PSC golf from The Growling Swan
Monday, July 23, Mountain Shadow – Stableford
After a last minute cancellation due to sickness we had a good field of 18 golfers ready to take our monthly trip to tackle the challenging Mountain Shadow Golf Course. Assembling at The Growling Swan prior to departure we welcomed back Stu “Heineken” Rifkin who was returning after an enforced “lay-up” due to a leg injury. He was thankfully rejuvenated as was proved by the fact that he was not the last to arrive, beating Dobbsy by a whisker.
It was Bon Voyage for yours truly (PB) who is off to Perth Australia for a couple of weeks but leaving “the show” in the very capable hands of Mike Gosden, Martin Todd, Stu Rifkin and big Kenny Bernek. I’m quite sure they will continue to build on the success of our new venue which is now attracting new players weekly.
Martin Todd, left, & Peter Blackburn.
Once more with the help of Ken, Bo & Ebrahim with their vehicles we were able to use just the one minivan & we headed off 5 minutes ahead of schedule at 8.25 am and arrived at the course 43 minutes later. Once again the golf course appeared to be very quiet and sure enough we were able to get our first four-ball away 20 minutes earlier than our booking time of 10.00 am.
The weather was great with a nice breeze which cooled things down somewhat and as usual the course was in very good shape with some of the greens very slick and most having residual sand on them but a pleasure to play on.
We got round the front nine in just on two hours and proceeded at a similar pace which enabled us to complete the full round in the excellent time of four hours. Another very enjoyable day on a testing course with good company and perfect conditions for golf.
We had just the one flight with five place getters and also rewards for nearest the pins on all the par threes, with one of them kindly sponsored by Mike Gosden and also prizes for longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.
Aussie Martin Todd was rewarded for a very steady round of golf and won the day with a fine 37 points, just one point ahead of yours truly in second spot. Regular podium finisher Graham Buckingham took third place with 34 points and Dane Bent Agerbo was fourth with 30 points. A count back was required to decide fifth place with 2 golfers on 29 points resulting in Mike Gosden (16 point back nine) shading out Jerry Dobbs (15 point back nine).
1st Martin Todd (8) 37pts
2nd Peter Blackburn (11) 36pts
3rd Graham Buckingham (23) 34pts
4th Bent Agerbo (19) 30pts
5th Mike Gosden (11) 29pts
Near Pins: 5th– Bo Cardwell, 8th – Martin Todd, 15th – Ken Bernek, 17th – Paul Avery
Long Putts: 9th – Wendy Bernek, 18th – Mike Gosden
The winner of the Compass Cap (awarded to the player with the worst score on the day) was once again Wendy Bernek who perhaps is taking time to adjust to the wonderful world of retirement.
Hunter paraded Deefa the Dog who of course collected many donations to charity from our very generous Growling Swan crew. At The Growling Swan afterwards many stayed and had several beers (and Bundies) whilst anticipating Thursday’s game which is the second Growling Swan Monthly Mug at Royal Lakeside.
Thursday, July 26, Royal Lakeside – Monthly Mug
Twenty five eager beavers assembled at the Growling Swan to begin the second monthly mug challenge for the honor of winning the utensil (mug) which would guarantee them the privilege to have it filled with their favourite beverage by each player.
Monthly mug winner Takeshi Hakozaki.
After boarding our mini buses and cars we arrived (and in Bo Cardwell’s circumstances landed) at Royal Lakeside safely after about 55 minutes (and in Bo’s case 40 minutes). As is fairly customary on longer drives we did see the result of yet another accident with a driver slumped over the steering wheel in a concrete drainage ditch, which never ceases to surprise one considering the speeds some drivers travel and the close proximity other drivers come up to the rear of the vehicle in front of them!
The weather was quite blustery and several times the players in my group (Takeshi, Neil Skilton and Tom Cotton) had to take a backward step and regroup. As the day progressed (and the beers) so did the strength of the wind And I was wondering at times if it was the wind or the Heinekens (no San Mig’s on this course) that were causing the swaying of myself? Were it not for a 12 on a par four and a 9 on a par five, the headline of this report would have read “San Mig wins mug” but as Neil so kindly pointed out, every player has a hard luck story!
There were no hard luck stories for Takeshi Hakozaki though, as he played superbly considering the 15 minutes of heavy rain and the very strong winds that all the players had to contend with. His short game was on fire which really is the focal point of most golf games but particularly at Royal Lakeside as the greens there can be quite tricky.
The course was in good nick and we had another enjoyable golf day. After lunch at the club we did not have our customary on-course presentations but instead headed back to the Growling Swan for the after game discussions, some icy cold beverages and some great food kindly provided by our host and Growling Swan owner, Peter Grey. Peter regularly puts on this free food for the players which is very much appreciated by all!
Martin Todd assessed all the cards and delivered his verdict on who won what for the day, with much aplomb and authority even fining the scribe for interrupting him at one stage!
The field was split into three flights and the Callaway handicap system was employed for those who are still without an official handicap. There were also prizes for nearest the pins and longest first putts on the 9th and the 18th holes.
There were several welcomes and bon voyages to say, including saying goodbye to Jerry Dobbs, who is returning to work in Oz for no doubt a short spell, and welcoming Brian Noguer and Nigel Cannon.
1st Takeshi Hakozaki (12) net 70
1st Martin Todd (8) net 77
2nd Alain Taddei (18) net 77
3rd Paul Avery (13) net 77
4th Neil Skilton (7) net 80
1st Max Bracegirdle (25) net 76
2nd Brian Noguer (21) net 77
3rd Bo Cardwell (22) net 79
4th Aaron Shorten (22) net 81
The Callaway encouragement glass award is given to the non-handicap player who as defined by the Callaway handicap chart has the lowest net score. Today’s winner was our only Thai male player Beer.
Near Pins: A3 – Wendy Bernek, A6 – Brian Noguer, B 14 – Max Bracegirdle, B16 – Takeshi Hakozaki
Long Putts: 9th – Paul Avery, 18th – Neil Skilton
Finally the evening was capped by announcing the compass cap winner, who is asked to donate 50 baht toward a charity collection which eventually, together with Deefa’s collections, is presented to a children’s school in Pattaya at the end of the year. The unlucky person and for the second time in as many weeks was Peter Grey who was awarded the cap with much enthusiasm from all the other players!
Note: Growling Swan Golf welcomes golfers of any persuasion – low & high handicappers alike, female golfers and beginners. We generally play Mondays & Thursdays, meeting at The Growling Swan (formerly The Bunker Bar) in Soi Chaiyapoon at 8.00 am with transport departing at 8.30 am. For bookings or more information please contact Peter on 0806 351 386 or email to [email protected]