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‘Twas the day before Christmas… On 24th December 2022

Wow pukka is that
It’s been a while between drinks!

Who said nobody would play on Christmas Eve? Well, it wasn’t quite a record field, but we easily doubled the minimum requirement for a comp with our twelve intrepid members hitting the tees. There were supposed to be thirteen players with SOS’s guest who apparently ‘chickened out’, but we almost didn’t have SOS either after he forgot to set the alarm, and only leapt out from under the feathers at 0710. Fortunately, the last two groups were only on the verge of being upgraded to fours, when he appeared in the car-park. He was none too pleased by the news that no less than three members were ‘unable’ to pay their comp fee because they only had fifties. At least some members had the good sense to raid the missus’s purse on the way out to do the right thing and bring along a fiver. Not too much to ask, surely? Anyway, it turned out to be a beautiful day, nice and cool and a bit cloudy to start, followed by the sun breaking through and the temperature climbing enough to be pleasant, but not too hot. The course is looking in the pink, and the grass is starting to make a come-back, although the area in the hollow on the third has a little way to go. Steve didn’t have nearly so much trouble there today.

Conditions obviously suited some people because there were some pretty impressive scores handed in. Now, it is a well known fact that there is a bit of antipathy between Club members and the Par format of the game. However, this morning some were heard saying that they were so happy that it was par after so many Stroke rounds in recent times. Who’d have thought? The man who was obviously the happiest about it being a Par event was Brendon, who relished the conditions and the competition so much that he absolutely blitzed the course, matching par on the back and being just three over on the front, to amass five fat and juicy points to sneak into first place. Another who also obviously enjoyed the day, and who was a bit disappointed that he had left a significant number of chips and putts short, was Harry, who took the turn four points to the good. He set out on the back, with Gordo’s ‘you’re on fire’ burning in his brain, determined to at least square the nine and hold the position at the turn. That he managed to do and gathered yet another second placing for his trouble.

Prez Rob expressed a bit of disappointment that he had played his best round for a long time, and had even managed to avoid having to buy a round afterwards, only to find himself relegated to third place on the podium. In actual fact, things were not quite as bad as he thought, because he obviously did not check his handicap, and actually had one more stroke to play with. So, he did not have to share the podium with Matt by taking out third place, alone, with his new score of +3. So, it would be Matt’s turn to be disappointed, having been relegated to fourth place with his score of +2. This then left fifth spot to be shared by Stan and Craig, who followed up a few points back on -1. And we won’t mention the ones who thought they might have scored a point, but now missed out.

Steve does it again
This is getting to be a habit!

The first BallPin was set on the 12th as chosen by Stan before tee time. First name on the chit? You guessed it, Stan! Unfortunately, along came Brendon late in the piece and spoiled the party. Matt was also in the first group and laid an early claim to the BallPin on the 18th, which stood for the rest of the round, until along came Steve and snaffled the ball from Matt’s grasp. The ProPin was on the 15th, and nobody was able to better Rob’s effort to finish about pin high and 2.54m away to collect the money. Harry consoled himself with the fact that he was only about 300mm short of the plug where tomorrow’s hole is going to be. There were quite a swag of birdies scored today. Steve scored one on the 3rd, but the 7th was not so kind to him again today, when he pulled off a virtual repeat of last week’s embarrassment. Gordo, ‘sprayed’ his drive on the 15th well to the left, but took good advantage of the slope and finished pin high and several metres off the green. A chip into the hole brought a smile back to his face that had been progressively darkening as the shots generally did not go his way for most of the rest of the round. Stan had the tree in the way on the third, and calmly played his shot right through the middle without mishap, and then did the chip-in for the birdie. Of course, Brendon scored a couple in his par back nine which, along with others, brought us up to 10 for the day.

Matt reckons that somebody must have put Glad-Wrap over the holes, he missed so many putts that ‘should’ have gone in. Pepsi decided to play an iron from the first tee and was heard to mutter that he hated playing irons after the ball finished, still in the rough, at the bottom of the hill. There was no report on the club used when he repeated the performance on the 10th. Anthony hit his ball so hard from the 10th tee that the tee finished a good couple of metres in front of the red markers. Harry missed the flight of the ball because he was so fascinated by the ‘flight of the tumble tee’. The only thing of note that Porks was able to relate about his game was that he had dropped his sausage roll, and that a crow or magpie did not swoop down and beat him to it.

Another championship points round next Saturday, provided that we get the necessary minimum of six players. A good quick round this morning, so no real problem to fit in the game and still get home to sober up enough to be ready for any festivities planned to see in the New Year.

The Birthday Birdie has yet another week off, and so he will take this opportunity to wish all of our members and their families and loved ones a very Merry Christmas, and he hopes that Santa will bring each and every one something nice, like a perfect golf swing for instance. But then, does such a thing exist? Santa, that is!

Results for Saturday, 24 Dec 2022
1st Brendon Mitchell (+5) 2nd Harry Boughen (+4) 3rd Robert Priems (+3) 4th Matt Hunt (+2) 5th Stan Blackshaw (-1) 5th Craig Cameron (-1)

Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (+4) 2nd Craig Cameron (-1) 2nd Stan Blackshaw (-1) 3rd Steven Gervasoni (-2)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Robert Priems BallPin No 1 – 12th Brendon Mitchell BallPin No 2 – 18th Steven Gervasoni

Champs, chumps, but no chimps on 17 December 2022

The 'big' one
I’m not going to let this one go!

Another year done and dusted. Well almost, just the matter of a couple of Eves to go, but the main events are now over. What a year it has been. The effects of the pandemic continue to hang around, and the weather gods keep hurling bolts of rain, if not lightning, to add further confusion to the mix. Still, we did manage to muddle on through, and only had to cancel a handful of events. One that we did not have to cancel was the Stuart Clarke Champions of Champions and the associated, if sadly named, Chump of Chumps. This event, combined with the prospect of nosh and drinks after, persuaded sixteen members to turn out, together with Ken Grist, one of the very early members of the Club, to try their hand at taming the rather unpredictable thing that is Ivanhoe Golf Course. A reasonable number of extras turned out for the nosh and drinks (about a dozen in all), which resulted in a very convivial afternoon indeed. The weather was fine and warmed up nicely after a slightly cool start. The course was well presented, although there are still some areas to recover from the inundation and silting over that they received. The bare, muddy patches caused some players a degree of frustration due to their preference for grassy lies.

Raj scores big
Can I take this home?

It has been tipped since day one that Raj had a lot more potential than his initial handicap indicated. And today that prediction was borne out, in spades. Raj himself was not backward in promoting the fact that he had scored 23 points on the back nine with a wipe for a result on the 13th. This, plus his already impressive 19 points on the front, brought him up to 42 points to take out the top spot for the day as well as the highly coveted Chump of Chumps trophy, contested by those who did not win a Major, a Medal or other Championship during the competition year. He’ll have to keep his socks pulled up to match it with his nice new handicap, which took a fair old beating as a result.

Second cab off the rank for the day was Harry, who followed up last week’s performance with exactly the same number of strokes off the stick. The two stroke cut that he took last week meant that his net score came in at 65, and the Stableford points stacked up at 39. The points were enough to collect the second placing for the day, but, in the event that really mattered, the net score was plenty to take out the Champion of Champions trophy with the greatest of ease. Next in the Champions of Champions field was Old Reliable who came in three strokes behind Harry with a handicap equalling score of 68 net. This equated to 36 points, and that was what was required to garner 3rd place for the day, and another three points onto Craig’s rapidly escalating tally of Championship Points for the new year. Shades of 2022!

In terms of daily placings, the Champion of Champions field fairly dominated. SOS was a mere stroke behind Craig, having done himself out of a much better placing by means of a bit of a brain fade around the middle third of the course. CJ’s brain fades were much more widely distributed, particularly on the front nine. His back nine was almost flawless, and the twenty points for this half allowed him to fill the last spot available for the day with his score of 34 points. The runners-up in the Chump of Chumps were a rather motley crew of two in Matt and Gordo who came in with 33 points, and just missed out on getting at least a point due to a couple of lapses in concentration.

The Michael Gourlay Benefit events (aka Nearest the Pin) were firstly in the 12th, which was the ProPin. It looked very like being a Jackpot until Michael turned up in the last group and placed his ball 3.33m from the hole to collect the cash once again. On the 15th, it looked as if our other regular hunter and collector, Craig, would take the cherry, but then along came Michael, and he managed to get closer to collect yet another ball. On the 18th, Michael was standing on the tee talking about hat-tricks. But, it was not to be, and Craig’s knocking off of Matt was allowed to stand, giving the ball to Craig. Neither of the two NTP winners was able to make the birdie on the holes. One man who did make a birdie, and thus contribute to our total of 8 for the day, was none other than Prez, Rob. This he did on the 7th, which is a hole that his exorbitant handicap gives him two strokes on, and he was able to pencil on a total of five (5) points for his trouble. Unfortunately, he followed up with an eight on the eighth, for exactly zero points, which was a little disappointing, to say the least. We won’t mention the two great-grand pars that he had on a couple of other par threes.

Steve sees red
Who put that red marker there?

The day, of course, was not without its little incidents. Steve started out in fine form, and easily parred the first (for a cool four points), and followed up with a five on the second for a, not too shabby, three points. By this stage, he was declaring undying love for his new clubs. At the third, however, like so many whirlwind romances, the novelty began to fade when the bare ground played havoc and an eight ensued. It was back on again with another four point par on the 4th, and back off again after a run of not so hot scores leading to a failure to reach the red markers on the 7th. CJ is finding it difficult to come to terms with the differences in ProV1 balls. Does the x make any difference? Does the dye in the ‘green’ ones affect their performance? And so it goes. He’s not so sure that they all start off as yellow and that the white ones have just been bleached. ChrisJ owned up to an air swing after catching everybody’s attention with a very loud swoosh. Matt was so admiring of his drive on one hole that he didn’t get around to helping Raj search for his ball. Or was he trying to put the mockers onto Raj.

Reliable as ever
I’m going to need another pool room!

And, of course, there was the lunch and presentations. Ken Grist, who hasn’t changed one iota since the last time he joined us for a day, helped out with the presentations while Gordo wrangled the trophies into some sort of order. First and foremost was the trophy for Club Champion, which was convincingly won by none other than Craig with a total of 98 points for the year. By the end of the session, there was a fair collection of silverware on the table in front of Craig. Another one who fronted up to the presentation table on a number of occasions was Ryan, and his tally included the Eclectic with a gross score of 47 strokes. His newly refurbished apartment might also need expanding. As far back as detailed records go, this is the lowest score in the Eclectic, beating Pepsi’s 2015 effort of 49. Ryan’s score was helped no end by the two holes in one that he scored during the year. Ryan’s description of the events created a great deal of mirth for the assembled gathering, particularly in relation to the low key response of certain individuals on the occasion. One other presentation of note, was the awarding of Life Membership of the Club to Harry, in recognition of his efforts over the last ten years to the management of the handicapping and blogging, as well as other aspects of the smooth running of the Club. By the middle of the afternoon, the stayers looked as if they were about to settle in, if not at Ivanhoe, then somewhere else. And the general view was that it had been an excellent day of good food and good fellowship.

Events are scheduled for the next two Saturdays, but it is anticipated that many people might want to use the time to spend with family and friends, or to prepare for the following day’s festivities. So, if sufficient people register to play (ie at least six), there will be a competition for points and handicapping with the usual NTPs. If fewer than six register/turn up, we will hold a booking and a social round can be played.

In the meantime, here is a wish for everybody to have a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. We look forward to seeing you all again on the green, green fields of Ivanhoe. But, don’t forget, subs are due, and we will have to deregister any GA memberships that are not paid/firmly committed by 26th December.

Results for Saturday, 17 Dec 2022
1st Rajesh Mahto (42) 2nd Harry Boughen (39) 3rd Craig Cameron (36) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan (35) 5th Chris Priems (34)

Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (39) 2nd Craig Cameron (36) 3rd Chris Priems (34)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 1 – 15th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 2 – 18th Craig Cameron

How to feel Vin(dicated) on 10 December 2022

Geoff cleans up.
Might take the missus to dinner!

It was obviously as day for the Seniors. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the whole world was happy. The ‘Hoe was back in full operation, the water and mud puddles were mostly gone, and the grass was coming back on the drowned areas. Some even suggested that the course could do with a bit of water, the ground being so hard in places, and the ball running on further than expected. The ground staff had been out during the week de-thatching the tee areas, probably in the hope that this will improve the cover in due course, even though they are going to be pretty ugly in the meantime. Eighteen fronted the starter, including a number who couldn’t make it last week. Perhaps they were hoping to improve their chances in the C of C events next week. Or maybe they could not resist the attraction of a round in pretty much ideal conditions.

All in all, it was a big day. The second round of the Vin O’Meara to kick off the new competition year and the third round of the Stroke Championships to determine who among us can hold it together well enough over the three-week event. With five strokes separating first and third from the week 1 leaderboard, there was a view that and upset was going to be a bit tough, but not impossible. As it turned out, there was a fair bit of movement in the placings, with some relative tail-enders moving well up the ranking. The man of the moment, however, was Geoff, who managed to play right to his handicap on both days to ease himself into first place with his net score of 136 for the two rounds. The margin might have been even greater if it had not been for a couple of triples and a quad. Old Reliable started the day a couple of strokes behind Geoff, but, by dint of a very handy 66 on day 2, he was able to leap-frog a couple of places from 4th to 2nd, to get his campaign to defend his Club Championship off to a good start. If he hadn’t taken nine holes to warm up (he went one over par on the back), the result could have been very different indeed. Still, it was his 200th game with the Club, so not a bad way to celebrate the fact.

Third place was filled by a mixed bag of members. Stan put together a steady, if not spectacular, round to finish just three strokes outside his handicap on the day, and that was enough to propel him into third place with a total of 145 for the event. Steve had set the pace on week 1, and had high hopes of repeating the performance. Unfortunately, it was not to be. He seems to have fallen foul of the ‘naked’ eighth to produce a double-digit result there, as well as a few other less than stellar results. Michael was ruing a run of bogies on the front nine, but not so much as his triple on the 18th, which probably wouldn’t have changed his placing, but would have made him feel ‘better’ about his game.

Rajesh was just out of the ‘placings’ last week, and he managed to improve his score by a couple this week, and that was enough to lift him into fourth place for his first points in a full year of competition. The odd sprinkling of doubles is just enough to hide the potential for him to score better some time soon. Watch this space. Finally, we have a stayer in Whitey, who managed to hold on to his fifth spot despite slipping a couple of strokes compared to last week. He was joined on the podium by a late burster, when Matt was able to go eight strokes better from the previous week to catapult himself into a share of fifth.

The other big event to be finalised was the Club Stroke Championship. There are two categories in this event, Scratch and Handicap. In the Scratch event, the clear winner was Michael, who took a total of 229 strokes over the three rounds. In his acceptance speech, he demanded that the trophy not display the strokes taken. The tussle for runner-up was a close run thing, being taken by Ryan with a tally of 243 strokes. Craig was a bit unlucky to miss out on a share by just a single stroke. In the Handicap event, the clear winner was Geoff, who pretty much streeted the field with his net score of 210. Craig was better placed in this event and scored the runner-up spot with a total of 217 net. This was well clear of the next best of 220, scored by Rajesh and Michael.

The first BallPin today was on the 4th hole, and Porks wasn’t the only one to get his ball on the green. Michael was rather cheesed off to find himself only about 300mm further away. Close, but no cigar, and the ball was Porks’. The other BallPin was on the 18th, as usual, and Anthony blocked out any other contenders from the first group with a shot that was eminently beatable, but turned out to be unbeatable. First shot of the round on the 12th by Harry elicited predictions that nobody would get inside his 1.55m. Unfortunately, Gordo had other ideas and managed to put one to 1.37m to collect the ProPin. There were a few pricked ears when he announced, at the after, that he was 200cm closer, which would have been quite a feat. And while on the subject of money, the ‘acting’ Treasurer was handing out swatches of cash to those that bought themselves in the Calcutta. It will be interesting to know if Geoff really does take the missus to dinner. Let’s hope she doesn’t read this if he doesn’t!

Harry does have some bragging rights over Gordon, because he did sink the putt for birdie on the 12th. In so doing, he contributed to the tally of 9 that were carded for the day. It also helped him towards his day winning score of 63 net, which got him a hefty handicap cut but not a point to his name. The sacrifices that some people make! Perhaps it was the ‘practice’ (read devastation) down at Peninsula-Kingswood that stood him in good stead.

The day didn’t start off too well for Matt when he ‘crashed’ his buggy into the garden-edge at the back of the first and dislodged his bag from its mount. Later in the round, he reckons he was robbed of the Eagle’s Nest (was it really worth it?) when his chip shot ‘slam-dunked’ the hole and bounced out. It’s only about three weeks since he made a similar claim. Could he really be that accurate, or that unlucky? Brendon sprayed an uncharacteristic tee shot into the trees on the right of the 5th, and, despite a search, he decided to trudge back to the tee rather than take the 2 stroke penalty. He finished with a five. Playing the 7th, he was advised that his ‘ball’ was well through the green in the 6th fairway rough. Actually, it was his 5th tee shot, and he freely admitted that he could never have made a five from there.

Targe obviously was underestimating his ability after he ‘hit up’ on the group in front a couple of times. However, the big hitting did not extend to the 3rd tee, where the failure to reach the red markers necessitated some expenditure on refreshments. And, while on the topic of refreshments, CJ, out of the goodness of his heart, bought drinks, but neglected to include Mango Man Ken, who just happened to be staggering back from his car loaded with boxes of his namesake. The sorry tale of the day would have to be from ChrisJ, who, after two OOB from the tee, got caught up in the long rough and took several to get himself out of the weeds. When he finally got onto the green, he proceeded to take three putts to finish with a 14 on the 14th. Gordo also claims to have had trouble getting off the weeds back in the ’70s.

The Birthday Birdie has a pretty light load this week. The only name up for mention is somebody that we haven’t seen for a day or two. Have a great day, Stef, and don’t forget to come back soon.

Don’t forget, next week is the Champion of Champions and Chump of Chumps. The Champion of Champions field (listed on the web-site) will play a Stroke round (the rest Stableford), but everybody should score Stableford because that will determine the placings for the daily comp as well as the winner of the Chump of Chumps. After the round, there will be our Christmas lunch (with beverages) and the Presentation of trophies.

Results for Saturday, 10 Dec 2022
1st Geoff Lyall (68, 68, 136) 2nd Craig Cameron (72, 66, 138) 3rd Stan Blackshaw (74, 71, 145) 3rd Steven Gervasoni (66, 79, 145) 3rd Michael Gourlay (71, 74, 145) 4th Rajesh Mahto (74, 72, 146) 5th Matt Hunt (78, 70, 148) 5th Rodney White (73, 75, 148)

Seniors Results: 1st Geoff Lyall (68,68,136) 2nd Craig Cameron (72,66,138) 3rd Michael Gourlay (71,74,145) 3rd Stan Blackshaw (74,71,145) 3rd Steven Gervasoni (66,79,145)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Gordon Hill BallPin No 1 – 4th Ryan Porker BallPin No 2 – 18th Anthony Browne

Yes? No? Maybe on 03 December 2022

It's all about the prestige!
Yellow is mellow!

Notes by Porks, padding by Uno Hu.

There was a fair bit of uncertainty in the air as the opening of the new year of competition approached. Would the Vin O’Meara be played on the regular course? Would the third hole play at full length? Should any scores there count for the Eclectic? So many questions. However, despite that, there were sixteen members on hand to try their luck at getting their scoring off to a good start with some double points. Pepsi also managed to drag along an old schoolmate, Dan. Almost right on cue, the weather was almost summery warm, and the mercury managed to climb into the 30s. Most of the puddles on the course had dried up and the course was looking in fine form except for a few dead looking patches suffering from long term inundation. The greens were deemed to be hard and fast, and the early morning dew hung around for a while until the sun warmed the ground enough. Despite the generally drying trend, there were still preferred lies, and this could have helped the scoring along a little, although there were a couple that had two digits in the square. And, despite the decimation of the wattle trees along the 8th, there were a remarkable number of ‘fat ladies’ recorded for this hole. Maybe the trees used to have a ‘saving’ grace.

There were calls for a swab when it was announced that Steve was the leader after he had been complaining about not having played too well and having had a ten on one hole, particularly when the highest score recorded on his card was a nine. However, this is a two-week event, and there are any number of players snapping at his heels to put the pressure on. He does have a bit of form over a distance as the current wearer of the prized Mustard Jacket from the Annual Challenge. There were even more raised eyebrows when it was announced that his playing companion and card marker, Geoff was holding down second place just two strokes further back on 68. Geoff only managed to score an eight on one hole and was lining up to buy some drinks for a draughty on the 12th so the rest of the round was pretty fair.

Michael seems to be keeping out of the vote counting as the Greens try to make up their mind whether they have won or lost a seat. There were no reports on whether he was particularly happy or unhappy about any aspect of his game, but his net 71 leaves him in a reasonable position to challenge, and it gives him a very early lead in the Eclectic. SOS is similarly well-placed on 71, and he probably feels that he could be a lot better placed but for a couple of triples on the back nine. Pepsi must have been trying to beat his mate, Dan, because he tried to crib an extra stroke on his handicap, so, if there was any money riding on the result, he better not have spent it. Seventy-two net was what was required to tie up fourth place in conjunction with Craig, who would be happy to be back in the placings (leaderboard) after a couple of weeks on the outer recently. ChrisJ and Whitey rounded out the leaderboard placings on 73 after Rajesh also tried to crib an extra shot.

At long last, the minor placings in the 2022 Club Championship have been finalised after Porks and Whitey fought out the play-off in the Matchplay. Even though both were pretty average on the putting front, particularly early in the match, Porks had difficulty winning a hole. Just about the only way he seemed to be able to get a win was to score an eagle on the 6th and birdie on the 13th. It must be said that he could have taken about six shots more and still have won the latter. With still some hope of retrieving the situation, Porks was pleased to see Whitey faced with a long downhill putt for par on the 14th. Wouldn’t you know it, he sank the putt to beat the bogie and to take the match, 5 and 4. The comparative standard of play was deemed to have been much closer than the score-line indicated. As a result, Ryan collected only the four points for 4th place, which left Brendon just a whisker in front, in second place, and brought Ryan up to tie for third with CJ.

The first BallPin was set on the 4th, and the tee markers were well back on the tee box. This proved to be no real challenge for Old Reliable, who left his ball a mere metre away from the hole. The birdie putt proved to be elusive. On the 18th, the pin was on the top deck, and, unperturbed, Craig put his shot to within a metre again. Only to miss the birdie yet again. Two chances to increase our daily total of eight gone begging. The ProPin was on the 12th, and Stan the Man was right on the money with his shot to 4.05m. As Ryan scored yet another eagle today, the poor old eagle has been crying tears of blood as her Nest was raided for its single egg. In the process, he set a new club record by raiding the Eagle’s Nest six times in the one calendar year on no less than five different holes (and the year isn’t over yet!). The previous record of four nests in one year was set in 1999 by David Primrose.

Rajesh managed to sneak under the radar of the Birthday Birdie, and celebrated his birthday last week. Here’s hoping it was a good one, Raj.

Don’t forget, we have the Champion of Champions coming up, and this will be followed by the Christmas Lunch and presentations. If you haven’t let Gordon know by this, then, by golly gosh, you could go close to missing out. Everybody is welcome, whether you have been playing regularly or not. At least you will get something for your sub!

Results for Saturday, 03 Dec 2022
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Steven Gervasoni (66) 2nd Geoff Lyall (68) 3rd Michael Gourlay (71) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan (71) 4th Craig Cameron (72) 4th Andrew Petricola (72) 5th Chris James (73) 5th Rodney White (73)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Steven Gervasoni (66) 2nd Geoff Lyall (68) 3rd Michael Gourlay (71)

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

Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 6th Ryan Porker