Neal wins Growling Swan Monthly Mug

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PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, August 26, Eastern Star – Stableford

It was a fine, sunny Monday morning in Pattaya as a very good field of 18 golfers met at The Growling Swan ready to take the journey to the challenging Eastern Star Golf Course.  There were welcomes handed out to Marco Beer from Switzerland, John Swanson from Pattaya and the returning regular Takeshi Hakozaki from Japan. 

Departing the GS 5 minutes early at 8.25 am we headed South down Sukhumvit and after a 45 minute drive arrived at the golf course to find some activity but relatively quiet. After a few putts on the practice putting green we were invited to the first tee and our first group, a three-ball got away 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.45 am in perfect weather conditions for golf albeit a bit hot & humid.

Stuart Rifkin, Nial Stuart, Dave Neal, Peter Grey & Thientong Charoenrung.Stuart Rifkin, Nial Stuart, Dave Neal, Peter Grey & Thientong Charoenrung.

The golf course was in great shape with very well maintained greens and bunkers and there was to be no excuse for anything but good golf being played, although in the end there was only one golfer who played to their handicap or better.

Being a three-ball we did have to wait a few times but still had a fairly quick round managing to complete the 18 holes in three hours & forty five minutes.

We had 2 Grades – A Grade for handicaps 0 to 18 and B Grade for handicaps 19 & over with 3 places in each grade.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins on the four par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

Seven-handicapper Gerd Riedler showed his class in winning the A Grade section with 37 points and Brad “Bad” Todd was second on 35 points.  With two players on 34 points a count back was required and resulted in Marco Beer (19 point back nine) finishing third from Ken Hole (17 point back nine).

The B Grade was won by Patrick Poussier who had 35 points and another count back with two golfers on 33 points saw Walter Baechli (18 point back nine) end up in second place from Dave Neal (15 point back nine) who finished third.

A Flight (0-18)

1st Gerd Riedler (7) 37pts

2nd Brad Todd (18) 35pts

3rd Marco Beer (17) 34pts

B Flight (19+)

1st Patrick Poussier (30) 35pts

2nd Walter Baechli (19) 33pts

3rd Dave Neal (22) 33pts

Near Pins:  3rd – Takeshi Hakozaki, 6th – Gerd Riedler, 13th – Kurt – Eric Persson, 17th – John Pierrel

Long Putts:  9th – Brad Todd,18th – Patrick Poussier

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 by Geri Crilly and he accepted & wore the award with pride.

Thursday, August 29, Greenwood C & A – Stroke/Monthly Mug

It was that time of the month again when we get to play a stroke round for the Growling Swan Monthly Mug and we had a very good field of 30 golfers who were keen to tackle the Greenwood Golf Course.  We assembled at the GS 30 minutes later than normal due to a later start time and welcomes were handed out to good friend J J Harney returning from several months in Ireland, Vaughan Jackson from Western Australia and Lyndsay Slender from just down the road in Soi Chaiyapoon.

Gerd Riedler, Geri Crilly & Patrick Poussier.Gerd Riedler, Geri Crilly & Patrick Poussier.

Departing right on our scheduled time of 9.00 am we headed off up No. 7, 3240 and then the very busy 331 and after a one hour drive arrived at the golf course where we were allotted the C & A nines.  The course appeared to be surprisingly quiet on this, one of their Sports Days with a 650 baht green fee rate and we managed to get our first four-ball away right on time at 10.30 am in fine and sunny weather conditions, although rather humid.

It was my pleasure to have three of The Growling Swan Delinquents with me in group one and I was looking forward to playing for the first time with Peter Grey, Paul “Muncha” Moloney and Nolan Wise.

The golf course was in great shape throughout with lush fairways and super greens and as we teed off on C1 the noise that was heard was that of Peter Grey’s knees knocking as he shaped up for his drive in front of the hushed assembled masses but he calmly sent one down the fairway much to his relief.  We didn’t see any other golfers in front of us so proceeded at a good pace, particularly for a stroke round and we managed to complete the eighteen holes in four hours & fifteen minutes.  It had been great fun with me hearing swear words that I had never heard before and we all agreed that we should do it again sometime.

In addition to the Monthly Mug award we were able to have 2 grades with A Grade being for handicaps 0 to 17 and B Grade for handicaps of 18 and over with 5 prizes in each grade.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins all the par threes and longest first putts on the A9 & C9 greens.

It was the visiting Dave Neal who took out the coveted Growling Swan Monthly Mug with a fine score of net 71.  The winner of the A Grade was Stu “Heineken” Rifkin with a net 72 followed by Paul “Hacky” Hack (net 36 back nine) in second place and J.J. Harney (net 37 back nine) was third with both having net 74.  In fourth place came Martin “Toddy” Todd with a net 75 and with 2 golfers on net 76 it was your writer, Peter “Blacky” Blackburn (net 36 back nine) who finished in fifth place from John Pierrel (net 37 back nine) after the count back.

Thientong Charoenrung won the B Grade with a net 74 from Brad “Bad” Todd in second spot with net 75.  With 3 golfers on net 77 another count back was required which resulted in Geri Crilly (net 36 back nine) taking third place from John Davis (net 42 back nine) finishing fourth and Max “Corsets” Bracegirdle (net 43 back nine) was fifth.

Monthly Mug

1st Dave Neal (22) net 71

A Flight (0-17)

1st Stu Rifkin (15) net 72

2nd Paul Hack (11) net 74

3rd J.J. Harney (12) net 74

4th Martin Todd (8) net 75

5th Peter Blackburn (11) net 76

B Flight (18+)

1st Thientong Charoenrung (19) net 74

2nd Brad Todd (18) net 75

3rd Geri Crilly (26) net 77

4th John Davis (24) net 77

5th Max Bracegirdle (24) net 77

Near Pins:  A6 – Stu Rifkin, C3 – Ebrahim, C6 – Stu Rifkin

Long Putts:  A9 – Russell Calcutt, C9 – Geri Crilly

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was well won by Niall Stuart who accepted the cap gracefully and wore it for a considerable time back in the bar.  Presentations were of course back at the bar on this occasion and we thanked Peter Grey for his continued sponsorship of this monthly event and also for providing the delicious chicken dinner afterwards.

Toddy then paraded Deefa the Dog after announcing the many fines for the day and there were plenty of donations to Deefa which of course go the needy people of Pattaya.

Note:  Growling Swan Golf, the home of friendly golf in Pattaya 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 [email protected]

We also play bowls out of the Growling Swan every Wednesday and Sunday.  Sunday is Lawn Bowls and Wednesday is Indoor Bowls.  All are welcome and for anyone that is interested the transport leaves The Growling Swan at 10.00am on each of those mornings.  For more information please contact Paul Rennison on 0843 454 005.