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Hurdles to clear on 30 October 2021

happy as larry
Who was that unmasked man?

There was quite a gale on Thursday/Friday. The course was closed on Friday morning, as it was deemed too dangerous. Looking at the tally of fallen branches and felled trees, it is not hard to imagine that it would have been downright life-threatening. There was hardly a fairway without a roped-off area, and the ground staff were out in force removing the smaller stuff or mulching it with one of the mowers. They even had a mobile leaf-blower out doing its bit to shift some of the litter out of the way. Despite all that, the course was in very good condition and there were quite a few comments from the nineteen members who played, about the speed of the greens in relation to the outcome of putting and chipping. Or was that just down to the extended lay-off from the game?

Rob wouldn’t have been too unhappy about his first few holes back in the harness. Then the shanks set in, and things went down-hill in a big way, so that he finished the front nine sitting on minus three. There is no suggestion that he nipped into the clubhouse for a heart starter at the turn, but you would have to think that it was a different person holding the club on the back. A very hefty plus five on the back resulted in a plus two for the round and the first top spot finish for Rob in quite a long time. As they say in the classics – he’s back!

Now, Trev is known to have a word or two to say about his own game during the round. Today proved to be no exception and his dulcet tones were heard drifting across the fairways from time to time. Matt reckons that some of the self-admonishment was going on while the swing was still on progress. Despite all that, Trev managed to keep the scoring pretty well-balanced to finish with one on the positive side of the ledger to take out second place in the main event and top spot in the Seniors. Not to be out-done (almost), Matt also kept his card very well-balanced to finish in third place with a square card.

Ben was looking resplendent today in one of his hi-viz muscle shirts. A bit shaky for the first couple of holes before he settled down to finish with only one point below the line and a share of fourth place. Ben reckons Bob dropped the f-bomb thirty-seven times during the round, but this is not a statistic that is kept on file, but it is thought to be not a record. Brent finished the front nine just in positive territory, and faded just a little on the back to share the spot with Ben. Brendon started out sinking putts from just about anywhere, whether on the green or not. So much in love with the putter was he, that he walked up to the 8th tee with his putter still firmly gripped in his hand. Over firm chipping, and less success from a distance with the flat stick left him in fifth place with minus two. He’ll happily take the point, though.

The final semi-final of the Matchplay was fought out today between Brent and Mark. For a while, it looked as if it was going to be an easy job for Brent as he marched to a position of four up after eight, and he still retained that status after 12. A loss on 13, followed by consecutive birdies by Mark, put the match in a very finely balanced position. Brent gathered his wits and won the next two to retrieve the situation and take out the match 3 and 1. Brent now meets up with Stef in the final, and Mark meets up with Michael in the play-off.

Perhaps it was repayment for his forthcoming loss in the Matchplay, but the golf gods were kind to Skip today. He managed to collect a ball for the first BallPin on the 12th, and, he collected the jackpot pool for the ProPin on the 15th. His birdies on the 14th and 15th contributed to the total of ten that we achieved for the day. The second BallPin on the 18th was taken out by Ben.

Another birdie today was on Pork’s card. His drive on the 17th whistled out over the trees and never looked like missing the green. It did finish near the edge though, and left a rather long putt for the eagle. Porks checked the slope and squinted down the line before giving the ball a good solid rap and sent it on its way until it finally rolled to a stop, pin high and about 50mm from the hole. Close, but no Eagle’s Nest, and it barely needed a tap to gather up the birdie. Bob was quietly confident before the round that any problems with his electric buggy would be down to the operator rather than the equipment. It didn’t get to the second tee before it gave up with a flat battery, despite being on charge for 24hours (according to Bob). The Beast was on deck for the first time in quite a while, and, although he had hoped that the break would be good for his game, his general feeling after the round was disappointment. It’ll be better next week, Bill.

Windstorm victim
An unfeathered nest!

The Birthday Birdie has a couple of calls to make this week. Life member, Rodger Clarke, is one who will be celebrating in the next few days. Damo could very well be looking at the Brightside of life if things go well later today, and the celebrations could very well carry over to his birthday later in the week. If the nag delivers, Whitey will probably be celebrating in a big way as well.

End of the year is rapidly approaching. Two monthly medals and the postponed Fred Kitson over the next four weeks.

The Calcutta auction for the Vin O’Meara will be held on the 27th November. There is a registration form on the website to let us know whether or not you want to be included in the auction, either due to reticence or to the fact that you will not be playing in the event. Please let us know one way or another, so that we don’t complicate things by selling non-runners. There is also a form to indicate whether you want to take part in the $25 buy yourself, winner-take-all competition as well. This is less critical, but we would like to be able to gauge the interest.

The club stroke play championship also starts on the 27th and this event runs over that and the next two weeks

Results for Saturday, 30 October 2021
1st Robert Priems (+2) 2nd Trevor Jackson (+1) 3rd Matt Hunt (□) 4th Ben Akdag (-1) 4th Brent Rowley (-1) 5th Brendon Mitchell (-2)

Seniors Results: 1st Trevor Jackson (+1) 2nd Rodney White (-3) 3rd Craig Cameron (-4)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Mark Minney BallPin No 1 – 12th Mark Minney BallPin No 2 – 18th Ben Akdag

It was love at first putt on 23 October 2021

snuggle up buttercup
What a difference a week (and a new putter) makes!

We’re baaaccckk! Well, at least sixteen of us are. The rain (what rain?) was a bit too much for some, and at least one has to cool his heels in home quarantine for a little while yet. But those that did make it to the tee had an enjoyable enough time, even though it was a little damp under-foot in a few places around the course. A couple of the greens had some visible water, but the pin positions seem to have been reasonably well selected and not too many putts were interfered with. The water birds seemed to be pretty happy with the refilled ponds about the place and the first of the clutches have hatched, and the young ones are out and about, learning about the big wide world. There was a fair galaxy of ibis out on the 13th and not a bin in sight. Keith had been past at the time, and the flock seemed very content with their lot.

There is no secret about the fact that Michael has been having a bit of a -/hate relationship with his putters since the resumption of play. He obviously managed to sweet talk the other half during the week because he turned up brandishing a brand-new Cleveland today. Things got off to a good start with a 3m dolly on the first and a 15m monster for birdie on the 5th pretty much sealed the deal and not even a hormonal teenager could be more dewy-eyed over their first love affair. He claims that this is no flash in the pan and is the start of a long term commitment. Gordon has gone all scientific over the break and chose to leave his two-ball putter at home in favour of an old reliable that was going to be better suited for the course conditions today. Whether this was the deciding factor or not, Gordo was able to match Michael on the scorecard and take a share of first place in our first competition in quite a little while.

ChrisJ started out very steadily and did not put too many feet wrong on the front nine, and he looked to be heading for a pretty impressive score at the end of the day. Unfortunately, a few slightly errant shots took their toll on the back nine, and he was only able to manage a final tally of 33 points. However, that was more than enough to fill second place, but it could easily have been so much more. Blighty had a round of ups and downs. Not so much in the golfing sense, but in the scoring sense. Having taken about thirteen holes to warm up, AB put the pedal to the metal and streamed home to finish with 32 points. Harry took about six holes to get his swing back into gear, and he really gave the scorecard a fair kick in the butt with a birdie on the 7th. This was one of seven that we scored for the day, and it helped to bring his total to 32 to finish alongside Blighty in third place.

At one stage, Pepsi was heard admonishing himself for doing something ‘stupid’, and it obviously wasn’t at the 7th where he gathered a four pointer for his birdie. Not a peep was heard from JQ, who possibly had important Punter’s Club business to deal with. Gordo certainly seemed to be taking orders from afar as the morning’s proceedings were winding up. Thirty-one points got a share of fourth place for Peps and John. Anthony was ‘in the points’ again this week, though just down the table a bit. Maybe it was the strain of the extra nine holes that took the shine off. Brendon had some adventures on the way to his score today. To all intents and purposes, he should have had a draughtie on the 13th when his drive travelled a mere 3m. Luckily, the red markers were less than a metre in front of the blue. The drive on the 18th was not a lot better, but he put the second to 3m and sank the putt for his par. SOS was another who scrambled a bit to get himself to 29 points to share the last placing with Anthony and Brendon. There is no truth to the rumour that they were going to hand the point back because of embarrassment about the score line.

The temporary tee-marshall did not nominate the NTP holes and the markers were collected by the first group at half-time. The betting was that the ProPin would be on the hole that one of them got near enough to qualify. This obviously did not happen on the 12th, and so, it was a BallPin. There was quite a contest involved. Not so much for who could get closest to the pin, but for who could put the ‘smartest’ remark on the card. Brendon seems to have won the ball, if not the prize for literature. The failure to ‘win’ the money on the 12th meant that the ProPin had to be on the 15th, and, wouldn’t you know it, nobody did get on the green close enough to take it out. Gordon feels hard done by, as he was within the distance, but about 50mm off the green. The 18th green, for the second BallPin also proved ‘difficult’, and Anthony was able to take it out with his shot onto the lower deck to the pin’s upper deck.

A big shout out to Quarantine Chris, who will have to satisfy himself with a quiet night at home to celebrate his upcoming landmark. The Birthday Birdie feels sure he will find some way to make a night of it.

Porks seemed a bit down in the mouth today, and he asked if he could have a new handicap. As promised, he does have a new handicap, exactly 0.2 higher than his old one. Keith is under orders to use a cart from now on, so, if anybody would like to share, I am sure Keith would appreciate the company. The change from shanks pony didn’t seem to have helped much today and Keith could only report sad stories. Ben did manage a draughtie today on the 3rd, and it has people wondering whether it was some sort of a record for being about 60m short of the red markers. Ben’s electric buggy, affectionately known as Belvedere, seems to have a mind of its own as it headed off from the 8th green in the general direction of the Yarra. It started to move again on the 10th tee. It’s only going down hill, says Ben. Like your game, quipped Harry. Whereupon Ben parred the next four holes. On the 14th, his 3 wood ran across the hole to finish just off the green. The eagle putt was just a bit offline, and the birdie was a lay down misere. We won’t mention what happened on the next two holes.

Drained it
Almost a hole in one!

Targe has been getting in a bit of practice in recent weeks even though he could not make it to Ivanhoe. He started off in reasonable form, but, whether it was the extra nine holes, that form started to fade a bit on the back nine. His tee shot on the 14th, you would have to say, struggled a bit, as it headed down the path and into the gully alongside the fairway. In a Maltese sort of way, it was lucky not to be ‘lost’ when it finished teetering on the edge of the drain hole. Targe insisted on taking a drop as he was not confident of playing as it lies. Funny that!

Right at the pointy end of the year, and a lot to get done. There is still some life left in the Championship, so it could end being quite exciting, despite the vicissitudes of the past year. One semi-final in the Matchplay to go, and that to be followed by the Final and play-off. Two Monthly medals and the Fred Kitson during November, including the start of the Stroke Play Championship. The Calcutta will also be sold on 27th. A registration page will go up shortly for the Calcutta so that we do not sell horses that do not want to be included.

Results for Saturday, 23 October 2021
1st Michael Gourlay (34) 1st Gordon Hill (34) 2nd Chris James (33) 3rd Andrew Blight (32) 3rd Harry Boughen (32) 4th Andrew Petricola (31) 4th John Quinlan (31) 5th Anthony Browne (29) 5th Brendon Mitchell (29) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan (29)

Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (34) 1st Michael Gourlay (34) 2nd Andrew Blight (32) 2nd Harry Boughen (32) 3rd Craig Cameron (28)

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

Six men went to mow… on 16 October 2021

Puddle muddle
More casual than most!

Who’d have thought that so many people would be put off by the prospect of a bit of rain? The keen beans were there bright and early, confident in the fact that there was little showing on the radar. A couple of arrivals were slightly more tentative and thought of going home when their drawn opponent was not going to show. But, the prospect of a hit and giggle, admittedly with the prospect of getting wet feet, at least, persuaded them to stay. As there were six in attendance, the thought of declaring it a full competition and awarding points did cross a mind or two, but, in the end, it was decided that even the ProPin was not worth the effort. So, a hit and giggle, it was.

As it turned out, there was absolutely no rain until just after the last group finished, when a short sharp shower sent people scurrying to their cars. As a result, tall tales but true are a bit thin on the ground. Old Reliable started off in his usual style from the first, but the greens proved to be a bit tricky for him, with the speed hard to judge, particularly when moisture seemed to be particularly ineffective in slowing the ball. Craig and his partner in crime, Keith, decided not to keep a tally and so there is no record of how good (or bad) it really was. Keith, apparently, very narrowly missed out on a draughtie when one tee shot got past the red markers by the narrowest of margins.

The handicapper is going to have to keep a very close eye on Anthony as he topped the table yet again with a very creditable tally of 19 points. It took him a couple of holes to get his eye in, but from there on he didn’t look back. ChrisJ also took a while to get his MoJo going, with a triple of triples to start the round. From then on, he pretty much matched it with Anthony to finish with 15 points.

Michael also started off rather poorly and had used pretty much twice his handicap on the first three holes. The flat stick was his particular downfall, and it looks as if another putter will be destined for the scrap-heap before too much longer. Unfortunately, he will have to be nice to the wife if this keeps up, as his supply of spare putters is dwindling fast. He did come back to a bit of form over the last three holes, but the birdies did elude him. Harry was telling Michael of some technical ‘gems’ that he has picked up over recent months. Putting one of these into practice for his second shot on the 9th, the ball was a bit to the right and bounced on the path, and the thinking was that it probably finished in the shrubbery to the right. The search was in vain and a two shot penalty was taken for lost ball. After sinking the putt for a six, as H walked off the green to the path, what should be lying just off the bitumen but his original ball pin high or better. The ‘gem’ obviously worked!

The latest word from management is that they are still hopeful that we will be back to 18 holes next week, but there is nothing definite yet. There is also something of a chance that the travel limit will be extended to 25km by then as well. As soon as we know something definite, we will advise and get back to the calendar of events. At this stage, the Fred Kitson has been rescheduled for November 13 and 20 as it would be a bit unfair to pull it on next week if we are allowed. So, November is going to be a big month to finish off the competition year.

Results for Saturday, 16 October 2021
No Competition due to COVID

Not so chipper on 09 October 2021

Win it or bin it
Win it or bin it?

There was a fair chance that some of the kinks might have been straightened out after the creaking and groaning that pervaded the course last week. The fine weather brought out a few of the fair weather golfers who don’t seem to be able to Stan the thought of getting a bit damp. The fairways were a beautiful shade of green and the greens were, well, green. Enough sun to warm the bones as the morning progressed, and, so, the eighteen members who made it to the tee could have little to complain about as far as the conditions for play went. The only thing to blame, then, was either bad luck, bad decisions or lack of talent (or maybe even all three!).

JQ obviously needed the sun to warm up as the first five holes were a bit erratic, to say the least. Although, there were signs of things to come on a couple of occasions. Then, like a frilled-neck lizard warmed by the sun, he frilled up, caught a following wind and breezed home with three pars in the last four holes to present with a respectable total of 18 points to take the top spot for the day.

Old Reliable was also a lot more reliable this week, and he was able to significantly improve on his performance to increase his score by almost 50% to end up on 17 points. If it hadn’t been for three holes, the improvement could have been an almost doubling of last week’s effort. Anthony went some way to proving that last week was no fluke by coming in at third place. While the score was down a bit from the heady heights, it was good enough to be there or thereabouts. CJ had a bit of a weight on his shoulders today. One pocket of his carry bag was filled with shrapnel from the comp fees and another was filled with tees that somebody generously ‘donated’ to the cause. He was a bit concerned that it might have become lighter during the round, and that the reason for that was that the cash had been leaking out. Despite all this CJ was able to fill 4th place with his score of 15 points.

There were a swag of players to round out the podium in the 5th spot this week. SOS was planning to drive the green on the 9th, and might have succeeded if he had made proper contact with the ball. As it was, he didn’t make it past the red markers, and so he qualified for one of the draughties of the day. Rod didn’t get off to much of a start with gashes on the first two holes. A couple of three pointers perked him up no end and a string of doubles followed to bring him to 14 points to share the spot. Porks started off with a birdie, but then seemed to talk himself into a bit of a slump, and he never really did get a flow of points going. Dale was also a bit erratic in the early stages, but he did settle down to finish on fourteen as well.

There were two other birdies today. Michael managed one on the 3rd which, if you believe the stories, must have been one of the few times that the putter worked well for him today. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I won’t say any more. Blighty hammered one in from 150m out to within 300mm of the hole on the 6th and then tapped it in for the easiest of birdies. There were reports that he had taken as many putts on the previous hole, but there were no reports on the performance of his wedges.

ChrisJ stood up on the 4th tee and proclaimed that he had never hit that green before. Whether he was inspired when told that there was money to be had, he proceeded to put it on the green within a couple of metres past the hole. In the process, he saved us from having to pay out to JQ two weeks in a row.

Smash has himself a fancy new electric buggy, and he must be supremely confident about the range of his remote controller as the buggy was spotted trundling along some 150m ahead of the controller. The tee on the 2nd was well back on the bank today, and that obviously put the frights into Ken, who didn’t quite make as far as the reds, and thus he qualified for the second draughtie of the day. Keith must have been blinded by the bright lights of television stardom as the scoring did not really get going until he brought home almost half of his total with a three pointer on the 7th. But, don’t be surprised if he comes back with a vengeance next time.

Another nine hole social round next week. This means that the Fred Kitson will be postponed for the time being. Discussions with management suggest that there is some chance that we will be back to 18 holes the following week. As soon as we know, we will let you know. Hopefully, the 15k limit will also be relaxed sooner rather than later so that we can get back to some sort of normality and some sort of a level playing field for all.

Results for Saturday, 09 October 2021

1st John Quinlan (18) 2nd Craig Cameron (17) 3rd Anthony Browne (16) 4th Chris Priems (15) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan (14) 5th Rod Grant (14) 5th Ryan Porker (14) 5th Dale Webb (14)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Chris James