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A dam(n) fine game of Stableford on 26 October 2019

A dam(n) fine effort!
Wind! What wind?

Melbourne is in the midst of the Spring Racing Carnival and in the midst of some typical Melbourne Spring weather. It is a bit unclear as to which of these facts led to there being only twelve players on the tee this morning and one of those was only there for a ‘social’ nine. But, it wasn’t only us, the course car park was pretty sparsely populated as well. Other than it being a bit windy and cold, things weren’t too bad when, suddenly, on the 8th, a nasty black cloud scudded across and started to rain on the parade. Harry had barely finished struggling to get his wet weather pants on when the rain stopped, the cloud disappeared and the sun burst forth once more. Another brief shower later in the round brought the jacket out again with a similar outcome for the continuity of the rain. After deciding not to divest again, Harry came in to be greeted as the resident leprechaun. No crock of gold, just a crock of/at golf!

Adam, on the other hand seemed to be completely unfazed by the conditions and pretty consistently smacked his drives long down the centre and followed up with some fine touch around the greens. A couple of gashes early in the round were more than compensated by no less than six three pointers and one four pointer. The handicapper thinks that it might not be too long before the can take out his axe again if Adam can reproduce today’s performance under more benign weather conditions.

Peter scored the dreaded par on the first and carded gashes on the next three holes, suggesting that the jinx from parring the first was alive and well. However, the man with the golden arm, got it all back together and barely put a foot wrong for the next fourteen holes to grab second place with his card of 35 points. Enzo spent a fair bit of the round begging for ‘gimmes’ as he left any number of putts only millimetres from the hole, if not hanging on the edge waiting for a decent gust of wind to tip it in. With a bit more putt luck, Enzo’s 33 points could very easily have been several more with a consequent placing better than third.

Matty managed the front nine pretty well and turned right on his handicap with 18 points. Unfortunately, the back nine was not kind and he could only manage to scrape together 32 points. Dennis, fresh back from his trip to Trumpneyland, played it the other way around with 18 points on the back nine. On the 7th, Dennis took on the trees on the left and they very kindly delivered his ball back onto the fairway. Dennis approached his second shot with a club ‘that he doesn’t use much’, plopped the ball onto the green and it very gently ran up and rested against the pin. The next wind gust wiggled the flag and the ball dropped in for the birdie, one of only four for the day.

With none of his potential competitors for the Championship in the points today, Ryan was very happy to accept just the one for his effort of 31 points. With the year getting to the pointy end, Targe and Brendon will have to do some knee-capping and some winning to have a chance to catch the young colt who is within spitting distance of reaching his ‘tonne’ for the year.

The first BallPin was on the 12th with a bit of a cross tail wind complicating the aim required for the pin on the left side of the green. Somehow or other Rob was able to get his on and close enough to take out the ball on offer. On the 18th, Rob’s off-sider, Matt was hopeful that his would hold up to win a ball. Unfortunately, he didn’t take account of Enzo, who quite easily got closer to collect another ball for his collection. The ProPin on the 15th was deemed to be hardly worth winning, let alone splitting and it went begging for a Jackpot next week. Dennis was a bit hard done by when his drive hit the green in front of the pin but pulled back and finished only a couple of metres from the pin but 50mm off the green.

The tee on the 2nd was well back on the back tee with pretty much a head wind and, thus, it presented a pretty daunting prospect. One group, however, had two tee shots finish ‘on the green’. Rob’s finished on the 1st. JQ’s finished on the 6th after he absolutely smashed his drive which hit a tree dead centre and returned pretty much level with the starting point. Matty reckoned that Rob was playing so much like a girl that he finished with a ball emblazoned with the name ‘Sue’. Although, there is some chance that it could have been ‘SOS’.

Results for Saturday, 26 October 2019
1st Adam King(39) 2nd Peter Damou(35) 3rd Enzo Cirone(33) 4th Matt Hunt(32) 4th Dennis Ward(32) 5th Ryan Porker(31)

Seniors Results: 1st Enzo Cirone (33) 2nd Dennis Ward (32) 3rd Targe Mifsud (29)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 12th Robert Priems BallPin No 2 18th Enzo Cirone

It was a bit Chrisp for the final of the Fred on 19 October 2019

I had to put my runners on to win this!

If you don’t like Melbourne weather, just hang around for five minutes, so the saying goes. Today was a bit like that. At quarter past six it bucketted down. At seven it was fine. At nine the sun shone and there were vague thoughts of removing layers. By ten it was cloudy and gusty. By eleven, there were wishes for more layers. And it all ended with sixteen people, hunched over like half open pocket knives, huddled around the barbeque. Not that there was much warmth to be had as the first group finished so far ahead of the second that the cooking was done and dusted before most of the field got in.

The course was in good nick again and there was not too much evidence of the ‘gravelly’ sand that was spread on the greens during the week. They are still running pretty fast and there was a mix of putts well past and some left teetering just short as players tried to adjust for the pace. At least the 14th pin was on a more level part of the green. All in all, no reason why somebody couldn’t have done a Bradbury to take out the trophy. We did have a ‘reverse’ Bradbury with Rob plummeting from his share of third place to take out the NARGA for the event.

As it turned out, the battle for the goodies was concentrated in the last group on the course and it was the steady, consistent performers that finished on the podium. And, in the end, the man of the moment was Chrispy, who is still preferring to carry his bag though he does sometimes wonder why he includes so many clubs. It seems that a push buggy is just too complicated for our Chris and he reckons that his switch to playing in runners has helped both his ankle and his game. So, it’s goodbye to the cushy handicap and, if the Birthday Birdie is to be believed, it will be goodbye to the junior ranks, but not until the start of the new season even though the birthday is this week. Before he can join, however, he has to learn the secret Seniors Handshake. The only problem is, nobody in the Seniors can remember what it is. Have a good one old fellah.

And, while the Birthday Birdie is at it, good wishes are also due to Enzo who adds another candle to the cake this week as well. The march of time (well it was only a week) did not affect Enzo’s game too much and he came in with one on the wrong side of the ledger to finish with a square card overall. Ken was looking a bit nervous around tee time and some offers were made of a supply of Butter Menthols but, as it turned out, the lozenges were not needed and Ken, too, finished all square to share second place with Enzo.

There seems to be a bit of a competition developing between Porks and Dave and, by dint of their matched scorecards last week, they were playing in the same group today. Lo and behold, they produced matching cards again today and so finished all tied up for third place with -2 overall.

SOS started the round in positive territory and didn’t put too many feet wrong to finish the first nine on +2. Another couple of pluses early on the back started to give him a sniff of a potential Bradbury run. A shank from the tee on the 15th started the rot and four consecutive losses had SOS reaching for the lozenges. The Beast doesn’t seems to be able to get it out of his head that he is no longer on ten and doesn’t get a stroke on the first any more and he obviously browbeat Enzo to change the final totals to agree what was on his card. Brendon and Blighty finished off the points gathering with their final tallies of -4.

On the day, Noodles, Porks and Dave had the best of the conditions with their +2 apiece. Brendon was just one point behind and that might have been different if he hadn’t changed sports to cricket on the 16th when he lunged at an out-swinger from the tee and skied it to an easy catch at point. Chrispy, SOS and Blighty had the next best with square. Blighty apparently managed a draughtie on the 18th but still managed to square the hole which is no mean feat with the pin up on the back deck. Ken also joined the draughtie club on an unspecified hole but for some reason he was taking a rain-check until next week when, it seems, that most of his playing companions won’t be playing. Cunning, what!

The first BallPin was on the 4th and it was quite a tricky target with the tee well back and the pin to the left side of the green. Not too tricky for Dave, though, as he collected himself yet another ball. The pin placement for the ball on the 18th proved too difficult for everybody and there will be a Jackpot to next week. The ProPin on the 15th fell to Jason at 3.8m and, yes, he is allowed to win even if he did not play last week. He didn’t get his birdie so this was not one of the nine that we scored as a group today.

As Rob was strolling down from the 10th tee he was telling a story about a ‘Tight-arse Tuesday’ visit to the drive-in many years ago. So intent on his tale-telling was Rob, that he strayed from the made path, slipped on the grassy slope, sat on his ‘Tight-arse’ and let go of his buggy which headed off down the slope and promptly capsized spilling all sorts of golfing paraphernalia as it went. SOS couldn’t decide which part of the episode was the funniest. Fortunately, the only thing injured was some pride. And, despite his ‘reverse Bradbury’ Rob was remarkably restrained the whole round. He also reckons we should change the term for halving a hole from square to ‘scab’ – because it helps to stop the bleeding!

The wind today could be a bit gusty at times and. while the cooks were working their magic on the barbeque, one particular gust carried away all sorts of bits and pieces including a large sheet of alfoil. Noodles took off after it and each time he reached for it, the wind gusted and took it further afield. In the end he chased it almost back down to the 16th green before he finally captured it. A bit of a change to chasing women.

Results for Saturday, 19 October 2019
1st Chris Priems(+1, □, +1) 2nd Ken Watson(+1, -1, □) 2nd Enzo Cirone(+1, -1, □) 3rd Ryan Porker(-4, +2, -2) 3rd David Mullenger(-4, +2, -2) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan(-3, □, -3) 4th Bill Eastoe(-2, -1, -3) 5th Brendon Mitchell(-5, +1, -4) 5th Andrew Blight(-4, □, -4)

Seniors Results: 1st Enzo Cirone (-1,1,0) 2nd Bill Eastoe (-1,-2,-3) 3rd Andrew Blight (□)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jason Hopkins BallPin No 1 4th David Mullenger BallPin No 2 18th Jackpot

The new Kitson the block are after the Fred on 12 October 2019.

Hit ’em soft and long – just like spaghetti!

“Tell ‘im he’s dreamin’ ” was the only possible response to the question as to whether there were preferred lies in play today. The grass (and weeds) have had a nice little kick along with the bit of rain and some warmer weather but the ground-staff have been on top of it and the course was a picture. The greens were a bit hard and fast which created more than a little angst when chips skidded on to finish on the far side and the third still has a little way to go before it can be classified as good. All in all, there is no reason why the course should not have submitted to a good hiding from, at least, some of the sixteen members who turned up for this important Major leading into the tail end of the season.

It did look as if we had a clear leader when Enzo put in his card with a +2 on the score line. However, maybe the big E has had a recent handicap adjustment but, unfortunately he does not get two strokes on the 13th any more and so his tally came back to just one on the positive side of the ledger. That brought him back into line with Chrispy, who walked and carried his bag and didn’t complain and Ken who seems to be coming into a bit of form with some recent podium finishes. The Beast reckons that Enzo was cunningly putting his ball just in front on the green so that he could do some homework on the line of Bill’s putt.

While on the subject of the Beast, he started off in fine form and after the front nine, had 3 points in positive territory. Then, Bill reckons, people started giving him advice and, what is worse, he started to listen to it. His drive on the 11th could not be found and, so, he did the big walk/jog back to the tee with the comment that he just needed to birdie the hole with that ball. He went close to ‘eagle-ing’ it from his monster second drive and only just missed the ‘birdie’ on the way back. The rot had set in and never really did set out to bring in a disappointing -5 on the back for an overall result of -2.

There were three thirds on minus 3. And, if you are any sort of a mathematician, you know that three thirds makes a whole. Probably, a whole lot of hope to be able to catch the leaders but, stranger things have happened. And you couldn’t hope for a stranger whole that Harry, Rob and SOS. Rob might have been a bit lucky to be so well placed after his putt on the 1st teetered on the edge of the hole. As he cursed his luck and walked up towards the hole, the ball teetered again and fell into the hole. Rob denies that he dawdled and/or tromped heavily in the process.

JQ asked Blighty how he had gone and, when told minus four, said that that wasn’t such a bad score. Mainly because that was what he had as well. That put them together with Dave and Porks in fourth place on the leader board. The rearrangements at the top of the table allowed Gordon and Brendon a toehold on the interim podium where they were joined by Bob by dint of an extra point claimed on his card as well. As Enzo and Bob marked each others card, maybe this was a quid pro quo.

The first BallPin was on the 4th and, with the pin in the back left corner of the green with the tees well back, it was not an easy mark. But there was one mark on the chit and Dave collected the pair from the Jackpot from last week. The pin on the 18th was on the lower deck and, perhaps should have been an easier target, but Rob was the only one to get his name mentioned in despatches. The super Jackpot ProPin was on the 15th and, despite pleas from his playing partners, SOS did a Brendon and refused to share and that was before he had put the ball to 3.35m and collected the dosh. It’ll be ‘fries with that’ at Macca’s tonight. Perhaps it was Karma, but SOS managed to three putt for a minus and so did not contribute to the eight birdies that we scored for the day.

There are only a couple of names that have not been mentioned so far. Pepsi started off with one of the birdies but after that it was as if, as Chrispy put it, an alien had taken over his body. As for Noodles, less said, but some of the pins were in mortal danger when putts did not fall. And on the subject of putts not falling, the pin position on the 14th was, shall we say, in a testing position again. More than one putt came back marked ‘return to sender’ and Chrispy picked up after four as he did not want to equal Rob’s performance from last week. It was suggested that maybe we need to use velcro coated balls when playing the 14th to get them to stick.

Gordo was not too happy with the course of his game and, at one stage, was so distracted that he was teeing up between the red markers. Fortunately, his playing partners were kind enough to point out the error of his ways before it was too late. Some random players were wandering (and carting) about on the 11th and SOS let fly with his best draw shot and a lusty shout of fore. The ball went very close to the offending vehicle and it is considered doubtful that SOS could have done any better with his trusty side-arm.

Final round of the Fred Kitson next week with our usual delicious bar-be-que. Even if you didn’t make it this week, come along and join the fun. You could collect a ball in the ball-run but please let us know so that we can be sure to have enough tucker to go around.

Results for Saturday, 12 October 2019
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Enzo Cirone(+1) 1st Chris Priems(+1) 1st Ken Watson(+1) 2nd Bill Eastoe(-2) 3rd Harry Boughen(-3) 3rd Robert Priems(-3) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan(-3) 4th Andrew Blight(-4) 4th David Mullenger(-4) 4th Ryan Porker(-4) 4th John Quinlan(-4) 5th Gordon Hill(-5) 5th Bob McDonald(-5) 5th Brendon Mitchell(-5)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Enzo Cirone (+1) 2nd Bill Eastoe (-2) 3rd Harry Boughen (-3)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 1 4th David Mullenger BallPin No 2 18th Robert Priems

It was a close run thing for the Medal on 05 October 2019

I really deserve this!

The calendar says we are into spring and there are signs that the grass is starting to grow and if the mowing isn’t kept up then the roughs will be just that – rough. The greens have been aerated and the most recent attack seems to have resulted in little more than some rubber burns. The earlier scars on the third are still obvious and can result in some bouncy putts. Other than that, the course is in fine condition and with the cool, calm conditions there was little excuse for not scoring well. So, what other excuses do the eighteen players have?

The be(a)st of the day was, in fact, none other than the Beast who persisted in driving pretty much down the centre of the fairway all day and so far that they were hard to keep sight of. If it hadn’t been for a couple of minor aberrations around and on the green the bottom line could have been rather less than the 66 that was carded. Bill was one of the few players that kept his jacket on for the whole round and that could explain why he was so ‘hot’.

Just a single stroke behind Bill was Dale who took a few holes to really get going. Dale’s card counted six sixes, five of which were in the first six holes. There was one five and no less than eleven fours. So, there were plenty of opportunities to have snatched the top spot. Targe, on the other hand put in a card with every number between three and eight. The three was a birdie on the 5th and it reportedly took a 10m putt to make that and, in so doing, contribute to the total of 9 birdies that we managed for the day.

There was a bit of a gap to third place where we found Ken with a net score of 70. It does seem that the number could have been quite a bit higher after Ken hit three balls from the tee on the 14th. Fortunately, for Ken, the first ball was found to be still in bounds but maybe all the effort on the tee had worn Ken out as he still managed to rack up seven strokes on the hole.

Fourth place was filled by Chrispy Pork which sounds like a crackling combination. Ryan seems content to keep gathering, at least some, points although Targe did sneak up a few on him today. Targe will miss out on scoring in the Fred Kitson so Ryan has a chance to get back his margin, and then some, if he can feature in this Major event. Chrispy’s ankle gave him a bit of angst in the later stages of the round and he thinks he might play better if he starts using a buggy (but not a cart – yet). Dave was promoted to 5th place due to an error in transcribing his net score from the bottom to the top of the card. Sorry about that Noods, Bob and Matt.

Enzo’s ears pricked up when he heard that the ProPin on the 15th had Jackpotted yet again. Rumour has it that he is going to be out all week practicing, just on that hole. The BallPin on the 4th managed to elude all comers and that, too, will Jackpot to next week. The 18th BallPin was located on the top deck and almost succeeded in eluding capture until Porks came along in the last group and took it out.

ChrisV was with us for the first time in a while but he was showing signs of being a bit under the weather (health-wise). After one bout of coughing and spluttering it was suggested that he should be at home in bed with a ‘hottie’ and maybe some honey would help. After Matt went from Mustard Jacket to Cock’s Plate a couple of weeks back, today, his companions reckoned that he was playing with a heat-seeking missile and that there was something hot in the cups. That is until the 13th where he managed to do quite the reverse and made a ‘snowman’. He wasn’t alone in that regard as there were quite a number scored on various holes among the group.

The pin position on the 14th was generally described as being ‘diabolical’. particularly by Rob who managed to travel back and forth no less than five times after Chris told him not to miss the first one. Rob blamed Chris for putting him off, to which Chris responded – you always blame the one you love. Harry can’t understand what all the fuss was about as he just read the slope and the pace from off the green and judged it perfectly to have the ball fall into the hole for his par. He almost had an even more spectacular result on the previous hole with a chip that neatly cannoned off Gordo’s ball to trickle just past the hole for the easiest of tap-ins. Lindrum could hardly have done better.

One of the real mysteries of the round was the source of a whole raw hens egg on the 11th fairway. There is a fair possibility that the raven that was pecking its way into it had carried it from somewhere. Perhaps some backyard poultry-man is going to miss out on breakfast tomorrow.

Our last Major for the year in the form of the Fred Kitson Spring Cup kicks off next week and a chance for a big move in the Championship Table, particularly with Targe out of contention and if Porks can be kept off the podium. It is everybody’s favourite competition, Par, and there will be our usual gourmet bar-be-que after the second round. Be there and be square – that might be enough to win!

Results for Saturday, 05 October 2019
1st Bill Eastoe(66) 2nd Targe Mifsud(67) 2nd Dale Webb(67) 3rd Ken Watson(70) 4th Ryan Porker(71) 4th Chris Priems(71) 5th David Mullenger(72)

Seniors Results: 1st Bill Eastoe (66) 2nd Targe Mifsud (67) 3rd Bob McDonald (73)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 4th Jackpot BallPin No 2 18th Ryan Porker