Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 review, 2012 preview

Yet another successful year in the history of Jiggers Dubai has come to an end.  With 12 games having been played at courses around the UAE, as well as a most successful away tour to Scotland, arranged by David Green, Jiggers Dubai remains strong.  As ‘Big Vince’ mentioned during the annual dinner on 9 December, Jiggers is like a family in Dubai, and allows for great golf on the course and great socializing off the course.

The final game of the year was held at The Els Club.  Unfortunately this conflicted with my responsibilities as a TV scorer for the Dubai World Championship (see here) so I have no match report for that game.  During the evening of 9 December 2011 the annual Jiggers dinner was held at the Mina Seyahi Hotel close to the Dubai Marina.  During the event, final fines were ‘awarded’ for various infractions during the year, to boost the drinking kitty for the evening, followed by the prize giving to those Jiggers who managed to ‘Outwit, Outlast and Outplay’ (to borrow a term from Survivor) their opponents during the year.  The winners of the prizes for 2011 are as follows:

Player of the Year – Peter Hedley
Most Improved (in terms of handicap reduction) – Sean Drury
Eclectic Scores – Jean van Loggerenberg
Matchplay Trophy – Vince van der Bijl
Matchplay Plate (for those eliminated during round 1 of the matchplay trophy) – Brian Schofield

During the dinner, Bill Collins announced his resignation as captain after three years in charge of Jiggers Dubai.  Ernest ‘Nest’ Hosking kindly volunteered to take over the captain’s role for the next three years.  The full committee for 2012 may be found here.  Rob Edgecombe remains the Jiggers Chairman.  All Jiggers agreed that Bill has done a great job of running Jiggers for the past three years, with the support of some more than capable cohorts, all of whom have kindly volunteered their time to ensure the continued success of the golfing society.  We wish Nest all the best for his reign as Jiggers captain.

As we move into the seventh year of Jiggers Dubai, members are assured of yet more fantastic golf at the best courses in the UAE, as well as some off-course banter bound to keep us coming back for more the following month.

HAPPY HACKING into 2012.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jiggers Golf at Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth Course)

Saturday, November 19, 2011 dawned with the promise of yet another exciting Jiggers Dubai golf game, this time being staged at the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.  But today would be different for a number of reasons - - - I) we would be walking the course due to the course having recently been reseeded in preparation for the Dubai World Championship starting on December 8, II) we would be welcoming a total of 42 members and visitors, a record for a Jiggers event, and III) the Jiggers that did not attend the tour to Scotland would receive their 2012 Jiggers shirts and hats.

The first four-balls teed off at 8AM, from both the first and the tenth tees, with the final group of three players going off at 9:15AM.  With much huffing and puffing, and beads of perspiration having saturated the immaculate greens of the Earth Course, the guys managed to make it round the course in five hours.  The initial positive sentiments of ‘this should be a fun and different way of getting around the golf course’ very quickly gave way to ‘never again will I play a UAE golf course without a golf cart’.

One does not realize the extent of the undulations of the course until one is forced to walk.  And one does not realize the amount of effort involved to pull a golf cart heavily-ladened with a day’s supply of water (and all the other $%&* one usually carries in a golf bag!!), especially through the rough that has been left to grow high in anticipation of the European Tour’s top 60 players in early December.

All in all it was a pleasant day at the Earth Course with the course in fine condition prior to the Dubai World Championship.

Dave (‘Doc’) Jones and Rob Renton (visitor) won the competition with 47 stableford points, followed in 2nd place by Charles ARNESTAD and Brian McKerchar (waiting list) on 44 points and Erik Dekker and Simon Elliot (visitor) on 42 points.  In the matchplay competition, Erik Dekker beat Walter Robinson 4 & 3, David (‘Slapper’) McKerchar beat Jean van Loggerenberg 2 & 1 and Vince vd Bijl beat Peter Hedley 3 & 2.

The final Jiggers game of the year will be played at The Els Club on the Friday of the Dubai World Championship (December 9).  Jiggers members and guests look forward to what promises to be an exciting final day, with the various categories of competition mostly still undecided.  Peter Hedley leads the ‘Player of the Year’ competition with 35 points, Sean Drury leads the ‘Most Improved Player’ with a handicap reduction from the beginning of the year of 38.4%, and Jean van Loggerenberg leads the ‘Eclectic Order of Merit’ with 61 points (though there is a debate as to whether the scores from the Scotland tour should be included in the calculations!!).

The Jiggers year-end function will be held on either the Friday evening following the golf or the following evening.