We had a large turnout for the day, in fact one more group than we booked; still off we went and this is a relatively short drive there. Then into the office and booked in all very efficiently, and soon out to the carts where I had a quick chat with the starters. I explained that I had an extra group and did they want me to play some groups as 5-balls, allowed here, or play an extra group. Now here we have had problems in the past as, rightly so from their point, they time their starts very tight. ‘No Problem’ they say, weird as I have stood on an empty tee in the past for a long time and they have refused to let us go, but so far so good.
However, with test for the day set, Mountain and Lakes, I noticed we were behind a 2-ball that was behind a 3-ball; lose a hole and the marshalls were on your back. So off we went and for the first few holes I chased my 4-ball to keep up and they did well, but as we progressed we gradually fell behind. Blow me down, no marshalls but we did finish the front nine in under two hours!
The course was in fairly good condition, but the day was really hot and towards the end all the walkers started to flag. A really hot but fine day out, but always that thought that ‘Big Brother’ would turn up, and who knows we had not even finished yet.
Here I have to say that one of my own personal hates is still in place, and will I assume always be. Carts are allowed on the course, yet at about 100 yards before the green the carts are forced off, so golfers, mobile or not, and their cart, have to part.
So round over with so far none of my expectations on being annoyed met, it was into the showers and then back to Bert’s, where we tucked into the ‘Golfers Special’, then into the presentation.
On this day we had two flights and in the A Flight, 0 to 17, the winner was Mike Gaussa with 36 points. Mike is going through a fine run of form and if he keeps it up will get down to single figures. In second we had Brian Parish with 35 points and in third we had Ali Said with 33 points. Ali is an old friend of mine, of at least 20 years, from Sultanate of Oman and along with another old friend Abdullah Mohammed decided to drop in.
In the B Flight the scores were better. The winner was Frank Pilkington with 40 points just ahead of Dick Warberg with 39 points. In third we had a count back on 36 points that saw Gordon Clegg in third and Rita Zoebeli just missing out.
I had to say that I had found no reason to complain at Phoenix, so we will probably book again. Mind, can I be lucky twice?
Near Pins: Rita Zoebeli, Joel Flor, Paul Sharples, Frank Pilkington
Long Putts: Paul Sharples, Paul Alford
Friday, May 25, The Emerald – Stableford
It’s quite a long drive to this course, some of it ‘motorway’ but also quite a lot of it down the back roads. These back roads have been the subject to a fair amount of repair, so whilst a year ago it was break your suspension road it is now quite smooth. Not a bad trip.
Thursday’s top two, Ted Morris and Tom Cotton, with one of Bert’s finest.
On this day we arrived in good time and soon on the first tee we were able to get away a little early, good job as we had a few extra golfers. So off we went with a strong wind blowing every which way.
As we sent the 3-balls off first, we, as a 4-ball, were able to bowl merrily along, especially as we were all in carts. I say in carts but I had the cart that refused to go the first time I put my foot down. The other carts soon learned not to park behind me as a roll backward was always a probability.
This is a course where if you get a level lie you can class yourself as being a lucky boy. There are many such lies so if you don’t like a dodgy lie, and do not like going into greens that are shallow and way above you, then this is not the course for you. If you can take it, this is a good walk not spoilt on a good course.
On this day the course was in reasonable condition with the normal many days old holes on the greens, which were actually quite fast and tricky. It was also quite hot and humid.
Finally round we sat in the restaurant, which is an outside one, and enjoyed the breeze that blew through. This restaurant has some good basic food at a good price and many players indulged themselves in the cold beer and the curries. Then it was back into cars and in fact an early return to Bert’s and into the presentation.
In the A Flight,0 to 17, the winner was Ted Morris with 35 points ahead of Max Scott in second with 33 points and Mike Gaussa in third with 32.
In the B Flight the winner with the best score of the day was Tom Cotton with 39 points ahead of John Filmer with 32 points on count back over Dick Warberg in third. It was then time for a couple of ‘cold uns’ and an early night! T.T.F.N.
Near Pins: Dick Warberg (2), Brian Parrish, Max Scott
Long Putts: Mike Gaussa