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The Goulash Archipelago on 24 June 2023.

Love at first sight
The love goes on!

Well the weather wasn’t quite as warm as Fiji where Chrispy was recently reported to have been bouncing balls off coconut trees onto greens (what’s new!), but with no rain and not much wind until near the end of the round, conditions were not too bad despite a few slushy fairways. There was a bit of concern early in the week about numbers putting their hand up, but a combination of school holidays, temporary bachelorhood, and miscellaneous aches, pains and ailments all seem to have contributed to some hesitancy to put the name down. In the end, we managed to get ten members to the tee on time, and they were joined by a guest of James. Mitch acquitted himself reasonably well after he shook off the Nervous Nellies early in the round, so the handicapper will be keeping an eye on him, although CJ was keen to reintroduce ‘handicapping on potential’ in a throw-back to the dim distant past of the Club.

Michael began his round appreciating playing partner Stan’s positivity on the second. Having duffed his third short, just onto the front of the green with the pin at the back about 20 metres away, Stan suggested Michael put it in the hole. This Michael did with the ball hitting the pin and dropping at the kind of speed that otherwise would have seen it off the back of the green. Despite a flat patch in the middle of the round with a string of one-pointers, Michael managed to regroup and with the aid of another long hole out, this time a chip in on the 15th, he secured the win with 37 points.

Playing in the last group, Raj had a smile on his face post round following a good finish with a couple of three pointers late in the round. He kept everybody guessing with his score. Sixteen points on the front and 17 on the back, for 33 in all, proved to be good enough for second place. If it wasn’t for a couple of gashes, he might have given Michael more of a scare for first place. The 5 championship points for second sees Raj closer to challenging Geoff for the lead in the Club Championship race.

Despite starting his day with three one pointers and only 14 points on the front 9, Harry rallied on the back 9 for 18 points and a total of 32 and a share of third place. A feature of Harry’s card was no gashes, and he is making a claim for being the new Old Reliable. Harry’s second place in today’s Senior’s results also extends his lead in the hotly contested Senior’s Championship. Post round, Connor was lumped in with the fourth place getters, but a score check revealed he deserved an extra point and joined Harry in equal third with 32 points. Three gashes cruelled his chances of being higher up the leaderboard.

The gaggle of gentlemen on 31 points included SOS, Gordo and James. Having finished well before the last group, they were thinking 31 might be enough for equal second, but had to settle for equal fourth. Both SOS and Gordo got off to flyers with 20 and 19 points on the front nine respectively. SOS had 12 points on the board after 4 holes, including birdies on the 1st and 4th. These two birdies, plus two from Michael, were all the field could muster. The roar when SOS’s long putt went in on the 1st was reported to be louder than anything heard at last week’s US Open. It also sneaks him a bit closer to the Eclectic leader, President Rob, who is going to take some catching.

Fifth place points went to Stan with 29 points. After a disappointing front nine of 10 points, Stan got on a roll on the back nine with a treble of three pointers in a row and 19 points. Having recently turned 83, Stan’s form suggests that when summer comes around he will be a good chance to add to the list of players shooting their age or better. As for those who missed out, less said the better say CJ and Steve.

There was a Jackpot BallPin on the 4th hole, and pretty much everybody liked their chances of scoring the double. Unfortunately, Michael went out in the first group and put his name on it close enough to shut everybody else out. He repeated the performance for the Double Jackpot ProPin on the 7th with his shot to 1.845m, which is a pretty good effort by anybody’s measure. CJ and Connor had a bit of a contest to see who could qualify for the nearest in two, which Connor ended up winning easily. On the 18th, Michael tried hard to shut out the field for the BallPin on the 18th to make a clean sweep for Goulash for the day. Unfortunately, James had other ideas and pipped him at the post.

The most interesting shot of the day came from Mitch on the 10th, where he narrowly squeaked past the red markers, and finished on the serious down slope in front of the tee box. The estimated 45 degree slope made for a difficult shot, but Mitch was confident that he would get it away and well down the fairway. He took his shot, but nobody saw where it went. It certainly went down, but not the middle of the fairway. It went down about 30mm into the ground, pretty much where it lay. Connor was not quite so lucky with respect to the red markers on the 15th hole, and had to reach deep into his Scottish pockets. Harry’s score on the front nine could have been a little better, because his chip onto the 8th green virtually disappeared into the hole, only to pop right out and come to rest about 25mm from the edge. Despite being able to use the only coconut tree on the course in Fiji to advantage, the greenery was not so helpful to CJ today, and he owned up to losing two balls as a result. Steve proudly announced that he had driven onto the green from the 16th tee, which raised more than a few eye-brows. Turns out it was the 14th green, not the 16th green.

Don’t forget that we have the July Monthly Medal next week, and there will be a barbecue, and a round of drinks for everyone, as we remember the anniversary of our old mate Trevor teeing off on that big golf course up there. Registrations would be good so that we can get the catering right.

Results for Saturday, 24 Jun 2023
1st Michael Gourlay (37) 2nd Rajesh Mahto (33) 3rd Harry Boughen (32) 3rd Connor McIntosh (32) 4th James Hale (31) 4th Gordon Hill (31) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan (31) 5th Stan Blackshaw (29)

Seniors Results: 1st Michael Gourlay (37) 2nd Harry Boughen (32) 3rd Gordon Hill (31)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 7th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 1 – 4th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 2 – 18th James Hale

Everybody wins a prize on 17 June 2023

Not so bad after all.
Definitely less break on uphill putts!

There’s an old adage – if you’re not in it, you can’t win it, and you definitely won’t get any points. The field was on the low side today, with eight members and two guests making it to the tee as dawn broke over the green fields of Ivanhoe. Jack came along again today and put in his second card, so another round and some other formalities will see him able to enter the fray in the battle for the glory that is the IMSGC Championship. Connor also brought along his mate, Ty, who seemed to handle himself pretty well, though it is undecided whether he will pursue the membership crown. Sore shoulders, overseas trips, work, and other unspecified causes that could include weather forecasts or more attractions under the blankets might have contributed to the low turnout. However, the plus side of low numbers is that there is a higher probability of being able to collect a point or two, depending on how the scores roll in. The course was a bit muddy, so the preferred lies were welcome, and some of the high hitters reported instances of plugged balls in places. The wind was fairly gusty and swirled around a fair bit so that it was difficult to make the correct choice of club from time to time. This might go some way to explaining why we only managed to score two birdies for the day, one each to James and Connor.

Adam started out with some uncharacteristically erratic drives that made it hard for him to beat the course on the first couple of holes. However, by the third, the swing started to realign, and the bleeding was staunched. A couple of handy pars where it counted, restored the balance, and the corner was reached square with the card. Another par in the 11th brought the pointer into positive territory, and there was a hint of a smile peeking out from behind the beard. With no assistance from the handicap on the 14th and 15th, the situation took a turn for the worse, and negative territory was being stared in the face. On the 18th, the pin was located in a diabolical spot, right on the crest of the slope between the levels. With his name on the inside ProPin at 11.5m, Adam putted up, and across, the slope, only to see the ball curve around and pick up speed down the hill to finish about 13m from the pin. A good solid crack up the slope ran truly, and the ball plopped into the hole for the par, a plus, and a square card for the round, which turned out to be enough to take the day.

James had a round that was never too far away, but the minus scores kept turning up just a little more frequently than the pluses. A pair of nines, just one point on the wrong side of the ledger, was good enough to get him second place on his own with minus two, and another swag of points for his rapidly growing tally. Raj did not really set the world on fire today, as he struggled to get to his total of minus five for the round. He might have done rather better if he had not fallen victim to the hole location on the 18th. Reports vary, but it seems that he failed to make it from the bottom level to the top several times on his way to six strokes and a minus for the hole. Connor managed to play a very similar hand to Raj to finish on minus five as well, although he was not so unfortunate with his putting on the 18th.

Stan was doing pretty well for the day for the first six holes to be square with the card. Then, something of a rot set in, and he managed to score on the nether side on nine of the next ten holes. This extended lapse resulted in a final tally of -8, but that was enough to slot into the fourth podium level for the day. Blighty was very much down in the dumps on the front nine as the negative scores kept piling on, although he did manage to reach the turn only five behind the pace. The back nine looked like taking a similar turn until, at the 11th, Blighty was appraised of the fact that his theory of putting had been upside down all these years. He then spent the rest of the round trying to justify why his theory had to be the right one, and all the rest of the golf world has got it wrong. Still, he did do a bit better from then on and finished up on minus eight to be in a tie for fourth. Gordon isn’t quite ready to cut his own throat just yet, and he was hopeful of a reasonable result when he turned the corner on minus two. However, he might have caught something from Stan as he put together six consecutive losses on the back nine and also finished in fourth place. The talk in the clubhouse was what sort of scoring combinations were required for Harry to get a point, and, as the cards came in, it was evident that a three-way tie for fourth was required. And, that is exactly what transpired, so a big thank you to Stan, Blighty and Gordo for allowing everybody to score points for the day. Given that all three were Seniors, it also meant that Harry gathered the points for second place in that event after what was a pretty miserable day for the young fella.

The first BallPin was on the 4th, and there was a pretty strong and gusty headwind blowing at the time. So, it is perhaps not surprising that there will be a Jackpot to play for on that hole next week. Conditions were similarly difficult on the 7th for the Jackpot ProPin, and the extra dosh will accumulate to next week to make a Double Jackpot. Adam had his name on the card for the BallPin on the 18th, but Connor was able to get his shot onto the top shelf, and it was his name to counted to collect the ball. There was more than a little confusion associated with the NTP competition on the 18th, thanks largely to Prez Rob, who was on deck to pick up the Honour Board for storage while the Clubhouse renovation is under way. Connor brought in the box, but, being a newbie on the block, he didn’t realise that there was the associated ball marker. Rob ‘explained’ the situation and despatched Conner back to retrieve the marker, but he returned with the ProShop marker, at which point Rob got confused by the tee and ball the Connor happened to be holding and was insisting that it had to go into the box. Anyway, it was all sorted out eventually, and everything ended up in its rightful place.

Gordon is a dyed in the wool Cats supporter, and for many years has proudly sported an appropriate wood cover to show his love. But, time has taken its toll, and the old faithful was replaced by the original cover for the club. Unfortunately, it did not even last for nine holes before it made a bid for freedom. Fortunately, a following group of ladies picked it up and dropped it at the ProShop where it was recovered by Gordo after the round. Harry was a bit offline with his drive on the 9th, and it got caught up in the deciduous tree on the left, and it fell, he knew not where. Fortunately, eagle-eye Adam managed to spot it in the piles of fallen leaves under the tree, but the shot could only be played surrounded by a multitude of thin branches. Playing the 10th, Harry reached up to adjust his hat to shade his eyes from the sun, only to find that his hat was no longer there. Deductive reasoning suggested that perhaps it had been dislodged unawares in the tree on the 9th. A ‘quick sprint’ from the 17th green proved that the deduction had been correct, and Harry was reunited with his hat.

The Clubhouse renovation is planned to start on Monday. This means that most of the area will be out of use for some time. Part of the ProShop will be turned over to seating and tables (obviously limited), and there will be coffee available in take-away cups only. Food will be sandwiches, pies and pasties (maybe muffins) so make sure you have your breakfast unless you fancy that sort of thing. There will be a temporary toilet block (plumbed, not port-a-loo) adjacent to the clubhouse. Parking will also be affected at some stage. Also, the lovely Kate has decided that she will not be returning to the café when it reopens, and today was her last day on the job. Harry and Gordon took the opportunity to thank her on behalf of the Club for her assistance with catering over the years. She did say that she will be calling in as a customer from time to time, so we may get to see her on some occasions.

Results for Saturday, 17 Jun 2023
1st Adam King (□) 2nd James Hale (-2) 3rd Rajesh Mahto (-5) 3rd Connor McIntosh (-5) 4th Stan Blackshaw (-8) 4th Andrew Blight (-8) 4th Gordon Hill (-8) 5th Harry Boughen (-10)

Seniors Results: 1st Andrew Blight (-8) 1st Gordon Hill (-8) 1st Stan Blackshaw (-8) 2nd Harry Boughen (-10)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 7th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 4th Jackpot BallPin No 2 – 18th Connor McIntosh

Hale, King, Charlie on 10 June 2023.

A smile for the camera.
If somebody had beaten me today…..

It’s not a paean to the reigning monarch, nor is it a list of today’s winners. It’s just a partial list of the fourteen members and two guests who registered to play today. The weather promised to be fine, and it was. A bit chilly to start off with, but as the morning progressed, a few of the extra layers were removed as the temperature climbed. The preferred lie option was welcome, as there has been a fair drop of rain in the last little while, and some parts of the course were a bit soggy. However, the greens were good and there should have been no excuses for the fact that we only managed to score four birdies for the day. The solstice is coming up soon, so the first light will start to arrive earlier. Pepsi probably can’t wait for that to happen after his brand-new ball, from the first tee, disappeared into the half light, never to be seen (or hit, at least by him) again.

Raj was in the last group, so there was a lot of allocating of points going on among those prone to counting their chickens. When he presented his card, there were numerous moans of dismay as the prospect of a point faded away. Some of the second place-getters were consoled by the fact that they did not lose the winner’s penalty. Raj was concerned that somebody would have beaten him to first place yet again. But, his worries were unfounded, and his 37 points was the winning score, and by a fair sort of margin at that. This was helped to no small degree by the fact that there was only one score above five on the whole card, which represented his back nine fade-out.

Other than the second, with its diabolical tee location, Harry was doing it pretty easy on the front nine until the 8th, when a bit of a rot set in, and the dreaded ‘shorts’ and three putts set in. The scoring gained a bit of respectability following a birdie on the 14th, and he was able to front the table with 33 points for second place in the main event and top spot in the Seniors. James didn’t quite maintain his stellar form of the past few weeks, with an uncharacteristic number of no scores peppering his card. His grand total of 33 gave him a share of second place to keep his strike rate right up there with the best of them. Pepsi’s miss on the first wasn’t helped by a couple of other no score holes in his round, which could have changed the complexion of the results page more than somewhat. But, at least, he did protect his handicap, and got the five points with his share of second place.

Michael is still in love with his ‘old’ driver, but he is apparently having thoughts of divorcing his putter. A series of missed chances early in the front nine, as well as on the last, knocked a bit of a hole in his scoring chances, and he had to settle for his 32 points. This gave him third spot on the podium, with nobody to accompany him.

Adam left it short
The loneliness of the short distance golfer…..

Adam was spotted chinking cans with ChrisJ after the round, and the reason became clear by examining this picture that was surreptitiously snapped from the 17th tee. Adam produced what is commonly known as a draughtie, but he was able to recover admirably to still score two points for the hole, so the only real damage was to the ego and the hip pocket. His total of 31 points was the score needed to get a share of fourth place. And, was Brendon protecting his handicap? A man with a nine handicap who blows two-thirds of that over the last three holes could easily be looked at with suspicion. However, giving him the benefit of the doubt, his 31 points was also enough to share 4th place.

Matt could almost be accused of child cruelty after he rattled off a list of ‘news-worthy’ items about Josh, including, but not limited to, two consecutive airies, after a 200m drive, and hitting ‘more shanks than SOS’. To add insult to injury, he even added up Josh’s score incorrectly, so that he didn’t get a mention in the call of the card. As an aside, Josh didn’t realise that Matt was such a sweary bear. ChrisJ has made the news in recent times for some difficulties with certain aspects of his game. Today he was pleased to report only one shank and no scones on his way to his 30 points to share the last spot with Josh.

The ProPin today was set on the 7th, and, like most of the tee markers today, they were set well back. So, perhaps it is not surprising that the money went begging, and there will be a jackpot to next week. There is some chance that it could take a while to go off, so that is a great incentive to register and come along for a chance to re-fatten the wallet with a heap of the folding stuff. The first BallPin was on the 12th, and Michael shut out everybody with his shot from the first group. On the 18th, the pin was on the top deck, and Hopeful Harry could only make it to the base of the rise. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, the marker went in, and the name went on the card, and there it stayed to score the young fella a ball.

Rob ended up in virtually the same spot near the protective fence at the back of the 7th green from two separate tees. The first time was from the 5th tee, while the second was from the 8th tee. And, being well short of the red markers, that counted as a draughtie as well. Stan also had to own up to one of those on the 15th when his tee shot went terribly wrong. He also had a bit of trouble off the tee on the 9th, where two balls headed for the river, and he blames Harry because that happened the last time they played together. A ball was spotted on the cycle path, but Stan did not feel inclined to slither under the fence to check whether it was his or Rob’s. And, how was Rob’s likely to be there, his ball hit one of the trees on the left, and a ‘landing’ was heard well to the right.

One of the guests today was Charlie, but he had to dash off because he was heading out on a ‘dirty’ weekend, at least, that is what his mates said. As a result, he finished after the 13th, so we will have to wait a little longer for him to get his third card into the system. Jack was James’ other guest, and he was having a bit of a brag about the fact that he had only 29 putts for the round. Always a dangerous thing to do when the handicapper is around, and you are putting in your first card. Gordo saw his drive on the 17th just roll into the long grass at the far left corner of the fairway. It couldn’t be found, so he took the two stroke penalty and still scored a point by putting it on and sinking the putt. Brendon is setting up a home network to control the time that the kids can spend on the computer and the sort of sites that they can visit. And, of course, he had to check out that it was working, all in the name of research, of course. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! And, in a discussion about airport security, Gordon owned up to being caught with a Vegemite jar filled with Vaseline. Nobody was game to ask!

Results for Saturday, 10 Jun 2023
1st Rajesh Mahto (37) 2nd Harry Boughen (33) 2nd James Hale (33) 2nd Andrew Petricola (33) 3rd Michael Gourlay (32) 4th Adam King (31) 4th Brendon Mitchell (31) 5th Josh Hunt (30) 5th Chris James (30)

Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (33) 2nd Michael Gourlay (32) 3rd Gordon Hill (23)

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

Like making love to an old girlfriend on 03 June 2023.

Love at first sight
Our secret love’s no secret any more!

How many were not going to show up? That was the question! Yes, the BOM had forecast rain, but when it was ‘bucketing’ down, there was a thought about, that the feathers might prove just a little too attractive. Either that, or what else was under the feathers. But, hardy types that we are, absolutely everybody that was registered turned up, and we had a full complement of thirteen members, and Connor, who submitted his third card elevating him to the exalted status of fully-fledged. He can now drop the pretence, and start to play to his potential, though it must be said that he did manage a draughtie on the 17th, and he did attempt to submit a better card by underestimating the number of strokes taken on a couple of occasions. Can happen from time to time, but seems to get more frequent as the years go by.

Some years ago, Michael was dealing with Joe Wagenecht to sell some of his old clubs, which Joe did in his usual style. But, he couldn’t stand to see Michael playing with his prehistoric driver, so he paid Michael in kind with a brand-new driver. Which Michael has been using, but with decreasing satisfaction in recent times. So, today, he brought out from retirement his old TaylorMade R510 driver, and the rest, they say, is history. Michael is rightly in love with the old girl (take that whichever way you like). His game today was exemplary, with drives down the centre and pitches hitting the green with accuracy. So much so that he scored three of the seven birdies that the whole field managed for the day, and completed the round just one stroke over par to come home with a net score of 64 to take out the June Monthly Medal by a handsome margin.

James set out as if to show that his form of the last few weeks was no flash in the pan. His front nine was just two over the card, which tends to cast serious doubt on the handicap that he holds. This was helped, in no small measure, by the shot of the day on the 6th. The drive was good, but the second strayed a bit and finished on the 7th tee. Faced with some intervening trees, and a ‘helpful’ audience, James played his shot which carried to the green, bounced a couple of times and rolled into the hole. A great cheer erupted from the peanut gallery. So, for the third time in as many weeks, the poor old Eagle has had her nest raided, and James was able to claim a single ball for his trouble. The back nine seems to have posed more of a problem, however, and he was only able to lay claim to a net 69. Adam also looked as if he was going to do some serious handicap busting until he sank a long curling putt on the 13th to save himself from carding a double figure score for the hole. Brendon, on the other hand, didn’t do anything particularly wrong, nor did he do anything particularly right as he made his way to his tally of 69 strokes net as well. Sixty-nine proved to be a popular result today, as Rob was also able to report that result for his share of second place. He was heard bewailing the effects of a couple of bad holes in the closing stages of the front nine as he trudged his way up the tenth fairway.

Geoff was pretty happy with his net of 70, particularly after a lost ball from the 1st tee resulted in a fat lady for the hole. That is, until Michael came in with a stroke score less than his net. Still, a spot in third place is not to be sneezed at. Raj did pretty well on thirteen of the holes by not scoring less than two stableford points equivalent. He had one four-pointer, and probably should have had two after he hit his approach shot on the 11th to about 300mm for two. He ambled up to tap it in, and missed, so a simple par was all he could claim. His 73 net scored him fourth place. Blighty rounded out the point-getters today by achieving something that he reckons he hasn’t done for a while, and that was to finish a round with the same (new) ball that he started with. There was some suggestion that it was probably one of the ones that he won by cleaning out the Eagle’s Nest many moons ago.

The ProPin today was set on the 4th, which sounded like a challenge with the wet conditions and the tees likely to be well back. No problem for Geoff, in the first group, who put his drive to 4.55m to shut the rest of the field out of the event. The first BallPin was on the 15th, and Hopeful Hazza put his shot to pin high, but a fair way from the pin. The very next group saw Goulash steal it away with a shot that was obviously much closer in. The 18th went close to eluding the grasp of the entire field, but Rob, in the last group, saved the day by getting one on and putting his name on the card.

Porks had an expensive round today. He was taking a practice swing with his driver while waiting his turn on the tee. Unfortunately, he was just a bit close to SOS who was also in the midst of the same exercise, and they crossed swords, so to speak. Ryan’s driver came off second best and developed a crack in the head, which will undoubtedly involve some considerable expense one way or another. Michael might be able to help him out with a ‘cheap’ reject. It seems that taking practice swings can be hazardous. James took one for his approach to the 18th green, and, in the process, made contact with the ball, sending it off at a 45 degree angle. Accident, or design? Harry pitched into the 8th green, executing what he described as the ‘perfect’ golf shot, the ball being bisected by the pin for its entire trajectory, taking a bounce and finishing just past the hole. It wasn’t considered a ‘tap-in’ but he ‘did a Raj’ and missed it just the same.

Results for Saturday, 03 Jun 2023
1st Michael Gourlay (64) 2nd James Hale (69) 2nd Adam King (69) 2nd Brendon Mitchell (69) 2nd Robert Priems (69) 3rd Geoff Lyall (70) 4th Rajesh Mahto (73) 5th Andrew Blight (74)

Seniors Results: 1st Michael Gourlay (64) 2nd Geoff Lyall (70) 3rd Andrew Blight (74)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Geoff Lyall BallPin No 1 – 15th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 2 – 18th Robert Priems

Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 6th James Hale