Bill & Geoff take the honours at Navy

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PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, Oct. 21, Plutaluang East & South – Stableford

It was a relief to see a fine and sunny Pattaya Monday morning after all the recent downpours and we assembled at The Growling Swan to prepare for our trip to Plutaluang.  There was one late cancellation due to sickness which left us with 21 starters and we welcomed back Ed Stewart from California, Bill Steinman from New York and Ulff Larsson from Sweden.  It was also a farewell to your writer, Peter Blackburn who was off back to Perth, Australia for a couple of weeks. 

With everyone on time we departed the GS 5 minutes early at 8.25 am and headed south down Number 3, arriving at the course just 42 minutes later (J.J. please note).  The course was very busy and we were allocated East & South nines for a change and were able to send our first four-ball away twenty minutes ahead of schedule at 9.40 am.

Geoff Bracegirdle, Alby Uppington & Bill Steinman. Geoff Bracegirdle, Alby Uppington & Bill Steinman.

With a five-ball in front of us and many groups ahead of them it was obvious that we were in for another slow round but the course was good although quite wet with the greens traditionally slow but very well maintained and for a change the weather was terrific.  As expected it was a bit of a crawl and turned out to be a five hour round but nonetheless very enjoyable with excellent company.

We had 2 divisions, Division A for handicaps 0 to 18 and Division B for handicaps of 19 and over with 4 places in each division.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the East 9 & South 9 greens.

Newcomer Bill Steinman was the winner in A Division with a score of 37 points and yours truly Peter “Blacky” Blackburn was second just 1 point further back.  In third place came Andy Todd on 33 points and with 2 golfers on 31 points it was John Pierrel (15 point back nine) who finished fourth from Keith “Kissy” Buchanan (14 point back nine) on a count back.

Gary Monley, Niall Stuart and Stuart Rifkin.Gary Monley, Niall Stuart and Stuart Rifkin.

In B Division it was Geoff Bracegirdle who “got the chocolates” with 33 points and another count back saw Patrick Poussier (13 point back nine) finish second ahead of Duangjai “Kae” Tusagad (11 point back nine) with Seesa Phonpinmon in fourth place on 30 points.

Division A

1st Bill Steinman (8) 37pts

2nd Peter Blackburn (12) 36pts

3rd Andy Todd (12) 33pts

4th John Pierrel (9) 31pts

Division B

1st Geoff Bracegirdle (21) 33pts

2nd Patrick Poussier (23) 32pts

3rd Duangjai Tusagad (21) 32pts

4th Seesa Phonpinmon (26) 30pts

Near Pins:  E2 – Duangjai Tusagad, E5 – John Davies, S4 – Kissy Buchanan, S7 – Bill Steinman

Long Putts:  E9 – John Davies, S9 – Seesa Phonpinmon

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 Alby Uppington and he accepted the award in very good spirit.

Thursday, Oct. 24, Royal Lakeside – Stableford

With our illustrious ‘el presidente’ (Peter Blackburn) away in Oz for a few weeks the organization for the day was left in the incapable hands of Peter Grey, John Pierrel, Dick Braimbridge and Stu Rifkin.  Why one man’s job was substituted by four, became clear by day’s end.

Amazingly the mini buses were ordered and arrived on time (I think perhaps because the President had wisely taken the precaution to do this before his departure to Oz) and all players boarded well after the elected 8.15am departure time.  This was as a result of one of the substitute organizers getting organized.  Nevertheless, we did get to the course an hour later and still with a few minutes to spare before tee off time.

During check in procedures in the pro shop, Peter Grey (temporary organizer) was observed eyeing florescent colored balls, he selected a bright yellow one and seemed over the moon by his choice.  So attached was he that he asked if he could substitute the ball for an older white one, when he later had a water hazard to carry.  He soon discovered though that his little beauty did not float.  Despite this huge disappointment, he went on to score his best round ever and narrowly missed out on the NAGA award.

As carts were allowed on the fairways it was “play the ball as it lies” and no relief anywhere on the course, which is a vast change from the many days of recent golf where the “pick, clean and place” rule has been in effect due to the wet conditions.

The course was in great condition with very slick greens, and on a perfect golf day the first group teed off under a cloudless and sunny sky.  It remained that way throughout the day which ensured everyone had no excuses for bad weather to affect their scores but surprisingly only one golfer managed to play to his handicap.

Back in the club house the cards were checked, checked and rechecked by the temporary organizers and after a “few hours” Peter Grey welcomed Paul Seaford (a guest of Graham Buckingham) who hails from Ely in the UK and Geoff Green from Brisbane Australia.  Peter then announced the winners and also delighted in taking Deefa around for some donations which go to charity.

As I have been given the task (punishment) of substitute scribe, I have decided to list the podium place getters in reverse order and thus it is with hearty congratulations that we placed Niall Stuart as the NAGA award winner once more.  Tiger Woods may be the leading PGA golfer for 2013 but Niall takes the cake this year when it comes to this Growling Swan golf outlet award.  Good on you Niall for your constant dedication and your never ending good spirits too!

The winner of Division B with 31 points was Gary Monley who despite some sad news from his home in Oz, managed to keep it together today.  Ernie Picken took out second spot with 27 points and the ladies figured in the final three with Rita Zoebeli being victorious on 24 points.

Division A saw Stu Rifkin back to form with 36 points followed closely by fellow standby organizer John Pierrel with 35 points and the consistent Gerd Riedler with 34.

Division A

1st Stuart Rifkin (13) 36pts

2nd John Pierrel (9) 35pts

3rd Gerd Riedler (6) 34pts

Division B

1st Gary Monley (36) 31pts

2nd Ernie Picken (21) 27pts

3rd Rita Zoebeli (22) 24pts

Near Pins:  12th hole Bill Stienmann, 15th hole Gerd Riedler.

Long Putts:  John Pierrel.

Note:  The Growling Swan Golf outlet 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 most times at 8.30 am.  For bookings or more information please contact Peter Blackburn on 0806 351 386 or email to [email protected]

We also play bowls out of the Growling Swan every Wednesday and Sunday.  Sunday is Lawn Bowls played at The Retreat and Wednesday is Indoor Bowls at the undercover Coco’s.  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.