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C’mon baby, light my Fire on 30 July 2022

happy chappies
I’m more than happy to share top spot!

We certainly could have done with some fires out on Old Ivanhoe this morning! Jack Frost had been out and about, sprinkling his fairy dust far and wide. There were complaints that it was so cold that the hand warmers took nine holes to get going, by which time some people were beginning to thaw out. Harry, on the other hand, reckons he finally began to feel his fingers by the time that he got to the 14th. Maybe it was the prospect of some icy mornings that prompted only twelve members to register, and for only eleven to make it to the course to take their chances with the icy and somewhat slushy conditions. As far as the tee positions went, there seemed to be no middle ground. Either they were as far back as they could go, or they were right at the front, competing with the red markers for position. There were a couple of draughties reported, which, hopefully, were at least when there was a bit of separation to be negotiated. This was certainly the case for Targe on the 8th, but the situation for Bob and Steve was not clarified. The ice gathered around spikes did result in some interesting ‘dimpling’ of the green surface, and some complained about the effect this had on their putts. Any excuse! At least the management did not close the course to protect the green surface, as Craig reported happened to one of his friends once.

In the end, Craig was more than happy to continue playing. However, he did think that the Golf Gods were against him when his drive on the 6th appeared to have disappeared from the middle of the fairway. No purloiner was noticed, although there was another ‘stray’ ball left on the fairway. Perhaps, by way of compensation, the gods looked down favourably on the 16th where a putt had stopped hanging on the edge of the hole when a fortuitous gust of wind gave it the extra nudge it needed to roll and rest against the pin to be counted as in, even though about 90% of the ball was still above the surface. It seemed that every time SOS scored a plus, it was followed pretty smartly by a minus. And, if he happened to score a couple of minus, there would soon be a plus to fix that right up. At the end of the round, the plus scores exceeded the minus scores by one, and he was able to ‘plod’ a +1 to finish tied up with Craig to share first place. Craig’s win, puts him back at the head of the Championship table by the narrowest of margins, and with the end of the Competition year rapidly approaching, there could be a fair sort of tussle between Old Reliable and Porks.

Adam took a few holes to get going, but the positives proved elusive, and the front nine finished four on the wrong side of the ledger. The back nine proved rather more prolific, but Adam still felt that his card should be well down the pile when he handed it in. In actual fact, his -3 was enough for him to score second place, with the step on the podium to himself. Steve, today, asked about ‘insurance’ for holes in one, to be told by SOS that, yes, the Club shouted a round for the occasion. Not the point, it seems. Steve reckons that some life insurance policies, in South Africa, will pay out for an Ace. The burden of proof would undoubtedly be pretty onerous if insurance claims in Oz are anything to go by. With that weighing on his mind, Steve managed a -4 to catch himself a piece of fourth place. Geoff was still reeling a bit from the hatcheting that his handicap took after his win last week, but there was a thought that he might have managed a HIO on the 12th, where his drive was direct in line with the hole, but it travelled ninety percent of the distance along the ground. So remarkable was the blow that he struck that, despite this, the ball still finished off the back of the green. And, despite this, Geoff also finished -4, to share fourth place.

Despite lacking feeling in his fingers for two thirds of the round, Harry still managed to come home with a score line of -5. He was joined on the scoreline, if not the frozen fingers, by Michael and Rob to enjoy the points for fourth place. And, last in the points, Bob managed to limp in with -6 for the final point on offer for fifth place. Which, if anybody has been counting, leaves only two members out of the points on the day. NN, NPD. But, it shouldn’t be impossible to work out who, if you so wish!

The ProPin was set for the 12th hole today, and nobody was able to get close enough to put their name on the card. There was the usual hard luck story from Michael, claiming that he was a mere 200mm outside the limit, and not able to stretch the tape enough to be able to claim it. Anyhow, eleven dollars was barely worth winning. Come back next week for the Jackpot. The first BallPin was on the 15th, and Old Reliable was able to get his name on the card with a pretty fair shot. Porks insisted on stepping the distance out when Michael managed to get his a little bit closer to take out the ball on offer. On the 18th, for the second BallPin, it was Porks who made it closest and no stepping out needed as he was the sole contender. In what might have been the story of his day, he did not even make the par, although his birdie on the 13th brings him tantalisingly close to birdie or better for the course in the Eclectic and widens his margin in that event even more. As a result, he contributed to the measly total of four birdies on the cards for the day.

There was the final match of the semi-finals played today between Michael and Porks. For two of the lowest handicap holders in the Club, it would have to be said that the result came down to who played the least worse. All week there has been a bit of a cloud hanging over whether the match would even be played today as Ryan’s partner is due to deliver any time now, and discussions were held as to what would happen to the match if the call came part way through the round. A bit like AusPost the delivery is still parked in a facility somewhere, but Ryan could be forgiven for not concentrating as well as he might have. Indicative of that was the fact that he apparently took four shots to get onto the fairway while playing the second. By the finish of the 12th, Michael was five up. A nice little five iron into the 13th about 3m from the hole had him thinking that this would wrap it up, given that Ryan was off the back of the green on the start of the slope up the bank. Unperturbed, Ryan chipped it in for the birdie, which put the jitters into the opponent, who promptly missed the putt and lost the hole. A similar scenario played out on the next hole, and Michael began to think that the match could be slipping from his grasp. But, it was not to be, he won the 15th to finish the match 4 and 3, to book himself a place in the Finals while Ryan will have to content himself with a chance in the play-off for third.

The Birthday Birdie has a call to make this week, but he is having trouble getting his beak around ‘Doğum günün kutlu olsun’ as he prepares to wish Ben all the best for his day coming up. Also, a big shout-out to Keith from all of us to wish him a speedy recovery, and a quick return to golf and to his old form.

Results for Saturday, 30 Jul 2022
1st Craig Cameron (+1) 1st Stephen O’Sullivan (+1) 2nd Adam King (-3) 3rd Steven Gervasoni (-4) 3rd Geoff Lyall (-4) 4th Harry Boughen (-5) 4th Michael Gourlay (-5) 4th Robert Priems (-5) 5th Bob McDonald (-6)

Seniors Results: 1st Craig Cameron (+1) 2nd Geoff Lyall (-4) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (-4) 3rd Harry Boughen (-5) 3rd Michael Gourlay (-5)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 15th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 2 – 18th Ryan Porker

Howe to get Geoffed on 23 July 2022

Ranga and ringer
Might as well get the big one out of the way early on!

The question on everybody’s lips was, would the love affair last? Or, would the clubs be relegated to the cold, hard floor of the garage? Only time would tell. The weather threatened to put a bit of a dampener on the proceedings, but we did manage to get seventeen members to the starting blocks, with a few having to pass on the chance to do a Bradbury for a number of perfectly legitimate reasons. Although there was little rain during the week and overnight, there were reports of significant moisture in places, and the showers that went through were quick to create free water on a few greens. The greens were capable of a variable response to approaches, depending on the angle of attack and the amount of back-spin. Brendon and Adam both attacked the pin on the 13th, and finished about a metre and a half away with a short forward bounce. Brendon’s attack on the 18th suffered an entirely different fate when it spun viciously and rolled back off the green to finish in the grass bunker. There were the usual complaints about missed putts, but it is hard to blame the greens for that. It was possible to plug the ball in places, and Brent owned up to wandering around looking like a dork, desperately looking for his plugged ball at the front of the 10th green. He was playing the 13th, by the way.

CJ might have thought that he really only had to keep his eye on Old Reliable with JQ out of the running and a four point buffer from the rest of the field. This would have been bolstered by his 20 points on the front nine, even though that score had been matched by Geoff to keep that larger margin unchanged. Unfortunately, after the turn, the old Priemsmobile started to leak a bit of Valvoline while Geoff just seemed to go from strength to strength. With nothing less than a two pointer on the back nine, Geoff sealed the deal when he made par on the 18th for yet another four pointer to make twenty-two points and a grand total of 42 for the round and 77 for the event. This was clearly the top score, and the coveted Fred Howe Winter Cup was his. Chris had to console himself with the second placing with his, still pretty respectable, tally of 74 points. If he hadn’t three putted the 18th, and, if he hadn’t had his drive from the 11th tee finish a good 30m behind its starting point, just maybe the result could have been different. But, you know what they say about aunts and uncles. CJ’s excuse was that his playing group looked thirsty!

To rub salt into the wounds for CJ, Brent added another victory in their informal family feud when he came in to port with a tally of thirty-six points. Brent was heavily involved in his semi-final match with Whitey, so he might be forgiven for trying to crib a point on the 9th hole. As far as the match went, they went close to setting something of a record. Not in terms of the final score line, but in the fact that there was not a squared hole until the 14th. Brent had worked his way out to 5 up after seven holes before Whitey won four on the trot to bring it back to just the one hole. On the 12th, Brent finished about a metre from the hole and knocked in the birdie with ease. Despite the almost lost ball on the 13th, he managed to win that as well. However, the coup de grâce came on the 15th where the tee shot finished a mere 250mm from the pin and the birdie (one of 15 for the day) finished the match 4 and 3 to Brent.

The question was asked last week, had Craig been foxing? Well, maybe not, but he did do enough today to score himself some points, with a 4th placing keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Whitey was both pleased and devastated with his round. He had played his best golf for quite a while, but copped a beating in the match. He just had to console himself with a couple of points for 5th place.

There were a few other rounds of note for the day. Steve has been working assiduously on his game, both long and short, during the week. The benefit of that was on show today when he carded 38 points, the second-best card of the day. Pepsi finished just out of the money for the event after he played to his handicap for 36 points. Just a few scratchy holes to get rid of, and he will be right back up there. Adam also made it to match his handicap today, with enough ‘if only’ scores there to suggest that he could have been there alongside Geoff on the daily total front.

Easy peasy
I don’t know why everyone finds this so hard!

Needless to say, that Brent’s attempt at a hole-in-one on the 15th was more than enough to win him at least one ball for the day for the BallPin on that hole. The second BallPin on the 18th was quite another matter. Whitey and Pepsi probably thought that they would be in there with a chance, with their shots to within a few metres. That is, until Porks came along. The shot bisected the pin from the tee, landed about a metre short, took one bounce and rattled into the hole for his second HIO for the year, and to take out the Eagle’s Nest, and to dip into the insurance pool for another round of drinks, and to widen the margin in the Eclectic even further. Harry, who watched the whole thing from beside the green, was admonished for not being more enthusiastic and not executing something akin to the Toyota ‘Oh what a feeling’ followed by flying splits. Porks decided that he should leave the marker in the hole, just in case somebody from the following group repeated the performance. Matt gave it a very good go. His shot was also directly on line, but it landed about a metre shorter, and finished the same metre short of the hole. What would the odds have been on that, for all you punters out there. In the other Nearest-the-Pin competition, the ProPin was set on the 7th, which is a bit unusual because of the perceived difficulty for the shorter hitters in the Club. Not that it is suggested that Stan is a short hitter, but he did manage to put his drive to 4.03m to win the coin for the day. Stan will probably spend up big in Noosa as a result, but he will have to collect it when he gets back to golf in a few weeks.

Now, you could be forgiven for losing a ball plugged in the mud or out in the deep rough. However, can you be forgiven for losing a ball whilst on the green? On the 10th, SOS marked his ball and went back to his buggy to give it a clean or some such. Lo and behold, when he came to take his turn at putting, the ball was nowhere to be found despite a thorough search of his bag and buggy. Question is, is he allowed to substitute a ball or does he have to invoke the two stroke penalty rule?

Our honorary ranga, Gordon, was giving Brent heaps as he was faced with a shot over the pond and trees to the 13th green Unperturbed, Brent slotted it to half a metre past the hole and elicited some muted applause from the chastened gallery. The seventeenth saw a bit of excitement on a couple of occasions. SOS managed to put his drive onto the green, but he was faced with a longish putt for the eagle. The putt ran true, if just a little fast, and hit the pin, not quite dead centre, and finished just out. Easy-peasy for the birdie. Brendon, on the other hand, had the benefit of a ‘boulder’ to help his ball in for his birdie.

Everybody (well, almost everybody) stayed back to partake of the fine fare that Gordon put together. It was expertly cooked by a couple of honorary chefs, who managed not to drop the burgers through the gap in the grid. Not like some Club Captains we could name. The round of drinks for the hole-in-one went down a treat, but the kale salad could have done with a few more takers. Beggars can’t be choosers, given the price of lettuce these days! One lowlight, at least for Brendon, came when Pepsi disposed of a fag end, which proceeded to burn a hole in the Kiwi’s favourite sky blue golf pants. Fortunately, he was not wearing them at the time. And, no, he wasn’t standing around in his jocks either.

Results for Saturday, 23 Jul 2022
1st Geoff Lyall(35, 42, 77) 2nd Chris Priems(39, 35, 74) 3rd Brent Rowley(33, 36, 69) 4th Craig Cameron(37, 31, 68) 5th Rodney White(29, 37, 66)

Seniors Results: 1st Geoff Lyall (35,42,77) 2nd Chris Priems (39,35,74) 3rd Craig Cameron (37,31,68)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 7th Stan Blackshaw BallPin No 1 – 15th Brent Rowley BallPin No 2 – 18th Ryan Porker

Hole in One Results: Hole in One – 18th *** Ryan Porker ***

Love me, love my clubs on 16 July 2022.

Survival of the fittest
I’ve definitely gone off having stiff ones…..

The prospect of double points is the only possible explanation. Why else would nineteen of our best turn out in virtually identical weather and course conditions to those in play last week. In no way is this a complaint, the more, the merrier. One of the attractions, of course, is the fact that the Freddie is a Stableford competition, and, for some reason, Stableford seem to be more to member’s liking than some of the other formats played. The only real downside was the briskish breeze that made the day feel rather colder than it was, although it did make for a good excuse if a shot wandered a bit off line, or pulled up short, or went past the green. Blame it on the wind! During the week, the mud on the course was fairly fluid, and, if not quite self-cleaning, it was easily removed. Today, it stuck like baby cack to a blanket, and buggy wheels and shoes were somewhat over-loaded by the end of the round. The preferred lie rule was much appreciated by all, and some even claimed that it almost offered an unfair advantage. How much advantage you could, or should, take is a whole other question.

Don’t let it be said that CJ is not passionate about his game of golf. He is also currently very passionate about his new set of clubs, to the extent of professing undying love and looking to get a larger bed (or to move somebody out) so that he can sleep with them. His ‘ageing’ body seems to prefer the lighter shafts, and he has to make much less use of the trees to stay on the fairway. Except on the 17th, where the tee shot looked to be in the Yarra for all money before a grateful tree (it is assumed) brought it back into play and neatly perched it up on the only tuft of grass for miles around. It was also reported that he had resorted to using his putter from halfway up the fairway to pull off some of the unlikely shots that paid off to bring him home with 39 of the best Stableford points and a clear lead into the second round. Can the love affair last?

Was Craig having a bad trot, or was he just foxing to lull people into thinking that he was a spent force? He certainly disproved the thought that the latter was the case as he went close to taking the front nine apart, including a four pointer for a birdie on the third, on the way to his tally of 37 points. That birdie, by the way, was just one of the ten that the team managed to card for the day. JQ took a couple of holes to get his range, but then he scored three pointers on six of the remaining seven holes on the front nine. The walk between the 9th and the 10th reset the clock and the first two holes on the back were not so impressive until the composure was reasserted, and he was able to finish the round right on his handicap at 36 points. This result was helped along a bit by a very nice chip in for birdie on the 17th.

Geoff is still getting used to the Club handicapping system, and was surprised to find that he had gained a stroke on his playing handicap from last week. He also took a few holes to get going, but, from the 4th onwards, there was no holding him back. He parred the 7th for a four pointer. There was hardly a blemish on the card from then on, and he finished with a very handy 35 points. Brent lost out to CJ again today in their little family competition when he could only manage 33 points, leaving a reasonable amount of work to do if he wants to step up to the top spot next week. He would have to give CJ a bit of a hiding to do that, but he could get one back in the family challenge if things go well.

Brent and Adam chose to play their Matchplay quarter-final today. With only four strokes to be conceded by Brent, the off-the-stick score was going to be important. Adam obviously meant business and came out swinging to land some telling early blows to be three up after four holes. A birdie putt on the 6th that stopped agonisingly short prevented the advantage extending to four holes. A Brent burst over the next five holes turned the tables, and the balance of power had tilted ever so slightly the other way. The lead changed again, but no real advantage presented itself, and the match drew to all square after the 16th. Brent took the 17th quite comfortably to make the match dormie 1. And, despite a valiant effort by Adam on the 18th, Brent won that hole to take the match 2 up. The semi-finals are due to start on 30th July, and the time to complete them is quite short, so the contenders should start planning their calendar immediately to fit them in. They should also mark in 20th August as they will be playing the finals and play-off on that day. How will the points be distributed?

The ProPin was set for the 4th hole, which was made all the more interesting by the freshly excavated slope at the front of the tee box where the markers were located. Harry and Blighty were both pin-high but off the green, so they didn’t get a chance to put their name on the card. Porks did though with a shot to 3.96m to collect the dosh. The first BallPin on the 12th was won by CJ with one of his ‘magic’ new clubs. The 18th BallPin would have taken some beating when Skip put his shot to about half a metre. It seems that the missed putt contributed to the story of his day.

Gordon played two strokes for two lost balls on the first and second holes. He was so disconsolate after the disappearance of his first ‘good’ drive that he walked the hole and then sconed his second shot into the shrubbery in front of the second tee, to add insult to injury and to score a draughtie as well. Adam also owned up to a draughtie on the 15th. He did have a bit of luck playing into the 14th green from the 16th fairway when the branches of a tree took enough pace off the ball for him to finish just off the green instead of well across.

Matt must be thinking of transferring to the flying squad. He seemed to be very interested in the aerodynamics of a golf club at one stage today. There were other suggestions of UFCs today but details were sketchy. SOS, on the other hand, was afflicted by a case of the shanks at one stage of the round. On the 12th, after a few abortive attempts at chipping, he decided that the ball needed a bath, and endeavoured to dispose of it into the penalty area. Even that didn’t work out, as the ball hit a tree and bounced right back to him. Brendon is known for setting his buggy free rather than keeping it under control down a hill. Maybe some mud accumulated on one of the wheels, but, as it careered down the 1st hill, it veered sharply off course and capsized, spreading the contents far and wide. You would think Brendon had his small change stored therein, the amount of time that he spent gathering up every last skerrick. The rest of his group were on the green by the time he finished.

Steve lashed out today and bought himself a cleaning cloth, a couple of balls and a couple of tees. On the way around, he managed to lose the cloth and both of the balls. At least he still had the couple of tees, although they did work out rather expensive at $12.50 a pop. A check at the desk for lost property could see the return of the cloth if you are lucky. Porks didn’t sound as if he was too happy about his tally for the day, but it seems that it could have been worse if two shots headed for OOB on the 8th hadn’t received their ‘lucky’ breaks.

Results for Saturday, 16 Jul 2022
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Chris Priems (39) 2nd Craig Cameron (37) 3rd John Quinlan (36) 4th Geoff Lyall (35) 5th Brent Rowley (33)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Chris Priems (39) 2nd Craig Cameron (37) 3rd Geoff Lyall (35)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 – 12th Chris Priems BallPin No 2 – 18th Mark Minney

This one’s for Trev on 09 July 2022

Vale Trevor
I did like a Mars Bar!

It was a bit of a sad day today as we realised that this marked the end of an era, and we would never again see Trev’s smiling face, hear his dulcet tones ring out across the course, and his running commentary on his game and ours. A good number of members turned out for his farewell during the week, which was much appreciated by his family and friends. In actual fact, there were more members there than the twelve that made it to the tee today. Pepsi was probably still getting over his birthday celebrations, and Blighty is a well known fair weather player. In fact, the weather didn’t turn out too badly, with no wind and little more than a mist in precipitation. The course was a bit wet underfoot in places, although the greens were remarkably hard and fast. Actually, one of the wettest places on the course was the 15th tee, and some members were asking whether they were entitled to casual water relief. With so many factors coming into play, how did the actual scoring go?

Members are starting to believe that some alien life form has taken over the body of our President. Not only was no beer harmed as a result of today’s round, but also, Rob topped the podium steps once again with a very nice 38 points that had the effect of shaving yet another couple of strokes from his handicap. Just in time for the start of the Winter Cup! Nice work Rob. There might have been some dispute about the no beer harm claim, but the details were just a bit too hazy to report as a fact. On another matter relating to the red markers, Adam distinguished himself today by driving his tee past them on the second. Porks tried hard on the 14th, but the tee separation was just a little too great.

Harry was pretty happy with his 19 points on the front nine, but triples on the 10th and 13th brought things back to the pace, and he was only able to finish with 35 points for a spot in second place. Geoff was channelling CJ today. With his shortish haircut and well trimmed beard, he was almost mistaken for our MIA tee marshal (Go Collywobbles!). Out on the course the likeness continued with a number of ‘tree’ shots saving the day to bring the ball back into play. With three misses and two four pointers on the front, the handicapper is taking a good hard look at how ‘generous’ he has been. However, it is the final score that counts, and 35 points scores him yet another let-out. JQ started out with a good drive on the first, and was feeling pretty pleased with himself until he finished the hole with a seven. At this point, he contemplated calling it a day. A goodly number of ‘up and downs’, some of them with very long putts, banished any suicidal thoughts, and he pressed on to finish with 35 points also. One of the U and Ds was a particularly duffy shot on the 17th that just kept on hopping and running to go very close to going into the hole for an eagle and leaving the birdie in no doubt. That birdie was one of just five that we scored for the day, although Gordon is claiming the ‘best’ with his 5.2m putt on the 12th after he just missed out qualifying to get his name on the ProPin card.

Which could go some way to explaining how Gordo managed to rack up 34 points to fill the third spot on his Pat Malone. Three triples obviously stood in the way of a significantly better result. Whitey filled his card with fours, fives and sixes in just about equal measure on his way to a solo spot in 4th place with 33 points. Craig bisected the fairway on the first, and looked as if he was going to be his dangerous self once more. He did need a bit of luck on the 3rd, where a ‘skinny’ chip looked to be heading for the wide blue. That is until it hit the pin and stopped dead for an easy par tap in. The form faded a bit on the back, and he could only scrape together 32 points, but that was enough to get 5th place, and another point to the tally.

The first BallPin was on the 4th, and it turned into a bit of a no contest after JQ put his name on the card. The second was on the 18th, as usual, and this too was a no contest after ChrisJ put his name on that card. Chris also made some use of the trees on the course to his advantage. One particular case was on the 16th, where a well off course shot finished in the middle of the fairway thanks to a convenient tree. The trees played no part in making it to the 18th green. The ProPin was on the 12th, and after Gordo’s ‘miserable’ attempt, Prez thought he was going to clean up again this week. Unfortunately, Craig had other ideas and took out the pot with a shot to 2.45m, a good 1.43m closer than Rob’s (and not 38cm, or 380cm, or something as Rob was trying to claim during the presentations).

The Birthday Birdie was a little remiss last week in forgetting to visit Pepsi. But this week he has to say a little Hello to Steve, who has something to celebrate coming up. Steve did plan to be with us today, but a family matter came up that required his attention. We hope all is good with your daughter, Steve, and that you can celebrate your day together.

Results for Saturday, 09 Jul 2022
1st Robert Priems (38) 2nd Harry Boughen (35) 2nd Geoff Lyall (35) 2nd John Quinlan (35) 3rd Gordon Hill (34) 4th Rodney White (33) 5th Craig Cameron (32)

Seniors Results: 1st Geoff Lyall (35) 1st Harry Boughen (35) 2nd Gordon Hill (34) 3rd Rodney White (33)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Craig Cameron BallPin No 1 – 4th John Quinlan BallPin No 2 – 18th Chris James