Few ifs and putts, it’s Batty

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IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at The Links Bar

Monday, August 17, Bangpra – Stableford

On Monday the Pattaya Golf Society visited the exquisite course at Bangpra to play a stableford competition off the white tees.  The course was in excellent condition throughout and, even though the drought has become obvious with the visibly low levels in the nearby reservoir and those smaller ones on the course, the fairways are green and provide more than a modicum of run.  Greens were as challenging as ever with a lot of “run”. 

The single flight got away on time and good progress was made throughout but scoring was surprisingly low.  The brace of ‘2’s showed there was no real problem with putts and Huw Phillips and Jesper Hansen were the worthy recipients of the ‘2’s pot.

Scramble winners David Thomas & Stu Thompson are flanked by third placed Toby Glass & Huw Phillips and runners-up Khun Wichai & Mr. Len.Scramble winners David Thomas & Stu Thompson are flanked by third placed Toby Glass & Huw Phillips and runners-up Khun Wichai & Mr. Len.

Two golfers from each end of the handicap scale shared the win with Mr. Len’s twenty-one point back nine giving him a share of the win on 34 points in total.  Not bad for a golfer who had suffered a nightmare a few hours earlier – wouldn’t you, playing a scramble with Mourinho and then falling painfully out of bed?

The star of the day was Jon Batty, also with 34 points, and his putting at the moment is of tour standard with only 25 putts today after a mere 23 on Friday.  His lacklustre back nine belied the fact that he was only two over for the course after eleven.

Consolation beers went to Gary Bolger and Toby Glass, both struggling on the day.  It was a day at Bangpra when quality was more impressive than quantity and a course in this condition and offering the challenge it does is all a Pattaya golfer can dream about.  Don’t mention nightmares!

Wednesday, August 19, Khao Kheow – Stableford

Just three groups today as many regulars take in the delights of golf elsewhere in the Kingdom.  It was the Pattaya Golf Society’s 100th competition round of the year and we teed off from the yellow tees, on time and under a hot sun, playing A and C nines.

The course, which has undergone repair and re-seeding recently, has recovered well: fairways are nearly back to their best, whilst the greens appear in fine shape, ready to handle the extra traffic brought on by the fast-approaching high-season.

There was just the one ‘2’, on A5, and scored by a smiling Huw Phillips as he watched what must have been a 50-footer wind its way uphill and into the hole.  In fairness, from 10-feet out it did not look like it was going to miss.  Great putt!

With only eight in the competition the podium was reduced to just the first two placings.  In second with 33 points was David Thomas who, standing over his tee-ball on A6, a mere 150 yards to the hole with a score at one-over gross, started to do what smart golfers don’t: ponder on just how low he could go?  Som nom na!

A clear two points to the better was the still smiling Huw Phillips, whose first four holes of his round had realised a mere three points.  The Welshman’s powers of persistence and or recovery are to be admired.

Back at the Links, we welcomed back Brendan Gilsenan, from Papua New Guinea, whose day wasn’t quite over.  Much to his delight, Russell drew Murray (soda) Edwards name for the lucky “beer” draw.

The booby bevy had one stand-out nominee – the recently returned and aforementioned Brendan Gilsenan.  It seems he was one of the few who had left his clubs in the care of Rabbi at our previous home.  His question “Where are my clubs,” got the usual sympathetic response, with the promise of a follow-up.  For today, however, he could hire a set, which is what he did… until they were sitting on his buggy and smiling back at him – much like lefties do to righties when they realise their mistake.  Off he went back to reception to hire another set; right-handed ones.  Once sorted, he was then advised he couldn’t play, due to his choice of attire – shorts made of denim.

Back to the locker room, a quick change and report back to reception, to receive the stamp of approval, and he was ready to play – finally.

A fun day out enjoyed by all, including Brendan.

Friday, August 21, The Emerald – Pairs Scramble

The PGS golf geezer, Mr. Len celebrated his birthday in fine style with a pairs scramble at Emerald on Friday.  He was “spoilt” as usual by the turnout of many dear friends eager to share the day on a well prepared course and the host of generous sponsors helped add spice to the event with technicals covering every hole.

The tried and tested format had golfers counting a minimum of seven tee shots and with the handicap equation set at 35% of the pair’s total a close competition was inevitable.  The white tees were set well back and there was enough run on the fairways and greens to please all on a pleasantly warm day.

All the pairs managed to beat net par and three pairs made the podium, with Huw Phillips and Toby Glass continuing their recent good form with net 63.8 for third place.  In second place, and clubhouse leaders for a long time, were Khun Wichai and Mr. Len who enjoyed their net 62.3 despite a run of four consecutive bogeys at the start of their back nine.  In a format where decimal points can be vital it was a surprise to see the winners a full two shots ahead after a display of clinical accuracy gave David Thomas and Stu Thompson a score of 60.2.

As mentioned earlier, the kindness of sponsors helped make the day and Mr. Len is indebted to Mike Firkin, Ian Wilson, Graeme Kerr, Kerry Jonsson and Russell Exley for their generosity.  Indeed Russell’s efforts and generosity throughout the day contributed greatly to the event.

The presentation back at The Links in Soi Buakhao saw the eve of birthday celebrated with beers all round and the Booby Bevy was doubly enjoyed by Paul Blackshaw and Gary Bolger.  Happy Birthday Boss and here’s to many more!