PSC golf from The Outback Golf Bar
Day 1 – Monday, August 29, Black Mountain Golf Club – Hua Hin
Last year’s success of the first Outback tour to Hua Hin led to a bigger event this time round with 44 players vying to capture the first prize in the renamed tournament, “The Syd LeBron Memorial Putter”. Syd used to play golf with the Outback on his trips up from Aus and also made custom made putters, one of which he made for the Outback. Sadly, Syd passed away a few months ago after a short illness, may he rest in peace.
The journey from Pattaya was straightforward, taking the Skyroad until the Rama II turnoff, then over the new bridge made it very easy and there was no traffic or police! The Thipurai City Hotel is in the heart of town in a very small soi but after getting a few cars parked and then squeezing the Outback bus in, even Jack Spencer found room to park his little Jazz at the back. The hotel is small and the rooms very varied but in all in very friendly and at the centre of all the action and just across the way from the Hilton.
Mark Reid (centre) was the winner of the Syd LeBron Memorial Putter with 108 points from Phil Waite (right) with 104 points and Steve Mann (left) with 103.
After stories of heavy rain and golf carts not being allowed at Black Mountain at all, there was some concern whether we would get to play there of not; but the management had promised to advise the General if that was likely to be the case. Well it wasn’t and after a light drizzle for an hour or so all the groups got away, just ahead of time, with this spectacular course ahead of them.
We played the white tees, which some felt was little short at 6,100yds, but rated at 70.4 with a slope of 131, but the general consensus was, this was the right tee to play and we always had the option of the longer blue tee when we returned here for the final round on Wednesday.
Certainly, the Div A players fared better than those in Div C, with the surprise leader Neil Lavery (12), racking up the best score of the day (41pts), closely followed by Pat Regan (11) on 40 and Mark Reid (10) with 39.
In contrast nobody in Div C played to handicap, as it was won by Bruce McAdam (24) with just 35 points, heading off John Cogan (17) on the same score.
Another surprise winner was in Div B with Micky Leighton scoring 39 points off 14, with Sel Wegner (15) two back on 37 from Phil Waite (15) in third on 36.
There were a total of ten ‘2’s on the first day; four on hole 3 from Nigel Flanagan, Bruce McAdam, Scotty Qua & Jack Spencer; three on hole 11 from Tony McDonough, Steve Milne & Phil Waite and three on hole 14 from Chris Davisson, John Fitzgerald & Jack Moseley.
Div A (0-12)
1st Neil Lavery (12/Hi11.4) 41pts
2nd Pat Regan (11) 40pts
3rd Mark Reid (10/Hi9.8) 39pts
4th Paul Bourke (10/Hi10.2) 38pts
Div B (13-16)
1st Mick Leighton (14/Hi13.4) 39pts
2nd Sel Wegner (15/Hi13.9) 37pts
3rd Phil Waite (15/Hi14.1) 36pts
4th Jim Bryan (16/Hi15.4) 35pts
Div C (17+)
1st Bruce McAdam (24/Hi22.5) 35
2nd John Cogan (17/Hi15.9) 35pts
3rd, David Davies (27/Hi24.5) 34pts
4th Campbell Potts (17/Hi16.2) 32pts
Day 2 – Tuesday, August 30, Banyan Golf Club – Hua Hin
There had been much discussion before the tour whether Black Mountain was a better course than Banyan and many of us knew no better as we hadn’t played either before. Where Banyan definitely had the edge was their customer relations and presentation.
A couple of days previously we had been asked for the name of the tournament, our logo and our start sheet. It was to be another day of no rain and upon arrival at the course; all the bags were identified by each player and placed on the individual carts in the correct grouping order and outside the Pro shop was a welcoming sign with our tournament name on it! Furthermore each player’s card had been overprinted with our logo, the name of the tournament and each individual’s name and correct playing handicap for the day.
Each cart here has GPS with an excellent layout of each hole and also can accurately tell you the distance to the hole and how far you’ve hit the ball. Another innovative idea was they had set up a leader board into the system and each player could find out how everybody else was going; it would be great to use on the final day of a comp!
As if they hadn’t done enough, the two girls down at the start photographed every group which had been printed ready for collection in the locker room when we returned. Thanks Stuart and Joe for setting it all up so professionally.
So which course was better? Certainly the rating and slope had indicated that Black Mountain was tougher than Banyan by some two shots for most players but when the result came in, it concurred what many had said, Banyan was the harder course, as the scores returned showed the course played three shots over par and unlike Black Mountain, nobody played to handicap.
There seemed to be less trouble off the tee but the greens were quick and the lines were subtle making them difficult to read, if you couldn’t get the pace right the ball would never find the hole.
The top score of the day came from Steve Mann (11) to be found unusually in Div B, with his 35 points followed in by yesterday’s winner of the same division, Mick Leighton (13) on 33. Second best score was the winner of Div A, Mark Reid (9) with 34 points from Jack Spencer (9) from three more all on 31.
Once again as at Black Mountain, Div C didn’t fare so well, with their best score of 32 (5th overall), coming from Steve Poznanski (16) two ahead of John Stafford, also off 16 with 30.
There were only three ‘2’s from Steve Budrys & John Stafford on hole 2 and Paul Bourke on hole 15.
Div A (0-10)
1st Mark Reid (9/Hi9.2) 34pts
2nd Jack Spencer (9/Hi9.9) 33pts
3rd Paul Smith (0/Hi1.2) 31pts
4th Steve Budrys (9/Hi10) 31pts
Div B (11-14)
1st Steve Mann (11/Hi11.6) 35pts
2nd Mick Leighton (13/Hi12.5) 33pts
3rd Jum Karagit (14/Hi15.8) 32pts
4th Tony McDonough (14/Hi14.8) 32pts
Div C (15+)
1st Steve Poznanski (16/Hi16.4) 32pts
2nd John Stafford (16/Hi16.5) 30pts
3rd David Davies (24/Hi24.5) 30pts
4th Jim Bryan (15/HI15.4) 29pts
Day 3, Wednesday, August 31, Black Mountain –Hua Hin
So to the final day back at Black Mountain, with the leaders going out last and the top of the two day leader board looking like this: Mark Reid (75), Mick Leighton (72), Steve Mann (67), Paul Bouke (67), Neil Lavery (67), Bob St. Aubin (66), Phil Waite (65), David Davies (64), Jim Bryan (64), Tony McDonough (63), Paul Smith (63) and Steve Budrys (63).
The weather was kind to us again with the sun showing though for a while with a little distant thunder but definitely hotter. We were able to get away about 15 minutes early with General Jack, Scotty, Dave Earthrowl and Brian Maddox leading the field out, as they all found themselves at the wrong end of the two day leaderboard.
The players were back on the same playing handicaps as the first day as they (the handicaps) were not to be adjusted until the tournament was over. Rosco was the man today with the day’s best, 40 points to win Div A from two on 39 points, Nigel Flanagan and Chris Davisson.
Div B had a three tied on 39 points only to be separated on countback in the following order; Bruce Milner (22 back), Phil Waite (21 back) and Bernie Stafford (20 back). Another Stafford, this time John, won Div C with 36 from big Steve Poznanski on 35 and Jum, the only lady in the field, on 33 who beat Greg Hill into third place on countback.
At this point it’s just worth another mention of the merits of the EGA handicap system: – at Black Mountain Jum played off 20, a course which was 5,657 yards long, rated 73.7 with a slope of 134, at Banyan she played off 14 on a course which was only 5,087 yards long, rated 69.7/114. Her PSC Index is 16.
There are some who that may argue that the handicaps indices may work out the same in the back room but a handicap index is not just about having a handicap, it’s also designed that we all play together off a level playing field; that means transposing one’s index to a playing handicap for each tee on each course.
Finally our thanks to the Black Mountain staff, particularly to the ladies in the restaurant and Pro shop, all of whom looked very fetching in their black and gold uniforms.
There were eight more ‘2’s today; three on hole 3 from Nigel Flanagan, Paul Smith & Jack Spencer, two on hole 8 from Chris Davisson, Jack Moseley & another one from Nigel, one from Steve Poznanski on hole 14 and one from Paul Bourke on hole 16.
Div A (0-12)
1st Rosco Langoulant (12/Hi11.9) 40pts
2nd Nigel Flanagan (12/Hi11.5) 39pts
3rd Chris Davisson (12/Hi11.7) 39pts
4th Kev Reid (11/Hi11.2) 37pts
Div B (13-16)
1st Phil Waite (15/Hi14.1) 39pts
2nd Bernie Stafford (13/Hi12.4) 39pts
3rd Jeff Calrow (13/Hi12.6) 38pts
4th Sel Wegner (15/Hi13.6) 36pts
Div C (17+)
1st John Stafford (17/Hi16.5) 36pts
2nd Steve Poznanski (17/Hi16.4) 35pts
3rd Jum Karagit (20/Hi15.8) 33pts
4th Greg Hill (21/Hi19.9) 33pts
With the tour closing off at Black Mountain on Wednesday, before the overall results were announced, a few words were voiced and few votes taken. There is no doubt that the Outback will return to Hua Hin next year; when everybody was asked whether two rounds at Banyan and one at Black Mountain or the other way round as this year, it was a very even vote, so we shall see. However, when asked to make it a longer trip as Chiang Mai, i.e. leaving on a Sunday, playing Mon & Tues, day off Weds, with alternative golf say the Sea Pines for those who want, and the final round on Thurs, it was over whelmingly supported.
Hua Hin is not the place it used to be a good few years back; the hotel is right amongst the sois with their many restaurants and bars with its bustling night life a most enjoyable place albeit a little more expensive than Chiang Mai.
Well played you guys and once again well done the weather.
1st Mark Reid 108pts
2nd Phil Waite 104pts
3rd Steve Mann 103pts
T4th Bernie Stafford101pts
T4th Mick Leighton 101