Beautiful Bangpakong

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IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at the Elephant Bar

From the moment one arrives at Bangpakong Riverside Country Club, one knows this place is special.  Walk towards reception and you can’t help but notice the superbly manicured expanse of lawn leading away from the clubhouse, its texture appearing more like an undulating carpet than grass.  On entering the locker room one is taken with the expansiveness; its space and quality of appointments immediately apparent.  And all this for a green-fee/caddie-fee of 1,100 baht – a great way to start a round of golf!

From the first tee onwards the visual effect of perfectly presented turf continues.  Due to recent rain, carts were not permitted on the fairways today, Monday, Oct. 20, which automatically invoked our preferred lies rule.  A bit of a joke, that.  Such was the quality of these fairways, there would be no occasion where placing would give a better lie than the one already provided.  These would be the best fairways this golfer has encountered in Pattaya, and this after heavy rain!

Wednesday winner Paul Herring flanked by mates Brad Lewis and Dave Angus-Crouch.Wednesday winner Paul Herring flanked by mates Brad Lewis and Dave Angus-Crouch.

The greens were good to very good and evenly paced, whilst the bunkers were well presented with an excellent firm base.  The course does not play long even though the distance from the white tees is 6683 yards.  The predominately flat terrain has many water hazards that ensure the golfer’s stroll in this wonderful park is not overly easy.

Four golfers scored ‘2’s today; Murray Edwards and David Thomas on 7, and Jon Batty and Mark Lang on 13.  There was a close tussle at the top were three golfers were inseparable, finishing as they did on the same score.  Today was a case where the PGS was thankful is does not utilise count-back, as all three golfers finished five points clear of the next best score; three very good rounds of golf and three deserving winners.

Back at the Elephant Bar we said farewell to Mike Wilshire, who returns to his farm up in Issan, until the next school holidays.  Alan Flynn won the beer draw, whilst the booby bevy went to Mike, partly for a 10-16 split between nines, but mainly to give him good cheer on his departure.

T1st Brad Lewis (3) 39pts

T1st David Thomas (8) 39pts

T1st Jon Batty (9) 39pts

An Aussie clean sweep

Wednesday, 22nd October dawned as a dismal and grey day and the prospect for the Pattaya Golf Society was a testing stableford competition at St Andrew’s.

As with other Pattaya groups there is a reluctance by some golfers to play courses where carts are compulsory, preferring to play the game as originally intended, on foot, and so the field was reduced in numbers to three playing groups.  Having said that, there was still a lot to play for on this challenging yet very playable course.  Fairways were in very good condition and the greens, though a little inconsistent still had some pace.

Many of the field were playing the track for the first time and the advantage of “naiveté” helped their progress.  The final holes were played through the inevitable heavy rain making fairways soggy and one green in particular became flooded.

There were no birdie ‘2’s and the maximum “pool” was awarded to the three place winners, who ironically were all Aussie friends sharing the same golfing holiday.

In third place was Monday’s winner Brad Lewis, labouring under the effects of ‘flu, with 29 points and in second was mate Dave Angus-Crouch on 33 points.  The winner was Paul Herring with a very creditable 37 points.

The non-winners beer draw was won by John Tallett and the Booby Bevy went to new member Gerade Gomez, playing his first PGS competition.

Pattavia: Great value for money

On Friday 24 October, the Pattaya Golf Society took five groups to the much-improved Pattavia Century Golf Club.  The course was very well presented with fairways bunkers and greens all in good order.  These and the recently completed clubhouse, providing a superb vista over the par-5 finishing hole, are in such contrast with the course as it used to be.  At 850 baht green-fee/caddie-fee it represents superb value for money.

On this day our golfers found the pin placements far friendlier than was the case three weeks ago, when only one player broke par.  The winner back then carded 37 points whilst two players tied for second on 31.  Today 37 points earned 4th place, suggesting the course is indeed playing easier; due to added run and less punitive pin positions.  Pin placement has a huge effect on scoring at Pattavia.

There were three ‘2’; two on the 4th achieved by Tony Campbell and Mark Lang whilst David Thomas managed one on the 7th.

Today’s winning score was a big one, made more incredible by the fact that it was accomplished by a golfer having his first game with the PGS since returning from the UK.  Extremely well done Paul Edgar!

Back at the Elephant Bar we welcomed new members, Aussies Darrin Blakie and Craig Blythe, both from Coffs Harbour, NSW, while welcome-backs were extended to Englishmen Paul Edgar and Syd Harrison.

The lucky beer draw was won by John Tallett and the booby bevy went to Jon Batty.  This was awarded in commiseration of poor Jon having to pay a walking fee of 600 baht for bringing his wife to the course.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, he forked out another 600 baht for the compulsory cart that a “walker” must have.  Jon, the stand-out winner of our previous visit here, managed a mere 13 points for his front nine.  Expensive creatures, wives.

1st Paul Edgar (16) 42pts

2nd David Thomas (8) 41pts

3rd Murray Edwards (22) 38pts

4th Mark Lang (7) 37pts

A great day out at a course representing excellent VFM, provided the wife stays away.