Caddy shortage strikes again


IPGC golf from The Haven

Monday, Feb. 4, Mountain Shadow (blue tees) – Stableford


Division 1 (0-15)

1st Phil Groves (7) 33pts

2nd Jukka Koskela (7) 32pts

3rd Kevin Townsend (12) 32pts

Division 2 (16-20)

1st Vincent Gras (20) 36pts

2nd Kari Peltalonen (17) 32pts

3rd Alwyne Burley (16) 29pts

Division 3 (21+)

1st Don Everett (22) 31pts

2nd Terry Hodgkiss (23) 28pts

3rd Ole Stamnes (27) 27pts

Red Division

1st Kiti Ulvio- Peltalonen (9) 27pts

2nd Saara Halko (19) 24pts

Once again a caddy shortage meant that the reserved tee time passed while the whole group awaited the arrival caddies to either finish an earlier round or were called up from home, sick bed, auntie’s house or even the gardeners shed to make up the numbers.  Eventually everyone had one and when play commenced the rounds were completed in good time and all finished the round before darkness fell – but only just.

Chris Setchell.Chris Setchell.

In view of the shortages to be found on many courses at the moment, it may be time for the East Coast Golf Courses Committee to make some hard decisions with regard to compulsory caddies, which in most cases are just green-keeping staff employed to fill divots, rake bunkers, repair pitch marks and of course collect a requisite amount of coarse grass, and allow golfers out without one per player.  The prediction is that “the first course to dispense with compulsory caddies, and re-organise green keeping, will sweep the market in Pattaya.”

Once again a good turnout required the formation of four divisions including a red one and with just one player making the mark of within two of handicap, the CSS moved out to 75 and the day became a non-counting event for upward review.

In the first division Phil Groves reached the top step again after stalling through the last four holes from which he gleaned just four points, but he still won by the slimmest of margins ahead of a count back for second place won by Jukka Koskela with a better 18 to 12, leaving Kevin Townsend in third after he had finished the front nine with 20 points.

The second division was taken by Vincent Gras whose best score of the day earned him a future reduction in handicap, even though he had played to his existing handicap as the CSS had moved up by three.  Second place was taken by Kari Peltalonen with Alwyne Burley a distant third.

Don Everett.Don Everett.

The third division winner was Don Everett whose modest score was still a good margin ahead of second and third, which were won by Terry Hodgkiss and Ole Stamnes respectively.

The red division went to serial winner Kiti Ulvio-Peltalonen ahead of Saara Halko once again in second.

The first division 2’s pool was shared between Jukka Koskela, Harri Ingman, Kevin Townsend and Kiti Ulvio-Peltalonen with two while the massive second division pot was taken at long last by John Wheeler on the 149 yard fifteenth with a solid driver to ten feet and an even more solid chip in.  Following the presentation and in recognition of this outstanding feat, John generously ordered drinks all round before struggling to squeeze the balance of his winnings into his wallet.

Before the prize giving there were welcomes for new members Christopher Setchell and Raye Cullen and welcome backs for Zac Philipps, Vincent Gras, Ron Rigden, John Pearce and Konrad Klama.

Following the installation of the new cricket alter at the center of the trophy display unit, made possible with the donation of Caps from both Australia and England cricket teams by Mike Hill, the usual display of the Ashes Urn, which now resides in the center of the alter, has been dispensed with and new member and returnees from Australia are just directed towards the display.

Wednesday, Feb. 6, The Emerald – Stableford

CSS 72

Division 1 (0–20)

1st Mike Korney (20) 36pts

2nd Masanori Takano (6) 34pts

3rd Bill Hurd (20) 34pts

Division 2 (21+)

1st Don Everett (22) 32pts

2nd Hal Hart (24) 28pts

3rd Tom Hillner (24) 27pts

Mike Korney.Mike Korney.

It seems that The Emerald is not as popular as it used to be, which must surely be down to the fact that the fairways are almost all crab grass.  Even with the use of the local rule of ‘lift and place’, the lower handicaps are definitely shunning the course at the moment.  But with the greens in excellent condition given that this day they were slower than usual, and the rest of the course neat and tidy, golf can still be enjoyed by many players of varying handicap levels.

So with a lower turnout of just two divisions, with the cut coming at a higher than usual twenty and below, Mike Korney topped the first division with a level handicap round that was good enough by two ahead of Masanori Takano, after the latter had won a count back over Bill Hurd with a better 16 to 11.  Bill had started out the day looking like the winner with 25 points after ten holes but then inexplicably slipped in three zero pointers.

The second division was led in by Don Everett, again with a slightly better return than the last one and finishing well ahead of Hal hart in second.  A count back for third place between Tom Hillner and Seppo Sadeharju saw Tom emerge the better by a score of 17 to 12.

Bill Hurd slipped in the only 2 in the second division during his blistering opening nine holes, just a couple of days too late, while Masanori Takano took the first division.

Back at The Haven there was a welcome for new member Michael Belbin prior to the presentations.

Friday, Feb. 8, Greenwood A & B – Stableford

CSS 72

Division 1 (0–15)

1st Phil Mitchell (7) 37pts

2nd Jens Gunnarsson (15) 36pts

3rd Phil Groves (7) 34pts

Division 2 (16-22)

1st Chris Setchell (17) 39pts

2nd Rick Holmes (19) 37pts

3rd Walter O’Keefe (16) 37pts

Division 3 (23+)

1st Mike Hill (23) 40pts

2nd Ole Stamnes (27) 30pts

3rd Markku Tynell (26) 29pts

Red Division

1st Marti Juutilainen (20) 34pts

2nd Kiti Ulvio-Peltonen (9) 29pts

Phil Groves.Phil Groves.

Once again back to big numbers and again too many golfers for too few caddies as the course managements struggle to attract the numbers of people required for the high season.  But it would appear that at least this management are proposing to do something about this sorry state of affairs by raising the caddy fee sometime soon, no doubt to coincide with the start of the low season and cheaper green fee prices so that impact is hardly noticed.

Unfortunately on this day the lack of personnel meant a longer than expected wait on the tee as has become almost a given on most courses.

The manager wisely allowed some golfers in carts to play without a caddy, and some groups utilised one caddy between two players, which is allowed by the group as caddies are not considered part of the golfer’s equipment under a local rule because players are usually not able to pick or choose them.

With what are now the more usual four divisions, and which looks to be lasting at least for another couple of weeks, including a red division again, the tee was pretty crowded, but everyone got away eventually and the rounds progressed at the normal four and a half hours.

The first division was headed by Phil Mitchell with a solid one under handicap round that was only his second competition round away from Green Valley in nine months – so not much local knowledge to draw on there and therefore a very good result.  Just one behind was Jens Gunnarsson on level handicap and Phil Groves a further two back in third.

Vincent Gras.Vincent Gras.

The second division was taken by Chris Setchell who had a very tidy round of three under handicap that was good by two to head a two-way count back between Rick Holmes and Walter O’Keefe, which Rick won with a better 19 to 18.  Don Everett had been vying for a third win a week but sadly fell away after a bright start to finish well down the pack.

Mike Hill led in the third division with the best score of the day which ensured that at last his wish of a lower handicap will be realized, also there is the hope that this progression will continue.  Ole Stamnes took his second placing of the week by holding second place ahead of Markku Tynell by the slimmest of margins.

Martti Juutilainen took the red division breaking the stranglehold of Kiti Ulvio-Peltalonen who had to settle for second on this occasion.

Phil Groves made up for missing out being higher in his division by taking the first division 2’s pool with the only one, while Vincent Gras, Rick Holmes and Chris Setchell shared the second division pot.

Before the presentations were made there was a welcome back for Toni Nicholls, who was very pleased to be back and to see the new cricket alter.

Note:  If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact mobile 082 219 0965 or call in to The Haven Hotel, at 185 Soi 13, 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 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days that you wish to play.  A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at