Billabong Bar Golf Society
Monday, Jan. 2, Phoenix Gold – Stableford
Torrential rain on New Year’s Eve, albeit brief, gave rise to various superstitions being echoed in the bar about whether it was going to be a wet or a dry 2017, but there was no indication of these forebodings when we teed off at Phoenix on Monday as the conditions could not have been better.
The first hint that it was going to be a busy day came when Capt. Bob received a phone call to ask if we would mind teeing off at 8 instead of 9.30 and, sure enough, there were many tourists crowding around the 1st tee on Mountain. Fortunately we started on Ocean and a sub-4 hour round in perfect conditions was just what the doctor ordered. Which is more than you can say for the golf as the holiday spirit prevailed and the scores would not set any records.
One particular 4-ball had an event filled round: Capt. Bob was refused a 6 inch putt by his playing partners, George Barrie’s score could have put him in 1st place had he not played the wrong ball, William will play at Phoenix next week to hit the few trees that he missed today, and the remaining member of this memorable group, Chris Dodd, just had a bad day at the office.
The French connection dominated the day with Gerard Lambert relegating George Barrie to third but losing out to Thiery Petrement who had a better back nine as both on 33 points.
Wednesday, Jan. 4, Green Valley – Stableford
The good news today was overshadowed by the bad news. The new layout design is a big improvement but why use the same tee on hole No. 10, which is now a par 4, as when it was a par 5? This now makes it completely out of reach in 2 for mere mortals.
Sad to say, the Green Valley course is currently in the worst condition in anyone’s memory. The sprinkler heads are either not working at all or have sprung a leak causing large swaths of wet, muddy areas on many holes, not just on the fairway. The approaches to the greens are a disgrace and it is difficult to imagine another golf course in worse condition in the Eastern Seaboard.
The back nine has changed for the better but the pins are in the same areas that they have been for the many weeks and the plastic inserts are almost above the level of the green. 3 groups who normally support the visit by Billabong, all members of Green Valley, decided that they had enough of the appalling conditions and played elsewhere and it is hardly surprising that many more are now looking elsewhere for their day’s golf.
The conditions had a big influence on the scores for only 3 golfers played to their handicap, one of which was Miss Karn who had 23 points on the front nine, stumbled a little thereafter but still won the day with 39 points overall. She was followed by a rejuvenated Miss Nu on 37 points while the consistent Miss Sa occupied third spot with 35, three ahead of Miss Poopay in fourth.
William Macey and George Barrie had a challenge from two players from down under, John Player, who had the temerity to sink a 25-foot downhill putt on the 1st for a birdie, and Selwyn Wegner who did exactly the same thing on the 18th to win this close encounter on the last green. William came third on 34 points, having had 22 points on the first nine but not many on the back and John recorded 1 extra point for second place. The winner was Dion Lane, who still holds the world record for demolishing a 20 inch log in 4.4 seconds with a cross-cut saw, and today he topped the field with 38 points.
Four 2s came from Geoff Christie, Gerard Lambert, Glyn Davies and Selwyn, who is accomplished at sinking putts from off the green.
Friday, Jan. 5, Mt. Shadow – Stableford
The Billabong played Mountain Shadow today for the first time in months, and as usual it (the course) took no prisoners. The layout was in great condition and the greens were as fast as you could get, which is normal for this course. Out of 7 groups playing there was not one golfer who played to his or her handicap and it certainly is a true test of golf.
We had a clear winner in the form of Thiery Petrement who took top spot with 35 points. There was a count back needed to decide second place between John Nicholas and Graham Beaumont, both with 34 points, with John getting the nod after a better back-nine.
There were five ‘2’s, which is quite extraordinary as the par-3s here are not easy at all, but Karen Craigie managed to get two of them and Sugar Robinson, Gary, and John Nicholas got the others.