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IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at the Elephant Bar

The Pattaya Golf Society began the new week with a visit to Khao Kheow on a hot and humid Monday, 17th November, for a stableford competition on the B and A courses in two flights cut at 11.8 and under.  

The course has survived the wet season relatively well but remedial work on the fairways has left many lightly sanded areas which absorb all the momentum from descending golf balls and yesterday limited the run expected.  The greens were fine and consistent if no more than medium paced.

It was therefore surprising that scores were not higher across the field, but on reflection it was, after all, a Monday!  In the second flight Jesper Hansen took the pot for the only birdie ‘2’, on A5, and also shared third place with Jim Ferris on 30 points.  The joint winners of the flight were Brian Talbot and Dave Edwards on 34 points and both obviously enjoying their brief inclusion in the higher handicapped flight.

Scenic Khao Kheow G.C.Scenic Khao Kheow G.C.

The top division saw Brian Beaupre, Jon Batty and Peter Ditz all return birdie ‘2’s on A5 whilst newbie Paul Hubbard managed the feat on the Island Hole on his debut with the group.  Alan Flynn finished third on 32 points and mark Lang put the horrors of his previous round behind him in recording 36 points for second.  The winner with the only sub-par round of the day was Brian Beaupre and his gross 74 gave him 39 points for an astounding win.  This was truly a class performance by the Canadian golfer.

Jon Batty’s status as almost “invincible” took a massive jolt when he received the Booby Bevy for recording a score of no more than Mr Len, thereby nose-diving from hero to zero status and the bar’s free draw for the non winners was won by Simon Hirst on his first round with the group. The week had started in fine style again.

Pattana to the rescue

Not a good start to the golfing day – being told that your scheduled course is subject to a caddy strike.  Yet that was the situation at Greenwood on Wednesday, 19 November.  One of our members was contacted by his Greenwood caddie around 0830, who relayed the situation; that all caddies would be withdrawing their services in protest at management’s alleged “clean-out” programme – retiring all male and lady caddies over a certain age.

Luckily this gave us enough time to find an alternative.  The fact that we got the first of our nine groups to Pattana, teeing off just prior to the original scheduled time, says a lot for that Pattaya Golf Society member and his Greenwood caddie – thank you Khun Wichai.

Pattana plays long, whatever the yardage, so it was decided to have a two-tee competition with A Flight (handicap 14 and under) going off the whites (6700 yards), and B Flight off the yellows (6300 yards).  Our course today comprised B and C, which meant our starting hole was the much-feared B1.  The wind was up, suggesting this was going to be a tough day; it was.

The fairways were in excellent order, as were the front nine greens.  The C nine greens were still recovering from recent coring, which meant some putts were thrown off line through no fault of the golfer.  The bunker sand at Pattana is extremely fluffy, making the execution of a standard splash-shot impossible.  The sand needs compacting.

Today was a hard test of golf, so it was no surprise that only one player from our nine groups broke par.  In the B Flight there was one ‘2’, on B7 scored by John O’Sullivan, whilst one-handicapper Chris Smith’s ball-striking was very much in evidence as his overall score along with three ‘2’s proved.

Back at the Elephant Bar, welcome-backs were extended to Richard Dobson from the UK and John Chelo from Canada.  John Tallett won the lucky beer draw again, whilst the booby bevy was awarded to today’s real hero – the chap whose efforts ensured we had our day of golf – Wichai Tananusorn.

A Flight

1st Hisahiko Makino (12) 37pts

2nd Chris Smith (1) 36pts

3rd Alan Flynn (12) 34pts

B Flight

T1st Jesper Hansen (16) 35pts

T1st Garry Hookey (17) 35pts

3rd John O’Sullivan (20) 33pts

Earning a podium place today was tough work; congratulations to the six who succeeded, and a special mention to the owner of today’s best score, the only one to break par – enjoy your trip home – Hisahiko San.

Pattavia’s greens – therein lies the challenge

A Flight

T1st Brian Beaupre (5) 36pts

T1st Rich Schramm (10) 36pts

T3rd Tomas Nilsson (11) 33pts

T3rd Alan Griffiths (11) 33pts

B Flight

1st Jim Ferris (19) 36pts

T2nd Larry Gibb (21) 35pts

T2nd Murray Edwards (22) 35pts

Friday 21 November saw the Pattaya Golf Society take seven groups up the 331 to Pattavia Century Golf Club.

The course was presented in a state we have become used to from this rejuvenated golf club – excellent.  Some fairways on the front nine can offer the occasional tight lie, as grass growth recovers, but overall, these fairways are well presented.  Bunkers, the source of jokes in the past, are superb, with the well-tended and compacted sand offering every chance of a good escape.  Finally, the greens; herein lies the key to scoring well on this course.  Putting surfaces are very grain-dependant.  When this is combined with slope, the challenge becomes marked, especially when above or side-on to the hole.

This course, despite the bumpy trip through the pineapple fields, is worth every bit of the 700 baht green-fee.

Our field comprised of two divisions, with the handicap split at 14.3 and under.  There were three ‘2’s in B Flight; Ken Page on the 4th, Dave Lehane at 7 and Larry Gibb on 13.  The scoring was tight at the top, with just one point separating the three podium place-getters.  Interesting to note the winning scores in both flights were identical.

Those scoring ‘2’s in A Flight were Tony Campbell and David Thomas on 4, Brian Beaupre on 13 and Jon Batty on 17.  This total of seven ‘2’s was in stark contrast to the number achieved on our last visit here, two weeks ago: none.  Pin placements at this course make a huge difference.

Tony Campbell’s tee-shot on the 4th also earned him a bottle of whisky, kindly donated by Simon Hurst, for being closest to the pin.

Back at the Elephant Bar we welcomed our newest member, Paul Hunter from the UK, whilst welcome-backs were extended to Canadian Henry Mah and Toshihiro Aoki from Japan.

The lucky beer draw was won by Henry Mah while the booby bevy was awarded to recently returned Richard Dobson, in commiseration of having a ‘mare of a round – the worst of the day by some margin.