Champions retain title at 2016 Poppy Golf tourney

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The idea for a golf tournament to mark the annual period of Remembrance and support for the Poppy Appeal came from a meeting of minds in Tropical Bert’s, now Tropicals, back in 2009.  Now into its 7th edition, it was time for the volunteer, namely the scribe, to get the event moving once more.  Sadly my right hand man, Max, who had been my stalwart support for the past 6 years, passed away this year, so the tournament was not only going to be more difficult, but quite moving also.  Fortunately the ‘spritely’ Nigel Cannon and Mark West jumped into the gap and provided much valued help.

Defending champion Trevor Gough (centre) is congratulated by the President of the Royal British Legion Thailand, Graham MacDonald MBE (right) and former PSC Golf President, Mark West (left). Gough’s playing partner Andrew Byrne was not present during the awards night.
Defending champion Trevor Gough (centre) is congratulated by the President of the Royal British Legion Thailand, Graham MacDonald MBE (right) and former PSC Golf President, Mark West (left). Gough’s playing partner Andrew Byrne was not present during the awards night.

This year, with the fall on the European currencies against the Thai baht, there was certainly a real shortage of golfers around and in the end we had 98 players sign up, 55 short of last year’s number but not bad in the circumstances.  I suspect that playing at Khao Kheow, at a great rate, with a night out at the Amari Tavern by the Sea had much to do with having as many players as we had.

Friday the 4th November started fine and sunny and it seemed the ‘no rain dance’ had worked for once, so with the close to one hundred players turning out we had a two-tee start beginning at 10 a.m. and played the A and B nines.

Carts were allowed off the paths and the fairways were in good condition if a little wet in places, however with the tees back and the pins in their most difficult positions the course played quite tough.  On the par 3’s, as said, the pins were placed in the most difficult positions and with the greens as fast as any I have played on this year it was a real test.

The scribe kept things ticking over smoothly during the awards evening at Amari Pattaya.
The scribe kept things ticking over smoothly during the awards evening at Amari Pattaya.

With some fine weather it was a great walk around and good humour was seen in most groups.  At the end of play all were unanimous in what a fine day it had been.

With the early starters coming in Nigel and Mark got underway with the results and I nipped up to the restaurant to provide refreshments for the hard pressed pair.  Here as well as elsewhere, I must say thank you to the Khao Kheow staff who are really exceptional.

The plan was originally to have the presentation at Amari’s Tavern By The Sea on the following day, but with the sad passing of His Majesty The King (and our deepest condolences to all Thai people) that had to be rearranged and it was put  back to the 18th, not surprising then that some people were unavailable.

Tropical golfers pose for a photo during their round at Khao Kheow.
Tropical golfers pose for a photo during their round at Khao Kheow.

With all the attendees filling their plates with the superb food that The Tavern by the Sea provided, the President of the Royal British Legion Thailand, Graham MacDonald MBE, and your scribe, a recently retired Chairman of the Legion, called order and thanked all the people and companies who had supported us.

Thanks in particular goes to Khao Kheow Country Club, Manpower Group, Pattaya Mail Media Group, Amari Pattaya, Pattaya Sports Club, Macallan Insurance Brokers Co Ltd, Pattaya Reality, and Hansard.

Nigel Canon and Mark West man the registration desk on tournament day.
Nigel Canon and Mark West man the registration desk on tournament day.

Golfers and golf societies have also given so much support.  These include Colin’s Bar and Colin Davis, Lewinski’s, BJ’s and Tropicals, Daryl Evans, Mashi Kaneta, Dick Warberg, George King, Keith Phillips, Tom Cotton and Kurt Ebentheuer.  Also Andy Barraclough, present Chairman of the Royal British Legion Thailand.  I am sure I have forgotten some, my apologies, but my thanks to all for their continued support.  I cannot end without also thanking Phillip Smeed for the winners’ mugs.

As the night progressed we sent out Nigel Cannon to sell the lucky draw tickets, waited until most had eaten their food and then got on with the results.

Limbering up before the big day gets underway.
Limbering up before the big day gets underway.

In sixth place was the team of John Costello and Landis Brooks with a very good 45 points on count back over three more teams.  Taking fifth spot on the podium was the team of Bob Lindborg and Ning with 46 points while the pairing of Dave Cooper and Bob Britton finished third with a very good 47 points.  The top three saw the duo of Maurice Roberts and Don Carmody in third with 48 points, edged out of second on count back by Dominick Downey and John Healey.  This year’s tournament winners were the team of Andrew Byrne and Trevor Gough with a fine 51 point total.

It has to be said with thanks here that the winners, who were also the champions last year, then returned the golf bag prizes to be sold and the funds go to the charity.  I thank them for this fine gesture.

It was then time for the lucky draw and some stayed till late and had a few ‘cold uns’ and slowly the happy golfers left for home. T.T.F.N.

Near Pins: (A Flight) Bill McGarvie, Jim Bell, Mogens Helander, Steffan Lystrom; (B Flight) Trevor Goff, Ronnie Ratte, Stephan Boskov, Colin Davis.

Long Putts: (A Flight) Anders Petterson, Bill McGarvie; (B Flight) Elias Magnusson, Odd Holm-Hansen.

Lady golfers came out in force to support the event
Lady golfers came out in force to support the event