Third time’s the charm for Thomas


IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at The Links Bar

Monday, August 31, Greenwood C & B (white tees) – Stableford

The Pattaya Golf Society was last here at Greenwood three weeks ago.  On that occasion we reported the course appeared well on its way back to the good conditions we are used to, but today’s course offering was disappointing.  Fairways were uncut, meaning many lies presented a challenge normally associated with the first cut of rough.  Bunkers were OK, but the greens, so good three weeks ago, were very slow.  Notwithstanding those issues, we are confident that this course will be fine in the very near future, and at 600B green-fee it is very good VFM.

Three weeks back we reported five ‘2’s; today there were none.  That would no doubt please the podium as our turnout of just three groups meant a relatively modest payout.  Tied second with a very credible 34 points was Aussie Stuart Thompson, his post-accident swing still a work-in-progress.  Alongside Stuart was Papua New Guinean Brendan Gilsenan, whose two-over par round was equally meritorious having been achieved with rental clubs.

David Thomas.David Thomas.

The day’s winner is testimony to perseverance.  At this course on our previous visit, 10 August, David Thomas tied second, with 36 points.  The visit prior, he also tied second, with 34 points.  Today he finally broke through for the win, and by five shots to boot with a 3-under par total and 39 points.  Give enough monkeys enough typewriters …?

Back at the Links, Mr Len drew Murray Edwards’ name for the lucky “beer” draw, whilst the booby bevvy was awarded to a golfer of some note – in absentia.  The “of some note” label is clearly justified, as we are referring to the golfer whose performance has so dominated August’s player standings that he is likely to win player of the month by a record margin.  So with some irony we note that Jon Batty’s performance today put him into a place with which he is not familiar – last.

Wednesday, Sept. 2, The Emerald – Stableford

September for the Pattaya Golf Society began with a visit to Emerald in Ban Chang on Wednesday and the small group found a course in good condition and void of other golfers!  Fairways are improving all the time here and the greens are consistent.  Pin positions however gave concern as many were set on slopes and lagging a putt was virtually impossible.  The R&A has some sound advice for greenkeepers regarding pin positions and it should be required reading (in Thai) for the masters of the courses’ greens.

In third place was Thai golfer Wichai Tananusorn with 32 points, enjoying golf on his return from a break in Chang Mai, and in second with the best gross of the day (81) was Russell Exley and his second place score of 35 points set a high standard.  However, the field had ignored the progress of Aussie golfer Brendan Gilsenan, an old friend of the group, and his nine holes every week in jungle conditions in PNG served him in good stead for the broad grassed areas of Emerald in the very humid conditions.  He returned his best ever score with PGS, 39 points and enjoyed his final outing with the group this trip.

There was one birdie ‘2’, Russell’s excellent effort on the seventh and the booby bevy went to Huw Phillips for his 5-13 split figures.  The non winner’s beer draw was appropriately won by Mr Len.

Friday, Sept. 4, Phoenix – Stableford

On Friday, the Pattaya Golf Society left The Links in Soi Buakhao to play a stableford round at nearby Phoenix, from a mix of the blue and white tees, all exclusively marked with IPGC tee markers, making it a sterner test than normal for the field.

The course was in good condition and greens were consistent, but the bunkers need to be half emptied of sand and have it transferred to other areas of the course which are under construction.  Phoenix, as always with money at the top of their priorities, would save a fortune in building costs and improve the bunkers immensely, in one fell swoop!

The single flight saw two birdie ‘2’s, both on the Ocean par threes with Murray Edwards almost nailing an ace on hole five and Mark Lang securing a birdie on the seventh.  On the main stage four golfers shared second place with scores of 33 points, the only surprise being high handicapper John Tallett sharing the spotlight with the long hitters Mark Lang, Jon Batty and Wichai Tananusorn.  Well done indeed John!  The winner, on his return from England, was Simon Kendall and his 39 points gave him a clear win by six points.

Elsewhere in the field the Welsh pair of Huw Phillips and Mr Len both saw their efforts rewarded with the booby bevy and Jesper Hansen enjoyed a free beer as a result of the always eagerly awaited non-winners’ draw.

With two more visits to the course next month we fear it will be a long time before many Pattaya golf groups return as the proposed high season green fee almost doubles what the discerning golfer will pay at courses like Khao Kheow, Greenwood, Bangpra and Emerald.

Enjoy Phoenix while there is still time.