The 24th Moore Stephen’s Markham (formally Woodhouse) Men’s Shootout final was held on

Sunday with all 19 players teeing off in persistent rain. The first few holes in shootout finals usually

produce some spectacular exits with balls going over fences or into hazards or bunkers but this

year the first four eliminated suffered from bad or short drives which cost them dearly. The first

chip out was on No 4 and, in all, there were only five chip outs in the whole day with the most spectacular being an 8-man drama on the 6th. Perhaps the unluckiest to be eliminated all day was Joe Tuoro who got as far as No 16 only to put his tee shot into the small conifer on the left-hand side of the fairway. Unable to find the ball he went back and played another, only to hit the same tree, and lose the hole. A lot later, back in the clubhouse, a club member gave him back his first ball which she’d found under the tree- it had dropped out! Alan Carroll, who had survived a few scares was ‘gone’ on No 17, leaving Carl Christensen and last year’s winner, Rob Blackett, to play the last hole. Rob played a conventional three shots to be two metres short of the green while Carl ‘duffed’ his second shot, was beside the green for four, chipped and one putted for a six. Rob calmly chipped to two metres and sank the putt for a par and to repeat his win in the Moore Stephens Markham Shootout final, the only time it has been won by the same player two years in a row.

Over the past four weeks a ‘She Loves Golf’ programme has been run at the Masterton Golf Club. This programme is aligned with the NZ Golf campaign to get more women into the game of golf. The four week programme covered the basics of the game including putting, chipping, iron play, driving and, on the final night, a couple of holes played out on the course. 16 women participated over the four weeks with a lot of enjoyment had by all. Each session was followed by some bubbles and nibbles supplied by Café Trio at the Masterton Golf Club. Keep an eye out for a similar programme beginning in early January.

Last Wednesday the TRC Toyota Twilight golf continued to attract big fields with 62 golfers fronting and some big scores being returned. Dean Gray scored 24 points but came second on a count back to Nathan Frew in the 35 strong men’s field but both were pipped by Jo Bird in the women’s division who scored 25 points.

Dean was thwarted on the All Teed Up Closest to the Pin as well. Val Diedrichs crossed his name off when she got inside his marker with what she described as a ‘lucky shot’. The Wairarapa Funeral Services Longest Drive ProV1 balls were won by Russell Stewart and Di Herbert. In a new innovation, Pat Laffey won a free “Swing Check” from our golf professionals in the All Teed Up shop. Rosie Laffey said that Pat was an appropriate winner of this week’s check-up. This swing analysis will be given each week to a golfer drawn from those who have not won a prize in the last two weeks of competition and with up to 17 prizes being awarded each week that potentially takes 34 players out of the draw and gives a good chance for the ‘moderately’ skilled golfers to get some professional advice from Joel and Shaun. This Wednesday is the last night prior to the Christmas break and resumes on Wednesday 4 January 2017.

The Thursday men’s New World Supermarket competition saw some excellent scoring with Bob Hill winning with 42 points from Simon Richardson on 40. Third was Derek Clarkson on 39 and then Dennis Hogg on 37. The All Teed Up Closest to the Pin was won by Richard Schofield. This Thursday is the John Whitehead Trophy Day, the only cup available to Thursday players.

Both men and women in the Saturday field played a stableford round. Results were-

Men

1st        Jamie Frew                           41

2nd       Jamie Brunton                      41

3rd        Dennis Hogg                                    40

4th        John Francis                                    40

Women

1st        Edith Clarkson                     33

The All Teed Up Closest to the Pin’s on No 8 were won by Alec Ward and Nooroa Rota while Geoff Masters won the All Teed Up No 18.

This Saturday sees the first round on the men’s Summer Cup which is played for every Saturday from now until (and including) 21 January. Your best three nett scores count but you must enter the Pro Shop competition each Saturday- you do not have to tee off at midday and there will not be a disc draw so make up your own fours. Please put ‘Summer Cup’ on your card to make sure your score is recorded.

On Sunday the men’s Wellington Champion of Champions is held at Wainuiomata and Masterton is represented by Dean Gray (Senior), Rob Blackett (Intermediate) and John Francis (Junior).

Next Monday the Masterton Junior Open will be held with entry open to players up to and including 19 year olds. Tee off is at 9.15.

In the next week the club farewells both our office team with Russell Stewart ‘retiring’ as Secretary Manager and Lorraine Stewart as Administrator. This team have shared the management side of the club since April 2013 and have done a magnificent job. We look forward to them playing a lot more golf!

Off the Fairway

As this is the last Sports Report for 2016 may I wish all members and readers a very restful Christmas and a Happy New Year (and lots of golf!). If you are away don’t forget our members have reciprocal rights at Hokowhiti, Boulcott Farm, Whangaparoa, Pakuranga, Murawai and half green fees at Maraenui- just ring before you turn up. It is also my last report as a new person will be taking over in 2017. Thank you for all your feedback and support.