2011 – Balmacewen Golf Club – Otago

– Congratulations to the Otago Association on an excellent event hosted at the Otago Golf Club often referred to as Balmacewen or as the case may now be “balmadifficult!!”.
You would think that a course that supposedly is one of the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere with all that time on their hands they would have been able to make it easier to play by now…!!

The Course
Not a course for the weak of heart or body this challenging par 71 course has all the elements of a true test of your golfing prowess, it should definitely “not” be undertaken “as I did” with any degree of trepidation due to too much socialising from the night before.
From the challenging 1st hole par 5 “GUMS “ with its tree lined fairway converging on any errant tee shot, to the lung wrenching number two stroke hole par four 18th “SPION KOP” derived from a reference to a battle on a hill during the Second Boer War in January 1900.
Based on this reference the golf course would have been more aptly named SPION KOP.

The signature hole would most definitely be the par four 11th   “THE GLEN” often rated as one of the best holes in the world personally I wouldn’t have said so there are a lot of other holes that I have played where it was easier to get a eight on…!!
Another notable achievement on the hole was from Leigh Blade one of our sponsors representatives having taken 15 provisional shots from the tee only to find his first ball and record a seven.

For future reference NOTE
: “do not play this golf course in the wind ……!! Don’t expect to make any putts of any length over 2 feet in the entire round unless you have a misread ……!! Book a cart if you intend to play with a hangover….. !! Book a cart anyway …..!!

Many thanks to the green staff for the excellent presentation of the golf course, cross mown fairways and double cut greens are always an indication that the superintendent and his staff take particular pride in their work and this should be recognised.
Also thanks to Shelly and the staff in the pro shop.

The Golf
Well done to the Otago association for their victory in the Team supreme award and also individual Gross winner, obviously many years of local conditioning were a governing factor here, I am sure closer physical inspection would have noted their personnel to have one leg shorter than the other, lung capacity equivalent to Lance Armstrong “and probably a little bit of that pre-tournament blood doping …”

Congratulations to all the other winners, may your Temuka provide you with many years of dining pleasure to come, and the also-rans good luck next year “if I decide to pick you…..!!”

The after match function
Many- thanks to “Balmac” for great food and friendly staff behind the bar,
Note for home club…”hire new bar staff.”
For those that had not been to a Balmacewen welcome before, the piping of the Haggis is undoubtedly the highlight of the entire week, I am sure the Scottish gentleman who provided the monologue was the same wee lad that gave the rendition the first time I came here 20 years ago.
Personally I have a good percentage of Scottish ancestry in me however I would unfortunately have starved on the nights when the pungent odour of Haggis would have been on the menu in our household
Notable cameo roles in the Haggis piping were Barbara Berryman (Transnet South Island Representative) and Dave Milton Business Development Manager for Corys for the Dunedin region.
Many thanks to the mind testing skills of the master magician Jonathon Usher.
The Sponsors
Thank you to all our tournament sponsors – Corys/Mastertrade –Ideal Electrical – Transnet – ECANZ – Cabac – and particular thanks to NHP for the participation of Leigh Blade at both the golf and customer support at the Victoria Hotel.
A quiz for all those who took part in the week, the first person to come up with the correct answer will receive an autographed copy of Leigh’s new golf instruction book “How I practice on the Course”
The answer is 115………. What is the question?
The Aftermath:
Thank-you once again to Phil and the guys from the Otago association for all their efforts, the travel arrangements, the golf, the dinners, the tour of the new stadium.

For those of you that have been called upon to host one of these events you will know that the hours put in are never acknowledged enough the reward is the smooth running of the tournament and the pleasure gained by the participants, this was definitely achieved.

See you all in the Hawkes Bay 2012.

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