Bo on top at Khao Kheow


PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, July 2, Khao Kheow B & C – Stableford

One annoying “no show” and one late inclusion left us with a very good field of 21 starters and we assembled at The Growling Swan in readiness for the journey to the very popular Khao Kheow Golf Couse.

We welcomed a very good friend of mine Gerry Arthur from Gosnells Golf Club in Perth, Western Australia and also Joe Doyle from Queensland, Australia.  Sadly it was time to say farewell to Andrew Allen’s son Rhys whose holiday is just about over and he will shortly be returning to Melbourne, Australia.

Peter Blackburn & Bo Cardwell.Peter Blackburn & Bo Cardwell.

Once again we departed on schedule at 8.30 am in 2 minivans and in just 41 minutes arrived at the course to find a bit of activity but it was obvious we would be able to commence earlier than our allotted tee time.  Our first group of myself, Hunter, Gerry Arthur & Don Richardson teed off at 9.52 am which was 16 minutes ahead of schedule and in perfect weather for golf set about enjoying this fine course which is certainly getting back to its best.  There were a few rough patches on some of the fairways but mostly marked G.U.R. so relief was allowed and the greens were terrific & at times fairly slick.

Hunter started with a “bang” and had 2 birdies in the first 6 holes while Don and I plugged away steadily and Gerry was struggling whilst trying to adapt to the Thai conditions after a 10 year absence from playing golf here.  It was getting very hot & humid so several drinks stops were necessary but even so we managed to complete the full round in four hours & 10 minutes.  The heat had taken its toll over the last half a dozen holes as the scoring diminished although somehow I managed to hang on and finished quite well.

With the 21 starters we had just the one grade and there were rewards for nearest the pins on the four par threes plus nearest first putts on the ninth & eighteenth greens.  Part sponsorship for the novelties was kindly provided by Mike Gosden.

As we had seven players who not yet had handicaps they were put in a secondary  grade which we named the Callaway Grade and their scores were calculated using the Callaway Scoring System.

Yours truly fell short of making it four wins in a row and finished second, 2 points behind the winner on the day Bo Cardwell who had a fine 38 points.  In third place came Don Richardson with 33 points (after a 20 point first nine) and a count back for fourth place saw Jo Doyle (17 point back nine) take the last podium spot from Ken “let’s hear it for” Bernek (15 point back nine) with both on 32 points.

In the Callaway Grade another count back was needed with 2 players on 33 points.  Bernie McCart (17 point back nine) was the winner with Vince Romeo (16 point back nine) in second place and in a major breakthrough our popular Growling Swan host Peter Grey took third spot with 31 points.

Ken Bernek, Peter Blackburn, Gerry Arthur with Deefa & Martin Todd.Ken Bernek, Peter Blackburn, Gerry Arthur with Deefa & Martin Todd.

1st Bo Cardwell (23) 38pts

2nd Peter Blackburn (12) 36pts

3rd Don Richardson (13) 33pts

4th Jo Doyle (18) 32pts

Callaway Comp.

1st Bernie McCart 33pts

2nd Vincent Romeo 33pts

3rd Peter Grey 31pts

Near Pins:  B3 – Mike Gosden; B8 – Peter Blackburn; C3 – Bo Cardwell; C8 – Bo Cardwell

Long Putts:  B9 – Joe Doyle; C9 – Gerry Arthur

The winner of the Compass Cap (awarded for the worst score of the day) went to Scotsman Sandy Leiper and Hunter paraded Deefa the Dog who of course collected many donations to charity from our very generous Growling Swan crew.  It was also time for Hunter to present the Monthly Awards for June which were as follows:

Consistency Award – Mike Gosden.

A-Hole Award (named after Heineken Stu) – Bo Cardwell.

Monthly Compass Award – Jerry Dobbs.

Thursday, July 5, Pattana, B & C – Stableford

We had a full field of 24 until the last minute when someone called in sick and unfortunately it was too late to call upon our “first reserve” but a field of 23 was more than satisfactory for this time of year.  It had been quite a while since most of us had played Pattana and I for one was looking forward to re-visiting this fine venue, particularly as we had 550 baht Green Fee vouchers purchased from Pattaya Sports Club.

Assembling at The Growling Swan prior to departure we welcomed back Martin Todd from Mandurah in Western Australia, local veteran Kevin Dinan, Neil Skilton who now intends to make Pattaya his base and George Hayes, formerly from Sydney but now a Pattaya resident.  Sadly it was time to farewell by good mate Gerry Arthur who is off to Bangsaray & Caleo for a week’s “R & R” before returning to Perth and Joe Doyle who is returning to Brisbane after his annual month’s holiday here.

We departed the G.S. a couple of minutes after our scheduled 8.30 am time in two minivans and after 48 minutes arrived at the course and we were able to register fairly quickly as there was this time no necessity for them to photocopy each individual PSC Member’s Cards.  There was a groan from the men’s locker room as “Heineken” Stu discovered that his golf shoes were not in his bag but absolved himself of all responsibility for it by blaming his partner, Yung (not sure how that works).

There was not a great deal of activity on the course and after being allocated B & C nines we were invited to tee off at our leisure.  At 9.47 am which was 13 minutes ahead of schedule, yet another Gosnells Golf Club four-ball hit off first consisting of myself, Hunter, Toddy and the departing Gerry Arthur.  The weather was overcast with rain clouds looming and it was fairly hot & humid with not much wind but we were confident the rain would stay away and apart from seventeen small drops of rain early on we remained completely dry.

The course was in fabulous “nick” with super quick greens on the front nine although the greens on C nine had residual sand on them but still of a very high standard.

Toddy jumped out of the blocks with 2 birdies in the first 4 holes but like the rest of us settled down and played fairly steady golf although once more Gerry Arthur was struggling with his game but enjoying himself nevertheless.  We were playing at a very good pace and finished B nine in just on 2 hours and after a couple of drink stops on the second nine we completed the round in four hours and seven minutes.  The course was playing quite long off the white tees and many of us struggled as was proved by the fact that not one golfer played to their handicap or better.

Having a good number of players enabled us to split into 2 grades with A Grade for handicaps 0 to 15 and B Grade for 16 and over.  There were nearest the pins on the four par threes with Gerry Arthur assisting with sponsorship and Martin Todd provided golf balls for winners of the longest first putts on B9 & C9.

After freezing his “you know whats” off in Western Australia for the last couple of months Martin Todd quickly adapted to the Pattaya climate and after a count back with 2 players on 35 points, his 18 point back nine enabled him to win the A Grade from your writer who had a 16 point back nine.  In third spot with a gross 76 came Mike Allidi with 34 points and that consistent player Mashi Kanata squeezed onto the podium in fourth place with 33 points.

Another count back was required to decide the B Grade winner with Ken “let’s hear it for” Bernek (20 point back nine) just beating Jerry Dobbs (17 point back nine) with both golfers on 35 points.  The consistent Bo Cardwell came third with 31 points and Dave Norman from the A Team Bar finished fourth with 30 points.

A Flight (0-15)

1st Martin Todd (8) 35pts

2nd Peter Blackburn (12) 35pts

3rd Mike Allidi (2) 34pts

4th Mashi Kaneta (11) 33pts

B Flight (16+)

1st Ken Bernek (16) 35pts

2nd Jerry Dobbs (23) 35pts

3rd Bo Cardwell (23) 31pts

4th Dave Norman (18) 30pts

Near Pins:  B3 – Mashi Kaneta; B7 – Dave Norman; C2 – Stu Rifkin; C7 – Bo Cardwell

First Putts:  B9 – Mashi Kaneta; C9 – Stu Rifkin

The winner of the Compass Cap (awarded for the worst score of the day) went to the departing Gerry Arthur who was delighted that his name would be in print as a winner of something and Hunter paraded Deefa the Dog who of course collected many donations to charity from our very generous Growling Swan crew.

Then it was back to The Growling Swan where we celebrated yet another successful day of golf with some very cold beers.  Peter Grey appeared to have recovered from his hangover due to the State of Origin decider of the previous night and was in fine form with both tongue and drinking arm.

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].