A tough week as the wind blows

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IPGC golf from The Haven Weekly

Monday, Jan. 6, Khao Kheow A & B (yellow tees) – Stableford

CSS 72

1st Hal Hart (20) 37pts

2nd Adrian Cook (14) 35pts

3rd Phil Cass (20) 34pts

4th Al Rolnik (18) 33pts

5th Markku Tynell (23) 33pts

With the disruption of recent weeks and the promise of more to come in Bangkok, there seems to have been a serious knock-on effect on the Pattaya tourist numbers, even though the problems, such as they are, are confined to the capital.  The streets in Pattaya are virtually deserted and the golf courses are generally seriously under populated for this time of year compared to previous seasons.

Hal Hart.Hal Hart.

But at least this is a benefit for those that are still making the trips and the locals.  The outing to Khao Kheow, usually one of the most heavily played in the area, was as much a pleasure for the players as conversely it must have been a disappointment for the course management.

With all the renovation work now completed, the A and B nines were found to be in tip top condition but, as always, scoring was at a premium on this notoriously difficult Pete Dye designed course, at least for the middle to higher handicappers.  Although there was an absurd rumour that one player had scored eleven (11) under handicap later in the week with another group!

The best that could be mustered from a very eclectic group on this day was one under, which was achieved by Hal Hart and that put him two clear of second placed Adrian Cook.  Phil Cass took third spot ahead of a count back for fourth between Al Rolnik and Markku Tynell with Al getting the nod with a better 17 to 15.

There were no 2’s in the first division but Markku Tynell and Philip Cass shared the second division rollover pool.

Prior to the presentations there was a welcome back for Alan Hanlon.

Wednesday, Jan. 8, Greenwood B & C (white tees) – Stableford

CSS 73

1st Kevin Townsend (12) 37pts

2nd Brian Libby (9) 35pts

3rd Danny Greer (24) 33pts

4th Allen Raaen (8) 32pts

5th Markku Tynell (23) 31pts

6th Dave Howden (14) 31pts

With the wind picking up to make the 6,600 yard course even longer and tougher, it was no surprise to find that the CSS for the day had moved out to 73 as most of the day’s hopefuls found things just a bit too tough.  However, with clear skies and a great course to play it was still a great day out for everyone.

Kevin Townsend.Kevin Townsend.

Kevin Townsend finally made it to the top after a few near misses as he stayed the course well, closing out with a two under nine on the inward half and ensuring the win by two from playing partner Brian Libby, who finished a tidy round at one over.  After a slow start that saw him drop four shots, Brian  had a great back nine of four under handicap but it was just not quite good enough to unsettle the even steadier Kevin.

Danny Greer returned from the frozen north to take third place two further back and one ahead of Allen Raaen, who has been struggling with a back injury recently.  Markku Tynell won a count back for fifth over Dave Howden, carding a better 17 to 15.

With the par threes set up a little easier than the previous outing there were a few more 2’s today, with Dave Howden and Brian Libby sharing the first division rollover pot and Phil Cass slotting in yet another to sweep the second division pool.

Before the presentations were made there were welcome backs for Brian Libby, Shuichi Kodaka, Danny Greer and Patrick Scullion, recently retired as one of Ireland’s ambassadors and taking up residence in Pattaya for a couple of months.

Friday, Jan. 10, Crystal Bay C & A (white tees) – Stableford

CSS 73

1st Mark Lang (8) 36pts

2nd Shuichi Kodaka (18) 35pts

3rd Bruce Kusyk (13) 33pts

4th Adrian Cook (14) 32pts

5th Philip Cass (20) 32pts

6th Patrick Scullion (21) 32pts

Once again the weather conditions had a detrimental effect on the day’s scores as the wind seemed to be blowing from all directions at once but mostly into the players’ faces, making the 6,450 yardage on the card appear to be at least a couple of hundred yards longer.  This would seem to be borne out by the CSS that moved out to 73 for the day as more than 60% of the field failed to make 30 points.

The scoring could be partly laid at the door of the greens that were a bit ragged around the edges, needing a good mowing and rolling to get them back to a reasonable condition.  But as always in the area this will no doubt soon be corrected and future groups will again be well satisfied with the general condition.

Mark Lang won his last outing with The Haven after a very happy holiday, with an excellent level par round that owed much to his ability to find the middle of the fairway with monotonous regularity and steady play into the difficult greens, with putting being the only weak spot in his game on the day.

Shuichi Kodaka is obviously getting ready to win another one, and see his handicap plummet back down, as he put in a very good one over handicap return for second place ahead of Bruce Kusyk, who was just two more behind him.

Adrian Cook won a three-way count back with a better 17 on the closing nine as Philip Cass took fifth, beating Patrick Scullion on the back six with a better 12 to 10 after they had tied the nine at 15 apiece.

The windy conditions on the day and the length of the par threes determined that there would be no 2’s in either division.

Back at The Haven there was a welcome for new member Johann Kilian-Somer and welcome backs for Takeshi Hakozaki, Bruce Kusyk and Stephen Beard, who was playing his first game that would be counting for handicap for eighteen months.  Sadly it was not one that would be remembered for too long.

There was also a farewell for the winner, Mark Lang.

Note.  If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact mobile 094 567 5726 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.