Bunker Boys 23/12
Monday, December 23rd
1st Geoff Cox (17) 39 points
2nd Andy Grey (29) 37 points
3rd Peter Kelly (13) 35 points
4th Les Cobban (8) 34 points
Near pins Dave Ashman, Peter Kelly, & Colin Greig.
Golf Societies in Pattaya face an ongoing challenge, i.e. courses refuse to provide written confirmation of bookings with the green and caddies fees applicable to that booking itemised. Consequently, groups are turning up at courses only to find their booking canceled completely or their green and caddie fees hiked up considerably, sometimes by three to four hundred baht. This leaves them with two options, either suck it up and suffer the increase or walk away which is precisely what the Bunker Boys did today at Pattana, a course with which we believed we had a good relationship and supported twice a month during low season. Despite our best efforts, a satisfactory resolution could not be reached thus limiting our options.
A quick phone call to Pattavia found we could tee off immediately on arrival so we made the fifteen-minute trip up 331 and found a warm welcome at an empty course and a saving of four hundred baht. The course like all in the area could do with some soaking rain but was still in decent condition, the greens were slow, however, mostly due to the fact they hadn’t been mown for a few days and were a bit wooly.
Some very good scores were recorded today, none better than Geoff Cox who took first place with thirty-nine points. Fresh off a plane from the UK complete with a new set of clubs and a dodgy handicap Andy Grey took second with a respectable thirty-seven. Peter Kelly came third with thirty-five, and Les Cobban completed the winners circle a further point back. Near pins went to Dave Ashman, Peter Kelly, and Colin Greig.
Neil Jones went a bit wayward off the first tee and collected the marshal’s cart coming up the left side of the fairway, could have been serious, Daryl Vernon also had a bit of drama when the ground above a drainage pipe gave way and in he went, luckily he came away with no more than a sore shin, could also have been quite serious, some wag said maybe he needed to slim down a bit, it had been that sort of day.
Wednesday, December 25th
1st Michael Brett (17) 39 points
2nd Ken Davidson (23) 35 points
3rd Alan Sullivan (13) 33 points
Near pins Keith Norman, & Colin Greig X 3.
Having avoided this course for about eighteen months the Bunker Boys made a return to Parichat today for a Christmas Day game in the rainbow format and what a good choice it turned out to be. The course was in the best condition of any we have played for months, green and well grassed and in absolutely excellent condition. Obviously, the course was well watered and with very few trees there was no leaf litter on the fairways. This course is ideally suited to the rainbow format which we played from the black, white and red tees. A special mention for the caddies who were very knowledgable, professional, and a big help on a course where local knowledge and good information provides a huge benefit.
A number of changes have been carried out on the course since our last visit and were met with universal approval, they make the course much more playable and less quirky and also more enjoyable.
A reasonable field of eleven given the day enjoyed a hassle-free round in the spirit of the season. Scoring was a bit of a mixed bag with first-timers experiencing the difficulty of playing for position on the fairway and also choosing the most appropriate tee for each particular hole. Alan Sullivan had a difficult day playing with two high handicap players, one of whom quit after nine holes in frustration, nevertheless, Alan struggled on to take third place with thirty-three points. Ken Davidson had another solid round of thirty-five and took second place. Having played very poor golf for about two months and seen his handicap blow out from thirteen to seventeen Michael Brett found something today and took first place with thirty-nine points. Colin Greig looked like taking all the near pins but Keith Norman managed to snatch one from him.
The general feeling after the round was that given the changes made to the course and the fine condition in which it is presented we should consider playing there more often.
Friday, December 27th
1st Raleigh Gosney (19) 38 points
2nd Jimmy Carr (16) 37 points
3rd Phil Mashiter (4) 36 points
4th Les Humphreys (26) 35 points
Near pins Gary Smith, Colin Greig, & Keith Norman X 2.
Just when we thought we had to endure dried out courses for the next few months we found two in a row this week in very good condition. On Wednesday Parichat and today Pleasant Valley which was even better again. Pleasant Valley is a course that doesn’t drain well in the wet season, the upside to that is that it retains water very well in the dry season, consequently, it was in superb condition, lush, and well grassed. It was even damp in areas with the occasional mudball. Given the condition of the course and the reasonable green fees using vouchers, it will definitely be back on our roster more regularly from now on.
Despite the course being understandably very busy given its peak holiday season, the speed of play was acceptable with only a few holdups. The day was a bit overcast but still hot with no wind.
In his first game back after a few months away Raleigh Gosney got straight down to business and put together a fine round of thirty-eight to take first place.
Jimmy Carr also did well to take second with thirty-seven one point ahead of Phil Mashiter in his first game of this tour. A delighted Les Humphries who quit after nine holes on Wednesday took fourth place with thirty-five points. A real battle is brewing in the near pins competition with Colin Greig losing two that he thought were secure to Keith Norman with the final pin going to Gary Smith.
Bunker Boys Christmas Day at Parichat