John Davis wins the Monthly Mug

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PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, Dec. 24, Century Chonburi – Stableford

A late addition took our numbers up to 21 who assembled at The Growling Swan on a windy Pattaya Monday morning in preparation for our journey to Century Chonburi Golf Course.  We had several newcomers joining us and we welcomed Heli Rantala & Jukka Pulkkinen from Finland, Jayson Schemeri from Melbourne, Australia and Aussie Peter Robson, Mine Host of Love Friend Bar in Soi Honey.  Sadly it was time to farewell our good friend Jean Claude Lhoste who is returning to Nice, France but gladly will be back with us in about 5 weeks time.

Departing the GS a couple of minutes early at 8.28 am we headed off in two min vans and despite heavy traffic on 331 we arrived at Century Chonburi 60 minutes later.  The course was fairly quiet so our first four-ball was able to tee off 10 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.50 am and in windy conditions but otherwise great weather we proceeded, finding the course in good condition with the greens at times quite tricky.

John Davis (right) is presented with the Growling Swan Monthly Mug by host Peter Grey. John Davis (right) is presented with the Growling Swan Monthly Mug by host Peter Grey.

The wind was playing tricks with many approach shots, mine in particular but all in all it was a pleasure to be there playing this “good value for money” golf course and we completed our first nine in just over two hours.  The good pace continued with hardly anyone in front of us and we were able to finish our full round in four hours & twenty minutes which included a brief stop for drinks.

We were able to have 2 grades with four podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 20 and B Grade for 21 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

Before presentations I wished everyone present a very Merry Xmas & thanked them for their support during the year.  With back to back wins it was Mike “Hunter” Gosden who finished on top in A Grade with a very fine 39 points, 2 points ahead of Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei in second spot.  Mike Allidi’s 75 gross enabled him to secure third place with 35 points & big Ken “Let’s hear it for” Bernek was fourth with 33 points.

B Grade was well won by Bernie McCart with a commendable 38 points and Sandy “Leiperfrog” Leiper was second with 35 points.  Coming third was the other Bernek, Mrs Wendy with 31 points and Mick “Bear” Wilks completed the podium with 30 points.

A Flight (0-20)

1st Mike Gosden (13) 39pts

2nd Alain Taddei (18) 37pts

3rd Mike Allidi (2) 35pts

4th Ken Bernek (15) 33pts

B Flight (21+)

1st Bernie McCart (30) 38pts

2nd Sandy Leiper (35) 35pts

3rd Wendy Bernek (32) 31pts

4th Mick Wilks (26) 30pts

Near Pins:  4th – Max Bracegirdle; 13th – Heli Rantala; 17th – Mike Allidi

Long Putts:  9th – Alain Taddei; 18th – Mike Gosden

The Growling Swan NAGA Award, (awarded to the golfer who has the worst score on the day and discreetly their score is not made public) was won in a three-way count back by a member of the “French Connection”, Michael Catillon, and being a very good sport he accepted the award in fine style.

Mike Gosden (left) presents Peter Grey with his NAGA of the year trophy. Mike Gosden (left) presents Peter Grey with his NAGA of the year trophy.

Big Ken Bernek paraded Deefa the Dog and collected many donations for the needy of Pattaya from our ever generous Growling Swan members.  It was then back to The Growling Swan for several Aussie cold, low priced beers and as usual plenty of good humour, particular coming from Mine Host Peter Grey who whilst not playing on the day was certainly looking forward to competing for the Growling Swan December Monthly Mug in three day’s time.

Thursday, Dec. 27, Pleasant Valley – Monthly Medal

Twenty eight golfers in the city more commonly known as the ‘Disneyland for seniors’ dusted off the rods in anticipation of another day’s enjoyment.  With the festive season in full swing this was a fair turnout.

Prior to tee-off, the changing room chatter included Max Bracegirdle commenting that he was going to make it to A grade one day.  That day arrived, however Max’s net ninety-five to prop up the grade confirmed that letting him loose on a golf course is akin to feeding strawberries to a pig.

Ken Bernek commented that he was due for a reversal of form after some ordinary performances of late.  Some people also believe Adam and Eve were the forerunners to internet dating.

On the sixth hole, visiting Hamburg resident Volker Buley ran up a quick eleven, which is more commonly known as an excited moose.  On the twelfth tee Volker’s sole on his left shoe parted company with the rest of the footwear, which saw his playing partners break into song with “You picked a fine time to leave me loose heel.”  Salvation however was at hand, as Bernie McCart had some masking tape to repair the errant footwear and ensure that Volker would remain well shod for the remainder of the journey.

Bernie also advised after two holes that the course was playing easy.  In cricketing parlance, Bernie “kissed the helmet” on the seventeenth.

Power golfer Stu Rifkin, a titan in the world of finance and economics and only second to Warren Buffet as an investment wizard, was looking good on the first tee with a stubby of San Miguel in the claw.  Pundits in the know advised, he maybe did not wish to jeopardise his saloon run on the stock market by pursuing a fruitless day chasing an errant spherical orb which refuses to cooperate with his sometimes less than salubrious swing.  He thought otherwise.

Mike Gosden, Michael Catillon & Bernie McCart. Mike Gosden, Michael Catillon & Bernie McCart.

I have it on good advice that Stu’s financial expertise has seen Wall Street call for a national holiday on a date to be advised, to observe his zing into New York aboard a gold plated Rolls Royce next year.  Apparently his stockbroker is of the opinion that Stu is a touch off the pace and he’ll be astride a 1957 Malvern Star tricycle.  Only time will tell.

We welcomed Ken Cornwall from whom knows where, Ted Morris from purgatory, Nigel Smith from Leeds, John Davis from Pattaya and Brian Bose from a go-go bar drip tray.

The weather today was fine, however on the first nine the wind was so strong it blew the pricks off the barbwire fence.  On the second nine it abated.

The course was in good condition, however the greens were somewhere between a piece of corrugated iron and a chunk of Rocky Road.

The starter pulled the trigger and sent us on our way at 1000 hours and the leading group completed the journey in five hours and ten minutes.  The long round was due to the course being as crowded as a bunch of transvestites around Dame Edna’s clothesline.

In the A Grade, Alain Taddei handed in a net sixty-seven to take first place, which was amazing as he achieved this being five under par with a whippy shaft.  Jason Schembri on net sixty nine, Stu Rifkin with net seventy, and Ted Morris and Don Richardson both with net seventy-fours, rounded out the grade.

The B Grade was an affair tighter than a well known Soi Diana golfer’s purse strings.  Scott Lobenwein took it out with a net seventy-four followed by Volker Buley on seventy-five.  Ian Masterton was on seventy-six whilst Bernie McCart and Nigel Smith made podium finishes with net seventy-eights.

Andrew Allen reckoned he was as stiff as an Eskimo’s liquorice to miss a place.  A handful of triple bogeys may have been a contributing factor.

The Monthly Mug was won by John Davis with a sensational net-sixty two.

Monthly Mug

1st John Davis, net 62

A Flight (0-25)

1st Alain Taddei (18) net 67

2nd Jason Schembri (20) net 69

3rd Stu Rifkin (15) net 70

4th Ted Morris (14) net 74

5th Don Richardson (12) net 74

B Flight (26+)

1st Scott Lobenwien (31) net 74

2nd Volker Buley (30) net 75

3rd Ian Masterston (36) net 76

4th Bernie Mccart ( 30) net 78

5th Nigel Smith (36) net 78

Long Putts:  9th Scott Lobenwien, 18th Peter Grey

Near Pins:  5th Andrew Allen, 8th Stu Rifkin, 13th Don Richardson, 17th Max Bracegirdle

Gary Monly played something akin to a mug lair, which entitled him to be named the most lugubrious chopper for 2012.  In his own words he cuffed the ball all over the course; into the rough, bunkers, water hazards and parts of the track the architect was unaware existed.  This display of ineptitude resulted in his wardrobe increasing albeit briefly, courtesy of collecting the NAGA cap.

Once more Deefa was paraded by Ken Bernek who collected many donations for the needy of Pattaya and this can only fructify.  All those who contributed are thanked for their generosity.

Many thanks to Growling Swan mine host Peter Grey for his continued support in sponsoring the Monthly Mug and providing the chicken supper after presentations which is much appreciated.

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.