The Growling Swan 31/07

Thursday, 31st July – Bangpakong – Stroke – Monthly Mug

Gerd Riedler Wins His Third Monthly Mug!

It was that time again when we play our one and only stroke round of the month in competing for the Growling Swan Monthly Mug and this month’s challenge was at the classy Bangpakong Riverside Country Club. Numbers were down mainly due to some of our regular golfers deeming it a bit too far to travel so we ended up with 22 true and keen golfers ready to compete for the Mug. We handed out hearty welcome to John O’Donoghue from Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, Mike Omiya from Hawaii and old friend Ernie Picken from Melbourne who was celebrating his 69th Birthday. Also it was great to see good friend Walter Baechli back with us after his cycling tour around Albania, Montenegro and Greece, to mention just a few of the countries that he passed through. I decided that an early start was required so it was to be an 8.00 am departure time and thankfully the message did get through enabling us to depart the GS 7 minutes early at 7.53 am. It was quite a good run up Number 7 although the road works did slow us down a touch and after the 67 minute drive we arrived at the course where it was not too busy. We had driven through drizzling rain at times on the journey and the skies were overcast creating quite humid conditions but as always we were confident of the weather being kind to us. After waiting for a couple of Thai groups to tee off we finally got away 5 minutes before our scheduled 10.00 am time and thankfully the groups in front who were all in carts soon disappeared into the distance. The golf course was in magnificent shape with pristine fairways and the greens, although a few of them had still a bit of sand remaining were in excellent shape, even the temporary green on the par three 4th. We proceeded at a fair pace with Gerd playing some excellent golf and at the turn he was 2 under the card after carding 3 birdies. I rarely mention individuals in my write-ups but it was a pleasure to watch this guy who is currently on top of his game. The weather had been fine so far but as we were preparing to putt on the 13th green a heavy shower caused us to take shelter for about 10 minutes but then it was over and we continued. We completed our round in four hours & twenty minutes which included the rain stoppage and Gerd did falter a little but still came in with a 73 off the stick. It had been a very enjoyable round with terrific company and some super golf was observed.

In addition to the Monthly Mug award we were able to have 2 Divisions with A Division being for handicaps 0 to 15 & B Division for handicaps of 16 and over with 3 prizes in each division. There were also rewards for nearest the pins all the par threes and longest first putts on the 9th & 18th greens.

As I expected Gerd Riedler’s 73 gross was good enough to enable him to win his third Growling Swan Monthly Mug as he ended up with a net 67 and the A Division winner was Martin Kempton with a fine net 69. In second place came Walter Baechli (net 34 back nine), winning a count back as there were 2 golfers on net 70 with Mike Omiya (net 35 back nine) in third spot. Division B winner was Alain “Inspector Clouseau” Taddei with a very good net 68 and Gary Monley finished second with net 70. Another count back was needed as there were 2 golfers with net 71 and that resulted in Birthday Boy Ernie Picken (net 34 back nine & net 22 on the last 6 hole) finishing third from Bob Akapita (net 34 back nine & net 23 on the last 6 holes). Bob missed out on a podium finish but won a golf ball for playing to his handicap or better along with Graham Buckingham, Ebrahim & yours truly.

Results for Bangpakong:

Monthly Mug Winner – Gerd Riedler (6) – net 67

A Division – 0 to 15
1st – Martin Kempton (13) – net 69
2nd – Walter Baechli (15) – net 70
3rd – Mike Omiya (9) – net 70

B Division – 16 & over
1st – Alain Taddei (16) – net 68
2nd – Gary Monley (34) – net 70
3rd – Ernie Picken (21) – net 71

4th – Takeshi Hakozaki
7th – John Anderson
13th – Tom Cotton
16th – John Pierrel

9th – Ebrahim
18th – Ebrahim
The Growling Swan NAGA Award, (awarded to the golfer who has the worst score on the day and discreetly their score is not made public) was won by last start NAGA recipient Sandy “Cindy Lauper” Leiper on a count back and he accepted the cap gracefully. As usual presentations were back at the bar on this occasion and we all thanked Mine Host Peter Grey for sponsoring the Mug and also providing a delicious pasta supper. Peter Grey then kindly walked around with Deefa the Dog and collected many donations from our generous crew. Not a huge crowd but a very happy one after a great day on an excellent golf course and in celebrating his 69th Birthday Ernie Picken rang the bell a couple of times to the delight of all.

Growling Swan Golf, the home of friendly golf in Pattaya welcomes golfers of any persuasion – low & high handicappers alike, female golfers and beginners. We generally play Mondays & Thursdays, meeting at The Growling Swan in Soi Chaiyapoon at 8.00 am with transport departing at 8.30 am. For bookings or more information please contact Peter on 0806 351 386 or email to

We also play bowls out of the Growling Swan every Wednesday and Sunday. Sunday is Lawn Bowls and Wednesday is Indoor Bowls. All are welcome and for anyone that is interested the transport leaves The Growling Swan at 10.00am on each of those mornings. For more information please contact Paul Rennison on 0843 454 005.


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