Young Toddy wins his first Monthly Mug

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PSC Golf from The Growling Swan

Monday, March 25, Eastern Star – Stableford

After a few absentees due to sickness and no shows, we were left with a field of 26 who were ready to tackle the tough Eastern Star layout having not played there for a few months.  We assembled at The Growling Swan and welcomed back Rita Zoebelli, Brad Todd from Perth, Australia and PSC President Tony Oakes, who seems to love this particular golf course.

Departing the GS right on time at 8.30 a.m. we headed south and surprisingly made our way through the Pattaya Monday morning traffic quite easily and arrived at the course 45 minutes later.  There was not a great deal of activity there and no-one was in any hurry so we relaxed for a half hour or so and then sent our first group, a three-ball, away five minutes ahead of schedule at 9.55 am.

Brad Todd (left) receives the Monthly Mug from Peter Grey.Brad Todd (left) receives the Monthly Mug from Peter Grey.

The weather was very hot with not much breeze and we proceeded at a very good pace with much water consumed to help cool us down.

The course was in very good condition and after reading several adverse reports regarding some of the greens we were pleasantly surprised to find that although a couple of them were a touch “tardy”, they were nothing like what had been reported.  Obviously some people much prefer to “bag” courses than to praise them and I really think we should be thankful for what we have got in the region.

We completed the front nine in just under two hours and as usual slowed down on the back nine due to the heat but managed to complete the round in three hours & fifty five minutes after enjoying the course and the company, but not so much our own group’s golfing achievements on the day.

We were able to have 2 grades with five podium spots in each: A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 20 and B Grade for 21 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

As mentioned earlier, PSC President Tony Oakes (who unfortunately could not stay for the presentation) loves this course and once again was the winner of A Grade with a fine 38 points, 2 points ahead of Takeshi Hakozaki in second spot.  Martin Todd came third with 30 points while Canadian Bill McGarvie (15 point back nine) and Peter Bye (14 point back nine) were both tied on 29 points and the count back saw Bill take fourth spot from Peter in fifth place.

Continuing her run of good results despite her rapidly reducing handicap it was once more Duangjai “Kae” Tusagad who finished on top in B Grade with an excellent 40 points, 6 points clear of second placegetter Wendy Bernek, with Max “Corsets” Bracegirdle 3 points behind Wendy in third spot.  Sandy “Leiperfrog” Leiper finished fourth on 27 points and with 2 golfers on 26 points it was Roy “Plums” Dayton (6 points on the last 3 holes) who took the last podium spot from Dick “Reverend” Braimbridge.

It was a tough day for most but not so for a couple of the group who managed to handle this challenging course quite nicely.

A Flight (0-20)

1st Tony Oakes (13) 38pts

2nd Takeshi Hakozaki (12) 36pts

3rd Martin Todd (9) 30pts

4th Bill McGarvie (9) 29pts

5th Peter Bye (16) 29pts

B Flight (21+)

1st Duangjai Tusagad (23) 40pts

2nd Wendy Bernek (30) 34pts

3rd Max Bracegirdle (26) 31pts

4th Sandy Leiper (34) 27pts

5th Roy Dayton (23) 26pts

Near Pins:  3rd – Takeshi Hakozaki, 6th – Peter Bye, 13th – Martin Todd, 17th – Tony Oakes

Long Putts:  9th – Peter Grey, 18th – Max Bracegirdle

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 well won again by Niall Stuart (two in a row) but of course accepted the cap in very good spirit as usual.  Martin Todd took Deefa for the usual walk and collected many donations for the needy in Pattaya from our ever generous Growling Swan golfers.

Back at the Bar afterwards there were many who stayed for quite some time and thoughts conversations were turned to our next event, the tenth Growling Swan Monthly Mug at Bangpra for which there was a huge contingent signed up already.

Thursday, March 28, Bangpra – Monthly Mug/Stroke

We had a Growling Swan record attendance of 37 on the previous Thursday which was well and truly “smashed” on this day with 47 golfers showing up for a stroke round to compete for the tenth Monthly Mug at the ever popular Bangpra Golf Course.

Monday winner Duangjai Tusagad (left) with Niall Stuart.Monday winner Duangjai Tusagad (left) with Niall Stuart.

We handed out hearty welcomes to my very good friend Dr Brian Vale and Wayne Harman, both from my old Golf Club, Gosnells in Perth, Western Australia.  Also Tony Campbell, Mick Wilks, Beau Roberts, Jim Smyth & Peter Long from Melbourne and Fred Dineley returning after 5 weeks in Perth.  We also said farewell to Aaron Shorten who will shortly be returning to Brisbane.

With the big turnout four mini vans were necessary in addition to several cars and we departed the GS a couple of minutes ahead of schedule at 8.27 am and headed off on No. 7 on a beautiful Pattaya morning.  In just 43 minutes we were at the golf course and as it was not busy we had time for a putt or two and still managed to send our first four-ball away 10 minutes ahead of schedule at 9.50 a.m.

After reminding everyone that it was a stroke round (many groans were heard from the Growling Swan Delinquents) we proceeded at a very good pace whilst enjoying the fine condition of the course and as usual tentatively putting on the notoriously slick Bangpra greens.  There was a certain amount of inconsistency in speed from green to green which did make for several three putts (poor Anna) but it did not detract from the pleasure of playing this golf course once again after several months absence.

Two hours was all it took to play the front nine even though it was very hot and this good pace was maintained on the back nine, enabling us to complete the round in four hours and five minutes which is excellent for a stroke round on this course.

In addition to the Monthly Mug winner we were able to have 3 Grades for the very first time, with six podium spots in each.  A Grade was for handicaps 0 to 14, B Grade for 15 to 23 and C Grade for 24 and over.  We had nearest the pins on all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

After deciding to get some practice on the course the previous day there was an improvement of 15 shots by Brad “Bad” Todd as he won his first Growling Swan Monthly Mug with a fine net 70.

In A Grade the winner on a count back was Takeshi Hakozaki (net 36 back nine) with Wanta Dacha (net 38 back nine) in second place, both having net 71’s.  Another count back saw Mike “Hunter” Gosden (net 37 back nine & net 23 on the last 6 holes) take third spot from Mike Allidi (net 37 back nine & net 26 on the last 6 holes) in fourth place with both having net 75.  In fifth place came Martin Todd with a net 76 and your writer, Peter Blackburn rounded off the podium with a net 79.

The consistent Ebrahim won the B Grade with a net 73 with Thientong Charoenrung finishing second with net 77.  With 3 golfers on net 79 another count back was required which resulted in Rita Zoebelli (net 37 back nine) finishing third from Jayson Schembri (net 39 back nine) in fourth place and Walter “Mr Colours” Baechli (net 40 back nine) was fifth.  Peter Bye finished in sixth place with a net 80.

C Grade was easily won by Patrick Poussier with a fine net 70, with Andrew “Turtle” Allen finishing second on net 80. Dave Neal was third with net 81, Ken Cornwall fourth with net 82, Max “Corsets” Bracegirdle fifth on net 84 and Fred Dineley sixth with a net 86.

Monthly Mug

1st Brad Todd (18) net 70

A Flight (0-14)

1st Takeshi Hakozaki (12) net 71

2nd Wanta Dacha (9) net 71

3rd Mike Gosden (12) net 75

4th Mike Allidi (2) net 75

5th Martin Todd (9) net 76

6th Peter Blackburn (11) net 79

B Flight (15-23)

1st Ebrahim (16) net 73

2nd Thientong Charoenrung (20) net 77

3rd Rita Zoebelli (23) net 79

4th Jayson Schembri (18) net 79

5th Walter Baechli (18) net 79

6th Peter Bye (16) net 80

C Grade (24+)

1st Patrick Poussier (30) net 70

2nd Andrew Allen (36) net 80

3rd Dave Neal (24) net 81

4th Ken Cornwall (36) net 82

5th Max Bracegirdle (26) net 84

6th Fred Dineley (27) net 86

Near Pins:  2nd – Paul Hack, 8th – Mike Allidi, 12th – Mike Gosden, 17th – Rita Zoebelli

Long Putts:  9th – Mick Wilks, 18th – Shane Young

As is always the case on Monthly Mug day we headed back to the bar for presentations and whilst addressing the very big crowd assembled there proceedings commenced, with many thanks to Mine Host Peter Grey for sponsoring this monthly event and also providing the delicious chicken supper which was as ever appreciated by all.

The Growling Swan NAGA Award was won by the man himself, Peter Grey, who humbly accepted the honour and wore the cap “gleefully” and I promised not to mention that some “cheeky” person, recently arrived from Melbourne did suggest that we change the colour of the cap to grey!  Most unkind I thought so it won’t be mentioned.

Martin Todd took Deefa for the usual walk and collected many donations for the needy in Pattaya from our ever generous Growling Swan golfers.  Our golf days are just getting bigger and better and I thanked all for their support and a quick look at the starting sheets for the following week indicated more great days ahead.

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 a.m.  For bookings or more information please contact Peter on 0806 351 386 or email to petermalcolmblackburn @gmail.com.