Having heard of other groups waiting up to one and a half hours after their reserved tee times to start play and then having a three and half hour nine holes and finally running out of light well before finishing the eighteen holes, many were wondering when it would be their turn to suffer again.
Today it was a waiting day on the tee, with the lack of available caddies being the main problem rather than the overbooking, which seems to be prevalent recently on many of the courses. Although when the round started it all went pretty smoothly and lasted no longer than four and a half hours, which is fairly good during the high season.
Adding to the problem for those at the back of the starting lineup was the size of the field which required four divisions including a red section and starting from just one tee meant a long wait for the last groups.
The first division was led in by Martin Grimoldby, who is in the middle of a very good run of form, with an outstanding round of three under handicap, which was even better than at first sight as the CSS for the day went out two strokes making it a five under return for handicap purposes.
Masanori Takano may well have thought that his good return of one under handicap would be enough to carry the day but was unlucky to have found Martin in such sparkling from. Alan Pilkington, having played in the same four-ball as the winner, already knew that two over was not enough but was pleased in the end to be third.
The second division was taken by Alwyne Burley who’s two over was enough to ensure that Fred Land would not be a winner on his return from a break in the Philippines. Fred had to settle for second place a shot behind with Shuichi Kodaka another two back in third.
Kenny Priddy had an outstanding day to return a three under card that won the third division easily by seven points ahead of Steven Howard in second, with Hal Hart anther to behind in third spot.
Kiti Ulvio-Peltonen took the red division with a solid round after recording a very rare birdie ‘2’ on the second hole and leaving the rest of the division well behind, with Marita Eeva being the next best.
The first division 2’s pool was shared between Kiti Ulvio-Peltonen, Rick Schramm, Mark Lang, Peter Sumner and Martin Grimoldby, while the second division was taken by Alwyne Burley.
Before the presentations were made the were welcomes for Heather Hill, Rob Nolan, Eddie Allan and Frank Bradley together with welcome backs for Mike Sanders, Fred Land and Peter Sumner.
Wednesday, Jan. 23, The Emerald - Stableford
Division 1 (0–19)
1st Steve Bickle (16) 34pts
2nd Masanori Takano (7) 33pts
3rd Mark Lang (7) 30pts
Division 2 (20+)
1st Steven Howard (32) 36pts
2nd Wilf Wellman (26) 31pts
3rd Mike Korney (20) 28pts
1st Marti Juutilainen (22) 43pts
With many of the previous competition’s players deciding that the day’s course would again be overcrowded and possible not worth the effort, the starting numbers were much reduced but still there were sufficient to require three divisions including a red one.
As usual the play was made much more agreeable with a local ‘lift and place’ rule in the fairways to mitigate the problem of poor lies in the crab grass areas. This did not help the scores that much as the best of the day was level par, with only one return from the counting players that met the required criteria of “within two strokes of handicap”. This meant that the CSS for the day went up the maximum three strokes to 75 but stayed as a counting round for upward review.
Steve Bickle was the man that stopped the day becoming non-counting as his two over round in the first division proved to be just sufficient to push Masanori Takano down into second place for the second tournament in a row by a single point, with Mark Lang back in third.
Steven Howard went one better than his previous outing with a level par round that ensured that he will at last see his pleas answered and his handicap reduced, albeit by the smallest amount, to take his first win out of The Haven and vowed that this would be the beginnings of a new era.
Wilf Wellman also tasted of that rare cup, a place on the podium, and although his score was well behind first place it was one to be savoured. Mike Korney won a count back with a better 15 to 14 for third spot leaving Phil Stevenson pining for the old days.
The score of the day went to Marti Juutilainen whose seven under handicap round to win the red division will see his handicap radically reduced following the upward movement of the CSS of the day and he finished the day well ahead of the rest of the division with his best round ever in Thailand.
There were no 2’s in either division.
Friday, Jan. 25, Phoenix - Monthly Medals
Division 1 (0–15) Blue Tees
1st Martin Grimoldby (6) net 72
2nd Petri Nurmi (8) net 75
3rd Alan Pilkington (8) net 77
Division 2 (16+) White tees
1st Alwyne Burley (16) net 73
2nd Walter O’Keefe (18) net 75
3rd Paul Taylor (19) net 76
A return to Phoenix where the last outing had been fraught with many problems including rounds that commenced an hour later than reserved and a lack of caddies. But today was a completely different experience as it was back to the usual and expected efficiency of the course management. Everyone started on time and the rounds were completed in just over four and a quarter hours with all participants back in The Haven as much as two hours earlier than on Monday.
As usual with the monthly medals, just two divisions with the first division playing stroke play from the blue tees, and the second division playing stroke from the white tees.
Once again it was Martin Grimoldby who led in the first division, returning another outstanding round of level handicap gross 78 to win by three from Petri Nurmi, also taking his second podium placing of the week, and Alan Pilkington also once again taking third to Martin whilst playing in the same group.
The second division medal was taken by Alwyne Burley, completing his second win of the week, with a one over handicap return that was good by three ahead of returnee Walter O’Keefe, with Paul Taylor taking third with a better count back of 35.5 to 38 over Mike Korney as Mike slipped badly following a promising front nine.
Once again there were no 2’s in the second division but the first division rollover pool was shared by Eddie Allan, Mike Dabanovich and Martin Grimoldby.
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 8.15 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days that you wish to play. A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at www.thehaven-hotel.com.