Grant Cadell claims Khao Yai

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The Golf Club 4th Khao Yai Songkran Classic

Tuesday, April 16, Panorama G.C. (white/silver tees) – Stableford

1st Ken Aihara 37pts

T2nd Martin Grimoldby 36pts

T2nd John Pegrum 36pts

I absolutely love this region of the kingdom, and the golf here just keeps on getting better and better.  The cool and clean mountain air, the peace and serenity, and the absence of stupid drunks armed with water cannons were all a welcome respite from the heat of Pattaya. 

Panorama was the first venue to play on this road trip, and it was happily received and in great condition.  It turned out to be the most difficult test of golf as the scoring average was only 29.5 Stableford points.  It was the favoured course of the low handicappers and lived up to its name as the panoramic vistas on this golf course were quite stunning.

The gang at the first tee at Bonanza.The gang at the first tee at Bonanza.

Steady Ken Aihara won it today.  He usually keeps the ball in the fairway and was rewarded for this with a win.  Martin Grimoldby and John Pegrum shot to their handicap and shared second place whilst everyone else struggled behind.  Well played lads!

This is a fair test of golf and the fairways are used as boulevards of beauty as most holes are hidden from other golfers by the lush, mature growth.  They did not put in many man-made hazards on this course, the natural lay of the land makes it hard enough and that is why this golf course was so popular, I believe.  A good designer does not need to trick up a course if they have a great piece of topography to work with.  Panorama will always be on our playlist up here, and our friend Khun James, formerly of the Thai Country Club, always looks after us here.

Thursday, April 18, Khao Yai G.C. (blue/silver tees) – Stableford

1st Frank Riley 42pts

T2nd Brian Prudden 41pts

T2nd Alan Griffiths 41pts

This place has gone through more name changes than a Hollywood B movie actress, but the former Mission Hills, Life Privilege, etc. is now just called the Khao Yai Golf Course.  A more stunning location for a golf course would be hard to find, and some holes look as though they are out of a James Bond movie.  It is a special place where Jack Nicklaus has carved a most scenic and challenging track through a majestic collection of mountains.

The lovely 11th hole, a par 3, at the Khao Yai Golf Course.The lovely 11th hole, a par 3, at the Khao Yai Golf Course.

The gang was drying out their shoes and bags from yesterday’s washout at Bonanza, where we had a most unusual cancellation due to rain and lightning, so no comp there and the handsome man vouchers were carried over to today’s event.  Grant Cadell had to leave his 22 points on the Bonanza front nine in frustrating fashion.

Today was a different story with a spectacular morning start that greeted us with crystal blue skies which developed into a few welcome clouds over the back nine.  Being at 1,200 foot altitude, Khao Yai enjoys cooler weather than Pattaya and at night it actually feels chilly!

It was a day for the experienced golfers to shine, and the top three gentlemen (none from Verona) with a combined age of 204 years gave them the knowledge needed to get to the top.  A certain birthday boy by the name of Frank Riley, 74 years young, was at the top of the podium with a magnificent 42 points on a course never played before.  Brian Prudden was right behind with a fine total of 41 points to tie the youngster of the trio, Alan Griffiths, for joint second place.

This was a forgiving course for 20 of Pattaya’s finest and a scoring average of 35.15 made it the highest of the trip.  That said, this is definitely a course to book for your next golf trip as the only word to describe K.Y.G.C. is spectacular, and the signature holes here are to be counted on two hands.

Friday, April 19, Rancho Charnvee (white/silver tees) – Stableford

T1st Ken Aihara 38pts

T1st Grant Cadell 38pts

2nd John Pegrum 37pts

This was the day of reckoning and it was all on the line with half the field who could have won with a good round out there today.  The comp was determined by the best 2 scores from the 3 rounds played, as we lost one days’ play at Bonanza due to the rain.  There were several spinning heads from the night before as those 5-litre boxes of wine the Aussies invented went down a treat.

Alan Rothwell, Frank Riley, “Man of the Mountain” Grant Cadell, Ken Aihara, Alan Griffiths, Martin Grimoldby, and little Ally!Alan Rothwell, Frank Riley, “Man of the Mountain” Grant Cadell, Ken Aihara, Alan Griffiths, Martin Grimoldby, and little Ally!

Rancho is a lovely track that is well maintained and is starting to mature nicely now.  This is the course with the boat in the lake and a private airstrip for the owner, who has a heck of a nice set up here in God’s Country.  It’s good to be King!

31.8 turned out to be the scoring average for the day, probably due to the undulating greens that caused trouble for some of us.  When the dust settled, it was Grant Cadell and Ken Aihara, both with 38 points, tied for 1st place for today’s comp.  John Pegrum returned with 37 points on the day to add to his 36 from Panorama to give him a total of 73.  Kenny’s 38 was paired with one of his 37’s from before to leave him 1 shot short on 75 with Grant Cadell winning it all with a pair of 38’s to give him 76 points total and the title of Man of the Mountain for 2013.  If you see a tall Canadian with a new black cowboy hat, there’s your winner.

Thanks to all who joined us for this annual Songkran trip.  We had a great time up at The Eco Valley Lodge and also need to thank Khun Tai and her husband Morten for their hospitality, a friendly team of staff there, and for the barbecue they treated us to on the final night.  Ally had loads of fun riding ponies, swimming, catching bugs and playing with Jack the Dog.  Please try to join us next year, the more the merrier!

Final Results

1st Grant Cadell 76pts

2nd Ken Aihara 75pts

T3rd Alan Griffiths 74pts

T3rd Martin Grimoldby 74pts

T3rd Frank Riley 74pts

T3rd Alan Rothwell 74pts

Note:  The Golf Club is located on Soi LK Metro.  We usually play on Monday, Wednesday and Friday so come join us for a seriously fun day out.  Just call 085 434 3377 or see our website www. golfclubpattaya.com and for more information mail us: [email protected] and see updates at www. facebook.com/golfclubpattaya.  All handicaps welcome!