We welcomed Brian Lawrence from Dorset in the UK, Pekka Mustonen from Finland and welcomed back Martin Todd after a few months in Mandurah, Western Australia. It was also great to have another member of the “North Shore Mafia” Rita Zoabelli with us once more along with veteran Don Richardson. There was also another strong showing of the Melbourne contingent of the Growling Swan “Delinquents” who appear to be enjoying their golf more and more.
Brian Lawrence, Duangjai Tusagad & Mike Gosden.
Departing the GS at 8.07 am we headed off on No. 7 and arrived at the course 46 minutes later where it appeared to be quite busy, hence our being allotted an earlier tee time. We were asked to commence on the tenth tee and our first group got away at 9.30 a.m. which was 10 minutes later than schedule. The going was quite slow as we had some groups in front of us that were determined to get their money’s worth but the golf course was once more in terrific shape with the greens as slick as ever and some pin positions were “cheeky” to say the least.
The weather was fantastic and not too hot and with hold ups on the par threes it took us two hours & fifteen minutes to complete the first nine. Things didn’t really speed up on the second nine which resulted in the round being finished in four hours & thirty minutes. Nonetheless it was once again a very enjoyable day on a great course with terrific company.
Sandy Leiper & Geri Crilly.
We were able to have 2 grades with five podium spots in each: A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 22 and B Grade for 23 and over. We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.
We had a “bolter” in the A Grade with Mike “Hunter” Gosden winning on 43 points, 5 points ahead of Don Richardson in second place. In third place came Frankie “Goes to Hollywood” Sharratt with 37 points and with four golfers on 34 points a count back was necessary to determine the remaining podium placings. In fourth place was Roy “Plums” Dayton (19 point back nine) and fifth spot went to Martin Todd (17 point back nine & 11 points on the last 6 holes). The ones just missing out were Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei (17 point back nine & 10 points on the last 6 holes) and Peter Blackburn (15 point back nine).
Making it 3 wins in a row in the B Grade it was Duangjai “Kae” Tusagad who was victorious over Rita Zoebelli in second place. In third spot was Robert Allen with 33 points, 2 points ahead of Gary Williams in fourth place and Bernie McCart rounded off the podium with 30 points.
A Flight (0-22)
1st Mike Gosden (12) 43pts
2nd Don Richardson (12) 38pts
3rd Frankie Sharratt (11) 37pts
4th Roy Dayton (22) 34pts
5th Martin Todd (8) 34pts
B Flight (23+)
1st Duangjai Tusagad (28) 37pts
2nd Rita Zoebelli (24) 35pts
3rd Robert Allen 33pts
4th Gary Williams 31pts
5th Bernie McCart (29) 28pts
Near Pins: 5th – Wendy Bernek, 8th – Rita Zoebelli, 15th – Roy Dayton, 17th – Pekka Mustonen
Long Putts: 9th – Rita Zoebelli, 18th – 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 newcomer Brian Lawrence who did not appear to be at all embarrassed & excepted the award in fine style.
Big Ken paraded Deefa the Dog and many donations were collected for the needy in Pattaya from our ever generous Growling Swan Crew. It was then back to the Growling Swan where the low priced beer was “Aussie” cold & plentiful and the usual post mortems were held with great anticipation to our next outing which will no doubt be as enjoyable as ever.
Thursday, Jan. 17, Plutaluang E&S - Stableford
It would appear that the flu epidemic in the USA had hit Pattaya as there were numerous late cancellations due to sickness which resulted in a starting lineup of 14, our smallest for quite some time. Everyone was on time however and we departed the GS 5 minutes ahead of schedule at 8.25 a.m. and headed South down 7 for our appointment at the Plutaluang Golf Course.
We welcomed back Takeshi Hakozaki from Japan and sadly said farewell to my good friend Frankie “Goes to Hollywood” Sharratt who is returning to Derby in the UK after playing with us for the past 3 weeks.
The journey took just 43 minutes and upon arrival it was a “hive of activity” with our section of the men’s locker room packed in like sardines in the midst of many other golfers who could also have been complaining about the lack of space. Alas there were no “multi-linguals amongst us so we will never know!
We were invited to play the East & South nines, which was certainly a change from our recent visits and our first group teed off 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.45 a.m. The weather was great with a fairly stiff breeze to cool things down and the golf course was in very good shape with of course the necessary adjustment required after reaching the putting surface.
One “joker” amongst us suggested that we play Bangpra one day & Navy the next but whilst appreciating that it would be an interesting contrast it could well result in many of us needing extra consultations with our “shrinks”!
The going was slow in front of us due to the heavy “traffic” on the course and our first nine took two hours & twenty minutes. The pace continued to be the same for the remainder of the round and we completed the round in four hours and forty minutes which was one of our slowest rounds ever. A very enjoyable day however with plenty of time to smell the roses and the weather, golf course and company was excellent.
With the small field we had just the one Grade with four podium places and we had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.
One of my playing partners, Irishman Geri Crilly (19 point back nine) played very well and his 34 points was good enough on the day to win on a count back from Roy “Plums” Dayton (18 point back nine). In third place came Mike “Hunter” Gosden with 33 points and fellow Aussie Martin Todd took fourth spot with 30 points. Looking at the scores it was obvious that the clear winner on the day was the golf course.
1st Geri Crilly (25) 34pts
2nd Roy Dayton (22) 34pts
3rd Mike Gosden (12) 33pts
4th Martin Todd (8) 30pts
Near Pins: E2 – Takeshi Hakozaki, S4 – Roy Dayton, S7 – No-one Good Enough
Long Putts: E9 – Ebrahim, S9 – Peter Blackburn
The Growling Swan NAGA Award was well won by Sandy “Leiperfrog” Leiper who as usual gracefully accepted the award in fine spirit whilst vowing not to be the recipient quite as often in the future.
In the absence of the “ailing” big Ken “Let’s hear it for” Bernek, Toddy paraded Deefa the Dog who collected many donations for the needy in Pattaya from our ever generous Growling Swan crew. Back at the bar afterwards we had a small but happy group who proceeded to solve most of the world’s problems whilst discussing cricket, Aussie Rules football, movies and many other items of extreme importance. Yet another great day’s golf!
NB: 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 a.m. For bookings or more information please contact Peter on 080 635 1386 or email to petermalcolmblackburn @gmail.com.