Brook turns the clock back

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The Tropical Golf Group

Tuesday, May 16, Royal Lakeside – Stableford

The day did not start well.  At first light a look out over the balcony showed a steady fall of rain and it was obvious a storm was on its way.  After the talk with Royal Lakeside that informed us the rain had stopped there and it was brightening up, we finished ‘brekkers’, got into cars and started the long trek to the course.

Landis Brooks (left) and Derek Brook.
Landis Brooks (left) and Derek Brook.

Arriving at Royal Lakeside in dull weather the clubhouse looked quite majestic, so after a quick change in the smart changing room it was out to the course.  Having been told that buggies were allowed only on the path, we ‘Goldies’ got ready for a lot of walking, and also as carts are not allowed on the course it was into ‘lift , clean and place’ in operation.

This is a course where if you can hit the ball long and straight you will score well, as all the holes seem to be pretty straightforward.  However, off the straight and narrow and you will be penalized.  The ground was very wet all the way around and there a generous splash as you walked down the fairways, reminding us that it had been raining not too long before.

The greens were supposed to be a 10 on the ‘stimp-meter’ today, however I think the rain had slowed them down.  Despite this they putted well, says someone who for once seemed to sink puts from anywhere.

Round over it was a quick change and then back to BJ’s for the presentation.  It is usually a score over 40 points that wins at Lakeside and on this day we had three exceptional scores.

In the A Flight, 0 to 17, we had two great rounds of gross 74, however when the handicaps were put into play the winner off 10 handicap was Landis Brooks with 44 points, with Gerd Riedler in second off 9 handicap with 43.  In third was Andre Van Dyk with a very creditable 38 points.

In the B Flight, 18+, the scribe, Derek Brook, turned the clocks back and had his best round for some years, 47 points!  This resulted in him winning by 10 points from Reg Cochrane in second with 37 while third place went to Bob Britton with 35.

The best non-winner front nine came from Tom Herrington with 24 points and the back nine was Brian Parish with 20.

Near Pins: Landis Brooks, Reg Cochrane, Steve Truelove and Dick Warberg.

Friday, May 19, Laem Chabang – Stableford

The Tropical Golfers decided to try something different this week and play golf under the stars and the lights.  Laem Chabang has a special price for “night golf”, so if you want to try this course and also beat (or wait out) the heat, it is something to try.  Ten Tropical golfers decided to give this idea a test and met at BJ’s Lodge for the group and ride assignments.

Laem Chabang currently charges 2150 baht for the “night golf” which means a tee time of 3:30 or later.  A good way to stay cool this time of the year, and just the B-course is lighted.  Things went well, but not exactly to plan.

The idea was to play the difficult C-links and then get to the ‘lighted’ side around dusk.  The players arrived early however, and the caddies, eager to finish their shift, got us out 30 minutes ahead of time.  With an empty course and two 3-balls we got around quickly, and just the last group played a few holes under the lights.  Yes it was cooler, but you’d better hit the fairway to find your ball.  Even with the lights it’s not the same as daytime.  Still, it’s a cheaper and cooler way to treat yourself to this excellent venue.  It’s also difficult, as the scores, save one, attest.

The clear winner this day, er, evening, was Landis Brooks (c/h 9) who has the golfing skill to properly navigate this excellent Nicklaus design.  The Stableford scores then dropped quickly with Daryl Evans (25) scoring 32, then came Brian Parish (13) with 30, and Dick Warberg (19) surprised himself announcing his own name with 29 points.  Don’t ask about the rest.

Best Nines (non-winner): Tom Herrington, Mick Coghlan.