While many are sorry to see the end of the summer golfing season, there are others who welcome the winter with open arms as the consequent conditions seem to bring out the best in their golf.
This appeared to be confirmed by the interesting anomaly that although the course at Lurgan was reduced to just 14 holes, a number of players scored more points than they had scored throughout the year over 18 holes.
In reports on the Winter League the stated handicaps are those allocated over the 14 holes.
The convincing overall winner of the opening week was Chris Stevenson with 37 points off 22. Chris actually scored this big total over just 12 holes as he failed to score at 3 and 12, but birdies at 4 and 10 more than redressed the balance.
Just the thought of winter seems to stir the golfing spirit within Bill Leslie and he began this year’s campaign up around the top where he has spent the last umpteen winter leagues. His 34 points, off 14, took the runners up spot despite not scoring at 16, but his birdies at 1, 2 and 12 had given him sufficient points in the bag to carry this late setback.
Also on 34 points, off 14, came John McComb, another player who appears to love the winter. His 8 bogeys and 6 pars reflected the consistency of his play and although he missed out on the runners up spot on the back 9, he took the high section, no doubt the first of a number of prizes in the coming months. Second place in this section went to Willie Grogan off 16, a birdie at 8 being the highlight of a very steady round.
The low section went to Brian Robinson who appears to find it difficult to stay out of the prizes at the moment. His 33 points, off 8, were the result of a round of just 3 over, and a birdie at 17 provided that vital late push up the leader board. Dermot Lavery came 2nd in the section with 32 points off 8. His birdies at 11 and 18 played their part in a strong back 9 which held off the challenges of Peter Kennedy, 6, and Gregory Crawford, 4.
The middle section ended in a struggle between three players on 33 points with veteran winter campaigner Paddy Meehan’s (9) back 9 of just 1 over proving decisive. Although Paddy had numerous birdie putts they just would not drop on the day and his round was comprised of 10 pars and 4 bogeys. George Forker, 11, came 2nd in the section missing out on the top spot with a 3 over back 9.
The unlucky player to miss out on 33 points was Brian Doley. He began the back 9 in style with birdies at 10 and 12 but then 5 dropped shots over the last 4 holes.
David Sutton claimed the gross prize with a very impressive round of 4 under par. His only dropped shot came at 16, but his eagle at 4 and birdies at 9, 13 and 17 had put him into a very strong position indeed.
Members recently attended a prize night in the clubhouse when the end of season awards were presented by club Captain Ian Cousins.