Super start to Songkran

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IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at The Links Bar

The start of Songkran saw the Pattaya Golf Society break with tradition and attempt to play golf normally during Pattaya’s annual week of lunacy.  On Monday 13th April the group visited Greenwood to play a stableford competition on the C and A nines, which were in excellent condition.  The impact of the season was seen immediately as the course was empty except for a small visiting Pattaya group and the day was set fine for some exciting golf.

The single flight enjoyed the round, even those who were bleary eyed after watching the Masters which ended only hours before.  In third place with 35 points was Murray Edwards whilst joint winners were Huw Phillips and newest member Andy Humphrey with 37 points each.

Greenwood was in great shape when the PGS visited on April 13.Greenwood was in great shape when the PGS visited on April 13.

The ‘2’s pot was shared by Wichai Tananusorn, Murray Edwards and Tony Campbell, the latter’s birdie ‘2’ coming on the long A2 hole whilst the others were both on the shorter C6.

Olivier Tahoun took the booby bevy for his low score on the eve of his departure to Cambodia and Alan Walker enjoyed a well earned beer as the recipient of the non-winners draw.

Memories of a Songkhran special were good, except of course on the return to Soi Buakhao, awash with water.  Oh dear, only a week to go!

Burapha belittles our baht

We knew it was a holiday, Wednesday 15 April, but even so the 2,150 baht charged by Burapha to play their A & B nines still felt excessive.  Compared to many other courses in the area this was way too expensive, especially given the lack of maintenance in evidence.

When confirming our booking some two days prior, we were informed normal Wednesday pricing would apply.  Green-fee, caddie-fee and cart for 1,650 baht we could manage, but 2,150 on a course where green-side bunkers were surrounded by unkempt 4-inch rough, tee-boxes that showed three-day use and bunkers with sand not adequately raked or compacted, all gave rise to Burapha being very low on our value-for-money index, very low indeed.

The day stayed fine and hot for our small one-division field.  The greens on A & B were running reasonably fast and true and this, together with playing off the shorter white tees (6318 yards), gave rise to good scoring, for some at least.

All podium placers were under par and Mike King’s 38 points earned him a share of third place with Mike Dabanovich.  Clearly enjoying playing golf without the worries of office, Mr Len cruised around in an impressive 39 points for second, but at the top with a two-shot margin was Alan Duckett, whose 41 point haul included a front nine of 3-over par 39 gross – giving the 19-handicapper 24 points for the nine; remarkable golf indeed.

There were two ‘2’s, from Mike Dabanovich on A3 and Alan Flynn on B3.

Back at the Links we celebrated staying dry while watching the Soi Buakhao water circus carry on unchecked.  Manager Russell Exley was asked to draw the lucky-beer award and got a few laughs when, deservedly, he drew his own card.

The booby bevy was not going anywhere, there being no incident worthy of mention, until golf organiser of the day, Mr David, made a real hash of what should have been a straightforward presentation.  In announcing the only ‘2’ of the day and awarding the full pot to Mike Dabanovich, David completely overlooked the other ‘2’ scored by Alan Flynn.  It wasn’t until Mike had been given the proceeds that Alan raised a hand to remind David that he too had scored one.  Whilst not seeing a ‘2’ on a score card is not uncommon, missing it when actually playing in the same group as the guy who got it is.  Duh!

1st Alan Duckett (19) 41pts

2nd Len Jones (27) 39pts

T3rd Mike Dabanovich (12) 38pts

T3rd Mike King (20) 38pts

Hauge hits the heights

The Pattaya Golf Society’s final excursion of Pattaya’s Songkran week saw the golfers visit Crystal Bay for the first time in many months to play a stableford event on the C and A nines, which were in fine order with good, consistent greens.

The moderate field consisted of a single flight, not short on quality.  As it turned out Karl Flood blew an opportunity of a sub-par round when he saw his front nine 21 points dwindle to a total of 34 for third place.  Organiser Mr Len, with a similar front nine score, finished with an embarrassing final two holes to take second place with 37 points, his second successive sub-par round, whilst IPGC’s newest member Bjorn Hauge from Norway belied his domestic handicap of nine to finish with gross 76, which gave him 41 points for an impressive win.

Karl Flood also took the ‘2’s pot for the only birdie ‘2’ of the day, on C7, and the non-winner’s beer draw was won again by John Tallett.

The booby bevy went to the returning Kenny Priddy who scored the lowest points of the day and foolishly declared his love for Songkran before the group left the Links at the start of the day.  After a pleasant and peaceful day at Crystal Bay it was back to the mayhem in Soi Buakhao with the thought that hopefully that was it for another year.  However, the group had weathered the week with some fine performances. Well done all!