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This is the way the year ends….not with a bang but a whimper – or at least a Par Competition on 31 December 2016

A whole new year
Happy Golfing for 2017!

As the clock ticked on towards seven o’clock, Simon was starting to get worried.  He’d been up since sparrow’s and at the course nice and early but it was beginning to look as if he would be playing alone.  Had he offended everybody in some way last week was a question that crossed his mind.  No, no more than usual.  It was just that everybody was running a bit behind schedule and in the end, Simon had seven playing partners to choose from.  And as he was the tee marshall for the day, he chose DennisW as one on the fairly reasonable basis that he had never played with Dennis before.  Quite independently, Dennis was moved to comment that he had never played with Simon before so two oversights were rectified in one fell swoop.

Now DennisT has really got the darklands out of his system though he is complaining that he has to go and watch women’s cricket next week and won’t get to try out his new found form at the Monthly Medal.  Just to prove that his handicap breaking form last week was not a fluke, he went out this week and really smashed his handicap.  And, after having had a little whinge when told that the competition for the day would be Par, he went out and showed that it didn’t matter anyway and turned in a card with plus 6.  The handicapper would have had a field day with a card like that.

SOS made it along today after a week off after the break-up party.  It seems that he was one of the group that kicked on at the pub afterwards and he was involved in what he reckons would be a first.  Chrispy and he were refused service and asked to leave Dan Murphy’s.  You’d have to wonder who was driving?  Anyway, SOS is now over his hang-over and was able to keep his head down to bring in the next best card with one point on the plus side.

Damo is itching to take advantage of his mid-season break and is building up quietly for his lunge at the medal next week.  He was reported to be driving like a demon all day and managed to play to his handicap with a square card.

The ProPins today were on the 15th and the 18th.  The greens proved elusive again today and the 15th was left bare although Dennis Darklands did run his through to finish just a few centimetres onto the second cut.  So the dosh was jackpotted onto the 18th which also proved to be difficult to stick a ball onto.  The other Dennis looked to have a very good chance from the tee, but his, too, had just trickled onto the verge and it was left to Noodles to get one actually on the green even though it wasn’t particularly close to the pin.  The way Noodles looks at it, sixteen dollars is way better than a poke in the eye with a pointy stick although he did lose the envelop at one stage until a kind person pointed out that it was missing.

Targe hit his tee shot on the 9th into the trees to the left and the ball was found well back into the ‘garden bed’ after what must have been a fairly solid ricochet.  Harry reckons it was a close run thing as to whether it was actually in front of the red markers but a surveyor would have been required to extend the line through the trees and shrubbery.  DennisW also went close to not making it past the front markers on the 15th and it required some careful alignment to determine that he had made the grade by not much more than a hair’s breadth.

The front group thought that Noodles must have been playing with a cricket ball rather than a golf ball when his tee shot from the 17th made such a resounding splash into the water in the pond.  On the same hole, Darklands assessed the fairway to be clear and played his shot to miss Targe by a fairly narrow margin.  The curvature of the earth obviously meant that Targe was below the horizon well before everybody else.  Now Targe has had his little chipping iron for something like ten years and when he bought it he was advised that he should use it like a putter.  Targe started doing just that on the last three holes today and he found that it works a treat.  Who said he was a slow learner?

DennisW is well known for his ‘antique’ driver but he did some work for a mate up in the country who rewarded him with a ‘few dollars’.  As a result Dennis is about to get himself fitted for a new club (or maybe more) so watch this space.  The only problem might be that he will hit them even further ‘out of sight’ like he did today on the 2nd where diligent searching failed to find a ball that should have finished in plain sight.  SOS is reported to have suffered a similar fate on the same hole.  Perhaps there is a black hole there somewhere and the balls are disappearing across the event horizon.

So, next week it will be back to business in earnest with the handicapper reaching into his Santa sack to hand out Championship points to those who make it onto his ‘nice’ list by appearing on the podium.  But, he is also sharpening his knife to deal with those that make it onto his ‘naughty’ list by breaking their handicap in the process.

Have an enjoyable night tonight, whatever you choose to do.  Chrispy has chosen to slum it in some posh hotel in town while others seem intent on spending the evening watching cage fighting.  Whatever floats your boat.  Let the new year bring you good health, good fortune and most of all, good golf.  Happy New Year 2017!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town – or maybe not – after 24 December 2016

Santa putting
Look who made up the numbers…..

As unlikely as it might have seemed after some of last week’s shenanigans and the date on the calendar, the turn up today wasn’t too bad.  We certainly had enough numbers to have an official competition and there were a couple of people who were wishing that it had been.  But more of that later.  So, ten happy little vegemites headed out onto the nicely manicured Ivanhoe course to try their hand without the pressure of needing to score points (of the Championship sort – no limitations on the other type) or fears of the wrath of the handicapper.  The round hadn’t progressed too far when the angels started their ten-pin bowling championship and Zeus (or Thor) started hurling down bolts from on high.  The siren across the river sounded and a sweet sounding lady exhorted people to cease play.  There was a short hiatus while weather radar was consulted and as the worst of it appeared to be passing to the south the decision was taken to press on.  There were one or two more nervous moments but everybody held up their one irons and the rest of the round passed without incident from that quarter.

So, after all the excitement, how did everybody play.  Mostly reasonably well.  The best card on the day was from DennisT who managed to get himself 39 points and this after complaining that he was having trouble getting a two pointer on his card.  In fact, it took him eight holes but with four threes and three ones to that point, he was still ahead of the game.  So it looks as if Dennis is getting the Darklands out of his system and getting his swing back in order just in time for the concert and the soccer season to get going and then it’s back to the footy.  No rest for the wicked.  And no golf for the Menace.

Following closely behind Dennis was the other Dennis(W) and Harry who both managed to get to 38 points.  Their totals both included four pointers.  Dennis got his on the 7th with a par and two strokes on the hole and on that hole the group scored ten points between the three of them.  No bad going.  Harry’s was on the 17th and he was heard to bemoan the fact that it wouldn’t be counted for the Eclectic.  However, that was small change compared to Noodles, who managed to land an eagle on the 6th, so he missed out on both the Eclectic and the Eagles Nest.  No balls for Noodles.

There were two ProPins today.  The first was on the 4th and a couple of people did manage to get it onto the cut portion of the green.  The one who got the closest was Dale.  The second ProPin was on the 18th and it seems that there were any number of people who ‘almost’ got onto the dance floor but ‘not quite’.  In the end, Chrispresident made an executive decision and awarded both dividends to Dale for his effort in getting closest on the 4th.

Chrispy, we are happy to report, has retrieved his clubs from the safe-keeping of the Pro Room at the course.  They didn’t pick up any good tips while they were there though.  Chris was credited with a draughtie on the 15th although he was trying to use the SOS defence that the ball wasn’t actually seen not to get past the red markers.  Still, he can’t have been going two well if he only managed to get two points in six holes as he claimed after the round.  Whether it was the prospect of a beer afterwards or he was just in a frisky mood but Noodles tried for a Happy Gilmour from the 16th.  The result was not particularly ‘happy’

Brent lost a ball on the 17th when he played a shot for the green.  The group in front were not aware of any incoming so it is unclear whether it finished in the drink (short) or in the drink (long).  It was reported, however, that the group had lost four balls in five holes to that point.  Damien also lost a ball on the 17th when he over-clubbed it and it finished in the long grass on the far side of the fairway.  He made a few desultory slashes at the grass with his wedge but opted not to venture too far into the jungle when suddenly a tiger snake with a head ‘as big as an alsatian’ took off in the other direction.  Damo did a leap backwards and almost ended up riding piggy-back on Chrispy.

Now it seems that there has been a bit of a saga with a ‘shonky’ five dollar note over the last few weeks.  Apparently, Porks used it to pay (half) his comp fee a few weeks back and despite the Treasurer’s best efforts he was unable to return the favour.  As a result, it got mixed up in the ProPin dividend that DennisT won last week.  In a fit of generosity, Dennis handed over the loot to his better half as an early Christmas present and when she found the half note, she gave him what for and chucked it in the bin (the half note, not the rest of the loot).

Also from last week, it seems that Brendon dashed off to attend an auction for a house that he would have liked to buy.  He didn’t get a look in edge-wise as the first two bids put it well out of his range and he made his way back to the club with his jaw dragging on the ground about that sort of price being paid for a house in Watsonia.  Obviously, the best house in the best street.  Still, he went off to the pub with a group of others and drowned his sorrows with a few cold and frothies.  Chrispy might have done the same as he reckons he doesn’t remember too much about it.  Maybe it had something to do with the Fat Yaks at the break-up because it was noted that the Fat Yak was out of favour today and Mid-Strength was back.

There are a few spots booked for next week for those that wish to partake of a social round of golf.  As for this week, there will be a couple of ProPins and no attention from the handicapper.  To clarify a point, social rounds do count towards attendance for Monthly Medal qualification.  The January Monthly medal will be on the 7th so, if you have missed a few weeks and would like to qualify for that, get yourself along.

If you haven’t paid your subscription for next year yet, could we suggest that you do so as soon as possible because the club would prefer not to have to ‘carry’ you for too long with the GolfLink payment to the VGL due on 14th January.  You know who you are and so do we.






What’s better – a Champ or a Chump? An Answer from 17th December 2016

The Beast wins again
Is there no stopping him?

Another great year of very competitive golf has come and gone and it was fitting to finsh it off with a contest for the Stuart Clarke Champion of Champions between those that had managed to keep their heads down and win a trophy during the year.  For those who were not quite so lucky , or maybe didn’t keep their heads down, there was a very fine consolation to be sought in the Chump of Chumps.

There were seventeen members eligible to contest the Champion of Champions and on the day 13 of those made it to play the event.  Ten more turned up to cheer them along and to try their hand at picking up the (marginally) lesser trophy.  The weather was fine and the course was in good nick so, it might be expected that there was some good scoring to be had.

Rob streets it again
This’ll go straight to the pool room!

And, how did our Champions do?  Well, our new Club Champion did very nicely, thank you, and garnered himself yet another trophy by coming in with a grand total of 35 points of the Stableford variety.  Well done, the Beast.  Not far behind was another star who just about needed a trailer to cart home his loot from the year’s proceedings.  Well done, Michael with your 33 points.  Michael didn’t have the spot on his lonesome.  he was joined by a couple of others in the persons of Ryan and our esteemed President, Chrispy.

Now there are a couple of rumours out and about relating to Chrispresident.  The first is that he has taken quite a liking to Fat Yak because looking at the label reminds him of looking in a mirror.  And, whether it was down to the quantity of said Fat Yak that was consumed, there is also a rumour that he left his clubs behind.  Happily, they have been safely stored and he will be able to collect them next week.

Now, we get to the question of how did the Chumps go on the day.  Well, you would have to believe it that they showed the Champs a thing or two.  Leading out by a goodly margin was none other than ‘I only play like this when the handicapper can’t touch me’ Priems (aka Rob).  Rob fairly took the course apart and romped home with a casual 44 points.  He went darned close to matching par on the front nine for 25 points.  However, that performance was put into the shade a little by Rod, who managed to put together 26 points on the back nine as part of his total of 40 points.  Who said they were Chumps.

The ProPin was on one of the par threes and DennisT was the one who got close enough at 3.1m to take it out and collect the cash.  So, with the Jackpot, that was a nice little earner for Dennis.  He might be able to afford to give up a shift at the Darklands at this rate.  The BallPin was on another one of the par threes (it is assumed) and you would have to ask, what odds? when the winner was the other menace (oops – Dennis) in the club.  Anyone for Dennis?

Gordon is laying claim to being the second (that we know of) member to par the 2nd from the back tee but the occasion brings to mind the old question – who was the second man on the moon?  Still he also did manage a chip in for par and a couple of birdies in his round so he probably had reason to be pleased with his handicap matching round.  Plus, he was the only one of the four in his group that managed to hole out on the 17th.

A few others had some bad turns on the way around.  Perhaps Brendon was looking forward to his night out at the Ivanhoe Hotel or perhaps he had one the night before. A less than stellar start on the first was followed by a scrabbly second.  From there things went really pear-shaped and there is a suggestion that three drives from the 3rd finished out of bounds.  To add insult to injury, the 4th fared little better with the single drive unable to be found.  Brendon wasn’t alone in flirting with the boundary fences, having tackled it again on the 8th, and Targe managed to put his out on the 17th.

As reported last week, Stefan had a birthday and it seems that he might have celebrated again as he was a little the worse for wear and headed off without staying for the Christmas Lunch and Presentations.  A fine repast was prepared by the ladies in the kitchen and the groaning table was tackled with gusto and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

After the lunch, our Club Captain, Targe and President, Chris, combined to make the presentation of trophies for the year.  Now some have suggested that this combination was somewhat akin to Cheech and Chong, except that Cheech and Chong were funny (or at least mildly amusing).  Regardless, there were heaps of goodies to be handed out and Simon did a great job of getting the happy snaps and the collection will be posted as a slide show on the website in due course.  The full list of winners is too long to list here but if you go to the Statistics>Hall of Fame page and select the 2016 link you will be able to peruse the full listing.

The next two weeks (Christmas Eve and New Year Eve) are available as social rounds and a few tee slots have been booked.  The competition will be ‘as you like it’ but might best match the competition of the day at the Course.  Usually there is a ProPin (or two) between whoever plays.

Other than that, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and come back refreshed for the January Monthly Medal on 7th January.  By the way, subscriptions for 2017 are now overdue so pay up or else the committee will get angry and start pestering you in earnest.

The Race was run and the best horse won the Vin O’Meara Stakes on 10 December 2016

Craig wins a trophy
Whew, got there by the skin of my teeth!

The question on everybody’s lips was – could the trio of oldies hogging the top of the leader board keep it up or could any of the young bucks come from behind to steal the prize.  And there were twenty three sets of lips out on the course just  twitching to find out what the result would be.  Though it was a bit overcast and quite cool to start with, the weather gods were kind and the course was manicured within an inch of its life.  The white markers were out (on the concrete blocks) and so there was little doubt about where to tee up your ball though some did raise their eye-brows at the blue markers that were behind the whites.  At least one person started to tee up at one of the sets of back blue markers but his kind playing companions apprised him of the disadvantage of doing so.  Not much was said about the blue markers that were well in front of the whites.  In any case, there should be no cause for voiding of results this week though some would argue that there was really little need for it to have been done after last weeks little mix-up.

The answer to the burning question was a yes and a no.  Yes, at least a couple of the leaders managed to keep it together sufficiently to maintain or improve their position and one of the young bucks was able to claw his way up the ladder and in the process displace one.  The man who held onto his spot was CraigC (Bagpipe Chanter – purchased by Brendon) who seems to have adapted to his recent handicap adjustments and has been putting in some very consistent rounds.  Today was a little off the pace and a little attack of the shorts and the hint of a yip or two on the greens was almost, but not quite, enough to let the trophy slip from his grasp.  A grand total of 136 strokes for the two rounds was enough (just) to get his hands on the first Major trophy of the year, the Vin O’Meara Memorial aka the Christmas Cup.

The next horse to cross the line was Armpits (owned by the Beast and also known affectionately as Bobbie) and if you looked at his front nine you could be forgiven for imagining that he had faded from the race.  However, he stormed home down the straight and, but for a couple of putts that didn’t run quite the way he expected, he could easily have been the one to cause the upset and snatch the prize.  As it was, he lost by just a nose with a total of 137.  And to think that his major concern from the first tee was to get past the red markers.

As the round progressed, rumours began to circulate around the course that the new horse on the block, Proper Car (purchased by Trev), ridden by the bearded yankee, Joe, was the one that was likely to make a challenge from the pack at the back.  The connections tried to hose down the expectations with the news that a slight wheel wobble had set in at the 17th with an errant ball out of bounds but even with the double bogie, the nett score of 66 for the day and a total of 138 was enough to secure the third spot in the field.  That was enough to tip out Strong Bough, ridden by Harry (the leading player in the Jockey pool) who had just enough rough spots after being hexed by having a par on the first to slip into 4th place with 139 for the event.

And so the first event of the year ended up with as few points getters as is possible with the final points spot being filled by Targe who really laid the whip into Rough Runner to score one of the best performances of the day with a nett 65 and a total of 140 for the event.  So a very closely fought result it was for the premier event of the new competition year and everybody would have to be very happy with the double batch of points if not the new handicaps that some have acquired.

The other major event that was finalised today was the annual Stroke Play Championship.  In the off-the-stick side of the table, the eventual winner was Michael who managed to equal the course par today with a very creditable two under on the back nine for a total of 219 for the three rounds.  Pepsi had an uncharacteristic round today with no less that six fives in a row on the back nine and this was enough to drop him back into second place with 226.  A couple of lengths further back in third came the Beast with a tally of 235 of the best.  On the Nett Score side of the table, first spot went to Harry, who, although he slipped a bit today, didn’t slip quite as much as the likely contenders and he came in a comfortable winner with a nett total of 203 strokes.  Second cab off the rank and shooting up the listings with his best equalling round today of 65 was our friend the Beast on 208 strokes.  In equal third place on 209 were CraigC and Bob keeping up the standard with all positions being filled by Senior members.  Come on Juniors, get your act together.

The BallPin today was on the 18th and that was won by the Beast who could very well be the only person to get on the green with a distance recorded as 4.96m.  Presumably it was measured for the inside ProPin.  Our ProPin was on the 15th and in the spirit of Christmas goodwill, nobody got on, or at least not close enough, so that there will be a Jackpot ProPin for the breakup day next week.  All the more reason to come along for the Champion of Champions, the Chump of Chumps and the Christmas Lunch and Presentations.  Bill didn’t get his birdie on the 18th but Michael did and thus he contributed to the 17 that we racked up for the day.

Now, according to the Birthday Birdie, Stefan’s birthday is almost a week away but it seems that Stefan was out celebrating the event last night until the wee small hours.  There were estimates that his BAC was still 0.24 when he teed off and maybe that could go some way to explaining his placing well down the field.  Zimmer wasn’t far behind so maybe he was out celebrating as well though somebody did have to drive the car to the course and they didn’t have Mehm to help out.

There was one reported draughtie today and that was from Ryan on the 8th after his ball hit a tree and ricocheted back behind the red markers which, it must be said were well forward.  Ryan also had a chance to rob the Eagles Nest on the 17th but he ended up taking three putts to register his par.  Chrispy was heard to go ‘duck’ hunting on the 12th after the ball refused to fall into the hole.  Whether it was three putts or four is not known at this stage.

Next week is the Champion of Champions for those who have won Medals or Majors during the year and the Chump of Chumps for those who have remained off that exalted list.  After the round is the Christmas lunch, that will include such luxuries as turkey, lamb , ham, veges and salads.  There will also be a tab on the bar for drinks.  After lunch will be the presentation of trophies for those who have excelled at the noble sport through the year.  A group of members are planning to continue afterwards at the Ivanhoe Hotel in Upper Heidelberg Road and anybody else who wishes to join will be more than welcome.  Rock on!

The following two Saturdays (Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) will be available as social days but if you can indicate your intentions so that we can  make a booking or not, that would be really appreciated by us and the Course Management.

In the meantime have a Happy and safe Christmas and New Year.  Don’t party too hard and come back fit and refreshed for the new round of competition starting with the January Monthly Medal on 07 January 2017.

Results for Saturday, 10 December 2016
1st Craig Cameron(65, 71, 136) 2nd Bob McDonald(69, 68, 137) 3rd Joe Wagenecht(72, 66, 138) 4th Harry Boughen(67, 72, 139) 5th Targe Mifsud(75, 65, 140)

Seniors Results: 1st Craig Cameron (71,65,136) 2nd Bob McDonald (68,69,137) 3rd Harry Boughen (72,67,139)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin 15th Jackpot BallPin 18th Bill Eastoe