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A close-run thing on 11 December 2021.

Chris gets a grip.
I can grip it tighter than you!

We started out with sixteen members, but, unfortunately, Trev had to call it quits at half-time through not feeling the best. We all hope that it turns out to be nothing too serious and wasn’t just the pressure of being the front-runner after round 1. Look after yourself, Trev, and we’ll see you next week at the break-up. BrentL joined us again to put in his third card, and he has a nice shiny new handicap. If the reports from his playing companions are any guide, he won’t be staying on it too long, and he did put in the second-best score for the day with a net of 67 playing from a nominal handicap. Certainly, the conditions were ripe for some good scores to be had. The course had dried out considerably, and there was plenty of run with the right shot trajectory. The greens were a bit tricky, and required playing ‘up to’ rather than ‘on to’. The problem with that was the ‘furry’ surrounds that could very easily ‘grab’ the ball and result in a frustratingly short outcome. There has been some progress on removal of the wind-fall from way back when, and the hope is that the course will be back to ‘normal’ sooner rather than later. The temperature seemed a little cool at first, but it soon warmed up, even if the standard of golf didn’t.

Regardless of the performance on the day, the real matter of interest was the performance over the two weeks of the Vin O’Meara Christmas Cup Event. With some big money riding on the result, it is perhaps not surprising that it was a very close run thing. The winning horse (Perfect Practice by Seven Iron out of Carpet Pile, jockey Chris James) was a maiden in this event, that managed to do just enough to take the winning post by about half a nose. A pair of rounds at or better than handicap level is what is needed to take the prize-money in this prestigious event. Hot on his tail was Armpits (aka Bobbie) who didn’t quite manage to keep up the stellar form from last week and finished just a single stroke behind the pace.

Latin Lover (Keith) improved on his previous week’s run to produce a sub-par result for the day which was just not quite enough, and he had to be more than happy with the final placing of third, just the one stroke further back. Unfortunately, Keith did not enter the Calcutta pool, and so, he missed out on a cash dividend, and will have to be happy with his six points. The fourth placed horse (Squeaky Joint, jockey Patrick) turned out to be a bit of a ‘bolter’ and made a last minute lunge for the line with a very impressive 37 off the stick on the back nine to snare the fourth place and the third dividend from the pool, which was just enough for him to turn a profit on the event. Bagpipe Chanter (Craig) turned out to be not quite so reliable today, despite some reported assistance from trees, and ‘limped’ in to grab the last point spot available and to get his quest for points off to a slowish start.

The run-down on the cards for the day was Pat (66), Keith and BrentL (67), ChrisJ (68), Bob (70), and Beast and Stan (71). The rest of the field did not quite, shall we say, ‘cut the mustard’. Birdies were a bit thin on the ground, but Pat did manage to score one of the seven that we tallied for the day. In the process of his round today, he managed to propel himself to the top of the Eclectic Table, but it is very early days yet.

There were, of course, the usual competitions for the Nearest the Pin, but it seems that many struggled with the short holes, particularly if there was a marker box set out. On the 4th BallPin, there was a bit of a contest when both Pepsi and Pat managed to get onto the putting surface. In an effort to be fair, Pepsi did a sort of moon-walk shuffle to measure the distances and concluded that he had beaten Pat by the proverbial half a foot (Pepsi foot, that is). On the 18th BallPin, Targe managed to get on from the first group and remained unchallenged for the rest of the day, although there was a nervous moment when a ball appeared closer, but it turned out to be some casual dude playing practice shots. The ProPin was set on the 15th, and despite some shots to pin-high, nobody got onto the putting surface close enough and there will be a Jackpot to next week when some people are hoping to collect it to help finance their visit to the boozer after the break-up.

The Club Strokeplay Championship were also decided today. In the handicap division, as reported last week, Bob would have just about had to fall over the lose. His net score of 193 was more than enough to take out the top spot. Keith was a bit further back with 208, and he will be lining up for the runner-up trophy. In the scratch event, Porks took out the top spot with a total of 237. He was followed for runner-up by Pepsi with his lot of 240.

Gordo managed to lose three balls on the 13th, all in various stretches of water. He is thinking of changing his name to Pond, James Pond – although double-o-ten does not have quite the same ring about it. Targe doesn’t want his score on the 6th to be mentioned, after setting something of a record for the number of putts taken on one green. CJ was in a similar boat on the 11th, although his probably don’t count as much because so many of them were from off the green. Harry’s putt on the 14th went close to making him cry when it effectively popped out of the hole, teetered on the edge before falling back in. Porks probably did cry on the 18th when his putt for par stopped rolling agonisingly close to the edge of the hole. The tradition of Rob having to buy a beer continued after three consecutive shots into trees prevented him from getting past the red markers. He reckons that the bar bill is now a standard part of his golf budget. Pepsi found himself playing the 17th from an unaccustomed spot after a power shank from the tee placed him almost in the trees between the 18th and the 9th.

The event next week sounds a bit complicated, but here is the go. The result of the Stuart Clarke Champion of Champions will be determined by the net scores of a Stroke competition for that group. The result of the Chump of Chumps (best of the rest) will be determined by the Stableford scores of that group. The daily placings for handicapping and ball-run will be determined by Stableford scores. Thus, it is probably best if everybody plays as if it were a Stroke competition and keeps their Stableford points score as well. The Tee marshal will endeavour to allocate groups separating the two categories.

Results for Saturday, 11 December 2021
1st Chris James(66, 68, 134) 2nd Bob McDonald(65, 70, 135) 3rd Keith Delzoppo(69, 67, 136) 4th Patrick McSweeney(71, 66, 137) 5th Craig Cameron(65, 73, 138)

Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (65,70,135) 2nd Keith Delzoppo (69,67,136) 3rd Craig Cameron (65,73,138)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 4th Andrew Petricola BallPin No 2 – 18th Targe Mifsud

Mangoman or Spiderman on 04 December 2021.

Trevor looking non-chalant
Anybody want a ticket for Spiderman?

With a completely clean slate to work on and a potential sixteen points on offer, there was an expectation that the turn out of members would be right up there. The weather gods smiled down benignly and the temperature was right in the Goldilocks zone. The course has dried out somewhat, but the trimmings still line the fairways despite the chipper being on site during the week. A few people ran foul of the persisting obstruction, and it promises a ball of a time for whoever eventually moves the rubbish away. After much gnashing of teeth by CJ, we sent off five groups for a total of seventeen players. About twelve of that seventeen were game to back themselves as a chance in the Calcutta pool. The dividend won’t be quite the level of the recent Powerball, but probably won’t go astray in the lead up to the festive season for whoever tops (and seconds and thirds) the list of those who shelled out.

Trev was one of those who did not shell out. He got himself a bit confused about what the event was and was actually set to go to the movies next week to rest up for the following week and the break-up. It was noted that Trev’s dulcet tones had not been heard about the course today, and, when the cards were handed in, the reason became crystal clear. Trev had turned in a blinder with a net score of 64. Now, he was in a fix. Would he play again next week to take advantage of the rush of form, or would he stick with his plan to go and see Spiderman. The vote from the gallery was – to hell with Spiderman! So, if anybody is looking for a ticket to the movies, Trev might have one for sale.

The gallery raised a cheer on the first as Old Reliable started out in Old Reliable style with one right up the centre. It didn’t stop with the first shot, and Craig started off the new competition year in style with a birdie on the first. And, it didn’t stop there. He rattled off two more further down the track, making fully 30% of the 10 that we all managed for the day. This gave a flying start to the quest for the Eclectic, and he is the one to catch at the moment. Bobbie was not game to bring his electric buggy, despite the fact that an electrician had apparently given it a clean bill of health. He did have a bit of a whinge about the fact that he had been cut by three strokes as a result of his win last week. If today’s performance is any guide, the cut might not have been severe enough and there will be more pain to come after he joined Craig with net 65. The combination of the two weeks rounds pretty well puts Bob in the box-seat for the Handicap Strokeplay Championship.

ChrisJ seems to have found his form with the driver after complaining bitterly about being let down by it last week. Chris is a great one for using his range-finder regardless of the distance from the hole. Apparently, when he checked the range to the pin from near the bunker on the 5th, it came up with the letters FLW. The ‘L’ seems to mean ‘long’ and the ‘W’ seems to mean ‘way’. It was a bit of a struggle to work out what the ‘F’ stood for! Despite having ‘done nothing different’, Chis was able to slot into third spot with a very creditable net of 66.

Keith didn’t say what exactly had happened, but he was bemoaning the fact that he had scored ‘double figures’ on the 16th. When compared with the rest of his card, that little aberration could have cost him a spot up alongside Trev. Five strokes is not an impossible task to achieve, and a net 69 is nothing to be ashamed of. CJ didn’t have any real horror holes, but the dreaded double bogies (and one triple) turned up just often enough to result in a share of fourth place as well.

Stan was another who managed to present with a double-digit number on his card, and as a result had to content himself with his net score of 70 and a share of fifth place after the first round. Rob claims that he is pleased that he missed the birdie putt on the first, as everybody knows that things go down-hill really fast if you birdie the first (unless, of course, you are Old Reliable). Even with the par, things did go down-hill quite quickly, with reports of maybe three or four strokes to get past the red markers on the very next hole. Rob was spotted with his hands in his pocket after the round, but the setback was not sufficient to stop him from coming in to share fifth spot on the leader-board. A couple of chunked chips did not help SOS’s cause, and he seemed rather pleased that he was able to sink ‘recovery’ putts with apparent ease. Ken has taken over from Brett Sutton as the pin-up boy of the golfing ladies after they were offered a chance to load up with mangoes when members felt that they had collected an elegant sufficiency for themselves. The boxes of fruit did not impede his game too much, although he did flirt with the dreaded double-digit on a couple of occasions (and one of them on a par 3).

The first BallPin today was on the 4th, and there were the usual complaints as to why the tree on the left hadn’t fallen over in the storm. There turned out to be a fair contest with three names on the card, but the closest by a fair margin was SOS. The second BallPin, on the 18th, was barely legal with the marker only just on the green proper. The perpetrator of this robbery was none other than Craig, who reckons he only put his name on the card for the sake of getting his name on it. The ProPin was on the 12th, and nobody was able to get closer than Pepsi who whacked one to 3.82m early on. SOS was just a bit muscly and the ball must have run across the edge of the hole on its way to the back of the green.

Targe was doing the right thing and keeping Stableford points for his inside card. On the 3rd, as he missed another short putt, he bent down and went to pick up his ball, only to be pulled up ‘short’ by SOS reminding him that it was a stroke event. Targe also managed a five putt green on the 15th. Porks put his driver away part way around today. Not because he was afraid of driving through the green, but because it was being a bit erratic. He wasn’t in the front-runners today, but he does have a handy lead in the Scratch Strokeplay Championship. Pepsi has just a bit of work to do to catch him. Maybe Pepsi should play with Ken again next week, as they were apparently involved in some very intellectual conversations together today. The Beast went close to driving the green on the 14th, and then proceeded to get the birdie, which made the round slightly less horrific (his words) than last week.

Don’t forget that the subs for Club and Golf Access are due by 18th December. Any GA memberships not paid by then or notification received of your firm intention one way or another, will be suspended until payment is received as the Club will be billed, and we cannot afford to support inactive GA memberships. Payment by bank transfer is preferred, and details appear on the web-site under the Bank Transfer menu.

The break-up will be on the 18th after the Champion of Champions round, with a catered lunch and some drinks provided. There is talk of an adjournment to a nearby hotel for the thirsty members after the trophy presentations that will take place after the repast is completed. Gordon needs to know numbers by 09 December (Next Friday). Just reply to his recent email (not Reply All please).

Results for Saturday, 04 December 2021
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Trevor Jackson (64) 2nd Craig Cameron (65) 2nd Bob McDonald (65) 3rd Chris James (66) 4th Keith Delzoppo (69) 4th Chris Priems (69) 5th Stan Blackshaw (70) 5th Robert Priems (70) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan (70) 5th Ken Watson (70)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Trevor Jackson (64) 2nd Bob McDonald (65) 2nd Craig Cameron (65) 3rd Chris Priems (69) 3rd Keith Delzoppo (69)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Andrew Petricola BallPin No 1 – 4th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 2 – 18th Craig Cameron

A shoot-out at the I.Hoe. Corral on 27 November 2021

Brendon and Michael
No, you go first!

It was a bright and windy day. The course has been de-puddled, and it was in good condition, even if the debris from the wind storms a month ago has not yet been cleared. The piles along the edges of the fairways do provide some extra challenges for those who choose not to stick to the centre-line. The breeze was brisk enough to up the wind chill factor early in the day, and some opined that the scoring might not turn out to be all that great. The big interest of the day was the potential for a big punch-up between the two at the head of the Championship table, with only a point separating them after the distribution of the points in the Matchplay. Michael Earp and Brendon Clanton arrived packing their finest irons and faced one another down the fairways of Tombstone. Draw, said Earp. No, you draw, said Clanton. And so it went as they continued to fire blanks. In the end, with empty magazines and despondent hearts, neither were able to make it into the points distribution for the day. Our new Club Champion for 2021 is therefore the smiling Kiwi, Brendon. Congratulations, and don’t let anybody tell you it was a lesser result because of COVID. Commiserations, Michael, there is a whole new year untouched ahead.

Electric Bob.
I never put the cart before the horse!

There were twenty members who made it today, which is one of the better turn-outs that we have seen in recent weeks. The cards kept rolling in, as did reports of a certain member having buggy problems. The scores showed promise of fulfilling the forecast that they might not set the world on fire. When, at long last, the penultimate group rolled in and the scores were tallied, who should put in a ‘blinder’ but Bobbie with a net score of 64 to collect the December Monthly Medal and the lead position in the Strokeplay Handicap Championship Table. When asked what sort of ball he wanted in the BallRun, Bob replied that he would rather have a buggy.

Porks played some unconventional golf today. From the 10th tee, he finished up on the 1st green. Not satisfied with that, from the 18th he finished on the 9th green. These little aberrations did not prevent him from coming in with a score that held the Clubhouse lead for some time, but a net 68 proved to be insufficient, and he had to settle for the second place of the day. Still, he does hold the top spot in the Strokeplay Scratch Table. Gordon started off with a bit of a wobble, settled down and then started to wobble again as he rounded out the front nine. Then he found his form and put in a much more reasonable back nine to finish with 69 and the points on offer for third place.

Keith showed glimpses of the form that we know he is capable of, but he did leave a few out there as he managed to come in with 72 for a share of fourth. He was joined by Patrick, who also did enough to suggest that he is capable of much better things. The fact that he was dashing off to buy a wedding ring suggests that there are ‘better things’ in the offing. There was a fair pack of players to share fifth spot. Ben was one, and it seems that he avoided being disqualified for playing off the Blues by the good graces of his playing companions. Stan went extraordinarily close to chipping in for a birdie on the first, and claimed that he didn’t really want it to go in. Maybe he didn’t, because he took two putts to finish the hole. In the process, he certainly did not contribute to the rather measly four birdies that we carded for the day. Rod put his drive on the 12th into the left penalty area, and chose to play again from the tee. Wouldn’t you know it, but he chipped that ball in, and so he too did not contribute to the birdie count. The fourth of the musketeers was none other than Captain Matt.

The ProPin today was on the 4th, and Stan could have been forgiven for thinking he was in with a chance after a finely shaped shot to well within the radius. Prez Rob, who managed to complete a round without having to stand a shout, was like a cat on a hot tin roof as each group came in to be quizzed as to whether anybody had ‘knocked him off’. But, no, his shot to 3.425m, a good half metre inside Stan’s was more than enough to collect the cash. The first BallPin was on the 12th, and Harry stood alone to collect that one. The second BallPin on the 18th had to wait until the last group to decide the winner when the Beast whistled one in to beat Gordo out of a ball.

ChrisJ was all over the shop today, and was heard to say that his clubs were going to appear on e-Bay if things did not improve. Brendon managed to spray not one, but two balls OOB on the 3rd, while Michael managed to miss a 200mm putt for his par on the same hole. Trev had a draughtie on the 8th. He blamed the fact that he had the wrong club, but he didn’t want to walk back to the cart to get his driver. He even knocked back an offer for somebody to bring it for him.

As previously announced, there was no Calcutta Auction this year on the Vin O’Meara, that will be contested over the next two weeks. There will be the back-yourself option, $30 cash on the line before tee-time next week. The pool will be divided as specified in the Calcutta Auction rules. You have to be in it to win it. The Form Guide will be published shortly after this is posted. The nominated and scratched classifications relate to the registrations received before the Auction was cancelled and bear no relation to the actual event.

Results for Saturday, 27 November 2021
1st Bob McDonald (64) 2nd Ryan Porker (68) 3rd Gordon Hill (69) 4th Keith Delzoppo (72) 4th Patrick McSweeney (72) 5th Ben Akdag (73) 5th Stan Blackshaw (73) 5th Rod Grant (73) 5th Matt Hunt (73)

Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (64) 2nd Gordon Hill (69) 3rd Keith Delzoppo (72)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Robert Priems BallPin No 1 – 12th Harry Boughen BallPin No 2 – 18th Bill Eastoe

A red letter day on 20 November 2021.

The Captain and the Cook
Will you have a Captain Cook at that!

The preferred lie notice was out again today, but, from the first tee, the course looked to be in immaculate condition, and one could wonder about the reason. There were still a few pools of water and a couple of muddy patches about, and so the ability to clean and place could have been more than welcome in some places. It seems that a fair proportion of the 14 members who made it today made use of the opportunity, even if they did feel a little guilty about taking the ‘advantage’ offered. This did not offer any advantage on the green, however, and Harry, Craig and Porks were none too happy about their respective performances with the flat stick. The weather was very mild with very little wind, and there should have been no reason not to score well on the day.

As it turned out, the best score on the day, turned out to result in the best score for the event. When a spot in an earlier group eventuated at tee time, Matt was only too happy to remove himself from the ‘pressure’ group, using the excuse that he had to get away to work. The strategy seems to relaxed him, and he started off with a couple of pars, and looked like setting a cracking pace for the round. Things did quieten down a bit, and he carded squares on thirteen of the next sixteen holes, to finish the round with a +3 and a final, winning, score of +1. He opted not to take the trophy to show to his mates at work.

It is not clear whether Gordon is back in love with his putter, but it must have worked reasonably well today as he has able to produce the second-best score of the day, which, coincidentally, also happened to produce the second-best score for the event. The round for Gordon was rather topped off on the 18th, where he put his drive to about 3m to take out the BallPin on that hole, and he sank the putt for a birdie, which brought the total for the day to seven.

Now, coincidence is a marvellous thing, if it wasn’t for coincidence, nothing would ever happen at the same time. However, by another stroke of coincidence, Michael produced the third-best card of the day, which also happened to result in the third-best score for the event. Michael obviously has a keen interest in placings, as he aspires to overtake Brendon before the points Championship finishes. Next week could prove very interesting. At this point, the run of ‘coincidences’ ran out. CJ also produced a card with +1 on the bottom line today, but, unfortunately, that was not sufficient to drag him up from the depths to which he sank last week. CJ seems to have moved away from his favoured ‘power fade’ to a more straight forward approach. On the other hand, brother Rob has taken up the baton to keep the Priems Power Fade in common use. This was good enough to bring Rob home with the fourth-best score of the day, which slotted him nicely into a share of fifth spot for the event. And this despite another Draughtie on the 7th.

Brendon was hoping for much better things today so that he could have put the Championship to bed and take a relaxed attitude into next week’s event. Unfortunately, the horizontal lines kept showing up with some regularity, and he was only able to come in fifth best for the day, which was enough to grab a share for fourth place for the event. Craig was hoping for a sudden downpour to soften the greens, and maybe even to add a film of water, as he struggled to adjust to the radical change in condition from that of last week. As a result, he did not make up any ground on Brendon, but he still does have a chance to overtake Michael if he can arrange a mafia knee-capping during the week. Harry and Ryan shared Craig’s problems with managing the speed of the greens, and they both slotted in with the Prez for a share of his fifth place for the event.

The 4th green did its best to avoid having to hand out a ball, but a few people did manage to be accurate enough to get onto the putting surface, and Jason was the one to win a ball for his efforts. The 15th did an even better job of protecting the money for the ProPin. That is, until Craig came along. Last shot in the last group, and he put it to 3.78m to take home the money again. Some members seem to think we should have a rule about being able to take the ProPin two weeks in a row.

Jason also got his ball onto the green on the 7th. The tee shot was best described as a ‘spray’ and it headed for the trees and the landing was not seen. As the group searched, they ignored the white spot on the green because they thought it was a NTP marker! Jason must have been taking lessons from the Priems boys. Matt decided to make up for the absence of Noodles by indulging in a bit of equipment abuse at one stage. Brent Loeskow joined us again and turned in a fairly creditable card. His shot from the 18th tee, over the fence and onto the 17th green was particularly impressive.

The day finished off with a very well enjoyed barbeque that was excellently catered and cooked by our Social Secretary, Gordo. Just a bit of a pity that there were not more members there to enjoy it. As an aside, Gordo celebrated his 800th game with the club today, while Porks managed to rack up his 300th. Well done, you!

We also held an impromptu Committee meeting, and, as a result of only 12 horses nominating to be included in the Calcutta Auction and the apparent declining interest in the event over recent years, it was decided that we will not conduct the Auction. The Form Guide will still be published in due course. Instead of the Auction, it was agreed that the Calcutta Pool would be upgraded. The cost to ‘buy’ yourself will be $30 and the pool will be divided between first, second, and third of those who participate and in the proportions specified for the Calcutta Auction in the Club Rules. Monies will be collected on the first day of the Vin O’Meara on 4th December (no rain-checks).

Results for Saturday, 20 November 2021
1st Matt Hunt(-2, +3, +1) 2nd Gordon Hill(-5, +2, -3) 3rd Michael Gourlay(-5, +1, -4) 4th Craig Cameron(□, -5, -5) 4th Brendon Mitchell(-2, -3, -5) 5th Harry Boughen(-1, -5, -6) 5th Robert Priems(-4, -2, -6) 5th Ryan Porker(-1, -5, -6)

Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (-5, +2, -3) 2nd Michael Gourlay (-5, +1, -4) 3rd Craig Cameron (□, -5, -5)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Craig Cameron BallPin No 1 – 4th Jason Hopkins BallPin No 2 – 18th Gordon Hill