Pattaya Sports Club Bunker Boys Golf Report Dec 26-28-30

Bil Richardson, Golfer of the Month and Mark Hayward, winner at Royal Lakeside.

Monday, December 26
Royal Lakeside Golf Club
1st Mark Hayward (20) 37 points
2nd Craig Dows (5) 37 points
3rd Michael Brett (17) 33 points
4th Gary Smith (10) 33 points
Near pins. Craig Dows, Les Cobban, Curtis Hegge, & Hubert Stiefenhofer.

As always the Royal Lakeside course was in immaculate condition for the Boxing Day game where we had a good field of twenty-four. Following our last visit, many had vouchers that entitled them to an all-in fee of fourteen hundred baht which was very good value given the holiday season with courses very crowded.

As the course was busy we started from the tenth tee and very quickly ran up against a five and two six balls so a slow round ensued, there was waiting time on most of what is normally the front nine. The wind swirled around from different directions and created the usual challenge, otherwise, conditions for golf were perfect.

Scores were reasonable and a bit tight at the top. Mark Hayward made a breakthrough win today beating Craig Dows on countback, both with thirty-seven points. Also a tie for third and fourth with Michael Brett edging out Gary Smith. Near pins went to all the usual regular near pin takers, i.e. Craig Dows, Les Cobban, Curtis Hegge, and Hubert Steifenhofer, the notable absentee being Paul Smith who had an all-round bad day by his standards.

Wednesday, December 28
Silky Oak Golf Club
1st Craig Dows (5) 38 points
2nd Hubert Steifenhofer (22) 36 points
3rd Michael Brett (17) 34 points
4th Niall Glover (11) 34 points
5th Bil Richardson (15) 34 points
Near pins Kob Glover, Bil Richardson, Michael Brett, & Craig Dows X 2.

Another split round today with the main group going to Silky Oak and those that don’t like it going to Bangpra where they had to endure a slow round on a very crowded course. At Silky Oak we found a course in decent condition but heading for trouble. In several areas, the irrigation system was broken and water flowed freely onto the course necessitating a free drop in those sodden areas. The greens were quite hard so it was a challenge to hit and stick on them, resulting in much chipping or putting from off the greens.

Despite going O.B. twice on adjoining fairways where internal O.B. applied Craig Dows still had an excellent score of thirty-eight points to take first place. A highlight of his round was a chip-in from about one hundred out for an eagle. Hubert Steifenhofer had his best round to date and took second place with thirty-six points. A real dogfight for third where Michael Brett took it with twenty-two on the back from Niall Glover and Bil Richardson on countback. All near pins were taken with one each to Kob Glover, Bil Richardson, and Michael Brett with Craig Dows taking two.

Craig Dows took the honours at Silky Oak and Jay Babin, winner at Emerald.

Friday, December 30
Emerald Golf Club
1st Jay Babin (22) 38 points
2nd Mark Hayward (20) 36 points
3rd Gary Smith (10) 35 points
4th Neil Jones (26) 32 points
Near pins Kob Glover, Jochen Stepp, & Michael Brett

The last game of the month and indeed the year was played at Emerald where we found a very busy course. For the first time that anyone can remember it was possible to share a cart as there were not enough for everyone to have their own.

An all-in fee of eleven hundred baht was good value, nevertheless, several groups walked which was not a problem as the pace of play was fairly pedestrian. The full complement of Bunker Boys was on hand for this game, split rounds do very little in the way of cohesion. Much like Silky Oak, the irrigation system is breaking down and in several areas the ground was sodden

Jay Babin took the honours today with a fine round of thirty-eight, he was at the course early and had plenty of time on the practice range to hone his skills. Mark Hayward was again in the frame and took second place with thirty-six points, a cut in handicap could be coming his way very soon. Gary Smith had thirty-five points in third place with Neil Jones rounding out the leaderboard with thirty-two points. Near pins went to Kob Glover, Jochen Stepp, and Michael Brett.

We have to wait a little longer before we crown our first lady golfer of the month, Kob Glover came very close missing out by just two points to the winner Bil Richardson in a first for him.

Year in review.
Looking back over the year that was we had a return to relative normality after two very disrupted years. Most of our regular visitors were seen back in Pattaya and playing golf again, only very few are still to return.

Early in the year and almost without notice we relocated to our new home in Soi Buakhao at the Sports Lounge where our host Terry does a sterling job looking after all our before and after golf needs. Another major change came our way when Niall Glover took over the day-to-day running of golf from Jimmy Carr and also booking courses from Tony Robbins.

As a result, we saw several changes to our playing roster with some courses being dropped and new ones added, the overall standard of courses improved. Throughout the year we enjoyed relatively good pricing for courses up until the start of high season when some courses implemented crazy pricing, hopefully, we can get back to more normal pricing soon.

A total of one hundred and fifty-eight games were played throughout the year by one hundred and seventy-five different golfers from twelve different countries, only two games were rained off.

A very good year for holes in one with Travis Kim, Paul Smith, Les Cobban, and Raliegh Gosney all adding their names to the honour board. Another highlight came by way of Paul Smith who took out a record five golfer of the month trophies and eighty-six near pins. He also achieved his ambition to play off a scratch handicap at the ripe old age of sixty.

Another notable achievement came by way of Kob Glover who took six strokes off her handicap to be crowned most improved player of the year. We have yet to find the club champion for the year as the event was deferred to late January to accommodate some of our overseas players.