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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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January 2018

Mashi’s Debut Performance

We scheduled a game of golf at Pattavia for New Year’s Day. It was always going to interesting to see how many hardy, or dedicated, souls signed up. Much to our surprise that number became 26. Not such a surprise was the fact that we had cancellations and two no shows, but a couple of very late entries, to finally load 21 starters into cars and buses and get away on time.
We booked Pattavia, because in the recent past they did not charge holiday rates. Our next surprise was that, when we arrived, we found we were about to pay 1150 baht and not 700 bht green fees. Oh well, we’re here now.
The course looked to be all ours and our first group, a three ball, got away a few minutes earlier than our scheduled time. That first group set a good pace and all others followed.
Weather was just about perfect and the Course was in the excellent condition we know and have come to expect. The greens were sloped and quick, of course, but not as fast as some other occasions. Actually quite puttable, but still not wise to miss the hole on a downhill putt.
With 21 players, we paid two flights with the cut at 15.
The best score of the day came from the golf journeyman, Mashi Kaneta. In his first outing with Pattaya Links Golf he won “B” flight with an impressive 37 points. Yes, you read correctly ”B”. Pat Murphy had a win last week and this time was second to Mashi, scoring a fine 35 points, and David Dunne with 33 points, grabbed third spot by the narrowest of margins on countback.
Simon Kendall won the Green Jacket last week and again was on top of “A” flight with a handicap equalling 36 points. Phil Davies made a last minute decision to play today and reaped the reward for second place with 35 points, while third place went to a three way countback, each having 34 points. Terry Worth did best on the back nine to take the prize.
Two more prizes to go, those being Best Nines.

Best Front Nine ( non winners)…Steve Evans………...20 pts
Best Back Nine ( non winners)….John Doyle…………19pts. c/back

Winner..”A” flight……..Simon Kendall (14)…………….36pts
2nd Place…................Phil Davies (11)………………...35 pts
3rd Place………………..Terry Worth (15)………………..34 pts. c/back

Winner “B” flight……….Mashi Kaneta (16)…………......37pts
2nd Place………………..Pat Murphy (25)……………….35 pts
3rd Place…………………David Dunne (18)……………..33 pts. c/back

After an uninterrupted round all adjourned to the Club House to make use of the free drink/food voucher which, once again, Pattavia is presenting to each player upon payment of green fees. Nice.
We were nice and early back to Links Bar, so Phil decided to do presentations without much delay. The highlight was to see Mashi wearing the oversize (for him) Green Jacket. The “wig” went to Andrew Purdie. Not something you would expect, but we’ve all been there.

Stevens Starts the Year in Style

The third day of 2018 saw the Pattaya Links Golf Society visit beautiful Burapha to play a stableford competition in two flights, cut at sixteen and under. As always the sumptuous A and B nines were in perfect order and the day was fair with a light breeze making it the most comfortable of golfing experiences.

Scores were as competitive as always, with one exception and in the top flight Simon Kendall again found the secret with 34 points giving him third place - a few behind runner-up Irishman John Doyle on 37. John's 81 was also the best gross of the day. The flight winner was Ralph McConnell, also with 37 points but the countback was in his favour.

In the second flight third place went to David Dunne after a sound performance of 35 points, Jake O'Neill managed 36 points for second but the flight was usurped by Canadian golfer Rod Stevens whose power-packed swing returned to give him 40 points and the group's first sub-70 round of the year.

Consolation awards went to Colin Smith for his best front nine of nineteen points and fellow Welshman Len Jones who took the best back nine slot with twenty points. A special mention must be made of one of the group's most loyal supporters, Dave Moriarty who played his first round since suffering a heart attack back in the States in the summer. His recovery is taking time but just to see him on the course again after the trauma is a reminder to us all of how precious our golf days are. Good to have you back Dave!

Wayne Peppernell Takes Top Spot

After a great win in the December Golfer of the Month, Wayne Peppernell had a couple of games off, followed by a not so good score. However, he bounced right back to record 39 points and the best score of the day, which saw six of the 27 starters play to handicap or better.
Another player to start the new year on a high is our November GOM, Tony Browne, shadowing Wayne by scoring a fine 38 points for second place. Then we had to go to a countback for third with David Dunne putting in another solid round to hold out Mike Allidi, both on 37 points. Well done both.
In the “B” flight (h/cap 19+) Mikael Lindberg notched up 38 points, to finish well in front of Larry Slattery and Mike Wilsher, both on 32 points, with Larry getting the nod for second.
Like Crystal Bay, it sometimes seems an adventure to go to Pattaya Country Club. This course has certainly had it’s ups and downs over the past couple of years, so we are never sure what to expect.. Those older than me say it used to have some of the best fairways around.
Today we found those fairways in quite good order and improving, browning in patches, but then due to the rain almost finished for now, many golf courses are having that problem.
The layout of the course is good, with some challenging holes, and maintenance seems to be getting on top of it. We saw on our visit here in November that the greens were being worked on and expected to see the result of that work.
These greens are now very much improved, albeit with some damp patches around the outside from sprinklers. Even the back nine is coming along nicely and, with some tricky pin placements, some had visions of Pattavia greens. Then we realised they were being prepared for a Tournament to start next day.
Pattaya CC is currently offering vouchers for 900 bht green fee for PSC Members, so if you walk you pay only 1250 including caddy fee. This course is very walkable. Also they allow share carts, so more savings.

All Par 3s had near pin markers out and all were won.

Mike Allidi (hole 12), Mikael Lindberg (5 and 16) , Craig Mitcham (7)

Best Front Nine (non winners)…Rod Stevens……….19 pts. c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners)…Mike Allidi………...19 pts. c/back

 Winner “A” Flight………Wayne Peppernell (14)…………..39pts
   2nd Place………………..Tony Browne (18)………………..38pts
  .3rd Place………………...David Dunne (18)………………..37 pts c/back

Winner “B” Flight………Mikael Lindberg (23)…...................38 pts
2nd Place…………………Larry Slattery (19)…………............32 pts. c/back
3rd Place…........................Mike Wilsher (24)………………….32 pts.

At the presentation Phil helped Wayne into the Green Jacket, and then, since the two finally crossed paths, also presented Wayne with his prize for being Golfer Of The Month for December, a much prized golf bag bearing the Khao Kheow logo.

Two “wigs” today. Jim Reilly, who directed Peter Henshaw to drive to Pattana instead if Pattaya Country Club was well deserved. They did get to PCC and played in the comp. The second was for the least impressive score of the day, and once again Frank McArdle accepted it with a big smile.

Absolute Quality on Show at Lakeside

Put together a field of good golfers and find the course which best rewards their skill and you have the recipe for a wonderful golf experience. Such was the visit of the Pattaya Links Golf Society on the second Monday of the year when forty golfers came together for a stableford competition on the banks of the Bangpakong at Royal Lakeside. The course is in outstanding condition at the moment with fairways with a "spring" in them, bunkers excellently tended and greens running true at 11 on the stimpmeter. Add some glorious golfing weather with a light comforting breeze and...wow!

The PLGS field was divided into three flights with the cuts coming at seventeen and twenty one. Getting away on time the field quickly showed its quality.In the third flight Paul Scotton posted thirty six points for third place, one behind Len Jones's thirty seven in runner-up place. The flight winner was Canadian golfer Rod Stevens and he posted his second round of forty plus in a week, managing 41 points on this occasion.

In the second flight consistent Irish golfer David Dunne took third place with 35 points whilst Tony Browne and Craig Mitcham both posted 38 points for the top spot with Craig taking it on countback.

In the top flight Irishman John Doyle posted 36 points off his ten handicap for third place with Bob Britton taking second with 38 points. It was left to Maurice Roberts to take the day with an outstanding 43 points, his best round for a long time. It was helped in no short measure by winning two of the near pins on the par threes, Such was the accuracy of his iron play on the day. The other near pins were won by Andre van Dyke and Craig Mitcham.

Consolation prizes (non winners) went to Wayne Peppernell for his best front nine of 21 points and the returning Ray Banks for his best back nine of 18 points.

Congratulations are due to not only the winners but all the golfers on a memorable day at Royal Lakeside.

John Anderson Easily At Treasure Hill

Once again, we awoke to the surprise of a drizzling overcast morning. Rain usually scares away many golfers and, as per a couple of weeks ago, when we had similar conditions in the morning, by the time we were due to leave, our numbers had dwindled by 50%.
Expecting the same, I was surprised and happy that this time we had just one cancellation and two serial no-shows, (TIT) to leave us with 26 starters.
During the drive to the course we encountered some rain, even heavy at times, so it was with delight that, as we scrambled from our three buses, it had become barely a drizzle. During the first six holes we had some light on again off again sprinkles, until it stopped completely for the rest of the way.
Bearing in mind that the course had taken some rain overnight and in the morning, once again Treasure Hill turned it on for us.
Even though there were some wet patches here and there, we used lift, clean and place, the fairways were in great condition, as were the Greens. The front nine greens slowed because of the moisture, but by the time we made the back half they were running nicely for us.
We were able to pay two flights today, along with 4 near pins and Best Nines.
Scores were nothing to write home about, as is very often the case at this Course, with only the “Treasure Hill Specialist”, John Anderson, recording 36 points to finish well clear of the rest in “B” flight. Niall Caven scored 28 points to finish second on a countback from Larry Slattery.
The best the “A” flight could muster was 30 points from Pierre Cere to beat Ray Banks on countback. Laurie McBride filled third spot with 29 points.
Musing with a golfing buddy last night about what makes this course such a scary or difficult proposition for many golfers, raw and experienced alike.?
There is not as much water to carry unlike many others, fairways are always well grassed. Yes, we know about the so-called crab grass, and the greens are usually a good speed and run true. We can’t really understand.. John Anderson seems to like it, having had some of his best scores here.

Of the four near pins, only three were claimed:

Larry Slatterty (No.6), Brian Davidson (no.13), Berndt Motzenbacher (No. 17)
The Par 3 second was too much for all 26 golfers.
Best Front Nine (non-winners)…. . Bill Copeland….15 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners)…… Chris Walsh……16 pts

Winner …”A” flight…….Pierre Cere (13)……………..30 pts c/back
2nd Place…………............Ray Banks (12)……………...30 pts
3rd Place………….............Laurie McBride (14)………..29 pts c/back

Winner…”B” flight……..John Anderson (29)…………..36 pts
2nd Place…………………Niall Caven (18)……………..28 pts c/back
3rd Place…………………Larry Slattery (20)…………...28 pts

Looking at the low scoring, we wondered just how low the score would be for the “wig”. It was very low…not telling, but the recipient was a newcomer to Links.
Kitae Kim was surprised and had some fun wearing the “wig” for the camera.
Phil Davies presented Johnno with his third Green Jacket.

Colin Smith Bounces Back To Form

“Bangpra seems less fortunate than many other courses in our area, as it tends to dry out quickly when the rainy season ends. The sprinklers can do a job, but can’t get to the whole area. Already, as my Caddy pointed out, there are brown patches appearing.”
Well, that was how I described the Bangpra course just a month ago.
What a difference some rain makes to grass. There have been the one or two surprise showers about recently and Bangpra has benefitted greatly. Today we found grassed fairways mown to just the right height to allow for easier striking of the ball and looking a treat and the dams were almost full again. Quite a scenic view, if you have time.
Today we did have time. Our 10 groups were allocated a 2 Tee start, thanks to the Course Management. However, on both courses we all come up behind some 5 balls to inevitably slow things right down.   Well! it is High Season, I suppose.
The legendary fast greens were in excellent condition, although not as fast as we have known them, but allowed the putt to run smoothly and truly, and you can’t ask for more than that.
Always a tough course and some good tactical thinking is/should be involved. Of our 37 players, only one managed to play to his handicap.
Welshman Colin Smith, in a return to form, handed in a card with 36 points to win “A” flight comfortably. Laurie McBride had 30 points for second place and Wayne Peppernell won a controversial countback to take third with his 29 points.
“B” flight saw Niall Caven take the honours, in another consistent showing, scoring 33 points.  Good mates Frank McArdle and Jake O’Neill filled the other two places with 30 and 29 points respectively.
Sometime visitor, Ken Hole, was successful in the “C” flight racking up 35 points, 3 clear of Peter Henshaw’s 32. Brian Davidson was right behind them with his 31 points.
Four Near Pins were out for this round and all were won.

Rod Stevens (hole 2), Helene Lindberg (8), Peter Wilson (12), Ronnie Ramsey (17).

By now if you have not had a win, another two chances on Best Nines.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …Bill Copeland………19 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners)…Mikael Lindberg……18pt

Winner “A” Flight……..Colin Smith (13)……………36pts
   2nd Place………………Laurie McBride (14)……….30pts
  .3rd Place………………Wayne Peppernell (14)……..29 pts c/back

Winner “B” Flight………Niall Caven (18)…................33 pts
2nd Place…………………Frank McArdle (18)………...30 pts.
3rd Place…........................Jake O’Neill (18)…………....29 pts c/back.

Winner “C” Flight………Ken Hole ( 21)….....................35 pts
2nd Place…………………Peter Henshaw (27)………….32 pts.
3rd Place…........................Brian Davidson (21)…………31 pts c/back

Because of the late start, Bangpra has a better price after 11.30am, and the slow pace, we arrived back to Links Bar very late in the afternoon where we quickly worked through score cards and prizes.
It was now dark, so Len got on with the presentations so that those who had more pressing places to be could get away.
A long day out, but hey! We were playing golf in Thailand.
Happy to see Bangpra Golf Course in such good condition.

Finally, congratulations to the “Links Bar” team on taking first place in the Pattaya Matchplay competition just completed.

Craig Ends Holiday On A High

A visit to the amazing Khao Kheow Golf Club is always something to look forward to. Once again, if you choose to go to a popular course, you will get plenty of golfers come with you. After a couple of no shows, again, we lined up 38 players in 10 groups.

These numbers can become a bit cumbersome, but it is high season and we welcome anyone to join us. All the organizer asks is for some patience from the players. Not every one can be in the first group. We try to please, but it doesn’t always work for some.

Only 5 days earlier Khao Kheow received so much rain in one day so as to cause the abandonment of the PSC Charity Classic. But the course has recovered so well that it looks magnificent.  We played B and A nines off the yellow tees and carts were allowed on the fairways, which were quite firm, but as is the case at KK, not a lot of run. The greens are in superb condition, with some interesting pin placements, and the ball rolled well and with good speed.

This is regarded as a fairly tough course, so we had only three players scoring handicap or better. None better than “B” flight winner, Craig Mitcham with a terrific 40 points. This was his send off as he returns to his job in cold old UK.

Ralph McConnell should have been going as well, but decided to extend his stay and racked up a nice even 36 points to take second spot, while Alan Sullivan made 32 points in his first outing with Links Golf.

“C” flight saw our only lady golfer, Helene Lindberg take the honours with a fine 37 points to finish well in front of second placed Chris Walsh, 31 points, and then John Anderson winning a narrow countback to sneak into third with just 28 points.

Why “A” flight last?  The top score of this flight was only 33 points, shared between three players. Therefore, we went to the countback to separate them. Pierre Cere won out with the best back nine (A) course. Then Bob Watson tipped out Colin Smith to grab second.  Perhaps not big points, but well played to those three.

Four Near Pins out today and all were won:
Henry Mah (B3), Mike Wilsher (B8), John Hughes (A3), Tony Gavaghan (A5)

There’s always the Best Nines:

Best Front Nine…..Bill Copeland……..19pts 
Best Back Nine…..Mike Allidi…..........18 pts

Winner..”A” flight……...Pierre Cere (13)……………33pts c/back
2nd Place….................Bob Watson (4)…………….33 pts c/back
3rd Place………………..Colin Smith (13)……………33 pts.

Winner “B” flight………..Craig Mitcham (18)………..40pts
2nd Place…………………Ralph McConnell (16)……..36 pts
3rd Place………………….Alan Sullivan (15)…………32 pts

Winner..”C” flight……...Helene Lindberg (23)……….37 pts
2nd Place….................Chris Walsh (23)…………….31pts
3rd Place………………..John Anderson (29)…………..28 pts c/back

Even if you lose a few golf balls, it is always a good day out at Khao Kheow and our group had some fun and laughs.
Colin Smith over cooked a chip, and the ball was headed for the water, when one of the caddies took a diving catch millimetres before she and the ball went swimming. There was hat and towel and gloves flying everywhere. If any cricket team needs a wicket keeper, she’s your girl.

Craig Mitcham wore the Green Jacket and the returning Henry Mah loved the “wig” and glasses.

Bill Laughs His Way to Green Jacket

Some days it all just works and makes for an enjoyable day out. Of the final 32 players on the start sheet 24 of them boarded the buses as allocated. Step one. Then a pleasant drive of only 50 minutes to the Greenwood course, easy check-in, even though there was only the one assistant instead of 2, then all assembled at the muster area.
The course was busy and the starter told us we must wait 10 minutes, so time for a putt.
Our first group, a four ball got away right on time and, with Phil calling up the groups in order, all went smoothly.
How many different ways can one describe just how good this course is. We played the A and B nines and were presented with grassed and nicely mown fairways and Greens were first class, slightly slower than we expected, but great to putt on. And yes, the usual wet areas around the bottom of the Greens. If that is the only complaint, we’ve done ok.
After the round all cards were handed in, no late comers, and all once again went to their allocated bus…. bliss.
Bill Copeland is a man who enjoys his golf and his infectious laugh as we went around rubbed off on our group and the caddies making for a fun and relaxed day. Bill headed up the “A” flight with 36 points off his handicap of 11, and the top score of the day.
We’ve mentioned before that Peter Wilson doesn’t play that often, but when he does is usually in the call of the podium. And so, it was today taking second place with a nice 34 points. Another one seemingly always at or near the top is Takeshi Hakozaki who took third place with 33 points.
In “B” flight John Anderson was Club House leader with only one last card to come in. Then came Len Jones to pip him on the post. Len scored 35 points to John’s 34 pts. Coming in third was lady golfer Helene Lindberg with 32 points, beating husband Mikael on a countback.

Four Near Pins out again today, but no-one could get on to the almost 200-yard A2.

Rod Stevens (A6),  Thorsten Jodehl (B2), Maurice Roberts (B5)

Next were the Best Nines.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …Dave Moriarty….17 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …Larry Slattery…….17 pts

Winner” A” flight……...Bill Copeland (11)……………….36 pts
2nd Place…..................... Peter Wilson (8)………………….34 pts
3rd Place………………..Takeshi Hakozaki (14)…………...33 pts.

Winner “B” flight……….Len Jones (29)…………................35 pts
2nd Place…………………John Anderson (29)………………34 pts
3rd Place…………………Helene Lindberg (23)…………….32 pts c/back

Bill Copeland got to wear the Green Jacket at last! Then Phil did the rounds to tease a few into thinking they would get the “wig”, before settling on Frank Baker, who was already making his way to the front, knowing it was coming.

Another great day out at a fine golf course for the Links Golfers.

Smith's Blitz at Pleasant Valley

The Pattaya Links Golf Society took another large field to Pleasant Valley on Friday, 19th January to play a stableford competition on the tight track with two flights, divided at eighteen and under. The course itself was in good condition with well grassed fairways and well tended bunkers. The greens were of a consistent medium pace and day was very warm and more than a little humid.

Always a test of accuracy the course tested the field as normal and with the exception of one card returns were tight at the top. In the second flight Len Jones again made the frame with 34 points for third, having promised much more on the front nine. In second was Scottish giant Mike McGuigan with his best return this trip, 35 points and he was unlucky to lose out on countback to lady golfer Tina Orth, making her first strides with the group.

In the top flight Martin Patch had a successful round with 37 points for third place, losing out again on countback to Olli Orth who almost emulated his wife and came second. The flight winner with an incredible 41 points was Welshman Colin Smith which immediately propelled him to the top of the group's Golfer of the Month table.

Near pins were won by Bob Watson (5), Chris Barker (8), Tony Browne (13) and Max Cristalli (17). The best nines consolation prizes went to Ray Banks for twenty on the front and Wayne Peppernell with 18 on the back.

Back at the Links at the end of the presentation golfers gave their best wishes to Maurice Roberts for his birthday and in return there was birthday cake and a "ringing of the bell". It was a good end to a splendid day's golf at Pleasant Valley.

Banks & Jones Keep it Tight at the Top

The Pattaya Links Golf Society took its largest field of the year to Mountain Shadow on Monday, 22nd January to play a stableford event in three flights with the cuts at 15 and 20. Four dozen golfers of varied skill and confidence took on the ever testing course which was in fine condition with running fairways and greens with a little pace in them to add to the challenge. The course was so overwhelmed that not enough caddies were available but those braving the round without caddies found carts were compulsory.

Scores are traditionally low at Mountain Shadow and this day was no exception. In the second flight fourth place went to John Hughes with 28 points, losing on countback to Paul Chesney and Mashi Kaneta. The winner was Martin Patch with a meagre thirty points. The third flight saw Helene Lindberg take fourth place with 24 points, a three points behind husband Mikael with 27 points. The secret of Mikael's success was a change of balls after thirteen holes which had seen him collect only a point a hole until then. Second place went to Larry Slattery with 31 points leaving Len Jones at the top of the flight with a caddy-less 35 points. Easy job this caddying!

The top flight was a tighter affair with Colin Smith's 33 points losing on countback to third placed Peter Wilson. In second was Jon Dean with 34 points and the winner was Ray Banks with 35 points. He took his first green jacket on countback from Len Jones. At the bottom things were equally tight but Phil declined to present the dreaded wig on this occasion. And, no, he wasn't in the frame for it!

Consolation prizes went to non-winners Bill Copeland for his best front nine (16) and Takeshi Hakozaki on the back (18). Near pins were collected by Colin Smith (5 and 15) and Simon Watt (17).

The top prize of the day should have been shared by Phil, Maurice, Len and John for their dedication in making a tough day so enjoyable at Mountain Shadow, despite to problems a very large field inevitably throws up. Well done everyone!

Paul and Helene Top Flights

Once again Treasure Hill prepared a sparkling, well manicured course for us, and greens that were true and had some pace. Thirty-three golfers came along to take advantage of a great course and still paying the much appreciated price of 1250 baht for g/fee, caddy and cart.
What strange weather we are having right now. It appeared most of the round that it might rain, but didn’t, but a few sprinkles on the windscreen of the bus on the way home told us there was some around. By early evening, during presentations at Links Bar, the promise of rain came good, short but sweet.
Treasure Hill is not known for allowing good scores, however, some players today were out to prove that it could be done.
“A” flight saw well-played 38 points from Paul Chesney to take the honours, closely followed by Phil Davies on 37 points. Ray Banks won the Green Jacket on Monday and continued that form today with a fine 36 points to take third spot.
The magic number this time was 38, as Helene Lindberg scored that many to have another top three placing, this time winning “B” flight. Tip Briney was surprised to take second spot with 32 points, and happy about it. Charlie Leon was over the moon with his 31 points straight after the game, his best for a long time he told me. Not sure he believed it when that score got him third place.

Winning the near pins were:

John Evans (No.2), Ray Banks (8), Niall Caven (13), Martin Patch (17)

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Simon Watts……….18 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …… Ronnie Ramsey……19 pts

Winner …” A” flight……. Paul Chesney (19) …………....38 pts
2nd Place…………............Phil Davies (12) ……………....37 pts
3rd Place………….............Ray Banks (14) ……………....36 pts

Winner…” B” flight……. Helene Lindberg (22) ………….38 pts
2nd Place…………………Tip Birney (20) ……………….32 pts
3rd Place…………………Charlie Leon (27) ………….......31 pts

Looking at the lower end of the scoring, we wondered just how low the score would be for the “wig” and sunglasses. It was very low…not telling, but the recipient was a newcomer to Links. Tony Mc Lean was a late entrant and a deserved winner of that coveted prize. Phil Davies presented Paul Chesney with his first Green Jacket.
Of course, the rain came back heavier as I started the trudge home.

Harrison's Haul at Lakeside

The Pattaya Links Golf Society abandoned an expensive Phoenix visit in favour of a late booking at Royal Lakeside on Friday, 26th January, and found the course in impeccable condition and at half the cost of a visit down the road in Ban Ampur. Even the early start did not deter too many golfers and three dozen early risers played in two flights with the division set at eighteen.

With quick greens and a steady breeze scores were not as high as normal but a couple of golfers excelled with sub-par rounds. In the top flight "Mr Consistency" Colin Smith scored 35 points for fourth place, on countback from Maurice Roberts and Huw Phillips. In third was Andrew Purdie with 36 points, losing runner-up spot to compatriot Bob Watson on countback and the winner was John Chelo with 38 points, his best effort this trip.

The second flight had Harry Langkoff in fourth place with 33 points, again assisted by countback, which was also used to separate third placed Colin Service and runner-up Helene Lindberg, both on 34 points. The flight winner was Nigel Harrison with an excellent forty one points, the best total by far on the day.

Near pins were won by Tommy Marshall, Chris Barker, Simon Watts and Nigel Harrison whilst the consolation prizes went to Paul Greaves for his best front nine of 21 points and Ray Banks's best back nine of 17 points. The dreaded wig went to Udo Emmerich. All were convinced the decision to abandon Phoenix in favour of one of the best courses on the schedule was the correct one as all had enjoyed a fine day out, doing what they like best, playing golf with many good friends.

Watts Has the Power at Pattavia

The final week of January started with a visit to Pattavia as the Pattaya Links Golf Society took another large field to the testing course for a stableford competition on a course which never fails to impress with its well maintained fairways and bunkers and challenging greens.

The field was divided into three flights with the cuts coming at 15 and 20 and the day stayed fine for the most part except for a spitefully sharp shower towards the end which wiped out a near pin prize and made "maché" of a few cards. Conditions were favourable for good scoring and in the third flight Mike Wilsher drifted off the pace towards the end, losing second place on countback to Helene Lindberg's 33 points on her final round this trip. The flight winner was Irishman Larry Slattery with 35 points.

In the top flight Chris Barker's solid 35 points was enough to edge Bob Watson out of third place, leaving Ray Banks second on 36 and Wayne Peppernell again made his presence felt with a well crafted 38 points taking the win. The second flight saw the best scores of the day with Tony Browne holding down third place with 36 points, a couple behind second placed Mashi Kaneta The flight winner with an excellent 42 points was Simon Watts whose golf was obviously quite electric!

Near pins went to Chris Barker, Mashi Kaneta and Masaaki Sugaya and consolation prizes went to Phil Davies for his excellent front nine total of 22 points and Maurice Roberts for his back nine haul of twenty points. Booby Shirkey had the pleasure of his debut wig win.

The presentation had a birthday special "feel" about it as belated greetings and a cake went to Helene Lindberg before her departure for sunny Sweden, ending another fine day with the PLGS.

Banks in Credit Again

The PLGS visited Crystal Bay on a warm bright day on the final day of the month and found the C and B nines in reasonable condition with fairways soft in places and greens which hardly passed muster. The front nine greens - C course - were slow and "woolly" whilst the back nine - B course - had them in much better condition and a full stimp point (or more) quicker. Just another problem for the large field to consider. Two flights were identified with the division at 18 and under.

Scores were not startling and in the second flight third place went to Big Mike McGuigan with a score of 33 points. Countback was needed to identify the flight winner and Stuart James took the win from Paul Chesney, both with 35 points. In the top flight countback again identified the third place winner, Wayne Peppernell, the unlucky golfers level with him being Masa Takano, John Kelly and Maurice Roberts. In second was Takeshi Hakozaki with 35 points and the only sub-par round of the day was recorded by Ray Banks in his penultimate round this trip, a meritorious 37 points. Near pins were won by Takeshi Hakozaki, Wayne Peppernell and Tony Browne (two) and the consolation prizes went to Richard Dobson (front nine 18 points and Colin Service (back nine 17 points). The field were unanimous in their wish to see the A course reopened soon and at least some consistency brought back to the greens.

February

Quality Scores and Service With a Smile

Pleasant Valley is a course which golfers either love or hate. A bit like Silky Oak really, especially in peoples' concept of a good golfing venue. The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited there to start February and numbers were down, probably for this reason but two dozen golfers made an excellent competition in two flights, cut at seventeen and under. The course was in good condition with well covered fairways and consistent greens with a little pace in them.

Scores were incredible with a quarter of the field breaking par. The course played short from the shorter than normal tees and the persistent wind seemed to help on almost every hole.

In the top flight German golfer Udo Emmerich took third place on countback with 38 points for his first podium place this trip. In second was Udo's compatriot Olli Orth with 39 points and the winner was Ray Banks, concluding his visit this day, with 41 points. Ray's golf seems to have rejuvenated him this year after a few visits recently with little success.

In the second flight Richard Dobson at last came good with 39 points but this was eclipsed by the top two. Tina Orth enjoyed a splendid "PB" with 44 points but saw "Murphy's Law" kick in when Colin Service returned a score of 46 points to take the day. Such scoring brought the number of PLGS "69-or-less" rounds this year to thirteen. Near pins went to Masa Takano, Tip Briney, Tina and Colin and the consolation places went to Pierre Cere his the best front nine of 22 points and Keith Melbourne for his best back nine of 22 points. What a day it had been with scores the like of which will not be seen for a while to come. Unless you all know different of cousre...

37 Points Everywhere at Lakeside

A fine, cooler Pattaya morning saw Links Golfers board 3 buses and a couple of cars to make the trip up the road to beautiful Royal Lakeside. Some say this trip is too long, but this day we arrived exactly one hour after departure from Links.
As we were still finding caddies and carts, the starter told our first group to go when ready. A little rushed perhaps, as we were on our way before all preparations were done.
Weather was quite breezy and cooler, very comfortable for a round of golf, although the wind did play havoc with the high shots at times.
This course is always, it seems, in wonderful condition and today it was just that. Fairways cut to enable good contact with the ball, rough that didn’t punish harshly, and greens that were hard and fast. The only complaint came from those who can normally make a ball hit the green and stop. This was very difficult to do. However, putting was true and with good speed.
As with it’s neighbour, Bangpakong, this course is known for high stableford points, with 40 plus from many players not unusual.
Today however, we could not manage a 40-point score between the lot of us. We did have 37 points from each of 4 players and in fact, 20 of the 29 starters had 30 points or better.
“A” flight (0-16) saw a three-way countback on 37 points. to decide placings.
Petur Petursen won out with a best back nine of the three, to relegate Andrew Purdie to second spot, and he in turn bettered Udo Emmerich, who was excited to have his first podium finish in Thailand.
“B” flight (17+) produced the fourth 37 pointer from John Chelo. What a turnaround! Last week John finished a round nearer to last than first. That’s golf! Larry Slattery is rarely out of form and his good 36 points got him second place, while John Evans needed to win the countback to take third.

Four Near Pins out and they were won by:
Andy Kelleher, John Evans, Udo Emmerich, Petur Petursen.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …Richard Dobson….21 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …. Brian Beaupre…….16 pts c/back

Winner …” A” flight……. Petur Petursen (5) …….37pts c/back
2nd Place…………............Andrew Purdie (9) ……37pts c/back
3rd Place………….............Udo Emmerich (10) ….37pts

Winner…” B” flight……. John Chelo (18) …………37 pts
2nd Place…………………Larry Slattery (20) ………36 pts
3rd Place…………………John Evans (16) ………….35 pts c/back

The drive back was smooth and in good time, until we reached Pattaya Klang at peak hour. Took almost as long as the first 100 km, just to get to third road.

Back early, we started presentations only to see the eventual winner of the Green Jacket not appear back at the Bar, so that went to the best “B” flight 37 pts, John Chelo. A father and son, both named Richard had to be separated to find who got to wear the “wig”. The elder Richard got it.

A note to Golf Clubs…Those who complain that golfers from Pattaya Golf Bars don’t spend money at your restaurants, you might try charging realistic prices for drinks. We would love to sit at your establishment, after a round, and enjoy a drink or two, but not at the current pricing.

Great 40 Points Wins for Pallesen

You’ve got to love the weather this time of year in Pattaya. Certainly, we experienced some unseasonal rain at times, but this day gave us that nice comfortable, breezy feeling ready to tackle the great Treasure Hill Golf Course. We took 34 people to the course, 32 players in the competition and 2 noncombatants.
All went well until, upon arriving at the muster area, we found that two very large groups (larger than had been booked, by the way) had virtually drained the stock of Caddies available. Phil went to make enquires and was told that we can drive our own carts and they would get some caddies to us as they finished the morning rounds.
With that our first group headed off 20 minutes after the scheduled start time and with one caddy for three players. This is well and truly high season, as the same stories are coming from other courses.
After completing four holes we started to notice caddies being delivered to the groups. They were bought over from Pattana course. Thank you to the TH management.
With so many players around the course, we expected slow going. Pleasantly surprised that it all rolled along quite well and we finished in 4.5 hrs.
Treasure Hill is not renowned for allowing big stableford scores, but Michael Pallesen, in a hit and run appearance, belied that to have the top score for the day of 40 points, to win “C” flight (h/cp 22+) Excellent.! Michael’s Danish compatriot and good buddy, Soren Hansen, was close up for second with 37 points and the evergreen, Len Jones, once again in the placings scored 32 pts on countback for third.
A regular in the placings, Larry Slattery took out the “B” flight (16-21) with a handicap equaling 36 points ahead of Colin Service, who is having a good run. Martin Patch was relegated to third spot on countback, both with 34 points after a one-shot penalty was applied to each.
Dave Nicholson, playing his second game with us won the “A” flight with a terrific 38 points. Not yet understanding the system, wanted to know why he didn’t get the Green jacket. Top scorer gets the Jacket, Dave.Maurice Roberts seems to be finding form and put together 36 points to get second ahead of Kevin La Bar on 34 points.

Four Near Pins and all were claimed:

Martin Patch (No.2), John Bell (6), Soren Hansen (13), John Evans (17)
 
Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Brian Nuttall……...17 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …… Harry Langkoff……19 pts

Winner …” A” flight……. Dave Nicholson (15) …….38 pts
2nd Place…………............Maurice Roberts (13) …….36 pts
3rd Place………….............Kevin La Bar (12) ……….34 pts

Winner…” B” flight……. Larry Slattery (20) ………….36 pts
2nd Place…………………Colin Service (19) ………….34 pts c/back
3rd Place…………………Martin Patch (17) …………...34 pts c/back

Winner…”C” flight……. Michael Pallesen (25) ……….40 pts
2nd Place…………………Soren Hansen (24) ………….37 pts
3rd Place…………………Len Jones (28) ………….........32 pts c/back

After a smooth trip back, results were done and presentations nice and early.
Michael was presented his first Green Jacket and Australian visitor, Craig Martin, received his first “wig”, much to the delight of his travelling companions.

A Long Good Friday!

Pattaya CC is the nearest course to town and as such is an easy scheduling option for Pattaya golf groups. Beware of high season Fridays though as the Pattaya Links Golf Society found on 9th February as a very full course made it a long day for the group's forty golfers. For the second successive round delays were inevitable and the field teed off forty minutes later than the booked time and pity the poor recorder, Mr Len as he received the final card in the clubhouse at 6:30pm and was faced with an arduous Friday evening drive back into town.

However the day is about golf and there were some fine performances despite the frustrations, on a course which was excellent for the first nine holes but was besmirched by the slow greens on the inward nine. The field was divided into three flights with the cuts coming at sixteen and twenty three. Al three divisions saw a tight competition. In the third flight Torben Lingaard performed to his usual standard collecting 36 points from a painstaking round, In second was the returning Irishman Derek Phillips and he showed he had lost none of his form of the previous year with 38 points ,losing on countback to Keith Melbourne who picked up his first flight win in many years of trying. Well done Keith!

In a competitive second flight Larry Slattery took third with 36 points whilst a countback was needed to separate John Chelo and Colin Service, the latter taking the flight with 37 points.

In the top flight Phil Davies again found himself in the mix with 37 points taking third place, one behind the runner up Ronnie Saxkjaer with 38. The winner, with the best score of the day was John Dean with 39 very solid points.

Near pins went to Colin Service (5), Derek Phillips (7), Mike McGuigan (12) and Hilary Stoker (16). Consolation prizes went to Maurice Roberts (best front nine of 20 points) and Pierre Cere (best back nine of 22 points).

A very long day ended with Mr Phil presenting the green jacket to John Dean and Jorgen Furst took his first fitting of the wig for the lowest score of the day. And so to bed...!

Jodehl & Lankoff Drive the Juggernaut

The Pattaya Links Golf juggernaut rolled on with a visit to Bangpakong Riverside on Monday, 12th February as forty seven golfers made to trip to the always excellent course. They struggled to see any bare or sanded divots on the well covered fairways and the only surprise were the greens which were a little "bristly" and running slower than normal. They were however very consistent.

It was the fourth time a field of almost fifty had turned out since the start of the year and the large group was again divided into three flights with the cuts coming at 14 and 22. Scores were generally as high as usual at the course and a strong breeze kept the golfers comfortable and inevitably frustrated more than a few.

The third flight saw Martin Hoblyn make an early impact on his recent return with a fine total of 36 points to take third place, a couple behind Rod Stevens and Derek Phillips on 38 points, the latter taking the win on countback.

The first flight was mainly quality again with Andy Kelleher's 37 points good enough for third place, losing on countback to Kevin LaBar's stronger back nine. The flight winner was Andrew Purdie and his 38 points represented the best gross of the day, 79.

The second flight caused gasps when it was announced that Harry Lankoff's 42 points was good enough only for second place as he was usurped by Thorsten Jodehl's amazing 43 points for the win, with Tony Browne taking third on 38.

Near pins were won by Dave Nicholson (7), Dave Neilson (4, 16) and Bart Bingham (13) and the consolation prizes went to Henry Mah for the best front nine (20) and Irish golfer Connie Walsh for his best back nine of 22 points.

Finally old friend Mark Stubbings from New Zealand called in and presented a lucky draw prize of a golf shirt and it was won by Paul Gill.

Next stop for the PLGS juggernaut is Crystal Bay but the brakes may need to be applied as Pattaya is running out of minibuses ... allegedly!

Roberts Grinds Out a Win

A very jaded Crystal Bay welcomed the Pattaya Links Golf Society on Wednesday, 14th February. Fairways were dry, yet soft and wet around sprinkler heads, and the greens are now very poor on the C nine, being slow and uneven in places. By contrast the B nine was in fine order and thus consistent golf was not an option. When asked when the renovated A nine would be available the starter responded with a shrug and the prophetic words "Mai Loo". Alas, disappointment for the large group which was divided into two flights with the cut at eighteen.

The second flight had Tony Browne beating Harry Langkoff on countback for third with 33 points. Countback was also used to separate the top two with Derek Phillips holding off the challenge of fellow Irishman Larry Slattery with 35 strong points.

On the question of countback at this course when C and B are the options it was based on the closing nine - B course - and therefore perhaps was a true reflection of the quality of the closing holes, rather than the hit and miss efforts on the C greens?

In the top flight Tommy Marshall held off the challenges of four golfers to take fourth place on countback with 34 points, with Masa Takano holding down third place with a fine 35 point card. Monday's winner Thorsten Jodehl was second with 36 points but such was the graft and quality of Maurice Roberts' golf that he was the only golfer to break par on the day and take the flight with 37 points.

Near pin winners were Harry Denman (C4), Tommy Marshall (C7) and Derek Phillips (B6). No golfer had the honour of making the green on the B4th green as 175 yards to a raised green and into a strong headwind was tough to make. Fringe placements do not count.

The consolation awards were received by Martin Patch (best front nine, 18 points) and Martin Hoblyn (best back nine, 18 points).

Crystal Bay you have my number. Please call when the A nine reopens and we'll then return. Sadly, not before.

Browne Bags Top Place at Bangpra

The PLGS ended its hectic week with a visit to Bangpra on Friday, 16th February and found the course in good condition for the large field which was divided into two flights at fourteen and under. It was a day when scoring would be tight, as usual at the course but this made for some very competitive golf.

In the top flight Bill Wilkinson took fourth place with 34 points on countback whilst third place was occupied by Mike Allidi, his best gross of 77 giving him 35 points, separated by countback from runner-up Dave Edwards. Maurice Roberts was two points clear at the top with 37 points.

In the second flight fourth place went to Martin Hoblyn with 33 points. The same score saw Niall Caven placed third on countback whilst a few points better was Rod Stevens with 36 points. The winner and green jacket recipient was Tony Browne, so often in the frame, with 38 hard won points.

Near pins were won by Tommy Marshall ( 2 and 8), Paul Gill (12) and Andrew Roberts (17) and the nine hole consolation prizes went to Andrew Purdie for his front nine 22 points and Chris Walsh for his back nine 18 points. Finally the dreaded wig was worn on his final round this trip by Paul Gill.

So ended the week with the PLGS with a mixture of good, bad and indifferent golf course conditions but the efforts of all the golfers could not be questioned.

Caven Contented at Khao Kheow

The week began for the Pattaya Links Golf Society with a trip to Khao Kheow to play a stableford competition on the C and A nines which were in good condition. Another large field saw three flights set with the cuts coming at 11 and 18, a measure of the quality of the golfers in the field.

The top flight saw scratch golfer Brendan McGovern record an equal day's best gross with his 74 giving him 34 points for third place. The top two places were subject to a countback with Masa Takano on 38 points just nosing out the second best gross of the day, Mike Allidi's 38 points.

In the second flight scores were more diverse with Irishman John Kelly taking third place with 34 points, and Stu Thompson making the frame in second for the first time in a long while with 35 points. The flight winner was the ever consistent Tony Browne with 38 points. The third flight was even more diverse with 31 points making third place and putting a smile on Harry Lankoff's face. In second was Larry Slattery with 32 points on his final round before some R & R in Vietnam. The flight winner was Niall Caven and he also was awarded the first green jacket for his best score on the day, 39 points. Another contented customer. The same could almost be said of Tommy Marshall who donned the wig for the first time after his card was adjudged the worthy winner.

Consolation prizes went to Rod Stevens (best front nine, 21 points) and Kevin From (best back nine, 18 points) Near pins went to Andrew Purdie (C3), Phil Davies (C8), Kevin From (A3) and Bart Bingham (A5).

The fun continues at the Links on golf days. Fancy being a part of it all? As signups are numerous these days please sign up before 6pm the evening before golf and your place is booked.

Knight Earns His Spurs at Burapha

The PLGS visited Burapha on 21st February to play a stableford competition on the C and D combination, disappointing those who had hoped that A and B would be the choice. Although in quite good condition the fairways are poorer than the prime combination, the rough is much more punitive and the greens are a little inconsistent, the back nine (D) being slower and more "grainy".

The large field was divided into three flights at 13 and 22 and all three saw some excellent golf and tight scoring. In the third flight John Mason's 32 points took third place on his return round and Richard Dobson took second with 33 points. The flight winner was the old campaigner Vic Barton for whom age and arthritis have been generous with his handicap. His 35 point return showed he had lost none of his skill in the five years he has been absent from the group. Welcome back Vic!

In the top flight Kevin Rogers took third with 34 points a couple behind runner-up Andy Kelleher with 36. The flight winner was Tommy Marshall and he set the record straight after his "wigging" on the previous outing with an impressive 38 points this time. In the second flight Harry Lankoff managed another solid round with 36 points giving him third place, losing on countback to Soren Hansen. The winner was visitor Rob Knight who set the best score of the day with 39 points and was thus awarded with his first green jacket. Near pins went to Wayne Peppernell (C8), Alan Walker (D2) and Len Jones (D8) with Mike Firkin and Andrew Roberts inseparable on C4. The losers' consolation went to Mike Jeffreys (best front nine, 22 points) and Masaaki Sugaya (best back nine, 20 points).

The golf had been good and it was a pity that the A/B stage wasn't available to show the golfers in their best light.

One Tough Day

There are times when even the golf gods have a bad day and contrive to be spiteful. Friday, 23rd February was one such day as the PLGS visited Mountain Shadow to play a stableford competition. Heavy drizzle dogged the journey and a delay at check-in lasted until ten minutes before the due tee-off time. Heavy skies and very high humidity saw the group tee off on time on a course where the fairways were soft and with very little run, Greens were slower than normal but got better as they dried out. Everyone in the two flights struggled to come to terms with the conditions and an overall average of 25 points tells the story of the day.

In the second flight the twenty plus handicappers tried manfully to make an impact but it was left only to three to break the magic thirty points mark. Bart Bingham was third with 30 points whilst Martin Hoblyn won the flight on countback from Rod Stevens, both recording 32 points.

The first flight was almost a mirror image with Tony Browne's 30 points edging Masa Takano into third on countback and a very chirpy John Kelly enjoying a win with 32 points. Near pins went to John Kelly (5), Masa Sugaya (8), Phil Mitchell (15) and Wayne Peppernell (17) and the consolation prizes were won by Andrew Purdie for his best front nine of nineteen points and Andrew Roberts' fifteen points on the in-run. Some candidates for the Booby Bevy missed the presentation, choosing instead to lock themselves in a darkened room with bottle of tonic wine as Keith Melbourne manfully accepted the dubious honour.

It had been a rare tough day at Mountain Shadow with the golf gods having an off day

Takano Tops at Pattavia

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Pattavia on Monday, 26th February to play a stableford competition in two flights with the division coming at a generous twenty. The course was in fine condition and the greens were quick, making putting a tough task, as often the case here.

There was more than a sniff of rain about and the final holes were subjected to a heavy storm which delayed progress for 45 minutes for the later groups.

Scores were on the low side and the top flight saw Soren Hansen take fourth place on countback with 33 points, a couple behind Niall Caven in third on 35 points. One point better was Andy Kelleher and a tight flight was topped by Masa Takano with an excellent 37 points, representing the day's best gross of 79 and the only golfer to break par.

The second flight had lower scores with fourth place going to Noel Junck on 28 points. In third was Alan Walker making a welcome return to the podium with 30 points. Runner-up was the consistent Martin Hoblyn this time posting 31 points leaving Scot Billy Hill as winner with 33 points. Twelve months ago Billy almost made the loser's wig his own property but how his game has changed. Hours of finely honing his swing on the practice grounds in Troon, studying all the golf manuals and coaching videos into the wee small hours, the many tweaks to his grip and swing... ah, if only! Just a little more confidence and concentration on each shot and "voila", success at last. Well done mate!

Near pins went to Masa Takano (4), Craig Harris (7), Andrew Roberts (13) and Richard Dobson (17) whilst the consolation prizes went to Thorsten Jodehl for the best front nine (20) and Wayne Peppernell for the best back nine (18). Billy's smile said it all when the wig was presented to Bart Bingham as the day's low marker.

Silky Success for Roberts & Barton

On Wednesday, 28th February the Pattaya Links Golf Society visited the golf folly at Silky Oak for a stableford competition. The course was in good order with grassed fairways, damp in parts and slow to medium greens The weather was very warm and humid.

Always a challenge with artificially raised greens and copious amounts of water the course has always been just one ill-judged decision away from becoming bizarre. Trust Green Valley to have made that decision already with the repositioning of the fifteenth tee box to drive to sloping fairway with water at 200 yards. It leaves no choice for the average golfer but to lay up leaving a second shot of maybe 200 yards to a green fully twenty feet above the ball, over water and steeply sloping grass and sand bunkers. Daunting stuff for the best golfers and a nightmare potentially for other mere golfers.

The field was divided into two flights with the cut coming at nineteen. In the second flight third place went to Jayson Schembri of Australia with 35 points and second went to Phil Mitchell on countback, also scoring 35 points. The flight winner was Vic Barton with 39 points. In the top flight third place was taken by Tony Browne with 37 points, the runner up being Canadian golfer Pierre Cere with 38 points. The flight winner and also green jacket recipient was Maurice Roberts with 40 points. Near pins went to Phil Mitchell (3), John Chelo (6), Alan Walker (8), Tony Browne (14) and scratch golfer Brendan McGovern on hole 16. The consolations for the best front and back nines went to Adam Barton (front, 19) and Greg Gawron (back, 21). Phil is back with the presentations and his beloved wig went to Noel Junck for his low score after a podium placing in his previous round with the group.

The post round conversation in the clubhouse surrounded the changes to the fifteenth and the consensus seemed to be that there are other courses, equally tough in the area, which do not extract the urine that that particular hole does and a break with the course is probably now in order.

March

Bren's the Guvnor

The Pattaya Links Golf Society ended its current golfing week with a trip to Mountain Shadow to play a stableford competition on the course which is looking a little jaded at the end of high season with dry, hard fairways giving run but some very tight lies. The weather was also very warm and humid in the run up to the traditionally steamy month of April.

The field of three dozen golfers found two flights today divided at fifteen and under and conditions made for low scoring yet again. In the second flight Larry Gibb found himself in third place with 29 points, losing out on countback to the veteran Barry Oats who took second. The flight winner was again Tony Browne whose consistency seems never in doubt. This time Tony recorded 32 points. The top flight saw slightly better scores with Dave Edwards returning 30 points for third, a couple behind the runner-up Jon Dean on 25. The winner was scratch golfer Brendan McGovern whose gross figures showed only two dropped shots to the track as he posted 34 points. It was a quality performance indeed from a more than competent golfer. Near pins went to Vic Wright (5), Masa Takano (8), John Dean (15) and Adam Barton (17) and Bobby Oliver still showed signs of his very recent flight with his wig winning performance for the lowest score of the day.

Thus ended a tough week with PLGS when more than a hundred rounds of competition golf witnessed only five sub-par rounds in total. Stick with it lads, chins up as the next week is always better!

Marshall Heads the Birthday Parade

Did someone mention "the ides of March"? Monday 3rd saw the Pattaya Links Golf Society embark on the annual good natured mayhem known as "Phil's Birthday Bash", which took place at Burapha on the C/D combination in hot and steamy conditions and on a course well-prepared for the purpose.

In common with previous years twenty groups took part in a stableford event with a hidden team challenge and eighteen technical prizes all up for grabs. The field was divided into three flights with the cuts at handicaps 14 and 21. For those who may be unaware the Burapha complex has two main options with the A/B combination being more customer friendly and perfect for social golf whilst the C/D combination is the preferred tournament option and presents a stricter challenge with some punitive rough, undulating fairways and its share of water.

This being the background for the day the golfers enjoyed trying to beat the course with their individual collection of skills but sub-par scores were a rarity. In the third flight third to fifth places were subjected to a countback leaving John Mason on 34 points the unlucky golfer with Derek Phillips, Sean Soden and Bart Bingham taking places five to three. The flight runner up was Bruce Walters, losing on countback as Alan Walker's 35 points took the victory.In a more straightforward second flight Irish warrior Larry Slattery took third place with 37 points, leaving runner-up Deryl Neufeld two shots behind the winner Pierre Cere with 39 points. In the top flight there was some definite quality on show as Masa Takano took third place with 35 points and Christian Boysen in second with 36 points. The best score of the day was that of the winner Tommy Marshall whose best gross figures of 77 gave him an unassailable 40 points for a fine win. The technicals winners are too many to mention individually here but the team prize went to the final group out Tommy Marshall, Adam Barton, Maurice Roberts and Mikk Lovensksold with a combines 129 points.

An excellent presentation birthday buffet followed at the Links with the entertainment running late into the evening. From an organiser's point maybe it needs mentioning that cards will only be accepted if completed under the Rules of Golf, with accurate recording, clear names accurate handicap index and two signatures. Also there should be no "nil returns" as under the USGA handicap rules scores from every round of golf must be submitted for assessment. That said the day was a wonderful experience for all those involved and we all wish Phil the very best for the next year in the run-up to his next Birthday Bash.

Hats Off to Larry

After a busy Monday the PLGS got back to normal with a trip to Bangpra to play a stableford competition on the course which has disappointed now for months with very "un-Bangpra" greens, slow and inconsistent. Conditions were very humid to add to the mix and the round was to be punctuated with a couple of rain stops. All very unsettling for most golfers.

The field was divided into two flights at handicap 18. In the top flight Chris Barker took third place with 32 points, one behind second placed golfer Masa Takano whose best gross of the day gave him 33 points. The flight winner was Masa's compatriot Takeshi Hakozaki who hit the top with 35 points.

The second flight was equally tight with third place going to Dave Moriarty on 34 points. This was very well received because Dave has manfully tried for a month or more to post a good score after the events of last summer which laid him low for a long time. Great to see you back at the top Dave! Countback was needed to separate the top two and the golfer with the best back nine was Larry Slattery who nudged Masa Sugaya into second place, both recording 36 points. It was an appropriate end to Masa's current stay and we all hope he comes back with form as good in a few months time.

Near pins were won by Phil Mitchell (2), Noel Junck (8), Chris Barker (12) and Andy Kelleher (17) and the dreaded hirsute appendage - the wig - went to Vic Wright for his low score of the day. It gave his mate Noel a deserved laugh as he had taken the booby on his first round a week or so ago.

It is to be hoped that Bangpra gets its act together soon and brings the greens up to the standard always associated with the club in the past. They always were the club "signature" and now they almost make the course anonymous.

Takano Wins in Another Tight Finish

Pattavia is a course in splendid condition but unfortunately the greens detract from an otherwise enjoyable day with their capacity for "run" and general quick pace. Some golfers will avoid the course because of this but the Pattaya Links Golf Society still took forty-five golfers to the course on Monday, 12th March, to play a stableford competition in three flights with the cuts at fourteen and twenty-one.

Although very humid the day stayed dry and a very tight competition ensued.

In the third flight Bart Bingham again found himself in the frame with a third placed finish on 32 points, one behind Mike McGuigan whose phenomenal back nine of 23 points made up the mediocrity of his front nine, giving him 33 points overall. The flight winner was John Mason with 35 points.

In the second flight Colin Service's 33 points took third place with Jim McGinnis and Soren Hansen both returning 36 points but the latter snatching the win on countback. In the top flight Huw Phiilips made third place with 33 points, Mark Effendie took second with 35 points and Masa Takano took the win with 36 points off his handicap of eight. Excellent golf on a testing course Masa!

Near pins were won by John Kelly (4), Dave Heyes (7) and Masa Takano (13), with the seventeenth disappearing somewhere mid round. Consolation prizes went to Derek Phillips and Mike Davies for their best nines, both recording eighteen points.

Altogether another successful day with the Links group.

Hansen Beats Hot Rod to the Line at Lakeside

Royal Lakeside had the pleasure of a visit by the Links Golf Society on Wednesday, 14th March as moire than three dozen golfers chose to test their skills in the exquisite course. As always the course was in excellent condition with well grassed fairways and greens which were a little deceptive in pace with a more than grainy element than had been seen for a while there.

The two flights were divided at twenty and under and play got underway on time on a nit too crowded course. In the second flight countback was needed to separate second from third place as Dave Moriarty's back nine took the day from newbie Mark Samuels, both finishing with 35 points. The flight winner was out of sight as Canadian Rod Stevens was in turbo-mode scoring 43 points to win by the legendary distance.

The top flight saw more top quality action as Larry Slattery continued his consistent golf with a third placed finish on 37 points. Larry was three behind Masa Takano who finished with a gross 76 giving him 40 points for second. The flight winner, on his final appearance this visit, was Danish golfer Soren Hansen whose 43 points also took the green jacket, nosing out "Hot" Rod on countback (22/21). Near pins were claimed by Masa Takano (3), Tom Wilson (6), Huw Phillips (12) and Bobby Whannel (15) whilst a lacklustre display for the rest of his round saw Bobby receive the wig for the lowest score of the day.

The course was well and truly beaten-up by three golfers on a fine golf day but it still holds some secrets in store for our next visit next month. Good courses don't give all their secrets up at the first challenge to their status. Next time may well be different.

Welcome Back Dave Moriarty!

On Friday, 16th March the Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Emerald for the first time this season and found the course in reasonable condition and at a splendid vfm price. Fairways were grassed but dry and greens were moderately quick and tricky to putt with the predominance of "grain", which we see at this time of year.

Three dozen golfers were divided into two flights at seventeen and under and an empty course gave the opportunity for good, concentrated golf.

In the top flight some focussed golf gave mark Reynolds 31 points for fourth, just losing out to third placed Andrew Purdie on countback. Second place saw another very solid round by Pierre Cere as he finished with 33 points leaving Chris Barker the winner on 35 excellent points.

In the second flight Tip Briney threw off some very mediocre rounds with a fine 32 points which gave him fourth place. However he was still some way off the front three as Phil "PJ" Mitchell took third place with 36 points, with Dave Bibby in second on his final round this trip with 37 points. The winner, with the best score of the day was American Dave Moriarty, who has battled with stoic determination during this trip to produce an excellent score of 38 points and take the coveted Green Jacket back at the Links later. Well done Dave, welcome back! Near pins went to Pierre Cere (5), Mark Effendie (7), Paul Chesney (13) and Warren Gallope (15). Consolation awards went to Chris Walsh (best front nine, 18 points) and Colin Service (best back nine, 19 points) and in the absence of Phil Mr Len rewarded the low score of the day with the Booby Bevy, the famed beer consolation. Kevin Timbrell certainly enjoyed a cooling end to his golf day.

Thus ended another fine week for the golfers at the Links Bar, with good scores on tough courses and in testing hot and humid conditions. Nobody said it would be easy, after all, least of all Dave Moriarty.

Banjo and Vic Tops at Treasure Hill

Thirty-Eight golfers were fed and watered at Links Bar before boarding buses and cars headed for the challenging but beautiful Treasure Hill Golf Course.
Even with the Toll stations, the recently upgraded roads now make this trip far less arduous and a good 10 minutes or so quicker.
In hot and humid conditions, the first of our 10 groups set off earlier than our scheduled time, and had a clear course ahead, enabling a round of under four hours, without rushing.
We are still amazed at why this course is not overflowing with players. Today we saw the course in magnificent condition, fairways with plenty of grass, greens in tip top order and had some good pace to them, the views spectacular, and thank you again for the fantastic price on offer. 1250 baht and for that you get G/fee, Caddy and Cart and a great golf course.
37 points on this course is a very good score, and today we had two of them.
The “B” flight (17 +) saw the veteran campaigner Victor Barton lead the way with his 37 points ahead of Bart Bingham on 36, having another placing. Billy Brown and John Mason had a tussle for third, with Billy winning out. Both recorded 35 points.
Banjo Bannister doesn’t visit us often, but usually makes an impression and his 37 points did impress in taking out “A” flight (0-17)
Four points behind came Pierre Cere who seems to be on the podium here, there, and everywhere currently, but he needed to win a countback to slip into second spot from Simon Niven, in his first game since returning to Pattaya.
Colin Smith filled fourth with 32 points.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Larry Gibb…….20 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. Paul Chesney….19 pts

Four Near Pins and all were claimed:
Pierre Cere (No.2), John Anderson (6), Phil Mitchell (13), Mark Effendie (17)

Winner …” A” flight…….” Banjo” Bannister (14) …….37 pts
2nd Place…………............Pierre Cere (14) …………....33 pts c/back
3rd Place…………............Simon Niven (11) ………....33 pts
4th Place…………………. Colin Smith (14) ………….32 pts

Winner…” B” flight……. Vic Barton (29) …………….37 pts
2nd Place…………………Bart Bingham (26) ………….36 pts
3rd Place…………………. Billy Brown (18) …………...35 pts c/back
4th Place…………………. John Mason (25) ……………35 pts

After a smooth trip back, results were done and presentations made nice and early.
Phil walked around holding the Green Jacket, but neither Banjo or Vic were present, a very unusual occurrence.
As a bonus for the winner, David Heyes kindly donated a bottle of fine Scotch tipple, and, with two 37 points, we had to do a countback, with Banjo the lucky recipient.
But, wait, Dave did not forget the wearer of the “wig” and threw in a golf training aid for Don Pavlovic.
And finally, a couple of months late, Phil presented Colin Smith a new Khao Kheow golf bag as winner of the Golfer of the Month for January.
An excellent day out at an excellent course.

Bart's Blow for the Common Man

Khao Kheow ranks as one of the best golfing challenges in the kingdom with its thoughtful Pete Dye design, intrusion of water hazards, placement of bunkers and rolling greens. The Links Golf Society accepted the challenge on Wednesday, 21st March as three dozen keen souls joined in the fray. The air was heavily humid as the group teed off on the "A" nine and sure enough the round was punctuated by a heavy thunderstorm about halfway through which sent golfers diving for cover. However on resumption the "B" nine fairways drained quickly and the only effect on the greens was a marginal slowing of the pace.

The field was divided into two flights at sixteen and under and scores were better than many could have predicted. In the top flight fourth place went to Canadian Pierre Cere with a solid 37 points. He was only one behind the third placed golfer, Huw Phillips, who in turn followed runner-up Aussie John Edwards who recorded 39 points on his returning opener. The flight winner was Simon Niven with a splendid 40 points. Storm? What storm?

In the second flight scores were a little less competitive with fourth place going to Willie Brown whose 35 points was usurped by the better back nine of third placed Billy Hill. Billy of "wig" fame has never been near the honour this trip. Such has been the improvement in his game. In second place was the consistent Irishman Larry Slattery, again in the frame with 36 points. The winner showed what a high handicapper can achieve on a course such as Khao Kheow. Concentrating on contacting the ball sweetly Bart Bingham struck a blow for many high handicappers by taking the green jacket for the first time after an eye-opening 41 points. There's a chance for many of us at Khao Kheow after all.

Near pin prizes went to Willie Browne (A3), Simon Niven (A5), Kevin LaBar (B3) and Ian Pickles on the Island green and the consolation prizes went to best front nine winner Dave Moriarty (20 points) and Mike McGuigan, best back nine (19 points).

Khao Kheow had been the perfect host again.

Five Star B & B at Greenwood

The Pattaya Links Golf Society travelled to Greenwood on Friday, 23rd March to play a stableford competition on the A and C nines. The course was in excellent condition with grassed fairways giving run and the truest greens anywhere in the province. The weather was excellent with a cool breeze throughout and all forty three golfers enjoyed the trip immensely, The field was divided into two flights at sixteen and under.

In the top flight fourth place was occupied by Tommy Marshall, his 33 points finishing three behind third placed golfer Kevin LaBar. Welshman Colin Smith took second place with 37 points which included a near pin on C6. The flight winner was American golfer Chris Barker whose 23 points on the front nine set the standard for the rest of his round, finishing as he did with 42 points.

In the second flight Len Jones finished in fourth place with 35 points, having been edged out of third by Rod Steven's better back nine. In second place was John Mason with another creditable round of 36 points. Bart Bingham produced the round of his life just 48 hours before and one can imagine the elation he felt sinking his final putt for 42 points, recording eighty three points on his latest 36 holes. It really was an amazing round and one which will see his handicap suffer a large cut to test his resolve in rounds next week.

Near pins went to Dave Heyes (A2), on his final round this trip, Chris Barker (A6) and Colin Smith (C6), Unsurprisingly C3 into the wind at 200 yards saw the green unscathed. Consolation prizes went to Derek Phillips for his best front nine (19) and Mike McGuigan with the nest back nine of 19 points on his final round this trip. Other old friends leaving after today were Dave Moriarty and Kevin Timbrell and the PLGS wish them the best of health and golf until their return next time.

Golf had been good at Greenwood but for messrs Bingham and Barker life could not be better as they turned up with five-star rounds in their bags. Well done lads!

Jones Joins Green Jacket Club

The final week of high season began with a trip to Pleasant Valley with the Pattaya Links Golf Society taking thirty golfers for a field divided into two flights at sixteen and u8nder. The course was in reasonable condition with generally well grassed fairways which were soft and damp in places and greens whioch were moderately paced but showed signs of recent sanding, leaving them patchy. Conditions were humid with overcast skies that threatened a storm but thankfully it never arrived.

Playing from the blue tees the top flight saw Colin Smith take third place with 34 points whilst Irish golfer John Kelly had to settle for second with 36 points. The flight winner was Chris Barker, continuing the form he displayed last week, finishing with 38 points.

The second flight saw last week's hero Bart Bingham take third place with 35 points, only one behind runner-up Richard Dobson on 36 points. The flight winner was Len Jones and his 39 points rewarded him with his first Green Jacket at the Links. Twice previously he has been denied by countback but this time his power off the tee and from the fairways more than merited his fine result. Near pins went to Jamie Booterburgh (5), Gerner Lykke (8), Bill Copeland (13) and Richard Dobson (17) whilst consolation awards went to Rod Stevens (best front nine, 19 points) and Tony Browne (best back nine, 20 points). The coveted wig went to Big Phil Mitchell after blanking eight successive holes and left Mr Phil with no option but to reward the record breaker with the hirsute appendage. Tony Browne very generously added to the winner's and loser's pot with suitable prizes to mark his final round this trip. Also making their final appearances for now were Dave Moriarty, Mike Davies and Larry Slattery and the Links wishes them all the best for the summer before we welcome them back later in the year.

It had been an enjoyable day for most of the Links golfers at Pleasant Valley and for Mr Len a long held ambition had been achieved. Well done mate!

Another Bingham Blitz

On Wednesday, 28th March two dozen golfers from the Pattaya Links Golf Society visited quirky Silky Oak to play a stableford competition in a single flight. Fairways at the course are always well grassed but greens have always been a problem with their slower speeds and, at the moment, they are very patchy. Perhaps it's as well we are at the end of high season and we can give the course superintendent all the time he needs to resolve the problems.

The contrived new layout of hole fifteen clearly confused golfers and indeed a few chose not to play because of the lack of choice from the tee. However, always resolute in their efforts the Links Lads made a good fist of things. In fifth place, losing on countback, was Pat Lavin with 36 points, pipped as he was by John Chelo on the same score. In third place was the redoubtable Welshman, Colin Smith with an excellent 37 points, one behind runner-up Nils-Peter Kristensen with 38 points. The winner with an astounding 45 points was Bart Bingham. All the hours of practice are finally paying off for the American golfer.

Near pins went to Phil Mitchell (3), Gerner Lykke (6), Nils-Peter Kristensen (8), Bart Bingham (14) and Tip Briney (16) and the consolation awards went to Paul Chesney (best front nine, 21 points) and Phil Davies (best back nine, 20 points). The loser's wig was proudly worn by Bill Copeland, his maiden win and the group finished the day with a couple of cooling beers and plenty of the usual "craic". We say goodbye temporarily to John Kelly, Chris Barker, Pierre Cere and Richard Dobson as their golf breaks come to an end and the group wishes them God Speed" for a hasty return after a successful summer of golf in more temperate climes.

Celebration Beer on Good Friday

The Pattaya Links Golf Society ended its most successful high season ever with a visit to Eastern Star on Friday, 30th March, with twenty-nine golfers set on enjoying a day's golf on one of the most challenging courses in the area. Eastern Star did not disappoint as a hot and humid day was spent grappling with hard fairways and quick greens in a strong breeze which brought the ubiquitous OB and water into play.

The field was divided into two flights at sixteen and under and scores were moderate only, in line with the averages over the last decade or so. In the second flight Troon's Billy Hill again enjoyed a good round finishing in third place with 31 points. Second place went to Martin Patch with 34 points whilst competition debutant Mike Tottenham won his spurs with a fine round of 35 points.

The top flight contained some quality golfers and Jon Batty, playing off six set the best gross standard for the day with his score of 34 points giving him third place. The runner-up was Maurice Roberts with a splendid 35 points. The best points score of the day was recorded by Marco Beer, on his return and he fired 36 points to take the green jacket. Near pins went to Russell Exley, Colin Smith, John Chelo and Mike Tottenham whilst the consolation winners were Jon Dean (best front nine, 17 points) and again Derek Phillips (best back nine, 19 points). The final award of the day was the wig which went to Tip Briney who later admitted to have been "beaten up" by the course today. Eastern Star does that...quite often.

April

Quality All Round at Pattavia

Low season at the Links Golf Society began with a trip to Pattavia to play a stableford competition from the white tees on a course which was in excellent condition with greens more customer friendly than they have been on previous visits. Everything was perfect and the field, a third of which was playing off single figures, was divided into two flights at fifteen and under.

In the second flight Paul Chesney found some good form again to take third place with 35 points, one behind Paul Wallace's 36 point runner-up finish. The winner was Aussie golfer Stu Thompson and his round of 38 points marked his best score for a long while with the group.

The top flight was all about quality and scratch golfer Brendan McGovern's gross 69 was the pick of the day. It gave him 38 points which took second place, ahead of Links "newbie" Ken Aihara's 36. First place went to Kevin LaBar. The Southern Californian golfer fired a fine 39 points to win the flight and his maiden green jacket.

Near pins went to Colin Smith (4), Phil Davies (7), Ken Aihara (13) and Pete Seil (17). The consolation prizes went to Huw Phillips for his best front nine of 20 points and Rod Stevens' 19 on the back. It wads a fitting way for the Canadian golfer to draw the curtains on his Links golf this trip, having played a series of rounds which rivalled his best over here.

Finally Mr Phil found a suitable candidate for the wig and there was no hiding place for Martin Patch as the boss patrolled the bar, wig in hand, looking for the golfer who had managed the poorest round of the day.

Devastating Davies Sets Season High

As the seasonal temperatures continue to rise the Pattaya Links Golf Society continue to find quality courses to play and settled for Burapha on Wednesday, 4th April. The A and B nines were in excellent condition and two dozen golfers took to the tee in two divisions with the cut coming at fifteen and under.

Fine conditions and good golfers led to high scores in both flights. In the seco0nd flight Colin Service took third place after countback with Brendan Gilsenan, both 0n 34 points. In second place was Welshman Will Brown whose 36 points rewarded a round of very solid golf. The flight winner was Nigel Harrison and thirty eight points notched another sub-par round for the record.

In the top flight two huge scores stood out as first Tommy Marshall returned with forty points, seemingly set for the win but he knew the truth. He had been playing with Phil Davies who had played the round of his life after some indifferent performances. His forty-six points matched the best PLGS round of the year so far for an emphatic win. The secret? Some mediocre rounds recently had increased his handicap and he was fired up by the embarrassment of it all. His words not mine!

Near pins went to Tip Briney (A3), Jon Batty (A6), Michael Wright (B3) and Paul Smith (B8) whilst the consolations went to Russell Exley (best front nine, 22 points) and Colin Service (best back nine, 19 points). Finally the wig went to Tony Lang after a lacklustre round on his return to the group.

History only remembers the good scores and Phil's phenomenal 46 will be remembered for a long while yet.

Irish Cheer at Pattaya CC

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Pattaya CC on Chakri Day to play a stableford round on the course which was in fair condition but for some hard fairways and a few inconsistent greens on the back nine. Scores for the single flight were extremely good and an average total of 33 points indicated the quality of the field. Indeed, for the third successive competition the average has been maintained at 33 points. This Links group is certainly well equipped in the skills department!

Four places were up for grabs and Steve Truelove edged Huw Phillips out of third place after countback relegated Huw to fourth with 37 points. Irish golfer Brendan McGovern plays off plus two and his skillful play gave him the best gross of the day (72) and second place with 38 points. His compatriot playing partner Fonzie McGahan took advantage of his seven handicap to take the win with 40 points.

At the nether end of the results table Ian Mullard found himself in line for the dreaded wig and accepted the booby prize with a warm smile.

Indeed it had been a day of smiles at Pattaya CC with the Links golf group.

Bren Guns Down the Field at Lakeside

Golf at Royal Lakeside can be a wonderful experience with the finely manicured course on the banks of the Bangpakong River attracting constant cooling breezes. The quality of course maintenance is unrivalled and a field of two dozen golfers from the Links Golf Society visited there on Monday, 9th April to play a stableford competition. The field was divided into two flights at eighteen and under.

Scores are generally good here and this day it was no exception with five golfers attaining forty points or more and the whole field averaging 34 points. In the top flight third place went to Steve Truelove with 37 points, helped in part by two-putting seventeen holes, a single putt sufficing on the other. Runner-up was a rejuvenated Phil Davies with another fine round, this time recording 41 points. The flight winner was Martin Patch with 42 points and his golf, though not spectacular, was a steady mix of length, accuracy and some shrewd course management.

In the second flight Tip Briney emerged from the shadows of his previous few rounds to record 40 points for third place. In second was Paul Chesney experiencing his first round at the course and he recorded a debut 42 points in style. The flight winner and the green jacket recipient was Brendan Gilsenan who put together a sumptuous round of 44 points, again on his first visit to the course.

Near-pins went to Andy Lawlor (3), John Mason (6), John Chelo (12) and Tip Briney (15) and the consolation prizes went to Wayne Morrison for his best front nine of 21 points and Stan Stewart for his best back nine of 20 points.

Very little in golf is guaranteed but a day at Royal Lakeside comes pretty close to perfection.

Bryan Opens the Dore

The coming Songkran Celebrations and the start of Low Season saw Pattaya Links Golf Society take out the smallest field for a long while. However, the seventeen players had an excellent day out on a Greenwood course that is always in tip top condition with well grassed fairways and greens that are still some of the best around.
We were not there on the cheapest priced day of the week, but at 1650 bht all in, was quite respectable.
We know Greenwood management would control the weather conditions if they could, but not quite yet, so we subsequently had a very hot day, with almost no sign of a breeze to ease conditions. Nevertheless, with no hold ups, we completed our 18 holes unhurried in under 4 hours.
Only the one flight today and this was won by Irishman, Bryan Dore, with a great score of 38 points, even more meritorious when you see that he played off a #3 handicap. Great effort! One point behind was the much-improved Bill Copeland, another “wig” wearer determined to not do that again. Then came Maurice Roberts with a credible 35 points, just in front of his team mate, Phil.
Just seventeen players, but 4 near pins were out and all were won.

Somebody forgot to write the hole numbers on them, but the winners were...
Paul Smith (twice), Bill Copeland and Bryan Dore.

Then came the awards best nines.

Best Front Nine (C) (non-winners) …. Phil Davies……….17 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (A) (non-winners……Wayne Morrison….18 pts

Winner …….... Bryan Dore (3) …………....38 pts
2nd Place…........Bill Copeland (13) ………....37 pts
3rd Place………Maurice Roberts (13) ………35 pts

Bryan donned the Green Jacket for the first time and it proved to be a good fit.
Pat Lavin knew his score wasn’t so good but was surprised that the “wig” was finding its way to him. We think Phil may have had another motive.

Maurice Handles Slowest Greens

The way things change so quickly leaves one’s mouth agape. Three weeks ago, Links Golf was taking up to 40 players out to a course for a golf day. On this day we had just 15 starters. To be sure, all other Societies in and around Pattaya are experiencing the same drop in numbers, in part due to the Songkran exodus.

Another amazing thing is the much written and spoken about greens at Pattavia. Not so long ago, a writer for another group suggested they may cancel a booking, as the greens were so slick as to be almost unplayable. Today the exact opposite was the case. I thought that I was the only one not able to get the ball uphill to the hole. But in conversations later, realized I was not alone with that problem.

One "plus" was that if a downhill putt missed the hole, you were not punished as previously. Perhaps the clue to slow greens lies with a sign at check-in, offering reduced green fees for the duration of the course maintenance. It has to be done sometime.

Tip Briney suggested he might stay in the air-conditioned bus because of the very hot weather we are getting of late. During the first half of the round, that sounded like a good idea. However, a nice little breeze did eventually find us.

In-form Maurice Roberts admitted to the problems of the slower greens, but managed to find a way to beat them, and therefore taking out first placing with a hard earned 39 points. Stuart Thompson is on a roll lately and did very well to score 36 points, and with a superior back nine, won a countback from a rare, but always welcome visitor in Gerd Riedler, both with 36 points

A small number of players, but we still had 4 near pins out.

Winners were, Maurice Roberts, Stuart Thompson, Bill Copeland and Peter Wilson.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …...Tip Briney……….19 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……Steve Truelove…...20 pts

 Winner ………Maurice Roberts (13) …………39 pts
2nd Place………Stuart Thompson (18) ……….36 pts c/back
3rd Place………. Gerd Riedler (10) …………….36 pts

Perhaps he was afraid that the Green Jacket might receive a drenching, so Phil left it and the “wig’ in the cupboard, much to the relief of the player with the worst score of the day.
To those staying in town, stay dry. Ha-ha, as if that is possible.

Huw Back in Green

It seems a long time between drinks for Huw Phillips, but today at Bangpra he bounced back to the winner’s circle and the coveted Green jacket.

But it wasn’t that easy, as Tony Leng scored the same number of points to run Huw to a countback. Excellent 37 points from both.

The Bangpra course is never easy and now, with the fairways starting to dry out and the greens, formally known as the fastest around, are still on a go slow, but playable once you worked out the pace. Having said that, there were various opinions about that.

The weather was hot and humid as has been the case for some time now. Just a little wisp of breeze would help.

However, most of the fourteen starters enjoyed their day as all but 5 had a score in the thirties. Not bad for Bangpra and under the hot conditions.

He didn’t make the podium, but it is worth mentioning Bryan Dore, with 35 points off handicap #3 has once again almost parred the course. He was the last to leave the bar as he was already practicing on the newly installed simulator. That’s how you get to be #3 handicap.

We’ve sung the praises of Huw and Tony, but very close behind them were another two players going to the countback. Bill Copeland and Paul Chesney both scored a handicap equalling 36 points each, with Bill just pipping Paul for third spot.

For those not in the final four there are the prizes for best Nines.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……. Peter Wilson………...18 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. Mike Tottenham…….19 pts

Winner ……...........Huw Phillips (15) ………....37pts c/back
2nd Place…………..Tony Leng (24)……….......37pts
3rd Place…………...Bill Copeland (14)……......36 pts c/back
4th Place…………...Paul Chesney (22)………...36 pts

A good run saw everyone back at Links Bar nice and early, the complimentary meals were delivered, and Phil did the presentations without delay.
Maybe he just wanted to get it over with, because he already knew that it was he who would have to wear the “wig” for the lowest score of the day. Last week the Green Jacket, this week the “wig’.

 Vallance Beats the Water and Khao Kheow

With Songkran water splashing all around, nine hardy golfers turned out for the trip to the beautiful Khao Kheow golf course. Pattaya has been experiencing very hot and wearing conditions of late, and today was more of the same. However, this course was once again presented in wonderful condition.

Shooting a good score here can be difficult, but today, on his return, Gordon Vallance flew out of the blocks to pile on a great 41 points. This set him head and shoulders above the minor place getters. On another day golfers would be looking for a Green jacket if they scored 36 points, but not today. Phil Davies pinched second place on countback from the unlucky Paul Chesney. Jon Batty also had 36 points but just missed a spot on the podium.

No near pins, but we did have Best Nines.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Tip Briney…...22 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …. Jon Batty……19 pts

Winner ……..........Gordon Vallance (21) ……….41 pts
2nd Place….............Phil Davies (13) …………….36 pts c/back
3rd Place…………. Paul Chesney (22) ………….36 pts.

Can this be a new record? The “wig” is presented to the player with the lowest score for the day. Tip Briney had the best front nine with 22 points, but then a gigantic form crash saw him manage just 9 points for the second nine for a total of 31 points. We will check the records but think 31 points is the highest score ever to win the “wig”.

All back safe albeit a little damp to see Gordon trying on the Green Jacket.

John Coetzee Blitz’s Pleasant Valley

Songkran finished, everyone dried out, and some tired out, and golf was on again. Thirteen golfers saddled up for a trip to Pleasant Valley to see what awaits us at this course that can be very good or a little shabby. Unfortunately, the majority opinion was that it is the latter, and the price of 1850 baht all in is too high for a course that needs some TLC. Fairways were quite ok, but the greens varied in pace from hole to hole, so maybe that can be fixed soon.
Weather was, of course, hot. However, a short, welcome shower of rain cooled things for a while.  But a couple of players found conditions just fine.
Within hours of setting foot on Thailand soil, John Coetzee blitzed the field with a magnificent round of 43 points. Obviously, no jet lag from Perth (Australia). Tip Briney has had an interesting week. On Wednesday he set a new record for the highest score to win the “wig” with 31 points. He scored only 9 points on the back nine.
Today he has taken second place with a terrific 37 points. No crashing this time.
Peter Henshaw returned to us after an absence and recorded 36 points for third spot and Phil Davies was thereabouts again filling fourth place with 35 points.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Mike Tottenham ….21 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …. Dom Downy……….19pts

Winner …….... John Coetzee (23) ………...43pts
2nd Place…....... Tip Briney (22) …………...37pts
3rd Place…….... Peter Henshaw (30) ……...36 pts
4th Place………. Phil Davies (13) ………….35 pts

In case you don’t recognize the wearer of the “wig”, yes, it’s Bill Copeland.
Last week the Green Jacket, this week the “wig’. Seems to be a trend here.

Chesney's Revenge at Last

With Songkran over the return of those golfers lucky enough to be elsewhere during Pattaya's annual deluge saw a more seasonal size Links field visit Mountain Shadow on Monday, 23rd April to play a stableford competition on the course which appeared a bit jaded after a hot and dry spell. Fairways were hard and allowed some run but the greens were a little inconsistent making good scores difficult to come by.

The moderate sized field allowed only one flight and saw a meagre five golfers return scores of thirty or more, with Barry Oats's 32 points taking third place, with the Aussie senior losing the runner-up slot to Derek Phillips on countback. The winner was Paul Chesney for whom the course has mixed memories, being his first LoS golf experience some six months ago and some genuine efforts since attempting to put that first round behind him. This day he took revenge with an excellent 35 points for the win and the honour of wearing the green jacket.

Consolation prizes went to Phil "PJ" Mitchell for the best front nine (17 points) on his final round this trip and Tip Briney for his best back nine of 17 points. Martin Patch who had won the Links Songkran Shootout in Khon Kaen returned to a more lowly honour and took his first wig for a "hangover type" performance in his final round this trip also.

It was good to be back home for the Songkran adventurers even though Mountain Shadow's welcome was somewhat more frosty than expected.

Davies Dominates Green Valley

Pattaya Links golfers warmly looked forward to a visit to Green Valley on Wednesday, 25th April and found on arrival that the greens had been cored and sanded a week before their arrival. Putting was to be a bit of a lottery therefore on the course which otherwise was in excellent condition. With the removal of quite a number of trees around the course the track now has a more open and airy feel and the latest routing is almost the same as the original design.

The single flight started on time and made good progress and all around the skies were heavy but the rain gods stayed away, making a delivery to courses north of Green Valley instead, notably Burapha.

Scores showed Brian Talbot in fourth place with 37 points, one point behind Tip Briney and Derek Philiips on 38 but separated by Derek's better back nine. The winner was Phil Davies whose game is either right on or stuttering. This day was his though as another forty point return saw him don his own green jacket back in the links. Consolation prizes went to Nigel Harrison for his best front nine of 19 points and Bill Copeland for his best back nine of 17 points. The wig went to Dave Arataki on his final round this trip and the English golfer who had performed so creditably during the Links' Songkran tour found another type of reward waiting on his return. A number of old friends are leaving for home this week and the Links wishes them all a good summer and God speed till we meet again later in the year.

Phoenix. Phillips. Forty-Seven.

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited nearby Phoenix on Friday, 27th April to play a stableford competition on the Lakes and Ocean nines in one flight. Group numbers are holding up well despite to departure of many friends and supporters for their own national summers whilst we in Pattaya suffer highs and lows of both temperature and deluge levels!

Phoenix was in quite good condition and presented a good opportunity for golfers to produce some more than respectable scores. An all Irish leaderboard saw third place occupied by Dom Downey, his 36 points coming from the best (shared) gross of the day, 83 shots. In second was Peter Henshaw, recording one point better on 37. The winner with a staggering 47 points was Derek Phillips whose sumptuous round was by far his best ever and came on a day when everything fell into place. He claims the course was made for his game and few can argue with that. Certainly his golfing renaissance, which began in Khon Kaen at Songkran, has set him new targets for the rest of his stay.

Consolation prizes went to Brian Talbot for his best front nine of 18 points and Lee Rodman for his best back nine of 21 points, and Colin Service was the popular winner of the wig, nudging veteran Alan Walker out of the frame on countback.

The storm which broke over the heads of the final group on the last hole was due to set in for a day or more by which time the day's golf may well be forgotten by some but certainly not by Derek Phillips. Well done mate!

Marshall in Control at Eastern Star

The final April fixture for the Pattaya Links Golf Society saw the group leave Soi Buakhao on Monday, 30th in cool, grey and damp conditions to play a stableford competition on the course which had resisted the weekend storms well. Fairways were a little damp and soft but were completely playable, bunkers were well raked and the greens were fair but a little inconsistent. Overhead a heavy curtain of rain clouds threatened but in the event it came to nothing.

With only a modicum of run and the humid conditions the course played long off the white tees and scores were average. Terry Dreier beat Brian Talbot for fourth place on countback, 31 points securing the places. In third was local resident Dave Stockman with 32 points, just one behind Stu Thompson's fine round of 33 points. The winner was Tommy Marshall and he lived up to his name with a well ordered and controlled round of 36 points.

Near pins went to Derek Phillips (3), Tommy Marshall (6), Dave Stockman (17) whilst hole 13 surprisingly preserved its integrity. Consolations awards went to Brian Talbot for his best front nine (17 points) and Len Jones (best back nine of 16 points, after countback).

Eastern Star, as always proved to be a real test for the group but an empty course at a rate which was superb vfm more than made up for things.

May

Marshall in Control at Eastern Star

The final April fixture for the Pattaya Links Golf Society saw the group leave Soi Buakhao on Monday, 30th in cool, grey and damp conditions to play a stableford competition on the course which had resisted the weekend storms well. Fairways were a little damp and soft but were completely playable, bunkers were well raked and the greens were fair but a little inconsistent. Overhead a heavy curtain of rain clouds threatened but in the event it came to nothing.

With only a modicum of run and the humid conditions the course played long off the white tees and scores were average. Terry Dreier beat Brian Talbot for fourth place on countback, 31 points securing the places. In third was local resident Dave Stockman with 32 points, just one behind Stu Thompson's fine round of 33 points. The winner was Tommy Marshall and he lived up to his name with a well ordered and controlled round of 36 points.

Near pins went to Derek Phillips (3), Tommy Marshall (6), Dave Stockman (17) whilst hole 13 surprisingly preserved its integrity. Consolations awards went to Brian Talbot for his best front nine (17 points) and Len Jones (best back nine of 16 points, after countback).

Eastern Star, as always proved to be a real test for the group but an empty course at a rate which was superb vfm more than made up for things.

Peter Bailey asks “What Storm?”

Many excited golfers gathered at Links Bar early to ready themselves for a long awaited trip to the beautiful Pattana Golf Course. The green fee price at this course during the High Season was quite prohibitive, but now with Low Season kicking in, it was at last time to get back there.

This course is always presented in immaculate condition and today it lived up to that high standard and, as a bonus, the weather was looking fine. But oh! How things can change. We played B and C courses in that order. Fairways are cut to near perfection, rough still gets hold of the club at times, and the greens are in very good order.
Twenty six starters (but only 24 finished) as a wild electrical thunderstorm rolled in, prompting management to sound the warning siren to clear the course, much to the relief of some petrified caddies.
Everyone under shelter, and since we were rained off from Treasure Hill two days earlier, we were determined to wait this one out. Forty five minutes passed and just as we moved towards our carts, the all clear siren sounded
We had enough players to pay two flights, and this time it was the “A” flight players with the better scores.
Peter Bailey has been building up to it this trip and today beat a strong field to score an impressive 41 points from his 15 handicap, ignoring the fact that for the second half of his round the course was little soggy. Right in behind Peter was Nakano with 39 points, which, on another day might have been a winning score, and Lee Rodman found that elusive form to take third spot with 37 points.
Peter Henshaw, when he visits us, is more often than not finding a place on the podium. Today it was top of the “B” flight with an excellent 37 points. Dave LeHane has just returned and snuck into “B” flight so, with 33 points took second on countback ahead of newcomer Ken Ishikawa.

Near pins were available for each par 3 and all were won.
Nakano ( B3), Tommy Marshall (B7), John Coetzee (C2), Paul Smith (C7).

So, with two flights and four near pins, we looked towards the best scores on the front and back nines, for anyone who had not yet won anything.

Best Front Nine....Dave Edwards.........19 pts c/back
Best Back Nine....Derek Phillips..........17 pts on c/back

Winner..”A” Flight …….Peter Bailey (15)………....41 pts
      2nd Place………….... Nakano (15)……………...39pts
      3rd Place…………......Lee Rodman (11)………...37pts

Winner “B” Flight………Peter Henshaw (30)……….37 pts
       2nd Place………........Dave LeHane (18)………...33pts c/back
       3rd Place……….........Ken Ishikawa (16)…………33 pts

That weird thing that happens with tropical weather. On arrival back to Pattaya we saw only dry roads, not even the tell tale puddles. Reports of no rain all day.
Time for the presentations. First job was to find the culprit who picked up and carried back the wrong bag of clothes from the locker room. Derek was anxious to get his wet clothes back. A red faced John Heaney finally admitted it was he with the wrong bag..
I’m sure it wasn’t planned, but just as Peter Bailey was about to be photographed in the Green Jacket, his Lady happened to arrive, and with phone camera in hand captured the moment. Who better to wear the “wig” than John, the bag snatcher himself…

Tottenham Tops the Table

There was no lull in the heavily overcast conditions on Monday, 7th May as the Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Eastern Star to play a stableford competition off the white tees. From the start the course, which was in good order throughout, was surrounded by sombre black clouds and thunder echoed all around. Amazingly no rain fell however and someone else, north of Ban Chang, received what the group had received on the previous two rounds.

Excessive humidity made the day an uncomfortable one but a tight competition nevertheless ensued. In fourth place was Mike Firkin with 32 points, a couple behind Pete Seil in third with 34 points. The runner-up was Joe Nagle with 35 points, leaving Mike Tottenham the winner with 37 points, the day's only sub par round.

Near pins went to Pete Seil (3), Bill Copeland (6) and Joe Nagle (17) whilst the thirteenth kept its secrets to itself as no golfer managed to find the "short stuff" on this day.

Consolation awards went to Tip Briney for his best front nine of 18 points and Derek Phillips for the pick of the back nines with 20 points. Finally the honour of the wig went to group "newbie" Jack Robertson whose debut round managed a paltry score barely equal to his moderate handicap and indeed the wig fitted perfectly. Well done all on an uncomfortably humid golf day at Eastern Star.

Countback Service is Successful

Golfers are a hardy breed! How else could you describe a dozen golfers hell bent on tackling Burapha A and B on a day which was to show on course temperatures of 41 degrees and a humidity level of 90 percent. Such was the Pattaya Links Golf Society's predicament on Wednesday, 9th May. The course was in excellent condition but shirts, and in some cases shorts, were soon wet and in twenty years one of the golfers had never known it as tough as this.

Two shirts later as the round drew to a close scores were very close. In fourth place on 35 points was Terry Dreier but three golfers were ahead of him, all on 37 points. Countback was needed to place Fergus Brennan in third with 37 points and Iceland's Petur Petursen as runner-up with the same score. An excellent back nine of 21 points saw Colin Service take the main prize, again with 37 points. Consolation awards went to Walter Baechli for his best front nine of 21 points and Tommy Marshall with the day's best back nine of 18 points.

The wig went to John Mason for his losing battle with the conditions and his resultant low score. But he took it all in his stride, with a smile, As an amazing coincidence he was the winner's marker and both played each other's ball on the fifth hole on A, both incurring penalty strokes so in fact the winner may have not been subject to countback and John may also have avoided the dreaded wig. Funny ole game golf!

Barry Wellings on Fire at KK

After our report from Burapha on Wednesday where some believe it was the hottest day they could remember in 20 years, we found a welcome contrast in the weather for our trip to Khao Kheow. The pundits in the bus on the way were predicting us all getting wet at some stage of the day. I’m happy to announce that they were wrong as, although we had some rain during the drive, the day turned out to be overcast and a very pleasant temperature which was welcome as carts were restricted to the paths.
Persistent rumbling of thunder provided background sounds, and, after my caddy borrowed an umbrella for me from the Marshall, we had a few light drops for the first two holes and nothing thereafter.

We had a smaller than usual turnout on Wednesday, but all was back to normal today with twenty-one golfers ready to tackle Khao Kheow off the longer yellow tees. Of course, with the recent rains KK has been receiving, along with others, the course played much longer as there was very little roll on the fairways.
One thing about Khao Kheow though, is that the greens are almost always in good shape and today lightly brushed with sand they played as good as we expected.
Only one flight today and Barry Wellings headed the leaderboard with a handicap equaling 36 points. With his handicap of just 6, that is a fine effort. He says his return to using blades (that’s a type of golf club for the uninitiated) is working well.
Colin Service had a win two days earlier and continued that good form here to take second place with 34 points.

Mike Firkin has had his ups and downs with form, and at one stage during the day was commenting that he might have lost it again. However, 33 points to take third place may have caused a rethink. Fourth place went to Dom Downey also with 33 points but beaten on countback by Mike.

It’s always a little bonus to have your name called for “being nearest the pin” We had four chances and all four were won.

Ian Corica (B3), Gabriel Enright (B8), Tommy Marshall (A3), Peter Henshaw (A5)

The last chance to have your name called is to record a “best nine” score.

Best Front Nine (non winners) …. Phil Davies….......16 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Petr Pedursen……17 pts
Winner ……..........Barry Wellings (6) ………….36 pts
2nd Place….............Colin Service (21) ………….34 pts
3rd Place…………. Mike Firkin (23) ……………33 pts. c/back
4th Place…………. Dom Downey (12) ………….33 pts.

There were two in our group keeping check on each other in the quest to win (or avoid) the dreaded “wig”. How disappointed (or delighted) to discover that both were pipped at the post by that happiest of “wig” wearers, Tip Briney.

The complimentary food served quickly, presentations done and, strangely, everyone disappeared. By the amount of flooding seen as we arrived back, maybe the plan was to beat the next shower (which never came).

All Smiles for Takeshi

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Bangpra on Monday, 14th May to play a stableford competition off the white tees on an overcast day which remained dry for the most part, only breaking the concentration of the final group on the sixteenth hole, and only for a few minutes. The course has been out of condition for a long while but at last there are signs that the greens may be getting back to their fine condition. Currently they are recovering from maintenance and the signs are very good.

Only three groups played today on an almost empty course and scores were close. Four golfers all posted 34 points for the second best return of the day with Mike Firkin edging out Pete Seil on countback for second place. The two other unlucky golfers were Dave Stockman and Alan Walker. The winner was Japanese golfer Takeshi Hakozaki who received the green jacket with a broad smile after his level par 36 point score was announced. Consolation awards went to Alan Walker for his best front nine of 22 points and Colin Service for his best back nine of 17 points whilst the dreaded wig went to Derek Phillips after a round he would sooner forget. All in all it was a good day, albeit with a smaller group than normal but it is low season after all and very tough current playing conditions fret many fair weather golfers. Chins up lads!

Marshall Master Class

Greenwood it was then on Wednesday, 16th May and the Pattaya Links Golf Society turned five groups out on the A and C nines to play a stableford competition. The course was in fine condition in view of the recent daily storms and fairways were no more than soft but the greens were very good, Conditions were very uncomfortable with a 2 club/ three shirt humidity and the mush anticipated storm duly arrived with a few holes to go.

Scores generally reflected the difficulty of the conditions, with one outstanding exception. Fourth place saw Icelandic golfer Petur Petursen securely in place with 33 points, one behind a resurgent Derek Phillips on 34. Second place was occupied by Paul Smith's 37 points and he shared the best gross figures of 74 with the day's winner Tommy Marshall, victor with 43 astounding points, helped by a trio of good "up-and-downs" and a couple of long putts. Near pin winners were Tommy Marshal (A5), Derek Phillips (C6) - almost an ace, Paul Smith and Barry Wellings. Consolation awards went to Len Jones for the best front nine (17 points) and Maurice Roberts for his best back nine of 17 points also. In the absence of Mr Phil. Mr Len "emceed" the presentation and awarded the Booby Bevy to John Anderson after another frustrating round. The day had been long with an hour's delay during the storm and most golfers were wilting by the time they returned to the Links, but the cool beers, as always, were very welcome.

Goldsworthy Gets it Right

Clear skies heralded the dawn of a new golfing week on Monday, 21st May as the Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Pattana to play a stableford round on the B and C nines. However when the first group teed off on the "peninsula" hole, B1 the clouds were building up and the stoic golfers in the group anticipated yet another rain punctuated round. From the seventh hole signs were not good as lightning flashed nearby but amazingly the storm only brushed the course with a flurry of fine drops. That was it! Thank you Buddha!

The course was in fine condition, though a little soft, but the greens on C are obviously next in line for repair and they were patchy and slower than the excellent front nine ones.

Scores were more than respectable as John Mason beat Colin Service on countback for fourth place with 34 points. One point and one place better was Mashi Kaneta with 35 points and he was muscled out of second by Stan Stewart's better back nine as the Scot enjoyed a rare podium place. The winner was Russell Goldsworthy, a fine golfer playing off four, who shot the day's best gross of 76 in his winning round of 36 points. Consolation awards went to Jon Batty for his best front nine of 17 points and Steve Truelove too the award for the best back nine with 18 points.

The absence of Boss Phil saw Len Jones present the prizes and his favourite Booby Bevy went to old friend Ron Matthews after a mediocre score on his first round this trip. Cheers Ron!

It had been a very pleasant day at Pattana and for once golfers returned to the clubhouse with dry clothes and clubs.

Colin Survives Ball Attacks

They came back with some horror stories of golf ball attacks! Our second group out had some stories to tell. One wayward shot crashed through a palm tree, hit another tree, bounced back to the fairway and landed in a cart and became stuck under the pedal. (unplayable??)

Later, another shot went astray which had caddies and golfers diving for cover as the incoming ball hit another golf cart. Happy to report no injuries occurred.

Pattavia Century is quickly becoming a go-to course. At 1350 bht for Green Fee, Caddy, Cart for a golf course presented in such wonderful condition this is great value, and in line with the nearby neighbours.

Here, as at the other courses in this area off the 331, the fairways are well grassed and should you get into the rough, you are not severely punished.
The greens are always the talking point here. Today we found they had recently been cored and sanded, but pretty much settled now. The lightning speed we became scared of is now more sedate and absolutely playable.

A field of 16 players arrived in two mini buses and a car on a, once again, hot steamy morning. Some relief came late in the round as the dark clouds began to assemble overhead and create a wisp of breeze. Luckily, we stayed dry as the round was completed in just on four hours.

Colin Service has the best of both worlds. Recently he got to wear the “wig” for recording the lowest score of the day. This time he has come out on top of the heap to proudly don the Green Jacket with a score of 37 points.

Livio Marrone, having his first game with us popped into second place with 35 points off his low handicap of #5.

Ron Matthews, like Colin, has his ups and downs. On Monday the worst score of the round, today he collected third place with 33 points. Ah! Golf.

Maurice Roberts rounded off the podium finishers in fourth with 32 points.

All four near pins were claimed.

Gary Bolger (4), Livio Marrone (7), Maurice Roberts (13), Nigel Harrison (17)

Best Front Nine (non-winners)          Tip Briney             19 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners)           Claude Grossi       16 pts

Winner               Colin Service (20)          37 pts
2nd Place             Livio Marrone (5)          35 pts
3rd Place             Ron Matthews (12)         33 pts
4th Place             Maurice Roberts (13)      32 pts c/back

Phil is still away, basking in a balmy 15 deg. Celsius in Wales, so the presenting duties fell again to Len.
The “wig” stayed in the bag, but the Booby Bevy was awarded for the lowest score, paid for by Len and gratefully accepted by Mike Firkin, in lieu of the real winner who had already departed for Bangkok.

Rogers In Charge at Green Valley

The Pattaya Links Golf Society took a small group of keen golfers to Green Valley on Friday, 25th May and found the course in excellent condition, in fact the best it has been for many a long day. Fairways are excellent and the greens are back to their consistent best. The felling of many trees over the last few months has opened up the course and allowed the winds to dry out the course quickly after the seasonal rains. How refreshing to see course stewardship of this quality.

The small group enjoyed the day on an almost empty track and in third place, losing on countback, was Derek Phillips with 35 points, emulated by Colin Service, a golfer in form at present in second place. The winner was Kevin Rogers, a quality Aussie golfer whose 37 points was good value for his handicap of 12. The small field disallowed the availability of technicals but the Booby Bevy was still awarded by Mr Len to himself after a round lacking in coordination so much so that it gave the expression " a swing like a bag of spanners" a bad name!

But...the day was all about enjoyment and everyone agreed that a day at Green Valley in such condition fitted the bill well.

Quality Golf on a Superb Course

Golfers get days like this only once in a long while. Royal Lakeside is in immaculate condition at the moment and the Pattaya Links Golf Society had the pleasure of playing a stableford competition there on Monday, 28th May. Fairways were a little soft but still had some run and the greens were as good as any in the province. The golfers responded with a superb performance where the full field average score was 35 points. Never has the group had a day when scores have been so good and all golfers are to be congratulated on their performance. The moderate field of sixteen golfers found conditions perfect and the weather, so much a factor in recent rounds, was much more amenable.

In fourth place, losing on countback, was old friend Ken Grimes, returning after an absence of a few years with 39 points. Ken was pipped by Kevin Rogers, another accomplished Australian golfer, also on 39 points. In second place Gerd Riedler returned to play a round of shrewd accuracy returning 40 points whilst the round of the day belonged to Colin Service. He is very much the golfer in form at the moment and his round of 43 points came within three of his best ever score. Colin is a good listener and has taken advice on his game from colleagues who have years of experience and a low handicap and his response has been to post his best series of scores lately in Pattaya.

Consolation awards went to Barry Oats for the best front nine of 22 points and Derek Phillips for his best in-run of 18 points. The Booby Bevy went to Gary Bolger who had enjoyed his final round before returning to far off Udon Thani. The day will be difficult to equal but the PLGS will love trying to emulate the excitement level the next time they go out on the golf course.

Phoenix Having a Laugh. Again.

There has been some q uality PLGS golf recently at Burapha, Green Valley and Royal Lakeside. So how does fancy Phoenix match up? The Pattaya Links Golf Society made the short trip to the local course on Wednesday 30th May in perfect golfing weather and found the course in true "PHX Mode", with the white tees well forward, fairways no more than OK and greens where putting was almost "possible". Most pins were tucked in corners of the green, within maybe six feet of the edge and in some cases only three feet. Of course the majority were on the slopes running off the greens as well. It was even rumoured that the new pin-setter there is one Stevie Wonder. The total cost being 500 baht more than Burapha and three or four beers more than Green Valley and Royal Lakeside gives the impression that golfers have been shafted again at Phoenix. Correct.

For the record results showed that fourth place went to Tip Briney with 33 points, Colin Service third with 35 points, Mike Wang in second on 36 and Nigel Harrison topping the list with 37 points.

On returning to the car park after the round a white stick and red nose were found abandoned, signalling the end of yet another day's work for the groundsman. 'Bye Phoenix, the carnival is certainly over.

June

Tight Finish at Stormy Emerald

The proposed stableford event at Emerald was very much in doubt right up until the scheduled tee off time on 1st June as the Pattaya Links Golf Society displayed all the patience derived from the experience of the wettest May in years. Until 11am the round was in doubt with flooded greens and soft fairways but in the event the round began only six minutes late with greens already drying out. It was a miracle and full marks to the small field, splendidly stewarded by Colin Service, for their fortitude on the day and as a result a close contest ensued.

Aussie golfer Mike Tottenham again made the frame with a fourth placed finish on 29 points whilst Colin Service again produced a good round finishing on 32 points in third place. Two Aussie/Italian golfers, Livio Marrone and Vito Cirelli, coming to the end of their first golfing experience in Thailand, went head-to-head over the eighteen holes with Vito's extra point on the back nine just enough to take the win on countback with 36 points.

There were no technicals on this day but Tip Briney would have qualified for the wig had Mr Phil been back from his break in UK. Tip is left to wonder whether it will be presented in retrospect when the boss returns next week!

After a fretful May the PLGS regulars are hoping that "flaming" June brings better flaming weather.

Truelove Takes The Treasure

It’s a love/hate relationship and some are non- committal. But when we have Treasure Hill on our schedule, we tend to draw a crowd. Now is the “low” of Low season, but PLGS still managed to have a very respectable field of sixteen golfers to tackle this tricky course. So many of the reports from Golf Societies heap praise on the presentation and condition of this course, and with good reason. Okay, because of the rain about the area recently, the fairways were a little soft, and the rough a little longer than usual, but carts were still allowed on the course. The caddies were cautious as to where they drove so as to not damage the course, well done to them and Management.
A quick word on the Greens:  As usual, very good condition and no excuses for not putting well.
Weather was fine, but the rumbling background noise and dark skies came in about the half way mark of the round. However, apart from a three minute drizzle, we stayed dry.
With these conditions, how were the scores?
Not good, I’m afraid.
Big hitting Steve Truelove was the only one to play to handicap or better with a well compiled 38 points. This is not a surprise, as his form in the past couple of months, apart from a blip at his last start at TH, has been excellent.
Currently in-form Colin Service was there again to take second spot with a fine 35 points, keeping his very good run going, while single figure handicapper, Petr Petursen took third spot with 32 points
Derek Phillips rounded out the podium in fourth with 29 points on a countback.
The rest fell away to show a field average of just 27 points. Next outing, a new day…
Tip Briney and John Anderson were calculating who would win the “wig”, on countback only to be thrown out of contention by someone we didn’t expect.
So it came as a shock to John when he was awarded Best Back Nine. Let’s not mention his first nine!

Best Front Nine ( non winners)……Livio Marrone ……..17 pts
Best Back Nine ( non winners)…….John Anderson……..16 pts

Near Pins:  Surprisingly, no-one managed to get on the green on the quite short 17th.
But the others were claimed by Steve Truelove (2 and 13), and Colin Service (6)

Winner ………………Steve Truelove (10)……….38 pts
2nd Place………….......Colin Service (19)………...35 pts
3rd Place…………........Petr Petursen (6)……….....32 pts
4th Place……………....Derek Phillips (20)………..29 pts c/back

With no hold ups, the first two groups were back in the clubhouse in 3 hours 40 minutes and so after a quick drink and the collection of cards it was on to the bus and back to Links Bar very early. Having not played with Links for a while, it was a welcome back to Tom Herrington. Also a welcome back to Phil Davies from his overseas jaunt. This was unfortunate for Tom, as the”wig” re appeared after resting while Phil was away. Shoulda” been here last week Tom.

Truelove Takes the Treasure

It’s a love/hate relationship and some are non- committal. But when we have Treasure Hill on our schedule, we tend to draw a crowd. Now is the “low” of Low season, but we still managed to have a very respectable field of sixteen golfers to tackle this tricky course. So many of the reports from Golf Societies heap praise on the presentation and condition of this course, and with good reason. Okay, because of the rain about the area recently, the fairways were a little soft, and the rough a little longer than usual, but carts were still allowed on the course. The caddies were cautious as to where they drove so as to not damage the course, well done to them and Management.
Quick word on the Greens:  As usual, very good condition and no excuses for not putting well.
Weather was fine, but the rumbling background noise and dark skies came in about the half way mark of the round. However, apart from a three-minute drizzle, we stayed dry. My caddy seemed to think that Greenwood got the drenching. We will find out sometime.
With these conditions, how were the scores? Not good, I’m afraid. Big hitting Steve Truelove was the only one to play to handicap or better with a well compiled 38 points. This is not a surprise, as his form in the past couple of months, apart from a blip at his last start at TH, has been excellent.
Currently in-form Colin Service was there again to take second spot with a fine 35 points, keeping his very good run going, while single figure handicapper, Petr Petursen took third spot with 32 points
Derek Phillips rounded out the podium in fourth with 29 points on a countback.
The rest fell away to show a field average of just 27 points. Next outing, a new day…
Tip Briney and John Anderson were calculating who would win the “wig”, on countback only to be thrown out of contention by someone we didn’t expect.
So, it came as a shock to John when he was awarded Best Back Nine. Let’s not mention his first nine!

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Livio Marrone …….17 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. John Anderson…….16 pts

Near Pins:  Surprisingly, no-one managed to get on the green on the quite short 17th.
But the others were claimed by
Steve Truelove (2 and 13), and Colin Service (6)

Winner ………………Steve Truelove (10) ……….38 pts
2nd Place………….......Colin Service (19) ………...35 pts
3rd Place…………........Petr Petursen (6) ………....32 pts
4th Place…………….... Derek Phillips (20) ……….29 pts c/back

With no hold ups, the first two groups were back in the clubhouse in 3 hours 40 minutes and so after a quick drink and the collection of cards it was on to the bus and back to Links Bar very early.
Having not played with Links for a while, it was a welcome back to Tom Herrington.
Also, a welcome back to Phil Davies from his overseas jaunt.
This was unfortunate for Tom, as the” wig” re appeared after resting while Phil was away.
Shoulda” been here last week Tom.

 

There’s No Stopping This Boy!

Colin Service is in red hot form at the moment, and today wore the Green Jacket yet again. He says he made a couple of “small” tweaks to his game and is reaping the benefits. In 11 starts since May 9, he has had 4 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds and one 4th. Certainly, on a roll. Keep it going!

St. Andrews is one of the more expensive courses in the area and, because Golf Societies need to cater to all players, this course is not on the roster very often.
However, we were able to take advantage of their Sports Day Wednesday at the very good price of 2050 baht all in. (Carts are compulsory) Not cheap, but a chance for a once a year treat.

Nineteen excited players arrived at the course, checked in and ready to go. But, what a disappointment to find many greens had recently been scarified and sanded so, consequently, not the usual good greens here. Putting became difficult. Fairways are in good condition, and the weather, although humid for most of the distance, did not produce any rain. Got away with it again!

We’ve talked about Colin Service and his great form and with 39 points stole the show. Two days previously it was Colin and Steve Truelove in a one two. Same again today, but in reverse, Steve in second place with another good score of 37 points. What might have been though, as Steve became ill during the last two holes, but toughed it out. Nigel Harrison had an off day 2 days ago at Treasure Hill, but bounced back to take third with 34 points, while Phil Davies in his first outing since his trip to Wales came up with 33 points for the remaining spot.

Once again only three of the four near pins were won. It was just too hard, apparently, to get onto the 17th.
Near Pins:  Colin Service (3), Gerry Conway (5), Ralph McConnell (10).

If your name has not appeared yet, there is still a chance for a Best Nine prize.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Mike Jeffreys…….20 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …. Tommy Marshall…19 pts

Winner ………. Colin Service (19) …………....39pts
2nd Place….........Steve Truelove (10) ………….37 pts
3rd Place………. Nigel Harrison (20) ………….34 pts.
4th Place………. Phil Davies (12) …………........33 pts

Marco Beer is heading home again soon, so Phil thought he might like to wear the “wig”. But he got away with it… Peter Henshaw was the lucky recipient, just keeping Marco out. Then the fans were turned off as Joy carried out the birthday cake with candles glowing for Happy Birthday Ralph McConnell.

Greg’s 40 Points Tops A Top Day

It’s a longer track to get to Burapha these days after losing the exits from the “7” due to the Tolls. During the trip we saw the skies darkening and the grey clouds getting heavier. But, optimists that we are, those in our bus decided that rain would not get to this course today.
The A and B combination was our test for the day and this made many happier, as this is considered by some to be the easier of the combinations.
We teed off on schedule under a cool, overcast sky, on a Golf Course presented in near perfect condition. Fairways well defined and cut to a good height, the rough was the usual here but, being wet, became a bit more of a challenge. The greens are fast, true and playable, with just enough sloping to test your putting skill, or lack of..
We were taken aback when, at the green fees desk, we were charged a higher price than we had advised our players. We moaned for a while, and then shrugged shoulders and off to the first tee. Upon checking later I found myself guilty of missing which days were the special prices. Wed. and Thurs. are 750 bht.g/fee. Today was Friday!
Of course, the rain did come, regardless of our experts in the bus. As our first group was at the half way point on A6, the drizzle became heavier accompanied by gusty winds. We made the dash for cover.
Fifteen minutes later we were back to where we had left the balls and carried on.
Little effect to the course, apart from the next couple of greens slowing, then back to normal as the course dried out with a stiff breeze.
The damp, heavier going seemed no obstacle to the first three placegetters.
Greg Perfrement, in only his second game since returning for a holiday, scored an excellent 40 points to take top spot and the Green Jacket.
Barry Oats plays from Silver tees these days and in a well controlled game grabbed second spot with 38 points.
Mitchell Carlon moved from Hua Hin to set up base in Pattaya, took a couple of games with us to settle in, but today showed his true form with 37 points off a handicap of #9.
Near Pins: Barry Oats (A3), Marco Beer (A6), Greg Perfrement ( B3), Kevin Rogers (B8)

Best Front Nine ( non winners)…..Phil Davies…….20 pts
Best Back Nine ( non winners)……Mick Coghlan…16 pts

Winner ……..Greg Perfrement (22)………40pts
2nd Place……..Barry Oats (26)………………38 pts
3rd Place……..Mitchell Carlon (9)………….37 pts

The field average score today of 30 points was up on the past couple of games, a positive sign. However, there were some lower scores, and the lowest of them came from Dave Jarvis, who donned the “wig”and got to be in the photo with his good mate and playing partner, Greg Perfrement.
After the delicious free food and presentations, it was off to see the Fireworks for some.

Pete Seil Par for the Course

Just two weeks ago we visited the magnificent Royal Lakeside and reported on the excellent condition of the course. Nothing has changed, fairways trimmed and always let you feel good to play from and the greens today running quite quickly and true, measuring #10 on the stimpmeter.Management and Ground staff here are to be commended. But as good as they are, the one thing they could not control today was the wind. Not just a breeze, but a stiff blowing wind for most of the round. Comment was made that it felt more like a links course.

All players had the same conditions and those who handled it best came out on top.
We know Pete Seil is a good golfer. His current handicap of #6 shows that.
Today, wind and all, Pete has finished the round with a gross 72, par for this course. This excellent effort gave him 42 points stableford and a place at the very top of the podium. The success story of the past month has been Colin Service who, after having a hiccup at Burapha last week, bounced right back up with another sub handicap score. His 38 points gave him a clear second placing. Tip Briney certainly has mixed form. He can be up among the top of the podium one day and a candidate for the “wig” the very next day. This day he was “on” and beat his handicap to score 37 points for third spot.

Royal Lakeside, and its neighbour Bangpakong, are known as scoring courses, due mainly to being quite flat, but also presented in top condition.
Fourteen players took to the course with Links Bar group and 10 of them scored 30 points or better for an overall field average of 33.

Four “near pins” were available today, but only three were claimed as no one managed to make the green in regulation on the Par 3 15th.
Near Pins: Dave Hewson (3), Phil Davies (6), Colin Service (12)
If you have won nothing so far,    wait!   There’s more...

Best Front Nine (non-winners)….Derek Phillips……… 20 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners)….Maurice Roberts ……19 pts c/back

Winner ……….Pete Seil (6)……………42 pts
2nd Place…….. Colin Service (18)…….38 pts
3rd Place………Tip Briney (23)……….37pts

Pete Seil did not come back to the Bar after the game, so the Green Jacket was left in the cupboard and we missed a photo op. Selwyn Yates was spotted on Sunday having a lot of practice on the indoor simulator at Links Bar. He hit at least 120 balls, according to witnesses. He and those who saw him practice were very surprised when he was presented with the “wig” for the least impressive score for the day.

His Back Comes Good - Maurice gets 40 points

Seventeen golfers saddled up for the trip to attack yet another first-class golf course.
On the drive out, there were good signs, weather wise, as the clouds seemed higher and not as dark as in recent trips. Perhaps the sudden big storm the night before used up the rain. However, at the course, the caddies informed us that it had also rained heavily at Greenwood last night. Consequently, it was carts on the path and lift, clean and place. Of course, there was virtually no run on the fairways, so when the ball came down, that’s where it stopped.

It’s quite usual here around the base of the greens to be wet, even in the dry season, so today it was “heavy” wet. The nice surprise was that the greens seemed unaffected by the rains and played as good as ever, even though the “A” course had been lightly sanded a couple of days before.

Word must have been relayed as, on our second nine (A) the caddies took to driving on the rough after never leaving the path on (C) Interesting…
Nine days ago, Maurice Roberts was only able to complete 6 holes due to an old back problem arising, causing much discomfort with every swing of the club. Seven days later at Royal Lakeside his comeback game produced 35 points and today he streaked away with a big 40 points to easily take first place. A great recovery. Kevin Rogers and Derek Phillips are good mates and playing partners. They both scored 36 points, which called for the count back. Kevin came out on top by 1 point to take the second spot from Derek.So as not to be forgotten, Colin Service was right there again, this time with 35 points.

Not sure what to make of this lately. Near Pins on Par 3s seem to have become very difficult. The past few games we have had only three of the four claimed. But today only two of four were claimed. What’s happening here?

Here are those who did make it: Derek Phillips (C6) and Tom Herrington (A6).

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …Nigel Harrison.…….18 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …Bryan Barrell……….18 pts

Winner …….... Maurice Roberts (13) ………....40 pts
2nd Place….......Kevin Rogers (11) …………….36 pts c/back
3rd Place…….... Derek Phillips (20) …………....36 pts
4th Place………Colin Service (18) ……….........35 pts

Our first group, a 3 ball, had clean air in front and so, with a steady, ready pace completed the round in 3hrs 40 min. By the time the second bus stopped in front of Links Bar it was still quite early, so the golfers’ complimentary meal of Lasagna was a late lunch.

Perfrement's Perfect Day

Eastern Star has been in good condition for a long while this year and the Pattaya Links Golf Society took a four group playing field there on Friday, 15th June to play a stableford competition off the white tees. The day stayed fine allowing the group to complete b the round with very few holdups.

As always the course is a tough test of golf with the copious amounts of water to the right and the dreaded OB on the left of many holes, and only the most accurate of golfers will reach a good score. As it happened a full field average of 30 was a fair reflection of the day's golf with a coup[le of excellent rounds rewarding the two six handicappers in the field as Petur Petursen recorded 33 points for fourth place, just one behind Pete Seil's fine best gross effort (80) of 34 points which gave him third spot. In second was a resurgent Tip Briney, so often blowing either hot or cold, with a more than tepid 35 points rewarding his steady and focussed round. The day's winner was Aussie Greg Perfrement who followed his big win at Burapha just a week previously with another fine performance giving him 38 points for the day's best.

The near pins were held back allowing consolation awards for the best front nine of Tommy Marshall (18 points) and and a rare prize for Mike Firkin for his best back his of seventeen points.

Selwyn Yates has yet to find his true form and again he took the wig as the day's low scorer. Never mind Selwyn things are bound to get better soon, hopefully before you return after your well-earned break at the end of the month.

Tommy’s 40 Beats Greg’s 40

Playing at Khao Kheow and scoring 40 points is quite an achievement, and today two players, with quite different handicaps did themselves proud. It all came down to the countback where Tommy Marshall had the better back nine (A course). From his new handicap of #6 it was 74 gross.

Greg Perfrement has only been here for about two weeks this trip and has been right among the placings, including 2 Green Jackets. Almost a third one today. Great shooting.

The two mates, Derek Phillips and Kevin Rogers were once again in the mix. This time it was Derek’s turn to edge out Kevin by just one point. Consistency comes to mind with these two.

Khao Kheow is a Pete Dye designed course and one comment in the bus on the way home was how there are no uninteresting holes. All different, all scenic and with many challenges. Concentration is always a must here.

The “A” course has had some maintenance done recently and the Management has gone about it with golfers in mind. The Fairways and greens have been worked on first with the Tee boxes to be completed soon. They will be all grown back in a couple of weeks.
You have to like the greens here. Always a good pace and true. Some pin placements today meant that we can use that word again, concentration!

Near Pins have been hard to come by lately for the Links Golfers, but today all was back to normal.

Winners were: Dave Stockman (C3), Pete Seil (C8), Pete Seil (A3), Paul Chesney (A5)

Then there were the “best nines” for those not yet earning a prize.

Best Front Nine…...John Anderson………19pts 
Best Back Nine……Paul Chesney…..........19 pts

Winner ……..........Tommy Marshall (6) ………….40 pts c/back
2nd Place….............Greg Perfrement (20) ………….40 pts
3rd Place…………. Derek Phillips (19) …………….38 pts.
4th Place…………...Kevin Rogers (10) …………….37 pts.

All back to Links Bar nice and early, no rain anywhere, and into the presentations.
If you think it was tight at the top, you didn’t want to be at the other end.
It was a three-way tie for the worst score of the day. After teasing a few, Phil kept the “wig” and glasses for himself, causing much joy for the other two.
Another great day of golf at the great Khao Kheow Country Club.

Phil Goes From Wig to Winner

It’s a good thing we don’t allow gambling in Thailand as many would lose plenty if we bet on golfers, with the many drastic form reversals. Two days ago, Phil Davies wore the dreaded “wig” for having the worst score of the day. Today he wears the Green Jacket by having the best score of the day.

A small field of thirteen came out to play at the beautiful Pattana Golf Club, in fine weather and with a steady breeze, at times a bit stronger than that, for most of the round so to keep conditions pleasant. The golf course was once again in excellent condition with the only “complaint” being that the greens on “A” course were a little grainy and slower. However, the “B” course greens were in their usual excellent shape. Fairways were cut to suit, so there was no reason for, at least some players, to score well.

We did have good scoring!  Phil Davies showed you can’t keep a good golfer down, for long, and went right to the top with a great 40 points to win by three. The now consistent Greg Perfrement was there again, and with his 37 points took second spot. Seems this trip he is always somewhere on the podium. Another very recent “wig” wearer is Dave Hewson, who has found some form since that day and only missed third place on a countback. Nigel Harrison runs hot and cold, but held out Dave to grab third for himself, both players with 36 points.

This is regarded as a fairly tough course to score on, but nine of the thirteen players had 30 points or better. Good golfing! Having such a small field, we left the “near pins” at home, but still had “Best Nines”

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ….... Kevin Rogers….21 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……Tip Briney……...18 pts

Winner …………. Phil Davies (12) ………........40 pts
2nd Place…………Greg Preferment (20) ………37 pts
3rd Place…………. Nigel Harrison (21) ………...36pts c/back
4th Place…………. Dave Hewson (8) ………….36 pts

Snaring his first HOLE IN ONE…KEVIN ROGERS…. Congratulations.
Kevin did not see it go in, but his playing partners all did, on hole A3

As the player with the worst score didn’t make it back to the Bar, nor did the second worst or the third, it was put to the vote. NO WIG today, much to Phil’s disappointment.

 A Refreshed Paul Chesney Too Good

The rains seem to be staying away from our area at this time, but the days are still hot, humid and wearing for golfers while out on the golf course.No rain means more work for the Greenkeepers to keep courses up to their best condition. Somehow the management at Pattavia Century are doing a fine job, as today this course was, as always, in splendid condition.

The greens have been allowed to grow a tad longer, as has been the case for some time now. No problem here, as they are not as slick as they once were, and now much more putter friendly. That doesn’t mean your putt won’t still go sailing past the hole if you miss, but not quite as far, and may actually stay on the green. The grass may be shorter, but the contours are the same.

A good field of eighteen “Links” golfers arrived by mini bus and cars to find another Golf Club with a terrific price of 1350 baht G/fee, Caddy, Cart. Thank you Pattavia. 

Paul Chesney has been away for a short visit to the UK and, in just his second game back, took on Pattavia and won. His 39 points was a great result and gave him the chance to again don the Green Jacket. Phil Davies has run into some very good form recently and, following on from his 40 points 2 days ago, has scored another fine 38 points to take second spot. Mike Tottenham is consistently around the mark and Bryan Barrell sometimes surprises himself, (and others), when he has a good score. These two fought it out for third, with Mike getting up in a countback, both with excellent scores of 37 points.

Four near pin markers out today and all were won:

Tip Briney (4), Dave Hewson (7) Phil Davies (13), Tommy Marshall                   

Winner …………Paul Chesney (21)………….39 pts
2nd Place………...Phil Davies (12)…………….38 pts
3rd Place…………Mike Tottenham (22)……….37 pts c/back
4th Place………Bryan Barrell (33)………37 pts

For those not already mentioned there is the best half games to be won.
Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Peter Henshaw…….19 pts c/back

Best Back Nine (non winners)……..Ian Corica………….19 pts.

The complimentary meal of Penang Curry was followed by the presentation of the Green Jacket to Paul. So excited was Dave Jarvis for the “wig”, he gave Phil no chance to tease others. He jumped up ready to be fitted. Not telling his score.

An Absolute Joy!

The headline says it all. If you are in any doubt check with any of the three dozen Pattaya Links Golf Society golfers who had a memorable day at Laem Chabang on Monday, 25th June. In its wisdom the club has introduced a magnificent promotion for PSC members for Mondays where the rate is even less than the normal midweek "Sports Day" deal, thereby giving the majority of Pattaya's golfers an opportunity to play the premier course at a splendidly favourable rate. PHX and GV please take note!

With the closure of the Mountain Nine for refurbishment the Lakes and Valley Nines were in play - B and C to most of us and the course was in excellent condition throughout, with consistent greens running at 9 on the "stimp" and the weather was a extra bonus, with a light breeze adding some comfort.

The large field was divided into two flights at sixteen and under and with a quarter of the field playing off handicaps of ten or less some fine golf was on show.

In the second flight Dave Jarvis - wig winner last time out - showed better form with 32 points taking third place from Tip Briney on countback. He was only one point behind the runner up, Kym Richardson (33) but a further four points behind the flight winner Irishman Derek Phillips, winning with an excellent 37 points.

The top flight saw an all-American podium as Pete Seil took third place with 37 points, and Tommy Marshall take second with 39 points, whilst registering the best gross of the day, 75. The flight winner was Tom Herrington with an impressive forty points and he was duly awarded with the green jacket back at the LInks.

Near Pins were won by Len Jones (B5), Mike Ehlert (B5), Dave Arataki (C5) and Graham Pratt (C8).

Consolation awards went to John Pierrel for his best front nine of 21 points whilst Garry Barker took the back nine honours with 21 points also.

The most popular award of the day was the wig which was thoroughly deserved by Colin Service, who has been sweeping all before him in recent weeks. Karma is a wondrous thing Colin!

Without doubt this had been the finest golf day of the year with the Links and more opportunities to play the course have already been taken with bookings already in for July and August. Because of the exclusivity of the deal please make sure you have your PSC cards when we visit there next, on 2nd July.

It's A Washout - Almost

Buoyed with enthusiasm after the golf two days previously the Pattaya Links Golf Society travelled in good spirits to Bangpakong Riverside on Wednesday, 27th June to play a stableford competition on the splendid golf course. Seven groups made up the field and for six or seven holes conditions were perfect. Then the storm hit. The course became flooded in the deluge and fifteen golfers gave in to the inevitable and chose to abandon the round. The final three groups decided to see it out and after a break of more than an hour continued in soggy conditions to complete the round.

The competition stood and the scores were excellent. Tip Briney's 38 points amazingly gave him fifth place only, one behind Mike Ehlert, playing his final round this trip. Third place was decided on countback as Derek Phillips on 40 points lost to Peter Henshaw as the latter took runner up place. The winner was PLGS debutant Kenny Jepson with an eye-catching 42 points.

Only two near pins survived the "readability" test thus giving Selwyn Yates ($) and Dave Jarvis (7) the awards, Consolation winners were Peter Bailey for his front nine of 21 points and a very soggy Dave Arataki for his best back nine of 22 points.In the circumstances Mr Phil decided to ignore any claims for the wig, though the majority of the golfers back in the Links thought it should be retained by the previous winner, Mr Service! Great mates these lads.

Gazza Goes Green

Reports received two days ago were that a large group from Pattaya was rained off from this course. So, our twenty-two golfers expected to be met with the news that it was carts on path only. Much to our surprise, and joy for some, the fairways had dried out so well that the Greens staff had been able to get on course with the mowers, so that the fairways were in great condition. Firm and with some run. How do they do it?
Some front nine greens still showed signs of recent sanding, but the back nine was in excellent condition. Greens were measured at 8.5 “stimp”, some thought slightly slower than that, but the putts ran true. Some work is being done to build new Tee boxes and a couple of new greens, re positioned. Some GUR to work around, but the usual “free drop” is there.

Overall rating: As always for this course. excellent.

Among a large group of golfers from Darwin (Aust) were five players who have come to play a few games at Links, having extended their stay in Pattaya. They have all played a lot of golf recently, and still going strong. Garry Barker is one of them and is a cool, complete golfer, who is always likely to par a golf course. He didn’t make par today, but his 36 points went very close, 74 gross, to earn him a well-deserved first Green Jacket. Tip Briney, we have said before, can be very good or very bad. Today he was very good and took second spot with a fine 35 points. Just one more putt Tip?
Phil Davies has been in pretty good form recently and carried that on to score 34 points and the third place. Dave Hewson started this trip with the “wig” and then found his real form, and so, said “farewell” for now by grabbing fourth spot on countback from James Hudson, both with 33 points, very good scoring on this course.

Near Pins:  Garry Barker (2), Dave Hewson (6), Colin Smith (13), James Hudson (17)

Winner ………………Garry Barker (4) ……….36 pts
2nd Place………….......Tip Briney (23) ………...35 pts
3rd Place…………........Phil Davies (12) ……….34 pts
4th Place…………….... Dave Hewson (9) ……….33 pts c/back

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……John Harrison …….17 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. Lachlan Gotz………16 pts c/back

With no hold ups, the first two groups were back in the clubhouse in 3 hours 40 minutes and so, after a quick drink and the collection of cards it was on to the buses and back to Links Bar quite early. Much better than the 6.00 pm return two days earlier after big storms at Bangpakong.
Sweet and Sour Chicken was served to all, but only one player was served the “wig”.
Graham Pratt has only just returned and is still warming up. Watch out!

July

Low Season Highs at Laem Chabang

The Pattaya Links Golf Society began July with its second largest field of he year so far when they visited the sumptuous Laem Chabang to play a stableford competition in three flights, divided at fourteen and under and 21 and over. The course, more especially the B and C nines, at the moment is in wonderful condition and a hot day, refreshed by a constant cooling breeze helped the golfers to enjoy the experience. For many in the field it was their first experience of playing the course and the magnificent PSC deal at present allows most of Pattaya's golfers to share the pleasure.

In the top flight three handicapper Jay Burns collected 34 points from his best gross round (77) to take third place an countback from Phil Davies, with Kevin McEntee also benefitting from c/b to take second place. The flight winner was Tommy Marshall who took the victory with 36 points.

In the second flight Toby Glass came good at last with a sparkling 35 points for third place, a couple behind a resurgent Colin Service on 37 points. The flight winner was Andre van Dyke with an excellent 39 points matching the best points total of the day.

The third flight saw Mike Firkin's newly re-shafted driver do the business (most of the time) as he made his way to a third place of 34 points. In second was Terry Mangan with 37 points and the flight winner was Barry Oats with 39 points.

Near pins were won by Nigel Harrison (B5), Brock Jensen (B8), Barry Oats (C5) and John Pierrel (C8). Consolation awards went to Phil Davies for his best front nine of 22 points and Ken Hole for his best back nine of 19 points.

The wig was presented for the first time to Richard "Banjo" Bannister and his smiles said it all. It han't really been that bad! All golfers agreed the day had been excellent, a quality course with some special golfers on show as well.

 Phil Davies Beats Pattana Again!

It could be the first signs of the end of the Low season for golfers. Pattaya Links Golf has welcomed a total of 144 players to the tee for five games in ten days. There are certainly plenty of golfers around right now, as our two trips to Laem Chabang brought out a total of 85 starters.
Today we played another quality Golf Course in Pattana, at a very good sports day price for green fee. Still low season pricing, and we are not going to miss the opportunity.
Now for the pleasurable, but difficult part. We have used so many words to describe how good this course is, I am scratching for some new way to say how beautiful are the freshly cut fairways, or the speed and true run of the greens, or even the pleasant, comfortable weather. The rough is not as punishing as some other courses, and there are enough challenges for anyone.
When we arrive at the front door of the magnificent Clubhouse we are greeted by a lovely lady with a beaming, welcoming smile. She then positions herself at the top of the stairs to direct all to the locker room, and this locker room is clean and most importantly, spacious. No getting friendly with your buddy here, as per some others.
So, with a golf course in such great condition, how did we score?
Three weeks ago, we played at Pattana and Phil Davies wore the Green Jacket after scoring 40 points.
Could we now call him the Pattana Specialist as today he once again took all before him, this time with magnificent 42 points. Yes, in case you ask, his projected handicap has been lowered.
Then there was a log jam for second place with a four-way tie. Some diligence was needed for the count backs, as all scored an impressive 38 points.
Winning second spot was Wayne Peppernell from Terry Mangan in third and Derek Phillips taking fourth. The unfortunate one to miss was “hot and cold” Tip Briney.
However, Tip had a small consolation by winning Best Front Nine with 21 points.
Maurice Roberts scored the Best Back Nine with 19 points.
Near Pins: Jay Burns (A3), James Hudson (A8), Tom Herrington (B3), Tommy Marshall (B7)
Winner …………. Phil Davies (12) ………..........42 pts
2nd Place…………Wayne Peppernell (16) ………38 pts c/back
3rd Place…………. Terry Mangan (24) ………......38pts c/back
4th Place…………. Derek Phillips (19) ………….38 pts c/back
Phil had great delight in announcing the winner and presenting himself with the Green Jacket. As the player with the worst score didn’t make it back to the Bar, NO WIG again today.
It seems that when you play a quality course, it brings out your best game. Today 18 of our 24 players scored 30 points or better for an average of 32 points.

35 Points Enough for Anand and Mike

As thirty-one golfers climbed aboard three buses and some cars to make the short trip to Khao Kheow Country Club, the skies were looking a little darker than we would like. During the drive the clouds seemed to become heavier, and the question war. Will we get wet today?
I can put your mind at rest right now…No we did not, in fact, the overcast sky and irregular breezes made playing conditions quite comfortable.

What about the condition of the course?  Let’s just say there are differing opinions for most things, including how each player perceives the golf course on the day, taking into account how their game went that day, perhaps?

Some thought the greens were not settled from the recent coring (every course is coring about now, it’s called maintenance), while others agreed the greens were just fine.

Some thought the fairways were not up to standard, while others took into account that Khao Kheow has not received much rain of late and some dry patches are appearing, but other areas have been watered, so some mud on the ball at times.

Comment was made on the shabby condition of many tee boxes. These appear to have been dug up and re planted, so growth is patchy right now. I believe that they will be back to their best very soon, especially if some rain gets there. Can’t believe management intends leaving them like that.

Regardless of the condition of the course, Khao Kheow is a tough test and is never conducive to high stableford scores, and today stayed on trend.

No player was able to play to handicap, but “A” flight (0-17) winner Anand came close by scoring 35 points, and “B” flight (18+) winner, Mike Tottenham matched that points score.

In “A” flight, Phil Davies continued his run of form, as he took second place with 34 points, while Maurice Roberts nudged out Mitchell Carlon in a countback, to grab 3rd spot, both on 33 points.

The “B” flight saw similar scores as John Anderson, in a rare display of good form, made second place his with 34 points.
Two players on 33 points had to be separated by countback, and it was Jim Galendaz taking it over Dave Arataki.

Near Pins: Maurice Roberts (B3), Toby Glass (B8), Derek Phillips (C3), Phil Davies (C8)

Winner …” A” flight……. Anand (9) ……….................35 pts
2nd Place…………............Phil Davies (12) …………...34 pts
3rd Place………….............Maurice Roberts (13) …….33 pts c/back
4th Place…………………. Mitchell Carlon (9) ……….33 pts

Winner…” B” flight……. Mike Tottenham (22) ……….35 pts
2nd Place…………………John Anderson (28) ………...34 pts
3rd Place…………………Jim Gaalandez (18) ………….33 pts c/back
4th Place…………………. Dave Arataki (29) ………….33 pts

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …...Tip Briney………….18 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……Wayne Peppernell….19 pts

Phil’s presentation sprung a surprise for Graham Pratt. After leaving early on Wednesday he missed wearing the “wig”, But he today could not escape the wily Phil. All good fun.
The Green Jacket was donned by Mike Tottenham and today’s “wig” by Rob McMahon, who was bought along just to keep his good buddy company.
Just when we thought it was done, out came the Birthday Cake with candles lit, so we gave a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” for Brock Jensen.
As always, an enjoyable day of golf with Pattaya Links Golf Society at Khao Kheow.

Imagine Scores If the Greens Were Fine

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Green Valley on a beautifully fine day on Monday, 9th July. The course was in excellent condition but was let down badly by some wooly, rough-cut greens which were patchy and inconsistent. Fairways were fully covered and bunkers were well prepared. Thirty two golfers filled the booking sheet and managed to get away on time. It soon became obvious that high scores would be the order of the day as at the turn a quarter of the field had collected scores of par or better.

The field wad divided into two flights, cut at eighteen and under and ultimately a third of the golfers broke par or better.

In the top flight Wayne Peppernell's crafty 39 points took third place, with Paul Bray recording 40 points for second, on his return to the group. The flight winner was Phil Davies who is currently in top form at the moment, this time adding another forty-one point score to his already impressive CV with the group since his return from Wales a month or so ago.

In the second flight Ian Corica recorded 39 points for third place, with Steve Baker's flattering 41 points in second place. Leading the field off and back in the clubhouse was Mick Coghlan whose 42 points was enough to blow the field away in style.

Near pins were won by Phil Davies (5), Paul Bray (8) and Dave Arataki (13 with the sixteenth retaining its modesty throughout. Consolation prizes went to Toby Glass for his best front nine of 20 points and Lachlan Gotz for his similar score on the back nine.

Back in the clubhouse Phil had his usual wicked fun with the wig and it eventually found its way to the head of a nonplussed Ray Wilkes on his debut round with the group, though the usual suspects again "got away with it".

It had been a fine day at Green Valley but imagine what scores may have been if the greens matched the quality of the rest of the course. One day we'll be there and everything will be grand, we're sure!

Super Steve Slays ‘Em

Bangpakong Riverside has lived up to it’s reputation of a high (stableford) scoring course, with nineteen of the twenty-one starters having 30 points or more on a golf course presented in very good condition.

But the most exhilarating display came from Big Steve Truelove with a fantastic 46 points to leave daylight between him and the next two places. Playing off handicap 9 makes it even more impressive, with a gross of 71. Great stuff.

We had to go back through the records for this calendar year to see if this was the highest. Only Derek Phillips’ 47 at Phoenix was better, but Steve joins Colin Service on the second rung on 46 points.

Then the next two were no less impressive with 40 points each, which needed a countback between Colm O’Donovan (h/c 20) and Paul Smith (h/c 2) with Colm having the better back nine, to take second. Paul Smith himself is no slouch around a golf course, and his score meant a gross 70, the best for the day, and he came third!! Bob Britton, in a rare appearance at Links (he lives up the road always), came in with a very handy 39 points to fill the final place on the podium.

Once again one “near pin’ went begging as no-one got onto the fourth green in regulation, but the other three were won by:

Jim Galendez (7), John Pierrel (13), Bob Britton (16)

Winner ……………. Steve Truelove (9) …….........46 pts
2nd Place……………Colm O’Donovan (20) …….40 pts c/back
3rd Place………….... Paul Smith (2) ……...............40 pts
4th Place……………. Bob Britton (12) ………........39 pts

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……...Colin Smith ….21 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ………Steve Baker……23 pts

With no complaints about the weather, no hold ups on course and a trouble-free drive, all were back at Links Bar nice and early.
Presentations seemed much louder today as Steve Truelove was a popular winner and received loud cheers. Even louder when Phil teased Wayne Peppernell with the “wig”, and he was sure, with his score this was no joke, but slumped in his chair when Phil took it away. Phew! Gotcha! Phil came back and Wayne DID wear it…

It’s a One-Two for The Welsh

It was a day of surprises for the 24 Links golfers who made their way to Eastern Star Golf Course after an absence of a month.

The first surprise was being charged only 1250 baht for green fee/caddy/cart as The Course had vouchers for sale at 500 baht green fee. (to be purchased in blocks of ten).  Nice.
The next surprise was finding the locker rooms in somewhat disarray as major renovations take place. This is not unwelcome, as although the Clubhouse is modern, clean and inviting, the locker room has appeared to hark back to a time gone by with lockers barely able to fit the “stuff” golfers carry these days.

As the players gathered at the first tee the next surprise came for one caddy. She realized that she and her ‘Farang’ for the day were the only ones walking! Not happy.

So, as described to me, the caddy “shamed” Derek Phillips into going back to get a cart. It was not explained to me how she did this.

Another surprise came when Phil decided to “give the boys a break” and play from the short yellow tees at 6100 yds. after opting for the longer white tees at Bangpakong earlier in the week.

Then, as the first group reached the green, they were surprised to find that the greens today were quick, very quick, and as it turned out they were pretty much the same all the way. The good golfers will find a way to adjust.

There were, however, no surprises when Phil Davies announced himself as the winner of the day. His form for the past few weeks has been first class and today’s 39 points was yet another reminder of that form and that he is a pretty good golfer.

Colin Smith hails from the same part of the world as Phil, so much so that they sound uncannily alike. Maybe all Welshmen sound like them? Colin followed Phil home today with a fine 37 points. Colin takes a week or two to run into form on each visit, watch out for him in the Green Jacket soon.

Two days ago, Wayne Peppernell wore the “wig” because of having the worst score of the day. As with many before him, it spurs them into action so that it never happens again.

This time Wayne has scored 36 points to take third spot, winning a three-way countback, beating Steve Baker and Mike Firkin.
Mike just missed fourth place with his best score this trip. He has played his final game for now and leaves for home, Australia, on a high.
 
Near Pins: Colin Smith (3), Colm O’Donovan (6), Paul Smith (13), Phil Davies (17)

Winner …….... Phil Davies (12) ………….39 pts
2nd Place….......Colin Smith (14) ………….37pts
3rd Place……...Wayne Peppernell (16) …….36 pts. c/back
4th Place………Steve Baker (20) ………….36 pts c/back
Best Front Nine (non-winners) ………Chris Walsh……19 pts
Best back Nine 9 non-winners) ………Colin Service….20 pts

Once again, the weather was overcast and breezy to make for a comfortable day out.
Eastern Star is a course in very good condition right now, so we are looking to next time, and how the locker room has progressed.
Oh, Oh.! Nearly forgot the “wig” and we are sure Toby Glass thought we’d forgotten. Sorry Toby.

Erikson Leads USA Challenge

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Greenwood on Monday, 16th July to play a stableford competition on the A and C nines which were in excellent order with greens as good as golfers could remember. Again, defying low season logic, a large field turned out and the three dozen golfers were divided into two flights at fifteen and under.

A strong breeze was evident all day and the overcast conditions meant that humidity added a club to each shot so in effect scores were tight and moderate.

In the second flight Steve Baker's 32 points lost out on countback to Masaaki Sugaya's 32 for runner-up whilst Irish golfer Chris Walsh took the flight win with 34 points. In the top flight American golfer Tom Herrington took third with 35 points, losing on countback to Kevin McEmtee who took the runner-up place. The flight winner was American golfer Mark Erikson with the day's best points score, 38 points.

Near pins went to Mikko (A6) and Phil Davies (C6) whilst the long A2 and C3 into the wind proved too much of a challenge for the field, demonstrating how tough the Greenwood course can be in the sultry conditions.

Consolation awards went to erstwhile wig wearer Toby Glass for his best front nine of 19 points and John Pierrel's best back nine of 20 points. The wig was presented to American golfer Matt Rose, a scratch golfer who failed to come to terms with the course in producing the day's low score. It proved to be a good day for the transatlantic golfers of whom there were five in the top ten in conditions they maybe would have found strange but well done to them for their fine efforts.

Two Green Jackets in One Day!

A drizzling, overcast morning in Pattaya this Wednesday had us wondering how many would pull out of our trip to Burapha Golf. As it happened there were two "no shows" (we are not sure if it was due to the rain however). That left a sizeable field of thirty-eight starters, and surprise, surprise, they played the whole game without being rained on. Sure, a light sprinkle here and there, but that made for a comfortable day out.

The C+D nines were assigned to us today and, as usual here, the whole course was presented in very good condition. The greens have some good pace and play truly.
The rough here tends to be a bit thicker, and it takes some smart work to get the ball out of there. Although carts did drive on the fairways, we played lift, clean and place.

Plenty of very good scores handed in this round and two were the stand outs, so a new precedent was set when Phil decided to present two Green Jackets.

“A” flight saw John Pierrel return with 39 points to break his recent run of losing countbacks, a happy man at last. We mentioned recently how Colin Smith has found his real form, just before leaving for home in Wales, and 37 points looked good for second spot. But, he had to win a countback against the “other” Smith, Paul Smith, also with 37 points (73 gross), who, in turn, won another countback to relegate Phil Davies to fourth.

When Mike Tottenham makes one of his all too rare appearances, you always think he will be placed somewhere. Sure enough he had the other 39 points to take out “B” flight and also get to wear the Green Jacket.

Derek Phillips has gained the nickname with some members as “The Flash”. Not sure why this is, but his matching bright purple attire may give a clue. Derek does try to match it up on golf days. Doesn’t do his score any harm, as today he came in second, scoring 38 points. Mick Coghlan is never far from the podium and took third on 34 points, while Paul Chesney snuck into fourth on 31 points.
Near Pins: Phil Davies (C5), Bob Stokes (C8), Walter Baechli (D2), Garry Bright (D8)

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Mark Erikson……….19 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …...Maurice Roberts……19 pts

Winner …” A” flight……. John Pierrel (12) ……….39 pts
2nd Place…………............Colin Smith (13) ……….37 pts c/back
3rd Place………….............Paul Smith (2) …………37 pts c/back
4th Place…………………. Phil Davies (10) ……….37 pts

Winner…” B” flight……. Mike Tottenham (22) …...39 pts
2nd Place…………………Derek Phillips (19) …….38 pts
3rd Place…………………. Mick Coghlan (21) …….34 pts
4th Place…………………. Paul Chesney (21) …….31 pts c/back

As if the “wig” wasn’t enough, one of our visiting golfers gave Phil another “booby prize” to hand out. It is called the funny hat. It is shaped as a golf green, complete with flag post and ball and yes, it goes on the head. It was decided to award it to the player having the “worst nine”. As luck would have it (karma, I think) Allen Dow came up with the idea, and Allen Dow became the first recipient.
But still we must have the “wig’ and after Ray Byron was relieved to miss out, it was Bobby Shirkey with the honour.

Treasure Hill Preserves its Modesty

Twenty four hours notice of a cancellation by Khao Kheow is hardly the best preparation for a revised trip to Treasure Hill, but the Pattaya Links Golf Society regulars are stoic enough to realise a good days golf could still be had and travelled the 331 in fine spirits on Friday, 20th July.

The course was well populated and in good shape, though tee boxes are still under repair so the group played from the yellow tees. Elsewhere this would ease the test but at Treasure Hill accuracy not length is paramount of course.

The greens were quite challenging with a little pace and some tough pin placements and consequently scores were modest only. In fourth place was Japanese golfer Masaaki Sugaya with 29 points, losing third place to Phil Davies on countback. Similarly the top two needed a countback to decide the victor and Wayne Peppernell's efforts on the back nine fell just a little short behind Paul Smith who took the win with 32 points and a best gross of the day of 78.

Near pins went to Graeme Dunn (6), David Beames (13) and Paul Smith (17) whilst the long second hole stayed unsullied throughout. The consolation awards went to Bobby Shirkey for his best front nine of 16 points and Darren Beavers for his best back nine of 17 points. The wig was won by a blushing Ray Byron and the day's "silly hat" special went to Greg Proctor for the poorest nine total of the day.

It was modesty all round at Treasure Hill with the course keeping its secrets for another day and modest scores only being recorded. Thanks Khao Kheow!

Smith Shows His Class at Laem Chabang

Monday, 23rd July saw the Pattaya Links Golf Society continue its low season golf odyssey at Laem Chabang and again found the course (B & C nines) in superb condition. To add spice to the day the Singha All Thailand Championship had been played on the same combination at the weekend and the course was in prime "tournament condition" with punitive rough and quick greens. In addition most of the pin placements were behind bunkers or over water making accuracy and club choice essential.

Maintaining its course average this year of forty-plus fields the group teed of in twelve groups in hot and sultry conditions, the only respite coming in the final stages as the sun started to lose some of its ferocity. Good scores were at a premium for the three flights, cut at twelve and nineteen and a mere few managed to do better than net par on the day. In the third flight fourth place went to Paul Garvie with 27 points, one behind Len Jones' 28 points. Runner up was Masaaki Sugaya with 32 points and the winner was his fellow countryman Masayuki Okada with 37 points.

In the second flight fourth place went to John Carling with 33 points, losing third to Kazunoyi Okamoto on countback. Second place went to Maurice Roberts with 35 points, twenty of which were recorded on the extremely tough C nine. The flight winner was Wayne Peppernell with an excellent 37 points.

In the top flight John Pierrel found himself in fourth place with 35 points, a couple behind Kevin McEntee and Pete Seil, with the latter taking second on countback. The best score of the day was reserved for Paul Smith whose gross 72 would have ranked in the top twenty a day earlier in the final round of the afore-mentioned Thai tournament. Paul has quality throughout his game and displaying it at Laem Chabang will give him a great deal of pleasure.

Near pins went to Kevin Rogers (B5), Paul Smith (B8), Mick Alleyne (C5) and Pete Seil (C8) whilst the consolation brace went to Michael Olah for his best front nine of 21 points and Matt Cronin's 17 points on the back nine. The dreaded wig was placed on the head of Angus Gannon and the silly hat for the worst nine would have been awarded to Stu Brown had he survived the late presentation.

It had been another splendid golf day at Laem Chabang and golfers are asked to sign up early for the next few dates there as the entry list fills up almost immediately.

Steve Baker Stars at Lakeside

There has been a lot of golf on some great golf courses lately for the Pattaya Links players, so it was no surprise that numbers were down on our last few outings.
Twenty two golfers made the trip to Royal Lakeside and eighteen of them played in the comp.
This course and it’s neighbor, Bangpakong, are a little further away than the norm, but are well worth the extra few minutes’ drive. The quality of presentation is always top notch and, needless to say, today was no exception. The greens have enough pace to test the putting stroke, get it right and you’ve done well, while the fairways are well grassed.
It’s amazing weather at the moment. Most days are threatening rain, but it seems to keep away from the golf course we happen to be on, and today was once again quite pleasant conditions.
The clubhouse here is grand, to say the least and, after making preparations in the locker room that feels quiet and peaceful, you are ready for some good golf.
Steve Baker and Petr Petursen prepared themselves well as they finished the day in first and second places, both with great scores of 41 and 40 points respectively.
We went to four places and why not? The next two players also did better than handicap. Third place was Maurice Roberts with another solid round, bearing 38 points, while the “Rev”, Alan Walker, defied age to score 37 points for fourth spot.

The near pins were won by:

Steve Baker (3), Colm O’Donovan (6), Phil Davies (12), Maurice Roberts (15)

Winner ………..Steve Baker (19)…………….41 pts
2nd Place……... .Petr Petursen (6)…………..40 pts
3rd Place……….Maurice Roberts (14)……….38 pts
4th Place……….Alan Walker (28)…………....37 pts

Best Front Nine ( non winners)…..Stuart Brown…...25 points
Best Back Nine (non winners)……Ray Byron……..19 pts

Presentation time at Links is always lively as Phil not only calls the names of winners, but teases those who did not score well on the day or had some stories to tell.
Colm O’Donovan was presented the “silly hat”, not for winning a near pin when his ball was as far away as possible from the pin, but because he then four putted to scored one point. Phil knows how to rub it in. Graeme Dunn, after a couple of false starts eventually wore the “wig” much to the delight of his Aussie traveling mates.

A Near Par Round from Pete Seil

Sometimes we need to stop and think how lucky we are, Expats and holidaymakers alike, that we are able to play so many fine golf courses, all within a one-hour drive from Pattaya. Right now, almost all are in excellent condition and showing us how good they can be.

Pattavia Century played host to our twenty-seven avid golfers today and this course turned it on.

The fairways are lush, and while walking the eighteenth, noting how almost perfect was this fairway. Of course, there is rough, but not punishing by any means, and the pleasing thing is that the Caddies were quick to rake the bunkers. Not sure if they are all like mine as, after being a helpful Harry and raking, she obviously didn’t think much of my job, and walked in and did it properly. She was also a very good caddy.

Ah! The greens. Whenever we talk about Pattavia, the topic usually centres around those greens. At one time they were called treacherous (among other things) and almost unplayable as they where so quick. Then, suddenly, something happened and they went in almost the opposite direction, slowing so much it took a solid putt to get to the hole. Today, just like Goldilocks, they are just right. Not too fast and not too slow. Mind you, you still didn’t want to be making a downhill putt, because the ball would keep going for a while if you missed the hole.

With a nice breeze, eventually, how was the scoring? Two thirds of the field scored 30 points or better, for a field average of 32 points.
That average was helped by a magnificent 41 points from Pete Seil off his handicap of #6 (gross 73). He’s never far away from the podium. Stuart Thompson has his good days and other, but a nice steady round of 38 points saw him take second spot on a countback from Masao Ishikawa. A nice first up effort from Masao, while Maurice Roberts had a credible 35 points to round out “A” flight.
In the bus on the way back, Colm O’Donovan was the club house leader for “B” flight with his best score for some time. Two players had escaped to the first bus without handing in their cards. No problem, but we had to wait until arrival at Links Bar to see if they made a difference. One did! Greg Proctor handed over his card with a big 40 points to relegate Colm to second place. This was also Greg’s best for some time. Then there was a big gap to third placed Alan Walker with 31 points and Mike Tottenham in fourth with 30 points

Four near pin markers out today and all were won:
Pete Seil (4), Simon Niven (7 and 17), Bob Stokes (13),

Winner …” A” flight……. Pete Seil (6) ……………...41 pts
2nd Place…………............Stuart Thompson (16) …...38 pts c/back
3rd Place………….............Masao Ishikanwa (16) ….38 pts c/back
4th Place…………………. Maurice Roberts (14) ……37 pts
Winner…” B” flight……. Greg Proctor (22) ………...40 pts
2nd Place…………………Colm O’Donovan (19) ….38 pts
3rd Place…………………. Alan Walker (28) ……….31 pts
4th Place…………………. Mike Tottenham (21) …….30 pts
For those not already mentioned there is the best half games to be won.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Phil Davies……………19 pts

Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. Wayne Peppernell…….19 pts.
Paul Chesney was called out for the “wig” but it was pointed out that a mistake had been made, so he was sent back to his seat. It was Graeme Dunn excitedly making it two in a row. Is he going for the hat trick?

Speaking of hats, the “funny hat” needed to go on a head. Phil decided that, as Len Jones had a hand in the “Chesney affair”, he should have the honour. He looks happy enough. The last word.

August

Toby Turns It Around

Some people scoff at the “wig” we present to the player with the worst score of the day. But, boy! Does it make those players concentrate on their game from that day on?
We have seen a number of form turn arounds, and Toby Glass is the latest. It was back to Treasure Hill after an absence of just 10 days and as we drove in, the car park was almost overflowing. Then realizing it was a public holiday resigned ourselves to having a slow day.
However, upon arriving at the first tee, we discovered that the starter had sent all others to the tenth tee, with only our 7 groups off the first. Well done and thank you.
So, with that, our first four ball set off a little earlier than our assigned time, and with nobody in sight this group was all done in about 3hrs 40 mins. without rushing.
The course, as usual, is in splendid condition. The rough worried some as it is thick bladed grass and can grab the club and throw out the intended direction of the ball.
At our previous visit, we were amazed at how slow the greens played, (slow for this course.) Today a little better, but still slow, and again, some battled to come to terms with that, which may account for the low scoring.
Back to Toby Glass! He showed the way for the “A”: flight and became the nearest to playing to handicap with 35 points, the best score of the day.
Colin Service gave himself a week away from golf, but today he came out fighting to score 34 points to take second spot on countback from the now consistent Maurice Roberts, while Wayne Peppernell rounded out the podium on 31 points.
In the “B” flight, 34 points turned out to be a good score this day and two players managed that. John “I love Treasure Hill” Anderson scraped into first place on a countback over Mike Tottenham, going to the last six to separate them.
Since getting back to Pattaya a couple of weeks ago, Alan “ Rev” Walker has been in the placings in each game he’s played, so with 33 points just edged out Paul Chesney (ex wig) in yet another countback.
Four near pins out and all were claimed:

Near Pins: Paul Chesney (2 and 6), Paul Smith (13), Greg Proctor (17)

Winner ………………Toby Glass (16) ……………....35 pts
2nd Place………….......Colin Service (17) …………...34 pts c/back
3rd Place…………........Maurice Roberts (13) ………...34 pts
4th Place…………….... Wayne Peppernell (16) ……….31 pts

Winner…” B” flight……. John Anderson (29) ………...34 pts c/back
2nd Place…………………Mike Tottenham (21) ………34 pts
3rd Place…………………. Alan Walker (27) ………….33 pts c/back
4th Place…………………. Paul Chesney (21) ………....33 pts

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Len Jones …….17 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. Stu Brown…….18 pts

Graeme Dunn made it a “hat trick” by wearing the “wig” three times in a row for having the worst 18-hole score of the day.
The player with the worst nine-hole score wears the “silly hat” and this was to be Dave Arataki.
Once again, another fine day at Treasure Hill. However, one down side, and many would not have needed to use the toilets around the course, but one player with a tummy problem did, and reported the poor condition of the these. No water and smelly.
Mentioning this to my caddy, she told me it had been two days now like that, so hopefully it will be fixed soon.

Good Scores On A Difficult Course

St. Andrews 2000 is one of the more expensive courses in the area and, because Golf Societies need to cater to all players, this course is not on the roster very often. However, we were able to take advantage of their Sports Day Wednesday at the very good price of 2050 baht all in. (Carts are compulsory) Not cheap, but a chance for some visiting golfers to treat themselves.
Twenty-four excited players arrived at the course, checked in and ready to go. But, what a disappointment to find many greens are having problems with some fungus and, despite the efforts of the grounds staff over a long period of time, the greens are not up to the standard that we have come to expect. Many are quite grainy, making it hard to read and to get the speed. Otherwise, this course is a good and challenging layout and maintained in beautiful condition. Fairways are nicely grassed, the first cut rough is not too punishing, and the weather was comfortable, with a nice, but not strong, breeze for most of the distance. Although the skies threatened, it never did rain. Got away with it again!
Not sure if it happens in other places, but it is not uncommon around this area to find we are placed behind a 6-ball group. This day there were two groups in front of our players. After some protestations from our Organizer, the Marshal asked these people to keep up the pace. Happily, they did just that, so there were no hold ups. Thank you.

With the greens as they are, we might not have expected the scores to be all that impressive. Well, we were wrong! We played one flight, five places, with Michael Olah heading the list scoring a terrific 40 points, to hold out a fast finishing Wayne Peppernell, bagging 20 points on the back nine to take his tally to 39 points. Simon Niven is here for a couple of weeks rest??  and did well for his first time at this course in 3 years to have 38 points. Then came the 36’ers.. Three players finished on 36 points to be separated by countback.  Geoff Wallace got the nod for fourth, beating Merle Humphreys. Colin Service had 36 but just missed the last place of five.

Near Pins:  Kevin LaBar (3), Garry Bright (5), Colin Service (10), Paul Garvey (19)
    No, not a typo! Hole 17 was closed and we used the alternate par 3 (19)

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Phil Davies…….19 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …. Dave Arataki…...18 pts

Winner ………. Michael Olah (18) …………....40 pts
2nd Place….........Wayne Peppernell (16) ……….39 pts
3rd Place………. Simon Niven (12) ……………38 pts.
4th Place………. Geoff Wallace (16) …………...36 pts c/back
5th Place………. Merle Humphreys (21) ……….36 pts c/back

Alan Dow… This what you want? Darren Beavers had the worst score of the day, and probably his worst so far, he wears the “wig”. I’ve been told it is the “silly hat”, not the funny hat. OK then, it was Greg Proctor taking over from his mate, Graeme (hat trick) Dunn, who has gone home. Greg had a very low score on the back nine to thoroughly earn it.

Then the fans were turned off as Joy carried out the Birthday Cake with candles glowing for Happy Birthday, Wayne Peppernell,

Maurice Wins Tight Finish

How good is Greenwood golf course at this time? When half of our twenty-two golfers played to handicap or better, it tells us that not only is there some good golf played, but also about the golfer friendly condition of the course.

We played A and C nines from the yellow tees, as there had been some rain about and reports of soft fairways. However, even though we played “lift, clean and place” on fairways, there was still good roll, with the ball picking up some mud only occasionally.

It’s a pleasure to putt on these greens, as they nearly always have some pace and roll truly. The greens have had recent coring and sanding, but have come up a treat.

There was rain about, and for the first time in some weeks we actually did get slightly wet. Two showers passed through, but lasted only a few minutes each time, not even enough to stop play. Of course, this made for cooler, more pleasant conditions.

Check the scores. Yes! a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard. Countbacks galore to separate the four players with 39 points.

Maurice Roberts, after once again retiring with that back problem two days before, bounced back to have the best back nine (C) of the four to win the first countback from Merle Humphreys, who had his last round before going home to the USA.

Paul Chesney, like most of us amateurs, runs in and out of form, but did enough to win the third spot after the countback here went to the last 6 holes, relegating the in-form John Anderson to fourth. 39 points but only fourth!!

Not on the podium, but we then had 3 x 37 pts and 4 x 36 points. Great scoring everyone.

Near Pins: Simon Niven (A2), Masa Sugaya (A6), Toby Glass (C3), David Marshall (C6)

Winner …….... Maurice Roberts (13) ………....39 pts c/back
2nd Place…........Merle Humphreys (21) ……….39 pts c/back
3rd Place…….... Paul Chesney (21) ………….......39 pts c/back
4th Place………John Anderson (29) ……….........39 pts

During presentations, Phil explained with “colourful” description how the “best nine” thing works. Quite sure that newcomers and those who didn’t understand before, do get it now.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……. Greg Proctor…22 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. Paul Smith….19 pts.

First time player with Links, David Marshall, scored the “silly hat” for the lowest nine-hole score of just…? points. For the lowest points score for the entire eighteen holes, Lloyd Mills got to wear the “wig” and receive the much sought after Links ball marker.

It is always a pleasure to travel to Greenwood and be presented with a beautiful golf course.

Effendie Edges Tight Contest

The Pattaya Links Golf Society travelled to Laem Chabang on Monday, 6th August for another joust on the Jack Nicklaus creation which was in excellent condition as always. The option was still the B-C combination and steady rain the day before had made the C nine softer than the front nine, leaving nine very long holes to conclude the round. A quartet of fine golfers playing elsewhere in the first round of the defence of the group's Pattaya Matchplay Series competition did not detract from the intensity of the day's competition and the forty-two golfers, in two flights cut at nineteen and under, set about their task on time and in good order

In the second flight fourth place went to Mike Tottenham with 31 points, losing out on countback, a little disappointing when one recalls the form he is in currently. Beating him into third place was Pierre Zbingden with another solid round. In second was David Marshall with a steady 33 points whilst the winner was Darren Beavers with a countback bonus, also on 33 points.

In the top flight Kevin LaBar took fourth place with 33 points, one behind Aussie Geoff Wallace celebrating his final round this trip with 34 points. Good memories Geoff! It took another countback to decide the top two and the unlucky golfer was Tom Gorey whose 35 points gave him the runner-up envelope whilst Mark Effendie took the main prize with the same number of points.

Near pins went to Maurice Roberts (B8 and C5), Mark Effendie (B5) and Tom Gorey (C8) - yes, it was that tight all the way through. The non-winners' bonus for the best front nine went to Greg Proctor for his 20 points whilst South African golfer Rudy Regenass took the bonus prize for the best back nine with another 20 points. Where there are winners there are always losers but many golfers are proud occasionally to be recognised for their fortitude rather than skill and Booby Shirkey certainly falls into that category wth another wig award whilst poor Bill Maxwell has special memories of his first round with PLGS as he wore the silly hat with pride for the worst nine holes score of the day.

Phil Davies Takes All Before Him

Hot on the heels of leading the “Links Bar” team to victory in the first Pattaya Matchplay round at Pattana, Phil Davies’ devastating form has carried over to this game at the fabulous Pattavia Century Course today.

Phil’s score of 41 points had him well clear of second placed Chris Barker with 36 points, who has found form quickly since arriving back a week or so ago. Then came a countback situation where Greg Proctor eased out Kevin LaBar for third spot, and the ever-reliable veteran Alan Walker was once again in the mix with 33 points for fifth.

It’s only been two weeks since we last visited here and, as we have come to expect, everything about this course, including the price, is in tip top condition. The comments on the “famous” greens were that they had quickened up slightly since our previous trip, but still very playable. The players in his group told of Phil’s putting this day, and how he just couldn’t miss, so he thinks the greens are just fine.

Four near pin markers out today. Paul Chesney (4), Mark Effendie (7), Colin Service (13), while the 17th went begging, as no player could get on the green in regulation.                      

Winner …………. Phil Davies (9) ………...41 pts
2nd Place……….... Chris Barker (12) …........36 pts
3rd Place…………. Greg Proctor (20) ……...34 pts c/back
4th Place…………. Kevin LaBar (14) …….34 pts
5th Place…………. Alan Walker (27) ………33 pts

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Charley Gauci……...20 pts

Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. Darren Beavers…….18 pts.

Masayuki Okada, one of a number of Japanese players to join us recently, found himself in last place and got to try the “wig” for the first time.

Funny how it works sometimes. Charley Gauci was excited to win “best front nine” with 20 points, but within a few minutes was wearing the “silly hat” for having the worst nine score of the day (in his case, 5 points for the back nine).

Ah! Golf.

Another fine day on a beautiful Golf Course for the “Links” players.

Chesney’s Best Ever Round

As Paul Chesney handed in his card he was so excited to tell me this was his best game ever.
After going through a rough patch with his golf (don’t most of us?), and wearing the “wig” at least once, he has burst out of it with a fine 40 points. Well done.

Paul Smith, handicap 2, has to almost par the course to get a win. But gross 74 is pretty good, and he took second on a countback over Peter Henshaw, both on 36 points.
Bernie Stafford and Peter Wilson fought out the minor placings on 35 points.

Khao Kheow is not known for producing high stableford scores, so these five and the next four places have done very well.
This course is going through “low season” maintenance and upgrade. The greens were done first and are in excellent condition and, even though there had been some rain about recently, had some good pace.

Tee boxes are almost there, and the fairways are looking very good. Some on the “A” course almost look as if the grass has been painted on they are so good. Particularly A2.
Most importantly, the fairways are nicely mown and provide good lies.

The weather today started beautifully with a nice breeze and overcast conditions. Carts were on path only due to recent rains. By the second nine the sun was peeping through and things became a little steamier. The fairways had some mud in places but otherwise quite firm. My caddy phoned a couple of times asking to drive on fairways, but it was a no.!

Near Pins: Kevin LaBar (B3), Masa Sugaya (B8), Paul Smith (A3), Bernie Stafford (A5)

Winner ….……. Paul Chesney (20) ………...40 pts
2nd Place………. Paul Smith (2) …………....36pts c/back
3rd Place………. Peter Henshaw (29) ………36 pts
4th Place………. Bernie Stafford (20) ……...35 pts
5th Place………. Peter Wilson (8) ………….35 pts

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …...John Anderson……….18 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……Donal McGuigan…….18 pts

On our way in the morning, having reached Pattaya Klang, we received a call that someone had left a bag at the Bar. One bus was turned around to go back. Maurice decided then and there that the “silly hat” was going to the owner of that bag, regardless of his score… Well done, Alan Walker.
Good ‘ol Mate Bryan Barrell gets disappointed if he misses out on the “wig”. No disappointment today for Bryan. Looks made to fit.
As always, an enjoyable and fun day of golf with Pattaya Links Golf Society at Khao Kheow.

Masa Sugaya Tops on Mother’s Day

The weather for our most recent golf outings has been very comfortable, but today at Treasure Hill it was about as perfect as you would want. Overcast with a cooling breeze and just 30 seconds of a shower, very pleasant. This was the main topic of conversation after the round, and rightly so. After all, the golf wasn’t worth talking about.
What is it that makes otherwise very good golfers become wrecks when they get to Treasure Hill? It’s all in the head perhaps. On a golf course presented in terrific condition with grassed fairways, rough that is not easy and good rolling greens (did have one complaint that the greens are too hard and won’t hold the ball), and even at holiday pricing, it is well worth the 45-minute trip.
With all that and great weather, it was Masa Sugaya hitting the top score of the day with a steady 34 points. He has been close enough recently, and cracked it today.
Colin Service was offered advice last week of a new way to get extra distance off the tee, and did well for second place on 33 points, while Paul Chesney kept up his latest good form to take third spot.
Although, upon our arrival, the carpark was overflowing, as per the previous time on a public holiday, we were sent off early from the first tee and had a clear run all the way. Some excellent organization from Treasure Hill Management.

Near pins: Chris Barker (6), Paul Chesney (13) Dave Arataki (17) whilst the long second hole stayed unsullied throughout.

With just 18 players out today it was one division, three places.

Winner ………………Masa Sugaya (21) …………34 pts
2nd Place………….......Colin Service (16) ………...33 pts
3rd Place…………........Paul Chesney (20) ……….32 pts

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Charlie Gauci ……...19 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. John Anderson…….19 pts

Although Colin Service figured in the placings, he was awarded the “silly hat” due to being completely disorganised in the morning, leaving home without wallet and other needs, and needed a loan to get him through. Most un-Colin like.
Presentations were delayed while players savoured the succulent chicken, onion and chips with brown onion gravy, the golfers’ meal,
Alan Walker has had both hats now, today the “wig” for winning (or losing) a countback for last.

Toby Glass Shoots a Solid 40 points

The weather is still well and truly on our side, so sixteen golfers set off at the later time of 10.00 am for the trip to Pattana. One of our regulars surprised me by saying this was his first time at this course, whilst giving high praise for a “wonderful” golf course. He has been to many courses here, but was awed as soon as he walked into this clubhouse, and even more so upon seeing the first fairway.
Today we played B+A courses. The A course has been closed for maintenance for a couple of weeks and, although there was a little sand on some of them, the greens where in excellent condition. There were some, however, who thought they were a tad slower than is usual here.
For some, it is always a bit daunting to start on B1, with water both sides and in front of the green, that’s the challenge. Our first three placegetters are no exception as they had 1,1,0 points to start, but as we will see, got it together from there on.
Toby Glass led the way for his second Green Jacket in a month with a terrific 40 points. On this course that is very solid scoring. Kevin LaBar has been moving further up the ladder with each outing this trip and held second spot with a fine 38 points.
John Pierrel is so consistent that he is always somewhere around the podium, no matter which course he plays, and took third with 37 points.
To beat handicap at this course you need to play very well and these three did that. Just a mention of Jayson Schembri who equalled his handicap with 36 points to finish just outside the placings.

Near Pins were on each Par 3 and they were won by:Chris Barker (A3), Kevin LaBar (A8 + B3), Phil Davies (B7)

Winner …………. Toby Glass (16) ………..........40 pts
2nd Place…………Kevin LaBar (14) ……………38 pts
3rd Place…………. John Pierrel (12) ………..........37pts

On Monday, forgetful Alan Walker had to wear the “silly hat” for leaving his bag at the Bar. Forgetting bags must be contagious, as today Maurice Roberts caught the disease. Frantic phones call to the bus in case somebody picked it up. Then Phil turned back to the club, and there it was in the restaurant right where he left it.
Meanwhile the “bus people” decided to force a vote for MR to get the “silly hat”. There was more noise than a sitting of Parliament as Maurice protested and Phil led the calls for a vote. Phil had the numbers and the vote was unanimous.
The aforementioned Alan Walker was once again wearing the “wig” and wants to buy it to keep. The players were also appreciative of the promotion at Pattana right now. A free beer or drink at the completion of the round. Thank You Pattana.

McGuigan Tops Tight Finish

Another week ended for the golfers of the Pattaya Links Golf Society with a visit to Green Valley to play a stableford competition from the white tees on a course well prepared. Fairways were in good condition but were a little slow as a result of some recent rain but greens were running at a good pace. Only five groups were present today, meaning a single flight, but there was still enough quality to make a tight competition with only two points spanning the first five places.

In fourth was Len Jones with 32 points, losing on countback to recent winner Paul Chesney in third. Second place went to Aussie Mike Tottenham with 33 points leaving Irishman Donal McGuigan the victor with 34.

Near pins went to Dave Arataki (5), Kevin Rogers (8), Chris Barker (13) and Paul Chesney (16) whilst Kevin Labar's excellent front nine of 19 points took one of the consolation prizes, as did Maurice Roberts whose 17 points on the back nine was the best of the non-winners.

The absence of the wig winner meant no presentation was made, much to the relief of Tip Briney who was also in the frame and a day which began with some chaos with transport saw Mr Phil show some uncharacteristic charity by withholding the "silly hat" award for the day. He will be much more vigilant next week however. Be warned golfers!

Davies Serves up Another Treat

The Pattaya Links Golf Society celebrated its one hundredth club competition this year with another visit to the sumptuous Laem Chabang Country Club to play a stableford round on the B and C nines which were in excellent condition despite some heavy rain just 24 hours before. Carts were limited to paths only and so preferred lies on the fairways applied, though in truth hardly any golfer felt the need to apply the local rule. Fairways were a little soft but still afforded some run and the greens were splendid, running with a lot of pace.

So it was that the eight groups set off on time in overcast conditions but thankfully the rain stayed away except for the slightest misty spattering at the end of the front nine. Two flights were set today with the cut at eighteen. Playing the C nine second always gives golfers a torrid time as the nine holes are so demanding. It's a hard slog with long par fours, long lateral bunkers and the natural loss of energy that the previous holes have drained but today we could have been proved wrong. In the top flight Phil Davies, suffering a recent loss of confidence, found his game again and played the back nine to par "off the sticks" in a winning performance which gave him 40 points off his recently increased handicap of nine. Just how good is that? Maybe ask runner-up Toby Glass who managed to tie the winning score, losing on countback to Phil's memorable back nine. Kevin LaBar was third with a very solid 37 points whilst Peter McDonald took fourth with 34 points.

In the second flight Frank Riley was fourth with 33 points, one behind third placed John Coetzee. The runner-up was Japanese newbie Naka Kazu whose length defied his moderate handicap and he finished with 39 points, leaving the winner Brian Wilkinson with forty-one.

The best non-winning front nine of 20 points was claimed by Alan Walker. Near pins were were claimed by Ralph McConnell (B5), Wayne Peppernell (B8), Len Jones (C5) and Maurice Roberts (C8) whilst the dreaded wig was awarded to Bill Markwell but modelled by his mate Maurice "Mobo" Bowman in Bill's absence. The "silly hat" for the worst nine total went to Tip Briney after a back nine best forgotten.

Back at the Links there was the presentation party for the final tie of the Pattaya Matchplay series and the PLGS again took the honours after a final day clean sweep helped them to retain the title won last year. Well done lads, we're all proud of you!

 

John Pierrel - A Good Golfer On A Roll

Well, that’s different! We have never played the combination of A+C at Burapha before, but we did today. Both nines were in typically good condition with terrific fairways and good speed on the greens, even though there was a hint of residue sand on some.
The rough here is usually pretty difficult and, although it had been cut down a little, still caused a few problems.

No problem, however, for the very in-form John Pierrel. Fresh from playing his important part in the successful “Links Bar” team at Pattaya Matchplay he cleared away from the rest with a big 40 points score card to take out “A” flight and, not for the first time, donned the Green Jacket.

We mentioned recently that Kevin LaBar has been in contention most games this trip, and here he is again, taking second spot with a well-played 36 points, followed by the ever-reliable Paul Smith with 35 points off his lowly #3 handicap.

Dave Arataki has had his share, and then some, of “wigs” and silly hats”. But how the worm has turned!  Forget the hats, by taking out “B” flight with a strong 36 points to win on countback, is a much-needed form reversal.

It says something about the “wig” when it kick starts people into concentrating a little bit more. The second and third places also scored 36 points each and both are also recent “wig” wearers. Paul Chesney pipped Tip Briney for second. Good job from all three.

Near Pins: Kevin LaBar (A3), Colin Service (A6), John Pierrel (C5), Pete Seil (C8)

Best Front Nine (non-winners) …. Wayne Peppernell……….20 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …...Maurice Roberts…………21 pts c/back

Winner …” A” flight……. John Pierrel (12) ………...40 pts
2nd Place…………............Kevin LaBar (14) ……….36 pts
3rd Place………….............Paul Smith (3) ………….35 pts

Winner…” B” flight……. Dave Arataki (29) ……….36 pts c/back
2nd Place…………………Paul Chesney (20) ………36 pts c/back
3rd Place…………………. Tip Briney (22) …………36 pts

On Monday, Bill Markwell was the “wig” winner, but failed to return to the Bar, so his mate Maurice Bowman “ modelled” it. But good things come to those who wait. Bill again had the least number of points and this time he was the model.

This “silly hat” thing has taken on many connotations in its short life. This time Maurice Roberts decided to use it to take revenge on those who voted for him to wear it recently, and the first victim was Toby Glass who, incidentally is leaving for home today after a two month stay.

The fans were turned down and the beautiful birthday cake arrived for our co-organiser, Len Jones. He was so excited that he ran inside and “rang the bell”.
Happy Birthday, Len.

Tight Call as Masa Wins on Countback

On Friday, 24th August the Pattaya Links Golf Society travelled to Eastern Star for another tough test of golf on the course which was in fine condition despite recent rains. Fairways were dry, with some run and the formerly much-maligned greens were running true and with some pace. Bunkers were well tended and the rough was its challenging best. Add to the mix the "OB Left and water right" equation and the group was set for some challenging golf.

Six playing groups in one flight took the field on time and found progress good throughout.

Scores were good and fourth place went to Aussie Mike Tottenham with a level par 36 points. Ahead of Mike were two Irish golfers with Tom O'Neill taking third with 37 points and Donal McGuigan scoring 38 points, losing on countback to old friend Masa Sugaya with his winning 38 points.

Near pins were recorded by Phil Davies (3), Len Jones (6), and a brace from Chris Barker on 13 and 17. Alan Walker took the award for the best non-winning front nine of 18 points whilst Paul Chesney's 20 points on the back nine gave him some cheer as well. A sadly out of form Dave Arataki received the wig for his mediocre round whilst Mr Phil delighted the golfers at the presentation with the choice of Colin Service for the "silly hat". Colin started his round with a lost ball off the first tee and it never really got better on the front nine, ten points being all he could muster. Colin's halcyon rounds of a few weeks ago now seem all but a memory but he will be back no doubt. Look out lads!

Arataki Deserves First Green Jacket

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Bangprakong Riverside on Wednesday, 29th August with twenty golfers champing at the bit at the opportunity to play the sumptuous course on the banks of the Bangprakong River on the outskirts of Bangkok. As always the course was in splendid condition with well grassed fairways, well-tended bunkers and very consistent greens. A restriction on the use of carts invoked the preferred lies local competition rule on the fairways but, in reality, it was hardly used. Such was the quality.

In the single flight Barry Oats, playing from the senior tees, managed 35 points for fourth place, narrowly losing on countback to third placed golfer Maurice Roberts, also with 35 points. Second place was taken by Wayne Peppernell with a fine 37 points. That's where the Aussie involvement ended as England's Dave Arataki took control with an excellent 39 points, including a brace of very adjacent near-pins, on the fourth and sixteenth holes. It has often been noticed that winning the "wig" has a positive effect on a golfer's performance and an unassuming Dave made the point again today after securing his first green jacket with a very competent round of golf.

Other near pins went to Michael Wright (7) and Phil Davies (13) and consolation awards went to Ian Wilson (best front nine, 18 points) and Chris Barker's best back nine of 18 points also. Ralph McConnell, smiles all round, had the honour of the wig after a best forgotten round and Paul Chesney, green jacket winner only three weeks ago, celebrated his final nine holes this trip with the silly hat award. Skill is not the only highlight of a golf day at the Links, fun predominates as well!

LaBar Wins With Level Par

The Pattaya Links Golf Society road show ended the week at Emerald in clear and breezy conditions. The course was well prepared but the rains had made the rough very challenging and an impediment to good scoring. Eighteen golfers started on time on an almost empty course. Ban Chang, has it lost its historic attraction?

Golf is another matter however and the scores reflected the conditions with fourth place going to American golfer Ed Karvois, the field's low marker, playing off 8 who returned a score of 34 points. One point ahead with 35 was John Harrison, losing second place to Swiss golfer Marco Beer on countback. The winner with a level par round was Kevin LaBar on 36 points.

Near pins went to Dave Arataki (5), Mike Tottenham (7), Masa Sugaya (13) and Ed Karvois (15) whilst the best nines glory went to Wayne Peppernell (front, 18 points) and Michael Wright (back, 20 points).

Other consolation awards went to Masayuki Okada, with the honour of the wig for his second consecutive appearance and Chris Barker's shabby back nine guaranteed him the "silly hat" award for the poorest nine hole score.

All the golfers enjoyed the day and looked forward to a few days rest before tackling Laem Chabang again the next time out after the weekend.

September

Powerful Finish Wins it for Roberts

If it's Monday it must be Laem Chabang, at least as far as the Pattaya Links Golf Society is concerned. Another twenty eight golfers took on the challenge of one of the best courses in the area on the first Monday in September and found the course in excellent order with magnificent greens and fairways just soft enough to maintain some run but, on reflection maybe "lift and place" should have been invoked as some mud balls hindered approach shots. The Links policy is where carts are allowed on fairways the ball should be played as it lies, so there. in a nutshell is the rationale for the organiser's decision.

The field was divided into two flights, cut at thirteen and under and conditions made for some tight competition, if not high scores. In the second flight third place went to French golfer Serge Straeten with 33 points, one behind Darren Beavers' runner-up total of 34 points, secured with a broken ring finger no less. His enforced adjusted grip has added yards to his game and yesterday proved the point for future reference. The flight winner was Colin Service, securing the win on countback from Darren, with another 34 points.

The top flight saw a quality trio trust to countback to sort out the 1-2-3. Paul Smith set the standard with gross 75, equating to 36 points, whilst Pete Seil totalled the same but countback showed Maurice Roberts powerful back nine display of twenty points gave him the win from Paul and Pete.

Near pins were won by Paul Smith (5 and 14). Les Cobban (8) and Masayuki Okada (17) whilst the best front nine score of 19 points by Richard Keenan gave him some spending money as did Michael Wright's back nine score of nineteen. Of the non winners the standout round was that of Swiss golfer Marco Beer, a runner-up at the end of last week, and his total of a baker's dozen was more than enough to merit the wig. Finally the "silly hat" award went to Ralph McConnell reflecting his indiscretion a week before on the same course when three submerged drives from the second tee were followed by a five minute struggle to extricate the club from the reeds. When Maurice has your name on his "blacklist", beware, be discreet, keep your head down and score well!

At Last! Mike Firkin’s Green Jacket

After the heavy rain a couple of days earlier, some drizzle on this morning had us musing if we would have some late cancellations. Not sure if a cancellation or just a sleep in, but only one golfer missed the bus. This left us with 27 players, with one of those not in the competition. Two flights today with the cut at 0-13 and 14+, plus, of course, near pins and “best nines”

We must mention the pleasant surprise upon checking in to be charged 1350 baht for G/fee, caddy, cart. Less than expected, so Thank You Pattavia.

Pattavia Century is just a nice course to play. Almost always the fairways and surrounds are in perfect condition and the rough not too harsh, and today was top notch. The infamous greens are having some work done on them, getting ready to bamboozle in the High season. So, right now they are as slow as we can remember. Recently cored and sanded and not cut low, as yet, but still the memory of very quick downhill putts remained. And here was the problem. They did not do what we remembered and managed to fool most players.

Although a slightly later tee time of 10.50 am was allocated to us, the starter sent our first group away about 15 minutes before that.

Normally we start the results with the “A” flight, but here we have a winner of “B” flight who has had his ups and downs on the golf course, but today Mike Firkin shone and ran away with a popular and well deserved first place and a first wearing of the Green Jacket, with the best score of the day of 39 points. Second to Mike was consistent John Harrison with an equal handicap 36 points, and then Darren Beavers (broken finger) beating off two others in a countback for third.

The “A” flight now, and speaking of consistency, Takeshi Hakozaki seems to be up there no matter where he plays, but had to survive a countback to win the flight. The countback was against John Pierrel who has been on a roll this trip. Both scored a great 37 points. Another countback saw Tommy Marshall take third over his mate, Paul Smith, both with 35 points.
 
Near Pins: Maurice Roberts (4), Kevin LaBar (7), Colin Smith (13), and (17)
                                                                                                                   Winner …” A” flight……. Takeshi Hakozaki (12) ………37 pts c/back
2nd Place…………............John Pierrel (11) …………......37 pts
3rd Place………….............Tommy Marshall (7) ………...35 pts c/back

Winner…” B” flight……. Mike Firkin (25) ……………...39 pts
2nd Place…………………John Harrison (14) …………...36 pts
3rd Place…………………Darren Beavers (21) ….............34 pts c/back

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Paul Smith……........18 pts

Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. Kevin Rogers……...22 pts.

The organizer knew he was a prime candidate for the “silly hat” when he received an early morning phone call asking “how many bus you want?” There were other possibilities for the prize, but Phil, admitting that no-one else knew, put his hand up and gave himself the hat.
The “wig” went to John Anderson at last…for being last. A temporary glitch, hopefully.
Pattavia is a wonderful course, so don’t be put off by the maintenance being done. It will come up A-one very soon.

Green Valley Back to Its Best

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Green Valley on Friday, 7th September to play a stableford competition on the course which is now back to its glorious best. Fairways could not be better and the greens are true and not without pace. The felling and clearing of trees and more than a few bushes has opened up the course, making it easier on the eye and helping it to dry quicker, whilst giving it a more "airy" feel and altogether playing there is now a pleasurable experience again.

All nine playing groups got away in very quick time and the two flights were divided at fifteen. It was a great pleasure to welcome a large contingent from Tropical Bert's and it gave all the golfers a chance to try their skills against fresh faces.

In the top flight America's Tom Herrington beat off the challenge of compatriot Bob Rice on countback for fifth place, with 34 points. One point ahead was Andre van Dyke with 35, beating Kevin LaBar on countback for third place. The top two needed countback to decide the winner and Steve Truelove's better back nine took the day from another solid performance from John Pierrel. What a competitive flight the "big boys" had put together!

The second flight was no less tense as Tropical's Dick Warberg took fifth with 33 points, one behind fourth placed golfer Peter Henshaw. In third was Ian Wilson with 35 points, trailing runner-up Donal McGuigan's 37 points total. One point ahead was Patrick Poussier with 38, giving the Swiss golfer his first win with the group.

Near pins went to Phil Davies (5), Colin Service (8), John Davis (13) and Bob Rice (16). The best front nine went to Colin Smith with 18 and the best back nine went to Mashi Kaneta with 17 points.

The consolation awards went to a bewigged John Grisley and Donal McGuigan had the ignominy of the "silly hat" for the very late submission of his playing group's scorecards, causing apoplexy for the recorders Maurice and Len. Maybe it's time to remind golfers that cards should be returned before leaving the clubhouse to avoid the danger of disqualification. It's a simple request that makes the day run more smoothly.

Having said that It's good to see Green Valley back to its best again and that will be the lasting memory of the day.

Great Scores on a Wet Track

Heavy overnight rain eased to a drizzle as golfers made their way to Links Bar for our appointment at Khao Kheow Country Club. As expected when there is the hint of rain about, there were some late cancellations, although there was one message at 5.05 am! Wake up call for Len. This left a healthy field of 26 players.

A popular visitor from the UK, Ian Wilson, was to play his final game this trip and decided to make a donation to the Society to be used however we see fit. Maurice decided to add some extra novelty prizes to play for.

A phone call to the course before we departed confirmed our suspicions that carts were allowed only on the paths and, once we hit the fairways, it was certainly a no brainer by the KK management, as the course had also received overnight rain.

Considering this, Khao Kheow A and B nines were in very good condition, and the greens seemed to suffer no ill effects from the wet, as they played as good as ever here, perhaps a tad slower initially. Those worried about being rained on missed an excellent day out, as even the drizzle encountered on the Motorway had stopped as we teed off thirty minutes before our scheduled start time, overcast, hot, and no rain.

The field was split into two flights with the cut at 17 and, because the fairways were quite damp, we played from the shorter white tees. Normally the lower handicappers are not happy with playing so short, but there came some praise from them for the decision, as there was no run at all.

We might have expected some below average scores for today, but we would have been wrong, as there were some excellent scores turned in. “A” flight saw a bunch up at the top with Les Cobban and Colin Smith going to the countback to decide who had the better 40 points. Les managed 21 to Colin’s 17 back nine to take the win. Third spot was won by Paul Smith scoring a sometimes-winning score of 39 points, and fourth place was a surprised Wayne Peppernell on 37 points. After hearing the first three scores, he reckoned 37 was not good enough!

“B” flight didn’t make it to the heady 40 points mark, but we can certainly take nothinaway from Len Jones and Ken Ishikawa who both had 36 points, with Len taking the win on countback. Third place went to Mike Firkin with a neat 33 points, while visitor, Andy Stormouth rounded out the podium with 32 points on a countback.

Near Pins (on par 3s) Wayne Peppernell (A3), Peter Henshaw (A5), Sunny Khanna (B3),
 Steve Mahoney (B8)

Long First Putt: Les Cobban (A9), Paul Smith (B9).

Near Pin in 3 on Par 5: Paul Smith (A2), Les Cobban (B2)

Winner …” A” flight……. Les Cobban (9) ……………...40 pts c/back
2nd Place………….............Colin Smith (13) …………....40 pts
3rd Place………….............Paul Smith (4) ……………….39 pts
4th Place…………………. Wayne Peppernell (15) ……...37 pts

Winner…” B” flight………Len Jones (29) ……………...36 pts c/back
2nd Place…………………. Ken Ishikawa (21) ………….36 pts
3rd Place…………………. Mike Firkin (24) ….................33 pts
4th Place…………………. Andy Stormouth (18) ………...32 pts

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Tommy Marshall………….20 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……John Pierrel……………….17 pts

Frank Carnovale got his first look at the “wig” and his first wearing of it. Bryan Barrell wore the “silly hat” because you can’t have both the “wig” and “silly hat”.

Finally, a Thank You to Ian Wilson, have a safe trip home and see you next time.

As always, an enjoyable and fun day of golf with Pattaya Links Golf Society at Khao Kheow.

Two Top Weights Fight It Out

Heavy overnight rain eased to a drizzle as golfers made their way to Links Bar for our appointment at Plutaluang Royal Navy Course.

As expected when there is the hint of rain about, there were some late cancellations, although there was one who arrived as the buses changed into second gear, and consequently he sat out the game. This left a healthy field of 26 players.

If that first paragraph sounds familiar, yes, deja vu from two days earlier. Weather hadn’t changed much. So, to the course where the skies were looking very threatening all day for a heavy downpour, but once again we escaped getting wet.

Links Bar has not been to this course for a very long time, and it was thought a visit to check it out was worth a try. The prices are some of the lowest around and there are four nines to choose from. (well you don’t actually get a choice.) Today we played the South and East combination from the white tees with two flights split at 15.

Considering the amount of rain lately, the course was in very good condition with fairways lush but, of course, wet in places. Some lark reckons he found some dry spots.
The greens here have never been called quick but they are in very good condition and play truly with just enough pace, however, there were some during the round that did vary from that somewhat.

We can’t imagine the conditions favored them especially, but of the three single figure handicappers in the field, two of them had to be split by countback with 38 points each.
Petur Petursson had one more point on the second nine to beat Steve Truelove into second place. The next two places went to Welshmen with Peter Kissick taking third on countback over Colin Smith (yes, he’s there again), also winning a countback over unlucky George Muller All scored a very handy 35 points.

“B” flight was cut and dried with Garry Hookey having a nice little win with 34 points.
In second place was Donal McGuigan scoring a consistent 33 points ahead of Colin Service on 32 and Mike Firkin with 31 points. The third member of the single figure handicaps, Garry Barker (3) also picked up a prize for having the best front nine for non-winners.

Wayne Peppernell had the best back nine for non-winners.

Near Pins:  Steve Truelove (E2), Mike Honey (E5), Garry Hookey (S4), Mike Firkin (S7)

Winner …” A” flight……. Petur Petursson (5) ………….38 pts c/back
2nd Place…………..............Steve Truelove (7) …………....38 pts
3rd Place…………..............Peter Kissick (11) …………....35 pts c/back
4th Place…………………. Colin Smith (13) …………….35 pts c/back

Winner…” B” flight………Garry Hookey (19) ………….34 pts
2nd Place…………………. Donal McGuigan (19) ………33 pts
3rd Place…………………. Colin Service (17) …..............32 pts
4th Place…………………. Mike Firkin (24) ………..........31pts

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Garry Barker………….20 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……Wayne Peppernell…….16 pts

After much teasing, Bryan Barrell steeled himself to again wear something on his head, but to his relief, was spared. His comment “did someone do worse than me?” Yes, they did. Andy Stormouth got the “silly hat” for its original purpose of having the least points on any nine.
Phillip Ochinto had the lowest overall score and wore the “wig”.

In the absence of Petur, Steve Truelove wore the Green Jacket as he also had 38 points.

Verdict on the course? All seemed happy with it, so worth another try, sometime.

Smith Turns Up the Heat & Hammers Big Win

On Monday, 17th September, the Pattaya Links Golf Society travelled to Bangpakong Riverside to play a stableford competition in perfect weather. There was no sign of the recent rain and the day was spent under scattered light clouds with the ever present cooling breeze on the banks of the Bangprakong River.

The course was in good condition but recent soakings had put a restriction on golf carts as fairways were a little soft so the preferred lies rule was invoked on the fairways. Greens were fine except for the fourth and fifth which were very soft, indeed the fifth was sanded in an effort to dry it out. Otherwise - perfect.

With 22 golfers only one flight contested the day and the expected good scores were achieved. In fifth place was Steve Truelove with 37 points with a countback separating the fourth and third places as lady golfer Budsarawan Phinpam with 38 points lost out to Colin Service by virtue of his better back nine. An excellent round of forty points gave Chris Barker second place only as Paul Smith was on fire. Recording 21 points on both nines he easily took the day with some powerful golf which gave him a best gross of 70. Wow! This really was impressive on a course where "run" was limited over the 6683 yards from the white tees.

Near pins were won by Maurice Roberts (4), Paul Smith (7), Jim Norkett (13) and Chris Barker (16) whilst the best front nine consolation went to Sam Scarfo (20 points) with Wayne Peppernell taking the best back nine with 19 points.

Bill Fulton from Aberdeen smiled broadly as he was presented with the wig for a lacklustre performance whilst high flier Chris Barker was awarded the "silly hat" for his part in his group's lack of pace, losing three holes on the group in front. It should also be noted that his name was later crossed off Maurice's "hit-list" and the decision to award the "hat" to him may have had a more sinister reason!

But it's fun and a day like this at Bangprakong was thoroughly enjoyed by the whole of the field. Well done lads, and lady!

 

Marshall Calls the Shots at Burapha

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited nearby Burapha on Wednesday, 19th September to play a stableford competition on the C and D nines. Though not the combination of choice for many of the field - A and B being the preferred option - the course was in reasonably good condition. Fairways were soft and the rough, which is a problem on the best of days, has now thickened with the recent wet weather. Throw into the mix the usual hazards and long par fours and there is a golf course waiting to be challenged.

A field of twenty played in one flight. With one exception scores were moderate with Pete Seil making fourth place with 35 points, shunted out of third by Maurice Roberts' better back nine. In second was Dave Arataki making a welcome return after a few weeks absence and his 38 points again indicated how his game is improving since his move to Pattaya about a year ago. The winner was Tommy Marshall who called all the shots this day with an excellent 41 points (gross 73) to win handsomely. All on his birthday too!

Near pins went to Petur Petursen (C5), Barry Oats (C8), Darren Beavers (D2) and Paul Smith (D8). The best front nine award went to Paul Durkan (19 points) whilst Garry Hookey took the award for the back nine with 19 points also. Had they been present at the presentation the booby prizes of the "wig" and "silly hat" would have gone to Ari Yokoyama and Sunny Khanna respectively. Maybe they were wise to stay away?

The presentation ended with a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" to winner Tommy and the field were rewarded with a share of an excellent cake to celebrate not only a birthday but a very fine round at Burapha. Well done Tommy!

Marshall Double at Greenwood

The Pattaya Links Golf Society ended the week with a visit to Greenwood to play a stableford competition on the C and A nines. Following the rain the evening before the course was soft and spongy in places, especially just short of the greens, which were surprisingly hard, especially on the A nine. Lift and place was invoked as a result. A field of twenty-six golfers made it to the tee and all got away in good time. The lack of any breeze and run made the course play long and the extreme heat on a very still day caught many golfers out and their rounds wilted early.

As usual at Greenwood the low markers tend have their day with the long par three and some of the longer par fours. Today was no exception. The two flights were cut at fifteen and in the second flight Garry Hookey managed third place with 32 points. Ahead in second was Derek Phillips with 34 points and Wayne Peppernell took the win with 35 points.

The top flight saw Wednesday's winner Tommy Marshall make it a double with another fine round of 38 points. A plethora of golfers on 37 points suffered countback to decide the minor placings and it resulted in Kevin Rogers taking second and Pete Seil making third.

Near pins went to the long hitters, as expected leaving Tommy Marshall (A2), Paul Smith (A6), Pete Seil (C3) and Takeshi Hakozaki (C6) all with the "wherewithall" for a celebratory beer. Consolation prizes went to Chris Barker for his front nine of 19 points and Maurice Roberts for his back nine of 16 points. In the absence of the flu-laden Mr Phil his slightly more diminutive compatriot Mr Len handled the presentation and in due deference to the sick and infirm held back the wig and silly hat until next week, when, of course the big man may be eligible again!

It had been another enjoyable golf week with the Links. Here's to the next one!

Chris Barker Sweeps the Field

What a difference two days can make. On Monday play was abandoned at Royal Lakeside as a heavy electrical storm swept across the course, not once, but twice.
This morning we were bathed in bright sunshine as players gathered at Links Bar for the trip to Pattana Golf Club.
This place is impressive. From the time you get a salute and greeting walking through the front door of the sparkling club house, to the easy check-in at the counter, and then a lovely greeting lady directing to the stairs and the locker room, you feel like, as a golfer, you’ve made it.
However, the best is yet to come when you stand on the first tee and take in the view.
We were assigned the B then C courses and for those with a slice or hook, B1 can look very daunting, with water to the left and right, then more water in front of the green. A perfect start!
Once over that, our twenty-two golfers then proceeded at a good pace on this beautiful golf course, which is always in excellent condition. We have to love these greens. If you like putting, this is the place.
We played one flight with four places, in addition to four “near pins” and best nines.
Chris Barker has been hanging around the podium lately and today put daylight between himself and the rest, scoring a terrific 42 points to easily take the Green Jacket.
Then we had a crowd vying for the placings. Three golfers scored handicap beating 37 points each, so countbacks were needed to separate them.
Here we see the handicap system at work. Although only one flight, the first four places had a handicap spread of 20, so just getting more points is the secret, especially the back nine.
After countbacks it was Mike Firkin (h/c 23), who has been in good touch of late, taking second place from Neil Skilton (h/c 4), playing with Links for the first time, who in turn beat Paul Smith (h/c 3). Great scoring from all three players and shows that, regardless of handicap, everyone has a chance.
Near Pins were on each Par 3 and they were won by
Neil Skilton (B3), Garry Hookey (B7), Paul Smith (C2), Kevin Rogers (C7)

Winner……………. Chris Barker (12) …...42 pts
2nd Place……………Mike Firkin (23) …. .37 pts c/back
3rd Place……………. Neil Skilton (4) …… 37 pts c/back
4th Place……………. Paul Smith (3) ……. 37 pts

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……………. Phil Davies….18 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……………. Colin Smith….19 pts

Earlier in the week, Kevin Rogers was bitten on the leg by a Soi dog. He survived, but the dog isn’t well apparently. But that’s not why he was awarded the “silly hat”. In fact, by refusing Maurice a free drop, he was asking for trouble. Any excuse Maurice can find.
It also gave Phil the chance to talk (and joke) about the dog attack.
Bryan Barrell wore the “wig”
The players were also appreciative of the promotion at Pattana right now. A free beer or drink at the completion of the round. Thank you Pattana.
We love coming to this course and only hope the pricing for “high season” can stay at a reasonable level so we can play here all year.

Low Scores… Jim Reilly’s Green Jacket

Two buses with eight passengers in each. That sounds simple enough! There is one golf bag sitting in front of the Bar, and no golfers left inside. So, starts the search, count heads in the buses, count bags loaded, ask who forgot their bag. Nothing!
Getting late, let’s go, but wait, who is this running from the back of the building? Yes, there he is.  Oh my, sometimes it’s like herding…??
We can never find enough words in describing how good Treasure Hill is, but today was a little let down. All golf courses are going through the big maintenance programs during low season and today we found work on the greens and some of the tee boxes while the rough was a little harsher than usual. The greens caught out most as, being used to quite quick greens here, they were slow, very slow, patchy and sanded. Judging by the abnormally low scores, we think that was the cause. Not the entire cause because some were just having a bad hair day.
“A” flight was a race in two, both scoring 34 points, but it was Jim Reilly who had the better back nine to win the countback from Wayne Peppernell and get to don the Green Jacket. Third spot went to the now departed Colin Smith. (no, not dearly departed, he will be back in November)
“B” flight saw even lower scores with 32 points being the best. That score belonged to first time visitor from Western Australia, Tony Traianon. Then came a two-way tie for second and third with Len Jones taking the countback from Mike Tottenham. Jim Ferris also had 31 points but lost all the countbacks. Jim didn’t miss out though as he took Best Front Nine (non-winners) with 19 points. Nasa Shah took out Best Back Nine (non-winners) with 18 points.
                                                               
Near pins: Michael Sanzone (2), Wayne Peppernell (6), Iain Jones (13), Peter Henshaw (17)

Winner …” A” flight……. Jim Reilly (15) ……………….34 pts c/back
2nd Place…………............Wayne Peppernell (15) ……….34 pts
3rd Place………….............Colin Smith (13) …………….30 pts

Winner…” B” flight……. Tony Traianon (24) …………...32 pts
2nd Place…………………Len Jones (30) ……………….31 pts c/back
3rd Place…………………Mike Tottenham (20) …............31 pts c/back

We have come to learn that the “silly hat” can be given for any silly reason. Colin Smith must have had his mind on upcoming flight to Wales as he started marking a card of someone not in his group, which also had no name on it. But Colin scored it anyway. ”Silly”
Masa Takano played his first game this trip, and seems like he needs a game or two to warm up. He won the “wig” on countback from another 3 players with 24 points.
Don’t mark too harshly on course condition. This work now will give us the usual immaculate course in just a few weeks, ready for high season.

October

Laem Chabang Shows its Teeth

On Monday, 1st October the PLGS made its penultimate visit to Laem Chabang this season to play a stableford round in two flights with the cut at sixteen and under. Still limited to the B and C nines, after a weekend of some heavy rain, the course was soft and there was a restriction on the use of the compulsory golf carts. A lot of walking lay ahead on heavy fairways under a heavily overcast sky with high humidity. Quite a test!

Starting on time good progress was made until the tenth hole (C1) where the group found that the normally very fastidious marshalls had inserted a Thai fiveball immediately in front of our first group with the resulting delays prolonging the back nine by about thirty minutes. Thirty minutes earlier the quiet atmosphere at the course had been interrupted by the arrival of a blacked out Merc sedan with police outriders. The over-important Thai fiveball had arrived. Disregarding the PLGS course spend "contributions" of 600,000 baht over the previous four months, "Thainess" had returned.

Enough! What about the main event? Conditions conspired to keep scores low and in the top flight the principals were decided on countback with Pete Seil (36 points) taking the day from Paul Durkan (36) and John Pierrel (36). In the second flight, only three golfers appeared in the top twenty scores, with Darren Beavers finally coming good with 36 points, followed by Seamus Langan on 34 and Tony Traianon with 31. It was a first green jacket for Darren and he was suitably chuffed at his performance.

Near pins went to Darren Beavers (B5), Colin Service (B8), Tony Traianon (C5) and Chris Barker (C8), whilst the best front nine was won by Lee Cobban (18 points) with the best back nine award going to Maurice Roberts' 19 points, again!

The wig was held back in the absence of the "winner" Korean golfer Han Suh, whilst the silly hat would have sat well on Mr Phil's head after having a birthday cake inscribed with the wrong name, but it went instead to Bill Copeland for the confusion caused before departure by not signing up.

Yep, it had been a long and sometimes tough day at Laem Chabang.

Practice Makes Perfect for Jim Ferris

As we gathered at the first tee I said to Jim Ferris “I hope all that practice we did yesterday works for us”. For Jim it certainly did work as he stretched the field scoring a great 39 points on a difficult track.
Bangpra had been on our list a couple of times in recent months but got the bump in favour of the special price on offer at Laem Chabang. Now it was Bangpra with a special of 700-baht green fee on Mondays and Wednesdays for October.
It was a nice surprise to find the course in such good condition. They have had their problems at times, but today we had well grassed fairways and greens getting back to the “old days’. The rough, however, is thick grass and unforgiving. Even trying to spot the ball in it was a task, then you had to hit out.
Carts were allowed on the fairways so it was “play it as it lies”. However, overnight rain at the course did leave the fairways quite muddy in places, particularly the back nine, but we all played the same course.
The weather started with a nice breeze, then turned hot before the dark clouds started to gather. Happily, for the golfers, it did not rain at Bangpra, but we found a very wet Pattaya upon our return to the Links Bar.
With 22 players in the comp (a 23rd not in the comp), prizes were for one flight, four places. Coming in second behind Jim was a well-played 36 points from Bill Copeland, followed by his USA countryman, Chris Barker, scoring 32 points to win a countback over Darren Beavers, in amongst it again.
As there were only four places John Pierrel, who also had 32 points, just missed, because his back nine was short of the other two. John’s front nine of 18 points was better than anyone else though. Phil Davies was the pick of the best back nine, beating Masa Takano on a countback.

Near pins: Jim Ferris (2), Takeshi Hakozaki (8), Chris Barker (12) Derek Phillips (17)
Winner …………. Jim Ferris (22) …………….39 pts
2nd Place…………. Bill Copeland (15) ……….36 pts
3rd Place…………. Chris Barker (12) …………32 pts c/back
4th Place…………. Darren Beavers (21) ……....32 pts c/back

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ………John Pierrel………18 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ………Phil Davies……….17 pts c/back

Keith Melbourne reckons the only way to have his photo taken is to wear something on his head. Today he wore the “silly hat” for the lowest score on either nine. After Phil recited a long story about Wayne Peppernell whilst holding the “wig” very close, Wayne was resigned to the fact. But, as he tends to do, Phil pulled away and headed to Robbie Keogh. Nice combo, that white hat on the wig.
Footnote: In case you wonder, the practice session did more for Jim than for me.

Greenwood Attacked by Beavers

On Friday, 5th October the Pattaya Links Golf Society travelled to Greenwood golf club to play a stableford event on the A and C nines which were the worse for wear after prolonged rain the days before. Fairways were soft and squelchy, the raised approaches to all greens were soft and holding and humidity was very high. It would be quite a challenge to get near par in these conditions.

Thirty golfers were divided into two flights at fourteen and under and the top flight saw the expected low scores with fourth place going to Maurice Roberts with 30 points, trailing third placed golfer Adam Barton by one point. Runner up was Masa Takano who lost the top spot on countback with 33 points. The man who beat him was Phil Davies with the same 33 points.

The second flight followed the same pattern with one huge exception. Stu Thompson made fourth with 29 points with Bill Copeland third with 31 points, In second place was Derek Phillips on 35 points. The exception to the day was the performance of Darren Beavers who chewed the course up with 40 points. How on earth did he do it? Well on C1 three-for-five helped as did C9 where four-for-four ended his fine round. The course suited his long hitting and his back nine did the trick with 23 points coming from the very soggy C track.

Near pins went to Iain Jones, Colin Service and Bill Copeland and Wayne Peppernell recorded the best front nine of sixteen points, with Chris Barker matching the effort on the back nine. Chris' front nine was another matter entirely as his paltry eight points guaranteed him the "silly hat", second only in infamy to Alex Sala, whose absence from the presentation denied him the notoriety as the latest wig wearer.

A long week had ended with Darren recording the best score of the three competitions played so a deserved rest is in store for all the PLGS golfers before a final visit to Laem Chabang on Monday.

Bill Copeland Wins Final Round

All good things must come to an end, as so today Pattaya Links Golf played our last game at Laem Chabang, at least for now. The great special price offered PSC golfers has lasted many weeks longer than the original advertising flyer quoted. We can guess that the wonderful support shown by the golfers, turning out in large numbers, encouraged Laem Chabang management to “keep it going”. For this we say congratulations and Thank You.
Phil and Maurice at Links Bar also appreciate the many of our regular players and first-time visitors who have swelled our numbers for the trips to Laem Chabang. Everyone knows that they are always welcome back anytime, and we do play a good selection of courses all year round. Laem Chabang is one of the prestige courses we have around the Pattaya area and, as such, is always presented in immaculate condition.

The one thing no golf course can control is the weather and so, having had rain as recently as 6 am this morning, the fairways were quite soft and boggy in places, and of course, with no run seemed much longer than the 6,287 yds off the White tees.
With carts staying on paths only, once again a lot of walking to be done, and we played lift, clean and place through the green. The greens here must have the best drainage as many reported that they were playing quite quickly, and seemed to quicken a little more as the day wore on.

Bill Copeland starred in the finale with a very big 40 points on a tough day to take out “B” flight (16+) and the Green Jacket. One of the important things in his armament is his consistently good putting.
Darren Beavers won the Jacket here last week and continued that form scoring 33 points to take second place from Stu Thompson on 32 points, while Dave Arataki with 31 points rounded out the flight.
The “A” flight (0-15) saw Paul Durkan improve on his 36 points from last week to make it 38 today for the win, leading in Gerry Rafferty on 36 points. Good scoring on this day.
Jorge Mueller and Chris Barker went to countback on 35 points with Jorge having the better back nine.
Near pins:  Stu Thompson (B5), Paul Durkan (B8) and (C5), Alex Sala (C8)

Winner …” A” flight……. Paul Durkan (7) ……………38 pts
2nd Place………….............Gerry Raftery (15) ………....36 pts
3rd Place………….............Jorge Mueller (12) ……….35 pts c/back
4th Place…………………. Chris Barker (13) ………….35 pts

Winner…” B” flight……. Bill Copeland (16) ………...40 pts
2nd Place…………………Darren Beavers (20) ……….33 pts
3rd Place…………………. Stuart Thompson (17) …......32 pts
4th Place…………………. Dave Arataki (28) …………31 pts.

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Maurice Roberts….19 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. Phil Davies……….19 pts.

The weather started hot and humid, then the clouds threatened, but happily, no rain.
Our first two groups (3- balls) set a good pace until running up to some slow movers. (not the usual suspects or 5- ball), consequently their round took almost 5 hours.
The “silly hat” was awarded for its original purpose of worst nine, going to Matthew Tormay, and the dreaded “wig” for overall worst score looked good on Tim Abernathy.
Looking forward to Laem Chabang having a similar special next low season.

Copeland Doubles Up

On Wednesday, 10th October the Pattaya Links Golf Society were represented by three dozen golfers at the sumptuous Burapha Golf club to play a stableford competition on the A and B nines, arguably the best combination anywhere in the province. A clear but humid day found a course heavily saturated by recent rains and the B nine in particular was quite spongy underfoot and the restriction on golf cart use meant a lot of tough walking for those normally driven around the course. It is what it is, however and most courses are suffering like this currently. Fairways were soft with little run, many bunkers were flooded and greens were on the slow side. The longer hitters would be rubbing their hands at the prospect.

The field was divided into two flights at fifteen and under and in the top flight fourth place went to German golfer Jorge Muller with a steady 35 points, losing on countback to Mitch Carlon in third. Second place went to Chris Barker and the winner was Irish golfer Gerry Raftery with 36 points on his final round this trip.

In the second flight the minor places were decided on countback with Darren Beavers losing out with Chris Herve taking third (35) ahead of Guy Stewart. Second place went to Derek Phillips who put together a fine round of 37 points. However the flight was won by Bill Copeland after his second successive round of forty points this week and he wore the green jacket with a broad smile.

Near pins were won by Pete Seil (A3), Darren Beavers (A6), Adam Barton and Derek Phillips whilst the consolation of the best nines went to Mike Firkin (front nine, 23 points) and Dave Arataki (back nine, 21 points). Tony Browne, so much in form on his last trip has settled in poorly this trip and won the wig for his paltry score. But Tony is made of stern stuff and he won't win many more! The silly hat award went by a majority decision to Tommy Marshall for contributing to the confusion on the first tee by not signing up a golfer who just turned up causing a redraft of the start list, on the first tee. All the PLGS expects is that golfers sign up, get up and turn up. The rest is ably done for them. Simple! Well maybe...

Maurice Roberts is Back

After not playing or not completing rounds a few times recently, Maurice came roaring back to his best with a Green Jacket winning score of 39 points on a difficult course.
Today, Pattaya Links Golfers loaded four mini buses and some cars to get our 36 golfers to the course in time to tackle the B and C combination. However, thanks to a bit of forward thinking from the starter, 3 of our 10 groups were sent off the C nine. Well done.
Anyone who has played this course knows how stunning and well presented it always is. As with most courses at the moment, recent rains had softened up the fairways, so lift, clean and place on fairways was the order for the day. The rough was long and challenging. There had been efforts made to cut it back, but everything was just too wet to make a decent job of it, so better to let it dry out.
The greens are always in great condition and even the rains had not harmed them. Yes, they are quick and true, but if you can control your putts, especially the downhills, good scores are possible.
Two flights today with the cut at 14 and under.
“A” flight saw a great win for Maurice.  Phil Davies has rediscovered some form to march into second spot with a very good 37 points, then came newcomer to Links, Adrian Pethick, on 36 points, while Michael Lohse won all the countbacks for fourth with 34 points.
“B” flight at last saw Wayne Peppernell smiling again after scoring 36 points to edge out the in-form Bill Copeland in another countback. Jim Ferris is going OK of late and held third place with 33 points while Claudio Grossi filled fourth spot on 31 points.

Near Pins:
Tony Browne (B3), Paul Durkan (B7) Maurice Roberts (C2), Chris Barker (C7)

Winner …” A” flight……. Maurice Roberts (14) ………...39 pts
2nd Place………….............Phil Davies (11) ………...........37 pts
3rd Place………….............Adrian Pethick (4) ………........36 pts
4th Place…………………. Michael Lohse (3) ……………34 pts c/back

Winner…” B” flight………Wayne Peppernell (16) ……….36 pts
2nd Place…………………. Bill Copeland (16) …………....36 pts
3rd Place…………………. Jim Ferris (21) ………………...33pts
4th Place…………………. Claudio Grossi (16) …………...31 pts

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ………Darren Beavers……….18 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ………. George Mueller………18 pts

Tip Briney has been missed while he visited his home country USA. He’s back now to resume normal transmission, and wearing his trademark “wig”.  Good on ya Tip.
The lowest nine-hole score of the day saw the “silly hat” fit on first timer, Craig Martin.
How lucky can we be? As the passengers for the last two buses were enjoying our complimentary beer from Pattana Sports Club (Thank You), the heavens opened up with a vengeance, thunder, lightning, rain, the whole works.
All arrived back at the Bar nice and dry, but not too long after, that storm got to Soi Buakhaow.

 

 

 

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