Fun in the sand at Kabinburi Sports Club

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IPGC golf from The Links

Sunday, January 8, Pattaya Country Club – Stableford

Boosted by a strong Irish contingent, 22 golfers made the short trip from The Links to Pattaya Country Club which will now be the regular Sunday venue until further notice, due to the lack of available slots at Green Valley.  The condition of the course is steadily improving and the heavily discounted green fees coupled with the tremendous finishing holes make this course an excellent weekend alternative.

There were two flights today with the split coming at 0–17 and 18+.

In the A flight, late entrant JJ Harney wolfed down his breakfast once he found out there was a slot available for him, and managed to keep his indigestion at bay long enough to score 36 points and take 1st spot off his 10 handicap, edging out Joe Peters by a single point, with Frank McGowan 4 points back in 3rd.

In the B flight, Richie Martin returned his best score for quite a while, to take the division by a full 6 points. Aussie chef Mark Armstrong came 2nd on 31 points, with returnee Roar Berger a further point back in 3rd.

The only 2 of the day went to Joe Peters.

A flight

1st JJ Harney (10) 36pts

2nd Joe Peters (17) 35pts

3rd Frank McGowan (16) 31pts

B Flight

1st Richie Martin (21) 37pts

2nd Mark Armstrong (21) 31pts

3rd Roar Berger (23) 30pts

Tues & Wed,Jan 10 & 11, Kabinburi Sports Club – Stableford

Thirty-six golfers signed up for the Links’ second two day trip to Kabinburi, an event which is fast becoming a highlight on the hotel’s calendar.  For 2,800 baht you get two rounds of golf on a wonderfully manicured course and one night in a suite in the Kantary hotel, an establishment that would be 5* if it wasn’t for the painfully slow service in the restaurant.

The only thing that lets the course down is the state of the bunkers.  The sand is so soft that you almost sink to your knees when you get in, and even a ball trickling in the edge ends up buried.  To counteract this, the course has a local rule of placing in the bunkers, which we only took advantage of on the second day and the difference was evident from the improved scoring on day 2.

With 36 golfers of varying ages and handicaps between 7 and 24, we decided to forego the chance to play off the “Kato” tees, weighing in at a whopping 8,075 yards (the longest in Thailand), and opted instead for the whites, still a healthy 6,652.  With a strong wind on both days and fast, subtly sloping greens, the course played well over par.

In the A flight (0-12), Marty Rock played steadily off his 9 handicap and won both days with 35 and 34 points respectively, edging out Jon Batty on day 1, and Russell Exley on day 2 by virtue of an 18 to 16 count back.  Mr consistency, Nick Hanscombe finished third on both days.

The B flight (13-18) was taken John McKenna on day 1 with 36 points, the only player to match his handicap during the trip, and Frank McGowan on day 2.  Brian Lougheed was the bridesmaid on both occasions, but it was not all bad news as he shared the two day eclectic competition with Canadian Mike “constuction” Korney.

The C flight (19+) was an all Irish affair, won by Ted Murphy on day 1 and Ger Lodge on day 2.  Paul Magowan picked up the first payday of his long stay here, taking 3rd place on day 1 with 25 points.

‘2’s went to Mike Korney, Russell Exley, Richie Martin and Joe Peters on day 1, and Jon Batty and Andy Galvin on day 2.

Day 1

A Flight

1st Marty Rock (9) 35pts

2nd Jon Batty (9) 32pts

3rd Nick Hanscombe (12) 31pts

B Flight

1st Frank McGowan (16) 34pts

2nd Brian Lougheed (15) 33pts

3rd Philip Rock (18) 30pts

C Flight

1st Ger Lodge (19) 33pts

2nd Richie Martin (21) 29pts

3rd Paul Magowan (24) 25pts

Day 2

A Flight

1st Marty Rock (9) 34pts

2nd Russell Exley (7) 34pts

3rd Nick Hanscombe (12) 32pts

B Flight

1st John McKenna (16) 36pts

2nd Brian Lougheed (15) 34pts

3rd Alwyne Burley (18) 33pts

C Flight

1st Ted Murphy (22) 31pts

2nd Andy Galvin (20) 30pts

3rd Fred O’Connor (24) 29pts

2-Day Eclectic

1st Brian Lougheed 43pts

1st Mike Korney 43pts

3rd John McKenna 41pts

Thursday, Jan 12, Bangpra – Stableford

The two tough days in Kabinburi obviously took their toll on the regulars as only 7 golfers signed up for Bangpra the next day.

This was the author’s first trip to the course, and I was especially looking forward to pitting my wits against what I’d been told were the toughest greens around.  Maybe it was an off day for the green staff, but I found them disappointingly on the slow side (9.5 stimp) and managed to limit myself to only one 3-putt.  It was some shocking tee shots on the par 3’s contributing two points in total, which limited the winning score to 32 points.

Paul Magowan picked up his second prize of the week scoring 30 points, with Barney Munnin third on 28.  There were no ‘2’s, so the pot carried forward to Pattaya Country Club on Sunday.

1st Jon Batty (9) 32pts

2nd Paul Magowan (24) 30pts

3rd Barney Munnin (16) 28pts

Note:  The Links depart from the hotel on Soi Buakhao at 9.30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10.00am for Pattaya Country Club every Sunday.  Sign up at the hotel or contact Jon on 0800211034.  A full schedule of courses can be found on the IPGC website www.ipgc.org.