Monday, January 30
Silky Oak Golf Club
1st Steve Evans (12) 39 points
2nd Daryl Vernon (21) 36 points
3rd Niall Glover (12) 35 points
4th Neil Jones (24) 35 points
Near Pins Alan Howard, Mike Lloyd, Bil Richardson, Niall Glover, & Paul Smith.
The last game of January was played at the Silky Oak course, in cool and windy conditions. Several opted not to play this course as they either don’t like it or had difficulty with some of the carries, a couple of others took part in a special event at Pattaya Country Club, nevertheless, we had a decent field of nineteen players
The day began with much frustration as a lack of caddies at Barcelona Valley meant a delay of almost an hour before we could get away. When we did finally get going the pace of play was acceptable and we completed the round in about four hours. Many who live here are cursing the impact high season is having on local golf with high pricing, long delays, and slow rounds, some even express concern that this high season will last much longer than normal with pent-up demand for travel after a couple of years of restrictions.
Steve Evans took first place today with an excellent round of thirty-nine points. Daryl Vernon took second place with a very tidy round of thirty-six points. Niall Glover and Neil Jones both finished in that order on countback with rounds of thirty-five points each. All five near pins were won going to Alan Howard, Mike Lloyd, Bil Richardson, Niall Glover, and Paul Smith. Despite a superb back nine of twenty-two points, Mike Lloyd just missed out on a place on the leaderboard.
Having played high-quality consistent golf all month Daryl Vernon took out his first golfer of the month trophy with daylight to second place.
Being the very kind respectful gentleman that he is Gordon Melia marked his fifty-second wedding anniversary to his beautiful wife Marion by ringing the bell, lets have many more anniversaries to come for Marion and Gordon.
Having seen four holes in one last year, this year’s competition got off to a flying start with Craig Dows nailing the first of the year at Pattaya Country Club on hole twelve where he put a nine iron to the green straight into the hole, unfortunately for Craig, his name doesn’t go on the honour board as he was not part of the Bunker Boys competition. How many more will we see this year, can we beat last year’s total?
Wednesday, February 1
Soi Dao Highlands Resort Course. Day 1.
1st Hubert Stiefenhofer (21) 37 points
2nd Craig Dows (4) 35 points
3rd Michael Brett (18) 31 points
Near pins. Richard Benson, Alan Sullivan, Herbert Stiefenhofer & Michael Brett.
The annual trip to Soi Dao took place this year on the 1st and 2nd of February with a lower-than-normal number taking part. Each year Soi Dao has ratcheted up the price both for accommodation and golf so consequently the smaller number, this may in fact be the last year we undertake this trip. Whilst the trip is a very pleasant break from Pattaya the increasing cost is a barrier for several members coupled with the fact many have undertaken this trip several times and are looking for new venues to explore.
Once again a crowded course and a slow round. The course was difficult, in particular, the greens were very quick and some of the pin placements were about as difficult as it was possible to make them. Only two golfers got respectable scores. With nine points on two holes, Hubert Stiefenhofer took first place with thirty-seven points. Craig Dows took second two back and Michael Brett took third with a lowly thirty-one points Near pins went Hubert Stiefenhofer, Richard Benson, Alan Sullivan, and Michael Brett.
Soi Dao Highlands Resort Course Day 2.
1st Hubert Stiefenhofer (21) 33 points
2nd Bil Richardson (16) 32 points
3rd Craig Dows (4) 31 points
Near pins Bil Richardson & Michael Brett X 3.
The pin placements on the greens were the same as yesterday, so despite the benefit of having already played the course nobody played it any better, quite the contrary. With everyone having stayed at the resort overnight they were fresh and rested although some may have overindulged in the red wine and were possibly suffering the aftereffects which may also account for the lower scoring. An early start on the back nine meant we got away on time and finished in just over four hours;
Hubert Stiefenhofer came out on top for the second day in a row albeit with a lower score of thirty-three points, needless to say, he also won the golfer of the tour award, something he has done before. Bil Richardson was out early to the practice range which clearly paid off as he took second place with Craig Dows taking third with thirty-one points. Again all the near pins were taken with Bil Richardson taking one and Michael Brett taking three.
Friday, February 3
Emerald Golf Course
1st Bobby Collis (20) 37 points
2nd Ken Davidson (26) 36 points
3rd Dave Ashman (29) 34 points
4th Les Cobban (12) 34 points
5th Geoff Parker (21) 33 points
6th Steve Evans (11) 32 points
Near pins Paul Smith, Craig Dows, Steven Lewis, & Les Cobban.
The biggest group of the year so far with thirty-four making their way to Ban Chang for the last game of the week at the Emerald course. It felt like a particularly long week for some with our leader Niall playing five games in a row. As usual Emerald was in mediocre condition, the Faldo design with moguls and hollows is not to everybody’s taste.
Scoring was decent by Emerald standards with several putting in a decent effort. A day for the high handicappers to shine and a breakthrough win for Bobby Collis taking first place with thirty-seven points. Ken Davidson took second place with a fine round of thirty-six points Part-time resident of Ban Chang Dave Ashman took third place with thirty-four points beating Les Cobban into fourth place on countback. It’s most unusual to see Les playing of a handicap of twelve when his usual handicap is eight, he must be due to hit some form soon and get back where he belongs. Geoff Parker was next in line in fifth place with thirty-three points with Steve Evans rounding out the winner’s list with thirty-two points. Again with a large field, it was expected that all the near pins would be taken which they were going to Paul Smith, Craig Dows, Les Cobban, and Steven Lewis.