Stewart stars at Pattavia

Guy Stewart & Barry Elphick.
Guy Stewart & Barry Elphick.

PSC Golf from the Tropical Golf Group

Tuesday, Oct. 9, Greenwood – Stableford

With our monthly visit to one of the groups favorite venues on tap and a better than average chance any rain would happen late in the day, the group headed out of BJ’s Holiday Lodge to test once again the challenges of the “A & C” layout at Greenwood from the 6479 yard, white tees.

On arrival and learning that due to daily rains, carts were limited to the paths only, once again it was “Lift, Clean & Place” through the green for the competition. This was a great decision as the course was extremely soggy and more than a few spent their full 5 minutes searching for plugged balls. It was noted however that the nearer the center of the fairway one was, the dryer the ground conditions were. All set up for those that strike the ball well and keep it straight down the middle.

Other than the soggy fairways, the bunkers were well prepared and the greens running true but a bit slower than usual for Greenwood, so overall an above average presentation. With a reasonable pace of play what with the cart rules and preferred lies, the groups were finished in good order and headed back to Pattaya and BJ’s for the presentation.

With no rain falling during the round, playing off USGA Course Handicaps under “L,C,&P” rules on a wet but well maintained course, one would expect good scoring and the Tropical Golfers were up to the task. Leading the way was Barry Elphick (c/h 31) with 40 points! Following that fine performance was Dick Warberg (25) taking second with 38 points, Mick Coghlan (24) third with 37 and Andre Van Dyk (19) in fourth with 36.

The Best 9-hole scores went to Alan Sullivan and John Davis.

Friday, Oct. 12, Pattavia – Stableford

After a month of golf on mostly soggy courses, what would we find on our return to Pattavia? The current drying trend gave us a bit of hope and standing on the first tee the fairway stretched out before us looked fantastic. However the first group was sent off with instruction to signal back if, after getting to their drives and checking the fairway conditions in the landing area, the “safe” signal came back so it was “play it as it lies”.

The course actually turned out to be on the dry side if anything, with areas of hardpan showing up when a bit off the fairway. The fairways however were well grassed so good lies were available as long as one was reasonable straight. In addition the course had performed some much needed maintenance in the bunkers and there was a cushion of sand rather than the packed down, gravely bunkers found on our previous visits.  Finally, Pattavia’s famous greens were at their usual “testing” best, quick downhill and plenty of break needed putting across the slopes.  All set up for a good test at an attractive rate.

Surprisingly there was little traffic on the course and our 4 groups were around in a timely 4 hours allowing a bit of time for a little rest and a thirst quencher while the scorecards were tabulated before heading back to Pattaya and BJ’s for the presentation. About the only comment on the day was that it was on the warm and humid side, but, after all the slogging through the wet we have done the last couple of months, not so bad.

Back at the friendly confines at BJ’s Holiday Lodge, the announcements and presentation got underway and there were no close calls or count-backs for the winner on this day. Turning in a phenomenal 47 points was our bi-annual visitor from Vancouver, BC, Canada, Guy Stewart (ch 18). What a performance shooting 79 off the stick with all areas of his game working to near perfection. Rounding out the podium, albeit a good ways behind, with very good scores for a traditionally tough layout were Barry Elphick (30), 36 points, Steve Truelove (6), 34 points and Dick Warberg (24) taking a count-back over Gerd Riedler (9) on 33 points.

Gerd did have some consolation taking the ‘Best Front 9’ prize while Takeshi Hakozaki took the ‘Best Back 9’.