Travellers Rest Golf Group
All the locals have been telling me that they cannot recall the last time the rainy season went on this long into November and I, who have spent the last seven Novembers in Thailand, can vouch for that. It hasn’t stopped the farangs arriving in their droves though and numbers have shown a marked increase this past week on the golf courses around Pattaya. It does appear, however, that it is the better golfers with their longer drives and more accurate approach shots to the greens that are mastering the conditions far better than the average holiday golfer. As one of the latter category I can also vouch for that.
On Monday 19th November the TRGG headed off to Emerald and nearly had to call it a day after playing the first sixteen or seventeen holes when the deluge came down. Their balls were aquaplaning across the greens and shuddering to a halt after the first two or three feet which did tend to completely ruin some good scorecards. One of those longer hitting low handicappers, Ian Bell (7) managed to swim back to the clubhouse with a tremendous 37pts to take first place. Fergus Brennan (10), despite a bad finish in the conditions, rowed back in with 34pts to take second and Robert Bjorkqvist (11) paddled into third place with 33pts.
On Tuesday 20th November it was the turn of Treasure Hills to play host. Always a very tricky test of golf you can feel a real sense of achievement if you can shoot your handicap on this course, never mind when it is wet underfoot and playing long. So take a bow Robbie James (10) and Mike Rushant (12) who finished one and two respectively on 36pts, with Robbie winning on count back. For the second day running Robert Bjorkqvist (11) came in third on 33pts.
Thursday 22nd November saw the largest field of the week head off to Phoenix to play Mountain and Lakes. Unfortunately, and I can’t say exactly who was slowing the whole field down whether it was some of our own members or whether it was those put out ahead of us, but it did turn into a five hour round for those at the back of the field. I was lucky to be paired with two very good golfers and I could see them both lose the will to live the longer the round went on. It is so difficult to keep the momentum going when you are waiting on every shot.
Such was the size of the field that it required two divisions. Division 1 was for up to 13 handicap and Division 2 was 14 handicap and above. Ben Durham (11) took the Division 1 honours with 36pts, John Dean (8) was second on 34 and Hugh Byrne was third, also 34pts. In Division 2, Dorsey Richardson (19) was the best of the bunch with 37pts, Ted Senior (14) came second with 35 and Ken Brehm (20) was third on 32.
After the high scores posted on previous weeks at Phoenix it was a complete mystery why in such a large field no one bettered 37pts when conditions were almost perfect, except for the slow play of course.
Another large field paid our monthly visit to Mountain Shadow on Saturday 24th November. Paul Stanton (14) continued his rich vein of form by taking first place on 36pts, beating Robert Bjorkqvist (12) into second on count back. Poor old Robert always the bridesmaid – better luck next week Robert! Nigel Bennet (13) finished third on 35pts.