Doyle and McEntee bloom at 3rd annual Poppy Day Golf tournament


Friday, November 9, Khao Kheow – 2-Ball Better-Ball Stableford

Like all good things in life, the idea came from a meeting of minds in Tropical Bert’s, in 2009, with Bert ‘The Sec’, Graham ‘The Pres’ and Derek ‘The Chair’ where we were discussing what to do during the coming Remembrancetide and Poppy Appeal.  Of course then a few ‘cold un’s’ helped to clear the mind, and Poppy Golf was born.  Now with the third one about to take place it was time for the volunteer of the three, me, to get the other ‘volunteer’, Max, and for the third time get this year’s Poppy Day Golf up and running.

One of the good things about already having a couple on tournaments on the book is that you have a record, and hopefully if it is good, the players will appear.  So it was on this day and the sign-ups came in fast and furious, until on the morning of the competition we had close to 150 players.  I suspect that playing at Khao Kheow, at a great rate, was much to do with it, and Max was beavering away to get the players in order.  However, here I have to say thank you to Surapol and his staff who look after us all every Poppy Day, at Khao Kheow, they are ‘stars.’

Tournament winners Matt Doyle and Kevin McEntee with the Chairman and President.Tournament winners Matt Doyle and Kevin McEntee with the Chairman and President.

A day such as this does not go on without weeks of work and good will from many of the golfers.  Here, Max and I were well supported by the players of Tropical Bert’s in the run up, especially though to Daryl Evans, Mashi Kaneta, Dick Warberg and Keith Phillips.  They added many of the items for the Draw, and also made my efforts much easier.

So to the morning of the tournament, and Max, Matt and Roy Fletton, were out there early putting the pins out and getting ready for the rush, and it started.  With the first Tee-Time at 10 o’clock we had a two Tee start on the A Nine and the B Nine.  I am pleased to say that we were off on time.

The course was in great condition and the greens, if a bit hairy due to the rain of late, were a test of the putter.  The fairways actually also were a bit slow, and had little run but the rough was penal, I know I was there often enough.

Runners-up Mick O’Meara and Mike Phillips receive their prizes.Runners-up Mick O’Meara and Mike Phillips receive their prizes.

As we were the leading group, things went well and we found we moved very fast, in the circumstances.  However, as we neared the end of the second nine the storm clouds started to gather, surely it wasn’t to rain on my parade, well, yes it was.  With one hole to go, the heavens opened and it poured down and I had visions of having to walk in as it got really dark.  For 30 minutes or so it continued and then slowly it brightened and turned into a lovely day.  Mind, a few players did get wet.

Arriving at Amari’s Tavern By The Sea for the presentation, I was pleased to see the early golfers tucking into the buffet.  It turned out that by starting the food early there were no queues and the feeding of the masses went extremely well.  Indeed, the Amari staff are to be highly complimented for their professionalism and the care with which they treated us all night.  Thank you Amari, especially as they are a major sponsor also.  They also offered a great deal on the drinks which went down well, I think I remember.

The Chairman makes a special presentation to the major helpers of the event.The Chairman makes a special presentation to the major helpers of the event.

The night continued and this really is a fine venue, but it was soon time for the scribe, and Chairman of Royal British Legion Thailand, to say his thank you to all who helped, namely: Khao Kheow for hosting the golf and Amari for their sponsorship and help with the presentation and buffet; Max and his team for their fine work not only on the day but during the build-up; Colin Davies andt Lewinski’s for their continued support and Chris Balzi for his fine shirts delivered on time; Giorgio at The Trattoria Italiana for continued support; the navy lads for the trophies, and last but not least to our President, Graham MacDonald, and the MBMG Group who are our biggest supporters.

So onto the presentation, and as it was a ‘Big Do’ I think it only fair to mention the Technical winners.  We had two fights for all the Technicals, 0-17 and 18 up.

Golfers and partners enjoy the post-golf dinner buffet at Tavern by the Sea.Golfers and partners enjoy the post-golf dinner buffet at Tavern by the Sea.

Near Pins:  (A Flight) A3 Mike Allidi, A5 Patrick Kelly, B3 Niza Numprarang, B8 Alan Mathesson Colin Monk, (B Flight) A3 Matt Cronin, A5 Eddie Bielby, B3 Bob Lindborg, B8 Colin Monk

Long Putts:  A9 Max Bracegirdle, John Pirrel, B9 Mick O’Meara, Ploy Thongpen

So to the winners and first we presented to the ‘Strongest Team’ of Keith Phillips and Alan Lamb.  They always give of their best and epitomise what the game is all about.  Then to the winning teams and I have to say that the scores here were very realistic, probably because we placed the pins in the most difficult position on most of the greens and certainly on all par 3’s.

In fifth were Matt Cronin and Brian Cooper, losing out respectively on count backs to the team in fourth of Bob Lindborg and Ploy Thongpen, to the third placed pairing of Graham Buckingham and Andre Van Dyke, and also to the duo in second of Mick O’Meara and Mike Phillips, all with 46 points.

First group ready to tee-off.First group ready to tee-off.

So to the winners, and coming in with a fine 47 points were Matt Doyle and Kevin McEntee.  Well played gentlemen!

Before the draw, the Chairman presented Poppy Golf medals to those who helped him.  It was then time for the draw and as Nigel Cannon and Mick O’Connor had so effortlessly sold the tickets, it was only fair that Nigel took the microphone and controlled it, where many fine prizes resided.  Thanks to Nigel and Mick.

It was then time for the Scribe to relax with friends and listen to the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the day.

A hive of activity at the first.A hive of activity at the first.