Home IGC NewsLetters March 2007
March 2007

Islay Golf Club - Naidheachdan

General Secretary

I am pleased to announce that we have appointed Alec Chasemore as General Secretary to the Club. Alec has lived on Portnahaven for four years now and previously worked as a head teacher and before that in the police force. Since coming to Islay he has taken up golf seriously and is an improving player, with a win in last October’s Team Challenge already under his belt.

In the past we have relied on the individual members giving up their free time to undertake all the tasks involved in running the Club, whether the distribution of subscription notices, looking after our finances, running competitions and maintaining the handicap system. With Alec on board we will be able to let our member volunteers play an advisory rather than doing role, put the administration of the Club on a sounder footing and be better able to meet the challenge of maintaining and growing our membership.

Club Championship

The Committee is interested in hearing the views of members on how we might give more profile to the Club Championship. There is a feeling that playing the Championship on the Saturday before Cross gives it less status and interest than is typically the case in most golf clubs. One option that has been discussed is to institute a Club Championship Weekend in late June. This would include a new “B”-Championship for players with handicaps of 13 and over.

Such a move would have a number of other advantages, including easing the difficulty of getting those playing in the Championship round the course twice in one day when there is a large field playing in the MacKinnon Memorial Trophy, opening up the Saturday before Cross Week for social, family and ladies golf and reducing the heavy burden on the match secretary over the early part of Cross Week. Moreover the much improved ferry and air links to and from Islay now make a short visit over a weekend much more feasible for mainland members.

Of course there may be other options to consider, as well as the status quo. If you have any views please drop an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or write to Ian Patrick, Secretary, Islay Golf Club, 7 Glamis Gait, West Craigs, Blantyre, G72 0TG. The bigger the response we get the better we will be able to gauge the wishes of the membership.

Cross Week 4th – 10th August


The formats for the Cross, the Plate, the Senior and Junior Crosses will stay the same as last year with both the Senior and Junior events gaining the competitive edge and status within the Club that they deserve. The Club Championship will again be played in conjunction with the MacKinnon Memorial Trophy and the Secretary’s Trophy on Saturday 4th August and the Visitors v Locals match for the Ian Muir Memorial Trophy on Sunday 5th August at its traditional time of 9.30am.

The ladies will now also hold a medal competition on Monday 6th August, teeing off in the mid-afternoon behind the players in the Captain’s prizes.

Cross Week entries

As in previous years please return to enclosed entry form indicating which of the Islay “majors” you will be entering this year. The deadline for entries is Friday 29th June 2007. All competitors must have paid their annual subscriptions (or set up their direct debits) before teeing up for these events.

Fancy a weekend on Machrie?

As well as the Club Championship we also have a number of events each year decided over 36 holes over the course of a weekend. These are ideal for a long weekend of competitive golf in Islay. These events are:

· the Guy Quaich one round on Friday June 8th & one on Sunday June 10th

· the S P Morrison Trophy one round on Friday July 20th & one on Sunday 22nd

· the Lagavulin Quaich two rounds on August 19th

Machrie’s a tough track – official: SSS up to 71

This will not be “news” to Most Islay Golf Club members. Machrie’s challenge was under-rated by the standard scratch score of 70. The SGU visited Machrie last summer as part of their programme of course rating – and to provide a slope rating for our American visitors. This process aims to use a set of standard criteria to develop as much consistency as possible among the standard scratch scores across the wide diversity of golf courses in Scotland. Recognition of the challenge presented by Machrie has pushed the standard scratch up to 71. This helps explain why the competition scratch score typically goes up one, two or even three for events when there are a high proportion of “visitors” in the field. It should mean some lower local handicaps as the new rating beds in!

Machrie makes the Principal’s blog

If you enjoy an irreverent view of golf then there’s no better blog to follow than the Principal’s Nose - http://principalsnose.blogspot.com. But he’s a fan of traditional golf and here’s what he has to say about the gem we play over:

“The links at the Machrie Hotel on the Isle of Islay, Scotland, is truly one of golf's great masterpieces. Set aside the astonishing Machir Bay and the mighty Atlantic, it is a must visit for all golfers wishing to complete their golfing education. Fine turf, blind shots and magnificent dunes help make this course one of the best in the world but don't just take the word of the Principal. In reviewing the list of who has played here over the years it is easy to translate this course into greatness where Vardon, Braid and Taylor played challenge matches, Nick Faldo wanted to buy it and Paul Casey is the current "night time" champion! Undersold? Yes! But I assure you that The Machrie is far superior to most of the much lauded courses just across the water in the neighbouring country of Ireland. Go visit, try the famous malts and if you strike just one shot well then your trip would have been worth it.”

Good luck to you all for the coming season. ........................................................................

Hunter Jackson