Dennis slept right up to the alarm going off and thought briefly about giving it a miss given the forecast of rain showers and westerly winds adding a chill factor the the forecast maximum of 13C. A couple of times during the round he was heard to wish that he had stuck with his first waking thought. But then he would have missed out on the great company of twenty others who made similar decisions to chance their arm with the prospect of a bounty of points in a GrandPar competition. Included in the numbers was Ben, who now has embarked on the task of re-establishing his handicap after his break away from the club. We were also joined by Peter Damou who found us on Facebook and was not too put off by the photographic evidence of the type of person that plays with the club. Peter is a new-comer to the game but, if he can keep the country rail system running then there is a fair chance he can master the challenges involved with playing in our exalted company. A big welcome, Peter and we look forward to seeing you on the tee again soon.
Chrispy was supposed to be heading off to Bali for a well-earned break but the small matter of an erupting volcano has intervened and departure is now scheduled for Sunday, provided that the wind is blowing in the right direction. Not because of any need to clear the air around Chris but to clear the air around Bali. As it turned out, Chrispy managed to find a bit of the form that we know he is capable of and there was nary a shank in sight as Chris powered his way to a fine score of +4. This was helped along by a chip in for a birdie on the 17th and, if it hadn’t been for that, there would have been only four of the feathery little blighters captured for the day. Which suggests that conditions might not have been as benign as Chris’s score would suggest.
Dave spends a bit of time playing at Heidelberg and the greens there are a different standard to that set here at ‘Royal’ Ivanhoe and so he had a bit of difficulty with the flat stick and left a few points begging as a result. His driving, on the other hand was exemplary with reports of needing only a gap wedge on the 13th and as much as a full wedge on the 16th (into the wind). So, his score line of +2 probably did not truly reflect the potential for what might have been on the day.
The third place spot was shared around a bit with three players, Brent, Noodles and Dale. Oops, can we make that four? Of course we can, Rob! So, when all the cards were finally submitted, +1 was the score required. Noodles squeezed in by dint of a double pointer on the first, and, in doing so he became a member of a fairly small group to achieve that distinction. He also managed to miss heaps of short putts so he could be a force to be reckoned with in days to come. Rob, on the other hand, was spotted buying a round on the basis that he left his drive some 10m short of the red markers on the 7th although it must be admitted that the blues were well to the back and the reds were well to the front. Unperturbed, he put his next on the green and managed a respectable enough bogie.
Captain Pugwash is still waxing lyrical about the delights of flagons of French wine, crispy (not Chrispy) baguettes and smelly cheeses but there was nothing smelly about his form today with a square card and a share of 4th place (and 1st place in the Seniors). Right alongside him was Bob who showed signs of being able to take the event with some very respectable approach shots and some ‘power’ putting that happened to find the centre of the hole rather than the edge of the green. In a veritable feast of Seniors, Targe and the Beast filled 5th place. Simon remains confused about scoring and/or the difference between his inside and outside handicaps and had to be dropped out of the main points line-up. There is a thought that Dennis might have had something to do with persuading him to claim a square rather than a miss.
The BallPin was on the 4th and Bob managed to stay on the green by the narrowest of margins to take the ball for the day. The 15th was a very nice little Double Jackpot from the last two weeks although the field numbers were a little down over that time. Still, it was worth fighting for and Chrispy added to his laurels for the day by sneaking it just closer than SOS to take the prize pool at 3,28m. The second ProPin on the 18th went begging after Harry’s shot almost made it to the crest and then, frustratingly, rolled back down the slope. Dennis, on the other hand was just a bit too long and would have been in a good position if the flag had been on the top shelf.
For the first time in a little while, the Birthday Birdie has a job of work this week and that is to make a big how-d’ye-do for Pepsi who will move just a fraction closer to playing his age.
The stories behind today’s draughties bear some consideration. Rob’s you already know about. Ben was buying a round but that was only due to his kind-hearted generosity. On the 15th, his playing group thought they had one for sure when his drive disappeared into the trees and seemed destined to come to a sudden halt OOB and behind the reds. Lo and behold, the ball appeared on the other side of the scrub and finished comfortably on the green. What did they say about the Age of Miracles?
For a long time now, people have been commenting about how close to the ball Simon makes his practice swing. Today, the swing was just a fraction off plane and the ball skittered off at 90 degrees and finished several metres away on the edge of the 6th fairway. Simon opted to consider the ball ‘in play’ and carried on to play the hole from where it lay. However, as it was Simon’s normal practice to make a practice swing and he had not addressed the ball to make a stroke, the ball was not ‘in play’ and he was entitled to replay the shot from the teeing ground without penalty. Just goes to show, it pays to be familiar with the Rules. And, technically, it wasn’t even a draughtie except that he chose to play it.
Peter was another to have a close shave on the draughtie front when his tee shot on the 12th finished precisely aligned with the red markers. His second ended on the bank behind the green and, from that difficult spot, the ball finished some 25m down the bank at the front of the green. A lesser person would have despaired but a brilliant chip placed the ball convincingly in the hole for the bogie.
The 12th today seemed to have some sort of fatal attraction for some members. There had been a few sprinkles of rain, but not a lot to speak of. Unless, of course, there was a mini storm cloud that hovered over Matt’s golf bag and dumped a load of water down the tubes to thoroughly wet the grips and make them as slippery as an eel. So much so that when Matt took his swing at the ball from the tee, the club slipped out of his hands and flew gracefully through the air to finish just about in the centre of the duck pond by the tee. At least, that is the story he is putting around. There was a fair gaggle of on-lookers and no shortage of photographic evidence of the ‘creature’ emerging from the depths of the Black Lagoon.
The 16th also had its share of adventures. Dennis decided to ‘try’ something from the tee and promptly hooked the ball OOB. Resolving not to ‘try’ that again he repeated the shot almost exactly although this time it struck a tree and dropped back into play but far too far away for any hope of a scoring chance. Ben decided to use the 16th as he played the 14th and was spotted playing a rather ‘chunky’ pitch shot that saw an exceedingly well formed divot travel almost as far as the ball.
Results for Saturday, 30 June 2018
1st Chris Priems(+4) 2nd David Mullenger(+2) 3rd Stephen Butterfield(+1) 3rd Robert Priems(+1) 3rd Brent Rowley(+1) 3rd Dale Webb(+1) 4th Gordon Hill(□) 4th Bob McDonald(□) 5th Bill Eastoe(-2) 5th Targe Mifsud(-2)
Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (□) 1st Gordon Hill (□) 2nd Bill Eastoe (-2) 2nd Targe Mifsud (-2) 3rd Simon Powell (-3)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 15th Chris Priems ProPin No 2 18th Jackpot BallPin 4th Bob McDonald
There could have been fifteen players out on the course today. For some reason, and it could have been down to some shenanigans last night, JohnQ, Stef and Mehmet pulled the plug at the last minute. Gordon, on the other hand, put his licence on the line and made it to the course but SOS didn’t need a PBT to guess what he had been up to. And, according to all reports, Mehm is a better dealer than he is a poker player. What we did have to do, though, was to welcome back a long lost member of the Akdag clan and Ben has decided that he wants to join our happy throng again after a break of three years. And what better way to make a come-back than to join in the fun and frivolity of a round of Ambrose to celebrate the passing of the Solstice and the lengthening of the days to come. Certainly better than a dip in the Bay in the altogether (perish the thought).
Despite a couple arcing up and claiming they didn’t know it was on and threatening to go home, it seems that they went out and really did quite enjoy themselves if the banter around the tables after the round was any guide. Ben went into the draw (not by computer, thanks a lot Mr Gates) with the handicap that he left off with and helped his team with what was claimed to be the putt of the day by sinking one from about 6m out on the 10th to bring home a birdie and a four pointer. Team mate Jason pulled out a corker shot on the 18th to put the ball 63cm from the hole and the team scored another birdie. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t for the 4 points that went on their card. Sort of explains why SOS’s team would have won outright on net score but tied on Stableford. The scrutineers will have to be more scrupulous next time.
The ‘unlucky’ second placed team consisted of Blighty, Harry, Pugsie and SOS who were expertly captained by SOS as Captain P was not necessarily in the best condition to do so. On the 13th, SOS’s ball was far and away the best placed despite Harry and Blighty still needing a drive apiece. The second shots were variable until SOS stepped up to the mark, started the ball left of the line, brought it off the bank and finished it a couple of metres from the pin. He then sank the putt and made the birdie in his own right, something he has not done in competition for a long time. Blighty was a bit disgruntled at having to walk forward some 50m to collect his ball when it was decided to take Harry’s spot for his last compulsory tee shot on the 16th rather than risk having to rely on it for the last two holes.
Brendon’s shot on the 12th was not much off a metre from the hole and that was more than enough to win him the BallPin. The sad thing is that all four putts failed to make it into the hole and so that was one birdie that didn’t go onto the total of fifteen for the day. The curious thing is that they were all good putts, they just didn’t go into the hole. Ain’t that always the way, hey. Dennis was one that should have taken a shot on the 16th, particularly when his tee shot on the 17th was well struck but way off line into the trees. So the pressure was really on for the 18th. But the team did manage to par the hole so the shot can’t have been too bad.
SOS was so confident as to how the day was going to go that he struck an agreement on the first that there would be no shouts for draughties and that any ProPins won would be share and share alike. Fortunately and unfortunately, as the case may be, neither agreement was required. But, there will be another chance next week as the ProPin on the 15th remained elusive and there will be a Double Jackpot waiting for some lucky punter (or punters).
Simon is off overseas later in the year and he is looking for advice on things that he can do in or around Paris for five days. As well as the Folies, the museums, the art galleries, Versailles etc, surely Disneyland should be high on the list. You never know, he might be able to score better there than he does on the scorecard (if you believe his playing companions). And don’t get excited Simon, the Seniors results are just for fun!
Results for Saturday, 23 June 2018
1st Benan Akdag, Stephen Butterfield, Jason Hopkins, Targe Mifsud (48 c/b – should have checked!!!) 2nd Andrew Blight, Harry Boughen, Gordon Hill, Stephen O’Sullivan (48 unlucky) 3rd Brendon Mitchell, Simon Powell, Dennis Ward, Rodney White (47)
Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud 2nd Harry Boughen, Gordon Hill 3rd Simon Powell, Dennis Ward
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 15th Jackpot ProPin No 2 18th Jason Hopkins BallPin 12th Brendon Mitchell
Well it wasn’t quite the day that the sun stood still (that comes later in the week) but there were some other dire forecasts about impending rain and there were a few anxious eyes cast to the skies when a hand-full of drops fell on about the 14th. A few spots was all it was and the wind was a mere zephyr compared to what you can get on King Island although some did complain about the effect it was having on the flight of the ball. Or was that just crappy ball striking? So, everybody finished dry if a little chilled around the extremities though there was one set of shorts out of the cupboard with a cheery observation that the temperature was as much as seven degrees. Obviously never heard of wind-chill!
The surgeon obviously did more than just fix Ryan’s knee. He has obviously fixed his golf game as well. Or, maybe, he was stung by his second placing last week to try a little harder today. He tried so much harder that he absolutely blitzed the field and coasted home to take the points and a clear lead in the Championship with a +5 result. The win and the bust caused a bit of harm on the handicap front and the margin in the Eclectic is back down to a more achievable level. Ryan went close to adding to his laurels on the 17th. With the tee well to the front, the pin was actually visible and Ryan went for it and finished only a metre or so away from the mark. The putt slipped by and so the Eagle could breathe easy and add another egg to the nest for next week. The birdie was easily done and brought the total for the day to six which is probably a bit low for a field of 17 players.
Blighty started off a bit shaky, particularly off the tee. But, later in the round, after analysing his swing and deciding to stop trying to ‘steer’ the ball, he really started to ‘cream’ it and with a bit of sharp play around the greens the scoring rate improved and he ended the day in positive territory to take the second place points in the main event and the top points in the Seniors.
Mattie started out with a burst and racked up five plusses in seven holes. This pretty much broke the Beast’s heart as the pair of them were slugging it out in the Matchplay semi-final as well. This burst left Matt with an impressive lead of four up and, try as he might, Bill was struggling to reel him back in although he had made up a couple by the 14th. Matt got a bit of a second wind however and the match went dormie three. Another win on the 16th clinched the deal and Matt took the match with a convincing 4 and 2. Matt now meets JQ in the Final and Bill will play off for third against Stefan. All will get points.
Trevor was in a group with Bob and between the pair of them they seem to have had more than a little trouble with knowing how many and which holes Trev had two strokes on. The upshot was that Trev moved up into 4th place and joined Whitey on the podium with a score line of -1 And just a point behind to collect the last points for the day were Whitey and Dale.
Dale had another little victory today when he put his drive on the 12th to about a metre from the hole to collect the BallPin trophy for the day. The two ProPins were on the 15th and the 18th and both of them went begging so there will be a reasonable stash of cash up for grabs next week.
Jason pulled one of his trick shots out of the bag today when the ball finished behind him. He didn’t hit a tree or a post or a buggy. He almost didn’t hit the ball and topped it so much that it took back=spin when it hit the ground and ran back the way it came to finish where it did. Harry reckons that he has been making so many ‘scones’ lately that he is thinking of joining the CWA.
Chrispy’s drive on the 13th headed so far left that it was deemed to be OOB for sure. On proceeding to the area, the ball was found lying on the roadway. Chris reckons that it must have hit a house to have come that far back out. Chris also found a ball inscribed with ‘chinese’ characters by the 18th green. He reckons it was as hard as the floor tiles in the club-house and when he despatched it towards the river, he worried that he might have damaged his club.
A member of the public was spotted wandering aimlessly across the 14th and 16th fairways staring intently at some sort of device. It seems that Pokemon Go has made some sort of a come-back and perhaps this was a symptom of that particular craze. Either that or stupidity (or both).
JQ used his son’s swimming lesson as an excuse to drop into the Clubhouse. However, we all know that he was really there to suss out who he was going to have to play in the final for the Matchplay Championship. He obviously means business since he seems to have picked up a brand new set of clubs that have been made especially to fit.
Brent also has a little trick that could be classified as a bit on the gruesome side. It seems that his little finger on his left hand dislocates rather easily and, a couple of times today, it popped out in the course of a swing at the ball. Just as easily popped back in, it seems. Whether this contributed to the lack of a placing today is still undetermined.
Brendon was checking on the guidelines for setting up a course for play and, in particular to positioning of the pin on the green. The guide indicates that it should be not less than ‘four paces’ (say three metres) from the edge. There are a few other criteria as well. The feeling is that these guidelines have not been followed on this course for some considerable time. And these are not the only ones but let’s not go there.
Results for Saturday, 16 June 2018
1st Ryan Porker(+5) 2nd Andrew Blight(+1) 3rd Matt Hunt(□) 4th Trevor Jackson(-1) 4th Rodney White(-1) 5th Stephen Butterfield(-2) 5th Dale Webb(-2)
Seniors Results: 1st Andrew Blight (+1) 2nd Trevor Jackson (-1) 3rd Bill Eastoe (-3) 3rd Dennis Ward (-3) 3rd Simon Powell (-3)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 15th Jackpot ProPin No 2 18th Jackpot BallPin 12th Dale Webb
While the cat was away, fourteen mice came out to play. It seems that Madge’s birthday and, possibly the bit of rain over night and with a few sprinkles still around early served to keep the numbers down a bit. But, the course management deemed the ground damp enough to warrant preferred lies. So, that would have made those calling for that relief over the last couple of weeks happy as a result. The big question would have to be, did the relief make for better scoring or not?
Perhaps the conclusion could be that it didn’t as, in line with recent weeks, the number of players breaking their handicap was pretty low. In fact, only one person managed to do so and, in the process of winning the day with 37 points, Damo propelled himself to the top of the Championship Table and he also boasts a very impressive strike rate of over three points per round to head the table of all comers in the Vardon Trophy. Now all he has to do is to turn up a few more times to join the ‘qualifiers’. Maybe it was the warm head and ears that allowed him to maintain focus.
But obviously not focussed enough to pull of a ‘slam-dunk’ on the 7th. A picture is worth a thousand words so that saves the agony of having to write (and read) that many on the subject. Needless to say, Damien made the birdie and contributed to the total of 9 that were made for the day.
Captain Pugwash managed not to sink his barge in the canals of France but he did manage to sink large quantities of cheese and wine. He claims not to have touched a club while away so French wine and cheese is obviously good for your game. The other thing that might be good for your game is knee surgery although a boating holiday in France is probably to be preferred. Ryan wasted no time after his return to the playing field snaring the second place alongside Gordon to put himself to the top of the Championship Table beside Damo and a couple of birdies did his position in the Eclectic no harm and he is now holding an impressive lead in that event.
JohnQ was doubly occupied today. Not only did he have to concentrate on the day’s event, he also had to concentrate on his semi-final match with Stefan. He played well enough to get third place on the day and also well enough to beat out Stef in the match 2 and 1. It was a close fought match with the lead changing several times and the position being all square after 14 holes. Consecutive wins by John made the match dormie two. Stef needed a birdie to win the 17th but didn’t quite manage it and the squared hole gave the match to John. And who’s been talking himself down for the last three rounds? Anyway, back to the day’s results. Joe also managed to get 35 points to share third place. Joe might be a tad disappointed though having started the round like a house on fire to card 22 points on the front only to fade on the back. Dale, on the other hand could have been forgiven for going home after the front only to come home with all guns blazing and making twenty points on the back to bring his total for the day to 29.
Simon has been consulting with his coach again and his driver was working a treat after a couple of little tweaks. Some dark mutterings could be heard around the greens which suggests that some more time in the back yard might be warranted. The cats are probably safe though as the second place in the Seniors gives him back a bit of a lead over Harry.
There were a swag of members lining up for the last point of the day and, although some Michaels might quibble about getting points for a card of 32 points, Stef, Noodles, Jason and Dennis will surely not complain.
The BallPin was on the 15th and JQ squeezed out Dale for the ball although he didn’t put it close enough to get the birdie. The first ProPin was on the 12th and Porks made a meal of it by getting to 2.26m. Joe snared the money from the 18th with a shot to 4.12m.
The practice putting green has been closed for maintenance and staff were being very vigilant to ensure that there was no trespassing. Perhaps the lack of pre-game practice contributed to the low scoring. Targe in particular missed several from close range although he did compensate a little by sinking a couple of ‘monsters’.
RodW decided to by-pass his putter on the 8th and chipped from the back of the green and right into the hole. Possibly one of the highlights of his day. Dennis is thinking of becoming an arborist after getting up close and personal with a rather large tree on the 9th.
Other than Her Madge, the Birthday Birdie has had little to do this week. There were no draughties reported so either everybody was very quiet or, like Si, their drivers were working well.
Results for Saturday, 09 June 2018
1st Damien Lee(37) 2nd Gordon Hill(36) 2nd Ryan Porker(36) 3rd John Quinlan(35) 3rd Joe Wagenecht(35) 4th Simon Powell(33) 5th Stefan Belevski(32) 5th Stephen Butterfield(32) 5th Jason Hopkins(32) 5th Dennis Ward(32)
Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (36) 2nd Simon Powell (33) 3rd Dennis Ward (32)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 12th Ryan Porker ProPin No 2 18th Joe Wagenecht BallPin 15th John Quinlan