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Clandeboye Golf Club, Friday 9th April 2010

Clandeboye awaits..........

Friday dawned and a fine morning it was, no signs yet of the angry volcanic that was about to erupt and shatter the lives of some many innocents abroad... Damn I should be writing a novel... 

 The road to Clandeboye was an uneventful thing apart from a sojourn in B & Q for the purchase of a sunken light drill bit. The electrician says the repairs should only be a couple of hundred so not a total disaster as my wife seems to mistakenly believe.

  The car park was a steep as it ever was and after finding a spot ( always bloody miles away from the clubhouse, it's a long walk at my age) and putting the bricks behind the wheels it was a short climb down to the splendid clubhouse. Afront o it was Steven Nolan, well from a distance Joel could be mistaken for him and a fine 'biggest show in the country' greeting was exchanged before he went on talking to someone else about drainage.

 I always love the adventure that is the Clandeboye clubhouse, the thrill of passing the Minotaur in its labyrinth of passages that I get lost in as I enter through the secret door in the Pro shop. When will I ever learn.

 Next year I will be attaching the loose end of my Pringle to that door and at least I will be able to follow the trial back when I get lost as I always do in that maze that is Clandeboye.

 I was glad on my eventual arrival at the bar to hear that being a bit lost was not the sole preserve of the secretary. I was gladdened to hear that shortly before my entry the Treasurer had received a phone call  from a member asking where everyone was as he could not find anyone either in the clubhouse or carpark at Bangor!! Old age is great for a seat on the bus but it's damned hard on the old grey matter!

 Needless to say when he came to Clandeboye he received many sympathetic utterances from those in the know. 


 I ended up paired with David Sloan ( a shark as it turns out, beware of this man as he pretends to be 15 and is nearer -5 in my opinion and he will take all your money, house, car and coal bunker) and a pipe smoking ( NB this factor, as I reckon that they were in cahoots and will explain later) Peter Croft.

 All went well until hole 5 when my shot 2 overran the green and I ended up with a six or so. That was the beginning of the end on another day when I would be cruelly robbed by that albertross of crap play that is forever around the neck of the mediocre.

 I did however on a par three achieve a first, when for shot two I managed to strike David Sloan's ball that was lying some yards off the front of the green with my own ball, shunting it on the green. Almost impossible to do again, ah what a day.

  On the tee at hole 16 I noted that Peter stoked up and lit his pipe and both of my opponents showed a more than keen interest in the direction and speed of the smoke that emanated forth. This led me to question it's use as directional aid! I see this as akin to use of the old 'foot wedge' or designating Lough Neagh as casual water.

 An argument ensued, the logic being that the smoke was visible to all and therefore not exclusive to the pipe owner alone. My argument was that the pipe could be secretly stoked up say in woodland and not in view of myself.

 Unhappy with this I have written to the R & A and have received the ruling below....

 Dear Mr PGS Secretary,

   we acknowledge receipt of your complaint and the committee had made a ruling on pipe smoking as set out below...

 1. We see the use of a pipe (read also cigar, cigarette, steam powered trolley or any smoke/ vapour emitting device) as a blatant disregard of Rule 32/4a that covers directional aids, eg trolley windsocks, inflatables and fibre based aerials. 

  It is therefore deemed to be an 'extension of self' for the purposes of this ruling.

2. Grass, hay or straw in season is the only acceptable method of determining the direction and strength of the wind, with one exception with reference to the Indian Sub-Continent and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In these areas local rules allow for the use of dried 'beast manure' due to the lack of suitable pasture or rangeland covering.

3. However we find acceptable the use of a pipe provided the following circumstances are met...

A. The owner of said pipe must give one clear holes notice of his intention to fire up the aforementioned device. This should be done before leaving the green of the second previous hole ie after putting has ended and before leave for the next tee box has commenced.

B. The device can only be fired up on the tee of the designated hole and with the full attention of all those on the teebox, this must be done with a verbal warning of commencement accompanied by an appropriate hand signal such ad a "P' formed by the index digit of one hand and a circle made from the index digit and thumb of the other hand. This signal to be agreed before the leaving of the green on the hole previous. Local rules must also be followed should they differ from this suggestion.

 If the owner of the device has only one prehensal manus (hand) then it would be advisable for the owner to ...

 1. Be accompanied by a full bodied assistant or

 2. Declare a substitute from within the original party, this person to be declared a hole in advance of the hole where the declaration of intention to fire up is made. Should this not be completed then a stroke/distance penalty of two shots at the next hole after the hole where the original infringement took place.

 NB.. No use of the distal interphalangeal phalanges are permitted under any circumstances and use of these will result in a loss of the hole and a three point penalty.

  An exception to this rule is Greece/ Macedonia where such gestures will be deemed appropriate due to local conditions.

C. On commencement of the firing of the device it is advisable that other players not in the original party must be made privvy of the situation by a loud shout of 'piping up' so as they too may avail of the information accrued and therefore not in a position to claim "lack of knowledge' which could lead to the disqualification at a later date.

D. The device must be visible to all the original party at all times and should not exceed 6 inches in length, bowl capacity greater than 10 grams, not be made of an artificially enhanced material ,eg bakelite and should be of a colour that is appropriate to the prevailing surroundings.

 Smoke duration should not exceed 45 seconds and be white or grey in colour. Tobacco is the only recognised substance for use in such a device and use of any other substance ( eg cannabis) will result in a shot and distance penalty for each infringement of this sub section.

E. The pipe per se, is not to be used in a water hazard or indeed a lateral water hazard as noted by the appropriate coloured stakes, as an indicator of depth as we regard this as a blatant misuse of rule 47/2/c, in so much as it gives unfair advantage to said player in such circumstances.

 Use in a bunker will also be seen as a misuse of the aid and therefore subject to penalty as laid out above.

 The one exception to the above is when a ball is found to have landed in frogspawn ( out of season) when it is permissable to determine depth without penalty provided the spawn have no more than two limbs showing.

 I hope that this ruling gives some clarity is what is a somewhat grey and hazy area of the game and the use of such devices.

 We are grateful to you for drawing this matter to our attention and hope that you can now get on with this problem as clearly defined by our Rules Committee.

 We have been having similar problems with other wind blown objects and we hope to clear the air on these matters in the very near future.

 We also hope to rule shortly on the use of a  sporran as a putting guide, which alas has been a blight on the game these last few years.

  Yours in a golf,  Andy McRulin.. Rules official co-ordinator, R & A.

 I hope that this sets the record straight for the future and I will be watching with a very close and beady eye to see that the above is enforced throughout this society.

 The ending came soon enough and then it was the climb up and down the carpark several times before final settlement in the bar and then on to the dining room for the best part of the day. Food was excellent as usual and Des Magee needs a word of thanks for his help in getting the whole business to go so well.

 Some points raised to me on the day,,,,

   Cards in future must be fully filled in ie points totalled etc as the markers do not have the time to go through them and do this. There is only enough time to  check that the points are correct. In future cards not filled in or unreadable will not be admissable for the allocation of prizes.

 At every outing we have a meal! If you intend to stay and eat there will always be a menu sheet somewhere to hand as you pay your dues. If no one asks you to fill it in then please make it your business to ask for it as it is needed for the caterers.Also remember what you ordered, write it on your hand if need be!!!!!

 It was great to see the return of an old friend in the form of 'Dear Boy' Dave Roberts and also to welcome new member Gary (one R) Gilliland ( not Gillespe) to the fold.

 On to the prizes, ably handed out by Captain Joe and not including myself after being cruelly robbed etc etc.......


. Visitors winner... was David McWilliams with a splendid 40 points.

 Best front nine... A found my way round 20 points, Terry Smyth.

 Best back nine...  A superb 22 points from Frank Dolan.

 High Section runner up... The Deer hunter himself, with 39 points Norman Stockton.

 High Section winner.. A cracking 40 points from Neill Morrison. 

 Low Section runner up... A pipe assisted Peter Croft ed 38 points.

 Low Section winner... 39 points from Nolan lookalike Joel Taggart.

 Overall runner up.... with 40 points a man of straight balls, David Sloan.

 Overall winner.... was John Haughey  with a fine swag bag of 40 points. 

 Best wishes to you all and I hope to see a few of you at Portnoo come the weekend.  MGM (secretary)