Absent friends remembered at annual tourny


Golf from the Billabong Bar

Monday, Dec. 12, Phoenix – Stableford

Phoenix with 7 groups playing today and we got away a little early, playing in perfect conditions for golf with a gentle breeze that kept the heat away.  We played Lakes and Ocean, wit hit being the last time we play the Lakes nine for a while as it is being closed for a little maintenance.  The scribe had a quick look at the Mountain layout and it certainly looks the part and we look forward to playing it.

Capt. Bob (left) with Absent Friends organizer Richard Steadman.
Capt. Bob (left) with Absent Friends organizer Richard Steadman.

We had a three-way count back for the top 3 places, all on 36 points.  Gerard Lambert managed to take the honours, with Freddy Starbeck settling for second and Rick Culley third.  Fourth spot on the podium went to Hans Lemstra with 35 points.

There were no ‘2’s recorded.

Wednesday, Dec. 14, Green Valley – Stableford

An elaborate entrance to the Green Valley complex, which is in addition to the changes made around the 1st tee, welcomes all visitors to this prestigious golf course.  It is a pity though that more attention is not given to the areas around the greens, which are still wet even though we have not had rain for about 4 weeks.

The sun decided not to show its face today which provided us with a perfect day of golf and this was reflected in some excellent scores.  In the ladies comp, Poopay came in with 40 points but that was only good enough to claim rhird spot.  Eng had 22 on the back-nine and 41 overall but, amazingly, lost out to Tan who bettered that score with 26 on the inward half.  Her front nine yielded only 15 points, so what happened after the ninth hole to spark this recovery one can only wonder!

Paul Hack did a Rory Mcllroy and needed a wake-up call at 9 o’clock to remind him that he should be on the tee, but he still managed 22 points on the front-nine when he did eventually tee off.  Jeff North had a respectable 37 points for fourth place but well behind the leading bunch.

Wayne Cotterell dropped just the 1 shot on the front nine with 24 points but 2 blobs on the back-nine did not help his cause and he lost out to Auke Engelkes for second place, both having 40 points.  But the star of the day was Tony Oakes who equaled Wayne’s achievement on the back nine by having 8 pars and only one dropped shot for 41 points.

Only one ‘2’ today and that went to Noodle.

Friday, Dec. 16, Plutaluang –
4-Person Scramble

At the close of every year, just approaching the holidays of Christmas and New Year, the Billabong hosts its Absent Friends Golf Day.  Those friends that we have shared a drink and a joke with and, of course, played golf with that are no longer with us: Paul Borke, Chris John, Steve Balfore, Max Matthews, Jim Montgomery, Ron Hickson, and Alan Stephens to name just some this year.  All friends that will never be forgotten and sadly missed!

Absent Friends Day is marked by a 4-person scramble at Plutaluang.  We must take this opportunity to thank the management of Plutaluang for their co-operation with this event.  They supplied three ladies that were sat at a desk when you entered and carried out the registration with the utmost efficiency.

This day is always well supported and although everyone is keen to do well, the main objective is to have a fun day.  There was a slight chill in the air to start the day but, with the sun hiding behind a thick veil of cloud and the wind adding a little more adventure to the whole proceedings, it was perfect for a day out at the golf course.

Wednesday winner Tony Oakes (left) with Wayne Cotterell.
Wednesday winner Tony Oakes (left) with Wayne Cotterell.

Back at the Billabong, with everyone present observing an impeccable minute silence before the presentation, the tall stories started amongst the assembled crowd about the missed putts, the unlucky bounce, the tree that got in the way etc., but all 19 groups received something in the way of a prize. Those in the frame were:

First place:  net 58.3 – Bob Philp, Bill Marsden, Andy Butts, Paul Greenaway.

Second place: net 59.6 – Bob Newell, Bob Young, Simon Philbrook, Jordy Jack.

Third place: net 59.7 – Auk Engelkes, Keith Allen, Jim Payne, Steve Taylor.

Near pins went to Andy Butts, Jeff North, Simon Philbrook and Bill Trainer while the nearest to the box of beer winner was Jordy Jack.

All the surplus funds will be donated to Children With Special Needs campaign and to boost the funds an auction was carried out for an expenses paid trip to Singapore.  Glyn Davies won this particular contest with a bid of 28,000 baht.  Well done Glynn.

Capt. Bob, Richard Steadman and Bill Marsden would like to thank all the sponsors who gave so generously and contributed to make this a special day and a final thank you to the management of Plutaluang for making this day most enjoyable.