Bunker Boys 10/2
Monday, February 10th
Soi Dao Highlands
Bowmaker, Team Event.
1st Group, Jimmy Carr, Geoff Parker, Craig Dows, Tom McMurray
2nd Group, Les Cobban, John Hughes, Dave Ashman, Michael Brett
3rd Group Tony Berry, Keith Norman, Lance Conway-Jones, & Roger Tuohy.
Near pins Dave Ashman, Paul Smith, Tom McMurray, & Lance Conway-Jones.
Twenty-eight Bunker Boys made the trip up to Chantaburi to play two rounds of golf at the beautiful Soi Dao course with an overnight stay at Chatrium Resort. Most drove up on the morning, but some went a day early and a few stayed an extra day.
A team event called bowmaker where two best scores count on the six hardest holes, the best three scores on the middle six, and all four scores on the easiest six. This was another Keith Norman innovation and went down well, a fun event that got people relaxed after a long drive.
The course was superb as always but played much harder than most remembered. In particular, the greens were pristine but very fast and with subtle breaks and some big undulations tested even the best.
The winning group was surprised to come in first place as they fell way short of what they considered a winning target. Only Les Cobban produced anything worthwhile in the second group and carried his team for the most part and was even more surprised than the first group to come second. The organiser’s team lead by Keith took third. Overall most struggled to put together a decent score. Near pins went to Dave Ashman, Paul Smith, Tom McMurray, and Lance Conway-Jones.
Whilst Chatrium Resort is a great venue, some issues exist. The service in the restaurant was well below parr, food service very slow, some menu items were undelivered and had to be reordered. Billing errors were common with several being charged for items they were unaware of which left a sour taste. Also, the imposition of VAT and service charge came as a surprise to some as it jacks up their bill considerably, not something over which the hotel has control. Even on the course, there were issues, not all the drinks stations were open and not all of those that were had ice.
Tuesday, February 11th
Soi Dao Highlands Individual Stableford
1st Robby Watts 46 points
2nd Neil Jones 37 points
3rd Paul Smith 33 points
4th Les Cobban 32 points
5th Craig Dows 32 points
6th Stuart Brown 32 points
Near pins Steve Durey, Paul Smith, & Les Cobban.
Tuesday dawned mild, grey, and overcast but there was little prospect of rain. Things became very sunny when we discovered it was a sports day so the green fee had been reduced to six hundred baht, where in the world would you find green fees so low for a course of this quality?.
The round got off to a difficult start with a few stragglers failing to meet their appointed tee times, always the same people who seem to feel everyone should waite for them. It is obvious they never worked in the corporate world where the motto is “if you are not early, then you are late”. Again a two tee start so we got the round finished in good time for people to have the presentation and some refreshment before making their way back to Pattaya.
The sunny day continued in great style for birthday boy Robby Watts who had an outstanding round of forty-six points off a ten handicap with a distance between him and second-placed Neil Jones on thirty-seven. Paul Smith came third with thirty-three points. Les Cobban, Craig Dows, and Stuart Brown all on thirty-two finished in that order on countback. Near pins went to Steve Durey, Paul Smith and Les Cobban. A much-improved performance from everybody on the second day.
Wednesday, February 12th
Khao Kheow C & A.
1st Ken Elmore (19) 41 points
2nd Peter Kelly (13) 37 points
3rd Robby Watts (8) 36 points
4th Craig Dows (8) 36 points.
Near pins Peter Kelly, Alan Harris, & Ken Elmore.
Another good rollup of sixteen for the third game in as many days, it seems some Bunker Boys can’t have too much golf, the Khao Kheow course is always a good lure. As always the course was in nice condition and a rarity for golf in recent times occurred when a very welcome shower hit, a few more of those would change the colour of all courses in the area as so little rain has fallen in recent months. It’s not often you hear people in Pattaya say “bring on Monsoon Season”.
Ken Elmore who didn’t travel to Soi Dao this year must have been on the practice range instead as he blew away the rest of the field with a superb forty-one points to take first place. Peter Kelly who is always somewhere near the top of the pack took second place with a very well compiled thirty-seven. The two Melbournians Robby Watts and Craig Dows had to be separated by countback, each with thirty-six points. Near pins went to Peter Kelly, Alan Harris, and Ken Elmore.
Friday, February 14th
1st Robby Watts (8) 38 points
2nd Neil Jones (22) 36 points
3rd Tony Berry (14) 31 points
4th Nial Glover (19) 29 points
Near pins Neil Jones, & Robby Watts X 2.
A third visit to Mountain Shadow in as many months found a course in desperate need of rain and barely playable. Hard packed bare soil, withered brown grass on fairways, and tee boxes that resembled sandpits took much of the enjoyment out of the game. Conditions were made considerably more difficult by a very stiff wind, sometimes up to three clubs worth caused most to falter with only the top two able to return a decent score.
The golden run currently being enjoyed by Robby Watts continued on again today with a winning score of thirty-eight. With only two more rounds to play before returning to Oz next week Robby looks to already have wrapped up the golfer of the month trophy. One who could catch him Neil Jones came second on thirty-six but he too departs next week, leaving only a miracle from Ken Elmore to upset the applecart. Tony Berry came third with thirty-one and Niall Glover brought up the rear with twenty-nine. It was also Niall’s birthday and he generously put on a roast pig after the presentation, with our hosts the Wood brothers also providing a range of Thai food, as always great hospitality at the Bunker Boys.
Last week on one occasion we had a slight issue with some contentious results, but as sensible people always do the matter was resolved honourably and amicably to everyone’s satisfaction and the book is now closed on the matter.
Birthday boys Robby Watts & Niall Glover.