Seve has his revenge, but Brian was brilliant

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PSC golf from The Golf Club

This weeks’ write up has turned out to be more of a travel piece on Pak Chong & Khao Yai than intended.  We hope it will be of some help to those golfers who are considering a different golf destination.  This area is about 3 hour 20 minute drive from Pattaya and is just north-east of Bangkok, so an easy route on the 7 to the 9 to the 1 to the 2 and you are there.  The town we based out of is called Pak Chong and all golf courses were no more than a 30 minute drive.

On Sunday, there was an optional golf day so some of the boys headed out to the Khao Yai Golf Club (formerly Life Priviledge and also Mission Hills).  The consensus was the course was great and all of the lads were very happy to have played this Jack Nicklaus layout.  We were treated to the weekend special of 1,000 baht green fee after 1:00 and it turned out to be a great deal.

The Khao Yai Posse poses poolside at The Landmark in Pak Chong.The Khao Yai Posse poses poolside at The Landmark in Pak Chong.

Khao Yai Golf Club is in a spectacular setting and the course is in very good nick every time we have played here, so is therefore highly recommended.

Another bunch of us non-golfers headed up route 2090 to Palio, a very successful development that recreates a little bit of Tuscany in the Thai mountains. There are lots of little shops, cafes and restaurants here in their version of Siena that is quite picturesque and worth the effort, especially if there are ladies in tow.

Monday, April 16, Mountain Creek B & C (White tees)  – Stableford,.

1st John Emmerson (12) 34pts

2nd Vince Chesney (9) 32pts

3rd Jimmy Brackett (5) 32pts

Now on to the Monday comp, the Seve Ballesteros designed Mountain Creek.  There are trickier courses, I am sure.  There are places here where there were supposed to be fairways, and someone forgot to put them in.  This course has more blind shots than I have ever seen before, and the smallest of landing areas in the narrowest of fairways.  Playing it for the first time was never going to be easy.

Khao Yai Golf Club.Khao Yai Golf Club.

There are photos of Seve in the clubhouse so we know he was here, just why did he approve some of the hole layouts?  There are not enough straightforward golf holes on this course, it’s just way too tricked up.  Only Seve would be able to pull off some of his amazing shots here!  One needs to play this 27 hole course a few times to get the hang of it, so best of luck to those who wish to take on the challenge.  You will need it.

John Emmerson shot the best score today with 34 Stableford points and that was all we could muster as many of our players just got so frustrated with this course it did their heads in.  Well played Johnny, patience has its virtues.

Vincent Chesney came in 2nd with a 32 on countback with 15 on the back side over Jim Brackett’s 14 so it just shows to go ya how hard a track this is.

Marlene and Brian Prudden.Marlene and Brian Prudden.

Near pins winners were Peter Le Noury and once again, Jimmy Brackett.  At least the par 3’s on this course were really interesting and beautiful.

Course condition was excellent and our 1,550 green fee, caddy and buggy was great value for a Songkran holiday rate.  This course opened about 8 months ago so it is all new and very clean.

The course looks more mature than one would think for the young track that it is. It has been cut through the lush jungle so most holes have the sensible red stakes on the left and right of the narrow fairways making the deep jungle a lateral hazard and speeding up play.

The facilities here are quite unbelievable.  The massive modern Thai-style clubhouse is superb and has very good food at OK prices.  Now if they would only have a look again at the golf course…

Tuesday, April 17, Panorama (White teees) – Stableford

1st Brian Prudden (20) 41pts

2nd John Emmerson (12) 41pts

3rd Bob Newell (9) 40pts

For the record, the course formerly known as Voyage Panorama is now called simply Panorama.  We have played here several times and it has always been a pleasurable golf course and today was no exception.  The staff were amazing and made us feel right at home.  The course was in tip top shape and we can highly recommend it to those who venture up north to the Khao Yai area.

One of the great aspects of golf is that we can all get out there and enjoy the competition from a level playing field, through the use of a handicap system and tee positions.  No other sport is able to match what we have on the golf course that allows people of all ages and all three sexes to enjoy.

Bonanza Golf Club & Resort.Bonanza Golf Club & Resort.

Brian Prudden won today’s comp at the ripe young age of 77, ain’t that great?  The Golf Club allows for those over 70 years old to play from the tees one closer that those we play for the comp to make it fair and keep everyone in the game.  Brian proved he was able to do just that and walked away with 41 Stableford points and on top of the heap.

John Emmerson continued his good run of play with a 41 as well (a full 7 points better than his Monday win) but not as well as Brian’s.  In fairness, John gave credit to his new pain killers that gave his back a rest for 18 holes.  I want some of those!  Fortunately for John, The Golf Club has no policy regarding random drugs testing.  But maybe we should.

Bob Newell drove into town on his new Keeway Speedlight 200 (Matt, to you and me) and took third place with 40 points.  Bob had an easy 3 footer on the 18th that he bungled but we won’t dwell on that, will we?  Now getting back to that putt he missed, he would have won had he made that teeny little 36 inch shot dead straight and uphill.  At least he won the long drive contest…not on the course, but by taking 2 days to get here from Pattaya on Matt.

Thursday, April 19, Bonanza (white tees) – Stableford.

1st Brian Prudden (20) 38pts

2nd Ed Wycoff (10) 38pts

3rd Bob Newell (5) 37pts

4th Jimmy Brackett (5) 37pts

Wednesday was an optional golf day and some of the boys also went to Toscana Valley, one of the top 5 courses in Thailand.  It cost us 2,800 to play here, like Siam Old course it is truly a championship golf course with first class facilities and is in pristine condition.  Play here if you can, it is great!

And now, on to Bonanza, which is a lovely mature course that is a must-play when in the Khao Yai area.  The golf course is in great shape and I suppose one could compare it to Green Valley in Pattaya, where every hole is different and just an all around nice day out.  We timed the trip for Sports Day and played this wonderful track for a mere 500 baht, the best deal up there for sure.

The weather was gorgeous and a slight mountain breeze made the day just perfect for a round of golf, just ask Brian Prudden.  With support from wife Marlene, Brian once again took the top spot with 38 points.  The Pruddens, from Mandurra- just outside Perth in Australia, have been married for 52 years so that is quite a partnership.

Ed Wycoff – the big winner 2 weeks ago – also shot 38 but had 17 on the back to Brian’s 18 for second place and Bob Newell battled it out with Jimmy Brackett and walked off the back nine with a massive 22 points to blitz out Jimmy for third on count back.

So for this year, it looks like Brian Prudden claims Man of the Match for Khao Yai Songkran Tour 2012!  Well played mate and thanks to all 22 golfers who joined us for another great road trip.

Note:  The Golf Club is “The Home of Golf in Pattaya” and is located on Soi LK Metro.  We play on Monday, Wednesday and Friday so come join us for a fun day out.  Just call 085 434 3377 or see our website www.golfclub pattaya.com and for more information mail us: [email protected] and see updates at www. facebook.com/golfclubpattaya.