Tuesday 11th December saw a huge turnout of thirty players head off to play Emerald, I think this was because of the lack of golf on the Monday rather than the drawing power of Emerald which always seems to attract the rain and did not disappoint on this occasion either. It was wet underfoot and we had a downpour in the afternoon which sent everybody scurrying for shelter. Luckily it didn’t last long but the wet weather of the last month has played havoc with the greens at Emerald which can best be described as ropey.
‘Mr. Consistent’ Jeff Bunn (6), complaining that he had not played a lot for the last couple of months and could not possibly play to a six handicap, then went out and shot 36pts to win Division 1. I was his playing partner and I wish I could play as well as him, especially after not playing regularly. Jeff has a very short backswing, and I mean short, but he has the advantage of having forearms like Popeye and he smashes the ball a country mile and almost always straight. He putts well as well and certainly lived up to his nickname of ‘Mr. Consistent’.
Division 1 was for golfers up to 14 handicap and Jeff was followed home by ‘Mr. Inscrutable’ Ito Akitoshi (8), another very good player finishing on 35pts, with Jim Cleaver (11) coming third on 34pts. Jim was another of my playing partners on the day and someone who practices more than anyone else I know in order to improve his game and it is working. He is lucky as well, even when he had an occasional mishit in the wet conditions the ball always seemed to finish well for him.
The Division 2 winner was John Baxter (15) who has obviously mastered the local conditions after his lengthy stay in Thailand and returned the best score of the day with 37pts. Nigel Ward (17) finished second on 35pts and another consistent high handicapper Ken Brehm (21) made it on to the podium again with 34pts.
A final word for the strongest man in the field on the day, Bob Andrews, the man who held the rest up by finishing last and who very sportingly drank from the “booby” prize.
Thursday 13th December and our weekly visit to Phoenix (Mountain and Lakes) attracted another large field including the return of the ‘Welsh Wizard’ Alun Webber, only he knows how you can hit a golf ball with that stance, but it is only a matter of time before he hits the top of the leaderboard again. Welcome back Alun.
Again there were two Divisions; Div 1 was up to 11 handicap and Div 2 was 12 handicap and above.
Alan Thomas (6) took the Division 1 title, shooting 36pts with Joe Stranks (10) in second on 33pts and Neil Pittard finishing third on 32.
Another Alan, Alan Evans (24) topped Division 2 with 32pts, Mod Chaviraksa stood up for the female contingent (12) by finishing second on 30 and Phil Corbett (28) stood up for the really high handicappers finishing third on 28.
I find it amazing that one week at Phoenix all the winners are scoring 40pts plus and the next week no one can beat their handicap, strange indeed.
On Friday 14th December a smaller group headed off to the Navy Course to play Plutaluang (North and West). This time another Thomas, David Thomas (6) finished top of the pile on 37pts, beating that wily Aussie Norman Cheetham (15) into second on 35 and that gentlemanly Irishman Michael Maguire (21) into third on 34pts.
Good luck to all you golfers for the coming week!