Dayton wins his first Growling Swan Monthly Mug

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PSC golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, Oct. 22, The Emerald – Stableford

After one “no-show” we settled for a field of 18 golfers and assembled at The Growling Swan in preparation for the trip to the Emerald Golf Club.  There had been several recent negative reports regarding the condition of this golf course and some had vowed to give it a miss for a while but we decided to find out for ourselves as it is popular with our members.

We welcomed back Sandy “leaperfrog” Leiper after his short trip back to Scotland and also first timers Jan Piet Andersen & Thor Olsen, formerly of Norway but now residing in Pattaya.

Roy Dayton, Peter Grey, Brad Todd & Stuart Rifkin. Roy Dayton, Peter Grey, Brad Todd & Stuart Rifkin.

The skies were clear and another fine day was anticipated as we left the GS right on time at 8.30 am.  The journey was a touch slower than normal & we arrived at the course 50 minutes later to find it practically deserted.  This enabled us to tee off at our leisure and our first group, a three-ball got away 15 minutes ahead of schedule.  Carts were allowed on the fairways at a 90 degree angle but as there had been rain overnight & conditions appeared a bit wet winter rules through the greens were allowed.

It was quite hot with blue skies above and as we proceeded we were all remarking on what the fuss had been about as the golf course was completely playable with several areas of G.U.R on the approaches to some of the greens but not posing any real problems for those who are truly dedicated to and enjoy the game of golf.

We were held up on the front nine by a very slow non Thai four-ball which resulted in a time of two hours and fifteen minutes but after a talking to by the course Marshall they shot away on the back nine although as it was becoming very hot we found it necessary to take a couple of drink breaks.  We finished our full round in four hours and thirty minutes and it must be said that we found the golf course in quite good shape considering their problems with recent rain and the greens were firm and true & at times fairly slick.  We will most certainly be back next month!

We were able to have 2 grades with three podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 18 and B Grade for 19 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes which were sponsored by Graham Buckingham, Brad Todd, Mozart Bronze & The Growling Swan.  There were also rewards for longest first putts on the 9th & 18 greens which were kindly sponsored by the guys from Mandurah Country Club.  Many thanks to these golfers for their generosity.

Mike Allidi, Allan Tranaeker & Brad Todd. Mike Allidi, Allan Tranaeker & Brad Todd.

Two handicapper Mike Allidi certainly had no trouble with the golf course as he carded a gross 69 with 15 pars & 3 birdies to give him 41 stableford points and a clear winner in the A grade.  In second spot came Eddie Townsend with a fine 38 points and the colorful Walter Baechli finished third with 36 points.

Once more it was Brad “Toddy Junior” Todd who won the B grade with a solid 34 points, 3 points ahead of Graham “Grunter” Buckingham in second place and veteran Kevin Dinan third with 29 points.

A Flight (0-18)

1st Mike Allidi (2) 41pts

2nd Eddie Townsend (18) 38pts

3rd Walter Baechli (18) 36pts

B Flight (19+)

1st Brad Todd (19) 34pts

2nd Graham Buckingham (24) 31pts

3rd Kevin Dinan (26) 29pts

Near Pins:  5th – Mike Allidi; 7th – Graham Buckingham; 13th – Bjarne Kjaer; 15th – Brad Todd

Long Putts:  9th – Walter Baechli; 18th – Bjarne Kjaer

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 on this occasion by Allan “parrot” Tranaeker and as is usual for him he accepted the award in fine spirit.  Then it was back to The Growling Swan for the usual post mortems of what could have been on the golf course earlier. Lots of fun and “Mickey taking” of course and a great way to finish a good day.

Thursday, Oct. 25, Burapha, A & B – Stroke/Monthly Mug

There were a few last minute inclusions for the fifth Growling Swan Monthly Mug competition which swelled our numbers up to 29 and this time the classy Burapha was chosen to host this monthly stroke event.  We gathered at The Growling Swan and even Stu “Heineken” arrived very early along with others who were looking forward to the challenge on this beautiful Pattaya morning.

We welcomed Max “two corsets” Bracegirdle’s brother, Geoff from Perth, Australia, and also Ernie Picking from Melbourne, Australia.  Sadly it was time to farewell Brad “young Toddy” Todd after several weeks of playing golf here as he is returning to Perth on the weekend.  It now gives others a chance of winning in the future, perhaps the Growling Swan “delinquents” who were joining us for the event.  We also wished good luck to the colorful Walter Baechli who will shortly be off on a cycling tour from Chiang Rai to Udon Thani.

Three mini-vans were required this time & we headed off right on schedule at 8.30 am and after the short 32 minute ride arrived at Burapha where it was very busy.  This was to be our last visit here until probably next April as the “high season” prices will commence next month so we were determined to make the most of it.

After a leisurely half hour or so of putting & preparation we managed to tee off 10 minutes ahead of our booked time of 10.05 am and in terrific weather conditions our first four-ball proceeded at a fairly good pace although the groups in front were certainly in no hurry.

The golf course was superb and in terrific shape and the few golfers that were playing there for the first time were “blown away” by its scenery and class.  We managed to get round our first nine (A) in two hours & ten minutes and about the same time for the second nine (B) which gave us a total time of four hours & twenty minutes which, considering the traffic on the course & the fact that we were playing a stroke round was quite acceptable.  It had been quite hot and humid but we were once again thankful of a rain free round on this magnificent layout.  Can’t wait for next April!

In addition to the Monthly Mug winner we were able to have 2 grades with five podium spots in each. A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 18 and B Grade for 19 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the A9 & B9 greens which were collectively sponsored by The Growling Swan, Walter Baechli, Brendan Byrne, Eddie Thompson, John Pierrel & Lindsay Fry.  Many thanks to these guys for their generosity.

One of our regular golfers, American Roy Dayton won his first Growling Swan Monthly Mug with a very creditable net 67.  A three-way count back was necessary to determine the winner of the A grade and it was Stu “Heineken” Rifkin (net 33 back nine) who came first from Walter Baechli (net 36 back nine) in second place & yours truly (net 37 back nine) finished third, all three having net 72.  Another count back was needed for fourth & fifth spots and with net 74 it was John Pierrel (net 36 back nine) who took out fourth spot.

Working out who finished fifth was somewhat of a “marathon” as there were two scores almost identical in all areas but after being unable to separate them on the back nine it was Mike “Hunter” Gosden (net 25 on last 6 holes on the front nine) who got the chocolates with Paul Hack (net 26 on last 6 holes on the front nine) just missing out.

Once more it was that Brad Todd who took the honours in B grade with a solid net 71, just one better than Graham “Grunter” Buckingham in second place.  Yet another count back was necessary to determine third, fourth & fifth places with three players on net 74.  In third spot was Fred Dineley (net 34 back nine) with Bernie McCart fourth (net 36 back nine) and Kae (net 38 back nine) rounded off the podium in fifth place.

Monthly Mug

1st Roy Dayton (23) net 67

A Flight (0-18)

1st Stu Rifkin (16) net 72

2nd Walter Baechli (18) net 72

3rd Peter Blackburn (11) net 72

4th John Pierrel (11) net 74

5th Mike Gosden (12) net 74

B Flight (19+)

1st Brad Todd (19) net 71

2nd Graham Buckingham (24) net 72

3rd Fred Dineley (29) net 74

4th Bernie McCart (30) net 74

5th Duangjai Tusagad (34) net 74

Near Pins:  A3 – Alain Taddei; A6 – Roy Dayton; B3 – John Pierrel; B8 – Paul Hack

Long Putts: A9 – Graham Buckingham; B9 – Stu Rifkin

Back at The Growling Swan for presentations we thanked Peter Grey for sponsoring this very popular monthly event and also for providing the delicious chicken supper which was devoured at a rapid rate as usual.  Peter Grey did not let us down although he was hoping “The Parrot” & “The Reverend” would have disastrous rounds but in the end it was Peter who won the N.A.G.A. (awarded to the golfer with the worst score on the day) and he did it easily.  Many of us stayed for quite a while enjoying the low priced, very cold beers & great company and celebrated a very good day’s golf.

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]