Pattaya Bunker Boys golfers finish tumultuous 2021

(L-R) Gez Williams, big winner at Greenwood, Steve Durey, winner at Mountain Shadow and Golfer of the Month Colin Greig.

PSC Bunker Boys Golf
Monday, December 27th
Greenwood Golf Club C & B
1st Gez Williams (15) 41 points
2nd Geoff Parker (20) 40 points
3rd Kob Glover (24) 38 points
4th Michael Brett (16) 37 points
Near pins Ken Davidson, Tony Robbins, & Michael Brett.

The last week of a tumultuous year began with a game at Greenwood where we were allocated the C & B nines. Greenwood is a course that we have always had a cordial relationship with and many at the Bunker Boys regard it as one of their favourite courses. However, that view may have changed irrevocably on Monday. When we made our booking we were quoted an all-in fee of twelve hundred and fifty baht, which subsequently was increased to fourteen hundred and fifty; the reason given was high season prices.

On arrival at the course, we found that price had increased yet again to fifteen hundred and fifty and no negotiation would be entered into. This left many openly declaring that they would not return to this course again. It seemed a very shortsighted view by course management as we have long been a loyal supporter of the course, and come the end of this supposed high season the course may be very keen to welcome our patronage. Unfortunately, this kind of opportunism and shabby treatment of regular customers is all too common and leaves a very sour taste.

With regard to the course, we found it surprisingly damp underfoot with many plugged balls as well as mud balls, otherwise, it was fine. A stiff breeze blew for much of the round and proved difficult to handle.

Despite the difficult start and the wind, scoring was well above average with Gez Williams topping the list with an excellent forty-one points. This was his second visit to the winners circle with a second placing last Friday, and a very good start to his tour of duty. Geoff Parker should now see the back of his twenty handicap with a second placing on forty points. Kob Glover took third with thirty-eight points while Michael Brett brought up the rear on thirty-seven.

Three near pins were taken going to Ken Davidson, Tony Robbins, and Michael Brett. None of the big guns fired today and Steve Durey gained ground in the race for golfer of the month, so it’s not over yet with two games to go.

Wednesday, December 29th
Parichat International Golf Links, white tees
1st Niall Glover (16) 36 points
2nd Steve Durey (19) 34 points
3rd Bengt Engstrom (10) 33 points
Near pins Kob Glover, Geoff Parker, Casey Mitchell, & Michael Brett.

Parichat is a course that is starting to pose some problems for us. Some only want to play it if it’s a rainbow format, some don’t want to play it if it’s a rainbow, and increasingly some just don’t want to play it at all, leaving us in a bit of a quandary that is impossible to resolve. To be fair, a couple of holes on the course are a bit silly with ridiculous greens. It does, however, have a couple of redeeming features, i.e., the course is usually in good condition, the caddies are mostly quite good, and best of all, the all-in fee of twelve hundred baht make it hard to ignore.

On our last visit the wind was howling; Wednesday wasn’t much better. We were out behind a couple of groups that looked like they might be slow but we had a relatively smooth run and no holdups. With a large number of Bunker Boys around at present, we had the smallest field for months, some may be voting with their feet and playing elsewhere, but many may just have decided to have a day off golf.

Despite a very poor start to his round, Niall Glover recovered well to take first place with thirty-six points, two ahead of Steve Durey in second on thirty-four, whilst Bengt Engstrom rounded out the winners circle on thirty-three.

All the near pins were taken with one each to Kob Glover, Geoff Parker, and Michael Brett, with our newest member Casey Mitchell also getting in on the act. Another seasonal visitor, Stuart Tinkler, made it through the arduous process visitors are subjected to and will join the group for Friday’s game at Mountain Shadow.

Friday, December 31st
Mountain Shadow Golf Club
1st Steve Durey (19) 35 points
2nd Colin Greig (14) 33 points
3rd Kevin LeBar (14) 32 points
4th Ken Davidson 23) 32 points
Near pins Steve Durey, Stuart Tinkler, & Neil Jones

The last game of the year was played at the Mountain Shadow Course in bright sunny conditions. The course was pretty much as expected, greens and fairways ok, tee boxes rough and uneven, and the bunkers as always neglected, unraked, and with grass in many.

One of the more unusual rounds of golf on many counts, at least four players were subjected to two-stroke penalties for playing the wrong ball, it was just that kind of day. As if once wasn’t enough, one player did it on consecutive holes, an overreliance on the caddie to blame. One player sacked his caddie after four holes and will likely receive a rebuke for caddie abuse, not conduct appropriate to the season of goodwill.

Mountain Shadow is a good test of golf and one has to be on their game to score well here, unfortunately, many were well off today. Steve Durey was the only one to put in a good effort with a round of thirty-five points in first place. Colin Greig was two strokes adrift in second place, with Kevin LeBar edging out Ken Davidson for third spot. Even when he loses, Kevin always wins as he seems to have the magic with the caddies, always has the cutest caddie on the course.

Three near pins were taken with one each going to Steve Durey, Neil Jones, and a particularly good one to Stuart Tinkler who smoked an eight iron very close on the third par three.

All month long it looked inevitable that Colin Greig would take out the golfer of the month with a substantial lead. However, Steve Durey kept plugging away and it eventually went down to the wire with both tied on two hundred and nineteen points. The duel had to be resolved on countback going all the way back to the eighth best score for Colin to take it. A big month for Colin also taking out the club championship.

Year in Review

Nobody at the Bunker Boys will be sad to see the end of this year, yet another year where life has been disrupted by the specter of the pandemic. Despite faring better than most countries we still had to endure a month-long lockdown and the bars in Pattaya being closed for about eight months, ruinous for the “city of fun.”

Sadly we bade farewell to a number of members with the passing of Frank Quinlan, Andy Brady, Geoff Hart, Peter Hapgood, and Peter Allen. It seems we’re ageing rapidly as a golf society and need an injection of young blood. We did welcome several new members to the club including Roger Awad, Bengt Engstrom, Jay Babin, Bob Innes, Geoff Atwell, and Nik Evans, all of whom have become regulars. We made a couple of away trips to Kabin Buri and Kanchanaburi and hope next year see us travel significantly more in the new year with the first to Soi Dao already locked in for early February.

There is still a significant number of members we haven’t seen for some time, take note all you Aussies, and it would be nice if they could make the trip soon, we live in hope that the virus is on the wane and life may return to some kind of normality.

Some notable stats for the year are as follows:
Club Champion:
Colin Greig
Most games played: Tony Robbins and Michael Brett, one hundred and forty-two
Most games won: Michael Brett, sixteen
Most near pins: Michael Brett, sixty-eight
Most golfer of the month: Michael Brett, three.

Seems amazing that one player can play so poorly for so long and still top many of the stats. No doubt that will change next year with Niall Glover now playing full time and Steve Durey improving his game with every passing month. Also, we are seeing Geoff Parker returning to good form again and of course, there is always Jimmy Carr to contend with. Who knows what Roger Awad will bring to the table with a series of golf lessons completed and a new game in his bag. We may even get some new members who could change everything.