Bill & Ed on top at Bangpakong

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PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, Feb. 18, Bangpakong – Stableford

A couple of late cancellations deprived us of a full field but with 30 golfers on the starting sheet four mini vans were required for the journey to one of our very favourite venues, Bangpakong Riverside Golf Course. 

Assembling at The Growling Swan prior to departure we welcomed PSC Social Chairman Nigel Cannon, Vaughan Jackson from Perth, Western Australia, Takeshi Ikeda from Japan, J C Lhoste from a few weeks back in France, Richard Gillett from Scotland and Pat Smith from Ireland/Australia.

With an early tee time of 9.45 am we left the GS at 8.15 am and a good run in the traffic enabled us to complete the journey in 65 minutes where we found that there would be a slight delay, so there was enough time for relaxing & preparation.  With 2 Japanese five-balls immediately in front of us our first group, a four-ball managed to tee off 19 minutes behind schedule at 10.04 am in glorious weather conditions for golf with a nice breeze which meant it was fairly comfortable.

Ed Stewart, Niall Stuart & Bill Wilkinson.Ed Stewart, Niall Stuart & Bill Wilkinson.

As ever the golf course was in magnificent shape with the lush fairways & beautifully prepared greens which is why we come here every month of the year and enjoy this excellent value for money facility.

The going was understandably slow with the five-ball groups ahead and the front nine took two hours & twenty minutes and at the drink stop after the eleventh green it was necessary to almost physically “evict” the five Japanese players ahead of us who seemed to be having some sort of “tea party” whilst the group directly in front of them were almost on the green on the par five twelfth.  Things did seem to quicken up after this but it still meant the full round was quite slow taking four hours & forty minutes.  Nonetheless, it was a terrific day with great company and most of us can’t wait to get back here next month.

We were able to have 2 grades with six podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 18 and B Grade for 19 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

The winner of A Grade was Englishman Bill Wilkinson with 39 points and with 2 golfers on 38 points it was necessary to have a count back to decide second & third.  Getting the better of this encounter was Mike Allidi (20 point back nine) in second place with your writer, Peter Blackburn (18 point back nine) finishing in third spot.  One point further back came Frank “Paco” Waterhouse in fourth place with the consistent Martin Todd fifth on 36 points and Ebrahim sixth with 35 points.

The B Grade winner was decided on a count back with 2 golfers on 39 points and it was Ed “Willie Nelson” Stewart (21 point back nine, 14 points on the last 6 holes & 6 points on the last 3 holes) who just pipped his good mate Roy “Plums” Dayton (21 point back nine, 14 points on the last 6 holes & 10 points on the last 3 holes).

In another count back for third & fourth it was Frenchman Pierre Dardenne (20 point back nine) finishing ahead of Stephen Newton (18 point back nine) and Frank Donnelly was fifth with 35 points from Graham “Grunter” Buckingham who crept into sixth spot with 34 points.

A Flight (0-18)

1st Bill Wilkinson (11) 39pts

2nd Mike Allidi (2) 38pts

3rd Peter Blackburn (11) 38pts

4th Frank Waterhouse (14) 37pts

5th Martin Todd (8) 36pts

6th Ebrahim (16) 35pts

B Flight (19+)

1st Ed Stewart (19) 39pts

2nd Roy Dayton (23) 39pts

3rd Pierre Dardenne (25) 38pts

4th Stephen Newton (28) 38pts

5th Frank Donnelly (22) 35pts

6th Graham Buckingham (26) 34pts

Near Pins:  4th – Peter Bye, 7th – Mike Allidi, 13th – Stu Rifkin, 16th – Vaughan Jackson

Long Putts:  9th – Frank Waterhouse, 18th – Frank Waterhouse

The Growling Swan NAGA Award, (awarded to the golfer who has the worst score on the day and discreetly their score is not made public) was won by Niall Stuart much to the delight of GS Mine Host Peter Grey and being the good sport that he is Niall wore the NAGA cap for some considerable time afterwards.

Stu Rifkin, Duangjai Tusagaad & Niall Stuart.Stu Rifkin, Duangjai Tusagaad & Niall Stuart.

Back at the bar there was a big crowd & of course most shots were replayed time & time again which rounded off another very successful day’s golf.

Thursday, Feb. 21, Pleasant Valley – Stableford

We had a good field of 25 golfers assembling at The Growling Swan in readiness for the fairly short journey to the picturesque Pleasant Valley Golf Course.  We welcomed first timer Chazz Hassig, formerly of Zimbabwe and now working in Jakarta plus it was time to say farewell to Brad “Bad” Todd who is heading off back to Western Australia very shortly.  He’ll be back next month.

Another early tee time meant an 8.15 am departure from the GS and we headed off right on time and arrived at the course just 43 minutes later to find the place practically deserted.  We didn’t complain though as there was no-one else waiting at the first tee and we sent our first group away 12 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.25 am.

We soon realized that it was going to be a “hot one”, as it generally is at this golf course and the course was looking excellent and although the greens were looking very good we soon discovered that they were rather slow which was a challenge for many of us.  Also on the down side was the bad state of many of the bunkers which appeared to be ignored by most of the caddies when it came to raking – in fact there was a noticeable absence of rakes in the bunkers.  It was mentioned to staff afterwards.

As the round progressed it got hotter and there was very little if no wind so our pace was slow even though there was no-one in front of us, however we struggled on and completed the round in four hours & thirty minutes.  It was however a very enjoyable day on a good golf course, not at all unpleasant as others have commented in the past and the company was excellent.

We were able to have 2 grades with five podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 17 and B Grade for 18 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

Stu “Heineken” Rifkin returned to form in winning the A Grade with a fine 39 points, 2 points ahead of the consistent Martin Todd in second spot.  With 2 golfers on 35 points a count back was needed and it was Bill Wilkinson (18 point back nine) just shading Ebrahim (15 point back nine) with Bill Clarke fifth on 34 points.

We had a “Bolter” in the B Grade with Duangjai “Kae” Tusagad winning with a terrific 41 points, 6 points clear of visitor Chazz Hassig in second place and Brad “Bad” Todd was third on 32 points.  In another count back on 31 points for fourth & fifth it was Ed “Willie Nelson” Stewart (16 point back nine) prevailing over Roy “Plums” Dayton (14 point back nine).

A Flight (0-17)

1st Stu Rifkin (15) 39pts

2nd Martin Todd (8) 37pts

3rd Bill Wilkinson (11) 35pts

4th Ebrahim (16) 35pts

5th Bill Clarke (14) 34pts

B Flight (18+)

1st Duangjai Tusagad (27) 41pts

2nd Chazz Hassig (18) 35pts

3rd Brad Todd (18) 32pts

4th Ed Stewart (19) 31pts

5th Roy Dayton (23) 31pts

Near Pins:  5th – Martin Todd, 8th – Bill Clarke, 13th – Ebrahim, 17th – Ed Stewart

Long Putts:  9th – Mike Gosden, 18th – Mike Gosden

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was once again won by Niall Stuart who accepted the cap in fine spirit and wore it well into the evening.  Back at The Growling Swan afterwards the post mortems of the day’s golf were rife.  Yet another excellent day with a great bunch of guys (and gal) and we all look forward to the next one.

Note:  Growling Swan Golf welcomes golfers of any persuasion – low & high handicappers alike, female golfers and beginners.  We generally play Mondays & Thursdays, meeting at The Growling Swan (formerly The Bunker Bar) in Soi Chaiyapoon at 8.00 am with transport departing at 8.30 am.  For bookings or more information please contact Peter on 0806 351 386 or email to petermalcolmblackburn @gmail.com.