On Wednesday 16th March Paul and I travelled down to the Mornington Peninsula with a crew of Hurstville Golf Club members to play Portsea, Moonah Links and St Andrews Beach Golf Courses. There were a few familiar faces from last year’s trip to Tasmania. Tim Horne, Frank Naro, Neil Munro, Steve Armitage and Janette Lisle were back for another shot at the title, but there was no sign of a defending champion with John Belshaw missing in action.
A smooth Jetstar flight saw us arrive in Melbourne. Despite being unfamiliar with Melbourne Airports new terminal 4, we managed to located our mini bus and yours truly was back behind the wheel looking to shut out any bad memories from last year’s incident where I had a slight altercation with a barricade at a service station.
After a pleasant lunch stop in Sorrento, we arrived at Portsea Golf Club, our home for the next 2 nights. Without any delay we were straight onto the golf course to challenge Portsea’s testing links. The course was difficult, dry, fast and similar to NSW and St Michaels, with jungle of the fairways and plenty of run offs around the greens. Top score for Day 1 was Neil Munro with 33 points.
After the round we all headed to Portsea Hotel, which is a beautiful old pub located right on the water. Craft beers, fish and chips were popular amongst the group as we watched the sunset and chatted the evening away.
Day 2 started with a sleep in for most……Frank and Garry were super keen and slipped in another 9 holes early at Portsea. Breakfast was great. Pancakes, French toast, Bacon and Eggs with mushrooms and tomato. Even some pastries to finish with. Paul and I then invited everyone to the chipping and putting green where we gave bunker, chipping and putting lessons. Everyone came along and received a few tips and then it was off in the bus to Moonah Links.
The Golf Course for Day 2 was Moonah Links Legends Course. Conditions were hot, although there was a little breeze and the course looked magnificent. Todd started us off with a cracking drive down the middle from an elevated Par 5 tee. Top score for Day 2 was Frank Nardo with 40 points.
After the round we headed back to Portsea for a quick change and then it was off to an Italian restaurant in Sorrento called Italian Co. We were looked after with beautiful pizza, pasta and red wine. It was a great evening and everyone enjoyed the night.
Those that managed to sleep through night 2, woke to see wild wind and rain pelting down. There was talk of alternatives to playing golf……shopping…..casino, but we decided to head out to St Andrews Beach Golf Course and see if conditions would ease.
We waited for around 1 hour and then there was a slight break in the weather. We decided to make a run for it and ventured out onto the links. It was blowing 50 plus knots and the rain returned early in the round and it looked like we may have made the wrong decision. Fortunately the rain disappeared on the back nine and we only had to contend with the gusty winds. In was a tough but memorable day around a spectacular golf course and top score went to Janette Lisle with an impressive 35 points.
Due to our late start it was quickly back into the bus and off to Melbourne airport for our flight home. Presentations would have to wait. It was a pretty uneventful trip back which was pleasing for me. I managed to refuel without crashing the bus and everyone grabbed some Maccas for a late lunch/early dinner.
Our flight was delayed slightly, which gave us extra time to conduct our presentation. Our winner for the Barny Rubble / Mornie Golf Trip was Frank Nardo with 101 points for the 3 days. It was a remarkable comeback from last year disappointment of winning the Bradmans Trophy in Tasmania. Garry Williams was consistent for all days and came 2nd with 96 points.
The trip was extremely enjoyable and I would like to personally thank everyone who came along for making it soooo much fun. All scores can be seen below and we look forward to doing it all again at a different location next year.
Frank 32, 40, 29 = 101
Stewart 28, 38, 32 = 98
Garry 31, 37, 28 = 96
Neil 33, 31, 30 = 94
Janette 24, 35, 34 = 93
Jan 32, 34, 24 = 90
Steve 32, 33, 23 = 88
Paul 31, 30, 25 = 86
Todd 32, 28, 25 = 85
Greame 20, 30, 28 = 78
Davo 28, 25, 16 = 69
Andrew 21, 25, 22 = 68
Tim 22, 21, 25 = 68