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Galgorm Castle Golf Club... Friday 27th August 2010.

     A good morning to you all and welcome to the report of the Press Golf Society outing to Galgorm Castle that took place on Friday 27th August 2010.. why you may ask ,has it taken thus long to get this news to my desktop??

 The answer is quite simple.. I have been busy/lazy/lost the power of me digits etc etc. However here it is at long last. I have indeed done some work so it's not all been pina coladas this last fortnight. If you call up the website you will see on the menu (left hand side) that a link now exists to a 'winners' page. This has a list of trophies and who has won them as far back as I can ascertain from the books and the trophies themselves. If you can extend the winners list backwards I would be most grateful. I will not accept, however, a long list of the missing years with your own name as the winner. You know who you are!! 

 This report may have been longer in getting to you had it not been for a chance meeting in B & Q at the weekend when I was asked by Sir Dominic Cunningham of Spa 'how went the day'? My reply was 'well' and it dawned on me that my duties had been neglected on this matter. 

 This chance encounter had not started well as I was in 'soft furnishings', never a place for a man to admit having been. I was in fact after a pickaxe handle, as I explained to him. The usual manly excuse when you are caught out being somewhere that ladies should be. I impart this knowledge to you,in case you ever have a similar need, that a pickaxe handle (since the end of the troubles and subsequent decommisioning) is an object almost impossible to lay one's hands on. I had tried Ebay, builders merchants and even the agricultural merchants that I live near, who have every piece of ironmongery known to man except, it seems, a pickaxe handle. 

 My wife, some weeks back decided it would be a good idea to see our garden path again, after years of it disappearing under the miniature conifers and dwarf shrubs. A second piece of advice for you, never ever go by plant labels. Multiply by ten what they claim and you'll not go far amiss. Miniature conifers two feet... my ar**,  twenty feet. Dwarf heather, spread 18 inches.. bull***s, 180 inches!  I was dispatched to clear these monsters and with the aid of a chainsaw and hatchet (really) managed to hack them down. This was the easy part as the roots were waiting to make my life a misery.

 Spade and pickaxe were called for and during the course of the battle of the roots the pickaxe (admittedly not in the first flush of youth) became a casualty of war and despite being patched up and sent back to the front, the wooden handle was a goner. They don't make 'em like they used to sonny. That is how I came to be in B & Q on a Saturday afternoon when all sensible folk would be going about enjoying themselves.

  This ramble does have a point and I will impart to you a gem of knowledge that will stand you in good stead if you ever find yourself in a similar predicament in the future. Forget pickaxes and their handles get yourself a 'grubbing mattock' ( look it up if you don't believe me) and you will not go far wrong. These fine tools are the thing that peasant revolts are made of, if Watt Tyler mob had  had a few more of these, he may have won the poll tax revolt. These are the weapons that the restorative justice campaign needs, one of these and the little thugs will think twice. Truly the kneebreaking Rolls Royce of gardening implements.

 I begin, hope you are sitting comfortably. Once upon a time in a town far far away there was a golf outing and the weather was kind. Galgorm was in fine fettle as we arrived and were greeted by a cheery buggy hugging (Buggy) Chris Moore who appeared to have arrived at the Castle first. After a chit chat about the trials (sorry that's next weeks News of the World exclusive) and tribulations of Wayne Roo the day, we ( Des Magee who was there just after me. keep up for goodness sake) were treated to tales of daring do at Ballyliffen involving near death experiences with a buggy from the new Stig.

 This story lasted fifteen minutes due to constant interruptions and got more exciting as the time passed. To cut a long story short, it was a near miss between buggy and bunker and thanks for the scone Alex. 

Tea/ coffee etc was available for those members arriving by the minute and it was not long until I was detailed to go out with Vice -President Chris Brooke, his son Archie.. a wild rumour had earlier swept the building that Archie played off 4 and this had struck fear among the ranks, this turned out to be far from the truth..and their dog Sacha. The party were accompanied by Arthur Allison who was in good form and great company.

 I must also mention that a culprit, as yet unidentified, sent a text with my left alone mobile phone to another member swearing undying love and what amounted to a declaration of marriage. I am glad to report that the situation was soon rectified after a return text spurned the proposal. I can also report that the marriage is well and truly off! I know who you are and guard your phone!!

  My new putter was on show on the first two holes and after a four and five putt, the wisdom of having my old putter in the bag proved to be a stroke of genius and it served me well for the rest of the day. The new putter will be on Ebay any day now.

 Sacha proved to be a whizz at finding balls and had her work cut out and was employed on most of the holes. It is a very strange experience to play with the chap who owns the course you are playing and I found myself searching for every last morsel of divot and repairing pitch marks, most of which were not mine. It is very unsettling to say the least and I would not recommend it although Chris and Archie proved to be fine company and the old guys took a few shillings off the young ones at the 17th! 

 The weather stayed fair and a fine day was had by all I spoke to. I also found the El Dorado of changing rooms in Galgorm that had not only coat hooks but coat rails, what a place. If you were unable to get this year I would encourage you to get along next time as Galgorm ticks all the boxes for a top class venue.

 I shall wind up shortly, the hour getting late and having wasted the evening at the GOH watching 'A night with George' (Clooney)  which being a comedy, delivered for me only  a few rye smiles but no laughs. Must not 'get it' being a country lad and not of the townie humour.

 Meal was a three course extravaganza and of excellent quality and enjoyed by all present. Speeches were short and to the point and the prizes duly handed out before the time for departure arrived and we all wound our merry way home from the land of the 7 towers and the many more tight wallets.

On to the prizes and a few names here that have not been seen for a while on the winners rostrum...

Visitors winner... Adam Simpson with a fine 36 points.

 Best front nine...David Lynas...16 points.

 Best back nine...   21 points from Michael Cullen.

 High Section runner up...  with 33 points Des Magee.

 High Section winner.. A  fine tally of 34 points from Neal Morrison . 

 Low Section runner up... Joel Taggart with 34 points.

 Low Section winner... 34 points from Arthur Allison.

 Overall runner up.... with 36 points, was Terry Smyth.

 Overall winner.... was Peter Croft with a resounding 39 points. 

 Just a few bits of housekeeping to go and you can all bugger off and carry on with work...

 Thanks to Chris Brooke for the use of Galgorm and to John Haughey (who never gets enough praise for all the hard work he does behind the scenes) who arranged the Galgorm outing.

 Thanks to Des Magee and Davy Lynas on card duty and to Joe Kearney for being just Joe.

Has anyone an email address for Paul Kelly of the Newsletter?

Massareene lurks large and will be on Thursday week. 23rd Sept and one change (due to unforeseen circumstances) will be tee off time from 1.30pm and not 1pm as advertised previously. It will be every eight minutes thereafter until 2.26pm ( eight slots for fourballs) and I will start to take any bookings from now on for it should you wish to secure a tee off time in advance. Times will be very tight due to other societies being there on the same day.

I attach winners pic from Galgorm (many thanks to Arthur Allison for taking it) should you be able to use it in any publication etc. Amend the caption to suit yourselves depending on who the local winner is, this one is one I submitted for a Carrick newspaper (duly printed).


Local golfer Adam Simpson (second left) was among the prize winners at the

Press Golf Society outing to Galgorm Castle golf club recently. Winners

included from left, Des Magee,  Joe Kearney (Captain), Neil Morrison, Terry

Smyth, Michael Cullen, Peter Croft (overall winner) and Galgorm Castle owner

Christopher Brooke.

 That's it and I hope to see you all at Massareene, a lovely course apart from the b***ard swans, but that's a story for another day.....

 keep well and remember the buzzword....  Grubbing Mattock .. MGM (Honsec)