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Hey Mr Mandarin Man on 24th April 2021.

The Turk wins again!
We always win on Anzac Day (weekend)!

What a weekend. NASA and SpaceX rolled out their second-hand gear and got Crew-2 up there. Now, all they have to do is get them back again in due course. The footy is going to be big with 85 000 packing into the ‘G, but only 5 000 will be allowed to march for the Anzacs tomorrow. I suppose somebody makes more money from the footy.

Enough of the pontificating. The cloud cover prevented the temperature dropping too low overnight, and it probably put a dampener on it rising too much during the morning. The possibility of showers remained just that, a possibility, and we remained dry even if not all jumpers were removed during the round. We ended up with twenty players on the ground with a couple of late withdrawals, not all of which were down to sleeping through the alarm. The greens had been sanded through the week, but, according to reports, that did not stop certain people being able to chip them close and putt them in with relative ease. The rain earlier in the week has not done much to soften the course, so conditions should have been pretty well right for some good scoring.

Mehmet has apparently seen the light after a heavy night at the casino a while back and has sworn off alcoholic beverages entirely. This probably explains why he was heard ordering a double-shot latte with two sugars as payment from a draughtie by SOS on the 15th. It might also go some way to explaining his return to form with a winning score of 38 points. There were no misses, but the six one pointers were partly offset by the four point birdie on the 6th. SOS, on the other hand, had two misses on his card, one of which was caused by the aforementioned draughtie on the 15th and twice as many shots as Mehm on the 6th for the other. Not to be out-done SOS also scored a four pointer on the 16th to come in with 36 points and the points for second place.

Harry was in charge of putting out the NTP markers today, and he wondered momentarily about ‘forgetting’ to put the ProPin kit out on the 4th where it belonged after a clean miss by the whole group. This thought bubbled to the surface again on the next eligible hole (12th) when his drive looked to be perilously close to the pin, but looks from the tee can be deceiving. A couple of tree ‘problems’ might have helped to limit the final total to 35 and third place. Brendon helped to keep up the four point scoring average with his birdie on the 2nd, and he turned with 22 points under his belt. Oil began to leak on the 13th and, by the 17th and 18th, there was a very distinct ‘big-end knock’ – or was he just protecting his handicap? Regardless, he got to share the third step with Harry.

Damo would have been sort of happy with his front nine although he had used up a fair proportion of his handicap by that stage. He certainly gave the impression of being less than impressed with his second shot on the 14th, and who knows what the thoughts might have been after no points on the 15th. The final three holes probably improved his mood more than somewhat, and he finished with 33points for fourth place. A couple of points further back were a group of four musketeers with 31 points apiece in the persons of Jim, Beast, Gordo and MattH.

Despite his wishful thinking, Harry did not feature in today’s Nearest the Pin competition. The ProPin on the 4th went to Old Reliable with a shot that just made it inside the circle at 4.77m. Actually, Old Reliable was not quite as reliable as usual today, but we won’t go there. The first BallPin was on the 15th and MattH was half reluctant to put his name on it because it was ‘sure to be knocked off’. But it wasn’t. The BallPin on the 18th was taken out by Damo after Targe had staked out a claim early in the piece.

Perhaps this was a bit of a consolation for Damo as he also played out his second round match against Mehmet. It seems that Mehm had made some dire predictions to the WhatsApp group and Damien was determined that they weren’t going to come true. However, every time Damo thought himself sitting pretty with his ball on the green and an easy putt, Mehmet would chip it in or put it so close that it didn’t matter. The score line did run close from time to time, but before the match could be squared Mehm would put on a bit of a burst, and at the 16th, the match went dormie 2 and Mehm sealed the deal by winning the 17th and taking the match 3 and 1.

Separated at birth
Which twin has the Toni?

Bob didn’t have much of a day today and managed to add two draughties to the tally for the day. JQ was rather pleased that he had no sharp implements to hand when he had managed only three points in five holes. He did manage to regain some self-respect by scoring 27 points in the remaining thirteen holes. Noodles was showing his unbridled optimism when he was spotted wading through knee-high kikuyu on the embankment below the 14th tee, though it is not clear whether he was searching for his ball or his club. Jim still reckons the handicapper has ‘dudded’ him, but, if a guy can birdie the 12th and contribute to our tally of twelve, and follow up with a par on the 13th, then he doesn’t have too many legs to stand on. SOS seemed to be showing a propensity for something with some tongue gymnastics as he delicately rimmed the lip of his coffee cup and managed to lick the tip of his nose. Gordon was relieved to be in the points today, albeit at the lower end of the scale. His game was, he opined, ‘up and down like a fiddlers elbow’. At least it was ‘like a bride’s nightie’. The Birthday Birdie will be flapping off to visit Porks and Whitey later in the week. And a big shout out to Ken, who has graduated from mango Man to Mandarin (and Lemon) Man. Isn’t there a nursery rhyme that goes ‘Mandarins and lemons, Say the bells of St Kenneth’.

Results for Saturday, 24 April 2021
1st Mehmet Akdag(38) 2nd Stephen O’Sullivan(36) 3rd Harry Boughen(35) 3rd Brendon Mitchell(35) 4th Damien Lee(33) 5th Jim Belevski(31) 5th Bill Eastoe(31) 5th Gordon Hill(31) 5th Matt Hunt(31)

Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (35) 2nd Bill Eastoe (31) 2nd Gordon Hill (31) 2nd Jim Belevski (31) 3rd Targe Mifsud (30)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Craig Cameron BallPin No 1 – 15th Matt Hunt BallPin No 2 – 18th Damien Lee

It was a Blight on the game on 17 April 2021

Blighty romps it in
Now that I’m off the Committee…..

As the “woneye” Collingwood supporters reeled from the aftereffects of the demolition derby that played out over in the west, there were concerns that they should be kept well clear of sharp objects for fear of them inflicting self-harm. There were also concerns that there would be no-shows as they hid themselves from public view. However, despite the widespread gloom, there was a good representation on deck, and we had 21 members front to the starter. SOS also brought along his mate, Dirt, who, apparently, really goes by the name of George. The morning was a little on the cool side, but conditions were windless and, otherwise, very favourable for a game of golf. The course is still firm with plenty of run to be had and the greens were reported to be too fast for the liking of some in the field. The Beast would not allow Harry to make the same excuse for the over-enthusiastic chips and putts that made scoring difficult.

One Collingwood fan who seemed to be quite unperturbed by either the overnight drubbing or the speed of the greens was Blighty, who played like a man possessed to card his lowest off-the-stick score in a long time. It seems that it didn’t matter where on the green his approach finished, he was able to sink it or, at least, put it close enough for a tap-in. His eighty-two strokes, when combined with his handicap, was enough to score him eight points on the plus side of the ledger and to give him the day by a fair margin.

A couple of weeks back, Michael played with Anthony and expressed the view that he was a better than even chance to excel when he joined to competition. That view was justified when Anthony submitted his first card in competition after qualifying for his Club handicap. He managed to play the round without a minus score on the card and matched par on the back nine to bring in a card carrying five points which most people thought would head the field. That is, until Blighty came in and saved him from the Winner’s Penalty.

Just a point behind, and one over par on the back (with a couple of minuses) was none other than Old Reliable who quite befuddled Noodles with his consistency down the middle of the fairway. Brent showed that playing a match is no bar to scoring well as he was able to come in on plus four as well. Michael was cursing having turned a birdie chance into a bogie on the 17th, which robbed him of the chance to match it with, or even beat, Craig. His plus three was matched by Adam, who also had to contend with battling out a match as well. Last on the podium today was Bob, who has been showing a bit of form in recent times and scored a very handy plus two points for the day.

The nearest the Pin markers were very ably handled today by Pepsi even though some people claimed not to have noticed the ProPin on the 12th. One person who did notice the kit for the ProPin was Porks, who finished a very handy 2.33m from the hole to take out the cash. The first BallPin, on the 4th was a bit of a non-contest after Zimmer was able to get pretty darned close in the first group. Craig gave it a bit of a shake but was obviously not quite as close. Another no-contest for the BallPin on the 18th saw the little white pill go to Pepsi (another first grouper).

Two matches were played today. JQ came up against Adam and immediately started complaining about having to give away ten strokes. His angst was compounded when he found out the difference between Adam’s Daily Handicap and his Club Handicap at about the third hole, and it all went down-hill from there. A handful of squared holes stemmed the tide a little, but, in the end, the match finished at the thirteenth, six and five. As a small consolation, JQ chipped in for a birdie on the 18th and so contributed to the 21 that we scored for the day. My best shot of the day was the response to the cheers of the watching crowd. Zimmer came out quite confident that he was going to show Brent a thing or two in their match. This confidence was boosted by a couple of early wins that were followed by a run of squares leaving the match tied after seven holes. Brent then made his run and looked to have a strangle-hold when he was four up after twelve. Zimmer wasn’t going to lie down, however, and the match went dormie 2 after the 16th. Brent was able to seal the deal by winning the 17th to go to the next round 3 and 1.

Ryan’s drive on the second finished hard up to the base of a tree. No shot for a leftie or for a leftie playing right-handed, so he took the only other option, to hit it at the tree and hope. Trev found himself in a similar situation at one stage, but he was able to manufacture some sort of a back-hand shot. Trev also had an air-shot, for which Pepsi is taking the blame, as he loudly sledged Rob just a Trev was in the midst of his back-swing. Rob played with Noodles and Noodles was very solicitous and handing out coaching advice. One such gem was ‘grip it and rip it’. Whatever other gems he was able to dispense, there could very well have been a benefit because Rob’s scoring was much improved as the round progressed and the back nine could be classed as ‘respectable’.

Craig went very close to chipping in for an eagle on the first and made a very easy birdie. The Eagle’s Nest has been a little the worse for wear in recent times and so it is probably better that it did not go off again quite so soon. Whitey was another one who managed to chip in for a birdie, this time on the 4th to help along our total. A little bit later, on the 12th, he had to play a shot with the ball about half a metre above the ground in a tree. Targe had a fair run of the shanks today with the 11th and 12th being particularly memorable with several shots heading at right angles to the intended direction. If anybody sees Joe Demir, tell him the Birthday Birdie is trying to find him to deliver a wish for later in the week.

Results for Saturday, 17 April 2021
1st Andrew Blight(+8) 2nd Anthony Browne(+5) 3rd Craig Cameron(+4) 3rd Brent Rowley(+4) 4th Michael Gourlay(+3) 4th Adam King(+3) 5th Bob McDonald(+2)

Seniors Results: 1st Andrew Blight (+8) 2nd Craig Cameron (+4) 3rd Michael Gourlay (+3)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 – 4th Kazim Akdag BallPin No 2 – 18th Andrew Petricola

When Kennie met Brennie on 10 April 2021

The terrible twins
Separated at birth!

Now that Easter is out of the way and the chocolate eggs and bilbies have been scoffed (or at least had their ears bitten off), we can settle down to some nice Melbourne autumn weather. Towards the end of the front nine, you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was going to rain any time soon. But, for the first bit of the back nine, the sun was out and the jumpers were being stripped off. Then, just as suddenly the black clouds rolled in, and out come the umbrellas and the wet weather gear. Just as the round winds up, the rain stopped, but the sun didn’t quite come out. Is it any wonder that the 23 members who made it to the tee this morning finished showing varying degrees of dampness depending on whether they even had an umbrella or not. Melbourne’s meteorological medley should surely be familiar enough that some sort of protection should be carried. It’s a bit like Tinder dating, Noods!

The variability in the weather did not seem to affect the ability to score too much, at least for some people. Brendon claimed that he was having trouble judging the pace of the greens and a few of his chips and putts did have a bit of length about them. However, that did not stop him from scoring a very handy 38 points over the round. It wouldn’t have been quite as good if the rules hadn’t changed recently as a double hit on one of his chips would have cost him in the past. Ken, on the other hand, managed to get the same score on his card despite a few cases of the ‘shanks’. A particularly notable one on the 13th went close to taking out a couple of his playing companions. By the look of his card, there were one or two left out there so that handicap cut might be well and truly warranted.

Gordon started out with a four pointer and, with the second tee set as far forward as possible, he should have had every chance of following that up with another good score. The one pointer was a disappointment, but hardly the dreaded PBSU. His final tally of 37 points was enough to get second place on his own. Old Reliable continued to take advantage of the firm going and his habit of keeping the ball pretty much centrally located on the fairway and pretty well down in most cases. This kept Craig well up in the points and didn’t do his handicap any harm with 36 points. Ryan played pretty steadily for three quarters, but like a lot of footy teams, he faded a bit in the final. A chip-in on the 17th for a birdie saved the day a bit and he was able to tie it up with Craig in third place.

Harry claims to have lost count of the number of three putt greens that he had today on his way to a score of 35 points and a spot in fourth place. Gordon, playing in the group behind was able to verify that there were several. Michael did not lay claim to excessive numbers of three putts, but there was a fair amount of interest in his performance from the top deck on the 18th. Brendon was offering odds on the outcome of the second putt, but he decided that he didn’t have a bookies licence and all bets were off when the putt rolled in with the greatest of ease. Adam, Brent, and Whitey rounded out the podium list with cards of 34 points. All in all, a very close run finish with only four points covering the range.

Bobbie Dazzler took out the first BallPin on the 7th today with a shot that was reported to have virtually stopped before it got onto the green but then kept rolling and rolling. The second BallPin on the 18th was a real Battle of the Bs. The names on the card were Brendon, Brent and Blighty with Blighty getting the nod. He made a bit of a hash of the putting and so that hole did not make a contribution to the 20 birdies that the group scored today. Once again the ProPin was a bit on the controversial side. Adam had been tasked by the Grand Pooh Bah to make sure that the markers went out on the correct holes. Without making too much of it, the Grand Pooh Bah was a bit upset that the first BallPin was not out on the 4th. That is, until he checked his own running sheet and realised that the 7th was the correct location that he had nominated. Anyway, the ProPin was supposed to be on the 12th and both Harry and Craig were within the 5m limit, except that there was no kit left at the hole. Lo and behold, the kit was at the 15th, with a name on the card from the group charged with putting the kit out. Calls for a voiding and Jackpot were over-ruled and the ProPin went to Jason with his shot to 2.49m.

Quite a few Matchplay results were finalised today. Adam and Brent progressed by dint of Walkover. The remaining match in Round 1 was between Whitey and Rob. Rob was beset by an attack of the ‘shanks’ and, although he was able to win a few holes, he was a bit like King Canute and not able to turn back the tide. The match finished at the 13th, going to Whitey 6 and 5. Porks took on Gordo in what was probably the match of the day. Fifteen of the eighteen holes ended in a result one way or another and the largest margin was a mere two holes. Gordon managed to get the match back to square at the 15th with a chip in for birdie and took the lead on the 16th. There was pay-back on the 17th when Porks chipped in for his birdie and so it went down to the last hole to decide the match. It took them three putts each to decide the match that went to Porks, 1 up. Michael played with Noods and almost broke his heart on the first when he chipped in a three to Noods seven (not much doubt about the result there!). Things did improve for the young fellah a bit, and he managed to drag the match back to square by the turn. Unfortunately it was mostly down-hill from there and the match finished at the 16th 4 and 2 to Michael. Bob and Blighty were in the last match for the day and they both reckoned that they played horribly. Despite that caveat, the match did fluctuate a bit but Bob’s early lead proved difficult to wear down and, in the end, the match went to Bob 3 and 2.

The only report of a draughtie today was down to Stan on the 15th, but he reckons he cannot blame his new handicap from last week for that. There was some discussion whether Stan’s adjustment might have been the most severe ever. Not quite, it was the fourth most severe ever with the record cut coming in at 6.6 back in 1999. RodG was probably thinking that his birthday had come a bit early when he nabbed a birdie on the 6th after three shots up the middle left him with a longish putt that was never really in doubt from the moment it left the club. The Birthday Birdie also has to pay a visit to SOS later in the week as well.

Results for Saturday, 10 April 2021
1st Brendon Mitchell(38) 1st Ken Watson(38) 2nd Gordon Hill(37) 3rd Craig Cameron(36) 3rd Ryan Porker(36) 4th Harry Boughen(35) 4th Michael Gourlay(35) 5th Adam King(34) 5th Brent Rowley(34) 5th Rodney White(34)

Seniors Results: 1st Ken Watson (38) 2nd Gordon Hill (37) 3rd Craig Cameron (36)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jason Hopkins BallPin No 1 – 7th Bob McDonald BallPin No 2 – 18th Andrew Blight

It was a wedgetail eagle on 03 April 2021

The eagle has landed.
I didn’t really need the putter!

Well, if anybody thought that today would be a good day to score some easy points, they had better have another think coming. Firstly, the field was not as small as you might have expected given that it was smack bang in the middle of a long weekend. And the field had promised to be somewhat larger if not for a few lastish minute withdrawals. The result was that we ended up with 16 members and one newbie to wait around for there to be enough light to have some chance of seeing where your ball went off the first tee. Our newbie was Anthony, who has now racked up his three cards, and he can now officially start raiding the points in regular competition. The first group set out bravely enough and did manage to get enough of a sight on the line (down the middle by the way) to be able to walk up to their second shot. The air felt cool as they wandered down the hill, but the promise was that it would warm up more than somewhat as the day progressed. Of course, the big disadvantage of being the first group is that there are no track marks in the dew on the greens to help with the ‘read’. The air seemed to be perfectly still, but that did not stop the early morning balloonists from tracking across the course at a remarkable pace until one of them decided to alight ever so briefly on the 6th fairway. You would have to say that there was more hot air on the course than usual as a result.

Up, up and away.
Things are about to get hot.

Despite all of the miscellaneous distractions of hot-air balloons and so forth, Stan decided that it was about time he stopped pretending that he was a 24 handicapper and play all the way out of his skin. As a result he was able to turn in a personal best off the stick of 82 of the best. His net score of 58 was plenty to take out the Medal by a wide margin, and it was the fifth best net score recorded in the Club since records have been kept and the best net for at least seven years. There were very few, what could be called, blemishes on the card and there was a particular highlight where Stan emulated Stef and scored an eagle with driver and wedge, but in this case he didn’t need his putter having pitched it in from 90m out on the 14th. A stand-out round all round.

Mark was another one who seemed to be reluctant to use his putter, and, maybe, it was because there were no tracks to follow on the greens. Two on the front nine for a 37 off the stick had Damo seriously questioning the handicapper’s wisdom in setting Mark’s handicap level. Things didn’t go quite so swimmingly on the back nine, but an overall result of net 66 would have had most people holding out hope for a podium topping result. MattV hasn’t had too many appearances on the track this year, but he did manage to drag himself out today to take on JQ in the Matchplay. Perhaps the prospect of teaching JQ a lesson spurred him on as he was able to stake a claim to third place with his bottom line of 69. The match was not quite the ‘lesson’ although, despite JQ getting a bit of an advantage early, Matt did manage to hold the match to all square after the 18th. So, off to the chip-off they went. Both chips finished a bit on the long side, and so it came down to a putt-off. JQ went a bit long and the gallery gasped. Matt went even longer and the gallery gasped again. The come-back missed, and it was up to JQ. With his favourite up-hill putt, John slotted it to take the match, technically on the first chip-off, but, in reality, it was really the second putt-off.

Just one stroke to the hindmost was a fair little cluster of talent with Craig, Michael, Brendon, and JQ all coming in with seventy of the best. JQ was only three over the card after the nine, and would surely have hoped for better things. Michael, on the other hand, really came good on the back and finished square with the card for the nine. Trev continues with his run of form in recent weeks, and, if it hadn’t been for several four putts (according to Trev), the result could have been better. Then again, just about everybody could lay claim to that.

The Nearest the Pin competition started out on the 12th, not the 4th, as some people seemed to think. Damo was pretty pleased with his shot for a ball, but he was counting his chickens just a bit on the early side as Jim was able to make it closer to take out the first BallPin. Damo also put his ball onto the green on the 18th but chose not to put his name on it because he was so far away that somebody else was sure to get closer. This proved to be a prescient move as the final winner was Anthony. The ProPin on the 15th was left to Brendon who just squeaked in under the limit at 4.73m, which led to some calls for the scrutineers to confirm that the measurement was accurate. The distance was too great for his putting and there was no birdie there to add to the total of eleven for the day. And, of course, the famous eagle that scored all of one ball from the much raided Eagle’s Nest.

The Birthday Birdie is fluttering off this week to deliver a great big Turkish wish to Mehmet. Perhaps he will get some Turkish Delight on the day!

Pepsi was a bit bitter today when he ‘blew’ his whole handicap (3) on the second hole after an ill-considered excursion into the wilderness at the back of the green. Damo went for the green on the 17th and didn’t make quite the contact that he would have liked, but the tail-wind looked to have helped the ball on its way. There was nothing obvious on the green, in the hole, or beyond the green, so the sad conclusion was reached that it must have fallen short and finished in the penalty area. A new ball was dropped and played, and as the group walked onto the green, the original ball was spotted (just) pretty much completely buried in the soft apron of the green. Damo was remarkably philosophical having pretty well walked past the spot when searching initially.

Jim didn’t have the greatest of days today with one draughtie that seems to be the only one for the day. On the 17th, his drive headed for Green Acres on the other side of the river, and he had the hide to ask whether that was out of bounds or not. SOS was off to work after the round and settled down to a hot chocolate because, if he had two coffees in the day, he would be ‘hyper’. Somebody should tell him that there is as much caffeine in chocolate as there is in coffee. He did seem to enjoy the marshmallow though!

Next week is scheduled for the Priems Cup. For those not familiar, there are rules included on the web-site, but basically the team Captains (for this round Rob and Chris) take turns to select team members who then play against each other in matchplay for team points and the winning team gets to hold the trophy cup until the next round. As we are in the midst of the main Matchplay Tournament, any of those matches will be allocated to opposing teams depending on the selecting Captain’s choice. But, it is important that matches to be played next week (three left in round 1 and any from round 2) are notified to Chris as soon as possible. The person on the top of the draw has prime responsibility, but either can take the initiative in arranging the match. The other important thing is, that, if you register, please be sure that you are going to turn up as it is not just a matter of juggling members of groups that is involved. The Captains will liaise on Thursday evening to settle the teams.

Results for Saturday, 03 April 2021
1st Stan Blackshaw(58) 2nd Mark Minney(66) 3rd Matthew Van Dam(69) 4th Craig Cameron(70) 4th Michael Gourlay(70) 4th Brendon Mitchell(70) 4th John Quinlan(70) 5th Trevor Jackson(71)

Seniors Results: 1st Stan Blackshaw (58) 2nd Craig Cameron (70) 2nd Michael Gourlay (70) 3rd Trevor Jackson (71)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Brendon Mitchell BallPin No 1 – 12th Jim Belevski BallPin No 2 – 18th Anthony Browne

Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 14th Stan Blackshaw