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A shoot-out at the I.Hoe. Corral on 27 November 2021

Brendon and Michael
No, you go first!

It was a bright and windy day. The course has been de-puddled, and it was in good condition, even if the debris from the wind storms a month ago has not yet been cleared. The piles along the edges of the fairways do provide some extra challenges for those who choose not to stick to the centre-line. The breeze was brisk enough to up the wind chill factor early in the day, and some opined that the scoring might not turn out to be all that great. The big interest of the day was the potential for a big punch-up between the two at the head of the Championship table, with only a point separating them after the distribution of the points in the Matchplay. Michael Earp and Brendon Clanton arrived packing their finest irons and faced one another down the fairways of Tombstone. Draw, said Earp. No, you draw, said Clanton. And so it went as they continued to fire blanks. In the end, with empty magazines and despondent hearts, neither were able to make it into the points distribution for the day. Our new Club Champion for 2021 is therefore the smiling Kiwi, Brendon. Congratulations, and don’t let anybody tell you it was a lesser result because of COVID. Commiserations, Michael, there is a whole new year untouched ahead.

Electric Bob.
I never put the cart before the horse!

There were twenty members who made it today, which is one of the better turn-outs that we have seen in recent weeks. The cards kept rolling in, as did reports of a certain member having buggy problems. The scores showed promise of fulfilling the forecast that they might not set the world on fire. When, at long last, the penultimate group rolled in and the scores were tallied, who should put in a ‘blinder’ but Bobbie with a net score of 64 to collect the December Monthly Medal and the lead position in the Strokeplay Handicap Championship Table. When asked what sort of ball he wanted in the BallRun, Bob replied that he would rather have a buggy.

Porks played some unconventional golf today. From the 10th tee, he finished up on the 1st green. Not satisfied with that, from the 18th he finished on the 9th green. These little aberrations did not prevent him from coming in with a score that held the Clubhouse lead for some time, but a net 68 proved to be insufficient, and he had to settle for the second place of the day. Still, he does hold the top spot in the Strokeplay Scratch Table. Gordon started off with a bit of a wobble, settled down and then started to wobble again as he rounded out the front nine. Then he found his form and put in a much more reasonable back nine to finish with 69 and the points on offer for third place.

Keith showed glimpses of the form that we know he is capable of, but he did leave a few out there as he managed to come in with 72 for a share of fourth. He was joined by Patrick, who also did enough to suggest that he is capable of much better things. The fact that he was dashing off to buy a wedding ring suggests that there are ‘better things’ in the offing. There was a fair pack of players to share fifth spot. Ben was one, and it seems that he avoided being disqualified for playing off the Blues by the good graces of his playing companions. Stan went extraordinarily close to chipping in for a birdie on the first, and claimed that he didn’t really want it to go in. Maybe he didn’t, because he took two putts to finish the hole. In the process, he certainly did not contribute to the rather measly four birdies that we carded for the day. Rod put his drive on the 12th into the left penalty area, and chose to play again from the tee. Wouldn’t you know it, but he chipped that ball in, and so he too did not contribute to the birdie count. The fourth of the musketeers was none other than Captain Matt.

The ProPin today was on the 4th, and Stan could have been forgiven for thinking he was in with a chance after a finely shaped shot to well within the radius. Prez Rob, who managed to complete a round without having to stand a shout, was like a cat on a hot tin roof as each group came in to be quizzed as to whether anybody had ‘knocked him off’. But, no, his shot to 3.425m, a good half metre inside Stan’s was more than enough to collect the cash. The first BallPin was on the 12th, and Harry stood alone to collect that one. The second BallPin on the 18th had to wait until the last group to decide the winner when the Beast whistled one in to beat Gordo out of a ball.

ChrisJ was all over the shop today, and was heard to say that his clubs were going to appear on e-Bay if things did not improve. Brendon managed to spray not one, but two balls OOB on the 3rd, while Michael managed to miss a 200mm putt for his par on the same hole. Trev had a draughtie on the 8th. He blamed the fact that he had the wrong club, but he didn’t want to walk back to the cart to get his driver. He even knocked back an offer for somebody to bring it for him.

As previously announced, there was no Calcutta Auction this year on the Vin O’Meara, that will be contested over the next two weeks. There will be the back-yourself option, $30 cash on the line before tee-time next week. The pool will be divided as specified in the Calcutta Auction rules. You have to be in it to win it. The Form Guide will be published shortly after this is posted. The nominated and scratched classifications relate to the registrations received before the Auction was cancelled and bear no relation to the actual event.

Results for Saturday, 27 November 2021
1st Bob McDonald (64) 2nd Ryan Porker (68) 3rd Gordon Hill (69) 4th Keith Delzoppo (72) 4th Patrick McSweeney (72) 5th Ben Akdag (73) 5th Stan Blackshaw (73) 5th Rod Grant (73) 5th Matt Hunt (73)

Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (64) 2nd Gordon Hill (69) 3rd Keith Delzoppo (72)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Robert Priems BallPin No 1 – 12th Harry Boughen BallPin No 2 – 18th Bill Eastoe

A red letter day on 20 November 2021.

The Captain and the Cook
Will you have a Captain Cook at that!

The preferred lie notice was out again today, but, from the first tee, the course looked to be in immaculate condition, and one could wonder about the reason. There were still a few pools of water and a couple of muddy patches about, and so the ability to clean and place could have been more than welcome in some places. It seems that a fair proportion of the 14 members who made it today made use of the opportunity, even if they did feel a little guilty about taking the ‘advantage’ offered. This did not offer any advantage on the green, however, and Harry, Craig and Porks were none too happy about their respective performances with the flat stick. The weather was very mild with very little wind, and there should have been no reason not to score well on the day.

As it turned out, the best score on the day, turned out to result in the best score for the event. When a spot in an earlier group eventuated at tee time, Matt was only too happy to remove himself from the ‘pressure’ group, using the excuse that he had to get away to work. The strategy seems to relaxed him, and he started off with a couple of pars, and looked like setting a cracking pace for the round. Things did quieten down a bit, and he carded squares on thirteen of the next sixteen holes, to finish the round with a +3 and a final, winning, score of +1. He opted not to take the trophy to show to his mates at work.

It is not clear whether Gordon is back in love with his putter, but it must have worked reasonably well today as he has able to produce the second-best score of the day, which, coincidentally, also happened to produce the second-best score for the event. The round for Gordon was rather topped off on the 18th, where he put his drive to about 3m to take out the BallPin on that hole, and he sank the putt for a birdie, which brought the total for the day to seven.

Now, coincidence is a marvellous thing, if it wasn’t for coincidence, nothing would ever happen at the same time. However, by another stroke of coincidence, Michael produced the third-best card of the day, which also happened to result in the third-best score for the event. Michael obviously has a keen interest in placings, as he aspires to overtake Brendon before the points Championship finishes. Next week could prove very interesting. At this point, the run of ‘coincidences’ ran out. CJ also produced a card with +1 on the bottom line today, but, unfortunately, that was not sufficient to drag him up from the depths to which he sank last week. CJ seems to have moved away from his favoured ‘power fade’ to a more straight forward approach. On the other hand, brother Rob has taken up the baton to keep the Priems Power Fade in common use. This was good enough to bring Rob home with the fourth-best score of the day, which slotted him nicely into a share of fifth spot for the event. And this despite another Draughtie on the 7th.

Brendon was hoping for much better things today so that he could have put the Championship to bed and take a relaxed attitude into next week’s event. Unfortunately, the horizontal lines kept showing up with some regularity, and he was only able to come in fifth best for the day, which was enough to grab a share for fourth place for the event. Craig was hoping for a sudden downpour to soften the greens, and maybe even to add a film of water, as he struggled to adjust to the radical change in condition from that of last week. As a result, he did not make up any ground on Brendon, but he still does have a chance to overtake Michael if he can arrange a mafia knee-capping during the week. Harry and Ryan shared Craig’s problems with managing the speed of the greens, and they both slotted in with the Prez for a share of his fifth place for the event.

The 4th green did its best to avoid having to hand out a ball, but a few people did manage to be accurate enough to get onto the putting surface, and Jason was the one to win a ball for his efforts. The 15th did an even better job of protecting the money for the ProPin. That is, until Craig came along. Last shot in the last group, and he put it to 3.78m to take home the money again. Some members seem to think we should have a rule about being able to take the ProPin two weeks in a row.

Jason also got his ball onto the green on the 7th. The tee shot was best described as a ‘spray’ and it headed for the trees and the landing was not seen. As the group searched, they ignored the white spot on the green because they thought it was a NTP marker! Jason must have been taking lessons from the Priems boys. Matt decided to make up for the absence of Noodles by indulging in a bit of equipment abuse at one stage. Brent Loeskow joined us again and turned in a fairly creditable card. His shot from the 18th tee, over the fence and onto the 17th green was particularly impressive.

The day finished off with a very well enjoyed barbeque that was excellently catered and cooked by our Social Secretary, Gordo. Just a bit of a pity that there were not more members there to enjoy it. As an aside, Gordo celebrated his 800th game with the club today, while Porks managed to rack up his 300th. Well done, you!

We also held an impromptu Committee meeting, and, as a result of only 12 horses nominating to be included in the Calcutta Auction and the apparent declining interest in the event over recent years, it was decided that we will not conduct the Auction. The Form Guide will still be published in due course. Instead of the Auction, it was agreed that the Calcutta Pool would be upgraded. The cost to ‘buy’ yourself will be $30 and the pool will be divided between first, second, and third of those who participate and in the proportions specified for the Calcutta Auction in the Club Rules. Monies will be collected on the first day of the Vin O’Meara on 4th December (no rain-checks).

Results for Saturday, 20 November 2021
1st Matt Hunt(-2, +3, +1) 2nd Gordon Hill(-5, +2, -3) 3rd Michael Gourlay(-5, +1, -4) 4th Craig Cameron(□, -5, -5) 4th Brendon Mitchell(-2, -3, -5) 5th Harry Boughen(-1, -5, -6) 5th Robert Priems(-4, -2, -6) 5th Ryan Porker(-1, -5, -6)

Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (-5, +2, -3) 2nd Michael Gourlay (-5, +1, -4) 3rd Craig Cameron (□, -5, -5)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Craig Cameron BallPin No 1 – 4th Jason Hopkins BallPin No 2 – 18th Gordon Hill

You’ve gotta be Kitson me on 13 November 2021.

Craig Camerons home.
When the going gets tough…..

You could have been forgiven for thinking that we were playing somewhere in the Scottish Highlands. It was cold. It was windy. It was raining. And the bagpipes were playing ‘The Camerons are coming’. That last point might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the rest of it was pretty well true. Despite, but not necessarily because of, the weather conditions, there were 12 members turned out to splish and splash their way around the course in search of the elusive run of form to be in the running for the last lot of double points up for grabs this competition year. Michael was rather hopeful of having a chance to get the jump on Brendon when Bren’s name did not appear on the tee list when they were published on Thursday. No such luck though, as Brendon very smartly bribed CJ to be lenient and let him play on the grounds of forgetfulness. Could be a career in politics if he keeps showing talent like that. Craig was probably slightly better placed to be able to claim a ‘senior moment’ for that sort of lapse. We were also joined by a potential new member, Brent Loeskow (rhymes with Costco) who was bred and buttered in Queensland, but we won’t hold that against him. He claims not to have played a lot of golf and only previously played the front nine once at the ‘Hoe’, but still managed to par five holes in a row on the back nine. So watch out when he qualifies for competition. As it turned out, the serious rain only lasted for about six holes, and after that there was only the casual water on the fairways and greens to be contended with. One prominent member was tipping early on that -3 would be leading the field at the end of the day.

As it turned out, the ‘expert’ was somewhat off the mark again. Old Forgetful (I mean Reliable) went out and made a bit of a day of it and threw down the gauntlet in front of Michael and Brendon and said, ‘How do you like them apples!’ So, it looks like being on for young and old next week with Michael having just a little bit of work to do while Brendon will be hoping to hold his current field position, at least.

Harry made the best of the inclemency in the early part of the round and turned on +2, whereupon Gordo made a strong point of commenting on how well he was going. To say the least, the back nine was not quite to the same standard, with quite a number of putts slipping by the hole by the barest of margins. A chip on the 18th for par was barely moving when it caught the edge of the hole, did a full 180 and stopped millimetres away, which proved the difference between a share of second and a share of the lead. Porks might have thought he had a share of the lead, but he must have thought his handicap was still eight rather than seven and the stroke that he took on the 3rd, unfortunately, did not count.

On the other hand, Matt did get a stroke on the 3rd, and so, his par there did score him the plus that it deserved. A mini slump on the home straight was saved from being drastic by another par and a plus on the 18th. Brendon started off as if he was going to fill his card with squares. Then a mini rot set in, and he finished the half on -3. At this stage, the thought of having to chase from too far behind galvanised him into action, and he started to show some positive results on the card, although the odd one did elude him so that he finished tied for third place on the leader-board with -2

Rob was spotted digging deep after the round after having declared two draughties, one on the 3rd and one on the 12th. Despite these little set-backs, he managed to snag himself a spot in 4th place with his final score of -4. This was helped more than a little by his birdie on the 18th, which was just one of the six that we put together for the day. The plus marks proved pretty elusive for Michael today until the dying stages of the round, where a couple saved him from a rather more difficult catch-up task. Gordon was just a little happier with his putter today after the serious falling out he had with it last week. A few errant shots proved rather costly at the end of the day, but he still managed to squeeze into a share of fifth with a modicum of work to do if he aspires to hold the trophy aloft next week.

The Cameron’s really were coming, as it turned out. Craig managed to ‘steal’ a ball from Harry for the BallPin on the 4th. His shot on the 12th for the ProPin was judged by Michael’s eye to be close inside the distance set by Brent’s marker. Blighty paced it out and figured that Brent’s was the closer ball. Then they discovered that there was actually a tape measure in the box, and the official result was that the pot went to Craig 4.85m to 4.92m. On the 18th, El Presidento was edged out by Brendon, who created all sorts of confusion trying to explain why the marker pin was still in the spot marking Rob’s ball.

CJ was rather disconsolate after the round, as this was the first time ever that he had submitted a card in a par round that did not have a plus on it. Rob is well known for hating to lose a ball, particularly when it is one of his favourite HotDots. So when it disappeared into the shrubbery behind the 16th green, he plunged right in to have a go. The combination of sloping ground and wet grass underfoot proved rather more than balance could bear, and a rather wet and muddy posterior was the result. Jason hasn’t ventured out at the ‘Hoe for quite some little time, and so, he wasn’t too happy about having registered the third draughtie of the day on the 18th tee. Blighty’s drive from the 11th was somewhat shanky, or seriously slicey, and looked to be heading in the general direction of the 13th fairway. A rather large tree interposed itself, and the resulting ricochet placed the ball out on the 2nd fairway. Possibly, a slightly better result overall. Gordon was noticed peering into the greenery beside the 15th tee, and when questioned, he was looking for what Brendon had been photographing. As it turned out, it was a very handsome blue-tongue that had obviously shuffled on after having posed for the publicity shot.

The Birthday Birdie has a quiet time at the moment, but he had a bit of a senior moment last week and forgot to send a wish to Craig and Mal for their respective celebrations. While on the subject of Mal, he had a fall recently and has spent a few days in hospital as a result. All the best for a speedy and complete recovery, Mal.

On the subject of the Calcutta Auction. It has been decided that you have to register your intention to be included in order to have your soul sold to the devil. If there is no positive registration, you will be considered to have scratched. We would also like the scratching option to be used as well. So, the message is, please register one way or the other, but, if no registration is received by end of play next week, you will be scratched (from the Auction), however, you can, obviously, still play in the event.

Results for Saturday, 13 November 2021
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Craig Cameron (□) 2nd Harry Boughen (-1) 2nd Ryan Porker (-1) 3rd Matt Hunt (-2) 3rd Brendon Mitchell (-2) 4th Robert Priems (-4) 5th Michael Gourlay (-5) 5th Gordon Hill (-5)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Craig Cameron (□) 2nd Harry Boughen (-1) 3rd Gordon Hill (-5) 3rd Michael Gourlay (-5)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Craig Cameron BallPin No 1 – 4th Craig Cameron BallPin No 2 – 18th Brendon Mitchell

From the Jaws of Death to the Arms of Victory on 06 November 2021

Survival of the fittest
Only the fittest survive!

Another bucketing during the week had some wondering whether we would be up to our armpits in water and slush. As it turned out, the water was mostly where it was supposed to be and the few wet areas were not yet churned into mud. The air was balmy and the humidity was high. A wind sprang up a couple of times that some thought presaged the arrival of the next batch of rain. However, as forecast, the rain held off and the day was as sunny as some of the smiles on the faces of the 22 members that headed out to try their hand at winning some gold before the year runs out. Only twenty-one finished, as Trev had to retire early for medical reasons. Here’s hoping it is nothing serious, and we look forward to seeing your smiling face again soon, Trev.

Apparently, CJ had some second thoughts about playing today after his recent run-in with the dreaded C-word, He did admit that he had been champing at the bit for the entire two weeks that he had been locked away. An ongoing tendency to shortness of breath had him wondering whether he would make the distance, but a good steady start with only one hole worse than bogey on the front nine soon had such thoughts well behind him. The back nine finished in a similar vein, and the ‘come-back kid’ tasted victory once more after an extended break with a net score of 65. While the win was welcome, the handicap reduction on the eve of the Fred Kitson was not quite so welcome.

Ben was very keen to find a way to disqualify CJ. He tried for vaccination status. He tried for games played since the last Medal. He tried for incorrectly completed card. All to no avail. But, there was a case for Ben to be DQ’d on the latter ground, as his card clearly showed a net score of 83. However, the Committee took pity on the freshly mustachioed member and allowed his actual net score of 67 to stand and to take the second place on the podium. By the way, it is not too late to sponsor what could prove to be the finest Zapata moustache since Marlon Brando. Unless, of course, family matters interfere!

For a fair bit of the time, Targe could do little wrong on the green. With great regularity he was nailing them by using the pin as a back-stop, or, alternatively, by pacing them just hard enough that they stopped on the edge of the hole and them toppled in by sheer will-power. After 46 off the beater on the front nine and with almost two-thirds of his handicap left intact, a comment was made that he should just about eat this medal. This seemed to have loosened the nuts on the wheels just a little, and the back nine consumed the remaining portion of the handicap, and he finished in third place having played right to the 30 strokes allocated to him.

Deep Thought
Surely, I can get relief from here?

ChrisJ handled the front nine pretty well and made the turn with just a little fuel left in the handicap tank for the rest of the round. With the hope of taking fewer strokes on the shorter back nine, the pars proved particularly elusive, and a tally of bogies and a couple of doubles resulted in a net 70 at the end of the day. Brendon hit the turn in a similar position in relation to his handicap, and he had been making a slightly better fist of the back, until, that is, he tackled the 18th. Faced with the choice of moving the loose impediment and taking a shot from a spot that he did not particularly like, or taking relief in a spot that he did not particularly like, he took the latter. The chip was nicely executed, but the ball skittered across the top deck, across the bottom deck and finished with a tricky shot back that did not quite make it to the top of the slope. A five, in the end, left him with 70 net, to share the spot with Chris.

Harry was pretty pleased with the way his game was going. Most aspects seemed to be working pretty well, and, although he was well shaded by Targe at the turn, he still held out hopes of a good result overall. The ball striking continued to be good (too good, in some cases) but the ball started to find isolated tree branches, penalty areas, back of greens, etc, etc. so that after about four holes hope was all but gone. A mini revival allowed a finish on 71 for a place in fifth spot. Pepsi also started out well, and at the turn he had used only 20% of his handicap. It seems that the back nine was not particularly favourable for his flat stick, with two holes commanding four uses to finish off. This included the 18th, which isn’t allowed to be mentioned in the blog.

Despite a couple of ‘wimpy’ attempts to get up the slope to the top deck, Pepsi collected a ball for the BallPin on the 18th. It is not clear what it was about the 18th green, but there were probably at least three other players, who, arguably, were closer to the pin than Peps, but they ‘chose’ not to put their name on the card. Blighty was particularly stiff, as his ball from the tee made it to the top of the slope, but it turned just enough to head back down to the lower deck. There was a BallPin on the 4th, and old ‘smiley face’, Brendon, got his name on the card again. It wasn’t close enough for him to get the birdie, and he had to wait until the 15th before he could contribute to the total of 11 that we carded today. The ProPin on the 15th did not go off, so there will be an even bigger incentive o roll up for the first round of the Fred Kitson next week.

Dale was bragging about his new artillery and about the fact that he didn’t need to change his five wood because it was well-fitted and working well. This as he stepped up to the 8th tee with said implement in his hands. The mighty swing sent the ball skittering along the ground, and breaths were held as the assembled group waited to see if it made it past the red markers. It did. No such luck for Rob on the 15th, where a miss hit into the scrub on the left, short of the reds, saw him taking orders from the rest of the group after the round. Bob’s battery lasted until the 16th hole today. There was no report on how long it had been on the charger, although there was some discussion on the topic of chargers and charging times and battery types before tee time.

A very packed program over the next five weeks. Three more weeks to accumulate those vital points for this year and, maybe, somebody can topple the high-flyers yet. The opera isn’t over until the fat lady sings!

The Calcutta Auction for the Vin O’Meara will be held on 27th November, and we really do need to know if you want to be included. Go to the registration menu on the web-page and select Calcutta Auction to register your intent. Say Yes if you are sure you will be playing and want to be sold off. Say No if you will not be playing or if you do not wish to be sold even though you will be playing. It really eases the accounting if we only sell those willing (and playing) participants.

Results for Saturday, 06 November 2021
1st Chris Priems (65) 2nd Ben Akdag (67) 3rd Targe Mifsud (68) 4th Chris James (70) 4th Brendon Mitchell (70) 5th Harry Boughen (71) 5th Andrew Petricola (71)

Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (65) 2nd Targe Mifsud (68) 3rd Harry Boughen (71)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 4th Brendon Mitchell BallPin No 2 – 18th Andrew Petricola