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There were Champs and Chumps on 28 November 2020

Harry canoodles Noodles
They could almost be twins!
This is the way the Championship ends
This is the way the Championship ends
This is the way the Championship ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.

With apologies to T. S. Eliot

And so we come to the end of a rather unusual year of golf. We’ve had lock-downs. We’ve had shut-downs. We’ve had knock-downs. But, at least we haven’t had any drag-outs. And, at the end of the day, we managed to navigate our way through it all to still have a modicum of interest in the outcome of the final round of the competition for this year. The weather was fine, but overcast, and there were just a couple of spots of rain. The increased freedoms and the impending silly season did not impact our number by too much and 22 members and Pepsi’s guest, Patrick, set out to do battle with the elements and the trees. JQ was on deck to celebrate his little milestone of 300 games with the Club. He could have passed it years ago if he hadn’t gone gallivanting to the four corners of the globe in pursuit of his career. But, just maybe, his career was just a tad more important.

Noodles and Porks took to the field side by side with Noodles intent more on limiting Ryan’s chances of scoring any more points than him than on winning the day. Ryan went astray early, which might have lulled Noods into a false sense of security and by the turn his three stroke advantage had disappeared and the scores were equal. They then traded stroke for stroke as the back nine progressed with neither being able to garner any advantage. Porks had the chance to pip Noods by a stroke on the 18th but the par proved elusive and, at the end of 18, the scores were still dead equal and, regardless of position in the field, the 2020 Club Championship was clearly in Noodles hands, with a total of 57 points, four points clear of Ryan on 53. Pepsi held his placing on the table to finish third with 47 points.

Of course, the real event of the day was the December Monthly Medal. Harry has admitted to watching a few instructional videos over the period away from the course and, there are those among the members who reckon he hits the straightest driver in the Club. As a hint, his driver from the back blocks on the 15th pulled up around a metre short of the hole, creating more than a little excitement on the tee. But, whether it is the instruction or just the one in twenty outlier, it does not take away from the fact that he fairly blitzed the course today to take out the trophy with a handicap devastating net score of 62.

Somebody reckons that Stef is looking even more like a porn star than ever with the Mo-vember and the tatts. But that has not stopped him from hitting the ball a country mile as well as being able to score. He managed to play exactly to his handicap and stepped up for a share of second place. His partner in crime on the podium was Craig who had a couple of scratchy ones to start off but settled down and barely put a foot wrong from there on.

MattA also had a few scratchy ones early in the round, but he managed to settle for the final twelve holes and came in, just a stroke behind in third place. He wasn’t alone in that spot although he very well could have been if MattH’s putt on the 18th had dropped in for the birdie rather than hanging on the rim of the cup and just staying out. Not sure whether there was something about that hole, but Michael and Daniel also went tantalisingly close but missed by circling the cup and hanging on the edge.

Pepsi had an uncharacteristic result on the 6th with a couple of ‘chunked’ shots undoing an otherwise nice round. Brent was nurse-maiding his father-in-law and, so, might be forgiven a couple of aberrations that impacted his ability to score as well as he might. Then followed a list so long that Damo was loathe to read them all out during the announcements. But, here goes. Noodles, Beast, Michael, Gordo, Porks and, last but by no means least, SOS. All got a piece of fifth place.

Gordon managed to sneak into 3rd place in the Seniors points today but, that was not quite enough and, so, he will have to be satisfied with second place in the Seniors Championship just a single point behind the redoubtable Bob who takes it out with 24 points. Harry’s top placing today means that he was able to jump to 23 points and into third place by leap-frogging over Targe who has not been placing well in recent weeks.

The first BallPin, on the 12th, proved to be a bit difficult with the pin on the hard right of the green. However, JQ managed to get it on and held off all comers to take out the ball on offer. On the 18th, the pin was on the bottom deck which seems to be much more to peoples liking and the eventual winner was MattH. His missed putt did not contribute to the tally of birdies for the day. Noodles did manage to get a new birdie on the 9th which did add to the total of 16 for the day. It was also enough to seal him as the winner of the Eclectic for the year with a net score of 46.2, less than half a stroke ahead of Peter. The ProPin was on the 4th and there were numerous valiant efforts that did not quite make it to the 5m limit. Pepsi did manage to squeeze one under the limit but, he was unseated when Damo managed to knock one to 3.85m.

Peter managed to drive one onto the 10th green today. The only problem being that he was playing off the 2nd tee. Chrispy wasn’t able to go too far astray on the 6th today as he managed to play shots into trees a total of five times. Three of those times, the ball finished behind where it started so it is not surprising that he finished the hole in double figures. Another one who finished in double figures was Ben who managed to lose four balls OOB on the 8th on his way to a 15. Maybe it was the ‘gorillas’ on his shirt that affected his approach to the game as he almost took out Porks and Harry at various stages during the round.

Bob was the only reported draughtie today and, it seems that it was a beauty. It happened on the 18th and it could very well be the only recorded instance of the ball finishing behind the tee that it was hit from. The Beast also had his fair share of problems on the last two holes. A couple of shanks on the 17th had him playing down the 18th. Then, on the 18th, he walked up to a ball, checked that it was a blue numbered Srixon and played on. Only to find that his actual ball, a blue numbered Srixon but with prominent green dots and line, lay in the grass a couple of metres away.

The Vin O’Meara starts next week for the first points of the 2021 competition. This event will be played using your latest handicap. It also comprises the final two rounds of the Club Stroke Championship, the result of the handicap branch of which will be determined using today’s handicap. The usual Calcutta Auction for the VOM has been suspended for this year and there will be a $25, draw for player, event in its place. Could everybody who intends to ‘buy’ a player please register their intention on the web-site under the Registration Menu/Register for Calcutta Purchase. The usual $25 buy yourself, winner-take-all will also be available.

The break-up will once again be at Past-President John’s home after the Champion of Champions on 19 December, and we sincerely thank him and Andrea for making their facilities available once again. To help with the catering can everybody please register their intentions on the web-site under Registration/Break-up Registration as soon as possible. Any changes of mind can also be made there, but we would prefer firm decisions.

Results for Saturday, 28 November 2020
1st Harry Boughen(62) 2nd Stefan Belevski(68) 2nd Craig Cameron(68) 3rd Matthew Aforozis(69) 3rd Matt Hunt(69) 4th Andrew Petricola(71) 4th Brent Rowley(71) 5th Stephen Butterfield(72) 5th Bill Eastoe(72) 5th Michael Gourlay(72) 5th Gordon Hill(72) 5th Ryan Porker(72) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan(72)

Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (62) 2nd Craig Cameron (68) 3rd Bill Eastoe (72) 3rd Gordon Hill (72) 3rd Michael Gourlay (72)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin4th Damien Lee BallPin No 1 12th John Quinlan BallPin No 2 18th Matt Hunt

The Cap’n left us all in his wash on 21 November 2020

Gordon heads the pack
No choking today, me hearties!
There was movement at the 'Hoe course.
For the word had got around,
That the points to set the Champ,
Were still in play.

As the number of double doughnut days continue to mount, the general populace is getting more and more excited about what exactly the next round of restriction easing might be. Top of the wish-list would appear to be a relaxation of the face-mask rule but, there are some who would prefer to be safe than sorry as well as having consideration for the health and safety of others.

The weather continues to be fine and warming up but still nice enough for a really enjoyable for a game of golf. We managed to get 21 of our members onto the tees this morning and young Kazim joined us once more to submit his third card. He managed to show that he has not lost too much form during his recent lay-off, and he carded a 71 off the beater today. This included an eagle on the 14th after driving it to pin high and following up with a very handy chip-in. Unfortunately, it does not count for the Eagle’s Nest. Maybe next week! His eventual handicap of 9 from his three cards looks too generous by far.

On the face of it, with the weather showing a benign face and, with the course well mowed and the greens in tip-top condition, there was absolutely no reason not to turn in a good score today. And, it took Gordon to show the field exactly how it was done. It was a case of playing mostly to your handicap and taking advantage of the occasional opportunity that offered itself. A couple of blemishes, with the minimum amount of pencil lead expended in the result column on the back nine, prevented the score-line being rather more than the +3 that resulted.

Stefan was probably hoping to ‘Mo’ down the field, but he might just have to wait until later in the month when the face-fuzz has made more of an impression. He also had a couple of pen saving results on the back nine and improving those could have converted the result from his +2 into a winner. Simon managed to mark his card on the wrong side but, at least, he did point it out to the handicapper. And, it pretty much guaranteed that he was not recycling his card from Thursday.

Harry was also carrying a ‘burden’ from Thursday but it didn’t seem to faze him too much. He even gave the spot where the flag on the 7th had been on Thursday a bit of a nudge but, the ground-staff had moved the hole to another part of the green. The last three holes turned a potential winner into a fourth placer with a net result at square. MattH, on the other hand, stayed pretty much square the whole round to join in on the points on offer. Damo looked like having a bit of a shocker when he was five down after six. Getting back to square was quite a fine effort from there. Chrispy, of the shining dome, turned up with a minus 1. He was joined by Michael who has come back after quite a long break. Michael did admit to having had a couple of rounds and so did not come back completely cold.

With one more round to play in this year’s competition, there are six players with a mathematical possibility of slotting into one of the top three spots in the main Championship so the competition next week will undoubtedly be fierce. In the Seniors, there are five members in a similar situation if we discount Dennis, who is probably unlikely to make it back to take part. In the Eclectic, three players can take the trophy with a birdie and there are another couple within an eagle (or a couple of birdies). And, while on the topic of birdies, Bob fell just short of acing the 18th to win the BallPin and tapped in for his birdie to add to the other 16 that were scored today. The other BallPin was on the 15th and that was taken out by Zimmer. The ProPin today was on the 12th but the recipient claims that he didn’t know what he had won. Blighty, if you have to measure the distance (2.3m by the way), it is the ProPin. As an interesting aside, the other name on all of the nearest the pin chits was Michael.

There are a couple of milestones to mark today. Keith lined up for his 400th game with the Club. Keith doesn’t think he will catch up to Chrispy though. The Birthday Birdie has a good wish for Daniel who will, undoubtedly, be cooking up something special later in the week.

The Matchplay Championship was played out today with a match between Pepsi and Dave. From a handicap point of view, there was only one stroke in it and it promised to be a corker of a match. And the match was generally a very close run thing with Pepsi struggling to hold on to his early advantage. It could very well have been the flat stick that was the telling difference between the two. The match eventually went dormie 2 at the 16th and a loss at 17 gave the match and the Championship to Pepsi 3 and 1. One of the events of the round was when Pepsi’s ball went missing on the 10th fairway near the first, where it was strongly suspected that it had been ‘picked up/played,’ a fact denied by the potential perpetrators. On the 11th, a ball appeared from the second that just happened to be the same make and number and with the same markings as Pepsi’s missing ball. What Dave said to the culprit doesn’t bear repeating but the look on his face was apparently priceless. The win propelled Pepsi right into the action at the top of the main Championship table.

Brendon was plagued by a bit of an attack of the shanks, including a beauty from the tee on the 12th straight into the penalty area (aka water hazard). A tank shank you might say. On the 13th, Peter put his drive behind a tree on the 10th fairway and then played a ‘brilliant’ shot that headed across the 13th, curved around over the left hand hazard, bounced around the bank and ran down the hill to finish just off the green. It is suspected that this was not exactly the shot that Pete had envisaged. Gordo also shanked his second on the 8th into the billabong but, like the real trouper that he is, he put the next shot just short of the green and chipped in from there for a square on the hole.

Blighty was overheard wondering what he might do with the cash that he had collected from the ProPin. Perhaps he could buy himself some balls as he was also overheard saying that he had ‘only’ lost three today, including two on the 17th. Rob’s rough trot does not seem to have been alleviated by a week off and he really struggled on the front nine, weaving something of a zig-zag course. This performance included a draughtie on the 3rd. Hopefully things have turned a corner for our esteemed President as he managed to play to his handicap on the back nine.

Arrangements for the break-up are still a bit up in the air until we know more about what will be allowed in terms of gathering sizes and locations. The committee will finalise decisions on the event early next week and will advise shortly afterwards. Also, don’t forget that next Saturday is the last round for this competition year and will be a stroke round for the December Monthly Medal. It will also be the first round of our Club Stroke Championship which will extend over the following two weeks of the Vin O’Meara. The VOM marks the beginning of the new Championship so everything to turn up for.

Results for Saturday, 21 November 2020
1st Gordon Hill(+3) 2nd Stefan Belevski(+2) 3rd Simon Powell(+1) 4th Harry Boughen(□) 4th Matt Hunt(□) 4th Damien Lee(□) 5th Michael Gourlay(-1) 5th Chris Priems(-1)

Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (+3) 2nd Simon Powell (+1) 3rd Harry Boughen (□)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Andrew Blight BallPin No 1 15th Kazim Akdag BallPin No 2 18th Bob McDonald

Playing fast and loose on 14 November 2020

Separate but the same…

There have been lots of things attributed to the effect of the lockdown ranging from increased domestic violence, to increased alcohol consumption, to declining mental health. Maybe we can add declining mathematical ability to that list, if the length of time that some pairs took to finalise their cards and the number of adjustments to number of points due are any guide. You certainly couldn’t blame the weather, with a fairly calm and cool to balmy day being just about perfect for a round (of golf). Our numbers, at 23 players, were just a little down on recent weeks but the raising of the ‘ring of steel’ and the need to prepare for holiday season probably helped to keep a few members otherwise occupied.

The course was in tip-top condition and some were confidently predicting that a score in the forties would be needed to collect the top points. However, the consensus, during and after the round, was that the greens were fast for chipping but slow for putting which seems a bit of a contradiction in terms but the thought did come from a number of independent sources.

Now, whether it was one of the perceived effects of lockdown, there was a suggestion that SOS possibly should not have been in charge of a motor vehicle on his way to the course. And, by the third hole, he was in need of an urgent source of relief, which, mercifully for his playing partners, was close at hand. His game certainly picked up more than somewhat after the 4th hole. But, he was obviously able to keep his head down and brought home a card showing a handicap equalling 36 points with 21 of them on the back nine. Brent started out well but then faltered a bit, got it back together, faltered a bit, got it back together etc, etc. Finally making it to the line with the same tally as SOS and taking a share of the top points for the day.

Damo was a bit unsure how to tackle the first off the new tee ground, but stuck with his choice of driver and took on the direct path over the trees. On the second he took on the trees again but, this time, he managed to get caught in one and the ball hit timber about five or six times before it eventually decided to drop to the ground. The handicapper is beginning to think that there should be a new limit to the size of handicap allowed, at 18, given the number of people who seem to ‘forget’ which holes they get multiple strokes on. Among the culprits today were Bob and Ken who managed to get themselves ‘promoted’ into a share of second place with Damo for a score of 35 points.

Harry played the back nine during the week and hoped that he had been able to ‘bottle’ it after a PB total of 36 off the stick. Unfortunately, the flat stick, in particular, did not quite cooperate to the same degree, and a total for the round of 34 was the best on offer. Craig claimed that there was nothing to report on his game or that of his companions, just average golf, in other words. ChrisV, on the other hand, made good use of the trees, in some cases for good and, in some cases, for evil. Thus, the good, the evil and the average succeeded in also scoring 34 points to share the third podium spot.

Simon also had some good nines during the week, and he was hoping that he might be able to recycle the cards for today’s event. The handicapper was right onto him though, and so he had to do the right thing and submit his real card with 33 points on the bottom line. JQ hasn’t been practising during the week, but he still managed a nice steady game with just a few too many slipping through to the keeper and preventing a significantly better tally. Porks managed to shrug off a putt missed from about 300mm on the 5th hole to score a single point and to narrow the gap ever so slightly between he and Noodles at the top of the Championship table. The game is afoot! Daniel picked up a ‘forgotten’ point to drag himself into a share of fifth place.

And, while on the subject of Daniel, there was a lot (of dosh) riding on the ProPin at the 15th hole today. There were some close, but no cigar, until Daniel smashed one to 1.38m to remove almost any hope for the rest of the field. As if to console himself for missing that ‘one-footer’ and for scoring only one point, Porks took it upon himself to take out both of the BallPin competitions on the 12th and the 18th. Neither of them resulted in birdies, and so he did not add to the tally of eight for the day. Pepsi did contribute by getting a birdie on the 9th, although it was a little on the unconventional side. His drive finished in the middle of the 18th, and so he had to pitch over the trees and sink the putt to get there. Which he did with the greatest aplomb.

Peter did not have a great day of it, and that was exemplified by his tee shot from the 10th that finished on the cart path from the first. MattA also struggled a bit and his game can be best summarised by the fact that he ‘scored’ a draughtie with his second tee shot after the first went OOB. The ‘unofficial rules’ committee were scratching their heads over that one. Our other Matt(H), when asked how it went, responded that he only comes to play on Medal days. Bob is still having problems keeping his cart under control. He reckons, sometimes his reflexes are too fast and sometimes they are too slow and, sometimes it has a mind of its own and heads off when he doesn’t even have the controller on him.

Brendon was playing the 10th on the 13th and, wisely, decided to move back out of the firing line as Dale smacked it down. The further back that Brendon went, the further round Dale’s ball followed, with Damo urging it on from behind. It is unclear whether this ‘near death’ experience caused Brendon’s next shot to pop up into a tree and plop, ignominiously, into the pond. It did result in one of several gashes.

Results for Saturday, 14 November 2020
1st Brent Rowley(36) 1st Stephen O’Sullivan(36) 2nd Damien Lee(35) 2nd Bob McDonald(35) 2nd Ken Watson(35) 3rd Harry Boughen(34) 3rd Craig Cameron(34) 3rd Chris Vinecombe(34) 4th Simon Powell(33) 4th John Quinlan(33) 5th Daniel O’Rourke(32) 5th Ryan Porker(32)

Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (35) 2nd Craig Cameron (34) 2nd Harry Boughen (34) 3rd Simon Powell (33)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Daniel O’Rourke BallPin No 1 12th Ryan Porker BallPin No 2 18th Ryan Porker

There was more than pool noodles in the hole on 07 November 2020

Noodles in the hole
I thought I would die and never see this!

It started out as a day like any other. The sun came up in the east. The weather was nice and the traffic was not too heavy at that time of the morning. Drivel was still issuing from the White House but that has been going on for four years now, so nothing unusual there. Another bumper crowd of 27 players had signed up for the fray to contest the next to last Medal for the current, somewhat unusual, year of golf.

There was nothing at all unusual about this round of golf though. That is, until Noodles stepped up onto the 7th tee and took out his trusty 5 iron. Despite a certain amount of chiacking from Brendon he whacked it down, straight as an arrow bisecting the pin the whole way, a couple of bounces on the green and the ball rolled ever so gently into the hole for the golfer’s dream, a Hole in One. Although, Noods didn’t quite believe it until JQ trotted back to the green and confirmed the the ball was actually in the hole, as the photo attests. Despite what it said on last week’s Handicap Sheet, there were actually only four balls in the Eagles Nest when the shutdown was taken into account. But, despite collecting the Eagles Nest as well as the HIO, Noodles was then trying to claim that the 7th was really where the ProPin was supposed to be.

Matt necks one.
How’s this for neck and neck?

But, the day didn’t go entirely Noodles way. His ‘oner’ did help him to come in with a net score of 65 which, you would have to think was in there with a fair chance of winning the day. However, MattH had other ideas and pulled a birdie out of somewhere (possibly starting with ‘a’) on the last to come in with a net 65 also. Now, the thing is, both were on 10 handicap, both obviously had the same off the stick for the round and, coincidentally, both had the same totals on both nines. And so, the count-back had to go to the last six holes to separate the ‘twins’ and get a result for Matty to take out the Monthly Medal.

Now, in the scheme of things CJ was supposed to have come in second place. Unfortunately, there was a slight matter of addition involved in the total of strokes taken on the front nine that threw the cat among the pigeons and it was Pepsi who eased his way into second place. Perhaps it was the difficulty in adding up the strokes for brother Rob that caused the distraction on this little matter. This still left Chrispy to tie in third place with Whitey with their net 70 strokes. And Chris scored another win in the Seniors, so he is making something of a burst to the line in that competition.

Gordo managed to garner fourth place on his own with 71 while there was a fair swag of players lining up for the last point on offer with Harry, Craig, David and Simon in the mix.

Despite Noodles’ wish for the ProPin to be on the 7th, it was again on the 15th after jack-potting last week. With the white tees set well back, the task proved too difficult again this week so there will be a double Jackpot up for grabs next week. If the numbers keep rolling up as they have been, it will be a very nice pot indeed. The first BallPin was set on the 4th and, although the tree caught a few passing balls, there were a couple of contenders on the green and MattH made a bit of a day of it by claiming the ball. On the 18th, for the second BallPin, Jake put in a very nice shot to collect the ball but probably spoiled the effort a little by taking three putts to finish the hole.

Perhaps Jake was feeling a little deflated after his match against Dave. The match looked a bit like being a walkaway in the early stages despite Dave having to give no less than 24 strokes to Jake. Once again, after the front nine, the fat lady could have been forgiven for loosening up her tonsils in anticipation. Apparently unfazed by having been as much a 5 down after eight holes, Jake put up an almighty fight to win four on the trot and possibly have a sniff of pulling off the turn-around of the year. Unfortunately, the run came to an end just a little too soon and Dave pulled away to take the match 4 and 3. The champion now has to be decided by a match that promises to be a thriller between Pepsi and Dave while Blighty and Jake will fight it out for second runner-up.

Didn't quite make it.
If that ruddy marker hadn’t gotten in the way!

There were a couple of draughties today. One of them was down to Blighty who had the temerity to blame the positioning of the red markers for his misfortune. Plus, he didn’t have a card and had to prevail upon MattH to buy the ‘draughts’ in exchange for actual money. The other one was scored by Jake, which might have contributed to his eventual demise in the match under way.

There were a few other birdie stories today. One was down to JQ, who managed one on the 9th by sinking a putt that was estimated to be 20m if it was an inch. Harry’s claim to fame was that he had scored two birdies but only one par in his round. But, it was a bit of a day for our feathery friends, and we tallied 18 in total which is one of our better strike rates in recent times.

Keith had some problem with his battery that caused him to abandon his bag and most of his clubs at the 17th tee. He completed the round with three clubs and his putter and seemed to do as well as he had with the bag-full. Blighty kept trying to play his tee shots from the blue markers, which was not that difficult as, except for one hole, they were never more than a couple of metres apart. Daniel is not known to hold back when he steps up to the tee even if it does mean that he is, often, on somebody else’s fairway. It came off, in a way, today when he drove the 11th with the ball finishing on the 12th tee ground.

Rob was in need of some sustenance to complete his round after he turned in one of the shockers of the year (or maybe ever). He pressed on to prove that he was no quitter and to reinforce the message that nobody else should be either. The curious thing is that they reckon he didn’t putt too badly. Go figure! Jake presented today sporting a haircut that only a mother could love. Done by a mate apparently. He also has some tatts, that he is reluctant to display, also done by a ‘mate’. Whitey is off on a sabbatical for the summer to try his luck with the flanneled fools.

The Birthday Birdie has been a bit remiss in recent times and best wishes today go to Craig and Mal. Our thoughts are with Mal as he does another round with his leukaemia and also with Trev who had a fall during the week.

Results for Saturday, 07 November 2020
1st Stephen Butterfield(65) 1st Matt Hunt(65) (c/b t6) 2nd Andrew Petricola(69) 3rd Chris Priems(70) 3rd Rodney White(70) 4th Gordon Hill(71) 5th Harry Boughen(72) 5th Craig Cameron(72) 5th David Mullenger(72) 5th Simon Powell(72)

Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (70) 2nd Gordon Hill (71) 3rd Craig Cameron (72) 3rd Harry Boughen (72) 3rd Simon Powell (72)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 4th Matt Hunt BallPin No 2 18th Jake Priems

Hole in One Results: Hole in One 7th *** Stephen Butterfield ***