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PGS Press Archives


Here we have all the press reports for the current year. Click on a month to navigate and read the reports.

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Paul Smith Roars Around Pattavia

The one thing that golfers almost always say about Pattavia Century is that the course is in good to excellent condition. Bearing in mind there has not been much rain around, the ground staff have kept up the standard and, even though the rough is browning, the fairways are green and nice to play from. The greens now are much tamer than recent times but still present a challenge on the downhill putt, as many who three putted found out.

After two no-shows, who indicated they would get to the course themselves, but didn’t, a quick rearrangement of groups was done and thirty golfers set off in much the same weather as per the past week or so. Rick Pope wore the Green Jacket with a good win on Xmas Day and carried that form into today with 36 points to win the ‘B’ flight, but had to survive a countback over Niall Caven who has found some form again. Third place went to Derek Phillips with his score of 34 points, winning a three-way countback.

When you have a low, single figure handicap, as Paul Smith does, you can’t afford many mistakes. Paul’s gross score of 71 suggests that he made few, if any today. That equated to 41 stableford points and the win fine in ‘A’ flight. Phil Davies has been back in form the past few games and has done well again to score 37 points to take second spot. Peter Lacey played his first game at Links at the start of December and has played so well that his handicap has gone from 16 to 14 in that short time. He was there again today with a good score of 36 points, winning third place on countback.
Near Pins: Mike Firkin (4), Lachlan Gotz (7), Jim Ferris (13), David Dunne (17).
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Kevin LaBar - 18 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) – Bill Copeland - 20 pts.

At presentations, Phil regaled those present with the story of ‘Jam Boy” from the time of the British Raj in India. This was due to Rana Gurnam telling stories on the tee boxes during the round. He was in line for the ‘silly hat’ but Phil decided that there would be no ‘silly hat’ or ‘wig’ today, new year and all that.

Paul Smith didn’t return to Links to wear the Green Jacket.  We paid public holiday price today, but it is still a mystery as to why. Do the courses pay penalty rates to staff?

Welsh Triple Crown at Khao Kheow

The first week of 2020 ended with a PLGS flourish at Khao Kheow when 53 golfers played a stableford competition on the A and B nines, in three flights divided at fourteen, 19 and above. Khao Kheow was/is in excellent condition with fairways dry enough to give a lot of run and the greens were the best many old hands could remember. In a word they were magnificent. Consistent and quick, all the golfer needed to do was set the ball rolling on the chosen line. We've not seen greens like that for many a long day.

A strong wind made the golf challenging and scores were typical of Khao Kheow, not excessive and thoroughly well-earned.

In a rare golfing moment the results saw a trio of worthy Celts (thanks "spell check") tie down the top flight places. In the top flight Phil Davies took first place with 36 points, heading Americans Peter Lacey (34 cb) and Aaron Spengler (34).

In the third flight Len Jones took the flight with 37 points, ahead of Helene Lindberg (33) and the other half of the Swedish pair, husband Mikael with 31 points .

The second flight had the best score of the day, 39 points and the Gallic trio was complete when Colin Smith returned his green jacket winning card. In second place was Shabir Hussein (36), impressing in his first week with the group and another Welshman, Willy Brown took third with 34 points.

Near-pins were won by Bill Copeland, Peter Lacey (2), Stuart Thompson, Tony Leng, Dave Arataki, Jamie Booterbaugh and Mikael Lindberg who came within three inches of his second "ace" on the short A5. His relief was obvious when he realised, with 53 golfers out, it would have cost him an arm and a leg had the ball rolled in!

Consolation awards went to Mark Johnstone for his best front nine score of 19 points, and to Dave Robinson for his identical effort on the back nine. In addition Jamie Booterbaugh received the "silly hat" for a nine hole total of six points whilst Dave Rodrigues, wore the wig which Mr Phil suggested, certainly made him a "hansum man". His low score certainly didn't!

2020 had started in memorable fashion and in the words of the three winners today PLGS wishes everyone "Blwyddyn Newydd Dda"!

Anne Stoke’s Green Jacket in First Up Game

The current dry season and lack of rain must make it difficult for greenkeepers to maintain a golf course, but the courses we have played in recent weeks are being kept in terrific condition for our pleasure. I had not been to Pleasant Valley for some time and was pleasantly (excuse the pun) surprised at how good the course looked and played, with nice grass on the fairways and greens running smoothly and with good pace, well done. Once again, we had a big group of 45 players arrive at this course complete with green fee and cart vouchers and ready to go.

A nice, comfortable, breezy day, but a tough course, saw only five scores of handicap or better. The ‘A’ flight had three players scoring 35 points so the countback was required.
Dave Robinson finally broke through for his first win to hold out newcomer to Links, Jean-Pierre Gasser, and Jamie Booterbaugh, who was much happier today after a disaster round a couple of days ago.

In an unusual event for Links, so far, two lady golfers took the first places in two of the flights. Helene Lindberg, a recent winner of two Green Jackets, took out ‘C’ flight with a modest score of 32 points. Stu Thompson has moved back to Aus. after 15 years, but will still visit regularly. He scored a handy 31 points for second spot while Richie McIntosh, who lost his scorecard on Friday but managed to hold on to it today, came in third with 30 points.

The ‘B’ flight produced all five of the top scores with none better than Anne Stokes who was playing her first game this trip. Her 39 points gave her the win and the Green Jacket, the third time in a couple of weeks for the ladies. A four-way tie on 36 points had to go to countback where Thorsten Jodehl took second and sent Billy Buchanan to third place.
Unfortunately for Stuart Kidd and Will Brown they missed out on a place. Stuart did have some consolation by winning Best Front Nine.

Plenty of near pins and a long putt up for grabs.  Near Pin ‘A’ flight: Billy Buchanan (x2), Anne Stokes, Bob Stokes. Near Pin ‘B’ flight: Mikael Lindberg, Thorsten Jodehl, Rick Pope, Larry Slattery. Long First Putt: Mike Firkin.
Best Front Nine “C” (non winners) …. Stuart Kidd….20 pts.
Best Back Nine “A” (non winners) …. Keith Griffith ….21 pts.

After a lowly score and words of encouragement from Phil, Gordon Laviolette wore the ‘wig’. In the absence of anyone doing something too silly, it was decided that Rick Pope should wear the ‘silly hat’ for handing in a very low nine-hole score. With ladies winning the Green Jacket a lot lately, Phil is thinking that we may need to make a Pink Jacket, fairly soon.

Jacket for Jepson but Ace for Lawlor

A golf day at Green Valley is always a pleasant occasion. The course is generally in fine condition, a cooling breeze is always present and the challenge of the holes makes for a tight competition. Wednesday, 8th January was no different as the Pattaya Links Golf Society visited with 34 golfers to play a stableford competition in two flights, divided at fourteen and under.

Staring well before the allotted time good progress was made and the top flight saw Green Valley member Barry Wellings use all his local knowledge to take the win with 38 points, closely followed by Paul Durkan (37), with Mike Ehlert (35) taking third ahead of John Doyle on countback.

The second flight was more spectacular with Englishman Kenny Jepson taking his fourth green jacket, albeit on countback with 40 points, relegating Irish golfer Colm Lawlor into second (40 points). Colm however was not too "miffed" as he achieved his first ever hole-in-one on the short par three eighth. Never has he struck a more telling pitching wedge. Third place went to Colm O'Donovan with 38 points whilst a level par 36 points gave Larry Slattery fourth place. Irish Eyes were smiling as three golfers from the Emerald Isle had found their places on the flight podium.

Technical awards went to Dave Robinson, Lachlan Gotz, Tony Leng and Paul Smith for their near-pins and the consolation awards went to Maurice Roberts for his best front nine of 20 points and Wayne Peppernell's nineteen points on the back nine. Mr Phil used his executive powers to deflect the "silly hat" from himself to the departing Estonian golfer Sergei Kronbergs whilst Gordon Laviolette's travails continued with another wig presentation.

The day ended with Colm ringing the bell in time honoured fashion, not once but twice! That's what it means to score a debut hole-in-one!

Frustrating Day at Eastern Star

Course Heavily Over Booked

Is it a money grabbing exercise or mismanagement, or both? Eastern Star was obviously way overbooked on this Friday and whoever allowed it or authorised it had no thought for player/customer comfort. The first sign was, when our third bus pulled up at 9.50 am, golf bags were standing up by the wall with not a caddie in sight. In the mustering area a very pro-active lady marshal informed us that, as caddies finished on the eighteenth, she would send them to each of our groups in turn.

We were sent to the tenth tee and with that same lady marshal and Maurice ferrying players and caddies to the tee, we got everyone away.

As I turned toward the clubhouse there were crowds of people overflowing inside and outside obviously waiting to play. As many groups of Korean golfers went to the tees our groups were coming through and were dovetailed in between the Koreans. I watched as one Korean lady golfer stood on the tenth tee having practice swings while waiting for the fairway to clear, only to be moved from the tee three times to allow our groups crossing over. Good for us, but can only imagine how frustrating for the lady. She and her group did get started eventually when one of our groups was a bit slow and left a gap.

This course is never known to allow big scores and today from our 51 players, only four played to handicap or better.

The ‘C’ flight produced two of the top scores, 40 points, and had to go to a countback to decide the winner of the Green Jacket. Unfortunately, only one can win and it was Martin Patch, in his first game for a long time, holding out against a great game from Mr. Consistent, Stuart Kidd. Thorsten Jodehl has not replicated his 49 points from a couple weeks ago but did score 33 points to take third place.

“B’ flight also went to countback with two scores of 37 points where Maurice Roberts just nudged Anne Stokes from top spot. Billy Buchanan is fairly steady and made 34 points for third place. On the day, “A’ flight was somewhat of a lack luster affair where the winning score was just 34 points, which gave Bob Stokes the win in that flight, but a win is a win, Bob. Another countback, this time for second and third, gave newcomer to Links, Vic Hansen, a narrow win over that top golfer, Paul Smith, both scoring 32 points.

Plenty of novelty prizes out there and all were claimed.
Best Front Nine “C” (non winners) …. Ahmed Tavir….17 pts
Best Back Nine “A” (non winners) …. David DeCaminada ….18 pts

Gordon Laviolette completed the hat trick of ‘wigs’ by once again having the low score.  Will Brown was called to the tee and wandered over minus clubs, caddie or cart. The lady marshal ferried him back to get his gear. That should have got the ‘silly hat’, but Phil decided that there was too much going on, so instead, Pierre Cere got it for his 7 points on the front nine.

We understand that the ‘high season’ may not last long and course management want to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ We wonder if frustrating a couple of hundred people a day outweighs the cash. One last word: There was one lady marshal who worked tirelessly in helping get our groups set with caddies while, it seemed, many of her colleagues stood around without much interest or seemed overawed by the numbers, or standing around chatting.

This lady worked under much duress, which she should not have been put under. I’m sorry I didn’t get your name as we were so busy, but a big Thank You for your work with us.

Derek’s ‘Poor Game’ Wins Green Jacket

What a contrast from another golf course we visited two days ago, when there was over crowding and some confusion, to the peaceful and picturesque surroundings of Treasure Hill. Today we had 56 players ready to hit the fairways and the organizing and starting of the fourteen groups was easy and seamless, a credit to the players and, of course, our organiser this day, Maurice. The first group got away slightly early and, with no hold-ups in front, completed the round in good time. It’s been said plenty of times before about how difficult it is to score on this course. Once again Treasure Hill won as none of our large number of players could play to handicap.

Derek Phillips came closest, playing in the ‘B’ flight, by scoring 35 points for the win, and another Green Jacket for him. When he handed in his card, he commented that his round wasn’t good enough for any prizes. Mmm, we never know, Derek. John Malet de Carteret, having his first game this trip, just tipped out Banjo Bannister on countback for second spot, both having 32 points. Helene Lindberg filled the fourth place with 29 points.

Another returnee, Phillip Ashton, had a first up win by taking the ‘A’ flight honours with 34 points to win a countback over Anne Stokes, who was once again in the action. Rana Gurnam found some form again to score 32 points and the other half of the Stokes family, Bob, grabbed the fourth place with 31 points.

You didn’t need very many points to win ‘C’ flight as Berndt Motzenbacher found out when his 32 points was enough to win. John Anderson only scored 31 points but the resulting countback with Keith Melbourne gave him second spot. Rob Cousin, again a first game this trip, rounded out the podium with 29 points.
Near pins ‘A’ flight: Phillip Ashton, Pierre Cere (x2), Anne Stokes
Near pins ‘B’ flight: Mike Firkin, Simon Watts, Bill Stewart, Rob Cousin
Long First Putt: George Mueller
Best Front Nine “C” (non winners) …. John Masters….18 pts
Best Back Nine “A” (non winners) …. Mike Tottenham ….17 pts

Bill Stewart was already moving to front of stage as Phil was announcing the ‘silly hat’, believing no-one could have less than four points for nine holes. Adam Barton can play golf but spends a lot of time away at work, hence not playing much. He wore the ‘wig’ for the lowest score.

Treasure Hill was looking in great condition, but it turned out to be an inspired decision to play lift, clean and place when, considering the dry weather, there were actually lots of wet areas on the fairways. However, the unusual slowness of the greens, for TH, caught out more than a few to make the course a little tougher than expected.

We will return in two weeks to try, try, again.

Durkan Wins at Green Valley

The Pattaya Links Golf Society revisited Green Valley on Wednesday, 15th January with forty-three golfers getting the nod from the starter to begin twenty minutes earlier than booked. What a difference this makes with large numbers champing at the bit to take on a tough golf course. Green Valley was certainly up for it with fairways giving plenty of run, bunkers well-tended and greens consistent and quick. The day started fine but, as so often happens here, slowly the cloud cover increased and the final few holes were played in overcast and humid conditions.

Three flights were cut at thirteen, seventeen and eighteen and above and the scores mirrored the toughness of the day. In the third flight Richie McIntosh made a rare podium appearance with his 29 points taking the place on countback. The top two golfers were subjected to countback and Dave Rodrigues' 31 points was adjudged second to Ray Clarke's better back nine.

Second flight scores fared better with third place going to "The Count", John Malet de Carteret with 31 points. Second place went to Bill Buchanan with 33 points whilst Wayne Peppernell managed a welcome first place again, after a long hiatus, with 34 points.

The top flight saw better scores as Rana Gurnam took third with 35 points, two behind Barry Welling (37) and that left Paul Durkan to take his first green jacket with 38 well crafted points.

Near pins went to Bill Buchanan, Shabir Hussein, Adam Barton, Phil Mitchell, Dave Rodrigues, Simon Watts and John Malet de Carteret. Consolation awards went to Dave de Caminada for his splendid 23 points on the front nine and Mike Ehlert's fine level par effort on the back nine.

Mr Phil decided to award the "silly hat" to his old mate Rana Gurnam for losing his place on the tee when he decided to disappear to the driving range, knowing he was in the second group and completely unaware that often starters promote groups when the tee is empty. In short, in High Season, if you want to practice, get to the course very much before time. The wig went to Simon Watts for his lacklustre round and he received the usual words of encouragement from Mr Phil, in order to avoid a repeat.

The general verdict afterwards was that the course was in excellent condition and is well worth the visit, even in high season as the Asian golfers do not seem to be there in numbers such as a few years ago.

Helene Out Guns the other 55 Players

We do things a bit differently at Links Golf. Due to having large numbers of players and, therefore many groups, we conduct a draw for each group’s place in the line-up. This enables a level playing field, is very transparent, and adds plenty of fun before we leave in the morning as cheers, claps and moans ring out with each ball drawn. Ball number 14 went missing some time ago so the dilemma today was that we had 15 groups. Phil worked around that, the draw took place, and we loaded into five mini buses and some cars for the trip to Khao Kheow.

Last Monday this course experienced a solid rain shower and lots of wind, so the brown tinge on the fairways, as reported at our last visit, has now returned to a good covering of greenness. The newly renovated tee boxes are good and the greens are running at pace and truly, as always here. Mind you, there were some wicked pin placements to test us.

Playing to handicap or better seems to have been a struggle recently, but today seven of our 56 starters did manage to hold their heads up.

Helene Lindberg is having a great run this trip and once again topped the scoring for the day with a big 41 points to claim the win in ‘B’ flight and her third Green Jacket in just a few weeks. Tony Browne had a big turn around from his recent games and came in second to Helene with a very credible 39 points. Stuart Kidd was again in the mix with his score of 37 points, then a big gap to fourth placed Thorsten Jodehl on 31 points.

George Mueller and Peter Lacey fought it out for first in ‘A’ flight with both having made 38 points. George won the countback to grab the win, ending a minor drought for him. Colin Smith was steady all day and came in with 34 points for third and Tanvir Ahmed won a countback to get fourth spot with 32 points.

This is not Treasure Hill but TH ‘specialist’ (so called), John Anderson, finally got a win at Khao Kheow by scoring 36 points and win a countback against a new, to us, lady golfer, Nicole Gerwenberg. Keith Melbourne gets another mention on the leader board with his very good 35 points while fourth place went to Nigel Harrison with 33 points.

Eight near pins and a long first putt were additional chances to win, along with the best nines. Near Pins ‘A’ flight, Stuart Kidd (x2), George Mueller, Mike Ehlert. Near Pins ‘B’ flight, Masa Sugaya, Simon Watts, Henry Mah, John Masters.
Longest First Putt (on hole 18)  Stu Thompson
Best Front Nine “C” (non winners) …. Gordon Laviolette….18 pts c/back
Best Back Nine “A” (non winners) …. Martin Patch ….17 pts c/back

Phil is a pretty good story teller and had another tale to tell, this time starring Tanvir Ahmed, before presenting him with the ‘silly hat’, and just because he is Rana’s mate. Barry Wilson came out for his second game with us and got into the photo right off by having the lowest score and wearing his first ‘wig’.

An excellent high season price and a top-class golf course in good condition will see us return again in about two weeks and plenty of players will be happy with that.

The Count Lords it at Riverside...Just!

At this time of year the course at Bangpakong Riverside is a joy to play. Always well prepared, the fairways are well grassed and the greens are excellent, running at pace. In addition there is generally a refreshing breeze evident on the banks of the Bangpakong River. This was the scenario for the latest large PLGS group which visited on Monday 20th January.

The forty-nine golfers were divided into three flights (0-14, 15-19 and twenty plus) and got underway on time ushered by a fastidious starter.

The course has a name for good scores and today almost 1,600 stableford points would be amassed by the golfers. In the third flight Niall Caven returned to the podium with a third placed 38 points, leaving John Masters and Simon Watts to share the lead with 40 points, which John Masters won on countback.

In the top flight Rana Gurnam, still smarting from his "silly hat" award last week, returned 38 points for third place with Belgium's Patrick Engels pipping him for second on countback. The winner of the top flight was Mike Ehlert whose round was full of skill and accuracy as he returned 42 points for a splendid victory.

The second flight saw some of the highlights of the day with Colm Lawlor taking third with 36 points. A country mile ahead were Bill Buchanan and "The Count", John Malet de Carteret with 43 points each. John's back nine proved better than Scotsman Bill's and so he took the green jacket with a broad smile at the presentation.

Technical awards went to Darren Beavers, Henry Mah, Ray Clarke, Ahmad Tanvir, Steve Moxey and Bill Buchanan (two) with near-pins and Patrick Engels (longest first putt on the eighteenth).

Of the many candidates for the "silly hat" Mr Phil made special mention of Niall Caven's efforts on the first hole where a poor drive left him more than 300 yards from the green. Despite his faith in his swing he resisted all attempts and abuse from the tee behind him to play. When he did commit himself he was still woefully short and rightly deserved the award for holding up a large field up for five minutes or more, unnecessarily. The wig was less complicated with a thoroughly deserved award made to Carl Lovatt for his low score of the day.

An excellent golf day ended with a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" to Mr Maurice and the cake, as well as the golf, was very tasty indeed.


The Count Raking in Green Jackets

As our bus turned into the golf course we wondered if there would be enough (or any) caddies for our 52 golfers, recalling a report from another Society a week before. There was indeed another large group at the course but they were sent to the tenth tee, leaving the first tee open for Links Golf.

The round got under way a few minutes early and every group made good time with, surprisingly, no hold-ups, considering the numbers on the course.
Weather was fine and warm to hot with the occasional breeze for comfort.

The fairways were, as usual, in very good condition with plenty of grass and a nice green colour. The rough has been allowed to dry by using the water on the fairways and greens. These greens are starting to speed up again and there were many sad stories of three and four putts. If you can tame the greens you will score well, as four players who all had great scores can attest.

It’s just not fair when you score 42 points, only to be beaten on a countback for the Green Jacket, but that’s what happened to Colin Smith today. A great effort and a win in ‘A’ flight. Paul Gill and Patrick Engels both scored 35 points and went to countback for second and third with Paul getting the nod. Mike Ehlert is back in form and held fourth spot with 34 points.

John Malet De Carteret (The Count) carried over his form from Monday by pipping Colin for his two-in-a-row Green Jackets and the win in ‘B’ flight.
Soren Hansen, having his first game with us since his return to LOS, did well to score 39 points to take second place. After a disaster last week, Larry Slattery showed what he can do to grab third spot with 37 points and Colm Lawlor survived a countback on 35 points for fourth.

Rick Pope went missing for a couple of weeks but came back fresh to score 41 points and the ‘C’ flight win. Again, an excellent score but can’t get the Green Jacket. We called Bryan Barrel a surprise packet a couple of weeks ago but he is not a surprise any more after making second place with 35 points.  Another countback, this time John Masters took third ahead of Mike Firkin which left Kenny Jepson missing out. All three had 33 points.

Near Pins ‘A’ flight: Derek Phillips, Bob Stokes, Paul Durkan
Near Pins ‘B’ flight: Rick Pope, Bill Stewart, Garry Hookey, Colm Lawlor
Longest First Putt: Mike Ehlert.
Best Front Nine (non winners) …. Mike Kaps….19 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Dave Arataki ….20 pts c/back

The ‘silly hat’ award went to a different type of countback. There were too many silly things, e.g. Four players who tried to get on a bus going to the Water Park before being told. Another who wanted the bus turned back as he had left his change of clothes bag at the bar, and yet one more who put his name on an ‘A’ flight near pin when his handicap is 27. It was now out of who drew the ‘short straw’ (or actually broken tooth picks). John Pearce (name on wrong pin) was the lucky winner of the ‘silly hat’ The ‘wig’ prize was much easier, won by newbie, Kevin Roberts, for his very low score.

It’s high season and we must expect crowds, but apart from a long line waiting to pay green fees, Pattavia managed things well and we were able to get started slightly early, satisfied customers.

Jon Dean’s Triumphant Return

Oh, oh, not again?  There were not enough caddies available for us when we reached Treasure Hill, but the caddie manager funneled caddies to each group in turn as the caddies arrived at the course, sound familiar? But this was not a course overbooked, far from it. Many caddies were at the Temple “to pay respect for Chinese New Year” (my Caddy’s words) and had not yet returned. However, the end result was that each of our thirteen groups got away without delay, and all with caddies.

We started slightly before scheduled time and for the first couple of hours the weather was hot and sticky but by the early afternoon some cloud cover and a welcome breeze had arrived.  The course was still in the same condition as we had two weeks prior and the newly renovated tee boxes are looking good and are back in use, while the greens are showing good pace, even if I couldn’t get the ball to go uphill.

Same old story here, only three of our 49 starters managed to play to handicap or less.
Those who played today and had scores in the forties at the past two outings came down to earth with a thud, but this is Treasure Hill.

Jon Dean is a rare and welcome visitor as his work keeps him away a lot of the time, but he made sure this trip was worthwhile by scoring 37 points for the win in ‘A’ flight and the Green Jacket. Phil Davies, at last, found his real form to score 36 points for second spot which left Patrick Engels in his third minor placing in a row, scoring 33 points for third.

Billy Buchanan has been consistent and grabbed his chance today by winning ‘B’ flight with 36 points, the third of the only three playing to handicap. Charles Miller came from nowhere to score 35 points for second and a much-improved showing from Tony Browne got him into third place with his 34 points.

Mike Firkin returned to the winner’s list, after a bit of a drought, to take ‘C’ flight with 32 points. Consistent Nigel Harrison had 31 points for second and Rick Pope was in the placings again with 30 points.

Near pins ‘A’ flight: George Mueller, Vic Hansen, Jon Dean, John Harrison,
Near pins ‘B’ flight: Mike Kaps, Nils-Peter Kristensen, Paul Greaves, Mike Tottenham,
Best Front Nine (non winners) …. Henry Mah….19 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) …. John Anderson ….17 pts c/back

Three silly things on Wednesday and another three today had to go to short straws (tooth picks) countback. Willy Brown left his carry bag in the bus. The driver delivered it back later. John Masters dropped something from his bag and it stayed in the bus until it was returned by the driver, both silly. Maurice didn’t play today so, to keep himself amused, he timed each group as they left the eighteenth green to measure the gap between groups. The slowest was 16 minutes and ten seconds behind the group in front of them, so all four took part in the draw. One by one they drew okay until finally, Tony Browne. He grabbed two sticks, one of which was the short one and he hurriedly tried to give it back, but, too late.
He wore the ‘silly hat’ on behalf of the other five ‘silly’ things.

The ‘wig’ was easier as Mike Tottenham had a rare poor scoring day.

To end the day, the unexpected. A sudden heavy rain shower nearly drenched our last three groups as they tried to find shelter, but after a slight delay they finished the round.

Scratch Card Wins Green Jacket for Durkan

The Pattaya Links Golf Society tried hard to clog up the highway on Monday, 27th January as fifty-two golfers travelled in various modes of transport to Royal Lakeside to play a stableford competition in three flights, divided at fourteen and under, fifteen to twenty and twenty-one and above.

Two tees had been offered and gratefully accepted and play got underway on time on a course in very good condition, as usual. However the PLGS overlooked the propensity for Thai starters to block the passage of tournament golfers as they inserted Thai golfers at the tenth and caused a five-hour-plus round for more than half the field. It was to be a long day.

Scores were excellent and in the third flight Stuart Thompson was fourth with 34 points, following Keith Melbourne in third with 37. The runner-up was Larry Slattery on 38 points and the winner was John Masters, scoring forty points on his final round this trip.

The second flight found a podium place for Masa Sugaya, his first this trip, with 36 points. Third place went to Stuart Kidd with another sub par round, this time 39 points. Forty points gave Thorsten Jodehl second place and the flight was won by Rana Gurnam with 42 points, much to sparring partner Mr Phil's chagrin.

In the top flight the four principals all recorded high scores with Colm Lawlor taking fourth with 38 and Pierre Cere going one better to find a rare but long overdue podium place with 39 points. Scottish golfer Ian Bell's round was another example of a low handicapper enjoying fine course conditions as he was runner-up with 42 points. The day's best score was 45 points - scratch scoring by Paul Durkan who took the green jacket in style, his second in the last two weeks. It was an exceptional effort by Paul and represented the best PLGS points score at the course across almost forty visits.

Near pins went to Andrew Purdie, Paul Durkan, Colm Lawlor, Masa Sugaya, Gordon Laviolette, Stuart Thompson, David da Caminada and Einar Widness. The consolation prizes for the best nines were won by David da Caminada (22 points, front nine) and Steve Moxey (18 points, back nine).

The long day ended with good humour as Mr Phil presented the brunette wig to blonde lady golfer. Nicole Gerstenberg, still very much a novice, for her poor round and Jason Gillespie managed the silly hat on his first round this trip with the lowest recorded nine hole score.

Now, with a two tee start promised for our next visit in February, it is hoped the Starter at Royal Lakeside gives it some thought and delays Thai groups starting in the middle of a tournament. We live in hope!

Wayne Back in the Winner’s Circle

Peace and calm were restored at Eastern Star today as there was not the over booking that caused a lot of running around and brow wiping on our last visit three weeks ago. The first of our nine groups teed off 5 minutes after the scheduled time and made good headway, although a little slow at times.

The course is still in very good condition and the greens still have good pace, not affected at all by recent sanding. Downhill putts went further than some thought they might.

Not so many players today, so we paid two flights and one set of near pins. This course, as with Treasure Hill, is not renowned for high stableford scores and today that legend stayed intact as, of the 36 players, only Wayne Peppernell was able to play to his handicap. That gave him the win in ‘A’ flight and a long awaited next Green Jacket. David De Caminada’s 34 points put him in second spot. He has been close to the top a couple of times, and nearly made it. Rana Gurnam is spurred on by a private competition against Phil so has been consistent. Thirty-three points got him to third place. Paul Gill did well to survive a countback with 32 points for fourth.

The ‘B’ flight saw Mikael Lindberg, in his last outing this trip, take the top spot with 34 points to win a countback over Garry Hookey. A rare appearance from Niall Caven let him get third place with 33 points and Bill Stewart won a countback on 32 points to grab the final place on the podium.
Near Pins ‘A’ flight: Mike Ehlert, Other ‘A’ flight pin not claimed.
Near Pins ‘B’ flight: Bill Stewart, Helen Lindberg
Best Front Nine “C” (non winners) …. Tony Browne….18 pts c/back
Best Back Nine “A” (non winners) …. Gordon Laviolette ….17 pts c/back

Mikael and Helene Lindberg have had a good long holiday this trip and both have figured very prominently at the presentations. Being environmentally conscious, they saved all the pink envelopes and gave them to Phil for recycling.  Phil began today’s presentations in an unusual order by announcing the winner of ‘C’ flight (when there was none) as Mikael Lindberg with 31 points. Mikael was more surprised when his named was called again and again until we all realized Phil was reading from the recycled envelopes, where the Lindbergs had won them all and, after much laughter finally tossing them all into the air.

Then on to the ‘real’ prize winners for today.

During reading of ‘B’ flight Mikael, same one, disagreed with the score announced for his name. A quick check found the scorer had misread the figures on the scorecard. A hasty rearrangement of placings and on with the show. All this must have thrown Phil as he presented the ‘silly hat’ to Vic Hansen who should have had the ‘wig’. Derek Phillips rightfully claimed the ‘silly hat” for lowest nine-hole score and Vic settled in under the ’wig’.

Steve Moxey's First Ever Green Jacket

This morning started, as usual, with a couple of cancellations and one no show but, not to be deterred, we arrived at the course with 43 golfers ready to go. Our scheduled start time was 11.00 am and we were offered, and gratefully accepted, a two-tee start. The starter sent our first groups off about 15 minutes early which then saw all 11 groups on their way by 11.15 am, excellent.

The course was in great shape but we opted for lift, clean and place on the fairways as it is normal, here at Greenwood, to have some mud around the perimeter of the greens due to water sprinkler run-off.

Tip Briney has just returned from a scuba diving trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and hit his straps first up at Links with a terrific 41 points to win ‘C’ flight by a long way. Unfortunately, he missed the Green Jacket on countback. Not fair sometimes. Second was occasional visitor, Masao Okada, with 35 points, followed by Bryan Barrell, again in the placings and putting his 34 handicap at risk, he scored 34 points.

We said bon voyage to Keith Griffith only a couple weeks ago, but he is back and hasn’t lost any form at all. His good 38 points got him a win in the ‘B’ flight. Wayne Peppernell wore the Green Jacket last week and came close again, scoring 37 points to beat a resurgent Jason Gillespie on countback.

When Steve Moxey came to live in Pattaya a few months ago, he had an Australian handicap of 12. He has been frustrated that he could not play to that here. But today, a breakthrough, as he put together his best round yet, scoring 41 points and wearing his very first Green Jacket.  Second and third went to the ever reliable, Bill Copeland with 38 points and Kevin LaBar with 37 points.

Near pins ‘A’ flight: Steve Moxey (x2), Jason Gillespie (x2),
Near pins ‘B’ flight: Keith Griffith, Mike Firkin, Bill Stewart, John Chelo.
Best Front Nine (non winners) …. Paul Gill….21 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Patrick Engels ….20 pts

The announcement of the ‘silly hat’ winner became a loud, finger pointing affair as Paul Durkan tried to explain Paul Lanzetta’s missing locker key, and the “would-be” good Samaritan, Martin Patch, finding it in the door. Phil decided that the main pointer, Paul Durkan, should wear the hat.Masa Sugaya has worn all the different attire at some stage, but today he wore the ‘wig’ for a total score blow out.

Plenty of fun back at Links Bar to end another great golfing day.



Change of Course – Avril Wins First ‘Jacket’

When the PSC February rates were posted on Jan.30, very helpful, we had a quick look to catch any changes from last month’s pricing. I saw the special 1650 bht G/fee, caddy, cart price at Khao Kheow was missing. As we had thought that price would roll into Feb, I decided on a phone call to confirm or get a new price to inform the players. That call confirmed for Links Golf on Monday Feb.3 our price is 1650 bht all in.

The first we heard about 2150 bht was at the green fees desk at check-in. The manager was called, some explaining by Paul Smith who speaks fluent Thai, and attempted negotiations failed, so Phil told him that we will just load our 44 golfers on the buses and go somewhere else. There was no attempt to stop us.

Nearby Pleasant Valley was only too happy to take the combined 90,000+ bht that our golfers had in their pockets ready to spend. We had a booking at KK for Feb.21, that is now cancelled along with that approx. 90,000 bht plus two more on the draft schedule for March.

Everybody calmly waited until the later tee time of 11.30 am, caddies were sorted and our first group got away on time. The course is in very good condition, and has been for quite some time now. I think this is the Pleasant Valley we might expect from here on.

We had some good results today without those crazy 40 plus scores.

Andrew Kelleher was pretty disappointed with his first game back a couple of weeks ago, but has been gradually getting happier and his 38 points to win the ‘A’ flight shows that he is back. Steve Moxey won the Green Jacket on Friday and continued that form to score 37 points for second place, while Patrick Engels was once again among the results with his 36 points to win a countback over his good mate, Pierre Cere.

Keith Griffiths has had two games since getting back last week and won both of them. Today, 38 points got him the ‘B’ flight win. Stuart Thompson, in his last outing before heading back to Aus. for a while, and Darren Beavers battled it out at 37 points, for the minor placings, with Stu getting the nod for second on countback.

The ‘C’ flight produced a winning score from another lady visitor. Avril Chambers made 39 points to take the win and her first Green Jacket. She is the third lady winner in a few weeks, so maybe Phil’s idea of a Pink Jacket is taking shape. Jim Ferris has slowly been returning to form and his score of 34 points took second spot ahead of Kenny Jepson on 32 points.

Near Pin ‘A’ flight: George Mueller, Andrew Kelleher, Peter Lacey, Wayne Peppernell
Near Pin ‘B’ flight: Alan Walker, Jim Ferris, Avril Chambers, Larry Slattery.
Best Front Nine “C” (non winners) …. John Chelo….21 pts c/back
Best Back Nine “A” (non winners) …. Keith Melbourne ….21 pts

It was getting late by the time of presentations so it was decided to leave out the ‘wig’ for today. But…Phil couldn’t resist the chance to tell another story about Rana and have him wear the ‘silly hat’. A day that could have turned into somewhat of a disaster was handled extremely well by Phil with the complete cooperation of all players, well done all. And, we got to play golf.

Ishikawa On Fire at Green Valley

The Pattaya Links Golf Society revisited Green Valley on Wednesday, 5th February, to play a stableford competition in two flights, divided at sixteen and under. The golfers found a course in excellent condition and well marshalled to allow a prompt start. Fairways are still green and giving some "run", bunkers are well tended, caddies are diligent and the greens splendidly paced. The course was set for good scoring for golfers on top of their game.

With the cut at sixteen the two flights saw some excellent performances with canny Scot Bill Buchanan taking the "A" flight with a fine 40 point score. In second place was John Harrison on 37 points, just heading off Russell Exley with 36 points, Stuart Kidd completed the rankings with 35 points, in fourth place.

In the second flight Len Jones returned 33 points for fourth spot, two adrift of Tony Browne in third with 35 points. Another fine round from Tip Briney gave him second, this time with 37 points, but the flight, and Green Jacket, was won by Japanese golfer Masao Ishikawa with a blistering 42 points.

Near pins went to Russell Exley, Mike Ehlert, Huw Phillips and Bill Buchanan in the top flight whilst Tony Browne, Masao Ishikawa, Richard Pope and Len Jones took the envelopes in the "B" flight. Consolation best nines went to Lee Rodman (20 points) on the front nine with Steve Moxey scoring 19 points on the back nine.

Mr Phil decided against awarding any of the Booby prizes as all golfers had behaved impeccably. Will the standard continue on our next round at Pattavia? Up to you!

 Richard Fearby Comes in Under Par

Although it received a good shower of rain the previous evening, Pattavia Golf course is showing plenty of dry patches. Earlier visits saw only the rough drying out, but now some brown tinges are appearing on the fairways. However, the greens are in top notch condition and still tricky enough, even for the good golfers.

At the first tee, the first of our twelve groups started slightly later than scheduled, unusually, as we had another Society in front. They had only four groups and moved along very well so there were no hold-ups and everyone finished in good time.

The ‘A’ flight saw a runaway win for #1 handicapper, Richard Fearby, with a score of 40 points, but more importantly a gross score of 69, excellent play on this course, or any course for that matter. David DeCaminada had his best game this trip, so far, scoring 38 points for second spot ahead of the ever-present Paul Smith who held out Paul Tedesco on 37 points.

The ‘B’ flight went to a three-way countback and determined that Charles Miller came out on top followed by returnee, Michael Olah, in his first game back and Karl Flood, finding some form, taking the third spot.

The ‘C’ flight scores didn’t set the world on fire but provided a tight finish with four scores of 32 points. Rick Pope came out best to take the win from Chris Walsh, in a rare appearance, with Tip Briney filling third place. Jim Ferris was the unlucky one to miss out.

Near Pins ‘A’ flight: Michael Olah, David DeCaminada, Ray Banks, Stuart Kidd
Near Pins ‘B’ flight: Bryan Barrell, Charles Miller, Garry Hookey, Berndt Motzenbacher
Best Front Nine (non winners) …. Mike Tottenham….19 pts. Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Derek Phillips ….21 pts

The last bus returned quite late after being held up on the 331 due to a fatal accident. By the time that arrived at Links Bar, many players from earlier buses had drifted off into the night. So, the Green Jacket winner wasn’t there, nor was the would-be recipient of the ‘wig’ so Phil decided he would also hold off the ‘silly hat’. That was a good move because he would have worn it himself for driving into Greenwood Golf Club before being reminded he should be back up the road at Pattavia.

After the ‘exciting’ week we have had, a rather tame finish, but we can take that.

Resurgent Rana Wins at Silky Oak

A couple of days of frantic cell phone activity followed Treasure Hill's latest public holiday attempt to delete a Pattaya golf group in preference for late local entrants. Yes they've done it again folks! Instead PLGS were able to get in at Silky Oak, at an excellent holiday rate, on Monday, 10th February.

The course is very dry with close cut fairways and the greens are on the slow side. It is clear that Green Valley is putting all of its irrigation efforts onto the main course at the complex as St Andrews also appears very dry. Unfazed, the PLGS took to the tee on time and played a stableford event in two flights with the division set at fifteen and under.

In the second flight a tight contest took place with Canadian Gordon Laviolette taking a welcome third place with 36 points. The top two golfers turned from "headline writers" to "headline makers" as John Anderson held off the challenge from Len Jones, winning on countback with both golfers returning 37 points.

In the top flight Bill Buchanan again made the frame with a third placed 37 points, one behind runner-up Bill Wilkinson on 38 points. The flight winner was Rana Gurnam with 39 points and it was good to see him cast off all of best mate Phil's friendly "digs" from last week to take the Green Jacket in style.

Near pins went to Paul Gill, Rana, Peter Lacey, Stuart Kidd and Kim Hewson and the consolation envelopes for the best nines went to Andy Kelleher (21 on the front) and Keith Melbourne (20 on the back). Masa Sugaya wore the silly hat with the poorest nine score whilst Michael Olah enjoyed his first "wig" this trip.

The PLGS had been able to enjoy a good competition despite the efforts of Treasure Hill management to thwart them and it serves as a reminder to other clubs that we golfers are resilient and will always make a pleasant golf day out of a potential rejection. The Golf Buddha, he say "Put that in your pipe and smoke it!"

Larry Slattery Loves a Green Jacket

We’re not sure why this is happening lately, but it seems a number of golf courses that we have been to have not had enough caddies available when we arrive. Greenwood is usually very well organized, but on this day there was confusion as the starters were trying to round up caddies and carts. In fact, our last group started out driving their carts themselves, without caddies. The caddies got to them, eventually.
Having given a brickbat, now some praise. Greenwood is one of the few courses where a group with big numbers, such as our 48 players today, are given a two tee start. It makes it so much easier for all, and an earlier finish, much appreciated.
This course is always in top condition and, even considering the lack of rain, kept up that standard with well cut fairways and greens running at a good pace of about 9.3 to 9.5.
Richard Fearby went under par again to record 37 points from his scratch handicap to win the ‘A’ flight. Does he ever have a bad game? Probably, but not today. Second spot went to Mike Ehlert with 36 points in a nice improvement on his recent outings. In form Andy Kelleher won a countback to take third place with 34 points.
“B” flight produced the starring score for the day as Larry Slattery romped home with a big 41 points. Of course, he won the flight as well as the Green Jacket, and not for the first time. Maurice Roberts was hoping the ‘yips’ are gone as he handed in a score of 38 points for second place. Hot and cold Derek Phillips was hot today to record 37 points to hold down third spot in a tight countback.
They say ‘age shall not weary them’ and it certainly did not weary a couple of our older gents. Alan Walker turned back the clock by scoring a great 39 points to take the win in ‘C’ flight. John Pearce is about the same vintage and surprised himself with his 34 points, while ‘youngster’, Chris Walsh took third with 33 points.
Once again plenty of near pins to be won, but only 7 of the 8 were claimed. Those par 3’s at Greenwood are long.
Near pins ‘A’ flight: Jason Periera (x2), Tommy Marshall, Richard Fearby. Near pins ‘B’ flight: Barry Cunningham, Masa Sugaya, Larry Slattery, one pin not claimed.
All back nice and early for the presentations and the hunt for the owner of the carry bag left in a buggy at the course. A candidate for the ‘silly hat’? Well, Gordon got away with it because Phil found another reason for Rana to wear it again.
As Phil presented the ‘wig’ to Hilary Stoker, again, he gave her some advice about the driving range so she doesn’t wear it a third time.

Canada’s Pierre Wins First ‘Jacket’

After a mixed week of playing one course with dry, dusty fairways and then the next course running short of caddies and carts, we arrived at Burapha Golf Club a little earlier in the year than usual, thanks to the offer of a great all-in price. Our tee time was 11.30 am and, something most of us had not done before, we teed off on the B nine first. We were asked to wait until 11.30 am to enable other groups crossing over nines. No problem and, in fact, we did get going about 5 minutes before the 11.30 time.

All agreed that this course is in terrific condition where, it seems, the fairways have had plenty of water and the greens are running truly, albeit slightly slower than expected here, but no complaints. The day was warm with a steady breeze, gusting at times, and then dying out later in the day.

Paul Smith played a cracker of a game to record 41 points, gross 70, for the win in the ‘A’ flight against some tough opposition. David DeCaminada continued to improve, this time taking second spot with 39 points ahead of a very good round from Tommy Marshall who filled third place with 38 points. Top golf all round.

You think those scores were good?  Pierre Cere, who has been gradually getting his game together this trip wowed them all with a haul of 43 points to have a runaway win in ‘B’ flight. Maurice Roberts continued his good form from a couple of days ago to win a countback for second place with 35 points, ahead of the consistent Stuart Kidd who took third spot on another countback.

Barry Cunningham scored a big 39 points to have a good win in ‘C’ flight. Gordon Laviolette, who started off this trip well down on form, has really started to get it going and his 36 points got him into second place while Mike Firkin had one of his better days to grab third with 34 points.

Near pins ‘A’ flight: Tommy Marshall, Pierre Cere, Bill Steinmann, Rana Gurnam
Near pins ‘B’ flight: Charles Miller, Tip Briney, Maurice Roberts, Derek Phillips
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Andy Kelleher – 22 pts. Best Back Nine (non winners) - Mike Ehlert – 18 pts c/back.
Rana booked a seat on the return bus to bring his caddy to town for Valentine’s Day. It came as a shock when she agreed, on condition he buy her a flat screen television as a Valentine’s present. Rejection and dejection set in for Rana, so he was spared the ‘silly hat’.
Burapha was a good day out for all and we will return next month.

McEntee Returns to take Green Jacket

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Bangpakong Riverside on Monday, 17th February to play a stableford competition in three flights with the cut coming at thirteen and under, fourteen to twenty and twenty-one plus. As usual the course was splendidly presented with well grassed fairways with some "spring" in them, bunkers were well tended and the greens still retained some of their weekend pace. All that was lacking was the cooling breeze, so evident on most occasions and as a result the day became quite sultry and held the scores down a little.

In the third division Dave Arataki took third place with a meagre 30 point score, three behind runner-up Tip Briney on 33. The flight winner was Len Jones with 34 points. His renaissance, after an unhappy second half to 2019, is very welcome.

In the second flight Dave Ritchie was third with 35 points, losing the runner-up spot to Wayne Peppernell with 36 points. The flight winner was Canadian John Chelo and he returned an excellent 38 points, only to lose out for the green jacket on countback.

The top flight saw PLGS newbie Mike Cheswick take third place with 36 points, with Steve Moxey taking second with 37 points. The flight winner was the returning Irishman, Kevin McEntee with 38 points and his back nine gave him the advantage in the green jacket chase over John Chelo.

Near pins went to Tommy Marshall, David De Caminada and Kevin McEntee (two) in the "A" Flight and to Jim Beard (three!) in the "B" flight. One B Flight near pin was not won.

Consolation awards for the best nines went to Ray Banks (18, front) and Chas Miller (21, back).

Mr Phil again considered Rana Gurnam for the "wig" award after it was discovered that Rana's mates had managed to block him on the "Thai Friendly" social media site. He is even now seeking advice on "unblocking" techniques. The wig went to Pat Murphy instead, as the oldest man in the field walked the course and struggled in the heat to put together a satisfactory score. The "silly hat" went to Michael McGuigan for the poorest nine-hole score.

The week had started in fine style with the PLGS.

Charles Miller Breaks Through for a Win

It’s been a long time since we visited Phoenix, for various reasons, so when it was found that they had a couple of Wednesday slots available, and at a reasonable price, let’s give it another try. The verdict was that it was a good course presented in very good condition. Plenty of grass on the fairways and greens that were a good pace, running true and quite puttable.

The weather was warm with a nice breeze, most of the time, to keep things comfortable.

Perhaps a small complaint is that the starter tried to insert a four-ball and a two-ball as our first groups crossed over to Mountain course. Some protest from our players resulted in the four-ball being sent to the Lakes course, causing a short delay for our group.

The results were generally pretty good considering that the lowest score was 24 points which resulted in a three way countback for the dreaded ‘wig’.

Near pins ‘A’ flight: Mike Ehlert, Andrew Kelleher, Patrick Engels, Connie Walsh
Near pins ‘B’ flight: Barry Cunningham, Dave Arataki, Stuart Taylor, Tony BrowneLong First Putt: Les Cobban

‘A’ Flight ( 0-13)
1st  Place – Andrew Kelleher (11) – 37 pts c/back
2nd Place – Steve Moxey (12) - 37 pts c/back
3rd Place – Tommy Marshall (7) - 37 pts

“B” Flight (14-20)
1st  Place –  Charles Miller (18) – 39 pts
2nd Place – Tony Browne (16) - 36 pts
3rd Place – Stuart Kidd (15) - 35 pts c/back

‘C’ Flight ( 21+)

1st  Place – Barry Oats (29) - 38 pts
2nd Place – Barry Cunningham (22) - 36 pts
3rd Place – Niall Caven (22) - 35 pts

Best Front Nine ( non winners) – Pierre Cere – 21 pts
Best Back Nine ( non winners) -  Kevin LaBar – 18 pts c/back

It was a later start time, 11.30 am, and our first group hit off a few minutes earlier than that and kept up a good pace. It was just on dusk when the last bus arrived back to Links but almost all of the 52 players stayed on for the food and presentations.
In the morning draw for group positions, some twist of fate has handed Derek Phillip’s group last or second last position for the past few draws.  Don’t share a lottery ticket with him. Not only that, but Derek also ‘won’ the countback for the ‘wig’. Dave Arataki won a near pin and then got to wear the ‘silly hat’ for lowest nine hole score. Funny game.
We have another Wednesday booking at Phoenix next month so would hope for another big turn out of players for that.

Buchanan Bucks the Wind at Pleasant Valley

Pleasant Valley was the venue for the Pattaya Links Golf Society on Friday, 21st February. The course was in good condition with greens which held some pace but the main feature of the day was a strong wind, a rare event there in the shade of the hills and it had a serious bearing on the day's golf. Acting as a real leveller it kept scores in check and tightened up the top places.with the top ten all within four stableford points.

With two divisions in play, cut at sixteen and under, the eleven group field got underway on time and the very full course saw groups make progress without too much delay.

In the second flight fifth place went to Pat Murphy with 35 points, countback placing Dave Ritchie above him in fourth. A three-way tie at the top saw third place go to Dave Arataki with 38 points losing on countback to Gordon Laviolette for runner-up. Gordon also lost out on countback for the winner's slot as Len Jones produced an excellent 24 points on the back nine to take the win.

In the top flight Fifth place went to Andy Kelleher with 35 points, Rana Gurnam nosing ahead into fourth on countback. Third place went to Tommy Marshall with 37 points, with Paul Tedesco's better back nine giving him second place on the same score. Scotsman Bill Buchanan is no stranger to playing in the wind - "if it's breezy, swing easy" - and his winning round of 39 points gave him the green jacket.

Near pin winners were:

A Fligjht Tommy Marshall, Bill Buchanan, Tony Browne and Ronnie Green

B Flight Masa Sugaya, Pat Murphy, Bryan Barrell and Len Jones.

Best front nine went to John Mason (19 points) with John Pearce taking the envelope for the best back nine with 21 points.

The absence of the booby winners was noted and the wig and silly hat were kept under wraps until the next round.

Thus the week ended with a real test at Pleasant Valley.

The Moxey and Miller Show at Lakeside

As our bus entered the driveway of Royal Lakeside Golf Club one of the passengers was impressed, seeing the clubhouse for the first time, and he hadn’t been inside yet.
Check-in was efficient, except for Moxey, who often has a problem or drama, but once sorted it was out to find our caddies.

One starter seemed to have a problem understanding a two tee start, but another marshal sorted it and sent 5 of our 13 groups to the 10th tee. The first groups from both tees got away right on schedule and had a smooth run for the round.

As always, this course is in fine condition, although it was somewhat surprising to see brown tinges appearing on the fairways, it was still grass, only a different colour.
The greens are near perfect and nice to putt on.

We have come to expect big scores here and today there were some ‘biggies’. Dave Arataki played in a group with a seven handicapper and a scratch marker. It must have inspired him as he scored a great 41 points to win ‘C’ flight. Tip Briney had one of his good days to have 38 points and take second spot on countback from the improving Gordon Laviolette.

‘B’ flight also had some big scores and the biggest was a 45-point haul from Charles Miller, a Green Jacket winner a week or so back. Phil Davies playing in ‘B’ flight is a most unusual thing, but he was, and took second place with 42 points. We haven’t seen Donal McGuigan for a while but he made an impressive return to the group by taking third spot with 39 points.

The big scores kept coming as Steve Moxey scored the other 45 points of the day to win ‘A’ flight and later wear the Green Jacket for the second time in a month. Russell Exley has really got his game together recently and recorded 42 points for second place. Connie Walsh scored 38 points to grab third spot on countback over scratch marker, Garry Barker.
Garry had best gross of 70 in his first game this trip.
Near Pins ‘A’ flight: Charles Miller (x2), Garry Barker, Connie Walsh
Near Pins ‘B’ flight: Gordon Laviolette (x2), John Chelo, Niall Caven
Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Dave Hewson….22 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) ….Pierre Cere ….21 pts

Dave Hewson brought two mates to play at Links, Paul Sales and Richard Sunderland. They were not the first to mark a stableford card the wrong way round and confuse the scorers, but they were the latest, so Phil decided that one got it wrong and the other didn’t correct him so they had a ‘wig’ and ‘silly hat’ between them.
Royal Lakeside lived up to it’s reputation with plenty of points scored.

Moxey Towels Them Up Again

We arrived at the green fees office ready for a day out at Eastern Star. A misunderstanding, or misinformation over green fee vouchers caused a quiet stir when some were charged more than others. A phone call to get the correct information quickly sorted things out and all headed to the locker room.

The course was busy once again and the starter asked us to start earlier than our assigned time. The first group was quickly at the tenth tee and, after quick round-up of the second and third groups, all eleven groups got away smoothly and about twenty minutes early. One experienced player was concerned about the crossover of nines, as the course was so busy.

As I walked towards Wan, the super-efficient lady starter here, she answered my question before I asked. She set out her plan and it worked perfectly; all groups went through with no hold ups.

Two days ago, Steve Moxey scored 45 points to win the Green Jacket after he beat Charles Miller on countback. Today there was no countback as he swept all before him with another big score, this time 42 points, to clearly win the ‘A’ flight. Peter Lacey had a very credible score of 37 points to take second place and then, much to Phil’s amazement, and a chuckle, he and Russell Exley had a countback for third and fourth, both with 31 points. Russell had the better back nine.

We hadn’t seen Bill Stewart for a while and wondered where he was, but he returned in a most successful way by scoring 37 points to win the ‘B’ flight. We had better stop calling Barry Oats ‘the old stager, as he claimed his second podium finish in a week. He can still play golf, even with an injury. His 35 points got him second place.

Barry Cunningham had a good day out with 34 points while sometime ‘wig’ wearer, Masa Sugaya, scored 32 points to hold out the other Masa, Okada, on countback to take fourth spot.

Near Pins ‘A’ flight: Petur Petursson (x2), Keith Griffith, Ronnie Greene.
Near Pins ‘B’ flight: Masa Okada, Joe Earls, Ollie Walsh, one pin not claimed.
Best Front Nine “C” (non-winners) …. Alan Walker….19 pts
Best Back Nine “A” (non winners) …. Gordon Laviolette ….18 pts

Keith Griffith has had some good recent form and dropped his handicap a couple of shots. Today wasn’t one of those good days as he ‘won’ a countback for lowest score on a nine and wore the ‘silly hat’. Paul Sales wore the ‘wig’ for the second time this week.

Eastern Star is starting a nice priced special in March and we will return in a couple of weeks for that.

Tight at the Top - Huw Phillips Wins It

As golfers, we must always expect the unexpected, but we had no idea that a heavy rain storm was about to hit Pattana Golf Club as we arrived for our Friday round. After checking in, the mustering area became crowded with our fifty players, some Thai players, starters, as well as caddies for everyone. However, the rain eventually moved away and we were got away exactly on the scheduled time of 12.05 pm.   Our appreciation to Pattana for giving us a two tee start and, with a clear run all the way, all groups were in and showered in good time, the leading groups in just under four hours.

Once again it was a tight finish in the ‘A’ flight with two players scoring 42 points, which was excellent scoring as the fairways had become quite soft and the first few greens were slowed a little after the rain, but quickly came back to their best. Huw Phillips won ‘A’ flight on countback from newcomer, Chris Patterson, a nine handicapper. Huw doesn’t play that often so it has been a while since the last time he wore the Green Jacket. Third place went to Mr. Consistent, Andrew Kelleher, with 39 points.

Banjo Bannister came out to play and ran off with the win in ‘B’ flight, scoring a very handy 40 points, which might have won on another day. Adam Barton has shown some of his real form lately and took second spot with 38 points and Eddie Runfors returned after a long absence to score 37 points and grab third place by winning a countback.

John Pearce was on the verge of disqualification as he had not handed in his card on time, but he got away with it to win ‘C’ flight with 41 points. Seamus Byrne seemed surprised that his 35 points got him second place, but only on a countback against Jim Ferris’s 35 points.
Near Pins ‘A’ flight: Kevin McEntee, Connie Walsh, Dave Hewson, Joe Carlton
Near Pins ‘B’ flight: Gordon Laviolette, Wayne Varis, Chris Walsh, Joe Earls
Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Derek Phillips….21 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …. Peter Lacey ….21 pts

Apart from causing the scorer problems over the card, John Pearce had racked up a number of reasons to wear the ‘silly hat’. Signing up a mate from UK for three games when said mate was still in UK and not expecting to be here. Also, while at PSC offices, saw vouchers for sale for Emerald, so bought one only to be told that we were not scheduled to go to Emerald. The list goes on. Phil was hoping to present his buddy, Tony Manners, with the ‘wig’ on his first game back. Tony played his part by recording the worst score of the day


Tony Browne Wins on a Low Scoring Day

How nice it is for a change of pace to get to the green fees office and pay less than what you were expecting. That happened today at Bangpakong Riverside and made for some very happy golfers. This course is not showing the same signs of dryness as most other courses in the region and was a pleasure to play.
The weather was warm with just a nicely timed breeze to keep everyone comfortable.
So, with the course in beautiful condition, the greens running truly and with pace, and nice weather, why were the scores much lower than we have come to expect here?
That’s just the way golf goes sometimes.

Just when it looked like 36 points would win the day, Tony Browne, in the last group, grabbed the last-minute win with 37 points for the ‘B’ flight title and the Green Jacket. Chas Miller continued his good form and almost had it with his score of 36 points, while Michael Olah won a countback for third place with 35 points.

Scratch marker, Garry Barker, who has shown fine form this trip, once again went around in par for 36 points and the ‘A’ flight win. His long-time buddy and co-traveller, James Hudson, grabbed second spot with a solid 35 points and Phil Ashton, in his first game back from the U.K, won a countback for third on 34 points.

All three placings in today’s ‘C’ flight were on the podium on Friday and returned there again. Eddie Runfors came out on top with 36 points and then John Pearce beat Jim Ferris on countback at the 34 points mark.

Near Pins ‘A’ flight: James Hudson, John Ryalls, Kevin McEntee, Tommy Marshall
Near Pins ‘B’ flight: Chas Miller, John Chelo, Gordon Laviolette, Tony Browne
Best Front Nine “C” (non-winners) …. Chris Walsh….20 pts
Best Back Nine “A” (non winners) …. David McKey ….22 pts

Michael Wright was in a four ball where three of them took the ‘A’; flight placings, only Michael missed out because of a poor score on one of the nines. He wore the ‘silly hat’ in his first game back with us. Derek Bines was playing his first game here, and it showed, so his lowly score got him his first try of the ‘wig’. Bangpakong is a nice course and worth the extra few minutes to get there, and the price is now very tasty.

Phil’s Birthday Bash- What a Party!

Seventy-two golfers came to Green Valley Golf Course to help Phil Davies celebrate his latest birthday. This course is in terrific condition, considering the lack of water available, as many courses are drying out now.
As we started to assemble at the first tee, the starter was pushing us to get the groups going early as he had to fit in a three-ball. Fairly soon he calmed down after deciding to start them from the tenth. We got our 19 groups away in a little less than two hours and, with no hold ups, all finished in good time, the first group came in under four hours.
Plenty of presents available on such a big day with three flights and loads of novelty prizes.
Phil Ashton, playing his second game since arriving from UK, took out the ‘A’ flight with a solid 37 points. Then came three players on 36 points which needed the countback to sort them. Andrew Kelleher maintained his very consistent game to run in to second place followed by Chris Paterson in third and Joe Nagle in fourth. Steve Moxey took fifth spot with 35 points which came after many countbacks at that mark.
The ‘B’ flight results were a mirror image of the ‘A’ flight. Adam Barton, showing good form this trip won the flight with 37 points. Then followed another three-way tie on 36 points which, again, went to countback. Ann Stokes, one of only two ladies in the field, took second spot followed by the now consistent Chas Miller while Billy Buchanan grabbed the fourth place. John Chelo took fifth by winning another multiple countback.
The ‘C’ flight produced the three top scores of the day. The best of them all came from Mike Firkin who, only a few hours earlier, stepped off a plane after a quick trip to Australia. His great score of 40 points won him the flight and the Green Jacket.  John Hughes came in second, declaring that his 39 points was his best ever in Thailand, well done. Keith Melbourne is a high handicapper but is able to pull one out of the bag sometimes and this day it was a big 38 points, but only third place. Dave Rodriques, in a very rare appearance, surprised himself and his buddies in the group by scoring 36 points and taking fourth spot on countback over Chris Walsh.

It was still daylight as we arrived back at Links Bar and ready to party.
The formalities of the presentations for all the winners was done while the food was being prepared.
Then it was out to the pig on a spit and chicken on a spit plus loads of salad and fried rice, enough to feed an army. Inside, we had some mood music by a local Thai duo while everyone was eating and re-living their round of golf. Then the show started, and what a show as the great talents of the duo inspired some of our farang talent to join them on stage.

We know Phil can belt out the Tom Jones classics but tonight, as we had many Irish golfers, he gave them some renditions of some Irish songs. Garry Barker, Nick Shaw and Terry Archer and one or two others all did a few numbers covering various genres, all in professional style. The place was rocking as the audience joined in the chorus lines, and even a conga line formed as the dancing and music became more exciting.

Joy bought out the birthday cake, then some much appreciated donations from Jon Dean and Tommy Marshall became prizes in a lucky draw. Well actually, many lucky draws.

A great night where people stayed on much later than ever before to celebrate Phil’s Happy Birthday.

 Chris Paterson’s First Green Jacket

In the week and a half since we last visited Eastern Star, oh, how things have changed. Most players signed up for this day not aware that the price here had come down by 250 bht, so it was a nice surprise to start the day. Another change was the lack of numbers at the course. A few weeks ago it was crawling with people as the course had overbooked by plenty. Today we were asked to start about fifteen minutes early and the cross-over to the back nine was easy. Only another Society in front of us slowed things down and we took longer than we hoped to complete the round.

The course is still in very good condition and the greens are being likened to Pattavia with a quick pace and horrible downhills. Many three putts became the norm.  There was a stiff breeze for most of the day so scores were not fantastic, but they never really are here.

Scotsman Chris Paterson has now played four games with us and his big hitting, low handicap says he was going to win soon. Today was it when he topped the list with 36 points to win the ‘A’ flight and his first Green Jacket. Grant Pride, on his annual holiday from Australia, came in with 34 points for second. Andrew Purdie is as bigger hitter and he scored 33 points for third spot, while consistent Andrew Kelleher, who is going home soon, took fourth place with 30 points after winning a countback.

We had 50 players out and the cut for flights was surprisingly low today so  eyebrows were raised with some of the placings in ‘B’ flight. Jon Dean took first place with 33 points ahead of Mike Ehlert and Phil Ashton who finished in that order after countback at the 32 points mark. Dave Heyes, in his first hit this trip, filled fourth spot after winning a countback at 30 points.

Bryan Barrell can find a little extra something at times and today was one of them. He has won ‘C’ flight with 33 points, a good effort. Gordon Laviolette, in his final game this trip, took second with 31 points. Another countback was needed for the next placings where Tony Karakatsanis, another holiday maker, found his 29 points better than Joe Earl’s 29 points.

Near Pins ‘A’ flight: Grant Pride (x2), David Pettit, Phil Ashton
Near Pins ‘B’ flight: Joe Carroll, Bryan Barrell, Derek Phillips, Kerry Marshall
Best Front Nine (non winners)….Keith Melbourne….19 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners)…..Masa Sugaya ….15 pts c/back

Mike Firkin scored just 7 points on the front nine (after wearing the Green Jacket on Wednesday). This time it was the green ‘silly hat’.
The Wow moment came when the winner of the ‘wig’, for the lowest score of the day, was announced as 9 handicapper and second place getter last Monday, James Hudson. We could not believe it and we think he was a bit shocked as well. However, we have all managed to wear it at some time, James.
This course looks easy but looks can be deceiving. Regardless, we will return again on March 30.

Kevin Wears the Green Jacket, at Last!

Back to Greenwood today at the great Monday Sports Day price of 600 bht green fee and, something that Greenwood does for big groups, a two-tee start.
This day it was courses B+C so, at the scheduled start time, we sent 6 groups to ‘B’ and the other 7 groups to ‘C’ and all got away easily and without fuss.
The weather was hot, of course, and the fairways are in very good condition with plenty of run. The greens here are always first class and the ‘B’ greens were the quicker of the two courses at 10.2 on the stimpmeter.

Once again, a low scoring day with, once again, no real explanation.

Kevin McEntee has, for a long time, wished to wear the ‘Jacket’ and the one time he should have worn it he didn’t come back to the Bar before the photo op, but this time it all came together, with a very good 37 points to win ‘A’ flight and, finally, wear the coveted Green Jacket. His playing partner and fellow Irishman, Connie Walsh, was one point back in second spot and ‘hot and cold’ Mike Ehlert grabbed third with 35 points.

Barry Forbes didn’t show much form in his previous game but turned it around by scoring 36 points to win ‘B’ flight on countback from Wayne Peppernell. Tony Browne had 34 points to take third place, also an improvement.

Jim Ferris manages to bob up in a placing occasionally. Today only 33 points but he’ll take it and the ‘C’ flight win. Gerry Hanrahan hasn’t played for quite a long time because of a back problem and he got right back into the action with a second placing, scoring 32 points to win a countback over Nigel Harrison.

Near pins ‘A’ flight: Andy Kelleher (x2), Tony Browne, Kevin McEntee
Near pins ‘B’ flight: John Rabbitt, Greg Thomson, Kerry Marshall, one pin not claimed.
Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. David Pettit….18 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) …. James Hudson ….20 pts c/back

Sadly, there were farewells as a number of players, who have been around for a while, head back to their home countries. But, it seems, they are quickly replaced as the weather changes in other parts of the world.
Joe Carroll ‘won’ a three-way countback to wear the ‘silly hat’ for his 9 points on a nine. Kerry Marshall won a near pin, but that didn’t help, as he had the lowest score and wore the ‘wig’.
An excellent course, well organized and in good condition, we’ll be back soon.


Excellence From Ehlert

The Pattaya Links Golf Society made only its second visit in three years to local club Phoenix on Wednesday, 11th March and found a course in very good condition with well grassed fairways and greens well maintained. The bunkers however are very much "Phoenix-style", overfilled with soft sand and to be avoided at all costs.

There was very little breeze and the hot temperatures we are now enduring made for a tough day on a challenging course. The lack of Asian golfers currently led to the group starting earlier than booked on the Mountain and Ocean nines.

The field was divided into two flights, cut at thirteen and under and both flights saw some very high points scores. In the second flight Mark Efendie marked his final round this trip with a third placed 38 points, one behind runner-up Dave Arataki on 39. The flight winner was Michael Olah with 46 points, his best round with the group by far.

The top flight saw a similar spread with Tony Molan making the podium with 38 points, lagging behind runner-up Dave Hewson with 42 points. The flight winner was Mike Ehlert with a splendid 47 points. This marked his Links PB and it also gave him the Green Jacket for the day. A rare score indeed but two points shy of the Links record set just three months ago by Thorsten Jodehl.

Near pins went to Kevin McEntee, Mike Ehlert, Paul Smith and Steve Lynch (A flight) and Mike Olah, Niall Caven, Merle Humphreys and Bob Stokes in the B flight. The consolation best nine awards went to Paul Stewart for his 18 point front nine and to Rana Gurnam for his 23 points on the back.

With the wealth of good scores on the day Mr Phil decided to forgo the booby prizes so as not to besmirch the fine efforts elsewhere on a very enjoyable day at Phoenix.

 Hot Scores on a Hot Day

Phil Ashton’s 44 points the Hottest

As we set off from Links Bar the weather was warming up quickly and just got warmer and more humid as the day went on, an almost oppressive heat with little or no breeze for relief. Here’s something we can’t remember seeing before, the golf course was almost empty of customers. My long-time caddy said she had only worked on Monday and this Friday. Now this is getting serious for golf clubs and staff.

Apart from our 40 players and about six Thai players that we saw, there seemed to be no-one else around, almost millionaire’s golf for our first groups. Pattana management gave us a two tee start and, as it was an 11.30 tee time, resulted in all 10 groups getting away quickly.

Phil Ashton was a bit off colour for a few days but bounced back for his last game before heading home with a hot, hot score of 44 points to win ‘A’ flight and the Green Jacket. The forty-plus scores continued on from Wednesday as Steve Lynch, playing with a handicap of four, had 41 points, a gross 71. Grant Pride, six handicap, filled third spot with 40 points.

But wait, there’s more! “B” flight also produced the forties as Grant’s travelling mate, Barry Forbes, took the honours with 43 points. Niall Caven, also in his finale for this trip, took second place with 38 points while Merle Humphreys was the surprise, and surprised, third place with 36 points.
Near Pins ‘A’ flight: Peter Lacey, Grant Pride, Dave Heyes, Paul Kennedy
Near Pins ‘B’ flight: Barry Forbes, Chris Walsh, Merle Humphreys, John Chelo
Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Tip Briney….21 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Karl Flood ….21 pts c/back

This course was in top class condition with well grassed, and green, fairways, rough that is cut low but allows the ball to sink down and hide, quite difficult. The greens on the ‘B’ nine were slow and on the ‘A’ nine were described as variable. A most unusual description for these usually excellent greens.

Iain Craigen could have won either the wig or hat, but Phil decided to award him the ‘silly hat’ as Colin Smith had noted earlier in the day that he had never worn the ‘wig’. So, with the second lowest score of the day, Colin fulfilled his fantasy, or one of them.

With some hard fairways around many courses at this time and some outstanding golf play, may the forty plus scores keep coming.

Indian Takes Big Scalp

How quickly times change. The Pattaya Links Golf Society returned to Green Valley just one week after a superb birthday tournament for Mr Phil to find good fairways but slowish, "woolly" greens and an almost complete lack of wind. Oppressive and sultry conditions throughout made the day a struggle for many golfers, with only five golfers matching par or better.

With two flights divided at fifteen and under the group started on time and made good progress throughout on a relatively empty course.

In the second flight Ireland's Joe Earls made third place with 35 points, one behind runner-up Merle Humphreys. The flight winner was Derek Phillips with a fine 39 point return.

In the top flight Connie Walsh again found a place on the podium with 38 points, edged out of second by seven handicapper Tommy Marshall and 39 excellent points. The winner, with 40 points, was the Links' favourite Indian golfer, Rana Gurnam, who took a few scalps, including that of non-playing boss Mr Phil, currently suffering a wounded knee. It gave Rana the bragging rights and a little "wampum" to spare after suffering much banter and friendly rivalry during his trip.

Near pin awards went to Merle Humphreys (5), John Rabbitt (8), Joe Earls (13) and Masao Ishikawa (16), whilst the consolation best nine awards went to Dave Petit for his front nine 22 points and Pat Lavin's 20 points on the back nine.

The booby prizes went as forecast with Jeff Hunt taking the silly hat for his nine point return on the front nine and the wig was presented to Iain Craigen for the lowest score of the day. The day ended with the celebration of Dave Petit's birthday and the presentation of a sumptuous cake, enjoyed by all.

Despite the sultry conditions and woolly greens the course is always a delight to play and the group are all anticipating our next visit next month.

Derek Finds the Extra Three Points

After our visit to Burapha today, the main talking point back at Links was how good this course is. Fairways are green, with plenty of run, and greens in great condition albeit a little slower than expected, however, they were running true and turning when they should. It should then come as no surprise that 19 of the 42 players recorded a score of handicap or better and all but six had 30 points or more.

Steve Moxey was in the lead three-ball which took just three and a half hours for the round. He came in looking very pleased with himself as he had scored 40 points, which won him the ‘A’ flight honours. A young Japanese player, Takuya Okuda, joined us for the first time and, playing off a handicap of six, had 38 points to win a countback for second.
Rana Gurnam had another good one, scoring 38 points but losing that countback.

Last Monday Derek Phillips had 39 points but was beaten for the ‘Jacket’ by Rana. This time he scored an extra three points to turn the tables and win ‘B’ flight and, of course, the Green Jacket. Tony Browne has been in and out of the placings recently and today he won second spot on countback, on 38 points, to beat Tom Herrington who put in an improved performance.

Near Pins ‘A’ flight: Paul Kennedy, John Harrison, Steve Lynch, Steve Moxey
Near Pins ‘B’ flight: Colin Davis, Derek Phillips, Gerry Hanrahan, Tom Herrington
Best Front Nine (non-winners) – Peter Lacey – 21 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) - Andy Roberts – 22 pts

Phil’s injury is keeping him from playing right now but he decided to go for a hit at the driving range. The first swing caused enough pain for him to stop before starting.
Driving back to the clubhouse, he stopped to watch some of our players on the ninth green. One of them had three putts that would not go in and, in frustration the club was, well best not describe it here, but we should not do that. Fortunately, no damage was caused to the green, caddies or players. But, a ‘silly hat’ was in order for Peter Lacey.
Greg Thomson just had one of those days and got to wear the ‘wig’ for the lowest score.
With green fee vouchers, the price today was nice, the course in wonderful condition and the weather pleasant enough. What a shame that there are not many golfers around currently.

Each course we have been to in the past couple of weeks is almost empty, good for us, but not good for the clubs.
Let’s get back to normal quickly.

One Under Par 71 for Steven Lynch

What a good day to come to Pattavia Century Golf Club. The price is now on special at 1350 bht for g/fee, caddy and cart and we found that there was to be a large Junior Golfer’s tournament at the course the next day, so the whole course was bought up to an even higher standard than we normally find here.

Fairways in great condition with plenty of run, the rough not too bad and, yes, the greens very slick and as quick as ever on the downhill.
The weather was quite warm, but breezy, for most of the round.

The marshal was quite anxious for us to start, so the first of our ten groups teed off about 30 minutes before our booked time, and had a clear run all the way, as another society ahead of them kept a good pace.

Steven Lynch and a couple of mates from Australia have had only a short visit but fitted in plenty of golf. After a good win with another society the day before he came out ready to keep that form going. One under par 71, from his handicap of 3 gave him 40 points, the win in ‘A’ flight and his first Green Jacket. Wayne Peppernell has been building form and his 39 points today was an excellent score to take second place. Colin Smith started this trip with the ‘wig’ but has bounced back with a solid 37 points for third spot after winning a countback.

Jim Ferris has won a ‘jacket’ before but there is sometimes a gap between wins. Today, his 37 points gave him an easy win in ‘B’ flight. Tony Browne wore the ‘jacket’ at the start of the month and kept that form going with a respectable 33 points for second place, while John Rabbitt had 32 points for third spot.
Near Pins: Nigel Harrison (4), Kevin LaBar (7), Keith Peplow (13), Steven Lynch (17).
Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Mike Ehlert….21 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) …...Karl Flood ….19 pts c/back
Jim Ferris had a mixed day. First, he ‘lost’ his putter and, after much panic, Phil went to the car to lend Jim his putter. Before the round started, the ‘lost’ putter turned up at the side of the practice green. Jim won the ‘B’ flight but still wore the ‘silly hat’ There was a close countback for the ‘wig’ and it was ‘lucky’ Ray Cassar who wore it as one of the two lowest scores.

A nice breezy day, a nice course and, with no hold-ups, it was back to Links for early presentations and, with most bars closed, we guess it was off home.

A Day of Luxury at Chee Chan

Chee Chan was booked by a golf tour organizer for 60 Australian golfers. Then, with cancelled and re scheduled flights and closed borders, they could not get here. Phil suggested that a few of our golfers would take some of those tee times if they could have the special price. We put the sign-up sheet on the board and ended up with 41 players, many of whom had never played here before.

The new and grandiose clubhouse, similar in style to Pattana and Royal Lakeside, is all luxury and space, together with spectacular views over most of the course and the backdrop of the Mount with the Gold Buddha to the left and the skyline of Pattaya further right. The weather was hot, but very breezy for most of the round, which is possibly the reason for the lower than expected scores.

This course is in great condition with undulating fairways cut to have the ball sitting up waiting to be hit. The practice green was very slick but the greens on course were not quite that fast but ran very true.
Some names in the results list are new to Links Golf but all played well enough to be there.

The ‘A’ flight had Peter Williamson, returning after a long absence, come out on top of multiple countbacks to take the win with 36 points. Mark Penfold, the golf tour organizer in his first game with Links, took second spot, also 36 points followed by Kim Gueng Hwan, also his first time, in third place, also 36 points.

Hyun Jae Kang, one of a group of three visitors, grabbed the win in ‘B’ flight scoring, you guessed it, 36 points. Simon Niven, whose flight home was cancelled, came out to take second place on countback of 35 points to nudge out Derek Phillips who had one of his ‘good’ days.

Near Pins: Tony Browne (4), Huw Phillips (6), Keith Peplow (12), Bruno (17).
Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Lawrence Lee….20 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) …...Paul Stewart ….20 pts

Because of the restrictions currently in place we decided to do something unusual. That was to conduct the presentations at the course. The ‘View’ restaurant is a large and ultra-modern venue, serving very nice food with cold drinks and attentive wait staff.

Peter Williamson was the Green Jacket winner, but we forgot to bring it with us. However, Peter had the photo op with Phil, and that’s almost as good.
Hopefully, when this virus situation is over, we can get some good pricing at Chee Chan and come here more often, plenty of people would really like that.

Unfortunately, this is the last competition golf report from us at Links Golf until competition at the golf courses is allowed to resume. We wish all of our golfers, wherever in the world you are, safe travels and stay healthy. Hope to see you all sooner rather than later.



Golf suspended


Tournament Golf suspended


Kevin LaBar takes the First Green Jacket

The weather forecast was for heavy rain in most of Chonburi and at 7.30 am this day we got it and more. There were two early arrivals at Links and together, as the rain became heavier, we wondered how many would want to cancel.
In the meantime, we phoned Pattavia to ask if they had rain. We were told ‘no rain now’, and so, at the scheduled departure time, everyone had arrived and took the chance.
En route to Pattavia, the sky looked anything but promising and light rain continued.
Upon entering the golf course gates, it stopped raining and stayed that way until all of our six groups had teed off.
It did drizzle for most of the round however, but all of our hardy golfers completed the 18 holes, the lead group, a three ball, finished in just three hours.
The course is in terrific condition with well grassed fairways and greens running true but, because they were a little wet, slowed just enough to make them manageable.
Golf journeyman, Kevin LaBar, is pretty consistent and today, with a big score of 40 points, won the Green Jacket, all dry cleaned and having its first outing since the lock down. Kev has grown a bit since last he wore it, but still made it fit.
Tommy Marshall is currently a #5 handicap and playing like that. He has had some really good scores in the past few weeks, most of them grossing in the 70’s.  Today’s 36 points got him second place.
John Harrison doesn’t play with us a lot, but when he does, is usually somewhere in the mix and today he was third with 35 points, getting the nod on a three-way countback.
One ‘near pin’ was left out in the elements and another had the plastic left off and drowned but, we managed to sort out some winners.
Near Pins: Peter Lacey, David McKey, Wayne Peppernell, Bill Copeland 
Best Front Nine (non-winners) – Martin Patch – 20 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) – Connie Walsh – 17 pts c/back
At the first competition game after the enforced break things went smoothly enough but, near the end of day, there were a few hiccups, shall we say. There was some good fodder for the ‘silly hat’, but we will keep that in waiting for the next round.
Congratulations and thanks to everyone for defying the weather, and coming out to play at a beautiful golf course.

A Hard Slog at Eastern Star

A golf course in very good condition with well grassed fairways and greens running truly, and enough pace to see the ball run away if you missed a downhill putt. We played from the white tees, which are a little longer than we would play at most other courses and we played preferred lies, although that was hardly necessary except for some wet areas around the greens.

The weather was overcast but never threatened rain and there were some nice breezes during the day. So, why such low scores?

It seems that it was just one of those days when every one of our eighteen golfers made hard work of it, very hard work, judging by the scorecards.

Earlier in the week we held up Tony Browne as an example of what time and practice can do for your game, after he had scored 39 points. Today, however, the wheels fell off and he finished with just 20 points, but that was a long way from the worst score. The best score we could muster was 32 points, and that from Mike Firkin who won the day on countback over Bill Copeland’s 32 points. The next three placings all came in with 31 points and, after needing to go to the last six to separate them in a countback, saw Billy Buchanan in third spot followed by Karl Flood on his home ground and then, after a mix up was sorted, George Mueller took fifth place.

The ‘silly hat’ was decided early on when it was discovered that I had left the ‘near pin’ markers tightly locked up in the clubhouse and, later on, had plenty of reminders of my error.  With no near pins this had now changed the prizes to five placings.

Best Front Nine ( non winners) – Connie Walsh – 16 pts

Best Back Nine (non winners) – Mike Jeffreys  – 19 pts

This was the first opportunity for most of us to travel on the newly opened Highway 7 extension road and what a difference, not only cutting a chunk of time from the journey, with no traffic lights to contend with, and the traffic was sparse, which made for a comfortable ride and stress free for the driver.

Eastern Star has never been regarded as a high scoring course, but the results next time here will very likely be much better than today.

Take nothing away from Mike Firkin though, a win is a win.













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