IPGC Golf from The Haven
Monday, Jan 18, Greenwood A & B – Stableford
1st Mike Dabanovich (12) 36pts
2nd Alan Griffiths (13) 35pts
3rd Walter O’Keefe (13) 35pts
4th Brian Beaupre (5) 34pts
5th David Bowles (20) 32pts
6th Phil Cass (16) 31pts
Mike Dabanovich has been threatening to win ever since returning in the middle of December, as he has been hitting the ball further than this scribbler can point, but the final important shot to the green has been frustratingly eluding him. However on this occasion, even though the course played well over the yardage on the card at almost 6500 yards and with the fairways very wet from recent unseasonal rains, he finished with two solid nines at level handicap to take the top step of the podium by a narrow margin.
Mike was closely chased over the line by Alan Griffiths and Walter O’Keefe, with Alan winning a count back for second spot with a better 18 to 16.
Brian Beaupre can always be relied upon for a solid round somewhere near his handicap and once again he was almost there in fourth place, having started a little too slowly but finishing strongly on one under gross for the last four holes.
David Bowles took fifth just one ahead of Phil Cass in sixth.
Brian Lewis had the solo ‘2’ in the second division to clear out the rollover pot whilst Mike Dabanovich and Brian Beaupre shared the first division pool.
Wednesday, Jan. 20, Khao Kheow A & C (yellow tees) – Stableford
1st Shuichi Kodaka (18) 37pts
2nd Walter O’Keefe (13) 36pts
3rd Phil Cass (16) 34pts
4th Mark Cooper (13) 33pts
5th Brian Beaupre (5) 32pts
6th Graham Johnson (10) 31pts
Having just hosted a major 2-day tournament the course was still in tip top condition with the greens especially good, being flat and reasonably fast and while the fairways still offered little run it was great value for money and promises to be a great test of golfing ability when the IPGC is held there at the beginning of February.
Shuichi Kodaka had the best of the day with a one under handicap return that owed much to his front nine, which in fact was the C course, in which he set the tone after making the turn at one better than handicap and then followed by a level back nine. It was just sufficient to see him home ahead of Walter O’Keefe who racked up his second podium finish for the week at level par.
Phil Cass took third after he had started well enough but then slipped badly through the last four holes, garnering just four points when a win was well within his sights standing on the fifteenth tee.
Mark Cooper slipped into fourth place after he too had gone out well at level handicap but then failed to score on the seventeenth to take him out of contention for the day.
Brian Beaupre claimed fifth spot one ahead of sixth placed Graham Johnson who is making a steady return to fitness and reasonable golf following his health issues that started here in Pattaya last year.
There were no ‘2’s in the second division, but Brian Beaupre had one again and had to share once more this time with Walter O’Keefe in the first division.
Friday, Jan. 15, Rayong C.C. – Stableford
1st Mike Remington (14) 36pts
2nd Walter O’Keefe (13) 35pts
3rd Vincent Gras (18) 34pts
4th Peter Skinner (10) 34pts
5th Shuichi Kodaka (18) 32pts
6th Mark Williams (7) 30pts
For the second week running on a Friday there was a major disruption to the day’s competition at the Emerald in Ban Chang. After arriving at the course some forty minutes early for a 10.30 tee time it was found that, notwithstanding that the booking had been made in October, there were six groups still awaiting to tee off, none of whom had caddies or carts as these had all been allocated to a late booking group of some 80/90 golfers from East Asia who also wanted to play 36 holes in the day.
The continued lack of caddies during this high season could well signal a major change to the way golf is organised and financed in the in the Eastern Seaboard area as the lack of green fees in the low and shoulder season, April to December, obviously discourages caddies from taking up this type of employment as they can earn a regular and higher income in other work areas locally. Surely the first local golf course to accept the situation and make a sensible decision will reap huge benefits in both members and green fees and enjoy the subsequent support of the many local golfing groups.
In the circumstances, the whole event needed to be switched to another course as there was absolutely no chance of getting away in the foreseeable future, so following a quick reorganisation the players drove off to Rayong Country Club where they started immediately on arrival.
This course suffers from a lack of TLC but the Nick Faldo design still has a lot to offer, although the bunkers could do with the occasional running through with a plough to break up the compaction. The rest is on a par with other courses of the same standard but at a considerably lower cost for those sharing a golf cart.
Mike Remington took his first win with the group at level handicap, just one in front of Walter O’Keefe who was ‘Mr. Consistency’ for the week, taking his third podium placement in second place.
Vincent Gras defied all predictions by consuming more bottles than there were holes and still managing to stagger up to the third step at the prize giving after winning a count back over Peter Skinner with a better 20 to 17.
Shuichi Kodaka and Mark Williams rounded out the mentions in fifth and sixth places respectively.
It having been a long time since any of the players had played the course it was not surprising that there were no ‘2’s from either of the divisions.
Note: If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact 038 710 989 or call in to The Haven Hotel, 185 Soi 13, situated between Beach Road and 2nd Road. All transportation to the course is arranged and you do not need to sign up prior to the day, but you should be there by 8.15 on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days that you wish to play. If you would like to leave your golf clubs at The Haven, there are usually lockers available at a nominal charge. A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at www.thehaven-hotel.com.