Weird year comes to a close in Pattaya’s Bunker Boys Golf

A big week for Myles Knowlson with two superb wins.

PSC Bunker Boys Golf
Monday, December 28th
Burapha A & B White tees

1st Myles Knowlson (12) 40 points
2nd Michael Brett (17) 38 points
3rd Les Cobban (9) 37 points
Near pins Jimmy Carr, Les Cobban, Geoff Cox, & Michael Brett.

A free green fee courtesy of vouchers from PSC was enough to entice the Bunker Boys back to Burapha where we played the A & B nines. We still had to pay caddie and cart fees, but it was still a good deal. The course was in nice condition but several felt the greens were too slow. A decent field of eleven on a course that was very busy, but the speed of play was good with no holdups. The weather was also nice, not too hot.

On a day when scoring was of a high standard, Myles Knowlson took the honours with a very well compiled forty points. Both Michael Brett and Les Cobban had plenty of opportunities to do better but missed at crucial times, nevertheless finished second and third respectively.

All the near pins were taken with one each to Les (of course), Jimmy Carr, Geoff Cox, and Michael Brett. The unlucky stroke of the day went to Dave Ashman who hit the pin with a short putt but the pin was leaning towards him so the ball stayed out. Maybe it’s better on short putts to play with the pin out or at the very least straighten up the pin.

Golfer of the Month Jimmy Carr.

Wednesday, December 30th
Emerald White tees

1st Myles Knowlson (11) 41 points
2nd Michael Brett (17) 36 points
3rd Geoff Atwell (23) 32 points
Near pins Myles Knowlson X 4.

The last game of the year was played in bright sunny conditions at the Emerald Course. A blustery wind blew all day which helped to keep the temperature down but wasn’t much help to most golfers with most of the scores very poor. There was one exception. Myles Knowlson had one of those memorable days taking first place with forty-one points. He also joined an elite club taking all four near pins, a feat only about six others have been able to achieve.

Michael Brett took second with thirty-six and Geoff Atwell closed out the scoring with thirty-two.

Time to find the golfer of the month again and this time it was easy. Jimmy Carr set a cracking pace early in the month with a forty-two pointer and was never headed. Les Cobban had a chance to challenge but didn’t play the last game. Even Michael Brett could have taken it with forty points on the last day, alas it was not to be, so Jimmy was duly crowned winner.

Friday, January 1st
Plutaluang, North & East

1st Michael Brett (17) 35 points
2nd Bob Paine (19) 33 points
3rd Jay Babin (23) 27 points
Near pins Geoff Atwell, Michael Brett, & Geoff Parker X 2.

Friday the Bunker Boys were scheduled to play Pattaya Country Club, but at the last minute, the club decided to gouge us on the price of two thousand baht all in so we decided to cancel and play elsewhere. Instead, we paid a visit to Plutaluang at one thousand baht all in, a much more reasonable deal. The course was busy so we played the North and East nines where we had no holdups. The course was in decent condition and was good value.

After an indifferent start, Michael Brett got back in the game and took first place with a moderate score of thirty-five points. Bob Paine had a solid nineteen on the front nine but fell away on the back to take second place with thirty-five. Jay Babin finally found himself on the winner’s list in third with twenty-seven points.

Geoff Parker is now the leader for the year in near pins with two, with one each to Geoff Atwell and Michael Brett.

The year in review

The year began like any other in Pattaya, with crowds everywhere and a good time to be had by all. The Bunker Boys had their usual hoard of visitors and the golf and the company were very enjoyable. Whispers of a virus outbreak in China were heard but nobody paid much attention. One, however, did raise a concern when the wily old Irishman Eddie Kelly was overheard to say, “Jaysus boy this could be serious.” How prophetic his words turned out to be.

The first tangible evidence of a problem for us was the cancellation of the Honda Classic at Siam. As news of an imminent pandemic emerged many of our guests began to panic with the threat of closed borders and lockdowns so the rush to the airport was on with many cutting short their time in Pattaya.

Our last game before the lockdown was at the Emerald course at the end of March where we found out after the round that we were about to endure the dreaded lockdown and suffer one of the weirdest periods in history. Curiously it was at the same course for the last game of December that we found out that history was about to repeat itself with another lockdown of a less severe type than before to be implemented immediately, maybe we should stay away from this course. To add to the misery, the Bunker Boys found themselves homeless again with the imminent closure of Woody’s Bar.

Despite all the challenges a core group of residents tried to keep the Bunker Boys afloat and continued on as normal with reduced numbers (on average six to twelve). We did however pick up several new members throughout the year with Geoff Atwell, Bob Paine, Jeff Crosthwaite, Jay Babin, Myles Knowlson, and Bob Innes all joining the team. Our numbers were also reduced with a couple of our local members afflicted with long term medical issues. Steve Durey is back playing again whilst the Brown Snake is still battling back to full recovery.

We enjoyed several away trips to Kabin Buri as well as bigger trips to Kanchanaburi and Khao Yai. A much-anticipated trip to Chiang Mai didn’t eventuate as all our Aussie mates were unable to come.

We crowned a new Club Champion this year with Mashi Kaneta taking the honours. Stuart Tinkler was crowned Memorial Champion whilst Daryl Vernon won the inaugural “Iron Man” competition. Jimmy Carr played every game, a total of one hundred and forty-one. He also shared the most golfer of the month trophies with Michael Brett with three each. Most near pins went to Michael with seventy-one.

Without doubt, it has been one of the strangest years ever and one can only hope that the new year will see a return to a more normal situation where our overseas visitors will be able to return again and enjoy all that Thailand has to offer.