As usual the course was not quite up to the standard of many of the others but still provides excellent value for money. It was expected that there would be a very heavy demand for places on the course which turned out not to be the case, with it virtually empty other than the Pattaya Golf Society playing from the first while our competition teed off from the tenth. In the event the participation of another competition over the course meant that the day did not become non-counting after the scores from the tenth tee were less than spectacular.
Al Keith amassed, if that is the correct phrase, just enough points to take the win as the slow greens took their toll on the smaller than usual field. This mirrored his win the previous week out of Soi 13 although being some twelve shots higher.
Terry Hodgkiss just about managed to keep the ball in play around the tight and tricky layout to take second spot.
There were no 2’s in either division
Before presenting the prizes Stephen Beard welcomed back Tomas Nilsson. There was also an announcement of the cessation of the tradition at The Haven of the winner buying a drink for the rest of the competitors attending the prize giving, after some extended discussions amongst the local members of the group during the past weeks. However there would still be a free drink for all those attending the after competition gatherings as the bar would in future provide it.
Friday, June 8,Crystal Bay - Stableford
1st Shuichi Kodaka (18) 39pts
2nd Jens Gunnarsson (15) 37pts
3rd Alwyne Burley (18) 36pts
4th Yasuo Suzuki (11) 34pts
5th Mike Dabanovich (11) 32pts
Crystal Bay has not quite returned to the glory days but if progress continues to be made with the condition of the course in general it will not be long before it will be once again a must visit for all players in the area. The greens particularly are getting back to the old speed and flatness having benefitted tremendously from a serious upgrade in greens keeping.
The condition of the course allied to the very competitive pricing during the low season will ensure that it remains on the schedule as a regular feature during the coming months. It is to be hoped that a similar effort will be made to return the changing facilities to the past when they also were amongst the best in the area.
With the course playing so well it was little surprise to find that the scores were of a much better standard that the week’s earlier competition.
Shuichi Kodaka made it the second win in the week for a previous winner, making the pictures of the winners look very similar to last week’s, as he went three under handicap even if once again the last hole almost undid all the good play that preceded it, he had enough of a margin to wrap up the day’s top honour.
Jens Gunnarsson took second place with a solid round that include just one blank hole and he finished strongly to consign Alwyne Burley to third place after the latter had followed a steady front nine with a two under handicap inward half.
Yasuo Suzuki made it a happy return to his second home with a very tidy round for the most part but he suffered a little from travel exhaustion at the close, taking just five points from the last four holes.
Mike Dabanovich started slowly and never quite got up to speed during a round that included four 3 pointers and four 1 pointers and a couple of wipes. There will surely be better days for him in the near future.
Once again there were no 2’s in the second division but the first division rollovers pool was taken by Mike Dabanovich.
Before the presentations there was a welcome for new member Peter Newham, who having arrived from Australia was given a rare opportunity to view a replica of The Ashes which has become a tradition for all visiting players from that country. This (The Ashes replica) was a donation by a fellow countryman after the original had been retained during the 2010/11 series by England in Australia, having previously been virtually owned down under from the late eighties until the 2005 series.
After a few eyes had been dried, there were welcome backs for Rodney Hayes and Yasuo Suzuki and it was time for Stephen to blow the horn and get everyone in a party mood once more.
Note: If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact mobile 082 219 0965 or call in to The Haven Hotel, at 185 Soi 13, between Beach Road and 2nd Road. All transportation to the course is arranged and you do not need to sign up prior to the day, but you should be there by 8.30 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days you wish to play. A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at www.thehaven-hotel.com.