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It Dan’t Matt(er) which Guy you vote for, you still end up with a politician on 26 November 2022

Smug as!
I’m really, really, truly liking this split layout!

Wouldn’t you just know it. For weeks, we struggle to get numbers and the day that the management put a clamp on to manage the split round eighteen bookings, we fill the roster with sixteen players, and have to knock valued members back. I guess that could be an incentive to book early (but not often). Things could still be a bit iffy for the whole course to be operational next week, but we will try our best to get a booking to accommodate more members. Obviously, if a cull is required, there will have to be a preference for those already in the Stroke Championship, and those that qualify for the Vin O’Meara. Anyway, the weather was lovely, although it did warm up a bit, which is a change from recent times. The condition of the holes in play was generally good, although there are some nasty patches that are wet and unmown to trap the ball that falls short or goes astray. Whether this should count as a ‘loss’, penalty area or GUR is a moot point which could have altered a few scores on the day.

The big news of the day though was the blossoming of the love affair between CJ and the split course layout. After a bit of a whimper before tee time about the cut to his handicap last week, he proceeded on his merry way to rack up 11 pars and a birdie to take out the top spot once again with a net score of 68. Despite protecting his handicap by playing right to it, the winner’s penalty means that he will have something to complain about next week when he plays off 8. In a virtual alignment of the stars, second place was filled by another CJ, except that this was ChrisJ, who presented to the judges with a card of 71 net. He certainly started the round in fine style with a booming drive that threatened to reach the green on the first, and he had no trouble in making the par.

If it hadn’t been for the second hole, Geoff could have toppled CJ from his smirky perch very easily, particularly when the rest of his round is taken into account. The handicapper is wondering whether to institute ‘handicapping on suspicion’. Actually, the second was really tough, with the tee set almost as far back as it could go. Matt also had a pretty good round except for a couple of triples that took the shine off it a bit, and left him to collect fourth place with his score of 73. Rajesh also produced his fair share of triples on his way to a score of 74 and a share of 5th place on his first venture into competition. There were enough pars and a birdie lurking in there to suggest that we have not seen the last of our newest member on the podium. Porks probably should have made himself more than the single point that he got from sharing fifth place. His drive on the second second was uncharacteristically poor, finishing in places unknown and shy of the red markers. The rest of the hole was not that great either.

However, Porks did go close to producing what would surely have been a first for any club, let alone ours. On the first 14th, his drive finished pin high on the green, and he rattled in the putt for an eagle. In the process, he cleaned out the Eagle’s Nest, which was absolutely brimming with one ball. On the second 14th, his drive was similarly pin high, but a bit off the green. The chip in was heading true, but stopped agonisingly short of the ‘double eagle’. The birdie was a lay down misere. The 14th was a bit of a happy hunting ground for one other member as well. Blighty managed to birdie the hole on both visits, which is quite a feat it must be said, and probably an appropriate way to celebrate his 500th game with the Club. We won’t mention some of his other feats that weren’t quite so glorious, and apparently involved potential multiple shouts from the same tee. He did however help us to score 12 birdies for the day, so, well done, Blighty.

There were double dips for the nearest the pins again today. The ProPin on the 15th held out until the very last shot on the hole when Porks managed to lob his ball to 3.28m to collect the cash. The BallPin on the 18th also put up a bit of a fight with only one name on the card, and that was Steve. Maybe that will compensate him a little for his absolute shocker score on his second time on the 9th. His thought that it might be a Club record number for a hole was well short of the mark, and very much in the shadow of an Akdag 22 on the 17th. And, while on the topic of Club records, there is no way to check this other than by hearsay, but one group managed a total of 13 putts on the one hole, the 15th to be precise.

Michael was keen to rush off after the round to get back to strong-arming voters to put the Greens as their number one pick. He might not be so popular with Samantha if word gets back to headquarters that he was spotted slogging balls in the general direction of the river from over by the practice green before tee time. Craig managed, once again, to finish outside the points, due in large part to a bad case of the ‘shorts’. Not the body covering kind, the chipping and putting kind. Bob was back with us after a bit of a break, but it doesn’t seem to have done his buggy any good, as it gave up the ghost again today.

Results for Saturday, 26 Nov 2022
1st Chris Priems (68) 2nd Chris James (71) 3rd Geoff Lyall (72) 4th Matt Hunt (73) 5th Rajesh Mahto (74) 5th Ryan Porker (74)

Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (68) 2nd Geoff Lyall (72) 3rd Michael Gourlay (75)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 – – BallPin No 2 – 18th Steven Gervasoni

Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 14th Ryan Porker

All I want for Christmas is a split nine round on 19th November 2022

Smug as!
I’m really liking this split layout!
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot
Whatever the weather
We'll weather the weather
Whether we like it or not!

However, the weather has been wearing a bit thin over the last few weeks, and the course is not out of the woods just yet. Birrarung is still running a banker, and the downpours that keep coming threaten to inundate the course again as the run-off makes its way downstream. At least, the eleven members who made it to the tee were able to play eighteen holes, even if it was the same split nine twice over. They were also joined by Raj, who was a casual avoider of the predicted afternoon rain. Raj was so impressed by the company that he was afforded that he is planning to join the Club forthwith. The holes played were in generally excellent condition, although some of the longer grass on the margins could be very punishing in the ball finding department. There were about five drops of rain during the round, if you were standing in the right place, and a few more afterwards, but most of the daytime rain bypassed the area entirely. Which is more than can be said for the pyrotechnics, rain and hail during the night.

After nine holes, CJ was already declaring his everlasting affection for the split layout as he successfully negotiated the various patches of longer grass and casual water to head back to the 1st tee with twenty points on the card. The big question on everybody’s lips was, would he need the Throaties? As it turned out, he did not. The scores kept rolling in, up to a final tally of 39 points, and if it hadn’t been for a couple of single pointers towards the end of the round, the margin could easily have been daylight between him and second place. His excitement grew after the round as he contemplated the effects of the eight points added to his total, and the prospect of being to overtake Porks to steal third place in the Championship filled his head with possibilities and probabilities. Which is something that CJ’s head normally would be entirely stranger to.

Steve took full advantage of his exorbitant handicap to follow up on his Mustard jacket win with a very creditable second place on 37 points. This was helped to no small degree by a couple of four pointers for eclectic improving pars on the first and the 16th. Michael also managed 37 points, also with the aid of a couple of four pointers from two of his four birdies for the round. That tally of birdies made up half of the eight that were carded for the day.

Harry didn’t quite strike the same form that he bragged about last week, but he did manage a respectable enough total of 35 points to gather a share of third place. Brent had been putting together a pretty respectable score until he suffered a bit of a brain fade for most of the last six holes to finish on a par with Harry in third place. ChrisJ used the excuse that he hadn’t played for a while to explain his early sluggish (his words) performance. He did hit a monster drive on the 7th (aka 16th), just a little right, but deemed to be clear of the penalty area. A search all about failed to produce the ball, so Chris took a drop and popped the ball onto the green just a metre or so from the pin. As he walked to the green, only a matter of metres past the search area, there he found his original ball. On the 16th (aka 16th), he played an almost identical shot, but a thorough search, well beyond reasonable expectations of distance, lead to the conclusion that the penalty area had actually claimed the ball. Despite this, Chris loudly declared that he was playing a provisional, just in case. Geoff brought up 5th place with a score of 31 points. This was thanks, in part, to his tee shot on the 13th (aka 9th) which was so far right it was easily going to reach the middle of Birrarung, and finish somewhere downstream around Dight’s Falls. That is, until it hit a tree on the course boundary and very conveniently bounced back into play.

At long last, the final of the Matchplay Championship was contested between the reigning champ, Brent and the Old Pretender, Michael. After a week of gentle sledging, the two protagonists locked horns, and, for a good part of the match, it promised to be a very close run thing. Even after twelve holes, having been evenly balanced over the first nine, Michael only had a small lead of two holes and the match was still anybody’s. Unfortunately, two quick wins for Michael turned the match to dormie 4, and Brent needed to keep winning to stay in the game. He did just that on the 15th bringing the match back to dormie 3, but he could only manage to square the 16th which handed the match and the Championship to Michael, 3 and 2. Still a very worthy match to round out the (much extended) 2022 Matchplay Championship. We now only have the run-off for 3rd place, which is currently scheduled for next Saturday.

Rob was not seen dipping into his sky-rocket, so it must be assumed that he made it past the red markers on all tees. One tee that he definitely made it past the red was on one of his shots from the actual 9th tee, where he managed to over-shoot the green. Wow, that’s Stef territory, you could be forgiven for thinking. Thing was, it was the 17th green. Despite the wayward nature of the tee shot, he managed to recover to just miss a putt for par. Matt claims he was robbed of the ProPin and a hole-in one on the 15th when his 7-iron tee shot slam-dunked the hole and bounced away to finish further out than Brent’s 1.91m, which collected the young fellah the double Jackpot kitty. On the second time around, Matt planned to emulate the shot, but was amazed to see the ball take a much lower trajectory and finish well beyond the pin and off the green. He then looked at his club to discover that he was holding a 2-iron. It just wasn’t Matt’s day. During the Committee meeting after, he settled down to enjoy a sausage roll, which he slathered with lashings of tomato sauce only to fumble it on the way to his mouth and drop it, sauce side down (of course), on the table.

With the truncated course there were only two par three holes, and so there was only one BallPin, at which everybody had two shots. There was a bit of a contest for this, but in the end Brent was able to edge out both CJ and Harry for the honour of collecting a ball. The Birthday Birdie is beginning to think that he does deserve the Less Reliable title after delivering a belated wish to the wrong Brent last week. So, a belated belated wish goes to BrentL, along with a retraction for BrentR.

There were a few things of immediate relevance to come out of the Committee meeting.

  • Membership subscriptions were set to remain at $40 for Club and $90 for GA. These are now due, and should be paid as soon as possible, and certainly by the end of December. Bank transfer is preferred, marked with your name to identify the transaction.
  • The break-up and presentations will be held on 17th December and Gordon really needs to have numbers so that he can pin down the catering. Don’t be afraid to come along even if you haven’t played much during the year as it is your subscription money that pays for this sort of thing.
  • Because of the general lack of numbers of bidders in the Calcutta Auction, it was determined that this aspect of the Club’s activities would be dropped. The optional buy-yourself pool will be continued with the purchase price for yourself set at $30. However, the pool now will be divided as set out in the Calcutta Auction Rules. The purchase money is due before tee off on 03 December. No money, no chance.

The start of the Strokeplay Championships will commence on Saturday, regardless of the configuration of the course to be played, provided that it is 18 holes. In line with the decision on the November Monthly Medal, if the course is not in standard configuration, the December MM will not be contested. Announcements will be made later in the week as the situation clarifies.

Results for Saturday, 19 Nov 2022
1st Chris Priems (39) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (37) 2nd Michael Gourlay (37) 3rd Harry Boughen (35) 3rd Brent Rowley (35) 4th Chris James (33) 5th Geoff Lyall (31)

Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (39) 2nd Michael Gourlay (37) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (37) 3rd Harry Boughen (35)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Brent Rowley BallPin No 1 – 18th Brent Rowley BallPin No 2 – No contest

There was one blue bottle …. on 12 November 2022

Frog Hollow
As if the second wasn’t hard enough!

When is a social golf club not a social golf club? When only one person turns up for a social game on a, admittedly, shortened Ivanhoe course. In actual fact, the parts of the course that were open for play were in fine nick, and the ground was remarkably firm, except where it was sodden. The newly developed pond adjacent to the second green is really only a problem if your approach shot goes astray, and we all know that rarely happens (not), There was the option to play nine, thirteen or eighteen holes, and the early starters did not seem to be taking up the thirteen hole option. Maybe, they thought that it would be unlucky to play that number of holes. It wasn’t clear how the eighteen hole option was going to pan out. Maybe, you just had to elbow your way onto the first tee and may the biggest bluff win!

The day was really ideal for golf with a certain amount of sunshine, and the temperature was downright balmy. Despite this, Harry opted to play just the nine holes, and, it must be said, he was pretty pleased with the back five taking just 19 strokes. He was giving himself a hard time when he pretty much duffed his birdie putt on the 17th. However, the ball kept trickling and trickling, and, eventually, it gave up and fell into the hole. So, for just about the first time ever, we managed a birdie strike rate of 100%.

Looking trim.
I’ve been meaning to get a haircut for a long time!

Just because parts of the course have been closed, it doesn’t mean that the ground-staff have been idle. As well as cleaning up the mess left by the flood and mowing the rapidly growing grass (where they can get to it), they have been busy giving a few ‘haircuts’ around the course. The pine tree to the right of the second front tee has had a bit of a trim, but it will still be a problem if you stray off the back tee into the thick of it. The big news, though, relates to the 8th, where the ever encroaching wattles on the fence side have been given a short back and sides. The prospect as you approach your second shot (when the fairway reopens) has changed more than somewhat, and reaching the green in regulation should be possible from more of the fairway than it was in the past.

Short thirteenth
Easy, peasy.

Although this is only a temporary measure, the scoring on the 13th hole would have been much easier today, and the number one index would have been a bit of a joke. The white post shows the position of the tee markers. All of the darker green grassed area, including the penalty area, has been declared GUR for a free drop back on the fairway. Don’t count on it lasting until next week, though.

The Birthday Birdie is a bit concerned that he might get lumbered with the moniker – Less Reliable. The reason being that, last week, he quite forgot to dish out some wish. Topping the list of those missing in action was Old Reliable himself. Happy birthday for a few days back Craig. Next on the list is our oldest member, Mal, who we haven’t seen for quite some time because of him having to deal with some medical issues. Mal is still his bright and cheerful self, but he is not quite up to making it back to the course, other than for a coffee during the week from time to time. Last cab off the rank is Brent, who will undoubtedly be looking forward to defending his Matchplay title when he shows Michael how it is done.

And, while on the topic of Michael, he is planning to skive off from counting votes for the Greens, Saturday week, just so that he can get his fifteen games up for the year to qualify for the Vardon Trophy and knock off Brendon, who, even if he won both Medals and Michael only gets minimum matchplay points, would still be pipped at the post. Anybody do contract knee jobs or know Samantha and/or Lidia to dob him in?

Results for Saturday, 12 Nov 2022
No competition due to partial course closure

The Froggie went a-courtin’ on 05 November 2022

Frogs a-courtin'
Did the earth move for you?

Growling about the seemingly incessant rain and the fact that the weather was only good for the frogs, quite possibly led a number of members to make a ChrisP trip out to the frog, Growling Frog, that is. The weather was absolutely perfect for golf, but, once again, the ‘Hoe was closed due to the aftereffects of Birrarung overflowing the banks yet again. With some warm (and rain-free) weather promised, there is some chance that the course will be in prime condition by next week. The croc’ in the 4th pond has apparently moved on! Too many frogs, perhaps.

While on the subject of next week, this is set down for the second round of the Priems Cup, so the boys would like to see a good roll up to make a fight of it. There will only be a few points for the PC match results, which might be just enough to decide the championship (or not). Register, register, register so that the captains can choose their matches on Thursday.

Because there is just one ‘free’ week left in the calendar between now and the break-up, the Committee has decided that the November Monthly Medal should be rescheduled, rather than cancelled. As a result, the Par competition on the 19th November will become Stroke and will be Monthly Medal instead. You all love Par, but needs must. One good thing about it, it will be played from the blue tees, but the inside comp will probably still be Par.

Results for Saturday, 05 Nov 2022
No competition due to flooding