Big Pattaya golf week for Paul Smith

(L-R) Huge day for Dave Galvin with a breakthrough win with forty-four points, Michael Brett, winner at St Andrew’s and A big week for Paul Smith this week with three visits to the winner’s circle.

PSC Bunker Boys Golf
Monday, January 17th.

Silky Oak Golf Course
1st Dave Galvin (24) 44 points
2nd Neil Jones (24) 38 points
3rd Paul Smith (5) 37 points
4th Les Cobban (11) 35 points
5th Alan Harris (9) 35 points
Near pins Gez Williams, Dave Galvin, Les Cobban, & Alan Harris X 2.

After an absence of over three years, the Bunker Boys made a return visit to Silky Oak, part of the Barcelona Valley Golf complex, for the first game of the week. The course had been changed around since our last visit with the back nine now becoming the front nine and a couple of other changes, with the removal of one par three to be replaced with another on a different part of the course. Overall, the course was in nice condition with very few complaints other than the greens were a bit variable in speed. Considered a bit of a quirky course in many ways one unusual aspect was the inclusion of five par threes.

From the outset, we were confronted with a problem where it was felt that some people may not have been able to make the carry over the water on a couple of holes from the white tees, so it was decided to play off the yellow tees on three holes. As it turned out, this may not have been a problem after all as most people had little problem with the suspect holes.

A curious day weather-wise with at least three seasons in one day. First, we set out in pleasant conditions if a bit overcast, then the wind got up and blew quite strongly for a couple of holes making life difficult, followed unexpectedly by rain, something we hadn’t seen for quite some time and eventually finished in fine conditions again.

We have had a few Aussies masquerading as Ned Kelly in the past, today it seems that Ned returned to his native Nenagh, County Tipperary where the local Ned, aka Dave Galvin, took first place with a remarkable forty-four points to make his breakthrough win at the Bunker Boys after years of trying. What a way to take your first win. Needless to say, Dave rang the bell back at the bar.

We have had a Welsh wizard in the past few weeks, i.e. Gez Williams. Monday another emerged in the burly shape of Neil Jones to take second place on thirty-eight points complete with a dodgy back. Imagine what he could have done if fully fit. Goes without saying Paul Smith was in the mix again this time with thirty-seven points in third place. Les Cobban took fourth place with a respectable thirty-five points, beating out Alan Harris on countback. Again all the near pins were taken with Les Cobban, Dave Galvin, and Gez Williams taking one each and Alan Harris taking two.

Golf isn’t always fair and for a variety of reasons people don’t always get the luck they deserve and end up having a bad day. Today was such a day for Daryl Vernon who got the rough end of the pineapple being put out at the back of the field in a three-ball with two very slow players. No doubt, Daryl will be hoping for and expecting better luck on his next outing.

In a society such as the Bunker Boys where people can roll up to play ten minutes prior to departure time, it puts real pressure on the organiser to arrange groups and transport. Despite best efforts to satisfy everybody occasionally, somebody gets a raw deal.

At the halfway stage in the race for the golfer of the month, it’s a family affair with Niall Glover taking a slight lead over wife Kob. Is Niall going to go on and make it two in three months or are we going to see our first lady golfer of the month? It’s all to play for at this stage.

Wednesday, January 19th
St Andrews Golf Club
1st Michael Brett (17) 38 points
2nd Gez Williams (13) 37 points
3rd Paul Smith (5) 37 points
4th Kevin LeBar (14) 36 points
5th Neil Griffin (24) 34 points
Near pins Mark Ferrar, Stuart Tinkler, Colin Greig & Michael Brett.

In the space of two days, the Bunker Boys were back in Barcelona Valley again, this time to play the St Andrews Course which was in prime condition and excellent value at fourteen hundred baht all in. This fee also included a voucher to the value of one hundred baht to be spent in the restaurant which made for even better value.

Quite a warm day with little or no wind, so great conditions for golf. Even with a few regulars out, a field of twenty-four was a very good number. Apart from one hole where a couple of players went well over the allowable three minutes to search for a lost ball, there were no other hold-ups. As it happens the lost ball was eventually found inside a cart parked at the back of the par-three third green, quite an unusual occurrence.

A total of five players fought it out for fifth place with Neil Griffin taking it on countback with thirty-four points. Kevin LeBar took fourth place with thirty-six points. Third place went to Paul Smith losing second on countback to the Welsh wizard Gez William, both on thirty-seven points.

After months of indifferent form and his handicap dropping like a stone, today’s winner Michael Brett cruised effortlessly through the front nine with twenty-six points only to crash and burn on the back nine with only twelve points, still enough to take first place, a round that defies explanation. Perhaps there is an eighteen-hole round in there somewhere trying to break out.

All the near pins were taken with one each going to Colin Greig, Mark Ferrar, Stuart Tinkler, & Michael Brett.

We had a slight accident on the eighteenth tee when a caddie ran over a small snake on the cart part. Just goes to show, we are surrounded by snakes all the time on golf courses but only rarely see them.

Friday, January 21st
Treasure Hill Golf Club
1st Paul Smith (5) 38 points
2nd Les Cobban (11) 35 points
3rd Steve Durey (19) 34 points
4th Kob Glover (22) 31 points
Near pins Raleigh Gosney, Colin Greig, & Tony Robbins.

After consecutive rounds at above-average courses, Friday it was back to normality again with a game at Sherwood Forest, aka Treasure Hill. This is a course that very few would consider their favourite course let alone enjoy playing at all. Trees in all the wrong places ensure that good course management is vital with an eye for the next shot essential. More often than not a score of under thirty-six is sufficient to win. The one exception to that rule is Robbie Watts with only once shot less than thirty-six. The other exception to the rule is Dave Ashman who considers it his favourite course.

The course itself was in good shape with no complaints about the condition of the fairways, greens, or bunkers, even the tee boxes were better than most courses. A very disrupted round with groups jumping from the front nine to the back after only three holes, skipping some holes to avoid slow six balls, etc., and generally messing around to get the eighteen completed, not an ideal way to play golf.

Paul Smith took the honours today with a well-compiled thirty despite struggling with a new set of irons and only hitting two greens in regulation. Obviously, his short game was spot on, in particular, the putter was red hot. It’s hard to get your head around Les Cobban playing off an eleven handicap, must be his highest handicap for years. On Friday he took second place with thirty-five points. Following a bout of the dreaded lurgi, Steve Durey was back in the frame again in third place with thirty-four points. Kob Glover rounded out the scoring in fourth place with thirty-one points but somehow missed out on her regular near pin, although she was only narrowly beaten for one. Raleigh Gosney, Tony Robbins, and Colin Greig in his last game of this visit got near pins with one going to the most worthy of causes, the delinquent fund.