PSC Golf Bunker Boys at The Ranch
Monday, August 3, Springfield C.C. – Stableford
An intrepid group of 12 players traveled down to Hua Hin on Sunday for our annual visit, taking advantage of the discounted green fees available during the Golf Festival.
Following a “relaxing” evening sampling the hostelries of Hua Hin there were a few thick heads as we teed off Monday morning at the Jack Nicklaus designed Springfield course, which is always on our schedule and provides a great test of golf, even from the white tees (6,300 yards).
The course was in good shape, with the weather cool and overcast, and there was an instant sample of what was to come as Paul Smith almost drove the green on the 325-yard par four opening hole. At the end of the day though it was Geoff Cox who emerged as the only player who bettered his handicap, taking the opening day’s competition one point clear of Les Cobban, with Paul Smith only finishing third (despite recording a score of gross 73!).
The only complaint that was heard following completion of the round was regarding the price of drinks in the clubhouse, with a small Tiger beer at 130 baht and even the teetotalers couldn’t escape with a soda water at 80 baht!
1st Geoff Cox (15) 37pts
2nd Les Cobban (8) 36pts
3rd Paul Smith (2) 35pts
Near Pins: Paul Smith (2) and Colin Greig (2)
Tuesday, August 4, Majestic Creek C.C. – Stableford
We decided to give this course a try because we’d never played it before on our previous trips, and it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise with a good layout providing a variety of holes. The fairways were lush and the greens in good condition, but they proved very challenging to read.
Once again the weather was overcast and relatively cool, so conditions were ideal for someone to make a good score, and it was no surprise to anyone that Paul Smith stepped up to the plate with a great round of gross 68 (40pts) to easily take the honours. Geoff Cox continued his good run of form to take second place three points ahead of Rab McDonald.
Drinks prices are reasonable here and we enjoyed a pleasant hour on the clubhouse patio following completion of the round, as a shower of rain arrived at the perfect time.
1st Paul Smith (2) 40pts
2nd Geoff Cox (15) 37pts
3rd Rab McDonald (17) 34pts
Near Pins: Paul Smith and Colin Greig (2)
Wednesday, August 5, Black Mountain – Stableford
Playing this championship course is always a must when we visit Hua Hin, and although there was extensive maintenance work in progress on the opening couple of holes, the course was otherwise in good condition. Despite being the top course in the area, the management here are customer friendly, with guests being allowed on the course free of charge and bottles of drinking water available at 10 baht (how many courses in Pattaya sell water at that price!)
A strong breeze made conditions difficult, but the round progressed smoothly and it was a thoroughly enjoyable day for everyone except Lee Butler who was forced to retire after 14 holes, apparently with heat stroke.
In previous years this course has been a happy hunting ground for Colin Greig, but there was no stopping the great form of Paul Smith as he once again took the top podium position. Geoff Cox recorded his third consecutive round playing to his handicap or better, to take third place, thereby maintaining his challenge for the overall title.
1st Paul Smith (2) 38pts
2nd Colin Greig (8) 37pts
3rd Geoff Cox (15) 36pts
Near Pins: Geoff Parker, Mashi Kaneta and Rab McDonald (2)
Thursday, August 6, Windsor Park G.C. – Stableford
A reduced field of golfers set off from Hua Hin early in the morning, with several players suffering from the rigours of three consecutive days of golf, and Paul Smith departing to Cambodia to take part in a top regional amateur competition in Siam Reap.
Although this course is on the outskirts of Bangkok and is only a one hour and forty five minute drive from Pattaya, none of us had ever played it before, and it proved to be a genuine challenge.
The day was overcast and we had two brief showers of rain during the round, but the condition of the course was good, although the pace of play was slow. It’s a mature course with trees lining every fairway and there are water hazards on every hole, so it was no surprise that everyone struggled, and even the previously consistent Geoff Cox only managed to score 25 points. Geoff Parker stayed out of trouble more than most and won the competition on the day one point clear of Gerry Cooney, who took second place on a count back ahead of Colin Greig.
1st Geoff Parker (14) 31pts
2nd Gerry Cooney (15) 30pts
3rd Colin Greig (8) 30pts
Near Pins: Les Cobban, Mashi Kaneta and Gerry Cooney.
In the absence of Paul Smith, Geoff Cox’s score was just enough to maintain his lead in the overall four day competition, giving him a two point victory over Colin Greig, with Les Cobban taking third place a further point adrift.