Ben Jackson shines in the gloom


IPGC golf from The Haven

With the scribe now having returned from an enforced holiday, recommended by the Doc, to escape from the “Forces of Darkness” brought about by overwork and too much success, and succinctly scotching the rumours that ranged from “Done a runner never to return” to “Gone to take the Word to those less fortunate in far away corners of the earth” and almost every other scurrilous and fatuous story in between, spread by those who might or should know better.  But this is Pattaya and no more or less should be expected from the upstanding establishment. 

Suffice to say it is business as usual on the writing front again, as it always has been at The Haven over the past couple of weeks, even though the golf reports have not been appearing.

Ben Jackson.Ben Jackson.

With firstly Trevor Schirmer running a smooth operation until he returned, also for a rest, to Australia for a couple of months and thereafter Phil Groves taking up the reins and ensuring that those that wished could carry on golfing in the usual fashion out of The Haven.  So much appreciation for their efforts on everyone’s behalf is due from all those benefitting over the past two weeks or so.

Monday, Oct. 21, Treasure Hill – Stableford

CSS 72

1st Phil Groves (8) 36pts

2nd Alex Charlesworth (15) 34pts

3rd Hal Hart (18) 30pts

With the weather still ominous and darkened skies and several regulars away in the north on various alternative golfing tours, it was no surprise to find the numbers rather diminished when the time to leave approached, but in the event three groups took off for the always difficult Treasure Hill layout set amongst the unspoiled countryside without a habitable dwelling in sight around the course.

Alex Charlesworth.Alex Charlesworth.

With all the rain that has fallen over the past weeks nearly all the courses in the area are playing extremely long with virtually zero run for the tees, and this day’s results were also affected with just the winner playing to handicap.  This was Phil Groves who added to his longest drive with the best score to win by two from new member Alex Charlesworth, who might have edged Phil for the win but for a mishap during the back nine.

Hal Hart in third place was the best of the rest by a considerable margin as most of the hopefuls struggled with the conditions and difficulty of the course.

Surprisingly the CSS stayed at 72, as they did for the rest of the week at the other two venues, which is a sure sign that the courses are getting back to somewhere near their proper condition after the recent heavy weather.

There were no ‘2’s in the second division once more but Ben Jackson cleaned out the first division rollover pot with the sole one in the first division.

Before the presentations were made there were welcomes for new members Alex Charlesworth together with welcome backs for Todd Pahl and Ben Jackson.

Wednesday, Oct. 23, Mountain Shadow – Stableford

CSS 72

1st Ben Jackson (15) 44pts

2nd Phil Groves (8) 38pts

3rd Willie McFarlane (28) 31pts

With many of the regulars still away, a smaller than usual number but still sufficient to make three full groups turned up for the testing day at the course that was designed for handicap golfers of fifteen or less.  With its undulating greens and narrow fairways mostly bordered by thick mango trees, it always proves to be a difficult test for all but the most skilful, even though it plays short at just under 6,300 yards from the blue tees.

Willie McFarlane.Willie McFarlane.

Ben Jackson must have been one of those 15 handicappers the course was designed for as he knocked it round in eight under handicap to win by a short street from Phil Groves whose added responsibilities on the organizational side seem to be improving his playing as he was the only other player on the same lap when the scores came to be counted.  Willie McFarlane was a further seven strokes back in third place.

As with the competition earlier in the week, the conditions proved to be the master of the rest of the field as they straggled in well back from the third place with some totaling less than half of the winner’s score.

As usual there were no 2’s in the second division but there were four in the first division with Todd Pahl and Ben Jackson getting one each and Phil Groves slotting in two.

Back at The Haven there was a welcome for new member Daniel Nowack and welcome backs for Erik Donnestad and Paul Hartley.

Friday, Oct. 25, Crystal Bay – Stableford

CSS 72

1st Phil Groves (8) 39pts

2nd Mike Armstrong (15) 37pts

3rd Willie McFarlane (28) 33pts

4th Wayne Waywood (15) 33pts

5th Bob Maloney (12) 32pts

6th Alwyne Burley (16) 32pts

With many returnees from as far apart as Northern Europe and Southern Australia as well as the North of Thailand, the numbers were almost back to normal for the outing to the sister course of Wednesday’s event where the conditions were much improved from the recent weeks, with at least some semblance of run, and the scores generally were much better across the board.

Once again Phil Groves was to be found at the top of the leader board although he was pressed hard by Mike Armstrong and needed to finish strongly, which he did by claiming twelve points from the last five holes following an outward nine of one under handicap.  This proved to be just too strong for Mark to contend with and so he finally had to settle for a good second place.

Willie McFarlane was also in evidence once more after he won a count back over Wayne Waywood with a better 21 to 16 to claim third place and leave Wayne in fourth.

Bob Maloney also won a count back over Alwyne Burley with a 17 to 16 result to take fifth, which consigned Alwyne to a creditable sixth place.

Once again there were no 2’s in the second division but Phil Groves showed his quality again with the sole one in the first division.

Prior to the prize presentations there were welcome backs for Terry Hodgkiss, Gaute Moen, Bob Maloney, Wayne Waywood and Mike Armstrong.

Note:  If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact mobile 082 219 0965 or call in to The Haven Hotel, at 185 Soi 13, 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 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days that you wish to play.  A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at