Gosden & Davis win at windy Crystal Bay


PSC golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, Dec. 2, Crystal Bay, B & C – Stableford

It was another glorious day in “Paradise” as we assembled at The Growling Swan in readiness for the journey up Sukhumvit Road to the popular Crystal Bay Golf Course.  We welcomed back Graham “Grunter” Buckingham from his scrabble tournaments in Bangkok, Alan “Colonel” Sanders from the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia and veteran Don Richardson from Northern Ireland.  It was sadly time to farewell Colm Mullen, who is returning to Dublin but will be back with us in January, 2014.

Everyone was early so our 2 mini vans were able to depart the GS a touch early at 8.25 am and after a good run through the Monday morning traffic we arrived at the golf course 47 minutes later to find it quite busy but things were moving along quite nicely. After a small preparation our first group found ourselves on the B1 tee and hit off right on our 9.44 am scheduled tee time with B & C being the allotted nines for the day.

John Davis, Nolan Wise & Mike Gosden.John Davis, Nolan Wise & Mike Gosden.

The weather was fabulous being not too hot although sunny but there was a fairly stiff breeze to make things a touch difficult as we found out later when the scores came in.

The golf course was in terrific condition with the usual lush fairways although the greens were a bit grainy and inconsistent causing a few problems for some.  There were some slower groups ahead which held us up for a while but things quickened up on the back nine and we managed to complete a very enjoyable round in four hours & twenty minutes.

We had 2 Divisions – Division A for handicaps 0 to 17 and Division B for handicaps of 18 & over with three places in each.  There were also rewards for nearest the pin on the four par 3’s and longest first putts on the B9 & C9 greens.

The winner in Division A was Mike “Hunter” Gosden with a fine 39 points, followed by Tom McMahon in second place with 37 points.  With 2 golfers on 34 points a count back was required which saw your writer, Peter “Blacky” Blackburn (21 point back nine) taking third spot from the luckless Mark “Westy” West (20 point back nine).

John Davis won the B Division with 39 points, 2 points ahead of Sandy “Cindy Lauper” Leiper in second place and Ebrahim came third with 36 points.

Division A (0-17)

1st Mike Gosden (14) 39pts

2nd Tom McMahon (17) 37pts

3rd Peter Blackburn (12) 34pts

Division B (18+)

1st John Davis (19) 39pts

2nd Sandy Leiper (36) 37pts

3rd Ebrahim (18) 36pts

Near Pins:  B4 – Takeshi Hakozaki, B6 – Mike Gosden, C4 – Duangjai Tusagad, C7 – Peter Blackburn

Long Putts:  B9 – Roy Dayton, C9 – Peter Blackburn

The Growling Swan NAGA Award (awarded to the golfer who has the worst score on the day) was won by Nolan Wise who broke his winning streak and returned to mediocrity (it happens to us all) and he accepted the award like the good sport that he is.

Wednesday, Dec. 4, Plutaluang West & North – 4-Person Scramble

As it was the King’s Birthday – Father’s Day Public Holiday on the Thursday, we decide to play on Wednesday instead and for something different we decided to have a 4-person scramble with a random draw.  The idea turned out to be an outstanding success as we had 36 players wanting to play and also a list of emergencies.

The venue was to be Plutaluang and we gathered at The Growling Swan in readiness for the journey to the course and on this occasion it was necessary to have four mini vans to transport us.  Unfortunately we had 1 player who decided not to play at the last minute and it was too late to call on a reserve so we were left with a field of 35 which meant 8 groups of four and one group of three.

We welcomed back the colorful Bjarne Kjaer after injury and time spent in his homeland and also Connections Bar ‘Mine Host’ Alan Ewing who was returning after several months “in the wilderness”.

Takeshi Hakozaki, Duangjai Tusagad, Gary Monley & Alan Sanders.Takeshi Hakozaki, Duangjai Tusagad, Gary Monley & Alan Sanders.

Everyone was on time so we left the GS 5 minutes ahead of schedule at 8.25 am and headed south down No. 3 and had a very good run, arriving at the course 42 minutes later.

We had plenty of time as our designated tee time was 10.40 am and we were informed that we would be playing the West & North nines in that order so it was time to do the random draw.  Names were pulled out of a hat (with plenty of witnesses) to determine the groups & playing order and we then proceeded to the West 1 tee where there were a couple of groups waiting to tee off before we could get the first of our nine groups away.  Nonethless we were able to send Group 1 away 30 minutes ahead of schedule at 10.10 am and the scene was set for a very enjoyable day.

The weather was fabulous with a nice cooling breeze and the golf course was in excellent shape with the greens very well maintained and much quicker than the ones on East & South nines traditionally are.  We were initially held up by slower groups in front but they soon got away from us and our pace quickened somewhat.  It was a lot of fun and our group found birdies very hard to get but it was extremely enjoyable and we finished our round in the very good time of three hours & fifty five minutes.

We were rewarding first, second and third places and there were also rewards for nearest the pin on the four par 3’s and longest first putts on the West 9 & North 9 greens.

The winning team was Alan Sanders, Gary Monley, Duangjai Tusagad & Takeshi Hakozaki with a net score of 61.6 and in second place was the team of Roy Dayton, Andrew Allen, Ed Stuart & Patrick Poussier with a net 62.8. In third place was the team of Peter Grey, Kevin Waycott, Scott Leszcynski & Frank Sharratt who had a net 63.1.

Near Pins: W3 – Roy Dayton, W8 – Kevin Waycott, N3 – Mark Stapleton, N6 – Frank Sharratt

Long Putts:  W9 – Paul Hack, N9 – Frank Sharratt

There was no NAGA award on this day because of the team format but Max kindly paraded Deefa the Dog who collected many donations for charity from our very generous Growling Swan golfers.

Note:  Growling Swan Golf welcomes golfers of any persuasion – low & high handicappers alike, female golfers and beginners.  We generally play Mondays & Thursdays, meeting at The Growling Swan (formerly The Bunker Bar) in Soi Chaiyapoon at 8.00 am with transport departing at 8.30 am. For bookings or more information please contact Peter on 0806 351 386 or email to petermalcolmblackburn @gmail.com.

We also play bowls out of the Growling Swan every Wednesday and Sunday.  Sunday is Lawn Bowls and Wednesday is Indoor Bowls.  All are welcome and for anyone that is interested the transport leaves The Growling Swan at 10.00am on each of those mornings. For more information please contact Paul Rennison on 0843 454 005.