Hal Hart drives in a double

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IPGC golf from The Haven

Monday, April 1, Mountain Shadow – Stableford

CSS 75 NC

1st Allen Raaen (9) 32pts

2nd Mike Hill (21) 31pts

3rd Shuichi Kodaka (16) 31pts

4th Markku Tynell (25) 31pts

5th Allan Heavey (26) 30pts

With a stiff wind severely hampering the players at the now well-maintained Mountain Shadow course, which according to the course constructors was originally designed to be played by golfers with handicaps of 15 or less, scoring was always going to be at a premium.   Add to that the greens offering their usual challenge and the results proved to be less than required to keep the day’s competition counting for handicap review.

Hal Hart.Hal Hart.

After having scored just five points after five holes, Allen Raaen then steadied the boat and amassed another twenty seven over the last thirteen to scrape home by a single shot ahead of a three-way count back for second place.

The count back was won by Mike Hill with 22 points after he had also started out the day with a few missed opportunities, scoring just nine points, but lit up the course playing to four below handicap over the inward half to claim second place ahead of Shuichi Kodaka with 18 points in third and Markku Tynell in fourth with 17.  Allan Heavey rounded out the podium a further shot back in fifth.

There were no 2’s and precious few threes in either division with the green keeping staff, responsible for hole placements, having had a field day.

Before the presentations were made there was a welcome back for George Pittam.

Wednesday, April 3, Crystal Bay C & A – Stableford

CSS 72

1st Hal Hart (23) 39pts

2nd Alwyne Burley (15) 37pts

3rd Markku Tynell (25) 31pts

4th Allen Raaen (9) 31pts

5th Bruce Kusyk (13) 31pts

Alwyne Burley.Alwyne Burley.

After the difficulties of the previous outing everyone was looking forward to the much more open Crystal Bay club, where the C and A nines were the day’s challenge and possibly a better day for scoring.  This course is also benefitting from more than the usual amount of maintenance and is beginning to get back to its old quality, which will assure that it will be featuring regularly on the schedule during the low season.

Once again the wind played a prominent part in the day’s outcome with most of the field struggling to play to their handicaps.  The notable exception was Hal Hart who finally almost put it altogether, winning the day with a three under handicap return that was good enough to win by two from playing partner Alwyne Burley, with a round that included four three pointers and a four pointer.

Hal has now seen his handicap drop by four strokes since the beginning of the year and now confidently looks forward to the day when he will not be getting a shot on every hole.

This will no doubt come as a huge relief to his regular playing partner, Alwyne Burley, who once again had to settle for second best and second place as he lost the front, back and overall and several skins in their side match.  But second place was a good result, as his one under handicap round was six ahead of the count back for third, on a day was that was far from easy.

Markku Tynell won the count back for third place with a better 17 points and underlined his continued improvement since taking up almost permanent residence in the city.  This left Allen Raaen in fourth with 16 points and Bruce Kusyk in fifth with 15.

Once again there were no 2’s in the first division but Mike Hill had a very nice result with one in the second division, on the signature 7th hole on the C course, to sweep the multi roll over pot.

Friday, April 5, Khao Kheow B & C – Stableford

CSS 75 NC

1st Hal Hart (23) 34pts

2nd Brian Beaupre (5) 33pts

3rd Trevor Schirmer (17) 32pts

4th Martin Grimoldby (5) 30pts

5th Shuichi Kodaka (16) 29pts

After having played two tough courses in difficult conditions, the prospect of travelling to one of the hardest course to beat was not relished by too many today, with some opting for a day by the pool table, leaving the hopefuls a bit thin on the ground.

Again the strong wind made sure that even the single handicappers in the field struggled to find any consistency in their games and the scoring was once more insufficient to count for handicap adjustment, except for the winner’s downward assessment as he scored one below the CSS of for the day which had moved out to 75.

Hal Hart once again outscored the rest of the field and both his playing partners, who had been hoping for some revenge for the financial mauling they had received in the previous outing, to take his second win of the week, making it his first win double, although he needed just a two over handicap round to succeed.

His playing partners saw a chink in Hal’s game on the 18th as he topped a five-wood off the tee and then came up short with a three-wood desperation recovery and they were counting the money until his third, from a 100 yards out, settled next to the pin for a 4 for 3 and yet another skin and a win.

Brian Beaupre had a few too many single pointers but would have been the winner if not for a blob on the back nine when the pressure was at its highest and so had to settle for a well earned second place just one behind.

Trevor Schirmer had not been finding the week quite to his liking but came back to form, just dropping off the pace over the closing holes to finish in third place ahead of Martin Grimoldby in fourth and Shuichi Kodaka in fifth.

A notable absentee from the podium on the day was Markku Tynell, who had been hoping to feature for the third time in a week, but at the end of the analysis at the scorer’s table it was found that he had had more beers than points on the day.

Once more it was surprising to find that there had been no 2’s in the first division whilst Hal Hart slipped one in on the island green eighth on the B nine to sweep the pot but one day too late for the big one that just got away.

Before the prizes were presented there was a farewell for Brian Randall who was returning to Blighty to help with the snow removal and mopping up after several burst water pipes.  Fortunately he left his sheepskin coat in one of the left luggage lockers prior to his departure from Heathrow so he will be well prepared on his return to deal with the 40 degree temperature swing.

Note:  If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact mobile 082 219 0965 or call in to The Haven Hotel, at 185 Soi 13, between Beach Road and 2nd Road. All transportation to the course is arranged and you do not need to sign up prior to the day, but you should be there by 8.15 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days that you wish to play.  A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at www.thehaven-hotel.com.