Tragedy at Plutaluang

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PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Tuesday, August 13, Plutaluang – Stableford

It was a very sad day for Growling Swan golfers as one of our regular players collapsed and died on the 15th green here today at Plutaluang.  Tony “Spaggoni” Olcorn, a frequent visitor to Pattaya from Brisbane, Australia fell over after a probable heart attack.  After his playing partners attempted desperately to revive him he was eventually pronounced dead when the ambulance arrived.  There is not much more I can say about the incident but Tony will be sorely missed.

Tuesday is not a normal playing day for us but due to the Mother’s Day/Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday on the Monday we had booked Plutaluang and 26 golfers were signed up to play and assembled at the bar.  We welcomed a very good personal friend Gerry Arthur from Perth, Western Australia and also from Western Australia Lee Bloomfield, Dean Stewart, Mike King, Steve Jones and Wayne Chatfield, all from Mandurah Country Club.  It was also good to see Martin Todd’s son Brad back with us again for about a month.

Wayne Chatfield, Gerry Arthur & Steve Jones.Wayne Chatfield, Gerry Arthur & Steve Jones.

Departing the GS right on schedule at 8.30 am and headed South, arriving at the golf course 46 minutes later where we were allocated the West and North nines and invited to proceed to the first tee when we were ready.

Our first group, a four-ball, got away 10 minutes before our scheduled tee time at 9.50 am and proceeded at a good pace in rather humid but fine conditions.  The state of the course was terrific and the greens were the best I’ve ever seen them there but unfortunately some of the bunkers were in a sorry state and the caddies surely need to be reminded to rake them after their golfer has played from them.

The weather remained fine although still quite humid and we completed the full round in four hours & fifteen minutes after enjoying the very good company and golf course.

We had 2 Grades – A Grade for handicaps 0 to 13 and B Grade for handicaps 14 & over with 4 places in each grade.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins on the four par threes and longest first putts on the W9 & N9 greens.

The A Grade section was well won by visitor Dean Stewart with 38 points, 2 points ahead of Martin “Toddy” Todd in second place.  Mike “Hunter” Gosden came third on 35 points and with 2 golfers on 34 points a count back saw your writer Peter “Blacky” Blackburn (15 point back nine) finish fourth ahead of Wayne Chatfield (14 point back nine).

Another Mandurah Country Club visitor Steve Jones won the B Grade with 34 points and Stuart “Heineken” Rifkin was second with 33 points.  In third spot came Kurt-Eric Persson with 32 points and Brad “Bad” Todd rounded off the podium with 31 points.

A Flight (0-13)

1st Dean Stewart (13) 38pts

2nd Martin Todd (8) 36pts

3rd Mike Gosden (13) 35pts

4th Peter Blackburn (11) 34pts

B Flight (14+)

1st Steve Jones (25) 34pts

2nd Stu Rifkin (15) 33pts

3rd Kurt–Eric Persson (24) 32pts

4th Brad Todd (18) 31pts

Near Pins:  W3 – Martin Todd, W8 – John Pierrel, N3 – Stu Rifkin, N6 – Martin Todd

Long Putts:  W9 – Ebrahim, N9 – Ted Morris

The Growling Swan NAGA Award, (awarded to the golfer who has the worst score on the day and discreetly their score is not made public) was won by good sport Gerry Arthur and he accepted & wore the award with pride for a short time.  He did make the comment that he was delighted as by the way he had been playing recently this was the only way that he was likely to get his photo taken!

Patrick Poussier, Gary Monley & Mike Gosden.Patrick Poussier, Gary Monley & Mike Gosden.

We retired back to The Growling Swan where the mood was somewhat somber due to the tragic happening earlier in the day and as I mentioned earlier Tony “Spaggoni” Olcorn will be remembered and sorely missed.

Friday, August 16, Rayong Country Club – Stableford

Due to the PSC Monthly Tournament at Siam Plantation on the Thursday we elected to play on the Friday and Rayong Country Club was the choice, having not played so far this year.  We had a good field of 25 signed up and as we assembled at The Growling Swan we were happy to welcome Rob Pearce from my old Golf Club in Perth, Gosnells and also Tom McMahon & Patrick Poussier from Pattaya.

Departing the GS 5 minutes early at 8.25 am we proceeded to the course & arrived 44 minutes later to find hardly anyone there.  We had some green fee vouchers to use which made it a very cheap day and we needed to find out for ourselves about the state of the golf course.

Prior to tee off we all observed a minute’s silence in memory of Tony “Spaggoni” Olcorn who passed away at Plutaluang 3 days earlier and black arm bands were worn by all on the day.  Teeing off the first right on our designated tee time of 10.00 am we proceeded at a good pace and found the course to be in quite good condition although a lot of the greens were fairly slow and ordinary with a few bare patches on some of them.

The weather was humid but fine and drink holes were plentiful and we completed the round in four hours & fifteen minutes after enjoying the excellent company and the golf course.

We had 2 Grades – A Grade for handicaps 0 to 23 and B Grade for handicaps 24 & over with 5 places in each grade.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins on the four par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

I omitted to mention at presentations that we had good success the day before at the PSC Tournament held at Siam Plantation where Mike Allidi won the lowest gross prize, Max Bracegirdle finished on top of the D Flight and yours truly picked up one of the B Flight NTP’s.

The going was tough on this challenging layout and it was Mike “Hunter” Gosden with the best score of the day, 37 points who won the A Grade from John Davis on 35 points who finished second.  In third spot was your writer, Peter “Blacky” Blackburn on 34 points with Eric “Judge” Black fourth having 32 points and Mark “Westy” West fifth on 31 points.

B Grade was won by Patrick Poussier (19 point back nine) with 35 points on a count back from Kurt–Eric Persson (18 point back nine) in second place and Geri Crilly finished third with 31 points.  In fourth place came Fred Dineley with 28 points and Ron Gillett was fifth on 26 points.

A Flight (0-23)

1st Mike Gosden (13) 37pts

2nd John Davis (23) 35pts

3rd Peter Blackburn (11) 34pts

4th Eric Black (15) 32pts

5th Mark West (16) 31pts

B Flight (24+)

1st Patrick Poussier (30) 35pts

2nd Kurt–Eric Persson (24) 35pts

3rd Geri Crilly (26) 31pts

4th Fred Dineley (26) 28pts

5th Ron Gillett (32) 26pts

Near Pins: 5th – Ted Morris, 7th – Mark West, 12th – Sal Brizzi, 16th – Peter Blackburn

Long Putts:  9th – Ebrahim, 18th – John Davis

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was well won by Gary Monley and he accepted & wore the award with pride back at the bar.  Mark West then kindly paraded Deefa the Dog and of course collected many donations for the needy in Pattaya from our generous Growling Swan Golfers.

Note:  Growling Swan Golf, the home of friendly golf in Pattaya 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]

We also play bowls out of the Growling Swan every Wednesday and Sunday. Sunday is Lawn Bowls and Wednesday is Indoor Bowls.  All are welcome and for anyone that is interested the transport leaves The Growling Swan at 10.00am on each of those mornings.  For more information please contact Paul Rennison on 0843 454 005.