Season Opener 2014
19/22nd March

Associate with men of good quality,
if you esteem your own reputation.
For it is better to be alone than in bad company.....

The weather of NE US proved too much for our NJ member as RCCL were shunting Mr and Mrs Thomassen around the Caribs.Kari was sent home early to provide Harald with some company in Florida,prior to the Main Event.
Only one round could be squeezed in at Royal Palms on Friday 14th March,while our Chairman was flying T/A.
HL 31 pts
ST 21 pts
Why does the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belong to anyone?????
All the arrangements had been made and enough time had been allocated for cultural trips.
The Vineyards North course,visible from our accomodation,hosted the Saturday morning round,in lovely Florida sunshine.
GFD 37 pts
HL    34 pts
ST    30 pts
The early birds were again able to accept Bob Curt's,( ex Exxon-Mobil,Rasgas ) offer to play at Fiddlesticks GC.Bob(30) was not in as dynamic form as the previous year....
GFD 30 pts
HL    28 pts
ST    19 pts
While all this was going on JR was already entrached in the Sunshine State and Beacon Hillers John Mc Graner and Ron Newell were on their way.This year we were also joined by Alex Desanctis who exchanges the NJ winter  for the pleasures of Naples.
With only Ola to get into the US,via his, and the World's favourite airline,the group had a further warm-up match at Royal Palms.This very attractive course,designed by David Wallace(must be Scottish) in 1976 and redsigned in 2000 by Gordon Lewis,was in top condition for our event.It would figure in the Championship this year.At 6221 yds it was ideal for our standards.An enjoyable day,St Patricks ,as it turned out ,was had by all.
GFD  36 pts
HL     35 pts
ST     30 pts
J McG 35 pts
A D     31 pts
RN      28 pts
The tournament headquarters had been well stocked with refreshments and enough dairy produce for John's famous breakfasts.
Matchplay Championship
Not many golfing Societies are able to combine Matchplay and Strokeplay events....but then again,thank God,not every Society is DOGGS.
Steinar's brainchild ,as usual,was played in paralell.The draw ,which had been made at Musdalseter a month before,had split up the Beacon Hill guests,with Harald having the task to stop John in his early tracks.
Alex and Steinar under the watchful eye of George were first of in Round 1 at Royal Palms.Alex,who had arranged the tee-times at his Florida base could call on local knowledge.After conceeding the opening hole Steinar was able to hold on till Desanctis won the 8th,9th and 10th to establish,what proved to be,a comfortable lead.Our Namdal member kept fighting,however, until the final pressure was applied at the 15th .Alex went  through to the semi 5 and 3.
The flight behind included the Atlantic Highlands pairing of defending champion John and the in-form Harald.Some steady play,while John took time to get into the groove,enabled Harald to get 2 up.But as Mc Graner worked off his own breakfast in the sunny conditions,he turned up the gas,with a 2 over par back 9 to defeat Lindstoel 4 and 2.
This set him up with a semi-final tie against Jan Randulf who waltzed to the next round ,after George had to withdraw and return to Holland for personal reasons.When the news was passed through,JR also stepped on the gas to arrive earlier and take advantage of a good night's sleep.Our historian hoped that he would be able to sleep better than he had after a night of listening to Evert Taube and Einar Rose,interupted by Vera Lynn,courtesy of Steinar's latest gadget.
This only left Ola to increase the DOGGS participation in this event with a tie against Ron Newell(aka Big Daddy)Thanks to a flagged handicart,due to his many ailments and a practise round over Royal Palms,he had an extra advantage over our jet-lagged Match Secretary.Both players were below their normal high standards but the Big Man ,rather conservatively dressed by his own extravagant standards was able to close out the match 4 and 2.
Royal Palms on Wednesday 19/3 housed the 1st semi.Jan Randulf,was no match for a high flying Mc Graner who triumphed 8 and 7.The other match,played at La Playa 20/3 was a much closer battle.Alex,who was shortly to embark on a 45 day trip across the US,finally could shake hands with Ron at the 17th green,2 up.
And so the all Beacon Hill final was contested at Vineyards North course the following day.A real ding-dong battle ensued as John and Alex,both recording  2 of the best scores of the day ,came down the 18th all square.John McGraner secured the retention of the trophy he won last year with the final putt........a great contest....
The Season Opener(Main Event)
 Day 1 Royal Palms 19/3
Newcomer Alex Desanctis (37) took an early lead in the opening round of our 1st Major of the season,with a well constructed round.But our own Harald(33),was hot on his heels,while out of sorts Mc Graner(32) still managed a good score to be breathing the leaders neck's.They were the only competitors to breach 30,although Steinar(28),Ron(27) and Ola (24) could still be knocking on the door.JR(16) must have been over-golfed.
Day 2 La Playa 20/3
This very attractive and challenging layout with a great cocktail of interesting holes was ready for our group.John(37) got back to winning ways,however Alex(33) held on to a slender lead  at the end of play.
Day 3 Vineyards North 21/3
Some competitors had again been tormented with by Nordic laments of Messrs Taube and Rose prior to their preparations for the 3rd round.As the sun rose over The Vineyards complex and the smell of bacon and various types of eggs whiffed over the North course,the greenkeepers were preparing the venue for this round.
Harald (37) took advantage of local knowledge to claw back a point on Alex(36) with a solid round with John(34) lurking dangerously in the shadows.Ron (33) topped of a good day for the Beacon Crew,giving them the 4 spots in the final days'
Day 4 La Playa 22/3
It was back to our favourite track for the final round of the 2014 Season Opener.Unless there was going to be a major shock the Season Opener(and Old Tom's Driver trophy....what trophy???) was getting ready for a journey back to the frozen north(and we dídn't mean SW Norway/Namdal) which suitcase was not yet determined.
It soon appeared that John and Alex,who had been strong all week,were preparing themselves for a final holes tussle.However,Harald had not given up hope of getting his hands back on this trophy and his name on the 2014 Major's well as creating a healthy lead in the Golfer of the Year Award.
JR and Ola never really got going while Steinar had to admit his chances were decreasing as the round developed.
The Beacon HIll quartet was split in 2 as John and Alex battled for the honours on the closing holes.It appeared that John had won by a point,until later it was discovered that a wrong score had been noted and that Alex had in fact the same total (138) as holder John.Since this was only discovered later ,a play-off was not possible, and so on the basis of the best score during the final round John(35) lifted the trophy(what trophy).
And so John McGraner was re-confirmed as the Season Opener victor with the luckless Alex Desanctis left muttering into his Diet Coke.
After all these unfortunate deliberations,the group was able to witness the spectacular sunset at La Playa Beach before embarking on a delicious feast of top class food.
Although our historian was not present we are advised that a great evening was had by all.
All members and guests were very thankful to John and Harald for all the arrangements and wonderful hospitality in the Naples area........a real keeper...
On Sunday the pack started to disperse in various directions,including Houston(Ola) and much cooler regions.
.......and so after all the talking,planning,re-arranging,more talking and re-arranging,the SO was over for another year and our thoughts and planning were drifting to Sweden and the Scandinavian Masters in June.......can't wait.