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Was it an accident on 27 August 2022?

The killer smile.
I tried not to win, truly!

You could be foggiven if you mist seeing the flight of your ball from the first today. The main reason being that the cloud base was at about sea level this morning. Not strictly true, as once the suspended water droplets dispersed, the sun came out to show a clear blue sky, although a few cotton balls did show up a little later on. The regular showers and rain periods during the week helped to keep the slushy spots slushy, and the boggy spots boggy. The maintenance crew don’t seem to have been able to get out as a result, and the grass was getting a bit shaggy in places. The actual total of lost balls, either due to straight out plugging or to just vanishing in the grass, was not available, but, anecdotally, the number was reasonably substantial. We ended up with eleven members on the tee, and a rough guess would put the total at about a ball per member. Brendon went close to ‘losing’ one on the 4th when his drive caught the tree and dropped without being spotted. A ball in the middle of the fairway was dismissed when described as being Titleist with purple dots. When it was picked up as a ‘gimme’ and cleaned, the initials BM appeared, and the dots were identified as actually being black, much to the relief of Brendon who went on to finish the hole with a double bogie. Maybe he should have played on with his provisional.

Michael trudged in after the round, looking despondent, and bemoaning the fact that he had three putted more greens than he liked to remember on the back nine. So, was he playing the field in the hope of not getting his handicap cut, or was he genuinely happy that he would be able to give Brent another stroke when they eventually meet in the Matchplay final, as he later claimed. The latter hardly rings true when he speculated that, if he plays next week and Brent doesn’t, then he would get the lost stroke back by being let out. This assumes, of course, that he doesn’t win or break his handicap again. All calculations aside, 37 points under fairly trying conditions was a good effort, and more than enough to take out the points for the day. The qualified leaders in the Vardon Trophy are certainly hoping that Michael’s involvement with the Greens and the upcoming state election will prevent him from reaching the qualifying number of rounds for this event. Or, if he does, that he doesn’t score any more points than he already has.

Brendon produced a bit of a mixed bag today as far as shot making went. There were drives that were creamed and those that were ‘not quite’ duffed. The chipping was either deadly with the ball hitting the pin and rimming the cup or finishing variously short or long. The putting, however, was consistently deadly, and he was able to come home with 35 points to claim the second level on the podium. Harry had quite a few chances to snare a par, but he had to wait until the 15th to catch one unawares. His hope for a full nine holes of two pointers on the front was spoiled by a ‘vanishing’ ball on the 8th with the possibility that it had deflected OOB requiring that a penalty be incurred. His 34 points won him the third place in the field.

Thirty-two points was a popular total today, with three members fronting up for fourth place with that score. First cab off the rank was Craig, who struggled a bit, mainly with the guy who was marking his card. But, it was all sorted out in the end and the totals agreed, even if the individual hole scores and points did not. Just as an aside, it does pay to check the individual holes scores and points, rather than just the totals, and actually add them up rather than recording what the other guy says. Gordon was looking a bit on the grumpy side after the first two holes, when things did not go too well. The demeanour change for the better on the third when his chip to the green took one bounce and plopped into the hole for a birdie and four points. This was not the end of his travails, but a repeat performance with a chip in for a par on the 10th helped him into his share of 4th place. SOS played pretty handily for the first eight holes, before a minor lapse for a couple of holes knocked a bit of a hole in his chances. But, he did recover pretty well and joined in on 4th place. Bob’s hand is giving him a bit of grief, and the compression glove he is wearing affects his feel for the club. Despite this, he was able to sneak into fifth place with his score of 31 points. Whitey can’t blame the condition of his hands, but he was seriously questioning, early in the round, whether the course should even have been open today. Whether scoring a point has changed his view was not clear at the end of the day.

Geoff's miss.
If you look closely, you can see the track!

One of the hot topics today was whether the ProPin on the 12th was a double or a triple Jackpot. The ‘official’ word is that the first week is a Pot, second week is a Jackpot, third week is a Double Jackpot, which makes next week a Triple Jackpot because, once again, nobody was able to get within the required 5m. For once, there were no sob-stories from Michael about being millimetres outside the limit. The BallPin on the 7th was a Jackpot and, with the teeing area well back, the early tipping was that it would go Double. That is, until along came Geoff. He ran his ball over the edge of the hole, probably missing a hole in one etc by the narrowest of margins, and left the ball a few hundred millimetres past the hole. He whacked in the putt for a birdie and, in the process, he put Gordo’s four pointer into the back seat to his five points. This also brought our tally of birdies to seven for the day. Now, we all know that Geoff is never far removed from his mobile as he accumulates ever more data for his game analysis software. Perhaps a little ‘excited’ after his recent near thing, he gathered his data after a shot on the 8th and then played his next shot. After this, he claimed that he must have left his phone somewhere else, only to be reminded that he had it in his hand moments before. A hurried search of his person proved that it had not been left behind.

On the 18th tee, there had been a bit of a discussion about how far distant people had been to win the nearest the pin, and a figure of 11.4m was mentioned. Brendon did manage to put his ball onto the green, and, when it was measured, the distance turned out to be 11.4m, and Brendon confidently predicted that it could be a winner. Unfortunately, Michael came along and put his closer to take out the BallPin in our competition and to ease Brendon out of the money for the inside competition. Whether Michael’s is good enough to win that one remains to be seen, but the actual distance was not revealed. It certainly wasn’t close enough to score the birdie.

Targe was another one complaining about the condition of the course as he reckons he was getting bogged, the mud was so deep. You just need longer legs, Targe! Rob, however, was credited with the recoveries of the round when he scored fours from ‘impossible’ situations. Not on par four holes, it must be added, but on par threes. On the 12th, a shank put him behind and almost in the penalty area, and the hand-span relief was all that he needed to be able to muscle the shot over the clumps of vegetation and onto the green to finish it off with a couple of putts. On the 18th, he barely avoided the almost compulsory draughtie, finishing a bare 15m from the tee. After another shot and still a way to go, he lobbed it to within a metre and sank the putt. Just goes to prove that you never give up, eh, Prez.

Results for Saturday, 27 Aug 2022
1st Michael Gourlay (37) 2nd Brendon Mitchell (35) 3rd Harry Boughen (34) 4th Craig Cameron (32) 4th Gordon Hill (32) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan (32) 5th Bob McDonald (31) 5th Rodney White (31)

Seniors Results: 1st Michael Gourlay (37) 2nd Harry Boughen (34) 3rd Craig Cameron (32) 3rd Gordon Hill (32)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 7th Geoff Lyall BallPin No 2 – 18th Michael Gourlay

You don’t have to be mad…. on 20 August 2022

Survival of the fittest
This is getting to be a habit!

Well, it wasn’t exactly bucketing down, but there was quite heavy rain about as ten intrepid souls trudged out to the tee to see just what sort of a prospect the course held for them. The radar suggested that it was going to persist for at least a few holes, so umbrellas and wet weather gear were unfurled from the get-go. Progress was a little slow to start with, as ball finding and ball cleaning interfered with the smooth running of the game. The consistent rain did only last for a few, but occasional showers persisted for about eight. At that stage there was enough blue for a sailor’s suit, and the sun did make a couple of appearances. Blighty made a bold prediction early on that a score of -3 would win the day, and he persisted with that prediction right to the bitter end. Being in the first group, and in charge of the NTP markers, he was tempted to declare the 4th hole as the ProPin after he placed his drive to within about 200mm of the hole. He resisted the urge, and placed all of the markers in the correct place. Because of this, the golf gods smiled upon him, and he was able to slot the putt for a birdie, one of only four that were carded for the day.

For quite a while, it looked as if Andrew was out in his prediction of the winning score. That is, until CJ slapped his card down on the table, proudly displaying the total of -3 to take the day and to make the forecast come to pass. CJ did have a bit of a whinge about the fact that he was going to be cut for winning, and claimed that it was unfair to be cut for missing your handicap by so much. The computer says No! Chief soothsayer Blight was next to step up onto the podium with his card sporting a total of -4 points, helped along just a little by his performance on the 4th. He was joined by Steve, who might be a force to be reckoned with if he can get his short game going. He was playing without a glove because of the rain and the grip on a club was so slippery that, on his approach to the first, the club slipped out of his hand, travelled further than the ball and went close to scoring a birdie – with the club.

Michael was bewailing the fact of a series of missed putts on the last couple of holes that ‘robbed’ him of a higher placing, if not a win. Perhaps a better question would have been, what about the run of minus scores at the start of the nine. It obviously upset him so much that he walked off to his car after the presentations and left behind his golf ball and lunch box (empty). ChrisJ had his moments on the course today, some of which included some fine shots. A nice little draw on the 11th put him in a good spot to make the par, but a similarly shaped shot on the 13th saw the ball finish well into the private property on the left. Despite the ups and downs, a final score of -5 was good enough to win a share of third place. Brendon’s day did not start out too well. He arrived at the first green, only to discover that he had left his putter in the car. So he putted that green with his wedge, then did a sprint back to retrieve his trusty putter. Trouble is, it wasn’t in the car, either. Undaunted, a quick visit to the ProShop scored him a loaner, and he was back in business. Some of the putts came off so well that he was thinking of actually paying the $5 to buy it. This wasn’t enough to offset some other poor shot-making, and Brendon was only able to manage a -5 as well.

After turning at only one hole down, Gordon had visions of hoisting the trophy at the end of the day. The first few holes of the back did little to tarnish that vision. Unfortunately, the Hillman Minx developed a rather nasty rattle in the big end, and the vision disappeared in a puff of blue smoke and a rash of gashes. So, Gordo just had to satisfy himself with a -6 and a spot in 4th place. His chip in birdie on the 9th brightened his day just a little, and it helped his Eclectic score just that little bit, as did the handicap relief that he got. JQ could not quite believe that he was going to score a point with his tally of -7, but he did.

CJ might have to invest in some new head-wear as his climb up the Championship tables continues. He’s probably beginning to think that the Seniors is not such a tough gig after all. He reckons he made the earth move today when he came down after a slip on the side of the 15th tee. Brendon went close to suffering the same fate. As an aside, there are signs advising use of the provided paths/stairs.

The first BallPin was set on the 7th today, and the tee was set a fair way back, which might go some way to explaining why nobody was able to hit the green, giving us a Jackpot on the hole for next week. The ProPin (Jackpot) on the 12th was similarly elusive, so there will be a Double jackpot on offer next week. Depending on the numbers attending, it could be almost worth winning. The BallPin on the 18th was contested after Adam was able to get onto the green, even if only just. However, a fine shot by Michael to just under 3m spoiled Adam’s day more than it already had been.

The Birth Day Birdie has been a bit remiss as it seems that Ryan is now the proud father of a fine bouncing baby boy. Congratulations to all concerned. It will probably not be long before he is being enrolled in Junior Tigers and pestering Dad to be allowed to join our merry band.

Results for Saturday, 20 Aug 2022
1st Chris Priems (-3) 2nd Andrew Blight (-4) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (-4) 3rd Michael Gourlay (-5) 3rd Chris James (-5) 3rd Brendon Mitchell (-5) 4th Gordon Hill (-6) 5th John Quinlan (-7)

Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (-3) 2nd Andrew Blight (-4) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (-4) 3rd Michael Gourlay (-5)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 7th Jackpot BallPin No 2 – 18th Michael Gourlay

Oranges and lemons on 13 August 2022.

The terrible twosome
If I can’t beat you, I’ll join you!
Where have all the golfers gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the golfers gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the golfers gone?
Young girls have nicked them every one.
Oh, When will you ever learn?
Oh, When will you ever learn?

With only seven pre-post nominations, the odds shortened early on that the field would be in the points today. Even with a starting gate addition, there was still a feeling about that the field would be fully satisfied. That feeling persisted until the 10th, when CJ spoke out and put the feeling into words when he reached the turn with eighteen points on the card. That confidence had receded a bit by the 13th, when the ‘best chipper in the club’ left one well short on an approach to the green. All in all, the conditions were just about ideal. Very little of the forecast rain had eventuated, and the course was in a fairly benign state. The sun was shining, and the temperature was making its way into the mid-teens. The greens were receptive and clean, so there was little reason to expect that scoring would not be easy.

This proved to be the case, at least for a few players in the field. Just two weeks after pulling off the same feat, SOS and Craig managed to top the field again with a tie on 39 points. Craig was his ultra-reliable self, and had his marker complaining that he had almost forgotten how to score a bogey on the card. There was just one little aberration on the second hole that resulted in a no-score, and also just one singleton on the 9th. SOS had a minor run-in with Mrs Shanks on the 5th that also resulted in a no-score. There were three singletons, but he more than made up for those when he scored a birdie on the 13th after playing a one bounce shot onto the green, followed by a longish curving putt for a four pointer. Another birdie on the 17th helped the team to reach a total of six for the day.

It seems that all of the front-runners just had to have a no-score line on their card. This was certainly true of Brendon, who scored his on the 11th, no less. If he had only made a single point there, he would have made a three-way tie for first, and then the field would have all made points. Of course, things could have come unstuck on the 17th where his power shank off the tee finished just on the verge of the penalty area adjacent to the 18th tee. Unperturbed by Stan contemplating pocketing his ball, Brendon calmly lobbed it across the pond onto the green for the regulation two putts and par.

Orange squash?
That’s not a golf ball…..

Steve was absolutely creaming his driver all day. Unfortunately, his close-in game let him down on several occasions. On the 13th, for instance, he went close to crossing the green twice before getting a chance to putt. Despite all that, he did manage to make a total of 33 points for the round, and scored himself a very handy third place. ChrisJ had a pretty good front nine, and he started the back in what looked like being a similar style. A lapse of concentration followed, and three no-scores knocked a hole in his scoring chances on the back. There was another nervous moment on the 17th when his drive was drawing more than somewhat towards the fence, but it did stop on the fairway, and a par was easily done. After having put a hex on himself at the 10th, CJ was feeling a bit despondent when his drive on the 13th disappeared into some rough stuff. SOS helped with the search, and he was soon asking whether CJ was playing with an orange ball. Yes, but it’s yellow, answered CJ. No, this is orange said SOS. And it was – an orange, that is.

When asked how he was going at the 17th tee, JQ responded that he reckoned he’d had six or seven rim-jobs during the round. Now, when you get your minds out of the gutter, he meant that the putts did not want to go in the hole for him (and not that one either!). Still, he was kind of happy to get the last point on offer with his 29 points.

The ProPin today was on the 12th, and there were the usual tales about the tape not being stretchy enough to bring the ‘nearly-almosts’ into contention. Considering the numbers, it was hardly worth winning anyway, and the jackpot to next week will be very welcome. The first BallPin was a Jackpot on the 4th, and Craig managed to put his hand up to collect the pair. On the 18th, Brendon was very hopeful that his tee shot would be in contention, but unfortunately, the backspin took him back off the green and well down the apron at the front of the green. This left it to JQ to collect the ball for his shot.

The Birthday Birdie has to do the rounds again this week, with a couple of visits to wish the best to JQ and Zimmer. Have a great day, old mates!

Results for Saturday, 13 Aug 2022
1st Craig Cameron (39) 1st Stephen O’Sullivan (39) 2nd Brendon Mitchell (38) 3rd Steven Gervasoni (33) 4th Chris James (30) 4th Chris Priems (30) 5th John Quinlan (29)

Seniors Results: 1st Craig Cameron (39) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (33) 3rd Chris Priems (30)

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

Madam, I’m Adam on 06 August 2022

Good enough to eat.
Rats, it’s not even real gold!

There has been a certain amount of rain around over the last couple of days, so there was a certain amount of trepidation as to what sort of condition the course would be in and the sort of effect that this might have on the scores returned. One discussion suggested that the medallist would be lucky to match his handicap. In actual fact, the course wasn’t all that bad, with the usual slushy patches (and tee on the 15th), but the preferred lie meant that you didn’t have to play with mud on your ball, unless you chose to. CJ reckoned he was put off by the greens because they were more of a yellow colour, which, you would have to agree, is a pretty poor excuse for missed putts. We had 13 members, plus Jake, turn out this morning, and that included Blighty, who owned to still being a bit shaken up after his T-boning last Saturday. Fortunately, there were no injuries other than to his car, which was apparently a write-off. The weather stayed mild and dry, although there were some rather ominous clouds looming after the round. Despite all this, the ‘cold and heavy’ air seems to have had an effect on play for some members at least.

No such problems for Adam, however. The only real blemish on his card was a triple on the 3rd, and his 37 strokes on the back nine was helped along by his birdie on the 12th. This was apparently a bit on the easy-peasy side after he put his drive to 2.4m to take out the Jackpot ProPin on that hole. The birdie was one of only five that we managed to put together on the day. The net score of 65 was a fair stretch in front of the rest of the field. Except, that is, for Jake. Now Jake is hanging out there with Porks awaiting an important delivery, and he hasn’t played for a while, plus, he was lining up for his second round with the set of clubs that he was bequeathed by CJ on the occasion of his birthday. Although he did make use of the Priems tree technique, he did manage to smash together a very respectable score of net 66 from what would have been his old Club handicap.

The next best members were the terrible twins, Matt and Pepsi. Matt apparently went close to spitting the dummy when he thinned a chip to the green on the 9th, and he fully expected the ball to finish a long way past the hole. That is, until it hit the pin and dropped into the hole, at which stage, he proceeded to take full credit for the result. The other aspect of his round was that he went close to ‘fouring’ the back nine. Eight of the nine holes had a four in the score column. Pepsi also managed a triple on the 3rd, but he soon put that behind, and, with the aid of a couple of birdies, he managed to produce a par score for the back nine. Watch out when he masters the front.

Despite his problem with the colour of the greens, CJ was able to rescue his round with a 37 stroke back nine. The new clubs seem to be still behaving themselves and Chris reckons that his new-found accuracy is just what his ‘aging’ body needs, rather than loads of length. He did test the tree line on the 8th, and the ball disappeared into the thick of it until, about ten seconds later, the ball popped out the other side into ‘not too bad’ a spot. SOS started out in pretty good form, and finished the front nine looking like being a hot contender for the top spot. His self-assessment of a really good nine holes might just have put the mockers on him. Nothing went really bad, but, then again, nothing was quite right either, leading to a final net score of 71 and the fourth podium spot. Gordon preferred not to talk about the 16th and 17th holes that managed to rob him of the chance of a much higher placing, and brought him into a tie with Brendon on 72 and the final point for the day.

The first BallPin was on the 4th, and with the white tees well back, the prospect from the tee provided a rather daunting view. The ‘tree’ claimed a fair share of victims, and, as a result, the ball went begging, and there will be a jackpot to next week. On the 18th, CJ was the only one to get his name on the chit, and he collected the ball for that one. The ProShop had neglected to put out their ProPin marker, and CJ was in that competition, but, as he couldn’t be bothered going back to the green to measure the distance, it was up to others to do the hard work for him. Will he cop it if he wins!

Now, as sure as God made little green apples, it wouldn’t be a round if Rob didn’t score a draughtie. Today was no exception and from the ‘slushie’ on the 15th, he managed to fall short of the red markers once again. His round did have one highlight when he chipped in on the 6th hole for his only par for the day. However, Blighty must have been a little cross-eyed when he finished off the card and wrote Rob’s score at the top of the card, because he took Rob’s handicap from his own score. So Rob didn’t just miss out on a point, as Matt announced, as a result. Bob didn’t have a great start to the round, losing a ball off the side of the tee. His tally for the first was not quite a record for a single hole, but it certainly is for the first, and by a reasonable margin. But, like the true trooper that he is, Bob stuck with it and finished the round where lesser mortals might have called it a day. Jake was through the green on the 6th, and his chip was only slightly off-line, but certainly going to miss the hole. Fortunately for Jake, CJ had chipped his ball to a few hundred millimetres from the hole, right in the line. The collision slowed and deflected his ball, and it finished about 20mm short of the hole. Talk about the Priems family working together.

The Birthday Birdie has been resting up over the past few weeks, but this week will see him flapping his little wings off. He has to get around to visit Harry, Ken, Brendon and ChrisV to wish them all the very best for their various milestones. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to fill in for the stork as well.

The year is slipping by, and it will not be long before the Annual Challenge is upon us. If you can see your way clear, payment of the balances owing would be in order. And, if you have a mind to go and your name is not on the list, get in touch with Matt to see what your options are.

Results for Saturday, 06 Aug 2022
1st Adam King (65) 2nd Matt Hunt (69) 2nd Andrew Petricola (69) 3rd Chris Priems (70) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan (71) 5th Gordon Hill (72) 5th Brendon Mitchell (72)

Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (70) 2nd Gordon Hill (72) 3rd Andrew Blight (74) 3rd Craig Cameron (74)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Adam King BallPin No 1 – 4th Jackpot BallPin No 2 – 18th Chris Priems