Beware the wounded golfer

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PSC golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, Oct. 7, Mountain Shadow – Stableford

It had been raining constantly all weekend and as I arrived at The Growling Swan it was still bucketing it down so things were not looking good.  It wasn’t long before the phone calls started coming and the day’s golf came very close to being cancelled, but the determination & resolve of the 9 “true” golfers that had braved the rain to assemble at the bar prompted me to take a vote and it was unanimous – “let’s go to Mountain Shadow and check it out”. 

I personally was especially keen to play as I had been out for 2 weeks with a “crook” leg so we sent 1 of the 2 mini vans home and proceeded up No. 7 in fairly steady rain, which abated when we were about half way there.  It was a slower than normal journey because of the wet roads and heavy traffic but we arrived at the course 50 minutes later and as we arrived there were several caddies jumping up and down, obviously delighted at the prospect of earning some money because we were soon to find out that at that point we were the only ones there to play golf.

Dick Braimbridge, Niall Stuart & Peter Blackburn.Dick Braimbridge, Niall Stuart & Peter Blackburn.

There were 10 of us (9 in the mini van & Ebrahim who drove there) so it was 2 three-balls followed by 1 four-ball and as our first group hit off at 9.55 am we were surprised to see that the course appeared to have stood up to the rain extremely well.  The golf course was indeed in very good “nick” considering the huge recent rainfall and we found it wet in parts but perfectly playable with the greens in immaculate condition.

We did get a bit of rain during our round of three hours & forty five minutes but were very thankful that we had made the decision to make the trip as we love our golf and once more the “Growling Swan Rain Gods” had shone down on us!  Many thanks to all who showed up and I’m please that they were rewarded with an uninterrupted round of golf.

Due to the low numbers we had just the one grade with 4 places.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins on the par-three 5th and the par-three 17th and longest first putt on the18th green.

Your writer, Peter “Blacky” Blackburn was ecstatic at finding a bit of form after a two week layoff and managed to win the day with a score of 37 points, 2 points ahead of Brad “Bad” Todd in second spot.  A count back was required to determine third & fourth with 2 players on 32 points and it was Ebrahim (15 point back nine & 10 points on the last 6 holes) who took third from Mike “Hunter” Gosden (15 point back nine & 8 points on the last 6 holes) in fourth place.

1st Peter Blackburn (11) 37pts

2nd Brad Todd (19) 35pts

3rd Ebrahim (17) 32pts

4th Mike Gosden (13) 32pts

Near Pins:  5th – John Anderson

Long Putts:  18th – Peter Blackburn

The Growling Swan NAGA Award, (awarded to the golfer who has the worst score on the day and discreetly their score is not made public) was won by newcomer John Anderson and he accepted the award in very good spirit.  Max then kindly paraded Deefa the Dog and of course collected many donations for the needy in Pattaya from our generous Growling Swan golfers.

Thursday, Oct. 10, Pleasant Valley – Stableford

The rain had ceased and it was a fine & sunny Pattaya Thursday morning as we made our way to The Growling Swan to prepare for our journey to the picturesque Pleasant Valley Golf Course.  Three late inclusions boosted our numbers to 22 and we welcomed Ernie Picken from Melbourne and Ed Wyckoff, formerly from Texas, USA but now residing in Pattaya.

Everyone showed up early so we were able to leave the GS in 2 mini vans five minutes ahead of our scheduled 8.30 am departure time and we arrived at the golf course just 41 minutes later.  It was fairly quiet but as the green keeping staff were doing work on hole number 2 we were asked to tee off at hole number 10 which whilst not my favorite way of commencing a round of golf at least we were able to send our first four-ball away 20 minutes early at 9.40 am.

John Anderson & Peter Blackburn.John Anderson & Peter Blackburn.

No carts were allowed on the fairways so preferred lies were in place and understandably the course was very wet in parts but no big deal – it was just great to be out playing golf!  The greens were fairly ordinary I must say with many of them not having a lot of grass but of course we learn to live with this and it’s the same for everyone.

The weather was fine and at times quite hot and humid with dark clouds overhead and thunder being heard when we only had 2 holes to play but as usual it was a false alarm and the rain stayed away.  The round was a fairly quick one, four hours & ten minutes and the excellent company made it a very enjoyable day.

We had 2 Divisions – Division A for handicaps 0 to 18 and Division B for handicaps 19 & over with 4 places in each Division.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins on the four par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

In Division A there were 3 golfers with 34 points so a count back was required which saw your writer, Peter “Blacky” Blackburn (18 point back nine) make it two in a row from Mike Allidi (17 point back nine) in second place and Takeshi Hakozaki (16 point back nine) finished third.  Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei was fourth with 33 points.

Dick “Reverend” Braimbridge (21 point back nine) took out the Division B first prize with 35 points on a count back from John Davis (16 point back nine) in second place. Brad “Bad” Todd took out third place with 32 points and in another count back with 2 people on 30 points it was Sandy “Cindy Lauper” Leiper (21 point back nine) who claimed fourth spot from Fred Dineley (16 point back nine) who just missed out.

Div. A (0-18)

1st Peter Blackburn (11) 34pts

2nd Mike Allidi (2) 34pts

3rd Takeshi Hakozaki (11) 34pts

4th Alain Taddei (16) 33pts

Div. B (19+)

1st Dick Braimbridge (36) 35pts

2nd John Davis (22) 35pts

3rd Brad Todd (19) 32pts

4th Sandy Leiper (35) 30pts

Near Pins:  5th – Takeshi Hakozaki, 8th – Takeshi Hakozaki, 13th – Takeshi Hakozaki, 17th  – Mike Allidi

Long Putts:  9th – Mark West, 18th – Mike Allidi

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was once again won by Niall Stuart and he accepted the award in good spirit.

Note:  Growling Swan Golf welcomes golfers of any persuasion – low & high handicappers alike, female golfers and beginners.  We generally play Mondays & Thursdays, meeting at The Growling Swan (formerly The Bunker Bar) in Soi Chaiyapoon at 8.00 am with transport departing at 8.30 am. For bookings or more information please contact Peter on 0806 351 386 or email to petermalcolmblackburn @gmail.com.

We also play bowls out of the Growling Swan every Wednesday and Sunday.  Sunday is Lawn Bowls and Wednesday is Indoor Bowls.  All are welcome and for anyone that is interested the transport leaves The Growling Swan at 10.00am on each of those mornings.  For more information please contact Paul Rennison on 0843 454 005.