Greetings & welcome to The Inaugural Kelly Gang Shootout at
The Growling Frog Golf Course, Yan Yean, 26 March 2006.
The teams and tee times are:
The Frosty Beverages: 1:00 pm
The Beechworth Boys: 1:08 pm
The Euroa Removalists: 1:15 pm
Mick Van Raay
The Jerilderie Gents: 1:23 pm
The Glenrowan Hacks: 1:30 pm
The Format: is ambrose best-ball played between teams of three and four.
The Rules: Since slow play is a potential problem for our gangs, these rules are designed to encourage play in the right spirit and at the right pace. Teams play their chosen best ball on each shot and may place their ball half a club length (about 50cms) from where the chosen ball lay, no nearer the hole. Balls must be placed in the same cut as the chosen ball. In the interests of fast play from tee to green, teams are NOT required to mark with a tee and precisely measure from the chosen ball as they play each shot. Team members can play in any order on a shot. Putting: Once on the green, Bushrangers should mark near the chosen best ball so all team members play from near enough to the exact same position.
Handicapping: Each team will be assigned a handicap by the organisers on the basis of official AGU handicaps and information supplied by the Bushrangers. The handicapper will be governed by a commitment to rewarding good play according to a player’s ability.
Playoffs: In the event of a tie, a sudden-death playoff will be conducted. Teams play together as a foursome (taking alternate strokes playing one ball). Teams can determine the order as each member takes their first shot. This order is then continuous and carries over from one hole to the next until the playoff is decided.
Nearest-the-Pin: The nearest-the-pin will be held at the 5th hole.
Longest Drive: The longest drive competitions are on the 10th and 15th holes.
The Rodeo Rule: This is minimum drives for each team member and will be enforced. Each team’s rodeo requirements will appear on their scorecard.
The Frosty Beverages: Ned Kelly was born in Beveridge, at the foot of Fraser’s Hill, some 40 kms north of Melbourne. It was his first home town and is well known for being at its best when the temperatures are a little on the chilly side.
Richard Fellner (Quigley): A very unusual North American variety of Bushranger sometimes referred to as a bandit, an outlaw, a brigand, a stagecoach robber or just ‘a bad guy’ who always wears a black hat. After a squandered junior career that had seemed so promising for a time, he migrated to these shores during the gold rush in search of glory and fortune. Alas, he found neither although he did achieve fleeting notoriety as the inspiration for the memorable portrayal Tom Selleck rendered in the title role of Quigley Down Under.
Sam Saltis (The Duck): His nom de plume is not because he walks like one, nor talks like one, nor looks like one, or even because he particularly likes them (actually, he is rather indifferent to water fowl in general). And it certainly isn’t because he appears entirely calm and in control on the surface whilst continually paddling like crazy underneath. No, it is nothing more sinister than the simple fact that when this happy hacker turns up for his infrequent rounds of golf, he immediately starts thinking like a duck who wants to land his balls in every bit of water on the course. With billabongs all over the ‘Frog’, expect to find him inside the red stakes more often than not.
Campbell Wilson (Big C): A large and imposing presence on the course, this fast-talking, wise-cracking journeyman has all the hallmarks of a classic Bushranger. Naturally, as a gentleman and a man of honour, we take him at his word every time he reiterates his claims that he never plays golf, never could, never has and probably never will. Unfortunately for ‘The Big C’, the handicapper took one look and declared him a perfect, natural golfer who is just a bit short on match fitness. Still, don’t be surprised to see the stewards involved at the weigh-in and a warrant being issued for his arrest before the tournament is over.
Form: An evenly balanced gang of intelligent and articulate Bushrangers, who must surely know their way to the winning post although their trophy cabinet contains very little to recommend their chances. They may well be heavily advantaged by being the first group out and so hitting the ground running a little more sober than the thirsty gangs which are to follow.
The Beechworth Boys: While still a teenager, Ned was gaoled for receiving a stolen horse. In January 1873, he was transferred from Pentridge to Beechworth prison where he spent the next year of his youth.
Andy Cunningham (AC): A very mysterious Bushranger who has appeared as if from nowhere, like Ned rising from the scrub on a frosty morn in Glenrowan before getting the living daylights belted out of him by a couple of battalions of troopers. Look for him to be taking a nice lie down when the dust has settled and probably sorely in need of a drink.
James McCusker (Ja-mo): Don’t be fooled by his comprehensive lack of understanding regarding the ballistic motion of spheres, nor his apparent skill level with any golfing stick. This genial character came from the heavens to win the first Bushranger Cup in 2004 as a massive underdog. Given his penchant for bagging inaugural events, he is just about a lay down mazaire here. The organisers have gone to great lengths to keep his entry a secret lest he scare off the entire field.
Michael Mileo (Seve): Burst on to the world of Bushranging with a stellar first-up performance at the 2005 Bushranger Cup in Tocumwal and gave every indication that he looked for all the world, for quite some time, to all intents and purposes, nearly exactly as if he may be made of the sort of stuff that could one day possibly exhibit, if he worked really hard, some miniscule portion of potential. Or not.
Richard White (Big Red): As we all know, the game is bigger than any individual, even those with special dietary needs, like Red here. But then sometimes a special golfer comes along who, against all the odds, can take everything the game serves up to him. And not only can he take it, he can eat it and come back for seconds. And then we have to ask, “Well, is the game really bigger than one man?” And if we are honest, we must say, “No! No, sometimes one man is bigger than the game” and we all know Big Red IS that big man.
Form: This is one gang that is very clear about how sometimes, when the chips are down, the cream will rise to the top – unless the cream is a quitter in which case it’ll never win, and we know a winner never quits unless it knows it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game, which pretty mush determines whether you won or lost. Not without half a chance. Maybe.
The Euroa Removalists: Euroa was the scene of the Kelly Gang’s first bank hold-up in 1878. They were gentlemanly and polite throughout, as they calmly made off with 2000 pounds in cash and gold.
Marcus Jones (Mulligan): A ferocious Bushranger who made his mark by winning The Bushranger Cup in 2004. Has struggled to make it to the starting line ever since and this is his first-up run in a field of this quality after a very lengthy spell. Doesn’t mind a bit of good-natured heckling on the course to keep his playing partners honest. Expect his team-mates to be on their very best form.
Steve Noa (Nugget): Occasionally we hear an uplifting story of a sportsperson who is able to raise their performance to great heights when confronted with seemingly insurmountable odds and then take on all before them to triumph in the face of extraordinary adversity. Good luck Nugget! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Phew. Oh boy. Sorry. Ok, let’s just be a little serious for a moment: not a hope.
Mick Van Raay (Da King): It’s always a pleasure to share a round of golf with this daring raconteur noted for his regal bearing and significant volume. After bursting on to the scene with a cracking win in the 2001 Duzzo World Invitational 2-ball, this snappy dresser and golfer-without-peer looked to have the world at his feet; but no victories at any start since has seen him ‘do a Duvall’ and plummet from the top in spectacular fashion. If ever a fellow was due for a big one, it’s Da King here at The Shootout. A one-time demon with the flat-stick, if his putter warms up he could turn this tournament completely on its head and rip it away from every other Bushranger.
Scott Wilson (Willo): This bloke could be the difference between winning and losing for this illustrious group. Then again, he may only be the difference between not winning and not winning by even more. An experienced and sturdy competitor in all the Bushranger disciplines, he has been pressing for a few years now and led his team to a very respectable 2nd place at the 2005 Bushranger Cup. Could it be his turn? Nah.
Form: As evenly balanced as any gang competing here today. The differential in quality between their best and worst performers, so often regarded as a critical factor in arranging an ambrose team, is barely discernable. Indeed, trying to determine exactly who the worst golfer is in this remarkable group would amount to little more than moving around a mountain of unnecessary nitpicking and squabbling.
The Jerilderie Gents: The Kelly Gang popped by Jerilderie in 1879, held up the local bank, jagged a couple of thousand pounds, penned a feisty letter and wandered over to the Telegraph Office to chop down a few telegraph poles.
Ian Crotty (Crocko-Diddy): It’s another big tournament on The Shabby Dot Com Tour so expect this well travelled veteran to come out wowing the crowds with one of his delightfully matched and well accessorised combinations. Since it is Sunday, expect to see a splash of red in the polo, some well organised dacks cut cleverly to conceal a mighty package, and just a little bit of bling to remind everyone that beer and pizza fuelled Crocko-Diddy runs the city (of Yan Yean).
Paul Lambe (Lambo): A Bushranger new to Kelly country who arrives with a big reputation for having a hearty appetite for the odd snifter, golfing his ball about with gusto and never letting the truth get near any story whatsoever. With a delicate medical condition which requires a continuous dosage of alternating green and red stubbies (as per prescription), Lambo should make plenty of friends and fit right in.
Roger Schmidt (Bleeding Gums Andrew): Although a relative unknown in these parts, he comes highly credentialed and is known to consort with rogues. There is very little to commend his golf game, although he is reputed to be more than handy around the campfire with the saxamophone after a hard day’s Bushranging. He is vulnerable when he gets his Mixilidian and Ionian modes confused on the course after a couple of beers so a bit of off-key whistling on his backswing should go a long way towards upsetting his tempo. Not very good with names.
Sebastian Shand (Bastros): Played this track with the handicapper a week ago as part of what has been a powerful and intimidating preparation for this event. Seems to have tapered his training program perfectly and his Bushranging is peaking at exactly the right time. Hacked this course to pieces and gave our worldly handicapper no reason to suspect that this fertile man, with the most famous liver in the field, could possibly perform any better in the white hot glare of competition. Despite a massive cushion of strokes, expect him to crumble at the first hint of that famous slice which has kept him such good company for so very long.
Form: It is said a great team is when the sum of the parts are greater than the individual components. This is often true, but not this time.
The Glenrowan Hacks: The Kelly Gang died at the siege in Glenrowan from June 26 – 28, 1880 which Ned had hoped would be the catalyst for a new republic.
Roger Brown (Arbeige): A freakish competitor capable of mercurial shot-making and crazy low scores. He hasn’t been saddled up in his favourite chinos for a while and his preparation has consisted mainly of quick nines on some of the less salubrious public courses east of Melbourne. If he looks settled in the mounting yard, check for tell-tale signs of bourbon & dry. Indications are a shortness of breath; flaring nostrils; dilated and rolling pupils pointing in different directions; tight, firm buttocks; and uncontrolled outbursts of laughter and smoking.
Michael David (Dee): This showman of the tour has a simple golfing philosophy: miracles can happen, as long as you hit a million balls and go for broke every single time. He has been known to entertain gangs of the most ferocious Bushrangers for hours on end with his outrageous antics, party tricks, humorous anecdotes and witty asides. Some people say this human-highlight-film knows he has all the answers on the course, even if sometimes he forgets what the question was. Or who asked it. Or why. But that doesn’t matter! What matters is he powers on, without compromise, shredding every piece of joy from every blade of grass and wringing every drop of beer and hard liquor out of every bar-keep on every golf course he plunders across this great land.
Matthew Pitt (Pw Jones): Watch out for this devious perpetrator who will stop at nothing to corrupt and deceive even the most innocent of god’s creatures to fulfil his most foul and putrid desires. Sometimes known a Jonesie, or P-Dubs, or just Dubs, this twisted individual is reckless and unconscionable in his relentless pursuit of his evil and inhumane ambitions. Most competitors here would do well to throw in the towel rather than risk the frothing wrath of this vile scumbag lest he fail in his gruesome quest.
Form: Stand up Australia! Stand up and salute a team of champions. This rowdy mob would be virtually unstoppable if they only had a little more discipline, leadership, strategy, organisation, teamwork, tactics, ticker, patience, technique, application and skill. Otherwise, they are the complete package and as close to perfection as the universe will allow. With no challengers whatsoever in this shabby field, expect them to walk away with this title virtually unopposed.
The Organisers of The Kelly Gang Shootout, Bushranger Golf, would like to take this opportunity to thank:
Dominic Wall for assisting us with the Bushranger Golf merchandise;
All the team at bwired for their expertise and support in developing the Bushranger Golf website. Without their technology and commitment, the site would not exist;
Sally Pitt from Pitt-Bull Media for her patience and effort assisting with the management of this event;
Trish from Rotec Engraving for the trophies for which we are most grateful;
Roger Brown from Focal Point Garden Design for helping us with the trophies;
Wayne Rogers and the team at Growling Frog Golf Course;
All the members of Bushranger Golf; past, present and future.