Up and down week in Pattaya Bunker Boys Golf

(L-R) Big week for Raleigh Gosney, Alan Harris took second in his second outing and Kevin LeBar, winner at Pattavia.

PSC Bunker Boys Golf
Monday, January 10th
Green Valley Country Club
1st Mashi Kaneta (18) 39 points
2nd Raleigh Gosney (20) 38 points
3rd Les Cobban (11) 37 points
4th Paul Smith (5) 36 points
5th Bengt Engstrom (10) 36 points
Near pins Jay Babin, Kob Glover, & Paul Smith X 2.

The week got off to a good start with a number of our diseased members being cleared of illness and ready to play. A couple whilst not ill still remain in isolation so we await their return shortly. A big influx of UK visitors over the weekend swelled our number to twenty-four for a game at Green Valley where we found a course in excellent condition at an agreeable price. Three other societies plus a large group of visitors from the colder climes out before us meant a slow round, so some frustration at the pace of play.

International travel at present remains a challenge with people testing negative prior to boarding flights but testing positive on arrival. The current situation has significantly curtailed our numbers with many eager to make their regular visit to Thailand but unwilling to submit to the uncertainty, stress, and expense associated with international travel. Some, such as the Aussies, don’t even consider the trip much as they would like to due to local conditions of entry and associated costs.

Today’s game was played in bright sunshine with little or no wind so excellent conditions for golf which was reflected in scoring which was of a high standard.

One of our infrequent visitors, Mashi Kaneta, did a smash and grab Monday, again taking first place with a fine score of thirty-nine points. A kindred spirit in many ways, Raleigh Gosney, who resides in Japan, joined fellow Japanese mate in second place a stroke back. Back in the winner’s circle again, Les Cobban took third place a further stroke back. As always Paul Smith is somewhere in the mix and took fourth place on thirty-six to go with his two near pins. Bengt Engstrom rounded out the winner’s circle losing on countback from Paul.

The other near pins were taken by Jay Babin and the new master of the near pin Kob Glover.

Wednesday, January 12th
Pattana Sports Resort and Country Club C & A
White tees
1st Paul Smith (5) 34 points
2nd Alan Harris (9) 34 points
3rd Colin Greig (13) 31 points
4th Kob Glover (22) 31 points
5th Michael Brett (16) 31 points
Near pins, Colin Greig, Geoff Cox, Niall Glover, & Michael Brett

An overcast day that turned bright, sunny, and very hot for Wednesday’s game at Pattana where we were allocated the C & A nines. As per Bunker Boys rules, we played off the nearest tees to six thousand five hundred yards, which turned out to be over six thousand six hundred. As it happens, this was a big mistake as the fairways had been overwatered and there was absolutely no run whatsoever, with plugged balls aplenty. This was not known to anybody before the start of play and resulted in very low scores and much grisling back in the bar for the presentation. Sometimes things happen that are outside everybody’s control.

Normally on this course, we expect a score of thirty-eight or over to win. On Wednesday, thirty-four was enough for Paul Smith to take first place from Alan Harris on countback. Three players, Colin Greig, Kob Glover, and Michael Brett finished on thirty-one points and placed in that order on countback. All the near pins were taken with one each to Colin Greig, Geoff Cox, Michael Brett, and this time Niall Glover instead of wife Kob.

At the bar, there was much discussion about the enjoyment of golf and the reasons to play. As an aging society, it may be an opportune time to consider reducing the distance we play, allowing the shorter hitters more enjoyment of the game which after all is the object of the exercise. It’s impossible to satisfy all the people all the time but after a time the better players’ handicaps should come down thereby equalising out the situation. The counter-argument is that the longer hitters don’t particularly want their handicaps to come down by playing shorter courses. Solomon come and sort this one for us.

Friday, January 14th
Pattavia Century Golf Club
1st Kevin LeBar (15) 41 points
2nd Geoff Parker (19) 40 points
3rd Raleigh Gosney (20) 36 points
4th Niall Glover (16) 35 points
5th Jimmy Carr (17) 35 points
Near pins Geoff Parker, Colin Greig, Raleigh Gosney, & Kob Glover

We heard a rumour during the week that the greens at Pattavia were very quick and as it turns out the rumour was true. The pace of the greens, however, was not matched by the speed of play which was ridiculously slow, one group losing four holes over the group in front of them. A problem with most slow players is that they either don’t recognise that they are slow or worse still don’t care; either way, an unacceptable situation that could easily be remedied with a bit of mindfulness and consideration for others. A sure-fire solution is to put slow players out together at the back of the field where they can play at their own pace.

Even with the last few of our infected players still out, twenty was a good number even with a couple also giving the course a miss due to the greens. As ever on his home course and with his most excellent caddie, Kevin LeBar took the honours with a brilliant forty-one points. The handicap holiday Geoff Parker is enjoying must now finally be over as he took second place with forty points. Enjoying an excellent run of form, Raleigh Gosney took third spot with thirty-six points to go with his thirty-eight from Monday. Niall Glover edged out Jimmy Carr for fourth spot on countback. All the near pins were taken with the queen of near pins Kob Glover, as usual, taking one, Colin Greig, Geoff Parker & Raleigh taking the other three.

A couple of noteworthy events from the round: in putting for par on the third green, Colin Greig missed the hole, his ball continued on until it came to rest off the green about thirty feet from the hole. Wouldn’t you know it, he sank the return put. Dave Galvin played a chip and run onto a green only to hit a rake and rebound back into a bunker. Where was the “luck of the Irish?”