How could the Organising Committee possibly top the previous eight CQN Golf Open Days at Aberdour? No easy task given how good they have been – but somehow they managed to outdo themselves. It was another great afternoon on the golf course and a thoroughly entertaining evening in the club house. And in guest of honour Willie Wallace we had a true Celtic legend amongst us.
The day started with a few clouds over the lovely course on the Fife coast. But the weather was to co-operate and there would be no rain as over fifty players made their way around the course – with varying degrees of success it has to be said.
On registering everyone was presented with a brown envelope marked EBT. Well, this was the first anniversary of the liquidation of a certain former football club. Inside was a small piece of paper that explained it all: “Enclosed are your Exceptionally Big Tees. These are being loaned to you. Indefinitely.” Superb!
The first group went out just after 10pm and for the next few hours more and more players arrived. It was great to meet up with friends old and new and to chat football and golf. And to watch the tee shots on the first, as the golfers tried to find the small green, despite the steady wind.
Having connections in Carling and Eden Brewery proved to be useful and one of my tasks was to ferry several cases of beer to the eleventh tee. Those golf buggies come in very handy for more than clubs. And after ten holes there were a fair few who seemed in need of a drink before they tackled the remaining holes.
Late afternoon saw Blantyre Kev hunched over a spreadsheet in the Members’ Lounge with the scorecards. He explained to me how the scores and the handicap system worked, but for a non golfer the Stableford Scoring System is up there with the Duckworth Lewis Method. Just let someone else do the sums and take their word for it.
After a few drinks it was into the restaurant for the night’s festivities. Over 70 CQNers were present and the chat was as interesting as ever. Taggsybhoy was MC for the night and kept things moving nicely. There is a serious side to the day – many thousands have been raised for charities, local and national over the years, and this year’s beneficiaries include CLIC Sargent who support children with cancer and their families. A local lad called Patrick gave a fine, and very moving, speech about the work the charity had done when a friend of his was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 19.
The rest of the evening followed the usual format. Johnnybhoy revealed the scores, his description of some of those who had claimed dubious handicaps as “bandits” backed up by a fetching sombrero and moustache combo. Paul67 spoke next, praising all involved in the organisation and the money raised for charity.
The highlight of the night was a Q&A session with Brogan, Rogan, Hogan and Trevino acting as straight man to Lisbon Lion Willie Wallace, who was witty and insightful in equal measures. He talked about the great players he had played with, his role in the Lisbon triumph and the genius of the manager, Mr Stein. Even forty plus years on, it is still Mr Stein, a measure of the respect that he generated,
A rapt audience listened to Willie as he spoke, loving the opportunity to hear about the greatest achievement in Scottish sport from a man who was at the very heart of it. The disdain that the Inter players had for Celtic, the tactics that Mr Stein had devised and the feelings of triumph were all fresh in his memory. It was a performance to remember.
All too soon the night was over – although I have a feeling there were a few hours drinking left for those staying in Aberdour.
My thanks to everyone who helped to make this such a special day. The staff and everyone involved with the Golf Club always make us so welcome to their home, which adds so much to the day. And the Committee put in so much hard work to make it all happen.
So the ninth CQN Open is now over. Ten in a row next year anyone?