Pattaya Sports Club: Bunker Boys Golf Report Monday, August 15

Robby Watts, winner at Greenwood & St Andrews.

Greenwood C & B White tees.
1st Robby Watts (9) 37 points
2nd Geoff Parker (20) 35 points
3rd Paul Anderson (16) 33 points
4th Kob Glover (20) 33 points
Near pins Tony Cliff, Robby Watts, & Bil Richardson X 2

A couple of very pleasant surprises to start the week at the Bunker, first, all the sick people from the past few weeks have recovered and were on board today, second, we were delighted to welcome back Gordon Melia after an absence of about three years looking fighting fit and healthy.

The most distant of our local courses, Greenwood was the venue for today’s game and was in good shape albeit a bit damp underfoot. Despite that, we didn’t play lift, clean, and place which with the benefit of hindsight we probably should have. Just about everyone had several mudballs and some particularly bad ones turned the game into a bit of a lottery making a game of skill into a game of chance.

Although not at his best today Robby Watts was good enough to take first place with a respectable thirty-seven points. An appearance by Geoff Parker at the presentation was an indication that he may be in the frame and so it turned out with him taking second place with thirty-five points, his best score for some time. Paul Anderson on thirty-three points took third place on countback pushing Kob Glover into the remaining fourth place in the winner’s circle. Almost fully recovered from Pneumonia Bil Richardson showed superior accuracy to take two near pins with Tony Cliff and Robby Watts taking the remaining two. Today we bade farewell to Hubert Stiefenhof who returns to Germany to take care of some business before returning again in December, we wish Hubert Gute Reise.

A real test of ability and course management skills awaits on Wednesday with a game at St Andrew’s, who is going to master this challenge?

Wednesday, August 17th
St Andrews Golf Club

1st Robby Watts (9) 35 points
2nd Mashie Kaneta (18) 32 points
3rd Gary Smith (10) 30 points
4th Jimmy Carr (19) 30 points
Near pins. Wan Miller, & Jay Mitchell

Just as predicted St Andrews threw up a real challenge but not the one we were expecting. The course, normally in great condition was in the poorest state we have seen it possibly forever. Whilst the fairways were ok the greens were dreadful, bumpy in places, and unbelievably slow. It was hard to get your mind to believe that what your eyes were seeing was not true, so many puts were not just a bit short, but way short. The bunkers were disgraceful, possibly the worst we have ever seen, with no sand and full of weeds and grass, it will take a massive effort to restore them to even an acceptable level. As if the course wasn’t bad enough a very strong wind blew all-day adding to the difficulty.
The pace of play was fine until the back nine where we ran up against a couple of very slow groups which held us up on just about every hole, all in all, one of the least satisfying days of golf.

Scoring was very substandard with most not breaching thirty points. Someone remarked that every time he saw Robby Watts he was in trouble, he must have scrambled well as he took first place with thirty-five points making it two in a row, can he do a three in a week on Friday? Mashie Kaneta took second place with thirty-two, the Bunker Boys always seems to be a happy hunting ground for Mashie. Gary Smith took third on countback from Jimmy Carr, both on thirty points. Only two near pins were taken by Jay Mitchell and Wan Miller. There was a real scramble for one of them with at least four players a short distance from the hole which on another day would be close enough to win.

Friday, August 19th
Wangjuntr Golf Park Highlands Course
1st Gary Smith (10) 36 points
2nd Kob Glover (20) 32 points
3rd Robby Watts (9) 30 points
Near pins Gary Smith, Les Cobban, & Jay Mitchell X 2.

It had been at least three years since the Bunker Boys’ last visit to Wangjuntr to play the Valley Course so this time we opted for the more popular Highlands layout, which as it turned out was a mistake. Since the COVID period, it seems that far more attention was lavished on the Valley Course than the other two; consequently, the Highlands layout was in disappointing condition. Feral pigs destroyed several fairways rooting for whatever feral pigs root destroying them in the process. Worse still the greens were so bad they made St Andrews from Wednesday look good, rough, bare, and bumpy as well as variable in speed making for an odious mix.

Despite the conditions, someone always shines through, and today it was the turn of Gary Smith who took first place with a solid thirty-six points. Kob Glover took second with thirty-two points and Robby Watts completing the winners circle with thirty points. All the near pins were taken with one each to Gary Smith and Les Cobban, Jay Mitchell took two.
The day wasn’t a complete disaster, with wildlife in abundance everywhere you care to look there was something for nature lovers if not golfers.