We were very happy to welcome for the first time Patrick Engels, Christian Peters & Karl Vanmaele from Belgium and sadly said farewell to Ian Masterson who is returning to The Emerald Isle for about one year. I also informed the “troops” that it was my last game for a couple of weeks as I was heading off to Perth, Australia in a couple of days leaving Michael Gosden & Martin Todd to “take care of business”.
Peter Grey (right) presents the Growling Swan Monthly Mug to PSC President Tony Oakes.
We departed the GS right on time at 8.30 a.m. and headed off in the rain, which at times was quite heavy, but after putting my hand over Kev Waycott’s mouth who continued to mutter “this doesn’t look good”, we arrived at the course after the 68 minute drive.
Indeed, it didn’t look good as the rain was still falling and there were a dozen or so other golfers there who were hanging back, not paying their green fees until it was determined whether play would be possible or not. We did the same and our patience was rewarded as Toddy & I had a chat while the rain was abating and it was decided that we were here to play golf and that was what we were going to do.
In light drizzle our first group, a three-ball, teed off 25 minutes late at 10.25 a.m. and whilst damp, the course was found to be perfectly playable although the greens were naturally slower with the light rain falling. The drizzle continued until the half way mark when it stopped altogether and our first nine had taken just over two hours.
The golf course was looking quite good but needing a fair bit of TLC to bring it up to scratch, but as regards “value for money” we always enjoy coming here as it is a very good layout with some testing golf holes.
The weather stayed fine but overcast until we were 3 holes from the end when the drizzle started again but we managed to stay quite dry & completed the full round in four hours & seven minutes. Once more our perseverance had paid off as we love our golf and we were rewarded accordingly.
Monday winners: Ed Stewart, Bernie McCart & Mike Gosden.
We were able to have 2 grades with four podium spots in each. A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 17 and B Grade for 18 and over. We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.
The A Grade winner was the consistent Mike “Hunter” Gosden who had a creditable 34 points, just 1 point ahead of 2 handicapper Christian Peters in second spot. There were 3 players on 32 points vying for third & fourth places with Patrick Engels (17 point back nine) getting third spot and Martin Todd (16 point back nine) finishing fourth. The one to miss out was yours truly, Peter Blackburn (15 point back nine).
With two golfers on 34 points a count back was needed to determine the winner in B Grade and it was Ed “Willie Nelson” Stewart (19 point back nine) who got the chocolates from Roy “Plums” Dayton (16 point back nine) in second place. Another count back was required to decide third & fourth and it was Sandy “Leiperfrog” Leiper (16 point back nine) who edged Ian Masterson (14 point back nine) into fourth spot.
A Flight (0-17)
1st Mike Gosden (12) 34pts
2nd Christian Peters (2) 33pts
3rd Patrick Engels (11) 32pts
4th Martin Todd (8) 32pts
B Flight (18+)
1st Ed Stewart (18) 34pts
2nd Roy Dayton (22) 34pts
3rd Sandy Leiper (34) 30pts
4th Ian Masterson (35) 30pts
Near Pins: 4th – Martin Todd, 7th – Ed Stewart, 13th – Bjarne Kjaer, 17th – Kevin Waycott
Long Putts: 9th – Max Bracegirdle, 18th – Christian Peters
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 good old Bernie McCart who excepted the award in fine style and wore the NAGA cap for a considerable time at the bar afterwards like the good sport that he is.
In the absence of big Ken Bernek it was Toddy who 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 we reflected on the day’s golf and celebrated that we had been able to play when at least one other golf outlet had called their game off after arriving at the course where they were scheduled to play. We love our golf and take the game seriously whilst having plenty of fun.
Thursday, Jan. 31, Eastern Star Monthly Mug - Stroke
Thirty-four starters were in attendance at Eastern Star on Thursday in anticipation of another day’s enjoyment. Teeing off the yellow markers under cloudy skies, the starter sent us on our way at 0950 hours and the first group completed the journey in four hours and thirty five minutes.
In racing parlance the course was heavy going and post game comments included Richard Kubicki’s “the last time I had that much mud on my ball was twenty years ago playing rugby.”
Wearing a very snappy new pair of long trousers our resident Beau Brummell, Bjarne Kjaer, looked the picture of sartorial elegance. Apparently the tailor asked, “Does sir dress to the left or the right?” Bjarne replied, “Leave them baggy to the knees.”
We welcomed Brad Todd from Perth Western Australia, Pierre Dardenne from France, Mick O’Connor and PSC big kahuna Tony Oakes.
In the A grade Bjarne Kjaer handed in a net seventy-three to take first place ahead of Ebrahim with net seventy-four in second whilst Richard Kubicki and Peter Bye each with seventy five finished third and fourth respectively. Filling out the podium were Glen Henrikson and Brad Todd, both having seventy-six net.
In the B grade Max Bracegirdle recorded a net seventy-six to take first place and despite staggering down the stretch Kae had the same score for second spot. Fred Dineley with seventy-eight, Sandy Leiper seventy-nine and Roy Dayton with eighty-one completed the grade.
The Calloway grade was won by Russell Calcutt with a net seventy-five.
Finally, the winner of the monthly mug was Tony Oakes with a solid round of net seventy-two.
1st Tony Oakes (13) net 72
A Flight (0–21)
1st Bjarne Kjaer (18) net 73
2nd Ebrahim (16) net 74
3rd Richard Kubicki (12) net 75
4th Peter Bye (16) net 75
5th Glen Henriksen (9) net 76
6th Brad Todd (18) net 76
B Flight (22+)
1st Max Bracegirdle (25) net 76
2nd Kae (27) net 76
3rd Fred Dineley (27) net 78
4th Sandy Leiper (34) net 79
5th Roy Dayton (22) net 81
1st Russell Calcutt net 75
Near Pins: 3rd Rita Zoebelli, 6th Brad Todd, 13th Rita Zoebelli, 17th Peter Bye
Long Putts: 9th Mike Gosden, 18th Peter Bye
The NAGA was comfortably won by Andrew Allen who in cricketing terminology kissed the helmet half way down the thirteenth. He commented that letting him loose on a golf course was like pouring Moet into a sleepy lagoon. It was reported that on the tenth he had an unlucky fifteen. I’ve never seen a lucky fifteen.
Once again Deefa the dog was on the prowl and the generous Growling Swan souls emptied their pockets with donations for the needy children of Pattaya. Their efforts are applauded.
Many thanks to Growling Swan mine host Peter Grey for his continued support in sponsoring the Monthly mug and providing the chicken supper after presentations which is much appreciated.
Drutnote: If you think the weather isn’t important, it will dictate how many people attend your funeral.