IPGC golf from The Haven
Monday, July 23, Khao Kheow – Stableford
1st Terry Hodgkiss (22) 38pts
2nd Graham Davis (8) 36pts
3rd Shuichi Kodaka (17) 34pts
4th Frank McGowan (16) 32pts
5th Al Rolnik (18) 29pts
A very good week at three of the local courses, where the green fee costs are as much as half as expensive than some others in the area, started off at Pete Dye designed Khao Kheow layout from the yellow tees over the A an B courses where the recent renovation work has almost been completed, leaving the course in much better shape than before.
Terry Hodgkiss continued his progress with the flat stick with another day without a three-putt, which enabled him to take his second podium placing in as many weeks but this time rising to the top step after a two under return for the day.
Graham Davis slipped into second place with another solid round that could have been so much better if a few more of those putts had not wandered off course.
Shuichi Kodaka, whose handicap is slowly rising once again towards the level at which he will inevitably win one, was nearly there today with a solid round of equal nine which was sufficient to take third place.
Frank McGowan was left ruing a poor finish with just three points scored over the last three holes as he took fourth place ahead of Al Rolnik, who has just returned after several weeks away while he has been mentoring one of his grandsons in both America and Thailand, no doubt recapturing some years of his own youth along the way.
There were no 2’s in the second division but Graham Davis had the sole one in the first division to sweep the rollover pot.
Before the presentations there was a welcome for Barry La Cerf together with welcome backs for Al Rolnik, Paul Hartley and Joe Peters.
Wednesday, July 25, Bangpra – Stableford
1st Phillip Cass (23) 34pts
2nd Shuichi Kodaka (17) 34pts
3rd Graham Davis (8) 33pts
4th Frank McGowan (16) 32pts
5th Alwyne Burley (18) 32pts
Although the management seems to have the pricing of the green fees sorted out, the cost of taking a golf cart has doubled here – costing another 300 baht as the course has also moved to single players in a cart ruling. There also seems to be a further conspiracy against sharing as the cost of sharing a beer with ones fellow players after the game has increased dramatically to be one of the dearest in the area, with a small Heineken costing 100 baht and a small Singha 90 baht.
Another worrisome development at the course is the behavior of the monkeys, who used to be one of the attractions for many visitors in the past, but have now become very aggressive, scaring away the caddies left guarding the carts and their contents and even threatening players armed with a club when they attempt to retrieve lost items.
After all that said, the course is still one of the best in the area, offering a stern challenge to every level of handicapper and on this day with the white tees set back nearer to the blacks than the standard measured length it proved to be so yet again.
Phillip Cass took his first win out of The Haven in such a long time he could not remember when it was, with a steady round that owed much to a five-pointer on the par five eleventh hole with a birdie and two strokes on the hole which enabled him to amass 21 points on the back nine, and enabling him to win a count back over Shuichi Kodak who could manage just 17, after he had returned another equal nines card for second place.
Graham Davis had another one of those “If only days” as the putts continued to track their way round and past the hole on a regular basis and so he once again a little disappointed in third spot.
Frank McGowan took fourth place for the second outing running as he won a count back over Alwyne Burley with a better 17 to 14 after Alwyne had started well but faded at the end.
Very unusually there was a second five-pointer scored on the day as Rick Holmes birdied the stroke index one par four sixth hole, again with two strokes of handicap following his recent injury review, to record his first ever net albatross, as he has never previously had two shots on a hole.
There were no 2’s in either division.
Prior to the presentations Phillip Cass was welcomed back.
Friday, July 27, Phoenix – Monthly Medals
Division 1 (0-15) Blue tees
CSS 77 NC
1st Rodney Nabbe (11) net 78
2nd Graham Davis (8) net 81
No other finishers
Division 2 (16+) White tees
1st Paul Taylor (20) net 74
2nd Terry Hodgkiss (22) net 78
3rd Joe Peters (18) net 78
4th Frank McGowan (16) net 78
The third course of the week was yet another great one, with the greens as usual in first class condition and the fairways, even following heavy overnight rain, recovered well enough so that the ‘lift and place’ local rule that had been expected prior to the departure did not have to be put into effect.
As usual the first division was played from the blue tees, but many happenings around the course left the finishers at just two, as the rest of the field either did not complete the course or no returned almost at the outset, leaving a very surprised Rodney Nabbe to clasp his first Monthly Medal and gain entry into the Gold and Silvers, although he may well not be able attend due to work commitments. He became the eighth different player to win in the first division in eight months.
Graham Davis was once again – and for the last time this trip – left in the bridesmaid’s position and as ever, those final strokes on the greens refused to drop.
Paul Taylor, another player slowly coming back to golf after a long spell of injury and also having had a injury review of handicap, had an excellent day to finish at two over par to win his first Monthly Medal in the second division and claim his place in the end of the year playoffs.
Terry Hodgkiss won a three-way count back over Joe Peters and Fran McGowan, taking second spot by winning with a net 37 as Joe finally got the better of Frank with 39 to 40 net leaving them in third and fourth respectively.
It was interesting to note following the previous venues bar prices, that the prices of the beers and other items had been significantly reduced here, with a liter of draught Heineken costing just 160 baht, which is a big step in the right direction and hopefully a sign for the future.
In line with the difficulty of the day there were no 2’s in either division again.
Back at The Haven there was a welcome back for Mark Campbell.
Note: If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact mobile 082 219 0965 or call in to The Haven Hotel, at 185 Soi 13, between Beach Road and 2nd Road. All transportation to the course is arranged and you do not need to sign up prior to the day, but you should be there by 8.30 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days you wish to play. A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at www.thehaven-hotel.com.