Sunday was Hoppy’s day as the field assembled with buggies and carts resplendent in Christmas decorations.
Sponsor Gary Hopcraft judged the best cart by the applause that each received and Francie Mark was duly rewarded for her efforts in successfully stripping her Christmas tree and transferring all the glitter to her cart.
The event was a medley four-ball stableford with split sixes. The first six holes were 4BBB and the second six aggregate, while the last six were multiple stableford.
There was an audible sigh of relief when it was announced that Scottie Carter’s software would do all the calculations and golfers had merely to play a round of stableford.
The winners of Hoppy’s hampers were Glen Pearce and Rocco Barca who scored 78 to beat Lou Villani and Bryan Miller by three.
Pearce had a steady 36 points while Barca had 18 on the front nine and 23 on the back. Together they scored 40 points in the multiple section, allowing them to have a comfortable win.
Julie Gregg and Janette Hayward came in third with 71 points, while consolation Santa packs went to Peter Hutton-Tracy Lowry 70, David and Bev Roberts 70, Col Barlow-Ian Raglus 65, Graham and Gail Meneilly 64 and Gary Hopcraft-Dave Cornwall 63 on countback.
Nearest-the-pin trophies went to Janette Hayward and Graham Meneilly on the ninth, while Dave Cornwall and Julie Gregg won on the 14th. Brian Coe and Sharon Jeffers won nearest-the-Santa on the fourth hole while Peter Hutton and Sharon Jeffers won nearest-the-reindeer on the 15th. Angela Halden and Sheryl Curran won a special encouragement award.
But there was more. Tables in the clubhouse had been set with stick Christmas trees and reindeer and other items painstakingly made by Barb Nation and Gail Wootton. A meal of roasted lamb or chicken appeared and sweets rounded off a superb day to which many people contributed. The golf course was as perfect as the weather and golfers will be eagerly looking forward to next year’s event.
Peter Caldow won B-grade and the GMCU monthly medal with 82-17-65 on a countback from Geoff Kerr who had 83-18-65.
David Roberts won A-grade with 78-11-67 on a countback from Michael Downs, who was runner-up with 82-15-67.
Paul Berg and Mark Wursthorn had 66s and were seen shaking their heads sadly. Other ball winners were Dale Clarke 68, Tom McConchie 69, Fred Andrews and Dryden Danyel 70, Scott Carter 71, Yerly Vasquez, Col Barlow, Peter Collison, Fred McMahon 72 and Paul Cornelius 73 on countback.
Geoff Kerr won nearest-the-pin on the third hole (Lewis Homes) and the 14th (A-1 Freight), Graham Meneilly won on the sixth (Tatura Post Office) and Les Nation won the important ninth (Tatura Engineering) and the jackpot.
Order of merit
Tatura Family Butchers sponsors this award which tallies Saturday scores for the month and rewards the most successful.
Garry Reese won with 149 stableford points at an average of 37.25 each week. Jack Risstrom was runner-up with 145 (36.25) and Mike Downs was third with 142 (35). Those winners will enjoy quality meat when they present their vouchers at Tatura Family Butchers.
Summer four-ball knockout
Ryan Butler and John Dellar defeated Bryan Miller and Rocco Barca 3-2 in the semi-final on Thursday.
The other semi-final between Graham Meneilly-Lou Villani and Bruce Gross-Bob Oliver must be played by December 17, with the final to be played by January 14.
There were four visitors from Rich River on Tuesday and one of them, Geoff Kelly, was runner-up with 36 points, on a countback, in the stableford competition.
Joe De Ieso won the day with 39 points off a 28 handicap. He started slowly with a triple-bogey seven on the first but settled and managed 20 points on the front nine and a further 19 on the back for a comfortable win.
Bob Wildes had 36 points, Colin Barlow, Graham Meneilly and Michael Downs 35, each winning a ball in the rundown. Downs took home an additional ball for his nearest-the-pin shot on the ninth.
Conditions must have been ideal on Thursday as one score of 38 stableford points failed to win a compensatory ball.
Angie Serra came in with 41 points but even that was not enough as Allan McGrath beat him on the countback. Dave Cornwall won a ball for his 40 points, Bruce Whebell and Ray Flett had 39 and Graham Meneilly and Michael Downs had 38, while Mick Mulcahy won nearest-the-pin.
There were 47 starters on Thursday, showing the continuing popularity of the competition.
Jody Webber beat Alex Howson in the countback to win with 31.5 and Phyl Fiddes won nearest-the-pin on the 14th hole.
In the ball run-down, Jarrod Taylor had 32.5, John Freudenstein 34, Mike Jeffers 34.5, John Dellar 35.5, David Roberts and Glen Pearce 36, Bev Roberts 36.5, Yvonne Kartner, Les Nation and Scott Carter 37 and John Hayward and Darren Carter 37.5.
The Privilege Cup, programmed for this Saturday, will be played as a stroke competition and count as the second qualifying round of the Summer Cup.
Col Barlow was flying on Thursday until he came to the 17th, where he shanked a ball over to the fence. Worse, on the 18th, after a reasonable tee-shot, he shanked again and gave the new occupants of Stan Gray’s old house a reminder that they are now living close to a green.
Golf is a game that you can never quite master: it always comes back to bite you.