The third annual Gray’s Golfing Society weekend away headed to Scotland for a great few days at Fairmont St Andrews.
Friday kicked off with a team event. The best three scores from each team counted.
Before the round even kicked off there was a masterclass from Neil Gray on how to use the hoverboards.
Craig Milburn got things off to a good start. His putter off the first tee was a sign of things to come for the team of him, Mark Rasheed, Jonny Pattenden and Shane Waite. They eventually finished last, 27 points behind the winners.
It was close but no cigar for Nick Gray, Gary Turner, Scott Martin and Kenny Hill who posted a phenomenal 130 points.
It was the same score as eventual winners Ewan Campbell, Phil Gray, Darren Doherty and Lewis Hazelgrove whose one shot was the difference in the end.
The highlight of the day was undoubtedly Lewis’ hole-in-one on 17. A lovely 7-iron ended up costing him a few quid at the bar. A trip away with 40 people is perhaps not the best time for your first ace.
A special shout out has to go to Gavin Penman and Ross Millar who were late replacements and made sure the day went ahead without a hitch.
Each day saw prizes for nearest the pins and longest drives. The four nearest the pins for Friday were Ewan Campbell, John Heeps and Lewis Hazelgrove who not only won with his hole in one but added a second. The long drive Iain Graham.
Saturday was Ryder Cup day – Scotland vs England (some English players had to be honorary Scotsman for the day).
There were more than a few sore heads out there. One of the few who was feeling fresh though was Eddie Gregory who was tucked up in bed by 10.30 to prepare for his big match.
On the other end of that was Richard Davies, Ewan Campbell and Sam Punchard who had no sleep at all.
Unfortunately for Sam, he was going up against Stu Hope who shot -4 who took a half in the pairs and a win in the singles.
He wasn’t the only one to lose both games. Mark Rasheed, perhaps showing signs of a heavy night lost both games.
Kev Ingram (pictured above) managed to pick himself off the bench (literally) to win both games against Mark.
There was a secondary event – the smiley ball. Players took turns to use the ball and whichever team made it furthest round the course without losing it would win.
It did not get off to the best of starts for Steve Parry’s team. The champion from 2016 didn’t even make the red tees with his drive. Then his second shot, played with his shorts round his ankles, was a big shank into the bushes.
The eventual winners were the only group to make it all the way round without losing it. That was Mark Rosser, John Heeps, Darren Doherty and Luke Holt.
Despite a heavy night, Ricky Vogel couldn’t carry Phil Gray to a win. That all added up to a Scotland win – 16-14.
The team was made up of Sam Punchard, Rambo Galbraith, Kev Caldwell, Ant Callaghan, John Heeps, Darren Doherty, John Mitchell, Jack Kelly, Craig Milburn, Neil Borrie, Chris Shields, Willie Duffy, Kenny Hill, Scott Martin, Jonny Pattenden, Geordie, Iain Graham, Kev Ingram, Ewan Campbell and Ian Ramsay.
The nearest the pin winners on Saturday were David Blood, Craig Milburn, Ty Moreno and Kenny Hill. The longest drive went to Sam Punchard.
The Sunday was the one they all wanted to win. The big individual competition for the trophy.
Rick Vogel got off to a good start on Friday with 35 points but his golf went downhill from there. 21 points would have left him sweating for the last place prize.
Another one that was really sweating was Kyle Myers. His 18 points looked like it was going to leave him wearing the famous t shirt.
However, that “honour” went to Jack Kelly. His 16 points saw him take the shirt and the custom Irn Bru themed Scotty Cameron putter. He made a respectable 13 points on the back nine but an amazing 63 front nine for three points left him too much to do.
Perhaps lucky to escape the last place was Ant Callaghan who couldn’t even make it to the first tee. He also managed just nine holes on Saturday before heading back to bed.
Jason Hannon promised to eagle three of the last six holes to catch the winner – he only made eight points on them.
The winner was clear of everyone in the end. In fourth place, after countback, John Mitchell ended on 34 points.
Reigning champion, Geordie put up a great defence of his title but came up just short on 36 points.
Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, Ian Ramsay finished as runner-up for a second year running. His 40 points would have been good enough on most occasions but not today.
He was four points behind winner Phil Gray. His mammoth 44 points were clear of everybody. His gross 10-over 81 was better than “pro” Sam Punchard.
The weekend also took Phil’s record over Ewan to 6-1.
The nearest the pins for the final day went to John Mitchell, Kenny Hill, Ady Milward and Iain Graham. Longest drive went to Scott Martin.
One final thanks goes to Brad Muir for the amazing pictures.
It was a great weekend and next year’s promises to be even better with a trip to Wales looking likely.