‘Turtle’ turns on the style at Emerald

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PSC golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, Nov. 11, Plutaluang, East & South – Stableford

The fine Pattaya weather continued and once again it was a sunny Monday morning as we made our way to The Growling Swan to prepare for our outing to the Plutaluang Golf Course and we had an excellent field of 29 golfers. 

We were happy to welcome my very good friend Dr Brian Vale and his pal Wayne Harman, both from Perth in Western Australia, Bernie McCart who is back from Australia for a short time, Mike Quill from Geraldton in Western Australia, Frank Donnelly back from Bundaberg in Queensland and newcomers Carl Lang & Tony Hager from Germany.  It was sadly time to say farewell to Greg Prefrement who will shortly be returning to Sydney.

There were no latecomers so we got away on time and heading South down Sukhumvit we arrived at the course just 41 minutes later to find that we were able to tee off well before our allocated tee time of 10.40 am.  We were told it was to be East & South nines in that order and our first four-ball got away at 9.50 am underneath sunny skies but extremely humid conditions.

Ebrahim, Stu Rifkin, Roy Dayton & David Fletcher.Ebrahim, Stu Rifkin, Roy Dayton & David Fletcher.

Carts were allowed on the fairways so it was play the ball as it lies and the course was in very good shape despite the heavy recent rains but of course the greens were as tricky as ever with many of them very slow and virtually impossible to read.  This I think was the main reason why the scores were generally very low with just one golfer playing anywhere near his handicap.

The going was slow as the four walkers in Group 1 struggled in the hot conditions and it was a very slow round of four hours and fifty minutes but nonetheless a very enjoyable day with excellent company.

Division A was easily won by Stu “Heineken” Rifkin with a very creditable 37 points and with two golfers on 31 points a count back was required which saw your writer, Peter “Blacky” Blackburn (16 point back nine) finish second from John Pierrel (15 point back nine) in third spot.

Ebrahim continued his improved form and won Division B with 31 points from John Davis (16 point back nine) on 30 points who won a three-way count back and finished second from Frank “Woody” Donnelly (14 point back nine) in third place with Ed “Willie Nelson” Stewart (13 point back nine) just missing out.

Roy “Plums” Dayton returned to form and won the C Division with 29 points from Patrick Poussier in second spot on 28 points and in third place was Max “Corsets” Bracegirdle with 26 points.

Division A (0-14)

1st Stu Rifkin (13) 37pts

2nd Peter Blackburn (12) 31pts

3rd John Pierrel (11) 31pts

Division B (15-20)

1st Ebrahim (18) 31pts

2nd John Davis (20) 30pts

3rd Frank Donnelly (19) 30pts

Division C (21+)

1st Roy Dayton (26) 29pts

2nd Patrick Poussier (23) 28pts

3rd Max Bracegirdle (22) 26pts

Near Pins:  E2 – Max Bracegirdle, E5 – Mike Gosden, S4 – Ed Stewart, S7 – Peter Bye

Long Putts:  E9 – J C Lhoste, S9 – Andre Barril

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 David Fletcher and he accepted the award in very good spirit.

Thursday, Nov. 14, The Emerald – Stableford

The last time we played at the Emerald it was one of the very few occasions where we were rained off, but on this particular morning it was fine and sunny so we were confident of a non repeat.

Peter Grey, Duangjai Tusagad & Andrew Allen.Peter Grey, Duangjai Tusagad & Andrew Allen.

We had another good field of 28 golfers on the starting sheet and as everyone turned up at The Growling Swan on time or earlier we departed in 3 mini vans a couple of minutes ahead of schedule.  We headed south and after 48 minutes arrived at the golf course to find it reasonably quiet which enabled us to relax in readiness for our tee time and our first four-ball got away 10 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.50 am.

Carts were allowed on the fairways so there were no preferred lies in place and the course was looking in good shape although some of the greens were a bit ordinary, but all in all there were no complaints.

The going was a bit slow due to a snail paced group directly in front of us and the weather was excellent although a couple of times there were a few drops of rain which actually turned into a downpour just before our last couple of groups finished so we once again thanked the “Growling Swan Rain Gods”.  We managed to complete our round in four hours and twenty minutes and although most of our group played fairly ordinary golf the company was terrific which made for a very enjoyable day.

We had 3 Divisions – Division A for handicaps 0 to 17, Division B for handicaps 18 to 23 and Division C for handicaps 24 & over with 3 places in each Division.  There were also rewards for nearest the pins on the four par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

With 2 golfers on 36 points a count back was necessary to decide the winner of Division A and it was Mike Allidi (17 point back nine) who was victorious with his 74 gross over Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei (16 point back nine) in second place and Mike “Hunter” Gosden finished third with 35 points.

In Division B Duangjai “Kae” Tusagad was the winner with a fine 38 points and in a count back with both on 35 points, Max “Corsets” Bracegirdle (19 point back nine) finished second from Ebrahim (15 point back nine) in third spot.

We had the best score of the day in Division C where Andrew “Turtle” Allen won with a magnificent 42 points, 4 points clear of Roy “Plums” Dayton in second place and Sandy “Cyndy Lauper” Leiper finished third with 31 points.

Division A (0-17)

1st Mike Allidi (2) 36pts

2nd Alain Taddei (15) 36pts

3rd Mike Gosden (14) 35pts

Division B (18-23)

1st Duangjai Tusagad (20) 38pts

2nd Max Bracegirdle (22) 35pts

3rd Ebrahim (18) 35pts

Division C (24+)

1st Andrew Allen (36) 42pts

2nd Roy Dayton (26) 38pts

3rd Sandy Leiper (35) 31pts

Near Pins:  5th – J J Harney, 7th – Duangjai Tusagad, 13th – Duangjai Tusagad, 15th – Andre Barril

Long Putts:  9th – Mike Allidi, 18th – Nolan Wise

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was won by The Growling Swan ‘Mine Host’ Peter Grey and after many games without donning the famous cap he accepted the award in good spirit.  Max 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 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 petermalcolmblackburn @gmail.com.

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.