The Bunker Boys Golf Society
Monday, April 17, Forrest Hills (blue tees) – Stableford
1st Mashi Keneta (16) 33pts
2nd Les Cobban (8) 33pts
3rd Geoff Parker (14) 33pts
Near Pins: Jimmy Carr, Lee Butler (2).
Many years ago Bonnie Tyler sang the song, “I was lost in France”. If she had been around today she may have changed the words to “I was lost in Khao Yai”. This was the case for Frank and Les who didn’t make it to the first game of our tour and even with sat-nav they had to concede defeat. To be fair, the Sir James course is tricky to find.
This is a beautiful layout, but there were a few issues with the greens; slow and bumpy and in need of a mower. Scoring was on the low side with only three players reaching thirty-three points, the placings decided on count-back. There were many hard luck stories and cases of what might have been but these never make it to the scoresheet. Overall a very pleasant day’s golf devoid of those pesky little black flies that cause so much annoyance on the Pattaya courses.
Tuesday, April 18, Khaow Yai G.C. (blue tees) – Stableford
1st Mike Brett (17) 37pts
2nd Geoff Parker (14) 35pts
3rd Jimmy Carr (18) 35pts
Near Pins: Les Hall (2), Mike Brett, Mashi Keneta
Nestled amongst the mountains of the National Park, Khaow Yai Golf Club must surely be the most picturesque course in Thailand. Designed by the ‘Golden Bear’ it has some of Jack’s best design work on display. A peculiar feature of the course is the bunkering, red/orange sand is very different, even the course dogs that frequent them are the same colours.
In keeping with the quality of the course, the standard of golf was much improved with the exception of a two shot penalty incurred by both Jimmy Carr and Geoff Parker for playing each other’s ball on a closing hole. Both ended up with thirty five points, taking second and third places on count-back. Mike Brett took first place with thirty seven points, twenty two on the back-nine. Mashi generously donated a Titleist golf tog bag to the winner of the day.
Longest drive of the day went to Frank Quinlan, not on the course but on the way to the course. It seemed Frank was destined to be dogged by sat-nav problems on this tour.
Wednesday, April 19, Rancho Charnvee (yellow tees) – Stableford
1st Les Hall (24) 34pts
2nd Geoff Parker (14) 33pts
3rd Les Cobban (8) 32pts
Near Pins: Mashi Keneta (2), Mike Brett, Jimmy Carr.
With Frank having difficulty finding the golf courses he decided to follow the organizer Geoff only to arrive at the course via the runway of the local airport. Dodging aeroplanes is somewhat unusual as opposed to cars and motorcycles on the roads.
The clubhouse was of a very high standard and the view out from there was visually stunning, including a lake with a cabin cruiser moored in the middle. The course promised a very good playing surface, however as we went around we encountered a variety of conditions, pristine in places and disappointingly shabby in others. Some greens had just been cored and sanded, others had been done a few weeks prior and the remainder still to be done meant an ever changing putting challenge.
To add to this we had also a variety of weather conditions. Starting out in bright sunshine, for a few holes the wind got very strong, and eventually gave way to rain which luckily was very light and brief, and we finished as we started in bright sunshine again.
Scoring was mediocre at best and Les Hall took the chocolates with a modest thirty four points.
Thursday, April 20, Panorama G.C. (white tees) – Stableford
1st Gerry Cooney (15) 37pts
2nd Jimmy Carr (18) 35pts
3rd Mark Stanley (9) 33pts
Near Pins: Gerry Cooney, Mike Brett, Geoff Parker.
Today started out bad and went downhill from there. Over breakfast Mashi and Gerry Garcia decided not to participate any further and set off back to Pattaya. Frank’s bad back didn’t respond to pharmaceutical intervention so he was sidelined also. This left two groups of four to contest the day’s play.
We received a concession rate of 1000 baht all in as the course was undergoing maintenance – this was ‘Thai speak’ for coring and sanding the greens. This was not our biggest problem though as by any measure this is a tight challenging course, but today it was as dry as the Gobi Desert with dry withered grass on hard pan fairways. Anywhere off the fairways was severely punished which resulted in low scores for most, however none of this mattered to Gerry Cooney who sailed home with a very good thirty seven points. The rest of the scores are best ignored to avoid embarrassment.
Friday April 21, Thanont G.C. (white tees) – Stableford
1st Lee Butler (20) 36pts
2nd Mike Brett (17) 34pts
3rd Mark Stanley (9) 34pts
Near Pins: Mike Brett, Lee Butler.
For the last game of our Songran tour it was decided to choose a course much closer to Pattaya to reduce fatigue for drivers after four games in a row, so we choose a layout in the southeast suburbs of Bangkok. Thanont Golf Course was chosen due to ease of access from the highway from Khao Yai, and to Highway 7.
Little was known about this course so it was a case of take what comes. A green fee of 1000 baht suggested it might be a reasonable course and as it turned out that’s what we got: A wide open course with well-positioned fairway bunkers, and good quality greens. However, anything too wayward was appropriately punished. A good watering would also improve the course enormously.
Our numbers were reduced to six players plus one guest, seven-year old Tina Butler with a swing to die for. Tina got two par’s off the ladies tees, an excellent result from one so young. It may come to pass that we have to change our name to The Bunker Boys and Girls.
The winner of the day was Tina’s dad Lee who after some difficulties throughout the week found his mojo and recorded a score of thirty-six, followed in second place by Michael Brett with thirty-four, beating Mark Stanley on count-back.
The winner for the week was the ever-consistent Jimmy Carr, who despite not winning any day maintained a sufficiently high standard to claim the prize of three sleeves of Calloway balls donated by Mashi. Second and third went to Michael Brett and Geoff Parker.
In future, if we undertake a five-day tour it has been suggested that we take a day out in the middle for relaxation and recreation, after five days in a row fatigue becomes significant.