Crilly has a Pleasant day out

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PSC golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, May 20, Pleasant Valley – Stableford

A late withdrawal due to airline re-scheduling gave us a field of 18 starters to tackle the picturesque Pleasant Valley course, some of us for the second time in 3 days.  As we assembled at The Growling Swan we welcomed back with us Pattaya residents Ken Hole & Ken Cornwall and then we were on our way in 2 mini-vans 5 minutes earlier than our normal departure time of 8.30 am.  Traffic was fairly light for a change on a Monday morning and the journey took just 40 minutes and we found the golf course surprisingly empty considering the excellent green fee rate available at the minute. 

We took our time with preparation and then sent our first group, a three-ball, away 25 minutes earlier than our booked time of 10.00 am.  There were some menacing black clouds practically overhead that we had been watching as we approached the course but as usual there was no need to worry as they quickly disappeared upon commencement of our round.

Ebrahim, Wendy Bernek & Geri Crilly.Ebrahim, Wendy Bernek & Geri Crilly.

Playing off the white tees for a change we proceeded at a fine pace & whilst it was fairly hot there was a bit of a breeze to make things comfortable.  The golf course was looking good as it has for quite some time although the greens were quite a bit slower than we have seen them in the past.

Completing the first nine in just on two hours we did slow down a touch on the second nine with a drink stop after the fifteenth green and managed to finish the full round in four hours and five minutes.  It had been a very enjoyable round with excellent company on a fine golf course.

We were able to have 2 Grades with three podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 15 and B Grade for 16 and over.  There were rewards for nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the ninth & eighteenth greens.

In the restaurant afterward, before announcing the day’s winners I informed those present of the outstanding effort of three of our eight Growling Swan competitors in the PSC Monthly Tournament at the same course 3 days earlier.  Congratulations to the following:  Suparp “Anna” Korboon – Ladies Flight winner (43pts); Sal Brizzi – A Flight second place (net 72) and Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei – C Flight third place (39pts plus one nearest the pin).

Back to the results of the day and it was Ebrahim who took out top spot in A Grade with 40 points, 1 point ahead of Wanta Dacha in second place with Mike “Hunter” Gosden (18 point back nine) continuing his run of good form and finished third with 35 points on a count back from Suparp “Anna” Korboon (13 point back nine).

Geri Crilly won the B Grade with an excellent 44 points and Ken hole finished second with 42 points.  Dick “Reverend” Braimbridge had his best ever score here in Pattaya and finished in third spot having amassed a fine 41 points.

A Flight (0-15)

1st Ebrahim (15) 40pts

2nd Wanta Dacha (9) 39pts

3rd Mike Gosden (11) 35pts

B Flight (18+)

1st Geri Crilly (28) 44pts

2nd John Davis (24) 33pts

3rd Dick Braimbridge (36) 41pts

Near Pins: 5th – Mike Gosden; 8th – Takeshi Hakozaki; 13th – Wanta Dacha; 17th – Ebrahim

Long Putts:  9th – Wanta Dacha; 18th – Ebrahim

The previous week the Growling Swan Golfer of the Month for April was announced and the results were as follows:

1st Mike Gosden 146pts

2nd Peter Blackburn 144pts

3rd Bill McGarvie 142pts

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 narrowly won by Wendy Bernek who of course accepted the “honour” in good spirit.  Once again Max “Corsets” Bracegirdle was kind enough to parade Deefa the Dog who collected several donations for the needy in Pattaya from the generous Growling Swan Golfers.

Thursday, May 23, Burapha (A & B) – Stableford

It was with great anticipation that the field of 19 assembled at The Growling Swan for a return to the classy Burapha Golf Course to take advantage of their excellent value Sports Day rate.  We were happy to welcome back from overseas holidays Tom (T.C.) Cotton and Mike Allidi and we headed off from the GS 5 minutes early at 8.25 am.  It’s such a short trip to the course and we were there in just over 30 minutes where we found plenty of activity and we had plenty of time to prepare.

Peter Grey, Fred Dineley & Alain Taddei.Peter Grey, Fred Dineley & Alain Taddei.

Most of us spent quite a bit of time on the practice putting green & even some had time for a quick visit to the driving range but nonetheless, despite the course being naturally busy we were able to send our first group away, commencing on A1 15 minutes earlier than our booked time of 10.00 am.  The weather was looking good and not too hot and as ever the course was in magnificent shape with the greens very quick but firm and true.

We were stuck behind a Thai five-ball which did slow us down somewhat but it did not spoil anything as we took in the scenery and it gave your writer ample time to snap a few pics.  It all came to a grinding halt after 12 holes as the heavens opened when we were on the fairway on B4 but even though we could see the green flooding ahead we were confident that things would clear up.  Sure enough, 20 minutes later the rain stopped and we proceeded to B4 green, waited about 10 minutes for it to drain so we could putt and we were on our merry way again in fine conditions.

With the fairways draining extremely quickly and the greens not posing any further problems we proceeded and completed our full round in just over four hours & thirty minutes.  It had been a super day despite the downpour and with excellent company it reinforced our decision to make Burapha a monthly event on our calendar for the next five months or so.

We were able to have 2 Grades with three podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 23 and B Grade for 24 and over.  There were rewards for nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the A9 & B9 greens.

It was tight at the top in the A Grade with 2 golfers having 39 points and Mike Allidi’s 71 off the stick (18 point back nine) was only good enough to get him second spot with Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei (22 point back nine) finishing in first spot.  Another count back was required to determine third spot with Paul “Hacky” Hack (19 point back nine) getting the chocolates over Mike “Hunter” Gosden ( 16 point back nine).

The B Grade section was very well won by Fred Dinely with 40 points, 6 points clear of Gary Monley in second place and Sandy “Leiperfrog” Leiper was third with 29 points.

A Flight (0-23)

1st Alain Taddei (17) 39pts

2nd Mike Allidi (2) 39pts

3rd Paul Hack (12) 35pts

B Flight (24+)

1st Fred Dineley (27) 40pts

2nd Gary Monley (36) 34pts

3rd Sandy Leiper (34) 29pts

Near Pins:  A3 – Sal Brizzi, A6 – Mike Allidi, B3 – Alain Taddei, B8 – Mike Allidi

Long Putts:  A9 – Mike Gosden, B9 – Alain Taddei

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was once again won by Growling Swan Mine Host Peter Grey who naturally accepted the award in terrific spirit and wore the red cap for a very long time back at the bar.  Andrew “Turtle” Allen was kind enough to parade Deefa the Dog who collected many donations for the needy in Pattaya.

After the usual post mortem on the day’s event, with everyone singing the praises of the Burapha Golf Course, the conversation turned to discuss the upcoming Growling Swan First Anniversary tournament at Crystal Bay on Monday, June 10th.  It will be a four-ball Stableford event with a random draw pairing an A Grade golfer with a B Grade golfer, the draw to be done at the course prior to commencement of play.

The entry fee is 500 baht which will include terrific prizes and a sumptuous meal back at The Growling Swan where the presentations will be held.  The sign-up sheet is on the board at The Growling Swan and although we have initially 32 spots we can accommodate more if required.

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 petermalcolmblackburn @gmail.com.