Aug 5 2011 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
A BIG County golf club is toasting a milestone double triumph over rivals from Down Under, writes Gordon Bannerman.
Every year, ladies and gents teams fly the flag for Dunkeld and Birnam Golf Club in a clash with members of the Grampians Golf Club in Dunkeld – that is Dunkeld, Victoria, in Australia.
The ladies of the respective clubs have enjoyed an annual match played in Stableford format for over 25 years and for the last nine years the gents have followed suit.
Changing technology has transformed the way the long-distance matches have been played.
Committee member Derek Walker explained: “The results were originally sent in each direction by air mail but nowadays email has made it much easier and swifter.
“Building on the ladies ties, a gents annual match was started and this has gone from strength to strength.”
Trophies were exchanged and are on display in the respective club houses, thousands of miles apart.
Derek said: “The matches have, over the years, been closely contested, and this year resulted in wins for the ladies and gents of Dunkeld and Birnam Golf Club.
“In the case of the ladies, the winning margin was 276 to 261 points while the men bagged 36.8 average points against 35.6 average points. A dozen ladies and 18 men competed in our teams this year.”
To celebrate the matches both the clubs hold party evenings.
In Australia they have their Scottish Night, while Dunkeld and Birnam Golf Club hold an annual “Dingo Do,” with a barbecue, crazy putting and a dance.
Over the years, members of both clubs have formed lasting friendships and reciprocal arrangements to play golf in Scotland and Australia – and these have been taken up by holidaying golfers.
The Aussie club is 250 km west of Melbourne at the southern gateway to the Grampians National Park.
Located between Mount Abrupt and Mount Sturgeon, the 18-hole, 5457-metre par 70 course, with sand greens, is in secluded bushland populated by kangaroos, wallabies and native birds, including visiting emus.