Whichever way you look at it, the headline result won’t change! The other thing that won’t change is the fact that it was a lovely day out at Ye Olde Ivanhoe. It wasn’t too, too chilly to start with, and it did warm up as the morning progressed, and the layers were peeled off, if there were layers to be peeled off. No accounting for the hardy/foolish types that choose to front up half dressed. The course continues to look well with the fairways nice and green, but not too muddy, and the greens were pretty smooth with a bit of sand in evidence and a bit of speed about them to boot. At least, that was some members’ excuse! And, speaking of members, there were a mere eleven who turned out to try to take advantage of the extra points that would be available from playing GrandPar. As it turned out, this was to little avail, as the only doublers were scored by Harry and Steve, who both managed a birdie on the seventeenth. It is possible that Steve owes his to Ryan, who made an observation (not a coaching tip!) about his swing on the 16th that was given some credit for this little feat. The benefit might have been a bit short-lived, because Steve followed it up with a five on the 18th. As an aside, exactly the same fate befell Harry, who was not a beneficiary of assisting commentary.
One thing that will be changing, however, will be Adam’s handicap. He started out with a par on the first, and barely put a foot wrong for the rest of the front nine, and reached the turn with a score of +3 on the card. And this was despite having gone close to missing the ball entirely with his driver, resulting in the ball travelling barely 40 or so metres on a line well removed from the centre-line of the fairway. It did make it past the red markers, so no embarrassment there. The back nine, did not run quite so well, although there were a couple fewer strokes available to be used. However, the 38 strokes off the stick, together with the 40 taken on the front nine, resulted in a round of 78 strokes, which is a personal best for Adam by a margin of two strokes. The points tally of +4 was enough to take the points for the day by a very handy margin.
In second place was – daylight! Actually, it was a trio of ‘youngsters’, of varying degrees of young. First cab on the rank was T – I mean, Raj, who played the first five holes without putting a foot wrong, so to speak. Which prompted CJ to ask him how he was going in the Championship, to which Raj modestly replied that he was actually leading the table. This promptly lead to the wheels falling off, and he managed to gash the next four holes. Things settled down a bit after the turn, and the result for the back nine might have been a bit better than square if it were not for a shawshank redemption on the 17th. Brendon had some important business to deal with on his phone at the 17th tee, and ended up quite oblivious to the shenanigans that his playing companions were getting up to. He was probably making an appointment with the ProShop to discuss the problems that he is having with his driver. And that is probably the reason that he could only manage minus one to take a share of second place with Raj. Which brings us to Ryan. While Brendon was fiddling with his phone, Ryan managed to hoick one well to the left and far away to finish somewhere near Kew. He teed up again, and, this time, sent it well to the right of the green, and nearly took out the group gathered on the 18th tee in the process. Needless to say, the resulting minus was all that was needed to tie him up with the other two reprobates in second place.
Harry had one of those days when, pretty much every time he managed to score a plus, he immediately counteracted it with a minus. He has also often wondered what would be the purpose of having a drain hole in the middle of the 10th green. Today, he found out when a chip that could easily have finished across the green landed right on target to take the pace off the ball to let it finish less than half a metre from the hole rather than a possible five metres. CJ reckoned he should have been on the second podium level due to a putt that just would not drop. The ball came to a stop and turned towards the hole as it encountered a pitch mark right on the edge of the hole. Instead of falling in, the ball remained in the pitch mark, and no amount of heavy footedness as he approached the hole could persuade it from its resting place. SOS was not overly pleased with his game after the front nine that found him behind the eight-ball, so to speak, with four scores on the wrong side of the ledger. The back nine produced a fairly significant turn-around, in fact, one of the largest for the day so that, he too, finished with a bottom line of minus 2 to share third place with Harry and CJ.
The Beast went very close to scoring a birdie on the 1st. However, his drive on the second was something less that spectacular to say the least, which lead him to say that maybe he should have quit after the first. He then proceeded to smash two great shots to miss getting a birdie by the narrowest of margins, leaving a simple tap-in for the par. After five holes, Bill reckoned that it was his best start to a round for a long time. By the end of the round, he reckoned that it was his worst round in a long time. Still, his minus five was enough to score him a couple of points for fourth place. Steve also made one of the turns-around of the day, going from minus six on the front to square on the back. Whereas Gordo did the exact opposite, going from square on the front to minus six on the back. He was comforted somewhat by the fact that, due to the multiple placings ahead of him, he still did get a point for sharing fifth place with Steve.
In the Nearest the Pin competition, the first BallPin was on the 4th hole, and Gordo was quite pleased to be able to get his name put on the card. Unfortunately, Brendon came along and rained on the parade with a closer shot and collected the ball on offer. The ProPin was set on the 12th, and, for a while, it looked as if there could be a Jackpot in the offing. It was not to be, as Porks was able to put his shot to 3.69m to collect the dosh on offer. He also rattled in the putt for the birdie, one of six that the assembled crew managed for the day. And, that was not all. Porks also got his name on the card for the second BallPin on the 18th.
Gordon had a bit of a difficult shot to make on the 13th, with his ball nicely sitting up in the penalty area, but with a pretty soggy stance under-foot. There was a bit of uncertainty about where the ball finished, but it was safely out in the fairway with a not impossible shot to the green available. In line with his run of horrors on the back, the next one finished in the penalty area on the left, leaving little option for scoring. It seems possible that there is some sort of ‘Great Attractor’ located over near Kew, as both Beast and Gordo fell victim to its charms from the 17th tee. CJ got a bit of a flea in his ear today that caused him to keep confusing his Rs with his Ts. As a result, Raj kept coming out as Taj. And, in a way, Raj and Targe are something of birds of a feather. Both take remarkably large back-swings when playing close in shots to the green. Targe also seemed rather excited by the fact that the unions were planning to ‘ban Dan’ if he tried to cancel the duck season. Which could explain why he was looking so fondly at the black ducks that were making themselves at home on the fairways.
Results for Saturday, 26 Aug 2023
1st Adam King (+4) 2nd Rajesh Mahto (-1) 2nd Brendon Mitchell (-1) 2nd Ryan Porker (-1) 3rd Harry Boughen (-2) 3rd Chris Priems (-2) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan (-2) 4th Bill Eastoe (-5) 5th Steven Gervasoni (-6) 5th Gordon Hill (-6)
Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (-2) 1st Harry Boughen (-2) 2nd Bill Eastoe (-5) 3rd Gordon Hill (-6) 3rd Steven Gervasoni (-6)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 – 4th Brendon Mitchell BallPin No 2 – 18th Ryan Porker
There was a hint of a shower as the dawn broke over the ‘burbs, and thirteen members and two guests made their way to the course. The rain of the previous day had softened the ground a little, and we continued to enjoy the luxury of a preferred lie. Unfortunately, for some, that little luxury does not extend to bunkers and penalty areas. Charlie finally put in his third card, so he is now a fully fledged member with a handicap that he can work on getting down to where it should be (tongue in cheek, of course). Welcome to the club, Charlie. James also invited along his friend Paddy, who seems to have enjoyed the outing, although it remains to be seen if he decides to join us on a more regular basis. Although the condition of the course was relatively benign, the scores that were turned in did not really set the world on fire, but it seems that climate change is doing a fine job of achieving that unwelcome target.
For some reason, Blighty had a disturbed night, and, as he lay awake at about 0400, he really did contemplate not getting up with the sparrows and having a good lie in. But, he did manage to drag himself out of the feathers and presented to the first after going through his usual round of knee bends and butt thrusts to get the joints moving. They seem to have helped and things started off not too badly. The points kept flowing except for a bit of a hiccup on the 6th, and he made the turn with seventeen points on the card. By this time the joints had really loosened up, and so did the flow of points, spoiled only by a couple of holes that did not quite come up to scratch. In the end, he made nineteen for the nine, coming in right on handicap with thirty-six points. This result scored top points in both Championships.
Harry was feeling quietly confident after carding seven pars on the front nine holes during the week, and was looking forward to repeating the performance today. Unfortunately, the best he could do was to produce six bogies and one par for a tally of 16 points. The back nine started with a couple of doubles, but then things started to pick up, with the shot of the day being with a rescue from about 106m out on the 14th that rimmed the hole and finished about 500mm away. You could almost hear the Eagle whimpering with relief in its nest. The four points helped Harry to nineteen points for the nine, and thirty-five was enough to secure second place in both Championship lists.
Brendon started off with a bogie, which was probably a bit of a disappointment. However, he soon put that little set-back behind him, and proceeded to collect the points like they were going out of style. So much so that he finished the nine with twenty-one on the card. Unfortunately, a long white cloud seemed to have settled over him and the back nine did not follow the same script. A fairly average thirteen points was all that he could muster, but the total of thirty-four was more than enough to slot into third place for the day. Raj had one of those days when some shots were just about all that you could wish for, while others would make you wonder what on earth happened there. Like the clear shot to the green on the 8th, that ‘shanked’ drastically into the forest around the billabong. So, despite a couple of three pointers, Raj could only manage fifteen points for the first half. The three pointers also proved elusive on the back nine, and, although he managed to avoid the dreaded gashes, he could still only scare up another fifteen points to bring his total to thirty, and to score fourth place for the day.
In the end, we ended up with a fair swag of players in fifth place with a tally of 29 points for the round. Matt and Porks had their head down, playing their semi-final match (but more on that later). Adam was back after an extended break, taking in the sights of Scotland and parts of Europe. As a result, the swing was perhaps a bit rusty, leading to more than a few shots that finished a bit wide of the mark. Adam was putting for a point from about a metre on the first, and the ball came to a stop on the very edge of the hole with about half of the ball over the edge. Adam waited the full ten seconds before the ball was finally overcome by the gravity of the situation and fell in. Jonathan was demoted a spot due to a calculation error, while Ken came up a couple of spots, also due to a calculation error.
The first BallPin was set on the 7th, and it could not have been a longer shot, with the tee well to the back of the box, and the pin well to the back of the green. Brendon’s gadget put the distance at 180m. It seems that none of our members could get it up there, so it was left the James’ guest Paddy to crack his hybrid, right in line with the pin to within three or four metres to collect the ball on offer. The ProPin was on the 15th again, and the man to get inside was Prez, who was able to get his tee shot to within 2.08m of the hole. Harry tried valiantly to catch him, but his ball refused to leave its plug mark where it landed about 300mm short of the green. The second BallPin on the 18th went to Ken who scuttled his shot up the hill to finish about 1m short of the hole. You don’t have to post video on Instagram, though, do you, Ken? Ken finished off by making the birdie, which was one of only three that we scored for the day. Now, Ken made a big claim that this was the first birdie that he had ever scored. However, a check of the records suggests that his memory must be failing him, as there are at least two others present in the records.
The big match today was fought out between Matt and Porks, and, with the same handicap, it was an ‘off the stick’ affair. They were obviously very well matched, as they both ended with identical scores on both nines and overall. Ryan did get an early jump out of the blocks to take a two hole lead, and Matt started to think that he could be in for a struggle. A bit of sledging and subtle mind games allowed him to nibble away at the deficit, and after the 8th the match was all square. Then followed seven holes with no result either way. Things started to happen on the 16th, when Matt managed to find the OOB area and handed the hole to Ryan. Ever the gentleman, Ryan returned the favour on the 17th and put his ball OOB, and the match went to 18 all square. Equal scores there resulted in a chip-off to decide the winner. The first chip was to the far hole, and it looked as if Matt thought he was going for the near one when his ball finished well short of the mark. Ryan finished much better placed. Matt took two putts to finish, while Ryan sank his to take the match and to secure his place in the final.
Bob has apparently raided the stash of cash under his mattress and has bought himself a brand-new electric buggy. It took him a few holes to get the hang of keeping it under control, but it was a bit of a surprise to see him pushing it for the last few holes. No problem with the buggy battery this time, just with the controller battery. Back to the shop first thing on Monday for Bob! Jonathan appeared on the 8th tee waving his arms about, which somewhat perplexed Harry and Adam on the 7th, who didn’t gather his meaning. Next minute, a ball whizzed over Harry’s head and landed not too far from Adam, whereupon the meaning of the hand waving became clear, that it was a warning that he was taking a shot in their direction. Gordon lined up on the 17th tee and declared that this hole was well suited to his driver, with its tendency to bend to the right. The ball headed left and ricocheted off of the mesh covering the shared path, as it obviously preferred to be playing near Kew rather than Ivanhoe. In response, Gordo was heard to mutter something about ‘Far Kew’. Rob had heaps of troubles with his putter today. He was able to miss them from any distance that you liked to nominate. On the 17th he had managed to get to within 300mm of the hole in four and stepped up to finish it off while he was ‘hot’. Three putts later, the ball was in the hole.
Results for Saturday, 19 Aug 2023
1st Andrew Blight (36) 2nd Harry Boughen (35) 3rd Brendon Mitchell (34) 4th Rajesh Mahto (30) 5th Matt Hunt (29) 5th Adam King (29) 5th Jonathan Lau (29) 5th Ryan Porker (29) 5th Ken Watson (29)
Seniors Results: 1st Andrew Blight (36) 2nd Harry Boughen (35) 3rd Ken Watson (29)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Robert Priems BallPin No 1 – 7th Paddy O’Sullivan BallPin No 2 – 18th Ken Watson
You have to look on the Brightside! Yes, it seems that Mr Brightside is making a come-back after a spell, so there was a fair bit of chatter about racing and betting with a sprinkling of ‘if onlys’ after the Magpies’ come-back in the match last night. The number fronting to the tee also made a bit of a come-back with ten lining up to take their chances with the vagaries of the game. The firmness of the ground continues to improve, and it is only the bit in front of the 10th and the middle section of the 14th that are still a bit squishy. There were a few drops of moisture that formed large enough to reach the ground, but only one or two umbrellas were brought out of their holders by those taking a more pessimistic view of the prospects. All in all, it was a very nice day for golf and the preferred lie was barely necessary, unless, of course, you needed to try to clear a tree, or something.
The come-back trail did continue, though. James has been missing in action for a few weeks as a result of jet-setting to foreign climes as part of his career pursuit. It does seem that there will be a certain degree of permanence in foreign climes shortly when he relocates to KL for a stint. He has promised not to forget us, and will play when he is back in Oz. Ryan also has not made it to the ‘Hoe for a while, what with the dreaded ‘C’ and other viral infections mixed in with some holidays as well. The break doesn’t seem to have impacted the form of either too much. Ryan raided the Eagle’s Nest (such as it was) yet again, when he pitched in from over 50m out on the 3rd. Unfortunately, no extra points for that effort, and only one ball in the nest. On the 4th, lining up the new boundary markers placed his ball OOB, despite it being in an area that has been subject to mowing. There was much less doubt about James’ venture outside the course boundaries when he tried a ‘hungry’ shot across the corner of the billabong on the 8th. So, what might have been for both of our young heroes?
SOS started out the day by volunteering, as tee time approached, to move forward a group if somebody didn’t show. Somebody did show, though Targe could have been easily overlooked, and the third group looked like being a four as planned. Numerous bemused looks were apparent when SOS lined up and teed off in the second group. Rather than disappoint his new-found playing companions, he decided to press on. Talk about a brain fade! At least it wasn’t a brain shank! Anyway, SOS was the clubhouse leader for a while, though he hadn’t quite marked it into his book just yet, until his +1 score was surpassed by the dynamic duo with their +2.
Whitey started out in fine style with a chip in for a birdie on the first. The second didn’t appear to be going quite so well when he got onto the green in three, but with a 10m putt facing him. So, what does he do, but sink the putt for the par, something that he hasn’t achieved on the hole for quite some time. He scored himself another birdie on the 6th. The second shot finished about 100m from the green, so, as you do, Whitey took out his putter and calmly whacked the ball to about 1m from the pin, and an easy tap-in for the bird. Overall, the square card was enough to take out third place for the day.
Harry was pretty impressed with his warm-up on the practice green before tee time and had high hopes that it would continue. It did, sort of, but produced a series of squares over the first three holes. He also fell foul of the new markers on the 4th, but recovered the situation with a couple of pars. The middle of the round was not great, so H was hoping for a triple of pars on the last three holes to add some respectability. He did manage one of the three, but a chip in for birdie on the 18th was one for the eclectic, one of eight that we managed for the day, and finished the card just the one point outside handicap for 4th place. Raj was going gang-busters for the first six holes thanks to putting like a champion. Unfortunately, the putting radar developed something of a glitch and the minus signs started adding up (even though that makes no mathematical sense). Despite getting his name on the card for the BallPin on the 18th, it took him another four strokes to complete the round.
The first BallPin was the Jackpot 4th, and it looked like going begging again after Porks and Harry ventured too far right of the green. So, it was left to James to un-Jackpot it with the last shot of the field. On the 18th, Raj was a bit unlucky to miss out on the ball, as the tape measure had to come out to separate his marker from James’ ball, and the story was that there were only a few centimetres in it. It was a different story on the 12th for the ProPin, it being pretty much a no contest, with Raj putting his shot to 2.52m to collect ten big ones.
Steve was wishing that he had bigger hands. And not because of something that is supposed to be related to your hand size, though he did mutter something about getting married as he tried to find out the exact dates of the Annual Challenge after the round. Surely he can’t be thinking of not defending the Mustard Jacket? Ryan probably thought the rust was beginning to show when he topped one off the 10th tee and finished barely past the bottom of the hill. Things looked even rustier on the 13th where the ball had to struggle to even get past the red markers. It finished not quite as close to the base of a tree as Steve’s did, but Ryan also had the advantage of being a leftie, and was able to manufacture a reasonable shot down the fairway. James was complaining about a decided lack of sleep last night. It seems that they were ‘baby-sitting’ a friend’s dog, and severely interrupted sleep was the general outcome. Looks like dogs, definitely, and maybe even babies are off the agenda, at least for a while. Brendon was being very circumspect about his birthday today, and despite much wheedling from SOS, none of the much folded folding stuff was liberated from the close confinement of the ‘wallet’ to buy a mate a beer. Somebody wanted to know whether he was the same age in New Zealand years!
And, while on the topic of birthdays, there is a veritable plethora coming up in the rest of the week. We have ChrisV, JQ, Zimmer and John. The Birthday Birdie hopes you all have a great day when it comes around, and maybe the golf gods will smile upon you when next we see you at the ‘Hoe.
Results for Saturday, 12 Aug 2023
1st James Hale (+2) 1st Ryan Porker (+2) 2nd Stephen O’Sullivan (+1) 3rd Rodney White (□) 4th Harry Boughen (-1) 5th Rajesh Mahto (-2)
Seniors Results: 1st Rodney White (□) 2nd Harry Boughen (-1) 3rd Gordon Hill (-3)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Rajesh Mahto BallPin No 1 – 4th James Hale BallPin No 2 – 18th James Hale
Eagle’s Nest – 3rd Ryan Porker
The golfcourse looks the same As I line up for a game And there to greet me is my driver and putter Down the first I look and pull out the cherry Taylormade and not too hairy It's good to touch the green green grass of 'Hoe.
Yes, the grass at the ‘Hoe is definitely green, green. What with the warmish weather, some rain and a modicum of irrigation, the course is as green as grass. And, yes, it is a little furry in places, but the muck has settled, and there was even a little hint of some run to be had, particularly if you kept the launch angle down a bit. It was a bit windy yesterday, and there was still a fair bit of litter around the course. This was particularly irritating on some of the greens, where twigs and gum-nuts abounded. Ground-staff and leaf-blowers were obviously in short supply. Despite the very nice conditions, we could only scare up eight members to contest the August Monthly Medal, which prompted some to speculate that this could mean easy mblmblmbls.
Harry was less than chuffed when his draughtie from the second tee helped him on the way to a quadruple bogie, which might be considered a death-knell for chances in a stroke competition. The rest of the front nine wasn’t spectacular, although a couple of pars did add a modicum of respectability. A birdie on the 11th from a pretty long putt dropping raised the spirits a little, but they were dashed again on the 14th when the drive disappeared into the penalty area, never to be seen again (at least not by Harry). The penalty ball was a pink Precept Lady SIII that happened to be in the collection of ‘finds’ in the bag. May as well finish the round with it, thinks H. Cracks his drive straight at the pin on the 15th, and SOS reckons it must have gone in. Harry, on the other hand, thinks it might have gone past and possibly off the green. SOS was on the green, and he was keen to see whether he was in with a chance for the Jackpot ProPin, so he paced out the distance to the hole, only to be able to claim ‘I told you so’ when he spotted the ball neatly nestled in the bottom of the cup. For the record, this is the second time (of two) that SOS has ‘called’ Harry’s holes-in-one.
Rob has been having a bit of a run of form in recent times, and today was no exception, although a couple of triples did rain on the parade a little. His back nine was going gangbusters until he started to think about his handicap (warning – assumption) which culminated in him missing a ‘tiddler’ on the 18th to bring his net score to 68, right on handicap. Despite this, Rob was quietly confident that his score would be the one to beat. He was practising his acceptance speech and had worked out his brag technique for his triumphal arrival home. Needless to say, he was rather deflated to find that the bragging right had been evaporated by one stroke.
Anthony was bewailing the fact that he doesn’t seem to be able to get down to single figures despite being able to smash the ball a country mile, and turning in his fair share of par scores. A few chipping mistakes and a remarkable number of putts just lipping out or teetering on the brink of the hole prevented him being much better placed on the day, and maybe even moving into the heady realm of single figure handicaps. Maybe next time. Brendon also didn’t go much on the positioning of the tee on the second, but he did manage to make a birdie on the 5th. This was one of just four that the limited field was able to card for the day. The par threes proved to be a bit of a bete-noir for Brendon, but he was only able to put together a 74 to claim 4th place, for which he will happily take the points. Raj was just one stroke further back to round out the points with his fifth place. And as for the rest, not a mblmblmbl to be had.
Needless to say, Harry collected the Jackpot ProPin and the Eagle’s Nest for his shot on the 15th hole. The first BallPin was set on the 4th, and nobody was able to make it onto the green, so there will be a Jackpot for that next week. The BallPin on the 18th went to none other than Harry, who seems to have had a bit of a field day today.
Perhaps it was just the Golf God’s way of wishing him a Happy Birthday, just a couple of days early. The Birthday Birdie has a couple of other calls this week, with Ken and Brendon lining up to blow out the candles and to cut the cake. Belated besties also to Ben and Jonathan who both passed new milestones in the recent past.
Matt, that well known mumbler, was reported to have been possessed by aliens for the first eight or nine holes until the incantations worked and cast them out to allow him to post a ten stroke turn-around for the back nine. Still no cigar, though. SOS also seemed to be suffering demonic possession early in the round, having played three provisionals in the first four holes. Fortunately, only one required the provisional to be played. Raj was spotted with his umbrella unfurled at one stage. As there was no sign of rain, it can only be assumed that he didn’t want to get a tan.
Results for Saturday, 05 Aug 2023
1st Harry Boughen (67) 2nd Robert Priems (68) 3rd Anthony Browne (72) 4th Brendon Mitchell (74) 5th Rajesh Mahto (75)
Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (67) 2nd Gordon Hill (80)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Harry Boughen BallPin No 1 – 4th Jackpot BallPin No 2 – 18th Harry Boughen
Hole in One Results: Hole in One – 15th *** Harry Boughen ***