Alain & Jan on top at the Mountain

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PSC golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, Dec. 17, Mountain Shadow – Stableford

There are lots of people coming & going at the moment with Xmas just about upon us and after a “no show” we had 23 golfers assembled at The Growling Swan in readiness for the trip to the popular Mountain Shadow Golf Course.   

We were happy to welcome back Volker Buley from Germany, Paul Sharples on a break from his work in Oman and Ken Hole joining us once more.

With a later than normal tee time scheduled we departed the GS at 8.40 am and this time headed off in 2 mini vans down No.7 as opposed to the busy Sukhumvit route that we took last Friday.  We arrived at the course 48 minutes later where it did not seem too busy and after taking our time with preparation we were able to send our first group, a three-ball away 27 minutes ahead of schedule at 10.05 am.  I am still puzzled as to why we could not book our normal tee time of 10.00 am as the course was quiet but after all – T.I.T.!

Alain Taddei, Ken Hole & Jan Lovgreen. Alain Taddei, Ken Hole & Jan Lovgreen.

The weather was once again terrific and the course in super condition although the greens did not appear quite as quick as the previous Friday in the PSC Monthly.  With just another 3-ball in front of us we proceeded at a cracking pace and completed the front nine in one hour & fifty minutes which included a drinks break and we maintained the same pace on the back nine with another break for drinks which resulted in completion of the full round in three hours & forty minutes.  A very enjoyable round of golf with excellent company on a top but at times tough golf course.

We were able to have 2 grades with four podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 20 and B Grade for 21 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

Before presentations big Ken “Let’s hear it for” Bernek addressed the group and informed us of our success at the previous Friday’s PSC Monthly Tournament held also at Mountain Shadow.  This time we only had one winner, which was your writer, Peter Blackburn, who won the A Flight with a net 67, gross 78.

Mike Gosden, Allan Tranekaer & Roy Dayton. Mike Gosden, Allan Tranekaer & Roy Dayton.

Back to the day’s results and as mentioned earlier the going had been tough with just one golfer able to play better than his handicap and on this occasion it was Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddai who won the A Grade with a very good 38 points.  In second place came Mike “Hunter” Gosden with 36 points followed by yours truly, Peter Blackburn in third spot with 35 points.  With 2 players on 33 points a count back was necessary to decide fourth spot and Ebrahim (17 point back nine) managed to prevail over veteran Don Richardson (16 point back nine).

The B Grade was won by Jan Lovgreen who had 33 points and Max “Two Corsets” Bracegirdle finished second on 32 points with Roy “Plums” Dayton third on 31 points.  There were 4 golfers on 29 points vying for fourth spot so in a count back it was Frank Donnelly (18 point back nine) who was successful over J C Lhoste (16 point back nine), Mick “Bear” Wilks (15 point back nine) & Wendy Bernek (13 point back nine).

A Flight (0-20)

1st Alain Taddei (19) 38pts

2nd Mike Gosden (13) 36pts

3rd Peter Blackburn (10) 35pts

4th Ebrahim (16) 33pts

B Flight (21+)

1st Jan Lovgreen (21) 33pts

2nd Max Bracegirdle (26) 32pts

3rd Roy Dayton (22) 31pts

4th Frank Donnelly (21) 29pts

Near Pins:  2nd – Kevin Waycott, 6th – Kevin Waycott, 13th – Ken Bernek, 17th – Paul Sharples

Long Putts:  9th – Peter Blackburn, 18th – Max Bracegirdle

The Growling Swan NAGA Award, (awarded to the golfer who has the worst score on the day and discreetly their score is not made public) was won by Ken Hole who had earlier questioned as to why we were not playing off the blue tees – I think he now knows why!

Big Ken “Let’s hear it for” Bernek paraded Deefa the Dog and collected many donations for the needy of Pattaya from our ever generous Growling Swan members.

Thursday, 20th December – Plutaluang, West & North – Stableford

On a glorious Pattaya morning we assembled at The Growling Swan and our sign-up sheet had 21players ready to tackle the Plutaluang Golf Course for the second time this month.  It was good to see Stu Rifkin, Gary Monley & Kevin Dinan joining us again and we welcomed back Scott “Chun” Lobenwein who is here for a month from Gove in the Northern Territory of Australia.

We managed to get away from the GS right on schedule at 8.30 a.m. and headed off south down No.3 in 2 mini vans & after just 40 minutes arrived at the Navy course.  It appeared to be reasonably busy and after checking in we were informed that we would once again be playing the West & North nines which prompted a few groans from some of our members as they consider it the much harder combination – they were later proved to be correct!

With three groups of 4 & three groups of 3 our first four-ball teed off W1 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.45 am and with just a two-ball in front of us we were able to proceed at a very good pace.  The golf course was looking in fine condition but although the greens looked immaculate they were certainly playing their usual pace which was of course much slower than most other courses around.  Still, as they say, it’s the same for everyone and judging by the scores just about everyone had trouble adjusting.

We completed the West nine in a tad over two hours and as the weather was just about perfect a drinks stop was not required – in fact it was the same on North nine which enabled us to complete the full round in the very good time of four hours & five minutes.  I had lots of fun playing with the “French Connection” and although J C managed to lose 6 or 7 golf balls, to his credit he maintained his composure and had a permanent smile on his face as usual.

We were able to have 2 grades with five podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 21 and B Grade for 22 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

I cannot remember a day’s golf in Pattaya producing so many “winning” scores and indeed no-one managed to play better than 5 shots worse than their handicap.  In A Grade, with 2 golfers on 31 points a count back was required to separate them and that resulted in first place being awarded to Mike “Hunter” Gosden (16 point back nine) with Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei (15 point back nine) in second place.  Your writer, Peter Blackburn came third with 30 points and in another count back it was Stu Rifkin (16 point back nine) finishing fourth from big Ken “Let’s hear it for” Bernek (15 point back nine) in fifth spot with both players having 29 points.

Another 31 points was good enough to win B Grade with Roy “Plums” Dayton being the victor and with 2 players on 30 points it was Max “Two Corsets” Bracegirdle (16 point back nine) who secured second spot from Sandy “Leiperfrog” Leiper (13 point back nine) in third place on a count back.  With 4 golfers having 27 points there were 2 who were going to miss out after the count back but it was Volker Buley (16 point back nine) who captured fourth place from J C Lhoste (14 point back nine, 13 points on the last 6 holes) in fifth place with Geri Crilly (14 point back nine, 9 points on the last 6 holes) and Kevin Dinan (13 point back nine) being the unlucky ones.

A Flight (0-21)

1st Mike Gosden (13) 31pts

2nd Alain Taddei (19) 31pts

3rd Peter Blackburn (10) 30pts

4th Stu Rifkin (15) 29pts

5th Ken Bernek (14) 29pts

B Flight (22+)

1st Roy Dayton (22) 31pts

2nd Max Bracegirdle (26) 30pts

3rd Sandy Leiper (35) 30pts

4th Volker Buley (30) 27pts

5th J C Lhoste (22) 27pts

Near Pins:  W3 – Jim Bell, W8 – Bjarne Kjaer, N3 – Bent Agerbo, N6 – Sandy Leiper

Long Putts:  W9 – J C Lhoste, N9 – Bjarne Kjaer

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was won by Allan “Parrott” Tranaeker who accepted the award somewhat reluctantly but in good spirit.  Big Ken “Let’s hear it for” Bernek paraded Deefa the Dog and collected many donations for the needy of Pattaya from our ever generous Growling Swan members.

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 petermalcolmblackburn @gmail.com.