24 Feb 2021 | Amateur golf |
Amateur star tells of magical 59
by Martin Blake
Illawarra golfing legend Grahame Stinson, well known in senior New South Wales circles, has told of the day he broke the magical 60 barrier.
Stinson, 54, shot a 12-under par 59 at his home club, The Links Shell Cove, near Wollongong recently.
It beat his previous best on any course by a shot.
Stinson, whose current GA handicap is plus 4.9, started quietly, was one under par through four holes, then rolled in birdie putts at four consecutive holes. It ignited his day.
“I birdied five, six, seven and eight,” he told Inside The Ropes podcast. “I birdied 11 and I thought ‘I’m a chance of having 60 or 61’. I had a six foot birdie putt up 12. Anyway I missed that putt and I thought: ‘Well, that’s done’.
“I went to the next tee and I’ve gone birdie-birdie. I hit it in the fairway bunker on 16. It’s a long dogleg round to the left. I holed it out of the bunker from 126 metres (for eagle).
“I knew there were two par-fives to finish. Once I got to that, I was 10 under.”
Even then, going up the par-five 18th hole Stinson believed he needed at least birdie to break 60, forgetting that par was 71 rather than 72. What he got instead was an eagle. “I took on the corner with my drive, only needed a lob wedge in, and I hit it to three feet and made the putt,” he said. “Then the celebrations began!”
Stinson has dabbled with turning professional several times, and has played in various Senior competitions in NSW. Last year, he came to Melbourne to try to qualify for the professional Senior tour, but finished fourth when he needed to be in the top three.
He’s resigned to remaining amateur now, although he will be eligible for Senior competition in May this year when he turns 55. “I’ve got a family and connections at home. I can’t be playing golf all the time and galivanting around the country,” he said.
His 59 is the lowest recorded round at Links Shell Cove.
The full Inside The Ropes interview is here.
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