4th Annual Poppy Day Tournament
Friday The 8th November 2013: 4th Annual Poppy Day Golf Tournament at Khao Kheow ( 2 Ball Better Ball Stableford) A & B Nines.
Like all good things in life, the idea came from a meeting of minds in Tropical Bert’s, in 2009, with Bert ‘The Sec’, Graham ‘The Pres’ and Derek ‘The Chair’ where we were discussing what to do during the coming Remembrancetide and The Poppy Appeal. Of course then a few ‘Cold Un’s’ helped to clear the mind, and Poppy Golf was born. Now with the fourth one about to take place it was time for the volunteer of the three, me, to get the other ‘Volunteer, Max, and for the fourth time get this years Poppy Day Golf up and running.
One of the good thing about already having a few Tournaments in the book, is that you have a record, and hopefully if it is good, the players will appear. So it was on this day and the sign ups came in fast and furious, until on the night before the Competition we had close to 152 players. I suspect that playing at Khao Kheow, at a great rate, was much to do with it, and Max was beavering away to get the players in order. However here I have to say thank you to Khun Surapol and his staff who look after us all every Poppy Day, at Khao Kheow, they are ‘Stars’. Also this year we were trying a different slant on the night out and had decided to hold it on the Saturday, the 9th, to give players the chance to relax after the game and next day to take their ‘Significant Other’ out for the night at The Amari Tavern By The Sea’.
A day such as this does not go on without weeks of work and good will from many of the Golfers. Here, Max and I were well supported by the Golfers of Tropical Bert’s Golf Society, in the run up, especially though to Daryl Evans, Mashi Kaneta, Dick Warberg and Keith Phillips. They added many of the items for the Raffle, and also made my efforts much easier.
So on the night before the Competition I was pretty relaxed, after all the hard pre work had been done and the Golfers would be there early in the morning, and The Amari had the Saturday night under control. All was fine with the World, despite Dave Richardson asking me in the preceding week if I had a ‘Wet Weather Program’. Why did I need that ?, silly man. it had been a lovely day, I did not need a ‘Jonah’.
At 0230hrs on Friday morning my wife told me I had better get out and ‘Look at this’. It was raining really heavily and from then on for the rest of the night I watched as it poured down. A check on the ‘Weather Forecast’ said it would be bad all day and a check on The Chonburi Area said it would be even worse!!. How was I going to get out of this?, I really had no idea and with all set and no way to get hold of most of the golfers I was in trouble, particularly when I had told The Amari the numbers who would be turning up on the following day. In the words of a great Thai saying, ‘What to do ?’.
At 0700hrs the phone started to ring and I realised I would have to make a decision, and the rain still came down in Pattaya. So I phoned the Course, hoping for a miracle, and whilst it was not great news at least they told me the rain had stopped there, but they did not know what would be happening at 1000hrs. So it was time to ‘Bite the Bullet’ and the message was sent that we were to play.
Travelling to Khao Kheow from Pattaya we left in heavy rain and overcast conditions, and it continued for many kilometers, but occasional there was a bit of blue sky on the horizon that looked to be roughly in the right direction, I hoped. As we neared Khao Kheow the rain clouds were all around, but it looked like there was a bit of a weather break over the Course. I lived in hope. On arrival Max and Matt were there set up, with Ron Smith who had his ‘Poppies’ ready to sell. The thing now was would the golfers turn up ?. I had many calls on the way up, answered by my ‘Secretary’ in the car, Turbo Frank, informing all we were go.
On a day like this I always go out first, on this day partnered by Nigel Cannon, and as we left we could see that many golfers had arrived and were lining up, but I would not know until I had finished if enough had arrived to make the day worthwhile. So over to Max and his crew.
Out on the Course the overnight rain had left the Course soft and no carts were allowed on the fairways, but we were off under wet skies but with no rain. It was no surprise that on the front nine I had a job even hitting the ball, fortunately my partner was very forgiving. My eyes were on the sky and the number of golfers on the Course, both looked more promising by the minute.
The Course held up well and was very playable and after nine holes the weather looked like we may get away with it. After nine holes and onto the B1 it was a relief to find the groups still waiting to tee off on their front nine, I played much better on the second nine mainly due to relief. We got around without it raining more than a few drops and it even held off until the last player finished his round. Somewhere someone must love me.
Inside Max and his team were ready for the onslaught at the end of the round, with Keith Phillips guarding the shirts. Max informed me that a few had stayed in bed due to the weather,’ O Yea of Little Faith’, but that over 125 players had turned up. I left them to it and nipped upstairs for a cup of something. It was remarkably quiet up there, which was quite a pleasure as I have been a bit busy of late as it is Remembrancetide. When I came downstairs all seemed to be going well, so I sat back and relaxed.
The function was to be at Amari Tavern By The Sea on the Saturday night. The idea being that maybe as we get a little older a break would be good for the golfers and they would bring some one with them. And so it turned out. We had lost some golfers on the previous day but this was made up by the families and friends who turned up. The Buffet was out a bit early and as usual The Amari Tavern By The Sea Staff put on a superb Buffet that was enjoyed by all. Certainly the best I have seen for years. Also with drinks at a specially cheap price the beers went down well.
The night started with the Chairman saying his thank you and asking Mr Graham MacDonald MBE President of the Royal British Legion to present ‘Certificates of Appreciation’. Firstly to Colin Davis of Lewiinski’s, then to Brendan Daly of Amari Tavern By The Sea and last but not least to Maxwell Matthews who has given me so much support over the years. I thank all three and one more Certificate will be presented to Khun Surapol of Khao Kheow who have given us so much support over the years.
The night continued and this really is a fine venue, but it was soon time for the scribe, and Chairman of The Royal British Legion Thailand, to say his thank you to all those who also helped. To Boots and Pattaya Realty.com for their Sponsorship. To Max and his team for their fine work not only on the day but during the build up. Chris Balzis for his fine shirts delivered on time. To Giorgio at The Trattoria Italiana for their continued support, To The Navy Lads for the Trophy’s, To the Pattaya Mail and last but not least to our President, Graham MacDonald, and M.B.M.G. Group who are our biggest supporters.
So onto the presentation, and as it was a ‘Big Do’ I think it only fair to mention the Technical winners. We had two Fights for all the Technicals, 0-17 and 18 up.
Near Pin A Flight B Flight
A3 Kevin McEntee Joel Flor
A5 Colin Davis Derek Brook
B3 Noi Emmerson Chris Balzis
B8 Bob Watson Mick Coghlan
A9 John Bartley Tom Herrington
B9 John Harrison Leif Kirkegaard
The winners of the Near Pins were also presented with a Poppy Golf Medal. Well done gents
So to the winners and first we presented to the ‘Strongest Team’ of the day to Jack Robertson and Otto Schmid. They always give of their best and epitomise what the game is all about. Then to the winning Teams and I have to say that the scores here were very good when you consider that the weather was not the best and the Course was wet.
In Seventh were Mashi Kaneta and Tom Herrington with 49 points losing on Countback to
In Sixth were Brian Dunbar and Ed Wyckoff with 49 points losing on Countback to
In Fifth were Andy Byrne and Kevin McEntee with 49 points losing on Countback to
In fourth were Mick Robertson and Tom Gorrey with 49 losing on Countback to
In third were Yuri Bietry and Pierre Bietry winning the Countbacks with 49 points.
In second we had Matt Cronin and Liam McGuiness with 50 points and a fine score.
So to the winners and with a fine 52 points the winners were Nick Shaw and Jim Elphick with a very fine 52 points. Well played gentlemen.
It was then time for the Scribe to relax with friends and listen to the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the day. T.T.F.N.
For photos click here