Report on the 2015 Competition
The 2015 competition was blessed with by far the best week's weather of the summer with almost wall to wall sunshine. Both Gentleman and Ladies compete for the magnificent Speyside Quaich with the overall winner recording the best aggregate 4 out of 5 Stableford scores over 5 courses played from Monday through Friday.
Some of the players in the competition are shown in this slide show.
Play began at Elgin Golf Club on Monday 7th September in glorious sunshineand it was not long before the first big news of the competition came in with Tom Bowden , one of the contingent from Peterborough Milton GC, who have supported the competition since its inception, had a hole in 1 at the 7th hole using an 8 iron. Tom was presented with a quaich to commerate this acheivement at the prize giving at the completion of the tournament.
Bob Coupar (Boat of Garten GC) was the leading male scorer with 36 pts with Andy Hirst (Bury GC) second with 35pts the same score as the leading lady Sian Crook (Bradford GC) with Janette Stark (Largs GC) runner up.
Day 2 at Grantown Golf Club at Grantown-on-Spey saw Bob Coupar again post the winning score of 39 pts with John McMillan on the same scoe but with a lower back nine score. Winner of the lady's daily competition was Pat Lockie (North Berwick GC) with a great score of 43 pts and Olive O'Sullivan (Dollar GC) runner up with 36 pts.
Boat of Garten was the venue for Wednesday's play with Ian Smith (Peterborough Milton GC) posting a score of 37 pts to beat Malcolm Bowden (Carluke GC) into second place with 36 pts. Jane Ashdown (Largs) posted the best lady's score with 34 pts and Olive O'Sullivan again being in second place with 33pts.
Day 4 saw the competition move to the coast to play over the Old Course at Moray Golf Club. Brian Inch (Elgin GC) was the first local player to post a leading score with 35 pts and Jurek Brown (Conwy GC, Wales) second with 34 pts. Ashley Leitch (Dollar GC), the 2014 overall champion, scored 38 pts with Denise Burchell (Sandiway GC) runner up with 36 pts. Players were very pleased to have witnessed the Old Course at its finest after playing in a thick mist in 2014.
The final day was played at Forres GC and Ian Smith (Peterborough Milton GC) again came to the fore with 37pts beating Jurek Brown (Conwy GC) into second place with 35 pts. Marlo Luedi (Huntly GC), another stalwart who has supported the tournament since its inception was the top lady score with 35 pts beating Olive O'Sullivan on the same score by the better score over the final 3 holes.
The winner of the Speyside Quaich, for 2015, with a score of 141 was Ian Smith from Peterborough Milton GC
Malcolm Bowden, Carluke GC was runner up with 140 whilst in 3rd place one point behind was Bob Coupar, Boat of Garten GC with 139. (Bob did win 2 of the daily winner's prizes as well as his 3rd overall). 4th was Brian Inch of Elgin GC on 137 points and last year's winner Ashley Leitch, Dollar GC, defended her trophy admirably coming in 5th place with 136 points.
Some of the prize winners are shown in the following slide show along with Tournament Director Steve Crane and Chairman of SGWT James Macpherson who made the presentation.
The following article appeared in the Northern Scot on 2nd October 2015
Golf and Whisky the perfect blend - success for Speyside – and a hole in one
Nearly 60 golfers visited Speyside in early September for the fourth annual running of Scotland’s Golf Whisky Trail Golf Week.
Locals and visitors from all over the UK from Aberdeenshire to Cornwall and Wales enjoyed the best week of late summer with 5 consecutive days of outstanding weather the area has seen this year.
Golfers played 18 holes at each of five courses, teeing off first at Elgin then onto Grantown, Boat of Garten, Moray’s Championship Old Course with the final round at Forres. Great success was achieved on day one at Elgin as Tom Bowden of Peterborough Milton GC holed out with an 8 iron at Elgin’s 7th hole.
Scotland’s Golf Whisky Trail is a tourism initiative designed to promote the very best of Speyside through its golf courses, hotels and visitor attractions and is supported by the participating golf clubs and the following businesses: Gordon & MacPhail, Benromach, Johnstons of Elgin, Sunninghill Hotel, Elgin, Knockomie Hotel, Forres and the Grant Arms at Grantown-on-Spey.
James Macpherson, Chairman of Scotland’s Golf Whisky Trail said: “Whisky and golf have vast, worldwide appeal and Speyside is at the heart of "uisge beatha" - the water of life as well as having very highly regarded golf courses that offer players, uniquely different challenges.
“This week’s visitors to our area have been so full of praise at the warmth of welcome they’ve been given at all Clubs, visitor attractions and at the hotels and B&B’s where they’ve been so well cared for.”
Players competed for a magnificent quaich and prizes reflecting many of the quality products of this area. The Championship Quaich was won by Ian Smith of Peterborough Milton GC, Cambridgeshire, with the runner-up Malcolm Bowden of Carluke GC, Robert Coupar from Boat of Garten in third, closely followed by Brian Inch of Elgin. Ashley Leitch of Dollar came fifth, making a spirited defence of the title she won in 2014. The winner was fulsome in his praise for the event “"Great courses, great prizes, great organisation, great company and fantastic weather"
Scotland’s Golf Whisky Trail Golf Week will next take place from 5 - 9 September 2016 and Tournament Director, Steve Crane was delighted with the entries from across the UK and beyond and looks forward to receiving even more next year.