Allen Raaen seals 4 in a row

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IPGC golf from The Haven

Monday, June 24, Crystal Bay A & B – Stableford

CSS 72

1st John Carlin (14) 38pts

2nd John Wood (24) 37pts

3rd Hal Hart (20) 36pts

4th Allen Raaen (9) 35pts

5th Markku Tynell (22) 35pts

The second visit in the month to the ever-popular Crystal Bay which was found to be fairly busy, no doubt due to the excellent pricing of 1,600 baht including caddy and cart, but all the groups were away ahead of time with the rounds being completed in just over four hours.  Once again the course was found to be in tip top condition even allowing for the heavy rainfall it had taken over the preceding days, which ensured that the scores were of a high order.

Allen Raaen.Allen Raaen.

John Carlin at last made some impact as he took his first win with the group with a two under handicap round that could have been even better but for an unfortunate zero-pointer on the second hole on the B course, which he then followed with a double.  But he closed off the round in high style, picking up two extra points to par over the last seven which was just enough to deny John Wood his first win of the trip.

John Wood’s fine one under looked like the winning card until he reached the difficult 502 yard par five 8th on the B course where an unlucky 8, which counted for naught, took him out of contention for the top spot, although he did finish with a solid par to close off second place.

Hal Hart turned in another solid performance that had his playing partner, Alwyne Burley, once more crying into his beer and complaining that once again he had been given the short straw having been landed with a caddy whose sole ability was to be able to read Braille, leaving him with yet another lost wager for the day as Hal slid into third spot.

Allen Raaen won a count back over Markku Tynell for fourth with a better 21 to 17 after starting the day too slowly to have any impact on the final leaders.

Surprisingly with such good scores around the course there were no 2’s in either division.

Before the presentations were made there was a welcome back for Peter Buckley.

Wednesday, June 26, Plutaluang W & E – Stableford

CSS 75 NC

1st Mike Hill (20) 31pts

2nd Peter Buckley (19) 30pts

3rd Shuichi Kodaka (16) 30pts

4th Lyle Blaw (12) 30pts

5th Terry Hodgkiss (23) 30pts

Hal Hart.Hal Hart.

Today was the first visit to Plutaluang for many moons and for many of the contenders it was their first time to see the course, which may well have accounted for the poor scores.  The condition generally was found to be good, although as with almost all of the courses visited recently, the going was very tough with both nines playing very long, but the greens were good if slow due to the problems of mowing in the wet weather.

One thing that could not be complained about was the cost for the day at 1,250 baht including caddy and cart, which surely must have accounted for the full car parks when both arriving and leaving, but once again the experiences of getting away from the first tee and the speed of play were very good.

Having started out with a solid nine holes on the east course that showed no zeros, Mike Hill just held on to win after slipping in a couple of blobs in the middle of the back nine but then managed to steady the ship, even almost falling over the line at the finish to hold off a four-way challenge for second place.

Leading that charge was Peter Buckley who won the count back with a better 16 points after starting out with a blob on the first, then settled down and closed out strongly to claim second place.

Shuichi Kodaka took third with 15 on the back nine with Lyle Blaw in fourth with 13 and Terry Hodgkiss fifth with 12, having started with an excellent four-pointer on the par five first on the east course.

There were no 2’s in the second division but Lyle Blaw cleaned out the first division rollover pool with his effort on the 156 yard fifth on the east course.

Back at The Haven there was a welcome back for Kevin Blake and a mention for BJ Smith whose best laid plan had been caught in a mousetrap on the way out of the bed, which caused a long delay in his arrival at the course, but still just in time for a chat as the last group teed off for their tenth hole as he started on his second of the day.

Friday, June 28, Khao Kheow – Monthly Medals

Division 1

Yellow tees

CSS 75 NC

1st Allen Raaen (9) net 75

2nd Trevor Schirmer (12) net 78

3rd John Carlin (14) net 78

Division 2

White tees

CSS 71

1st Hal Hart (20) net 71

2nd Mike Hill (20) net 75

3rd Markku Tynell (22) net 76

John Carlin.John Carlin.

With Phoenix still being off the playing schedule due to their pricing structure, the monthly medals were set for the difficult Khao Kheow course where the A and C course were in play starting on C.

As always the course was found to be in great shape although, as seems almost always to be the case recently, the fairways were offering very little run making a long and tough course, and from the yellow tees in the first division, even longer and tougher.

The end results in the first division underlined the difficulty of the day as Allen Raaen took the medal by three clear from second place with a three over return that was a struggle all the way round.  It was to be Allen’s fourth medal in succession, which has cut down the number of entries, in the first division at least, into the end of year Gold and Silver competitions.  It is also a feat that has not been achieved before over the last seventeen years that group has been contesting the monthly medals.

Trevor Schirmer took second place after winning a count back over John Carling, scoring a better 38 to 39.

The second division was played from the white tees, which made things a little easier as the scores suggested.  Hal Hart took his first medal and booked his place for the end of year finals with a one under return that included an ugly ten amongst what would have been an outstanding inward half, but playing much tidier over the outward half had allowed him the luxury of a four stroke cushion ahead of second placed Mike Hill.  Mike was three over having improved his front nine by three coming home but ended up still a fair way short.

Markku Tynell closed out third with a solid round that got better the longer it went on but suffered from a poor last four, dropping ten shots to par and falling out of contention.

There were no 2’s in the first division but Tom McCarthy made it a happy return on the day with the only one in the second division which cleared out the triple roll over pot.

Prior to the prize presentations there were welcome backs for two ex-US Navy Chiefs in the form of Keith Emmerson from Japan and Tom McCarthy from the States, which when added to the local VFW Adjutant ex-Master Chief Hal Hart, was beginning to look like maybe a case of an acute shortage of indians as they got together over several drinks to show coins, plan out the next working party detail and decide exactly how much an anchor weighed.

Note:  If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact mobile 082 219 0965 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.