Neil & Ebrahim sparkle at Crystal Bay


PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, July 15, Crystal Bay, A & B – Stableford

For a change I awoke to a fine and sunny Pattaya Monday morning and joined the rest of the crew at The Growling Swan as we prepared to make the journey to Crystal Bay Golf Course.  We had a very good field of 23 golfers and we were happy to welcome back John (J.P.) Pierrel from Texas, USA, Bent Agerbo & Peer Bruun from Denmark and Neil Herd & Mike Quill from Geraldton Golf Club in Western Australia. 

It was sadly time to say farewell to Paul Avery who is returning to Cairns, Queensland, Alan “Colonel” Sanders who is going back to the Gold Coast in Australia and Rocky Lawson & Rob Cross who are also returning to Australia.

Bent Agerbo, Ken Hole & Partner, Kevin Waycott & Tony Yemm.Bent Agerbo, Ken Hole & Partner, Kevin Waycott & Tony Yemm.

Departing the GS a couple of minutes ahead of schedule at 8.38 a.m. we proceeded well through the Monday morning traffic and found Highway 3 not too bad as we arrived at the golf course 45 minutes later.  There was a fair amount of activity at this popular venue and our tee time was not until 10.10 a.m. so we took our time with some chipping practice around the first tee (A1) and then got our first group away 10 minutes ahead of schedule.

The weather was great and the course looked a treat with freshly mown fairways although some of the greens were a touch “iffy” after recent coring and sanding but all in all the golf course was in very good condition, particularly considering the amount of rain we have had in the past week.  The groups in front were quite swift so we proceeded at a very good pace and managed to complete our round in four hours & ten minutes.

Neil Herd, Ebrahim & Rocky Lawson.Neil Herd, Ebrahim & Rocky Lawson.

We were able to have 2 grades with A Grade being for handicaps 0 to 14 and B Grade for handicaps of 15 and over with 4 prizes in each grade.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins all the par threes and longest first putts on the A9 & B9 greens.

The A Grade was won by Neil Herd with a fine 39 points and he remarked it was his best score and first win in Thailand in 7 years.  Second spot went to the departing Paul Avery on 38 points and Peer Bruun finished third with 37 points.  With 2 golfers on 36 points a count back was required which saw Peter “Blacky” Blackburn (18 point back nine) take fourth place from Takeshi Hakozaki (16 point back nine).

In the B Grade it was Ebrahim who was victorious with an excellent 40 points, just 1 point ahead of Bent Agerbo in second place. Geri Crilly finished third with 34 points and Frank “Woody” Donnelly was fourth scoring 33 points.

A Flight (0-14)

1st Neil Herd (10) 39pts

2nd Paul Avery (10) 38pts

3rd Peer Bruun (12) 37pts

4th Peter Blackburn (12) 36pts

B Flight (15+)

1st Ebrahim (15) 40pts

2nd Bent Agerbo (22) 39pts

3rd Geri Crilly (27) 34pts

4th Frank Donnelly (20) 33pts

Near Pins: A5 – Martin Todd, A8 – Takeshi Hakozaki, B4 – Martin Todd, B6 – John Pierrel

Long Putts: A9 – Peer Bruun, B9 – Ebrahim

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 last start A Grade winner Rocky Lawson (chocolates to boiled lollies) and he accepted and wore the award with pride for a considerable time back at the bar.

Max “Corsets” Bracegirdle  was kind enough to parade Deefa the Dog and of course collected many donations for the needy in Pattaya from our generous Growling Swan Golfers.

Thursday, July 18, Burapha, C & D – Stableford

This was a very special day for us. It was Ken Hole’s 75th birthday and he decided to celebrate it by sponsoring the day, which included providing all the prizes and also a meal back at the Growling Swan afterwards.  Naturally there was a very good response to this event so after a cancellation and a no–show we had an excellent field of 30 golfers assembled at the GS in readiness for the departure to the classy Burapha Golf Course.

We welcomed my old mate Jason McDonald of Champagne A-Go-Go fame, Englishmen Graham Hiskett and Stuart Gordon now residing in Pattaya, Tony Olcorn back from Brisbane, Australia and Graham “Grunter” Buckingham returning from an international Scrabble tournament in Bangkok.  We were also thankful to Warwick “Kiwi” Anderson for picking up the tab for the 3 mini vans which we used for transportation on the day.

It’s only a 30 minute drive to the golf course so after departing the GS 5 minutes early at 8.25 a.m. we arrived at the course in plenty of time for our 10.05 a.m. booking.  We were allocated the C & D nines which I personally have not played for about fifteen years so it was with much anticipation that we stepped up to the tee on C1 and managed to send our first four-ball away 5 minutes ahead of schedule.

The weather was terrific, not too hot with a nice cooling breeze and the golf course was in fantastic condition with pristine fairways and slick greens, at times two paced but beautifully maintained.  We proceeded in a fairly quick fashion and even with lots of traffic in front of us we were able to complete the round in just on four hours.

It was a terrific experience playing these two nines again and after enjoying the fantastic views and great conditions it had certainly been a memorable day so thanks very much to Ken Hole for sponsoring the day.

We were able to have 2 grades with A Grade being for handicaps 0 to 20 and B Grade for handicaps of 21 and over with 4 prizes in each grade.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins all the par threes and longest first putts on the C9 & D9  greens.

The winner in A Grade with a fine 38 points was Kevin “Wayco” Waycott, closely followed in second place by your writer, Peter “Blacky” Blackburn who had 37 points.  In third spot was Mark West on 36 points and Martin “Toddy” Todd finished fourth with 34 points.

With easily the best score of the day it was once more Bent Agerbo who finished on top of the B Grade with an excellent 41 points and after his 39 points earlier in the week he can look forward to losing 1 or 2 shots off his handicap on the weekend.  With 2 golfers on 36 points a count back was necessary and it saw Gary Monley (20 point back nine) take second place from Geri Crilly (17 point back nine) and Andrew “Turtle” Allen finished in fourth place with 33 points.

A Flight (0-20)

1st Kevin Waycott (11) – 38pts

2nd Peter Blackburn (12) 37pts

3rd Mark West (15) 36pts

4th Martin Todd (9) 34pts

B Flight (21+)

1st Bent Agerbo (22) 41pts

2nd Gary Monley (36) 36pts

3rd Geri Crilly (27) 36pts

4th Andrew Allen (36) 33pts

Near Pins: C5 – John Pierrel, C8 – Max Bracegirdle, D2 – Peter Blackburn, D8 – Gary Monley

Long Putts: C9 – Warwick Anderson, D9 – Gary Monley

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was won by Tony Yemm and he accepted & wore the award with pride for a considerable time back at the bar.  Back at The Growling Swan afterwards our sponsor of the day Ken Hole welcomed everyone and thanked them all for coming and after reminding everyone of the “cheap” day that had transpired he suggested that we all dig deep and donate to Deefa the Dog which he paraded around the bar with great response from everyone.  It had been a memorable day and once again many thanks to Ken & Kiwi for their generosity.

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