The Golf Club turns 10

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The Golf Club weekly review

Hard to believe how fast this last decade has gone.  They say the older you get, the faster time goes and they are right.  We choose to celebrate our birthday on the 4th of July, which is roughly the time we opened the bar for our “soft opening”, if you will.  There was not much here when we got the keys in late May 2007, just a few black plastic sofas and an old Coke machine.  A million baht and a month later we were serving cold beer.

Scramble winners: Mark Haffenden, Chaten Patel, Raji Banawaitt and Simon Spaulding.
Scramble winners: Mark Haffenden, Chaten Patel, Raji Banawaitt and Simon Spaulding.

To our regulars and overseas mates who keep returning year after year we give heartfelt thanks for your continued support and friendship over the last 10 years.  We still have 5 of our original staff and I am not sure we would still be here if not for Nat and Raju.

Monday, July 3, Green Valley (white tees) – Stableford

1st J.P. Thomas (39) 41pts

2nd Steve Coughlan (36) 38pts

T3rd Nick Handscombe (14) 37 points

T3rd Fred Birch (15) 37pts

We marked a unique first event today as J.P. Thomas (wife of Peter) found victory and we finally had our first lady golfer winner.  Nui Birch has also taken up the game so for the ladies out there, you are all welcome to play with us.

J.P. took up the game just 6 months ago but has been working on her swing and the results were evident today.  These Thai gals sure get the hang of sports quickly.

J.P. Thomas (front centre) with Nicky, Steve and two Mikes.
J.P. Thomas (front centre) with Nicky, Steve and two Mikes.

It was certainly good conditions for the high handicappers as we saw our mate Steve Coughlan doing very well indeed with a big 38 on the card.  Nick and Fred brought up the rear with a tie on 37 and Mike Sweeney grabbed the near pin.

Tuesday, July 4,
St. Andrews – 4-man Rainbow Scramble

1st Simon Spaulding, Chaten Patel, Mark Haffenden and Raji Banawaitt (2.5) 55.5

2nd Gary Emmett, Fred Birch, Mike Omiya and Dave Ferris (7.2) 56.8

3rd Steve Wentford, Wayne McKenna, Alan McKendry and Peter Thomas (7.2) 58.8

What an event!  We had a full turnout of 40 golfers for our 4th of July bash marking our 10th anniversary.  St. Andrews is always the venue for this annual competition and the course was in great condition.

We had loads of old mates back in town so the timing was perfect.  With an auspicious winning score of 55.5, the lads should be buying some lottery tickets!  Congrats to Raji, Mark, Chaten and Simon for showing us how the game should be played.  When you only have a 2.5 handicap to work with, you know few mistakes were made and with 12 birdies and two eagles (on both par-6 holes) you will have a card that is hard to beat.

The four near pins were won by Peter Thomas, Raji Banawaitt, Mike Omiya and Alan McKendry.

Thursday, July 6, Laem Chabang (white tees) – Stableford

1st Nick Handscombe (15) 37pts

2nd Simon Spaulding (1) 36pts

3rd Dave Ferris (19) 34pts

Today we found a bit of damp going here but still had a fine day of golf.  ‘Lift, clean and place’ was required on the course so that would be the advice if you get out to Laem Chabang anytime soon.

The “B” course was closed for maintenance so it was A & C to deal with.  A sports day rate of 2,490 is great value on this Jack Nicklaus track and every Tuesday and Thursday this is on offer until October.

Nicky Handscombe was king of the hill today and that is great going considering the guy in second played off just a 1 handicap!  That would be Simon Spaulding, one of the winners of our scramble on Tuesday.

Friday, July 7,
Kings Naga (yellow tees) – Stableford

T1st Gavin Wright (12) 39pts

T1st Alan McKendry (11) 39pts

3rd Wayne McKenna (11) 38pts

The saga of Kings Naga (formerly Rayong CC and originally Great Lakes) was the adventure for Friday and it was great to see 16 blokes who were curious enough to make the trip out.

Here’s the scoop – the greens are great but the fairways are still a work in progress.  Khun Henry is the young manager out here and is friendly, helpful and speaks good English.  Henry was explaining to me their first priority was getting the greens right, which they did, and now they are working on the fairways.  We found them to be bad on the front, but playable on the back nine.  I hadn’t played this course in 7 or 8 years but have fond memories of this track when it was in its prime.

This Nick Faldo layout is memorable and set on a lovely piece of property with rolling hills but very walkable.  It is only 1,050 for green fee, caddy fee and shared cart and Henry mentioned they may also be doing a sports day for even better value.  Give the course a try and support them for giving us yet another choice for value golf in Pattaya.  For the time being, I would suggest a one club ‘lift, clean and place’ rule until those fairways are sorted out.

Gary Emmett got our Caddy Smile near pin today and Wayne McKenna had enough on the card for third place.  We had a tie at the 39 point mark with Alan and Gavin sharing the top spot on the podium.  Gavin is a member at Siam and said the greens here were as good as the courses of Siam!

So what exactly is Kings Naga?  It turns out to be an ancient, mythical Thai serpent and is the logo for this golf course.  You learn something new every day here!

By the way, we are having a quick trip up to Kabinburi on the 20th of July for one night and two rounds for 3,600 including green fee, caddy fee and hotel with breakfast at the Serenity Hotel & Spa Onsen.  Call 085 434 3377 for details.