club & visitor info      contact      email      sgc ladies      links     

I'm a Bad Golfer... Get me out of here!


Name: Brian Linklater
Location: 17th Hole Stromness
Competition: Streamline Open
Quite how this SGC legend hasn't featured here before is a bit of a mystery but it's now time to correct this glaring omission.

He escaped an entry here despite finding the water at the 2nd - when playing the 4th uttering the immortal phrase "C'mon tae ****, splashy splashy".

Then there was the self built practice net he erected in his garden between the washing line posts which he duly missed, hit his gas tank and ricocheted through his kitchen window. Not sure the wife to this day knows the truth about that one...

So here we have details on his latest 'golfing' (and I use that term very loosely indeed) adventure care of playing partner on that fateful day Denis:

"When we got up to the 9th tee from the 8th green Blink proceeded to enquire, as only he can, “Ehh, Did I no tak me f***ing trolley wae me!?” before anyone could say anything he spied it stuck in the rough behind the 12th green, proclaiming “Is that the f***ing b*****d over there?” He then marched off to get it,  totally ignoring the group who were in the middle of playing the 12th. Turned out he had forgotten to turn it off.

Once we made it to the 17th Brian had hit his tee shot just into the left rough and I was level with him but on the fairway. I hit my 2nd onto the green and he had hit his ball twice before mine had stopped rolling. His 2nd shot going about 2 feet. 3rd shot rattled about in the rafters of that old shed before bouncing back into the rough. 4th shot was again in the rafters but this time dropped onto the road. Dropped 5 and then hit his 6th shot square into the side of the shed and back into the ditch. Drop 7, hacked the 8th shot just over the road and short of the big mound in the fairway. 9th shot thinned through the back of the green, 10th shot thinned back to the front edge, then a good 2 putt for a 12."


Name: Kris Bevan
Location: 4th Hole Stromness
Competition: Trades Cup
I do feel a little guilty sharing this one with you all and adding a new member to this infamous club as he was actually a teammate of mine in this Trades Cup. However my conscious is eased by the fact it was our other two teammates that suggested I put this in here!

Having been pulled into the defending champions 'Office Workers' team at the last minute this really could have been a dream debut and a steady start boded well. Next hole to feel the Bevulator's wrath was the 4th...

I have here below Kris's own description of the events [and my actual world translations]:

My drive was a small slice [LARGE slap] that somehow missed the bunker by 2 inches, this meant my stance was in the bunker [only if you're stupid enough to try and play it forward] with ball at about waist height [head height for some].

[Now surely he wouldn't be stupid enough to try this shot...] 

First two shots at it were fresh airs, [not only try it but try it twice, struth he'll be playing left handed next...!]

... so then decided to try and play it cack handed [*facepalm*]

Cack handed shot went at right angles into the bunker, [well at least you hit it I suppose, at least you'll now have a flat lie on some freshly raked sand...]

not only that but into deep footprint left by first two attempts. [*Double facepalm*]

First shot out of the bunker left me still in said bunker [don't mean to be pedantic but that means your first shot wasn't 'out of the bunker']

but with much improved lie, 2nd shot got me out of bunker and onto the 4th fairway.  7th shot was good [that's a relative term] it went on the green

[I think we can all guess the end of the story from here can't we folks]

and then three putts for a 10.

So if anyone out there can offer Kris a job NOT IN AN OFFICE, the 3 of us would be grateful.


Name: Angus Sutherland
Location: 5th Hole Stromness
Competition: Ackroyd Rd 1

Now lets be clear on one point before we start this sorry tale of golfing woe - I don't enjoy reveling in others misfortune. I take no pleasure in broadcasting these series of unfortunate/unlucky/skill-less escapades. However there's always an exception:

A bit strange this one as I actually witnessed it first-hand being in the group behind Angus but I didn't actually release the enormity of the event (& score) until I saw his card when inputting it.

Starting at the 5th on a glorious evening Angus ripped his driver a full 140 yds up the middle, one of his longer drives. He then made the cardinal error of any golfer - he decided to use a rescue club. Now we all know they're called 'rescue' for a good reason - you need to be rescued after hitting one. Sure enough a skull splitting top followed and Gus's ball topspinned up to the 100yd left marker.

Angus looks on in horror as his 5 iron from 100yds skins over the green...

100yds usually means a solid 5 iron for Angus and he duly pulled it out and what can only be described as 'thinned the bags off it'. Playing alongside his brother Eric, passers by may have mistaken this knee high rocket to be one of Eric's floaty wedges but no this ball was traveling far too straight a course. Like an aborted Easyjet landing a screech could be heard as the poor Srixon briefly touched down on the green, although this screech may have come from poor Angus. Into the jungle pit at the back of the green it vanished.

Fearing the worst Angus wisely played a provisional, by far and away his best shot (from the many) he played on this hole as it ended up just 4ft from the pin. A six would have been a good score but oh no Angus got greedy and wanted to find his first ball. His playing partners half-heartedly helped him search knowing full well he really didn't want to find it but of course find it they did. Nestled down beside an old rusty beer can. Last time Angus had seen a can like this was when Melvin was forced into opening his own drinks cabinet.

Angus's first swipe with the wedge succeeded in clearing out the thicker grass from below the ball just enough so it could drop down a little deeper. Next swipe moved it. Just. Next swipe moved it. Just. Next swipe however moved it... just. The next wild thrash however was a deaker and the ball flew what must have been a whole 2 feet at least. In fact so far it traveled another hunt was required by all concerned to find it. And joy of joys find it they did. Like a desperate party emerging from the jungle one last slash of his machete wedge and the ball stumbled out into the daylight dazed and battered.

Just to show Angus's game is not all about length he displayed a deft touch with a chip and 10ft putt to secure an 11. Amazingly he had an 11 last season too: Report


Name: Marty Flett
Location: 2nd Hole Stromness
Competition: Stromness Open
Sorry for the delay in putting this entry online but I had to wait for Marty to give me a quote for my new house. Now I have it and it's not 'free' I have no qualms in publishing his woes!

Thanks must go to one of his playing partners for an in depth (very apt) report. Now Marty is great pals with Jim Sangster (see entry below) and his greatest fear is getting an entry into this hallowed page as being 1 up on Jim is a rare thing for Marty in the golf world. It's about to be All Square...

After a good drive up the first, Marty approached his ball feeling confident enough to offer Bruce Moar, one of his playing partners for the day, the chance of playing for a fiver. He duly accepted Marty's wager and as they both walked off the first green with par 4's Bruce was looking forward to his challenge. Getting money from Marty is a fruitless dream many have had for years.

Onto the 2nd [A Ladyboy - Looks an easy hole but all is not what it seems] and Marty, brimming with confidence, strode purposefully onto the tee only to hit a Douglas Bader [looks good in the air but no legs] and all he could do was watch in despair as his brand new Pro V landed right in the middle of the pond. Marty made his way down to the edge of the water and dropped another brand new Pro V ready to play his third to the green. No need to panic, chip and a putt and no damage done eh. Well not quite, as Jim will be glad to read, Marty's subconscious was keen to avoid any scuffing off the new ball by having a nice thick juicy layer of tuff between it and the wedge's clubface. Worked a treat, no scuff, just plop, as it joined it's mate in the middle of the pond.

Now it's time to panic, Marty quickly dug out brand new Pro V number 3 from its now empty sleeve. Now every golfer from hacker to pro strives for a repeatable swing - Marty managed this. Plop, a carbon copy of his last as the third new Titleist sank to the depths beside his mates.

Much mumbling was heard about ProV1's as Marty raffled about in his bag and pulled out another ball and dropped it on the ground which by now was resembling The Somme with all those craters. Bruce was keen to point out at this stage all Marty's playing partners were really feeling for him as a long day lay ahead for this poor unfortunate individual, however their compassion vanished in the time it took Marty to play his seventh shot.

An ever so slightly better effort just cleared the water only to land on the very edge of the bank and Marty thought he'd just played an OJ Simpson [God knows how but he got away with it] but after a momentary pause the ball toppled back into the water. This and Marty's reaction was too much for his playing partners and in perfect harmony they burst into a chorus of laughter.

Realising that folk on the neighbouring holes were stopping to watch, Marty wasted no time in dropping an old ball from his bag and hitting a Ryanair [flies well but lands a long way from the target] and then took a further two shots to get it in the hole to give him a Paris Hilton [a very expensive hole] and an 11 on the card.

With his Stromness Open chances gone, several sidebets lost and having hit so many balls in the water that we need to regrip our ball retriever Marty's misery was complete when he realised he could no longer hassle his pal Jim about his entry in I'm a bad golfer!


Name: Malachy McFerran
Location: 6th Hole Stromness
Competition: Jubilee Cup
It's been a long time coming but yes folks the mild mannered Malachy is back in I'm a bad golfer...

What possible performance could he have managed to surpass his Whalsay 6 point performance I hear you ask? Well pour yourself a large Grouse and a half pint and settle back and enjoy.

Jubilee F****** Cup, first F****** round, 6th F****** hole.

Up stepped Malachy and sent an arching 5 wood towards the green. The arc I'm talking about is his usual 50 yd left to right one, which still impresses me how he does it with a 45 degree shut clubface and a 5 knuckle lefthand strong grip but back to the story...

Having soared through the 'azure blue spring sky' (thanks for this description and indeed the full details of this must go to playing partner The Great Jimprendo) the ball found itself nestled in the greenside bunker.

Malachy arrived beside the green and parked his Powakaddy beside the bunker and then through wonderfully blind optimism started to search for his ball over the green (and in the hole) before Jim pointed out it was actually just a few feet from where he'd parked.

Now, proper bunker technique: Open stance, open clubface, full swing with no deceleration striking sand just behind the ball.

Malachy bunker technique: Open mouth and swear, tightly close clubface and swear, full swing and hack into sand while swearing. Then change to another wedge after six shots. This new wedge succeeded where it's poor worn out bagmate had failed in actually sending ball into air... which after rebounding via the face of bunker hit Malachy. Continuing to hack away, swearing  and shouting murderous oaths at the ball, which is now cowering in terror at this Irish assault, Malachy's 15th shot clears lip and lands on the front apron, one approach shot later and he finishes off the hole with a classy ten foot putt for a total of 17.

Now as luck would have it the Jubilee Cup is two round competition. So second round Ireland's own Sirocco* showed what every golfer strives for - consistency. However thanks to a lucky bounce his ball narrowly avoided the bunker leaving him a Mickelson-esque flop shot over the now half empty bunker.

Now, proper flop shot technique: open stance, open clubface,.... yes well you can see where this is going...

Back in whatever sand was left in the bunker and upwind of the barely stifled sniggers of his playing partners Malachy heeded the halftime advice of Philip Sinclair on how to play bunker shots as he, first time, flopped the ball up and up and up and over the green. Chip and a putt later and a twelve shot improvement but still not enough to stop an entry onto this page!

* Sirocco: def (North African wind) A violent blast of hot air that shifts a lot of sand.


Name: So I can have a late start in this year's Final Fling I have to keep this man's identity a mystery. For the sake of arguement lets call him 'Len, Captain Len, Captain Len McGlenan
Location: 15th Hole (pretty much all of it and a bit of the 16th), Stromness
Competition: Royal Hotel Open

There's something very fitting about this entry. As 'Len' nears the end of his two year stint as Mens Captain it's time to look back at his tenure and see what changes, improvements and indeed what kind of legacy he leaves for the club. It would be a shame if it turns out to be this entry into this hallowed page is what he's best remembered for but that's not going to stop me detailing it here for your amusement! I don't enjoy doing this really, it's just all part of the service...

'Len' had recently played the course with a golf course architect who had pointed out to him the sheer amount of trouble that the 15th hole contained: "long par 3, water left, water right, water over the back, pot bunkers, sloping fairway, small fast green, no bailout area,..." 'Len' has been keen to quote this to all who'll listen but it seems nothing makes a point better than a demonstration.

Indeed the 15th is a nasty evil scorecard wrecking hole but luckily for 'Len' this day it wasn't so bad as it was playing easy due to the strong tail wind and the fact his scorecard had been wrecked long before he ever got near it. Despite this he still managed to sclaff his tee shot into the water short left. Having to drop under penalty at the end of the pond it left him a twitchy pitch over water and up onto the firm green. A twitchy pitch is 'Len' specialty and was exactly the shot he played as he chunked it just over the pond. Phew... that would have been embarrassing to hit it in the water twice on this hole, imagine the stick he'd get eh. So up stepped a relieved Captain Glen er I mean 'Len' and promptly hit his next pitch thinner than Kate Moss on a diet. It whizzed up over the green and then a faint 'plop' could be heard as into the pond over the back it sank, just like his poor little heart.

To his credit he could have just passed on the hole and moved to the next but those who know 'Len' will know how that 'passing' just isn't a word in his dictionary, especially those who played outside him on the rugby field.

Another penalty drop this time on the opposite bank was taken as Open sponsor (and regular to this page) Olly Sinclair and 'Len's' Vice-Captain Ronald Thomson looked on sympathetically. Imagine how bad they felt for him as they watched the 6th shot soar majestically over the green and plug straight into the greenside bunker. Then imagine the sorrow in their hearts as his bunker shot fizzed right back over the green. Indeed tears could be seen forming in their eyes such was their despair at watching their comrade's suffering. By this stage his poor worn out wedge was only fit for a soft chip and two putts later he had himself a 10 and his first entry into 'I'm a bad golfer....' but lets hope not his last!

There how's that report Glen? Nobody will ever know it was you.

Name: Alan Donaldson & co
Location: 3rd/15th Holes Stromness
Competition: Stromness Open
It's a first for I'm a bad golfer as we now have siblings featuring on this hallowed page while there's an appearance from an old favorite and a new face or two as well.

Yes everyone looks forward to the Stromness Open but none more so than me. No not because I think I can win it but because I know with so many shots being played and so many witnesses around it makes for rich pickings for this page. And this year didn't disappoint.

First up is brother of previous entry Gary 'Big Red' Johnston - Keith 'Big red mark' Johnston. Keith wasn't even playing this year due to R&A legislation preventing cack-handed Dounby players from entering 36 hole events (it's a controversial rule but I think a fair one). So Keith selflessly offered to caddy for our old friend in this page, Olly Sinclair. Having featured twice here already and knowing like I do that the day throws up far too many opportunities to feature again Olly was alert to any mishaps that might come his way. And sure enough after an event free first round he didn't have to wait long into the second...

Strolling down the fourth fairway Olly and his playing partners were discussing the likely outcome of the upcoming Afghanistan elections, how CO2 emissions were making crops less nutritious and does Magners count towards your 5-a-day. Keith meanwhile trudged dutifully a few steps behind his master. Next door on the third tee Thurso's Socket Rocket Ronnie O'Dunnett was allowing for his usual right angled assault on the par 3 by aiming well left. However this time the ball flew straight and true.. and fast... towards Olly! Olly's spidey sense however was alert to the danger and showing the kind of footwork that would be well suited to his favourite show 'Strictly Come Dancing' he gracefully, if not gallantly, swiveled round and hid behind Keith allowing him to take the full brunt of Mr O'Dunnett's shot. Not only did Keith receive a nice big red pitchmark to his torso but it even melted a patch on his windcheater! Keith just laughed. Unlike the R&A officials when he gets hold of them for creating that anti cack-handed Dounby rule.

Next up is Alan Donaldson who it must be said showed he's never off duty even on the golf course. Yes Alan was playing the dreaded 15th. A real scorecard wrecker of a hole, 223yds and surrounded by water while the fairway and green sit perched atop a steep slope. Now see if you can create you own version of what happens using the following words:

slope, 3 wheeled trolley, hurtled, water, splash, numpty

And getting back to my initial statement - who does Alan work for...? Yep, Scottish Water. Results of his test on our pond were positive - it is indeed wet.

Name: Gary 'Big Red' Johnston
Location: 18th Hole Stromness
Competition: Dewar Spence
It was a gloriously warm and sunny morning when Dounby legend Gary Johnston stepped purposefully onto the 18th tee in the first round of the Dewar Spence. It was a day where if you weren't enjoying a game of golf you'd likely be found on the beach. Perhaps even the beach directly behind the 18th tee... regular readers of this page will think they're one step ahead here now but just wait!

Gary unleashed his driver at the ball putting all 11 stone* of him behind it. (* approx)

There was a hell of a crack. No Gary hadn't forgotten his belt again - his ball had collided with the yellow tee marker at the front of the tee. Then Ralph Stevenson-esque style it proceeded to fly backwards over Gary, over the tee, over the wall, over the road and over two pedestrians and onto the beach behind. Contact between ball and beach was not that however of a gentle plop into lapping water, nor even a plap into golden sand, more of a pwang off rock sending the ball 180 degrees back over the beach, over the same two pedestrians, over the road, over the wall and back onto the course to the side of the tee!

I know it's Wimbledon fortnight but I don't think the pedestrians mistook Gary for Roger Federer although with a backhand shot and return like that he could be a match for him.

Name: Ewan 'Lugsy' Leonard
Location: 16th Hole SGC (and campsite)
Competition: Intercounty
The universe is a finely balanced thing. For everything 'good' there's an 'evil'. For every 'just' there's an 'injustice'. And for every bit of luck there is of course an equal slice of misfortune. Now you know by know this little dark corner of the internet just covers the 'misfortune' section.

Needing something special to happen in his fourball match Ewan 'Lugsy' Leonard decided to abandon his normal straight chappy-up-the-middle strategy and see if he could unleash one onto the green at the par 4 16th. Unleashed with the power of an American missile his ball soared skywards... also showing the accuracy of an American missile his ball then soared sideways towards the campsite on the hole's lefthand side. Heading towards the angled roof of campsite's toilet an loud bang was heard. If Ewan had been lucky (or Paul Nicol from Shetland!) it would have cannoned back into play but as I mentioned this page has no place for fortune.

Lugsy, although not blessed with an accurate golf swing, is well endowed when it comes to hearing capabilities. He knew the loud bang was not that of a Pro V striking a tiled roof, it was more a 'caravanny' sound.

Now to be fair we've all hit one out of bounds at 16th, some have hit a caravan, and even a few have been unfortunate enough to have broken something. What makes Ewan's effort so special and worthy of a mention here? The fact we got pictures of him getting it repaired!

Steven Tulloch repairs the damage. Remember if you smash a Weigies Skylight call 871995

I always thought you could stop a tee shot on the roof one of these things easier than stopping one on the 15th green. Thanks to Ewan I'm proved right.

Well to be fair the Glasweign couple did come up for a 'wee break' in Orkney and Ewan kindly obliged.

Here on the right we see the perpetrator himself showing respectful remorse at ruining the poor couples holiday.

Tricks of the trade - Remember folks if you want new
windows fitted with gaffer tape call The Glass Shop.

This story does however have a happy ending. Turns out the caravan owner is a Rangers fan.

See I told you the universe balances everything out in the end.


Name: Jim Sangster
Location: 4th Hole Thurso GC
Competition: Thurso Open
Ok a bit of a reach but poor Jim qualifies for this section on 3 counts:
1. He has Orkney roots, 2. He was playing with two Orcadians at the time and 3. Most importantly - it's FUNNY!!! Hope you agree looking back eh Jim?

To set the scene it was the Thurso Open - Jim's biggest club competition of the year and being a former winner and course record holder he must have had high hopes for the day. After a solid start Jim approached the par 5 4th hole looking for birdie or eagle with the strong tail wind helping to kick start his charge at the title.

Striding purposefully onto the tee he proceeded to slash it wide right deep into the forest - surely as far right as you can hit it on this hole. A playful quick tap of driver against tee marker (we retrieved and straightened it before his next shot) and a visit back to the bag for ball number two meant he faced the dreaded three off the tee. This soon became the even more dreaded five off the tee as his second tee shot proved us wrong by going even further right into the forest. His third tee shot made a good effort at following his Titleist mates but came up just short but buried nicely in the bundocks. So (finally) off we trotted...

Having found his third ball in a far from perfect lie Jim and I ventured deep into the forest to see if anymore could be found. I think the last time 2 people ventured this deep into a forest they were called Hansal & Gretel. Unfortunately I didn't find a house made of sweeties but I did find Jim's first ball and more surprisingly a chink of daylight provided him an escape route. A swift hack meant Jim was back in play in the right rough in just 2 shots - miracle escape and his title hopes were still intacted.... Now regular readers here know better - he wouldn't be in here if that was the end of it!

Jim's third shot with a 3 wood clipped a small tree 20yds ahead and it was enough to knock some distance off it as well as a year's worth of growth from the tree. The ditch across the fairway loomed but with yet another stroke of good fortune the ball stunned up off the far bank and trickled along the far edge of the ditch and came to rest above ground, just. How much luck can one man not called Marcus get?!!

4 Iron in hand and perched precariously on the edge of the ditch Jim made a few unbalanced practice swings. A lot happened with this next swing! First the good news - he hit the ball. That's pretty much where the good news ends. Bad news Part 1: He shanked it. Bad news Part 2: The 'socket rocket' hit his bag (how many penalty shots is that?). Bad news Part 3: The ball rebounded off his bag and back into the ditch meaning another penalty shot to fish it out. Bad news Part 4: Before fishing the ball out he had to fish himself out as he had fallen in there too. At this point me and playing partner Graham 'Tadpole' Flett (see below stories for that) exchanged knowing glances well aware we had just witnessed a new entry in 'I'm a bad a golfer...'.

A penalty drop, scuffy thin, wedge and 2 putts followed by 2 handicapper Jim and after some brief haggling with the aid of a soggy rule book a score of 10 was decided.


Name: Brian Corsie
Location: 5th hole Afandou GC, Rhodes
Competition: Island Games
I hardly think this is really worthy of putting in this section but I am bowing to the requests of the populace (mainly all those people whose exploits are listed below!).

To set the scene it is the Natwest Island Games, a competition of some stature and a level of golf which will undoubtedly be the highest standard I'll ever get to play at (and after reading this I'm sure you'll all agree I'll be damn lucky ever to play at it again).

It was the first round of the tournament and I happened to be playing with a scratch and plus one handicappers. Having succeeded in blindly swiping at my ball on the first tee in front of a packed audience and somehow not making a complete fool of myself I proceeded in Faldo-esque style to par the first four holes. Halfway down the 4th Daniel (the plus 1 from Guernsey) asked what my handicap was. When I replied I was 5 he returned the slightly condescending reply of "your hitting it good for a 5 handicapper". It was at this point subconsciously I must have decided to show him what this 5 handicapper was made off...

Tee shot was a solidly struck 2-iron which went dead straight... shame I was aiming for a hook, erm I mean power draw. Still no real trouble as I had a shot at the green, or I would have if it weren't for the fact it was up a bank at knee height and had a foot long stick of bark pointing at the back of the ball. Having been rubbish at Jenga as a child I decided not to risk moving the bark and incurring a penalty, well wouldn't want to throw away shots at this early stage eh.

Having snapped a 7 iron left into the trees and then replayed the same shot with my provisional I set off into the woods to find some small white objects. I did, the small white objects in question were my 2 balls and 4 Out of Bounds posts which were just a few feet the wrong side of the balls. So back I went with 7 iron and 2 balls in hand (there's a joke there but I'll resist...).

It's said "a fool learns by his mistakes, a wise man learns by others", so I snapped my 3rd one left OB too. The fourth one made a good attempt at getting out also but for my pure ball striking imparting a small modicum of backspin (in among a sea of sidespin) it did just manage to stop short. I know they said in this heat to keep in the shade but this was taking it a bit far.

A chop out of the trees and a flick over the back of the green meant I had already missed the 'International 10 Club' (phew!) and a chip and a nerve shredding 6ft'er holed meant I'd started par. par, par, par, octuple-bogey (12). That'll be the gold medal gone then...


Name: Jim Winterburn
Location: Stromness 8th/9th/12th/13th/14th/and nearly Hoy Sound
Competition: Hamilton Cup
Bit of an unusal one this in so much that it isn't actually involving a golf shot.

Having struck a beautiful soaring wedge into the heart of the 8th green Jim and his group set off towards the 9th tee to deposit their clubs before striding purposefully down to the 8th green ready to 3-stab for a 4.

Jim obviously still feeling some guilt at having purchased an electricity hungry lead battery behemoth of a caddy car (despite Mother Earth's fragile global environment) switched off its motor and was letting it free wheel it's way down to the 9th tee. On reaching the tee he flicked the switch to turn off the insessant whine that comes with these machines. Unfortunately it was Melvin that was producing the whine not the electric motor on this occasion! Blissfully unware that he'd just turned on the Powakaddy Jim walked away... Melvin had noticed however the powakaddy setting off but just assumed he'd set it to go for 10m and wandered down to join Jim at the green.

Arriving back at the tee the players were greeted by the sight of not only the Out of Bounds looming but only 2 bags of clubs. Hmmm in a piece of deduction that Holmes himself would have been proud of they figured it was Jim's clubs that had gone AWOL but a quick scan over the the neighboring fairways provided no clue as to their whereabouts. At this point I am strangely reminded of a scene in Star Wars where R2D2 is bobbling across the desert wasteland watched by Jawas. Anyway I digress..

A witness was at hand on the 13th tee to give Jim some help. Malachy had spotted Jim-3PO looking somewhat bewildered on the 9th and frantically waved at him and pointed down across the 14th at the large 20ft bank of earth beside the greenkeepers shed. Sure enough in the morning sun the glint of a stranded aluminum powakaddy could be seen halfway up it!

One slightly worrying aspect to this whole incident is how it reflects on today's society and their charity towards fellow man. One onlooker of this stray caddy car was heard to say, as it traversed unattended across four holes, that he didn't think it was his job to stop it! But that's a council employee for you...


Name: Olly Sinclair
Location: Stromness 1st.
Competition: OMPC Qualifying Rd 1
OK it was windy...
OK he hadn't played for a while (years by the look of it!)...
OK he'd just flown back across the Atlantic...
But 'I'm a bad golfer' section doesn't accept excuses.

The stage was set, it was the first Major of the season - qualifying for the Orkney Matchplay. A prestigious event and nerves were showing on the first tee. Olly being a shy, quiet, unassuming kinda guy was suffering more than most. It wouln't have been a total shock for him to have whiffed an air shot or topped it but to his credit he made a beautiful contact between ball and clubface. Unfortunatly for him the clubface was pointing at Colin Marwick's garden. A reload was in order and as always is the way the 2nd attempt is a sweeter strike than the first and this was no exception - it made it into Ronald Wilson's garden!

Having run out of gardens to hit into Ollie adjusted his banana-ball into a mere slap and found the right rough. Apt as that was what his score was becoming: 'right rough'. With the cost of two lost balls playing on his mind it was no surprise his next shot was far from ideal and I think his playing partner Martin Fleet sums it up best with "...shot sort of nearly went backwards...", Martin couldn't see it clearly from where he was or was it the tears in his eyes?!

The next three shots were described as 'chapped it up to the green' where he duly 3 putted for a total of 12. So at least his short game was no worse than normal!


Name: (El Capitano) Dougie A Slater
Location: Stromness 9th, althought to be fair the 7th saw most of the action!
Competition: Foinaven
This has to be filed in the section 'Revenge is sweet'.

As part of his bright new dawn as club captain, Dougie deemed it worthy that anyone who scored a 10 at a hole should have it brought to light and ridiculed in front of as big an audience as possible, then have it filled in on a sheet and posted on the noticeboard. As if having a 10 on the card wasn't distressing enough! In fact, if I was in anyway cynical I would say he invented this 'club' after I had a 10 early on this year... hmmm.

Anyway, imagine the warm feeling inside all the 'club' members when news spread from the course of Mr Slater's 13 at the 9th in the first round of the Foinaven Trophy. It was assembled in some style and involved just under a mile of walking!

First tee shot OB onto the 7th.
Three off the tee now... drive away left into some juicy stuff. Confident they had a good line on it the group walked the 250yd up to find it.
No joy.
250yds back tramped Dougie with ball and offending driver in hand mumbling something about his ill fortune...
Five off the tee now saw it sail majestically over the wall OB onto the 7th again.
250yd walk back up to his bag for another ball and...
250yd back to the tee.
Seven off the tee now and the 7th fairway was saved yet another pitchmark only by the stone wall separating the two holes as Dougie's ball nestled up against it.
250yd back up the hole he went.
A delicate hack edged the ball (his 4th one on this hole so must be a Top Flite XL by now!) from the wall.
The pitch to the green was left short... unlike the chip which if any of his drives had had the same flight characteristics he'd have been fine as it rocketed straight, low and true past the pin and out the back of the green.
A chip back on and 2 putts later the new 13 Club was born!

Needless to say word travels faster (and a damnsite straighter) than one of Dougie's drives and by the time he arrived at the bar a new '13 Club' poster was on the board with his name on it! Wonder who could have done that...?


Name: Various! (Graham Flett, Olly Sinclair, Steven Poke & John McCafferty)
Location: Stromness 1st, 2nd, 6th x2, 16th.
Competition: Stromness Open
Well... where to start. You wait for ages then 4 come along at once!

Lets start with Graham Flett or tadpole as he should be known seeing as he spends most his time in ponds! Round 1 Stromness Open at the 16th tee he pulls out the 'Managing Director' or his MD 'Rescue' club (a more un aptly named club I have yet to find on this evidence). A thin off the toe saw it fire low & right into the GUR pond at the new 15th. Not a great shot I'm sure you'll agree but hardly worth a mention in this page... correct, but his next one certainly is! Having to take a drop into the drop zone just short of the bridge he pulled out his 3 iron and let rip at the green.... Another top/thin just cleared the water but hit a rock on the far bank. An instant 90 degree change in direction saw the ball soar majestically in the the air like a small round Saturn 5 rocket. All four players watched in awe as it reached the lower stratosphere but then started to edge backward as it dropped from the heavens straight at them. Slightly charred from re-entry the ball landed from its 200yd flight exactly 5 yds ahead of where it had left! He ended up with a 6.

This wasn't the end of tadpole's water fun for the day however as a 'thinned the bags of it' tee shot at the 2nd in rd 2 saw a Barnes Wallace skip across the water roll up the bank and back down into the drink. "Worth a look" I said to him thinking it may just be on the waters edge and playable, so we all went round for a butchers. Graham's luck was not with him as we found his ball fully 6 inches underwater nestled in among rock. "Aye you'll get that out..." egged on Kenny Sinclair and despite a look of "No you won't" by me Graham edged to the waters edge with his expendable wedge in hand. WHOOSH and SPLOOSH followed as an 8ft column of water was lifted and then dropped onto Graham by his valiant attempt to shift the ball. Needless to say it never budged. Sensing reality may set in or maybe just because he wanted another laugh Kenny piped up "Aye, you'll get it this time"! Despite another look of "No, REALLY you won't" from me Graham let rip again. WHOOSH and SPLOOSH again another few gallons showered down on him and his still stationary ball. Much I'm sure to Kenny's disappointment he picked up and went for a drop - 7 was his score but 10pts for effort!

Just before this human fountain display by Graham it was ironic that it was our other playing partner John Cafferty that could have done with some cooling off after a nightmare 1st hole!

Now John is a slightly firey character who bemoaned his luck after most shots (good or bad) in rd 1, so when a perfect 3 wood up the 1st in rd 2 was lost (still don't know how) we feared the worst as lava was starting to flow from his ears as he marched back to the tee. A low right shot followed and was found nestling 1 foot into the island spinach just short of the rocks. "He's not gonna like this..." I remarked to Kenny & Graham. Sure enough a rainbow of language emerged on John's arrival at the ball. We all fled the vicinity before major eruption. An almighty hack to the ball followed and he did well to shift it into the rocks 10 yds ahead of him! We didn't do so well in trying to find it however. Back he went to his island of rough to hack his now 6th shot out onto the fairway. A pitch to the back of the green and 3 putts later (isn't it always the way) and a new member of the 10 club emerged. His mood did lighten with a birdie at the 9th so the 3 handicapper made it out in 48... still, you've got tae laugh eh John :o)

Now onto the sixth hole which saw more that its fair share of golf scorecard carnage.

First up, Steven Poke. Not too bad a tee shot, pin high to the right. No trouble between him and the hole. Should be good chance of a par you'd think... wouldn't be mentioned here if he had now would it! A thinned chip saw it breeze past the hole and into a bigger sandier one at the left side of the green. Fortunately Steven is very similar to the master of sand play - Gary Player... however this is only in so much that he dresses in black and doesn't extend to his bunker skills! A thinned escape saw the ball breeze past the hole and back to his original position. Safety first this time for Steven as he reached for the putter and stroked it beautifully towards the hole. It breezed past the hole and back into the bunker. Thinned back out again to the original position (again!) his playing partners Eric & Mark thoughtfully asked for permission to laugh! A solid snowman (8) at the par 3 was the final outcome.

This wasn't the worst display of short game buffoonery at this hole however. Oh no, this claim goes to Olly Sinclair. Again a decent tee shot left Olly 5 yds left of the pin. However the 'Sands of Poke' were between him and the pin. Now Olly is very similar to the master of flop shots - Phil Mickleson... however this is only in so much that both can't play right handed so good! Olly flopped it in the bunker... ironically Olly's bunker play actually makes Steven look like Gary Player as 3 digs at it only succeeded in jamming it beneath the face. Going out sideways was the only option now and to his credit Olly succeeded, a little too well! Now up against the OB fence he could only go backwards but bladed it further down the fence towards the 7th tee. A pitch back landed Olly back in a circle to where his original tee shot finished. I can only assume a chip and 3 putts followed to give him his 12, I say this as nobody in the group really saw his finish to the hole through all the tears in their eyes!

All this makes Sid's shanked putt look good ;-)


Name: Ralf Stevenson
Location: Stromness 15th hole
Competition: Sunday sweep
Now settle back because this is a bit special...

Now we've all heard that tongue in cheek phrase after a bad shot 'Well at least its getting closer to the hole...' This should give you all a clue as to errr what happened next.

Ralf stepped up on the 199yd par 3 15th tee only to clobber his tee shot off a tee marker a see it fly backwards over his head behind the small wall at the back of the tee that we all shelter behind in Stromness Opens or pee against in every other competition. Mildly amusing to say the least but luck was on Ralf's side however as it stopped short of finding the knee high salad that lurked further back.

Ralf returned to his bag and selected his next club on the now 210yd par 3. A swift strike saw the ball thinned beautifully against the wall and returned back over Ralf into the aforementioned salad.

A par at the now 220yd par 3 (out of the bundocks) seemed unlikely but to Ralf's credit he was still willing to give it a go. In a true show of raw power and strength he not only remove the ball from the terrible lie but still had enough power in it to return via the wall back further over his head into the silage!!!! The fact he had already played 3 at the now 230yd par 3 proved too much and he picked up, shame really as another couple of shots and he'd surely have made it back onto the 14 fairway 50yds back!


Name: Eric Winifred Sutherland
Location: Stromness 15th hole (and 12th)
Competition: McVitie Rd 2
At last(!) another entry for 'I'm a bad golfer..' and it's from the cross country golf genius himself - Fluffy er Furry Sutherland.

They say your most important shot in a round is your first. Oh dear. So if that is the case perhaps starting on the 15th (the hardest tee shot on the course at the moment) isn't really the best idea...

With trusty 5 wood in hand Eric strode purposely onto the tee on this lovely warm sunshine filled evening however dark clouds were about to gather. Eric tends to favour a gentle draw for his shots however when you pull/smother it the ball tends to have a low fast left fllightpath. Luckily for Eric the ball was prevented from burying deep in the lefthand salad by striking the top of the wall that runs 50yds parallel to the hole. Its flight then altered dramatically from low and forward to high and backward! With a delicate touch that Phil Mickleson would be proud of it touched down on the green and trickled off the front edge... the 12th green that is.

Engaging 3x3 wheel drive Eric and his powakaddy set off back up the hill still hopeful of rescuing a par 3. A powershank with a 6 iron put paid to this dream and his ball as it disappeared into the righthandside of the pond that borders the 17th. Lucky again that its GUR he got a free drop! From dropzone a wedge through the green, a chip back through the green, a putt onto the green and a tap in 6 was the result of the 375yd par 3!!! Classy.


Name: Kenny Slater
Location: Stromness 5th hole (and 4th and 3rd)
Competition: Foinaven Rd 2
This was rather unfortunate for poor Kenny as not only did I witness his shot but so did Glen who happened to have his camera and got it all in glorious digital technicolor.

When we arrived on the 3rd tee we noticed a rather large gathering of players around the 5th green and a rather lonesome figure 200yds back on the 4th fairway, that man was Kenny. I assume he'd lost a ball left and had to go back and replay the shot while letting the group behind through. This was taking some time being as we were all in fourballs that day so Kenny had a rather long time to ponder the error of his ways and assess his options for the shot in hand.

Kenny carefully lines up his (200yd) shot, slightly left to right me thinks...

Having decided his plan of attack he stood up and struck the ball ... often happens at the last minute that fear of Out of Bounds 400 yds left took over and he bailed out right.... WAY RIGHT!

Don't go left... don't go left... ah, didn't go left

His anguish is captured beautifully here by Glen's camera work. Bit of a shame we have no pictures of the hilarity all around though.

Think actions speak louder than words for these photos viewers.

After much wiping of the tears (both Kenny's and ours!) he cut a dejected figure as he trailed across the 4th and 3rd fairways only to find his ball had become the latest victim of Sinclair's pond. All be it the first person to find it playing the 5th!

Ahhh the soothing sound of water lapping gently against the banks of the pond on a sunny Sunday afternoon... now I ask you, what could be more relaxing?




Name: Club Captain, Eric W Sutherland (Again!)
Location: Stromness 17th hole (AGAIN!!!!)
Competition: McVitie & Price Rd 3
Being in the group behind I was quite fortunate to witness the aftermath of this incident!

Myself, Malachy (see above!) & Keith Johnston arrived on the tee to see the group ahead (Eric, Den and Garson) searching for a ball out to the right in some very juicy salad. They waved us through (some good etiquette folks!) and nothing seemed that out of the ordinary.

That was until we looked back from the green to see a somewhat widespread group! Den was dragging his big bottom lip back to the clubhouse for an NR (are you reading this Angus Hutchison?!). Garson meanwhile was fishing around in the ditch for his ball while Eric rather strangely was wandering back up the path outside the dyke along the shore back towards the tee. Hmmm something fishy here!

Turns out that it was Erics first ball they were searching for out right. He had played a provisional (good sensible etiquette from the Club Captain again folks) but had topped it into a bad lie. Seems after another hack at it with a wedge proved too much for him and a case of 'Silver helicopter' was called for. In what can only be described as a schoolboy error from the master of club throwing he pull hooked his club over the fence into grass even thicker than where is first ball had found. After 5 mins fruitless searching he and Garson carried on and completed their rounds. Surely he should have thrown a provisional?!

On completion a sodden shoulder slumped figure was seen from the clubhouse window skulking back out to the point! 15 mins later he arrived back complete with wedge and 10 more air miles on his club. Nice one!


Name: Malachy JJ McFerran
Location: Whalsay
Competition: Stableford Practice Round
Not sure how he managed this but he scored a grand total of 6 stableford points! Wasn't as if it was a couple of flashes of magic either, more like steady ...umm.... golf shall we say, his two halfs were both 3 pts! Bejesus.


Our next Nomination comes from both Kenny Inkster and I, we were fortunate enough to witness some (many!) outstanding shots over the course of the weekend from Eric 'Furry' Sutherland - and when I say 'over the course' I mean ALL over the course!

Name: Eric W Sutherland
Location: 17th/18th//No man's land/15th/back onto the 17th!!!
Competition: Ackroyd Rd 2
Being in the group behind we had a good view of the events as they unfolded, although it took a bit of working out just what was happening and which hole he was playing.

Tee shot of the 17th found the little dip in the 17th fairway - bit unlucky but still not a good shot to be that short in the first place! Second shot was a 'Top Shank'! Bounced of the road and came to rest halfway up 18 near the black & white pole (200 yards right of where he should be!). Third shot was another shank (sorry left the face wide open, yeah right!) into the the bushes over the wall at the side of the 15th! Penalty drop into a shocking lie next. Hack moved backwards, another hack flopped it out over the wall near 15th fairway. Wedge (NO SHANK this time!!!) to over back of 17th green. Chip and then holed a good putt for a 10! Class.

But best shank was saved for Sunday off the 8th! A real right angular J Arthur up the 9th. In fact he was further away from the 8th green after his tee shot - must be a first!


Name: Denis Harvey
Location: Most of Kirkwall course
Competition: Tanco Cup

Our second nomination is from our old pal Andrew 'Can em' Groundwater who was fortunate enough to view not just one but three 'Top Shanks' from none other that former Stromness Open winner Den 'Sponge' Harvey'. I'll leave Andrew to describe them as only he can...


I'd like to nominate my good friend Denis Harvey for the next 'I'm a bad
golfer, get me out of here' award, based on three astounding Shanks last
night in the 1st round of the Ackroyd.

Shank No.1: 15th hole, 3 iron.

I thought it was only the shorter irons that were shankable, but brave
little Denis proved me wrong with a beauty that flew straight over the 14th
green. It sent Jimmy Hutch scrambling for cover before nestling down beside
the gate over from the 17th.
Note: He then tried to play the ball from there and no one saw where it
went, presumably about 3 foot under though. He dropped another and got it
about 30 yards from the green. From here he pulled out a lob wedge and
chipped it in to save a 5! A shank, a lost ball and a chip in - the 15th
had it all for Dirty Den!

Shank No.2: 2nd hole, 6 iron.

A true right angle shank this time, obviously the shorter iron enables
Harvey to really impart some Shabba Ranks spin on that baby. It was over
the water and in the gutter before it even reached the bridge.

Shank No.3: 2nd hole, 6 iron.

Who says lightning doesn't strike twice? This one did make it over the
bridge, just, but still came to the same earthy fate. Denis sensibly
avoided the hat trick by dropping down near the water for his third shot and
chapping it up the middle. He finished with a 6.

All this malarky added up to a nice round 80 for the Dirtmeister, or should
it be the Shankulator???

Anyway, please consider Denis' nomination. I'm sure you'll agree he is well
worth a mention.


Andrew 'Can 'em' Groundwater"


A feature dedicated to particularly bad shots you'd want to forget. Inspired by 'Clapper' Sinclair's nightmare 80 in the S Stones Open. Seem's he found a few 'Mans holes' that day!
First up for this award has to be myself (it's only fair!).

Brian Corsie
Location: 17th Tee, Kirkwall
Competition: Gorn's Open
Well, in my defence I did need 2 birdies to finish and it was the 'Long Drive' hole. So naturally I tried to give it that 10% extra. I caught it beautifully, unfortunately beautifully on the sole of the driver not the face. Plop! topped 10 yards into the quarry. Longest Dive winner maybe?!

Designed by B Corsie: Stromness Golf Club 2006