The course had a bit of a top-dressing the other night. The north wind raised some dust from the Mallee and carried it down south where it met up with an approaching front being fed with some moisture from the tropics. The resulting downpour was more the consistency of mud than rain and the whole of Melbourne had a rather streaky reddish tinge the next day. It certainly didn’t do the course any harm and eighteen members turned out to take their chances before the kids go back to school and the work year gets going in earnest. We also had Stan Blackshaw along as an extra and, despite playing in a group with Noodles, it seems that there is some chance that he will come back and join our merry band. According to reports, Stan’s GA handicap does not look like stan(ding) for too long.
Another bloke whose handicap has been heading south in recent times lined up as today’s winner. Porks was in a position on the 18th to better his PB by two strokes. Unfortunately, something seems to have distracted him and, after putting his ball close enough to take out the BallPin, he took three putts to only add two points to the 39 that he had scored up until that time. The stroke total of 72 was just one outside his previous best, both of which have been scored in the last six months or so. The points popped him back to the top of the Championship Table. Can he go back to back?
The break from the rough and tumble of grade cricket must be doing Whitey some good or the more regular play is having a beneficial effect. He was able to string together a pair of nineteens today to gather himself a spot on the second podium level albeit with a bit of a cut to the handicap as well as the points. Enzo seems to have found his mojo and continued his form from last week which is a bit of a contrast to what we have seen in recent times. The driver was doing a top job except for one errant shot on the 13th that went high and wide, never to be seen again. Except for that, and a number of putts left hanging on the lip of the hole, there could have been a completely different story to tell.
Harry started off well but let he his guard slip a bit in the latter stages of the front nine and managed to catch a share of fourth place with a tally of 34 points. Noodles, on the other hand, found it difficult to get more than two good scores in a row. When he did score, he scored well and joined Harry on 34. Matt, who was humourously announced as Mike in the call of the card, scored well in the first half but did fade a bit on the run home. Damo was back on deck after a long break and he made sure that everybody knew just how long it had been. His pleas for a handicap review pretty much fell on deaf ears so he went out and proved that he probably won’t need one. In the process, he missed raiding the Eagle’s Nest by millimetres after putting his drive onto the 17th green and leaving the putt tantalisingly close. He got the birdie though and played a part in getting us to the tally of 12 for the day. SOS joined Damo in fifth place and left a fair scattering of missed chances out there in the process.
The first BallPin was on the 12th and the only name on the chit belonged to Blighty. Now, while we are on the topic of Blighty, it should be mentioned that he sank a good 10m putt on the 16th and indulged in such a celebratory dance that his playing companions were proposing a new trophy category to acknowledge such performances. Whether the rush of blood continued to the next tee can only be conjectured. But, there was witnessed one of the finest ‘groundies’ in many a long day. Even the very fine divot cleared the ball which remained firmly attached to its tee. The very Pinnacle of a tee shot.
But, Blighty was not alone. Ken had a couple of weeks off and he reckons it was because his balls were suffering from kencussion. He showed why on the first though there is some argument about whether it was actually a draughtie as the ball could not be found. However, undaunted, he made an undisputed one later in the round. Dennis joined Ken, both in the playing group and on the draughtie list. Damo was spotted playing his second on the 12th just on the wrong side of the red markers as well. And, while not strictly in the category, Stef played a provisional from the 17th after his first shot disappeared into no-man’s-land beyond the fairway. Talk about a super-shank. If the ball had not caught the trees behind the 9th green, it could easily have finished somewhere about the 10th tee.
Dennis managed the t(r)ee marshal job this morning and was running about asking people if they had paid their sub as he was five dollars short. Wouldn’t you know it, but it was Dennis who hadn’t tipped in. The money wasn’t needed for the ProPin on the 15th today as it went to Jackpot once again. Keith has his kids to thank for a new driver that they chipped in for as a Christmas gift. Keith was pretty pleased with the performance of the driver but it seems that it might have had an adverse effect on the rest of his game.
And, while we are on the topic of Keith, the Birthday Birdie owes him a big apology for overlooking him for a good wish last week. And the same goes for Jason, who just happens to share the date with Keith.
Results for Saturday, 25 January 2020
1st Ryan Porker(41) 2nd Rodney White(38) 3rd Enzo Cirone(35) 4th Harry Boughen(34) 4th Stephen Butterfield(34) 4th Matt Hunt(34) 5th Damien Lee(33) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan(33)
Seniors Results: 1st Enzo Cirone (35) 2nd Harry Boughen (34) 3rd Andrew Blight (32) 3rd Gordon Hill (32)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 12th Andrew Blight BallPin No 2 18th Ryan Porker
Hopefully, the weather patterns have changed for the better and the country is getting some much needed rain, particularly in those areas affected by drought and bushfires. While the course is still pretty hard under foot, the fairways are looking much greener for the couple of natural drinks that they have had over the last days and weeks. The day promised to be warm but, all in all, the morning was very pleasant and, with the greens in their good condition, there was an expectation that there would be some really good scores handed in. We only managed to attract eighteen players, which is down a bit on some recent outings and so the stats weren’t quite so favourable for somebody to really put in a blinder and street the field.
He didn’t quite street the field but, that little Peaky Blinder, Targe has done it again and come in at the head of the pack on the day. This just happens to position him at the head of the pack in both the Club Championship and the Seniors. One contributing factor was the unusual way that he played the 18th. The drive finished near to the 9th green. The pitch finished about half a metre from the hole. And the par was a mere formality. The suggestion to have a higher handicap cutting factor specially for Targe is looking more and more attractive. But, he did say he was aiming to get back to where he was before the fall and, slowly but surely, that target is coming into view. Just be patient, chaps!
Brendon was so intent on keeping his own scores that he ‘forgot’ to record the scores for the person he was marking for the last five holes of the round. Rather than focus, could it be incompetence? But, he did chip in for a birdie on the 15th and contributed in a small way to the rather paltry total of six that the whole group managed for the day. Chrispy didn’t start off too well. In case you don’t know it, he is the proud owner of a nice new golf bag and buggy. He decided to test it out by letting it free-wheel down the hill on the first. Guess what, it capsized and the nice new gear isn’t looking quite so new any more. Still, Chrispy did manage to score his very first Senior points today. Rounding out the second place getters today was SOS, who reckoned that playing with him was the highlight of his playing group’s day.
Noodles played in a pretty boring group (again) and he was so bored that he could only manage to beat his handicap by one point. Enzo, on the other hand was in the best form that we have seen for quite a while. He didn’t quite achieve the plus 9 that was talked about early in the round but a tie for third is still a pretty good result. Jason actually looked as if he was going to get +9 after the first nine turn at +4 but, for some reason, the oil started leaking badly and he had to settle for his share of third as well.
Michael was consoling himself with the fact that he was going home with more tees than he started with. But, the knee held up even if the putter would not swing straight. RodG teetered on the brink of having a good one except for choosing to have a bad result on just about every hole that carried two strokes. Bob started to feel a bit unwell on the 4th but, like the old stager that he is, he decided to press on regardless. The golf held up pretty well though and he pulled up to collect his share of the fourth place points. Let’s all hope that nothing serious develops and Bob is back with us in his inimitable style forthwith.
Michael keeps saying that Harry is a good putter out of luck though, today, he was having second thoughts as the ‘good’ putts missed added up. Gordon is so amazed by the swing of one of the pro golfers that he was giving a demonstration on the first tee. Apparently, it involves a massive over-swing and dropping of the club. As a result of Gordon’s demonstration, his ball actually went backwards. Ryan is working with a new swing and, apparently it went OK. The main problems seems to be that he is working with a new swing every week. Probably better than a new swing every shot!
Nearest the Pin for a ball started on the 12th and produced a bit of a contest with Noodles being the last person to put his name on the chit. The contest continued on the 18th and, for a while, it looked as if a distance of about 20 metres was going to take the event. And then along came SOS who managed to make it a more respectable 3 or 4 metres. On the other hand, the ProPin on the 15th went begging, although Enzo, for one, gave himself a bit of a chance but, unfortunately, no cigar. Despite the rumours to the contrary, the Jackpot will not be contested on the 4th hole next week.
Trevor’s ankle seems to be holding up OK and he is looking forward to playing more regularly from now on. You might notice from the Handicap Sheet that, due to the new Veterans category that the Committee approved recently, Trevor’s handicap has moved past 36.
The Birthday Birdie has a busy week this week. He has to get around to both Rob and SteveK to wish them all the best for the coming milestone. One step closer to joining Chrispy in the Seniors, hey Rob.
Results for Saturday, 18 January 2020
1st Targe Mifsud(+3) 2nd Brendon Mitchell(+2) 2nd Chris Priems(+2) 2nd Stephen O’Sullivan(+2) 3rd Stephen Butterfield(+1) 3rd Enzo Cirone(+1) 3rd Jason Hopkins(+1) 4th Michael Gourlay(-1) 4th Rod Grant(-1) 4th Bob McDonald(-1) 5th Harry Boughen(-2) 5th Gordon Hill(-2) 5th Ryan Porker(-2)
Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud (+3) 2nd Chris Priems (+2) 3rd Enzo Cirone (+1)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 12th Stephen Butterfield BallPin No 2 18th Stephen O’Sullivan
If you play the inside comp and were confused about the results posted for last week’s event then everybody was confused today as we had to play off the white markers for those taking part in the freshly scheduled (inside) Monthly Medal while we battled it out in our Stableford Competition. There was some very welcome rain yesterday and this served to make the course a very different beast to what it was only a couple of days before. There were a couple of sprinkles about just before tee time but they amounted to not much at all and there was no need to reach for wet weather gear of any sort. A pretty good crowd of twenty players turned out on what ended up being a very nice day for a game even if it wasn’t always golf.
However, there was never any doubt about what the Beast was playing today. It was golf, and golf of a very speccy variety. There was one rather anxious moment on the 13th when the first ball ‘might’ have slipped OOB. A provisional ball was struck so identically that Gordon deemed that if you found the one you would be standing on the other. Bill opted to take his chances on having to play six if they both happened to be OOB. As it turned out, both were in and centimetres apart which caused Gordon to ‘bet’ that Bill was just as likely to birdie the hole. The putt pulled up just short of doing just that.
Whitey hasn’t given up cricket just yet but he is apparently going to play with the seniors/veterans or whatever they are called in that other ball game. His advancing years have not affected his ability to play the small ball variety and he left enough out there, particularly on the front nine, to have easily swept the field before him. Pepsi obviously meant business as he was spotted in deep concentration envisioning his shot into the 14th green over the trees from the 16th fairway. One little twig got over-looked in the image and the ball fell short to result in a bogie for the hole.
Reports that Bob was out-driving SOS on a regular basis might have suggested that Bob was having a better day of it than SOS. However, SOS managed to win the day and get himself into 4th place and this despite having been kissed by Enzo when his Italian blood got the better of him when he chipped in. It doesn’t bear repeating what SOS said in response. Noodles and Jason both started out OK but faded a little on the back. On the other hand, Adam managed to make a bit of an improvement on the run home to tie up with the other two for a share of 5th place.
The GOATee marshal is going to have to pull his socks up after he allocated the ProPin to the 15th after it had been a Jackpot on the 4th last week. In the event, there didn’t seem to be too many complaints so perhaps nobody got close on the 4th. Somebody did get close on the 15th when the Beast finished just past pin high and 1.46m from the hole. The first BallPin was on the 12th and it was quite hotly contested with no less than four names on the card. The name at the bottom of the list was Pepsi and he collected a ball for his shot although there was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing about what sort of ball he wanted. The BallPin on the 18th looked like it might have gone begging until JQ smacked one in that looked very good from the tee. It was judged to be dead on line but, in the end, it finished a couple of metres past and still close enough to be worth a ball.
Dennis was a little less than happy with his putting, amongst other things. On the 14th, he putted up from below the hole, the ball reached the hole fully inside the diameter and should have fallen in for all money. Instead it carried around the hole and popped out heading back the way it came. Harry, on the other hand, had the longest putt possible on the green from just on at the back to the hole very close to the front. After carefully reading the significant slope to the allowed for and making a last minor adjustment to the alignment of the ball, Harry set himself for the shot. The ball ran and ran, the slope turned the ball toward the hole, the ball slowed, the curvature increased and finally the ball trickled straight down the fall of the green and dropped into the hole for a birdie. Just one of the twelve that were scored for the day.
Targe didn’t make any progress on his resolution to reduce his handicap today but he did have a modicum of luck when his drive on the 13th headed for the private property on the left. Luckily, the ball hit the OOB post and, conveniently, came back into play. Targe played with Rod and they marked each others card. Both were off the same handicap (both Club and GA) and both ended with the same number of points. There was no collusion involved (reportedly). Joe was back with us today for the first time in a while. He says he is going to grace us with his presence more regularly from now on. Perhaps he should make sure that JQ doesn’t find out that he was used as an aiming point by Joe on one hole today.
Results for Saturday, 11 January 2020
1st Bill Eastoe(39) 2nd Rodney White(37) 3rd Andrew Petricola(35) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan(34) 5th Stephen Butterfield(33) 5th Jason Hopkins(33) 5th Adam King(33)
Seniors Results: 1st Bill Eastoe (39) 2nd Bob McDonald (32) 3rd Rod Grant (31) 3rd Targe Mifsud (31)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Bill Eastoe BallPin No 1 12th Andrew Petricola BallPin No 2 18th John Quinlan
The sun had an ominous red tinge about it as it rose above the horizon and struggled to make its presence felt through the smoke haze that had settled over Melbourne during the rather balmy night. The remains of the northerly air stream pushed the temperature up a bit but it didn’t really have a great deal of conviction about it. Nineteen of Ivanhoe’s finest made it to the tee on time and battled their way into the haze hoping against hope that the promised change would arrive earlier than predicted. The dryness of the course and the air promised plenty of carry and plenty of run but first you have to hit the ball with the face of the club. Ken’s ball was reaching for the Panadol, it had been hit on the head so many times. But, it is surprising how far a ball with plenty of top-spin will run in these conditions.
The Rules Committee is still trying to decide whether our winner had assistance during the round. Whether he wore his glove out or just forgot it, Targe did a deal with SOS to exchange a new glove for a drink after the game. Whether it was the new glove or the high standard of his short game, Targe rocked in with a 93 off the stick for a net score of 67 to add to his growing collection of medals and points in both Championship events. And he got just a little bit further on his resolution to restore his pre-accident handicap with the only handicap cut of the day. Not fast enough, I hear some people say.
Jason sprinted around the course with the first group and created a little angst when it was thought that the cards from the group had not been left for perusal. As it turned out, they crossed over with the last group outside the clubhouse and left the cards in the tender care of Enzo. The rapid pace did not do the scoring any harm and a handy 68 was the result. Not to be out-done and, to keep his points collection going without harming his handicap, Porks acquired the same net result for second place.
Matt was another of the sprinters and he was probably leading the pack in his urge to get back on the job (at work, that is). His 69 was matched by Bob who decided to play with a green ball that was found on the 10th. Despite several attempts to lose it, it just didn’t want to be lost again and it didn’t do Bob’s scoring any harm. For a while, Dennis was Club-house leader and he was probably bemoaning a number of double bogies that didn’t help his front nine score. The rumour that he took advantage of his marker’s blurred vision is thought to be untrue.
Keith started off by sinking a pretty lengthy putt on the first to snag himself a par. After that, Keith decided that he needed some short putting practice and left himself with any number of 50mm putts, mostly from just past the hole. Who knows what the 70 could have turned into otherwise. Noodles claimed to have missed a lot of putts (again) but with only three double bogies in the round maybe it was the pars and birdies that he was missing. Despite carding four triple bogies, Daniel still managed to slot himself into fifth place alongside Noodles to round out the podium ranks for the day.
The first BallPin was on the 12th and Adam drifted one in with a bit of left to right to finish pretty handily placed. Although the marker pin did look closer, it was still worth a check but, unfortunately he was unable to tip out Brent who was a mere putter length from the hole. He made the birdie, which was one of eleven for the day. The second BallPin was on the 18th and again Adam put his ball onto the green. Unfortunately, he didn’t think to mark it and it was left to Noodles to collect the ball for a shot that was reported to be barely on the green. The ProPin was set on the 4th and Gordon was disappointed to find that his ball finished 5.02m from the hole and so the pool will Jackpot to next week.
Trevor was back with us today after a bit of a break as a result of his accident in London. In order to be sure that he was ready to play, he took a session with the Pro during the seek to get some tips on protecting his ankle. It must have done some good as he scored the longest drive in his group on the 6th. Which probably reduced the ‘pain’ of the two draughties that he scored elsewhere. He wasn’t alone on the draughtie parade, as Keith also managed one as well.
Gordon had a bit of a trip to get back from Tathra over the last couple of days but he did manage to turn up today. He did, however, express a view that bowls was looking pretty good as an alternative to golf. In particular, being 20cm off the green for two and finishing with a six did not go down too well. Noodles has been called a ‘choker’ from time to time but today he really did choke – on a fly. SOS seems to have inside information on what else Noodles has had down his throat when he expressed surprise that he would choke on something so small.
The Birthday Birdie has just one call to make this week and that will be to pass on wishes to Dennis in a few days time.
Results for Saturday, 04 January 2020
1st Targe Mifsud(67) 2nd Jason Hopkins(68) 2nd Ryan Porker(68) 3rd Matt Hunt(69) 3rd Bob McDonald(69) 3rd Dennis Ward(69) 4th Keith Delzoppo(70) 5th Stephen Butterfield(71) 5th Daniel O’Rourke(71)
Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud (67) 2nd Bob McDonald (69) 2nd Dennis Ward (69) 3rd Keith Delzoppo (70)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin4th Jackpot BallPin No 1 12th Brent Rowley BallPin No 2 18th Stephen Butterfield