Brora Old Boys’ Society

Brora Golf Club LogoWhat you read below will seem remarkably familiar to anyone who is part of a regular golf group, whether a formal constitution of golf club members or a rag-tag contingent of golf friends with a shared addiction for the game.  It will just seem that the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

This is a chapter from a book by Hugh Baillie called “Golf at the Back of Beyond” Brora Golf Club 1891-2000.

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The Brora Old Boys Society, ‘The Bobs’ is an unofficial body within the Golf Club.  It was formed during the 1970’s and meets every Tuesday morning weather permitting.

The perceived wisdom is that the Society is allowed a special dispensation so far as weather is concerned, certainly it is quite rare for it to miss a drill.

The format is over fifteen holes: seven out, play the cross-over tee to the eleventh green, then the closing seven holes.

The society has its own score card and handicapping system, though based on club handicaps.  Two strokes are deducted from a winner’s handicap, one from the runner-up.

The tail-end Charlie receives a further two strokes, so that a few of the poorer, or perhaps older, exponents who may be regular Charlies may well be allowed two strokes on some holes.  These are commonly known as kisses or barbed-wire cards.

The prizes are simple: Three balls to the winner, two for the next, one for third.  Entry is one pound a meeting, with tenpence in the bunker box for each visit to the sand.

After paying for the prizes most of the monies go to the charities favored by the Captain of the year, though a small amount is retained for subsidizing the Christmas lunch and wine, when tradition is respected with the saying of Grace and a loyal toast to the Queen and Duke of Lancaster.

The trophies consist of Rob Wilson’s clock in the shape of a tee, The Tom Robertson Cup and the Dough Ross Salver in memory of a past Captain.  There was a Silver Flask, donated by Bill Robertson, a former club president, unusual in that the competition is for the best gross score from which a player deducted his age.

However, Gordon Matheson won it three times in a row, when aged 77,78, and 79, and was presented with the inscribed flask in perpetuity.

There is no age limit, old or young.  Anyone is welcomed, and in season there are many regular annual visitors who turn up on a Tuesday morning.

Twenty would probably be an average attendance, varying from fifteen to thirty depending on climate and season.

A pleasing feature is that former members who no longer play look in to the club on Tuesday mornings to socialize for an hour.

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Golf at the Back of Beyond

Brora Golf Club 1891-2000

Hugh Baillie

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