It was our annual trip down Deeside last night for the 10th Balmoral outing - and what a beautiful evening it was. The team lined up on parade on the 1st tee:
We got to play off the white tees - possibly for the first time - and our host, Gary Coutts was thankfully fit enough to play his first round of the year on his home course, having just had surgery on his ankle. Norrie Thain again made up the usual 8 and we picked the teams out of a hat - and, in the first of a number of coincidences, they came out exactly the same as last year.
Lovely views of Crathie Kirk from the 2nd tee:
There's a story the locals tell that some of the present day Royals often comment that the castle was located in the wrong place - it should have been where this house is - the photo was taken from the 6th tee looking across the 7th fairway:
The group who were second out last year went out first this time - they gave us plenty of opportunities to photograph them - this one is taken at the 9th tee:
Later on, Bill & Norrie are having a quiet chat on the 17th tee whilst they wait to play - but what's Dick been up to?:
Nearest the pin prizes went to me (11th) and Gary (5th) but none of us could hit the 16th fairway. Dick was last on the tee and had the option of taking out his wedge to pick up a prize - but, no - he's a man, not a mouse. Result - another wide.
Norrie's handicap has been creeping up in recent years, and he managed to run off with the prize money yet again - same as last year - and exactly the same score too - 40 points, just pipping me by one point. Our team of Bill, Norrie, Dick and I once again trounced Gary, Peter, Malcolm and Jas. Here's the scores:
1 Thain, Norrie 40
2 Stewart, Ian 39
3 Miller, Bill 33
4 Grigor, Malcolm 32
5 Taylor, Dick 31
6 Coutts, Gary 27
7 Bhagrath, Jas 26
8 Street, Peter 22
This was Norrie's 3rd win in all - from only 4 appearances! Jas, Bill, Gary and I are the only ones with perfect attendance records - 10/10 - I've won 3 times, and Gary, Malcolm, Ian D and Les have each won once.