Catillon & Buckingham shine at Bangpakong

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PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, Nov. 5, Bangpakong – Stableford

Our numbers were down for today’s outing and I can only think that the longer journey seems to put some people off from playing at the classy Bangpakong Riverside Golf Club.  We still had eighteen starters however and assembled at The Growling Swan in readiness for the journey.  There were several returnees and newcomers so welcomes were afforded to Eric (Judge) Black & Paul Simons from Geelong, Victoria, Australia, J J Harney returning from his trip back home to Ireland, Ken & Wendy Bernek back from a couple of weeks in the USA and first timer John Swanson, a Pattaya resident, formerly from California, USA.

We managed to get away from the GS a couple of minutes ahead of schedule at 8.28 am and arrived at the course 70 minutes later to find it fairly quiet.  Although we were running a touch late there was no problem as we weren’t holding any other groups up and we managed to get our first group away five minutes behind schedule at 10.05 am.  The weather was once again fantastic and this lovely golf course was looking a treat with lush fairways and perfectly maintained greens although I did find them a touch slower than normal at times.

Graham Buckingham, Paul Simons & Michael Catillon.Graham Buckingham, Paul Simons & Michael Catillon.

With no-one directly in front of us we were able to “breeze” round the front nine in a touch over two hours and had a quick drink stop before the 12th tee and then promptly proceeded on our merry way.  It did become much hotter during our second nine but plenty of water kept us going at a good pace and the full round was completed in the excellent time of four hours & ten minutes.

My apologies for harping on but I cannot understand for the life in me why true, keen golfers are not prepared to travel the extra mileage to play at this magnificent venue.  Another great day out with terrific company & some fairly good golf played at times.

We were able to have 2 grades with four podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 19 & B Grade for 20 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on 9 and 18 which were collectively sponsored by The Growling Swan, Paul Simons, Ebrahim & The French Connection (Alain Taddei, J C Lhoste & Michael Catillon).  Many thanks to these golfers for their generosity.

Peter Blackburn, Gary Monley & Max Bracegirdle.Peter Blackburn, Gary Monley & Max Bracegirdle.

It was a close contest at the top of A Grade with Michael Catillon the winner with a fine 39 points, one point ahead of yours truly in second place.  Paul Hack finished third with 35 points and in a count back on 34 points it was Ebrahim (19 point back nine) who finished fourth from Alain (Inspector Clouseau) Taddei (16 point back nine).

Graham “Grunter” Buckingham once more finished on the podium and won the B Grade with 39 points, just 1 point ahead of Jean Claude Lhoste in second spot.  Roy Dayton was third with 36 points and his partner Kae fourth on 35 points.

A Flight (0-19)

1st Michael Catillon (19) 39pts

2nd Peter Blackburn (12) 38pts

3rd Paul Hack (11) 35pts

4th Ebrahim (15) 34pts

B Flight (20+)

1st Graham Buckingham (24) 39pts

2nd J C Lhoste (23) 38pts

3rd Roy Dayton (22) 36pts

4th Duangjai Tusagad (32) 35pts

Near Pins:  4th – J J Harney, 7th – J C Lhoste, 13th – Max Bracegirdle, 16 – Brendan Byrne

Long Putts:  9th – Eric Black, 18th – J C Lhoste

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 well won by Paul Simons and he accepted the award in fine spirit.  Then it was back to the Growling Swan and the topics of conversation were the great day of golf and the following day’s running of the “race that stops a nation (Australia)” – The Melbourne Cup!

Thursday, Nov. 8, Rayong Country Club – Stableford

We had 29 signed up to play but ended up with 2 less than that after a couple of newcomer “no shows” and as we all assembled at The Growling Swan the skies were clear and a good day’s golf was anticipated.  Returning to Pattaya were Robbie Williams from Geelong, Victoria, Australia and Andre Barril from France to whom hearty welcomes were extended.

Getting away from the GS right on schedule at 8.30 am we headed off and arrived at the golf course 44 minutes later to find it very quiet so we took our time in preparation and were invited to tee off at our leisure.  We got our first four-ball away at 9.45 am, 15 minutes ahead of schedule and in fantastic weather conditions we proceeded at a good pace with not a soul in sight ahead of us, truly “millionaires golf”.

The golf course was in fairly good shape although most of the greens were half sanded so the secret was to land the ball on the non-sanded part of the green but of course this is easier said than done.  Regardless of that, as the saying goes “it’s the same for everyone “ and it certainly did not deter us from enjoying a good day’s golf.

We coasted through the first nine in just over two hours and after a five or so minute drink stop at half way we continued at a somewhat slower pace as the afternoon sun blazed down which did slow down a couple of us “old chaps”.  This resulted in a round of just under four and a half hours but with great company and a challenging layout it was a matter of appreciating “just another day in paradise”.

We were able to have 2 grades with five podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 20 & B Grade for 21 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on 9 and 18 which were collectively sponsored by The Growling Swan, John Pierrel, Ron Gillett, Max Bracegirdle, Lindsay Fry & Robbie Williams.  Many thanks to these golfers for their generosity.

We had a “bolter in the A Grade with yours truly having a day out to win with 40 points, 8 points ahead of Mike Gosden (17 point back nine) in second place and John Pierrel (14 point back nine) finishing third.  There were four golfers on 30 points vying for fourth & fifth spots and Ken “let’s hear it for” Bernek (15 point back nine) just pipped Eric “Judge” Black (14 point back nine) with J J Harney (13 point back nine) and Ebrahim (13 point back nine) just missing out.

In a very close tussle at the top of B Grade it was Max “two corsets” Bracegirdle (25 point back nine) winning from Duangjai “Kae” Tusagad (21 point back nine) in second spot with both golfers on 39 points.  Brendan Byrne finished third with 32 points and yet another count back was required to decide fourth & fifth places with 3 people on 31 points.  It was veteran Kevin Dinan (19 point back nine) who ended up fourth and after being all square in all facets on the back nine it was Wendy Bernek (14 points on last 6 holes of the front nine) who claimed fifth place, edging out Bernie McCart (13 points on last 6 holes of the front nine).

A Flight (0-20)

1st Peter Blackburn (12) 40pts

2nd Mike Gosden (12) 32pts

3rd John Pierrel (12) 32pts

4th Ken Bernek (14) 30pts

5th Eric Black (14) 30pts

B Flight (21+)

1st Max Bracegirdle (29) 39pts

2nd Duangjai Tusagad (32) 39pts

3rd Brendan Byrne (23) 32pts

4th Kevin Dinan (27) 31pts

5th Wendy Bernek (34) 31pts

Near Pins:  5th – Mike Gosden, 7th – Wendy Bernek, 12th – Robbie Williams, 16th – Peter Blackburn

Long Putts:  9th – Paul Simons, 18th – Duangjai Tusagad

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 well won by Gary Monley and he accepted the award in fine spirit.  Back at The Growling Swan afterwards the beer was flowing and the usual friendly banter was flying around which capped off yet another very enjoyable 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 [email protected].