We had another large contingent of hopefuls today, but just one short of enough for three divisions. The expected usual delay on the tee did not materialize as, fortunately for the group but unfortunately for the course management, a booking for six groups failed to turn up for their allotted tee times which enabled the groups to set off almost as soon as they arrived.
It brought into focus the reason that the management of Crystal Bay and Mountain Shadow courses had been refusing to take group bookings for longer than a week in advance, as they maintained that many reserved groups were failing to appear, leaving their courses sparsely populated at times.
As usual the course was found to be in excellent condition, as evidenced by the CSS for the day reducing to 71, as players returned scores that they may well have thought were far beyond their abilities during the last few outings where non-counting events were in the majority.
Bruce Kusyk made a winning return to playing with the Soi 13 group with a very good four under handicap return that was just sufficient, by the slimmest of margins, to beat off the challenge of Alwyne Burley, for whom the reduction in the CSS meant no reduction in handicap. Alwyne returned a three under card for the day that would normally have been a winning score. Phil Groves took third spot, also with a return under handicap, and Kevin Townsend rounded out the first division podium in fourth with a level handicap round.
The second division was a more wide open affair with Don Everett doing well enough to attract a reduction in handicap, winning by a handsome margin ahead of Konrad Klama who took second place after winning a count back over Bill Hurd with a better 19 to 16 over the back nine on the card. This left Al Rolnik in fourth a couple of shots adrift.
Alan Pilkington took the first division 2’s pot while Don Everett, Steven Howard, Alwyne Burley and Bill Hurd shard the second division pool.
Prior to the presentations there were welcome backs for Yasuo Suzuki and Bruce Kusyk.
Wednesday, Feb. 13, Treasure Hill (Yellow tees) - Stableford
CSS 75 NC
1st Trevor Schirmer (18) 31pts
2nd Hal Hart (24) 27pts
3rd Walter O’Keefe (16) 27pts
4th Peter Skinner (9) 26pts
With Treasure Hill always in very good shape it was surprising to find that there were not quite enough players to form two divisions, as seemingly the big numbers part of the high season is winding down. Those that did turn out found the course in good condition but very wet following a couple of heavy weather days earlier in the week which made the course, even off the forward yellow tees, quite difficult and caused the CSS for the day to go out to 75 and become non-counting. In fact, none of the contestants could return scores within two of their handicaps.
Trevor Schirmer, who is making a determined effort to return to his old form after undergoing surgery on his left knee, and is struggling to get back to something like reasonable mobility, received some small reward with a hard earned win, although the win and the margin of victory was a little more than he was expecting as he putted in on the last green for a fairly modest return. However, with many lower handicappers in the field also struggling (but without similar excuses to the winner’s) it was a very good result for Trevor.
Hal Hart slipped into second place after he had won a count back over Walter O’Keefe, finishing with a better 17 to 15 over the inward nine which left single figure handicapper Peter Skinner in fourth and wondering why he had not spent the day on the driving range after travelling halfway around the world to play a long way off of his usual standard.
Unsurprisingly there were no 2’s on the day in either of the divisions; in fact there were only four threes in total for all the par three holes.
Back at The Haven there was a welcome back for Peter Skinner the forward scout for the South Herts Golf Club group who are due to arrive the following week.
Friday, Feb. 15, Khao Kheow B & C (Yellow tees) - Stableford
CSS 75 NC
1st Phil Groves (7) 33pts
2nd Hal Hart (24) 33pts
3rd Bill Hurd (20) 32pts
4th Mike Hill (22) 32pts
5th Kevin Blake (5) 31pts
Once again we had not quite sufficient players to demand two divisions, with a course that has proved to be very difficult to score on during recent visits in prospect perhaps being the reason for the lower turnout. However the course was in good shape although the wetness affected the run on the fairways.
Another contributing factor may have been that many of the regular players had competed the previous day over the same courses, although different nines, in the Links Charity Challenge two-person scramble.
With the B and C courses in such fine shape it was somewhat surprising to find that the CSS for the day had once again risen to 75 and became non-counting for the second time in the week. This thwarted any hopes that players handicaps on the cusp would attract an upward movement for the following week.
After a couple of near misses Phil Groves returned to the top of the podium with a solid return, after the competition had started out from the daunting first hole on the C course, by winning the count back over the back nine on the card, as he finished the B course with eleven points from the last four holes.
Losing that count back by 14 to 15 Hal Hart took a good second place just one ahead of another count back for third that was won by Bill Hurd with a better 18 to 13 over Mike Hill. This left Kevin Blake, as the day’s low marker, in fifth a further stroke behind.
Once again there were no 2’s in the first division but Konrad Klama drew a big round of applause with the only one in the second division to sweep the roll over pool.
Before the presentations were made there were welcomes for new members Mike Remington, Bob Llaneta and Alan Flynn together with a welcome back for Bubbles Davies who was hoping to return to skin (sic) a few off the top during a quick raid from Shanghai.
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.