Bunker Boys 25/3
Monday, March 25th
1st Raleigh Gosney (21) Net 66
2nd Michael Brett (14) Net 76
3rd Robby Watts (7) Net 77
Near pins Raleigh Gosney, Michael Brett, & Peter Kelly X 2.
For the first time in several months, Pattaya awoke to dark grey skies with the threat of rain and storms in the air. When we departed from Woody’s Bar the rain started to fall and persisted all the way to the course. As we arrived the skies began to brighten and the rain eased to a light drizzle and by the time we had checked in and changed the rain had stopped completely so we were able to tee off straight away. In contrast with recent weeks, there was no run on the fairways, in fact, they were quite soggy in places so the pick clean and place rule was implemented. Mild temperatures and no wind made for ideal conditions for golf, but the white tees moved forward to the yellow made little difference due to the absence of any run on the fairways.
Raleigh Gosney who to date on this trip had not won except for the team prize at the Memorial tore the course apart with a scintillating round of net sixty-six to take first place a full ten strokes ahead of his nearest competitor. Raleigh had all facets of his game in good shape and had only one bad hole. His reaction on sinking a birdie putt had to be seen to be believed, one can only imagine his reaction if he got a winning hand at poker. Michael Brett took second place having to cope with two disaster holes which hurt a lot more in medal format than stableford. Robby Watts was in superb form from tee to green but had a Barry Croker with the putter, in fact, he missed a three-footer on the last to save one of the sixes games and also confined him to third as he had a good back nine. This was Robby’s last game with us before returning to Oz, John Hughes also departs for the UK to sort out Brexit. All the near pins were won with Raleigh and Michael taking one each and Peter Kelly taking the remaining
Wednesday, March 27th
1st Steve Durey (20) 32 points
2nd Jimmy Carr (18) 32 points
3rd Dave Ashman (20) 29 points
Near pins Geoff Parker, Raleigh Gosney, Dave Ashman, Jimmy Carr
Light rain began to fall as we teed off at a deserted Emerald course but it quickly faded away after only two holes. The course had received a drenching during the night and early morning and was soggy in places so the pick, clean, and place rule was applied. The condition of the course was not as good as normal with a few greens in particular looking very shabby. Scores were the lowest seen in a while so the less said about that the better, nobody really showed much appetite for the contest. Someone suggested I fudge the scores to put a better face on them, but honesty is at the core of golf so maybe they will spur people to better effort next time out. Raleigh Gosney who on Monday tore up the course today tore up his scorecard. Several times on the front nine Geoff Parker threatened to quit and go home he played so bad, luckily persistence paid off and he recovered some on the back nine.
Back at the bar, the bell was rung about five times, not sure whether it was in commiseration or consolation. It was last game for Ken Davidson so he was a big bell ringer, we also lose Daryl Vernon for a month or two both returning to Lancashire. Dave Ashman and Michael Brett were other bell ringers with very little to celebrate.
Friday, March 29th
Crystal Bay B & C
1st Takeshi Hakozaki (12) 37 points
2nd Jimmy Carr (18) 35 points
3rd Geoff Parker (17) 33 points
Near pins Geoff Parker, Jimmy Carr, Takeshi Hakozaki X 2
During the low season, golf courses are faced with a dilemma, how to set green fee rates at a level that will attract players and at the same time generate enough revenue to fund maintenance and upkeep. Likewise, golf societies have to consider how to spread their patronage around so that all courses get a fair share and at the same time provide a quality playing roster to attract enough people out to play. Some courses experience difficulties in achieving the right balance, Crystal Bay is a case in point. A caddie indicated that there were no bookings at the course on Thursday and today we could see only two other groups on the course. As a consequence course maintenance is a bit less than desirable. Many of the fairways had bare areas or soon to be as the irrigation system has failed. Some of the greens were also in a poor state, again with bare areas or not having been mowed in a timely manner.
Local knowledge is a great advantage in golf as Crystal Bay member Takeshi Hakozaki showed today taking first place with a fine round of thirty-seven points. Jimmy Carr came second with thirty-five with Geoff Parker in third on thirty-three. Takeshi also managed to snare two near pins with Geoff and Jimmy taking the other two.
From the start of the month, Geoff Parker set off in a blaze of glory and established an unassailable lead in the contest for golfer of the month. A few threatened at different times but nobody could catch Geoff who won by a five-point margin.
Geoff Parker, golfer of the month