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.