Buckingham in form at the Valley

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PSC golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, August 19, Pleasant Valley – Stableford

We had 16 golfers on the starting sheet for the game at Pleasant Valley and we assembled at The Growling Swan on a sunny Pattaya Monday morning in readiness for the journey to the course.  

It was a pleasure to welcome back good friend Dave Neal from Birmingham in the UK, Charles Cunningham from Pattaya and Wayne Harrison, Andy Ballantyne & Gary Hales from Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Graham Buckingham.Graham Buckingham.

We managed to get away from the GS a couple of minutes early at 8.28 am and proceeded to the course heading north up No. 7 and arrived 42 minutes later.  It was fairly quiet and we were asked to tee off on number 10 which we did and our first of 4 fourballs got away at 9.45 am, 15 minutes ahead of our scheduled tee time.

The weather was terrific with a cooling breeze which did give some relief as it was rather hot and sticky and the golf course was in fairly good shape although parts of the rough were in need of some attention.  When one of my playing partners complained about the rough being “rough” I advised him to perhaps keep his balls on the fairway which he attempted to do from thereon in.

We played at a fairly good pace with no hold ups ahead and completed the round in four hours and fifteen minutes which was quite good allowing for having to look for golf balls a couple of times.  It was another very good day with excellent company.

We had just the 1 Grade due to the smaller field with 5 places and there were also rewards for nearest the pins on the four par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

Nolan Wise & Gerd Riedler.Nolan Wise & Gerd Riedler.

It was time for a return to form for Graham “Grunter” Buckingham who won the day with a very good 41 points and Mark “Westy” West was second on 40 points.  With 2 players on 38 points a count back was needed and it was Tiziano Dal Pastro (20 point back nine) who came third from Mike Allidi (19 point back nine) in fourth spot.  With 3 players on 36 points another count back was required and your writer, Peter “Blacky” Blackburn (18 point back nine) finished fifth from John Davis (17 point back nine) and Mike “Hunter” Gosden (15 point back nine).

1st Graham Buckingham (24) 41pts

2nd Mark West (16) 40pts

3rd Tiziano Dal Pastro (24) 38pts

4th Mike Allidi (2) 38pts

5th Peter Blackburn (11) 36pts

Near Pins:  5th – Mike Allidi, 8th – Ebrahim, 13th – Tiziano Dal Pastro, 17th – Mike Allidi

Long Putts:  9th – John Davis, 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 Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei and as he had to depart before presentations we will catch up with him at the next event.

Thursday, August 22, Burapha C & D – Stableford

After a “no show” and a late withdrawal due to sickness our final number was 18 and we assembled at The Growling Swan in readiness for the short journey to the classy Burapha Golf Course.

We welcomed Dave Neal’s partner Tienthong Charoenrung from Laem Chabang, Max Hofer from Australia and good friend Walter Baechli, recently returned from cycling in Spain and hiking in Switzerland.  It was sadly time to say farewell to Tiziano Dal Pastro who will very shortly be returning to Italy.

Departing the GS 2 minutes early at 8.28 am we were at the course in the blink of an eye and the weather was fine although overcast with a threat of rain in the air.  After taking our time in preparation at this busy course we eventually managed to tee off on C1 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.45 am with traffic ahead of us but not holding us up.

The golf course was fantastic as usual with pristine fairways, well raked bunkers and super slick and very well maintained greens where being below the hole on some of the sloping ones was a must.  There were a couple of drops of rain during the round but that was all and the weather stayed quite cool throughout as we raced around the course in the excellent time of three hours & thirty five minutes.  It was an extremely enjoyable round of golf on this lovely course and the company was once again first class.

We had just the 1 Grade due to the smaller field with 6 places and there were also rewards for nearest the pins on the four par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

In first place on the day was Gerd Riedler with a fine 37 points, 2 points ahead of last start winner Graham “Grunter” Buckingham in second spot.  Ken Hole’s 34 points got him third place and with 6 golfers on 32 points a count back was needed to determine fourth, fifth and sixth spots.  Max Hofer (20 point back nine) grabbed fourth with Tom McMahon (18 point back nine) fifth & yours truly, Peter “Blacky” Blackburn (17 point back nine) rounded off the podium in sixth place.

The unlucky golfers were Mike “Hunter” Gosden (16 point back nine), Tiziano Dal Pastro (16 point back nine) and Mark “Westy” West (14 point back nine).

1st Gerd Reidler (7) 37pts

2nd Graham Buckingham (24) 35pts

3rd Ken Hole (16) 34pts

4th Max Hofer (17) 32pts

5th Tom McMahon (18) 32pts

6th Peter Blackburn (11) 32pts

Near Pins:  C5 – Brad Todd, C8 – Paul Hack, D2 – Gerd Riedler, D8 – Ken Hole

Long Putts:  C9 – Paul Moloney, D9 – Ken Hole

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was easily won by good sport Nolan Wise who accepted the cap honourably and wore it with distinction for a considerable time.  Toddy then kindly paraded Deefa the Dog and of course collected many donations for the needy in Pattaya from our generous Growling Swan golfers.  It was then back to The Growling Swan for some well deserved beers and a few hours there topped off another really good day.

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.