With the high season still in full swing it was off to the Emerald with enough hopefuls to require two divisions, although as expected the lower handicaps did not relish the conditions where ‘lift and place’ in the fairways is a required local rule to make up for the general condition of the fairways. The cut came at an unusually high 20 and above for the second division.
With some of the other underfunded courses also suffering from a shortage of good green-keeping knowledge and application, it would no doubt benefit a few of them if they banded together to employ a real expert who could direct and control the use of available equipment and staff to improve the overall presentation of the courses for the benefit of all. This would surely lead to an improvement the number of green fees taken up each day.
In the first division Alwyne Burley, now seemingly free of the commercial worries of the recent past and playing with a new found freedom, once again ensured a further reduction in handicap to what is now something like four shots lower since joining the club just over a year previously. He recorded a three under handicap return to see off the challenges of Phil Groves and Trevor Schirmer, who had to be separated by a count back. Phil won the count back with a better 13 to 11 after they had tied the nine at 19 apiece. Graham Johnson slipped into fourth spot whilst making his last appearance with the group before returning to the UK for his summer break.
The second division was dominated by Seppo Sadeharju, having a rare day in the sun, with a two under return that just edged out Hal Hart into second place. Hal had been practicing his winner’s speech throughout the minibus trip back to the presentation only to be disappointed by Seppo’s late return to the scorer’s table. Torild Lossius finished with a solid level handicap round for third as Markku Tynell, who obviously learned a lot from watching the recent ladies Honda tournament, even to the extent of dropping thee shots on the final hole, ended the day in fourth spot at two over handicap.
Neville Duncan swept the first division ‘2’s pool with one each on the 13th and 15th holes and strange but true Alwyne Burley duplicated the feat in the second division on the same two holes.
Before the presentations were made there were welcome backs for Andy Pedlar, Mark Ward, John Hayes, James Hawley, Peter MacKenzie, Neville Duncan, Frank Dunstan and the ATM on a special charity run down from Udon Thani in the form of Trevor Edge. There were also fond farewells for Oili and Rainer Helling returning to Finland after wintering in the sun.
Wednesday, Feb. 25, Pattana C & A - Monthly Medals
Division 1 (0–15)
CSS 76 NC (white tees)
1st Neville Duncan (10) net 79
2nd Gerald Decio (15) net 81
3rd James Hawley (0) net 81
4th Peter Skinner (9) net 81
Division 2 (16+)
CSS 72 (yellow tees)
1st Mike Korney (20) net 68
2nd Trevor Schirmer (18) net 70
3rd Al Rolnik (19) net 76
4th Johnny Clements (24) net 78
With the group unable to get reserved tee times at an early enough time at Phoenix for the number of players wanting to compete in the monthly medals, due to leaving the booking too late, the month’s medals were contested over the equally challenging Pattana C and A courses starting on the long and tough C nine.
Both courses were in top condition and it was the length and wind conditions that did for the first division over the par 73 layout that measured 6700 plus yards on the day with the wind over the closing holes directly into the player’s faces. With no player getting within the required “two of handicap”, the CSS for that division went out to 76 and became non-counting to boot.
The most successful player in the first division was disappointed to return a net six over but was surprised to find that it was enough to win by two, thus ensuring a first medal for Neville Duncan to carry back to Sydney and add to the trophy cabinet. Gerald Decio won a three-way count back for second place with a 39.5 back nine as James Hawley placed third after a gross 41 (net 41) and Peter Skinner took fourth after being six strokes better over the A course than the C, but as count backs are always over the back nine on the card no matter in which order they are played, he had to be content with an honourable mention instead of second spot.
The second division, played from the shorter yellow tees measuring slightly over 6300 yards, fared far better in the scoring with Mike Korney winning his first ever medal with an excellent four under return that pushed Trevor Schirmer down to second. Trevor must have thought that his two under would be good for the win on the day but was unlucky to find Mike in such fine form. Al Rolnik’s three over was a solid performance, given the weather conditions, and enough to take third ahead of Johnny Clements in fourth.
With the course off the whites playing so hard it was surprising that there were any 2’s at all but in fact there were three shared by Jim Slattery, Gerald Decio and Phil Groves whilst Andy Pedlar slipped in the lone one in the second division to sweep the pool.
Prior to the presentations there were welcome backs for Gerald Decio and Erik Donnestad who many will remember from the 1970 World Cup of Golf when he represented Norway in what was then a four player team event.
Friday, March 1, Phoenix (Mountain & Lakes) - Stableford
Division 1 (0-18)
1st Rod Crosswell (14) 37pts
2nd Alan Hanlon (13) 33pts
3rd Trevor Schirmer (18) 30pts
4th Shuichi Kodaka (15) 29pts
Division 2 (19+)
1st Torild Lossius (33) 38pts
2nd Don Everett (22) 35pts
3rd Terry Hodgkiss (23) 34pts
4th Trevor Edge (19) 33pts
At last a new month and back onto Phoenix where it was once again a joy to play on one of the area’s best conditioned and maintained courses. With the wind being a major factor only one player managed to meet the criteria set for the par 72 Mountain and Lakes courses and the CSS moved out by three to 75, although the day remained counting for handicap adjustments.
The first division was led in, by half a street, by Rod Crosswell to be the only counting player to equal or better par with a one under return, being his best for over six months. Alan Hanlon took second place comfortably three ahead of the in-form Trevor Schirmer who in turn was one in front of Shuichi Kodaka in fourth spot.
Playing in her last competition prior to returning to Norway, Torild Lossius added to her day’s prizes by taking the second division’s top place by three clear after a very nice round following her third place earlier in the week. Don Everett’s one over handicap round was good for second place with fellow club mate Terry Hodgkiss in third a shot back. Trevor Edge’s three over handicap round, which earned him fourth place, was his swan-song before returning to the arid wastelands of the North Thailand with his pockets unusually jingling after a very lucrative few rounds with his old army chums and a couple of dupes from Hertfordshire.
Torild Lossius and Trevor Edge shared the second division 2’s pool whilst James Hawley and Neville Duncan did the same in the first division.
Back at The Haven there were welcome backs for Danny Greer and Rod Crosswell.
Note. If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact mobile 082 219 0965 or call in to The Haven Hotel, at 185 Soi 13, between Beach Road and 2nd Road. All transportation to the course is arranged and you do not need to sign up prior to the day, but you should be there by 8.15 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days that you wish to play. A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at www.thehaven-hotel.com.