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Sixteen men on the dead man’s chest played Stableford on 29 July 2017

JQ wins
I dare anyone to call me a windbag!.

The windbags were out today.  If not out on the course, somewhere round about puffing up a nor-norwester that got progressively stronger as the morning progressed.  The front group had the best of it although the 18th was quite the challenge requiring a shot made right into the teeth of the gale so that the cross-wind component could bring the ball back to the vicinity of the green.  The pin position on the top tier made the task even more challenging but a couple of people did manage to be ‘just’ off the green and not eligible for the ProPin measurement.  And so, we have a Double Jackpot on the 18th next week.  Not only that, but nobody managed to get within distance on the 12th and so there is a jackpot there as well.  Lots of loot up for grabs next week, and a Monthly Medal as well.  There could very well be a good turn out as a result.  Today’s numbers were down a bit and whether people were put off by the forecasts or whether they were suffering from Stableford overload remains to be seen.

The man of the moment however was our venerable Club President, JohnQ, who planted his feet wide and used his stature to advantage in the blustery conditions to come in with 35 points of the best.  In the process, he managed to take three penalty strokes and scored a birdie on the 9th which is a fair achievement in itself.  Not only that, but it was the only birdie carded for the day.  That would have to be a record low for the time that we have been keeping tabs on the count at least.

Now Harry was probably a bit more susceptible to the effects of wind that el Pres, so the fact that he was able to come in with 34 points might be a bit surprising.  But he has been getting some coaching on his short game and the benefits were not particularly manifest today.  The scoring could have been a lot better if the chips to the green had been leaving him with something less than 6m putts.  The practice will pay off one of these days.

Just a point behind, we find the Beast and Jason with 33 points each.  Bill didn’t have much to say about his round but he and Noodles were having a bit of a driving contest.  On the 16th, with a howling tail wind, Noodles unleashed one of his quick-fire drives and the ball finished less than 30m from the green.  Bill, on the other hand must have gone astray somewhere and could only manage a no-score for the hole.  Jason was on the lower deck on the 18th green and suffered badly when his putt did not quite make it to the top of the rise and the ball rolled back down to where it started.  Blighty was in the group with Noodles and Noodles was complaining that Blighty seemed to have two strokes on every hole.  Well, he had more than he should have because he marked his card with his inside handicap rather than his Club handicap.  It wasn’t that he put the wrong card in, both cards were scored that way.

Ryan was also very quiet about his round and, when asked, he said it was pretty boring.  Boring enough to score 32 points and to catch him 4th place points on his own.  SOS was shaking the leg of his trousers on the 18th tee after a ball from the 17th missed everybody and everything but just grazed his arm.  Fortunately, it was late in the round and he had pretty much tallied up his 31 points by then.  MattN made a bit of a feature of being erratic particularly off the tee.  Late in the round he received a message about a horse that was running at Caulfield and he packed up his kit pretty smartly after the round and headed for the track to get his hard earned on the nose.  Will the news be good?

The wind was blamed for a multitude of things today.  Allan called it to task for a missed putt on the 18th but Harry holds the view that it was friction and gravity that was to blame given that the ball finished well short of the target.  The BallPin was situated on the 4th today and the first group was anxious to make sure that the marker went out on the appropriate hole.  There was no real need to worry after Targe put his drive onto the green and he made sure that the marker was not forgotten.  Targe was pretty chipper about his group being a hole and a half in front of the next considering that Noodles was in that group.  We won’t say who Noodles pointed the finger at!

Gordon threatened that his 5 wood would no longer have a place in his bag after a particularly poor shot on the second.  It seems to have redeemed itself later in the round and there will be a place for it next week.  Noodles was another who gave his clubs a good talking to and a couple of them even took flying lessons.  They almost needed a line search to find the one up the hill from the 15th tee (which was from the 14th fairway, by the way).  The Beast played a shot on the 8th that looked for all the world like being Yallah, bye, bye and down the river.  Not our Bill.  Somehow, the ball found its way back in bounds and finished about two and a half metres from the pin.

Dale cracked one a bit left off the 11th tee and it disappeared into the pine tree that usually means no good will come of it.  The ball eventually turned up well down the fairway and nearly to the green.  The jury is still out on how the ball got to where it did with reports of a person wandering erratically around the course.  No such luck for Matt who chunked it pretty severely on the 8th, the ball hit one of the buggies parked by the tee and finished back in the hazard, well, well short of the red markers.  Targe picked a nice soft clump of turf on the 15th tee and then proceeded to go completely underneath the ball, popped it up in the air and down the bank to finish just short of on the 14th green.  When Targe offered to pay for Allan’s drink, Allan politely refused on the grounds that he had put on such a display of crap golf that it should be he who was shouting.  ‘Nuff said.

The Annual Challenge at Shepparton is coming up in a few weeks and preparations are well under control in Gordon’s hands.  The Committee discussed the question of allocating Championship points and handicapping of those participating in the Annual Challenge.  It was decided that the decision to do so would stand but that there would also be a Club competition for those playing at Ivanhoe, provided that the requirement of a minimum of six players was met.  This will mean that there is potential for two lots of Championship points to be allocated if more than six members play at Ivanhoe.

Results for Saturday, 29 July 2017
1st John Quinlan(35) 2nd Harry Boughen(34) 3rd Bill Eastoe(33) 3rd Jason Hopkins(33) 4th Ryan Porker(32) 5th Matt Nicholls(31) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan(31)

Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (34) 2nd Bill Eastoe (33) 3rd Gordon Hill (29)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 12th Jackpot ProPin No 2 18th Jackpot BallPin 4th Targe Mifsud

The wind up or a wind up on the final round Fred Howe Winter Cup 22 July 2017

Dale wins a big one
This is going straight to the poolroom!

Blighty obviously fancied his chances so he begged and pleaded and promised all sorts of good things to be allowed to come and play.  A few others either didn’t like their chances or didn’t put up a good enough argument and so there were 19 members out to play, either for the love of the game or because they could feel a good round coming on and figured they had a chance of featuring, one way or another.  The weather bureau was kind and turned the thermostat up just a smidgen but they forgot about the wind machine and the brisk nor-wester helped to up the wind chill factor and, if you can believe some of the members, it downed the scoring factor.

The man who was able to put the wind right behind him, in a scoring sense at least, was Dale who reveled in the conditions and put together a pair of very consistent nines to make a scorecard of 41 points for the day.  That, plus his 36 points last week, was more than enough to see off all comers with the all-up total of 77 points.  You could almost say that daylight filled second place.

However, daylight has not paid his Club sub and so is not eligible for the event.  Noodles has paid his Club sub and, with a bit of a turn around in form from last week he wasn’t too far behind Dale on the card today.  Last week’s 30 points and today’s 38 points put him into second place a mere nine points behind the winner.  But, with not too much damage to the handicap and the double points, Noodles is now within sniffing distance of the lead in the Championship.  And if anybody knows what it is like to be within sniffing distance it would have to be Noodles.

In third place, we have a bit of a quadrella that came in just a point behind Noodles and all would have agreed that they could easily have made just that couple of extra points.  But, what will be will be, and Harry, JohnQ, Brendon and Keith will just have to be happy with their lot.  JohnQ has, somehow, even he doesn’t know why, changed the shape of his tee shots from a fade/slice to a draw/hook.  Sometimes it helps and sometimes it hinders.  A virtuallly unplayable on the 17th did not help the cause.  Brendon duck hooked one into the long rough beside the 16th and managed to pull off a fairly respectable exit.  Harry had some problems with his sciatic nerve early on and a wince off the tee on the 1st resulted in a draughtie.  And Keith just never really hit his straps and couldn’t repeat his back nine performance from last week.  Harry and Keith headed the field in the Seniors and would be pretty pleased with that.

Blighty’s faith in his chances was only slightly misplaced and although today’s round was not all that spectacular, it was enough for him to hold on for the fourth placing.  Damo thought he had Harry on toast after the front nine and while he improved on the way home, Harry improved more leaving Damo to settle for fifth place.  A putt missed from about 250mm did not help the cause at all and there were a few other slightly longer ones that missed the mark including another gettable one for eagle on the 17th.  That’s two weeks in a row!  The birdie was easy and that helped to boost the teams effort to a total of 8.  Not the greatest tally in the world.  Maybe it was the wind.

The BallPin was set for the 12th today and it was up to Targe to get his name on the marker and collect himself a ball.  Michael was a little bit bitter about being done out of a ProPin recently and so when he got to put his name on the card at the 15th for his 1.53m spot he let it be known, in no uncertain terms, that he would be ‘not happy, Jan’ if anybody, but JQ in particular, got inside that mark.  Our old mate Jack was up to his tricks again on the 18th where the tee was well back and the pin was on the top shelf.  A good reason to come along next week if only to have a go at the Jackpot ProPin although there will be points and handicap adjustments as well.

Harry was not alone on the draughtie front today though he does owe his mates through being as busy as a one-armed paper-hanger sorting out the scores and the notes and the presentation pictures, money, etc etc.  Jason managed to not reach the red markers on the 15th.  Ed could have been a bit lucky when one of his tee shots actually hit one of said red markers.  Reports have it that the marker actually broke as a result.  Ed does tend to be a big hitter.  But that doesn’t go close to one event today by someone, not in our merry band.  A group teeing off from the 6th tee, which was well back, struck a low flying ball that hit the edge of the ‘tombstone’ and flew back over their heads and finished by the toilet block on the sports oval.  Not something you would see every day!

Matt must have had to get up early to get here from the Basin or there-abouts.  He was obviously a bit out of it when he left his phone on the seat of his buggy from where it fell off and Allan had to motor back to recover it for him.  That wouldn’t have been so bad, but he managed to repeat the performance.  To lose you phone once could be considered bad luck, to lose it twice is downright careless.  And, as for Allan, he was tootling along on Thunderbird II, minding his own business when, suddenly, it crashed, but didn’t burn, and Allan was unceremoniously deposited on the ground in the middle of the fairway.  And, no, he hadn’t been drinking.

In an endeavour to encourage people to use the new path up from the 13th green, the management have installed a little barrier consisting of pegs and safety tape and put up a sign saying to use the path.  Now, Chrispy does carry his bag and didn’t feel the need to obey either the sign or the tape though he probably wouldn’t dare do a similar thing at work.  His effort to ‘jump’ the tape caused him to trip and he ended up on the ground, a tangle of arms, legs, bag and clubs.  Maybe he’s not as young and as spritely as he thinks he is and maybe he will know better next time.

Results for Saturday, 22 July 2017
1st Dale Webb(36, 41, 77) 2nd Stephen Butterfield(30, 38, 68) 3rd Harry Boughen(35, 32, 67) 3rd John Quinlan(34, 33, 67) 3rd Brendon Mitchell(35, 32, 67) 3rd Keith Delzoppo(39, 28, 67) 4th Andrew Blight(38, 28, 66) 5th Damien Lee(34, 31, 65)

Seniors Results:  1st Harry Boughen (32,35,67) 1st Keith Delzoppo (28,39,67) 2nd Andrew Blight (38,28,66) 3rd Craig Cameron (27,36,63)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 15th Michael Gourlay ProPin No 2 18th Jackpot BallPin 12th Targe Mifsud

Fred Howe Round 1 scores choppered on 15 July 2017.

Frank D on the podium
There’s no holding me when I get warmed up…..

As befits one of our prestigious major events for the year, there was an excellent turn out of twenty-four members on a bright but fairly chilly morning.  A number of members were noted standing at high points with their backs to the sun and arms akimbo to maximise the surface area to intercept the warming rays from old Sol.  In some ways, it was reminiscent of a cormorant on a log in the swamp drying his wings for the next dive.  And, if the score cards are any guide, quite a few needed to warm up before hitting their straps and shooting the lights out on the back nine.  On the other hand, some of the more hot blooded members started out like a house on fire but, like a fire stoked with small kindling, they soon burned out and struggled to turn a score on the back.

One man, who seemed to be struggling for the first nine holes and appeared to be a contender for the Chef’s Hat, really started the back nine off with a bang and a four pointer on the 10th.  From there, he never looked back and Keith came home with 26 points for the back nine and a total of 39 for the whole round.  The flat stick was apparently the club of the day and Keith was sinking them from where-ever he was on the green, no matter what the distance.  His driving can’t have been too bad either as he was able to put his drive on the 18th to 3.62m from the pin to take out the ProPin having successfully shut everybody else out of the event.

Now, Blighty was in a group with JohnQ today and it seems that there was a bit of argy-bargy going on between them and they had a bit of a contest to see who could hit the longest drives.  It turned out that Blighty won the contest with a tally of 9 holes to 8.  Presumably, the one remaining hole was too close to call or they just forgot to count it.  Anyway, Blighty managed to rack up at least three birdies and in so doing he contributed to the total of 18 that we managed for the day.  The good thing for Andrew was that some of them were on new holes and his lead in the Eclectic is at least three,  although he will lose a little when the handicapping is done next week and his 38 points are taken into account.

No such handicap adjustment on this weeks round for Dale who sits in third place with his score of 36 points.  Dale was one of the hot-blooded ones who started off well but faded as the day progressed.  Harry and Brendon both carded 35 points and will be well placed in the leaders group to make a big move to collect the trophy.  Harry hopes he can repeat his wedge shot on the 17th that was a complete miss-hit that caught one of the small trees on the edge of the pond that took just enough off to have the ball finish on the green instead of on the 18th tee.  Brendon is expecting that another week off the sherbet, thanks to his entry in the DryJuly fund-raiser (support from all and sundry is very welcome donate here) will stand him in good stead for a stellar round.  Perhaps it was withdrawal that caused him to take three putts from less than half a metre today.

Damo has had his fair share of run-ins with the golf ball and today was no exception when he was hit on the foot by a ball from the following group.  No damage to the foot or to his game as he fills the next leaderboard position beside JohnQ.  Six points is not an impossible catch-up target for either of these two players.  Damo was on the green from the tee on the 17th but he was unable to make the fairly simple putt for the Eagle.  Which is maybe just as well.  If he had made it, then Stef would have had to share the Belevski Benefit Eagles Nest pool after he did make the putt on the 14th following a drive that was deemed to be worth waiting for due to a bit of a bottle-neck behind the group in front.  The first ProPin today was a Jackpot on the 4th and the greenkeepers had the tee blocks set well back again and so the hole was pretty much as difficult as it was last week.  Not for JohnQ, though, as he put his ball to 1.38m to pretty much seal the deal.  He didn’t make the birdie though and he was very concerned to find out whether he had succeeded in holding his spot as he passed by the last group as they waited on the 7th tee.

The rest of the field scores appear on the Leaderboard page and the groups next week will be in reverse Leaderboard order (with allowance for those not playing next week).  Any new players next week will be sent out early in the field after/with the Chef’s Hat Brigade.

The BallPin was on the 15th and Michael managed to get it on with what he claimed was a ‘shank’.  But, it didn’t last and eventually Stef added to his now bulging ball bag with another one for nearest the pin.

After last week’s victory, Allan was in an experimental mood and was using his sand-wedge for all chip shots.  Not wanting to make a cheap shot about it, but it wasn’t going too well at all.  Eventually he relented and went back to his 8 iron and, in his view at least, things improved.  And that’s half the battle after all.  With your mind, that is.

Rob and Chrispy played in the same group and it seems that Rob really fell in a hole after scoring strongly on the front nine and only managed 10 points on the back.  Rob blames the form slump on Chris and Chris happily accepts responsibility for putting the mockers on him.  Who needs enemies when you’ve got a brother!  Chris on the other hand claims he would have scored much better if it hadn’t been for the low-flying air-ambulance chopper.  He reckons the down-draft put him off his putting.  And, while on the subject of draft, there was only one draughtie today and that was down to Allan who apparently decided to change his grip in mid-backswing on the 12th and left the ball sufficiently short of the red markers to have potential for a repeat performance.  Fortunately, he got the second one away.

Results for Saturday, 15 July 2017
Leaderboard Round 1 1st Keith Delzoppo(39) 2nd Andrew Blight(38) 3rd Dale Webb(36) 4th Harry Boughen(35) 4th Brendon Mitchell(35) 5th Damien Lee(34) 5th John Quinlan(34)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Keith Delzoppo (39) 2nd Andrew Blight (38) 3rd Harry Boughen (35)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 4th John Quinlan ProPin No 2 18th Keith Delzoppo BallPin 15th Stefan Belevski

Eagle’s nest Results: Eagle 14th Stefan Belevski

Wear the fox hat for Par on 08 July 2017.

Thunderbrid wins.
Let’s hope these aren’t blue!

Despite the continuing wintery snap, there were a total of eighteen members out on the course today to tackle our favourite competition – Par.  There wasn’t as much frost on the ground as last week but the conditions felt just as chilly and there was the usual discussion about those hardy souls turning out in shorts and the associated condition with no feeling as well as some about certain parts of the anatomy turning blue.

Now, nobody was running particularly hot, but Allan was able to claim a bit of warmth when he managed to come in front of the pack of hounds with a +1 on the card.  In actual fact, there was not a pack of hounds in sight so it is unclear what the fox, spotted running across the 6th and 3rd fairways, was high-tailing it from.  Old rocker, Allan, immediately brought to mind the song, Fox on the run, and struggled to keep it out of his brain for the rest of the round.   Maybe it was the beat that kept his swing in synch and his putting stroke smooth.

Damo came in second with a square card and even if he had sunk the 1.5m eagle putt on the 17th, he wouldn’t have equalled the top score as the birdie was enough to give him a plus and added one to the tally of seven that we managed for the day.  A marginally better strike rate for birdies than in recent weeks.  Damo did admit to being distracted by what he thought was an escapee from a nearby retirement home but in actual fact it was merely Allan tootling around on Thunderbird II.

Gordon, Rob and the Beast came in in third place with one less point than second.  All three would be ruing the occasional (and not so occasional) negative results on the card.  There was no particular cause or failure of note to report and the round was generally described as ‘boring as bat-droppings’ or some similar analogy.  Michael put in a very steady round with not too many non-square results on the card and scored himself 4th place with a score of -2.  Bringing up the rear, in a place-getters sense, were Ryan and JohnQ, just another point behind with -3.  Jason dipped out of the winners circle by dint of claiming an extra stroke on the 13th from an 18 handicap.  Not hard to do if you are used to getting 2 there.

The BallPin today was on the 12th, which was a bit of a challenge with the tee blocks set well to the back.  Allan bought himself a new seven wood at the op-shop for $5.00 and tried it out for the first time on the 12th and, not only did he hit the ball well, he got his name on the BallPin card as well.  However, Michael came along and put one closer and shut Allan out of getting a fair bit of his investment back.  The first ProPin was set for the 4th.  The tee blocks were as far back as they could go and the pin was at the back edge of the green but whether this is a valid reason why nobody managed to put one onto the green within the required distance is very much open to question.  So, it will be on the 4th again next week as a Jackpot.  The second ProPin, on the 18th, on the other hand, had the tee at the front and the pin on the bottom deck.  Brendon put his on, but when the tape came out, it was just beyond the 5m limit.  No such problem for Noodles who put his to 1.81m and collected a few dollars for his TAB account.

There was a Matchplay match played today between Pepsi and Michael and with them both on a handicap of 3 it was very much a head to head battle.  Michael won the first hole and, try as he might, Pepsi was never able to peg him back to any significant degree and the match eventually went Michael’s way 3 and 2.  Michael wasn’t particularly happy with the way he played but Pepsi reckoned he couldn’t putt for love nor money.  Reckons he must have caught Chrispy’s disease down at Bellarine the week before last.  Or maybe it was still a hang-over from last week-end’s celebrations.  The Chrispy thing does have a bit of a ring of truth about it though as it seems that Chris took five (yes 5) putts on one green, including three that lipped out for less than half a metre.

Noodles had a new, short grip, putter today courtesy of Michael.  Not sure how the putter actually went but Noodles, playing in a three behind a four, seemed to be blaming standing around waiting for some of his less spectacular outcomes.  Brendon had a few problems with trees and things today and in one particularly bad sequence managed to put together four of the horizontals in a row.  This brought the suggestion from Gordo, that this should provide grounds for making a shout for your group.  As it turned out, Brendon would not have been alone in that cart as Chrispy and Blighty achieved a similar (or even greater) feat.  Blighty didn’t hang around to comment as he wanted to be off for another afternoon of misery at a Collingwood match.

Next week is the first round of the Fred Howe Winter Cup.  A good chance to get some double points to catch up to Bob.  Plus, it ushers in three (yes, 3) weeks of Stableford so get out there and take advantage of it while you can.  Also, just over a month to the Annual Challenge up at Shepparton.  Gordo should be issuing more details shortly although he could be a little distracted for the next couple of weeks as he heads off to Wauchope for (as the say on Radio Melbourne) a well deserved break.

Results for Saturday, 08 July 2017
1st Allan Davies(+1) 2nd Damien Lee(□) 3rd Bill Eastoe(-1) 3rd Gordon Hill(-1) 3rd Robert Priems(-1) 4th Michael Gourlay(-2) 5th Ryan Porker(-3) 5th John Quinlan(-3)

Seniors Results: 1st Allan Davies (+1) 2nd Bill Eastoe (-1) 2nd Gordon Hill (-1) 3rd Keith Delzoppo (-4)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 4th Jackpot ProPin No 2 18th Stephen Butterfield BallPin 12th Michael Gourlay