Unseasonable rain causes delays on Pattaya golf courses

Paul Smith, winner at Greenwood. (left) Bengt Engstrom, winner at Plutaluang. (right)

PSC Bunker Boys Golf
Monday, March 21st
Greenwood Golf Club C & B

1st Paul Smith (3) 39 points
2nd Mike Fawke (16) 38 points
3rd The Phantom (23) 36 points
4th Geoff Atwell (26) 36 points
5th Masao Ishikawa (19) 35 points
Near pins: Raleigh Gosney, Mike Lloyd & Paul Smith X 2.

At this time of year, Pattaya golf courses are usually brown, hard, and with lots of run. Not so this year. They are lush green, soft, and with no run. Rain breaks are an everyday event, as was the case again Monday at Greenwood, although it was only for a few minutes as we managed to miss most of the threatening rain which passed by in the distance. The pick, clean, and place rule was in operation from the start. With several locals absent we still managed to assemble a field of twenty-one, not bad under the circumstances.

Enjoying a remarkable run of good form, Paul Smith swept all before him again with a round of thirty-nine points off a three handicap; very solid golf indeed. Newcomer Mike Fawke announced himself with a very solid thirty-eight points to take second place. Good coaching paid dividends for the Phantom who took third place on countback from Geoff Atwell, both on thirty-six points whilst the oldest player in the field, seventy-nine-year-old Masao Ishikawa, showed there was life in the old dog still, rounding out the winner’s list in fifth place with thirty-five points. Just goes to show what clean living can do for you. All the near pins were taken with one each to Raleigh Gosney and Mike Lloyd and of course, Paul Smith got his usual two.

This year’s away trip to avoid Songkran in Pattaya is to a new venue for us, Nakon Nayok where we are scheduled to play Cascata on the way to our destination at Royal Hills. We have two games booked on consecutive days at Royal Hills due to scheduling difficulties and a game at Watermill on the return to Pattaya. All new courses for most if not all those attending.

Wednesday, March 23rd
Plutaluang Navy Golf Course East & South

1st Bengt Engstrom (9) 36 points
2nd Michael Brett (16) 33 points
3rd Mike Lloyd (15) 33 points
Near pins: Niall Glover, Herbert Felder, & Michael Brett.

A most unusual day Wednesday when we had a rain break of about thirty minutes before the start of play and finished the round in bright sunshine. Since we played North and West on our last visit it was decided that we would play the East and South nines today. Following recent rain, the course was in the best condition we have seen in years, apart from the bunkers which were a shambles, full of holes made by dogs, and none appeared to have been raked for months. Despite that, much work was being done to improve the course. A nine hundred and fifty baht all-in fee was very agreeable.

Scoring was on the low side with only Bengt Engstrom posting a decent thirty-six points to take first place. Michael Brett and Mike Lloyd both finished on thirty-three and were placed in that order on countback. Due to the reputation of the course and the prospect of rain our numbers were down considerably compared to recent turnouts. Only three near pins were taken going to Niall Glover, Herbert Felder, and Michael Brett.

Friday, March 25th
Khao Kheow Country Club A & B, Medal
Play abandoned

A very difficult day for golf with at least two rain breaks on the front nine, one lasting about an hour before several decided they had had enough and called it a day. Apparently under club rules, if less than fifty percent of players finish a round then the game is null and void.

Les Cobban was having such a good day that his group decided it would be unfair to deny him the chance to post a very good score which he did with a net seventy-one. Remarkably, that group finished the round in bright sunshine so it seems a bit unfair that those who finished the round were not awarded the top three positions, some rules make no sense. If there is no option but to abandon play then it’s ok to call a halt to play; however, if there is an option to play on then those that do ought to be able to win the day.

The rain we are experiencing lately is more akin to what we see during monsoon season. Whilst it’s great for golf courses, it’s very difficult to maintain form and concentration with constant rain interruptions. Hopefully, we are at the end of it and soon we will return to more normal conditions.


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