This week's blog is written by Stephanie Crolla of Muckhart Golf Club Ladies Team. The team plays in round nine of the Mail on Sunday competition this weekend against a club in North Yorkshire & is the last Scottish ladies club in the competition at this stage.
When I was asked to take on the Captain’s role of our ‘Mail on Sunday’ team, I thought ‘Yeah sure! How hard can it be?’ Not really knowing too much of what it involved or what I was getting myself into.
A notice had been put up in the ladies locker room asking for ladies to sign up to the competition. This required a team of five ladies to play in a match play handicap competition, with a total of 8 rounds before the semi-final and final in Spain. Fingers crossed for a Home tie but it’s always nice to play different courses if it was an away match too.
The first tie was drawn, a home match against Dollar GC. I had a good team to select from, having eight names to pick for the five places. All of whom were very keen not only to win the first match but were already looking ahead to buying sun tan lotion and sipping sangria for an anticipated final in Spain.
Although I was excited about my captaincy for the team I anticipated that it would be short lived as our record was non-existent, never making it past the fourth round (bearing in mind we always get a bye through to the second round). However, I set my team out in handicap order, the first playing off a 17 handicap and the last a 5 handicap.
We won our first match 3-2 and continued on to win our second match, also at home. Now we were on unchartered territory, never having got to the fifth round before. The next match was drawn away against Edzell GC. Team Muckhart arrived at Edzell on a very wet and windy morning, with waterproofs, gloves, hats and umbrellas at the ready. The result at the end of the five matches was a draw which meant we had to enter into a nervy play-off. We finished victorious. We also ended up with a draw in our sixth round match against Crail, winning with a birdie on the first play-off hole.
As we continued to progress through the competition, arranging suitable dates to play and finding a team (due to holidays and other commitments) became more difficult. Others helped out when they could which was fantastic as some had never played under pressure before. Our team has ranged in age from 68yrs to 18yrs and with handicaps from 1-22.
We are now through to the last eight teams in the UK and possibly the only Scottish team (with Minto still to play their tie) to reach this stage. As Dumyat league champions (handicap league) for the second year in a row and possibly scratch league champions this year, many people have asked, ‘what makes Muckhart so great?’.
I am still trying to find the answer to our success this year but what I do know is that we have a ladies section made up of young and old, low handicap and high handicappers, nine hole ‘die-hards’ and ‘eighteen hole troopers’. Some of the ladies are there for golf and others for a cup of tea or possibly a gin or two and some for golf and a gin. Possibly that is what makes us great, we have fun and don’t take ourselves too seriously no matter what our age or ability.
If anyone is interested in taking up golf or would like to join our ladies section please email email@example.com. We have an Open day on 27th September for prospective new members if you would like to come up and try out the course and meet some of the ladies, but if you can’t make that don’t worry we are always happy to meet you. There is currently no joining fee.