Slow, slow, quick, quick… Joe

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Pattaya Golf Society (IPGC) at Rabbi’s Elephant Bar

The week began for the Pattaya Golf Society with a trip to Eastern Star to play a stableford competition, in two flights cut at eighteen and under.  The day was bright and warm and the course was still soft in parts after recent saturations whilst the greens still retained a little pace.  Some erratic cutting just off the fairways made for problems however.

Once again scores were low across the field and in the second flight Kevin Dinan managed 25 points which gave him third.  In second place was Booby Shirkey with 27 points and the winner was Benny Hansen with a respectable 35 points.

The winning team (from left) Shane Ruddle, Richard Hurley, Russell Exley & Jon Lay. The winning team (from left) Shane Ruddle, Richard Hurley, Russell Exley & Jon Lay.

In the top flight “Banjo” Bannister recorded a steady 32 points for third place, a few behind Haru Kato’s excellent best gross which gave him 35 points.  The winner after a very slow start was Joe Niisato.  Joe had struggled to only fourteen points from the front nine but then shot into overdrive with a back nine which saw him record only two over “off the sticks”.  Thus he collected twenty five more points to add to his front nine giving him 39 for the day.

Joe’s cause was also helped by the only birdie ‘2’ of the day, on the seventeenth.  The Booby Bevy was not awarded and held over until the next round.

What is it about Eastern Star these days?  Good scores are increasingly hard to get and only the occasional “purple patch” saves golfers’ blushes.

Thorne heads in the right direction at last

On Wednesday, 16th November, the Pattaya Golf Society visited Pattaya C.C. for a sneak preview of the course which was to host the group’s Annual Scramble only two days later.  The large field was comprised of two flights, cut at seventeen and under and a bright warm day offered the best of conditions for the field.

The major surprise was the speed of the greens.  No-one could remember them as hard and fast as they were this day and the occasion proved to be a sharp learning curve for those involved later in the week.

In the second flight Mr Len used the adrenalin which accompanies the administration duties to return a level par score of 36 points for third place, a couple of points behind the joint winners Jean Morel and Alan Duckett who both returned 38 points.

The top flight saw a tighter contest with Paul Blackshaw posting 37 points for third place and Frank Hughes going one better with 38 points for second place.  The winner, on forty points, was Tony Thorne, for whom most of the last twelve months has been a nightmare on the golf course but the signs are there that a renaissance may be around the corner as this round followed another forty-plus round the previous week.

There were two birdie ‘2’s in the second flight with both Mr Len and Bernt Dubland enjoying success on the twelfth hole and the Booby Bevy went to Willie Barber for his birdie ‘2’, also on the twelfth, whilst scoring a qualification card for an IPGC handicap.  As Willie was later reminded “You gotta be in it to win it”.

The course had given an excellent insight into the conditions for the upcoming Scramble and no doubt some valuable lessons had been learnt.

Fairways pushed all the way at PGS Annual Charity Scramble

The Pattaya Golf Society held its Annual Scramble on Friday, 18th November, once again this year in aid of the Fr Ray Foundation Outreach Center on Soi Thepprasit.  The event was held at Pattaya C.C. which is currently in good condition with greens as fast as anywhere at present and fine weather meant the day was destined to be a good one for the fifteen teams of four golfers.

Scrambles are infinitely “fun” days and the introduction of a free “mulligan” for every golfer meant that the trepidation of that first drive, duffed chip and “too early in the round “ birdie putt was easily dispelled.

A hastily assembled team only twelve hours before tee off managed to blend well as Alan Walker, Stuart Moulton, Tim and Prom Trafford scored net 56.4 for fourth place.  In third was the in-house favourite outfit, the “Defending Champions”, made up of Wichai Tananusorn, “Banjo” Bannister, Larry Slattery and Jim Ferris who this time recorded net 56.1.

A long way ahead in scramble terms was the surprise team of the day, the “Boss’s Bandits”, who benefitted from having the highest handicap in the event and they recorded a bogey free round of net 54.9 for second place.  Mr Len had picked his team well with Paul Blackshaw and Dave Milne firing on all cylinders and Bryan Barrell providing an excellent back-up service when the others faltered.

The winning team of Shane Ruddle, Russell Exley, Richard Hurley and Jon Lay played a round of consummate skill with fifteen birdies giving them net 54.1.  It was a PGS scramble record and any team beating that in a future event will surely have to be at their peak of their game.

Back in Rabbi’s Elephant Bar the presentation began with everyone pausing to remember their dear friend Roy Thornton who had recently sadly passed away.  There was an ironic poignancy as Roy was a previous winner with his “Birdie Boys” team.

Technical prizes were won by Jean Morel, Trevor Schirmer, Robbie Taylor and Stuart Moulton on the par threes with Barry Winton taking two for the accuracy of his irons on the third and seventeenth holes.

Hosts Rabbi and Khun Peung had provided an excellent buffet and Mr Len warmly thanked them and recognised the stirling efforts of Russell Exley and Stephen Beard in drumming up support for the event.  A special word of thanks went to Mary Jones and Phen Ratchakit for their registration and recording duties and Phen, wearing her other hat as Administrative Officer for the Outreach Center, thanked the golfers for their wonderful support all year of her project which saw thirty thousand baht raised on the day for the underprivileged kids in her care.

In many ways it was by far the best of the twelve PGS Scrambles organised so far.  Thank you Pattaya golfers, we’ll certainly be back next year with more fun.