Cobban comes to the fore


The Bunker Boys Golf Society

Monday, May 1, Mt. Shadow (blue tees) – Stableford

1st Les Cobban (9) 36pts

2nd Jim Payne (33) 33pts

3rd Keith Allen (12) 32pts

Near Pins: Keith Allen, Ross Schiffke, Les Hall, Jim Payne.

Ross Schiffke and his caddy.
Ross Schiffke and his caddy.

What a difference a few days make!  Friday we endured torrential rain, strong wind, thunder and lightning, today was about as different as it comes: No wind, extreme temperatures and high humidity were the order of the day.  Some complained of extreme fatigue or heat exhaustion after the round.  A message to all in these conditions is to stay hydrated, take shade wherever possible and if necessary take a cart, it is clear that the mental game is the first to go when it gets this hot.

We had a good turnout of fourteen for the first game of the month and were treated to an empty course in very good condition, clearly benefiting from recent rain.  This is a challenging course by any measure where many players fail to register a decent score, and today was no different with most scores in the vicinity of thirty points.  As is usually the case, one player stands out and today it was Les Cobban who soared above the rest with a very well compiled thirty-six points.  Nice to have Jim Payne make an appearance.

Wednesday, May 3, Pleasant Valley (blue tees) – Stableford

1st Geoff Parker (16) 38pts

2nd Alan Sullivan (12) 35pts

3rd Neil Carter (12) 33pts

Near Pins: Geoff Parker (2), Alan Sullivan, Geoff Cox.

Our second round of the month came at a course that always generates heated debate and controversy.  Today, as before, it started with check-in where we discovered that there was only 100 baht difference between walking and having a cart, a curious pricing structure indeed and one that seems designed to force players to use a cart.  On the course, there was a total absence of red or yellow hazard markers, surely something that could be easily and cheaply remedied.

Another issue was that some of the bunkers needed mowing and the grass replaced with sand.  There is always the perennial issue of internal OB.  The rationale behind it is to prevent people on the 11th fairway from being hit by a ball teed off from the tenth and hit deliberately onto the eleventh fairway cutting the corner.  In reality, this is unlikely to happen as a second shot from the eleventh fairway to the tenth green would be far more difficult than one played from the correct fairway.  Furthermore, it doesn’t prevent balls from players with a slice from entering the eleventh fairway from the tenth tee.

Despite all of the above, the course was in overall very good condition, greens were a bit slow due to recent rain, and occasionally balls plugged in wet fairways.

Scoring was a bit of a mixed bag and Geoff Parker was the only player to beat par with a fine thirty eight points.  There were a number of curious rounds with people starting well only to fade away and others doing the exact opposite.

Once again rain played a part with a short downpour on the closing holes drenching everybody, but otherwise an enjoyable day’s golf was had by all.

Friday, May 5, The Emerald (white tees) – Stableford

1st Ross Schiffke 37pts

2nd Les Cobban 35pts

3rd Mike Brett 35pts

Near Pins: Colin Greg (2), Mike Brett, Mashi Keneta.

Thunder and lightning throughout the night followed by early morning rain were bad omens for a pleasant rain-free day of golf.  Dark ominous clouds hovered above as we arrived at the course and the caddies added to the gloom by suggesting rain covers be put on prior to loading bags onto golf carts.  Despite all this, the weather gods smiled benevolently on us and we enjoyed some of the most pleasant conditions we could experience in Thailand.  Very mild temperatures and no wind or glaring sun were the order of the day.

The course was in fine condition except for the bunkers, many of which were still full of water from the overnight rain.  Scoring varied from excellent to very poor, with a few players submitting uncharacteristically low scores.  Best round of the day went to Ross Schiffke who seems to have very quickly found his winning way with a score of thirty-seven points.  Michael Brett had a personal best twenty-three on the front nine which was followed by the collapse of the century with only twelve on the back.

Welcome back to Colin Greig who looks to still be finding his game, however, two near pins suggests it’s not far away.