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Ben Dover boys, I’m back for GrandPar on 25 August 2018

Ben brings home the bacon.
You can’t judge a round by the first drive…..

It was a bit nippy bright and early this morning with one of the coldest mornings since early July.  There was a hint of frost on the grass and the digits were feeling the pain and the balls seemed decidedly hard.  Thank goodness for chemical hand warmers some would say and thank goodness for generous playing companions who take pity and lend you one.  However, the clear sky presaged a beautiful day and eighteen ventured to the tees to try their hand at scoring the elusive ‘grandpar’.  Trevor turned up for a chat with the news that he had been hospital for some time recently and would not be able to play for a few more weeks yet.  We all hope that any pending news is good and that you are soon well and back among us, Trev.

An appreciative crowd gathered behind the first tee to watch the first group on their way and the crowd was not disappointed when Ben skulled his drive and the ball popped up and disappeared into the bushes beside the front tee-box never to be seen again.  The only known draughtie for the day and not an auspicious start to a round.  However, Ben had crafted his new handicap well and, although he didn’t check the starting sheet he still managed to carry the day with a score of +2.  The bottom line was helped no end by a grandpar though his playing companions were a little dismayed by the fact that he scored it with a par on a hole that carried two handicap strokes.

Hot on Ben’s heels were a veritable pack of contenders with +1 on the card.  Quickdraw McNoodles squandered a few potential points with some poor work around the greens and a couple of his drives did not help as well.  Pepsi finished the front nine one under the card on a stroke basis but then again he almost has to with a handicap that low.  Dale was deep in conversation with Joe about the the merits of various clubs and their loft and carry and the impression was that, if there wasn’t already new gear, there was certainly some in the offing.  A share of second place suggests that all is not too bad.

Continuing with packs of three, there was another trio lining up for third place with nice square cards.  Porks was making a bit of a hard go of it and was four down at one stage.  He then decided that he was going to catch up with Noodles and put his foot down to go very close to achieving that aim, just falling short at the 18th after Noods put his drive to 4.24m to take out the ProPin on the hole.  Chrispy asked to be paired with brother Rob and sibling rivalry obviously spurred him to greater things and he joined Ryan.  JohnQ had other things on his mind but despite possible distractions he too came home square.

Yet another threesome filled fourth place, MattH, SteveK and Whitey all presented with just one point below the line.  Steve didn’t help his cause by hitting the wrong ball while playing the 11th.  Not only did he hit the wrong ball, he was on the wrong fairway (6th) when he did it and only realised when he came across his own ball on the 11th where it should have been.  In fairness, the ball did hit a tree and nobody saw the fall.  Whitey bemoaned his abominable putting and could easily have won the day if not for multiple three putt greens.  Last, but not least, and he will take the point, was Rob  who pushed a couple of hopeful Seniors out of the main points table.

The BallPin today was on the 15th and the Beast was able to snatch that one from Whitey’s grasp.  The very nice little Jackpot ProPin on the 12th was taken out by Steve who managed to sneak inside the circle at 4.82m.

Today also saw the finalisation of the 2018 Matchplay Championship.  The main match took place between JohnQ and Matt.  And a very worthy match it turned out to be.  For the first nine there was not a lot in it and, although the lead did not change, Matt had the lead at one up at the turn.  A couple of quick wins at the start of the back looked as if he might have John  on the ropes.  A couple of right crosses from John just as quickly restored the status quo.  A stray drive and a muffed pitch over the trees by John on the 14th could have turned the match back to Matt’s favour but the hole finished even.  There followed a flurry of body blows through the 15th and 16th before John landed the upper cut on the 17th.  John’s pitch in close to the hole made Matt question his choice of club but he chose to ignore his doubts and he paid the penalty by losing the hole and the match 2 and 1.

The play off for third was between Stefan and the Beast.  This was a slightly more one sided match with the match finishing after the 15th with Bill coming up trumps 4 and 3.  Stef was a little frustrated that, every time he went well on a hole, Bill managed to match him or had a stroke up his sleeve.  Stef did manage to have a couple of victories but, for the most part there was a steady progression of scoring to Bill’s side of the card.  Not much result for a quiet dig on the first ‘See you later, Bill’.

There was not a definitive count of the ‘grandpars’ scored on the day.  Harry did manage to get on on the 7th with a chip-in for a birdie.  That was one small addition to the total of 10 that we managed for the day.  Ryan was talking about the possibility of scoring another eagle to help his score in the Eclectic along though it would need to be on a hole other than the 17th which he already has.  As it turned out he went close to doing it on the 17th when his pitch into the green just missed the hole on the first bounce and finished tap-in distance past.  Pork’s mirror twin was spotted playing on the 2nd hole.  Slender build, grey jacket, dark jeans, black cap with white flashes, scruffy beard.  Only difference was, he played right handed.

It was a tough day at the office today for Damo and it has been a tough week at the office for him as well.  All that sleeping in hotel rooms and international flights has apparently put a crick in his back that interfered with his normal exemplary game.  Gordon also had a bit of a rough day and things were not helped by playing companions taking side bets on whether he would avoid racking up double figures on the bottom line.  And, to add insult to injury, a crow raided his golf bag and made off with one of his muesli bars.  Must have been good as the crow was hotly pursued by a flock of noisy miners.

The Birthday Birdie has one wish to pass about this week and that is due to our new member Peter.  Maybe Peter was celebrating early and that is why he didn’t join us today.  Have a great one, Peter.

And, it just has to be mentioned that the Seniors were right out of the points today but Simon was fairly sweating on finding out how Gordon had fared when he found out that Bill wasn’t in the mix (took his match too seriously) and there was some chance of increasing his lead in the table even further.

Results for Saturday, 25 August 2018
1st Ben Akdag(+2) 2nd Stephen Butterfield(+1) 2nd Andrew Petricola(+1) 2nd Dale Webb(+1) 3rd Ryan Porker(□) 3rd Chris Priems(□) 3rd John Quinlan(□) 4th Matt Hunt(-1) 4th Stephen Kelly(-1) 4th Rodney White(-1) 5th Robert Priems(-4)

Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (-5) 1st Simon Powell (-5) 2nd Andrew Blight (-6) 3rd Gordon Hill (-9)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 12th Stephen Kelly ProPin No 2 18th Stephen Butterfield BallPin 15th Bill Eastoe

One player was on the Matt for Stableford on 18 August 2018

Rob looking at all angles
It doesn’t matter which way you look at it…..

The weather bureau tried their hardest to put people off with forecasts of rain, hail, thunder and wind.  But, seventeen members and one guest refused to be put off and turned up at the nominated time and were rewarded with as fine a set of conditions as you could wish for in the middle of a Melbourne winter.  There were about half a dozen spots of rain as one group trudged wearily up from the 16th to the 17th and the wind did show some promise of picking up towards the end but, overall, the conditions were benign and that was reflected in the number of birdies scored with a tally of thirteen in the bag.  Ryan bagged two with chip-ins (or should that be chips-in), one on the 5th and one on the 18th, JohnQ snared one with a monster putt on the ninth and Noodles had an easy one on the 18th after putting his drive to 92cm to take out the ProPin on that hole.

But, at the end of the day, the day went to Rob who played pretty steadily to score 37 points.  There was one significant hiccup on the 17th where Rob ran foul of the water hazard in which he managed to find a number of balls but not his own.  One ball that he did find was emblazoned with the letters SOS which we all know is not a cry for help although, following a claim by SOS that he lost ten balls today, it might very well have been.  Rob was very keen to make the point that he reckons MattH is running scared and it is not really work that is keeping him from the course.  Seems that there is some sort of side bet going between those two.

Whitey had a bit of strife with the course today.  The tees were too far back, the pins were too close to the edge of the green, the greens were too fast and too sloped.  But, despite all that, he still managed to play to his handicap and slot into second place.  He was joined by Noodles who was helped along no end by the four points from his birdie on the 18th following a couple of uncharacteristic gashes on the previous two holes.

Lunch leftovers
Real golfers don’t do Coke!

The birdie was a keeper and this helped Noods get his nose in front of Ryan in the Eclectic so there is still a bit of life left in that event yet.  Maybe this was the reason that Noodles rushed off and didn’t finish his bottle of Coke.  The same can’t be said for the seagulls that demolished Simon’s plate of chips whether he meant them to or not.

SteveK was marking Ryan’s card and, after the first nine, he was somewhat trailing in Ryan’s dust.  But, as they say, luck’s a fortune and as they passed the turn, so the fortunes turned and Steve came home with all guns blazing while Ryan was not helped by blazing a couple out of bounds on the 14th.

When the chips are down, the tough get chipping.  Simon had hopes of a couple of improvements in his Eclectic but only one of the birdies that he circled counted.  He does report being very pleased with his extraordinarily expensive new putter and must be on a commission as he exhorts everybody who will listen to buy one.

Jason, Bob and JohnQ rounded out the points with a tally of 31 on the scorecard.  John wasn’t too happy on the 9th having made the green in regulation (a rare event it seems) but was left with a very long putt.  You know the rest!

The BallPin today was on the 7th and, from the 6th fairway, it was obvious that somebody in the first group had made it to the green.  That somebody was Gordon who collects two balls after the Jackpot from last week.  The first ProPin on the 12th went begging when nobody was able to put their ball within the 5m circle around the pin so there will be a bit of loot up for grabs next week on that particular hole.

In something of a rarity, there were no reports of draughties.  Or did everybody just stay shtum.

MattN joined us today for a game as he has some time in Melbourne.  He was very thankful to Gordon for providing clubs for him to use and in particular for the choice from about seven putters.  Matt thinks he might have chosen the ‘wrong’ one and would not countenance the thought that it might have been the fault of the nut on the end of the shaft.

SOS was sporting a new haircut today.  It must be something to do with police regulations as nobody would do that to themselves voluntarily!  The Beast reckons he hit his ball so hard on the 17th that it vapourised as there is no other possible explanation for the fact that it couldn’t be found even after extensive search.

Brent had his fair share of problems with trees today.  Apparently, in some cases, even after taking relief, he was still hard up against the trunk.  Rob had a birdie on the 16th after sinking a pretty long putt.  That must have gone to his head as apparently, his drive wasn’t as long as the putt from the 17th.  And, on top of that, he subsequently lost the ball.  In a day that seems to have featured a number of ‘monster’ putts, Harry’s on the third was travelling pretty quickly when it hit the back of the hole, bounced 10cm in the air and fell back into the hole for a par.  Definitely a highlight!

Results for Saturday, 18 August 2018
1st Robert Priems(37) 2nd Stephen Butterfield(36) 2nd Rodney White(36) 3rd Stephen Kelly(34) 4th Simon Powell(32) 5th Jason Hopkins(31) 5th Bob McDonald(31) 5th John Quinlan(31)

Seniors Results: 1st Simon Powell (32) 2nd Bob McDonald (31) 3rd Bill Eastoe (30)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 12th Jackpot ProPin No 2 18th Stephen Butterfield BallPin 7th Gordon Hill

The pickings were slim playing Par on 11 August 2018

Gordon not quite alone
One day, all of those trophies will be mine (and Simon’s).

There was a lot of scratching of chins and poring over radar images around the tee marshall’s table this morning.  Has the rain almost gone, or is there more coming?  What are the greens like, puddled or not puddled?  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, ten members and a guest decided that it was worth a shot and the fivers came out and the names went on the sheet and we repaired to the first tee.  And the rain came down even harder and the wind made a desultory effort to blow.  By half way down the second, a fair portion of the field was beginning to question the wisdom of the decision that had been taken so lightly only half an hour or so earlier.  But, they pressed on and, by the fourth, the rain had eased to a drizzle and by the seventh you would have to be wondering what all the fuss was about.  By the eleventh, the first shadows were spotted and all was well with the world.

There was some puddling on the greens while it rained and this did cause some problems despite taking relief from casual water.  There were chips that went long and chips that ended up short.  There were putts that went long and putts that ended up short.  But the long and the short of it was that the conditions were the same for everybody.  Now, everybody knows that Simon has been getting some stick from the handicapper about errors on his card and so he has been extra careful to get his scores and maths correct.  He was concentrating so much today that he kept claiming ‘five a two’ despite it being a par event.  And, despite his best efforts, it turns out that he got his handicap wrong and, in actual fact, he tied with Gordon for first place.  Which will cheese Gordon off no end as he was hoping to peg Simon back a notch in the Seniors Championship.  But, he was pretty pleased with his two birdies today.  The one on the 15th was a bottler with a 10m putt that never looked like missing the hole.  And two birdies was a fairly significant percentage of the five that were tallied for the day.

Damo was one of the ones on the verge of chucking it in on the second and that was when he was still about 200m out from the green as he headed for one of his few misses for the day.  But, as the weather improved, so did Damo’s golf and he managed to play to equal par on the back nine and to finish up with a square card at the end of the day.  Although the weather did remind him a bit of New Zealand, Brendon, too, was only inspired to press on by the fact that he had managed to get himself out of bed and onto the course.  However, it did pay off in getting him some points and despite the -2 scoreline he volunteered to take them anyway.

Gordon was obviously very excited about his performance and the fact that he thought that he had beaten Simon and so he made something of a blooper when he filled out the Beast’s card.  As  result, our newest member Peter has scored himself some points by filling 4th place with a score of -4.  Welcome to the Club Peter.  Undoubtedly, Bill would have corrected the placings on the spot had he been around as he had filled out the points on his card correctly although he did sign for the points that Gordon had written down but he still gets a point thanks to Si.

The BallPin was placed on the 4th today as a change from the 12th where it has resided for the last little while.  Wouldn’t you know it, nobody managed to get their ball onto the green.  Harry put his close enough to win it on the 12th which says a fair bit about Harry’s game today.  The first ProPin was a Jackpot on the 15th from last week.  And, if you go back through the records, the fellow that has managed to take it out on a fairly regular basis in recent times is none other that Si, who managed to make it to 1.71m  Couldn’t sink the birdie though.  He then nearly had an attack of apoplexy when Damo’s shot whistled in and landed closer to the pin but spun back to finish just a little further away.  Big sigh from Si! On the 18th, Gordon creamed it and, from the tee, he was quite convinced that he would be about 50mm off the green at the back.  As it turned out he was on the green and 2.23m from the hole.  Then, he left the putt about 50mm short.

Daniel joined us again and put together a much improved round for his second card.  The spies suggest that there is a bit of potential there and we look forward to seeing him on the podium when he gets his wings and qualifies for competition.

Steve joined us for the first time in a little while and maybe that showed a little in the scoreline.  He did own up to what seems to have been the only draughtie for the day.  A monster shank from the 14th tee finished in the shrubbery and unplayable (plus it probably counts as garden bed in any case).  The next shot from the drop on the tee was scarcely better and came to rest still short of the red markers.  So, another of the so-called ‘double draughties’.

Maybe we can put it down to the feelings of joy and happiness around Christmas time but the Birthday Birdie has a busy week this week with good wishes being distributed to Brendon, ChrisV and el Presidente, John.  Have a good one guys.

On the injury front, Targe has checked out of rehab and will be staying with family for a little while as his recovery continues.  He has promised to make it to the course on occasions just to keep tabs on us all though it will undoubtedly be some little time before he can swing a club again.  He really appreciated the many visits from members while he was in hospital.  Allan is off his crutches and seems to be little the worse for wear after his bunker mishap.  He is adamant that the reason for having to crawl from the car to the front door was not due to overindulgence and he reckons he could be back in harness in the next week or so.  Mal’s hand has healed well and he was able to play nine holes on Thursday without too much discomfort and we look forward to seeing him back with us particularly as the weather improves and warms up a bit.

Results for Saturday, 11 August 2018
1st Gordon Hill(+3) 1st Simon Powell(+3) 2nd Damien Lee(□) 3rd Brendon Mitchell(-2) 4th Peter Damou(-4) 5th Bill Eastoe(-5)

Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (+3) 1st Simon Powell (+3) 2nd Bill Eastoe (-5) 3rd Harry Boughen (-7)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 15th Simon Powell ProPin No 2 18th Gordon Hill BallPin 4th Jackpot

The Beast was about for the August Monthly Medal

A porky beast.
What are you so happy about?

There’s nothing like the prospect of winning a Medal to bring out the animal in a person.  And there were twenty-two animals competing for the August Medal today.  The rain in the previous day had only a minor effect on the course except for the 14th tee that was rather squishy underfoot and had one member muttering about ‘casual water’.  Maybe there was a particularly heavy shower went through that neck of the woods.  Our newest member Peter was inspired to bring his friend, Daniel O’Rourke, along today to introduce him to the joys of Ivanhoe and the good company that our little Club offers.  So, a big welcome to Daniel and we hope to see more of you in the near future.

Bill started off his round at a fairly leisurely pace and by the end of the first nine he had used up precisely half (or thereabouts) of his handicap strokes.  Not sure who issued the challenge but an impromptu ‘match’ was agreed with Porks for the back nine with a beer on the result.  The thought of a beer obviously inspired the Beast and he proceeded to demolish the back nine coming home one under par for the nine and busting his handicap by six with a nett score of 62.  When his tee shot from the 17th disappeared over the trees, Bill took the precaution of playing a provisional but, as it turned out, the ball was safely on the green and he two putted for the birdie.  On the 18th, his drive hit the pin and dropped to the green 1.21m from the hole for another easy birdie and a jackpot pool for the ProPin.  The two birdies were a significant contribution to the tally of seven for the day.

Joe also contributed to the tally of birdies today on the 11th hole.  Now, you might very well ask what is so special about that.  Well, as you know, Joe is capable of hitting a monster drive.  Which he did.  He then made a monster duff sending the ball not very far at all.  He then followed up with a chip into the hole for his birdie and helped himself along the way to a nett 66 which held the Clubhouse lead for some considerable time.

Gordon reckons he is ‘back’.  And just to prove it, today his card had only one blemish.  He had a three on the 15th.  Every other score was either a four or a five.  Jason was another who used up half his handicap on the front nine.  He didn’t quite emulate Bill on the back and he did get a bit cranky about some errant shots that cost dearly on the score-line.  But he did manage to come in just under his handicap to join Gordon on 67.

Noodles was a bit disappointed with his first four holes and his last four holes so he obviously played well on the other ten.  Simon can’t get over the fact that Noodles has never played the 14th from the 14th fairway (or not very often anyway).  Si also can’t get over the fact that Trev gets more than 20 more strokes that he does and beat him out of a point in the Seniors.  But, hey, that’s what handicaps are for.  Plus, you have to consider that Trev’s score included an airie on the tee at the 15th.  At least Trev won’t get any more handicap back, this week at least, with a square card of 68 nett.  Pepsi was obviously a little wrung out by his performance over the previous two weeks and could only manage a 75 off the stick for a balance of 71 for the last Championship point on offer.

The BallPin on the 12th created a bit of interest and a couple of people hurt when the green slope (and possibly the wind) helped to bring their ball almost back off the green.  In the end it was Chrispy who collected the pill which might very well have been the highlight of his day.  The ProPin on the 15th managed to avoid being challenged and so there will be a jackpot pool available for next week.

The Golf Gods were obviously having a ball on the second today with the tee back on the tank bank for the ‘black’ course.  In some ways, it might be a shorter list to name those that didn’t have one.  But, here goes.  In the front group, there were no less than three with RodG, Ben and Trev succeeding in not getting past the red markers.  Pepsi was the fourth member of the group and as he had to nick off early, the three miscreants declared all quits and no super funds were damaged as a result.  Chris is one who normally takes on the trees on the left with his ‘power fade’ and whether that brought him unstuck is a bit unclear but the scorecard told the tale and the ‘fat lady’ sang.  The words Brendon and draughtie are not often seen in close proximity but they were today, also on the second.

There was one other reported and that was down to Peter on the 12th.  And it raised a ‘technical’ question.  The first shot finished inside the hazard and was deemed to be ‘playable’  The second shot, didn’t quite come off and the ball popped out still short of the red markers.  The question was – does that count as a ‘double draughtie’.  Not something that is covered in the Rules of Golf, unfortunately, but perhaps a draughtie can only originate from a tee shot would be a reasonable interpretation.

Michael put himself among the trees on the left of the 10th and had a view of the green that afforded a glimpse of the flag and not much more.  He pulled out his trusty one iron (and everybody knows not even God, or is that Gord, can hit a one iron) and proceeded to thread it between the trees.  The gap was so narrow, he reckons the ball took bark off both trees on the way through.  And the ball finished on the green and not too far away from the pin. And, wouldn’t you know it, nobody in the group saw the shot.

Keith was back with us today after a bit of a break and he started early with the excuses claiming not to have swung a club for months.  He then proceeded to direct them long and straight down the middle (for the most part).

Simon has been carrying on all week about the new putter that he had ordered with the reactive face and the ‘special’ grip.  The new artillery arrived and he ‘blooded’ it today and was heard to say that – first five holes, one putt.  What he didn’t explain was that it was one putt per hole.  Which is still pretty impressive though he did miss out on getting any points in the Seniors.  Or has that already been said?

Targe seems to be getting along well on his road to recovery and he has been well pleased with the regular visits from Club members.  He will be going ‘home’ later in the week so if you want to catch up while he is still ‘captive’ the next few days will have to be it.  Also, give a thought to Allan, who suffered a bit of a mishap in a bunker during the week (pretty sure he wasn’t driving Thunderbird at the time) and has hurt his back and will be on crutches for a while and we won’t be seeing him and Thunderbird around the course for a little while.  And, while on the injury list, Mal had a mishap a little while back and suffered a severely lacerated hand requiring significant stitching as well as damage to his shoulder, ribs and leg.  So, a big get well and see you back soon to all on the injury list.

Oops, the Birthday Birdie almost forgot that Harry will get one step closer to playing his age this week though he is beginning to think that he will have to live a very long time to do so.

Results for Saturday, 04 August 2018
1st Bill Eastoe(62) 2nd Joe Wagenecht(66) 3rd Gordon Hill(67) 3rd Jason Hopkins(67) 4th Stephen Butterfield(68) 4th Trevor Jackson(68) 5th Andrew Petricola(71)

Seniors Results: 1st Bill Eastoe (62) 2nd Gordon Hill (67) 3rd Trevor Jackson (68)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin No 1 15th Jackpot ProPin No 2 18th Bill Eastoe BallPin 12th Chris Priems