What a jolly good time we all had trying to decide who had the best balls. You know what I mean – which ball was in the best place for the next shot. After who knows how many years of scheduling a round of Ambrose competition we finally managed to get well enough organised to actually play it and seventeen members and two guests managed to get around the course without actually coming to blows. There was one report of mutiny in the ranks when Captain Chrispy was over-ruled by his crew on the 13th where they only managed to get a par. Priemsy reckoned his shot would have resulted in a birdie. Didn’t matter though, the team wouldn’t have placed anyway.
The course has softened up more than somewhat and it is a shame that people can walk off the green and leave craters to rival those on the moon with no attempt at repair. But, there were no lost balls due to plugging in the soft patches though there were quite a number left out there from shots that weren’t quite up the hi-diddle-diddle.
Whitey got in touch during the week to ask if it was OK to bring a couple of guests along, Matty Chrimes and Dick (More Comebacks than Melba) Hall. Oh, and by the way, would it be possible that they could be grouped together. As it turned out, that was possible provided that they were teamed with Damo to bring their team handicap into line with the rest of the field. As it turned out, that was all that was needed (Damo to be on the team that is) for them to come out winners of the day with their 62 off the stick for a nett of 55.1. Sounds like Damo could have done it by himself and he was a bit cheesed about their (only) bogie on the 18th. For their trouble, they collected a pair of balls from the depths of SOS’s dilly bag and it seems that, as a result, Matty is inspired (or coerced) into coming back for some more.
For a bloke who wasn’t going to play because there were no points on offer, Mehm, for some reason opted for a morning on the course rather than a morning at home with the family. For his sins, he was teamed up with Harry, the Beast and Blighty. As the low marker, Mehm was the team captain and occasionally had a tough time making a decision between distance and the need to get the required number of tee shots for each team member. After opting for distance on the 8th, he had little choice on the 9th but to accept some extra distance to the green in the interests of balancing the drives taken. As it turned out, his shot to the edge of the green and Harry’s all-the-way putt made the birdie and the team turned at one under par. Three more birdies on the back brought in a card of 64 off the stick and second place with a nett 57.0. The ball apiece for the second place was gratefully accepted by the team.
The ProPin, with a ante of $2 per player, was well worth the getting but for a while there was a little concern that nobody would get within the 5m qualifying distance, though arguably the event should have been nominated as an open event. As it turned out, there was little cause for worry as ever reliable Gordon (aka Moneybags) stepped up and put his drive to 0.71m and well and truly qualified and shut out the rest of the field. There was some discussion as to whether the ProPin was a team event as well but the decision seems to have been determined (by Gordon) in the negative (unlike the referendum in the UK). Gordon even slotted the birdie putt for his team.
The BallPin was located on the 15th and there were a number of shots that gave the marker that Damo put out a bit of a scare. However, the biggest scare came from Chrispy who did manage to get it closer than Damien and so he was able to collect himself a nice yellow ball for the shot.
Such was the intensity of the competition that groups did not repair immediately to the clubhouse but hung around and took great delight in sledging the following groups as they putted out on the 18th. There should have been some on the 17th after the Beast put his drive about a metre and a half past the hole. He opted to take first putt and let it slip by but guaranteed the team at least a birdie and with three more chances for the eagle result. Mehm ran his putt just past the hole to the right and Harry followed an almost identical track and distance. And so, it was up the Blighty to save the day. The putt ran true on line to the centre of the hole and stopped about 5mm short. Close but no cigar.
The 3rd was a bit of a nemesis for some reason today. Dennis had a draughtie and when the shout went up from Chrispy his question was, Hey, isn’t this a team event? All’s fair in love and beer as they say. Dennis did hold the view, however, that it was a bit unfair as the ladies tee was 200m in front of the men’s. Though that probably was a bit of an exaggeration. Still there must have been something going on because Trev and Targe experienced the same fate on that very spot.
The tee markers on the 15th were well forward and for some reason Harry decided to park his buggy off the path and half way up the slope. As he turned away, the buggy capsized and contents spilled far and wide. Mehm reckons he’s never seen so many tees. Harry reckons you never know when you might need a spare.
When Chrispy did his David Cameron and resigned his commission after the ‘mutiny on the 13th’ Noodles expressed the opinion the he was the worst captain since Richie Vandenberg anyway. Perhaps a bit harsh, but whether that is on Richie or Chrispy, I’m not exactly sure. Maybe it was all down to Chrispy distracting his team members by seeking some sort of relief or by shoving his clubs somewhere but presumably into his bag and not to gain relief.
There were a couple of other examples of the quandary engendered by the need to get players names on the drive card and the desire to use the absolute best shot. Dennis needed one more shot on the card when they teed off the 17th and so it was decided to take his shot even though it wasn’t that well placed. The team managed a par. With the weight of responsibility off his shoulders, Dennis put his next shot onto the green at the 18th. Not sure what hole it was, but Ryan had cracked a boomer of a drive to within 10m of the green but a desperate need to fill the drive card necessitated taking a much longer approach from Targe’s effort. Sometimes there have to be sacrifices. Speaking of Targe, he was noticed sidling up to Matty on the pretext of introducing himself but most think the real reason was that he wanted to check whether Matty was shorter than him. Unfortunately, not!
Though the course is generally pretty good there are a few slippery patches and one of these, that was also a bit of a slope, caught Damo unawares and he went down with quite a thump. Chrispy is planning to check the news tonight for mentions of earth tremors. Thankfully, all was good with Damo and when he assured his team mates that he was OK, they showed their relief by having a bit of a laugh. Or at least we hope that’s what it was.
Simon had hoped that the Club shirts would have been ready this week but a minor technical glitch means that they now should be ready for next week. So, those planning to turn up for the Monthly Medal probably would be well advised to stick a brick in the old hip pocket as Simon will be walking around with his hand stuck out.
Registrations for Numurkah are still open and it seems that numbers are still a bit light on. Gordon really needs to know asap so that he can confirm with the Club up there. Cash will be accepted but direct bank transfer is by far the tidiest way to manage it.
For those that might be wondering (other than Essendon supporters) the Editor is reliably informed that the picture is of one Patrick Ambrose. Hey, I forgot the camera, OK!
Results for Saturday, 25 June 2016
1st Matty Chrimes Dick Hall Damien Lee Rod White (62, 55.1) 2nd Mehmet Akdag Andrew Blight Harry Boughen Bill Eastoe (64, 57.0)
BallPin 15th Chris Priems ProPin 12th Gordon Hill
It seems as if the winter blues have set in although, astronomically speaking, winter actually hasn’t started yet. Preferred lies look like being something of a fixture for a while and the winter weeds are starting to thrive even if the turf isn’t just yet. But the complaints about the lack of run and plugging balls have started to get their run alongside the condition of the tees and the placement of the pins. Still, at least fifteen members decided to brave the conditions and were duly rewarded, or not, as the case may be. Joe started out but had to pull the pin part way due to a household emergency, something to do with petrol in diesel or vice versa. Whichever way, it didn’t sound good or cheap.
The rumours around the course had it that it was all over bar the shouting with somebody on 23 points at the turn but as they say, hope springs eternal and it ain’t over till the fat lady sings and everybody just kept on keeping on with the hope of at least scoring a point or two. A four pointer on the 10th suggested that the back was going to be a repeat of the front when all of a sudden the engine sprang a bit of an oil leak that, by the 16th and 17th, had grown to a veritable flood. A par on the last stemmed the flow just enough to get Brendon home with 37 points for another first placing and a leap to quite a significant lead on the Championship Table. Not a lot of damage to the handicap though. The course of the matchplay finals will be interesting and some Championship contenders are hoping for some upset results.
Although Chrispy didn’t get to open his shoulders at Rich River and see what the new clubs really could do (something to do with boggy roads or the effects of the night before or both) he obviously has settled them in and held the Clubhouse lead for a while with his card of 36 points. It also could have been the effect of the winter weight pants that he was wearing that seem to have made him almost unrecognisable out on the course in contrast to his usual shorts or jeans. According to one report they made him look shorter or were they confusing him with Targe?
SOS was playing alongside Brendon and went close to matching the champ on the front nine and actually did match him on the back so that he finished two points off the pace to come in third place with 35 points. Maybe they were just too close and the form evaporated in synchrony. As it turned out, SOS was joined in 3rd place by Noodles who (along with his marker) managed to miss one of his index holes and sold himself a point short.
That left a pair only in 4th place and the first of the Seniors with Blighty and Harry tying it up with 34 points apiece. Last, but not least on the podium today was Bob with 32 points. Targe might have been there alongside him but for a misallocation of points on one hole. And that was after much crosschecking of scores after the round. Still, they did have to swap cards around after Joe was called away. Bob gets a couple of Seniors points and Targe collects one which, unfortunately for Simon, tipped him out of the list for this week at least.
The BallPin today was on the 4th and Whitey put in one of his better shots today to within a couple of metres. He missed the putt by the narrowest of margins and so did not contribute to today’s, fairly ordinary, total of 8 birdies. The ProPin was on the 15th and, although the winner felt that he didn’t really deserve it, he took the Jackpot anyway. It was a bit of a highlight for Steve as he did get the birdie from 4.11 metres.
Actually, Steve did have an interesting golfing story to tell from during the week. A message from a mate at RACV Torquay nominated a tee time. Steve arrived but no sign of his mate so messaged – on practice green, where are you. Mate responded – me too don’t see you. Turns out Steve was at Torquay, mate was at Kingston Heath. Talk about crossed lines!
Whitey didn’t have the best day out on the course today and he swears that the 3rd has a jinx on him, and the 11th, and the 17th. Then again maybe it was just that he was keen to get away to some mega-buck auction. Not that he was going to bid – or so he said. Harry, Blighty and Dennis bemoaned the fact that they were too honest putting the ProPin marker out on the nominated hole after all three finished within measuring distance on the 18th.
When asked about the effect of the course condition on his game, Mehm responded that he wasn’t sure whether to blame the conditions or the person holding the club. Everybody can relate to that thought, Mehm. JQ is one that has had a bit to say about some of the pin placements out on the course. The pin on the 11th had been placed on one of the few high points on the green, in all probability to protect it from being located in the centre of a pond. So, what does JQ do but land his chip a bit short of the pin and after a couple of bounces it plops into the hole for the par. At least it saved him from the possibility of a 4-putt option to a particularly tricky spot. Simon was another one who rescued a par from an unlikely spot by chipping in.
DennisW hasn’t played for a little while and the rust showed a bit for the first few holes. He was particularly astray on the 3rd with the ball heading well out of bounds for sure. That is until it hit a tree branch that brought it back into play and ahead of the red markers, though not by very much. How different it could have been. It seems that the field was draughtie free today. Either that or nobody was owning up.
Noodles had to send out a carrier pigeon this morning to reserve himself a spot in the last group. Something about having to go into work. Not two words that you often see associated, Noodles and work. And while on the subject of pigeons, Ed was noticed wandering around the course today. The shoulder is reported to be coming along fine so maybe it won’t be too long before Ed is able to pick up a club again.
Next week is to be a social round. It will be an Ambrose teams and the rules have been circulated to everybody (that has an email address anyway). There will be some balls on offer but no championship points. Not too sure about the Eagles Nest but I’m pretty sure that it won’t be in play. So that we can have some idea of the handicap distribution that we have to work with could everybody please let us know by email or by the Registration page whether you will be attending or not.
Simon reports that the new shirts will be imminent and could be available next week or shortly after and so he will be looking to collect your $20 for what promises to be a very nice shirt for the price that you have to pay.
Annual Challenge registrations are also still available and if you plan to go and haven’t already please let Gordon know and transfer the funds to the Club Account. If you prefer, it is possible to deliver the folding stuff direct to SOS but electronic is just so much tidier.
Results for Saturday, 18 June 2016
1st Brendon Mitchell(37) 2nd Chris Priems(36) 3rd Stephen Butterfield(35) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan(35) 4th Andrew Blight(34) 4th Harry Boughen(34) 5th Bob McDonald(32)
Seniors Results: 1st Andrew Blight (34) 1st Harry Boughen (34) 2nd Bob McDonald (32) 3rd Targe Mifsud (31)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin 15th Stephen Kelly BallPin 4th Rodney White
Who’d have thought that something like a long weekend would have had such an effect on numbers. Not only were there only thirteen of us, the car park was far from full as well. There were a few that the winter chill had kept away and maybe the forecast of high probability showers with possible hail accounted for a few more. And maybe some donned their moleskins and tweed jackets with the leather patches on the elbows, packed the trouble and strife and the tin lids into the Range Rover and headed to Falls for the season opening. Or not!
The smallish field was no bar to some good scoring though and the man who did his bit towards drying out the fairways, and who is no stranger to a bit of ‘smoke’, was Simon. In a round that was a personal best on this, and possibly any other course, of 76 off the beater and an impressive +7 points, Simon managed to keep his head down despite some serious attempts to put the mockers on him by his ne’er-do-well playing companions. Simon, it seemed could do no wrong. If he was a bit astray getting to the green, he saved the day by putting (not necessarily putt-ing) it in from off the green, wedge or putter, didn’t matter. Well done Simon and welcome to your new handicap, just where you wanted to be, though you’ll have to work a bit harder for a while to get that Medal that you so desire.
Pepsi is still sporting some bandaging on his knee but it obviously isn’t affecting his golf at all. He turned at two under par off the stick and plus three points and could easily have repeated the performance on the back but for a couple of aberrations on the 11th and the 14th. Still a par round, off the stick and +3 points is not to be sneezed at in anybody’s book. The four birdies on his card helped his Eclectic card along and he is now within striking distance of the leaders. They also contributed significantly to the Club total of birdies for today of 11 of the little feathery blighters.
Chrispresident was in the first ‘sprint’ group today as he had to get away to drive to Echuca for a footy match, some drinking and some golf (tomorrow – provided he doesn’t overdo it tonight). So, maybe if he hadn’t been in such a rush he might have scored a bit better on the front nine and gathered himself some more points as a result. But +2 was enough to get him 3rd place and a minor adjustment to the old handicap. The new clubs were a topic of conversation again today and one of the stated intentions is to open the shoulders and give them a good work-out at Rich River tomorrow. Chris also managed to move himself up the Eclectic table today and he is starting to breathe down the necks of the leaders on the main Championship Table. Not sure whether this holds any significance or not, but all first three place-getters today have surnames that begin with ‘P’.
Harry played a very steady game today and managed squares on 11 of the 18 holes. The imbalance on the other seven meant that his final total for the round was +1 and that was enough to gather 4th place and a couple of points in both the main event and in the Seniors. In a bit of a contrast to the last couple of weeks, Seniors made up almost half of the field today. And, while on the topic of Seniors, another Senior came in 5th spot with a square card and that was Gordon who managed to fit in a round with us in between his real estate dealings and weddings in Fiji and so forth.
The BallPin today was contested on the 15th and there was only one person who really contested the event. Michael put it within a couple of metres but he didn’t make the putt to contribute to the birdie total and it was fairly obvious that he wasn’t too happy about the fact as the comment on the slip doesn’t bear repeating in polite company. Whether it was a hangover from the 15th or a similar feeling of disgust about a result on the 16th but Michael was noticed to be well behind his playing group taking multiple practice putts on that green before proceeding to the 17th tee.
The ProPin was on the 12th and our man of the sizzling form could be heard ticking off the list of things that he would be able to afford with the dividend. But, when the tape was rolled out, the reading was 5.02m, just short of the qualifying distance of 5.00m. Still, nobody else managed to get within the required distance and so the pool will Jackpot for some lucky punter next week.
Rumour has it that JohnQ was involved is some sort of a romantic interlude on his recent holiday in Bali. There were hints of moonlight over the palm trees, softly breaking waves, private function rooms, wandering minstrels and personal butler. A bit unclear what sort of questions were asked and what answers were given, but John did have a bit of a silly grin on his face all day.
It wasn’t Trev’s day today but he strongly denies that he was playing ‘Rap’ which is a game sort of like Par except that you try to score as many minuses as possible. And, as it turns out, he did not set a new record for the highest negative score although he did go close. Bob, also, wasn’t particularly high up the rankings today but one of the factors that could have affected his game was the fact that he lost all of the sprigs from his shoes, or maybe even the whole sole, if a late report is any guide. Maybe time to let the moths out of the wallet if that is the case.
Gordon’s life has been busy of recent times and he is full of stories of the things that he has found hidden away in cupboards as the house unloading has progressed. He obviously hasn’t found the sugar bags of fivers that he has stashed away as he arrived today without any money and, what is worse, without his usual supply of licorice.
Blighty wasn’t setting the world on fire but he wasn’t going that badly either. That is until the 13th. After that he seems to have fallen off some sort of a cliff and didn’t trouble the scorer for the rest of the round. One of those holes was the 15th at which Andrew suffered the ignominy of putting in a draughtie that was lucky not to be OOB as well. In what could be a first, Ryan hit the fence on the 14th with his tee shot. What fence on the 14th, you might ask. The one that stops you falling off the path down from the tee to the fairway, you might answer. Whitey was putting like a demon today and single putted five greens in a row on the front nine. The fact that he turned at -2 would suggest that the rest of the game wasn’t exactly up to par, to coin a phrase.
We have a social event with an Ambrose week after next and we would like to have a good idea of the field before-hand. So, we would like to know at the earliest your intentions for that day. Because of the nature of the event, you won’t be able to play the Course Management comp. A set of rules will be circulated shortly.
The Annual Challenge at Numurkah in August is still open for registration. Let Gordon know and deposit the registration fee into the Club bank account with your name and Numurkah as the entry for the receiving account. Lots of novelty events and prizes to be had and a good time is highly likely. Gordon has promised to behave himself on the Friday night so that everything is in order for the round on Saturday.
The Matchplay semi-final matches have to be played. JohnQ has to meet up with Laurie and Brendon has to do battle with Rob. You have until the July MM to get a result finalised one way or another.
Results for Saturday, 11 June 2016
1st Simon Powell(+7) 2nd Andrew Petricola(+3) 3rd Chris Priems(+2) 4th Harry Boughen(+1) 5th Gordon Hill(□)
Seniors Results: 1st Simon Powell (+7) 2nd Harry Boughen (+1) 3rd Gordon Hill (□)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin 12th Jackpot BallPin 15th Michael Gourlay
There were those that thought that today would be a good day for medals and points and there were those that opined that playing to your handicap would stand you in good stead for the top podium spot. Despite the heavy overcast and drizzling rain, there were sixteen hardy types who turned out to pit themselves against the much softer fairways and water-logged greens. The casual water on the putting surface of quite a few holes added an extra frisson to the approach shots. Some managed to pull it off while others pulled up woefully short.
As it turned out it was all as if nothing to our eventual winner who played a very steady round under conditions that could be classified as a bit trying what with the juggling of umbrellas, seeking out the preferred lie and so forth. Ryan was credited with achieving the unlikeliest of pars on the 8th after his drive did some damage to the pine tree on the left, his second under the big tree by the green, followed by a sublime chip almost to gimme distance. Not to be outdone he followed up with a chip in for birdie on the 9th from atop the hill at the back of the green. That was one of three birdies for the round which was but a small part of the 15 that the field managed to card. Maybe the water-logged greens weren’t so bad after all. Or maybe they just ran a bit more truely or you knew you had to have a go. A nett 64 was more than enough to take the medal and to put paid to the idea that matching handicap would be good enough.
Pepsi was back for his first round for a while and it seems that the little procedure on his knee hasn’t done his game any harm. If he can come back ‘cold’ and run second with a nett 66, then there is some chance that it has actually done some good – perish the thought. A very nice round and but for a few bogies it could have been even better. Just a stroke behind was none other than Chrispresident who felt a little left out of it as the only one in his group that did not break 40 on the front nine. He pulled his socks up on the back though and for a little while he had visions of having a chance to do a Bradbury – again.
There were loud cheers all round when the next two place-getters were announced – mainly from the two people involved. Anybody would think than Mehm and SOS hadn’t come a place for absolute ages the way they carried on like pork-chops. But, any points are good points, and maybe Mehm will be able to put in another year without a first place to his name. And, he is within striking distance of the leaders. Playing to their handicap obviously wasn’t enough for a win but the handicap is unchanged so there is always next week.
Now, this week, there were some Seniors in the points table with Bob and Simon holding up the trophy for the Seniors side. They were joined by Rob to get a point each in the main table as well. As for last week, every Senior in the field scored points in the Seniors Championship. Gordo will be disappointed after he had to opt out of playing today due to feeling ‘poorly’ though some unkind souls did suggest that it was because the Cats had lost a couple of games on the trot.
Rob and Bob played their match today and it was a very close match as it turned out. They played 15 holes before there was a margin greater that one hole either way. At this point Rob had found a bit of form and looked to have the best of it but a square on the 16th meant that the match went dormie. It seems that Targe suggested that Rob, now ‘could not lose’ though he obviously forgot about the potential vagaries of a chip-off in the event of a square result after the 18th. Rob, took him at his word and opened his shoulders on the 17th and promptly sprayed it out of bounds and handed a win on the hole to Bob. He gathered his composure and made his par on the 18th to seal the victory 2 up. The four semi-finalists are now decided and they have a month to play to decide who advances to the final and who plays off for the minor placings.
The BallPin today was on the 4th and quite remarkably, nobody managed to get a ball onto the green to claim the goodies. Still, if one group was any guide with one duff and three provisionals maybe it wasn’t so surprising after all. Could also help to explain the glacial pace of progress around the course though the drizzle and the preferred lie thing and discussions about relief from casual water and GUR probably also contributed. Today was the first run of the double dollars for the ProPin on Monthly Medal days and the 18th was the nominated hole for the event. This green, too, showed signs of being unworried about being impaled by the marker ball spike until Harry came along and managed to sneak his in to 4.900m which was just enough to qualify for the event and, in the end, more than enough to collect the dividend.
Simon obviously didn’t take advantage of the preferred lie rule today because, if he had, he might have noticed that the ball that he hit actually belonged to ChrisV. That sort of thing doesn’t do wonders for the score-line. Matt was going gang-busters almost until he got onto the green on the 13th. Maybe it was his triskaidecaphobia but some sort of demon seems to have entered his body and he managed to take ten strokes more than par over the next four holes. Pepsi was all for conducting an exorcism on the spot but something must have been effective and a couple of threes on the last two holes eased the pain a little, if not entirely.
Bob has been playing this course for something like twenty-five years and so you would reckon that there is not a spot that he wouldn’t have seen at some time. That’s not the case, it seems, as Bob was adamant today that he visited parts of the course that he never had before. His short game was obviously a bit off as he was heard berating himself when a pitch from 50m out missed the hole and finished half a metre away.
Brendon’s second on the 1st was a little awry and he finished in the fairway of the 2nd. After waiting for the 2nd tee to clear, his chip was a little over-done and by all the laws of physics it should have finished well past the hole, if not off the green. A handful of gum leaves intervened and the ball dropped to the green and finished less than a metre from the hole.
Some of the more gentlemanly members of the Club, apparently, chose to leave their ball in the hole when it was full of water to avoid plunging the water out onto the green for the next player to negotiate. It seems that some of our less gentlemanly members did not reciprocate and had no qualms about flooding the hole surrounds with a surge of water while retrieving their ball.
Nominations and payments for the Annual Challenge Weekend at Numurkah are open. If you haven’t read your e-mails then there is every chance that you don’t know what this is all about. So, if you want to know what is going on about the Club, read the ruddy mail.
We are trying to have an Ambrose Event on the 25 June to mark the passing of the Solstice. Ideally, we would like to draw teams before-hand so we would like to get firm commitments for that date, preferably by the 18th and certainly no later that 20th. The rules of the game will be posted shortly.
Results for Saturday, 04 June 2016
1st Ryan Porker(64) 2nd Andrew Petricola(66) 3rd Chris Priems(67) 4th Mehmet Akdag(68) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan(68) 5th Bob McDonald(70) 5th Simon Powell(70) 5th Robert Priems(70)
Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (70) 1st Simon Powell (70) 2nd Harry Boughen (72) 3rd Targe Mifsud (77)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin 18th Harry Boughen BallPin 4th Jackpot