Friday, 22 June 2012

Team for the East v West match at Troon Portland

The West Vets have promised their strongest team yet with plenty new faces to try and wrest the Elise Duncan from our grasping grip.  They felt they were so close last year it was hardly worthwhile leaving the trophy with us but that having the match on homeground this year at Troon Portland will be just their ticket.  How wrong they will be!  The team to make sure it doesn't happen is:

Karen Ballantyne (Craigmillar Park)
Ruth Brown (Lothianburn)
Noreen Fenton (Dunbar)
Linda Grieve (Musselburgh)
Anne Hanson (Glencorse)
Fiona Hunter (Baberton)
Lesley Johnstone (Gullane)
Susan Penman (Gullane)
Pamela Williamson (Baberton)

This is always a most fiercely fought match - much looked forward to.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ramsden Cup Concession

If East Vets have been wondering why the latest round of the Ramsden Cup has not been reported , then wonder no more as it is not yet completed.  The ability to toss a coin successfully to choose a winner in the event of a match not being played is not necessary.  No dire threats of completion by the required date OR ELSE can really do it when we have weather such as we have had this last wee while when competitors arrange dates and then can't get the games played because the course is unplayable or due to the rain coming down incessantly, as so often has been the case lately.  The next round of the Ramsden is therefore not due to be completed till 18th July.

Note to the eventual winners.  Are you remembering that it was agreed at the AGM last year that in the interests of fairness, the games at that stage will take place on a neutral course.  Once your result is known and reported to Katherine, she will tell you which course your game is to be played on.  This will not see you out of pocket any more than it is at the moment.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Sun at Haddington

It was almost unbelievable.  Can the East Vets have at last ditched their climate jinx.  The Summer Meeting at a beautiful Haddington was played in glorious sunshine.  The grass (inevitably) verdant, the trees luxuriant (but often quite in the road of the perfect approach) and the water sparkling as the bright light danced over the unbroken surface - until the odd golf ball spoilt the effect of course.  All under the gaze of the watchful heron.

Golf.  Oh yes.  The golf.

Did anyone hand in their card without a smile,  a rueful smile perhaps as scores were slightly higher than this perfect day merited.  No, everyone seemed to enjoy the day and surely that is what it is all about.

The best scratch scores came in later in the day and were in the hands of two new East Vets, Rosie Dennis of Murrayfield and Ann Hanson of Glencorse who each had a scratch 77 - and both played together.  So Ann knew that she had been pipped by a better inward half long before the computer checked her score.  Well done Rosie who, playing off a handicap of 10, was also the overall winner.  That handicap of 10 will be a distant memory!

In Division 2, the winner was Lesley Gray of Gullane who brought in a net 73.  Sandra Simpson of Murrayfield also had a net 73 but Lesley won on the countback - better last six holes.

The Summer Meeting is of course used as the qualifying round for the East Vets Championship, the draw for which is below.  It promises to be a really exciting contest.

Well done all ladies.  The greens seemed to cause a little trouble although they were lovely, the rough was definitely rough and the leafy glades may have got in the way.  It was a real test.

The CSS stayed at 73 and 68 ladies played.

Silver Division (qualifiers)
77   Rosie Dennis (Murrayfield)
77   Ann Hanson (Glencorse)
79   Lesley Johnston (Gullane) - not playing in championship
79   Susan Penman (Gullane)
82   Ruth Brown (Lothianburn)
82   Karen Ballantyne (Craigmillar Park)
82   Barbara Biggart (North Berwick)
83   Ray Lynch (Murrayfield)
84   Pam Townsend

Nett Scores
Overall Winner.  Rosie Dennis (Murrayfield) 77 - 10 - 67
Pam Townsend   (Murrayfield) 84 - 13 - 73
Vickie Sandiman (Gullane)  86 - 13 - 73
Ann Hanson (Glencorse)  77 - 4 - 73
Lesley Johnston  (Gullane) 79 - 05 - 74
Sandra Craig (Prestonfield)- 94 - 20 - 74
Susan Penman (Gullane) 79 - 5 - 74
Barbara Biggart (North Berwick) 82 - 8 - 74
Ray Lynch (Murrayfield) 83 - 9 - 74
Liz Smith (Murrayfield) 94 - 19 - 75
Phyl Early (Glencorse) 92 - 17 - 75
Caroline Kinnaird (Glencorse) 85 - 10 - 75
Bronze Division Scratch and Handicap
Lesley Gray (Gullane) 94 - 21 - 73
Sandra Simpson (Murrayfield) 97 - 24 - 73
Isobel Hastings (Murrayfield) 99 - 22 - 77
Sylvia Cunningham (Murrayfield) 100 - 22 - 78

Draw for the Championship
Rosie Dennis v Pam Townsend
Ruth Brown v Karen Ballantyne
Sue Penman v Barbara Biggart
Ann Hanson v Ray Lynch

Ladies your ties must be played between Monday 9th and Friday 13th July.  Arrange the time between yourselves then phone up the professional at Haddington to book it.  We have been given the courtesy of the course.  Please let Katherine know the result as soon as possible.  The semifinals and finals are on Sunday 15th July.  Please ensure before you start that you can definitely play on all dates. 


Friday, 1 June 2012


Today in a few hours, we prepare to say the final goodbye to Ethel.  She was one of a kind. 

Although diagnosed with lung cancer last year and having to undergo the unpleasant chemotherapy, she carried on just as before for as long as she could, showing the same dignity and courage she had showed throughout her life.   There will be many present  who are more able to wax lyrical about her golfing achievements, both on and off the course, so we shall leave that side of her to them.

The Ethel we knew (and loved) was quite simply a unique and very special person, someone to whom people of all ages and walks of life could relate.  She meant something to everyone who knew her, from the young aspiring golfer to the not-so-young (and aspired), quite simply because she was interested in them.  Her support for girls', women's and senior golf (including vets) was unstinting, whether it took the form of sending cards and good wishes, on the spot advice, flag-waving, caddying, you name it , she did it.  She even helped on the desk at the Vets Spring Meeting when she was already critically ill and clearly quite exhausted. 

But beyond all that, when in full flood, she could quite literally light up a room.  Always relied on to come away with a wisecrack that would loosen the stays of the stuffiest of company, she saw straight through the ridiculous and pompous in any situation and cut it down to size.  She was never afraid to voice her opinion, to say it like she saw it, or to crush a contrary view with a disparaging laugh -  the view, but not the person who held it.  The often unsmiling facade, failing to hide her innate sense of fun, fooled no one, pulling only the flimsiest of curtains over a heart of pure gold. That infectious laugh will ring out in people's memories for long days to come - and make them smile back.  As for her repartee and off the cuff humour, she was famed for them.  Indeed, some of her little personal stories and speeches will be long remembered and regurgitated many times in the future.  Could there have been an inauguration speech like hers at the SLGA Annual General Meeting - not renowned as a jolly day out - when she became President?  The hall was in an uproar.  And her address at the Midlothian Centenary Dinner, likewise.

Ethel had a circle of very good  friends who were a tower of strength to her towards the end.  Ballooning outwards from this was another larger circle of people who probably felt enormously priviledged to have been counted as friends.  To pass even a few moments with Ethel in idle chit-chat was likely to be  agreeably amusing, promised to leave that person with a big smile and generally feeling much better than before. She quite unconsciously was the centre of gravity in any company, possessing that kind of polar attraction.

This will undoubtedly be a sad occasion despite Ethel's request that her "mourners" wear bright clothes. However, it is almost guaranteed that at some point someone will tell a story about Ethel or repeat something hysterical she did or said.  From beyond the grave she will have done it again - broken the ice.  Step back a moment from it all, let the mind run free and just remember the laugh, the smile and that twinkle  in her eye.  Remember Ethel. .