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Getting ready for winter on 28 May 2022

Wow pukka is that
Doesn’t everybody celebrate with cappuccino and scones?

This was the last round before the BOM declares the start of winter, even if the solstice does not. The temperature at tee time was a relatively mild 7C, and it promised not to warm up too much before the day was out. Some layers and neck-warmers did come off after the halfway mark, and the promise of no rain did prove to be correct. All in all, a pleasant enough day for the thirteen members who ventured out to vie for some points before the real winter gets here. Numbers might have been a bit better if it had not been for ‘significant’ birthdays and frog hunting expeditions that kept a number of our members otherwise occupied. The first group was a little surprised to find a leprechaun seated cross-legged beside the 17th tee, but, on closer inspection, it turned out to be JQ, who is back from his recent travels and who decided to get some fresh air while kibitzing on members form as they tried their luck from the tee. There would appear to be little truth in the story that Pepsi and Brendon both went exploring in the shrubbery after being told they would find a pot of gold there.

If, perchance, the scrub bashing on Brendon’s part was due to an errant drive, it could very well have saved him from even greater damage to his handicap, because it certainly wasn’t enough to stop him from putting in the best score for the day. A string of five fours in a row from the first got him off to an excellent start, and he rounded the turn with twenty points on the card. A few less than stellar holes on the back were offset to some degree by a birdie and four points on the 13th. A grand total of thirty-eight, took the top spot for the day, but Brendon chose a low-key celebration by settling for butter for the scones rather than jam and cream.

Stef stuttered a few times during the round, but he was still able to put together two nines, each two over the card, that garnered him a tally of 37 points and second place on the podium. In the process, he managed to pull off what would have to just about count as the shot of the century. His drive from the 11th was one of his usual monsters, and the ball found its way into the penalty area beside the green. The ball was found, both under water and barely visible. Undaunted, Stef opted to play as it lay, and, amid a shower of mud and water, launched the ball out of the hazard and onto the green where a couple of putts made for the ‘easiest’ of pars.

Harry started off well with some fine chipping giving him a chance to make some scores. None less than on the 4th, where the ball headed unerringly for the hole and dropped in for the birdie and a four pointer. This effort helped our total of birdies to eight for the day. Things slowed down a bit after the 5th, and at the turn, things were not looking too promising. A bit of a second wind on the back nine helped immeasurably to bring the final total to 36. Pepsi also produced a four pointer in his round when he rattled one in for an eagle on the 14th. So, after a bit of a scare last week, the old bird’s worst fears were realised, and she once again finds herself with only a single egg in the nest. Pepsi matched Harry’s scores on both nines and in the final tally to share third place.

Now, most people would be pretty happy to have a four pointer on their card. Steve turned out today for his first round of formal competition. He started the back nine with a par, and four points. He finished the back nine with a birdie and five points. In between, he racked up enough scores to finish with twenty-four points for the nine holes. This intel resulted in some nervous glances between the clubhouse leaders as they wondered what the grand total would be. Unfortunately, Steve had taken the first nine holes to warm up, and he could only manage a total of 35 for the round. It had been predicted that it would not be long before he appeared on the podium. And he probably won’t be on a handicap of 29 for long either! Geoff maybe didn’t check his handicap, and sold himself one short, so he moved up a notch to 33 points and a share of fifth place. If he hadn’t taken several holes to get going, the total and the resultant points could easily have been much greater. Ryan put together a pair of 38’s off the stick on his way to 33 points as well. An errant tee shot on the 14th finished OOB, while his provisional finished just on the green directly below the hole. The putt was only just off centre, and hit the pin with just enough speed to flick out of the hole and come to rest, teetering on the brink. So close to an unlikely par!

There was a BallPin on the 4th today, and Ryan was the only one to get his name on the card after he put it close in the first group out. The second BallPin on the 18th was much more keenly contested, with three names on the card and others in with a chance. In the end, it was Steve who won the day. The ProPin was on the 12th, and Stef was able to hold off some challengers with his shot to 4.7m. However, the marker pin should be placed accurately at the ball finishing position to obviate the possibility of misunderstanding as to whether the distance has been accurately recorded.

There were some matches contested today as part of the second round of the championship. Pepsi took on Keith with the rather daunting prospect of having to give away twenty-two strokes. Pepsi got off to a good start and won the first three holes before Keith got his motor warmed up and started to stem the flow Pepsi’s way. Unfortunately, his finger wasn’t big enough to block the hole in the dyke, and, eventually, it gave way and Peps won another four on the trot to take out the match with a fairly convincing margin of 8 and 6. Ryan had to hand Gordon ten strokes in their match. For a while this looked to be too tough a call as Gordon made his way out to a three hole lead. Gordo’s touch seemed to abandon him after the ninth, and, slowly but surely, the lead was whittled away until, at last, the battle was lost at the 17th with Porks victorious, 2 and 1. The third match was what you might call a Claytons. Stef did battle with Mehm to see whether Stef really did deserve to go through to the third round. Mehm played pretty well on the front nine and had gathered 19 points in the main competition. Unfortunately, Stef did better when it counted, and, at the turn, Mehm was three holes down. A gallant defence ensued, but victories proved elusive and eventually Stef took the match at the 14th with the scoreline at 5 and 4. Thus, Stef does get to keep his spot in the third round. Only two more matches to go in Round 2. You know who you are, so get on with it.

The last group had some interested spectators as they finished off on the 18th. Michael and Steve both had good tee shots onto the green and sank their putts for birdies. Targe was just off the green from the tee. His chip went very close to going in, and he made his par with ease. Geoff made it to the edge of the top deck with his second. His putt trickled over the edge and finished centimetres from the hole. The tap-in didn’t quite work, and he had to settle for a five to finish the round. Earlier, Brendon was seen pfaffing around with measuring tapes and NTP markers as he made sure he got his name where it counted most. Keith was buying drinks after the round following a draughtie from the 3rd tee. The ball also finished up behind a tree, prompting Pepsi to comment that Keith was not going to like where it finished, and he owed him a beer. One of the contributing factors to Steve’s ‘warm-up’ on the front nine was not just one, but two freshies. Not a very common occurrence, or at least, not one that people own up to.

Results for Saturday, 28 May 2022
1st Brendon Mitchell (38) 2nd Stefan Belevski (37) 3rd Harry Boughen (36) 3rd Andrew Petricola (36) 4th Steven Gervasoni (35) 5th Geoff Lyall (33) 5th Ryan Porker (33)

Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (36) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (35) 3rd Geoff Lyall (33)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Stefan Belevski BallPin No 1 – 4th Ryan Porker BallPin No 2 – 18th Steven Gervasoni

Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 14th Andrew Petricola

Golfocracy Porkers made the day on 21 May 2022

Not the David Ford
What you might call a Clayton’s…

The Autumn Cup certainly lived up to its name, as fourteen members and one guest shivered in the pre-dawn light in anticipation of a battle royal to determine the winner of the David Ford Trophy. There were still a few hardy types sporting their usual shorts and short sleeves, but some were much more heavily rugged up. So much so that Craig was almost mistaken for Poppa Smurf at one point. Harry was accused of shivering like a cat passing razor-blades, and he was giving a good impression of a half open pocket-knife at one stage. The trade in packets of hand warmers was brisk, although one that Matty had seemed to have passed its use-by date, and it refused to warm up despite numerous efforts to bring it to life. The chef brigade led the field out, and they set a cracking pace, probably in an effort to get back to the bar-be-que to warm up. And warm up they did to produce a veritable feast of snags and burgers that were greatly appreciated by all. A big thanks to SOS who took on the task of sourcing ‘gourmette’ goodies and all of the necessary accompaniments to feed the hungry golfer.

Better than democracy
You won’t get these at the polling booth!

A few cancellations and no-shows required more than a few re-jiggings of the tee sheet, and Porks was promoted from the leaders group to further down the field. Whether this took the pressure off him or not is a bit unclear, but he did manage to play like a man possessed. Hardly a shot went wrong on the front nine, and a little miss of a putt for a square on the 9th prevented him from matching par and finishing four up at the halfway mark. It looked like there could have been a wobble on the 11th when the drive finished left and short of the green. After two chips, the ball was still not on the green. The third chip looked a bit thin, and could have finished on the 12th tee except that it hit the pin, stopped dead and dropped into the hole for the par and a square result. At the end of the round, the stroke count was two over par and the points tally ended up at plus five. The grand total of plus seven was more than enough to take out the trophy and a big points boost to join Craig at the top of the Championship table.

Brent scored a couple of birdies today and, according to reports, one of them was due to a missed eagle putt. The big bird was quite happy about that, as she is very proud of the clutch of eggs that she is accumulating in her nest. There were six other birdies today to give us a total of eight for the day. His effort to produce a square card today, combined with plus three last week, scored him second place in the main event. SOS put in a blistering run on the front nine to take the turn at plus three, but he slowed down just a fraction on the back to finish with the same score. This was the second-best round for the day, and, with last week’s score, gave a square card for a share of third. ChrisJ and Matty, both produced minus one cards today, and finished, overall, on square to join SOS on the podium. Matt was pretty steady all day, but Chris, after blistering the first half with a plus three, faded on the home straight where the plus results proved very elusive.

After starting out quietly confident that he could maintain last week’s form, things started to go wrong for Targe, and he finished the front on minus two. A couple of plus scores early on the back looked like heralding a revival of fortune for the little fellah, but losses on six of the seven remaining holes put paid to that idea. Minus two overall scored him fourth place. Harry had his fair share of troubles today with balls disappearing in tree canopies and penalty areas, but, despite this, he still managed to come home only minus three for the day and in total to fill the fifth spot. CJ, rather unkindly, suggested that there were three sure things, death, taxes and Rob buying a beer. Rob’s drive on the 2nd was reported to have travelled only about 50 to 100mm. Despite that little set-back, he was able to redress the balance somewhat with a plus on each of the next two holes. The other little set-back was the fact that he had scored points correctly on the card that he had marked, but had not cross-checked the points recorded by his marker. As a result, he dropped back to share fifth place with Harry.

The first BallPin was on the 7th, which was a tough call with the tee a fair way back. A couple of people did manage to finish on the green, but the only one who got to put his name on the card was Adam. The regular BallPin on the 18th also had the tee well back and the pin on the bottom deck. Whitey got there early on, but CJ pipped him in the home straight and collected the ball on offer. The Jackpot (not quadruple) ProPin on the 15th looked to be in danger of going begging until Matt came along and put his ball to 4.62m. When handed the cash, Matt’s view was that it paid for his next five or so rounds with the Club.

El Prez was not the only one to present with a draughty today. Dale’s shot on the 6th produced a similar result of 50 to 100mm. Brother Chris, who is sporting a new set of clubs, was trying one out on the 15th and succeeded in popping it into the bushes about halfway to the red markers. Although the new clubs are generally working well, there are a few wrinkles still to be ironed out. The biggest problem today, though, was with the flat stick that just refused to put the ball in the hole. Dale didn’t make much of his tee shot from the 17th, and his second went close to taking out Porks on the 18th tee before skittering under the fence, across the path and down the river bank, probably never to be seen again. Rob also didn’t do too well off the tee on the 17th, and, despite a diligent search, the ball could not be found. That is, until they were coming up the 18th and there was the ball in plain sight.

Horses for courses
Always look on the bright side…

Jake played as a guest today and submitted his third card. As a result, he has a nice new handicap, and, if previous history is any guide, it probably won’t be long before he features on the podium. Gordon had his birthday today after having survived yet another half-marathon down on the Great Ocean Road or somewhere. The Birthday Birdie has a couple of jobs this week to deliver a big shout-out to Targe and Stan who both have reason to celebrate this week. The other significant event that managed to sneak under our guard this week was the occasion of Rob’s 300th game with the Club. And in other news, Whitey was very proudly showing off his first piece of silverware resulting from his venture into the exciting/expensive field of racehorse ownership. If progress so far is any guide, then this could be the one that actually pays off. And, if recollections are correct, the next big outing is the Caulfield Cup, and favourable odds might be had if you are that way inclined.

Results for Saturday, 21 May 2022
1st Ryan Porker(+2, +5, +7) 2nd Brent Rowley(+3, □, +3) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan(-3, +3, □) 3rd Chris James(+1, -1, □) 3rd Matt Hunt(+1, -1, □) 4th Targe Mifsud(+4, -6, -2) 5th Harry Boughen(□, -3, -3) 5th Robert Priems(+4, -7, -3)

Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud (+4, -6, -2) 2nd Harry Boughen (□, -3, -3) 3rd Chris Priems (-2, -4, -6)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Matt Hunt BallPin No 1 – 7th Adam King BallPin No 2 – 18th Chris Priems

Every shot a miracle shot on 14 May 2022

Ken creamed it
If I was a cat, I’d get the cream!

A typical Melbourne autumn day. Slightly fresh to start off, overcast and a bit of wind to blow around the fallen and falling leaves from the elms. The temperature probably didn’t climb all that much, but the jumpers eventually came off and there was enough rain to be just a little more than a nuisance and needing the umbrellas to be unfurled from time to time. The course was a little softer and the greens appeared to have been swept clean for a change. David Ford’s legacy of a par competition caused a few grumbles, but with the fairly benign conditions, there appeared to be little reason to expect that the scoring would be anything but easy for the fifteen members and two guests that turned out.

And, easy it was for one member, at least. Ken’s first description of his round was that he had had an aberration. At first, this was thought to be his less than spectacular start from the first tee. When asked for newsworthy items such as ‘miracle’ shots etc, his response became that every shot was a ‘miracle shot’. So much so that he racked up ten pluses, including five on the trot, on his way to a fairly spectacular total of +7 at the end of the day. This could stand him in very good stead for one of the trophies at the end of the year. His total strokes of 89 was also a personal best by a couple of shots. The only downside is that Ken will not be able to play next week due to other commitments. Unless, of course, he can pull some strings in the meantime.

Which leaves the gate wide open for an unlikely pairing of Targe and Rob, who came in with the next best score of +4. Targe seems to have been keeping a fairly low profile, and he played fairly steadily today to produce as many square scores as Ken did pluses. Rob, it seems, has been sussing out Youtube videos on ‘how to straighten your drive’. If he has been putting it into practice, then it seems to have paid dividends, with nothing that you could call a ‘blow-up’ to be seen on the card. Maybe he should also check out some Youtube about checking your ball after he hit a ‘wrongun’ on the 9th. SOS also ‘fessed up to consulting Professor Youtube for advice on chipping, and maybe it worked (sometimes).

Brent was, rather unkindly, accused of protecting his handicap when he scored minus on four of the last five holes, but this is hard to justify when a +3 will still cause some pain on that front with the prospect of more from being in easy striking distance of the front-runners. Ryan has been a bit distracted over the last couple of weeks, mainly due to the fact that he has been moving apartments. It has been a pretty big move, from one to the one next door. Not sure why it has taken two weeks, but the stress did not stop Porks also carding ten squares (eight on the trot) to finalise his card on plus two for a good chance at picking up the big one.

Not to be outdone, Matty produced a card with eleven squares, but he could only manage to make a bottom line of plus one. After some hassling with Blighty over whether to record actual strokes taken or truncated to the point of minus, Chris also joined Matt on plus one. Dale had no such problems with CJ scoring his card and joined the other two on the leaderboard bottom step.

There was one Match played today between Harry and Blighty. With only a couple of strokes difference in handicap, it was going to be pretty much an off the stick affair. Andrew got off to a good start by winning the first two holes, while Harry found his range after a couple of weeks off the clubs. By the turn, the balance had shifted, and it was Harry ahead on two up. The fortunes oscillated close to the square point, with H having a slight advantage after the 16th. A couple of over-drawn shots from the tee on the 17th made it difficult for Blighty, while Harry sealed the deal with a birdie to take the match 2 and 1. That birdie was one of just five that we managed for the day, despite the benign conditions.

Matt was very keen to lay claim to a ProV1 for the BallPins on the 12th and 18th holes. Unfortunately, in both cases, he was knocked off. On the 12th, it was Blighty who got inside him, by not a very large margin. On the 18th, Porks managed to finish only a metre from the hole to take the prize there. The ProPin was on the 15th, and Matt had hopes of getting his name on the card by making a Captain’s Call that the ball could be within the range of the tape rather than the rule of 5m. Fortunately, sanity prevailed, and the ProPin will be a jackpot on the 15th next week.

Blighty quickly bemoaned the fact that he had ‘thinned’ the ball on his approach to the 10th green. It seems the wailing was premature, as the ball finished only about a metre past the hole. ChrisJ played a provisional on the 13th after his first appeared to head well out of bounds. He must have been channelling CJ since his ball was found nicely placed back out on the fairway. His ‘chunked’ second shot did not reach as far as his monster provisional, but at least he was only playing three and not four. CJ was putting well, but didn’t seem to be able to get them to sink. At one stage, he was apparently threatening to wrap his putter around something if it lipped the cup again. Nothing to do with the nut on the end of the shaft, apparently.

Steve joined us again to put in his third card, and so he now has his handicap and can compete in events. At one stage, he was wondering who was playing loud ‘dance music’ to provide timing for Craig’s back swing, when he suddenly realised that it was his mobile making the racket. Jake was here again on his comeback to the Club, and he submitted his second card for his new handicap. Seems he wants to stay in his father’s good books, as he would not ‘dob’ CJ in for the news report. The Birthday Birdie also has a couple of calls to make this week, with a shout-out to Anthony and Gordo who will be out painting the town red during the week. By the way, did you know that birthdays are good for you. The more of them you have, the longer you will live.

Results for Saturday, 14 May 2022
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Ken Watson (+7) 2nd Targe Mifsud (+4) 2nd Robert Priems (+4) 3rd Brent Rowley (+3) 4th Ryan Porker (+2) 5th Matt Hunt (+1) 5th Chris James (+1) 5th Dale Webb (+1)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Ken Watson (+7) 2nd Targe Mifsud (+4) 3rd Harry Boughen (□)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 12th Andrew Blight BallPin No 2 – 18th Ryan Porker

Monthly Medal – May 2022, 7th of the Month

The Beast is back in full force! No one got even close to his score of 64 in the May Monthly medal on a mildly chilling Autumn morning in May. The tee positions were not all fully back and the golf gods were harsh on some but this did not deter Bill from backing up his win from a few weeks ago with another for a convincing win overall. Some say that it could have been the anticipation of a cold brewsky after the round that helped him along the way. When asked after the round if there were an secrets to his game and he said it was all fairly easy!

In total there were 14 members in play, along with Steve who handed in his second card. One more round and Steve will be eligible for his handicap and potentially first win!

It is now getting kind of boring. More of the same. Each and every week. Craig again has beaten his handicap and came in his lonesome in second place with a score of 66. He even did this whilst playing with Targe!  Brent also carded a PB on the front nine and was fairly consistent all day to play to his handicap with a score of 68.

There were a couple of members hanging on to a point but in the last group Brendon knocked them off with a score of ah’erm 69 which was good enough for 4th place. SOS rounded out the points placings for 5th with a score of 71.

In a first for a long time, the pro pin was on the 4th hole with a tight right pin position and generous tee position. Not one to falter or chicken out, Stef player a marvellous shot to around 1m to win the cash.  He sank the birdie putt, along with a couple more for the round to be part of 15 birdies for the day for the club.

The first ball prize was on the 15th and again the marker was quite close from one of the earlier groups, none other than Geoffroy!  SOS had gotten to the 18th tee and had played almost consistent all day, and the thought crossed through his mind that he had not shanked one all day. This was after giving his playing partners a hard time for missing the green on the very same hole. Rather than shank it he managed to thin the crap out of it and the ball ran all the way up the hill and towards the green. Peps under his breath said to the group that it will probably end up rather close given SOS’s luck. This ended up as fact and the ball was pin high and good enough for the 2nd ball prize.

There were some rather high scores on some holes, particularly the 2nd where the Peps/SOS group had a total of 23 shots for the hole. With 3 players! This included a ball stuck on some rather obnoxious roots for SOS which was an unplayable and resulted in an 8!

Targe was also in the wars as he found his ball had fallen into the greenside bunker on the par 5. His first shot out of the sand hit the lip and bounced back to fall in exactly the same divot is started in. This proceeded to happen a couple more time and he needed 4 shots to get out of the bunker and a legs 11 for the hole.

There were no match plays for the day but second round is now upon us to get those matches in! This coming week is the Autumn cup so it would be great if we can get as many numbers as we can down over the next two weeks!

 

Results for Saturday, 07 May 2022
1st Bill Eastoe (64) 2nd Craig Cameron (66) 3rd Brent Rowley (68) 4th Brendon Mitchell (69) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan (71)

Seniors Results: 1st Bill Eastoe (64) 2nd Craig Cameron (66) 3rd Geoff Lyall (73)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Stefan Belevski BallPin No 1 – 15th Geoff Lyall BallPin No 2 – 18th Stephen O’Sullivan