Growling Swan 03/08




By:  Cassa




Two buses departed The Growling Swan earlier than usual, for the longer than normal drive to today’s golf at the very picturesque Bangpakong Riverside course.

Stu Rifkin ensured he had two ice cold heart warmers to ensure his semi relaxed state could be achieved on the way……he should have taken a six pack! (Read more later)

The course was a pleasure to play with well manicured fairways and mostly lovely soft sandy bunkers. The greens were running well and true.

The weather looked foreboding in the distance all day and a strong steady breeze made some holes a lot longer than normal, despite playing off the yellow tees.

Some very good scores were achieved with two ladies ensuring a podium finish. Coming in 4th with 39 points was Wan Makmul (28), Rona Carungay (19) sneaking into 3rd with a solid 40 point round, Greg Procter (26) shooting a creditable 43 points which would on any other day have been good enough to win, however it was Peter MacDonald who had a scorcher with 45 points on his card off his (16) handicap. Great round Peter!

Not wishing to detract from the awesome scores above, further explanation of the journey to the course needs to be expressed….. Somewhat akin to a past trip to the Amata Spring Country Club when Thongchai Jaidee, Tiger Woods, Camilo Villigas and Paul Casey, back in November 2010, played a skins tournament. That drive from Pattaya took us all the way to Suvarnabhumi airport before we back tracked and got to the course about 2hours after having set off!

Our epic trip to Bangpakong outdid that record by an additional 30 minutes, as we arrived at the course two and a half hours after leaving the Swan. Despite having three phones locked into Bangpakong golf course on Goggle maps the lead bus took trips through never before seen villages where children stopped and gapped, down side roads running parallel with the highways we should have been on, across fields designed for buffalos and unregistered motorbikes only and even at one point, Google maps telling us to “turn left now” which would have seen us go straight into the Chao Phraya river….. Fortunately our driver ignored that directive.

We eventually arrived at the course only to realize that it was the Bangpakong Country Club golf course!

More referencing with Goggle maps, plotting in an address of the correct course and a further 25 minutes later we finally made our landing at Bangpakong RIVERSIDE golf course…..Stu Rifkin rushed to the bar whilst most others clambered to the rest rooms for urgent relief.

The staff was very kind and understanding of our late arrival and even gave everyone 100 baht vouchers to be used at their kiosks in the club house and around the course. Stu bought more beer.


Results for Bangpakong Riverside

One Grade (0 – 36 handicap)

1ST – PETER MACDONALD (16) 45 points

2ND – GREG PROCTOR (26) 43 points

3RD – RONA CARUNGAY (19) 40 points

4th – WAN MAKMUL (28) 39 points









Long first putts went to Wan’s man DICK BRAINBRIDGE on the ninth and STU RIFKIN on the eighteenth.

D-For the charity dog was passed around and once again all Players and patrons alike of the Growling Swan are once again thanked for their kindness in donating to this worthy cause, which benefits those far less fortunate in and around Pattaya.

I wish someone had taken a photo of the look on D-For’s keepers face when this scribe deliberately displayed a one baht coin that he then deposited into D-for  Priceless! (A currency note did follow after I finally stopped laughing!)

Once again the affable Peter Grey put on a lovely free feed for those with the munchies and also made welcome new comers and returnees: Bernie McCart, Greg Proctor, Dick Brainbridge and his partner Wan Makmul, Geoff Wallace and Geoff Bracegirdle and a sole fare well to Colin Banks.

For serious golfing with more than a dash of fun (and compulsory sledging), the Growling Swan welcomes golfers of all persuasions. We generally play on Mondays and Thursdays at any one of the fine courses around Pattaya. We also encourage women to play. Please contact Peter Grey for bookings or any information on 086 1503 086.


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