AK47 & Ralphy sparkle at Crystal Bay

Friday, 21 December 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 51 By  Peter Blackburn

PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Tuesday, Dec. 11, Crystal Bay, B & C - Stableford

There was another late cancellation due to illness which left us with a field of 26 starters for the day’s outing to the popular Crystal Bay Golf Course on a fine & sunny Pattaya morning.  

Whilst enjoying the free tea & coffee at The Growling Swan we were happy to welcome Peter Bye back from his work at the North West Shelf off the coast of Western Australia, Ken & Wendy Bernek returning after a week in Bali, Bent Agerbo from Denmark returning for another 3 week holiday in Pattaya and newcomer Andrew Ralph from Sydney Australia.  We also said farewell to Dick “Reverend” Braimbridge who is shortly off to Chiang Mai for a few days before returning to Australia for a couple of months.

Andrew Ralph, Dick Braimbridge & Jim Bell. Andrew Ralph, Dick Braimbridge & Jim Bell.

Three mini vans were required on this occasion & we departed the GS right on schedule at 8.30 am and with the post holiday weekend traffic very busy on Highway No. 3 it was slow progress leaving Pattaya which caused the journey to take 50 minutes - somewhat longer than normal.

The golf course was found to be reasonably busy on arrival but we were allocated B & C nines and invited to commence as soon as we were ready.  We sent 2 three-balls off away first on B1 and the first one teed off ten minutes ahead of schedule at 9.50 am in glorious weather with very little wind but not too hot.  The course was once more in excellent shape with lush fairways and well kept greens that were at times a little too slick for some.  There were still wet areas after the recent rains but generally in areas that did not affect play and with no groups in front, play was very quick and the front nine was completed in just over two hours.

A few drops of rain were felt whilst coming to the half way mark but that was all it was as the dark clouds vanished & the skies were once more clear.  The pace continued on C nine and the eighteen holes were completed in just a touch over four hours.

We were able to have 2 grades with five podium spots in each. A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 19 and B Grade for 20 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 Jim “AK47” Bell with a fine 38 points with Crystal Bay “specialist” Takeshi Hakozaki (6 points on the last 3 holes) coming second with 36 points on a count back from Peter Bye (5 points on the last 3 holes).  Another count back was required to determine fourth & fifth places with 2 golfers on 35 points and it was Mike Allidi (18 point back nine) finishing ahead of yours truly, Peter Blackburn (16 point back nine).

In the B Grade it was newcomer Andrew Ralph who “got the chocolates” with 37 points, 3 points ahead of last start N.A.G.A. winner Kae in second place.  With 3 players on 33 points another count back was necessary which resulted in Ian Masterson (18 point back nine) finishing third ahead of Mick “Bear” Wilks (17 point back nine) and Wendy Bernek (14 point back nine).

A Flight (0-19)

1st Jim Bell (15) 38pts

2nd Takeshi Hakozaki (10) 36pts

3rd Peter Bye (16) 36pts

4th Mike Allidi (2) 35pts

5th Peter Blackburn (11) 35pts

B Flight (20+)

1st Andrew Ralph (21) 37pts

2nd Duangjai Tusagad (29) 34pts

3rd Ian Masterson (35) 33pts

4th Mick Wilkes (26) 33pts

5th Wendy Bernek (33) 33pts

Near Pins:  B4 – Andrew Ralph, B6 – Jim Bell, C4 – Ken Bernek, C7 – Ebrahim

Long Putts:  B9 – Kae, C9 – Wendy Bernek

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 the departing Dick “Reverend” Braimbridge in a close tussle with his mate Frank Donnelly and of course Dick accepted the award in fine style.  Big Ken “Let’s hear it for” Bernek, back fresh from his trip to Bali paraded Deefa the Dog and collected many donations for the needy of Pattaya from our ever generous Growling Swan members.

Thursday, Dec. 13, Treasure Hill - Stableford

Playing golf on the day after the Pattaya Sports Club Xmas Party is not always the most popular thing to do but we had nineteen keen golfers ready to take on the challenging Treasure Hill Golf Course.

Sandy Leiper, Geri Crilly & Russell Goldsworthy. Sandy Leiper, Geri Crilly & Russell Goldsworthy.

We welcomed Russell Goldsworthy, Vice Captain of Gosnells Golf Club in Perth, Western Australia along with Jan Lovgreen who is joining his Danish pals for a game or too with us.  Also welcome to newcomers Rohan Wright, a Pattaya resident formerly of Yarrawonga, Victoria, Australia and Geri Crilly, another a Pattaya resident and formerly from Australia & Ireland before that.

After a couple of complimentary coffees we departed the GS 5 minutes before schedule at 8.25 am in two mini vans and after a good run on 331 we arrived at the course 48 minutes later.  There was not much activity there so we were invited to start at our leisure and our first group, a three-ball teed off at 9.45 am, 15 minutes earlier than our booked time.  The weather was once more sensational and not too hot and this ever improving golf course was looking a treat with lush fairways and beautifully prepared greens.

There was no-one to be seen in front of us so the pace was good and we completed our front nine in just over 2 hours.  It did get a little hotter after “half time” so we had a ten minute drinks stop before tackling the “Crocodile Hole” and then proceeded to finish the eighteen holes in four hours & fifteen minutes.  It was an excellent day of golf with very good company and as the scores indicate with just one golfer playing to their handicap it was the golf course that emerged the big winner 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 and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

Our good friend from Gosnells, Russell Goldsworthy, was the one who played to his handicap and he won the A Grade with a steady 36 points, 2 points ahead of Michael Catillon in second place.  With 2 golfers on 33 points a count back was needed to determine third & fourth spots and it was Paul Hack (level on the back nine, 11 points on the last 6 holes) edging out yours truly, Peter Blackburn (9 points on the last 6 holes).

In B grade it was terrific to see recent N.A.G.A. winner Sandy “Leiperfrog” Leiper win with 30 points and our old mate Graham “Grunter” Buckingham second just 1 point further back.  In a count back on 28 points it was Bent Agerbo (15 point back nine) who finished third from Frenchman J C Lhoste (13 point back nine) in fourth place.

A Flight (0-20)

1st Russell Goldsworthy (4) 36pts

2nd Michael Catillon (17) 34pts

3rd Paul Hack (11) 33pts

4th Peter Blackburn (11) 33pts

B Flight (21+)

1st Sandy Leiper (35) 30pts

2nd Graham Buckingham (22) 29pts

3rd Bent Agerbo (21) 28pts

4th J C Lhoste (22) 28pts

Near Pins:  6th – Russell Goldsworthy, 13th – Russell Goldsworthy, 17th – Max Bracegirdle

Long Putts:  9th – Rohan Wright, 18th – Peter Blackburn

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was won by newcomer Geri Crilly who accepted the award in fine style, even after it was explained to him what N.A.G.A. stood for!  Big Ken “Let’s hear it for” Bernek paraded Deefa the Dog and collected many donations for the needy of Pattaya from our ever generous Growling Swan members.

Back at The Growling Swan afterwards the cold beer was flowing along with the usual jibes and “mickey taking” as we said farewell to Mine Host Peter Grey who is off to Melbourne for a Memorial Service for our recently departed good friend Kevin Grose.  He takes with him our best wishes & condolences – R.I.P. Kevin.

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.

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