Eastern Star – tough but fair

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IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at The Links Bar

Monday, July 13, Eastern Star (white tees) – Stableford

T1st David Thomas (9) 34pts

T1st Peter Buckley (21) 34pts

3rd Graham Davis (8) 33pts

Our four groups teed off on time in perfect weather, complete with cloud cover and a breeze that became a two-club wind on occasion.  Conditions at this course have improved since last we were here six weeks back.  Whilst some fairways still have parched areas offering bare lies, they were far less in number.  Fairways near the greens are well-grassed, offering perfect lies.  Bunkers too were better presented than they were on our last visit.  The putting surfaces, so often the bane of this course in the past, are excellent.  They are well-grassed, offering a reasonable and consistent speed.  Good to see this course steadily improving.

Eastern Star clubhouse.Eastern Star clubhouse.

There was just the one ‘2’ today, recorded by Paul Hird whose birdie on the par-three 17th was joyously welcomed by his playing partners.  Yeah right!

Scores were tight with just three shots separating the top six golfers.  In third with a creditable 33 points was Graham Davis while Graham’s playing partner, David Thomas, went one better to snare a share of first place.  Also on 34 was Peter Buckley, playing just his second game with the PGS.

What is it about Eastern Star and Murray Edwards?  The last time we played ES, Murray won the lucky beer draw and he did it again today after Mr Len drew his name from the non-winner’s cards.  Must be nice knowing however one plays, one is still going to win a prize?

Booby bevy candidates were many. Paul Hird, for forgetting to reposition his marker back to where he should have, thus putting from the wrong place.  Paul Edgar, for playing superbly from the tee, only to then see the rest of his game let him down.  And finally, Russell Exley and Jon Batty, the two august single-figure handicappers who elected to play the course contrary to how it was designed and sending their tee-shots down the 7th fairway, when playing the par-five 8th.  This action disregarded two big signs, posted in large red letters, between the 8th and 7th fairways, reading OB.

So to Russell and Jon went the spoils of the booby bevy, being the only golfers in the field to have returned a score card showing an incorrect score.  “But our caddies never said a word”… Perhaps they knew?

Wednesday, July 15, Burapha – Stableford

On Wednesday the Pattaya Golf Society visited the deliciously testing track at Burapha to play a stableford competition from the blue tees, all 6800 yards of the A and B nines, the majority of which were into a strong wind.  Wow!  Hats on, chins up, heads down!

The course was in excellent condition with well grassed fairways and consistent greens and as the majority of the twenty-strong field had never played the course from the blues before, lessons were there to be learnt.

The leaderboard held a few surprises as Graham Davis made fourth place with 34 points and the high marker in the field, Mr Len, took third with 36.  In second was Mark Lang and his gross 76 was by far the best round of the day but it only gave him 37 points as Aussie Toby Glass again excelled with 40 points to take the win.  Youth, enthusiasm, energy, desire and power make him a serious contender these days at the Links and today’s round was the second 40-pointer for the personable Aussie in the last month.

The ‘2’s pot was shared by the two Welshmen in the field, Huw Phillips and Mr Len, both birdies coming on B3 and roles were reversed as Russell Exley expertly awarded the Booby Bevy to Doug Cairns for his presumption that his pairing with Russell in an unofficial matchplay duel would sweep all before them and proceeded to up the ante and play poorly, much to the chagrin of his partner.

Friday, July 17, Phoenix – Stableford

The Pattaya Golf Society ended its golfing week with a trip to Phoenix on Friday, to play a stableford competition over the Mountain and Ocean nines.  The course was in fine condition with well grassed fairways and consistent greens.  The bunkers continue to be a problem however, with copious amounts of soft sand giving unstable stances and the inevitable plugged balls.  As usual the golfer on top of his game would profit from the generous layout and a round there could be a confidence booster.

Sharing third place were Toby Glass, Huw Phillips, Paul Edgar and Michael Sim, all on 34 points, whilst new member Charles Herring went a point better for second.  The winner, out of sight in terms of his lead, was Brian Tully whose 42 points showed what Phoenix can do to a golfer’s game.

Surprisingly there were no ‘2’s and the consolation beer went to Mr Len while the Booby Bevy was awarded to Japanese golfer Masaaki Sugaya after a slow start gave him 8 points only on the front nine, followed by an acceptable seventeen on the back.