It was cool but not cold. The humid air from the east kept a bit of cloud cover in place until mid-morning and the dew stayed on the greens for a fair bit of the round. To top it all off the course remains in good playing condition despite the lack of significant rain and the reduced water allocation from the river. The prospect of bar-b-que delights seems to have been enough to bring out a few more denizens from their caves. Bob’s new ticker will now allow him to play at least part of a round and our efforts to bring in new members are starting to bear fruit with Chris Vinecombe and Ryan Porker coming along to test the water and the prospect of playing with us on a regular basis.
The tension on the first tee was almost palpable by the time that the last group of the club-house leaders from week 1 strode up to join the fray. There wasn’t much of a gallery and there were no loud-speaker announcements of their past performances and victories but they all managed respectable drives (though there was one provisional on the off-chance) and headed off down the hill to the prospect of a close fought battle for the Stuart Clarke. Well it didn’t take long for that prospect to unravel. Harry three putted for a double, Gordon two putted for a bogie and Oliver calmly slotted his for a birdie.
And so it went, with Oliver taking the course apart hole by hole while the others played what might be best described as ‘respectable’ golf. In the end, even Oliver’s ‘bad’ shots ended up turning out for the best with the birdies and pars coming with great regularity. The group in front reckoned that because the group was being so quiet that it must have been a close run thing but in reality it was just that they were completely gob-smacked by what was going on. At the end of the round, Oliver was two under par for the course (and that included the only black spot on the card, a double bogie on the 3rd) and three under his personal best for the course. It was also very close to being a Club Course Record. So 46 points combined with the respectable showing from last week gave a combined total of 83 which left a fair bit of daylight in second place. A performance truly worthy of winning the Stuart Clarke Memorial Trophy.
Well, actually, there was somebody in second place and that was another old-timer in the person of Laurie, who has been going from strength to strength in recent times and he could have been forgiven for perhaps thinking that he was in with a chance with his two round total of 77 points. And if it hadn’t been for Oliver, he very well could have been in top spot for he ended up with a three point margin on the next runner.
Bill continues to put the good rounds together and not sure whether it is despite or because of the knee support. However he reports that he is going to have some investigative work done and that his other knee is feeling a bit dickie as well. Just imagine what he might do with two good knees. Mehmet put together a couple of consistent rounds to take out fourth place while Gordon slipped a bit this week hold out for the final spot in the rankings. So only one full set of double points handed out that has helped leapfrog Oliver about seven spots in the Championship table which Eddie still leads but with a narrowing margin. Seniors filled the first three spots so there was some movement on that table as well though Bill still maintains his lead.
The nearest the pin on the 4th was taken out by Eddie (again) while the ProPin on the 15th managed to go uncollected. Oliver claims that he misunderstood the rules and that it was closest to the marker pin rather than the hole pin when his ball finished only a couple of centimetres away from it just off the green. Despite the inaccuracy on the 15th, there was a fairly respectable tally of birdies at 12 though there might have been a couple more from the social round cards. While not impossible, it would have been a bit much to expect that the Eagles Nest would have been raided three weeks in a row.
Rodger was certainly moved by and very appreciative of the good turn out to remember Stuart and the display of appropriate regalia was generally pretty good. Despite warnings some people turned out in Club shirts and the excuse that the missus threw their other shirts out or the dog ate them just does not cut the mustard. Brendon tried to make some sort of statement or other by wearing a yellow and brown thing with a kiwi in the design which caused some people to make underarm bowling actions in his direction for some reason. Craig was fairly busting out with pride in his contribution – or was there some other reason for the straining button holes.
Noodles managed to play just in advance of his handicap despite a couple of instances where he took out his frustrations on his equipment. No damage to equipment or personnel but it seems that he might have played even better if he hadn’t concentrated so much on his texting (or should that be sexting). Even Oliver was noticed once beating the ground with his club after a shot that could have impacted on his achieving his targeted PB.
Ryan and Chris were well looked after during the round by Damo and Chrispy and both put in respectable enough cards for their first round with us. Chrispy had a pretty good round so was happy that it was only a social one and wouldn’t affect his handicap. A big welcome Ryan and Chris and we look forward to seeing more of you over the coming weeks and to having you join our merry band of brigands. We promise to pair you with somebody better in future – just joking Damo and Chrispy. Also good to see Bob back in the swing of things and though he could only manage 13 holes he was pretty happy with how he went and is looking forward to getting back amongst it over the next few rounds.
Results for Saturday, 29 March 2014
1st Oliver Gross(37,46,83) 2nd Laurie Mannix(33,40,77) 3rd Bill Eastoe(36,38,74) 4th Mehmet Akdag(36,37,73) 5th Gordon Hill(39,33,72)
Thanks to the efforts of Mehmet (and others?) the club now has a presence on Facebook where you will be able to view results, read blogs, make comments (no trash please), post photos and do other things that I am sure all experienced Facebookers know all about.
Whilst you can view some of the content just by following the link that Mehm sent in his e-mail, you get a much more satisfying experience of you can log in as a Facebook account. You have to do this if you want to do some of the more exciting things that are available. If you don’t have one use the wife’s – or the kid’s.
Have fun and please give Mehm some feed-back on how it goes and the sort of thing that you would like to see on our new social media face.
The weather bureau keeps forecasting rain but it hasn’t come to much for a long time though there appears to have been a very localised down-pour at the back of the second tee. Or maybe the level control on the dam pumps just failed and over-filled the pond. Whatever, it needed a bit of a detour unless you wanted to get your socks wet.
A fairly moderate turn-out of fifteen players on what was a good day weather-wise. Mostly over-cast but with little wind for most of the round and even then it could only be classified as a breeze when it did spring to life. The course was in good condition and got the thumbs up from Rodger who compared it more than favourably with his home turf at Yarrambat. Even the hard tees aren’t as hard and he didn’t have to use his screw-driver once. A strange thing to carry in your golf kit but apparently a necessity at home.
Whether it was Jupiter aligning with Mars or the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, something aligned for Harry today and he put together a pretty respectable round to gather 40 points and lead the field at the half way mark. And Rodger can vouch for the fact that he left a few out there with putts that just pulled up short or just slid by.
Only a shot behind and fire-hose at the ready is Gordon who absolutely destroyed the front nine to rack up 24 points. The rush of blood to his head must have unbalanced him when he added them up as he was pretty shaky for the next six holes before settling to come in with 39 of the best. Gordo managed to chip in twice during the round to upstage Harry who only managed it once but Rodger took the cake holing a monster putt from off the green to snaffle a birdie on the 15th.
Speaking of birdies, there were 13 carded today and one eagle by Mehmet on the 9th. Not sure whether there have been too many of those on that hole and he wouldn’t have even had the pleasure of seeing it go in. And all for only one ball. At least the big bird isn’t too upset given that the clutch wasn’t off the ground yet. Bill had a go for another on the 17th but didn’t quite manage it. Not at all sure how we would have divided the spoils if there had been a double though a quick referral to the Club Rules would have sorted it out.
Next cabs off the rank on the scoring front and by no means out of it are Oliver and Laurie with 37 points apiece. They should have the privilege of fighting it out with Harry and Gordo in the last group next week but Laurie will probably drop back to group second last to share transport with Rodger. Laurie played steadily with just a couple of wobbles mid-round that kept him from a higher placing but he really had his ginger up around the back nine. Oliver seems to have gone into the second-hand golf equipment business with money changing hands between him and SOS for a very fine looking driver. It seems also that SOS is only an inter-mediary and there was no indication of what his mark-up is going to be. Caveat emptor.
Mehmet and Bill came in next on 36 points and managed to rack up three 4 pointers between them. No harm in the medium term to their handicap and still within striking distance of the big trophy and without the pressure of being in the first group though we might have to toss up to see who gets promoted if Laurie drops back. Noodles and Rodger produced 34 points apiece to round out the Claytons Point-scorers for the week.
The third last group will comprise Craig, SOS, RodW, and RodG. And the lead out group and Chef’s hat brigade will include Brendon, MalF and Targe.
Obviously, any new-comers will fill this group and lead out before if extra groups are required.
If you didn’t play this week can you please go on line and indicate your intentions one way or another so that we can hope to get the catering right if nothing else.
The Nearest the Pin for a ball eventually went to Noodles after a certain amount of discussion as to whether anybody was present who had witnessed the event or whether the group had even been aware that the NTP was on the 4th. The ProPin on the 15th was taken home by none other than Mehmet who only just managed to sneak in under the 5m limit. Once again, there were calls for witnesses to the measurement.
Targe owned up the having had a windie on the 13th which probably didn’t cap off a fairly forgettable round for the little fellah. At least it wasn’t a draughtie.
Sharpie was somewhat distracted with the need to dash off at the earliest opportunity and was having no luck with the putter. So much so that he threatened to throw it in the river, if he had been close enough to the river to reach it. Another player who had moments with a club was Whitey who managed to break one on the 11th when it mysteriously came into contact with a tree. Remember Rod, they aren’t as robust as a cricket bat.
Placings after Saturday, 22 March 2014
1st Harry Boughen(40) 2nd Gordon Hill(39) 3rd Oliver Gross(37) 3rd Laurie Mannix(37) 4th Mehmet Akdag(36) 4th Bill Eastoe(36) 5th Stephen Butterfield(34) 5th Rodger Clarke(34)
Autumn is just around the corner, the elms are starting to drop their leaves, there was even a suggestion that it could rain sometime and the ground staff must have used up their river entitlement as the course was the driest and the greens the fastest that we have seen for some time. The conditions certainly seemed to suit at least some of our members as once again there were some mighty fine scores put in and you had to break your handicap to even get a point and the number of point getters was as low as it has been for some time. It looked as if it was only going to be one person per place until MalF piped up and his card was found secreted at the bottom of the deck.
Well, if last week RodG was coming out of the woods, this week he was right out in open country and trumped the field with 42 points and that included a gash that was more than offset by consecutive birdies. One of these was on the 12th that just happened to be the ProPin which had jackpotted from last week so a very nice little earner for Rod.
Of course four pointers pale into insignificance against a 5 pointer that Noodles scored inside (only 4 with us) with his Eagle on the 6th. So much for the exhortations to get on with attacking the 17th last week though the Beast was obviously trying to give it a go but managed to put his drive OOB and had to do the long walk back to the tee to re-load. Other than that, he could easily have knocked Rod off for top spot as he was only one point behind with 41. Believe it or not, he even improved on his eclectic. How low can he go?
A stint at cricket coaching hasn’t done any harm to Damo’s ball striking skills and he came within a whisker of posting a PB with 71 off the stick and a total of 40 points. A couple of birdies along the way, out of the 14 that were tallied today, also helped his eclectic but he is still a long way behind the Beast.
Standing on the 7th green, Chrispy asked whether he could hear a steam-train in the distance. Harry suggested that it was probably coming out of Craig’s ears after he had duffed a chip from off the green. Despite that and another small lapse in the middle of the back, Craig put together a pair of 19’s to take out the fourth podium position. Noodles and MalF rounded out the point-scorers for the day.
There were two matchplay matches contested today and Damo used his good round to quite demoralise Brendon to come out on top by 5 and 4. The other match between Mehm and Gordo started out looking as if it could finish in a similar mold with Mehmet up by three after the front nine. However Gordo made something of a comeback and looked as if he could take it away but he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and finished losing it on the last with Mehmet coming home 1 up. There are still three matches not decided in round 1 and it was agreed that, as a dispensation had been given to Dick, the other two would be given a chance to get the match played next week so if Stefan and Bill and Dennis and David can work out what is going to happen and let the committee know the result of their deliberations that would be good. Getting the second round matches under way would be good as well. You know who you are.
The nearest the pin for a ball on the 15th was not claimed which has to be saying something even if it is not clear what.
It seem that an apology is due to Pepsi as the reason that he didn’t play last week was that he was injured. Just goes to show that you can’t always believe what the mafiosi say. Craig was absolutely creaming his five (ladies) wood and also had a nice little draw working for him as well. The two combined to put him OOB on the 16th. He then took out his driver and absolutely belted the cover off the ball to be effectively a chip and a putt away from a potential bogey. Didn’t happen! Noodles also looked to be heading OOB on the 14th but the ball must have hit a tree and finished only 50mm or so in bounds. He then proceeded to finish with his par while his playing partners had to settle for gob-smacked bogies.
The next event is a two week Stableford event for the Stuart Clarke Memorial Trophy. Club shirts are de rigeur for the first round and something loud or ugly for the second round. And that doesn’t mean that you wear your Club shirt for the second round no matter what some member’s wives might think. Brendon was pretty chuffed that he got some positive feed-back at last. There were fears that SOS had absconded with the Treasurer’s bag of goodies but true to his word he rocked in when the proceedings were about half over so it was possible to deal with such minor formalities as the ball run and so forth.
Our first official AGM as an incorporated organisation was also held after the round and approved the Annual Accounts and the updated Rules of Association. The main other message was that the Club is in a reasonable position but could do with some new blood to get the numbers up and to rebuild the core. A bit like a football team really though we don’t have the luxury of draft-picks – and as for salary caps and performance enhancing substances – don’t ask. There have been some responses to recent publicity but no firm takers just yet. A couple of members will act as a sub-committee to up the drive but members should trawl through their list of friends (and enemies if appropriate) and try to persuade them to come along. You never know they just might like it.
Results for Saturday, 15 March 2014
1st Rod Grant(42) 2nd Bill Eastoe(41) 3rd Damien Lee(40) 4th Craig Sharp(38) 5th Stephen Butterfield(37) 5th Malcolm Fleming(37)