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PGS Press Archives

 

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

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January 2018

Mashi’s Debut Performance

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

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

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

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

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

Stevens Starts the Year in Style

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

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

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

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

Wayne Peppernell Takes Top Spot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absolute Quality on Show at Lakeside

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Anderson Easily At Treasure Hill

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

Of the four near pins, only three were claimed:

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

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

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

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

Colin Smith Bounces Back To Form

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Craig Ends Holiday On A High

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s always the Best Nines:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Laughs His Way to Green Jacket

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

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

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

Next were the Best Nines.

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

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

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

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

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

Smith's Blitz at Pleasant Valley

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

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

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

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

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

Banks & Jones Keep it Tight at the Top

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

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

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

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

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

Paul and Helene Top Flights

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

Winning the near pins were:

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

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

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

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

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

Harrison's Haul at Lakeside

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

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

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

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

Watts Has the Power at Pattavia

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

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

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

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

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

Banks in Credit Again

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

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

February

Quality Scores and Service With a Smile

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

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

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

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

37 Points Everywhere at Lakeside

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great 40 Points Wins for Pallesen

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

Four Near Pins and all were claimed:

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

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

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

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

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

A Long Good Friday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jodehl & Lankoff Drive the Juggernaut

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roberts Grinds Out a Win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Browne Bags Top Place at Bangpra

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

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

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

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

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

Caven Contented at Khao Kheow

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

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

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

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

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

Knight Earns His Spurs at Burapha

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

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

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

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

One Tough Day

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

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

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

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

Takano Tops at Pattavia

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

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

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

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

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

Silky Success for Roberts & Barton

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

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

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

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

March

Bren's the Guvnor

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

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

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

Marshall Heads the Birthday Parade

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

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

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

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

Hats Off to Larry

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

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

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

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

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

Takano Wins in Another Tight Finish

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

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

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

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

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

Altogether another successful day with the Links group.

Hansen Beats Hot Rod to the Line at Lakeside

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

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

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

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

Welcome Back Dave Moriarty!

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

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

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

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

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

Banjo and Vic Tops at Treasure Hill

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bart's Blow for the Common Man

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

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

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

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

Khao Kheow had been the perfect host again.

Five Star B & B at Greenwood

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

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

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

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

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

Jones Joins Green Jacket Club

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

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

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

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

Another Bingham Blitz

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

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

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

Celebration Beer on Good Friday

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

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

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

April

Quality All Round at Pattavia

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

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

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

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

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

Devastating Davies Sets Season High

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Cheer at Pattaya CC

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

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

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

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

Bren Guns Down the Field at Lakeside

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

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

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

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

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

Bryan Opens the Dore

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

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

Then came the awards best nines.

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

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

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

Maurice Handles Slowest Greens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huw Back in Green

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Vallance Beats the Water and Khao Kheow

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

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

No near pins, but we did have Best Nines.

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

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

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

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

John Coetzee Blitz’s Pleasant Valley

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

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

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

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

Chesney's Revenge at Last

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

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

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

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

Davies Dominates Green Valley

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

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

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

Phoenix. Phillips. Forty-Seven.

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

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

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

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

Marshall in Control at Eastern Star

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

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

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

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

May

Marshall in Control at Eastern Star

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

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

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

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

Peter Bailey asks “What Storm?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tottenham Tops the Table

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

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

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

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

Countback Service is Successful

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

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

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

Barry Wellings on Fire at KK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All Smiles for Takeshi

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

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

Marshall Master Class

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

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

Goldsworthy Gets it Right

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

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

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

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

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

Colin Survives Ball Attacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All four near pins were claimed.

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

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

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

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

Rogers In Charge at Green Valley

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

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

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

Quality Golf on a Superb Course

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

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

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

Phoenix Having a Laugh. Again.

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

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

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

June

Tight Finish at Stormy Emerald

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

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

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

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

Truelove Takes The Treasure

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

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

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

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

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

Truelove Takes the Treasure

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

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

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

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

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

 

There’s No Stopping This Boy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greg’s 40 Points Tops A Top Day

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

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

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

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

Pete Seil Par for the Course

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His Back Comes Good - Maurice gets 40 points

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perfrement's Perfect Day

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

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

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

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

 

 

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