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There was Champing at the bit on 18 December 2021

A Kiwi victory
It gives me great pleasure…..

With only a week until the twenty-fifth, it was entirely appropriate that we had twenty-five members present to fight it out for the final two trophies and points of this somewhat disjointed calendar year. The morning started out warm enough, and there was on display as varied a collection of Club shirts as it was possible to see. CJ and Rob were complaining about the fact that the gravy spots from last year were still visible on their white version despite their claim that they had, in fact, been washed in the meantime. As the morning progressed, the sun broke through and the temperature rose as the breeze picked up, causing more than a few to start to wilt in the unaccustomed heat. The greens were hard and fast, which brought problems with holding the green and pacing the putts, resulting in some scores being somewhat less than stellar.

The premier event of the day was the Stuart Clarke Champion of Champions Trophy, that was to be contested by the various medallists and major winners through the Competition year. At the end of the day, the event turned into pretty much a two horse race, with half a nose (AKA 1 stroke) separating the leading contenders. What the margin would have been if Brendon had not ‘lost’ his ball from the tee on the second is anybody’s guess. Despite the resulting eight on the hole, he still managed a net score of 67 to just pip Old Reliable, Craig, who came in with 68. As an aside, Harry found Brendon’s ball as he played the 6th later in the morning, thus causing some angst for Brendon over the ‘wasted’ strokes.

The ‘minor’ trophy of the day was the, perhaps inappropriately titled, Chump (should it be Champ) of Chumps that was contested by the rest of the field. In an unfortunate turn of events, Trev did not realise that he had been handicapped on the basis of his performance in the first round of the Vin O’Meara, and he scored his card from the wrong handicap. So, despite having played a great round, and in particular, a great back nine, Trevor had to be relegated from his announced spot of top dog. A while back, the view was expressed that it would not be long before we saw Anthony gracing the winner’s circle, and today proved to be just that day. His round of 78 off the stick for a total of 39 points now stood on its own, after originally having been relegated by countback on the day. With a sprinkling of one pointers on the card, there is a fair chance that this is not the last we have seen of Anthony.

Porks was not too far off the pace with his score of 38 points, but he had to share the podium with the Comeback Kid, our venerable Prez, Rob. Now, it seems that Rob and Porks were playing together, and on the 8th, Rob thought that he was out of strokes and decided that he would not complete the ‘tap-in’ that was left to the hole. After he picked up, Porks reminded Rob that he actually had another stroke to go. The lengths some people will go to, to avoid being beaten. Plus, he potentially robbed Rob of a chance to be equal top dog, as well as being ‘shout-free’ for the day. The Beast didn’t need somebody else to ‘rob’ him of a point, he tried to do it himself by using the incorrect handicap. Rod has been playing the back nine on Thursday mornings for the past few weeks, and this obviously stood him in good stead as he put together 21 points on that half to bring up a total of 37 points and a share of the third spot with the Beast.

Old Reliable started off in his usual fine style, and for eight holes looked to right in the mix. After three holes of singletons, the rhythm came back, and he was able to finish off with a tally of 36 points. He shared fourth spot with Trev, who should be very pleased with his form despite the disappointment of relegation. JQ started his campaign with a birdie on the first, which was just one of the ten that we managed to get for the day. Some take this occurrence as a bad omen, but this did not prove to be the case, and JQ seemed very happy to open his points account with the one on offer for 5th place.

The first BallPin was set on the 12th, and somebody put one fairly close early in the day. That fairly close was closer than anybody else was able to achieve, and that somebody was none other than our old mate, Allan (with two l’s). The second BallPin was, as usual, on the 18th. The pin placement on the lower deck proved elusive until Ryan came along and put his shot to a bit over 6m. Harry’s shot looked good from the tee, and reports have it that the ball actually ran off the green before rolling back to be on by about 200mm. However, that was still a bit over 4m from the pin and enough to win both our BallPin and the inside ProPin. Our ProPin on the 15th went begging again, and the double jackpot will carry over to the 8th January after it was decided that New Year Day would be a social event for those sober enough to play.

ChrisJ also ‘lost’ a ball from his drive on the 2nd. It, too, was found by SOS/Harry on the edge of the 6th fairway. The second seems to have been a happy hunting ground for weird results from the tee. Damo’s drive also hit a tree at some speed and finished its flight neatly on the 11th tee, much to the amazement of the players there. There have been cases of players throwing clubs after they hit what they consider to be a poor shot. On the 13th Bobbie topped a shot rather badly, but he didn’t throw his club, he threw himself, and ended up flat on his back as a result. Fortunately, no harm was done. Captain Matt was not too happy after taking four putts on the 9th green, some from not too far away. Craig got himself into the ‘rough’ along the side of the 17th and decided that he could play the shot, despite almost having to put his arms around a tree to do so. And, it came off.

It is well known that the Beast is capable of giving the ball a good crack. Today, he went close to driving the 13th with the ball finishing well past the end of the penalty area on the left. As part of his Captainly duties, Matt decided to read the Local Rules on the back of the card, and concluded that the ‘wet’ area on the left of 4th was Out of Bounds. Unfortunately, that little puddle does not qualify as a ‘billabong’, and the rule actually refers to the real billabong on the right. CJ searched in vain for his ball on the 15th, and, eventually, gave it up as lost. As they walked off to the 16th tee, where should they find his ball but about half a metre from where Pepsi had played his second shot. None so blind as those who will not see!

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree…

After the round, the bar opened, and the assembled masses started to get into the Christmas spirit. A few players had to go, but they were replaced by a few members who were not able to play. A fine selection of meats and salads were provided by the catering staff, and the hungry horses needed no prompting to tuck right in. The food, drink and conversation flowed quite freely and a good time was had by all. After everybody was suitably stuffed with food, the gathering was called to order, and the COVID abbreviated list of trophies was read out, and the presentations were made by Life Member Allan who recalled for us the early days of the Club and the camaraderie that existed then and that has persisted to the current day. After the bar closed, there was talk of adjournment to another venue, but there are no reports to hand of what might have transpired. Perhaps it is better that what happened at the pub, stays at the pub!

Results for Saturday, 18 December 2021
1st Anthony Browne (39) 2nd Brendon Mitchell (38) 2nd Ryan Porker (38) 2nd Robert Priems (38) 3rd Bill Eastoe (37) 3rd Rod Grant (37) 4th Craig Cameron (36) 4th Trevor Jackson (36) 5th John Quinlan (34)

Seniors Results: 1st Bill Eastoe (37) 1st Rod Grant (37) 2nd Craig Cameron (36) 2nd Trevor Jackson (36) 3rd Allan Davies (31)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 12th Allan Davies BallPin No 2 – 18th Harry Boughen

A close-run thing on 11 December 2021.

Chris gets a grip.
I can grip it tighter than you!

We started out with sixteen members, but, unfortunately, Trev had to call it quits at half-time through not feeling the best. We all hope that it turns out to be nothing too serious and wasn’t just the pressure of being the front-runner after round 1. Look after yourself, Trev, and we’ll see you next week at the break-up. BrentL joined us again to put in his third card, and he has a nice shiny new handicap. If the reports from his playing companions are any guide, he won’t be staying on it too long, and he did put in the second-best score for the day with a net of 67 playing from a nominal handicap. Certainly, the conditions were ripe for some good scores to be had. The course had dried out considerably, and there was plenty of run with the right shot trajectory. The greens were a bit tricky, and required playing ‘up to’ rather than ‘on to’. The problem with that was the ‘furry’ surrounds that could very easily ‘grab’ the ball and result in a frustratingly short outcome. There has been some progress on removal of the wind-fall from way back when, and the hope is that the course will be back to ‘normal’ sooner rather than later. The temperature seemed a little cool at first, but it soon warmed up, even if the standard of golf didn’t.

Regardless of the performance on the day, the real matter of interest was the performance over the two weeks of the Vin O’Meara Christmas Cup Event. With some big money riding on the result, it is perhaps not surprising that it was a very close run thing. The winning horse (Perfect Practice by Seven Iron out of Carpet Pile, jockey Chris James) was a maiden in this event, that managed to do just enough to take the winning post by about half a nose. A pair of rounds at or better than handicap level is what is needed to take the prize-money in this prestigious event. Hot on his tail was Armpits (aka Bobbie) who didn’t quite manage to keep up the stellar form from last week and finished just a single stroke behind the pace.

Latin Lover (Keith) improved on his previous week’s run to produce a sub-par result for the day which was just not quite enough, and he had to be more than happy with the final placing of third, just the one stroke further back. Unfortunately, Keith did not enter the Calcutta pool, and so, he missed out on a cash dividend, and will have to be happy with his six points. The fourth placed horse (Squeaky Joint, jockey Patrick) turned out to be a bit of a ‘bolter’ and made a last minute lunge for the line with a very impressive 37 off the stick on the back nine to snare the fourth place and the third dividend from the pool, which was just enough for him to turn a profit on the event. Bagpipe Chanter (Craig) turned out to be not quite so reliable today, despite some reported assistance from trees, and ‘limped’ in to grab the last point spot available and to get his quest for points off to a slowish start.

The run-down on the cards for the day was Pat (66), Keith and BrentL (67), ChrisJ (68), Bob (70), and Beast and Stan (71). The rest of the field did not quite, shall we say, ‘cut the mustard’. Birdies were a bit thin on the ground, but Pat did manage to score one of the seven that we tallied for the day. In the process of his round today, he managed to propel himself to the top of the Eclectic Table, but it is very early days yet.

There were, of course, the usual competitions for the Nearest the Pin, but it seems that many struggled with the short holes, particularly if there was a marker box set out. On the 4th BallPin, there was a bit of a contest when both Pepsi and Pat managed to get onto the putting surface. In an effort to be fair, Pepsi did a sort of moon-walk shuffle to measure the distances and concluded that he had beaten Pat by the proverbial half a foot (Pepsi foot, that is). On the 18th BallPin, Targe managed to get on from the first group and remained unchallenged for the rest of the day, although there was a nervous moment when a ball appeared closer, but it turned out to be some casual dude playing practice shots. The ProPin was set on the 15th, and despite some shots to pin-high, nobody got onto the putting surface close enough and there will be a Jackpot to next week when some people are hoping to collect it to help finance their visit to the boozer after the break-up.

The Club Strokeplay Championship were also decided today. In the handicap division, as reported last week, Bob would have just about had to fall over the lose. His net score of 193 was more than enough to take out the top spot. Keith was a bit further back with 208, and he will be lining up for the runner-up trophy. In the scratch event, Porks took out the top spot with a total of 237. He was followed for runner-up by Pepsi with his lot of 240.

Gordo managed to lose three balls on the 13th, all in various stretches of water. He is thinking of changing his name to Pond, James Pond – although double-o-ten does not have quite the same ring about it. Targe doesn’t want his score on the 6th to be mentioned, after setting something of a record for the number of putts taken on one green. CJ was in a similar boat on the 11th, although his probably don’t count as much because so many of them were from off the green. Harry’s putt on the 14th went close to making him cry when it effectively popped out of the hole, teetered on the edge before falling back in. Porks probably did cry on the 18th when his putt for par stopped rolling agonisingly close to the edge of the hole. The tradition of Rob having to buy a beer continued after three consecutive shots into trees prevented him from getting past the red markers. He reckons that the bar bill is now a standard part of his golf budget. Pepsi found himself playing the 17th from an unaccustomed spot after a power shank from the tee placed him almost in the trees between the 18th and the 9th.

The event next week sounds a bit complicated, but here is the go. The result of the Stuart Clarke Champion of Champions will be determined by the net scores of a Stroke competition for that group. The result of the Chump of Chumps (best of the rest) will be determined by the Stableford scores of that group. The daily placings for handicapping and ball-run will be determined by Stableford scores. Thus, it is probably best if everybody plays as if it were a Stroke competition and keeps their Stableford points score as well. The Tee marshal will endeavour to allocate groups separating the two categories.

Results for Saturday, 11 December 2021
1st Chris James(66, 68, 134) 2nd Bob McDonald(65, 70, 135) 3rd Keith Delzoppo(69, 67, 136) 4th Patrick McSweeney(71, 66, 137) 5th Craig Cameron(65, 73, 138)

Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (65,70,135) 2nd Keith Delzoppo (69,67,136) 3rd Craig Cameron (65,73,138)

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

Mangoman or Spiderman on 04 December 2021.

Trevor looking non-chalant
Anybody want a ticket for Spiderman?

With a completely clean slate to work on and a potential sixteen points on offer, there was an expectation that the turn out of members would be right up there. The weather gods smiled down benignly and the temperature was right in the Goldilocks zone. The course has dried out somewhat, but the trimmings still line the fairways despite the chipper being on site during the week. A few people ran foul of the persisting obstruction, and it promises a ball of a time for whoever eventually moves the rubbish away. After much gnashing of teeth by CJ, we sent off five groups for a total of seventeen players. About twelve of that seventeen were game to back themselves as a chance in the Calcutta pool. The dividend won’t be quite the level of the recent Powerball, but probably won’t go astray in the lead up to the festive season for whoever tops (and seconds and thirds) the list of those who shelled out.

Trev was one of those who did not shell out. He got himself a bit confused about what the event was and was actually set to go to the movies next week to rest up for the following week and the break-up. It was noted that Trev’s dulcet tones had not been heard about the course today, and, when the cards were handed in, the reason became crystal clear. Trev had turned in a blinder with a net score of 64. Now, he was in a fix. Would he play again next week to take advantage of the rush of form, or would he stick with his plan to go and see Spiderman. The vote from the gallery was – to hell with Spiderman! So, if anybody is looking for a ticket to the movies, Trev might have one for sale.

The gallery raised a cheer on the first as Old Reliable started out in Old Reliable style with one right up the centre. It didn’t stop with the first shot, and Craig started off the new competition year in style with a birdie on the first. And, it didn’t stop there. He rattled off two more further down the track, making fully 30% of the 10 that we all managed for the day. This gave a flying start to the quest for the Eclectic, and he is the one to catch at the moment. Bobbie was not game to bring his electric buggy, despite the fact that an electrician had apparently given it a clean bill of health. He did have a bit of a whinge about the fact that he had been cut by three strokes as a result of his win last week. If today’s performance is any guide, the cut might not have been severe enough and there will be more pain to come after he joined Craig with net 65. The combination of the two weeks rounds pretty well puts Bob in the box-seat for the Handicap Strokeplay Championship.

ChrisJ seems to have found his form with the driver after complaining bitterly about being let down by it last week. Chris is a great one for using his range-finder regardless of the distance from the hole. Apparently, when he checked the range to the pin from near the bunker on the 5th, it came up with the letters FLW. The ‘L’ seems to mean ‘long’ and the ‘W’ seems to mean ‘way’. It was a bit of a struggle to work out what the ‘F’ stood for! Despite having ‘done nothing different’, Chis was able to slot into third spot with a very creditable net of 66.

Keith didn’t say what exactly had happened, but he was bemoaning the fact that he had scored ‘double figures’ on the 16th. When compared with the rest of his card, that little aberration could have cost him a spot up alongside Trev. Five strokes is not an impossible task to achieve, and a net 69 is nothing to be ashamed of. CJ didn’t have any real horror holes, but the dreaded double bogies (and one triple) turned up just often enough to result in a share of fourth place as well.

Stan was another who managed to present with a double-digit number on his card, and as a result had to content himself with his net score of 70 and a share of fifth place after the first round. Rob claims that he is pleased that he missed the birdie putt on the first, as everybody knows that things go down-hill really fast if you birdie the first (unless, of course, you are Old Reliable). Even with the par, things did go down-hill quite quickly, with reports of maybe three or four strokes to get past the red markers on the very next hole. Rob was spotted with his hands in his pocket after the round, but the setback was not sufficient to stop him from coming in to share fifth spot on the leader-board. A couple of chunked chips did not help SOS’s cause, and he seemed rather pleased that he was able to sink ‘recovery’ putts with apparent ease. Ken has taken over from Brett Sutton as the pin-up boy of the golfing ladies after they were offered a chance to load up with mangoes when members felt that they had collected an elegant sufficiency for themselves. The boxes of fruit did not impede his game too much, although he did flirt with the dreaded double-digit on a couple of occasions (and one of them on a par 3).

The first BallPin today was on the 4th, and there were the usual complaints as to why the tree on the left hadn’t fallen over in the storm. There turned out to be a fair contest with three names on the card, but the closest by a fair margin was SOS. The second BallPin, on the 18th, was barely legal with the marker only just on the green proper. The perpetrator of this robbery was none other than Craig, who reckons he only put his name on the card for the sake of getting his name on it. The ProPin was on the 12th, and nobody was able to get closer than Pepsi who whacked one to 3.82m early on. SOS was just a bit muscly and the ball must have run across the edge of the hole on its way to the back of the green.

Targe was doing the right thing and keeping Stableford points for his inside card. On the 3rd, as he missed another short putt, he bent down and went to pick up his ball, only to be pulled up ‘short’ by SOS reminding him that it was a stroke event. Targe also managed a five putt green on the 15th. Porks put his driver away part way around today. Not because he was afraid of driving through the green, but because it was being a bit erratic. He wasn’t in the front-runners today, but he does have a handy lead in the Scratch Strokeplay Championship. Pepsi has just a bit of work to do to catch him. Maybe Pepsi should play with Ken again next week, as they were apparently involved in some very intellectual conversations together today. The Beast went close to driving the green on the 14th, and then proceeded to get the birdie, which made the round slightly less horrific (his words) than last week.

Don’t forget that the subs for Club and Golf Access are due by 18th December. Any GA memberships not paid by then or notification received of your firm intention one way or another, will be suspended until payment is received as the Club will be billed, and we cannot afford to support inactive GA memberships. Payment by bank transfer is preferred, and details appear on the web-site under the Bank Transfer menu.

The break-up will be on the 18th after the Champion of Champions round, with a catered lunch and some drinks provided. There is talk of an adjournment to a nearby hotel for the thirsty members after the trophy presentations that will take place after the repast is completed. Gordon needs to know numbers by 09 December (Next Friday). Just reply to his recent email (not Reply All please).

Results for Saturday, 04 December 2021
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Trevor Jackson (64) 2nd Craig Cameron (65) 2nd Bob McDonald (65) 3rd Chris James (66) 4th Keith Delzoppo (69) 4th Chris Priems (69) 5th Stan Blackshaw (70) 5th Robert Priems (70) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan (70) 5th Ken Watson (70)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Trevor Jackson (64) 2nd Bob McDonald (65) 2nd Craig Cameron (65) 3rd Chris Priems (69) 3rd Keith Delzoppo (69)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Andrew Petricola BallPin No 1 – 4th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 2 – 18th Craig Cameron