Jomtien golfers lead the way at IPGC invitational

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Golfers from six venues were invited to sign up in pairs to contest a scramble event at Eastern Star on Wednesday 5th August.  The reason for the event was two-fold: to bring IPGC venues closer, by asking pairings from different venues to compete together, in the same four-ball, and for the club to give something back to its members – the buffet that followed the golf was the IPGC’s way of saying “thanks.”

Tournament rules provided for team handicaps to represent 35% of the team’s aggregate, while each player had to contribute a minimum of seven tee-shots.  In keeping with the fun aspect of the day, preferred lies were invoked through the course.

Half of the winning team, Colin Aspinal from Jomtien Golf (left), receives his IPGC golf bag from IPGC Chairman David Thomas.

This golf course has struggled recently with fairways offering anything but a healthy green tinge.  Now, however, following rains and resurgent growth, fairway grass is much more in evidence.  It won’t be long before good lies on fairways become the norm.  Bunkers have always been good here, because of the reasonably compacted sand.  The putting surfaces offer true and consistent roll, but with much improved pace.  All in all, this course now offers a good golfing experience, and one that is getting better every week.

With 36 pairings, the pre-match debate was on which venue would likely provide the winning team?  The early favourites were golfers from Jomtien Golf, for two reasons: they contributed more teams and, according to some, this venue is their home course.

Runners-up, Willie van Heetvelde and Ian Spiers from Jomtien Golf, with David Thomas.

The medal event saw the 36th placed team record a net score of 75.7, whilst the winning score was net 62.3.  The first three places were separated by 1.1 shots, with the third-placed team scoring 63.4.  The difference between first and runner-up was a miniscule 0.1; yes that’s right – one-tenth of one shot.  Close.

The presentation, conducted by IPGC Chair David Thomas, acknowledged those present and thanked them for their support.  Special mention was made of the newest IPGC venue, the Pratumnak Friendly Golf Society, participating in their first IPGC Tournament.  Also thanked were the IPGC venues whose unselfish support ensured the success of the tournament, particularly those venues that changed their weekly schedule to accommodate a Wednesday event.

Third place went to Masaaki Sugaya (left) and Jesper Hansen (centre) of the Pattaya Golf Society.

The Chair mentioned the workings of the IPGC Committee, stressing its adherence to transparency and democratic values.  He also mentioned that nominations are currently being sought for three offices, and encouraged those present to consider applying.  “Experience in committee matters is not a pre-requisite,” he said; “bucket-loads of common sense is.”  He asked that anyone interested in serving their club, first have their venue organiser support their nomination.

“The IPGC is a golf club offering golf seven days per week,” stated David Thomas.  “It exists solely to support its venues.  All our golf is conducted through our venues.  Without your support, our venues would not survive.  For this reason, we do not encourage members to pursue private golf arrangements.  Indeed, the significant green-fee discount we negotiate on members’ behalf is only available when playing with an IPGC venue on a scheduled golf day.  Other club benefits, such as handicap administration, local rules and tournament offerings, are all provided to members via their venues.  Your continued support of these venues, and through them, your golf club, is and will always be appreciated.”

One way of saying thanks – IPGC members enjoy a free buffet.

IPGC Treasurer Jon Batty then announced the day’s winners, with Chair David Thomas presenting the prizes.

Following the presentation was a lucky draw, which saw some non-winners have their names drawn from a hat.  As a result, sleeves of Titleist balls were given out to 24 lucky recipients.  A good way to close what had been a memorable day for a burgeoning golf club, looking to get closer.

Note: For those interested in joining the IPGC, go to website: http://www.ipgc.org/.