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Bangor Golf Club... Friday, 30th July 2010.

Dear PGS members,

 hereafter the report of the PGS outing to Bangor on Vice-President's day which needs some words of thanks right from the off. 

 VP Brian Morgan deserves a big mention for making the many arrangements that made the day the success it was. Bangor is always a gift for me as Brian in his meticulous manner has everything organised well in advance.

 VP Brendan Lomax who provided the prizes played for by the Past Captains and who also flew from his home in London to be with us on the day. Alas he had to get an early plane back and was unable to hand out his prizes in person. Brendan a big thank you again on behalf of the membership, we appreciate your participation from far off fields.

 Bangor Golf Club itself is always a welcoming and friendly visit and we were pleased to be joined this year by Captain Harry McLeese with whom I had a long chat and through his good offices we were able to delay the starting tee time for an hour, which saw off the vast majority of the rain.

A welcome to new member Michael Graham who does some work for the Irish News and if anyone can provide me with an email address for him I would be most grateful as in my excitement I forgot to ask him!! 

Also seeking an email address for David Young of the Press Association as it always bounced back to me at the old one I have.


   Bangor, as it always seems to, started with a load of rain and for this year at least, dried up into a rather excellent day that meant the rafts were not required.

 I suspect that I am to blame for the problem as each year when I give it some thought, usually the night before, that tune comes into my head.. 'Didn't we have a lovely day, the day we went to Bangor'. Next year I promise that I will stop this hum and see if it stays dry as a result.

 I recall last year at Bangor with the near beheading of their Captain Brian McCandless on the tenth fairway after an idiot  from the society sliced a ball from the 9th teebox. I did apologise on his behalf on the day and as fate would have it I saw him in the bar this year and as I made my way over, hand out stretched, he shouted 'fore' at me as he had quickly connected the my face with the burke who had almost decapitated him the previous year. And they say time is a healer!!

  Turnout on the day was middling and a good quota of visitors saw that the final tally was fairly healthy. The start of the day, looking through the windows of the clubhouse, was not good with the stair rods coming down outside. I received a distress call from our Captain who told me that the streets of Belfast were being waded through but I assured him that all would be well at Bangor and not to forget his shoes.

 The bacon butties that were provided by the caterers went down a treat and several pigs worth were consumed by the hungry and not so hungry members among you. A very fine piece of bacon I must say. 

 The start was delayed due to rain and good fortune meant that this helped in the tucking away of the rain gear as early as the second hole for the late starters like myself. 

 At the first tee I notice that our Captain was struggling with his waterproof trousers, button just won't meet. I was happy to dispense some dietary  advice to him with he seemed not at all pleased to receive. Indeed he later likened this to getting child minding advice from the late Michael Jackson! There is only one solution, unpalatable though it is, to this problem.. buy bigger trousers!! An instant fix and no waiting about for months and starving yourself.

 I played with Ken ( Little Dorrit fan, like myself) Devlin and visitor Adam  Simpson and between us we hacked our way round with gusto. Ken faired best and put himself well into the running for a little something in the prize list. I had a fairly good front nine but was done by the bunkers on the back nine which I seemed totally incapable of escaping from on several occasions.    I came home and went to bed with Tommy Armour who advised me on what to do next time when I am in a bunker that contains more than the smattering of grains that they usually do. Thanks Tom.. I highly recommend his book ' How to play your best golf all the time even when you can't hit a bull in the a**e with a bakeboard'. A most unusual expression that on googling cannot be found so it's origin remains unclear but sums up that inability to hit anything resembling straight very well.


The last hole came and bucking the last nine trend I almost had a birdie that of course no one in the clubhouse managed to see as they all turned their faces inward at the vital moment. A pin must have dropped in the bar or something. If it had lurched ten feet passed all would have seen, sods law!

All in all it was a grand day out and all I spoke to enjoyed themselves despite of the low scoring that was the order of the day with one or two exceptions. Alas, I collapsed under the burden of expectation of a hat trick of wins and the added reduction of handicap plus a minus three ( spot of algebra there) all added up to a pretty poor final total that is best not mentioned here.

 Thanks to Des Magee who ably assisted me with the task of checking the scorecards and determining the winners and losers of the day. About six thirty it was time to eat and I heartily enjoyed the tomato and red pepper soup followed by some of the best roast beef that it has ever been my good fortune to eat. It was really good and I can't fault the Bangor catering always to the highest standard and a good reason to return next year. 

 As you all know we recently lost a good society friend in VP Jack Duddy and to start the speeches we had a toast to Jack proposed by Captain Joe Kearney followed by a fine tribute to Jack from Brian Morgan who had known Jack a lot longer than most.  On a personal note I missed, this year , the company of Bangor member the late John Whittle, who I played with a few times in the past and who had the most peculiar swing I have ever seen. John had been the club Centenary Captain in 2003.

Bangor Captain Harry McLeese thanked us and hoped that we could return again and took the time to promote his charity day that will be on Sunday 12th September. Teams of four will cost 120 and that includes golf, dinner and possibly prizes should you be good enough to bag any! There will also be an auction where many goodies will be up for sale should your pocket stretch that far. Excellent value for the day at 30 a head. Should you require any more details or wish to book a tee time contact the Pro shop( 02891462164) at Bangor or Harry himself on 07860611885.

 With speeches over we moved on to the giving of the prizes starting with the Vice President's prizes for Past captains...

 1st.... David Sloan with 31 points.

 2nd... Joe Kearney  with 30 points

 3rd... Ken Devlin with 27 points.

Now on to the prizes for the real men and not these poncey  PC's...


 Visitors winner... and heir to the Norman Kingdom, Matthew Stockton with a   stunning 40 points.

 Best front nine...Peter Croft...18 points.

 Best back nine...   15 points from Michael Graham.

 High Section runner up...  with 23 points Kevin McCrudden.

 High Section winner.. A  fine tally of 31 points from Thomas Kane . 

 Low Section runner up... A home-based Brian Morgan with 28 points.

 Low Section winner... 33 points from Frank Dolan.

 Overall runner up.... with 35 points, was a frozen shouldered Jack McCloskey.

 Overall winner.... was Gary Gilliland with a retiring 37 points. 

 That concludes the voting for the Bangor jury for this year and all that remains for me to say is a sad farewell to the overall winner  Gary Gilliland who is expelled for not letting me win again!!

 No, Gary is off to pastures new in Liverpool where he is taking up a new post and I, on behalf of this society wish him all the very best and he has promised that he will remain a member and get over to play at outings during the year with us. He will be missed, but as if being a Man U supporter isn't bad enough he has to live in Liverpool! Punishment enough I would have to say. We will not forget you Ga..... Damn can't remember what's is name.

 Next outing is to Galgorm Castle on Friday 27th August (tee off from 1pm) and a good attendance would be welcome should you want a good day out and a promise of superb weather is in order. Will email nearer the time to remind you of this.

 Hope you have made it this far and the boss hasn't sacked you for spending time reading it, see you at Galgorm.... MGM (Hon Sec)