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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.

January   February   March  April  May   June  July August  September   October   November   December

January

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.

 

February

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.

 

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