The Golf Club 06/07

write-up for 6th – 10th July

Steve Ellison

On the road to Kabinburi.

Monday 6th – Green Valley – Stableford – White Tees.

1st – Kenny Aihara (3) 41 points

2nd – Aaron Robinson (28) 40 points

3rd – Lasse Petterson (24) 37 points

We know it has to be done, but when they do sand those greens it sure does make those putts a lot more difficult. We are so accustomed to playing a perfect Green Valley that on the odd day when conditions are not great it seems like another venue. Oh well, in a week or so all should be fine again.

That a guy could shoot 41 points out there today is yet another testament to how good a golfer Kenny really is. Last month’s Monthly Medal winner (all 60 kilos of him), Kenny Aihara, once again showed us all how a little patience goes a long way. Great shootin’ my friend!

Our new buddy Aaron Robinson from Downunda had a terrific round and hit that magic number 40 to nip at Kenny’s heels. Big Lasse Petterson is back in town and also put his stamp on the course. Shooting 37, Lasse did not let those greens get the better of him either.

 Wednesday 8th – Kabinburi Sport Club – Stableford – Yellow Tees

1st – Kenny Aihara (3) 36 points

1st – Phil Smedley (10) 36 points

3rd – John McHugh (9) 35 points

3rd – Martin Zimmerman (16) 35 points

Finally, we get back up to Kabinburi but this time at a new resort hotel called the Tawa Ravadee. Sprawling over 30 acres, it was a great venue for a stay and play and even had its own driving range! We checked into the hotel right on time at 10:30, had a bite to eat, and set off for the course for our 1:00 tee time. The drive up from Pattaya was exactly 2 hours.

As we arrived at the course, a light mist of rain prevailed overhead. By the second tee box, it had moved on to leave us with a perfect, cool day for golf. The course had a few choppy holes where they were putting in some irrigation systems but that did not affect our play. Fairways here are magnificent, greens were a bit slow, but they are throwing some serious money into upgrading this layout to make it even better than it is now. This is the longest golf course in Thailand and their back tees (the Kato tees) are a staggering 8,075 yards. Japanese architect Yoshikazu Kato was the designer here, and he also carved out Blue Canyon Phuket and our local Treasure Hill, hence that large croc on the 13thhole.

Phil and I both remarked that the only frustration was setting up on the tee box. Usually there is the odd leaf, blade of grass, brown spot or whatever that you can use as a directional guide to line up your drive. The tee boxes were bleedin’ flawless and truly like a carpet! Out went that system!

Captain Smedley decided to play us lift, clean and place which was the correct ruling as the turf had a good bit of water still, but no actual puddles. I find it so much more enjoyable to play the game when my balls are clean, don’t you? Sorry for that Julian Clary moment, now back to the details. The good boys, Kenny and Phil, tied at 36 and that was the best we could muster even off the yellow boxes. John and Martin were tied at a shot back on 35 after the cards were all processed.

Back in the van to head to our home for the night and look around the 30 acres of the hotel a bit more. Poolside provided the location for our usual Wine & Cheese mixer where the lads met up with Mike Bridge from The Pattaya Golfer, the new glossy magazine that has been such a hit. It is great to finally have our own publication for the thousands of avid golfers we have here in Pattaya, both living here as well as our regular visitors. Thanks Mike! Looking around, we found they have a driving range and more importantly a great sushi bar! We tucked in there and others chose dining in the grill room.

The usual suspects were at hand for this road trip, and now even more dangerous with new frontiers to explore. One of the wise guys discovered the hotel also had a Karaoke Bar, so it was all downhill from there. Another saw more bars over the road so a good 25% of the field were to be playing to a whole new handicap the next morning…a massive hangover. Yes, I’m talking to you, Aaron! You did so well at Green Valley and now let the lads lead you astray. Oh dear.

Thursday 9th – Kabinburi Sport Club – Stableford – Yellow Tees

1st – Dave Ferris (23) 35 points

2nd – John Hutt (27) 33 points

2nd – Mark Reid (10) 33 points

Overcast skies made for another nice and cool round of golf here. We ran into Peter Blackburn and his crew at the starters desk and they were getting ready to tee off as well. Between us we delivered about 50 golfers from Pattaya that day!

As is too often the case with road trips, throbbing heads were the order of the day. The front nine would function as a recovery phase for many of us. We stuck with the yellow tees again and that proved to be right as 35 points were all we could do. Third place went to our old mate Mark Reid visiting from Dubai and showing it pays to be a teetotaler. It’s always great to get Reidy in the mix. The steady John Hutt gets on the podium for another week to tie with Mark at 33.

The reliable Dave Ferris kept his wits about him to end up on top of the heap. As you probably all know, Dave is our ambassador for the Caddy Smile project so it is with great pleasure to see him rewarded with this win. Well played buddy! Those 35 points were certainly well earned.



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