PSC Golf from The Growling Swan
Monday, Oct. 1, Pattana, A & C – Stableford
It had been a massive weekend of sport with Peter Grey’s Sydney Swans winning a close one over Hawthorn in the AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Storm beating Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL Grand final and of course in an epic finish Team Europe staging a memorable comeback against Team USA in The Ryder Cup. All this resulted in several bleary eyes as we assembled at The Growling Swan in readiness for the trip to the classy Pattana.
It was terrific to have Dick Braimbridge back with us after 3 months in New Zealand and Queensland, Australia. We had 22 golfers ready to go up after 2 late withdrawals and after a bit of a delay we departed the GS 7 minutes behind schedule at 8.37 am.
It was again fingers crossed with the weather after lots of overnight rain but we arrived at the course after a 45 minute drive in 2 mini vans to find conditions fine but extremely humid. Once again no carts on the fairways was the rule so it was winter rules through the greens and we were designated to play the A & C nines with our first fourball hitting off 5 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.55 am.
The golf course was as expected a little soggy in parts but perfectly playable and as usual beautifully prepared with a few greens having residual sand on them due to ongoing course maintenance. With a slow Thai fourball in front of us the pace was not exactly scorching and we took two hours & twenty minutes to complete our first nine.
The humidity & the pace became hotter on the second nine and storm clouds overhead were evident and as we walked up the fairway on the last hole we could see the rain behind us and it was obvious that the heavens were going to open shortly. Just as we commenced putting on the last green the storm hit us but we managed to all putt out and scamper for shelter – almost perfect timing. The five groups behind us we not so lucky and most of them had to wait for about an hour before they could continue and complete their round.
As the score came in it was obvious that it had been a struggle for most as apart from the stormy weather the course had played very long with minimal run on the fairways. Nonetheless it was a very enjoyable day with great company but not so great golf.
We were able to have 2 grades with five podium spots in each. A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 18 and B Grade for 19 and over. We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the A9 & C9 greens which were collectively sponsored by The Growling Swan, Dave Neal, Max Bracegirdle, Takeshi Hakozaki, Eddie Townsend & Bradd Todd. Also apologies to Mike Allidi for omitting the mention of his company Mozart Bronze’s sponsorship the previous Thursday. Many thanks to these guys for their generosity.
For his second win in a row it was Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei who finished on top in A Grade with Takeshi Hakozaki (17 point back nine) taking second place on a count back from Ken “Let’s hear it for” Bernek (15 point back nine) in third spot with both having 33 points. Another count back was required to decide fourth & fifth spots and Mike Allidi (16 point back nine) triumphed over yours truly (15 point back nine), both on 32 points.
Brad Todd was victorious in the B Grade with 31 points, just 1 point ahead of Roy Dayton in second place. In a three-way count back on 28 points it was Max “Two Corsets” Bracegirdle (16 point back nine) finishing third from Dick Braimbridge (14 point back nine) in fourth spot from Frank Donnelly (11 point back nine) in fifth place.
A Flight (0-18)
1st Alain Taddei (17) 34pts
2nd Takeshi Hakozaki (11) 33pts
3rd Ken Bernek (14) 33pts
4th Mike Allidi (2) – 32pts
5th Peter Blackburn (11) 32pts
B Flight (19+)
1st Brad Todd (20) 31pts
2nd Roy Dayton (23) 30pts
3rd Max Bracegirdle (27) 28pts
4th Dick Braimbridge (36) 28pts
5th Frank Donnelly (21) 28pts
Near Pins: A3 – Martin Todd, A8 – Thientong Charoenrung, C2 – Mike Gosden, C7 – Kevin Waycott
Long Putts: A9 – Takeshi Hakozaki, C9 – Mike Gosden
The September monthly ‘Consistency Award’ went to Martin Todd while the ‘Mystery Hole Award’ was collected by the scribe. The Compass Cap (awarded for the worst score on the day) was won by Dave Neal who of course accepted it in fine spirit.
Brad Todd & Peter Blackburn
Back at The Growling Swan afterwards it was a few coldies and after the Swans win on Saturday a possible name change to The Grinning Swan was discussed. Another great day with a terrific group of golfers who all enjoy lots of fun.
Thursday, Oct. 4, Treasure Hill – Stableford
Once more there had been plenty of overnight rain in Pattaya but by the time we assembled at The Growling Swan in readiness for our trip to Treasure Hill the weather outlook looked extremely promising.
We had an excellent field of 25 golfers ready to play and amongst them were Fiona Crebo from Canada and formerly Scotland plus Bruce Symes from New Zealand who was playing with us for the very first time. Sadly we were saying farewell to our very good friends Dave Neal & his lady Thientong Charoenrung as Dave is returning to the UK in a couple of days. Thientong will continue to be involved with Thai golf as she returns to her caddy duties.
Departing the GS right on time at 8.30 am in 2 mini vans we completed the journey in just on 50 minutes where we found the weather fine and the golf course very quiet. A phone call from Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei who had once more got his wires crossed and gone to Pleasant Valley meant a reshuffling of the groups to give Alain time to get to Treasure Hill & play in the last group. Alain was awarded the prize for the “longest drive” on the day.
Our first group got away 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.45 am in terrific weather although it quickly became more & more humid so fluid intake was essential, no doubt of the amber variety for some. There is lots of work going on around the course at Treasure Hill and quite a lot has been completed with excellent tee boxes on most holes and although there are many areas of G.U.R. around the greens it does not detract from the fine condition of this rapidly improving golf course.
We proceeded at a very good pace with no delays and completed our front nine in just over 2 hours. As it became more humid a drink stop or two was necessary on the back nine and with the weather staying perfectly fine we were back in the clubhouse after a four hour & twenty minute round. We had a couple of good scores in our group on this challenging golf course and as the scores came in it was apparent that many had struggled but the day was very much enjoyed by one and all.
We were able to have 2 grades with five podium spots in each. A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 19 and B Grade for 20 and over. We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens which were collectively sponsored by The Growling Swan, Dave Neal, Max Bracegirdle, Takeshi Hakozaki, Fiona Crebo & Dick Braimbridge. Many thanks to these golfers for their generosity.
Group one managed to contain the winners in both grades and the winner of A Grade was yours truly with a steady 36 points, 1 point ahead of the consistent Martin Todd in second. Another steady player, John Pierrel finished in third spot with 34 points ahead of Takeshi Hakozaki in fourth place with 33 points & Mike Gosden fifth on 31 points.
Martin Todd’s son Brad had an excellent 39 points to win the B Grade, a massive 10 points ahead of Dave Neal in second place and third was Roy Dayton with 28 points. Jan Lovgreen finished fourth with 27 points and in a three-way count back (on would you believe 23 points?) it was Fiona Crebo (14 point back nine) who took fifth place from Tom Cotton (12 point back nine) and Wendy Bernek (11 point back nine).
A Flight (0-19)
1st Peter Blackburn (11) 36pts
2nd Martin Todd (7) 35pts
3rd John Pierrel (11) 34pts
4th Takeshi Hakozaki (11) 33pts
5th Mike Gosden (12) 31pts
B Flight (20+)
1st Brad Todd (22) 39pts
2nd Dave Neal (23) 29pts
3rd Roy Dayton (23) 28pts
4th Jan Lovgreen (20) 27pts
5th Fiona Crebo (23) 23pts
Near Pins: 2nd – Juangjai Dusagad, 6th – Takeshi Hazozaki, 13th – Martin Todd, 17th – Stu Rifkin
Long Putts: 9th – Ken Bernek, 18th – Neil Skilton
There was no Compass Cap (awarded for the worst score on the day) as it has been retired for a short while but will be replaced by a similar award in the very near future. It is also sad to report that Deefa the Dog has also been retired but as negotiations continue with various animal & wildlife associations we will no doubt soon have another method of raising money for the needy in Pattaya.
Back at The Growling Swan afterwards we had a good, thirsty crowd who consumed copious quantities of “Aussie cold” beers whilst having lots of fun. Bon Voyage to mine host Peter Grey who was leaving that night for Melbourne, Australia due to a family bereavement.
Note: Growling Swan Golf welcomes golfers of any persuasion – low & high handicappers alike, female golfers and beginners. We generally play Mondays & Thursdays, meeting at The Growling Swan (formerly The Bunker Bar) in Soi Chaiyapoon at 8.00 am with transport departing at 8.30 am. For bookings or more information please contact Peter on 0806 351 386 or email to [email protected].