is, however, still possible to play at times other than 8am. For these alternate times names and starting times must be entered on the relevant competition sheet in the Clubhouse any time before 8am on the day of the competition. For players using this system it is essential that the starting times placed on the sheet are adhered to and that playing partners are informed if it is not possible for you to make the nominated times.
The results for all Islay Golf Club competitions are now available at
As an innovation in the Golf Club calendar, the club championships for the Gents, Ladies and Junior sections were decided over two rounds of golf on the weekend of 28th and 29th June. The weekend proved a considerable success, even if most competitors left feeling that Machrie had got the better of them.
The Gents club championship was won by Sandy Reid, an Islay exile now living in Rothes. Sandy spread-eagled the field with a superb 72 in the first round, three ahead of former club champion Derek Gray and four ahead of Ross Currie. Sandy then held his nerve for the Sunday round, recording a fine 77, to win by three from Ross Currie in second place and four ahead of Derek Gray in third.
It will come of little surprise to those that follow the golf at Machrie that the diva of the links, Diane Brown won the Ladies Championship, chased home in second place by Shona Gray.
The Junior Championship was won by Ross Johnston, with all the boys coping well with the testing conditions. Alongside the Championship itself – played off scratch – a number of other trophies for handicap scores were also decided over the weekend. Here too, Sandy Reid’s fine form proved too much for the rest of the field. On the Saturday Sandy won the Lachie MacKinnon Memorial Trophy with a net score of 63. Adding a nett 68 on the Sunday saw Sandy lift the John Edgar Memorial Trophy for the Club’s handicap Champion of the year. This trophy has recently been donated to the Club by Ella and Christine Edgar in the memory of John, a stalwart of the links at Machrie and a former winner of both the Club Championship and the Kildalton Cross. The Club was delighted that Ella and Christine were able to attend the prizegiving and to have Ella presenting the prizes.
Results:– Gents: Club Championship (scratch): 1. Sandy Reid, 149; 2. Ross Currie 152; 3. Derek Gray 153. John Edgar Memorial Trophy (handicap): 1. Sandy Reid 131; 2. Arthur Holyoake 142; 3. George Campbell 144. Lachie Mackinnon Memorial Trophy: 1. Sandy Reid 72-9=63; 2. John Ferguson 81-12=68; 3. Charles Holyoake 76-6=70. Secretary’s Cup (over 50 handicap) 1. John Ferguson. Ladies Club Championship (scratch): 1. Diane Brown 168; 2. Shona Gray 181.
Gents order of merit as at 27th July
1. Nigel Carmichael 167
2. Keith MacDonald 157
3. Charles Holyoake 153
4. George Campbell 113
5. Sandy Peter 109
6. Ian McCuaig 98
The CONGU (Council of National Golf Unions) rules on handicapping set out a number of responsibilities for individual players. Among these is the requirement to return scores from competitions, such as Opens, played away from the player’s home club. An extract from the CONGU rules below sets out the detail on this requirement.
To facilitate the return of Away Scores a notebook has been placed on the desk in the clubhouse where the player should enter his name, date, name of the competition, the course played, his score and the CSS as calculated by the host club. Any adjustments for a “bad” hole where the player scores more than a nett double bogey should also be noted – for example a 9 at a par 5 where you get a stroke becomes an 8 for handicapping purposes.
No player should commence a competitive round without updating any outstanding Away Scores as these are required to determine his up-to-date exact handicap. The penalty for failing to return Away Scores could result in the suspension of a player’s handicap and result in exclusion from Club and Open competitions.
Machrie’s worldwide recognition continues to grow. This means that the course is becoming ever busier with hotel guests and visitors. The Hotel management is happy to reserve individual times for Islay Golf Club members, however given the potential pressure on start times on any given day, should a booked time not be required the Hotel should be informed to allow the time to be released for visiting golfers.