Bangpra – no monkeys, just rain


The Pattaya Golf Society at the Elephant Bar

1st Akifume Tate (15) net 72

2nd Paul Hird (14) net 74

T3rd Jon Batty (10) net 78

T3rd Anders Haglund (14) net 78

The Pattaya Golf Society played its monthly medal competition at Bangpra on Monday 28 July.  The five groups found the course in great condition, with fairways and bunkers invariably offering excellent lies.  The greens were in their usual shape, well-presented and very grain-influenced.  Golfers who don’t understand how to read grain on Bangpra’s greens will struggle a lot more than those who do.

A formidable four-ball: Masashi Iizumi, Mr Len, Dianne and Tom Murphy, on the first at Mt Shadow.A formidable four-ball: Masashi Iizumi, Mr Len, Dianne and Tom Murphy, on the first at Mt Shadow.

Play had been underway for about 90 minutes when the rain, which had been threatening for a while, suddenly came down in buckets.  Thankfully, Bangpra is well served by many shelters so golfers didn’t have far to walk when seeking cover.  About an hour passed before the rain settled into a light drizzle enabling play to recommence.  Notwithstanding the large amount of water that had fallen, the course was eminently playable.  The greens, particularly, played as if unaffected by the downpour – impressive.

Whilst the drizzle was light, and progressively became lighter, golfers still struggled with the damp conditions.  One of the first casualties is distance; one or two clubs more are needed and this takes the average golfer some holes before realisation hits.  Another problem is swinging freely, given the fact one’s clothes are wet and clingy.

It stood to reason, therefore, that scores on the second nine would be significantly worse than those on the first.  And indeed, with one notable exception – the day’s winner – this proved to be the case.  The winning round of net-par 72 was testament to Akifume Tate’s powers of concentration during what were trying conditions.

Tail gunners Bill Tunbridge, Toby Glass and Mick O’Donnell ensuring they stay in the shade.Tail gunners Bill Tunbridge, Toby Glass and Mick O’Donnell ensuring they stay in the shade.

Back at the Elephant Bar, the presentation included a welcome to Paul Hird from the UK, and welcome-backs to Garry Hookey, Australia, Larry Ang, Singapore, and to the PGS’s Mr Len following his break from golf.  Two golfers who had enjoyed several rounds with the PGS over recent weeks were “farewelled” – Anders Haglund who returns to Sweden, and Geoff Reynolds to WA, Australia.

There were two ‘2’s, from Geoff Reynolds on 8, and Paul Hird on 17.

It’s a credit to this course’s green-keeping staff that the course can take the deluge it did, and still offer an excellent test of golf. Well done Bangpra.

Greenwood – great VFM

1st David Thomas (10) 36pts

T2nd Toby Glass (23) 35pts

T2nd Tim Dale (12) 35pts

On Wednesday 30 July, the Pattaya Golf Society took a modest number of just three groups to Greenwood to play a stableford round on the C and A nines.  The weather, apart from a few drops that threatened but came to nothing, was surprisingly humid, continuing the unusual spell of April-like conditions we have experienced of late.

The course was superbly presented with fairways offering perfect lies, bunkers well-kept, and greens that were true and consistent.  The Sports Day price of 650B green-fee is outstanding value-for-money.

The PGS welcomed two new members, Mick O’Donnell and Bill Tunbridge, both from Australia.  We also said a fond farewell to John Tallett who is returning home to the UK.

With an empty car park, it looked like millionaire’s golf was in prospect until the starter informed one of our group that his shirt did not meet dress requirements.  The shirt in question was a casual shirt, complete with collar and buttons from top to bottom.  It was the buttons that were the offending item apparently.  Only polo shirts allowed.  One of our members had a spare “conforming” shirt, so off they went to change things.  TIT!

With only two podium places likely, the competition was keen and close.  Many scores in the low-to-mid thirties were recorded, but it was two Australians that got up for a share of second place.  Playing his first round since receiving his official handicap was Toby Glass.  His 35 points reflected an excellent first-up effort, especially given his chaperone responsibilities towards the big-hatted newbies.  Also on 35 points was Tim Dale who, sadly, was playing his last round with us this trip.  The winner, by the narrowest of margins, was current organiser David Thomas.

There were no ‘2’s.

Greenwood – well worth the extra ten minutes.

Mt Shadow – fairways with run

1st David Thomas (10) 40pts

2nd Akifume Tate (15) 35pts

T3rd Wichai Tananasorn (7) 34pts

T3rd Murray Edwards (21) 34pts

Friday 1 August saw the Pattaya Golf Society take four groups to Mountain Shadow for the month’s first stableford competition.  The course was well presented with fairways that were hard and fast, yet still offered reasonable lies.  Putting surfaces are nearly back to their usual excellent condition following recent coring, and many tee-boxes are roped-off whilst they benefit from sanding and re-sowing.  This meant the blue markers were slightly forward on most tees.

This course has always had appeal but the tired state of the locker-rooms, particularly the showers, has detracted from its allure.  Following refurbishment, this is no longer the case.  The men’s shower block has undergone a major upgrade bringing the facilities into line with the rest of the course.  At 1050B green-fee caddie-fee it certainly represents excellent VFM.

Two long-serving members were welcomed back; Masashi Iizumi from Japan and Wichai Tananusorn following his UK holiday.

The course was set up for good scores especially given the clement whether, but on the whole scoring was modest with many in the low-to-mid 30s.  Making the podium and playing his first game since returning home, Wichai Tananusorn went out with 20 points, but folded on the back-nine with 14.  His playing partner, Akifume Tate, did the reverse, with a front nine of 14 followed by a back-nine of 21.  Perhaps the hard luck story belongs to Murray Edwards who, courtesy of a driver who lost his way, was late for his tee-off.  Being first off, he had no time for warm-up exercises or practice swings.  The one stableford point earned from his first three holes bore testament to that.

The standout score of 4-under net par belonged to Mr Len’s humble assistant, David Thomas, whose constant tinkering just may be about to pay dividends.

There was one ‘2’, at the 5th achieved by Murray Edwards.

The booby bevy was given to Masashi Iizumi, more as a welcome-back gift than anything else.  Another fun day at a lovely course, enjoyed by all.