At Bert’s we got off to a later than usual start, having to wait for a few stranglers that pushed an already later than normal departure time to the limits. Walter’s tardiness was excused because of his normal congeniality and outrageous golf attire which was this day properly accessorized with a white belt and long white stockings.
Flight winners John Hacket-and Barry Elphick with two of Bert’s helpers
So having gathered our 20 golfers on the day we convoyed out to the course in an orderly fashion, that is, until Mashi decided to break ranks and pass the lead vehicle which was stuck behind a slow moving truck just prior to a blind rise in the final stretch of road to Green Valley. The chorus of “Hail Mary’s” could be heard from Mashi’s Toyota as it darted back into its lane avoiding a “near miss” (or should it have been characterized as a “near hit”) with the oncoming, unseen vehicle.
Safely at the course, having shown up a bit late for our scheduled tee time, the starter ushered the first group to the first tee with the strong words “Bai leow leow”, not affording them the opportunity to warm-up on the fine practice facility. This would prove to be the undoing of the 4 men in the first group.
The course was in its usual excellent condition with hard, fast greens and fairways that actually have a uniform stand of grass, which is mown to the proper height of 5/8" (1.5cm). There would be none of the usual excuses that accompany a poor round today, blaming lack of talent on lack of course maintenance.
We got around the first nine well with only the occasional OB shot encountered after taking the “Tiger Line” on a well-conceived risk-reward hole. It was then that the first flash of lightning and crack of thunder caused a hesitation on one backswing. The golf organizer carefully counted 10 seconds between flash and clap and so we carried on.
Several Steve Hamstad jokes were bantered about as we made our way to the next hole where the caddies could be found encasing our golf bags in plastic. Their intuition proved correct and by the next hole out came the umbrellas as a light rain had ensued. Thankfully the rain only lasted for 3 holes and caused only one airbourne 3-wood. It was later discovered that the groups in the rear had “holed up” in a drink stand for this duration; unforgivable behavior from any golfer in my opinion.
Back in the clubhouse with cold beer and currywurst and pomme frits to cheer up an uninspired round of golf, the anticipated good scores started stacking up. Posting the best score of the day would be John Hacket with 39 points. Taking second in ‘A’ flight was Walter “El Pradron” Baechli with 38; and Alan “The nicest fellow in Pattaya” Sullivan with 36.
Not to be overshadowed by the ‘A’ flighters, “B” flights winner, Mr. Barry Elphick posted an uncharacteristic 38 having hit some “professional quality lob wedge shots to secure his station”. Darryl Evans showed a return to his fine form and came in second with his 36 by edging Bernie Cairns on count back.
Near Pins went to Bucky, Bernie, MOB, and “El Padron.”