There’s something in the air at this time of year. Yes, there is pollen that can make eyes scratchy and noses runny. There is a little more bite in the sun, that can make skin patchy and noses reddy. And, then, there are footy finals that make shirts matchy and faces grinny. Or not, as the case may be. Clear skies overnight meant that the temperature was a bit on the cool side to start with, but the shorts-wearers (not meaning Targe and JQ cursing) were proven correct in their assertion that their wardrobe choice would be vindicated before the morning was out. The course is doing its best to dry out, but the generous application of the watering system is doing its bit to maintain the bogginess of a few patches, around the greens in particular. The course was in apple-pie order, with the fairways well mowed, but with a bit of length in the verges to add a degree of difficulty to the straying shot. So, all in all, the stage should have been set for some top scores to be returned for the delectation of the handicapper. Maybe it was the lack of preferred lie that detracted a bit from the scoring potential of the eighteen members who turned out for the day.
By the start of the back nine, the course was atwitter (or should that be aXer) with the news that the ‘country-miler’, Raj, already had 23 points racked up on his card. Then, it was suggested that there was a distinct whiff of hot brake-linings as the rate of scoring slowed dramatically. Over the next six holes, barely a quarter of that number of points were scored, not helped by the fact that he took three strokes to get past the red markers on the 15th and a round of drinks for the group was in order. The mojo then returned to score as many points over the last three, to finish with his winning tally of 37 points, just one under his (too generous, according to some) handicap. CJ was feeling a bit on the hoarse and tired side after his night at the ‘G, and he wasn’t oozing confidence before stepping up to the first tee. However, the ‘over-indulgence’ seems to have done him some good, and he started off gang-busters, until a gash at the 4th knocked a bit of a hole in the score-line. Still, 20 points were nothing to be sneezed at. The back nine was only a little worse for wear, and the 17 points there brought him into line with Raj to take out the top spot. CJ did declare that there should be a new rule that the first winner card to be submitted should the only one subject to the winner’s penalty. We would probably have to have a referendum about that!
CJ was giving Bob some advice on where to get information about operation of an electric buggy. This might go some way to explaining why CJ managed to go close to taking out Ken on at least three occasions. Student, Bob, must have learned well, because he managed to crash into Raj’s buggy on the hill down from the 17th, causing it to turn turtle. The stop button is the big red one, Bob. Anyway, Bob was doing his usual bit of grumbling about how his game was going, as he completed the front with just 14 points on the card. At about this time, the sole of one of his shoes separated from the upper, and it was hit, flap, hit, flap for the rest of the round. However, it did improve his game no end, and he was able to make a very creditable 20 points on the back to take out second place for the day.
Harry’s front nine was a case of ups and downs as he fought with the trees while playing the 2nd/6th, and missed a remarkable number of putts from under half a metre. The back nine was rather better, although still marred by the half metre misses, which resulted in just the 33 points to set the standard for third place. Sean joined us for the first time in quite a while, and he showed that he hasn’t forgotten how to play during his time away. He obviously didn’t appreciate the tee placement on the 2nd, and a scattering of bogies served to limit him to a total of 33 points as well. Brendon didn’t get off to a great start, but a birdie on the 4th, for four points, helped to lift his spirits a bit. He was spotted making good use of the boundary fence on the 8th to keep his ball in bounds and with an open shot to the green. He joined in the happy group on third with a final tally of 33 points as well. JQ was able to drag himself away from family and work for the first time in a little while, and he might have been wondering what he had done to offend, after at least two attempts on his life from errant shots. Despite Harry’s attempt from the 13th tee, JQ’s back nine improved on his front, allowing him a share of third place as well.
Steve was threatening to come back with a chain-saw after ‘making use’ of at least seven trees in only three shots (but who’s counting). But, despite his trouble with the wood-work, he was able to manage 31 points, and accepted the two points for 4th place with alacrity. Brent managed a fairly respectable front nine, although the second hole did prove a little too challenging. A significant slump for the first half of the back prevented a more respectable score than he ended with for his share of 4th place. Stan had ‘nothing to report’, but did not show any signs of being unhappy with his total of 30 points, and he was perfectly happy to accept the point for fifth, despite some rubbishing from the peanut gallery. Adam was also fairly sanguine about his result, and he might have been thankful for a physics bending ricochet from a tree that saved his drive on the 17th from Birrarung, but which went close to depositing it in the penalty area instead. He also gracefully accepted the point on offer.
The first BallPin was set on the 7th hole, and, although the tee was rather well forward, getting a ball on the green proved too difficult for the entire field, and there will be a jackpot there next week. The second BallPin on the 18th turned out to be a bit of a contest, but Matt had high hopes with his shot to about five metres. Unfortunately, Adam came along and knocked him off for the ball on offer. The ProPin was on the 12th, and ChrisJ could have been forgiven for thinking he had a chance at only 4.3m away. This proved to be nowhere near enough, as JQ cracked his shot to 1.2m to steal the goodies away. Unfortunately, the birdie putt eluded him, and we were only able to tally up 13 for the day.
Matt did score what Harry classed as a beagle. On the 17th, after enquiring how many eggs were in the nest, he went for the green. The shot looked good, but finished a fraction short of the dance floor, so the next job was to engineer a chip-in. That didn’t quite materialise, so the little putt back resulted in a cross between a birdie and an eagle. After scoring about five birdies last outing, Matt was a little disappointed with the lack of numbers today, and was heard to refer to his card as a ‘picket fence’ due to the inordinate number of singletons showing. SOS was apparently back at his power-shanking best, with one notable one at the 12th, where he finished on the mounds between the 11th green and the penalty area. Targe had cause to buy a round today after his drive on the 2nd got caught up in a tree and fell to earth somewhat short of the red markers. He also suffered a mild misfortune on the 13th after carefully inspecting a ball, and deciding it was definitely his, only to find out, after he had hit it, that it was actually Harry’s ball. The Birthday Birdie has to get himself into a flap this week, so that he can get around to deliver some best wishes to the Beast and the Goulash. Don’t party too hard, and come back soon.
Results for Saturday, 23 Sep 2023
1st Rajesh Mahto (37) 1st Chris Priems (37) 2nd Bob McDonald (34) 3rd Harry Boughen (33) 3rd Sean Farrell (33) 3rd Brendon Mitchell (33) 3rd John Quinlan (33) 4th Steven Gervasoni (31) 4th Brent Rowley (31) 5th Stan Blackshaw (30) 5th Adam King (30)
Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (37) 2nd Bob McDonald (34) 3rd Harry Boughen (33) 3rd Sean Farrell (33)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th John Quinlan BallPin No 1 – 7th Jackpot BallPin No 2 – 18th Adam King
Could it have been the loot on offer that brought out the masses today? The choice of footy matches is starting to get a bit thin on the ground, although a couple of Hunts and a Priems had to dash off to a local Grand Final, but not until after they had savoured the shout that Josh had to make after he failed to make it to the red markers on the second (and the tee wasn’t even back on the wall!). With fourteen others making up the field, seventeen members (plus one) was as good a number as we have seen for a little while. The course has pretty well dried out, although the ground staff have been doing their best to maintain the mud by giving the sprinklers a right royal work-out. This was particularly noticeable around and on the greens, with some of the early starters having to take relief from the casual water that persisted on a couple of them. The first third of the 14th is still pretty soft, and a high launched ball was perfectly able to bury itself well below the full depth of the ball, necessitating the use of a prise to extricate it. Just ask Harry! On the other hand, some of the tee boxes were pretty hard, although it wasn’t yet in hammer territory. The weather was fine and warm, which prompted a few (tongue in cheek) comments about the severity of the heat and humidity. Some of the roughs were a bit furry, which could make it difficult to spot the ball until you were right upon it.
As well as finishing off his free beer, Matt was very keen to make sure that his card was submitted and was not left to blow away in the breeze or get stolen by a passing raven. He was also very keen to point out the number of scores that were circled on his card. Not because he thought they were all going to count for his eclectic, but because there were five birdies, which represented a fair proportion of the 12 that we managed to score for the day, This certainly helped to produce the total of 72 strokes off the stick, and a plus two of what counted. The score might well have been better after he knocked away a putt on the 12th, that he deemed to be bound to miss, just as it started to turn sharply towards the hole. Despite his fears about keeping the lead, this total was not beaten, but it was equalled. Ken indicated that he managed to keep the ball on the fairway today, and that helped immeasurably with the opportunities for scoring. In fact, there were only three minus results on the card. It seems that he did get some help in staying on the straight and narrow. The drive on the 16th was deemed to be headed for the children’s playground, but, in what was deemed to be an interminably long time, the ball was miraculously ejected back onto the fairway. Presumably the golf gods and not a passerby!
In second place, we find none other than Prez, aka Rob. It seems that Rob might have been taking some hints from the Magpies. In the first half, he was missing shots at goal from 3m out right in front of the posts. But, at half-time, the coach obviously said all of the right things, and a three point deficit was turned completely around onto a one point surplus, and he snagged second place with a well-placed putt for plus right on the siren. The five players, who tied it up for third place with square cards, all had options to have done better. Harry took five holes to warm up and score a non-negative result, and, later, a couple of ill-founded club selections probably cost as well. Michael was particularly rueful about having made it to the 13th green, about 4.5m from the pin, then taking four putts to finish it off. There was a suggestion that Josh had some ‘trouble’ with trees, but the result usually ended up favourable. He’s been taking lessons from the Priems boys, it seems. Raj played a very even round, but he was heard to mutter under his breath a few times, when his usual impeccable chipping did not quite come off. SOS was pretty pleased with himself as he strolled from the 9th green to the 10th tee. With three points on the positive side of the ledger, there was a thought that he might be in with a chance. Not to be, and he had to settle for a square card as well.
ChrisJ was moderately pleased with how he was going as he completed the front nine. Unfortunately, things turned a bit ugly on the back, and six gashes turned his plus 2 into a minus 2, which left him in fourth place. However, he was not alone. Brendon reckons his round was a feat of endurance after he ‘went in the hocks’ at some stage, and had to ‘limp’ his way home. Nothing went particularly right for Porks, nor did it go particularly wrong, so he was pretty happy to get his share of fourth spot. Peter has been away doing ‘other things’ for a while, so maybe he was feeling a little rusty on it. After putting his second into the penalty area on the 13th, and faced with a shot over the trees to the green from the penalty, he opted to pick up for the sake of speed of play (and his own sanity, perhaps). For some reason, this seemed to upset Michael. Stan didn’t quite celebrate his 100th game with us in style, but he was able to get a point with his score of minus 3 for fifth place. Steve seemed particularly upset because he lost his ‘favourite’ ball from the 14th tee. It was deemed to have been somewhere on the 16th fairway, but it could not be found, leading Steve to declare that some ‘Hunt’ must have picked it up. CJ is the proud owner of a new set of wheels, and he was bragging about how it couldn’t be capsized because of the four wheels. What did he do but capsize the darn thing as he headed off down from the first tee. Before the round, he was getting all sorts of operating instruction, even from that well known expert, Bobbie.
There were Jackpots galore on offer today. The BallPin on the 4th continued to look to be difficult, with the sun shining right in the eyes and making ball spotting less than easy. SOS didn’t need to worry, because his ball finished on the green, and it was close enough to beat any other contenders, and he awarded himself the two balls on offer. Not sure what he plans to do with them, as he reckons he never plays with new balls because he loses them. The balls on the 18th went to Matt, who claimed that he thought he had scored a HIO, and it was easy to see why with the marker less than half a metre past the hole. Matt was almost on a bit of a roll with his name on the card for the ProPin on the 15th showing a shot to 3.7m. Unfortunately, that was not close enough, and Ken’s shot to 2.95m won him enough shrapnel to shout the better half to dinner. Not sure what Ken is going to eat, though.
Charlie joined us again today to put in his second card, and the comments suggest that there is some talent there, except for a bit of a slice, and a tendency to flirt with the ladies. CJ and Adam were fairly hanging out to wrap themselves around a cold and frothy, but to no avail. Maybe it was the incipient thirst, but Adam started out going gang-busters and after six holes, he was three up. But then the con-rod threw a big-end that knocked a hole in the sump. CJ reckons that his buggy was losing traction, there was so much Valvoline spread around the course. Courtesy dictates that we don’t reveal the final score. We all know that Bob is pretty tough on himself. On the 15th tee, he managed to hit the big ball at least 300mm behind the little ball, and the club passed over without making contact. When tallying his score, he started counting at three because – isn’t there a penalty for an air-swing? Only to your ego, Bob! Brendon, despite his injury, went close to a slam-dunk shot on the 16th, although it wasn’t specified how many for. A par suggests either a missed putt, or it was only for a birdie.
Finally, a big shout-out from the Birthday Birdie to Allan Davies and Dale Webb who both have reason to get out and party this week. Have a good one, guys!
Results for Saturday, 16 Sep 2023
1st Matt Hunt (+2) 1st Ken Watson (+2) 2nd Robert Priems (+1) 3rd Harry Boughen (□) 3rd Michael Gourlay (□) 3rd Josh Hunt (□) 3rd Rajesh Mahto (□) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan (□) 4th Chris James (-2) 4th Brendon Mitchell (-2) 4th Ryan Porker (-2) 4th Peter Sein (-2) 5th Stan Blackshaw (-3) 5th Steven Gervasoni (-3) 5th Chris Priems (-3)
Seniors Results: 1st Ken Watson (+2) 2nd Harry Boughen (□) 2nd Michael Gourlay (□) 3rd Peter Sein (-2)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Ken Watson BallPin No 1 – 4th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 2 – 18th Matt Hunt
I lay tar down, I rip it up again, You are never going to lose that frown. I lay tar down, I rip it up again, One day I'll have to put it all back down. etc, etc..... with apologies to Chumbawumba.
For those members that haven’t visited the ‘Hoe in a while, today was a good time to stand around and have a good guess at what the heck is happening in the carpark. At the moment, it looks a bit like a cross between a cattle-crush, a lab-rat maze and a chess board, with a bit of labyrinth thrown in. There would seem to be some chance that once you get in, there might be a fair chance that you will never get out again. However, assurances have been made that the situation will be much improved when the work is finished, even though there will be fewer parking spots available. But, at least, there will be no nasty run-off to pollute the environment. Once they were able to snap their jaws back shut, twelve full members welcomed new boy Charlie and Jonathan’s three mates Nick, David and John to the first tee to start the day’s proceedings. The forecast promised little in the way of rain, and that proved to be the case. The gale force winds had also abated, and, once the sun had cleared a bank of clouds to the north, the scattered clouds allowed the sun to shine through on occasions, making for a pretty good day for a round of golf.
It has been a little while since ChrisJ graced us with his presence, and, if recollection serves, he had been having a bit of a rough time of it. It wasn’t revealed just what he has been up to during his absence, but you would have to wonder whether he has been practising and/or having lessons because, other than one gash and one singleton, his card was virtually unblemished, and he pretty much streeted the field with his tally of 38 points, and he was the only one in the field to better his handicap. Despite this performance, reports have it that his playing group had their tongues hanging out on the 7th where his drive hit a tree full square, and headed back towards whence it had come. No such luck, and tongues back in. However, on the 8th, he repeated the performance, and got the tree flush enough that the ball did make the extra distance back past the reds, and constituting one of the draughties scored for the day.
Blighty is doing a bit of a Collingwood by making a come-back in the second half. The front nine only had three different results, gash, singleton and three pointer (although he did try to crib an extra point on one hole). The back nine was a completely different story, and nineteen points (despite another gash) brought his total to 32 for the round, and an easy second place. So inspired by his form on the back, Blighty was overheard giving lessons on swing technique to anybody who would listen. Steve managed to put together a very balanced round with fifteen points in either half, and he was suitably surprised to discover that he had managed to come third with his tally of 30 points. He pretty much missed the announcement and the associated applause because he was off retrieving a club cover that he had lost along the way.
Just a single point further afield was Adam, who seemed to have a modicum of trouble with a swag of the par fours. There could also be a bit of a hang-over from the haircut that his handicap took a couple of weeks back. Still, twenty-nine points to get a couple of points, pretty much anybody would take with alacrity. And, finally, we find Raj, Brendon and Pepsi filling out the last spot on the podium with their total of twenty-eight points apiece. When quizzed, Raj did not sound too happy about his game, but he was happy enough to accept the point to maintain his lead over Brendon in the Championship race. Brendon might have been able to have closed the gap a little if it hadn’t been for the appearance of something of a power draw from the tee, and a propensity to miss putts by fairly narrow margins. There was some concern about the colour ball that Pepsi was playing with when the word ‘blue’ came into the conversation. As a point of clarification, it wasn’t the extreme cold that prompted the remark.
The first BallPin was set on the 4th hole, which has a bit of a reputation because of the positioning of trees and OOB markers. It wasn’t clear just who, but a couple of members of Jonathan’s group finished just off the green proper. Brendon hit one straight at the pin and Harry called it ‘in’, but the group in front reported it just barely missed, and it rolled on the finish just off the back. That was it for the day, so there will be a Jackpot BallPin on the 4th next week. The ProPin on the 15th proved to be elusive once more, although ChrisJ did claim that he was 5.1m away, but that was an estimate only. A Double Jackpot is starting to look attractive for all the money-hungry types out there. And, as for the BallPin on the 18th, it seems that somebody ‘nicked’ our highly valuable, container, marker, postit pad and pencil, between it being put out before tee time and the first group arriving at the green. Although there were some unverified claims of finishing on the green, it was deemed that this hole would also jackpot to next week.
Gordon turned up with a new (second-hand) driver that he bought during the week and blooded today. Keenly watched from the first, the ball finished on or about the tree-line on the right. Reviews were mixed, with the suggestion that the 12 degree loft did result in a slightly higher launch angle, but it might take a couple of rounds up at Nurmurkah to iron out the wrinkles. Watch out when he gets back with us in a couple of weeks. The club did come with a rather disturbing head cover that needs to be seen rather than described. It seems that putting provided some challenges today, with numerous responses to requests for comment having the general gist of ‘don’t talk to me about putting’. Rob did the ‘right’ thing on the 15th, complimenting people on their drives. He then proceeded to chunk his about 5 metres, leaving it well short of the red markers, occasioning the customary shout.. Charlie submitted his first card today, and, although he did not get off to a great start on the first, there were several glimpses during the round that suggests, that, once he plays regularly, there is some potential there to perform. Welcome to the Club, Charlie. Stan was also back today after spending some time avoiding the Ivanhoe mud and working on his Castlemaine ‘ranch’ Stan has a big event coming up next time he plays when he will hit 100 games with the Club.
Results for Saturday, 09 Sep 2023
1st Chris James (38) 2nd Andrew Blight (32) 3rd Steven Gervasoni (30) 4th Adam King (29) 5th Rajesh Mahto (28) 5th Brendon Mitchell (28) 5th Andrew Petricola (28)
Seniors Results: 1st Andrew Blight (32) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (30) 3rd Harry Boughen (27)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 4th Jackpot BallPin No 2 – 18th Jackpot
There was a fair chance that Jack Frost had been tip-toeing around parts of Melbourne this morning, but, although it was fairly brisk to start off with, there was little evidence of his work on the ground at Ivanhoe. SOS was well equipped with hand-warmers, and Matt was seriously wondering about the wisdom of wearing shorts, but they and ten other intrepid members wrapped their frozen fingers around their club grips and headed off to do their best while trying desperately to avoid their worst. As the morning progressed, the temperature rose, and very soon the field was virtually basking in a beautiful spring-like day as the layers were stripped off, and the hands thawed out. With the tees at the back and the grass off the fairways needing a cut, the going turned out to be pretty tough, although some sections of the course were handled better than others.
Raj started out setting a steady pace with a series of bogies before cracking a par, and a smile, on the 5th. A repeat performance on the 6th had him grinning from ear to ear. In the end, he finished the nine having taken 41 off the stick, well below the half-way point of his handicap. The handicapper did comment that Raj was being watched, which might have put the frights into him a bit. The back nine was no disaster, but it did suffer due to a few missed putts and some chips that did not quite live up to his usual standard. In the end, he used up a couple more than his handicap, and was not overly confident of his chances of even getting a place in the race. As it turned out, his net 70 was more than enough to take the day, and to cement his place at the top of the Championship Table. Not quite Red Rover yet, but you could well be forgiven for thinking that was the case.
Occasionally, somebody turns up to play, and can sit at the table waiting for the field to come in, thinking that a clubhouse lead has been known to hold. And that was the case right up until Raj came in and took the cake. CJ had been negotiating with the Captain for a new rule, that you shouldn’t be penalised for winning with a net score of 73, but that turned out to be entirely unnecessary. Chris didn’t necessarily do anything particularly wrong, and it was the lone fat lady on the 13th that probably robbed him of at least a tie for first, and he would have won the count-back easily.
CJ was also persistently making the point that he was playing with a couple of ‘Hunts’, and maybe that put a little flea in Matt’s ear, that caused him to report a fat lady as well. This was compensated a little by his birdie on the 15th, which was one of just three that we managed for the day. This helped him to a significant improvement on the back compared to the front, and he was able to drag himself home with a bottom line of 75 to take out 3rd place. He did complain that it was pretty tough going as he had to push his flash electric buggy for the whole round. It seems that, at a recent round, on another course, the beast reared and bolted, and finished up submerged in an adjacent pond. Despite Matt’s best efforts at CPR and EAR, it looks as if the condition might be terminal, although there have been brief hints of life in the beast on occasions, although Matt did not sound too hopeful for a full recovery.
Adam just didn’t seem to be able to make a go of it, although his nine hole tallies were pretty much equal. He was fairly sanguine about getting a couple of points for his net score of 79, which might have compensated a little for the draughtie that he took on the 12th. SOS was enthusiastically urging the ball to stop, which raised some admiration in Targe, who thought it was in an effort to prevent the ball finishing in the hazard, rather than to prevent it reaching the red markers in actuality. Gordon has been complaining, for a long time, about his handicap following his purple patch a while back. Today, he was pretty pleased with the way that he was going with a couple of birdies under his belt. Then he stepped onto the 13th tee. Between there and the 15th green, he had used almost all of his handicap again, and was only able to finish with a net score of 80, to come in at 5th place. He wasn’t alone on that step of the podium after Rob raised his bat for a neat 100 off the stick, to bring home 80 net as well.
The first BallPin was on the 7th, and it was a tough one from the black tees. SOS was pretty pleased with his tee shot, having recently gotten a big load off his mind, thanks to a quick sprint over to the oval facilities after the 5th. It is not clear whether the middle finger salute drawn on the card was to indicate what had saved the day on the 5th! There was a fair bit of squinting required to be sure that the ball was actually on the green, but there was sufficient cut grass visible for him to be awarded the ball on offer. The ProPin was on the 15th, and it seems that the pin was surrounded by a number of people who could just not quite stretch the tape far enough to get within the 5m required. So, there will be a Jackpot on offer for the ProPin on the 15th, next week. For most of the day, it looked as if there would be a Jackpot for the BallPin on the 18th. That is until Harry came along and cracked a beauty that finished on the dance-floor, and took out the pill on offer.
Bob probably reckoned he had walked on a chinaman’s grave when nothing seemed to be going right at all. A flat on the back shot on the 2nd, a ‘double draughtie’ on the 3rd, a dead-centre hit on the skinniest tree for miles around on the 5th, the list went on and on. Bob’s only consolation was that his electric buggy seemed to be working properly at long last. Targe also didn’t have a great day, and that also included a draughtie. He was also spotted taking a ‘short cut’ down from the 15th tee, and took a bit of a slip in the process. Tch, tch Targe, the path is there for a good reason. Just ask Gordo!
After a bit of a break, the Birthday Birdie has had to warm up his wings to get ready for the rounds this week to deliver best wishes to Matt, Charlie and Blighty. Let’s hope you all feel barely a day older after the event!
Results for Saturday, 02 Sep 2023
1st Rajesh Mahto (70) 2nd Chris Priems (73) 3rd Matt Hunt (75) 4th Adam King (79) 5th Gordon Hill (80) 5th Robert Priems (80)
Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (73) 2nd Gordon Hill (80) 3rd Harry Boughen (81)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 7th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 2 – 18th Harry Boughen