Lockdown over, normalcy returns to Pattaya golf

(Left) Paul Smith won at Treasure Hill. (Right) Geoff Cox’s net sixty-seven was top score at Pattaya Country Club.

PSC Bunker Boys Golf
Monday, February 1st

Treasure Hill

1st Paul Smith (3) 34 points
2nd Peter Kelly (15) 31 points
3rd Bob Paine (21) 31 points
4th Steve Durey (23) 31 points
Near pins Mark On, Geoff Atwell, Barry Murnin, & Michael Brett.

Our first game of February was played at Treasure Hill in comfortable conditions. The course was difficult as always and made even more so by greens that were lightning fast coupled with some very difficult pin placements. Consequently scoring was very poor compared with recent results. The greens here are now faster than Pattavia or Bangpra used to be. Once again we had the course to ourselves so no holdups and the round was completed within four hours, which is acceptable. Showers were open again which was very welcome so no more uncomfortable trips back to Pattaya after golf. An eleven hundred baht all-in fee was very good value.

Playing off a three handicap, Paul Smith took first place with thirty-four points, a very good score given his handicap and the difficulty of the course. Three players ended with thirty-one points and were placed as listed. All the near pins were taken with one each to Mark On, Geoff Atwell, Barry Murnin, and Michael Brett. A field of fourteen was not bad under the circumstances.

As Pattaya lockdown is over and bars are open again, things are more normal and we are now looking to make a visit to Soi Dao at the end of the month. All those interested should contact Tony Robbins as soon as possible. No doubt all our normal overseas visitors will be as jealous as hell to miss out on this trip as it’s a favorite of most.

Some may even recall our last visit when Robby Watts scored forty-six points off an eight handicap, can anyone better that score this year? No doubt Robby would love to be here to try again but has to be content with competing in the Keyesborough Club Championship in Melbourne. We are still waiting for Keith Norman to send us some strange playing format.

Wednesday, February 3rd

Pattaya Country Club
Stroke Play

1st Geoff Cox (19) Net 67
2nd Michael Brett (15) Net 68
3rd Mark On (11) 71
4th Alan Sullivan (13) 71
Near pins. Mark On, Alan Sullivan, & Dave Ashman.

A short trip to the ever-improving Pattaya Country Club for the Medal round of the month. With the short distance to travel, and an improving course, and very favorable green/caddie fees, this is now a desirable course to play. In the past, the course was noted for being dry, with hard compacted soil and very little grass. How things have changed. Another large group arrived at the same time as us and went off the back nine so no hold-ups.

The day was nice and sunny with a light breeze which strengthened considerably by the closing holes.

In one of his now rare appearances and playing his favourite format, Geoff (nobody should get two strokes on a hole) Cox took the honours with an excellent score of net seventy-one. Geoff had all parts of his game working and showed no embarrassment playing off nineteen.

Second place went to Michael Brett, a stroke back whilst Mark On edged out Alan Sullivan on countback for third, both on net seventy-one. A very good score for Alan after his recent layoff with medical issues, welcome back Alan. Three near pins were taken with one each to Dave Ashman, Mark On & Alan Sullivan.

Our much-anticipated trip to Soi Dao is now locked in for the 22nd & 23rd of the month. Options to go early and stay after are available, with room rates of 1800 baht per night. Green fees are 800 baht with a caddie fee of 350 baht. It is hoped that by the time we arrive the elephants will have settled down and there will be no more fatal battles on the course.

Friday, February 5th
Khao Kheow A & B.
Two ball better ball & Individual Stableford

1st team Geoff Parker & Bob Paine 42 points
2nd Mark On & Dave Ashman 42 points
1st individual Stableford Geoff Parker 32 points
Near pins Geoff Parker, Bob Paine, & Jimmy Carr

An unusual day for the Bunker Boys Friday, playing a two-ball team event plus an individual Stableford game. It’s a bit unusual to have an even number of players so once we had twelve Jimmy decided that the time was right to play a two-ball. Teams were arranged by grouping the top six handicap players with the six lowest as opposed to a random draw.

On the opening holes, the wind was howling and made conditions very difficult. The greens were the fastest that anyone can remember at Khao Kheow so the combination of greens and wind made scoring difficult. Some were tearing out their hair in frustration, at least those with hair. Speed of play was also very slow which added to the frustration. A curiosity of the day was that the all-in or walking fees were the same, naturally, everyone took a cart.

The team of Geoff Parker and Bob Paine took the honours with a score of forty-two, modest for this format but enough to edge out Dave Ashman & Mark On on countback. Unsurprisingly both the winners got near pins and Geoff also got the top score of a lowly thirty-two. The remaining near pin went to Jimmy Carr.