A masterly display by Smith

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IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at The Links Bar

The Pattaya Golf Society made the short trip to Mt Shadow on Monday 2nd November.  The course is close to being back to its best, with fairways enjoying a good covering of grass, bunkers reasonably well presented, and greens that are a delight to putt on, provided one knows how to account for the effects of grain.

Our four groups teed off on time at 1030 in near-perfect weather; moderate temperatures accompanied by cloud cover during our entire round, without a drop of rain.  Fairways, for the first time in a wee while, offered genuine run, suggesting some good scoring was in store.  Yet, with one exception, this was not the case, as only one player managed to break par.

Today saw just the one ‘2’, on the 15th, achieved by David Thomas.

(From left) PGS Club Capt. David Thomas congratulates scramble winners Gerner Lykke, Mick O’Donnell, Jesper Hansen & Brian Tully.(From left) PGS Club Capt. David Thomas congratulates scramble winners Gerner Lykke, Mick O’Donnell, Jesper Hansen & Brian Tully.

Whilst Mt Shadow, from the blue tees, is hardly the longest course we play, it still remains one of our better tests.  Many greens are raised above fairway height, offering fall-off on all sides that will penalise balls not properly hit.  Very few greens will accept a rolling ball from the fairway, thus placing a premium on approach shots.

The first three places made the podium.  Tied third, with a commendable 35 points, were Gerner Lykke (11) and Andrew Purdie (8).  One point ahead was runner-up George Robinson (15), with an admirable net-par round of 36 points, but out by a large margin of four points was today’s winner, Chris Smith, whose golfing skills are well known to regulars of the PGS.

Playing off a handicap of one, Chris gave his playing partners an exhibition of ball-striking that underlines his unquestioned status as our best golfer.  The fact that he made his gross score of 69 look so easy and composed is testament to a golf swing normally seen only on the professional tours.  Well done Chris, a superb round of golf!

Back at the Links, Larry Slattery won the lucky beer draw, yet again.  The booby bevy went to Banjo for his “bad luck” in losing out on a certain two – by a mere half-roll.  This after his ball had skipped across the surface of the lake on the 15th, twice, to barely make it up on to the grass verge in front of the green.  His chip from there to the hole was prevented from going in only by the smallest of margins, and a blob of mud.  How unlucky can one get!

Purdie powerhouse in action

On Wednesday 4th November a large group of PGS golfers visited Khao Kheow to play a stableford competition on the B and C nines which were in a state best described as “jaded”.  Fairways were unresponsive and patchy and greens were inconsistent, not matching the green speed notice at the starter’s hut.  A visiting group in front of PGS had also left badly scuffed greens as a result of their meanderings.  Really, the manners of some people!

Golf was hard work and full marks to the top four finishers with late entrant David Thomas making the podium with his fourth placed 32 points.  Two points ahead were the tied pair of Peter Sumner and Mark Cooper whilst a full five points ahead was the Aussie powerhouse known as Andrew Purdie.  His splendid 39 points was a continuation of his performance at Mountain Shadow two days earlier.  Earlier in his round he had also secured the ‘2’s pot with an excellent birdie on B3.

Mr Len took the non-winners’ beer draw and the Booby Bevy went to Mike Wilsher for his “hero-to-zero” descent after a maiden win last round was followed by a less notable attempt on this day.

Multi nationals celebrate fine win

On Friday, 6th November, the Pattaya Golf Society and eleven teams gathered at Pattavia to play a four-person scramble in celebration of the fifth anniversary of The Links, its “clubhouse”.  The day was fine and the course is as good as any currently in the area and the softer greens make them more receptive and puttable.  And scrambles are all about putts!

The usual format was applied with golfers required to contribute a maximum of five tee shots each and team handicaps varied from scratch to 12.5.  Amazingly only fifteen shots covered the whole field and the team composed of Shane Ruddle, Paul Smith, Barry Wellings and Kevin Townsend put together the best gross of the day with 60 shots.

The principal places saw Russell Gilroy, Kevin Blake, Peter Martin and Gary Brown take third place with net 59.  In second was the PGS team of Wichai Tananusorn, Andrew Purdie, Jim Ferris and Mr Len and their net 58.9 gave Khun Wichai and Mr Len their third successive scramble podium appearance in three months.  The winners were the unfancied team of Danes Jesper Hansen and Gerner Lykke, paired with American Brian Tully and Aussie Mick O’Donnell and they put together a very commendable score of 57.1.

Russel Exley, Masa Takano and Mr Len sponsored technical prizes and the winners of these can be found on the group’s website at thepattayagolfsociety.org.

At the presentation Mr Len thanked all those who had contributed to the success of the day with a special word reserved for Russell Exley and all the staff at The Links for their efforts in putting on the excellent presentation buffet.  Well done everyone and here’s to the next celebration!