Finding serenity in Kabinburi


The Golf Club weekly review

Monday, March 20, Silky Oak (white tees) – Stableford

1st Tommy Balch (32S) 44pts

2nd Fred Birch (16) 43pts

3rd Brett Chan (18) 41pts


With the All Thailand Tour invading Green Valley, we were shifted over to Silky Oaks for our comp today.  There is no more snickering about this being ”Silly Oak”, the 18 holes here have developed and matured quite nicely thank you very much.  Pricing is also correct, and we have no trouble filling up our sign-up sheet when we play here.

The lads were playing their little hearts out here today and were rewarded with some fine scoring.  A 41 for Brett was only good enough for third place, and Fred Birch (still recovering from his hole-in-one) blasted out a brilliant 43 that should have won on another day.

Today the Silver Senior was back, and Tommy Balch showed those young whippersnappers how the game should be played.  I think this is the best round the ever-young Balch has had in Thailand, and a great finish to his 4 month stay in Pattaya.

John McHugh, Richie McGhee and Phil Smedley poolside at Serenity.
John McHugh, Richie McGhee and Phil Smedley poolside at Serenity.


Tuesday, March 21,  Khao Kheow A & B (yellow tees) – Stableford

1st Bud O’Meara (19) 37pts

T2nd Kenny Aihara (6) 36pts

T2nd Alan Rothwell (7) 36pts


Nice weather (OK, a bit on the hot side) and a nice course made sure that three vans were full for our outing at Khao Kheow this morning.

There was realistic scoring today after Monday’s thrashing of Silky Oak and only one man shot better than his handicap.  We had a tie for second with regulars Kenny Aihara and Alan Rothwell both level at the 36 mark.  Kenny also managed to slip inside for the Caddy Smile near pin on the fabulous island green B-8, so a good day for Mr. Aihara.

Visiting American Bud O’Meara stole the show with a well-deserved win and 37 stableford points were all that were required.


Thursday, March 23, Kabinburi Sports Club (yellow tees) – Stableford

1st Phil Smedley (14) 42pts

2nd John McHugh (11) 41pts

3rd Jimmy Brackett (7) 40pts


Time for a road trip!  Strange as it may seem, just one night away to Kabinburi and the relaxation of the Serenity Hotel works wonders.  As I have written in the past, this hotel is the best on our list and a real treat at the end of the round.  In the daytime, the ladies took advantage of the spa and onsen (Japanese hot springs) and after golf, we all put on the bathers for a dip in the pool.

The leaderboard speaks for itself and Captain Phil finally got in a great round for the win.  McHugh and Jimmy Brackett also put on a fine performance to fill up the podium.

Aussie sharpshooter Richie McGhee took the Caddy Smile near pin with a dink wedge flying 115 yards to precision on the 16th.


Friday, March 24, Kabinburi Sports Club – Stableford

A Flight (white tees)

1st Jimmy Brackett (8) 39pts

2nd John McHugh (11) 37pts

3rd Richie McGhee (2) 31pts


B Flight (yellow tees)

T1st Peter LeNoury (15) 38pts

T1st Kenny Aihara (6) 38pts

3rd Phil Smedley (14) 37pts


We were all in the brace position in recovery mode this morning as the festivities of the previous night caught up with us.  Nonetheless, we all made it down to the breakfast buffet to put on our game face.

Two flights today made the long hitters happy, while the rest of us were quite content at the 6,250 yard mark.  For reference, this is actually the longest golf course in Thailand and from the back “Kato” tees it is an astonishing 8,075 yards!  Yoshikazu Kato is the Japanese designer of K.B.S.C. and he also holds Treasure Hill and the legendary Blue Canyon Phuket to his credit.

Richie McGhee plays a lot of tournaments at 5-star golf courses around the world and his comment was that the fairways were the best he has ever seen.  It was quality, not quantity on this trip and the gang had a great time but with the same complaint as last time… why can’t we stay another night?

Peter and Kenny shared the win off the yellow box and Jimmy Brackett stole the win from Johnny McHugh having a 6,652 yard challenge.  Alan Rothwell beat them all for the Caddy Smile near pin to cap off another perfect road trip.