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Yanks Invade Scottish Tournament

Discussion in 'Golf Pictures' started by twogreen, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. twogreen

    twogreen Well-Known Member

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    My buddy Ed and myself had noticed this trophy sitting in the bar during our first couple of nights at the Upper Largo Hotel. We knew it was for an annual tournament sponsored by the hotel; but, otherwise, we didn't pay it much attention.

    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01532.

    On the night of 20 Sep, we saw this notice posted on the wall in the bar; and realized that the event was only two days away.

    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01457_1.

    Our original plans were to leave the hotel the next morning and meander on to unknown locations somewhere else in Scotland. After a couple of pints and a few wee tastes of 10 year old single malt whiskey, the idea of us staying around to participate in the tournament with our newly found friends began to sound better and better. An inquiry revealed that 42 golfers were already signed up to play. Within moments that number was increased to 44...the Yanks had arrived.

    If the details are unclear in the above flyer, the general outline for the tournament were: Entry fee 40 lbs sterling...18 holes at The Charleton Golf Club using the Stableford scoring system to determine a winner. Entry fee included golf, a sack lunch at the course, and a 3 course dinner during the awards ceremony at the hotel that evening. Entrants would play under their official handicap. Entrants without an official handicap would play under a handicap of 18. Ed and I have no official handicap; and we had just played Charleton the day before...how could we go wrong? :)

    The remainder of the evening was spent with some good-natured joshing about whether the trophy would remain in Scotland; or be shipped to the States once Ed or myself had won it. The Scots were a little unclear about this point; since, historically, no Yanks had ever played in the tournament...much less won it. As the evening wore on, I got the distinct impression that they weren't too concerned about the possibility of that happening.

    Then, it dawned on us that Ed was clubless for the tourney. He had been using Adam's clubs for the past two days; but Adam was an entrant in the tournament. The worries were unfounded. One of our new buddies (Duncan) quickly offered an extra set of clubs for Ed. If you are counting, this makes the third time that clubs were offered by the locals for our use.

    We arrived at Charleton a couple of hours early on the eventful day. Ed and myself don't believe in pre-round practice...we just wanted to insure that we didn't create the wrong impression. Apparently some of the locals were of the same mind...this picture was taken about 10:30 AM (Tee time was noon). As you can see from the choice of refreshments, there was at least one serious golfer in the crowd.

    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01509.

    Some of the locals chose to hone their putting game on the practice green. Close inspection of the pictures will show you how serious they are about the proper practice equipment.

    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01511_1.
    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01510.

    Other entrants were less concerned about practice and only wanted to relax prior to teeing off.

    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01515.
    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01514.
    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01513.

    I must confess that Ed and I were getting a little antsy as the tee time approached. Here we were...in Scotland...the home of golf...getting ready to play with what we knew would be a group of the best of the best. Well folks, I can now tell you that the game is still a great equalizer, no matter where golf is played. There are good golfers and there are just golfers the world over. One member of our foursome lost a total of 14 balls during this round...no, it wasn't Ed and it wasn't me. Here are a few shots taken from number one tee box as the tourney started. Sorry, but these are the only shots I took of actual play. I didn't want to cause anyone to have a "Tiger tantrum".

    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01522.
    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01521_1.
    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01519.
    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01518.

    At the end of the round, Ed and I felt as if we had shot reasonably well...not great...but we didn't embarrass ourselves, either. The awards banquet was a great success and dinner was delicious. Although it officially ended about 10 PM, the bar at the hotel was still pouring drinks well into the following morning.

    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01531.
    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01529.
    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01528.
    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01527.


    Well, as it turned out, the trophy didn't have to be shipped to the United States after all. This pic shows the eventual winner receiving his award from Tony (hotel owner & tournament sponsor). The guy in the white shirt with the beer is Andy (the hotel chef). Both are great guys. Tony carried a flask of single malt and a flask of drambouie around the course for use by the players who felt the need for a pick-me-up during play. Additionally, the first round of drinks at the banquet was on him.

    ai43.photobucket.com_albums_e364_silvergto_DSC01536.

    All things considered, this day turned out to be the highlight of our entire trip. It was especially memorable for Ed. Surprisingly to both of us, he was the third place finisher in the event. (I actually beat him by three strokes in regular stroke play; but the Stabelford scoring system caused him to place ahead of me.) His prize was a case of beer and a number of golf trinkets. He donated the beer back to the banquet attendees, thus assuring his status as a Yank legend. During the course of the evening, we were being pressured by all the locals for a commitment to return and participate again next year.

    The official name of the tournament has always been "The Upper Largo Hotel Golf Championship". We told Tony that he will now have to change it to "The Upper Largo Hotel International Golf Championship".

    Oh, almost forgot one more memorable happening. I mentioned earlier that Duncan loaned Ed a set of clubs for the tournament. The putter in that set was a Scotty. The Scotty contains tungsten powder in the shaft that flows down into the head to change the weighting. The flow of the powder is adjustable by turning a valve built into the butt of the shaft. We had never seen a Scotty prior to this and neither had many of the locals. It was one of the topics of discussion throughout the day. After Ed received his third place award, he thanked Duncan; and, jokingly, told him that he owed it all to that putter. Duncan's immediate reply was, "Ed if you like that putter so much, just pack it away and take it home with you".
    The putter now resides in Midland, GA.

    God...what a great bunch of people we met. I hope to see them all again next year.
     
  2. SiberianDVM

    SiberianDVM I love Hooters Moderator

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    Fantastic report, twogreen!

    We need to have an inter-Georgia match sometime.
     
  3. JEFF4i

    JEFF4i She lives! Supporting Member

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    Pretty sweet TwoGreen!
     
  4. warbirdlover

    warbirdlover Ender of all threads Supporting Member

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    Super cool! And great pics! :)
     
  5. Bravo

    Bravo Well-Known Member

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    A superb combination of storytelling and photography. I enjoyed it thoroughly!!!

    Serendipity at its finest....
     

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