Banjo’s bounty in the rain

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IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at the Elephant Bar

Monday 27 October saw the Pattaya Golf Society take four groups south, to the Royal Navy’s 36-hole playground in Sattahip.  After being allocated the East and South nines, we realised that we were following a large group of “foreign” golfers.  They were Farang, 28 in number, and part of a tourist group new to Pattaya.  This did not bode well.

The rain that had threatened arrived shortly after tee-off, eased, then returned with more volume and persistency.  This, coupled with the extremely slow pace of play in front, meant a very, very long round; well in excess of five hours.  Plutaluang, with a 400Bt green-fee, represents excellent value for money.  Today it just didn’t seem so.

There were four ‘2’s, Tony Campbell’s at E2 and three more on the very scenic E5; Alan Flynn, Mark Lang and Brad Lewis.  Four players made the podium, with two scoring under par.  The winning score, an excellent one especially given the conditions, was recorded by an individual who had to pull out of golf just three days prior, due to post-surgery pain in his knee.  The rest obviously did wonders – very well played Banjo!

Back at the Elephant Bar we welcomed new member John Needham from WA Australia, and welcomed back John’s mate Geoff Reynolds, also from WA. Farewells were made to three departing Aussies from NSW; Brad Evans, Paul Herring and Dave Angus-Crouch who shouted all the golfers a beer or two before saying goodbye.

The lucky beer draw was won by Dave Angus-Crouch, whilst newbie John Needham won the booby bevy as a welcome as well as for the low round of the day.

1st Richard Bannister (12) 40pts

2nd Tony Campbell (7) 37pts

3rd Mark Lang (5) 35pts

4th Paul Herring (11) 34pts

OK Bangpra, you win … this time

The Pattaya Golf Society left Pattaya in a downpour on Wednesday, 29th October and set out for Bangpra to play a stableford competition on the exquisite course.  Every mile up Highway 7 saw the rain ease and by the time the group arrived at its destination clouds had cleared leaving a soft golf course under heavily humid skies, but one which was infinitely playable.  However the day would show the hidden teeth of Bangpra as the course was to prove tougher than anyone expected.

The leader of the group with eighty to a hundred rounds under his belt at Bangpra over the years declared it to be in the toughest condition he had ever encountered, with air as thick as treacle, fairways as soft as butter and greens as miserable as sin.  A fun day lay ahead for the two flights, cut at fourteen and under.

In the second flight Dave Lehane and Yukio Kikuchi shared second place with 27 points whilst Hideo Akiyama took the flight with 33 points.  In the top flight Yasuo Suzuki recorded 29 points for third whilst Mark Lang took second with 30 points.  The flight winner was Chris Smith and he played the round of the day, a magnificent gross 78 giving him 32 points off his two handicap.

Unsurprisingly there were no birdie ‘2’s and the honour of the free non-winners’ beer went to Tony Campbell whilst Geoff Reynolds took the Booby Bevy for his record low score.  He was just one of a few broken men returning to the locker room after the round at Bangpra.  But the PGS is made of sterner stuff and we’ll be back.  When it’s dry!

Campbell & Jones make light of the gloom

Another downpour, lashings of rain, localised flooding, power outages, dismal faces.  The PGS left all of this on Friday, 31st October to spend Halloween playing a medal round at Greenwood on the A and C nines.  The sky was heavily overcast for much of the round but the course was in excellent condition though soft and was thoroughly playable, although the 6599 yards from the white tees seemed nearer 6900!

Scoring was tough to maintain and the inevitable heavy shower two-thirds of the way through the round slowed those who were making some headway.  Eventually Murray Edwards showed he had mastered the medal play mindset with a solid net 75 for third place.  Sharing first place were Tony Campbell and Mr Len with net 72, the former recording the day’s best gross of 79 whilst the latter was just happy with his strategy of making the greens in bogey, and making sure the putts were all solid and true.

The only ‘2’ of the day was recorded on C3 by “Banjo” Bannister and the Booby Bevy was reserved traditionally for Garry Hookey on his return round.  The non-winners draw went to Dave Plaiter, not to mention his indiscreet choice of his partner’s ball on the sixteenth fairway.  In conditions such as those on the day, golfers need balls to play Greenwood well, but use your own please Dave.