Blacky & Kae win at Century Chonburi

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PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, September 10, Century Chonburi – Stableford

Amongst the 19 golfers signed up for the day’s competition were newcomers Martin Ainsworth from Pattaya and previously South Wales, plus Mike Chaffey also from Pattaya and previously San Diego, California.  They were afforded a hearty welcome and a fond farewell was given to Tony Olcorn who was returning to Queensland, Australia on Thursday.

For most of us it had been some time since we had played at Century Chonburi and we had received mixed reports regarding the golf course so I for one was very interested in finding out what all the fuss was about.

Peter Blackburn, Peter Grey & Kae. Peter Blackburn, Peter Grey & Kae.

We departed The Growling Swan in 2 mini vans a couple of minutes ahead of schedule at 8.28 am and were travelling OK until we experienced several lengthy delays at some of the traffic lights on 331.  This, coupled with the pothole ridden road after turning off the highway, caused a much longer than normal trip time of 70 minutes.  Growling Swan Mine host, Peter Grey was complaining about the bumps and the effect it was having on his “sore back” and we had a feeling that this would be an attempted excuse later on when certain awards were handed out.

After waiting for a Thai two-ball to tee off, our first group was able to get away 5 minutes later than our booked time of 10.00 am and in fine but overcast weather we proceeded at a fairly good pace.  It was not a good start for our 1-handicapper in the group, Mike Allidi, who hit his first tee shot long & left and could not find his ball, so off his handicap he was naturally playing “catch up” golf from thereon in.

Thientong Charoenrung & Graham Buckingham. Thientong Charoenrung & Graham Buckingham.

After a few holes we got some light rain which made umbrellas necessary but it didn’t last too long and although fairly hot & humid playing conditions were quite good with very little wind.  As far as the condition of the course was concerned we all agreed it was in very good shape with some of the greens quite quick and others a bit furry and slow.  It was suggested that the Head Greenkeeper had been arguing with his Missus early that morning as some of the pin positions were fairly treacherous, like “on the side of a mountain”!

On the down side we discovered that a Thai 6-ball had jumped onto the 10th tee in front of us and whilst this did cause some delays it wasn’t too bad and we finished our round in four hours & twenty minutes.

In summary this golf course is a “steal” at 100 baht green fee and even with the sparse dressing room & restaurant facilities it is well worth the visit and we will most certainly be returning at a later date.  I must also mention that the golf course is a great layout and whilst not perhaps having the “beauty” of some of the other courses it is certainly a challenge as was proved when only one golfer was able to play to his handicap.

We were able to have 2 grades with four podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 19 and B Grade for 20 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes which were sponsored by The Growling Swan, Mike Gosden, North Heidelberg Football Club & Max Bracegirdle.  We also had longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens which were kindly sponsored by the guys from Mandurah Country Club.

Your writer managed to return to some decent form and won the A Grade with a steady 36 points from Stu “Heineken” Rifkin 1 point further back in second place.  The consistent Martin Todd (18 point back nine) finished third with 32 points in a count back from Alain Taddei (15 point back nine) in fourth spot.

The B Grade was won by Duanjai Tusagad (Kae) with 35 points and on 34 points came her partner Roy Dayton in second place.  Max “Two Corsets” Bracegirdle finished third on 31 points and we welcomed to the podium for the first time Fred Dineley whose 28 points was good enough for him to finish in fourth spot.

A Flight (0-19)

1st Peter Blackburn (11) 36pts

2nd Stu Rifkin (15) 35pts

3rd Martin Todd (8) 32pts

4th Alain Taddei (19) 32pts

B Flight (20+)

1st Duanjai Tusagad (36) 35pts

2nd Roy Dayton (23) 34pts

3rd Max Bracegirdle (26) 31pts

4th Fred Dineley (29) 28pts

Near Pins:  4th – Martin Todd; 7th – Roy Dayton; 13h – Max Bracegirdle; 17th – Peter Blackburn

Long Putts:  18th – Mike Chaffey

The winner of the Compass Cap (awarded to the player with the worst score on the day) was Mine Host of The Growling Swan, Peter Grey who sure enough referred to the bumpy road coming in being mainly responsible for his demise.  Deefa the Dog’s master, Hunter took the famous canine for a walk, collecting many donations to charity from our generous Growling Swan crew in the process.

Back at The Growling Swan afterwards the Compass Cap wearing Peter Grey was bemoaning the fact that his “bad back” should have been taken into consideration when the award was handed out and was considering lodging a protest but was promptly told “don’t waste your time”!  Such is the fun we have amongst our group and once more many of us stayed longer than planned but it was well worth it.

Thursday, September 13, Burapha A & B – Stableford

After a month and a half in the States it was great to have Ken & Wendy Bernek back with us again especially as it happened to be Wendy’s birthday.  We also congratulated her for her hole in one which she had whilst golfing with her sons when she was away.

Burapha was the venue for the day’s competition and most of the 16 starters assembled at The Growling Swan nice and early but an early departure was thwarted when we waited for one newcomer that did not show.  With the help of cars we needed just the one mini-van and departed right on schedule at 8.30 am and arrived at the lovely Burapha just 30 minutes later.

We were told that A & B were once more our allotted nines to play and after at first being told that we would have to wait until our booked tee time of 10.00 am we were called to the tee 25 minutes earlier than that.  The weather was glorious as was the golf course and we certainly enjoy this venue as we take advantage at this time of year of the special rate available.

We have chosen this course for our Monthly Mug next month and after that it will probably be early next year when we resume our regular monthly visits here.  I cannot resist once again singing the praises of this golf course as everything seemed to be perfect with the pristine fairways and beautifully maintained greens which of course are firm, true and very slick at times.

We completed our first nine (A) in well under two hours but slowed down on B nine as a slow four-ball starting on B1 did not appear to be in any hurry although the advantage of everyone having carts certainly made for a speedy round and we were finished in the excellent time of three hours & fifty minutes.

We were able to have 2 grades with four podium spots in each: A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 20 and B Grade for 21 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes which were sponsored by The Growling Swan, Dave Neal, Stephen Newton & John Pierrel.  We also had longest first putts on the A9 & B9 greens which were kindly sponsored by J J Harney.

In a close finish to determine the winner of A Grade it was Thientong Charoenrung (19 point back nine) who finished first in a count back from Martin Todd (18 point back nine) in second spot with both golfers having 38 points.  J J Harney was third with 36 points and in a count back for fourth on 35 points Mike Gosden (18 point back nine) prevailed over John Pierrel (13 point back nine).

Yet another count back was required to decide the winner of B Grade with Graham “Grunter” Buckingham (20 point back nine) shading out Roy Dayton (15 point back nine), both having 35 points.  In third place came Roy’s partner  Duangjai Tusagad (Kae) on 34 points with Tom (TC) Cotton completing the podium in fourth spot with 33 points.

A Flight (0-20)

1st Thientong Charoenrung (19) 38pts

2nd Martin Todd (8) 38pts

3rd J J Harney (11) 36pts

4th Mike Gosden (12) 35pts

B Flight (21+)

1st Graham Buckingham (22) 35pts

2nd Roy Dayton (23) 35pts

3rd Duanjai Dusadad (36) 34pts

4th Tom Cotton (21) 33pts

Near Pins:  A3 – Mike Gosden; A6 – Thientong Charoenrung; B3 – Thientong Charoenrung; B8 – Martin Todd

Long Putts:  A9 – Dave Neal; B9 – Max Bracegirdle

The Compass Cap (awarded for the worst score on the day) needed to be decided by a count back and it was Stephen Newton who won it narrowly from Max “Two Corsets” Bracegirdle.  Deefa the Dog was back and paraded by his master, Hunter and several donations to charity were collected from the ever generous Growling Swan Golf crew.

Back at The Growling Swan afterwards Wendy Bernek kindly rang the bell to celebrate her birthday and once more several of us stayed for quite some time enjoying the “Aussie” cold, low priced beers and lots of fun & laughter.

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 [email protected]