The splendour of Soi Dao


PSC golf from The Golf Club

Monday, November 21, Green Valley – Stableford

1st Martin Zimmerman (16) 36 pts

2nd Karsten Kristensen (8) 35pts

3rd John McCall (14) 35pts

4th David Hutchison (0) 35pts

With a heavy week’s schedule ahead of us one or two guys decided on taking a break and getting ready for the Soi Dao trip, however it was good to welcome back some regulars and a couple of newbies.  Amongst them were Cliff Wenzel, Noel Pittard, David Hutchison, John McCall, Jay Burns and Ian Brimble, nice guys all and some pretty handy golfers too! 

For the places we had count backs for what seemed the umpteenth time lately, with the 3 guys locked on 35 points.  Suffering worst was our senior pro from Australia, David Hutchison, and he took 4th.  One better and this time having to go down to a back 6 count back was one of our Scotsmen, John McCall.

The Karaoke gang in full voice.The Karaoke gang in full voice.

Taking second spot was Karsten Kristensen with a nice solid round of golf.  But topping the lot and one point better was Martin Zimmerman, who continues well in his quest to chop some shots off his handicap.

Tuesday, November 22 – Soi Dao (Day 1)

A Flight

1st Bob Newell (7) 40pts

2nd Kyle Roadley (5) 36pts

3rd Mark Reid (9) 35pts

4th Ernie McInerny (9) 35pts

5th Dale Shier (12) 35pts

B Flight

1st Mike Craighead (17) 37pts

2nd Keith Worboys (13) 37pts

3rd Joe Mooneyham (15) 37pts

4th Gary Emmett (17) 34pts

5th Brad Gearie (14) 34pts

Near Pins: Mark Reid, Bob Newell, Mike Craighead, John McCall

With a whopping 41 players and assorted wives and girlfriends this was shaping up to be a trip of outstanding success and we were not let down.  A big thank you goes out from all at the Golf Club for continuing to support our endeavours and making these away trips so memorable.

The scribe Bob Newell with Ally on the 1st at Soi Dao.The scribe Bob Newell with Ally on the 1st at Soi Dao.

It was also promising to be a trip with top-class golf, courtesy of no fewer than 16 single figure handicappers and 3 current professional tour caddies in Kyle ‘roachy’ Roadley (Marcel Siem), Mark ‘woody’ Sherwood (Peter Hanson) and Lee Adelly (Ian Woosnam).  These guys are all great supporters of the Golf Club and have lavished some fantastic golf memorabilia on the bar and, to cap it all, they are top blokes and none too shabby at knocking the ball around.

Continuing the theme of top blokes and generosity we had some superb prizes donated by Dale ‘catalogue man’ Shier and Paul ‘Champ’ McNally which enabled us to have near pin prizes on all 4 par 3’s on both days, 4 bottles of booze from Dale and through Paul’s company, Champ, goody bags of soft spike sets, quality spike wrench, shoe horn, tees etc.  All excellent products from the Champ range.  Paul also presented every player with a collection of their newly designed golf tees.

With a 2-tee start and white tee competition we ventured out in beautiful sunshine, taking in all the magnificence this course has to offer.  Whilst never in truly great condition, course-wise, its still a fantastic playing experience.

With this many players we had 2 flights, with the cut off being made at 12.  In ‘B’ flight it was no surprise to find us using count back again on all 5 places.  Fighting it out on 34 points were 2 of our Antipodean boys Brad ‘flyboy’ Gearie and Gary ‘Mr Concrete’ Emmett.  Gary ‘laid’ (get it?) into Brad and ‘cemented’ 4th place.

Yet again our top 3 couldn’t be separated first time around, all on 37.  Now these were the serious athletes.  Liberal amounts of horse liniment and counterpain couldn’t, however, disguise the squeaky sound of plastic hips and knees and bad backs though.  Through the marvels of modern medicine our 3 BUPA sponsored lads battled it out finishing in the 1, 2, 3 order of Mikey ‘Michelle’ Craighead, ‘smokin’ Keith Worboys and ‘mighty joe’ Mooneyham.  Well done boys, top class stuff.

Vic Hester after his 41 points at Treasure Hills.Vic Hester after his 41 points at Treasure Hills.

In the senior flight, surprise, surprise, we had a count back for 3rd, 4th and 5th, 35 points being the score this time.  Fittingly one of the sponsors, Dale, got in the frame but, sadly for him, it was only 5th spot.  Ernie ‘big’ McInerny edged him out for 4th and, after the early stress of misplacing his car keys and thus having no kit, Mark ‘H2O’ Reid nabbed 3rd, thanks to a quality back 9.

Roachy managed something his pro player didn’t all year, and that was to finish second and clear with his 36 point offering.  But on this occasion, way out in front with an impressive 40 points, and I cant think of a nicer bloke for it to have been, was me!  Unlucky son!

All that was left then was the evening’s frolics and festivities.  With the karaoke booked and lashings of beer, red wine, vodka, cheese and biscuits piled high there was only ever one outcome, some great fun and sore heads the next day.

Wednesday, November 23 – Soi Dao (Day 1)

Blue Tees

1st Jay Burns (4) 34pts

2nd Kyle Roadley (5) 32pts

3rd Steve Mulberry (11) 32pts

4th John McHugh (9) 31pts

White Tees

1st Gary Emmett (17) 33pts

2nd Brad Gearie (14) 32pts

3rd Steve Coughlan (33) 31pts

4th Jean Morel (19) 30pts

Near Pins:  John Emmerson, Kyle Roadley, Simon Kendall, Joe Mooneyham

Day two’s competition varied in that there was a separate blue tee option for those monster hitters who were on the trip.  At almost 7,200 yards it was not for the faint hearted and, surprisingly, there were plenty of takers.  Being one of the shorter hitters I’d rather have stayed away from them but, being the previous day’s winner, a mixture of personal pride and plenty of goading insured I’d be teeing it up with the big boys.

Looking at the winners list there were 2 or 3 names that cropped up the day before but mostly it was new faces on the podium, on these trips I always like to see the prizes being shared out as much as possible.

In the white flight a minor miracle occurred, there was no count back!  Jean Morel prevented an Aussie clean sweep of the places by taking 4th with 30 points.  One better was Steve Coughlan.  Steve is another who is a great supporter of the Golf Club when he’s over and it was good to see him in the money.  That Brisbane belter Brad Gearie followed his placing on the first day , this time he got second with 32.  Top of the pile and the third of the Aussies was Steve’s sidekick Gary Emmett, which concluded a successful trip for him.

In the blue flight it was certainly a different golf game back there and it was no surprise to find 4 of the longer hitters occupying the places.  Johnnie McHugh, put together a 31 point total for 4th and one of his brothers-in-arms, Steve Mulberry, got 3rd, just losing out on the dreaded count back to Roachy.  Roachy’s 2nd place, along with the previous days 2nd and today’s near pin rounded off what was probably the best individual performance of the trip.  That near pin was, by all accounts, rather special.  A 5 iron from 220 into a wind to a few feet!  That’s not right mate!

But the man of the match performance of the day belonged to the 4 handicapper Jay Burns.  Getting anywhere near handicap off those tees was a really terrific performance.

So, all that was left was to make our way back to town, presentation at the Golf Club and start planning our next trip!

Friday, November 25, Treasure Hills – Stableford

1st Vic Hester (15) 41pts

2nd Jay Burns (4) 37pts

3rd Brad Gearie (14) 35pts

Rounding off a hectic week of golf saw us take on the tough challenge of the lovely Treasure Hills.  Still undergoing a huge tree planting and tee box restoration programme meant one or two temporary tees but, nevertheless, it was in great shape with, perhaps, some of the best greens we’ve played on all year.  They were fast, true and undulating, fine if you’re a great putter, not so if you’re a little shaky with the short stick!

Following up his good play down at Soi Dao, Brad Gearie notched 3rd place with a very good 35 points, testament to some very solid and consistent golf of late.  Unluckiest guy of the day and also a man with good current form was Jay Burns.  He blitzed the back nine, making 3 birdies and finishing with a great 37 points (usually good enough to win here) only to find someone had turned in a simply outstanding performance.

Announcing on the first that he thought we should play sixes, not a team game, because he hadn’t played for 5 weeks, Vic Hester then proceeded to blast it round the front nine in one over gross for a huge 24 points!  Making my decision to play with him in an England/Scotland match against the Wood/McCall pairing the best thing I did all day.  Not quite so effective on the back he still amassed a grand total of 41 and cruised home the winner.