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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 2019

Akira’s Green Jacket at First Start

Thirty-one players loaded on to buses and cars on a cool, breezy morning headed for Mt. Shadow golf course for the second time in about three weeks. The report from the earlier trip showed some disappointments at the condition of the course and of the clubhouse. Nothing has changed, unfortunately.

The fairways are drying out now, as many courses are, but the watering practices seem to be haphazard at times, so many dry patches are starting to appear. The greens are varied with some quicker and truer than others, leaving one guessing what surprises the next one holds. Watch out for the downhills, says Mitchell.

Overall, perhaps good to average marks for the course, but below that for the clubhouse. The problem with no water to flush toilets seems to be ongoing and the whole place is overdue for a lick of paint.

Akira Sekiya came to play with us today for the first time and certainly left an impression. His 37 points easily won “A” flight and his first Green Jacket. The dynamic duo of Phil Davies and Maurice Roberts followed with 34 and 32 points respectively, while fourth place went to one half of the Links Matchplay champs, Michael Wright, with 30 points.

Apart from the first four, most players struggled as the best that “B” flight could muster was 29 points from Colin Service, while Derek Phillips got back into the placings, albeit with 28 points, and Mike Tottenham filled third spot. The “best nines” followed the trend with very low points scores, but good enough.

Near Pins: Mitchell Carlon (5), John Doyle (8), Phil Davies (15), Pete Seil (17)
Mitchell Carlon had neither the lowest nine-hole score or the lowest overall score, but Phil decided to award the “silly hat” to him for having a near pin on hole 5, and then three putting. This from a 10 handicapper. The downhill putt! There’s hope for the rest of us yet.

Iain Craigen is still learning the game and this course was no help in his progression, he wore the “wig” again.

We really hope Mt. Shadow can come up with some improvements, but for some, it’s already too late.

(Thanks to John Anderson)

Double for Akira

The Pattaya Golf Society visited Emerald on Friday, 4th January to play a stableford competition on the course which was in better condition than on the previous visit. Fairways had a better covering of grass, the rough was cut back and greens were very "sporting" with pins placed on or near the many slopes and putts running at a good pace.

Thirty-nine golfers made up the field which was divided into two flights at fifteen and under and generally scores were low as the course is always a tough call.

In the second flight Mike Tottenham made fourth place with 32 points, one behind Niall Caven on 33. In second was Irish golfer Donal McGuigan with 35 points whilst Richard Dobson was delighted to take the win on his return round with 36 points.

In the top flight Stan Stewart continued his fine form with 35 points, edging out Colin Smith on countback for fourth place, a couple behind Maurice Roberts whose consistency gave him yet another pink envelope. American golfer John Collias finally came good with 39 points for second place whilst Wednesday's winner Akira Sekiya took his second consecutive green jacket with 41 points. He also had the honour of recording the seventeenth PLGS official competition hoile-in-one, on the testing fifth hole. Having played two tough courses for the first time this week the former professional caddy certainly has been impressive with two green jackets and a couple of near pins.

Near pins went to Akira Sekiya (5, 13), John Harrison (7) and Michael Wright (15).

Thai lady golfer Panda Aree won the consolation best front nine award for her twenty point score and was joined by John Doyle with 19 points on the back nine. Bill Copeland returned from the US with a poor front nine score guaranteeing him the "silly hat" award whilst the dreaded wig went to Craig Mitcham on his less than impressive return round.

The PLGS has many popular Japanese friends and golfers and all show the noble traditional Japanese traits of respect, tradition and custom. It was therefore disappointing to see the hole-in-one winner today decline the time honoured golfing celebration of such a feat, thereby denying the golfers the opportunity to share their congratulations, as is customary throughout the golfing world. It's a funny old game indeed.

(Thanks to Len Jones)

Phillip Ashton Piles on 42 Points

Golf mornings at Links Bar have taken on a new exciting start to the day’s proceedings. To start with it was “ho hum”, but now the draw for each group’s place in the field is attracting plenty of interest. As each number comes out there is excitement and disappointment, if your group has been drawn well, or not.

Draw done, everyone fed and watered and forty-four hopefuls headed off to Bangpakong Riverside for the day in search of that big score.

We never tire of hearing about how good this course is, as it is almost always presented in immaculate condition with wide, nicely mown fairways, rough not too harsh and first-class greens running with good speed.  Today was no exception with the possibility of some big stableford point scoring. And that’s what we got, with three outstanding 40+ hauls.

Because of the big number of players, we were divided into three flights.

Phillip Ashton got into town about a week ago and got right into his game by taking out the “A” flight and the Green Jacket with the best score of the day, a big 42 points. Pete Seil is a class golfer and never far from the podium and his 39 points is a very good score from his handicap of 5. Maurice Roberts is showing some solid form of late and took the countback for third from Colm Lawlor, both on 38 points.

“B” flight was set up for a countback as Ralph McConnell and Wayne Peppernell both had great games amassing 41 points each. That result got Ralph first place by way of a better back nine. Then a gap to third placed Dane O’Brien with 36 points and Tony Browne winning a countback for fourth on 34 points

The “C” flight at last found world traveller, Walter Baechli, return to the form we know he is capable of to take first place on 35 points ahead of Larry Slattery on 34 points. Then the final countback of the round saw Pierre Zbinden take third from Kenny Jepson, both on 33 points,

Near pins: Carl Luke (4), Dane O’Brien (7), Tip Briney (13) and Brendon McGoven (16).
Best Front Nine (non-winners) …………Mitchell Carlon……18pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …………. Dave Arataki………21 pts

Fun and excitement in the mornings, but just plain fun for Phil’s presentations as he tells stories, in his unique way, of car drivers “knowing” the way and then becoming lost, people leaving bags and phones at the bar, retrieving them, only to get to the course and realise the wallet is left in the hotel room. All deserving of the “silly hat”.
In the end, that went for its original purpose, the worst nine-hole score. Phil thought a green hat looks good on the Irish, so here comes Chris Walsh.
Newcomer John Pearce had a lot to do with all the lost things but avoided the “hat”. However, he also had one of the lowest scores, so it was the “wig” for him.
A later than usual finish but a good time and lots of laughs had by all.

(Thanks to John Anderson)

Captain Wayne Shows the Way

After an unusually high number of no shows and cancellations we took a field of 38 players to Pattavia Century Golf Club. Although there was another Society ahead of us, our first group got away pretty much on time. Those playing today are an organiser’s dream, everyone getting to the tee at their allotted time and ready to go.

The day started off quite warm and stayed that way.  A bit harder to take after we were spoilt a couple weeks ago with some cooler temperatures.

There really is no need to mention the condition of this course, but I will.
First class fairways easy to hit from, and greens running quick at about 10.3 and true. I think the rough was not too bad, I didn’t look, and the bunkers are not the white soft sand as other courses, but more compacted. With an efficient check-in and a just 1050 baht to walk, what a nice day out. We did two flights today with 5 places in each.

“A” flight saw Phillip Ashton score his second “40 pointer’ in a week, just before he heads off home. We don’t see many plus handicappers playing in our Societies, but we had Brendon McGovern here for a return visit and did he show what a +2 handicapper can do?  His 67 “off the stick” was a terrific round of golf. Dave Arataki said later “he plays a different game to us”. That great round equated to 39 points and “only” second placing. Then came the very in-form Maurice Roberts with 37 points, followed by Bill Copeland on 34 points and Mitchell Carlon with 33 points.

“B” flight saw our current Captain, Wayne Peppernell, follow up his 41 points two days ago with yet another 41 points here. He was beaten to the Green Jacket then, but this time it was all his. Marco Beer had a welcome return to form with an above average score of 39 points for second place. The next three placings all had 36 points and had to go to countback. This resulted in Peter Mace for third, welcome back John Hughes, for fourth and Colin Service, who missed the putt on the last hole by a whisker, in fifth.

Near pins: John Doyle (4), Gabriel Enright (7), John Hughes (13), Steve Truelove (17)

Phil conducted presentations with the usual hilarity, awarding the “silly hat “ to John Pearce, who forgot his age and thought he could walk. The “wig” went to newcomer Robin Taylor, who hired a set of clubs from Links. Phil put the set together and handed them over. Right handed Robin had a surprise on the first tee to pull the driver out, only to find it was a left-hand club. No excuse for a low score, according to Phil.

(Thanks to John Anderson)

Rare Green Jacket for Stu Thompson

High season can be tough on golfers and the Pattaya Links Golf Society suffered interminable delays during their round at Pleasant Valley on Friday, 11th January as the long-booked tee off was delayed by thirty minutes and the 25 golfers ended up following an Asian group which contained a golfer who consistently drove no more than 75 yards, and rarely straight! And we were told that the revised Rules were put in place to speed up play at our level. Most of the seven groups playing endured a five-hour plus round in very humid conditions.

The course was fair with some damp fairways and greens which ran slower than most. However, generally it was worth the discounted deal which the group enjoyed.

The field was divided into two flights with the cut coming at eighteen and scores in both were a fair reflection of the day. In the second flight third place went to Len Jones with 31 points. Note to self: "Don't switch off after four and a half hours, a day like this lasts longer!" Second place went to Derek Phillips with 33 points and Stuart Kidd took the win with 34 points.

The top flight saw Wayne Peppernell going for a third big score this week and he did not disappoint with 39 points, but he lost top spot to compatriot Stu Thompson whose back nine was better. Stu thereby took a long awaited and very rare Green Jacket. Well done mate! Third place in the flight went to the consistent Cardiff golfer Colin Smith with another level par score.

Near pins went to Derek Phillips (8 & 13), Stu Thompson (5) and Kenny Jepson (17). The best nine awards were won by Willie Brown (best front 19 points) and John Harrison (best back 20 points). Mr Phil concluded the presentation with Marco Beer being highlighted for losing two countbacks, one for the best front nine and the other for the "silly hat" where Dave Arataki nudged him out for the ignominious honour. The wig award for the poorest score of the day went to American golfer Michael Kaps, playing his first round in Thailand. We've all been there, done that, and have filled our wardrobes with tee shirts,,,and wigs!

A long day ended thus at the Links with everyone in the usual fine humour and the delays of earlier were almost forgotten after a few cold beers.

A Double Helping of Stu

The PLGS's week began with a field of forty golfers attempting to get the better of Burapha C and D nines. Though not the most popular combination of nines at the course the fairways were well grassed, bunkers were well tended and the greens were also fair and with some pace.

The large field was divided into two flights cut at seventeen and under. In the top flight Andy Kelleher marked his return to the group with a fifth place finish on 34 points, losing out to Alan THomas in fourth on countback. Marco Beer celebrated his final round this trip with 35 points and third place whilst Colm Lawlor finished runner-up with level par 36 points. After a few lacklustre rounds Mr Phil came back with a bounce and took the win with 37 points.

The second flight was no less exciting with countback separating Darren Beavers and Derek Phillips for fourth and fifth place with 33 points each. Phil Scotton, new to the group, presented his credentials with 34 points to take third. Keith Melbourne acquitted himself well with a second placed finish on 35 points but the winner, with the best score of the day was Stu Thompson with an outstanding 38 points for his second successive Green Jacket. It was the group's second "helping" of Stu in four days and his game certainly has the all the ingredients for success.

The technical prizes were well shared out with near pins going to Dave Cooper (C5), Richard Dobson (C8), Pete Seil (D2) and Alan Thomas (D8). The longest successful putt on the final hole went to Michael Kaps, showing an immediate improvement on his previous round "wig" and the best front nine score was that of Kevin LaBar with 20 points. The award for the best back nine went to Steve Eddowes with 18 points. PLGS newbie, Malcolm Cox, took the silly hat award for his meagre back nine of seven points and the wig was presented to Barry Oats whose shoulder problems restricted his scoring opportunities.

At the end of the day forty golfers had all enjoyed a good day out at Burapha and savoured the fine hospitality of the Links kitchen and hard working bar staff. Well done all.

Kenny and Will Win A Tough Day

On this day Treasure Hill was the big winner with none of our forty golfers able to play to their handicap. Why? The course was in great condition once again, with well grassed and mown fairways and bunkers and rough to test those who deviate from straight. The greens had been lightly sanded but did not affect the roll. The main topic here was some of the pin placements which made life a little more difficult.

A couple of “dark horses” were the successful ones on the day. The “A” flight (0-18) saw William Brown taking the win at long odds with an impressive 35 points. Next came consistent Colin Service, who is usually somewhere near the top and 34 points kept him up there. Ray Banks was in the placings again by taking third spot on a countback over Garry Bright, both had 33 points, while Ralph McConnell rounded out the podium with 32 points for fifth.

Kenny Jepson had won a Green Jacket recently and was always an outside chance and, on a tough day at a tough course, he came through with the win for “B” flight (19+).  His 35 points got him another Green Jacket. Derek Phillips had one of his better games to take second place with 32 points, beating Darren Beavers on countback.  Our only lady golfer today, Avril Wildsmith took fourth place on her first outing with Links, scoring 31 points, leaving returnee Soren Hansen to fill fifth place on a countback.

Near pins: Garry Bright (2), Steve Eddowes (6), Kenny Jepson (13), Tom Herrington (17)

Best Front Nine (non-winners) ……Colin Smith ….18 pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) ……. Tony Browne…17 pts

No hold ups on the course had everyone finished and back at Links surprisingly early compared to more recent games. There were plenty of low scores on the day and the player with the lowest of them managed to do the disappearing act, so Phil decided there will be no “wig” today.
One Player committed the sin of no name or handicap on his card. Maurice did some detective work to find out who this was.  It was Soren Hansen, who didn’t come back for the presentations but, as he came to collect his motor bike, he was spotted and called in to wear the “silly hat”.  He had a look of amazement, not realizing what he had done (or not done).
Even with the frustratingly low scores, all had another great day out at Treasure Hill.

Wayne Wins a Three-Way Countback

We already knew that Greenwood Golf Course was going to be busy for this day, with at least 3 PSC Bars all with a 10.00 am tee time, followed by various other groups. First to the starters and managers, well done to you. All three nines were used, with Links golfers starting on the “C” nine, to be followed by the “A” nine. We then proceeded to have a clear run for the entire round.

The weather for the start and most of the game was just perfect for golf, with the sun behind cloud and a pleasant breeze, making very comfortable conditions.

The course is looking a treat right now with the plenty of water to keep the fairways green. Some areas, perhaps, had a little too much water and were soft, with the ball picking up some mud, but had good run. The normally quick greens, at this time of year, tended to be just a tad slower, maybe they are due for a mowing. Great conditions gave us the good scores we might have expected and gave us a thrilling three-way tie in the “A” flight.

Wayne Peppernell has been in excellent form this last couple of weeks and with the more powerful finish held out in a tight countback situation.
All three players had fine scores of 39 points, so Ralph McConnell then won his countback against an unlucky Mike Kaps who had his final game this trip.
Top efforts from all three. Right behind them were two newcomers to Links, with 38 points each. Zac Carson won the countback from Jason Kerr. Crowded up there.

“B” flight was a little more cut and dried with returning Greg Thompson
scoring first up with 36 points. John Hughes was right on his tail scoring 35 points.
Then came another countback as Keith Melbourne nudged out his mate, Len Jones, just. Both did well for 32 points, and Tip Briney rounded out the podium with 31.
Near pins: Ralph McConnell (C3), Mike Kaps (C6), Tony Kerry (A2), Jason Kerr (A6).

Thirty-nine players today and plenty of winners. There are two prizes we try to avoid, but somebody has to “win” In the absence of any silly things happening, Steven Eddowes wore the “silly hat” for the lowest points on either nine. Peter Mace just had the lowest score and wore the “wig”.

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Another week dawned with another field of forty golfers as the Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Royal Lakeside to play a stableford competition on a course in excellent condition, under a cloudless sky. What could be a better start to a week?

The field was divided into two flights cut at eighteen and under and play got underway a little later than planned on a full course. However no one was inconvenienced as progress was good and the golf enjoyable.

In the top flight scores were excellent with Tony Browne holding fifth place with 37 place, losing fourth on countback to Jon Batty, making a welcome return. Low marker Paul Smith recorded a level par round "off the sticks", giving him 39 points for third, leaving Garry Bright and Dave Edwards to contest the win with forty points and a countback. Dave was successful and won the flight.

In the second division Jim Ferris managed to get the wheels back on his wagon after a few rounds of stuttering progress, emerging with 34 points in fifth place. One point better was Links regular Tip Briney, another golfer who found some form again today. Tip was involved in a three-way countback for second on 35 points but was more than content with fourth behind Derek Phillips in third and Phil Burton in second. The flight winner was Irish golfer Larry Slattery whose forty points took the flight by a comfortable margin and he also won the countback for the green jacket. For an Irishman there is nothing more satisfying than "the wearing of the green".

Near pins went to Mark Cooper (3), Kenny Jepson (6), Sharon Burton (12) and Petur Petursen (16). The honour of the best front nine went to Bill Copeland with 23 points whilst the best back nine sore was recorded by Rana Gurnam (19 points).

The consolation prizes went to Simon Watts whose nine points on the back nine more than warranted the "silly hat" whilst the hero of recent weeks, Capt Wayne Peppernell, underwent a fitting for a rare wig when he lost (won?) a three-way countback for the dubious honour. Yes Wayne, "all things come..." etc, etc.

Tom A Runaway Winner at Big Navy

Today a smaller than usual field to tackle the Plutaluang Royal Thai Navy Course.
There are four nines here and no matter which combination we are allotted, there is plenty of variety and challenges. The weather was warm, and the East and South courses were in very good condition, all ready for our 27 golfers to take them on. Somewhat surprisingly, even though there has been no rain around, there was little run on the fairways, maybe the sprinklers again.

The main talking point was the thick bladed grass in front of the greens, where the ball became imbedded at times. However, once on the green it was found to be a very good putting surface, attested to by Tom Herrington who, according to his group, made it look easy.

If you can putt well you are likely to wear the Green Jacket, as Tom did today.
He very comfortably won “A” flight (0-18) with a great 39 points, well clear of Steve Doris on 35 points and Maurice Roberts filling third spot with a nice 34 points.

Mike Tottenham doesn’t get to play a lot, but when he does, he usually seems to be in the results somewhere. He has also had a clear win to take out “B” flight (19+) with 36 points, three ahead of John Chelo and Iain Jones who both scored 33 points. John’s better back nine got him second place. Some sad news is that Capt. Wayne Peppernell had to retire hurt after injuring his wrist. Hoping he gets back quickly.

Near Pins: David Decaminda, Tip Briney, Paul Gill, Phil Davies

At this course, the caddies sometimes get a bad rap, either there isn’t enough of them or they are not trained well. Speaking to one of the groups over drinks, they were all very happy with their, smiling, friendly caddies today.  Some good news there.
The “silly hat” for the worst nine-hole score went to Paul Gill for his 7 points on the Eastn course.

The ‘wig’ for the worst score of the day went to Stuart Kidd.

Plutaluang is not everyone’s favourite, but with the course in very good condition and at a reasonable price, worth a try. We are booked in for February so check the Links website or the noticeboard in Links bar.

(Thanks to John Anderson)

A Day of Silly Hats

When we received the news late afternoon before the game that the course we “thought” we were booked at told us we had no booking, it started a day where there was just not going to be enough “silly hats” to go around.
 The Management at Khao Kheow were helpful and checked to find that we were booked at Pattavia this day, and Pattavia confirmed that. No idea who to blame, so we won’t.

After a couple of no-shows, we arrived at the Golf Course with forty-six players who had taken the change of venue in their stride, thanks to all. Our eleven groups started pretty much on time and, as you might expect with a large number, the pace of play was a little slower, but our group, number six, finished the round in about four and a half hours, not too bad. The round started in nice breezy, comfortable conditions, but that changed to hot and humid later in the day.

This course maintains it’s excellent standard and, although the surrounds are drying out, the fairways are kept green and mown and are in top condition.
The tee boxes are looking untidy, but it is obvious there are upgrades happening there. The greens are what we usually expect here, fast, true and tricky. Three putts are considered the norm.

Three flights today at 0-14, 15-21, 22 plus and a long putt prize in addition to the normal near pins.

No huge scores with only three players able to play to handicap or better.
“A” flight saw a count back for first with still in-form Maurice Roberts holding out Rana Gurnam at the 36 points mark. In third came Oscar Gabella with 33 points ahead of Andy Kelleher on 30 points.
Jeff Carrow produced the best score of the day with 38 points to easily take first spot in “B” flight. John Hughes was in the placings again on 35 points ahead of Larry Slattery on 34 points, while Phil Burton won a countback for fourth position on 33 points.

Only 34 points but it was good enough to give Kenny Jepson another win in the “C” flight. Greg Thompson had 32 points just ahead of Gordon Laviolette on 31. Tip Briney won a countback for fourth with 26 points.
Near pins: Masa Takano, Paul Smith, Michael Blumhagen, Simon Eely
Best Front Nine (non-winners) …Colin Smith….15pts
Best Back Nine (non-winners) …. Paul Gill .........18 pts.

Our bus driver handed me a pair of shoes someone had left in the bus, a phone call back to the club asking to look in number 4 locker for the new hat just purchased, but lost already. The player who had to be moved to a late group as he was nowhere to be found when due to tee off.
And no-one in an early group thought to collect cards and hand them back down the line. So, we had half at Pattavia and the other half back at Links bar. All qualifiers for the “silly hat”

Maurice Roberts wore the Green Jacket; Ian Collier wore the “wig” and Phil put the “silly hat” on himself after he had refusals from the one he targeted.

A very “silly” day.

Kidd's Play at Burapha

Burapha was the venue for the Pattaya Links Golf Society on Monday,28th January and, more especially, the delightful A/B combination was the assigned course. After dropouts and "no shows" a field of thirty-two golfers were ready for the day with two flights divided at eighteen and under.

As usual the course was in excellent order and greens were true and running at a fast medium pace. Cooler conditions at the start made for a comfortable day with some good scoring on show.

In the top flight Colm Lawlor and Rana Gurnam both scored 39 points with countback relegating Colm to third place, Rana taking another high placed finish. The flight winner was Andy Kelleher, who defied his own prospects - "I can never win" - with a fine 40 point finish giving him his first win this trip.

The second flight saw John Hughes take third with 33 points whilst Dane Soren Hansen took second with 35 points after a frenetic start. More later... The flight winner was Stuart Kidd and his 41 points gave him a runaway victory and the green jacket.

Near pins went to Stuart Kidd (A3), Tommy Marshall (A6), Paul Smith (B3) and Paul Durkan with more than a little luck on B8 where his tee shot rolled against the existing near pin marker and just crept inside it.

Consolation prizes went to Phil Davies for his 21 points on the front nine while Tony Browne posted 20 points on the back nine for some small success. Barry Oats hade suffered a sleepless night before his round and his continuing shoulder problems were not eased by the winning of the wig. Soren Hansen had placed his ball on the first tee to lead the group off when his caddy informed him he had not paid his green fee. Chaos followed as he rushed, embarrassed, back to the check-in, leaving Maurice to re-jig the playing order on the tee. In fairness one can understand Soren's oversight because the layout of the clubhouse means check-in comes after the locker-room "action". However, the silly hat was thus decided before a ball had been struck.

The day will be remembered for Andy Kelleher's and Stuart Kidd's efforts however, long after Soren's blushes have evaporated.


Melbourne & Brown, Just for the Record

The Pattaya Golf Society ended its January schedule with a visit to local Pattaya CC on Wednesday 30th to play a stableford competition on the course which continues to be more than presentable with firm fairways giving lots of run and greens which were a little tricky with deceptive pace.

Thirty three golfers took to the first tee and oblivious to the fact, when Willie Brown teed off he started the groups five hundredth competition round this month, a monthly record for the group. Completely unfazed he went to to perform well.

The field was divided into two flights at eighteen and under and in the top flight Masa Takano again seemed to be the "bridesmaid" with his second best gross of the day giving him 33 points for third place. Ahead was the daunting figure of the consistent Maurice Roberts on 37 points in second. The flight winner was the aforementioned Willie Brown with 39 very solid points.

In the second flight scores were again very competitive with Soren Hansen taking third place with 38 points, losing second on countback to a resurgent Tip Briney. The flight winner and recipient of his maiden green jacket was Keith Melbourne with a personal best score of 43 points on a day when he trusted his caddy to give him the right advice and kept his nerve throughout,except on a very watery seventeenth hole. Again it was a case of a non fancied golfer, leading from the front, and, boy did he enjoy his moment!

The near pins went to Bill Copeland (two), Phil Davies and Torben Lindgaard whilst the best front nine score was recorded by Derek Phillips (23 points) and the best back nine score went to Larry Slattery on countback with 18 points.

Competition was tight for the dreaded wig with countback deciding it would be worn by Darren Beavers, thus leaving Paul Stewart to take the "silly hat" for the poorest nine hole score.

I think it's fair to say that all the groups golfers had enjoyed the month and thanks are due to the cool "professionalism" of the organisers, making large fields as manageable as possible so all enjoyed the LInks golf experience.


Tony Browne Scores 40

Chris Barker the first to wear the Jacket, Silly Hat and Wig All at Once.

After just one week it was back to Pattavia for another try at taming those greens. However, the Greenkeeper had done the job for us as some maintenance had slowed things down. This caused some confusion as we were still too scared on the downhills, unnecessarily as it turned out. Weather was pleasant as the first three-ball of our 11 groups teed off behind a large group from another Society. It looked like a slow day ahead, and it was. We did get away on time with the help of the Marshal who is very good here.

In the “A” flight (0-17) it was a three-way countback on 34 points to sort the placings which resulted in Stu Thompson taking the top spot ahead of Chris Barker and Tommy Marshall in third. Then another countback on 33 points saw Masa Takano sneak in ahead of Ray Banks.

It was cut and dried for the first three places in “B” flight (18+) with Tony Browne having an easy victory, scoring a great 40 points on a difficult day. He must have been on the simulator again. Bart Bingham took second with 38 points and Torben Lindgaard third on 36 points. One more countback to settle fourth place where Greg Thompson got the nod over Ian Collier, both with 35 points.

Near Pins: Bill Shepley (4), Russell Exley (7), Maurice Roberts (13), Bill Copeland (17). Best Front Nine (non-winners) - Jim Ferris…….18 pts,
Best Back Nine (non-winners) - Richard Dobson ...22 pts.

Stu Thompson almost wore the “silly hat” due to a ricocheting ball hitting a tree and a caddie, but not enough. The player with the worst score didn’t make it back to the bar, nor did Tony Browne to get the Green Jacket.

Chris Barker came back on the first bus and sat quietly for more than an hour.
All the places sorted, envelopes written and then Maurice and Len discovered one card missing. When identified, he handed over the card and it turned out Chris had a winning score. So, because all the prizes in “A” flight had to be re done, THAT deserved the “silly hat”. With neither Tony or the “wig” winner present, Phil decided Chris could wear the lot. First time ever that’s happened.

Beavers Enjoys the Riverside

The Pattaya Links Golf Society turned out in style at Bangpakong Riverside on Monday, 4th February, when ten groups took on the challenge of the glorious course in a stableford competition. The conditions were excellent and a humid day did nothing to detract from the pleasure of playing the flat riverside course.

The field was divided into two flights at eighteen and under and scores were predictably good. In the top flight Takeshi Hakozaki playing his first round with the group this year took fifth place with 35 points, losing on countback to Maurice Roberts, and a point behind third placed golfer Tommy Marshall. In second pace was Huw Phillips with 37 points but the flight was won by Paul Smith whose gross 73 gave him 39 points.

The second flight golfers found the test a little tougher, with one exception. Fifth place went to Phil Burton with 33 points, again losing on countback to Bart Bingham. Third place belonged to Walter Baechli with 34 points and senior golfer Barry Oats made amends for his previous round with a fine 36 point return. The winner by a country mile was Darren Beavers with a splendid 43 points. After weeks of anguish and self doubt with his game everything came good again today and last weeks wig became this week's green jacket. Beavers' beaming smile could not have been broader.

Near pins went to Petur Petursen (4), Pete Seil (7), Lachlan Gotz (13) and Barry Oats (16) with the best front nine being posted by Colm Lawlor (18 points) and the best back nine award going to Soren Hansen with 19 points.

Jim Ferris' abysmal start ensured him of the "silly hat" award and Richard Dobson's irretrievable struggles on the front nine also rewarded him with the wig.

What else can be said? Another quality golf day with the Links.

Jacket for Jones, Ties Optional

Treasure Hill, always a tough test and yet one of the most popular venues on the PLGS schedule. The group visited there on Wednesday 6th February to challenge for a stableford event in two flights, cut at eighteen and under. The course was in excellent condition as always and, with forty golfers in the field, an earlier start than booked was offered and the group got away safely.

Traditionally the course is low scoring and today was no exception in humid conditions with only a slight breeze to cool the golfers. This always makes for a close competition and there were no less than sven ties for the minor positions, all requiring countbacks to resolve the results. In the top flight Ray Banks came fifth with 31 points, behind Maurice Roberts, Tony Browne and runner-up Steve Truelove, all with the same score. The flight winner was popular Japanese golfer Masa Takano with 33 points.

In the second flight Gordon Laviolette lost countbacks for third and fourth,ending up fifth on 33, behind Darren Beavers and the returning Paul Chesney. Second place went to Mike Tottenham with 34 points. The flight winner and recipient of the green jacket was Len Jones with the day's best of 35 points.

Near pins went to Derek Phillips (6), Jack ? (13) and Phil Davies (17) with no-one sullying the green on the long second. The best front nine was recorded by David De Caminada (15 points) and Frank Hughes recorded 17 points on the back nine for the other consolation prize. Malcolm Garrety chose the day to make his debut at Treasure Hill and suffered the inevitable with the wearing of the wig whilst Phil Mitchell made his long awaited return with the silly hat awarded for the poorest nine hole score.

It had been a typical Treasure Hill day at the Links, tough but nonetheless enjoyable.

If It's Friday It Must Be Browne

The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Pleasant Valley on Friday, 8th February to play a stableford competition on the course which was in reasonable condition but with greens which were variable in pace on the back nine. Little wind was evident and conditions were sultry and humid as the field of forty-two golfers teed off on time. The field was buoyed by a dozen "new" golfers, all keen to enjoy a day's golf with the popular group and they were not to be disappointed. The field was divided into two flights at eighteen and under.

Scores were close in both flights and the second division saw US golfer Tip Briney post 32 points for fifth place, a couple behind Thai lady golfer Panda Aree in fourth with 34. A level par round by senior golfer Alan Walker nudged him into third place, one behind Wednesday's winner Len Jones on 37 points. The flight was won by Stuart Kidd with 38 points.

The top flight was just as tight with Russell Exley taking fifth place with 37 points, on countback from Phil Davies. Three golfers vied for the other minor places with 38 [points, countbacks placing Ray Banks in fourth place behind Tommy Marshall and Masa Takano. Poor Masa, "bridesmaid" again! The flight winner and green jacket recipient was Friday Man Tony Browne who followed his previous week's forty points at Pattavia with another forty points haul this week.

Near pins went to Chris Barker (5), Tommy Marshall (8), Ray Banks (13) and Masa Takano (17) whilst the best front nine was reserved for Phil Davies' 22 points, David De Caminada holding the best back nine award with 27 points, after countback.

The silly hat was awarded to Maurice Roberts after demonstrating that smoking can be dangerous whilst the dreaded wig went to its first female winner Hilary Stoker after a poor showing on the tough track.

Pleasant Valley had seen the PLGS week close with good scores and fine comradeship.

Maurice’s Great Big 42 Points

An unusual, for this time of year, grey cloud hung over Pattaya and our golfers were thinking ‘rain’ as they ate breakfast at Links Bar. This cloud and the idea of rain passed quickly and it was into buses and cars for the short trip to Burapha Golf Course for the later start time of 11.30 am.

Organisation was good and our nine groups got away on time, under fine, but warm conditions and had a nice clear run to all finish the round in good time. The course was in its usual first-class order and all comments I received were usually of one word, excellent.

Playing off his 12 handicap, Maurice left the field in his wake to romp in with an impressive 42 points to win “A” flight and the Green Jacket. Watch out, he is starting another of those runs. The first four place getters in “A” flight all had scores of note. Alan Thomas scored 39 points (76 gross) for second and Tommy Marshall 38 points (77 gross) to take third place. David Decaminda finally showed his 9 handicap on his last game this trip scoring 37 points for fourth.

The “B” flight saw a tight finish for the first three places, with a three-way tie on 35 points. Some countbacks were needed resulting in Gordon Laviolette, finally breaking into the winner’s circle, getting the nod over consistent Stuart Thompson and newcomer to Links, Joseph Buchberger, taking third spot. Then Stuart Kidd held out in another countback for fourth on 34 points.

There were four near pin markers out and all were won:  Chris Barker (A3), Stuart Kidd (A6), Paul Durkan (B3), Bill Shepley (B8). Best Front Nine (non-winners) – Colm Lawlor – 19 pts c/back. Best Back Nine (non-winners) – Wayne Peppernell – 21 pts

It seems our most regular wearer of the “silly hat” is none other than Phil. He often finds a silly reason to wear it, but this time it was for the original purpose of the worst score on one of the nines.
The first, and to date, the only lady to wear the “wig” was seen shuffling toward the front as Phil was teasing. But she missed out on a second chance as the “wig” found its way on to the head of Seamus Byrne for the lowest score overall.

Steinmann Star Man

The Pattaya Links Golf Society called in on Greenwood on Wednesday, 13th February to play a stableford competition with the forty-one strong field divided into two flights at 17 and under. As always the course was in excellent condition with deliciously consistent greens. The only downside was that the course was damp after the usual early morning irrigation and so it was decided to play the A and C nines from the yellow tees with the preferred lies option on the fairways. This made for a very tight contest in both flights and certainly helped the shorter hitting golfers enjoy the day more on a course which boasts some long par threes and fours.

In the second flight minor places were decided by countback with Stuart Kidd taking fifth place with 35 points behind John Chelo and third placed Kenny Jepson. Derek Phillips was runner-up with 36 points and the flight was won by the senior golfer in the field John Pearce with 38 excellent points.

The top flight followed the same pattern with countback relegating Maurice Roberts to fifth with with 37 points, behind Phil Davies and Dave Hewson, finishing third on his return round, again with 37 points. In second place was Bill Copeland with a fine 38 points and the flight winner was New Yorker Bill Steinmann with 39 points on his debut round with the group. Not many golfers take the green jacket on their debut round so well done Bill!

Near pins went to Maurice Roberts (A2), Bill Copeland (A6) and Gordon Nelson (C6). Again the long C3 preserved its modesty with no golfers invading its space. Consolation prizes for the best nines went to Tip Briney on the A nine (21 points) and Chris Barker on the C none (21 points).

Mr Phil thoroughly enjoyed presenting the wig to his friendly rival Adam Barton after carding the lowest score of the day and the "silly hat" to Colm Lawlor on his final round this trip, his final nine holes netting only ten points.

Let nobody say Greenwood is easy from the shorter tees. It certainly isn't but it makes life easier for some on a sultry, windless day and everyone enjoyed the experience immensely.

“Laughing Man” Has Last Laugh

Darren Beavers never seems to be far from the action at Links Golf. If not sporting the “wig”, which he did during a form slump, or the “silly hat”, then he is wearing the Green Jacket. He was certainly “laughing man’ (a reference to a photo last week) after scoring a massive 45-point haul at Plutaluang today to run away with the “B” flight and the Green Jacket. Upon his return to the bar he tried to tell mates he did OK. But then within seconds he blurted out the score. Why wouldn’t you?

Phil Burton put in a great performance to take second spot with a fine 38 points, while Niall Caven showed a return to form with 35 points getting him third place. Phil Mitchell and Bryan Barrell battled it out for fourth at 34 points, with Phil having the better back nine. On another day 41 points would win everything and be the headline, but Takeshi will take the “A” flight win with a big smile. He has been close recently and today kept the rest at bay. Dave Hewson’s 39 points from a handicap of 9 certainly rates a mention and that got him second place and the best gross score of 78. Third and fourth went to the countback with Ray Banks winning that one from Bill Copeland, who is heading back to the USA for a short trip. Colin Service rounded out the podium with a handy 36 points.

Forty-one golfers found a Plutaluang Golf Course in very good condition and some reckoned the greens were true and as fast and treacherous as Pattavia. Darren Beavers thought they were okay as 27 points on the first nine came largely because of his putting where his playing partners agreed that he just could not miss. One of those putting days we all want.

In addition, Darren also picked up a “near pin’ by getting one inside Phil’s very good putt. Other near pins were won by Ray Banks, Iain Jones and Phil Davies settled for one.
Best Front Nine ( North) ( non winners) – Garry Bright…21 pts
Best Back Nine (West) (non-winners) – Adam Barton….21 pts

Once again there were many contenders for the “silly hat”. Takeshi lost his wallet, but Maurice found it for him, and then there was no money in it anyway.  However, Phil decided that the original purpose of the hat, for the lowest score on a nine, was the way to go. After a few fluttering hearts it was Phil Thackery getting the “honour”.
Michael Pallesen played his first game this trip from Denmark and scored low enough to wear the “wig”. Phil did point out the Michael had not been able to play for three months as his home is way too cold for humans.

Solid Slattery Tops the List

A tough task lay ahead of the Pattaya Links Golf Society on Monday, 18th February as thirty eight golfers made their way to Mountain Shadow to play a stableford round on the course which was very dry, giving lots of run but many tight lies on the dusty fairways. Greens were quite good but the back nine were slightly slower than those on the front. The course demands accuracy, fairways have to be hit and the punitive rough avoided. Quite a daunting prospect after a Pattaya weekend!

The field was divided into two flights at eighteen and under and scores were inevitably close. In the second flight fourth place went to Darren See on his debut round with the group, with 30 points. In third place was Derek Philips with a very sound 33 points, one behind runner-up Stuart Kidd, playing his final round this trip. The flight winner was Barry Oats with 36 points.

In the top flight fourth place was held down by Kevin LaBar with 30 points with Pete Seil on 33 points taking third after losing a countback with runner-up Billy Shepley. The flight winner and deserved wearer of the green jacket was Irish golfer Larry Slattery with the only sub par round of the day, 37 very solid points.

Near pins went to Phil Davies, Larry Slattery, Stuart Kidd and Tip Briney and the consolation best nines awards went to Darren Beavers (front nine, 17 points) and Chris Barker (back nine, 19 points). Chris also took the "silly hat" after a shabby six points on the front nine in a round of two distinct halves.

The fabled wig went to Ray Banks on his final round as he struggled with the prospect of an imminent return to England to produce the second lowest score of the day. It must be said however that his golf this trip has been generally very good with more success than some others on their annual visit. He and the other returnees wil be missed for their skill and comradeship.

No More Bridesmaid for Masa

Due to a mix-up in bookings we were disappointed to miss out on our trip to Khao Kheow in January, but we made up for it today. Thirty-nine golfers took to the course, after one no-show, and relished the decision to play from the yellow tees. Weather started hot, still, and uncomfortable, but eventually some cloud cover and a wisp of breeze gave some respite. We were told the day before that the course is not in good condition.  On any day we can get differing versions of that subject, depending on the circumstances of the commentator.

Although not in the pristine condition as at the start of the high season, probably due to heavy use and lack of rain, our group decided conditions were very good. Fairways, although drying somewhat are grassed and neatly mown. The greens are in excellent condition and mostly quite quick after being lightly sanded. The tee areas have not come up as well after a renovation, not a disaster, but a little disappointing.

Two flights today with the cut at 19 and under.

Masa Takano has been the “bridesmaid” many times on this trip. He has had some excellent scores which deserved a Green Jacket, but somehow managed to be the second-best score.  Today, just before heading home and back to work, he got his wish. With a nice 39 points he took out the “A” flight and the Jacket. Well done. Dave Hewson has been on the podium a bit and with his lowly handicap held second spot with 37 points and Chris Barker, another regular place getter, was third on 35 points. Derek Phillips and Mike Ehlert went to a countback on 34 points resulting in Derek getting fourth spot and Mike fifth.

A three-way tie had to go to countback to split them in “B” flight. Vic Barton won out to take first place from Bryan Barrell who, in turn, beat John Anderson into third. Gordon Laviolette with 31 points held out Paul Chesney who finished with 30 points.

Near pins: Dave Hewson (A3), Paul Chesney (A5), Mike Ehlert (B3), Richard Dobson (B8). Best Front Nine ( non winners)…Darren Beavers….18 pts  Best Back Nine (non winners)…..Connie Walsh ......18 pts.

At his final game this trip Mark Stubbing had the lowest nine hole score and donned the “silly hat” while Jim Ferris had a horror day and recorded the lowest overall score and was awarded the “wig”.

Gordon Good for Green

Local golfers could be forgiven for thinking the main golfing occasion at the end of this week was at Siam Old Course where the LPGA was holding its annual Honda event but wiser heads knew it was the Pattaya Links Golf Society's trip to neighbouring Pattaya CC on Friday, 22nd February which held all the thrills.

The course was dry but the greens were consistent and a strong breeze either helped or hindered shots but certainly made the day more comfortable. A field of twenty-nine golfers turned up and with the cut at sixteen and under play in two flights got under way before the allotted time slot.

The top flight saw an extremely tight contest with three golfers sharing the top score of 35 points. Countback placed American Mike Ehlert in third place behind compatriot Kevin LaBar leaving Andy Kelleher as the winner with the day's second best gross score of 82.

In the second flight Sweden's Eddie Runfors took third place with 34 points, one behind Alan Walker's solid 35 points and the only sub par golfer Gordon Laviolette on 38 points, which was good enough for the green jacket back at the Links.

Near pins went to Steve Truelove (5), Masa Takano (7), Gordon Laviolette (12) and Frank Jelmo (16). The consolation best front nine award was won by Gordon Nelson with 17 points with the best back nine award going to Darren Beavers with 19 points.

Golfers who struggled were relieved when the wig was awarded to Richard Dobson, who stepped down from a motorcycle taxi at the Links as his name was announced - the timing of the man is impeccable - and the "silly hat" award went to John Harrison whose back nine score of seven points belied his handicap of 12.

Galleries may well have been smaller than just down the road but the excitement was no less intense as the Links ended its current golf week with three enjoyable and skilful days of the game we all love.

Garry Hookey’s First Hole-in-One

Alan Thomas Wins 3-way Countback

The ball took one bounce on the green and dropped straight into the hole. Garry didn’t see it, but the caddies did and screamed, but not as loud as Garry and his playing partners once they knew, and could be heard three fairways away.

Thirty-nine golfers lined up at the first tee on C course. The first and only three-ball got away right on the allotted 10.04 am with some cloud cover and a slight breeze. The course was presented in the usual excellent condition with nicely mown fairways, with some of that rough in the middle and the greens very good with some pace. There were some tricky and rather callous pin placements on some of the later holes on the D nine.
The scores will show that today was a course for low handicappers. The “B” flight (16+) was won by first time Links player, Wayne Greenwood, who was invited by Alan Walker to play with us. 36 points is a very good first up effort.  Gordon Laviolette is fast becoming Mr. Consistent as he took second place with 33 points.

That darn “wig” gets them going. The next three places were many times wearer, Tip Briney with 32 points, followed by two very recent recipients, Darren Beavers and Richard Dobson had a countback on 31 points. It’s an inspiration!

The “A” flight (0-15), or “the big boys” as Phil calls them had a shoot-out at the top with three scores of 38 points. Into countback mode where Alan Thomas came out on top. One of his playing partners, Pete Seil also had 38, but the two were separated by Dave Hewson winning that countback. Then another countback to separate Garry Bright and Connie Walsh, both on 37 points.
There were four near pin markers out and all were won: Chris Barker (C5), Gary Hookey (C8) Hole-in-one, Nigel Harrison (D2)), Alan Thomas (D8).

Len reckons the green “silly hat” looks good on Irishmen and Chris Walsh was right at home after having the lowest nine-hole score. Ian Craigen is still learning the game and, after missing out on the “wig” a couple of times, wore it well today.
We have been having a very good run at Burapha at a very good price, much to the enjoyment of many golfers playing at Pattaya Links Golf.

Masa Gets a Taste for Green Jacket

It’s true that it takes a little longer to travel to Royal Lakeside Golf Club, but when you arrive and enter the magnificent clubhouse, then walk through to the vast and immaculate practice greens and practice bunkers, it makes the trip worthwhile, and you have yet to see the course. The first hole is 490 yards in length with a slight dog-leg right and cut just for golfers. When you reach the green, you will find it true and with good speed, just made for putting. The rest of the course and greens are as good as this first hole.
We usually expect high stableford scores here (rightly or wrongly?) and today we did see that type of scoring.

The surprise packet was Nigel Harrison with 40 points and taking out “B” flight (15+) making this his best score for quite some time. Colin Service has been wondering where his game went, but it was back today and he racked up a cool 36 points, for second place. Derek Phillips is running hot and cold lately and did well to get third spot with 35 points, while that man Gordon Laviolette was there again, even after a handicap reduction, scoring 33 points for fourth.

Speaking of hot, Masa Takano made another 41 points to win “A” flight (0-14) and don his second Green Jacket in 7 days. This top player is really is getting a taste for it. Paul Smith, sporting an unusually high handicap, and consistent Chris Barker, were both right behind with 40 points each. Paul had 21 points on the run in to just edge into second. Connie Walsh quietly slipped into fourth with a nicely done 39 points.

Near pins: Paul Smith cleaned up taking hole numbers 3, 6 and 15, and Mark Oliver (12) took the remaining pin. The honour of the best front nine (non-winners) went to Andy Kelleher with 19 points on c/back whilst the best back nine score was recorded by George Mueller (17 points c/back).

Andy Kelleher’s day didn’t finish there. He had paid his Green Fee, Caddie, Cart and then when asked to produce the paperwork on the first tee, found he had lost (mis-placed) them. Some panic, maybe have to pay again? But in charged Maurice Roberts calling for the owner of these vouchers. All ended well, but Andy deserved and received the “silly h
John Pearce made his final bow this trip re-uniting with his favourite “wig” for the lowest score of the day.


Blue Skies, Red Dragons and Green Jacket for Big Phil

March 1st is St David's Day and is special for Welsh people everywhere. Just how would the PLGS' small contingent of Welsh golfers fare at Pleasant Valley in their Friday golf? Pretty well is the answer.

Forty two golfers made up the field which was divided into two flights at seventeen and under and play got away on a decently prepared course on time and under blue skies. A fresh breeze made the conditions comfortable and a good competition ensued.

In the top flight three points covered the top five golfers with Chris Barker taking fifth place with 34 points, losing on cb to Dennis Eager. Third place saw Steve Truelove return 35 points with Masa Takano, playing his swansong round this trip, taking second with 36 points. The flight winner was Welshman Phil Davies with 37 points. "Chwarae da iawn" Phil!

In the second flight scores mirrored the top flight with Mike Firkin losing on cb to Alan Walker with 34 points. In third place was Icelandic golfer Bjorgvin Hallgrimsson with 35 points, a couple behind Welshman Len Jones, runner-up with 37 points. The best score of the day was recorded by Phil Mitchell who returned in the final group with a score of 38 points.

Near pins went to Phil Davies (5). Dennis Eager (13) and Masa Takano (8 and 17) whilst the best front nine score was logged by Paul Durkan at 19 points, John Chelo taking the award for his 18 points on the back.

The third Welshman in the field, Mark Oliver belied his nine handicap status to return an embarrassing meagre points total and wore the wig with panache, whilst Bryan Barrell did not wake up until the back nine having only recorded a brace of points to secure yet another "silly hat" award.

It had been a fine day's golf, St David's honour had been preserved and "Big" Phil Mitchell deservedly would have worn the green jacket had he returned to the Links on time. Instead Mr Len was given that honour. Happy Saint David's Day, one and all.

Phil’s Birthday Bash

Phil Davies decided to celebrate his 60th Birthday by inviting 84 of his good golfing buddies to share his big day. He put his hand in his pocket so that nobody had to pay out more than 2000 baht. For that sum, each golfer had free tea or coffee and bacon roll at Links for breakfast, free bus travel, no competition fee, 18 holes at the incredible Laem Chabang Golf Course which included green fee/caddie fee/cart and a sumptuous smorgasbord dinner at Links Bar in the evening. Oh! Also included, his buddies could bring partners.

The entertainment for the night was provided by an excellent young duo who kept the big crowd staying longer than we have seen before at Links.

At the course there were prizes on every hole and a competition within the competition. A normal stableford round with an Irish Stableford team event. For an optional extra 100 bht a pool was established to pay out on twos. 78 took part in this. The pool was eventually split between 12 winners.

The golf course was in immaculate condition and we got to play on the newly renovated “A” course, which was a plus. 5 groups started on “A” course and 16 groups off the “B’ course. Every golfer played their part by being on time and ready at the tee for his group. From a grateful organizer, Thank You.

Laem Chabang is considered by those who know these things to be an excellent and challenging layout, and with fairways and greens in top notch shape we expected some very good scores, and there were.

”A” flight
1st  Place -  Petur Petursson - (6) -  39 pts
2nd  Place -  Paul Smith  (4 ) -  38 pts c/back
3rd Place -  Tom Herrington -  (13) - 38 pts
4th Place -   Alan Thomas  (6) -  37 pts c/back
5th Place -   Peter Park (4) - 37 pts

”B”’ flight
 1st Place -  Barry Cunningham (21 ) - 40 pts c/back
2nd Place - Terry Mangan (21) - 40 pts
3rd Place -  Nigel Harrison (22) - 39 pts
4th Place -  Paul Chesney (21) - 38 pts. c/back
5th Place -  Bart Bingham (20) - 38 pts

Irish Stableford – Team Event.
Winners: Tip’s Team (Tip Briney, Nigel Harrison, Barry Oats, Iain Jones)
Second :  Len’s Team (Len Jones, John Mason, Mike Firkin, Bryan Barrell)

There were prizes available on each of the 18 holes, however nobody was able to claim B7 and the B4 prize was for “B” flight but had a name from the “A” flight, so that went begging as well. Golfers will know that there is always one!.
Too many prizes to list here, but they were spread around. The recipients were happy to collect.
Phil conducted the presentations in his own inimitable style, and then it was time for all to relax with a cold one and enjoy that great little singing duo.

                                       HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHIL

Thanks goes to Maurice for a major part of the day’s success, phoning around to invite regulars to play, organizing the groupings, preparing the 84 cards and 21 team cards and on and on. Also special help from a blow-in, Peter Blackburn, while in Pattaya for a few days. These events need many helpers and thanks goes to Links staff and the many others who pitched in for a great day on and off the golf course.

Mitch Carlon’s Hit and Run

After such a huge day at Phil’s’ birthday two days earlier, it was a nice restful day at Greenwood when, after two no shows, we started with just twenty six players.
The management at Greenwood, who are always good and helpful, gave us a two tee start which also enabled everyone to finish and be back in town much earlier.
Weather ranged from hot to very hot, cloudy and cooler, to a nice breeze. Three seasons in one day.
The course was in fine condition and did not have the wet patches as per our previous visit. Greens on both nines, B and C, in good shape and ran nicely. Some in our group thought they were not quite right as the area around the holes seemed to make their putt deviate.
Mitchell Carlon’s work takes him offshore for periods of time and a couple of trips to Udon Thani with his lady, has cut down on his number of games of golf.
However, today he came out blasting his 300+ yards off the tee which had Tip Briney in awe. Tip saw them even though he wasn’t in the same group. Good putting helped also, and Mitch won the day and the Green Jacket, his first, in a closely fought three-way countback at the 39 points mark.
Tony Browne has been in good form of late and continued to be right up there, taking second ahead of Tip Briney, a very popular winner. We thought he was inspired by Mitch’s driver, but his driver still doesn’t work.
We went one flight with six places. Darren Beavers had enough “flashes of brilliance” to grab 36 points and fourth place.
The final two places had three players in contention, but one had to miss out.
Andy Kelleher and Phil Mitchell both scored 35 points, with Andy having the better back nine. 
Best Front Nine (non winners) (B)……Stu Brown ….22 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) (C)…….Richard Dobson…18 pts

There was no contest for the “silly hat” as Keith Melbourne had his name on it when, although he was in the second group out, not the last group, proceeded to pick up the near pin markers and walk off with them, until he was pointed to the error of his ways. Barry Horman didn’t score many and wore the “wig”, but he certainly scored with plenty of ladies when a bevy of beauties showed up at the bar at little later, when went out to greet them.

Phillips Takes the Prize at Eastern Star

A visit to Eastern Star on Friday, 8th March ended an eventful week for the Pattaya Links Golf Society as forty golfers took the opportunity to play the tough course at an extremely generous price. The course was in fine condition and the greens are running well. Some bunkers seemed over-full but generally the course is well set up.

The field was set in two flights, cut at sixteen and under and both flights enjoyed a tough joust in hot conditions.

In the top flight Connie Walsh took fifth place with 28 points, three behind Pete Seil on 31. In third was American golfer Jon Dean with 33 points, one behind runner-up Tommy Marshall on 34 points. The flight winner was Canadian Brian Beaupre whose annual visit was him win the flight with 36 points.

In the second flight things were even tighter with Len Jones staking fifth place on countback with 30 points. One point better was Tony Lang with 31 and Nigel Harrison took third with 32 points. Second place went to Richard Dobson, his back nine impressing as he reached a total of 34 points. The flight winner was Irish golfer Derek Phillips whose 36 points gave him the green jacket on cb from top flight winner Brian Beaupre.

The near pins awards went to Connie Walsh (3), Andy Kelleher (6), Dave Hewson (13) and Pete Seil (17).The consolation of the best front nine went to Murray Edwards (18 points) whilst Tommy Kelly took the back nine award with 17 points. John Evans looked resplendent win the wig, befitting his low mark status and Tony Browne's front nine score more than deserved the silly hat.

Phew! Whar a week it had been.

Beavers The Best at Burapha

It was quality golf again at a quality course on Monday, 11th March as the Pattaya Links Golf Society took thirty-five friends and golfers to Burapha to play a stableford competition on the C and D nines. The course was in fine condition and the weather was hot.

The field was divided into two flights, cut at sixteen and under and a quarter of the field posted scores of level par or better.

In the top flight three golfers tied for the minor places on 37 points, invoking a countback to refine the positions. In fourth place was Petur Petursen, following Paul Durkan in third and runner-up Paul Smith. The flight winner was Tommy Marshall with 39 very solid points.

The second flight was no less competitive with fourth place going to Richard Dobson on 36 points, losing on countback to Masa Sugaya on his return from Japan. Runner-up was Friday's green jacket winner Derek Phillips with 37 points. The round of the day was that of Darren Beavers who bullied the course with some strong and accurate shots to amass 41 points on the toughest combination at the club. Darren is a golfer who is either "hot" or "not" but today saw him at his best.

Near pins went to Mitch Carlon (C5), Tony Browne (C8), Connie Walsh (D2) and Tony Lang (D8) whilst the best front nine consolation award went to Phil Davies with 19 points, Merle Humphreys taking the back nine honours with 18.

Tony Browne had to be stirred before the day began, thinking it was Sunday. His Bible class would have to wait and he eventually made it to the Links just in time, where he was reminded that the rules for the day were those drawn up by the R & A/USGA not those cast in stone two thousand years ago in a far off land. The silly hat was his of course. Barry Horman continued his fittings for the wig with another lack-lustre performance.

Another golfing week had begun in style at the Links.

Bibby's First Green Jacket

The Pattaya Links Golf Society returned to Pattavia on Wednesday, 13th March, not without some trepidation having heard that the day before that the greens were back to their pacey best. However Pattavia's management had decided to water them earlier in the day and they were certainly more amenable for the earlier starters. Fairways were good, with run and the day stayed hot.

The field was divided into two flights, cut at eighteen and under and the quality design made for some competitive golf. In the top flight the Links' rivalry between Phil Davies and Maurice Roberts invoked countback as they both recorded 36 points but Maurice retained the bragging rights and took fourth place. In third was Paul Greaves with countback taking him above Maurice. The runner-up was Kevin La Bar with 37 points but the winner was Paul Smith with countback deciding in his favour as his 37 points reflected his best gross of 75. A splendid display indeed.

Things were a little more clearcut in the second flight as Greg Gawron took fifth place on his return with 34 jet-lagged points, one behind fourth placed John Tallett. In third was Richard Dobson with 37 points and runner-up was Links stalwart Tip Briney with 38 points. The best points score of the day was returned by David Bibby and he took his first green jacket with a solid 39 points.

Near pins were won by Greg Gawron (5), John Evans (7), Pete Seil (12) and Richard Dobson (17) and the consolation awards for the best nines went to Petur Petursen (19 on the front nine) and Mike Davies (20 on the back nine). As usual Mr Phil left the booby awards till last and after much teasing Chris Walsh was presented with the wig for his poor score whilst the silly hat was sported at a jaunty angle by Mr "Rocky", one of Melbourne's less accomplished golfers, after a poor show on the front nine.

Pattavia never disappoints and always seems to draw some fine scores, despite the testing nature of the greens.

Mike Firkin Makes a Comeback

Once again, the day started hot and tiring, and that is before we boarded the buses to Treasure Hill. However, conditions did cool slightly later on. We had one of our smallest fields for quite some time as, after one no-show and two non-competition players, we started with 30 players in two flights with the cut at nineteen.

We were told that this course was in excellent condition presently and, after playing today, there is no argument about that. Although the rough and beyond has started to brown, the fairways are kept green and in great condition. The renovations on the tee boxes has pretty much settled and the greens are superb, running with good pace and true.

The “A” flight saw a return to Links, after a long absence, of John Holmes who immediately made his presence felt by recording a very sound 40 points to easily win the flight. From the same group, his buddy, John Chelo, had a good result to take second place with 36 points. It seems that this trip there is no keeping Chris Barker out of the placings and he took the only remaining spot in the flight, scoring 32 points to beat last week’s Green Jacket winner, David Bibby on countback.

“B” flight provided the star of the day, Mike Firkin. After being plagued by frustrating injury/injuries, he came back to the front with a power game and do what very few have done at Treasure Hill, that is to score more than 40 points. His 41 points was way ahead of the rest of the flight and gave him his third Green Jacket. A big gap then to a three-way tie on 32 points which saw the resultant countbacks going to Richard Dobson in second, 21 points on the back nine, and Tip Briney sneaking ahead of the unlucky Bryan Barrell.
Bryan didn’t miss out though, as he was then the winner of “best front nine” (non winners) with 17 points, while Len Jones came home stronger to nudge out John Anderson to take “best back nine” (non winners) on countback.

Near pins: John Holmes (2), Colin Service (6), Jim Ferris (13), David Bibby (17)
As he handed in his card, David Heyes was worried if he had the lowest score of the day. He need not have worried… he did, and Phil didn’t even bother to tease him. But of course, he took it in great spirit as the “wig” was fitted. Graham Cole deserved the “silly hat” but disappeared before presentations. It’s waiting for him.
Another fine day out, this time at beautiful Treasure Hill.

Phil Still on A High

Bangpakong Riverside Golf Club welcomed the Pattaya Links Golf Society on Monday, 18th March when the group arrived to play a stableford competition in two flights, divided at eighteen and under. The weather was hot and, surprisingly for the course, the day started of still and very humid. The wind was to get up on the back nine however and would cause problems, swirling around the flat riverside track.

Conditions kept scores at a moderate level, with one exception, as did the fairways which were soft and the greens were more grainy than usual.

In the second flight third place went to the elder statesman Barry Oats who finished on 35 points, one behind the leaders who were subjected to countback to decide the winner. John Chelo's smile was broad as it was announced he had nudged Richard Dobson into second place. In the top flight third place went to Chris Barker on countback with 37 points, Stu Thompson being the unlucky golfer to lose out. Derek Phillips took second with 38 points and Phil Davies was still on a "high" after the weekend which saw his beloved Wales win the Grand Slam in rugby on Saturday. He powered his way to forty-two points with very few putts, nailing everything within six to eight feet.

Near pins went to Barry Horman (4), Darren Beavers (7), Pete Seil (13) and Richard Dobson (16). The best front nine was recorded by Stu Thompson (19 points) and Connie Walsh took the award for the best back nine with 20 points.

At the other end of the leaderboard Barry Horman wore the wig yet again, a fine way to finish his stay, whilst a measly nine points on the back nine gave Masa Sugaya the "silly hat" award.

The presentation ended with brandy all round as Dave Heyes celebrated his birthday in a most generous fashion and even the day's hero Mr Phil could not resist the spirit of the occasion as he indulged for a very rare time. It had been a magical couple of days for the winner of the green jacket.

Thunder, Lightning, Rain, Low Scores

The day started as usual with many golfers coming for breakfast or just a coffee. Then an orderly boarding of buses and cars and off to Khao Kheow Golf Club. Check-in was efficient as usual here and we were happy to pay the Sports Day price of 800 bht green fee.

As the first group, a three-ball, teed off on A1 it was noted that they were on the white tee. After some short, but lively debate between organisers, the group re-loaded and had a “take two” off the yellows.

All went well until we were into the second nine (B course) when suddenly that black cloud become crashing thunder and lightning striking seemingly close to our groups. Three quarters of the group behind decided to call it a day and head for the hills. The remaining member joined us to make a five-ball. The lightning storm abated almost as quickly as it came, and our group, number five of eleven, continued on to finish the round and hit the showers.
Upon emerging from the locker room, we watched as the rain bucketed down, no thunder this time, just heaps of water. In the end, of the 42 starters we finished with 30 completed scorecards, some soggy, and the rest N/R. or lost.

Needless to say, there were no record-setting scores, but a first timer at Links, David Innes, a miner from Western Australia topped the scoring with a hard earned 36 points to take out “B” flight and the Green Jacket. Second in that flight went to Greg Gawron on 33 points and then John Anderson scored his third 32 points in his last three games at KK.  John Chelo made up the podium with 31 points.

The best of the “A” flight was Kevin McEntee with 34 points, a very good score considering his low handicap and the trials of the day. Ken Ishikawa, on his final game this trip, beat Paul Greaves on countback at the 33 points mark, while Connie Walsh, also heading home, rounded out the four placings with 31 points.

Near pins: No-one good enough on A3, Ryan Thomas (A5), Derek Phillips (B3), Steve Turner (B8)
Best Front Nine (non winners) …Huw Phillips….18 pts c/back

Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Masa Sugaya ...16 pts c/back

Due to the crazy weather, wrong tees and lost pins and cards, Phil decided that the “wig” and “silly hat” remain in the bag waiting for another day.

The big serving of Spaghetti Bol. went down well as Phil presented David Innes with the Green Jacket. David was so happy that he “rang the bell”, much to the delight of the golfers present, to end an adventurous day at Khao Kheow.

Tottenham Tops

The Pattaya Links Golf Society chose to stay local on Friday, 22nd March as they visited Pattaya CC to play a stableford competition on the course which is starting to show a little wear after a reasonably dry high season. Fairways were a little patchy and soft around the irrigation points with mid morning watering having little or no effect in the hot conditions. Greens hover were still quite consistent.

Play started on time and good progress was made all round. High scoring was not on the agenda. except for a couple of golfers. A field depleted by a half dozen regulars trekking out to Wangjuntr left 25 golfers competing in a single flight. Countback was inevitably invoked again with Nils-Petr Kristensen placed fifth on 35 points, Colin Smith's back nine advantage giving him fourth place. In third was Darren Beavers with 38 points and he saw Larry Slattery elbow himself into second with a better back nine. For Larry it was the final round this trip and closed a series of excellent results over the past few months. The winner was Aussie Mime Tottenham who showed his potential again with forty very solid points to take the green jacket.

Near pins went to Masa Sugaya (4), Chris Barker (7), Larry Slattery (12) and Colin Service (16). The consolation best front nine score was Len Jones' 19 points and the back nine winner was Nigel Harrison with 18 points.

In the absence of Jack Robertson at the presentation the dreaded wig was left in the bag but Maurice Roberts accepted an overwhelming late suggestion that his second poorest nine hole score of the day thoroughly deserved the Silly Hat. Needless to say Maurice's "Silly Hat Hit List" is now in operation again!

With the end of high season coming at the end of next week a final blast of quality golf awaits the PLGS golfers over the next seven days. Just sign up and turn up, simple as that. Enjoy!

Humphreys' Big Haul

After a frustrating Monday when play at Burapha was abandoned without a ball being struck the Pattaya Links Golf Society took to the road again on Wednesday, 27th March and played a stableford competition at the sumptuous Royal Lakeside course. The weather stayed fair but overcast enabling the field of 35 golfers to enjoy the day on a beautifully prepared golf course.

The field was divided into two flights at seventeen and under and play got away on time. Fairways and greens were excellent and the slight breeze helped golfers produce good scores. In the top flight fourth place went to Idris James, his 37 points losing out on countback for third place, which was occupied by Les Cobban. The runner-up was Phil Davies with 38 points whilst the victor was Paul Smith whose seventy-two gross gave him 41 points for an emphatic win.

In the second flight Derek Phillips beat John Chelo on countback for fourth place with 35 points and third place went to Bart Bingham on 36. Jim Ferris took advantage of countback to stay ahead of Bart in runner-up place whilst the winner, with the best score of the day, was Merle Humphreys with 42 points. Merle is happy playing his own game in his own time but today most of his shots were true as he recorded his biggest score with the group to take the famed green jacket for the first time.

Near pins went to Darren Beavers (3), Ryan Thomas (6), Tom Herrington (12) and Pete Seil (15) and the consolation awards for the best nines went to Colin Smith (front nine 22 points) and Kevin McEntee (best back nine 20 points). Darren Beavers' ten points on the front nine assured the slow starter of the "silly hat" whilst the continuing woes dogging Micky Tighe saw him presented with the wig after a couple of decent shows.

It was such a relief to be on the course again after a frustrating Monday and Royal Lakeside was certainly the place to be.

Peeing Down at Pattana

(Observations by Jesuit John)

For 9 holes yesterday at Pattana the weather was pleasant as yours truly battled with golfing demons on slick greens where there were worrying indications that the greenkeeper from nearby Pattavia must have been doing a bit of moonlighting. Every sodding hole was on a slope, making the lagged putt a forlorn hope. Added to which the C 9 holes were in the considered opinion of this pundit looking a little tired with lots of divots and worm casts in evidence and some patchy fairways.
Nothing that a bit of feed and a drop or 2 of rain couldn't put right, I suppose. Typical Thailand response! - if you want to crack a nut, hit it with an exocet. A storm that Noah would have given the thumbs up to hit us part way round the A 9 holes that seemed to me to be better presented, so much so that our 3-ball reciprocated by presenting 5 balls to the water gods on A3 - after which we became a 2-ball as the rain started and he who had but an unmagnificent 7 points on the front 9 sought the sanctuary of a beer in the clubhouse. Just two hardy souls slogged on until we met up with Micky Mouse, the par-6 6th hole, where the hooter to terminate all play sounded just after I launched a pair of my best efforts to get me to within 180 yards of the green for 2. With a gross albatross all but guaranteed and 3 for 2 for 6 points all but pencilled in on the card, how utterly frustrating to be told that play was prohibited.
A long wet trudge to pick up my ball, mark the spot - red castle tee now lost, I suppose - as if golf isn't already expensive enough - and then a real soaking as the nearest half-way house was a good kilometre away. The rain battered down for well over an hour accompanied by thunder claps and the occasional flash of lightning, as the greens, fairways and cart paths disappeared under water. Wet as I was, my clubs were pretty dry courtesy of my efficient caddy and her bag cover, She stayed dry too under her magnificent rain suit. I didn't have my eye on young Firkin all the time; so for all I know she might have been tangoed.




Barry Wellings Shows Them How

Laem Chabang Golf Club has wasted no time in re-introducing the great Monday Sports Day Special of 2059 baht all in, and Links golfers have wasted no time in signing up to get there.

Forty-six players comprised the final starting line-up and the first group hit off right on our allotted tee time of 10.00 am. under warm, slightly overcast conditions. Last week we missed one complete round and the game was called off at the half-way on another day, so this made for the extremely unusual occurrence of twice in a week due to rain and storms, so would we complete the round today? It looked promising.

It was decided to play just two flights with six places in each, plus best nines and near pins. The course played long today, even off the white tees, and many found it tough going with some lowly scores after the A nine, and the C nine considered much more challenging. The greens were a little slower than usual but some took advantage of that. Having many low and very low handicappers, the cut was 0-14 and 15 up.

We hadn’t seen him for a while but Barry Wellings announced his return by firing the best score of the day, by far, with a card reading 41 points from his 5 h/cap (72 gross) and thoroughly deserved the chance to don the Green Jacket. Newcomer Derek Hutch held out Les Cobban on countback at 37 points, then came Paul Durkan with 35 points, Paul Smith on 34 points and another newbie, Richard Fearby won a four-way countback on 34 points for sixth place.

On previous visits, Niels-Peter Kristensen was a “wig” wearer more than once, but this time around he is showing some very good form and ran away with first place, scoring 38 points. Donal McGuigan just returned to Pattaya and, although a fair way behind the winner, was happy to take second spot with 33 points. John Chelo has shown some consistency recently and took third with 32 points. Then Tony Browne was shaking his head to be handed fourth prize with only 31 points to beat Bobby Lloyd on countback, in Bobby’s finale this trip. Bringing up the final spot was Darren Beavers on 30 points.

Near Pins: Barry Wellings (A7) and (C8), George Mueller (A2), Paul Lanzetta (C5)
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Francis McGuigan – 20 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Mike Firkin – 18 pts.

On Friday, Bart Bingham returned to Links to find his clubs did not return. After frantic phone calls, it appears he did the inexcusable by letting his caddie take the bag to the bus. An alert bus driver from another Society noticed a strange bag in his bus, unloaded it and handed it to Pattana Staff. After a unanimous vote it was decided that Bart was silly enough for the “hat” There were four contenders for the “wig” and Masa Sugaya “won” on countback. From Bart and Links Golf, thank you to that bus driver and to Pattana Staff who took care of the bag. Oh! How was the weather? It did rain and stopped play for 20 to 30 minutes at about half-way. However, play did continue and everybody had an excellent day out.

Captain Leads the Field at Bangpra

The Pattaya Links Golf Society started the day at the Links, in the middle of a very wet week, silently praying that the golfers would be able to enjoy a full day's golf at Bangpra. Course conditions had prevented the group from playing there for almost a year but news of improvements had drawn them back. Indeed the course was in good condition and the greens were much better than expected even though they were very "grainy" with slow uphill putts and the need to apply the brakes putting down to the pin.

Pleasantly the field of thirty golfers got underway earlier than booked and the course was relatively empty. High humidity and thunder rolling not too far away made for a tight contest for the two flights, cut at fourteen and under. In the top flight only one point separated the top four golfers with countback inevitably being used. Thus fourth place went to Danish golfer Gerner Lykke on 37 points with Petur Petursen holding down third on the same score, leaving Les Cobban in second by virtue of his better back nine. The winner on 38 points was Wayne Peppernell and it was fitting that the PLGS "Captain" took the green jacket for a fine performance.

The second flight was almost as close with fourth place going to Jesper Hansen on his return with 31 points, a couple behind Greg Gawron on 33. In second place was a delighted Micky Tighe who took the honours from Greg on countback. The flight winner was Richard "Banjo" Bannister who was also making a return visit and his solid golf pedigree gave him a winning score of 36 points.

Near pins went to Barry Wellings (2, 8), Pete Seil (12) nd George Muller (17) on a day when the shortest par three was about 170 yards. The best front nine consolation went to Ryan Thomas (19 points) and compatriot Tip Briney took the back nine award with 18 points.

Bart Bingham was awarded the "silly hat" prize for the second successive time as his front nine of 6 points was poor by anyone's standards and the wig went to Paul Stewart who struggled all day to record a point a hole.

And the rain? It never arrived, making the day complete for all the golfers. Meanwhile, back in Pattaya...

The Wig Inspires Masa Sugaya

It’s been said before that, love it or hate it, the “wig” at Links Golf provides great incentive to make an improvement to your game in order stay clear of it. Masa Sugaya looked sheepish and not amused when he wore it on Monday. By Friday he was wearing the Green Jacket as having the best score of the day, on countback. How things can change!

The A and B nines at Khao Kheow were presented in very good condition, perhaps not as pristine as we sometimes find, but this is likely due to a lot of traffic in past weeks. The greens were good Khao Kheow type greens, running true and with good speed. The weather was very hot and tiring with only the promise of a cold shower and a cold drink at the completion to keep you going.

Thirty-three players started out, thirty-two finished, so two flights with four places each. Masa Sugaya not only won the “B” flight (17+) scoring 37 points, but had a four-point buffer to second placed Niels-Peter Kristensen who continued his good form to beat Greg Gawron on countback at 33 points each. Adam Barton, in a rare appearance due to work, held down fourth spot on 32 points.

On the same day that Masa wore the “wig”, Barry Wellings wore the Green Jacket and would have again today if not beaten on countback, by Masa.
 Barry had 37 points to win “A” flight (0-16) by one point from Paul Smith on 36 points. Paul Greaves (16) snuck between all the single figure handicappers scoring a solid 35 points in beating Les Cobban on countback

Near pins: Paul Chesney (A3), Phil Davies (A5), Paul Smith (B3), Tom Herrington (B8). Best Front Nine (non winners) Petur Petursson, 18 pts on c/back. Best Back Nine (non winners) Richard Fearby 21 pts.

When it came to the “silly hat” Phil had Paul Chesney in the frame for saying he had made a marriage proposal. Marriage is a silly idea, according to Phil. (I hope Joy can’t see this). Since Paul had conveniently escaped, the “silly hat” went back to the lowest nine-hole score. Guess who won?  Phil Davies! Poor Bryan Barrell knew he could not be beaten for the “wig” and stood behind Phil expectantly while he told stories and teased four others before finally making Bryan happy to be reunited with “his” wig.

The now weekday green fee of 800 bht makes Khao Kheow look like an option for a top course at a good price.

Brian Tully Leaves the Rest Behind

With low season almost here and many golfers already heading away from the Pattaya Songkran madness, numbers are down from the big crowds we have had for the past few months. However, today we had thirty players which is not a huge drop-off.

Plutaluang’s North and West courses proved to be in very good condition. Some dampness and quite wet patches early in the day had encouraged Phil to call lift, clean and place on the fairways, a good decision as players were not seeing much run.
The greens here are much improved and on both nines were true and had good speed. There was some variation to keep golfers on their toes, some of the greens a little slower than most. The weather was again hot, the same for the whole area right now.

Two flights today at 0-16 and 17+ where the “A” flight was a tight affair at the top.

Huw Phillips is back in-form, again, and took the flight with a respectable 37 points.
Richard Fearby is a two handicap so you would expect him to be thereabouts and he grabbed second spot with 35 points, making the best gross of 75.
Peter Park and Gerner Lykke both scored 34 points, but Peter had a better back nine to finish in third and Gerner fourth.

Brian Tully has returned after a long absence and produced some very good first up form by taking the “B” flight and The Green Jacket with a great 39 points, the day’s top score.
Colin Service has his ups and downs in this game and today was an up. 35 points is a good effort which took him to second place.
Niels-Peter Kristensen is now used to being in the placings and was there again in third with 32 points while Phil Mitchell, who we sung farewell to on Friday, re-appeared to score 30 points. He assured us he is going this time.

Near Pins: (somebody forgot to number them) Huw Phillips x 2, Gerner Lykke, Niels-Peter Kristensen. Best Front Nine (non winners) – Jesper Hansen, 20 pts. Best Back Nine (non winners) – Pat Lavin, 20 pts.

There were two players with the lowest score of the day and qualified for the “wig”.
David Beames got the prize because…Tip Briney not only had the lowest overall score, but also the lowest nine hole score, so he got the “silly hat”, again. The “silly hat” had a day out today. Paul Chesney escaped on Friday after announcing his engagement to his Thai girlfriend. Phil reckoned proposing marriage is a silly idea so the “silly hat” caught up with Paul. Then, yet another silly thing when Paul Stewart, sitting in the back seat of Phil’s car on the trip back was caught out by a policeman and fined for not wearing a seatbelt, this after Phil being pulled over for a license check. He was chuffed that he had one to show.
What we lacked in numbers today was made up for with the enthusiasm of the players at Plutaluang Royal Navy Course.

Mike Firkin Snares Another Jacket

Spread-eagles the Field

On another hot and steamy day twenty brave golfers headed to beautiful Pattana Golf Club. Last time we came here we encountered thunder and lightning storms and a deluge of rain, enough lightning, at least, to call the game off.
This time around, apart from the heat, a nice quick round on this always high-quality course. After the game everyone was heaping praise on the course and especially the greens.
As we saw two days ago, numbers are down for reasons stated then and this day we had a nice even twenty starters, so having just the one flight.
Mike Firkin has once again snared the coveted Green Jacket, this time with a magnificent score of 43 points, leaving a seven-point gap to the next two players. He does have his ordinary games, but when he is on song can rip it apart, and 43 points is no mean feat at Pattana. Opposite ends of the handicap scale went to a countback for second and third with Peter Park doing better at the end to keep out that man again, Niels-Peter Kristensen, both with excellent 36-point scores. For Peter Park, that is the day’s best gross of 76. Pat Lavin, in his final game before heading home for a couple of months did well yet again to take the last spot on the podium with a good solid 35 points. Anne Stokes managed to get a prize on her last outing, for now, as she and Bob also head off, making the best front nine score for non winners. Kevin LaBar had the best back nine.
Near Pins were hogged by:
Gerner Lykke (A3 and A8), Darren Beavers (B3 and B7)

1st  Place – Mike Firkin (25 ) - 43 pts
2nd Place – Peter Park (4) - 36 pts c/back
3rd Place – Niels-Peter Kristensen (21) - 36 pts
4th Place -  Pat Lavin (12) – 35 pts
Best Front Nine (non winners) ………Anne Stokes……….18 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) ………. Kevin LaBar………17 pts

We think Masa Sugaya likes the “silly hat” as much as Derek Phillips does because he wore it again today for achieving the lowest points score on a nine.
The man they are calling the film star, our Thai friend, Wichai, scored the lowest overall of 21 pts. Some days that score could run a placing on the podium, he was happy with the “wig”.
It’s now become a custom at Links that anyone leaving for home receives an en masse rendition of the first lines of the song “I’m leaving on a jet plane”. Always fun.

Jacket a Perfect Fit For Adam

The countdown to Thai New Year, Songkran, is on and so is the exodus of Ex-pats to drier parts. This left us with eighteen players headed for Treasure Hill Golf Club. This day was a public holiday, but the 1700 bht all in holiday pricing is still cheaper and better value than many others around.

Recent rains have given new life to the course as today it was in immaculate condition, with good grass coverage on the fairways and super greens. One player didn’t expect much, but was pleasantly surprised at how good the course was presented. We played lift, clean and place even though carts did go on fairways, but the course was firm enough that we tended to forget LCP mostly. The weather was a little more friendlier with some nice cooler breezes and some cloud cover in between bouts of hot sun.

It is never expected to see big scores here but three players did manage to equal or better their handicap.
Adam Barton led the way with an excellent 39 points on his last game before going back to work. He works shifts so will be back soon.
Then came a countback situation between Gerner Lykke and Petur Petursson both scoring 36 points. Gerner won that countback.
In fourth place was George Mueller having a good round with 35 points.

Near pins:  Petur Petursson (2 and 6),  Masa Sugaya (13) , Kevin McEntee (17)

Best Front Nine (non winners)  - David McKey – 17 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners)  -  Will Brown   -  21 pts

Bryan Barrell wasn’t sure which one he would get, thinking he could have both, but he was only allowed one, so it was the “silly hat” for him for having the lowest score on a nine. Iain Craigen has just returned and wasted no time in getting back his favourite headwear, the “wig”, for having the least impressive score for the day.

We got away with a rain-free day, presentations were completed early and soon everyone had slipped away to whatever was their next activity.

Tottenham Wins Jacket and “Silly Hat”

A couple of no shows left us with twenty golfers to take on Eastern Star Golf  Course.
It turned out to be a different course to the one that has been receiving great wraps recently.  Nothing very bad, but fairways here don’t seem to have had the amount of rain received by courses further north, so drying out in places, but one good solid shower will fix that.
It was rumored over breakfast in the morning that the greens had been cored, so it was no surprise to find them slower than last time and a bit “bumpy”. However, overall a course still in very good condition.
Weather was the same, but some players agreed that it was not as hot as recently, with a breeze at times helping.
The one flight produced some tight scoring at the top with the best of them being Mike Tottenham with the best score of the day of 37 points. This was Mike’s second Green Jacket in just over three weeks. Winning form is good form.
The next two places went to a countback with both players scoring 35 points, but Paul Chesney just beat Kae Dayton, in her first game at Links, for the second spot, while Peter Park had 32 points to take the final place on today’s podium.

Best Front Nine ( non winners) – Mickey Tighe – 17 pts
Best Back Nine ( non winners) – Walter Baechli – 17 pts

Near Pin: Maurice Roberts (3), Andre Van Dyk (6), Andrew Purdie (13), Paul Weatherley (17)

Results from Eastern Star:

1st  Place – Mike Tottenham (19 ) -37 pts
2nd Place – Paul Chesney (21) -35 pts c/back
3rd Place – Kae Dayton (22) - 35 pts
4th Place – Pete Seil (4) – 32 pts

Phil is on his annual trip to Wales and beyond so Maurice took charge of presentations. He became a little nervous when he saw who was eligible for the “wig”, so decided to rest it and the “silly hat”.
But wait! Who was it that kept leaving clubs lying around for people to find and return them ?? It was Mike for silly things, the “silly hat” did find a place after all.
Is this the first time a player has had the Green Jacket AND the silly hat at once?

Brown Goes Green

Of course it was hot and humid as the twenty golfers boarded two mini buses and some cars to take the short trip to Pattaya Country Club. This venue was put into the schedule to make an easier trip back to town on these water crazy days. This course comes with plenty of commentary about the quality or otherwise. This time we found a very well presented layout.

The fairways are still well grassed, but with some dry spots appearing, and some tee boxes have been allowed to go brown, but as stated in another report, a good drop of rain will fix all. However, the important part is the greens and, apart from sanding on the first three of them, we found the best presented greens we have seen in a long time. They had speed but not excessive and you needed wits about you on the downhill putts. They are looking every bit as good as some of the higher priced courses, very impressed.

Scores were very respectable with a close race for first spot with two players on 36 points, to be separated on countback.

Will Brown had the better back nine to hold out a much improved effort from Masa Sugaya and therefore he donned  the Green Jacket. Third and fourth places also went to countback and here newcomer Paul MacGowan took the honours over Peter Park with both scoring 35 points.

Near Pin prizes ( somebody forgot to number them) went to: Andrew Purdie, Mitchell Carlon, Will Brown, Peter Park.

Best Front Nine ( non winners) – Brian Talbot – 18 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) -    Iain Craigen – 20 pts

Winners Pattaya Country Club

1st  Place – William Brown (16 ) -36 pts c/back

2nd Place – Masa Sugaya (22) -36 pts
3rd Place – Paul MacGowan (26) – 35 pts c/back
4th Place -  Peter Park (4) – 35 pts

Once again Maurice conducted presentations and decided that due to the small numbers or Songkran or something, the “silly hat” and “wig” would stay in the brown bag. Pattaya Country Club is looking at their pricing, it seems, as they offered a Songkran Special on Thursday of 1400 bht all in, and Tues/Thurs 1500 bht all in. This is a good sign and worth taking the short ride there.

Pete’s Green Jacket in Absentia

Can a golf course be described as being in perfect condition? According to many of our twenty-six players who teed off at Laem Chabang today, it was very near just that. The first two greens seemed to have had a sprinkling of sand recently, which resulted in them not being as smooth as the other sixteen which were perfect. The fairways are immaculate and easy to hit from, and the rough was not too much bother.  As always check-in staff and starters are efficient and the special Monday price of 2059 bht all in made a great day for all.

Scores today were much lower than at our last visit here. Maybe this had something to do with starting on the difficult, watery, C nine?

The “A” flight provided the top scores with Pete Seil having an excellent round off his new handicap of 5 making 37 points to take the win and the “Green Jacket” for best score of the day. George Mueller is never very far away from the placings and he, off his new handicap of 14, had an even round of 36 points, one ahead of Kevin LaBar who is becoming quite consistent of late.

The “B” flight saw the successful return to Links of Masa Okada, whose 35 points held out another consistent player in Mike Tottenham on 34 points. Regular, and always welcome visitor to Links is the much-travelled Walter Baechli, who took out third place with a handy 33 points.

Near Pins: Nigel Harrison (C5), John Harrison (C8), Tip Briney (A2), Pete Seil (A7).
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Derek Phillips – 17 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Maurice Roberts – 19 pts c/back
Maurice asked to mention the weather on this day. It was hot, damn hot, as it has been in Thailand for a couple of weeks now. All we ask is for some relief from this energy sapping heat.
It was a race for the bottom, or the lowest scores, and good ol’ Tip Briney managed 4 points on the C nine enabling him to keep his favourite “silly hat”.  Tip was beaten for “wig” for the overall lowest score by Stan Stewart, but it was close.
Pete Seil didn’t make it back to the Bar for the presentation.

Masa Masters Burapha

On Wednesday, 24th April the Pattaya Links Golf Society golfers took the short trip to Burapha to play a stableford competition on the C and D combination. It has to be said that the C-D course at present is not in the best of condition. It has always been the poorer sister to the A and B nines but at the moment the rough is particularly punitive and the greens are not good. They are inconsistent in pace and some show evidence of maintenance and others not. A very hot and steamy day added to the difficulties of putting together a solid round and the eighteen golfers all deserve medals for their efforts.

Results saw Kevin LaBar losing countback on 37 points for second place whilst Kevin Rogers took runner-up spot. An excellent round of 39 points saw Japanese golfer Masa Sugaya take the win with 39 points.

Near pins awards went to Tip Briney (C5), Kevin LaBar (C8), Derek Phillips (D2) and Jamie Booterbaugh (D8). Wayne Peppernell's front nine of 19 points was the best front nine whilst Walter Baechli's 18 on the back nine was also awarded. Brian Byrne, making his debut with the group, took the wig for his 21 point score and the poorest nine hole total of 9 points was that of Jamie Booterbaugh and he duly accepted the silly hat with a broad smile.

It had been a hot and testing day at Burapha and maybe next time we will be granted the splendid A-B combination as the challenge.

Masa's Third April Green Jacket

Another hot day dawned on Friday, 26th April. as the Pattaya Links golfers made their way to Eastern Star to play a stableford competition on the testing track, which was in good shape. Fairways were a little hard, as always, but they allowed quite a lot of run and the greens were almost at the end of some serious maintenance. In a week they will be very good. As always the welcome was warm and the three dozen golfers relished the challenge, starting ten minutes ahead of schedule.

The field was divided into two flights, cut at seventeen and under and scores were in keeping with the course's history, never excessive and a level par or better finish always leaves golfers satisfied.

In the first flight third place went to Andrew Purdie with 33 points, a couple behind Jamie Bootenbaugh's 35 points finish, leaving the American in second place after his "silly hat" win last time out. The flight winner was Welshman Willie Brown with 36 points.

In the second flight Micky Tighe surpassed his expectations with his 35 points taking third place on countback, leaving Mike Firkin in second with an fine 37 points. The winner was Masa Sugaya, following on from Wednesday's show, and his 38 points gave him his third green jacket in April. Surely this must rank as a peak in the Japanese golfer's curriculum vitae.

Near pins went to Mike Firkin (3), Paul Durkan (6), Tommy Marshall (13) and Wayne Peppernell (17). Paul Chesney's 18 points on the front nine gave him the consolation award, as did Tip Briney's 18 point score on the back nine. Both wig and "silly hat" contenders had jumped ship before the presentation but the feeling amongst the golfers was that they may well be wearing them to tee off in their next round with PLGS. It would be a fitting tribute to those who always stay to receive the honour.

And so to next week. More quality golf on quality courses. beginning at Bangpakong Riverside.


Where Did Those Two Come From?

Golfers invariably enjoy a day's golf at Bangpakong Riverside. The well maintained fairways and consistent greens make life so easy for a golfer on top of his game. The course was the venue for the Pattaya Links Golf Society for its final competition in April and eight groups travelled there in good humour anticipating the best. At the end of a five hour-plus round one question dominated the conversations. "Where did those two come from?"

The field was divided into two flights at sixteen and under and play got underway on time. It was soon evident that an Asian two-ball had appeared in front of the field and playing, from the back tees, ambled their way around eighteen holes, occasionally dropping and playing another ball, without a thought of calling any else through. From the third hole the PLGS golfers were waiting on most shots in melting heat and the results was a round of five and a half hours.

In the top flight third place went to Jamie Bootenbaugh after winning a countback with a score of 36 points. In second place was Richie Fearby, the three handicapper, coming in with 37 points. The winner was the Aussie giant Andrew Purdie whose score of 44 points was as good as he has managed in ten years of golf with the group. In the second flight third place went to Colin Service, on his birthday, with 36 points, one behind Tip Briney in second, on 37. The flight winner and green jacket recipient was Craig Brodey with a score of 46 points on his debut with the group.

Near pins went to Richie Fearby (4), Pete Seil (7), Stu Thompson (13) and Terry Dreier (16). The best outward nine score was set by Tommy Marshall (19) whilst a week's R & R following SEXIT 2019 had served Mr Len well with a winning back nine of 21 points. The feared wig went to Eamonn Moran for his low score and the "silly hat" was anticipated by Bryan Barrel who had fled the scene before the presentation. Instead Mr Len , deputizing for Mr Maurice awarded it to the two mysterious Asians who had such an impact on the day.

The question could also have been asked of the winners, "Where did those two come from?".

You Beat Handicap – You Win

The twenty-nine golfers were all excited to be going to Greenwood on this day as they loaded themselves into the buses 15 minutes before departure time.

The weather was fine but a dark cloud hung over the city for some time and produced nothing.

We had a very good price for a public holiday and were presented a golf course in excellent condition, and given a two tee start.

Greenwood has not yet commenced low season maintenance, as some have, so fairways and greens are top notch. The greens, although looking quick were just a little slower than that but everyone felt good playing them.

The weather stayed fine and hot but with some cloud cover and was not as oppressive as recently. A storm did threaten but came to nothing.

With a course in such great condition, players were scoring freely to the extent that Maurice decided to have one flight and award a prize to everyone who bettered their handicap. Consequently, there were six prizes down the list. Scores overall ranged from 41 points to 29 points. Hard to believe that 29 points gets you the “wig”.
1st Place – Kevin Rogers (10) – 41 pts
2nd Place - Dave Stockman (7) – 40 pts c/back
3rd Place - Mike Tottenham (19) – 40 pts
4th Place - Keith Peplow (16) – 39 pts
5th Place - Banjo Bannister (16) – 37 pts c/back
6th Place - Jesper Hansen (16) – 37 pts

Near pins went to Jamie Booterbaugh (C3) and (C6), Simon Niven (B2), Kevin Rogers (B5).
Best Front Nine (C) (non winners - John Coetzee - 19 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (B) (non winners) - Brian Talbot…….20 pts c/back.
If the guy in the “silly hat” looks familiar, yes, it’s that Irishman, Derek Phillips, wearing his favourite colour. From the Penthouse to the Outhouse for Craig Brodey as he came back to reality following his 46 points on Monday to have the lowest score for Wednesday of just 29 points and his first time wearing the “wig”.
Thanks to Greenwood for a terrific price and a beautifully presented golf course.

Octogenarian Frank Turns It On

Frank Riley reckons he’s close to age eighty but, for him, that matters not when he can score a massive forty points off the yellow tees at a difficult golf course such as Khao Kheow.

Thirty golfers made the trip to Khao Kheow today to play the B and A courses. Low season/wet season maintenance has started around many courses now and KK is in the process of rejuvenating the B course. Consequently, we found most greens a bit bumpy with some bare patches and some sanding. Tee boxes were getting some treatment as well. It has to be done. The contrast was obvious when we moved to the A course which has yet to start the maintenance, so we had the usual excellent Khao Kheow greens and, although drying a little, nice fairways with some run.

Weather was hot and still, then the odd puff of breeze, right through to thunder and a flash of lightning as we neared the final holes of our round. Happily, for us, the rain came as our first bus was leaving the club.

Andrew Purdie has found some real form on this break from work and kept up the pace, winning “A” flight with 36 points. Maurice Roberts has been lamenting his recent ordinary form but was happy his 35 points had him in the winner’s circle, and Russell Exley also managed some improvement to take third spot with 32 points.

The “B” flight produced the best two scores of the day with Frank Riley leading the way with his 40 points, three ahead of Keith Peplow, who did well to make 37 points. Will Brown has been having a good run lately and he filled third spot on 34 points.

Near pins: Russell Exley (A3), Andrew Purdie (A5), Darren Beavers (B3), Andrew Purdie (B8)
Best Front Nine (non winners) …Donal McGuigan….20 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Wayne Peppernell ...20 pts

Derek Phillips’ B9 tee shot went in the water, the penalty drops went in the water, he moved along for the next penalty drop which also went in followed by his golf club, no anger, just a slip?  He did retrieve it. Certainly, he earned his second “silly hat” in succession.

Lee Rodman played his first game this trip and showed he needs a warm- up or two because his 18 points got him the “wig”. Be patient with the golf courses at this time of necessary maintenance, they will be special for us once again when completed and that rain we had at the end will go a small way to achieve that.

Willie Pushes Hard as Exley Wins

Never shirking the challenge the Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Eastern Star on Monday, 6th May, to play a stableford event on the testing course which is now showing signs of some fatigue with fairways desperate for water. OK there is a lot of run but it takes a very solid iron player to get the best out of the course as fairways are very hard and dry. Greens are quite consistent and running at a good pace.

As low season kicks in field sizes are down to high twenties and today it was decided to play the field as a single flight with six place getters joining the technical winners in the pink envelope race.

As expected the "big" lads headed the field with the top six all with handicaps of less than the average, sixteen. Three golfers with 33 points were subjected to countback and thus Richie Fearby was placed 6th, behind Pete Seil, fifth, and Craig Brodey in fourth. Wayne Peppernell's excellent 38 points took third place whilst Russell Exley and Willie Brown, both 0n 39, were separated by countback with Russell taking the major honours despite a very firm challenge from Willie, who wilted in the heat to drop points on the final few holes.

Near pins went to Paul Durkan (3), Jamie Bootenbaugh (6), Russell Exley (13) and Colin Service on seventeen. The consolation best nines went to Mr Len with a sound 18 points on the front nine and Mike Tottenham with seventeen on the run-in.

The day's wig warriors were Stuart Thompson whose paltry 19 points was completely out of character with the usually very consistent Aussie golfer, whilst Kevin Rogers had already established himself as favourite for the silly hat on arrival at the Links in the morning as he left his baht bus driver frustratingly using his horn as he headed for breakfast without thinking of paying his fare. Now that's what we call "focus" on a tough golf day ahead at Eastern Star.

Pattana is Mike Firkin’s Favourite

Pattana is a golf course which is always presented in splendid condition and today was no exception. Apart from some sand on a couple of greens early into the A course, things were what we have come to expect here. This is not to say it is an easy course to navigate but, some of the excellent scores returned today perhaps belie that opinion.

Mike Firkin followed up his 43 points at his most recent visit here with another big haul of 42 points for this round and another Green Jacket. We think he has a love affair with Pattana! Mind you, some of his other games in between have been fairly meagre returns, but winning “B” flight today more than compensates. Steve Baker chased Mike home and nearly got there but his 41 points fell just short, while Tom Herrington pulled out his A game to take third spot with 37 points.

“A” flight scores were not quite into the heady atmosphere of forty plus but a round of gross 73 off his handicap of 2 saw Richard Fearby get first place due to a countback over Peter Park, both with fine scores of 38 points. Lee Rodman, after wearing the “wig’ last time out, made amends with an impressive 37 points to hold down third place.

Near Pins: Simon Niven (A3), Peter Park (A8), Tommy Marshall (B3), Jamie Booterbaugh (B8)
Best Front Nine (A) (non winners) – Keith Peplow – 20 pts
Best Back Nine (B) (non winners) – Jim Ferris – 18 pts
Stan Stewart had the least points on a nine, but left the building before he could be presented with the “silly hat”. It was decided by popular vote that he wear it all day in his next game. Masa Sugaya was at the top of the list with a a run of Green Jackets in April, but today he was at the other end and wore the “wig” for lowest score, on countback.
The weather was still hot, of course, but not as wearing as per recent times and with no hold-ups everyone was back at Links nice and early, except Stan, although he actually did return later.

Pete Seil Breezes Around Treasure Hill

There are those who dislike playing at Treasure Hill for their own reasons, but that didn’t stop thirty enthusiastic golfers boarding the buses and leaving Links about 10 minutes earlier than scheduled. Checking in was easy, as usual, and to our pleasant surprise, the price had been reduced from 1400 bht to 1250 bht all in. Thank You.

Down to the first tee where the first of our two three-balls got away before our 10.00 am tee time into a nice little breeze and much more pleasant conditions than the past few hot weeks. The condition of the course is still very good with nice grassed fairways and short, but tough rough. Maintenance of the greens has started and so we found plenty of light sand and some not running as well as they would normally. However, still some of the best greens around.

We ran two flights today with the cut at 15. We have known of big scores at this course, but not often, so it came as no surprise that only one player was able to play to handicap.

Pete Seil scored 36 points from his handicap of 6, to take out “A” flight and get to wear The Green Jacket again. Of course, his 78 gross was the best of the round.  Andrew Purdie who is still in very good form was 4 points behind in second place, while Phil Davies won a countback to hold down third place, scoring 31 points, in his first game since returning from Wales, in fact his first for some weeks.

The “B” flight was tight at the top needing a countback to separate first and second. Donal McGuigan had the better finish to hold out Mike Firkin in another good game from him. Both scored 35 points. Third place went to John Anderson with 33 points to maintain his good form at Treasure Hill.
Near pins: Lee Rodman (2), Stan Stewart (6), Donal McGuigan (13), Tony Molan (17)
Best Front Nine ( non winers) – Bernie Ward – 16 pts
Best Back Nine ( non winners) – Craig Brodey – 18 pts c/back
First timer at Links, Keiran Maund “won” a three-way countback for lowest score on a nine to wear the “silly hat” for his first time. He would hope it was the last.
Mick Bunn has now had a couple of games with us and managed the lowest score of the day and he sported the “wig”, also a first time.
Having much more pleasant weather and no hold-ups most finished the round in close to four hours. With all that and a fine golf course, plus the welcome lower price, what more could you ask?

Marco Beer Toasts A Big Win

When a top of the range International Golf Course, designed by the great Jack Nicklaus, is making an offer of half price why would you not go there at least twice a month? Links Golf is doing just that and many players are jumping at the chance, so today we had thirty-nine names on the sign-up sheet. The weather has changed so much in the past few days we have almost forgotten how depressingly hot it has been. This morning as we assembled at Links Bar, we had grey sky with a fine drizzle of moisture, quite pleasant and, with everyone here, buses left early again.

Check-in is easy and off to start on the C1 tee. Our first group, a three-ball teed off ten minutes before our scheduled time and made good speed throughout.

This course is always immaculate and, although the regular maintenance of the greens had been done recently, they had settled nicely with just a smidgen of sand still visible.
There had been some overnight rain so the fairways were damp and it was decided to play lift, clean and place, which was a good choice as there were some plugged or muddy balls at times.

Marco Beer was in the first group who, as Marco described it, were nearly running and completed the course in about 3 hours 15 minutes. This, however, did not affect his game as he has come in with a great score of 43 points to easily win the “B” flight.  Darren Beavers and Colin Service have both had form slumps for a while, but both came roaring back today with Darren recording 40 points for second place and Colin had 35 points for third.

Les Cobban lamented that his 38 points, a good effort off a 6 handicap, could only get him third place in the “A” flight, being beaten by his two playing partners Jamie Booterbaugh scoring 39 and Lee Rodman making 40 points for the win.  

Near Pins: For the first time in memory all four pins failed to return to the Bar. There will be double the near pin prizes next game.
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Frank Riley – 17 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Kieran Maund – 20 pts c/back
The last group did as requested and picked up the near pin markers, but rather than hand them to the organisers gave them to a bus driver. Thinking “why is this crazy Farang giving me four bits of paper stuck to a stick?” Probably rubbish, so throw them in a bin.
We’ll never know, but it was worth two “silly hats”, so compatriots Kevin LaBar and Paul Lanzetta were presented with new headwear.
On a sour note: Of the 39 who signed up there were two last minute cancellations, who did call and four no-shows. In these days of many forms of communications how hard is it to make a call to tell organisers if cancelling?  It means trying to re-shuffle players while on the tee, not good for anyone.


Maurice's Memory Returns

On Wednesday, 15th May, the Pattaya Links Golf Society was spoilt with a competition at Burapha on the A and B nines which were in fine condition. Fairways were well grassed, the Bermuda rough was tantalizingly short but difficult to escape with any real success and the greens were consistent but a little "grainy". Regular cloud cover helped the day to be more comfortable for the ardent golfers.

The field was restricted to a single flight and most golfers performed well enough to set a field average of 36 points. Of course there were some outstanding performances with Frank Riley's 39 points being only good enough for fifth place, after countback, with Tip Briney heading him in fourth. Third place went to Lee Rodman with 41 points on his final round this trip, losing out on countback to runner-up Pete Seil who produced a level par 72 off the sticks. The winner was Maurice Roberts with a blast from the past, his 43 points being a mix of consummate golf skills and outrageous luck. Maurice has suffered golfing amnesia for more than a few rounds but this day his memory was back as he negotiated the course with panache. The long awaited green jacket sat well on his shoulders.

Near pins went to Kevin Rogers (A3 and A6), Pete Seil (B3) and Maurice Roberts (B8) whilst the consolation best nine awards went to John Coetzee (17 front nine) and Len Jones (22 back nine). Extra technicals were in place after the farce in the previous round when the NP cards were not returned and near pins (third shot) on the par fives saw Lee Rodman, Andrew Purdie, Jamie Bootenbaugh and Russell Spratt successful. Unsurprisingly, as low handicappers, they were amongst the favourites for the awards.

At the other end of the scale Barry Oats took the wig for his low score of 25 points whilst Phil Davies struggled on his third round in three days, following a break of three weeks, to take the day's silly hat for a lowly nine point haul on the A nine.

As always Burapha was a joy to play and the PLGS golfers rate this as one of the best golf days in the month, on the A and B nines of course.

Masa In The Picture Again

Masa Sugaya never misses a photo op as, at last count, he has been in the Links photos eight times since March 18. He has racked up two “silly hats”, two “wigs” and today’s game gave him an amazing four Green Jackets. Ah! The fortunes of golf.

We ended up at Pattavia at the last minute after being messed around by Bangpra Golf Club and arrived to find a cheaper price than expected. Some clubs just know how to keep happy customers, well done Pattavia. We thought the extremely hot weather had broken over the past few days but today we had some very hot periods, some slight breezes and even stronger breezes at times, so quite comfortable golfing weather.

This course always has very nicely grassed and cut fairways and the light rough is not much of a problem. The greens have had the low season maintenance so were slower than we would usually expect, but they still ran downhill if you missed the hole. As with most courses, we would expect these greens to return to their usual quickness once settled.

After some morning reshuffling, we had twenty-eight golfers line up at the first tee. Our first group hit off 15 minutes before schedule and, with no hold-ups, set a good pace to finish in under four hours, without rushing it.

Two flights today at 0-16 and 17+ as well as near pins and best nines.

As per the headline, Masa Sugaya won the “B” flight with 40 points, not an easy task here, but he took it in his stride, Masa is not one to show his excitement. Second and third went to a countback with Mike Tottenham and Donal McGuigan both scoring a fine 38 points. Mike won that tussle leaving Donal in third.

The “A” flight saw the continued resurgence of Maurice Roberts as he
scooted four points clear of his nearest rivals. After his 43 points haul at Burapha two days ago a follow-up 39 points today but, alas, no Green Jacket. that was Masa’s. Another countback to separate second and third in this flight between newcomer Wayne Antlizt and Jamie Booterbaugh, both having 35 points, but it was Wayne sneaking over the line.

Near pins:  Andrew Purdie (4), John Harrison (7), Bernie Stafford (13) and nobody good enough on17. Best Front Nine (non winners) – Jim Ferris – 20 pts c/back. Best Back Nine (non winners) - Petur Petursson – 21 pts.

There were five players with a miserable score of 23 points, so it was obvious that the “silly hat” and “wig” would come from this group.
Resultant countbacks for the bottom saw the “silly hat” for the lowest nine-hole score go to John Mason and the “wig” for overall lowest score went to recent Green Jacket winner, Mike Firkin. Ah! The fortunes of golf.
Thanks to Pattavia for taking us on such short notice and for the great special pricing happening there at the moment.

Slowly Slowly Catchee Monkey

It was just two weeks ago that we visited Eastern Star and on that occasion the course was drying out and badly needing water on the fairways. Because of these conditions, it was decided that for this game we would play Rainbow Tees. For those unaware this means each player must play 6 tee shots from each of White, Yellow and Red tees. Tactics and some thought are needed as the player chooses which tee to play on a given hole.

The weather was hot, but dark clouds gathered into the afternoon and the sound of thunder could be heard. However, luckily the storm went around and away from the course.

The starter, in his wisdom, inserted a six-ball in the middle of our competition, which inspired Maurice to protest to the management at the half way point. To their credit they phoned the marshal to give him a “hurry-up’.

The six-ball moved at a good pace, unlike our four-ball behind them which was very slow and lost more than two and a half holes, holding up those behind and causing a near five-hour round for the latter half of the field.

It seems this was one of those tactics we mentioned, as they were so slow and “methodical” that two of the four won prizes, and one had two prizes on the day.

We played stableford scoring and had to go to the countback to separate the first two placings. Petur Petursson, who was not in the slow group, is usually consistent and his 39 points won the day over John Harrison’s 39 points. Good scoring from both. Then came a four-way tie on 36 points and more countbacks to decide third and fourth. Two were knocked out quickly. After going to last nine, last six, last three, last hole, and hole by hole we could not separate Bryan Barrell and Ron Matthews, so split the prize for two third places.
Near Pins: Jim Norkett (3), Craig Brodey (6), John Harrison (13), Kevin Rogers (17)

It was a countback also for the lowest score on a nine with Jim Norkett donning the “silly hat”.
Obviously, the tactics employed by Wayne Peppernell didn’t work too well as he got to wear the “wig” for posting one of the two lowest points scores of the day.

We expected to face those drying out fairways, but thanks to some rain and good management, we had nicely cut grassed fairways along with very good greens which were quite quick.
 A fun, albeit slow, day playing a different game, the Rainbow.


Service is Special at the Riverside

On Wednesday, 22nd May, the Pattaya Links Golf Society travelled up highway 7 under heavy cloud cover to play a stableford competition at Bangpakong Riverside. Since our last visit three weeks ago the fairways have been cored and are currently well under repair but the "bounce" associated with them has disappeared leaving little run. It is not helped of course by the daily rains which affect all Bangkok "local" courses. Indeed thunder rolled around for most of the round but it came to nothing more than that. Greens were very consistent as usual.

Six groups set off and preferred lies were adopted for the day. Scores were good as always with Darren Beavers taking fourth place on countback with 36 points. Peter Seil again posted the day's best gross of 75 giving him 37 points for third place with Jamie Bootenbaugh, on 39, in second spot. The winner was Colin Service, returning after a break with forty very solid points. Ignoring the taunts of "It's a left-handers course" he enjoyed the round and at the presentation it was very much "service with a smile"!

Technicals saw Livio Marrone take two near pins, seven and sixteen, with Craig Brodey (4) and Jamie Bootenbaugh (13) taking the others. The consolation best nine awards went to Pierre Zbinden (21, front nine) and maurice Roberts (21, back nine). Jim Norkett performed poorest to make the wig his own and Jamie B wore the "silly hat" with embarrassment after holding the group up before departure, not having read the full departure details.

A round at Bangpakong Riverside is always a pleasant experience regardless of indivdual form and today was no different.

Darren’s “Flash of Brilliance”

Masa Sugaya was in our group and his card showed 41 points so we reckoned he had the Green Jacket sewn up. But then Darren Beaver’s excitement as he handed over his card suggested we may have reckoned too soon. Indeed, he had yet another great score, this time it was 42 points to just edge out Masa for the Jacket, and continue his ambition to get his handicap much lower.   Stop Press! Updated handicaps are now out and he has gone lower.

Twenty-one players descended on Pattaya Country Club with dark clouds hovering, but providing some nice breezes a lot of the time enabling a comfortable round of golf. As with most courses right now, PCC is going through the maintenance phase, but there are many sanded and GUR areas on the fairways and some wet ones as well, so Maurice called lift, clean and place on the fairways. The greens are also being worked on but for the most part ran quite well, even though there were sad stories of lip-outs.

Our lead groups made good time even though they ran up behind another Society. They were two three-balls and moved along until we all caught up to a five-ball. Still, it was late in the round by then, so no problem.

As we have seen, Darren Beavers took first place over Masa Sugaya. In third place was Peter Park with another solid round scoring 36 points and once again the best gross, then Craig Brodey in his final game this trip withstood a countback to take fourth with 35 points.

Near Pins: Peter Park (5), Takeshi Hakozaki (7), Russell Spratt (12), Peter Park (16)

Best Front Nine (non winners) – Petur Petursson – 19 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) -    Maurice Roberts – 17 pts c/back

At the presentations, Phil told many stories about possible contenders for the “silly hat”. However, none of the subjects was present so it reverted back to the original worst nine-hole score and, after wearing the Green Jacket a week ago, John Harrison was at the other end. John Anderson has narrowly avoided the “wig” on numerous occasions but his lowly score today left no place to hide.
Most like the layout of this course, but it still a bit rough around the edges and still, in the opinion of this writer, priced too high for what you get.
A nice day out topped off by the fun atmosphere at Links Bar.

Leave It To Beaver(s)

Early morning showers on this Monday morning failed to deter our twenty five golfers as they gathered at Links Bar for coffee or a full breakfast. The two buses got away on time for the trip to beautiful Laem Chabang which has become very regular for us due to the great Monday Special pricing, long may it stay This course is in it’s usual pristine condition so not much to add to previous descriptions. Perhaps the only comment to be made is that some found the greens on the A nine to be a little slower than expected, but all made the necessary adjustments. The C nine greens were as expected, terrific. The scores today would seem to reflect the fine condition of the course, and there were many excellent returns.
At this time, if you are looking for great scores it is a case of “leave it to Beaver(s)” as he takes all before him and, with another big score of 42 points, his second Green Jacket in three days. The second and third placings in “B” flight went to the countback with two players on 39 points. It was Bernie Stafford, in a rare appearance at Links, who got there ahead of Tip Briney? Tip who? The same perennial wearer of the “wig” and “silly hat”? A big turnaround. Well done Tip.

“A” flight saw Peter Park still in good form but being pushed this time by just returned Michael Wright. Both had 39 points with Peter just holding top spot, and of course, best gross of 73. Tom Herrington runs hot and cold, but after a couple of weeks playing a lot of golf put it together for a good 36 points for third.

Near Pins:  Livio Marrone (A2), Bryan Dore (A7), Tom Herrington (C5), Kevin Rogers (C8)
If you are the marker for Boss Phil and lose his card, and if the Boss only scores 22 points, you need to be prepared for something. Michael Wright may have come second in “A” flight but that didn’t save him from the “silly hat”. The potential wearer of the “wig” did a runner, so his turn will come later.
Another fine day out, back early for food and presentations, just right.


A Big Tip at Lakeside

It was Royal Lakeside's turn to host the Pattaya Links Golf Society on Wednesday, 29th May and the return of a few old friends made the day more enjoyable. The course was well presented but fairways were soft and a little fluffy as a result of the ubiquitous "Bangkok" daily rains but the lightly sanded greens were quicker than most in the region currently.

The single flight adopted preferred lies for the day and it soon became apparent that scores would be good. Indeed a full field average of 34 points spoke volumes about the quality of the field and the golf course.

All the sub-par scorers were rewarded at the presentation, with fifth place going to Bryan Dore, losing on countback, with 37 points. Ahead of him was Michael Wright and in third place was Jon Batty, both with 37 points also. Second place went to Pete Seil with another fine round of 39 points giving him the best gross score of the day, 74. The flight winner was American regular Tip Briney who produced some consummate golf for his best score with the group, 43 points. His club control belied his high handicap and his putting was spot on from the start, never suffering three putts on a hole. A hot tip is always very welcome!

Technicals in the form of "near pins" went to Maurice Roberts (3), John Doyle (6), Petur Petursen (12) and Phil Davies (15). The best front nine award went to Mark Sharp with 20 points whilst the back nine winner was Iain Jones with 19 points. Long time member Alan Walker, newly returned from Australia posted a level par front nine score but succumbed to "anno domini" and back problems on the back nine to take the silly hat award with 11 points whilst Jim Norkett was left with the wig after Bernie Stafford's absence from the presentation indicated he suspected it may have been his turn. Tough on Jim, don't you think?

Colm Makes a Triumphant Return

Twenty four golfers made a quick dash for the buses as rain began to tumble just at our departure time, as we headed for Plutaluang Royal Navy Course. The rain was intermittent en route and we hoped for the best, weather wise.

At this time of regular and necessary maintenance of courses, some players gripe about the condition of greens, tee boxes et al but the course will be better for it. With the East and South tracks here, we are not so sure. They seem to have been let go for a while. The notice indicated that green speed was 6.5. This seemed a bit optimistic as putts were stopping short and, with grass growing over the lip, appeared to have not changed positions for some days.
There is a tournament taking place over the week-end and we wonder whichcombination that will be on? With a below standard golf course we had plenty of below standard scores today. However, there is always one, or in this case, two, who defy the odds.

Colm O’Donovan left for Aus. in January, but since then has played golf with some mates in KL and Hua Hin. Arriving back to Pattaya he came to visit Links. Got the Green Jacket right away with a solid, evenly paced score of 40 points. 20 pts on each nine is very good going. A long way off in second place in “A” flight was another returnee, John Doyle, with 34 points. That’s not bad with a 9 handicap. Third place was controversial but was awarded to Michael Wright with 33 points.
Tip Briney has had a great week. 39 points on Monday, followed by 43 points on Wednesday and today another 39 points to round it off, and win “B” flight, seven points clear of Torben Lindgaard’s 32 points with Donal McGuigan again on the podium taking third spot with 29 points on countback.
Don’t tell Colm or Tip the greens were not good. Ask Tip how many twenty footers he holed.
Near Pins: Colin Service (E2), Phil Davies (E5), Darren Beavers (S13), Michael Wright (S16). 
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Peter Park…17 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) – Barry Oats…15 pts c/back

Michael Wright lost Boss Phil’s score card on Wednesday and had to wear the “silly hat”. Today a misdemeanour on his own score card should have resulted in disqualification, but a hastily called meeting of adjudicators allowed his score to stand. Maurice paraded the card around for all to see while Phil placed the “silly” on Michael yet again.
From the heady heights of a pair of 42 pts in the past week, Darren Beavers came crashing back down to score 16 points and wear the “wig’. Happens to us all.


John (“I played badly”) Harrison Wins Again

This Monday was a new Public Holiday in Thailand so we were not sure how busy we would find Treasure Hill Golf Course. Happily, to our surprise, we were the only Society lining up for the 10.00 am tee time, and consequently got the first of our seven groups started 15 minutes earlier than that.

The weather was divided into two halves with the first half of the round being very hot, humid, and still, while the second half gave us some breezes and some quite heavy rain, causing a thirty-minute delay. The course is in excellent condition with fairways well grassed and firm, or that was until the rain came, and although the greens have recently been cored, have settled well with nice pace.

In the bus on the way home, John Harrison could be heard moaning how badly he had played and his handicap had an “R”, and it would have had everyone feeling sad for him. That is until he admitted to having a score of 38 points! In fact, as it happened, he won “A” flight and the Green Jacket for the best score of the day. Takeshi Hakozaki returned to some good form to make 37 points for the second spot, then low handicapper, Bryan Dore took third with 35 points. Not big numbers, but that is expected at Treasure Hill.

In the “B” flight, Colm O’Donovan, who wore the Jacket last week continued that form with 36 points to take first place a full five points ahead of a surprised Barry Elphick on 31 points. Darren Beaver’s total of 30 points won the countback over John Anderson to grab the final place on the podium by making 20 points on the back nine. Not a good front nine Darren?

Near pins: Michael Wright (2), Colm O’Donovan (6), Peter Park (13), John Doyle (17)
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Tommy Marshall – 20 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) – Gerd Riedler – 18 pts

Tommy Marshall was a contender for the “silly hat” by leaving his locker wide open with the key in and heading to the tee. But a second contender came with the discovery during presentations of empty pink envelopes being handed out. It was put to a vote for which was the winner. Tommy had a few, but the big cheer went for the empty envelopes. Everyone thought they were voting for Maurice to wear the hat, but were shocked when Phil called out Moon. She only had one job, that was to fill the envelopes and because she forgot, became the first non-golfer to wear the “silly hat”.
 Poor Maurice was innocent. Just another fun day at Pattaya Links Golf.

Another Dose of Beavers' Magic - Just!

A stormy day was in prospect on Wednesday, 5th June as the PLGS headed for Burapha to play a stableford competition on the A and B nines, in two flights with the cut coming at thirteen and under.

The course was in fine condition at the start but soon after a severe storm held up play for long time and left fairways very soft and waterlogged. Bunkers were now ponds but amazingly the greens, once the surface water had drained, retained their speed. It was hardly a day for good scores but somehow the golfers contrived to contribute to a field average if more than 33 points.

In the top flight the usual suspects were to the fore with Peter Park registering 39 points for third place, a couple behind Irishman Bryan Dore who fired the day's best gross figures of level par, giving him 41 points for second place. The flight winner was Bob Rice, scoring 42 points on his return to the group.

In the second flight the returning Scot, Andy Stormouth posted 38 points for third place. Ahead of him a titanic battle saw both Colm O'Donovan and Darren Beavers record 42 points, with Darren claiming the bragging rights on countback. It was his third such round in just a couple of weeks and his fellow "Geordies" could be forgiven for boasting "Ha'way the lad! What a belter!"

Near pins again went to the lower markers with Michael Wright (A3), Bob Rice (A6), Peter Park (B3) and Bryan Dore (B8) all picking up envelopes at the presentation. Mike Firkin won the prize for the best front nine with 18 points with Nils-Peter Kristensen taking the honours for the best back nine, with 23 points. However his front nine of merely 11 points also assured him of the "silly hat" award for the lowest nine hole score of the day. Finally, Derek Phillips suffered more than most with a new driver and the rain delay and abandoned his efforts after twelve holes, giving him another opportunity to don the dreaded wig.

Burapha had been quite tough on the PLGS golfers but "when the going gets tough, the tough get going".

Washout at Khao Kheow

Abandoned after ten holes due to heavy storm

Another Tight Finish at Laem Chabang

After a Friday washout at Khao Kheow twenty-seven PLGS golfers were even more intent on enjoying a stableford competition at Laem Chabang on Monday, 10th June. The day was bright with some scattered cloud cover but nothing threatening as they teed off on the A nine, with the more testing C nine to follow. The course was in its usual fine condition but the greens were hard and much slower than expected with grain predominating.

It was decided to play in one flight and a fighting performance by Derek Phillips dispelled the disappointment of his previous few rounds as he finished in fifth place with 34 points. Another very steady round by Tommy Marshall helped him to finish in fourth place with 35 points, one point behind third placed Peter Park on 36 points. The top two golfers both broke par with Iain Jones' 37 points taking runner-up spot, a couple behind the winner, Erik Lundman on 39 points on his debut with the group.

Near-pins went to Richie McGhie (A2), Andrew Purdie (A7), Phil Davies (C5) and Paul Smith (C8). The best front nine was that of Toby Glass (20 points on A) whilst Kevin LaBar's eighteen points on the C nine saw him receive another award.

At the nether end of the leaderboard there were e few contenders for the dreaded wig with Stu Brown eventually wearing it for his 19 point haul, whilst the "silly hat" went to last week's hero Tip Briney for his seven point total on the easier front nine. Taking it in his stride Tip was living proof that the elevator runs quickly from the "penthouse" to the "outhouse" and nobody is exempt.

An enjoyable day at one of the region's premier courses more than made up for the disappointment of the abandoned round at Khao Kheow a few days before.

Phillips and Yates Down to The Wire

Although overcast in the morning, the forecast was for cloudy and no rain. At Pattana that is exactly what we got, and were able to complete a full round. We played only the one flight down to six places. After very late sign-ups (or not at all) and one who paid then went walkabout, never to be seen again, even though we held a bus for him then, after some last-minute juggling of groups, we fielded twenty-eight players, enough for two flights but too late to be changing envelopes now.

The course is in its usual first-class condition, although we were curious that the ground staff commenced sanding the B nine greens as we hit off. They beat us to most of them, but these greens still played well. Carts stayed on the paths so it was lift, clean and place on fairways. My old legs were happy when, suddenly, the caddies took the carts onto the last two fairways, a little bonus.

Derek Phillips has had his share of “wigs” and “silly hats” recently but today recorded his best score since Songkran, a grand total of 39 points. However, he didn’t have it all his own way as Selwyn Yates took it to him, also having 39 points to be just beaten on countback. Tom Herrington had an “on’ day and was right behind this pair scoring 38 points to sit alone at third, then came another countback resulting in Gerry Conway pipping Andrew Purdie at the 37 points mark. Tommy Marshall was the only other to play to handicap or better with 36 points.

Near Pins: Bryan Dore (A3), Phil Davies (A8), Gavin Smith (B3), Bill Copeland (B7)
Best Front Nine (A) (non winners) – Iain Jones – 19 pts
Best Back Nine (B) (non winners) – Paul Smith – 19 pts

Alan Walker was awarded the “silly hat” for a mediocre score on the front nine, which was only one point worse than sparring partner, John Anderson. Warren Gallop returned for his first game this trip and settled right in to the “wig” position of last. It was pointed out that he had been there before.
The excellent scores of the first six place getters speaks volumes for the condition of this course and, at the sports day price currently on offer, is good value.

Green for Brown at Greenwood

The Pattaya Links Golf Society ended the week with a trip up highway 331 to Greenwood to play a stableford competition on the Peter Thompson course which saw the C and B nines in good condition with fairways allowing run and very consistent greens. A couple of withdrawals reduced the field to twenty-nine golfers and the two flights were cut at thirteen and under. Three golfers failed to finish the round as a result of illness, injury or "mood".

Scattered clouds were evident throughout but a fresh breeze all day kept the prospect of rain at bay. Beginning on the C nine it would be a tough test as the starting holes were long, into the wind and with many tees well back.

In the top flight third place went to Bryan Dore with the Irishman posting 33 points on the final lap of his stay. In second was Selwyn Yates, just beginning his stay, with 35 points. The flight winner was Phil Davies with a level par round after a couple of mediocre performances recently.

In the second flight Donal McGuigan again found a place in the frame with 34 points whilst Tom Herrington recorded 35 points for second place. The winner was Stu Brown with a surprising 36 point total at the end of a week which saw him start with the wig! Now it was the green jacket generously conceded by Mr Phil.

On a day when three of the par threes played very long, near-pins were won by Paul Smith (C3), Gavin Smith (C6), Bill Copeland (B2) and Paul Durkan (B5) . The best front nine was recorded by Greg Perfrement (21 points) whilst Tommy Marshall (18 points) took the back nine honours on countback from Alan Walker. With the absence of the aforementioned retirees It was decided not to award the hat or wig this day and for one golfer, Mr Len, it was blessed relief after a round of error-strewn golf. But following Stu Brown's example today things will be better next time! Promise

Richie McGhie’s Super Round

A hasty re-scheduling saw us heading for Khao Kheow to use our “rain check” vouchers before they expired. Although we were given a limit of six groups, we had thirty-three golfers sign up before we knew it but, because the course was not busy, Khao Kheow allowed us some slack and all lined up without inconveniencing any others.

The drizzle we had encountered on the trip to the course amazingly stopped just as our first group hit off A1, and stayed away for the whole round.
The course is in very good condition but, once again, the tee boxes are undergoing maintenance, so some are a little rough. No carts on fairways so lift, clean and place was the order.

When playing off a handicap of two you can’t afford many mistakes and Richie McGhie obviously had a very clean round to score 38 points, 72 gross to win the “A” flight. On a day where most struggled that is first class. It was a big gap to second placed Selwyn Yates scoring 33 points. He has been in good touch already on this trip. Toby Glass made 31 points to just edge into third spot.

“B” flight saw similar scoring with newcomer to Links, Godfrey Atienza, taking first place with 36 points ahead of Bill Stewart on 33 points. Stu Brown continued his recent good form to get third on a countback with 32 points over Colm O’Donovan who, however, won the best front nine award.

Near pins: (somebody forgot to number them) Adam Barton, Bill Stewart, Nils-Peter Kristensen, Toby Glass.

Best Front Nine (non winners) …Colm O’Donovan….18 pts

Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Dave Hewson ...16 pts

Once again, there were many contenders for the “silly hat” with some very lowly nine-hole scores. However, they escaped because Maurice had a mix-up with locker keys when key number 18 fitted locker 79. Some panic occurred when he couldn’t find his clothes, but all ended well and he wore the hat. There were three scores of just 18 points but countbacks awarded another newcomer, Kaj Aabling his first “wig”

The course played long from the yellow tees and it was a tough day at the office, except for Richie McGhie who wore the Green Jacket for the first time.


 Perfect Forty for Perfrement

We missed out on Bangpra last month because someone there tried to charge us an exorbitant green fee, so we cancelled. How different today, friendly and efficient check-in and a very good sports day rate followed by a starter who sent us off earlier than our scheduled time, a nice start.

Even better is the condition of the course. Some playing Bangpra for the first time, and others, heaped praise on the layout and condition. My caddie told me at the start that the greens are slow. They are, but running truly and nice to putt on. The weather was similar to our experience two days earlier, being overcast with some nice breezes and most importantly, no rain, just perfect.

Greg Perfrement was just about perfect as well by scoring an excellent 40 points on a course that requires plenty of thought and management. With, eventually, twenty-three starters, we played one division with four places.
Maurice Roberts continued some good form to take second spot behind Greg by making 37 points. Then we needed a countback to split Godfrey Atienza with his second 36 points in two days, and Mark Sharp, on his return from a short work stint in the Middle East, also with 36 points, rounding out the podium.

Near pins: James Hudson (2), Maurice Roberts (8), Adam Barton (12), Tom Herrington (17)
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Gavin Smith – 20 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) – Selwyn Yates – 18 pts

Unfortunately for the hard working organisers, things today were not perfect. We need to order buses by 5 o’clock on the eve before the game. We allow for a couple of seats for late sign ups but prefer to know before we order. Three people had names on the sheet, all unknown to us, with no contact details or indication if they want a bus. It came as no surprise that they never appeared as this same situation has happened more than once before. Then some regulars who forgot to sign up and arrived in the morning ready for golf. Please help the organisers by getting on the sheet early or use our on-line sign up.
Derek Phillips wore his favourite “silly hat” again as one of those who forgot to sign up. He always has a big smile when wearing that hat. Colm O’Donovan wore the Green Jacket two weeks ago, but today it was the “wig” for him with an unusually poor score.

Sharp Cuts Pattaya Down to Size

On Friday, 21st June The Pattaya Links Golf Society visited Pattaya CC to play a stableford competition in two flights, cut at seventeen and under. A few scattered clouds scudded across the sky on a hot day which saw the return of some old friends, notably Dave Arataki, making a return after five months out recuperating from some serious medical issues.

The course was full as the group started on the tenth with dry fairways and consistent greens, which were just a tad slow. Good progress was made however.

The second flight saw France's Serge Straeten mark his return with a third place finish of 34 points, only one behind the consistent Irishman Donal McGuigan on 35. The flight winner was Tip Briney with another very solid round of 38 points. His secret? Leave the woods at home, trust the irons and hit the greens!

In the top flight third place went to Adam Barton on countback with 34 points, one point adrift of runner-up Colm O'Donovan who was resurgent following the wig award last time out. The flight winner was American Mark Sharp whose 41 points marked his best round with the group as he blunted the opposition in an otherwise tight flight.

Near pins went to Petur Petursen (5), Bill Stewart (7), Kym Richardson (12) and Derek Phillips (16). Best nine consolation awards went to Warren Gallop whose 21 points then saw him retire sick before starting the back nine, which was won by Kevin LaBar with 29 points.

Once again the "silly hat" went to a golfer who had not signed up for the day, Kevin McEntee, and serves as a friendly reminder that places are in great demand with the group and someone, someday, will be hugely disappointed with no name on the startlist. The wig was worn by Stu Brown who has enjoyed the ultimate highs and inevitable lows this trip.

It may have been the traditional longest day of the year but it was nevertheless enjoyable at Pattaya CC.

LaBar on Full Throttle at Laem Chabang

It may be low season but we had to close off the sign-up sheets early after reaching forty names as Laem Chabang had put a limit on numbers. On the first tee, A1, spasmodic light showers seemed to not worry the golfers as they teed off without complaint, hoping for the rain to go away. In fact, after a few holes, it did stop and then stayed overcast but dry for the rest of the round, albeit a little humid.

Scores were generally as we would expect here, in the 30 to 36 points area, particularly as the C course was played. However, the stand-out was Big Kevin LaBar who scorched around the course with his best ever score of 44 points to be 8 points clear of his closest rivals. To say he was chuffed is an understatement. Colin Smith returned to form with a handy 36 points for second in “A” flight ahead of three players on 35 points. Rod Marshall, on a visit from Da Nang in Vietnam, won the countback over Les Cobban who in turn took the fourth spot by winning yet another countback.

Kym Richardson, in his second outing this trip, won the countback to take out “B” flight with 36 points to relegate Masa Okada to second place at his first up round this time.  Colin Service has had a rest and came back firing to score 34 points in a countback over Bill Stewart.

Near-pins went to Tommy Marshall (A2), Klaus Fast (A7), Darren Beavers (C5) James Hudson (C8).
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Maurice Roberts – 22 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Adam Barton – 21 pts
The “silly hat” was all over before it started, as Tip Briney was spotted quietly asking around the bar in the morning if anybody had a spare pair of golf shoes, as his were still in his room. Phil heard him!
Although most scores were in the range there were a couple of serious contenders for the “wig”, but it was Kenny Jepson who had one of those days and finished with the lowest score.
Once again Laem Chabang was presented in pristine condition and the light rain at the start did it no harm at all.

A Touch of Glass at Lakeside

A visit to Royal Lakeside Golf Course is part of our schedule that many players eagerly look forward to. It is a bit further to drive but the layout and quality presentation is mostly always first class and, well, the clubhouse is almost worth the trip alone.

An excellent quality course is just what our twenty-four golfers found today. Fairways cut to allow easy ball striking and the greens running at 10 on the stimp-meter and very smooth, making for easy putting. Although the day was surprisingly quite windy, but dry, we were expecting some good scoring. Many times here we see scores of 40 plus but, mainly due to the windy conditions, there were no 40’s but one third of the field did play to handicap or better.

Leading the way in the single flight was Toby Glass who, on his yearly visits from Australia, takes a game or two to hit top gear. His 39 points gave him a nice victory and he got to don the Green Jacket, not for the first time. Nils-Peter Kristensen is a surprise packet. On a given day he can be very good or very bad, no in-betweens. Today he played very well to take out second place with 37 points to win a countback against the ever-consistent low handicapper, Paul Smith. Then we had four players with 36 points but, unfortunately for some, only two places left on the podium. Kenny Jepson did what we always hope, and that is to be inspired enough to go from a “wig” to a prize. He did that with his 36 points to take fourth spot ahead of Phil Davies on a countback. James Hudson and Dave Arataki were the unlucky ones to miss, but very good games from both.

Near Pins: Petur Petursson (3), Garry Barker (6), Kevin McEntee (12), Maurice Roberts (15)
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Rod Marshall – 21 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Tim Shaw – 19 pts c/back

Bill Copeland had a hard time explaining the marks on his knees, possibly carpet burns, we think? But the explanation was hesitant enough to be awarded the “silly hat”.

He will find a way to get in the photo. Tip Briney must have been in more photos than anyone at Links Golf.  Last time at Lakeside it was the Green Jacket for him, this time it is the “wig”. 

No hold-ups on course and everyone back for early presentations and food before heading their separate ways after another satisfying trip to beautiful Royal Lakeside.


Paul Smith Goes One Under Par

When hackers get to play with a consummate golfer like Paul Smith, they wonder how the game of golf can be so easy. In scoring 42 stableford points for gross 71, Paul Smith not only won “A” flight convincingly but left the others in his group scratching heads and asking, how?

Thirty-two golfers made their way to Pattavia Century today to once again be greeted with a lower than expected price (Friday Special) and a course, as always, in great condition. The greens were much slower than we expect here with some variation in speed which led to a couple of complaints after the game but, as we will see in the results, many adapted well.

Following on from Paul Smith, the “A” flight second place went to Phil Davies in a return to form with 37 points followed by a newcomer to Links, Luca Orsoni, who scored 36 points on his debut. George Mueller has been away for a little while and, playing his first game since returning, placed fourth with 35 points.

An unusual occurrence saw two scores of 42 points in one round. Colm O’Donovan lifted his game another notch to amass that big score, and fulfil his hope of going down to 16 handicap whilst taking first spot in “B” flight. Toby Glass wore the Green Jacket a couple of days ago and, although 38 points is a winning score most days, he came up against a pair of golfers running hot. Donal McGuigan and Nils-Peter Kristensen fought out a countback for the last two places with Donal having the better back nine, both scored 35 points.

Near pins:  Luca Orsoni (4), Maurice Roberts (7), Kevin La Bar (13), Paul Smith (17)
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Bill Copeland – 17 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Tim Shaw – 17 pts c/back
The “silly hat” almost had a rest today until it was pointed out that another newcomer, Fabio Colonello, who had a beer with his mate Luca, walked off to the bus without paying his bin. He was called back swiftly to make amends.
However, the “wig” was rested as the would-be recipient had done a runner. Tip Briney asked if we had ordered the weather for today as conditions were overcast and cooler with breezes that became small gusts at times making life very comfortable, and no rain!


And the Winner Is? Treasure Hill

As twenty-four golfers boarded buses and cars on a fine, slightly overcast morning, the main topic was how play the tricky Treasure Hill course. The great price of 1250 bht all in makes this a must do, but also the condition of the course is currently first rate. There is plenty of work happening to make it even better, with new tee boxes and upgrading of some fairways, while the greens are running nicely.

The starter sent our first four-ball off 15 minutes early and they set a good pace, finishing in well under four hours.

Now the big question of who won, the golfers or the course? As not one of the twenty-four starters could play to handicap, it must surely go down as a win for the course. Paul Smith carried on his Green Jacket form from Friday to score 33 points in a head to head with Dave Hewson, returning from injury, scoring the same but beaten on countback. Paul Chesney is not in the winners list often enough but this time beat off two other contenders, scoring 32 points to take third place on countback over Donal McGuigan and Derek Phillips.

Even the near pin prizes tell the story as no player was able to get on the green at the two hundred-yard Par3, second.

Near pins: Nobody on (2), John Pierrel (6), Phil Davies (13), Iain Jones (17)
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Kenny Jepson – 19 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) – Bill Copeland – 18 pts

Due to the renovations of the tee boxes, some of the white tees were placed further back than normal seemingly making the course longer. Maybe that can be the excuse for the low scores?
There were four contenders for the “silly hat”, all with 10 points on a nine, so needing a countback. But rather than single one player out, Phil put it to the vote to award the hat or not. It was a resounding victory for Not. The “wig” also stayed in the cupboard today. A nice early finish, back to Links, food and presentations done and a large part of the afternoon left to ponder what might have been… Next time Treasure Hill!

Colm O’Donovan Smashes Handicap

When he arrived for this trip Colm O’Donovan stated that he wanted to get his handicap down to 16. Well, he did that with some top scoring and today smashed it again with an amazing 44 points at Burapha.

There was a light drizzle as the twenty- one players arrived at Burapha. By the time check-in was done it had cleared and play got away on time. There were a few more periods of similar drizzle during the round, but not enough to cause a stoppage, and it did keep conditions pleasantly cool. The greens have recently had their maintenance and were a little bumpy while the rest of the course is in very good condition, enabling some very high scoring.

Only one flight today and, as already stated, Colm O’Donovan had the highest points score, but right behind him came some excellent scores to fill the podium. Maurice Roberts has had some good games recently and today’s 42 points, by far his best, gave him second place. Kevin McEntee, who is on the comeback to some good form, chimed in with 41 points for third spot while Derek Phillips had one of his better days and, even though wiping (“blobbing”) the last hole, put together 40 points to hold fourth place.

Near pins: Kevin McEntee (C5), Colm O’Donovan (C8), Jacob Cummings (D2),Donal McGuigan (D8).
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Dave Arataki – 23 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Colin Smith – 21 pts

Who would have thought that such a high score, 13 points on a nine, would win the “silly hat”? It went to a countback on that score and “good ole” Tip Briney was the lucky one, again. There were two non-finishers, both retiring with injury, so were taken out of calculations for the “wig”.
Darren Beavers was offered a good price for a driver by a friend of Phil’s. He saw the same type in a shop and let himself be talked into buying it at a higher price. He also had the lowest score, so wore the “wig” anyway.
No hold ups on course, and a quick trip back to Links, arriving so early that it caught the kitchen staff unprepared, so a bit of a wait for the food. It is low season so numbers are down but it also gives us some early finishes, for now.

Donal McGuigan Takes Top Spot

On a day when scores were nothing to get excited about, on a course that was not quite ready for us, Donal McGuigan stood out with a well earned 38 points to take top spot in the one flight. Twenty four golfers teed off on time in, once again, light drizzle, with ominous dark clouds gathering. Caddies had the bag ‘raincoats’ on ready for the deluge that never came. However, except for some quite strong wind gusts at times, conditions were very comfortable.

In hindsight, we might have played lift, clean and place as there were many damp areas around the course, particularly in the rough, which was thick and unforgiving. The greens were grainy and slow and just not at their best. Donal McGuigan has been playing consistent golf recently and today had that consistency work for him to earn his first Green Jacket since December last year.

Paul Chesney had a spell in the UK and has come back refreshed and showing good form for his first couple of games back, today a very good 36 points. Bernie Stafford, in a rare appearance at Links, took third place on countback over another in-form player in Toby Glass, both with 34 points.
Jacob Cummings, in his final game this trip, filled the last spot on the podium with 33 points.

Near Pins: Toby Glass (3), Derek Phillips (6), Jacob Cummings (13), Bernie Stafford (17)
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Colm O’Donovan – 18 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Tip Briney – 21 pts
Colin Smith was made the offer to ride “executive class” in Phil’s car, comfy seats, leg room and air conditioning. Instead, he chose to go in the more populated mini bus.  That was somewhat of an affront to Phil so he presented Colin with the “silly hat”. (A fellow Welshman at that)
Ian Craigen made a return after a short break away and resumed his favourite position under the “wig”.
Eastern Star tends to vary more than other courses and today was just below the standard that we know it can be.

Paul Smith On Top at Laem Chabang

During the golfing low season many clubs will allow or even ask us to tee off earlier than the scheduled time. At Links golf this is normally never a problem as everyone gets themselves to the first tee on time, an organiser’s dream. But today two of our regular golfers found ways to not be there on time, necessitating some-one going to round them up and forcing some re-shuffling of groups. With all that, the first of our nine groups did start early under cloudy skies with no threat of rain. It did get windy, even small gusts at times, but generally nice conditions for golf.

His first tee shot had Paul Smith mumbling and grumbling as he walked from the tee.
It wasn’t a good shot, by his standards, but things got a lot better and he went on to record another superb round of 37 points, from his h/cap of #4 to take out first in “A” flight and another Green Jacket. Even though this course is in excellent condition, as usual, second placed Maurice Robert’s score of 35 points indicated a difficult day for notching up bigger scores. John Pierrel did well to win third spot on a countback with 34 points.

John Harrison had another very good round to take out “B” flight with 36 points ahead of the consistent Toby Glass on 35 points. Donal McGuigan’s name has been right up front a few times recently and was once again today for his 34 points on countback for third place.

Near-pins: Toby Glass (B5), Phil Davies (B8), Tip Briney (C5) Stuart Kidd (C8).
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Paul Lanzetti – 20 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Dave Hewson – 20 pts
After an educational from Phil a couple of weeks ago of how to fill out a scorecard, we still had one delinquent who scored “B” course in the “C” panel and vice versa. The score ended up the same and we wouldn’t have been any wiser, except Honest Toby Glass came and admitted the error. But it was still worthy of a “silly hat”.
Laem Chabang continues to keep up the standard and, judging by our playing numbers, everyone is happy with our low season fortnightly trips here at the special pricing.
We will be here next Monday for the PSC Tournament which is a 2-person better ball stableford. A sign-up sheet is on the board at Links Bar now. Find a partner and be in it.

Greenwood is Putty in Briney's Hands

Having savoured some fine golf at Laem Chabang two days previously the PLGS stalwarts enjoyed a visit to the equally well-presented course at Greenwood on Wednesday, 10th July. The popular group, augmented by three new golfers and three returnees were assigned the long and testing C nine with the more relaxing B nine for the in run. Fairways were clean and the greens were again very consistent.

The field was divided into two flights, cut at fourteen and under and play got underway before time, with an empty track after the group. In the top flight Hawaiian golfer Mike Ominya made an impact on his debut with the PLGS winning a countback for third place with 34 points. A countback was also needed to decide the flight honours with Kevin McEntee losing the recorder's eye and taking second place with 37 points, leaving Tommy Marshall in first place with 37 points and a better back nine.

In the second flight Len Jones found some form at last to take third place with 34 points, following Derek Phillips in second with 37 points. The honours, and green jacket, went to the group's most photographed golfer, Tip Briney. Tip usually makes the photo-op sometime in the golfing week, and not always for the best reasons but today his roller coaster golf found a new level as he finally discarded his four iron in favour of his driver and proceeded to decimate the course with 42 points. Greenwood might well have been putty in his hands as everything he asked for in his game came good. Say "cheese" Tip!

Near pin prizes went to Dave Buchanan (2), Paul Smith and John Pierrel and the consolation best front nine was recorded by Bill Copeland (18) with Wayne Peppernell taking the back nine award with 18 points on countback. The silly headwear went to Darren Beavers for his front nine score of eight points, whilst another debutant, Sean from Japan, was presented with the wig for his low total score. However, so many times the hirsute honour encourages better things. Just ask Tip Briney!

Copeland Sneaks to the Front

With two scores of 37 points and three scores of 36 points it was close, but Bill Copeland just got the better of them all to record a fine 38 points, for the win and the Green Jacket.

On a hot day with virtually no breeze to cool things down, our small(ish) field of twenty-one golfers lined up to take on the B+C combination. As usual at this time of year the starter sent us off 15 minutes early and our first three-ball made good time until coming up behind a two-ball behind a four-ball. In the end it was still an acceptable four-hour round.

Dave Buchanan has joined us now for our most recent games and can certainly play to his handicap of #1. Today with 72 off the stick he scored 37 points to take second spot on countback from Takeshi, who relished his new handicap of #14. Then came a three-way countback for the fourth and final place, resulting in Dave Hewson getting the nod ahead of Paul Smith and George Mueller.

Near pins: Dave Hewson (B3), Dave Buchanan (B8), Paul Smith (C3), Dave Buchanan (C8).
Best Front Nine ( non winners)…George Mueller….20 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners)…..Phil Davies ...16 pts c/back

The lowest score on either nine was recorded by Derek Phillips, who is an Irishman, and looks quite at home wearing the green coloured “silly hat”.
 Iain Craigen was already moving to front of stage to collect his “wig” even before Phil called him.

Khao Kheow was presented in excellent condition and the big talking point after the game was how good the greens were. Rolling nicely with pace is just what we hope for, now up to you to get the ball in the hole.

Phil Davies Continues a Winning Streak

After teaming with Paul Smith to win the PSC Members Tournament on Monday at Laem Chabang with a massive team score of 49 points and an individual score of 42 points, Phil Davies kept his hot form going to take out today’s “A” flight and the Green Jacket, for which was he was the model for the tailor. In second place was John Pierrel, who is also playing good golf, scoring 37 points to win the countback over Dave Buchanan who once again had 72 off the stick.

“B” flight saw Tip Briney, still showing very good form, grab first spot with 37 points. Barry Elphick came to join us again and had a good day out by clocking up 36 points for second place, while Geoff Wallace, on his return, took third with 33 points.

Treasure Hill is not known for very high stableford scores but today, of twenty-eight players, six played to handicap or better and overall, sixteen had thirty points or better. Most likely the reasons are the fact the course is in very good condition, although the greens are a little slower than normal and a new idea, I think, is that Treasure Hill moves the white and yellow tees together when a public holiday therefore, seemingly, making for a shorter course.

Near pins: Tip Briney (2), John Pierrel (6), Paul Smith (13), John Pierrel (17)
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Bill Stewart – 18 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) – Ray Byron –   18 pts c/back
Iain Craigen is getting used to wearing the “wig” but was spared today by a returnee, Mike Souden, who had the lowest score, therefore taking over the mantel. But no fear, Iain had the worst score on a nine and got to wear the “silly hat”.
So ends another day playing golf in the Land of Smiles, it’s hard, but has to be done.

Boggian Wins on Debut

The Pattaya Links Golf Society ended a hot and sultry week with a visit to Pleasant Valley for a stableford competition. The course was in good condition and the greens were not noticeably slow and playing from the blue tees made the course a testing challenge of 6600-plus yards. In fact three of the blue tees were placed alongside the distant black ones!

Paul Smith took fourth spot by winning a countback from George Mueller, on 36 points. Then, losing a countback for second place on 37 points, was an improved Dave McKey. B eating Dave McKey was Phil Davies with his third sub-par round of the week, this time 37 points. That's how it stood until the final group returned and newbie Tony Boggian, handicap 17, proudly submitted a forty-point card to take the win and his debut Green Jacket.

Near pins went to Eric Black (5), Wayne Peppernell (8), Mark Sharp (13) and Phil Davies (17), whilst best nine awards went to Bill Stewart (17 points on the front nine) and Bill Copeland (21 points on the tight back nine). Mike Tottenham's point-a-hole performance on the front nine gave him the "silly hat" award whilst Jimmy Mac's first round for two years gave him the lasting memento of the dreaded wig.

Congratulations to all PLGS golfers for their efforts this week, no more so than Phil Davies with scores of 42, 37 and 37. Well done!

 Hot Scores on a Hot Day

When you schedule Laem Chabang with a special price it seems golfers are like bees around a honey pot. Once again, a field of forty lined up in 10 groups on the first tee of the “B” course, ready to have a warm up on the first nine to then tackle the watery “C” course to complete the round.

The weather to start was very warm with little breeze, however by the second nine clouds appeared and a small breeze even managed gusts at times, so making conditions more comfortable. With the large turn-out today, we made three flights with four placings each, plenty of winners. Because this course is in such good condition there were many high points scores turned in.

The “A” flight saw a great 41 points from Karl Eidervik on his debut round with Links Golf and that landed him first place. Paul Durkan has returned after a short trip away and went straight into top gear to score second spot with 40 points. Paul Smith, as usual, is always thereabouts and his 38 points gave him third place and best gross of 73. Consistent Dave Hewson, now over his injury, did well for 36 points and fourth.

“B” flight had it tight at the top with two scores of 37 points and, after countback, Wayne Peppernell just nosed out the on-fire Phil Davies. Another countback was needed to decide third and fourth with Paul Kennedy, in his first game back, just getting in ahead of Bill Copeland, both with 36 points.

On a big scoring day, we had another 41 points, this time from Masa Ishikawa to win “C” flight. When handing in his card he mused that it might be worth something. Stu Thompson has had some very ordinary (or worse) scores recently, but found a new lease of life today to score 36 points for second spot, one point ahead Stuart Kidd on 35 points and then Geoff Wallace rounded out the podium.

Near Pins: Paul Durkan (B5), Derek Phillips (B8), Kevin McEntee (C5), Karl Eidervik (C8)

Best Front Nine (non winners) – Mick Alleyne – 20 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Tony Boggian – 17 pts c/back
Who will wear the Green Jacket? With two scores of 41 points we did a countback and it was Masa Ishikawa with that honour, and well done Karl.
Jimmy Mac won the “wig” for the second straight game. Normally the “silly hat” has to be worn by someone who plays that day, but Dane O’Brien went to Phil to dob in his mates by suggesting who should get it. Phil decided that was a silly enough act and Dane should wear it himself.
Fun and games at Links after another great day at beautiful Laem Chabang.


Captain Wayne Takes Charge

It may be a hackneyed saying but “how good does it get?”. Two days ago, Links Golf played at the beautiful Laem Chabang Golf Course. Today it was the equally beautiful (although quite different) Royal Lakeside on our menu and twenty golfers came to experience the luxurious fairways and excellent, good paced and true, greens.

Added to this, a fine day with a cooling breeze to make things just right for golf. Having a smaller field (this is relative, of course) we played one flight with four places and the novelties.

On a day with above average scores, which we have come to expect at this course, Club Captain, Wayne Peppernell, led the way with his second handicap beating score this week, an excellent 40 points. This gave him the win and the Green Jacket. Paul Smith was close behind on 39 points. Eric Black followed up a 36 points game on Monday to grab third spot with 38 points today. That was the easy part for the scorer. Now we had a four-way tie on 37 points so a countback was needed to separate them all. After two went out on the first count the remaining two went to the last six, and it was Phil Davies, still in fine form, getting the nod to give him fourth place.

Then followed three scores of 36, but they don’t count. Sorry.

Near Pins: Paul Smith (3), John Pierrel (6), Phil Davies (12), Paul Smith (15).
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Derek Phillips – 20 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Tip Briney – 20 pts
No “silly hat” or “wig” this time.  We can’t say the would-be recipient of the “silly hat” did a runner as George would never have thought that 13 points was the lowest nine-hole score.
The lowest score of the day was 27 points but Phil couldn’t bring himself to make that player wear the “wig’.  27 points is not that bad and has been on the podium some days, after all.
To complete a near perfect day, all were back to the Bar early to sample Joy’s first attempt at making Pad Thai as the golfers’ complimentary meal. The vote? A resounding thumbs up. Well done Joy.


Wallace Wins Tight Affair at Pattaya

If it's Friday it has to be "local" for the Pattaya Links Golf Society. Returning to town after the travails of golf means tangling with the weekenders who desert Bangkok and descend on Pattaya, turning it into one large traffic jam. Thus, on Friday, 26th July the PLGS played a stableford competition at Pattaya CC.

The sky was overcast and conditions were cool for most of the round on a course which had dry fairways and quick greens. The tee boxes however are being repaired and are quite the worse in the area at present.

Twenty-two golfers played in one flight and a very tight contest ensued with just two points covering the top four places. Dave Hewson recovered from a poor last round to post 34 points and take fifth place on countback from Bryan Barrell. Mike Firkin, recently returned from a traumatic home visit, put it all behind him as he enjoyed a fourth place finish on 37 points. In third place was Wayne Peppernell with 38 points, his third sub-par round this week, leaving George Muller and Geoff Wallace to be subjected to countback for the top place on 39 points with Geoff's better back nine catching the recorder's eye.

Near pins went to Bill Copeland (5), Wayne Peppernell (7), Kevin LaBar (12) and Geoff Wallace (17). The best front nine consolation went to Ray Byron (19 points) and Bill Stewart took the award for the back nine with 18 points. In deciding the recipient of the "silly hat" Mr Phil briefly considered Tip Briney for the role after an ambling round but settled on Aussie Jayson Schembri after a low scoring back nine. Newbie Richie McIntosh adorned the dreaded wig after failing to impress on his PLGS debut.

And so the group returned to a gridlocked Pattaya after another excellent week of golf, which boasted twenty-seven par or better rounds and, of course, many near misses.

Back to Back for Geoff Wallace

Geoff Wallace earned his second Green Jacket in succession as he turned in a great 39 points to be the top scorer at Pattavia as the “B” flight winner.
Mike Firkin has returned from a short trip to Australia to take his second podium finish in two games, with a nice 35 points. Colin Service thought his 34 points was a bit meagre, however, he won third spot on countback.

All easy there but “A” flight provided plenty of thrills when four players scored 38 points but there was only room on the dais for three of them. After close countbacks it was Dave Hewson who emerged on top. Kevin LaBar did well for second beating off Les Cobban while Takeshi was the unlucky one to miss out. He did, however, pick up a near pin as some sort of consolation.

Pattavia Course was in, as usual, very good condition. The bunkers are being up-graded with new sand and the greens caught a few unaware with the lack of the pace, although still running true. The weather became overcast and relatively cool with a nice breeze throughout.

Near pins:  Les Cobban (4), Dave Hewson (7), Takeshi Hakozaki (13), Paul Durkan (17)
Best Front Nine (non winners) - Wayne Peppernell – 19 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Paul Smith – 19 pts
A nice surprise awaited, as not only did Pattavia not charge Public Holiday price, but actually even less than that showing on our rates chart. 1350 bht all in was our price. Thank You Pattavia.

Now preaching to the converted:   Links Golf has sign-up sheets on the board for up to two weeks in advance and up to a month in advance Online Sign-up.
Please sign on as early as you can as we need to finalise groups and order buses and other transport. Please be considerate and help us give you a better golfing experience.

Kidd's Play at Eastern Star

The current sports day package at Eastern Star drew twenty-four Pattaya Links golfers to Ban Chang on the final day of July, to play a stableford competition in a single flight on a course which was reasonably presented, with tight lies on the fairways, some punitive rough and fairly consistent greens running at a good pace. The day remained mostly overcast meaning lower temperatures which made the conditions more comfortable for the golfers .

The single flight saw scores which were not exceptional, as usual at the course, but nevertheless there was more than a competitive edge to the day. Phil Davies held down fifth place with 33 points, losing on countback to playing partner Paul Smith whose 33 points represented the best gross of the day, 78. Wiley old Tip Briney enjoyed a third place finish with 36 points, losing on countback to runner-up Toby Glass. It was Tip's penultimate round before taking a break in Egypt - plenty of sand there Tip! The honours on the day went to Stuart Kidd who played some solid golf with the day's only sub-par round of thirty-seven points, achieved by virtue of a monstrous twenty-footer on the eighteenth.

Near pins went to Paul Smith (3), Tip Briney (6) and Toby Glass (17) leaving the thirteenth green unsullied by two dozen 165 yard tee shots. The best front nine award went to Aussie Geoff Wallace (18 points) whilst compatriot Ian Fraser took the best back nine award with 18 points after countback.

In welcoming Rob Morrison to his first round with the group Mr Phil referred to Rob finishing his round early because his caddy was suffering from an ant in her ear. Chivalrous Rob made arrangements to find help for the unfortunate lady and his early finish saw him rewarded with the "silly hat". That was a bit tough Phil, after all Rob was looking after a sickly ant.

Finally the wig went to Ray Byron for the day's low score and there was a beaming smile as always underneath the monstrous appendage.

Eastern Star had come up trumps again for the final July PLGS golf round.


Derek Phillips a Tearaway Winner

The spattering of rain on the windscreen became very heavy as we unloaded ourselves and bags from the buses at Pattana. It did not look promising for a 10.00 am start.
Once inside, players were milling around as there was some debate over the price we were told and the price Pattana wanted us to pay. Phil negotiated with a Manager who then took the matter higher. There were now thirty-three players and thirty-three caddies not knowing if we were to stay or to go elsewhere. Common ground was found and we paid the price we expected.

Perhaps a plus from the time wasting was that the rain had now stopped and play got under way quickly, just 10 minutes after our scheduled time. Although overcast and very windy all day, our round was completed without another drop of rain on the course.

The first two three-balls played the front nine in good time, then at the tenth (B1) a five-ball had been inserted in front of us. To be fair, they did move along very well and our first two groups completed the round in a tad under four hours. The number of players meant we were able to have two flights and the novelties.

The “B” flight saw Big Adam Barton return to the winner’s list with a great 40 points. Last week’s winner, Stuart Kidd, held that form to take second place with 38 points ahead of last week’s “wig” wearer, Ray Byron on 37 points. A week is a long time. Merle Humphreys, in his final game this trip, took fourth spot with 36 points.

The “A” flight produced the star of the day as Derek Phillips was the tearaway winner with a very large haul of 43 points. Sometime cellar dweller, Derek, had one of those days we all wish for. As usual, Paul Smith figured in the placings, this time taking second place with 37 points to once again have best gross of 75. Bill Copeland and Paul Kennedy, both on 34 points, went to a countback for third with Bill having the better back nine.

Near Pins: Jim Reilly (A3), Mathias Hermann (A8), Rob Morrison (B3), Tom Herrington (B7)
Best Front Nine (A) (non winners) – Jim Reilly – 18 pts Best Back Nine (B) (non winners) – Greg Proctor – 18 pts c/back.

It was Club Captain Wayne Peppernell’s birthday and Joy presented him with a cake complete with candles. This cake ended up in much better condition than the one his “Ex” got for him. Following a “misunderstanding” that cake took on an entirely different shape. Phil told the story in more detail and it was enough for Wayne to wear the “silly hat”.

The very good scores today show up the excellent condition of this course. But that seems to be usual here and we do appreciate that.

Hewson Makes Use of New Handicap

Once again, the skies were grey and looking ominous as our twenty-seven golfers, who are still happy to take advantage of a great price on a great course, arrived raring to go. Laem Chabang turned it on again with the course in immaculate condition. The main talking point later was the number of three putts due to the quick greens. We know they are quick here, but today, just a little more so.

Dave Hewson has been in good form since an injury kept him out for a couple of weeks, so it was a surprise to find his handicap had gone from 9 to 10. That’s how it works sometimes. He took that extra shot and used it to perfection by scoring an impressive 42 points. That gave him the “A” flight win by a long way, the Green Jacket and the best gross of 76. Mark Sharp found some good form to take second spot on countback over Paul Smith, both with 34 points. A good effort from Mark.

It seems that at least once per visit Greg Proctor manages to find a day with plenty of points. Today he ground out 35 points to take the “B” flight win over Tip Briney in a close countback. Tip has taken off for a couple of weeks well earned holiday, playing around in the sands of Egypt. Geoff Wallace was once again in the mix, taking third place with 34 points to win a countback over Jim Reilly who has now returned home for a short stint.

Near Pins: Rob Morrison (B5), Kevin Rogers (B8), Paul Durkan (C5), Bill Copeland (C8)
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Jim Reilly – 23 pts c/back. Best Back Nine (non winners) - Adam Barton – 16 pts

Newcomer to the current Links Golf, Andrea (pronounced Andre) had all guns blazing on the front nine (B course) and just lost a “Best Nine” award on countback.  But! He then scored only 8 points on the C nine and consequently got the “silly hat”. Richie McIntosh had a couple of games where he did not wear the “wig”, but it was back with him today for the least impressive score.
Weather Report: Cloudy, some nice breezes and, although threatening to rain all day, did not even produce one droplet. Got away with it again.

Low Scoring Day – Darren Gets a Win

Treasure Hill Golf Course was presented in beautiful condition, although the greens were running a little slower than we expected. The weather was overcast, the breeze dropped away and conditions became humid, but quite comfortable. So, with all that, why the very low scores returned today? After all, our last visit here saw five of the top six place-getters playing to handicap or better, but not one of our twenty-five starters today managed to do that.

Darren Beavers made the top score of 34 points to win the “B” flight. He was not impressed but took it anyway. Good to see him back in the winner’s circle. Paul Chesney has been in the placings after a short break and made 31 points for second spot while Colin Service won a countback to grab third with 30 points. Dave Hewson scored 42 points to win on Monday and continued the good form, although his 33 points was a long way from that heady figure, but good enough to score the win in “A” flight. Rob Morrison wore the “wig” a couple of weeks ago and has been inspired, today taking second place with 31 points. Bill Copeland has received some mentions recently and, although scoring a mere 29 points, managed to hold third spot.

Near pins: Greg Proctor (2), Rob Morrison (6), Geoff Wallace (13), Bill Stewart (17)
Best Front Nine (non winners) George Mueller, 16 pts. Best Back Nine (non winners) John Pierrel, 16 pts c/back
Greg Proctor disagreed with his marker on a ruling. Afterwards, he went to Phil to get his ruling, it was the same. Greg disagreed again. Phil told him to never argue with the Organiser and called him up to wear the “silly hat”. Andrea Denti is new to playing golf in Thailand and still finding his feet, but his low score today got him successive “wigs”.
To the question about the low scores. It is doubtful if anyone can really explain why. Just one of those days where no-one stood out. Doesn’t matter, it was still a top day out at a course with the best pricing and presentation in our area.

Khao Kheow & Hewson Hard to Beat

The Pattaya Links Golf Society ended the week with a Friday visit to Khao Kheow with 31 golfers anticipating an enjoyable round on another of the region's quality courses. The sky remained heavily overcast throughout but the rain which hovered over the nearby hills never arrived. However it remained very humid and the soft fairways gave very little run. Greens were assessed at 9 on the stimp. A warning to less ambulant golfers - KK had no red flags on a day when carts were restricted to paths, and with no "dual" paths there are some long walks!

Playing the C and B combination the group began on time and made good progress throughout. With the cut set at fifteen and under the second flight saw Nils-Petr Kristensen return from Denmark to post 30 points for fourth place, a couple behind Walter Baechli in third. Another solid round from Greg Proctor placed him second with 34 points leaving Adam Barton with the honour of winning the flight with 36 points.

In the top flight Toby Glass lost out on third place on countback with 34 points leaving Eric Black a couple behind runner-up Paul Smith on 36 points. Paul again recorded the best gross score of the day, 75 shots. The winner, as on Monday, was Dave Hewson and his splendid golf gave him 38 points for the green jacket for a second time this week.

Near-pins were won by Colin Service (C3), Adam Barton (B8) and Paul Durkan (C8 and B3). The consolation best nines went to Steve Jones (18 points on the front) and Chris Barker (18 points on the back, beating John Anderson on countback).

As usual Mr Phil had fun teasing golfers with the "silly hat" and wig but eventually Eddie Runfors got to try the headwear for a mere nine points on the front nine whilst Paul Chesney thoroughly deserved the wig after failing to reach double figures on either nine.

Khao Kheow is always a fine golfing challenge and again it did not disappoint.

Stu Thompson’s Big Day Out

Pattavia Century Golf Course is not only a beautiful and testing course, but they have a very good regular price and, unlike many others, do not add extra baht to the cost for a public holiday.  It almost goes without saying that the Greenkeeper has kept up the fine presentation of the fairways and bunkers. To the relief of older hands, the greens have been tamed down from the way too speedy ones of other times. Having said that, they are still fast enough and, with some of the pin placements at times, can be tricky.

Twenty-four players today so just the one flight with five places.

It’s been a while between drinks for Stu Thompson, January in fact, since he wore the Green Jacket. Today he not only won it, but made absolutely sure of it with the great score of 43 points, a clear 6 points gap to second place. A big day out for Stu. The second spot had to be decided by countback where Andrew Purdie prevailed over Dave Stockman, who did well in his first game with Links for some time. Both had excellent scores of 37 points. Then came a further countback to split fourth and fifth places. Adam Barton won that encounter over Paul Smith, each with very good scores of 36 points.

Near pins:  John Pierrel (4), Dave Hewson (7), Paul Chesney (13), Paul Smith (17). Best Front Nine (non winners) Bill Copeland, 18 pts c/back. Best Back Nine (non winners) Nils-Peter Kristensen, 21 pts

Beside the condition of the course, the weather also helped make a pleasant day. There was a smidgen of rain here and there, but not enough to worry and the cooler breezes were welcome.
You never know with the “silly hat”. The worst score on a nine was 11 points. Think you are safe? Not today, so Bill Stewart stepped up. A couple of weeks ago Derek Phillips looked resplendent in the Green Jacket. Today it was ‘hero to zero’ for him, making the lowest score and wearing the “wig”.

Quality Again from Smith

The Pattaya Links Golf Society took the short trip to Burapha on Wednesday,14th August to play a stableford competition on the tasty A and B nines. Sadly the "taste" was a little soured by rain-restricted maintenance, leaving the rough tough and tangled and greens with a higher cut than usual, bringing "grain" into the equation with most putts.

The field of twenty-six golfers was divided into two flights at fifteen and under and play got underway before time. In the second flight Greg Proctor again made the frame, his 34 points giving him third place. In second place was Walter Baechli with 35 points. The flight winner was Dane Nils-Petr Kristensen with a steady level par 36 points. The top flight saw Paul Lanzetta scored 36 points to take third place, just one point behind the top two, Paul Smith and Glen Elsworth on 37 points. Countback decided in favour of Paul but his absence from the presentation gave PLGS debutant Glen the chance to wear the green jacket sifter his first round with the group.

Near pins went to Phil Davies (B3), Paul Smith (B8) and Paul Durkan (A3 and A6). Consolation prizes went to Chris Barker for his best front nine score of eighteen points and Dave Hewson for his back nine of 20 points, albeit on countback from Len Jones. Whilst we saw a newbie at the top of the leaderboard we saw the other newbie at the nether end and Murphy Sagai's almost semi respectable 26 points was decided as the lowest of three scores and qualified for the wig. Paul Chesney wore the "silly hat" for his low nine hole score but in mitigation he could claim distraction with the onerous duty of organising an imminent end-of-season PLGS tour.

It had been a day when the course may have disappointed but Paul Smith emphasized his quality with a round of 74 gross at Burapha.

Adam Barton Leads a Points Avalanche

Having not played on this day at Greenwood Golf Course I made the observation, upon receiving the scorecards, that the course must have been in top notch condition, even better than usual, as the scoring was so high. Maurice assured me it was indeed in excellent shape, but pointed out that they had played from the yellow tees. Aha! However, let’s take nothing away from the efforts of the twenty-two players who still had to play well to achieve these scores.

Leading the way with a mighty 42 points was Big Adam Barton who has been in good form on this rotation from his work. Colin Service has been on the improve and just missed the elusive Green Jacket, having ‘only’ 41 points. Any other day it might have been good enough. Greg Proctor, like Adam, has been consistent this trip and took third place with 40 points. It seems the more he plays the better he gets. Darren Beavers held down fourth spot with a much-improved game, scoring 39 points, and Wayne Peppernell grabbed the final place on the podium with a fine 38 points.

Near Pins were won by Wayne Peppernell (B2), Bill Copeland (B5), Paul Lanzetta (C6), while nobody was successful on (C3)
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Bryan Barrell – 22 pts. Best Back Nine (non winners) - Paul Chesney – 21 pts.
Without preamble or teasing, Phil called out Chris Barker for the “silly hat” for his not-that-bad eleven points on the front nine. Phil wanted to tell the hard luck story of Mike Firkin who had to endure a player in the group with zero golfing ability or etiquette and was not in the comp. (not a regular of ours).  Mike had the worst score of the day and Phil decided that he had some sympathy for him. That sympathy lasted mere seconds and Mike got the “wig” anyway.
The weather was overcast at the start and later after the clouds cleared it became a little hotter, but overall a nice day on a beautiful golf course, and everybody happy to see some big numbers next to their name.

Greg Smith Wins His First Green Jacket

It was a warm Monday morning when our twenty-one golfers arrived at the beautiful Laem Chabang Golf Club, and it stayed quite warm to hot most of the round. The course, as always here, was in excellent condition. The main point made was that the C nine greens were a little slower than the B nine. The C course is scheduled for closure and renovation in the next couple of weeks, so maybe the sanding of these greens is the first step.

Perhaps due to the weather and sanding, or just one of those days, scoring was not into the 40 points area as has been the case recently here. Nevertheless it was a close run race at the top with a countback needed to decide first place. Greg Smith and Kevin LaBar both had 36 points, but it was Greg who prevailed to take the win and wear the Green Jacket for his first time. Then another countback was needed to separate Nils-Peter Kristensen and Maurice Roberts who had each scored 34 points. It was Nils-Peter once again in the top finishers beating Maurice who was playing his second round since a month away in Australia.

Near Pins: Kevin Rogers, Chris Barker, Paul Smith x 2 ( Yes, someone forgot to number them).  Best Front Nine ( non winners) – John Pierrel – 20 pts.  Best Back Nine ( non winners) -  Bill Copeland – 18 pts c/back.
I know golf can be frustrating, as per my form, but spare a thought for Derek Phillips. Seventeen days ago he was basking in the glory of scoring 43 points at Pattana. Today he didn’t quite manage 20 points. Wearing the “wig” will no doubt inspire a return to the top. Toby Glass had a rare off day to score just 8 points on one of the nines to get the “silly hat”.
The forward planning of Management and Greenkeeper keeps this course in immaculate condition and a pleasure to play here. We still have some more visits while our special pricing is in effect.

Johnno Rises from The Ashes

John Anderson’s golf game was, to borrow a phrase from a former Australian Prime Minister, “dead, buried and cremated”. A regular caddie suggested he take a couple of months off to re-group. It hasn’t been that long yet, but what was needed was a confidence booster, and what better place than Royal Lakeside Golf Course with it’s lush fairways, where the ball sits up, begging to be hit, greens that are first class and run exactly as they should, and weather that provided some breeze to make conditions quite comfortable.

It was just what the doctor ordered, a small step but an impressive one of 44 stableford points, his best ever points score. Confidence somewhat restored, a win and a long awaited next Green Jacket. But enough about me, there were another twenty golfers out there and some very good scores were turned in, as we would expect at this course.

Bill Copeland has been showing good form recently and made a credible 38 points to take a clear second spot. Then, on 37 points, a countback was needed, once again, to decide third and fourth places. John Pierrel, who is always near the leaders somewhere, got the decision by a whisker over Chris Barker. Excellent scores from both.
Then followed three players with 36 points, very handy on another day and another course, but, unfortunately, missing out here.

Near Pins: Paul Smith (3) + (15), Takeshi Hakozaki (6), Dave Hewson (12),
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Nils-Peter Kristensen – 19 pts c/back. Best Back Nine (non winners) - George Mueller – 20 pts.
It’s a bit rough when 11 points on a nine wins the “silly hat” for lowest nine-hole score, and there were two contenders. After a countback it was Greg Smith going from Green Jacket two days ago to a Green Hat today. Tony Manners watched as the scores came in so was already prepared to receive the “wig” as the lowest overall score.
Not a big group today, but everyone had an enjoyable day out, and why wouldn’t you at this very fine Royal Lakeside Golf Course?

Paul Smith Goes Gross 69

Most Golf Societies around the Pattaya area prefer tee times between 10.00 and 11.00 am, so when Pattana Golf Club offered a special of 1250 bht all in, teeing off after 12 noon, Links Bar decided to give it a try. Would our players go for it? In quick time, to answer that question, we had 36 add their names to the sign-on sheet.

In the morning, after two players called in sick and two more no-shows through self-inflicted illness, we arrived at Pattana with 32 starters. Check-in was easy, as always here, and down to the mustering area. Arriving at the C1 tee, the starter told us to go when ready. We would have been early except for one nomad from the first group who was missing. A search party retrieved him and they teed off as the clock struck 12.00, and therein made good time for the round.

The sky was heavy with threatening dark clouds, and that was the backdrop for the day, but not a single drop of moisture fell. A strong, at times gusty, breeze stayed all day to make for comfortable conditions.

Any score of 40 points or more at this course is a good day, but when you make 42 points off a handicap of #3, equating to gross 69, as Paul Smith did, that is sure some golf. Another deserved Green Jacket for Paul, of course winning “A” flight. Bill Copeland had a sub handicap score on Wednesday but finished second to a rampant 44-point winner. Today he again went sub-par against a rampant 42-point winner to be the bridesmaid again.  Peter McDonald, in a rare and last appearance this trip, took third place on countback with 35 points.

Stu Thompson spaces his games out and eleven days ago wore the Green Jacket. No Green Jacket today but a great score of 37 points to win the “B” flight. Greg Proctor is also on his way home and was once again on the podium with 36 points for second place. Donal McGuigan who has been away, and was one of the last to sign up, came in third on countback with 33 points.

Near Pins: In order to give the higher handicappers a chance at winning a near pin it was decided to have two flights (0-15) and (16+) = 2 of each. Only one player, John Pierrel, got it correct. There were five others who put their names on the wrong flight. Whew! Something different and they are bamboozled.
We had to give away the prizes, so 3 lucky draws were done, minus the ones who messed up. We will try our luck next game.
Best Front Nine (C) (non winners) – Kevin La Bar – 19 pts c/back. Best Back Nine (B) (non winners) – Eddie Kost – 20 pts.
Taking advantage of the special price, thirty-one players took carts but one decided to walk and paid an extra 100 bht for the privilege.  Bill Copeland was that nomad from the first group, delaying the start.  Both of those two were eligible for the “silly hat”. After a popular vote, it was Mathias Hermann, the walker, who wore it. Chris Barker had a dirty day and wore the “wig’ for the lowest score of the day.
A successful day, certainly, and we will do it again in a week. Same time, same course.

Barker Top Dog at Riverside

The Pattaya Links Golf Society began final week of August with a trip to Bangpakong Riverside to play a stableford competition. A surprisingly small field had signed up, the results of an attractive opportunity for a group to play Chee Chan, sickness and the effects of a tense and exciting weekend of sports on TV. The club was delighted to see us however as there appeared to be no other golfers there. So it stayed throughout the round.

The course was not in its usual excellent condition as fairways needed some maintenance, leaving them patchy in parts. The greens were excellent however. A strong breeze was also evident throughout.

The single flight saw a close contest with Dave Hewson taking third place with 35 points and Stuart Thompson finishing second with 36 points. The top dog was Chris Barker with 37 points, following his appearance as wig winner only three days before. The ride from the outhouse to the penthouse can be rapid and exciting.

Near pins went to Paul Tedesco (7 and 13) and Dave Hewson (16). Nobody managed to find the green on the fourth which had a challenging 180 yard tee shot, into a fierce wind, over water. The consolation best nine awards went to Simon Niven (19 on the front) and Wayne Peppernell (17 on the back). Simon Niven also took the "silly hat" for his role in the non-attendance of two golfers the previous round after encouraging his mates to enjoy the pleasures of Pattaya the evening before a golf day. The wig went to Tony Manners after his low round of the day.

The lucky thirteen who played thoroughly enjoyed the day at the Riverside on an empty course at a pleasing discounted rate.

Nils-Peter Climbs to the Top

After an absence of almost two months we returned to Bangpra Golf Club to take advantage of the Sports day price of 700 bht green fee.

When there is a lack of rain in the area it seems that Bangpra dries out quicker than most courses. Although in very good condition, the fairways are showing some brown tinges and the ground is quite hard. The greens, however, are looking and playing well, albeit slower than in past years, thankfully. The weather today was windy for the most part with very strong gusts throughout the round.

Being low season, we were only able to muster twenty- one players for this trip. Yes! even Links Golf is experiencing low season numbers.  This course has a large variety of interesting and tricky holes and is not regarded as easy, so high stableford scores are not the norm.

Today’s top score of 36 points came from Nils-Peter Kristensen who, since his return from Denmark a couple of weeks ago, has been lurking around the placings. This was his day and a deserved Green Jacket. Right behind him was Bill Stewart, returning from a nasty stomach problem, finding some good form to score 35 points. Third and fourth places were decided on countback with Wayne Peppernell having the better back nine over Simon Niven, both had 34 points.

Near pins: Takeshi Hakozaki (2), Tom Herrington (8), Bill Copeland (12). We are trialling two flights on near pins. As with our previous try, someone from A flight attached his name to a B flight pin, so there was no winner on (17). Best Front Nine  (non winners) – Dave Hewson, 18 pts c/back. Best Back Nine  (non winners) – Darren Beavers, 21 pts.

Because of the lack of rain, the water levels in the dams around the course are dropping and exposing the plastic linings. This stuff is very slippery and almost impossible to get a foot-hold. Takeshi found that out when, trying to retrieve his ball, he went ‘swimming’. His caddie came to his rescue and also went in. The two of them had to be saved by another. A very soggy Takeshi completed the round and was duly awarded the “silly hat” for his efforts.
It was a tight countback for the “wig’ but Bryan Barrell won out to once again wear his favourite hair piece. Difficult as it can be, Bangpra is still a course able to throw up a challenge and give golfers an interesting day out.

Top Class Service at Pattana

The Phil McClure Memorial Trophy

This week, a year ago, saw the sad passing of Phil McClure, a long time member of PLGS and it was decided to dedicate this event to his memory. Phil was a larger-than-life Aussie "Vet" who loved his golf, more for the friendship than the rewards it brought him and the day at Pattana was a fitting tribute to the man.

Thirty-one golfers were divided into two flights, cut at 14 and under and the prize fund was boosted by a number of special technicals, kindly sponsored by Phil's long time friend Gary Bolger.

The C and B nines were in good condition and a heavily overcast sky made the day very comfortable for the field on a relatively empty course. Scores were close in both flights and the top flight saw Andrew Purdie take third place with 36 solid points. In second place was Simon Niven, his 37 points drawing his current visit to a close. The winner was Matthias Hermann with 39 points.

In the second flight Darren Beavers finished third on 35 points, a couple behind Ron Matthews on 37. The flight winner, taking the green jacket and the Phil McClure Memorial Trophy, was Colin Service, with an excellent forty points. Flights were used for the technicals as well with the division one near pins going to Steve Potter (C2), Kevin Rogers (C7) and Chris Barker (B3 and B7). Second flight near pins went to Alan Walker (C2), Darren Beavers (C7 and B3).

Long drives on B9 went to Darren Beavers (B flight) and a monster from Andrew Purdie took the A Flight.

Paul Tedesco adorned the "silly hat" after a mere eleven points on the back nine whilst Phil's old mate and fellow vet, Alan Walker, wore the wig for the day's low score. You can bet Phil would have been "tickled" with that one.

It had been a splendid day in the memory of a good friend and all golfers had played their part fully in remembering Phil. God Bless you mate and continue to give them hell!


Simon Says “My Green Jacket”

On a perfect wet season day, that is no rain, twenty-three golfers headed for beautiful Royal Lakeside Golf Club for our second visit in twelve days. That’s how it works sometimes. The weather stayed overcast, breezy and dry and the round was completed in good time.
As ever, the course was presented in excellent condition and, even though ground staff were sanding some greens, there was no disruption and the greens played perfectly.

Simon Niven has been holidaying for two weeks and in that time has picked up a couple of minor placings and a “silly hat” and so, on his last outing this trip, has completed his wish list by taking the Green Jacket, scoring 39 points. Bill Copeland also scored a great 39 points but lost the countback for first. For the third time in recent games, one of them was at this course, Bill was once again the bridesmaid. His turn is not far off, surely. A further countback was needed to determine third and fourth places and here it was the consistent Nils-Peter Kristensen, also having his final game this trip, securing third over big hitting Andrew Purdie.

We had two flights again for the near pins and this time everyone got it right! Near Pins: Paul Smith (A flight) x2, Tip Briney (B flight), Marco Beer (B flight),
During presentations, when Phil spoke of 12 points, Kieron Maund thought this was his turn. But the 12 points was only the “silly hat” score for worst nine which Glen Elsworth claimed. Kieron had 12 points for the entire day so he claimed the “wig’.

A nice easy, breezy day at a nice golf course is an excellent way to spend a Monday.

No Longer the Bridesmaid

It has been a long absence, but finally a suitable price and tee time enabled us to visit Green Valley again. Due to being spruced up for the recent Singha Championships, the course was in excellent condition with nicely mown fairways and greens running truly with good pace, while the rough needed a good shot to get the ball out and going where you wanted.

The look and layout of this course has changed considerably in our absence and, might we say, for the better. The removal of many trees gives a much more open and brighter feel. Light rain was falling as we made our way to the first tee but, as we are a lucky group, the drizzle stopped as our first players teed off, and on time. Intermittent drizzle during the round was barely enough to open umbrellas so conditions were cooler and very comfortable.

As written previously here, Bill Copeland has played the part of bridesmaid three times in recent games with very close second placings. Today that mantle was finally thrown off as he headed a field of twenty- two into the clubhouse. He has worn the Green Jacket before, but he was pretty happy about this one. John Pierrel has had a couple of low scores, for him anyway, but came right back again to win a close countback to beat Chris Barker for second spot, both had very credible 39 points scores. Recent Green Jacket winner, Colin Service, maintained that form to score 37 points and grab the final position on the podium.

Near Pins: Alan Walker (B flight), Mathias Hermann (A flight), Maurice Roberts (A flight), Darren Beavers (B flight)
Best Front Nine (non winners) ……George Mueller………….22 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) ……. Phil Davies………………20 pts

Two players had the lowest nine-hole score of 11 points but Wayne Peppernell got the “silly hat” on countback.
Kieron Maund loves coming here to play golf and has a good time. Golf is secondary to winning the “wig’ for him as it fits so well!
We hope Green Valley can come through again with the same pricing structure before the high season as all of the players would like to have another crack at this challenging course.

Triple Crown at Khao Kheow

An overcast and intensely humid Friday still managed to draw two dozen golfers to the Links for the trip to Khao Kheow to play a stableford competition on the C and A nines, which were in good condition despite the restriction of golf carts to the paths, certainly for the front nine. "Lift and place" was invoked and, anticipating little run, play was from the white tees. In reality the course was quite dry, but. as always, we are in the hands of the Starter and any local rules he applies.

It was decided to play in a single flight and scores were exceptionally good with a full field average of 34 points. Fourth place went to Andrew Purdie who scored forty points (gross 78). A trio of golfers scoring better than him were all subjected to countback which placed Bill Copeland third with 41 points. This put Bill on eleven under par for the week and the handicapper is doubtless honing his axe this weekend. In second place was Chris Barker with an equally fine return of 41 points but the winner with the best back nine was Ron Matthews and it was fitting that he won on his final round this trip.

To make things more equitable the Links now apply a handicap division, based on the day's field, to the near pins subplot, after research of the scores this year confirmed the obvious impression that almost 90% of the near pins this year were won by the lower handicappers. "A" Flight (0 - 14) winners today were Bill Copeland and Andrew Purdie whilst Ron Matthews and Stu Thompson took the "B" Flight honours (15 and above). Other technicals saw Bryan Barrel take the consolation award for the best front nine total (21 points) and Micky Tighe win the back nine with 22 points.

The absence of the potential "booby" winners from the presentation saw Ron Matthews receive the triple crown of green jacket, the wig and the silly hat to commemorate his excellent day at Khao Kheow. Thus another fine golf day ended at he Links.

Derek Phillips Bounces Back

After a mixed bag of results recently Derek made the comment that “we can still comeback”, and today he did just that with a top score of 37 points to once again wear the Green Jacket.

Twenty-six players arrived at Greenwood, many with high expectations after eight scores of better than handicap, and four of those at 40 points plus, playing from the shorter white tees at Khao Kheow in our previous game. Then, reality set in when it was decided to go from the longer, regular, white tees here, at 6,600 yds, so that forty points was going to be harder to attain.
No problem with the condition of the course, excellent as always, although the greens were a little slower than usual.

However, there were some good scores coming in. Coming in second to Derek was Jim Ferris, who has played very sparingly recently, and played to handicap for his 36 points. Maurice Roberts was again in the mix by taking third spot with 35 points and Darren Beavers had to beat two others on countback for fourth spot with 33 points. Mike Tottenham was one of those in the countback but picked up the prize for best back nine, while the best front nine went to Tom Herrington who is now enroute to the USA for a visit.

Near Pins: Andrew Purdie (A flight), Adam Barton (A flight), Paul Chesney (B flight), Tip Briney (B flight).
Best Front Nine (non winners) Tom Herrington, 18 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) Mike Tottenham, 17 pts c/back

Chris Barker, a long hitting, twelve handicapper and scorer of 41 points at KK, was not happy about playing the longer tees and that, he reasoned, was why he managed a mediocre score. He moaned too much and so was presented the “silly hat”. Kieron Maund seemed happy to record a hat trick of “wigs” as he bid us farewell for this trip.

Fine weather, a splendid course, and a nice Sports Day green fee negated any worries about the colour of the tees, for most.


Yamamoto's to the Top

On Monday, 11th September, the Pattaya Links Golf Society travelled to nearby Burapha to play a stableford competition in one flight, on the A and B nines. The course was in good condition generally but the club are deep in preparations for a big national event there mid October. The majority of the white tee boxes were closed, leaving the white tees next to the blue ones, making the course much longer than normal, and in one case the white tees were behind the blues! Most greenside bunkers were marked "GUR" as there are substantial bunker drainage works underway as well. Fairways however were their consistent best and greens were very true.

In this way twenty-two golfers teed off on time and a tight contest ensued. In fourth place was Colin Service with 35 points, just one behind Darren Beavers on 36. Second place went to three-handicapper Paul Smith and he recorded gross 74 for 37 points. The winner, on his debut with the group, and looking resplendent in the green jacket, was Japanese golfer Aki Yamamoto with 39 points.

The A flight near pins went to Derek Phillips (A6 and B&) whilst the B flight near pins went to Colin Service (A3) and Bryan Barrell (B3). Consolation awards went to Maurice Roberts for his best front nine of 16 points and Phil Davies took the back nine award with 19 points.

Unabashed by his new-found notoriety Kevin Rogers took his first "silly hat" after a lacklustre 10 points on the back nine whilst Chris Barker took the wig again with only 20 points. And this was the golfer holding all in front of him just two weeks ago, winning three green jackets in a row!

Funny ol' game, golf.

Friday the Thirteenth Lucky for Kevin LaBar

This was our third trip to Pattana Golf Club in three weeks. The reason being that we had some great pricing for two of those trips by playing at 12 noon tee time. Today was a little more expensive as we could not get that preferred time.

However, this course, it seems, is always immaculate and today the presentation of the A and B nines was well worth the extra cost. Fairways freshly mown, greens running nicely and the rough, well it was rough, and not so easy to play, better to stay away. Fine weather with a breeze blowing most of the time made life comfortable and, with almost no other players on the course, apart from a two-ball inserted ahead of us on the B1, we made good time. That two-ball, incidentally, quickly got away from our three-ball, so no holdups.

One player in our first group suggested that there should be some scores in the forties today due to the condition of the course. We had to wait until the last group came in, however, before we saw a 41point card handed in by the journeyman Kevin LaBar. Kevin gets around a few groups in Pattaya and plays a lot of golf and today made Friday the 13th his lucky Green Jacket day. Maurice Roberts is still holding onto some good form and ran into second place with a well-played 39 points.  Then Stu Thompson, having one of his quite regular good days, took third spot with 38 points. Paul Smith rounded out the podium scoring 37 points to nudge out Chris Barker on countback.
Near Pins: Paul Smith (A flight), Wayne Peppernell (A flight), Stuart Thompson (B flight x 2).  Best Front Nine (C) (non winners), Mathias Hermann, 21 pts. Best Back Nine (B) (non winners), Adam Barton, 20 pts.
Ritchie McIntosh is always at the ready for some sort of headwear and this time it was the “silly hat” for lowest nine-hole score. The would-be recipient of the “wig” was so overjoyed that he celebrated early and forgot to come back to get it, so no “wig” presented today.
We need now to wait for a month to get back to Pattana, but it is certain that we will again find a great golf course in excellent condition.

Mathias Hermann Claims First Win

Over the past few weeks we have told of many occasions when there have been dark and heavy clouds above us during games, and how we got through without getting rain. But it had to happen, and today rain and lightning interrupted play for about 30 minutes.
However, at Laem Chabang this is not much of a worry as the course dries quickly once the rain stops. The C and A nines were once again presented in perfect condition for our twenty-six golfers.

Mathias Hermann has been playing golf around the Pattaya area for some time and came to join us for the first-time last month. Since then he has turned in some good scores from a nine or ten handicap. Today was the best yet, coming in with a terrific 42 points, to win the “A” flight by 5 points and his first Green Jacket. The “Jacket’ winner from three days ago, Kevin LaBar, maintained that form to score 37 points for second spot, then another who has had very good form lately, Bill Copeland, had 35 points to take third place.

Darren Beavers had a form slump for longer than he would have wished, but has now bounced back to be on the podium for the third time in two weeks and today he was number one in “B” flight with a very good score of 37 points. George Mueller has his ups and downs and this time an up with 36 points for second place, then Stuart Thompson had 31 points, but good enough for third spot.

Near Pins: Paul Tedesco (A flight), Kevin Rogers (A Flight), Alex Sala (B flight), Derek Phillips (B flight).
Best Front Nine (non winners), Maurice Roberts, 18 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners), Paul Durkan, 22 pts

Tip Briney, the most photographed player at Links, has been travelling the world but came back to reclaim his favourite “silly hat” for the lowest nine-hole score. Mickey Tighe was unlucky, as carts were not allowed on fairways today, they rarely are at Laem Chabang, so Mickey had to do a lot of walking which, for him and others, is a bit of a struggle. But, being the good sport he is, Mickey stayed back just so he could wear the “wig”.
We will have one more crack at this beautiful course before the special price ends as we go into “high season”.


Wash Out at Eastern Star

Eastern Star on Wednesday was abandoned after 6 holes as a result of a heavy downpour.

Instead, and Less Dismal ...

The Ladies at the Links have a system regarding which shirt/top they wear each day. Today they sported their brand new yellow shirts and liked them so much they took multiple photos of each other and as a group. Somehow Maurice managed to photo bomb one of the group photos.


Hutchinson Survives the Wet.

After being washed out at Eastern Star two days previously, thirty-two excited players decided that it couldn’t happen twice in a row, so off we went to Treasure Hill.

It becomes tiring writing about how good some of these courses are, but we have to do it again as Treasure Hill was once again presented beautifully. Fairways were all freshly mown, but the rough had not been and so became difficult to play from, but that’s why it is there, I guess. The greens, although in very good condition, were a little slower than normal here, and didn’t get any quicker after the rain.

The rain, oh, the rain. Just as two days before, it started as a drizzle and grew heavier before abating. After another a few minutes more play it returned to heavy, causing plenty of stoppages, and so this became the pattern for at least a couple of hours. Nine players retired but the competition was completed, with, due to the conditions, not big scores.

Derek Hutchinson, a relative newcomer to Links, came through the water to take the “A” flight” win and his first Green Jacket with an impressive 39 points. The steady game of Bill Copeland again saw him in the placings, playing to handicap with 36 points, while scratch golfer, Richard Fearby took third spot on 34 points.

The “B” flight had Colin Service in the frame again. He may not think 33 points was that good, but it was enough to win the flight. Evergreen “silly hat” wearer Ritchie McIntosh was determined to not wear it in his last game before heading back to work, so scored 32 points for second place. Alex Sala, in his second game this trip rounded out the podium with 31 points.

Near pins:  Richard Fearby (A flight), Maurice Roberts (A flight), Colin Service (B flight), one pin went unclaimed.
Best Front Nine (non winners) Alan Walker, 17 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) Paul Durkan, 17 pts c/back

Phil decided that, due to many not finishing, it was unfair to present the booby prizes to someone who had completed the round, so would leave them in the bag. Phew! But wait! One player had become very emotional and, using his seven iron, wanted to teach a tree a lesson. When next he took that club the grip area was somewhat sagging. Yes, the club was snapped at the top. (Phil presented exhibit A). So it was that Ritchie McIntosh did not avoid the “silly hat”, we bid him adieu. See you soon Ritchie, we will keep it warm.


David McKey Locks in A Win

Bangpra is recognized by many as a course where playing to handicap is a good achievement. Unfortunately, today, none of our twenty-four starters could do even that well. No blame on the course as it was in almost the best condition I can remember, and the greens had some good pace, although uphill into the grain became a bit of a gamble if you didn’t give the putt a bit of hurry up.  Weather was warm to hot with spasmodic cooler breezes and the thunder we heard in the far distance had nothing to do with us.

So, if no-one played to handicap, who did best?

David McKey has recently moved to Pattaya full time and has taken a few games to settle in but today he was the best of the lot with his score of 35 points. Then there is Bill Copeland in the winners list again, this time second spot on 33 points. Andrew Purdie, Mike Firkin and Tip Briney all had 32 points. The first countback tipped Tip out, (excuse the pun).
So that left it for Andrew Purdie to beat Mike Firkin for third spot.
Near pins: Chris Barker (A flight), Phil Davies (A flight), Stu Brown (B flight), Tip Briney (B flight).
Best Front Nine (non winners) – John Anderson – 20 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) – Bill Stewart – 18 pts

A group of ten golfers went to the Khao Yai area last week to play three games. Our Captain, Wayne Peppernell, finished second on countback at the conclusion. But today he lost all that good form to finish last and wear the “wig”. The “silly hat” for lowest nine-hole score was won on countback by Keith Melbourne, but it was close.
At Bangpra we usually see monkeys around one or two tee boxes, but today there were hundreds of them, all over everywhere, mostly very young or babies attached to mother. It really was “The Monkey Course”.

Jacket a Perfect Fit for Kevin

When we went to Green Valley a month ago for the first time in a long time, it was being prepared for a Singha Competition and was in very good shape. Happy to say now, that standard has been kept up and the course is looking very good. The fairways have benefitted from recent rains and, in fact, it was no carts on fairways for many fairways, but not all. The greens played well, but there were some tricky pin placements.
The weather was certainly very warm but without the odd relieving breeze that we have had other days.
It has been almost three weeks since Kevin LaBar wore the Green Jacket. He has taken a liking to it as he showed again today how perfectly it fits him.  Kevin’s score of 40 points had him in front, but close behind were two players on 39 points. Francis McGuigan, in a rare visit to Links, won that countback from another who we have not seen for some time, Gabriel Enright. George Mueller sat on his own at the 34 points mark for fourth place, followed by another countback for fifth and sixth. This was a three-way contest with all on 33 points, where Bill Stewart had the best back nine to beat Mike Firkin, while Rowan Lucas, in his last game this trip, was unlucky to miss out.

Near Pins: Bill Copeland (A flight), Tip Briney x 2 (B flight), and once again one “A’ flight pin went begging.
Best Front Nine (non winners) ……Wayne Peppernell………….19 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) ……. Andrew Purdie………………20 pts
Bryan Barrell and Iain Craigen both expected some headwear, just which way around.
Bryan wore the “silly hat” for 9 points on a nine and Iain had his favourite “wig” for lowest score.
Regular readers may wonder why six places!  At Links, the organizers are usually able to breeze through the day, all systems work. BUT there are some days where people cannot fall into line. Late nights, no phone calls, yes, I am, no I’m not, etc. Maurice changed the envelopes five times between 7.00 am and 8.44 am. Two flights, no, one flight, no…
In the end “just do six places, phew!”. Normal calm will resume tomorrow.

 Thunder, Lightning, Fire & George Mueller

As our groups started the back nine at Pleasant Valley it was thunder and lightning all around, but only a drizzle of rain. As they were about to head for the cover of the kiosk a bolt of lightning in very close proximity set fire to a tree behind the eleventh green, and they thought they might become firefighters. However, the trees were already wet so the fire died fairly quickly. After a wait of about 40 minutes it was back to business.

This course can be in very good condition or very ordinary. Today it was very good, nice fairways and greens although, as with other courses this week, they were a little slow, but okay.

For the second game in succession no golfer managed to play to handicap and it came down to a countback for first place after two players scored 35 points. George Mueller was happy to win that and, as he was later sliding on the Green Jacket, reminded that us it was not his first time wearing it. Andrew Purdie is a class golfer and is always somewhere near the top of the ladder and this time claimed second place. Tip Briney continued his good form from the Khao Yai trip last week to score 34 points to take third on countback over Takeshi.

With just 16 starters it was three placings only, but four near pins and best nines which went to: Takeshi Hakozaki (5), Andrew Purdie (8), Michael House (13), Chris Barker (17).
Best Front Nine (non winners) ……Tom Herrington………….17 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) ……. Stu Brown………………19 pts
The “wig” went to newcomer Andrew Rossen, a Kiwi, but that’s okay, for lowest score. The “silly hat” went to Bill Copeland who paid for and received his paperwork for green fee and caddie fee. Nature called and he went to the throne for thinking time. When he stopped thinking and went to find his bag, no paperwork! After a panic and some puffing, he retraced his steps to the thinking place, and there they were waiting. A worthy “winner”, we all agree.

Tip Briney in the Photo Again

As “High Season’ approaches and with some of the special deals at Golf Clubs about to end, the framing of a schedule a month or more in advance becomes a game of chance as PSC posts next month’s rates only a day or two before that month starts. When will prices rise and by how much?   So, we look for courses that are still value, hence we made a return to Silky Oak after an absence of about 18 months. With a Sports Day price, or vouchers the same price (take your pick), we decided to give it a try.

A pleasant surprise was that twenty-eight golfers signed up, so away we go.

The fairways at this course were in their usual good condition and the greens were also in the usual condition, that is, a little uneven and slow. They have been the greenkeepers’ problem for a while.

The day was going well until a very large and very wet storm rolled in to disrupt play for some time. A number of players gave it up, but the competition continued.  Plenty of players for two flights with the break at 0-16 and 17+.

On this rotation from work, Andrew Purdie has been right up there in the placings pretty much every outing. Today he took out the “A” flight again with an excellent score of 38 points. Petur Petursson usually plays well, although he has a stinker occasionally, but right on the money this time with 35 points for second spot. Steve Moxey has played in Thailand many times but this day was only his second time with Links. Now, he has hit the form of an eight handicapper to score 34 points and grab third place on countback over Phil Davies.

He has been dubbed the most photographed person at Links, but more often than not wearing a “wig” or a “silly hat”, but this day Tip Briney was centre of frame wearing the Green Jacket, winning “B” flight easily with 41 points. Stu Brown was in the placings once again with 33 points for second and we welcomed back Larry Slattery, belatedly, as he came in third with 32 points.
Near pins:  Petur Petursson (A flight), Greg Gawron x 2 (B flight) an “A” flight pin had a “B” flight name on it, so he missed out.
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Mark Efendie – 20 pts. Best Back Nine (non winners) – Niels-Peter Kristensen – 18 pts.
Tony Browne, who was also welcomed back, arrived right on the 8.30 departure time. He tried to convince Phil that the web page he checked told him 9.00 am, wrong page Tony, “silly hat” for you. Paul McManus, in his first hit with Links, had the lowest score of the day and wore the “wig”.
It is rainy season so we can always expect some moisture, we always hope it holds off, but even with the rain most enjoyed another top day of golf.

Snake Oil Works for Phil

Phil Davies arrived at Links this morning planning on withdrawing from the start sheet. His left shoulder was in pain, but then Tip Briney offered some of his magic heat cream, that has something to do with scorpions?. This magic worked and Phil went out to play. Phil then topped the scoring with 41 points in a nice return to form. The irony is that Tip Briney scored 40 points only to be deprived of his second successive Green Jacket by the man he cured.
As there was preparation for the Singha All Thailand Tournament on the A+B nines, we were assigned C+D nines. Maurice called lift, clean and place which proved to be a good decision as the fairways were soft with virtually no run, the skirt in front of the greens was soft and the greens slow. The rough here is thick and deep and many a ball is lost as it sinks into the grass. Thirty two players teed off with the weather very hot and no breeze for relief.
Phil, of course, won the “A” flight, four points better than Mark Efendie, who is on a flying visit from Australia. His score of 37 points looked good on this course today. Another on a quick turnaround is Garry Barker who returned a nice even 36 points from his handicap of #3nd the best gross for the day. John Pierrel filled fourth spot with 35 points.
The magic potion man took first place for the “B” flight by six points from Barry Oats, who seems to hang in pretty well and today played a steady game, scoring 34 points. Mike Firkin showed a glimpse of a return to form, taking third place with 32 points, while Stu Brown was in the mix once again with only 30 points, but that was enough.
After the first nine the weather changed to something completely different as cloud cover moved in with the caddies forecasting rain. A strong breeze blew up and the temperature became noticeably cooler and much more pleasant.
Near Pins: Bill Copeland (A flight), Wayne Peppernell (A flight), Iain Craigen (B flight). No winner for the other B flight pin. Best Front Nine ( non winners) – Paul Durkan – 19 pts. Best Back Nine ( non winners) -  Tommy Marshall – 19 pts c/back. One “B” flight near pin had the name of an “A” flight player, so we thought that was worth a “silly hat” for Guy Stewart. John Anderson managed (or mis-managed) his worst score in Thailand and thoroughly deserved the “wig”.
The caddies got it right. The rain came in sheets as our last group exited the 18th green, and continued until the last Toll gate into Pattaya, which was dry.

Captain Wayne Triumphs After a Long Day

It was one last go at the special price of 1250 bht all-in at Pattana, if taking a tee time after 12 noon. We had been there twice before very successfully, fielding 36 players each time.
After two late scratchings, we arrived at the course today with 48 players in 12 groups.

Arriving at the first tee, C1, there were two groups ahead of us, so we teed off a little later than scheduled. Going was slow for the first nine and then, when we arrived at A1 for the second nine a different group had been inserted ahead of us, much to the disgust of one of our caddies’, who ranted for a full 3 minutes how wrong it was. If the high season eventuates, we might need to get used to it. The big number of players allowed us to have three flights with four placings in each plus the “technicals”

“Happy” Bill Copeland maintained good recent form by scoring 35 points to take top spot in “A” flight. He loves his golf days. When Bob Watson, currently with a high handicap of #5, resided here his name appeared in the top placings just about anywhere he played. He is back on holiday and took up where he left off with a score of 36 points for second place.
Neil Harvey is a newcomer to Links and had no trouble scoring 36 points to beat Tommy Marshall on countback for third.

PLGS Captain, Wayne Peppernell, produced the best score of the day, 39 points, to win “B” flight ahead of Mark Efendie, who has shown good form this trip, on 38 points. Colin Service found some form again to score 36 points and take third spot on countback over Francis McGuigan who had another fine game.

David McKey hit form with a win at Bangpra two weeks ago and continued on by taking out “C” flight with an excellent 38 points.  Greg Gawron played well again, scoring 37 points for second ahead of the now rampaging Tip Briney on 36 points, who beat Donal McGuigan on countback. He in turn beat an unlucky Mike Firkin in another countback.
Near Pins: Michael Lohse (C2), Greg Gawron (C7), Mark Efendie (A3), Tommy Marshall (A8). Best Front Nine (A) (non winners) Neil Tory 19 pts c/back. Best Back Nine (B) (non winners) George Mueller 18 pts c/back.
The weather was hot and hot with no breeze except when moving in the cart. The first seven groups arrived at the clubhouse sweaty but otherwise dry. The remaining five groups were not so lucky, as the heavens opened and it rained hard. It happens sometimes, the play was slow with hold-ups and took a tad over five hours to complete.
With the later arrival back to Links, Phil fairly quickly held presentations after most had finished eating. Plenty of pink envelopes were handed out and the Green Jacket was presented to Wayne Peppernell. Phil decided that, after a long and tiring day, he would leave the “wig” and “silly hat” in the bag, a decision enjoyed by Iain Craigen and Barry Horman.

Thirty-Nine Points Gets Chin a Win

Greenwood never promised us a rose garden, but they did promise a two-tee start, and that’s what we got. Starting four groups from each of B and C tees should ensure a quick round. It was for five groups, who managed to get finished before the, now regular, heavy afternoon rain. The remaining three groups were forced to seek cover for some time.

Meanwhile, at the clubhouse, a bus driver was giving Maurice a hurry up by telling him just one seat left and so, thinking he had all of the cards, climbed aboard the last bus. A count up on the way showed that he was short by 12 cards. Maurice was not on the last bus, and that one duly arrived somewhat later than expected.

Greenwood Golf course is always in very good condition and it was today. Fairways were in good condition but, even so, we called lift, clean and place, just to cover.  The greens on B nine had been cored and sanded in the past couple of weeks, but the C nine greens were running nicely and played well, as we have come to expect here.

Thirty-two players enabled two flights with the cut at 17.

Darren Beavers knows that if he could be more consistent his handicap would come down to where he wants it. Today’s 38 points set him off on the right foot. That also got him a win for “A” flight.  Colin Service plays sparingly but most often comes in with a good score and 36 points was good for second spot. Michael Lohse was perhaps unlucky that the cut was so high as his 35 points from a #3 handicap was an excellent score for “only” third place.

The “B” flight saw a newcomer to Links, Chris Chin, having his second outing here. He remarked as he came in that he has just had his best ever stableford score. That score was 39 points to take first place and his first Green Jacket. Stu Brown came second with 35 points, but that is no surprise because he has been in the placings consistently recently. Mike Tottenham has been giving the Links indoor golf simulator a work out this week and it paid off for him with a third-place score of 33 points.
Near Pins: Maurice Roberts (A flight), Michael Lohse (A flight), Chris Chin (B flight), Garry Hookey (B flight). Best Front Nine (B) (non winners) – Tip Briney – 18 pts; Best Back Nine (C) (non winners) - Bernie Stafford – 19 pts.
The would-be recipients of the “wig” and “silly hat” did not get back to the Bar so Phil, who is becoming a bit of a softy lately, decided again to leave them in the bag. Golfers around here are a hardy lot so the thought of rain during the round doesn’t deter them from getting out there. The next thing is the cold weather coming, so the Met Bureau tells us, 555.

Mark Efendie’s Stand Out Score

Unannounced walk-ins and scratchings meant much re- shuffling of players and groups, just to start the day off right. But everyone did get away on time for the trip to Eastern Star.
The last time we came here heavy rain had most players heading for the clubhouse and ending their round early. The hope was for no repeat today.
As it happened, it did not rain at all but many complained about how hot the day, and with little or no breeze for respite.
Statistics show that this is not the easy course it appears and not usually giving up high stableford scores. Looking at the scores below will confirm that nothing changed today.
Mark Efendie was the one shining light as his very good score of 39 points, in winning “A” flight, was a long way ahead of the rest, and continued his good form this trip. The two Americans, Chris Barker and Bill Copeland, are usually figuring in the finish and here they went to a countback to split second and third places. Both had 34 points but Chris had the better back nine.
The “B” flight was a bit of a lack-lustre affair, but to Mike Firkin, a win is a win. 32 points was all it took to take first spot in “B” flight. Bill Stewart looked a little sheepish when announced as second place with 28 points, but Stu Brown was not at all embarrassed to take third with just 27 points.
Near Pins: Michael Lohse (A flight), Chris Barker (A flight). Neither of the B flight pins were won. An “A” flight player put his name to a “B” flight pin. That will get you nothing.
Best Front Nine (non winners) – Kevin Rogers – 16 pts c/back
Best Back Nine (non winners) - Rod Weekes – 16 pts c/back
Barry Horman was disappointed when he missed out on the “silly hat” for having the lowest nine-hole score, but he need not have worried, he got the “wig” instead. Brock Jensen, who may have had other things on his mind, had an even lower score than Barry and got to wear the “silly hat”.
The Eastern Star course was still in very good condition with good run on the fairways and greens that had slowed slightly from a previous visit, but played truly. The rough had not been mowed for a while, obviously too wet for the mowers, so became an adventure at times.
Wishful thinking is that prices here don’t go up by too much for “high season”.

This Time A Green Jacket for Mike

Apparently, the telephone system was down this morning as two people could not contact us to cancel so, with these two no shows, we went to Khao Kheow with thirty players and some re-shuffling en route. Our first group teed off a few minutes early under clear, sunny skies with no breeze which made conditions hot but, before too long, a nice breeze did come our way, if intermittently, keeping things more pleasant.
Our first three groups moved along at a good pace until running up the back of a two-ball, following a three-ball, whereby the good pace we had before slowed considerably.

Chris Barker was beaten into second place two days ago, but this time has taken top spot for the “A” flight with a very handy 37 points on a countback from consistent Francis McGuigan who backed up his 36 points from a week ago. Rod Weekes has played two games with Links now and done well each start. Today a solid 35 points got him third place.

Mike Firkin won the “B” flight two days ago, but his score saw him miss out on the Green Jacket. Not so today, as 38 points was surely going to be good enough to win “B’ flight again, and it was. Tony Browne is settling back into Pattaya and had a resurgence to score 34 points for second place while hot and cold Stuart Thompson was in there again with 33 points for third.

Near Pins: Glen Elsworth (A flight), Kevin McEntee (A flight), Donal McGuigan (B flight), Larry Slattery (B flight)
Best Front Nine (non winners) …John Anderson….19 pts
Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Richie McIntosh ...18 pts
We hackers know how quickly things can change in this game. Mark Efendie isn’t really a hacker but even he knows now. After wearing the Green Jacket two days ago, today came a big hiccup and he’s got the “wig’ Barry Horman is a jovial chap and his smile as he wears the “silly hat” makes a great photo. Khao Kheow is still looking good. Fairways are well grassed and the greens in very good order, true and with pace. It would seem there is some work happening to the tee boxes as they were a bit ragged today.
A tough day out but a good day out for all.

Handicap Up, Points Up for Wayne

On a bright sunny Monday morning, with no forecast of rain, twenty-two golfers headed for Bangpakong Riverside Golf Course. It is a little longer trip than most of our other courses, but awaiting is a flat, well maintained course with good paced greens and the potential for some big stableford scores, and there have been plenty.

For most of the first nine holes there was a nice breeze, as is normal at this course, but for the latter part of the round that breeze dropped and conditions became much warmer.

The in-form player at the moment is Wayne Peppernell who, just ten days ago, wore the Green Jacket by scoring 39 points. In the interim his handicap has moved from #15 to #17 so, with an extra two shots, he scored an extra two points for a total of 41 points and another Green Jacket. Larry Slattery and Tony Browne have been away to their respective countries for a while but both have returned and found form pretty quickly. Larry scored 39 points for second spot and Tony had 38 points for third place. Steve Moxey now has a couple of games under his belt and took out fourth place with 36 points from his handicap of #8.
Near Pins: Maurice Roberts (4), Larry Slattery (7), George Mueller (13), Steve Moxey (16). Best Front Nine (non winners) - Keith Melbourne – 19 pts.  Best Back Nine (non winners) - Chris Barker - 21 pts

It was decided to award the “silly hat” to Chris Barker for the golf infringement of practice putting on the 18th green. He loudly and excitedly pointed the finger at Steve Moxey, who admitted committing the sin. Not sure how it happened but Chris still wore the “hat”. Barry Horman wore the “wig’ again and is coming close to overtaking Tip Briney as the most photographed golfer at the Links.

Chris Swaps “silly hat” For Green Jacket

A group of our regulars are on a golf trip to Vietnam, and a couple of others are on the sick list, but we still had 27 keen players ready to hit the greens at Pattavia Century. The day was fine, very warm and a little tiring with, again, no threat of the afternoon rains. As always, this course was presented in fine condition with nice fairways and, although the greens had been lightly sanded, they still had pace, particularly downhill, and three putts became reluctantly accepted.

On Monday, Chris Barker wore the green “silly hat” for an indiscretion of golf etiquette, not for a low score. Today he obeyed the rules and posted the top score of 40 points to wear the other green thing. Five days ago, Mike Firkin wore the Green Jacket and just missed out today, but scored a grand 39 points to win a countback, he had 25 points on the back nine, from another in-form player, Rod Weekes. Jim Ferris has bounced back after a lay off and his 37 points beat last start winner, Wayne Peppernell, on another countback.
Garry Hookey rounded out the podium with 36 points.

Some very good scoring on a not so easy course. Near Pins: Bill Fulton (4), Rod Weekes (7), Garry Hookey (13), Larry Slattery (17). Best Front Nine (non winners) - Chris Walsh - 17 pts c/back. Best Back Nine (non winners) - Gavin Lang - 21 pts.

Ian Barclay carried on the tradition of newbies by wearing the “wig” on their first outing with Links. He had the lowest points score today. His good buddy, Richie McIntosh, is no stranger to the crazy headwear and got to wear the “silly hat” to join Ian and Chris for the photo op.

 A Note: Your organisers spend a lot of time on the phone booking courses, finding good deals, and trying to keep up to date with golf courses changing prices either up or down without notice. We need to chase them. There are just times, no matter how much we chase, when we find out at the eleventh hour, so please read the disclaimer on the website when checking the program.

Bill Checks Out at Greenwood

The Pattaya Links Golf Society played its final low season Friday round on 25th October, at Greenwood, where the C and B nines were allotted to the group. The course was in good condition and there was some evidence of previous coring on the B nine which made greens just a little inconsistent. Another week should see them perfect again however.

Fielding six groups was something of a luxury for the organisers after almost a year of fields averaging 32 golfers but normal service should be resumed next week as the Vietnam "tourists" return to the Links fold.

Course conditions were perfect for golf and scoring was close in the single flight. Third place went to Derek Teeling whose better back nine took the place from Donal McGuigan on countback, both golfers returning 36 points. Countback was also invoked to decide the top two places with Andrew Purdie's best gross figures of 79 giving him 39 points , albeit with a slightly lower back nine score, leaving Bill Stewart to take his first green jacket with 39 points.

Near-pins were won by Stu Thompson (C6), Steve Moxey (B2) and Links debutant Brad Hope (B5). Again the long C3 par three held on to its honour as no golfer managed to sully its name.

Consolation awards went to John Evans for an excellent 20 points on the front nine (C) and Donal McGuigan posted 19 points on the back nine for his share of the spoils.

Finally Aussie Bryan Barrell had the dubious honour of donning the wig after a disaster of a round for him whilst compatriot Lloyd Mills took the "silly hat" for ten points on his back nine.

At the presentation farewells were bade to Links stalwart Chris Barker on the eve of his return to the US and his golf skills and general good humour will be missed over the next few months. Hurry back Chris, you know it makes sense.

A Big Win To Treasure Hill

We are presented a golf course in beautiful condition with nicely grassed and firm fairways with some run, greens, although recently cored and sanded, running with pace and true, and weather that was hot but intermittently gave some nice breezes. Most tee boxes are undergoing maintenance or renovation so we teed off from many, to us, strange places which made it a quite different course, and even more of a challenge.

What happened? Thirty talented golfers and the best any of them could score was 33 points. Derek Teeling was playing just his third game with us and he came up with that score to win the “B” flight. He would have worn the Green Jacket, but was not at the bar for the presentations, but a good effort on the day. Donal McGuigan is consistent and scored 32 points for second spot ahead of a resurgent John Evans on 31 points. Chris Walsh, for the second game in a row, picked up a prize, this time for fourth place on 29 points.

The best of the “A” flight was, once again, Bill Copeland with a great 32 points.
Len Desharnais made a return to Links and brought his buddy, Sonny Andrews, with him, and they made the next two placings, with Len scoring 31 points and Sonny having 30 points to win a countback over Andrew Purdie.

Our first group, a three-ball, was rolling along at a good pace when, at about the 12th hole they ran up the back of two Farang four-balls who were very slow. Consequently, we found the we had four of our groups backed up and waiting to tee off on the 17th, including group one. We are quick to blame certain ethnicity when this happens but…!

Near pins:  Andrew Purdie (A flight), Eric Black (A flight), Garry Hookey (B flight), John Evans (B flight). Best Front Nine (non winners) - Mike Firkin – 18 pts.  Best Back Nine (non winners) - Joe Liffy - 19 pts

In keeping with tradition, although not planned, a newbie scored the “wig” again. This time it was Mick Dunning with the lowest of all the low scores. It wouldn’t be right to have the “silly hat” without Richie McIntosh, who feels rejected if he misses out.
There is a common myth about Treasure Hill being a tough course and today it lived up to that myth. It proved that it can take on and beat even the best of them. Treasure Hill was definitely the winner this day.


Purdie Slays Them at Burapha

There was just time to have a last crack at Burapha before the “high season” pricing kicks in. Twenty-seven golfers arrived to be told they would play the C+D combination. Our organiser, Maurice, asked the starter if we could play our preferred combination of A+B, and this was granted. So, on a hot day but with some breeze the first group, a three-ball, set off on time.
The course was in very good condition, as always, and the greens were playing nicely. The main comments after the game were about the rough. It seems that it never gets any shorter or easier here.
Andrew Purdie probably doesn’t know about that because he hits a long, long tee shot and a short iron to the green and can stay clear of the rough. His round today must have been immaculate as his gross of 73 gave him 44 stableford points and a big win. Not a surprise because his recent form has seen him close to the top. Barry Forbes is a first timer at Links and made himself known with an excellent score of 41 points for second place.  Tip Briney had a score of 20 points two days ago at Treasure Hill, but he has turned that around and come up with a terrific 39 points to take third spot. Kevin McEntee and Garry Hookey both did very well by scoring 38 points each. Kevin won the countback to leave Garry in fifth place.

Near Pins: Maurice Roberts (B3), Tony Browne (B8), Steve Moxey (A3), Wayne Peppernell (A6). Best Front Nine (non winners) – Bill Copeland – 19 pts. Best Back Nine (non winners) - Derek Phillips – 20 pts.

One player decided to travel in a car and to not tell the organisers. Consequently, there was last minute running back and forth to find the missing person who should be on the bus. It was not until later at Links when the truth was discovered. Should have been the “silly hat”, but it was let pass and that “prize” went to Sonny Andrews for the lowest points score on a nine. Peter Allen sometimes doesn’t come back to the bar, but he will be glad he did so that he could wear the “wig” for having the least impressive score. Not only did Tip Briney turn his form around from two days ago, but just about everyone else did too. Even though a harder track, arguably, scores were way up and most would have regained some confidence.


Andrew Purdie Unstoppable

The weather forecast for this day was for plenty of rain but cooler temperatures. Well, almost correct, as we certainly had a much cooler day than for a long time, very pleasant indeed. However, although grey and overcast for the entire round, there was, thankfully, no rain. A perfect day for golf.
What is a perfect round of golf? We are not sure, but big hitting Andrew Purdie, in red hot form right now, is coming close. Following on from his great 44 points at Burapha two days ago, he has continued in that vein to score 42 points to once again lead the field and win the “A” flight. Let’s not forget, his handicap is (maybe now was) just 9.
Running a close second on a high scoring day was Joe Liffy, playing his second game with Links, scoring 41 points. Kevin McEntee reckons he is going to have a Green Jacket made for himself as he can’t seem to win one, even with really good scores. Today he was third with 39 points. Francis McGuigan has been having some good games recently and took fourth spot on a countback with 37 points to edge Grant Pride out of a place.
 It’s hard to believe that Tom Herrington could be in “B” flight but his handicap says that he is. He won the flight nicely with a score of 40 points. Barry Horman was a regular “wig” wearer a week or two ago but now is having a big reversal of form to take second spot with 38 points. Matt Cronin has just returned to Pattaya and did well with 36 points for third, while Barry’s travelling buddy, John Evans, has also found form and took fourth with 35 points.
 Near pins: Matt Doyle (A flight), Joe Liffy (A flight), John Evans (B flight), Stu Thompson (B flight). Best Front Nine (non winners)…Darren Beavers….22 pts. Best Back Nine (non winners)…..Wayne Peppernell …20 pts. 
Guy Stewart has had some adventures in the past couple of weeks, having been to Cambodia and Vietnam on golf trips. He’s lost things, injured himself and had an interesting haircut. It was thought that the “wig” would cover the haircut for a short while. Mick Dunning had to survive a countback for the worst nine hole score to wear the “silly hat”.
Khao Kheow was in excellent condition again, with fairways having some run and greens playing truly and with good pace. Once again the tee boxes are having some renovations and some were a bit scruffy, but, as can be seen by the good scoring, it was a day out enjoyed by all thirty four players.

Copeland Supreme at Pattavia

Pattavia in high season can be a fascinating golf challenge and the Pattaya Links Golf Society picked up the gauntlet on Monday, 4th November, when eight groups took to the course to play a stableford competition in two flights, cut at seventeen and under.

The course was in good condition with well grassed fairways allowing run, bunkers compact and well maintained and greens which were measured at 10.3 on the "stimp". However every golfer knows that downhill putts there can be almost unplayably quick.

With only scattered clouds and a light breeze in evidence the golfers teed off on time. The last twenty PLGS winning scores at Pattavia have all been sub-par and today was no exception. In the second flight fourth place went to a rejuvenated Barry Horman with 33 points, Mike Tottenham also returning to form in third place with 34 points. Runner-up was John Evans, continuing a good run of form. The flight winner was Irish golfer Matt Cronin with an excellent 38 points.

In the top flight scores fared better with Petur Petursen losing a countback for third with 36 points, the Icelander blowing hot with the day's best gross of 79. Third place was thus taken by Kevin McEntee with 36 points. Another Irish golfer Derek Phillips came back to form with 39 points and he would have been disappointed not to take the green jacket as Bill Copeland played the sort of round he is capable of, with long and accurate drives and a quality short game giving him 41 points for a splendid win.

Near-pins were won by Barry Horman (4), Livio Marrone (7), John Evans (13) and Andrew Purdie (17). Consolation best nine awards went to Charles Miller (front nine, 22 points) and Sonny Andrews (back nine, 20 points).

Tony Browne's uncharacteristic low score was rewarded with the wig whist Ron Matthews took the "silly hat" for dallying too long over some pre-round refreshment and missed his tee time thus causing the starter some angst.

On a lighter note it was good to see two regulars continue their recovery from surgery and take their place on the start sheet again. "Butch" Arataki and the "Abscess Kid" enjoyed the excitement of being back and they did not lose sight of the society's rule to call a group through when ground was lost on the course. Many able-bodied golfers could take note, having seen how easy it is to make the day better for all golfers.

Wayne Peppernell Toughs It Out

Eastern Star is a tough course made even tougher today with steamy hot weather and hardly any discernable air movement. The course is in very good condition with many greens having been lightly sanded, but the rough has been allowed to get thick and sometimes deep. We played lift, clean and place which was a good decision as the ball was picking up mud chunks at times.
Thirty-two players gave us two flights with the cut at sixteen. Wayne Peppernell produced the best score of the day of 36 points to take the “A “flight and another Green Jacket. Livio Marrone is staying here a little longer than usual and played well from his low handicap to score second place with 35 points. Bill Copeland has been in Green Jacket territory recently and did well again with 34 points to win a countback for third ahead of newcomer Ciaran Smith.
The “B” flight was won by the golfing journeyman, Mashi Kaneta, who scored 35 points, even with an injured arm. John Evans continued his revival to take second spot with 33 points in his last game before heading back home. Derek Phillips had one of his better days grabbing third place with 32 points. He was a walker today and was feeling the effects of the heat later in the round, but toughed it out. Another newcomer, David Morgan, slipped into fourth with 31 points.
Near Pins: Guy Stewart (A flight), Ron Matthews (A flight), Dave Arataki (B flight) The remaining pin was for “B” flight, but went unclaimed. Best Front Nine (non winners) …Eric Black….17 pts. Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Charles Miller ...20 pts
Dave Arataki won a near pin, but also the “silly hat” for the lowest score on a nine. Mick Dunning had the lowest overall score and got to wear the “wig”.


Sixty-Nine Gross for Fearby

A search of records showed that we were last at The Emerald course in January 2019, that’s a long time. Now is the chance to look at and try it again but, for their own reasons, many of our regulars decided not to try it again so we had just seventeen players in the one flight for the competition.

The day was warm but, unlike our last couple of outings, a nice breeze kept things quite comfortable for most of the round. The course was in good condition, bearing in mind that, as one player suggested, this is Emerald, so not expecting too much. Fairways were good, the greens were fine, but running a little slowly, and the thing that scares many golfers here is the rough, it is just that, rough.

When you are a golfer with a handicap of just one, the above description doesn’t really come into calculations too much, and so it was that Richard Fearby tore away from the field by scoring 69 “off the stick” which equated to 40 points stableford, an excellent score and, for him, the Green Jacket. With such a small number in the competition we were able to go to only three places. Nigel Harrison, having his first hit since returning to Pattaya, scored 36 points to hold off a challenge from Jim Ferris in a close countback.

Near Pins:  Richard Fearby (5), Wayne Peppernell (7), Nigel Harrison (13), Tip Briney (15).  Best Front Nine (non winners) Tom Herrington - 21 pts. Best Back Nine (non winners) Chris Walsh –21 pts.
We needed an adjudication on whether a player can win a “best front nine” and a worst nine. Yes, we can, so Tom Herrington had the dubious honor of wearing the “silly hat”, when he, after 21 points on the front, scored only 11 points on the back nine. Phil conducted the presentations and, when he had finished, turned to John and asked if he had forgotten anything. Yes, he forgot the “wig”. He pulled it from the bag and presented it to himself. Thought he would get away with no-one noticing.

John Pierrel Goes Home in Style

What a great surprise it was, when checking our booking at Pattana, to be told that the special afternoon price of 1250 bht all-in was ongoing through November.
After the usual ins and outs from the sign-up sheet we fielded 35 players in nine groups for two flights. Now, being “high season’, the good courses have been preened to their best, and this course today, gave us their very best. There is absolutely nothing to complain about, even the putts were going in, for the most part, anyway.  And the weather played it’s part. We will be back soon.
John Pierrel is almost at the end of his tour this time around and it was fitting that, after many very good performances, he got to wear the Green Jacket just before heading back to the USA. His 39 points was the best score of the day and a win in “A” flight. Simon Kendall, in just his second game back, did a fine job to score 38 points for second place.
Then Len Descharnais and the just returned Pat Lavin fought out a countback for third, with Len getting the nod.

In the “B” flight it was a welcome return to form for John Anderson with his best total for a long time of 37 points.  It wasn’t all plain sailing though as Mike Tottenham and Tony Browne scored the same number of points, so all three had to go to a close countback.
Chris Walsh is holding on to his new found form and took fourth place with 33 points.

Near Pins: John Pierrel (A flight), Garry Bright (A flight), Chris Walsh (B flight), Mike Tottenham (B flight).  Best Front Nine (A) (non winners) – Matt Doyle – 19   pts c/back (4 way). Best Back Nine (B) (non winners) – Kevin McEntee – 18 pts.

No hold-ups on the road back to Links so everyone was fed and watered quickly and, as it was just on last light, presentations were conducted by Phil. After many welcomes and “welcome backs” Phil was in a teasing mood. With “silly hat” in hand he taunted a number of people, then all the worried looks disappeared as he named newcomer, David Wall, with the lowest nine-hole score. But it was on countback. From the moment he handed in his card at the course, Derek Phillips knew that he would be wearing the “wig” as no-one could possibly have a lower score than him. He was right.
The popularity of this later tee time, the terrific price and a very special golf course has been proven winner judging by the big numbers of players turning out, and enjoying it. Long may it last.

Jacket for Copeland but Ace for Pierrel

The Pattaya Links Golf Society took eight groups to Greenwood on Wednesday, 13th November, to play a stableford competition in two flights with the cut at sixteen and under. The allotted nines were B and C and the club allowed a two tee start to make the day go much smoother and quicker. The course was in fine condition, as usual, with well-grassed fairways and moderate to quick greens which were consistent in pace throughout.

The group included a last minute entry from John Pierrel who had decided to play just one more round before his imminent return to the US. And, boy, did he make an impact, becoming the PLGS' twentieth golfer to record a hole in one in competition golf. He managed the feat on the 150 yard C6 hole, using a seven iron. It was John's third ace, two of which have come here in Pattaya. Well done John!

Back to the more mundane stuff going on elsewhere at Greenwood. The second flight was a closely contested affair with Niall Caven taking fourth place with 38 points, behind a three-way split for the major honours. Countback decided on third place for Ron Matthews (39), second for Matt Cronin (39) and the win, albeit a rare one, for John Mason. His 39 points was his best return for a while.

The top flight was equally competitive with John Pierrel taking fourth place with 36 points, Len Descharnais taking third with 37 and Kevin McEntee in second with 38 points. The winner was again Bill Copeland, recording yet another forty-pointer for an excellent win.

Technical prizes went to Derek Phillips and Peter Allen for their near pins, not forgetting Pierrel's ace of course. Eric Black took the best front nine award with 20 points and Len Jones took the back nine award with the same score. With the excitement of the day it was decided to hold back the booby prizes and allow John Pierrel the honour of ringing the bell to celebrate his feat and it was a decision that was thoroughly endorsed by the golfers at the presentation. Well done all.


A Green Jacket First Up for Brian

As our group stood on the Par 3 second hole at Treasure Hill a stiff breeze was blowing and myriad yellow leaves were floating from the trees. Not sure if we have Autumn (Fall) in Thailand but it certainly looked and felt like it. That breeze kept up for most of the round to keep conditions quite comfortable.

This course is in top notch condition with neatly cut fairways, first cut rough playable and greens looking in excellent shape and playing with good pace, and, yes, the usual topic of trees in fairways. My Caddie tells me to aim for them knowing I won’t hit them.  Even though the presentation here is always very good, and currently is even better than that, players are rarely able to post high stableford scores.

In a field of thirty-eight starters two scores stood out. The winners of “A” flight and “B” flight both scored 36 points, but only one could win the Green Jacket, so it was that Brian Bissett won a countback against Ron Matthews. Ron is here for a few more weeks so, who knows, next time. Ron’s 36 points in the “A” flight, had him clear of second placed Pat Lavin who scored 33 points, then Eric Black and Wayne Peppernell had to be separated by countback at the 30 points mark with Eric getting the decision for third spot.

A similar scenario in “B” flight saw Brian Bissett hold a two-point lead over Tony Browne who posted 34 points. Then came a four-way countback to decide third and fourth places, all having 31 points. Nigel Harrison survived all of that to land third spot and Barry Cunningham took fourth leaving Larry Slattery and Niall Caven lamenting their respective back nines.

Near pins:  Darren Beavers (A flight), Eric Black (A flight), Niall Caven (B flight), Larry Slattery (B flight). Best Front Nine (non winners) - John Coetzee – 18 pts.  Best Back Nine (non winners) - Mike Firkin - 20 pts.

It was pointed out to Dave Heyes two days earlier how to correctly mark the scorecard. His memory, it seems, had faded as he did exactly the same again today. In a day of many possibilities available for the “silly hat”, it was Dave’s turn to wear it. David Wall has had a good time on holiday here, even if his golf hasn’t set the world on fire and he got to wear the “wig” one last time before returning home.

It’s a strange thing that many golfers say they don’t like Treasure Hill because it is too hard, but whenever we schedule it, we have a full sign on sheet and then some. Must be something about it.

Two Green Jackets on One Day

It was a fine and warm Monday morning as players gathered at Links Bar for breakfast and to witness the draw for playing order. An orderly and quick boarding of the three buses, with no latecomers, yippee, and we were away on time.

Khao Kheow was in great condition when we were there two weeks ago and everything is still as good as then. The renovation of the tee boxes is still advancing slowly but time and water should fix them soon.

Thirty-two players out today to vie for two flights and the novelties. Brendon McGovern arrived back for his first game this trip and, it seems, didn’t need a warm up as he took first place in “A” flight with 35 points off his very low handicap of +2. You work out the gross. Bill Copeland had a hiccup a couple days ago but is right back on top, also scoring 35 points, only losing to Brendon on countback. Simon Kendall is always thereabouts and took third place by winning a countback over a back to form Phil Davies, both scoring 34 points.

Larry Slattery’s name has been called a couple of times recently and this time it was for being the winner of “B” flight with 35 points. John Coetzee had a good day out and put together 33 points for second spot ahead of Tip Briney, who had a mini revival, on 31 points.  Dave Arataki rounded out the podium with 31 points for fourth also on a countback.

Near pins: Maurice Roberts (A flight), Derek Kinmond (A flight), Barry Cunningham (B flight), Stu Thompson (B flight).
Best Front Nine “C” (non winners) …Pat Lavin….18 pts
Best Back Nine “A” (non winners) …. Tony Browne ...22 pts

Somebody was settled into the bus for the trip back when he was recalled to the Clubhouse and asked to pay his bin. A top contender for the “silly hat” for sure, but he had scampered before presentation time. It will wait for him. So, with that, Phil decided to leave the “wig” in the bag and, instead, award not one, but two Green Jackets. First Brendon McGovern and then Larry Slattery, who both had 35 points, wore the Jacket for the photo op.
Plenty of players are looking forward to returning to KK in about two weeks.

Goodbye Pattaya Country Club

When Pattaya Sports Club were eight vouchers short of what we needed, we called Pattaya Country Club and asked to buy those few vouchers on arrival at the Club. We were refused and told we must pay 1300 bht for those eight. After much unsuccessful debate with the manager, both on the phone and then at the club, our twenty-seven players had come to play, after all, so it was off to the first tee. Everyone paid 1000 bht green fee in the end as Maurice subsidized the eight. PCC got their 2400 bht.  Needless to say, we have cancelled future bookings at this place.
We trust the club will have a very good “high season” as, for the sake of 2,400 bht, they have just lost at least 70,000 bht. from us in December as we would expect around 40 players at that time of year. Green fees, caddie fees, carts, caddie tips and drinks on course will all go somewhere else, thanks.

The 40 players figure is not an exaggeration as our game at Green Valley tomorrow already has 45 names on the sheet.

There was some golf played for one flight and four places plus the novelties.

At his first ever time playing in Thailand, Dave Moore took out first place with a big 41 points and wore the Green Jacket. Brendon McGovern, off his +2 handicap, once again scored well with 39 points to take second spot. Who said low handicappers can’t do well at stableford? Bill Stewart made a good comeback from his worst ever score in Thailand five days ago to be narrowly beaten on countback by Brendon. Maurice Roberts scored a credible 37 points to make fourth placing his own.

Near pins: Derek Kinmond (A flight), Dave Arataki (B flight)
We are back to players putting names on the wrong pins so two missed out.
Best Front Nine (non winners) …Steve Truelove…18 pts.
Best Back Nine (non winners) … Mike Firkin ...20 pts.

Once again there were many contenders for the “silly hat” but in the end Phil opted to give Marco Beer a welcome back after he scored just 3 points on the front nine. (18 pts on the back nine, by the way). Joe Earls had the lowest score and happily wore the “wig”.

Incidentally, Pattaya Sports Club is still promoting those vouchers on the website more than 24 hours later! Beware…

Ian Mollard Memorial Day

Ian Mollard loved coming to Pattaya and playing golf at Links. Back home in the UK he contracted Leukemia and sadly passed away a couple of months ago. He gave his great mate, Pat Lavin, some money and requested he bring it to Links and that it be spent on giving the players a big and happy day of golf.  Thanks to Ian’ generosity, we were able to increase the size and number of prizes.

Forty-one players came out to Green Valley for this day and vied for four placings in two flights plus double the number of near pins and one long putt, along with the usual best nines. Kevin McEntee was passenger in Derek’s car which became lost en route only to arrive well after everyone had teed off. However, his great power of concentration, no panic, and plenty of golf talent saw him score 42 points to win the “A” flight. Wayne Peppernell had one of his better days and made 37 points for second spot.
Then Phil Davies scored 36 points and had a better back nine to win a countback for third over Ciaran Smyth.

The scoring in “B” flight was just crazy. With a sky high score of 45 points it was first placing to Dave Orbinski, and the Green Jacket, just before heading home to Aust. Niall Caven played in the same group and it must have rubbed off as he took second place with 43 points on countback over the third member of that three-ball, Brian Bissett. Ron Matthews wasn’t in that group but scored 37 points to grab fourth.

Near Pins “A” flight: Colin Service, Marco Beer, Peter Coyne

Near Pins “B” flight: Mike Firkin, Niall Caven, Frank Riley, Paul Stewart

Long Putt: Phil Davies
Best Front Nine (non winners) …Paul Smith….20 pts.
Best Back Nine (non winners) …. Pat Lavin ...20 pts.

After arriving back to Links, Phil conducted the presentation of prizes as usual, but then more surprises. All cards were shuffled and lucky draws took place with prizes ranging from sleeves of Titleist ProV1 and ProV1x golf balls, a new Chee Chan golf bag, won by Mike Firkin, and a New Callaway Rouge Driver, won by Dave Arataki.
Many happy winners there. Then the trays of seafood salad and potato salad arrived to compliment the 2 pigs-on-a-spit, followed by music from a talented local duo and, just for good measure, a couple of numbers from Phil Davies (a la Tom Jones) and David Wilkinson (a la Frank Sinatra).
A great day and night for all, which we feel sure fulfilled Ian’s wish.
R.I.P. Ian Mollard.

Tottenham Back in Winners Circle

After many crossings out and additions we had a final number of twenty-six starters for Greenwood, our second visit there in two weeks. Why not go back there, as the course is still in beautiful condition, the greens have become a little quicker than last time, and we had 800 bht green fee vouchers.
The weather was hot, of course, but some cloud cover for most of the day made conditions pleasant enough. We played one flight with four placings as well as the novelties and best nines. Considering the good condition of the course, scoring was in the range we would expect, with the first seven places under or near handicap.  
Mike Tottenham has worn the Green Jacket more than once before and his solid 38 points saw him pretty happy about wearing it again. Richard Fearby played off a #1 handicap and scored a gross 72 for a point score of 37 to take second place. Marco Beer, in his first game back, scored just 3 points on a nine to wear the “silly hat” but now his real form returned for him to post 36 points and win the countback to relegate David McKey to fourth place.
Near-pins: Bill Copeland (A flight), Richard Fearby (A flight), Mike Tottenham (B flight), Steve Baker (B flight). Best Front Nine (C) (non winners) – John Harrison – 20 pts.  Best Back Nine (B) (non winners) - John Coetzee – 20 pts c/back
Funny how things work. John Harrison won the best front nine with 20 points, but then wore the “silly hat” for also having the worst nine-hole score of just 8 points. Steve Baker played his first game since returning and hasn’t yet warmed up. His score, the lowest of the day, was 22 points and got the him the “wig”.
Some “high season” pricing is holding us back from some courses but it gives us the opportunity to put courses with reasonable pricing, such as Greenwood, on our schedule more than once a month. Footnote: John Pierrel thanks the management of Greenwood for the nicely presented hole-in-one certificate.


Mike Tottenham Doubles Up

Sometimes wishes do come true! At our visit to Pattana two weeks ago we were hoping that the great price of 1250 bht all in would last a bit longer and, with a big thank you to Pattana management, we had this day and now two more bookings in December. The proof of how popular this course is, and the special price, is that we had 10 four-balls lining up on the B1 tee where the starter sent our first group off 15 minutes early, much appreciated.

Mike Tottenham, two days ago, won his first Green Jacket since April and wished he could win another. He did, with a great score of 40 points and, of course, winning “B” flight. David McKey has been travelling recently and since returning has found some good form to take second spot with 39 points. Chris Walsh’s form revival continues unabated and he scored 38 points to beat Mike Firkin in a countback for third.

It was a traffic jam at the top of the “A” flight with three players scoring 39 points. Pat Lavin is having a good run this trip and won a countback over the unlucky Kevin McEntee. Unlucky because, even though he has been having good scores, someone has pipped him on a number of occasions for the Green Jacket, which he dearly wants. You can never leave Paul Smith out and he took third place with the other 39 points, 72 gross by the way.
Dave (Frank Sinatra) Wilkinson grabbed fourth on a countback with 36 points.

With the big field we added some extra “near pins”. Near Pins “A” flight: Paul Smith, Tony Browne, Dave Heyes, Darren Beavers. Near Pins “B” flight:  Mike Firkin, Mike Tottenham (x2), Peter Allen. Best Front Nine (B) (non winners) – Nigel Harrison – 22 pts. Best Back Nine (C) (non winners) – Bill Stewart – 20 pts
Niall Caven had some drama when he had a ball lodged at the base of a tree. He swung at it, hit the tree, the club broke and hit him in the head. His group laughed until they realised that he was actually unconscious, so quickly saw him off to the medical centre to be checked. The happy ending is that he returned to finish his round and, back at Links Bar, was also awarded the “silly hat” for breaking the club?
Ronnie Culross made Phil happy when he said he had another ten days here, so the “wig” is sorted for the next few games. Pattana never ceases to amaze at the always beautiful presentation. And just to add to the picture, the flower arrangement on the bridge near the clubhouse has started to blossom.  We will return in seven days.


Lavin & Swift Top Dogs - Just

Seeking relief from the daily slog of individual stableford the Pattaya Links Golf Society revised its format to Pairs BB at Eastern Star on the final Friday in November, As Eastern Star is a tough call on the best of days it was a much more enjoyable prospect, even with lightly sanded greens and dry fairways. A field of forty started early courtesy of the starter and battle commenced.

The format is all about consistency - both golfers having to avoid the same barren hole and playing with a modicum of safety in mind. "Arai?" At Eastern Star?

The result was a very close contest with countbacks being used to order the top twelve teams. In fourth place the Aussie pairing of John Coetzee and Terry Dreier lost out to third placed Steve Moxey and Niall Caven, both recording 42 points. One point ahead were Nigel Harrison and the redoubtable Bill Copeland with 43 points, losing the major prize on countback. That honour went to Pat Lavin and Phil Swift who had the benefit of a stronger back nine in their favour. The placings from five to twelve were only separated by three points, such was the quality of the competition.

Mike Firkin and Bryan Barrell raced to a front nine score of 23 points for the consolation prize with Kenny Jepson and Dave Moore performing even better on the back nine with 24 points. Near pins went to Pat Lavin (3), Steve Moxey (6), Nigel Harrison (13) and Paul Swift (17). In another refreshing change the booby prizes were left in the bag, which pleased some golfers at the nether end of the scoreboard.

The change to the format proved popular and it is to be hoped that more events of this type can be arranged during high season. A final word of thanks to Team PLGS for stewarding a most enjoyable day, with no fireworks spoiling the show. They would all come later in a gridlocked Pattaya.






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