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Just play like it’s Thursday for Par on 31 March 2018.

Simon cleans up
The missus will be pleased…..

Once in a blue moon there are two full moons in a calendar month.  So far this year there have been two and there was certainly a very full moon hanging low in the west in the pre-dawn this morning.  The bags of hot air were out in force (the balloons, not the members), a few clouds sprinkled the sky and it promised to be a great day for golf as the sun made its way above the horizon and the first group took their place on the tee box at the first.  The greens had been mowed and the early promise held good and so there was no reason why the golf from the 14 members present should not be similarly excellent.

Well, that held true for some but not so true for others and we might not dwell so much on the latter.  Now Simon has been itching to get his game in order for the trip to King Island later in the year and he has also kitted himself out with a brand new buggy after the debacle in the wet last week.  He reckons he is getting the hang of the remote control although at one stage it looked as if his buggy was trying to breed with Dennis’s buggy.  He is also looking forward to being able to issue a challenge to SOS and Ed for a race along the 16th, with the remote control buggies, that is.  Whatever the reason,  Simon was on fire today and only had one small blot on his copy-book after a wayward drive from the 2nd tee, leaving the rest of the card full of squares and pluses to finish the day with +6 and the top points in both Championship Tables.

Dennis reckons he has worked out what he was doing wrong with his swing and you would have to believe him after some of the ‘monster’ shots that he put away today.  He did have a few problems closer in and ended with five lost holes on his way to +4 overall.  It wasn’t all bad news on the short game though as he managed to chip in, not once, but twice, for birdies and in the process he contributed to the total of 15 that were carded for the day.  One of the better hauls of birdies per capita than we have seen for a while.

Ryan was hitting some big shots today as well and the group in front were pretty impressed with a drive that finished just short of the green on the 3rd.  The congratulations were a bit premature when it was revealed that, although the ball was hit from the teeing area, it was a reload after the first went OOB.  Despite that set-back, Porks was able to fashion a +2 for the round and collect the points for third place.  He also contributed significantly to the birdie count for the day and the effect was to put him into a reasonably comfortable lead in the Eclectic Table.

Pepsi seems to think that he now has a handicap that he can play to when he presented with a square card for the day which would seem to support that theory.  He wasn’t alone in playing to his handicap and he was joined on the podium for 4th spot by Bob and Keith.  SOS was only a single point behind to fill the last spot on his own and to get a point and, in the process, to double the number of points that he has accumulated so far this year.

In the Nearest the Pin competitions today, the BallPin was on the 15th and, while people were able to surround the green with ease, only one was able to get his name onto the card and that was Pepsi.  The first ProPin was on the 12th and it was taken out of play by the first group when Bob put his tee shot to 3.15m and nobody was able to make it closer.  There were rumours about that Bob was not happy that the ball finished so far from the hole.  Later advice suggests that these were completely unfounded.  The  second ProPin on the 18th was a Double Jackpot and the pin was located on the ‘difficult’ top shelf.  But this meant nothing to Simon who cracked his to 1.96m and so he cleaned up big-time and he was looking forward to getting home and showering the missus with cash, if not kisses.

As well as that, it is Simon’s birthday in a couple of days and a few days after that, out favourite Turk, Mehmet, will be celebrating as well so the Birthday Birdie has a bit of fluttering about to do this week.

Our resident ‘club fitter’, Joe, fitted Targe up with a club to try out.  Long story short, Targe reckons the handle is a bit long for him.  Maybe he could try standing a bit further from the ball, particularly after he has hit it.  Despite coming into the points tally, Keith reckons that he had his first air swing ever today.  When quizzed about the ‘ever’, Keith did resile a little and admitted that it might have been ‘as long as he could remember’.  It does seem that a tree branch did contribute to the non-contact with the ball.

During the week, RodG had yet another mechanical failure on his motorised buggy and pulled out all stops to acquire a replacement in time for today.  The new buggy did not help him as much as Simon’s or maybe it was just the heavy hit that the handicap took last week that dragged him down the field.  Not only that, but the new buggy doesn’t have any braking and he gets dragged down the hills as well.  Some of the bigger hitting members reckon that Simon must have a ball magnet attached to his back as it didn’t seem to matter how hard they tried the ball always seemed to head in his direction.  Two shots of three from the 14th landed on/near the 15th tee and the third wasn’t all that far away.

For no particular reason other than it can be done, a new column has been added to the Championship Report showing the date that you last scored points in this competition year.

Next week marks the start of Round 2 of the Matchplay Championship (and the finish of Round 1 – last two matches to be played).  The ‘present and play’ rule kicks in for Round 2 matches but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t contact your opponent to make suitable arrangements.  Reserves don’t enter the equation from now on so any forfeits must be negotiated.  No result by the deadline, both go out.

Results for Saturday, 31 March 2018
1st Simon Powell(+6) 2nd Dennis Ward(+4) 3rd Ryan Porker(+2) 4th Keith Delzoppo(□) 4th Bob McDonald(□) 4th Andrew Petricola(□) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan(-1)

Seniors Results: 1st Simon Powell (+6) 2nd Dennis Ward (+4) 3rd Bob McDonald (□) 3rd Keith Delzoppo (□)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 12th Bob McDonald ProPin No 2 18th Simon Powell BallPin 15th Andrew Petricola

Raindrops keep falling on my head for Stuart Clarke Final Round 24 March 2018

Two old timers
There’s a first time for everything!

‘Hasn’t rained in Melbourne for 42 days, why does it have to be this Saturday’ was a cry that went up from one of the 24 players that made it to the tee this morning.  There should have been more but there was a footy match last night, the bureau did forecast rain and maybe a bit of a lie in was just too appealing.  But the rain did arrive and everyone pressed on for a while but then the lightning and thunder started, the siren across the river sounded and most people headed more or less for the Clubhouse.  So, a few groups managed to finish the round but the majority did not and a decision was taken that the event would be decided over 27 holes as all groups had passed the halfway mark.  As a result, your reported scores for today might look a bit odd (the computer has to have numbers) but rest assured that any eclectic scores from the back nine have been taken into account.

Rod commented during the week that he was in an unaccustomed position in being a member of the last group to tee off in a Major.  He was also a bit disheartened after his round on Thursday and so he repaired to the course on Friday for a bit of practice around the green on his chipping.  The little tune up must have worked to get his confidence back as he put in another blistering start to post 22 points on the front nine.  This included a chip in for par on the second so the short game was really working.

In the lead up to the presentation  Rodger thanked the members for the turn up for Stuart and repeated his ambition to get his name on the trophy sometime soon.  Rod responded that it was indeed an honour to win the trophy, his first Major win in ten years of membership.  President John told a little story of a ‘run-in’ with Stuart in his early days but, just to prove that there were no hard feelings, he announced the Club’s decision to grant Life Membership to Stuart in recognition of his contribution to the Club.

Fairly obviously, the results last Saturday were no ‘flash in the pan’.  Keith was again in fine form and seemed to be able to do little wrong to post 21 points for the nine and, in the process, reclaimed second spot after his relegation last week.  Blighty managed 18 points and that dropped him back into 3rd place.  David was also doing well and moved up a spot from 5th last week to 4th today.  Allan, on the other hand was a bit off the mark and dropped a couple of spots.  He was joined by the big movers of the day with John and Craig jumping a couple of spots from out of the pack to share the last spot on the podium.

The BallPin today was on the 4th and there should have been no excuses, at least none based on the weather conditions at that time of the day.  Trees did influence some outcomes with Chrispy beginning to think the his ‘lucky’ relationship with trees might be coming to an end.  Long story, short, Porks was the first and only name on the ticket and he collected a ball for his trouble.  The first ProPin was on the 12th and pretty much everybody had a shot at it and so the money went to the Beast after it was decided that the lack of a distance on the card did not merit disqualification (this time).  The second ProPin on the 18th was declared a Double Jackpot as nobody that completed was within distance and the majority of the field did not have a shot.  Big bucks next week!

In the half round that was counted, we managed to make 6 birdies although there were some on the back nine that missed out.  There were two on the 17th under fairly exceptional circumstances.  The green was water-logged with the hole surrounded by water with no chance of relief.  Conventional putts were failing miserably and so Damo opted to use his wedge from about 3m and plonked the ball into the hole for birdie.  This inspired Gordo, who also took out his wedge and repeated the dose.  Must have been Gordo’s day on the wedge as he chipped in on the 5th from over the bunker.

There was one Matchplay match decided this week.  SOS and ChrisV declared ‘game on’ during the week and expectations were that there would be some ‘fireworks’ involved.  However, it seems that they were very polite and restrained and the low key nature of the contest went close to rivalling the match last week.  It looked like being an even match early taws but as the game progressed SOS got the upper hand and in the end just squaring holes was not good enough for Chris and SOS was victorious 5 and 4.  Two more matches in Round 1 and two more weeks to get them played.  Round 2 matches can be played if both parties are agreeable.

The bar-be-que was set up in the back passage and Chrispy did a great job, almost single-handedly, to both cook and clean up afterwards.  There were no reports of him being anatomically singed, as, apparently, is wont to happen with his bar-be-que at home.  There were a few snags, bread and onions left over but the catering was really pretty close and the food was enjoyed by all.

The rain played havoc with more than peoples game.  Water seems to have made its way into the controls of Simon’s electric buggy and it developed a mind of its own and ignored all attempts at operation of the controls.  It was quite a sight as Simon struggled to disconnect the battery as the buggy wheeled itself around in ever decreasing circles with Simon in hot pursuit.  Allan also had some troubles as Thunderbird II lost traction on the hills but he did manage to make it back safely.  Allan has also been making some changes to his swing and on one shot today he reckons he hit the ball 30m further with a particular club that usual.  Only trouble was, it wasn’t his ball.  And, he had been told so before he hit it.  By the person whose ball it was.

David was out monstering the ball again.  His drive on the 6th, possibly with a bit of a wind assist, came to rest just 70m short of the green.  A massive hit in anybody’s books.  Porks also made some good contact with the ball and was admonished for ‘laying up’ on the 5th when he finished about 30m short but his big hitting brought him undone on the 13th and 14th with successive OOBs.  ChrisV was using an umbrella to keep off the rain but it seems that every time there was a flash of lightning, he quickly passed it to somebody else.  Though, after the lightning has flashed, it is probably a bit late for evasive action.

Results for Saturday, 24 March 2018
1st Rod Grant(41, 22, 63) 2nd Keith Delzoppo(39, 21, 60) 3rd Andrew Blight(40, 18, 58) 4th David Mullenger(36, 21, 57) 5th Craig Cameron(33, 19, 52) 5th Allan Davies(39, 13, 52) 5th John Quinlan(33, 19, 52)

Seniors Results: 1st Rod Grant (41,22,63) 2nd Keith Delzoppo (39,21,60) 3rd Andrew Blight (40,18,58)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 12th Bill Eastoe ProPin No 2 18th Jackpot BallPin 4th Ryan Porker

Where have all the young men gone to the Stuart Clarke Round 1 on 17 March 2018

Rod blitzed 'em
There’s life in the old dog yet, I’ll Grant you that!

The calendar is drawing close to the autumnal equinox and the autumn break in the weather must be just around the corner but old man Sol showed that he still had a bit of a bite for the unwary, particularly when the few clouds cleared away and the north westerly started to blow with a bit more conviction.  Simon was a bit worried how some of the ‘old-timers’ might bear up under the heat of the day later in the round but, as it turned out he needn’t have worried his ‘pretty’ little head about that as the results will show.

Rod has been persuaded, by a combination of badgering by his cohorts and visible results of the benefits of coaching, to buy a new driver (and maybe even a fairway wood – what next? rescues?) and to take some coaching.  If today’s result is any guide, the benefits have been nothing short of spectacular with Rod really hitting his stride on the back nine to card a pretty spectacular 24 points with a singleton on the 18th.  A repeat performance next week through the round would surely street the field.

Blighty was wandering around in a bit of a daze this morning asking about the location of the handicap sheets.  Despite being told where to find them, he obviously didn’t, and so he moved from equal second to outright second as a result of the handicap and score correction.  With only a single point separating first and second on the leader board, it would be good to be a fly on the buggy next week.

Keith was another who obviously didn’t check the handicap sheet (hey guys, your handicaps do move despite what you might think) and so he stepped up a point to keep the tie with Allan in place on  39 points.  So, with another two just a single point back, there could be skin and hair flying in the last group next week.

Then, at long last, in third place, one of the younger members got a look in with Dale managing to tally up a respectable total of 37 points for the round.  Bob and Dave rounded out the interim podium positions by playing right to their handicap on 36 points.  So, it is still anybody’s trophy to collect as big turnarounds are not impossible in this frustrating game that we play (or try to anyway).

One match was contested today between CraigC and Mal.  Neither really set the world on fire in terms of the scores in the main game, but the match turned out to be a game of two halves.  Craig started out pretty well and, at one stage half way through the front nine, he seemed to be in a commanding position at three up.  However, Mal did not wilt in the heat as Simon had feared and won several holes without needing his stroke allowance to get back in front and take the match 2 and 1. The match was so low key, that one player in the group did not realise that it was in progress until the match ended at the 17th.

There are three matches left in Round 1 and there are three more Saturdays to get them completed.  Please contact your opponent and arrange the match or, if they are unable to play, arrange a match against the appropriate reserve.  Don’t just hope that they will show up one day or you could both be out.  Also just another point of clarification.  The ‘if you are there you play’ rule only applies to the time between the start and finish of the relevant round.  So round two matches do not have to be played until on or after April MM but if you and your opponent agree the match can be played before then.  Third and subsequent round matches have to be played during the specified time interval on the basis of ‘both present, play’.  But you still have to talk to your opponent, don’t rely on chance.

The BallPin today was on the 12th and Simon was able to squeeze out Rob to collect the ball, despite hoping that it was a ProPin and that he was going to get some money.  The mobile ProPin was actually on the 15th and Dennis took on the trees and the contours of the ground to finish 3.52m from the hole which was enough to collect the dough.  The 18th ProPin was located on the top deck again and Harry went close to putting it inside the 5m limit, except that the ball wasn’t on the green.  Three weeks in a row would have been a bit much perhaps.  In the event, nobody else got close enough and so there will be a Jackpot up for grabs next week.  With twenty four players out on the course today and another big field in the offing next week, there should be a pool worth winning.  Despite the field size we only managed to put in 10 birdies.  Not a great strike rate at all.

As usual Rodger joined us for his annual tilt at the Memorial Trophy and at 33 points he does have a bit of work to do, and a bit of a chance.  Still, he did admit to having some good rounds around Christmas time which got his handicap down a bit from where it had been so maybe it is not an impossible task.  It seems that after the wide open plains of Yarrambat, he is not too enamoured of our closely treed fairways.

Mehmet is on the comeback trail after his knee surgery and maybe it has done some good as even he admits that he doesn’t fall over backwards as much as a result.  He did say that he got a bit tired towards the end of the round – tired of outdriving Chrispy.  Damo matched Mehm with a bandage on his knee and has apparently lost count of the number of recons he has had over the years.

There were no reports of draughties today but there were apparently several airies.  Porks got a good drive away on the 2nd but the ball finished hard against a tree.  A practice swing suggested that a shot was possible but the execution produced the same result as the practice and no contact with the ball.  Chrispy, on the other hand waited until the 17th to find himself in a spot that required a left handed shot to have any chance of playing from the lie.  Instead of the back of a putter or an iron, Chris chose to use his 3 wood with the ultimate result of missing the ball no less than three times.  Perhaps he didn’t want to use his putter because it has a brand new ‘fat’ grip on it.  Politeness does not allow repeating what the size of the new grip reminded him of holding.

Noodles new year resolution continues to hold though he was spotted trudging rather disconsolately across the 16th after putting his drive from the 14th out of bounds.  Some others might do well to follow Noodles’ resolution as there were reports that three out of a group of four were guilty of equipment abuse and all on the same 14th hole.  Members are looking forward with anticipation to a long drive shoot-out between Stef and Dave after Dave finished pin high on the 9th from the tee.  Bring it on.

Next week the field will head out in reverse Leaderboard order with the front group tasked with getting the bar-be-que going and the cooking under way.  Any extras that turn up will be slotted into the early groups and it would be handy, for catering purposes, to have an idea who is going to drop out of today’s field and who is going to opt in next week.  So, head over to the Registration page and indicate your intention before next Thursday so that we can adjust the number of steaks and snags if required.

Results for Saturday, 17 March 2018
Leaderboard Round 1 1st Rod Grant(41) 2nd Andrew Blight(40) 3rd Allan Davies(39) 3rd Keith Delzoppo(39) 4th Dale Webb(37) 5th Bob McDonald(36) 5th David Mullenger(36)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Rod Grant (41) 2nd Andrew Blight (40) 3rd Allan Davies (39) 3rd Keith Delzoppo (39)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 15th Dennis Ward ProPin No 2 18th Jackpot BallPin 12th Simon Powell

Barley Charley, never soya coming for Stableford on 10 March 2018

Damo makes a come-back
Beats bowling any day!

Another beautiful day in paradise.  The ground-staff are doing their darnedest to compensate for the rainfall that isn’t coming even to the extent of leaving the greens saturated right up until play starts.  The casual water does add some interest on greens that might otherwise be uninteresting.  There were some concerns that the long week-end would lure some members away.  And it did.  But, there were still twenty-six who made it to the course and with the addition of one visitor, Papa, there was a field of 27 set out.  Only 25 completed the round, Ed aggravated a hamstring and Joe had a zoo to go to (after he finished his matchplay match).

The cricket season is over and that saw a couple of the aficionados of that particular ball sport fronting back up for the ‘tween seasons break.  Only one of the cricketers was successful though and that was Damo who started off with a front nine that did not look all that promising.  Perhaps he was just lulling Keith into a false sense of security in their match as, after the turn, it turned into a demonstration with a one under scoreline returning 22 points to give the winning total of 37.  In the process, he left Keith in the dust to take the match 4 and 2.

Usually, the stableford points calculations are pretty well done, but occasionally people forget that their handicap has changed and they claim a point where they shouldn’t or they don’t claim one when they should.  This seems to have happened in two cases today and as a result there was a bit of a turn-around in the results from the after game run-down.  Now, in second place, with 36 points is none other than Chrispy.  Perhaps it was the thought of the draughties presented by Jake and Papa and the prospect of needing to call Uber to get home that caused him to miss a point (or to forget about the shanks).

On the other hand Mal took one where he shouldn’t and so he dropped back to share third place with Harry, MattH, and David on 35.  Harry started out well enough in his effort to get on top of Ed in their match but after a certain amount of chest beating and eye gouging, Ed retired himself after seven holes with his aggravated hamstring.  Harry was two ahead at the time.  Matt took a couple of holes to get going and then strung quite a few together but he got the shakes a bit on the back, possibly a result of SOS going close to taking Jason out with one of his shanks, which he seems to have caught from Chris the other week.  David showed that he is a definite contender in a driving contest with Stef.  He decided to ‘lay up’ on the 14th and managed to finish pin-high as a result.

John was heavily embroiled in his match with Rob who wanted it made clear that he played with fifteen stitches in his back but he didn’t pull out.  There wasn’t much in the match by and large although John did retain the upper hand for most of the round.  He might have thought of reaching for the Butter Menthols as Rob brought it back to square at the 17th but a win on the 18th gave the match to John 1 up.  Allan gave a very good impression of an early morning milk delivery van as he jiggled around the course on his trusty gopher.  There was certainly potential on the card for a bit of improvement and Allan could very soon present further up the podium than he did today.  Jason also left a few out there with one gash and a sprinkling of singletons offering promise of better things to come and maybe an even lower handicap yet.

The BallPin today was on the 4th and Joe was the only one to worry the pin at all.  Even though it was reasonably close to the mark, he did not make the birdie   On the 15ht, Harry put his to 3.8m, just about spot on Dave’s estimate from the tee of 12ft, to take out a ProPin for the second week in a row.  He also did not make the birdie.  The fixed ProPin on the 18th was a bit more of a contest but it was eventually taken out by Damo with a distance of 1.78m.  Damo didn’t make the birdie but the other contender, Dale did get his birdie from 4.6m and in so doing he contributed to the total of 16 for the day.  Porks, the Nest Raider of the Lost Ark, played the 6th like a violin and after a driver and fairway wood to a metre or so, slotted the putt to collect the eggs on offer.

However, the eagle on the 6th did nothing much for Ryan in his match against the Beast in which the Beast was never really headed and the match finished 4 and 3.  The result could have been entirely different when Bill went OOB on the 14th.  But, rather than lay up and play it safe, Ryan went for it and he too went OOB handing another win to Bill.  Targe and Brendon also matched up today and the long and short of it is that Targe fought back valiantly from being 4 in arrears to finish the round all square and so they, and an appreciative audience, lined up for a chip-off to determine the result.  The first pair of chips were ordinary to say the least and the putting ended up still square.  Second time around, Brendon got close enough to make it hard for Targe and he ended up winning the match.  Noodles said to Joe that if Joe finished the round with clubs in his bag he would win the match.  This proved to be prophetic as Joe did finish with clubs in his bag and he did win the match 5 and 3.

Simon cracked it today.  No, he didn’t do his ‘nana.  He dropped his puffer and it no longer ‘puffs’ and his good mates were disappointed to find him dragging on darts after the round.  Dennis was having a bit of a bad day and he expressed his disappointment at not being able to lose the ball he was playing with even when he hit it out of bounds.  After being urged to keep the game moving along to catch the group in front, Allan did nothing for the cause by arriving on the 7th tee with his putter firmly in hand.  Gordon spilled a lot of oil from the sump on the back nine after racking up 26 points in 11 holes.  He went on to make 31 for the whole round.  Jason was having a fine time with his wedge and chipped in twice from some distance out.  All that mid-week practice must be paying off.

The AGM was held after the round and a good number of members stayed around to take part.  The minutes of the meeting will be circulated in due course.  Suffice it to say that there are not a lot of changes to the committee line-up.  MattN will take the role of Tee Marshal and will be assisted as required by John and Simon.  The Priems boys will assist Gordon in the role of Social Secretary.  Ten Year Awards are due to Ed Kloprogge, Rod Grant, John Quinlan and Mehmet Akdag and these will be presented on a suitable occasion.

The Annual Challenge is coming up in October and it is still possible to register if you speak nicely to Gordon.  Gordon will be circulating more details shortly.

Next week is the first round of the Stuart Clarke Memorial event.  Two rounds of Stableford.  Come along and remember Stuart.  There’ll be a bar-be-que after the second round.

Results for Saturday, 10 March 2018
1st Damien Lee(37) 2nd Chris Priems(36) 3rd Harry Boughen(35) 3rd Malcolm Fleming(35) 3rd Matt Hunt(35) 3rd David Mullenger(35) 4th Allan Davies(34) 4th John Quinlan(34) 5th Jason Hopkins(33)

Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (35) 1st Malcolm Fleming (35) 2nd Allan Davies (34) 3rd Keith Delzoppo (32)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 15th Harry Boughen ProPin No 2 18th Damien Lee BallPin 4th Joe Wagenecht

Eagle’s nest Results: Eagle 5th Ryan Porker