Allidi wins Growling Swan Monthly Mug

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PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, August 27, Bangpra – Stableford

Once more we had a good field of 20 golfers who were looking forward to re-visiting what is now known as the ‘Monkey Course’, Bangpra.  Stu “Heineken” Rifkin took everyone by surprise when he turned up 35 minutes early and some of us partook of the free tea & coffee at The Growling Swan while Stu popped down the road for his brekky.

We welcomed Alan “Jaidee” Trannekar from Denmark and Mick Beatson from Gove in the Northern Territory of Australia.

With all present early we headed off in 2 mini vans 5 minutes ahead of schedule at 8.25 am and after a 40 minute trip arrived at Bangpra where it once more seemed rather quiet.  Sure enough, after waiting for a three-ball to tee off we managed to send our first group away 25 minutes before our allotted tee time of 10.00 am.  The weather was terrific and fairly mild for this time of year and as usual the golf course was looking a treat.

Stephen Newton, J J Harney, Peter Grey & Mike Allidi. Stephen Newton, J J Harney, Peter Grey & Mike Allidi.

After telling myself since early morning to make sure I leave the ball under the hole on the notoriously quick greens I promptly put my third shot on the first green 20 feet above the hole and sure enough, started with a three putt.  I was not on my own though as many of us fell for the same trick throughout the day most of the field struggled to come to terms with the greens which resulted in some fairly ordinary scores being recorded.

We proceeded at a good pace completing the front nine in just over 2 hours but as the weather become hotter things slowed down somewhat and after delays on a couple of tees we managed to finish the round in four hours & fifteen minutes.  It was a very enjoyable round of golf on this challenging layout which is still one of the best around and whilst the scores were not very good for most of us there was certainly one player who excelled on the day.

With the good field it enabled us 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 which were sponsored by Stephen Newton, Peter Bye, Scott Lobenwein & Tony Alcorn.  We also had longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens which were kindly sponsored by Secrets Night Club.

Showing up early certainly did the trick for Stu “Heineken” Rifkin who was a runaway winner of A Grade with 40 points, 8 points ahead of yours truly in second spot.  Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei (17 point back nine) came third with 31 points, beating Takeshi Hakozaki (16 point back nine) on a count back.

In the B Grade Stephen Newton’s 32 points was good enough to give him a win with Max “Two Corsets” Bracegirdle in second place on 28 points.  Scott “Chun” Lobenwein was third with 27 points and Graham “Grunter” Buckingham completed the podium with 26 points.

A Flight (0-20)

1st Stu Rifkin (16) 40pts

2nd Peter Blackburn (11) 32pts

3rd Alain Taddei (18) 31pts

4th Takeshi Hakozaki (11) 31pts

B Flight (21+)

1st Stephen Newton (30) 32pts

2nd Max Bracegirdle (25) 28pts

3rd Scott Lobenwein (31) 27pts

4th Graham Buckingham (21) 26pts

Near Pins:  2nd – Peter Bye; 8th – Stu Rifkin; 12th – Stu Rifkin; 17th – Paul Sharples

Long Putts:  9th – Bernie McCart; 18th – Peter Blackburn

The winner of the Compass Cap (awarded to the player with the worst score on the day) was Tony Campbell who then wore the cap with pride for the next few hours.  Deefa the Dog’s master, Hunter was away on a trip so Toddy took him for a walk & collected many donations to charity from our generous Growling Swan crew.

It was then back to The Growling Swan for some coldies and post mortems of the day’s events whilst looking forward to the next golf outing in 3 days time, the third Growling Swan Monthly Mug.

Thursday, August 30, Mt. Shadow –Monthly Mug/Stroke

The Growling Swan was “abuzz” this morning as we assembled in anticipation of competing for the third Monthly Mug at the challenging Mountain Shadow.  It was a great turnout, just 1 short of our maximum of 24 and there were a couple of new faces in Paul Quinn and JJ Harney who were made to feel most welcome.  Sadly we were saying farewell to Mick Beatson who will shortly be returning to Gove on the Northern Territory of Australia and Graeme Preston who is returning to Melbourne, Australia.

Stephen Newton, Tony Campbell & Stu Rifkin.Stephen Newton, Tony Campbell & Stu Rifkin.

Three mini vans were required and as everyone was on time or early, including Stu “Heineken” Rifkin again, we departed the G.S. a couple of minutes ahead of schedule at 8.28 am and proceeded down No. 7.  We arrived 45 minutes later to find the course reasonably quiet and for a change we were told that we would have to start on the 10th tee.  We later found out that this was due to the greens on the front nine having to be cleared of the recent sanding.

Of course the day’s event was a stroke round and all were reminded of that prior to tee off and our first group managed to get away 12 minutes early at 9.48 am.  The weather was once again terrific and at first not too hot and as usual the course was in very good shape with the greens on our first nine, the back one, very quick with some tricky pin positions.

None of our group were playing well but we hung in there and finished the first nine in just over 2 hours with no hold ups to speak of.  It started to warm up during our second nine which did not improve our golf at all and Buckers in particular was having his own private battle with all the par fives, which is of course telling in a stroke round.  We had a quick stop for drinks half way through our second nine and finished the full round in the decent time of four hours & twelve minutes.

Once more a good field it enabled us to have 2 grades with four podium spots in each in addition to the overall Monthly Mug Winner.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 18 and B Grade for 19 and over.  There were also 3 golfers without current handicaps and their scores were calculated using the Callaway Scoring System.

We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.  Our thanks go out to the sponsors of these novelty awards and they were The Growling Swan, Stephen Newton, Fred Dineley, Sandy Leiper, Mick Beatson & Tony Alcorn.

That fine golfer Mike Alldi shot 74 gross, net 73 to take out the third Growling Swan Monthly Mug.  The winner in A Grade was JJ Harney with a net 74 and in a count back on net 75 Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei (net 35 on the back nine) finished second from Stu “Heineken” Rifkin (net 41 on the back nine) in third spot.  Martin Todd was fourth with a net 78.

In the B Grade Stephen Newton finished on top with a net 77 with Graham “Grunter” Buckingham (even after a 14 on the par five 3rd) second with a net 83.  Another count back was required to separate third & fourth, both with net 85 and Kae (net 43 on the back nine) shaded out Graeme Preston (net 45 on the back nine).  The winner of the Callaway Grade was Mick Beatson with a net 73.

Monthly Mug

1st Mike Allidi (1) net 73

A Flight (0-18)

1st J J Harney (11) net 74

2nd Alain Taddei (18) net 75

3rd Stu Rifkin (15) net 75

4th Martin Todd (7) net 78

B Flight (19+)

1st Stephen Newton (30) net 77

2nd Graham Buckingham (21) net 83

3rd Duanjai Tusadad (36) net 85

4th Graeme Preston (24) net 85

Near Pins:  5th – Takeshi Hakozaki; 8th – Mike Allidi; 15th – J J Harney; 17th – J J Harney

Long Putts:  9th – Bernie McCart; 18th – Peter Blackburn

The winner of the Compass Cap for worst score of the day was Max “Two Corsets” Bracegirdle who unfortunately had to go home before presentations due to illness but kindly left the customary donation to charity for receiving the award.

Back at The Growling Swan for presentations we thanked mine host, Peter Grey, for sponsoring the event and also providing a delicious chicken supper for all present.  It was then down to the serious business of downing several coldies and as usual lots of fun & laughter.

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]