Beard back in the big time


IPGC Golf from The Haven

Monday, Oct. 19, Phoenix – Stableford

CSS 72

1st Stephen Beard (25) 40pts

2nd Peter Skinner (11) 40pts

3rd Terry Hodgkiss (23) 35pts

4th Rod Crosswell (15) 35pts

5th Phil Cass (16) 34pts

6th Shuichi Kodaka (16) 33pts

Once again the fortnightly visit to the newly renovated Phoenix course, where the Mountain and Ocean nines are still the only ones in play with the redesign and complete renovation of the Lake nine still a long way off being completed.

Stephen Beard, Peter Skinner and Phil Cass.Stephen Beard, Peter Skinner and Phil Cass.

The day was well attended and the players found the whole course to be in very good condition, especially the greens which were fast, flat and true.  All of this contributed to a very good day out as the bad weather held off.

The best score of the day came from the first group out with both the first and second places being taken by Stephen Beard and Peter Skinner, with Stephen just doing enough on the back nine to deny Peter a second Monday win as he won a count back with a better 21 to 16.

Peter had started exceptionally well, parring the front nine for a total of 24 points but then struggled on the first four holes of the back nine, taking just five points from them while playing partner Stephen took eight points and then finished strongly over the last five to win by the narrowest of margins.  With the two shot reduction in the winner’s handicap, it was the first time in over seven years that his actual playing handicap went down.  Could it be a new beginning?

Terry Hodgkiss also won a count back for third place as he consigned serial winner Rod Crosswell into fourth with a better 16 to 13 on the last six after they had tied the nine on 20 each.

Phil Cass took fifth another shot behind them and Shuichi Kodaka sixth also a shot behind him.

There were no 2s in the second division, where GIRs were in short supply, but not so in the first division where there were five, one by Paul Young and two each from Yasuo Suzuki and Peter Skinner.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, Khao Kheow A & B – Stableford

CSS 74

1st Phil Cass (16) 35pts

2nd Paul Taylor (19) 33pts

3rd Stewart Laffey (11) 32pts

4th Erik Donnestad (5) 31pts

5th Shuichi Kodaka (16) 30pts

Another of the regular fortnightly courses was the test for Wednesday when the A and B courses were the two in play at Khao Kheow.  Unfortunately the recent heavy rains had left the course particularly difficult in places, although as golf carts were generally allowed on the course there was not a “lift and place in the fairway” rule on the day, which in hindsight was an error in judgment.  As the round progressed it was apparent that the condition and amount of mud collected by balls indicated that it was a rule that should have been implemented on the day.  When the lack of run generally was added it was no surprise that the CSS for the day moved out to 74.

Phil Cass, playing is his last event for a while, took the top step of the podium with a solid one over handicap return.  After starting slowly with just 16 on the opening nine he then finished well to win by a clear two from Paul Taylor, who may well have thought that his card was not in with a chance after he had opened out with a four-pointer but then let the course get the better of him over the last two holes and had to settle for a good second place.

New member Stewart Laffey also thought his chances were slim as he too faded badly over the closing holes, taking just six points from the last five holes but he still managed to secure third place another shot back.

Erik Donnestad included a couple of zeros on his card which put paid to his chances for the day but managed to take fourth spot ahead of Shuichi Kodaka, who still figured on the podium even after being three worse than on Monday.

There were no 2s in either of the divisions.

Friday, Oct. 23, Greenwood B & C – Stableford


1st John Carlin (20) 32pts

2nd Erik Donnestad (5) 31pts

3rd Brian Randall (35) 30pts

4th Peter Skinner (11) 28pts

5th Shuichi Kodaka (16) 27pts

Following the particularly hard previous outing the group was hoping for much better results on the holiday competition, where the B and C courses were in play for the day.  The players were mightily disappointed as the course was also suffering from the recent weather and the going was particularly soft and once again ‘lift and place’ would have helped the scores tremendously but with carts allowed everywhere on the course again this was not the rule for the day.  Once again the CSS was adversely affected, this time to the maximum of 75 and non-counting for upward handicap review.

John Carlin had the best of the day but a stretch of bad holes on the back nine, when he scored just four points over five holes, marred what otherwise was a very good round and shows much promise for the future.

Erik Donnestad hit the ball well all day but just could not get the putts to drop and had to settle for a hard earned second place. He finished just a shot behind the winner after sending the final tee shot astray and taking a double bogey on the very difficult dogleg eighteenth.

Brian Randall plugged away all day and was rewarded with a fine third place just one point behind after he too struggled on the last and failed to score.

Peter Skinner, arguably the most in form player in the field, also had many problems with the conditions to take fourth place, finishing a very tired player just ahead of Shuichi Kodaka who got his third mention of the week.

Unsurprisingly with the course playing as hard as it was, there were no 2s in either of the divisions once again.

Note: If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact 038 710 988 or call in to The Haven Hotel, 185 Soi 13, situated 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 a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days that you wish to play.  If you would like to leave your golf clubs at The Haven, there are usually lockers available at a nominal charge.  A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at