Hats off to Larry

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IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at the Elephant Bar

There can be few golfing experiences that can match a day at Greenwood in the company of friends and this is what the Pattaya Golf Society planned for Monday, 22nd December as the large group visited for a stableford competition on the C and B nines. 

All the way up the 331, comments were made about the wind which buffeted the transport and bent the trees.  On the well prepared course the wind god Aeolus showed he had woken with a hangover and was hell bent on taking it out on someone!  The two-club wind swirled all day and made club choice and course management paramount and many golfing hearts were broken.

The par-five A9 showcases Crystal Bay’s clubhouse.The par-five A9 showcases Crystal Bay’s clubhouse.

The two flights were separated at seventeen and under and in the top flight Anthony Molan posted a creditable 32 points for third place, behind the winners Jon Batty and Kim Hewton on 34.  In the second flight, Pat Murphy and Toshi Aoki shared second place with 33 points whilst Larry Gibb amazed many with a splendidly controlled 37 points for a worthy win.

There were no birdie ‘2’s as par threes became virtual par fours and the near pins, generously sponsored by Tony Molan, were won by Kim Hewton and the embarrassed sponsor.  The whisky bonus for the best par-three total of points, sponsored by Michael McGuigan, was won by Larry Gibb with eleven points.  The non winners’ beer went to Alan Flynn and the Booby Bevy was won by Dave Edwards after his hero-to-zero performance with his round, scoring barely half the points of his winning round the previous week.

At the presentation a warm welcome was given to new member Tom Jones and the birthday of Masashi Iizumi was appropriately celebrated, but all hats were off to Larry for a performance that defied the elements and must be rated as one of his best of the year.

Pattana: Great bar the bunkers

On Wednesday 24 December, the Pattaya Golf Society took eight groups to Pattana to play a stableford competition.  With the two-flight cut set at 16.5 and below, we teed off 15 minutes early at 1015.  With play from the white tees, and noting the wind was up, most thought scoring was going to be difficult – they weren’t wrong.

Pattana is a great layout: The clubhouse is superb, the fairways are well presented and the greens are good.  But their bunkers are a blight on the course.  They are over-filled with very fine sand that is not compacted, making a conventional splash shot very difficult.  The flange on the sand-wedge cannot do its job, at least not for this golfer, and I suspect many others.  This course deserves better.

There were three ‘2’s today, all in A Flight and coming from Erik Anttonen and Jon Batty on B3, and Iain Wilson on C2.  But more was to come as PGS regular, Masashi Iizumi, put his fine pottery-crafting skills to the fore by donating four of his works to nearest-the-pin prizes on the par-threes.  Lucky recipients were Jon Batty, Kerry Jonsson, Iain Wilson and Helene Linberg.

With scoring at a premium it was no surprise to see modest totals making the podium, with 31 points qualifying in both divisions.  The one score to make par came from the A Flight, well-done Alan Flynn!

There was a special one-off par-three competition today, requiring players to record the total stablefords amassed on par-threes.  Kindly donated by Tony Molan, the prize went to John O’Sullivan and John Chelo, who both accumulated nine points.  Well done guys!

Back at the Elephant Bar we welcomed back Roy Bassett from the UK.  John O’Sullivan won the lucky beer draw, and Gary Bolger picked up the Booby Bevy courtesy of his rather modest total in the par-three comp – three!

A Flight

1st Alan Flynn (11) 36pts

2nd Andrew Purdie (10) 34pts

3rd Rick Schramm (10) 31pts

B Flight

T1st Dorsey Richardson (17) 33pts

T1st Masashi Iizumi (20) 33pts

3rd Mike King (18) 32pts

4th Larry Gibb (21) 31pts

It was a good day out, thank you Pattana. But please, can you bring the standard of your bunkers up to that of the rest of your resort?

Crystal Bay is back

When playing here back in August, we were saddened to note the state of the greens.  Reference was made to the different grass types and roughness of the putting surfaces, along with steep-faced bunkers offering no chance of recovery.  After our experience on Friday 26 December, however, we are pleased to report that both greens and bunkers are vastly improved and nearly back to the high standard of yesteryear.  This, along with a great layout, very good fairways and a most reasonable high-season green-fee caddie-fee of 1050 baht, returns this course to its previous ranking as one of the best VFM options available.

After being allocated C and A nines, our seven groups were split into two divisions with the cut at 18 and under.  It was interesting to note that both flights’ winning and runner-up scores were identical, giving lie to the notion that one-field competitions always favour the low-markers.  Also identical in number were the ‘2’s – two in each flight.  In fact the only difference between the two flights was the third-place score, which favoured B Flight by just the single stableford point.

The A Flight ‘2’s were achieved by Seil Revels on A8 and Dave Lehane on C7.  B Flight ‘2’s were attained by Henry Mah at C4 and Alan Duckett on C7.

Both flights recorded good scores, as is usual on this course when in decent condition.  Of the six podium placers – three in each flight – the lowest score equated to net par of 36 points.  Good golf on a day when the wind was up, but otherwise conditions were favourable.

Back in the Elephant Bar, welcome-backs were extended to David Wang from Shanghai, China and Mark Cooper from England, who was the lucky recipient of the free beer draw.  Suffering a nightmare of a round, which also contained the biggest two-nine split, was today’s booby bevvy winner, Ken Lambert.

A Flight

1st Dorsey Richardson (17) 39pts

2nd Peter Wilson (6) 38pts

3rd Huw Phillips (13) 36pts

B Flight

1st Henry Mah (21) 39pts

2nd Masashi Iizumi (20) 38pts

3rd David Wang (21) 37pts

The Pattaya Golf Society is proud of its diversity regarding member nationality and ethnicity, as reflected in today’s results.  The six place-getters represent six different countries, whilst those of Asian descent scooped the entire pool in B Flight.  Congratulations to them all.