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Belvoir Park Golf Club... Thursday, 1st July 2010.

Dear PGS members,

  any of you who missed Belvoir missed a treat. Great course. Great greens and great weather. Yes, hard to believe if you looked out on Thursday morning that the weather would turn so dramatically better by the PM.

 Even I, the good weather guru was beginning to doubt my own emails when I saw the sky AM, it looked as though the old weather gods, Ipissin and Chuckinitdown  were having a whale of a time. However it did clear up and not a Galvin Green (goretextured) was needed for the 50 who braved the hell that was Belvoir. 

I say hell as there were complaints about the speed of the greens a plenty, but I would have to say that I loved them! Read on to find out why??

 It was a fantastic turnout for Captains Day and I did remark at one point that if we had many more we would run out of tee times. But all got in and out in fairly good time. I would also like to thank members for their heeding of last email reference booking meals, it went a lot better and the ticks equalled the mouths at the end of the day, so well done. Keep it up for Bangor although it will have the added complication of more than one course, so that means remembering what you ordered as well!!

 I love Belvoir for many reasons, the wildlife, the greens, the views, the car park near the first tee, the light that comes on itself when you go into the toilet and the little bags of 'divot' sand that hang near the first tee.

 Mind you the only folks to avail themselves, as far as I could see, were Aaro and Antti Sunio. Well done to you. It is that attention to detail that makes it a special day out in our year.

 The day began with the drive through Belfast and passing the Short Strand I noted an omen of the day that was yet to unfold, a tricolour. The orange reminded me of the fine bright sunlight that would bathe Belvoir in it's warming glow, the green was the lush grass that carpeted every fairway and the white was the flag of surrender that many would be hoisting about the sixth hole.

 The car park at Belvoir is always a fine sight ,as the first tee box is but a short push away, unlike places we have been that are a mile and a half away, after having to park your car on a slope that makes it look almost upside down. Many had gathered as I entered the clubhouse and it was straight down to business as I had to decide if I wanted white pudding with my fry. I declined, having spent a lifetime of not knowing what was in white pudding. 

  Another fine advantage of Belvoir is the ability to shout abuse at those on the first tee from the comfort of a table on the balcony.. Capital design! 

 This applies equally at the 18th were later the gathered throng enjoyed the gladiatorial thrill that was putting on that iced green. As I completed my round from the depths of the hawthorn tree left (poor five iron in) I could hear the mob howling for blood as three ,four and yes.. six putts were the norm. I could see Emperor Kearneycus on his balcony giving the thumbs down to those poor wretches who failed on the 18th.

 I chose my companions wisely on the day, George Hamilton who makes me look younger and Cyril Troy who makes me appear to have more hair. We had a fairly uneventful round apart from frequent sojourns in the bunkers and an incident involving a rabbit at the sixth that showed that Cyril had scant regard for wildlife. I personally would not be seen dead with a rabbit headcover and you never know where Philpott may be lurking.

 Both my companions played well on the front nine but Sanderloo arrived and they were so long in one bunker that I began to construct crosses from twigs to mark their final resting places. 

 On the 17th poor Cyril was half way up the steep slope to the green when his ' just perched on top' ball passed him on it's way down again, such were the hazards of Belvoir.  This alas was the end of the beginning of their race for the title. But they live on to fight another day!

 The dreaded 18th came and after a fine tee shot, a careless five iron stuka-ed it's way into a large hawthorn tree. But such was the luck of the day for myself that a three wood punt sent the ball greenwards and a two putt finished off a fine day's work.

 My compadres were less fortunate and had to run the gauntlet of the mob on the balcony as putts whistled by and slid mercilessly to their starting position. Death by a thousand putts!!

 T'was a good day and after the obligatory wash and brush up, a cooling refreshment was sought at the 19th and a rush to the balcony to join the 'bread and circuses' crowd to witness the misery of others breaking down on  heartbreak green. 

  But all good things come to an end as the last of our punters came home and after the tally men ( thanks to Dessie Houston) had sorted through the result, it was down to a goodly feed. 

 Now I will move swiftly along to the results of the day, which like the Tele death column, is the bit you all want to read. So here in the usual reverse order are the scores of the Belvoir jury.....

 Visitors winner... was Royal Fortwilliam's finest, Peter McClean with a splendid 33 points.

Runner up visitor... Colin Mills with a  comfortable 30 points.

 Best front nine... An incredible -  where did the back nine go wrong?  - 22 points,  Joel Taggart.

 Best back nine...  A superb 17 points from Brian Johnston.

 High Section runner up...  with 26 points Neal Morrison.

 High Section winner.. A  fine tally of 28 points from Michael Cullen . 

 Low Section runner up... A home-based Captain Joe Kearney 30 points.

 Low Section winner... 33 points from Big D  , Davy Lynas.

 Overall runner up.... with 34 points, a nearly made it  Stephen Grimason.

 Overall winner.... was George Martin with a well putt together 37 points. 

 Speeches were spoke and comments commented and all but 'the few' lamented the speed of the Belvoir greens, which according to Captain Joe were the fastest he had ever seen.

 I would like to thank Captain Joe for the fantastic day that was arranged by him for the society and the turnout reflects both the esteem that he is held in and the popular choice of venue that is Belvoir.

 The main prize on the day was also supplied by Joe and a fine prize it was indeed. No one I spoke to can remember such a large number in attendance and some of those I talked with have long memories!

 Thank you also to those who heeded the last email in relation to card filling in and meal booking, you did well. With such a large number out the speed of play was very fast and everything seemed to run along nicely, once the first few holes were navigated. 

 I leave you now with the knowledge that after the hols you have Bangor to look forward to on Friday 30th and another fine day it will be as Bangor never disappoints in any way. 

 I will also be starting as a minus six so that's me stuffed for the rest of this year. But fair's fair and that's the rules. So get down to Bangor and get your hat in the ring and you never know.

And finally...well you got to laugh...again..

 The England team went out to visit an orphanage in Cape Town on Saturday morning. "It's good to put a smile on the faces of people with no hope, constantly struggling and facing the impossible," said Jamal Umboto, aged 6.

 Hope to see you all at Bangor when the sun will shine, many points will be scored, a feast will be served and twenty virgins await you in the clubhouse... Getting mixed up a bit here Ali...      MGM (Honsec)