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They headed off into the fog and mist just to play GrandPar on 26 May 2018

Cool-hand Noodles
Who said only the weather could be cool!

At long last, the lows that have been pushing in the persistent cloud cover moved on and a high was able to give us a clear night sky and the temperature dropped pretty significantly over night.  But that caused the moisture in the air to condense into fog and so we teed off into the fog and hoped we hadn’t missed.  There were no reports of balls going missing though the monkeys would have been singing soprano for other reasons.  For some reason, the fog always seemed thicker when you were standing on the tee compared to when you were down the fairway.  Perhaps Jane could explain the phenomenon sometime.  However, despite all this, twenty one (actually twenty-two when we include Brendon who ‘forgot’ to put his card in) members and one guest headed out and didn’t get lost as all made it back to the Club House in good time.

Noodles has been lurking in the background for a while and, despite heading the attendance table his strike rate has not been that great and he was languishing in the nether regions of the Vardon Table.  Today, he took advantage of the GrandPar by taking a birdie on the 3rd to get the two points for the hole and to make one of the 14 birdies that we scored today.  In contrast to many others in the field Noodles fared better on the front nine and must have tired through the back.  On the day, a score of +1 was enough to win the event and to move his handicap down a notch.

Hot on his heels, and only pipped by the two pointer, were a fine group of three.  Stef was always going to be dangerous, particularly when he was firing into the fog early in the round.  He was a bit astray from the 14th and as he waited to play from the 16th fairway, Simon thought he might get a bit of his own back as he teed off from the 16th.  Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view) the ball went wide of the mark.  Simon’s mate Greg, who was the guest for the day, had no particular axe to grind but he bombed one up and went close to taking out JQ et al.  Stef was joined by Blighty, who was described as ‘dancing about his ball like a ballerina’ as he tried to gauge the break of his putts and Rob who was probably more like the Incredible Hulk at the same task.

There were fears that Michael had made his return too early as there were rumours that his back was back.  He turned up bright and shiny but, like a lot of others, he did not handle the front nine too well.  However he completed the back one under the card off the stick and finished on -1.  The shape of the card was similar for Targe who fared rather better than he did in the previous two weeks.  MattN also played the game of two halves to join in the share of third place.  Jason, on the other hand played a balanced round though he did have more than a little luck with the trees doing him a favour and returning his ball to playable positions.

Harry was another one who struggled a bit with the front nine.  The 10th shaped to be the start of a repeat performance with a minus but from then on, things looked up and H was even able to crack a smile on a couple of occasions.  Brent played a very even hand to join Harry on -2.  The Beast is back from his, seemingly, never-ending jaunt overseas to hone his golfing skills on the fair greens of Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales as well as other places east and west too numerous to mention.  To MattH, went the privilege of the first GrandPar of the day when he made a double on the first.  Two up after one hole, too easy!  Unfortunately, soon to be followed by three scratches in a row.  Oh well, easy come, easy go.

The first ProPin was on the 4th, which some people reckon was too early in the day.  But, it’s the same for everyone so what’s the obs?  In the event, it was Brendon who had his name on the card, but!!!  There was no measurement recorded.  He was in the last group and he reckons that his playing companions said it wasn’t necessary.  Hmmmm!  The BallPin was on the 15th and, possibly because Michael was on a roll by this stage, he had no problems in taking that one out unchallenged.  The same situation prevailed for the ProPin on the 18th and a shot to 1.66m was more than enough to garner the cash for Michael.

The next to last of the matches in the Matchplay quarter-finals was played today between the Beast and Mal.  And, it turned out to be a game of fluctuating fortunes.  Bill would have liked a little more time to adjust his game for the Ivanhoe course after his training run OS but, as both contenders were present, it was game on.  Things went pretty evenly in the foggy conditions early on but, as the fog started to clear, Bill found his range and managed to open up a bit of a lead.  Not to be deterred, Mal fought back with a series of winners including a chip in for birdie on the 14th to make the match dormie two after the 16th.  Perhaps, Mal needed the Butter Menthols but Bill won the next two to finish the match all square.  In the chip-off, Mal made the better chip but Bill made it down with two putts.  Mal was a little enthusiastic with his putt, and, although he rarely misses a second putt, he did this time to bow out of the competition gracefully and in no way disgraced.

Greg was hitting the ball so well today that he is thinking of trying to buy a set of the Hi-Re clubs that he was using today.  Keith reckoned Harry was a jinx for him today as twice when he was teeing off while H was on an adjacent green he shanked the ball into a hazard.  JohnQ had a doozer on the 3rd where the ball took off at nearly 90 degrees, almost took out Noodles and could easily have finished OOB, which would have really rubbed salt into the wounds.

Dennis owned up to having a draughtie today on the 7th.  In his defense, he argued that it was at least 100m between the blue and the red markers but it is doubtful that any of the tee boxes are actually that long.  ChrisV didn’t actually have one, but he was noticed playing his second on the 10th from the slope at the back of the 13th green.  DennisW is recently back from Japan and, in the spirit of conserving resources, he didn’t use his putter on three consecutive holes.  Not because he chipped in, but because he was out of strokes before he got onto the green.  Must have been all that sushi and sashimi.  Some did liken it to a performance by the Bulldogs after half time.  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!

The story of the day, however would have to relate to SOS.  He was apparently feeling like he needed a bit of a rest and decided to sit himself on the seat attached to his buggy.  Now, as you all know, his buggy is one of those electric ones with a remote control which, as most people do when it is not being used, SOS was carrying in his pocket.  As he went to sit down, the remote activated, the buggy took off and SOS ended up sitting on his dignity (or lack thereof).  Good one, SOS!

MattN let it be known today that he will be decamping to Sydney the week after next and next Saturday will be his last regular game with us.  He does plan to continue to join us if and when he is in Melbourne on a Saturday and he still plans to come to the Annual Challenge.  What it does mean is that we will need a replacement Tee Marshall to corral us up in the mornings.  A number of people have said they were prepared to fill in so, if one of those could step up to the plate and take over the reins, that would be good.  Or even someone from left field.  We would prefer to let Chrispy have his well earned break.

Results for Saturday, 26 May 2018
1st Stephen Butterfield(+1) 2nd Stefan Belevski(□) 2nd Andrew Blight(□) 2nd Robert Priems(□) 3rd Michael Gourlay(-1) 3rd Jason Hopkins(-1) 3rd Targe Mifsud(-1) 3rd Matt Nicholls(-1) 4th Harry Boughen(-2) 4th Brent Rowley(-2) 5th Bill Eastoe(-3) 5th Matt Hunt(-3)

Seniors Results: 1st Andrew Blight (□) 2nd Targe Mifsud (-1) 3rd Harry Boughen (-2)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 4th Brendon Mitchell ProPin No 2 18th Michael Gourlay BallPin 15th Michael Gourlay

Some can afFord to brag about the David Ford on 19 May 2018

SOS brings home a winner
The slide has been arrested! Shanks a lot.

Chrispy said last week that he would cater for 20 players for the bar-be-que.  As it turned out, twenty two turned up although Joe departed early for some reason and did not finish the round.  The sky was overcast (mostly) and the air was humid and the rain that we have had has softened some patches of the course and has taken a lot of run off the fairways.  But, it was a nice day for golf even if the greens were a bit gritty from their recent sanding.  Trevor, at least, seemed to have had a lot of putts taken off course by unseen pebbles and lumps on the green.

For those with their game in order, the conditions of the weather or of the course were as of naught and the scoring flowed freely for some.  None so freely as for SOS who came in with a very impressive +4 to take out the David Ford after being among the leaders with his square card last week.  His round included an impressive shot on the 18th that put his ball within 76 cm of the hole, taking the ProPin and making for an easy birdie which contributed to the total of 12 that the team made for the day.  On the daily performance, SOS was joined by Dale who also had a +4 which helped to propel him from down among the ‘also rans’ up into a points position of fifth with a total of -3 for the event and the greatest positional change in the field.

Rob was next on the podium in second place after carding +3 for the day and the event.  Rob faltered a bit on the last few holes and there was a suggestion that a pack of Butter Menthols might have been in order.  Particularly when he missed a very short putt on the 17th that would have tied the scores though SOS would still have carried the day on a countback.

Now, Blighty seems to have suffered a Blighty moment today when he submitted a card to the club with his GA Daily Handicap on it.  A check with the ProShop showed that he had submitted a card there with his GA Daily Handicap as well so not a case of ‘wrong’ card.  As a result Stef was left on the 3rd podium level on his ownsome with a score of -1 overall.  There were no reports of the performance of Stef’s new driver.

Then came a very ‘andy group on -2 for 4th spot with Pepsi, Blighty and Whitey sharing the somewhat faint glory.  Pepsi might have done better if it hadn’t been for a couple of serious shanks on the way around.  Harry thought he had hit a pretty fair drive on the 13th but was rather disturbed when he saw what appeared to be his ball, after landing, running sideways at best or even back toward the tee at worst.  As it turned out, it was Whitey’s ball coming from the other direction as he played the 10th that created the illusion that so disturbed Harry.

The BallPin was set on the 12th and, as a bit of a consolation prize for Rob, it was his ball that got closest to the pin today.  The first ProPin was on the 15th and Jake went close to a slam dunk and his ball finished 1.8m from the hole.  The excitement must have gotten to him though because he missed the birdie putt.

Another actual birdie of note was down to Simon who over-cooked his chip to the 3rd a bit but the line was so accurate that the ball hit the pin about half way up and fell dead into the hole.  At that stage Si was going all right and was +3 at the 9th where he spotted his coach and had a little brag about how well he was going even though he did miss his lesson on Friday.  From there, it was all down-hill and Simon ended up having a draughtie on the 15th and -5 on the back nine.  MattN also managed a draughtie on the 15th.

Trev tried his best to talk himself into having one on the 2nd by enumerating the number that he had had there so far this year.  In the event, he cracked one right down the hi-diddle-diddle.  Targe was feeling in an experimental mood and ‘tried’ something from the tee on the 16th.  The fact that the ball bounced off one of the OOB barrier posts just in front of the red tee markers suggests that the experiment did not work.  If he tried to repeat the experiment on the 17th, then it seems to be very reproducible, because the ball finished in the shrubbery just past the red tee markers.  It doesn’t bear repeating what they say about people who repeat the same experiment and expect a different result.

The Birthday Birdie has a bit of travelling to do this week if he is going to catch up with Gordon who will undoubtedly be celebrating with a burgundy or two as he motors down the canals of France.  Not quite so far to catch up with Targe but it is duck season and Targe might be a bit trigger happy so he could be advised to wear his kevlar vest.  Anyway, have great days, guys.

Results for Saturday, 19 May 2018
1st Stephen O’Sullivan(□, +4, +4) 2nd Robert Priems(□, +3, +3) 3rd Stefan Belevski(□, -1, -1) 4th Andrew Petricola(-2, □, -2) 4th Rodney White(-2, □, -2) 4th Andrew Blight(-2, □, -2) 5th Dale Webb(-7, +4, -3)

Seniors Results: 1st Andrew Blight (□) 2nd Simon Powell (-2,-3,-5) 3rd Bob McDonald (-9,-4,-13)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 15th Jake Priems ProPin No 2 18th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin 12th Robert Priems


There was no Holden them for the David Ford on 12 May 2018.

Early leaders.
There are four sides to every square….

Despite the prediction of fairways under water and a major dwarf tossing event, for those seventeen members who dragged themselves out from under the doona and made it to the course, the weather was really quite pleasant.  It was a little cool but the gale force winds did not eventuate and with the course softened by a reasonable fall of rain over the last few days, it might have been expected that there was some good scoring to be had.

But, as it has turned out, a square card was all that was required to head up the leaderboard and there was a fair group of players that managed to squeeze themselves into that tight little spot.

Stef’s driver continues to work well though he was forced to lay up on the 5th to finish less than half a metre from the front of the green.  This helped him to make the birdie (but he obviously missed the eagle chance – again) and he added one to the total of nine that we managed for the day.  Chrispy tried to blind his opponents by putting his loud mouth (pants) on display again and, by remaining effectively shank free again, he managed to put himself into the top ranking as well.  Not to be out-done by his better-looking bro (or is that the other way around), Rob was right up there as well though he only managed to par the 12th while his two playing companions managed birdies.  In the true spirit of the PBSU, they all managed to lose the next hole.  SOS is another one who no longer needs hankies because of his shankies and he also climbed to the heady heights of the top spot on the leader board.

Blighty felt a bit hard done by, having received a bit of a rubbishing from Matt about some of his shots and one putt in particular.  Maybe that is why he submitted his inside card to us (and presumably our card to inside) and so his status went down slightly and he was forced to share second spot with Pepsi and Whitey (not Blighty) with a score line of -2.  And, far from there being a SureShank Redemption out and about, Pepsi managed a classic from the 6th fairway that ended up in the middle of the 8th.

Matt was one who showed some concern about the effects of the weather on our ability to play but, in the end, he did turn up.  So, he won’t have to wait until the blog is published to find out what went on.  Simon pretty much had the life sucked out of him during the week at the Dyson gig and he seems to have turned his back on the puffer and was spotted hammering nails into his coffin again.  He was pretty happy with one shot with his Jailbreak club even if it did go OOB at the back of the 15th.

Bob left his driver at home and used some sort of skinny little club instead.  It seemed to work pretty well apart from a couple of aberrations.  One put him into the shrubbery that lines the carpark on the 16th.  Unfortunately, the ball that he hit out of the long grass was not his.  And, to make matters worse, his ball was found only about 150mm from the one that he hit.  Bob wasn’t alone in hitting a wrong ball because John managed to hit Noodle’s ball by mistake as well.  In the event, it didn’t affect Noodle’s score and he was able to join Bob in 4th place.  RodG didn’t start too well, going down on the first three holes.  But, he settled after that and finished only two points worse off at -5.

So, the trophy is there for the winning.  There are about ten players who would have to consider themselves a good chance and a few more that could pull it off with a bit of luck on their side.  As for the rest, the bar-be-que after the game next week offers some hope of consolation.  For those of you that chickened out today, do come along next week and join in the fun.  You could collect a ball in the ball run and there is the added attraction of food.  If you are planning to come, it would be nice if you could let us know so that we can cater adequately.

John will be consoled by the fact that he was able to get his ball onto the green at the 4th and, in the process, he put it close enough to win the BallPin.  The first ProPin was on the 12th and Pepsi managed to get it within the 5m limit at 4.5m to take out the money.  On the 18th, the pin was on the ‘difficult’ top shelf but this offered no difficulty for SOS, who saved his best ’til last and put his to 99cm and, to add icing to the cake, slotted it home for the birdie.

If the 18th pin was in a ‘difficult’ position for the NTP, the position on the 9th could only be described as diabolical, where it was spotted right on the crest of the swale between the levels.  There were a number of ‘just missed’ putts that ended up off the green.  But, some people did manage to par the hole, so, go figure!

Targe didn’t disappear in any puddles but he did bring up the rear of the field.  Maybe it was the fact that his ‘lady’ friend went flat and he had to do without her soothing tones giving out the distance.  Or maybe the exhortations to ‘charge her battery’ served to put him off.  Not sure what might have put Noodles off but there were reports of his ball on the 12th having been ‘lost’ on the oval next door.

Michael was back with us today after his enforced absence with ‘a back’.  The form was a bit rusty on the front nine but it obviously started to come back on the back, despite his back.  On the 18th, his approach shot was something of a ‘flyer’ and likely to be looking at trouble but, it hit the pin which saved it and allowed a bogey to be carded.  Harry reckons the bunker practice that he got at Kingswood and Gardiner’s Run stood him in good stead when his shot from the bunker on the 5th lipped the cup and trickled past leaving him with a simple par putt back.

There were two cart capsizes today but no draughties (at least none reported).  Harry’s buggy turned turtle while parked on the slope below the 9th.  It took about five minutes to gather up the multitude of tees, balls, markers, pencils etc that spilled out of various receptacles.  Simon’s remote unit was traversing the hill down from the 17th tee.  Maybe Simon lost concentration and pressed the wrong button but it too went belly up but in this case there was no major spillage of small items.

Results for Saturday, 12 May 2018
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Stefan Belevski(□) 1st Chris Priems(□) 1st Robert Priems(□) 1st Stephen O’Sullivan(□) 2nd Andrew Blight(-2) 2nd Andrew Petricola(-2) 2nd Rodney White(-2) 3rd Matt Nicholls(-3) 3rd Simon Powell(-3) 4th Stephen Butterfield(-4) 4th Bob McDonald(-4) 5th Rod Grant(-5)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Andrew Blight (-2) 2nd Simon Powell (-3) 3rd Bob McDonald (-4)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 12th Andrew Petricola ProPin No 2 18th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin 4th John Quinlan

There were rangas on the loose for the May Monthly Medal on 05 May 2018

Stefan nialed it
Smart as a rat with a diamond ear-stud!

“The rains have come at last” to quote the last line from a not very famous Australian play.  Well sort of.  But you could see that the fairways had been dampened down and some of the greens were fairly soft though was probably more due to sprinkler action than from anything that had fallen directly from the sky.  It was a bit cool to start with but when the sun finally broke through the clouds it felt just about warm enough to take off a layer.  At least, that was the case for those of the nineteen players who didn’t crack it hardy and present in shorts and short sleeves.

The epidemic of ‘shanking’ that has been running rampant through the club seems to be showing signs of subsiding.  Sir Shankalot O’Sullivan had an almost shank-free day.  Rather disturbingly, JohnQ pulled off a beauty from the 17th tee that finished in the middle of the 9th fairway.  Hopefully this is not the first signs of a new infection.  And Chrispy now seems to be quite free of the dreaded disease and posted a score right up there with 78 off the stick for a nett score of 66.  Unfortunately, Stefan turned in a card at just three over for a nett score of 66 as well and in the count-back, he squeezed Chris out of the Medal by a measly half a stroke.

Just one stroke behind, and requiring a valiant recovery after an eight on the second, was Harry.  The result on the second followed one of the very few failed drives of the day that made it through the reed bed but did not reach the red markers and this constituted the only reported draughtie of the day.  Brent was right up there beside Harry on the podium and he did his Eclectic score no harm though it must be said that the round numbers against Brent are  a bit behind the average.

Noodles was spotted walking down the 18th to get to the 17th green but maybe it was only to drop his bag off.  Either that, or he made a great shot over the fence because he scored a birdie on the hole and in doing that he contributed in some small way to the total of 12 of the feathery ones for the day.  His score of 69 (titter, titter) was matched by SOS who obviously benefitted from whatever anti-shankotics that he has taken.

Craig took a couple of holes to warm up but once he settled down the pars came along at a fairly regular pace.  This might have been in some part due to the fact that he was sinking putts from just about everywhere and one estimate was that he took only nine with the flat stick on the back nine.  Matt’s round was well balanced between front and back but a long string of bogies in the middle third probably set him back in the field by a spot or two with his nett score of 70.  And, finally, the one-pointers, three whole strokes back, but not embarrassed in the slightest to take the point were Goranga, Brendon and John.

Gordon looks pensive.
Maybe I should have painted my face blue as well!

The BallPin was on the 12th today and it was well contested with several names on the card.  Stef’s ball landed about 2m past the hole and spun back about 5m to finish about 3m in front of the hole and close enough to take out the other contenders.  The ProPins only elicited one contender apiece.  Matt put his to 4.3m on the 15th to collect the money on offer.  Brent did a bit better on the 18th and managed to make it to 2.69m and took the prize.

There were three matches contested today.  John and Pepsi fought it out in the last match of the second round.  Though, perhaps fought is not the right word as, for a lot of the time, it was a case of who was playing the least worst.  Despite that, the match was square after the 10th and a close result was anticipated.  But John got his act together, and a very uncharacteristic sally into double figures on the 13th by Pepsi, tipped the balance and the match closed out on the 15th with John coming home 4 and 3.

Matt had to play Goranga and, with only three difference in the handicaps, it was going to be very much a stroke for stroke event.  Things started off even enough and, by the 7th, Matt had what appeared to be a comfortable start at 3 up.  Then Gordon put together a couple of wins and it looked as if the match could turn around.  The scores oscillated and the match went dormie at the 16th and so Gordo had to keep winning to square the match and go to a chip-off.  He won the 17th but, unfortunately, he couldn’t repeat the performance on the 18th and Matt took the match 2 up.

The third match was between Harry and Stefan.  Stef took an early lead down to a ‘stroke’ contest on the first and Harry’s mishap on the second.  But the wins and losses alternated with squares and the balance bobbed up and down while Stef struggled with the concept that he could square (or even lose) a hole with a birdie.  His monster drive on the 6th with the ‘new’ driver and a great second shot a couple of metres short of the green looked to stand him in good stead.  Harry’s shot from 90m to 50mm put the pressure on and the chip for eagle (only two balls in the nest) came up short and left a bit of work to do for the birdie.  The match got back to square at the 15th but a minor failure on the 16th and a ‘stroke’ contest on the 17th let Stef in for a win at 2 and 1.

As it turned out, Pepsi didn’t make the highest single hole score for the day.  That dubious honour went to Jason who managed an 11 on the 8th.  Two out of bounds certainly did not help but there were several other, less than salubrious shots involved.  There were reports of long putts that went in and there were probably long putts that missed.  However, the putt (or perhaps the non-putt) of the day would have to go the Rod who managed to miss from 25mm.  Another victim of the ‘just tap it in’ syndrome.

Not the Eagles Nest!

Simon ran into an interesting problem today.  His ball entered a hazard and when it was found, lo and behold, it was nestled in close proximity (read touching) another ball.  The quandary was that the ball was potentially playable from where it lay but not without striking the other ball in the process.  Simon took the penalty drop as relief from the hazard.  However, a reading of the Rules of Golf seem to allow that the ball is a ‘Movable Obstruction’ (anything artificial that may be moved without effort, delay or damage) and so the offending ball could have been removed.  As the ball in play was ‘on’ the movable obstruction, it could be lifted to remove the obstruction and then must be dropped, as near as possible to the spot under where the ball lay without penalty.  It is probably a moot point whether Simon finished better or worse off by taking the relief that he did.

In a vaguely similar vein, JohnQ found himself with his ball resting in a half-cylinder of bark from one of the trees on the course.  The bark is classified as natural and could not be removed without disturbing the ball and so John had no choice but to play the ball as it lay.  The result was not too bad despite the interference.

Our next Major is with us for the next two Saturdays.  The David Ford Autumn Cup is always hotly contested and with double points on offer there could be some big moves on the Championship Table.  As usual, there will be a bar-be-que after the completion of the second round.

Your stats and charts have been updated and there is a new table showing your handicap movements from year to year.  You’ve seen who the big movers have been over the years, now you can see how consistent (or not) you have been.

Results for Saturday, 05 May 2018
1st Stefan Belevski(66)(mm c/b) 1st Chris Priems(66) 2nd Harry Boughen(67) 2nd Brent Rowley(67) 3rd Stephen Butterfield(69) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan(69) 4th Craig Cameron(70) 4th Matt Hunt(70) 5th Gordon Hill(73) 5th Brendon Mitchell(73) 5th John Quinlan(73)

Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (67) 2nd Craig Cameron (70) 3rd Gordon Hill (73)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 15th Matt Hunt ProPin No 2 18th Brent Rowley BallPin 12th Stefan Belevski