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Who said it was going to rain on 29 June 2019?

I could actually have scored more!

The Bureau had predicted significant rain, and, as the sparrows started ruffling their feathers and doing the other thing that sparrows are supposed to do, it looked as if that prediction might be on the mark. But those that turned up were either confident that the Bureau was wrong or they were afraid to miss their chance at scoring some points. There were a couple of false starts. Dennis, the GOATee marshall turned up and did service and then scarpered off to his warm little hidey-hole. Bob arrived and just as suddenly disappeared with nary an explanation forthcoming. As a result we had a fairly meagre field of thirteen players to struggle with the added complication of scoring the Grandpar event of the day.

The umbrellas and the wet weather gear did make an appearance for the first few holes but the precipitation was pretty minimal and, eventually, the brollies were folded and the layers were stripped off as, in typical Melbourne style, the clouds broke and the sun shone through. Even if it was only for five minutes. The rest of the round was completed in good conditions and the last group finished just as the clouds started to look threatening again.

The vagaries of the weather had little effect on Noodles who went close to causing RSI in the handicappers index finger by scoring four on a total of 12 of the eighteen holes. This gave him a 74 off the stick and a points tally of +6. One of the highlights of the round was a chip-in on the 16th for a birdie and a two-plusser. That birdie was one of only five scored for the day. The ‘low’ lights were the bogies on the 12th and 17th that made the only minuses on the card. When asked what had turned his game around, the short answer was – sinking putts. Simple, isn’t it!

Another man with a birdie and a 2-plusser was JQ on the 13th. Not a bad feat in anybody’s book. John, on the other hand complained about not being able to sink putts so, what his score would have been above the +5 that he did get is anybody’s guess. Interestingly, he seemed rather pleased to be beaten by Noodles because of the lower handicap effect and he does have a Matchplay final coming up against, you guessed it, Noodles. Some in the group did report a burning smell around John but they were unable to determine whether it came from the clutch or the brakes.

Yet another two birdies and two two-plussers appeared on the next card submitted by that retired associate of the MFB, Gordon. One report did suggest that he was on fire today but a smattering of bogies and the associated minus score lines turned the blaze into a bit of a smoulder. His birdie on the 18th was a sight to behold as he rapped it in from off the edge of the green. This sort of suggests that his claim that the putts would not sink today might have been a bit of an exaggeration.

It almost seems that a requirement for getting a place today was to have a two-plusser on your card, and Peter was no exception with another one scored at the 13th but with a par this time and the added benefit of two strokes on the hole. And just to prove that this was not the case, Harry came home 5th without having bagged one, though he did go close on the 12th where his drive was good enough to bag the BallPin on that hole.

The second BallPin on the 18th was hardly a contest after Simon put his to 12.6 metres and the rest of the field was unable to come closer. There were hopes that the ProPin on the 15th would go begging so the the Jackpot would be more worthwhile next week. But, along came Porks in the last group and rained upon the parade by leaving his ball just 3.24m short of the hole and collected the pile of shrapnel on offer.

There were no draughties reported today although Blighty did suffer a nervous moment on the 17th when the drive did not quite go to plan. The rest of the hole must have been a bit of a blur for Andrew as he walked up to take his fourth shot on the hole and enquired plaintively, ‘Has anybody seen my ball?’ The response was, ‘Andrew, you’re just about standing on it!’

Just for information, there has been a ruling by the R&A that, if it is certain that your ball has entered a no-play zone (say garden beds behind 9th green) and cannot be found, you are entitled to free relief using the point where the ball entered the no-play zone as the reference point and you must have complete relief (stance, lie and swing) from the no-play zone under Rule 16.1b

Results for Saturday, 29 June 2019
1st Stephen Butterfield(+6) 2nd John Quinlan(+5) 3rd Gordon Hill(+3) 4th Peter Damou(+1) 5th Harry Boughen(□)

Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (+3) 2nd Harry Boughen (□) 3rd Andrew Blight (-1)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 12th Harry Boughen BallPin No 2 18th Simon Powell

Every twelve seconds counts on 22 June 2019.

Some people will do anything…..

Admittedly it was the longest night of the year and there might have been some members wishing to take advantage of the extra time in the feathers with their current squeeze. However, there were twelve members who either don’t have a current squeeze or they have given up on squeezing and turned up at the course. The weather was cold but calm and the couple of little showers that made their way through were hardly enough to notice let alone reach for the umbrellas or the wet weather gear. The recent precipitation is beginning to have its effect on the course with some fairly squishy spots developing in places and a lofted ball is perfectly capable of burying itself.

Brendon’s main problem today was arguing with SOS as to who was most at fault for stuffing up the card marking. It seems that the problem started when SOS forgot to pick up score-cards when he registered and the situation just deteriorated from there. It is a bit unclear exactly how many sets of cards were required to sort it out in the end. But, in the end, the agreed score on Brendon’s card of 78 strokes for 36 points was enough to take the day and the first place points. This puts Brendon well ahead of the pack among those who have qualified for the Vardon Trophy so far this year.

There was a bit of friendly rivalry between Noodles and Porks after Porks decided that his driver could do with a little adjustment despite it having helped him to a PB round last week. The screwdriver was out and the weights were adjusted and everybody waited for the result. There’s an old saying – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. At the end of the day, Noodles came out best, both off the stick and points as he slotted into second place, just a point behind Brendon. And, he did leave a few out there.

Next, came Blighty who managed to come in third despite a bit of a horror front nine with a smattering of triples and quadruples marring what really should have been a good card. At one stage, he was faced with the prospect of playing a ball half way up a pine tree. In the interests of safety and the speed of the game, Blighty decided to give it a miss. Just a point behind Andrew was Harry who also took a few holes to get going and also gave himself a severe talking to for missing a putt from about 100mm on the 15th.

Trevor was pretty chuffed to have scored his first par for quite a while on the 15th and that helped him into fifth place with a card of 32 points. The round could have ended badly when he decided to try his hand a skiing on the slope at the back of the 17th tee. Fortunately, nothing was injured other than his dignity. A reminder to everybody that the steps up to the tee boxes are provided for a reason.

Our masochistic Tee Marshall (Grand Pooh Bah) decided that the first BallPin should be on the 7th and, once again, the ground staff saw fit to place the tees back about as far as they could go. That didn’t stop Porks from getting on only to be knocked off by Brendon in the next group. The ProPin was on the 15th, and Ryan’s ball carried well past the pin but spun back quite considerably to finish 3.75m from the hole. Brendon reckons his should have been closer but it also spun back to finish further away. Adam managed to sneak his onto the putting surface for the BallPin on the 18th but he was foiled in his attempt to win himself a ball by Ryan getting is just a little bit closer. It was probably too much to hope that Ryan would get the birdie as the whole group only managed four for the day.

There were no draughties that anybody owned up to although Targe did go close on the 15th where the red markers were only a couple of metres in front of the blues. All in all, it was not a good day at the office for the little fellah but he did come good at the death-knock and scored more points on the last three holes than he did on the previous ten. Chrispy took the bit between his teeth and walked the round today and did not seem to need any significant assistance as he walked up the 18th. He did reckon that his ankle broke again just as he executed an air shot on the 17th.

Results for Saturday, 22 June 2019
1st Brendon Mitchell(36) 2nd Stephen Butterfield(35) 3rd Andrew Blight(34) 4th Harry Boughen(33) 5th Trevor Jackson(32)

Seniors Results: 1st Andrew Blight (34) 2nd Harry Boughen (33) 3rd Trevor Jackson (32)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 7th Brendon Mitchell BallPin No 2 18th Ryan Porker

It was a pulled Pork slider sort of day on 15 June 2019

Who needs the greens to be swept?

Where the bloody hell were you? Yes, there had been a bit of rain. Yes, it was a bit on the cool side. Yes, it was a Par event. But, was that any reason for only 14 players to turn up to front the tee marshalls and try their hand at taming the beast that is Ivanhoe Public Golf Course in winter. The rain has significantly softened most of the course and in some places more than others. The course management have seen fit to declare that preferred lies are the order of the day and, although the greens were not swept clean, they were soft enough to attack, provided that you had a bit of elevation going for you. So, all in all, no reason not to score well.

Despite most things being in favour of making a good score, it was left to one person to, literally, take the course apart. And, while he was at it, he did a good job of it, carding a 71 off the stick for a personal best on the course. The round included two birdies, which was a major proportion of those scored on the day with only one other for a fairly ordinary total of three of the little feathery buggers. While in the process of putting together his tally of +8, Porks also managed an absolute demolition of JQ in the semi-final of the matchplay. John, didn’t play all that badly, but in the face of the all-conquering Ryan, he stood little chance before succumbing 8 and 7 in a no strokes (or quarter) given match. Ironically, after it was all over, JQ actually won a couple of holes.

Whitey was pretty happy with his front nine which he finished one up. The next nine started well enough but he had heard that Porks was doing well and perhaps this preyed on his mind and a mini slump in results ensued. Undeterred, the scoring rate picked up again and, by the end of the round the card was all square which was enough to score second place for the day. At one stage, to play a ‘safe’ shot, Whitey pulled out his trusty putter and managed to get the ball high enough to flirt with the tree canopy and to carry about 100m. Can’t get much ‘safer’ than that.

Dennis, of recent hole-in-one fame, reckons he almost did it again today. The green in question was the 16th. Now, before you get all excited, the tee shot was from the 14th. Still, that didn’t stop Dennis from coming home just the one point below the square line to gather the points for third place. Targe thought he should have been up there with Dennis. However, Targe didn’t manage to print off the Handicap Sheet this week and so he didn’t notice that his handicap was actually 25 and not 26. As a result, Targe had to share 4th place with Gordon, who is back from hob-nobbing with the Pros over in the US of A. Lastly, but not leastly, Noodles rounded out the rather small tally of point scorers in fifth place.

The Nearest the Pin competition today started on the 7th for the first of the BallPin events. It was quite a day to select this particular hole (SOS) because the tee markers were about as far back as they could be without being in the penalty area behind. Anyhow, Chrispy managed to keep one straight enough (or got a good enough ricochet off a tree) to get it onto the green, unchallenged, for a ball. The ProPin was on the 12th and it was up to Noodles to collect that one with a shot to 4.02m. There was a bit more of a contest for the ball on the 18th and, proving that the hole is a bit of a favourite of his, Dennis managed to squeeze one close enough to collect the ball, if not another HIO.

Brendon had a few moments today and was keen to know which holes were the BallPin so that he could win back some of the balls that he lost. After the drive drifted OOB on the 14th, Bren spent an inordinate amount of time searching and managed to turn up a ball that was deemed to be a bocce kitty and not a golf ball. His drive on the 9th found the autumn leaf piles under the tree on the left and, despite removal of loose impediments and preferred lie, the leaves still impacted the second shot which hit the nearby mesh drain guard and the ball finished barely advanced from whence it started.

While on the subject of preferred lie, Targe reckons he is at a disadvantage because of his smaller hands. Perhaps he should be mindful of what else they reckon you can tell about a bloke from the size of his hands! Chrispy has been known to go looking for good trees to help his game. Well, after today he is apparently going to be looking for good roots as well. Simon was not too pleased with his result today but, gentleman that he is, he always returns the crockery to the kitchen after he has supped his cup of tea. However, today, he didn’t quite make it to the kitchen when his good intentions ended in disaster and there was a serious crockery smash on the club-house floor. The ladies in the kitchen will surely forgive you, Si!

Results for Saturday, 15 June 2019
1st Ryan Porker(+8) 2nd Rodney White(□) 3rd Dennis Ward(-1) 4th Gordon Hill(-2) 4th Targe Mifsud(-2) 5th Stephen Butterfield(-3)

Seniors Results: 1st Dennis Ward (-1) 2nd Gordon Hill (-2) 2nd Targe Mifsud (-2) 3rd Harry Boughen (-4)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Stephen Butterfield BallPin No 1 7th Chris Priems BallPin No 2 18th Dennis Ward

Only a couple made a FIST of it on 08 June 2019.

Which twin has the Toni?

There were a number of factors that could have affected play today. There were the celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of D-day. There was the women’s semi-final at the French Open. There were the celebrations to mark the Queen’s birthday. There was the rather frigid conditions that didn’t really start to ameliorate until about three parts of the way through the round. And there was the new competition format to be played – Sableford. Perhaps the latter explains why nobody in the field was able to play to their handicap today – read, was able to break their handicap. Once the sun did manage to get above the horizon and the bit of cloud burnt away, it really was quite a nice day. Absolutely no reason why 21 members and two guests shouldn’t have played their pants off.

Adam hasn’t been with us for long but the early ‘goss’ was that it would not be too long before he presented to the judges and today proved that to be the case. The current ‘goss’ has it that he missed a few putts today as well, so this might not be the last. Brendon, on the other hand hit the ball a couple of times more than appeared on his card as he showed off his incredible skill at deciding that the ball wasn’t going to go far enough and hitting it again with the same swing. Not just the once, but twice. Luckily for Brendon, under the new rules, they only counted as one shot on each occasion. Nobody is sure why he chose to put his tee-shot from the 17th onto the 18th green but he reckons he played to have his second shot rattle into the pedestrian barrier at the back of the green and stay safely in bounds. Thirty five points got the pair the eight points and just the winners penalty off the handicap for next week.

When Targe made the announcements, he thought that he was on the second podium spot on his ownsome. What he hadn’t accounted for was the inability of SOS and Jason to add up and so, in the end, he had to share the second spot but he gets just a many points so he is probably not too worried. He was certainly pleased to see that Harry didn’t have such a good day at the office today. SOS on the other hand is perfectly happy with the temporary green on the 3rd because, today, he managed to birdie it. The celebrations at the time could be heard quite widely and he did contribute to the rather small total of 5 birdies for the day.

The promotion of SOS did ease the crowding on the third step with Jason Simon and Whitey not having to cuddle up too close. That is more than can be said for the last step Noodles, Big Joe and Ken having to schmooze together to make room for Rod who managed to forget that he had two strokes on the 13th, of all holes, and got promoted into fifth place as a result.

The nearest the Pin competitions saw the ProPin being contended for on the 12th and Peter and Harry started the ball rolling with only millimetres separating the two distances from the hole. But in the end, it was all for naught as Brendon whacked his to 2.28m to take home the dosh. The first BallPin on the 15th was won by Whitey while the 18th went uncontested to Simon.

One of our guests today was Joe Demir who was a member a number of years back and he has now decided to make a comeback. So welcome back Joe. Because of the elapsed time and a lack of a current GA handicap, Joe will be putting in his three cards and if today’s is any guide, his old handicap would not have been a good place for him to restart. He has obviously been getting some practice somewhere.

There were two draughties today. Bob scored on on the 15th and Targe managed one on the 14th with a poorly executed cover drive that barely made it across the path beside the 14th tee. Also there were a couple of shots that Dennis defined as FIST shots (F*** it’s still there). Big Joe managed a woolly woofer on the 13th tee while Trev did manage to make contact with the ball but only moved it about 25mm in the process.

No, no, anything but the 17th!

There were a few problems with trees out there today. Harry caught the trees on the second and finished on the first green. After being urged by SOS to have a sh*t, the ball was struck cleanly and caught branches not quite cleanly enough to come back and finish on the green again. Ken was placed behind a tree between the 13th and the 10th. His chip caught the tree flush, the ball ran up the trunk, arced over his head and finished about 2m behind where it started. Ben’s ball had obviously heard about last weeks marathon and was so determined not to suffer a similar fate that it tried hiding behind a tree. Ben didn’t realise that there were preferred lies available today and played it as it lay. Pays to check the signage, hey Ben.

Allan had a couple of moments today. On the 16th, he took three putts from a metre from the hole and they were all a metre long. Then he was spotted pushing Thunderbird up the path from the 18th green (assisted by Adam) since the electrons had ceased to flow from the battery to the motor. It was later discovered that the key had been turned off!

Results for Saturday, 08 June 2019
1st Adam King(35) 1st Brendon Mitchell(35) 2nd Targe Mifsud(34) 2nd Stephen O’Sullivan(34) 3rd Simon Powell(33) 3rd Brent Rowley(33) 4th Peter Damou(32) 4th Jason Hopkins(32) 4th Dennis Ward(32) 4th Rodney White(32) 5th Stephen Butterfield(31) 5th Rod Grant(31) 5th Joe Wagenecht(31) 5th Ken Watson(31)

Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud (34) 2nd Simon Powell (33) 3rd Dennis Ward (32)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Brendon Mitchell BallPin No 1 15th Joe Wagenecht BallPin No 2 18th Simon Powell