Khao Kheow on heat

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IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at The Links Bar

With Songkran over, the Pattaya Golf Society ventured north for a stableford competition on Khao Kheow’s attractive but challenging layout on Monday, April 20.  After being allocated C & A nines, our four groups set off from the yellow tees in the stickiest conditions encountered this year; hot, humid and windless, and it was going to get worse.

The course was well presented as usual: fairways offered lies that seemed as if the ball was on a carpet, bunkers were a tad fluffy in places but okay, and the greens, while not at their usual pace, were true and consistent.

With the course being so well set up, along with the lack of wind, scoring was expected to be good.  That low scoring didn’t eventuate can probably be put down to the combination of heat and humidity, which to some became close to unbearable.  Today was April at its most testing.

Stunning finishing holes at Khao Kheow.Stunning finishing holes at Khao Kheow.

There were no ‘2’s today, which pleased those on the podium as they wouldn’t have to share the booty.  Tied in 5th place were Brian Talbot and Bjorn Hauge whose 32-point hauls were one short of the 33 recorded by Huw Phillips and Tony Campbell.  The runner-up was the consistent Alan Flynn who finished just the one shot adrift of the net-par 36 recorded by the day’s winner, David Thomas.

Back at the Links, Mr Russell pulled one card from today’s non-winners list, to determine the recipient of the free beer, and appropriately it went to Mr Len.  Dave Edwards, who just may have picked something up from a Songkran-aversion trip to Jakarta, made a booby-bevy inducing withdrawal at the ninth. But his efforts were gazumped by what befell Phil Mitchell who experienced one of golf’s old fables – the one concerning telling a golfer how well he’s playing and to keep it up over the closing holes.  Poor Phil, standing on the 16th tee and looking likely to post a competitive score, then hears the very thing he didn’t want to hear, and proceeds to post scores of blob, blob, and blob.  Good one Alan!

Bangpra bares its teeth

Bangpra was the chosen venue on Wednesday, April 22 and it has to be said that the course and oppressive and humid conditions really had the track baring its teeth, as was a particularly butch alpha male monkey on the second tee who defied all attempts by caddies armed with rakes to shift it from its patch.  However the PGS were off the white tees whilst the snarling challenges were made from the black ones!

The fairways were cut down, making good iron contact a priority and the greens were in the final throes of maintenance, meaning our next visit in three weeks will see a course in pristine condition.

The single flight saw Andrew Purdie and John Chelo share runner-up place with 33 points each, leaving Larry Gibb the honours of the day with 34 particularly well earned points.

Tony Campbell certainly endorsed the claim of a top 100 spot for the twelfth hole after his sole birdie ‘2’ scooped the pot, and the returning Lyle Blaw took the non-winners free beer draw, leaving the Booby Bevy to go to John Mason on his return, as expected, as his round did not quite live up to the standards of his last few UK rounds.

Great VFM at the Hill

The Pattaya Golf Society took six groups up the 331, on Friday, April 24, for a stableford competition at the ever-testing Treasure Hill course.  From any tee this course plays tough, but especially so from the 6750 yard white markers.

As was the case at our last visit, we were offered an April week-day special of green-fee, caddie-fee and cart for 1300 baht, which is possibly the best offer in Pattaya at the moment.

With the two-flight split set at 18 and under, we were underway on time and on what appeared a near-empty course – the concept of millionaire’s golf came to mind.  Course presentation was as it was on our last visit – excellent.  Yes, the first four greens had been cored and sanded, but that is to be expected this time of year.  The rest of the course was in fine fettle, but still not about to give any golfer an easy day out, as scores were to testify.

There was just the one ‘2’ – B Flight’s Andrew Humphrey recording his first with the PGS when he drilled his ten-footer into the centre of the cup on the 6th.

With both flights offering just three podium positions, scoring was close.  A Flight returned two 30-point scores which was good enough to earn a share of third.  Second was the consistent Alan Flynn on 32 while the winner on 34 points was regular podium placer Huw Phillips.

B Flight saw a greater spread of scores with just 28 points managing to secure our ‘2’s winner third place.  Second on 30 was John Tallett, while the day’s top score of 35 point was recorded by Larry Gibb.

Back at the Links, the lucky-beer draw was won by John Chelo, again, whilst the booby bevy was awarded to the departing Tony Leng for just “missing out” on third place.