SCANDINAVIAN MASTERS SWEDEN 2013
30TH MAY ---- 3RD JUNE 
 

After a long and cold winter was followed by a wet spring and greenkeepers in Vestfold were battling to get their courses ready for our 2nd Major of the year,it was decided to change locations for this event.Although Stockholm was burning amidst race riots we took the risk of transferring to Jonkopping near to where IKEA commenced their empire,which has ruined many a weekend for golfing do-it-yourselfers with their easy to assemble kits.......
 
Our members assembled themselves in quicker time,in Oslo and commenced the 5 hour journey southwards at 07.00hrs and grey ,wet skies were replaced by clear blue ones as we crossed the Swedish border,to get to our attractive barracks at Hook's Herryard for the opening round.Unfortunately Bamse had added his name to the sicklist where Chris and Gene were still registered.
 
The Skogsbanen was in excellent condition for the afternoon start and our first-timers even made a detour to another course in the middle of the round.
 
Jan Randulf(30) split the fairways with a series of thumping drives on the back 9 to secure the 2nd spot behind leader Harald(35)It was good to have Bjorn off the growing injury list and it was remarked that his upper leg now contained more titanium than Steinar's golf bag(or was it his SAS card).Ola had been held up in Copenhagen but was able to play his round(2x9holes) on the following mornings.A very generous slope system gave all of us a healthy allocation of shots to compensate for the fast and heavy contoured greens.
 
Day 2 produced the same blue skies,matching the attractive Swedish flag.The usual crowd of  very badly dressed, impatient Swedish golfers were hundled around the clubhouse area.The Parkbanen offered a cocktail of interesting holes,some of which were delicately perched alongside the sparkling lake and parallel to some prehistoric,Ice-Age rocks.Bjorn(34) bounced back to apply some pressure to Harald(29),while the rest,except Steinar(28) struggled to get points on the card.JR(23) could not repeat his previous days' heroics,but did enough to get into the leaderball for the final round.Ola,Soren and George languished far behind.
 
The Valeur Suite provided a pleasant ambience for the pre-dinner drinks,each evening, after the apres golf beers at the swimming pool and offered a cosy spot for the nightcaps after the after- dinner drinks in the antique parlour.Fortunately none of these locations served Red Label.....
 
US golf achtect,Steve Forrest was given the task ,and assistance of God,of converting a piece of suitably shaped land into an inland-links course in 2003 and had the course of 5700mtrs ready for play in 2007.It only took the Sand GC one year to become nr 82 in the world(excl US).Each hole was serviced by 5 tee-boxes.After the usual "friendly"debate ,it was "agreed"to play from the middle option.....thank goodness!!!!!!!
 
Our Chairman,reminded us that to get the accolade of being a links course,the sea must be visible or be able to be smelled.However ,he quickly added that he had never felt so much at home on a layout outside Scotland.The challenging par 3, 15th hole was protected by 20 bunkers and a lake,giving it a Lunar look and justifying its stroke index 1 rating.
 
Prior to this,at the short par 4 5th,our Match Secretary sent 3 balls so far into the woods,that he disturbed Sir David Attenborough who was inspecting a new species of worms for National Geographic.Unfortunately they are now extinct.
 
Although Bjorn(33) matched his score,Harald's 10 shot cushion was in little danger when play commenced.Notwithstanding the difficulty factor of this course,average scores from our members were higher.
 
Around the difficult 18th green the participants welcomed the Scandinavian Masters 2013 Champion and so the ancient Viking drinking vase would be flying to Newark this time.(Score sheet is attached)
 
The last minute decision to alter the venue,proved to be a good one.Lovely weather blessed every day and all the chosen locations were in great condition.
 
While Jan Randulf's German automobile dragged him down to Lubeck for it's monthly special survey and Soren returned to Oslo,the stragglers moved further to Torreby GC.
 
When Alpaca founder ,Onstad's family were resident at Castle Torreby they must have seen the course which surrounds their Gothic building,in better shape.......for that matter the castle was probably looking better too.Both were slightly less scruffy than the local golfers dressed in a plethora of clothes,completely unsuitable and out of place on the golf course......
........however a very friendly starter got us on our way.After 4 holes the damp weather had changed back to the previous days' standards with the mercury up over 20 deg.
 
Scores were also rising,perhaps due to the general condition of the course and our players.However ,as always a fun DOGGS outing was completed,with the Champion ,Harald continuing his lucky run,with Steinar just behind..
 
Torreby 2/6
 
Harald  34
Steinar 33
Bjorn    30
George 30
Ola       26
 
 
 
With Ola and Bjorn dropping out and proceeding North with carloads of wine,champagne and beer,to deprive the poor Norwegian State of considerable income,Steinar shuffled Harald and George to the peaceful comfort of Tanum Gestgifveri for a lovely dinner and welcome night's rest before the final round.
 
Mjolkerods,which has figured in previous DOGGS events was in sparkling condition for our early round,behind the greenkeeper sweeping away the morning dew.The English pro,who was readying himself for the Open Qualifying contest at Effingham,complimented us on a fast game.Harald finished this trip where he had started, with a clean sweep of all the awards and a significant move up the Golfer of the Year table.......
 
Mjolkerods 3/6
 
Harald  34
Steinar 31
George 30
 
A few hours later hugs,tears and kisses were exchanged at Gardermoen as Steinar commenced his long journey home .Hopefully he would trust his GPS more than he did a few days earlier,which almost got us to Stockholm,on his way to Namdal.