The effects of Club Breakup, work Christmas parties, family Christmas parties, Christmas Day and miscellaneous celebrations in between seems to have conspired to limit the number of members attending to fourteen. Although, there was a modicum of surprise in some quarters that so many did make it. Maybe making points wouldn’t be so easy after all. It was a bit overcast to start and the humidity was high. The clouds managed to squeeze out a handful of drops before they cleared away and the sun broke out with a vengeance. The sprinklers had obviously been working hard through the night around the tees and the greens but the rest of the course has an increasingly bonier look about it and there was plenty of run to be had although some of the resulting lies were pretty bare. Which is probably better than there being bare-faced lies.
Now, we all know that Peter, not to put too fine a point on it, can be a little erratic at times and, it must be said, he was spotted playing the 3rd from the 5th fairway. However, that was one of the few errors that he made all day on his way to showing that it is not how it looks but how many go on the scorecard that counts. A very creditable 85 off the stick and a tally of +5 garnered him the top spot on the podium, a swag of points, a couple of balls and a nice new handicap to boot.
Targe says that the medical fraternity are happy with his most recent set of scans and his New Year Resolution is to get his handicap back down to where it was before his accident. The handicapper has the exact same resolution. Targe’s drive on the 7th was high and wide and caught the tree on the right and the ball plopped back down onto the hard pack. Two more shots left him with about the longest putt possible on the green. Undeterred, the little fella rattled it in for a four and a plus for the hole. With only two minus scores on the card, there was little between the +4 that he got and something much better meaning that the resolution is off to a very good start.
Harry also managed a plus on the7th. His chip onto the green looked to be perfectly directed and weighted but, in the exact spot where the ball landed, there lay a small twig that effectively stopped the ball dead and left a rather longer putt than anticipated. Fortunately it was one of the ones that went in and helped to get the tally of +3 at the end of the round. Porks really laid into his drive on the 1st hole and very nearly reached the green, the 10th green, that is. But, despite a bit of a scratchy front nine, Ryan went up a gear on the back and also came home +3. Rob was torn by indecision on the 18th tee. The first club to hand was his wedge but then he decided he needed a bit more so he reached for his trusty 9 iron. Instead he picked up his 6 iron and overshot the mark to blazes. That’s why they have the underline, Rob, so that you can tell them apart. Anyway, he still managed to tie for third place with his +3.
Just a small gap then to fourth place where we find Michael whose knee seems to be holding up just fine though we do wonder about his mental state as he was heard promising to introduce his daughter to Noodles. Jason seemed to be just flirting with the could have/should have brigade today with just a couple too many minus scores on the card. Dale was in fine form with his wedge today and fairly peppered the pin on any number of occasions from off the green. Particularly so on the 14th, where a less than spectacular approach left him in the grass bunker out of which he popped up and once it hit the green and started running it never looked like missing the hole. A fine group of +1s to take out 4th place. Which just leaves that old (oops, I mean all) square, Noodles, to finish fifth.
Despite Michael’s claim that he thought today was the first Senior Points that he has won, that is demonstrably not true. What is demonstrably true, is that Chrispy has yet to blot his copy-book in that matter. Rob reckons that there is a fair chance that he will end up scoring points in the Seniors before Chris does. How far can sibling rivalry go? It must be said that Chris did get a birdie today on the second hole. Unfortunately, it stopped his ball.
And, while on the topic of birdies, there was a somewhat unusual occurrence today when all three members of a group, (Michael, Noodles and Ryan) scored a birdie on the same hole, to whit, the 11th. And, just coincidentally, the whole group scored eleven birdies today.
In the Nearest the Pin competitions today, the ProPin was on the 12th and, despite carefully hiding his mark under another piece of paper, the money went to Ken with a fine shot to 1.155m. The first BallPin was on the 15th and Targe was adamant that Harry’s ball was closer than the marker already on the green. Let’s put it down to the effect of perspective from such a low angle of view. Anyway, it was Jason who had dibs on the prize on offer. The second BallPin on the 18th was a closely fought thing after Dale took out Daniel by quite a wide margin. Then, along came Michael to ease out Dale in a bit of a close run thing.
There was a claim being made that Noodles was consistently out-driving Ryan while using his hybrid. Michael seemed to be backing Noodles story while Ryan was only allowing one instance where his ball hit a tree. At the end of the day, Porks out-scored Noodles by a bit of a margin so what does it matter? Daniel seems to be developing a bit of an appreciation of nature if the swathe of territory that he covered today is any guide. On the 10th his drive finished under the tree by the distance marker on the first. From there, he played the shot of his day to bypass numerous trees blocking the way and finish on the edge of the 10th green.
Well, another calendar year has flown and is almost gone. The Birthday Birdie is fluttering off to deliver his last message for the year to Big Joe (although the birthday is in 2020). Hopefully Joe will be able to tear himself away from Little Joe to join us on Saturday mornings on a more regular basis.
Most of the subs for 2020 have been paid, for which the management thank you. For those still outstanding, it would be nice to get it all out of the way at the earliest. And, don’t forget to put your thoughts to volunteering for a role on the Committee with the AGM and elections coming up in March. All positions will be spilled and there are nomination forms available from the web-site side bar. If you don’t want to do it, talk your mate(s) into it. New blood always welcome.
Have a Happy, safe and, perhaps, not too sober New Year and we look forward to seeing you all soon on the tees at Ivanhoe.
Results for Saturday, 28 December 2019
1st Peter Damou(+5) 2nd Targe Mifsud(+4) 3rd Harry Boughen(+3) 3rd Ryan Porker(+3) 3rd Robert Priems(+3) 4th Michael Gourlay(+1) 4th Jason Hopkins(+1) 4th Dale Webb(+1) 5th Stephen Butterfield(□)
Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud (+4) 2nd Harry Boughen (+3) 3rd Michael Gourlay (+1)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Ken Watson BallPin No 1 15th Jason Hopkins BallPin No 2 18th Michael Gourlay
Yesterday was a stinker. As it was too hot to go outside, most of the day was spent watching the radar as the promised front struggled its way across from the west. Eventually, it arrived and the temperature fell to an almost balmy 25C just in time for the round to start to settle the argument as to who was going to be the 2019 Champion of Champions and who was going to be the 2019 Chump of Chumps. The scorching weather had induced the gum trees around the course to shed a bucket load of bark and leaves. This litter on the ground helped to make it difficult to spot a ball from a distance and any long putt could have done with an assist from a leaf blower on several greens. Bobbie gave up the clearing job on the 10th and bravely putted through. The ball made it to the general area of the hole though somewhat off line. Until a last minute deflection brought it within tipping distance of the hole. Unfortunately for Bob, no miracle save.
The man who didn’t need a miracle save was Dennis who admitted to being pretty disappointed with his front nine where he only managed to score eighteen points. His disappointment was only short lived as he very soon proceeded to take the back nine apart to finish that segment of the round just one stroke over par and toting a massive twenty-five points. His net score of 61 left the rest of the field in his dust. As a hint as to how he could do no wrong, the drive from the 17th faded more than somewhat and was deemed to be lost in the penalty area. Completely unfazed, Dennis chipped the penalty ball fairly onto the green to about a metre and sank the putt for a par. Well done Dennis, our new Champion of Champions.
As far as the rest of the field was concerned, they were playing for the barely lesser glory of the trophy for Chump of Chumps. And, in the process, one of them demonstrated that he could outplay the trophy hoisting Champion. Dale put hardly a foot wrong all day and scored evenly over both halves of the round. And he even left a few out there as he made his way to a best on ground 44 points to take both the trophy and the top points for the day.
There has been some discussion recently about exactly what is meant by ‘minimum chips’. Well, there can be no debate about what is meant by ‘minimum points’ because that is what were handed out today. There was only one player on each level of the podium. Keith also played a very steady round and managed to score a couple of four pointers on his way to third place and 42 points. A few left out there could have made all the difference. Blighty is eagerly anticipating an extended break from the hurly-burly but that was not enough to distract him from scoring a very handy forty-one points for 4th place. Peter collected the last point thanks to getting a birdie on the only hole that he didn’t birdie last year, so he probably has his eye on the eclectic again.
The first BallPin was contested on the 12th hole and Gordon managed to tip out Jason to qualify for a ball. On the 18th, Rob managed to hold off all contenders to win himself one there. The big interest in the NTP events was the double jackpot on the 15th, and, with the big fields over the last three weeks, there was a fair amount of cash riding. Dale was pretty hopeful after his tee shot but, when the tape came out it registered just 100mm beyond the 5m limit. No such worries for Gordon who was shattered to watch as Porks, in the next group, pipped him by less that half a metre at 2.81m. Noodles seemed to be very happy to be sharing the pot.
There was one draughtie today and that was down to Ken on the 18th. The ball finished on the path beside the tee barely a metre in front of the teeing area. There is some dispute as to whether it reached there directly or whether it hit the safety fence protecting the 17th green. At the other end of the scale, Matt made the 3rd green in two and then took four putts to finish it off. The Eagle got a bit nervous when both ChrisV and Porks were on the 14th green and putting to rob the nest. She needn’t have worried as they both just made their par.
Rob hit the wrong ball today on the 10th and he was trying to blame Matt for leading him astray although it was the same brand and number. No such excuse for Harry on the 3rd where he was so focussed on planning and executing his shot that he failed to notice that Dale’s ball did not carry the characteristic and prominent ‘smile’. Harry did feel a bit better on the 5th when he chipped in for a birdie and did his bit to bring the total for the day to 16. From a field of 25 players, that tally is OK but not ‘great’ despite Gordo’s feeling to the contrary.
After the round was over and all of the cards had been sorted and resorted, the majority departed for the break-up and presentations that was held at President John’s residence. There, with an ample supply of nibbles, food and lubricant, the party settled down to tell some tall tales but true and to generally appreciate what our Club is all about. Good golf (and not so good golf) and good fellowship, all of which were evident aplenty today. After the crowd finished making a small hole in the victuals available, John and Gordon set about distributing the trophies that had been contested over the past twelve months. By the end of this part of the proceedings, Targe was hunting around for a trailer to get his loot home. John expressed his appreciation and thanks to the efforts of his Committee in keeping the Club running smoothly and then presented a fine trophy, named in honour of the Priems family, that will be contested in the team Matchplay format that was previously known as the Ryder Cup.
At the completion of the formalities, the die-hards appeared to be settling in and, while it might not be the Roo Bar, there is some chance that there will be tales to be told before the night is out.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year and we look forward to seeing you all next Saturday or the Saturday after when things start to get serious again for the January Monthly Medal.
Results for Saturday, 21 December 2019
1st Dale Webb(44) 2nd Dennis Ward(43) 3rd Keith Delzoppo(42) 4th Andrew Blight(41) 5th Peter Damou(39)
Seniors Results: 1st Dennis Ward (43) 2nd Keith Delzoppo (42) 3rd Andrew Blight (41)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 12th Gordon Hill BallPin No 2 18th Robert Priems
It was another nice day for a walk in the park. The weather gods started off playing tricks by sending a bit of a drizzle from some rather grey looking clouds and the wind upped the chill factor a little. A few members wondered at the wisdom of not having worn something a little warmer but, in the end, you would have been hard pressed to blame the weather for any discomfort that the day might have occasioned. The one downside of the day was the fact that some low-life took it upon himself to execute doughnuts with his motorbike on the greens again. Fortunately, the damage was not deep but the burn marks will take a little time to repair and the sand that the staff have added helped to make the putting just a little less predictable. That did not stop the twenty five players racking up a total of 18 birdies for the day and there is getting to be a fair sprinkling of orange on the Eclectic report already. The eagle is starting to get a bit twitchy as the number of eggs in her nest is getting up there and, although there have been a fair number of Kookaburras around, none has been game to swoop in and make the raid.
The connections had chewed their nails off up to the elbows during the week, wondering how their colt would go and could he keep up the pace for the second half of the race. History would suggest that there have been a lot of stumbles over the years as the distance begins to tell. They needn’t have worried, although there was a slight fall off in the pace compared to the first half. And, most of that hesitation was in the first half of today’s campaign as Noodles gave the horse its head and fairly sprinted to the line down the straight to take out the Vin O’Meara Trophy for 2019. In the process, he also cleaned up big with the first pot from the Calcutta. He put his money where his mouth is and backed himself in the All-in so there will be no shortage of cash for the bookies tonight.
One of the big improvers in the field was another young colt and our reigning Club Champion, Porks. In the process of clawing his way into second place, he also joined the ranks of the Chasers with a very impressive net of 65, the best score of the day. But, we dare not mention what his net score for the inside competition was. Seventy four off the stick is a fine performance in anybody’s books.
Dale was probably a bit unfortunate to have scored the only reported draughtie for the day. His place of infamy was on the 3rd and, yes, there was a fair separation between the white markers and the reds. The only problem was that Dale’s ball did not reach the blues and you might say that the score on the hole blew out from there. But for that, and another aberration on the 15th, he could easily have challenged for second place if not the top spot.
The fourth step on the podium ended up being quite crowded after David’s score was adjusted for his correct handicap. He, therefore, joined Targe, Bob and Matt with a grand total of 140 for the event. As usual, Bob had a complaint about his putts reaching the edge of the hole and not falling in. Matt didn’t say much as he had to rush off to help keep law and order around the district while Targe just sat around smugly, having successfully protected his handicap once again. Bill will have to be satisfied with his points, despite his vociferous claims about being mislead as to which ball was actually his. He reckons Porks pointed him to the wrong ball, just to protect his position in the field.
The first BallPin was on the 12th and the ever reliable Jason was the one to collect the prize today. JQ popped a cracker on the 18th and left the ball not more than a metre from the hole to pretty much shut out the rest of the field as he was in the first group. As usual, the first group was responsible for putting out the markers. After discussing the benefits of sharing the spoils, Harry, Blighty and Enzo noticed that there was no marker out on the 15th. As Harry made a bee-line for the 16th tee, Ken very sheepishly appeared with the required piece of equipment. Michael was reluctant to be seen putting his name on the chit after last week’s debacle and his tee shot was somewhat left. However, it took the bounce off the hill and finished on the green looking ominously close. Much to Michael’s relief, the measurement came out at 5.2m and, although that was the closest shot for the day there was no cigar and there will be a double Jackpot to next week. Big bickies on offer now guys!
The tree gods were kind to a number of people today. Enzo, on the 8th, sprayed one out into the trees but a couple of propitious bounces deposited the ball back into play. SOS, blocked his drive behind a tree on the same hole. The only shot, a sideways chip onto the fairway. The long shot to the green went wide and over the fence to hit a tree and bounced back to finish on the green. Brendon’s tee shot from the 17th was deemed to be heading for Kew and it wasn’t the near one. Brendon was actually heading for his bag to re-load when there was a resounding crack and the ball suddenly landed back on the fairway. He then calmly chipped onto the green and sank the putt for a birdie.
Keith was feeling pretty pleased with himself when he was not too far from the green on the 13th for two shots. He was not nearly so pleased when he walked off with a seven. Blighty was taking great care not to stand on the ‘line’ from a ball on the 18th green. The only problem was that the ‘ball’ was the NTP marker for JQ. Ken laid claim to having improved his Eclectic by seven strokes on one hole. Only problem is the system only ever allows nine strokes on a hole, so unless he had a two… Chrispy was looking for some sympathy today as he stripped off his shoes and socks to show off his ‘sore’ ankle. As for another handicap review – tell ‘im he’s dreamin’ – to coin a phrase.
The Birthday Birdie almost forgot to wish Stef “Happy Birthday” for the coming week.
Results for Saturday, 14 December 2019
1st Stephen Butterfield(65, 68, 133) 2nd Ryan Porker(70, 65, 135) 3rd Dale Webb(67, 71, 138) 4th David Mullenger(70, 70, 140) 4th Targe Mifsud(69, 71, 140) 4th Bob McDonald(68, 72, 140) 4th Matt Hunt(69, 71, 140) 5th Bill Eastoe(70, 71, 141)
Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (68,72,140) 1st Targe Mifsud (71,69,140) 2nd Bill Eastoe (70,71,141) 3rd Gordon Hill (68,74,142)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 12th Jason Hopkins BallPin No 2 18th John Quinlan
There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around, that the colt had no regret and meant to play. And had joined the wild bush horses — he was worth a thousand pound, so all the cracks had gathered for the fray. Twenty seven of them, in fact, milled around the starting gate, pawing at the turf and champing at the bit in anticipation of the contest ahead. The jockeys were perched high in their saddles and looked resplendent in their silks and with their encouragers at the ready. Dare not call them spurs and whips. And, as the BOM had promised, it was another beautiful late spring day. Well, summer, if you work by the calendar month for the start of the seasons. But who’s counting? It was that Goldilocks sort of day, not too cold, not too hot, but juussst right. The course maintains its good condition and some of the fairway margins look as if they have been cut a bit shorter so there were very few excuses for not beating the pants off the course.
And, which colt had the fewest regrets at the end of the day. Why, it was none other than Noodles who had very few excuses to throw anything in the air except his hat when he was able to sign off on a gross score of 75 to leave himself with a net of 65 to come into the turn with his nose just in front of the rest of the field. The connections are quietly confident and the bookies are biting their nails as the crowd in the stands hold their breath to see whether he has the staying power to hold off the challenges that are sure to come.
Just a single stroke behind the leader is a bit of a dark horse although he has to do a bit of sweet neighing to the filly back at the home stable to get a leave pass to complete the race. But, if he can describe some of the brilliant shots that he made in today’s running, the required permissions are sure to be granted. A bit of a stray drive from the 8th tee finished not too far from the 6th green with no sight of the green and some very tall timber and penalty area on the direct line. An eight iron cleared all of the potential impediments and the ball landed on the green and finished only a few metres short of the pin. A similar stray drive from the 18th finished beyond the 9th green. The pitch shot landed softly, ran across the top deck and down the slope to finish about 100mm from the hole. Maaagnificent!
Dale has been a bit on the quiet side of late but he seems to have put the fear of God into his playing companions as nobody was prepared to spill any beans on him. Maybe he is just trying to hide his light under a bushel but he did manage to just crack his handicap today and he is still within striking distance for the run home. Gordon managed to waste a few today with a couple of well placed strikes on trees around the course. One on the 16th could easily have done him an injury if it had come straight back rather than slightly off line. Bob also managed to keep himself in contention with his handicap equalling round.
Stef managed to beat Noodles by a stroke off the stick but the handicap difference leaves just a little bit of work to make up the short-fall. Matt might have had a little less work to do to make up ground but for some stray shots on the 3rd. And Targe was just Targe. Just doing enough to protect his exorbitant handicap. He did start off pretty well, as did another old stager in Allan. As a result, Brendon and Noodles were doing their sums as the proud owners of the pair of steeds. All is not lost and Targe, at least, has the potential to line their pockets with gold yet. There were a swag of horses just out of the top five and while there is life there is hope. As they say, the opera is not over until the fat lady sings, so watch this space.
The first BallPin today was located on the 12th and, wouldn’t you know it, Michael was in the first group and left his marker just a metre or so from the hole, effectively shutting out the rest of the field. The second BallPin was on the 18th and. although a number of people actually got onto the green, it was a two way contest that was won by Rob, by a pretty narrow margin apparently, from Brent. Now the ProPin was scheduled to be put out on the 15th but Michael got so flustered (or forgetful) that the marker did not get left out. As a result it was decided that the ProPin would Jackpot to next week. This despite the fact that Gordon managed to finish barely a metre from the hole, pin high. Gordon reckons he can repeat the shot next week. Stay tuned.
On the 4th, ChrisV asked Gordon to move his ball marker. When asked if the move was enough Chris opined that if he hit the marker he would miss. He actually hit the marker and the ball went in, probably from the small deflection that resulted. On the 7th, he rapped a ‘putt’ from off the green and shouted at it ‘Go in’ which it promptly did saving it from finishing, possibly, off the green and scoring a birdie that was one of a tally of 15 from the field.
Porks was asked how many Weetbix he had for breakfast after his drive on the 14th finished in the middle of the 16th fairway not too far short of the tee box and probably thirty or forty metres beyond the green. SOS had something of an adventure on the 11th. He managed to hit Brent’s ball by mistake and went forward to retrieve it. Then, when he got back, he was unable to find his own ball and so had to trudge all the way back to the tee and back again, effectively covering the length of the fairway three times. Politeness prevents mentioning the score but it you want to know have a look on the Eclectic table.
Dennis, it is sad to report, did not play in accordance with the dream that he reported a day or so ago. Chrispy has apparently started using a mini-golf putter that he stole from somewhere some years ago. Brendon was so focussed on the shot that he was going to make from the 14th tee that he didn’t notice which panel he was walking through and tripped over the chain between the posts. He was further distracted on the 16th when, just as he was about to start his downswing, a large kangaroo burst from the bushes, hotly pursued by a german shepherd. Harry reckons his game is in such a slump that his knuckles are dragging on the ground.
Results for Saturday, 07 December 2019
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Stephen Butterfield(65) 2nd Chris Vinecombe(66) 3rd Dale Webb(67) 4th Gordon Hill(68) 4th Bob McDonald(68) 5th Stefan Belevski(69) 5th Matt Hunt(69) 5th Targe Mifsud(69)
Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Bob McDonald (68) 1st Gordon Hill (68) 2nd Targe Mifsud (69) 3rd Allan Davies (70) 3rd Bill Eastoe (70) 3rd Rod Grant (70)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 12th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 2 18th Robert Priems