From Wednesday 28th April to Sunday 2nd May we had the pleasure of joining nine Hurstville members and some of their better halves at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast for the Handiskins National Final. Most of us arrived on the Gold Coast after taking our first domestic flight for some time. Lloyd, Perry and Jimmy took the long road trip together and stopped at Coffs Harbour to play Bonville Golf Course on the way.
After arriving at Royal Pines Resort Wednesday afternoon most of us were straight onto the course for a 9 hole hit and giggle. That was followed by the always enjoyable welcoming dinner and drinks. Like previous years, Hurstville GC had the biggest table and the greatest presence.
The next day most of us off our game somewhat with Jimmy White our best-placed competitor in the Handiskins with 30 points and Jeff Fairbairn our best in the Peter Lehmann with 29 points. Gai Rowan had a respectable 25 points on her first outing on one of Australia’s more difficult championship courses and Danny Rothwell had the misfortune of his driver breaking head which held him back. I managed a 2nd place in the Pro Skins after Round 1 despite the putter miss behaving badly.
Thursday afternoon was spent playing the traditional Euchre card match. The unbeatable team of Tim Hooper and his trusty apprentice (Stweart) proved way too strong for Jeff Fairbairn and Lloyd Piper, despite Lloyd trying his best to put them off their game.
Thursday night we were off to the Peter Lehmann dinner for another indulgence of first-class food and wine. At one stage I think some of us had over 6 glasses of different wine in front of us.
Friday morning we dusted ourselves off for Round 2 (moving day). We were all hoping to fire a low score in an effort to qualify in the top 4 to gain entry into Saturdays Finals. Jimmy White played well but just missed out in the Handiskins finishing in a tie for 7th out of the field of 55. Jeff Fairbairn played solidly to finish 10th in the Peter Lehmann Challenge and Stewart managed to finish 3rd and qualify for the Pro-Skins Final.
Friday night was a free night to do as we please. Simon, Danny, Peter and Perry decided to leave the resort to see friends and explore the Gold Coast. The rest of us enjoyed a few pizzas before settling in for more cards. Once again there were no surprises there with Tim Hopper and Stewart continuing their unbeaten streak since they began playing in 2017.
Saturday was a big deal for Stewart, playing in his first Skins Final after missing out in three previous attempts. It was great to have the support of the Hurstville Members following him around to watch. Stewart managed to dust off the early nerves and play some nice golf throughout the day. Unfortunately, he narrowly missed a couple of putts that would have had him win the Championship. Nonetheless, it turned out he won 4 of the 18 skins on offer and finished in 3rd place. Hopefully the putts will drop in 2022 so the Jarrod Lyle Memorial Trophy can return to Hurstville Golf Club.
Personally, we’d like to thank everyone that came away on the trip for the great company and good times we shared and we look forward to doing it again next year.
For everyone wanting to participate in our local Handiskins the event will be running 5 consecutive weeks from Saturday 7th August – Saturday 4th September. Our Top 4 Final will be on Saturday 11th September.