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Par Competition on 30 January 2016

Mal winning and grinning
I’ll beat my age yet, even if it kills me.

Twenty players turned out today to support the Michael Gourlay Benefit event.  The fairways are looking greener already after the rain in the last few days though there are still a few dry weather lies to be had around the course.  The temperature was cool to start and there was a bit of mist along the rivers before the sun came up.  When it did get up and come out, it didn’t take long for the temperature to rise and the extra layers of clothing to be stripped away.  All in all, another great day to be out and about on the golf course.

The conditions obviously suited Mal who fairly played out of his skin today and he even went close to playing under his age.  He would have done it too if it hadn’t been for a triple bogie on the second.  So his +8, from an 84 off the stick, smoked the rest of the field and caused some to ask what he had been smoking.  This result scored him the points to snatch the lead in both sides of the Championship tables.  There’s definitely life in the old fella yet.

Michael got off to a shaky (or should that be shanky) start on the first and made the observation that it took a few holes for his shoulders to loosen up enough the swing the club properly.  It really only took two holes to shake out the cobwebs and he put together a string of pars and birdies that brought him home with a par round (68) and a +2 on the points line to score him second place.  Just imagine what he might be able to do when the shoulders are fully recovered.

Chrispy spent the whole day agonising over whether just to buy the same club set-up as the set that he has borrowed from Snags to try out before he buys his own.  Will he have a proper fitting, does he need the ‘toe up’ lie that Snags has,  will he get the Big Bertha or the Great Big Bertha.  So many questions, so few answers.  Regardless of what the answer ends up being, the day out with a borrowed set didn’t work out too badly and Chrispy came home in third place with a +1 on the card.

Brendon got into holts with the trees on the left of the 4th and finished in the hazard and the shot from there went close to being OOB.  A half baked chip raised visions of a negative result on the hole but he got so excited when he chipped in for a square that he completely didn’t notice that the 4th was the BallPin hole  and spent the rest of the round looking out for the marker (sort of like others and the ProPin marker, but more of that later).  And so, the mix of stray shots and brilliance continued to produce a square card at the end of the day.  Brendon was joined on that score by Harry who looked to be heading for a much better result before fading a bit on the back with some less than accurate putting being the main cause of angst.

Then came a swag of players, almost too numerous to mention with a score of -1 to fill the final points spot for the day.  Mehmet, Steve, Bob, Pepsi, SOS and ChrisV formed the happy band who collected a point apiece for their trouble.  Steve needs to get into the habit of checking his handicap on the sheet provided as it does change from time to time and he could easily have missed out.  Just imagine the agony of missing the Championship by a point if the cards had been accepted at face value.

Blighty apparently had a shocker today.  He was tasked with putting out the nearest the pin markers on the 4th for the BallPin and the 12th for the ProPin.  He managed the BallPin OK but the ProPin wasn’t remembered until the death-knock at the 18th.  As well as that, he sat down somewhere right where a bird had left a deposit and, to add insult to injury, he also managed to drop the dimmy that he had purchased at great expense at half time.  When the nearest the pin holes were announced before the round, Michael declared that he had to win the BallPin because he was running short of balls.  Guess who’s name was on the card for the BallPin, Michael.  Guess who’s name was on the (Jackpot) ProPin on the (eventual) 18th, Michael.  So, between the ball run, the BallPin and the ProPin, Michael should be able to be well supplied with balls for some time to come.

There was a fair swag of birdies today with a total of 13 all up.  Only one of those were down to Pepsi who didn’t improve his Eclectic today and the gap has closed a little with quite a bunch of players within a couple of strokes.  The changed handicap calculation could easily make this event a lot more interesting as the year progresses.

Rod was taking the opportunity to give his putter a rest today with a couple of chips-in though one should probably be classified as a pitch-in as it was from at least 30m out from the green.  Steve played in the group with Rod and Gordon and submitted a request to play with them every week on account of the free issue of cream caramels and liquorice during the round.

Some people have to make a statement
For Chris’s new clubs?

The Bingo Barrel was used to good effect to make the draw for groups today and pretty much removed the thought that the system of randomisation could be somehow ‘fixed’.  Except of course that the tee marshall only realised almost at the end that his ball wasn’t in the barrel.  Chris reckons that he will have to lose weight in his fingers so that he can pick up the rather small balls without fumbling so much.  A couple of more tweaks in the ball management area should have the system working flawlessly.  The plan is that the draw will be done every second week except for the second week of majors when the leader board will determine playing order.

The Matchplay Championship is coming up and the Rules for this year are now on the Rules page.  Basically, everybody that has played at least one round since the start of December last year as of the last round in February will be seeded using their most recent three gross scores (calculated for Par and Stableford Competitions). The Competition draw will be filled based on that seeding order.  Anybody who doesn’t want to be included in the seeding should advise by using the Matchplay Registration Form on the website before 27 Feb (and the sooner the better).

We have now paid the dues to the VGL for our membership for this year and the Club coffers have been severely depleted as a result.  So, could those who have not yet paid their subs (GolfLink and Club) please do so as soon as possible or in a week or two we will start naming and shaming.

Gordon has obtained a set of variations to the Rules of Golf that he would like to see accepted for the Seniors in the Club (and maybe the not so seniors).  The list is rather long so they will be used from time to time as a filler (along with some real Rules of Golf determinations).

Rule 1.a.5: A ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be lifted and placed on the fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the rough with no penalty.  The senior should not be penalised for tall grass which ground keepers fail to mow.

Rule 2.d.6 (B): A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed not to have hit the tree.  This is simply bad luck and luck has no place in a scientific game.  The senior player must estimate the distance the ball would have travelled if it had not hit the tree and play the ball from there.

Now from the real world.  Ball strikes edge of hole-liner and bounces out of hole. 

Q: A player’s ball struck the rim of a hole-liner which had not been sunk deep enough, and bounced out of the hole.  Should the ball be considered holed in such circumstances.

A: No. Under the Definition of ‘Holed’, the ball must be at rest within the circumference of the hole.

Results for Saturday, 30 January 2016
1st Malcolm Fleming(+8) 2nd Michael Gourlay(+2) 3rd Chris Priems(+1) 4th Harry Boughen(□) 4th Brendon Mitchell(□) 5th Mehmet Akdag(-1) 5th Stephen Kelly(-1) 5th Bob McDonald(-1) 5th Andrew Petricola(-1) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan(-1) 5th Chris Vinecombe(-1)

Seniors Results: 1st Malcolm Fleming (+8) 2nd Harry Boughen (□) 3rd Bob McDonald (-1)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin 18th Michael Gourlay BallPin 4th Michael Gourlay

Stableford Competition on 23 January 2016

ChrisV a winner
Little Jack Horner…..

The rain gods did visit during the week but the libation that they delivered was not all that generous and though the grass on some of the fairways did look a little fresher for the experience, there was still plenty of run to be had.  Fifteen members and two guests had not taken the extra day to get away for a long long weekend and turned up to try their skills against the wiles of the course architects at Ivanhoe.  There would have been at least one more on the tees if SOS hadn’t lead himself astray last night and got lumbered with baby-sitting duties for his sins.  Still he did make it to carry out his escort duty for the coffers.

We welcomed Les Kitchin who is a bit of a regular at Ivanhoe and who is going to join us on a regular basis on Saturday mornings.  Also along today was Brent Rowley, who just happens to be Chrispy’s son-in-law and who might very well join us when he moves a little closer to town from his current digs.  Having Brent along obviously distracted Chrispy as he plodded his GA daily handicap on his card but it was scored according to his Club handicap.  Anyhow, a big welcome to Les and Brent and we look forward to seeing them round and about.

Although the course was unaffected by the rain, the scoring today was not all that fantastic, with only one member breaking their handicap.  Perhaps it was the effect of the heavy mist/showers that had people going – umbrella up, umbrella down, jacket on, jacket off and so forth.  Reminded one a bit of Mr Miyagi in the Karate Kid – wax on, wax off.  And, the one to break his handicap today was none other than ChrisV who karated his way to a grand total of 37 points and he seemed pretty pleased by the size of the thumbs up that he gave himself.

Rob had a bit of a day of it and, despite complaining about the size of his handicap before the round, managed to play exactly to it and so picks up a bunch of points with no other damage.  While it is a while since Rob has played on a really regular basis, he was given a task today to pick up the markers from the BallPin and the ProPin holes, which just happened to be the same holes as the ProPin comps for the inside competition players.  So, what does Rob do but pick up the inside markers as well.  It is unclear how many following players might have missed out on a trophy as a result but, if anyone did and they find out – watch out Rob.

A bit of a bunch followed in third place with Gordon, Steve and Bob coming in with 35 points.  Bob reckons he should have done a lot better after playing so badly (in his opinion).  Then again, doesn’t just about everybody reckon if only they had sunk that putt etc etc.  Bob did chip in on the 18th for his par and, judging from the commentary around the tables there were quite a swag of chips-in (or should that be chip-ins) to be had today.  Ed put his drive from the 17th out past the 18th tee, pitched over the fence and then chipped it in for the birdie.  And while on the subject of birdies, we managed to produce a total of ten today which you would have to say is fair to middling.  The poor old Eagle was ruffling her feathers when rumours started circulating that Ryan had managed to get his ball from the 14th tee and into the hole with just two shots.  Which was true enough, the only problem was that he had carefully placed two others out of bounds and was actually hitting five off the tee and had to settle for his six.

Michael had to rush off to do his RSPCA duties and there were no reports on how the shoulder(s) are coming along but things can’t be too bad when he can put together 34 points to gather 4th spot on his ownsome.  Simon will be relieved to know that Michael is not yet a member of the Seniors and so Simon’s 33 points got him the points in both the main Championship and an extra one in the Seniors.

In those events, the lead generated by the double points for the Vin O’Meara are being whittled away and there could soon be some changes at the top.  There were quite a few moves on the Eclectic today but from now on, for most, it will be a slow grind to try to wear down the lead that Pepsi has in the event at the moment.  For the less birdie and eagle conscious among you, the par holes now have a colour of their own.

The BallPin on the 4th was collected by Gordon who edged out somebody else who edged out somebody else who put the marker out on the green but did not write their name on the ticket.  Still, it didn’t matter as, in the event, they wouldn’t have won it anyway.  The ProPin was on the 18th and, despite some valiant efforts, nobody managed to get on or within the required distance and so there will be a Jackpot to next week.  That should take some of the pain out of another Par round.

In other news, DennisW reckoned it was a beautiful walk that was somewhat spoiled by the presence of a little white ball.  Reports also have it that Dennis has a new club in his bag but there are some doubts as to whether it is actually any younger than the rest of the set.  Chrispy also had a new club in his bag today and it seems that the wished for new set is inching inexorably closer.  He has to clear it with Carolyn but he thinks that he really needs a stiffer shaft.  Draw your own conclusions about that!

Simon tried to repeat his return to home base shot from last week on the 11th but the rebound only made it back to the blue tee side of the reds which, unfortunately does count as a draughtie.  Rob also had a draughtie on the 4th which pleased Chrispy and the rest of the group no end.  Chrispy also reckons his tree luck has run out with every hit finishing in or under rather than in the middle of the fairway as it usually does.

The Birthday Birdie has just fluttered around with a big birthday wish for Keith, who we haven’t seen for a while due to a foot injury.  Have a great birthday Keith and hope you are back to full strength and with us soon.

At great expense (to somebody) we now have a Bingo barrel and this will be used next week and afterwards on alternate weeks to draw the groups so that the socialising gets spread around a bit more.  There will be spaces available in the first group on request for anybody who has to get away.  When the Matchplay starts, those playing a match will be grouped together provided that notice is given of the intent to play (ie to the tee marshall on registering).  Speaking of Matchplay, just a reminder that seeding will be done on the most recent three cards (gross) scores as of last round in February.  So, still time to get three counters in before then but you will have to hurry.  If you absolutely do not want to be in the event or feel that known absences will interfere with your ability to compete please use the Matchplay Registration page to make your intentions known.

On another administrative matter, there were a few errors on the cards today which required cross checking on the markers card.  The points calculations are not so bad as it is up to the Committee (read Handicapper) to check these but when the strokes are incorrect, according to the Rules of Golf, there should be a penalty.  So please check your hole by hole scores and not just the totals as it seems that in some cases, totals were adjusted which then did not correspond with the recorded hole by hole scores.  According to the Rules of Golf, if you sign for a score higher than actually taken, that score will stand.  If you sign for a score lower than actually taken, then the player is disqualified.  If the Club applied the Rules, then one of our leading players today would have been disqualified.  Most members have received the latest Rules of Golf and it would pay to remind yourself of this rule (and many others).  If you haven’t received your book, let the Handicapper know as we have a plentiful supply.

Results for Saturday, 23 January 2016
1st Chris Vinecombe(37) 2nd Robert Priems(36) 3rd Gordon Hill(35) 3rd Stephen Kelly(35) 3rd Bob McDonald(35) 4th Michael Gourlay(34) 5th Simon Powell(33)

Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (35) 1st Gordon Hill (35) 2nd Simon Powell (33) 3rd Trevor Jackson (32)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin 18th Jackpot BallPin 4th Gordon Hill

Yellow Ball Teams Par Competition on 16 January 2016

Targe has a win.
Who said I couldn’t play to 18.

Another lovely day out on the course.  The cool change was still pretty much in effect but, once the sun got up above the tree-line, those cold-blooded ones who needed an extra layer to start were soon able to relieve themselves of it.  The little bit of rain that came with the change has done little to soften the fairways and there was plenty of run to be had for those that don’t make all of their distance through the air.  There were 21 members on the tees today and, following on from some discussions after the round, a quick count showed that nine of them have a handicap of 10 or less.  The old-timers don’t recall such a large number of members on single figures in the Club at the one time.  Something else for the guardian of the database to ponder in his spare time.

Chrispy was back on deck this week and, after the stellar scoring last week, he was pleased to see that he had been able to drag the playing standard back to his level so easily.  Except, of course, for Targe who has been known to complain about being hard done by on the handicapping front.  But, today, he proved that he really is better than a bogey golfer by coming in with +3 in a game format that is probably not his favourite (along with just about everybody else in the Club).  And especially when it is combined with the Yellow Ball Teams.  Championship and Seniors points to the Club Captain.

On the subject of Yellow Ball Teams, there were a few who managed to return their ball to the tee marshall and the best of those were Team Pepsi, Mal and Rod who managed to put together a total for the team of +1 and collect a ball each for their efforts.  The two teams that lost their ball had sort of similar stories to tell in that the person losing the ball was the only one to have scored a plus with it up to that point and both claimed that, if anybody had a right to lose it, they did as a result of that fact.  On a question of rules relating to the YBT event, if the ball goes out of bounds, but is found, it is still out of the event, as the requirement is that the yellow ball player finish the hole legally (according to the rules of golf) with the yellow ball.  An exceptional case would be if no provisional ball had been played and the yellow ball had been retrieved from OOB and had been taken back to the tee (or other playing place) to be replayed (with the appropriate penalties).  For interest, the YBT wins will be totalled on the Handicap Sheet but will not attract any Championship points.

Zimmer nearly missed it.
The drive of the day!

Zimmer’s team was doing quite well and was +3 when Zim took the yellow ball on the 14th.  He judged the pin placement and decided that it was within his range and, in order not to over-shoot, that he should tee up behind the tee markers within the allowed two club lengths.  In the pic, you can see, the tee peg, the ball and the blue markers (unfortunately the divot some distance behind the tee peg is out of frame).  For the first time in the Club history somebody has not even made it to the blue, let alone the red, without having a complete air shot.    This was really the draughtie to beat all draughties.  Even the one down to Simon on the 11th which ended almost back on the spot from which it departed courtesy of an intervening tree branch (and quite a small one at that) that flung it back whence it came with the ultimate of disdain.  At least Simon’s had some chance of going somewhere.  Despite the team going backwards for the rest of the round, Zimmer was able to finish the round with a +1 on the card.

There were rumours swirling around the course that Gordon was on fire and that a call to FES might be in order for an extinguisher to hose him down.  It does seem, though, that there might have been a little exaggeration involved, as the dizzy heights that were rumoured did not appear on the card.  But, on the day, the square result for the old square was enough to gather third place and some valuable points in both sides of the Championship.

Mal was an obvious contributor to the success of his YBT and, on a day not noted for high scoring, his card of -2 was a pretty good result to keep his total in both sides of the Championship ticking over.  John and Chris rounded out the points getters with their cards of -3 apiece.

The BallPin today was on the 7th hole and for once the tee markers were well down to the front of the tee area so the green was well within the reach of everybody.  There is no tally of how many actually finished on the green from the tee but the one who finished closest was Zimmer.  It obviously wasn’t close enough to score the birdie and, for whatever reason, the low scoring was also reflected in the birdie count with only 10 tallied for the day.  The poor old eagle is never going to get a family going at this rate as the nest was raided again today with Pepsi collecting ‘half’ a ball for his on the 17th.  It was close to having to be a draw for it as SOS left a 1m putt for his eagle teetering on the brink of the hole and he had to settle for his birdie.  Mehmet’s drive on the 17th finished about 300mm from the hole (plug) where the hole had been placed for the last couple of weeks.  Mehm was rather irate that the ground-staff had had the temerity to shift it when he had aimed for where he thought it would still be.  Noodless to say, the concept of an eagle putt reaching the hole was beyond the realms of possibility.

While on the subject of Noodles, the ProPin was on the 12th and our favourite flanneled fool was spot on for length and only 2.32m off line from the pin and when he get back from scoring his undoubted century there will be a heap of dosh waiting to be collected.  As it so often does, his mind was obviously elsewhere when he marked his card, put the pencil in his mouth and promptly pulled out his cigarette lighter and went to light up.  Graphite would probably be a bit hard to ‘draw-back’ through.

Ryan started off pretty well with his new handicap and managed the front nine not too far off the pace.  At some point, his game went off rather suddenly and it seemed to correspond with one of his playing partners mentioning Megan Gale in some context or other and other things started to occupy his fertile mind and that could easily have interfered with his golf stroke.  Rob is on record as wanting to get his handicap down by at least four strokes this year so we can look forward to some good results from him.  He also reckons his team was trying desperately to lose the Yellow Ball today but they just kept finding it.  That’s not the spirit Rob!

The Birthday Birdie will be tired out this week with a swag of wishes to deliver.  Tony doesn’t play with us any more and doesn’t have internet but Targe will undoubtedly pass on our best to his bro.  Robert will also be lighting up the candles this week as will StephenK.  Have a happy day chaps from all of us.

The Membership subscriptions are coming in but there are still quite a few out-standing and we really would like to get this sorted as soon as possible.  Also don’t forget, the Matchplay rounds will be starting in March and, if you definitely don’t want to be involved, please register your wishes so that we don’t seed you into the first round unnecessarily.

Results for Saturday, 16 January 2016
1st Targe Mifsud(+3) 2nd Kazim Akdag(+1) 3rd Gordon Hill(□) 4th Malcolm Fleming(-2) 5th John Quinlan(-3) 5th Chris Vinecombe(-3)

Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud (+3) 2nd Gordon Hill (□) 3rd Malcolm Fleming (-2)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin 12th Stephen Butterfield BallPin 7th Kazim Akdag

Eagle’s nest Results: Eagle 17th Andrew Petricola

Stableford Competition on 09 January 2016

Three musketeers
All for one and one for all!

It was a day that you could only dream about.  The temperature was mild so no need for jackets and no sweaty armpits afterwards.  The sky was overcast so no need for squinting and sunglasses (for some, at least).  The breeze was a zephyr so nothing to blame for the shot drifting off line or pulling up short.  Nothing to blame but yourself.  So, there were twenty blameless souls out and about to contest for not much more than the points and the glory.  And, from the merry band of musketeers, there emerged three who swept all before them to share the honours in first place.  D’Artagnan, Athos and Porthos – er, make that Simon, Steve and Ryan, emerged from the pack with virtually identical cards with 22 points on the front and 21 points on the back for a grand total of 43, which is pretty darned impressive in anybody’s books.  And, to make sure that they keep trying to improve, they each have a nice new handicap for next week.

Not very far behind, and could have taken them out if the near slam-dunk on the 17th had happened, was none other than Zimmer who is making like he is coming back into form with 42 points when it was all tallied up.  He certainly laid into it on the 14th with his drive running up and across the 15th tee to finish just short of the new path and steps on the front face of the mound.  The fact that he managed a par on the hole from there says heaps about how well he was going.

Then there was a bit of a break back to a group of four likely lads with scores of 39 apiece.  Mehmet is keeping up the early pace towards his aim of getting a minor placing every week for the season.  He was joined by Harry and Pepsi.  Oh, and of course, not forgetting Damo who managed to get himself out of bed this week to take advantage of the break in the cricket season.  Seems it will be the last we see of him until early March.

JohnQ came in next with 37 points and he seemed to be none the worse for wear after nearly being clobbered by one of his playing partners on the 17th green.  A couple of points further back was DennisW who took his handicap cut last week well into his stride though the start was a bit shaky with a run of double bogies that went virtually unbroken until he had a birdie on the 6th.  As an aside, the Birthday Birdie neglected to mention Dennis’s special occasion that occurred in the last week

While on the subject of birdies, we managed to rack a swag of them today with a total of 19 of which Pepsi managed quite a few.  That means that he has jumped even further ahead in the Eclectic table and now has near enough to a three stroke lead.  But, it does get harder and harder to improve as time goes by so keep the heads down and he can be caught.  One man who did improve his Eclectic score today was Gordon who played his tee shot on the 14th out onto the 16th fairway and then proceeded to pitch it over the trees onto the green with one bounce into the hole for the first ‘official’ (pink square on the table) eagle of the season.  Unfortunately the unofficial one a couple of weeks back had cleaned out the nest and there was a solitary ball there for the taking.

The BallPin was set for the 12th hole and, for the second week in a row, Pepsi collected a ball for his trouble which is more than he would have done if that hole had been the BallPin last week.  The jackpot ProPin was on the 18th and the ground staff had picked a challenging spot well to the back of the upper shelf of the green.  Over half of the field had been through and the green was still clear but Mehmet saved the day and put it close enough to get his name on the card and collected the loot for his empty (his words) hip pocket.

Michael seemed a little disconsolate as he plodded down the 16th to his 14th tee shot but the scorecard suggested that, by that stage, he should have been pretty happy with his lot.  Perhaps a bad trot on the tail end of the front nine took a while to wear off despite some more consistent scoring.  Pepsi also took the front nine to warm up before running his string of birdies together on the back.  There should have been one more but a buzzing fly around the green on the 17th caused him to miss the eminently gettable 1m putt for the birdie.  At least that is his excuse.

Damo had a pretty good round despite (or maybe because of) his time away from the clubs while discharging his fatherly duties.  One of the highlights was the rattling in of a 13m putt.  Blighty also managed one of those (or even longer) from just off the green on the 17th which brought him some joy on a day that had not favoured the flat stick.

Don’t forget that subs are now due.  Bank transfer is preferred but please put your name or some identifier on the ‘to account’ so that Hon Treas knows who it is from.  Can those that did a transfer in the last week and did so anonymously please get in touch (and provide proof to eliminate false claims) so that the records can be straightened out.

Also time to get your thoughts together about the Matchplay Competition for this year.  Everybody will be seeded based on their most recent three rounds prior to the March Monthly Medal.  If you notify that you do not want to take part you will not be included in the seeding.  If you are seeded, please be aware that the deadlines will be strictly applied and no correspondence will be entered into.  If you cannot play your scheduled match within the time-frame allocated for any reason, please have the courtesy to advise your opponent and forfeit the match.

The following has been chosen at random from Decisions on the Rules of Golf.  Q: A Player’s ball comes to rest close to the putting green and he wishes to use his putter for his next stroke.  However, there is a divot hole just in front of his ball on his line of play.  May the player replace the divot before playing his next stroke?  A: No.  Rule 13-2 prohibits a player from improving his line of play by eliminating an irregularity of surface.

Results for Saturday, 09 January 2016
1st Stephen Kelly(43) 1st Ryan Porker(43) 1st Simon Powell(43) 2nd Kazim Akdag(42) 3rd Mehmet Akdag(39) 3rd Harry Boughen(39) 3rd Damien Lee(39) 3rd Andrew Petricola(39) 4th John Quinlan(37) 5th Dennis Ward(35)

Seniors Results: 1st Simon Powell (43) 2nd Harry Boughen (39) 3rd Dennis Ward (35)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin 18th Mehmet Akdag BallPin 12th Andrew Petricola

Eagle: 14th Gordon Hill