Pierrel shoots gem of a round at Emerald

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PSC golf from The Growling Swan

Tuesday, Sept. 4, The Emerald – Stableford

After a late cancellation due to family sickness and one “no show” we were still left with an excellent field of 22 golfers ready to tackle the challenging Emerald Golf Course.  It has been quite some time since most of us had played there and after receiving mixed reports about the course I for one was very much looking forward to playing there again.

As we assembled at The Growling Swan we had many new & old faces and welcomes were handed out to John Coombs & Ron Grafton from Mandurah, Western Australia, Dave Neal from the U.K. and his lady Thientong from Laem Chabang, Kevin Smith from Devon in the U.K. and Patrick Bellina from France.

John Pierrel, Bernie McCart & Stephen Newton. John Pierrel, Bernie McCart & Stephen Newton.

We departed the G.S. right on time at 8.30 am in 2 minivans and under overcast skies completed the journey in the good time of 45 minutes to find the course fairly quiet.  After getting ourselves organized and a practice putt or 2 for some we sent our first group away 20 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.40 a.m. and although still overcast there was no real sign of rain and a fairly stiff breeze.

The course was looking very good and we soon found the greens to be in great shape in fact a little too slick at times when putting from above the hole.  The areas in front of some of the greens were a touch “ordinary” and caused a few problems when landing the ball short of the mostly elevated greens but other than that the course was fine and is certainly back on our monthly schedule now.

Thientong & John Coombs. Thientong & John Coombs.

Although threatening at times the rain did stay away and at no stage were the conditions too hot, mainly due to the stiff breeze mentioned earlier.  Proceeding at a fairly good pace we completed the round in the fine time of four hours & five minutes which included a drink stop on the second nine.

We were able to have 2 grades with five podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 16 and B Grade for 17 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes which were sponsored by The Growling Swan, Mike Gosden, Ron Grafton & Max “Two Corsets” Bracegirdle.  We also had longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens which were kindly sponsored by Allan Tranekaer & Paul Quinn.

In the A Grade John Pierrel blitzed the rest of the field and his 42 points was 8 points better than Mike Allidi (19 point back nine) whose 73 off the stick enabled him to secure second spot in a count back from Martin Todd (18 point back nine), both ending up with 36 points.  Fourth place went to Mike “Hunter” Gosden with 33 points and J J Harney was fifth with 30 points.

In the B Grade Stephen Newton also won easily with 36 points and in a three way count back on 32 points Kevin Smith (19 point back nine) finished second from Thientong Charoenrung (18 point back nine) and Brian Noguer (16 point back nine) came fourth.  Frank Donnelly completed the B Grade podium with 31 points.

A Flight (0-16)

1st John Pierrel (14) 42pts

2nd Mike Allidi (1) 36pts

3rd Martin Todd (8) 36pts

4th Mike Gosden (12) 33pts

5th J J Harney (11) 30pts

B Flight (17+)

1st Stephen Newton (30) 36pts

2nd Kevin Smith (36) 32pts

3rd Thientong Charoenrung (20) 32pts

4th Brian Noguer (22) 32pts

5th Frank Donnelly (21) 31pts

Near Pins:  5th – J J Harney, 7th – Frank Donnelly, 13h – Paul Quinn, 15th – Dave Neal

Long Putts:  9th – Patrick Bellina, 18th – Brian Noguer

The winner of the Compass Cap (awarded to the player with the worst score on the day) was Bernie McCart, much to the relief of myself & Ron Grafton and Bernie as usual received the award in good spirit and wore the cap well into th evening.

Deefa the Dog’s master, Hunter was back from his trip and took him for a walk, collecting many donations to charity from our generous Growling Swan crew in the process.  It was then back to The Growling Swan for some cheap priced coldies and lots of fun & laughter.

Friday, 7th September – Rayong C.C. – Stableford

Our normal Thursday game was cancelled due to the inclement weather at Treasure Hill, as was the second course we tried, Rayong Country Club, which was a shame as 29 golfers were signed up to play.  Not to be deprived of our second game of golf for the week we booked Rayong Country Club for the next day and prayed that the weather this time would be kind to us.  We had 16 keen golfers prepared to play and we assembled at The Growling Swan in readiness and as all turned up early we headed off 10 minutes ahead of schedule at 8.20 am.

We welcomed Marco Beer from Switzerland and Kevin Waycott from Geraldton in Western Australia.  It was also good to see veteran Hugh O’Donnell once more having a game with us but sadly it was Bon Voyage to him as he is off to Spain in the next few days.

I rang the course just after 8.00 a.m. and was told that it was in fact raining there but we decided to take the chance anyway.  The weather was looking good as we travelled in sunshine and indeed when we arrived at the course 40 minutes later it was fine although there were many rain clouds overhead.  There were very few other golfers there so it was surprising to find that there weren’t enough carts to go round as we were promised a special rate for one-to-a-cart so many of us had to double up, which was no big deal anyway.

Our first group got away 30 minutes early at 9.30 a.m. and ‘mark, lift. clean & place’ through the greens was the order of the day as naturally the course was somewhat soggy due to the recent heavy rains, but there were very few fairway puddles and the greens were fine although not up to the standard of most of the other golf courses.

Most of our group were finding the going fairly tough and it seemed obvious that anyone playing to their handicap or thereabouts would feature on the podium at the end of the day and that indeed was the case.  We were extremely lucky with the weather throughout the round as there were several rainy squalls but nothing that lasted long enough for us to stop play at any time.

A group in front of us slowed us down in the latter part of our round but we managed to complete the full round in four hours & twenty minutes.  In a nutshell it was great to be out there playing golf in less than ideal conditions but we all agreed that it was a good day and although the standard of golf was not the best it was well worth the trip.

We were able to have 2 grades with four podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 16 and B Grade for 17 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes which were sponsored by The Growling Swan, John Coombs, Dave Neal & Alain Taddei.  We also had longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens which were kindly sponsored by Ron Grafton & John Coombs.

John Coombs won the A Grade with 33 points, 2 points ahead of his good mate Ron Grafton in second place with Kevin Waycott third on 29 points.  With 3 players on 28 points a count back was necessary to determine fourth spot and it was Martin Todd (17 point back nine) who prevailed from Ebrahim (16 point back nine) and your writer (10 point back nine).

The winner in B Grade was Thientong Charoenrung with a fine 35 points and another lady, Duanjai Dusadad (Kae) was second with 33 points.  Bernie McCart was third with 31 points & Dave Neal fourth on 30 points.

A Flight (0-16)

1st John Coombs (12) 33pts

2nd Ron Grafton (13) 31pts

3rd Kevin Waycott (10) 29pts

4th Martin Todd (8) 28pts

B Flight (17+)

1st Thientong Charoenrung (20) 35pts

2nd Duanjai Dusadad (36) 33pts

3rd Bernie McCart (31) 31pts

4th Dave Neal (22) 30pts

Near Pins:  5th – Peter Blackburn, 7th – Marco Beer, 12th – Martin Todd, 16th – John Coombs

Long Putts:  9th – Ron Grafton, 18th – Roy Dayton

There was no Compass Cap award on the day due to a “technical difficulty” and also Deefa the Dog was not present due to a prior commitment.  It was then back to The Growling Swan for plenty of cold ones and a very relaxing evening watching the Hawthorn v Collingwood AFL game.

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 a.m.  For bookings or more information please contact Peter on 0806 351 386 or email to [email protected].