Toddy & Bernie too good at Rayong

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PSC golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, Oct. 8, Rayong C.C. – Stableford

After continual rain overnight the expected phone calls arrived, commencing at 7.30 am – “Are we still playing?” was the big question and once again it was necessary to tell our faithful crew that Rayong Country Club was a long way away from Pattaya and could well be “open for business”. 

It was still raining when the reassured 17 golfers assembled at The Growling Swan and a quick phone call to the golf course confirmed that all was well.  We departed the GS in 2 minivans after a 5 minute delay waiting for a “no show” and after a dry 40 minute journey we arrived at the course which although was wet after much recent heavy rain, was completely playable.

Bernie McCart, Sandy Leiper & Martin Todd. Bernie McCart, Sandy Leiper & Martin Todd.

No carts on the fairways naturally so winter rules through the greens applied and our first four-ball teed off 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.45 am.  The weather was fine with the sun breaking through continually and it was fairly humid with very little wind.

The golf course had stood up to the wet weather fairly well although the greens were certainly not as good as they have been recently.  With not a soul in front of us we proceeded at a good pace and completed the front nine in just on 2 hours where we stopped for a drink before tackling the back nine.

All went well until we reached the 16th tee and fortunately, even though the drink stand there was not staffed it came in very handy for sheltering from the 20 minute heavy shower.  Then it stopped and we continued to find no real adverse effect to the course after the rain and we completed our round in four & a half hours which included the twenty minute delay.

Takeshi Hakozaki & Brad Todd. Takeshi Hakozaki & Brad Todd.

The day’s outing once again proved that regardless of the overnight rain, weather forecast and weather conditions in Pattaya on the morning of golf – we can always be optimistic about golf on the day.

We were able to have 2 grades with four podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 20 and B Grade for 21 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes which were sponsored by Ken Bernek, Sandy Leiper, Bernie McCart & Dick Braimbridge.  There were also rewards for longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens which were sponsored by Martin Todd & The Mandurah Country Club.  Many thanks to these golfers for their generosity.

On a difficult day for golf it was Martin Todd who finished first in A Grade with a steady 35 points and in a count back for second & third on 34 points, Ken “let’s hear it for” Bernek (16 point back nine) edged out Mike “Hunter” Gosden (14 point back nine).  Martin Todd’s son Brad once again made an appearance on the podium by finishing fourth with 31 points.

It was terrific to see Bernie McCart having his first win with a fine 37 points in B Grade and Kae came back to a bit of good form by finishing second with 32 points.  Max “two corsets” Bracegirdle finished third with 31 points and Frank Donnelly was fourth with 29 points.

A Flight (0-20)

1st Martin Todd (8) 35pts

2nd Ken Bernek (14) 34pts

3rd Mike Gosden (12) 34pts

4th Brad Todd (20) 31pts

B Flight (21+)

1st Bernie McCart (31) 37pts

2nd Duangjai Tusagad (33) 32pts

3rd Max Bracegirdle (27) 31pts

4th Frank Donnelly (21) 29pts

Near Pins:  5th – Martin Todd; 7th – Martin Todd; 16th – Brad Todd

Long Putts:  9th – Mike Gosden; 18th – Ebrahim

The Compass Cap is no more but has been replaced by The Growling Swan NAGA award.  This is awarded to the golfer who has the worst score on the day and discreetly their score is not made public.  The winner of the inaugural NAGA award on this occasion was Sandy “leaperfrog” Leiper who accepted the trophy in typical fine spirit.

Thursday, October 11, Crystal Bay, A & B – Stableford

After a fine couple of days we were confident of playing some reasonably dry golf although we had heard some reports that Crystal Bay was not draining well and was very wet.  This was vindicated as I received a phone call at 8.15 am from the course stating that carts were not allowed at all due to the condition of the course and this information was very much appreciated as it allowed one of our group to not make the journey which reduced our playing group to eighteen.

We welcomed Russell Goldsworthy from my old Golf Club Gosnells in Perth, Western Australia and also Phil Knight from Pattaya, formerly of Victoria, Australia.

We departed the GS right on time at 8.30 am in 2 mini vans and headed off down No.3, arriving at the course 45 minutes later.  As expected it was very quiet so with little delay we were invited to commence on B nine so our first group teed off 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.45 am.

It was easy to see why there were no carts allowed as the course was indeed fairly saturated but it must be said that as winter rules through the greens were allowed there was always a fairly dry spot to be found enabling the course to be playable without too much trouble and the greens were in very good shape although naturally a little slower than normal.  The weather was fine although humid and with plenty of blue skies to be seen above although one sensed that at some stage we were going to get a shower or two.

We completed our first nine in just over two hours and were travelling quite well until with 2 holes to play we needed to take shelter at the hut near the A8 tee as we were subjected to a 25 minute heavy “sun” shower which partially flooded the A7 & A8 greens but when the rain stopped the greens drained very quickly and we were able to continue.  We finished our round in the overall time of four and a half hours which included the 25 minute stop for rain.

We were able to have 2 grades with four podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 14 and B Grade for 15 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes which were sponsored by Ken Bernek, Fiona Crebo, Brendan Byrne & Max Bracegirdle.  There were also rewards for longest first putts on the A9 & B9 greens which were sponsored by The Mandurah Country Club.  Many thanks to all for their generosity.

Playing on his “home” course it was once again Takeshi Hakozaki who was triumphant and he took out the A Grade with a steady 36 points.  With 2 golfers on 34 points a count back was necessary to decide second & third and Mike Allidi (17 point back nine) just edged out Martin Todd (16 point back nine). Your writer managed to scrape into fourth spot with 32 points.

Brad “Toddy Junior” Todd continued his excellent form by winning the B Grade with a fine 38 points and Ebrahim came second with 35 points.  Brendan Byrne made it on to the podium for the first time & finished third with 29 points, 1 ahead of Fiona Crebo in fourth place.

A Flight (0-14)

1st Takeshi Hakozaki (11) 36pts

2nd Mike Allidi (2) 34pts

3rd Martin Todd (8) 34pts

4th Peter Blackburn (11) 32pts

B Flight (15+)

1st Brad Todd (20) 38pts

2nd Ebrahim (15) 35pts

3rd Brendan Byrne (17) 29pts

4th Fiona Crebo (22) 28pts

Near Pins:  A5 – Martin Todd; A8 – Peter Blackburn; B4 – Takeshi Hakozaki; B6 – Ken Bernek

Long Putts:  A9 – Mike Gosden; B9 – Russell Goldsworthy

The winner of the Growling Swan NAGA award on this occasion was newcomer Phil Knight and I would like to say he accepted the award in good spirit but unfortunately I cannot.  Back at The Growling Swan afterwards we had a very good crowd, including several of the Growling Swan “Delinquents” who were looking forward to their next outing at Mountain Shadow in a few days time. Plenty of cold, low-priced beer was the order of the day and quite a few of us stayed a bit longer than we had originally planned but it was great fun once more.

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 [email protected]