February hasn’t always been the second month of the year. Until circa 450BC it was the last. Nor has it been a constant month in terms of content, varying from 23 to 24 to 27 days in length until good old Julius Caesar came along, reformed the whole calendar and left February reasonably stable at 28 days, except every four years when it became 29. With us so far?
Nor is there any firm evidence to show why the last day of the lengthened month assumed romantic connections. The day on which women are “allowed” to propose marriage to the man of their choice. There is an ancient Irish legend about a deal between St.Brigid and St.Patrick whereby ladies out of wedlock were given this occasional opportunity to rectify their position. Any man so heartless as to refuse the invitation then being required to buy the spurned woman 12 pairs of gloves, one for each month of the year so as to hide her ringless fingers. Here’s hoping Bill Field will not be heading for El Cortes come the 29th.
The opening day of the month’s competitive schedule saw your editor listed with three ladies, and not just ordinary ladies. These were club stalwarts, regular visitors to the prize giving rostron, fiercely competitive and vastly experienced. Furthermore, on top of that, jolly nice people to boot. Cometh the hour Connie Maphar had second thoughts after a delayed flight and decided to stay in bed. By the end of the round Lotta Syversen and Ritva Hagglund probably wished they had also done so. It was torture. Self made. Lovely weather, buggies on the fairway, no excuses. Friendship will not be put at risk by mentioning the scores but suffice to say none of us will have gone home happy bunnies. Mind you two other ladies in the car park were bemoaning their game and admitted lower scores than us, so perhaps there was a disease in the air?
Since writing the previous paragraph the results have been published and are remarkable! OK the greens were slick but otherwise the conditions were perfect. How come everyone had a bad day? David Evans apart, that is. The only one to play to his handicap and thereby earn first prize.
1st 30 Jenny Chesterton
2nd 29 Carol Rees
3rd 29 Val Wicks (on handicap)
1st 36 David Evans (cut 0.6 to 15.7)
2nd 31 Bobo Syversen
3rd 29 Roger Dew
It was interesting to note that, David apart, there were no handicap changes at all. A natural resultant query led our Handicap Master to explain that this had been a “ reduction only” competition, a variety with which all members will be familiar? Especially as the time sheet made no mention of this important fact. Could this have led to a certain laissez faire approach? What also emerged was mention of algorithums and ASC’s and, subsequently, an agreement to include later in this edition a full explanation of the Spanish Federation’s new handicap system, hopefully in words of one syllable. Since writing which it has emerged that even Arthur O’Connor, Mr.Handicap himself, remains somewhat bemused and has now delayed the official announcement until the next issue. Don’t hold your breath?
Statistically the Men outperformed the Ladies, averaging 24.31 each v 22.1 per playeress. Unimaginable figures?
February 2nd., was also Groundhog Day in America where Punxsultawny Phil, a tame rodent, drew a crowd of 40,000 onlookers to Pennsylvania where the casting of his shadow indicated an early spring this year. This traditional means of forecasting has been around for 130 years now. Not with the same rodent, of course.
It was promised, early in the year, that reports on Seniors matches would be forthcoming without editorial prompting. Thus far the assurance remains unfulfilled. Take this match for example. Nothing at first. A gentle nudge brought forth an “I’m working on it” explanation. A week later came this report.
“Picture attached. Team lost 3-0. Pairings Arthur & Vic. Dean &David Lansdowne. Alan & Ron.”
So there you go. Sounds like a lot of fun?
Those to the shaded right side of the table are the opposition.
To be more precise this was a “Round Robin Betterball Stableford Pairs-Full Handicap” necessitating an A5 print out of the rules applying. The weather was favourable, if a little chilly, and play was slow. There were five prizes at stake and eventually their presentation proved a noisy affair, Captain Bobo struggling to strike a fair balance between respect for the next door wedding party and making himself heard by members. In this he succeeded or else the following would not have stepped forward.
1st 81 Karen O’Connor, Bobo Syversen, Jan van der Valk, Lorraine Murphy.
2nd 78 James Reid, Sten Valentin, Monique Peters, Vivien Shute.
3rd 78 Ron Chesterton, Paul O’Callaghan, Libby Robinson, Pauline Hilliard.
4th 78 Vic Hilliard, Joop Peels, Mary Evans, Peter Robinson.
5th. 77Dean Moore, Mike Robbins, Ruth Johansson, Jill Davies.
Three positions were determined by handicap.
Doubtless all rushed home to celebrate National Frozen Yogurt Day in America? Yogurt with no H?
Readers may be forgiven for thinking there is a flaw in my QUERTY keyboard but this is not so. Your Editor’s linguistic skills do not embrace Gaelic, of which the above is an example, prompted by my use of some Scottish adjectives in the last issue. Iain Macaulay, born and bred in the northern reaches of the British Isles, has kindly provided this easy to understand translation.
“Fit means what way and wy is way, so they are trying to say in “english” what way, where we would simply say – why. Dif ye nae is – do you not –where we would more likely say –don’t. Speart at im is –ask at him, where we ould say – ask him. Fit e wis deein is a little easier – what he was doing.
So the sentence means – why don’t you ask him what he was doing?
So now all is clear? Thank you, Iain.
Gaelic, Iain is proud to claim, is of older heritage than English and has two very important differences from any other language in the world. First, it has more ways to say “I love you”, and second the words YES and NO do not exist. Does one detect a connection?
This time it is the Year of the Monkey for which beastie the sign is
Those born in Monkey years are described as quick witted, charming, lucky, adaptable, bright, versatile, lively, smart. Not a bad personal CV? One hesitates to check the Members’ List for match ups.
Another eagle has landed! Repeating Mary Evan’s recent accomplishment burly Les Wicks reduced America’s 17th to a mere two strokes on his way to a commendable 37 points which, at one point, didn’t look likely. It was a nice warm day, sunshine throughout, the wind easing back a notch or two from yesterday. Cows could be heard moo-ing in the distance, and that doesn’t happen very often these days. There were several two’s in our first-out group – but nobody had entered the competition!!
1st 37 Jill Davies
2nd 36 Lotta Syversen
3rd 36 Mary Evans (on handicap)
1st 39 John Crombie (cut 0.9 to 15.8)
2nd 39 Johan Van Wershoven (cut 1.2 to 19.6) (on handicap)
3r 37 Les Wicks (cur 0.2 to 11.2)
Nice for seasoned veteran John to head the leader board again. He has been in good form this visit, his spirit doubtless uplifted today by the recent discovery of the gravitational ripples.
There was a promotion on the first tee. A protein drink developed especially for golfers. A slow releasing energy drink, milk based but without syrups. A free trial bottle for everyone. The newsletter is not an advertising medium but the drink certainly didn’t do Johan any harm! Others willing to support the test tasting are shown below but minus the actual product which, however, is on sale in the pro shop.
Achim and Dorothee Schmidt are from Germany but played their early golf in Holland. A cosy little club close to their then home. Here on the Costa del Sol they initially joined Santa Maria GC where the active social and club life supplemented the golf. There followed a spell in which they didn’t belong anywhere but came to know many of the courses on offer along the coast. They then joined Rio Real GC which they “loved” despite the club life being a bit of a disappointment. A La Cala member, and friend, then suggested joining us which, after a couple of toe-in-the-water visits, they did. They say it was an easy decision to make, and we are certainly pleased to have them join our ranks. Achim is a graphic designer and both work within the printing and advertising world here on the coast.
Let us begin this potpourri with the eagerly awaited and overdue picture of Phil van Parys which was not available for the last issue …………………………. Congratulations to Erling Johnsen on winning the Norwegian Seamens’ Competition at the Parador Club, from a field of 80 plus, and with a wonderful score of 41 points ……………….
Cancer is a terrible disease and, inevitably, we have seen members battle it and, thank goodness, return to golfing action. Now Peter Hallam is in the midst of the gruelling treatment but, like others before him, is being very positive, very open, and good humoured, which must take some doing. On behalf of all members, Peter, we wish you well again, and look forward to seeing your unique putting style in action here…………Mama Lee Wachtstetter is an American lady who has just notched up her 200th cruise on the Crystal Line. Now there’s a challenge for Vic & Pauline, currently “resting” from nautical adventures ……News from South Africa has it that Ashley Collacott – or “Ash” to his intimates – notched up his fourth Hole-in-One, this time on Sun City’s Lost City course, hole 15.The chosen weapon for this 135m challenge was a 9-iron but, sadly, no camera was available to record this moment in golfing history. It is hoped this little montage will serve as evidence in the club’s history book. It is reliably reported that Ashley could not be happier had he found a bronze age wheel ……..
………….Other news from Rand Land comes on a regular basis via Pearl Fisher’s turbo charged iPad. Much of the pictorial content is of gargantuan gastronomic get-togethers with other members, most of whom will be familiar………
……The health debate about E-Cigarettes continues but one hopes David & Mary Evans didn’t see the CCTV footage of a man in an America mini-market whose battery exploded, set fire to his trousers, and had to be hosed down to prevent burns ………..Seeing this picture of coins is a reminder that Jenny Chesterton is on the hunt again. Hunt as in Joan Hunt of Cudeca. Some will already have collection tins from the charity but if not PLEASE do pass all your small brown coins to her so she can get a worthwhile contribution together for later this season.
An especially warm greeting for incoming Alfredo Calle, recently appointed as our new Golf Operations Supervisor. It is hoped he will be introduced at the prize giving on Saturday 20th., after which it may be possible to add something more personal to this paragraph.
Alfredo has a Degree in Political Science and Sociology from the Complutense University of Madrid, and began his extensive expertise in golf training at the prestigious Aymerich Golf Management. Further study followed at Les Roches (Marbella) and in the Club Manager Association of Europe(St.Andrews, Scotland). Completition of the intensive Business Management Programme at San Telmo’s International Institute also added to his CV.
His professional background includes La Dama de Noche (Marbella), Cordoba’s Country Club, and Montenmedio Golf & Country Club(Cadiz). Prior to joining us here he was in Lanzarote Golf.
On behalf of the members we wish him a happy, enjoyable and rewarding time here at La Cala. He will find us quite a friendly and sociable bunch!
Despite the absence of the South African brigade there were still 64 players on parade for this competition, with a hint of romance pervading the atmosphere a day ahead of schedule.
Jenny Chesterton, Gordon Edwards, and Iain “Aye Aye” Macaulay were on voluntary parade dispensing refreshments at the half way mark. Sight of a gin bottle at 0940 was a bit off putting but the home made goodies, supplemented by spicy meal balls from the Indian take-away, were enjoyed by all. The cup cakes were romantically decorated, with red the predominant colour, but the little string of hearts dangling almost un-noticed beneath the trestle table, deserved more prominence.
“Slimline” Jenny, background music to hand, entertained our group with her impression of Sandy Shaw at her best, Jenny’s “Puppet on a String” proving a real tonic. (Slimline!).Travelling down her Rocky Roads was no hardship either, naughty, but delicious.
Bramblemania continues but this one was in its simplest form. Even so “Modest” John Crombie and I were grateful to our knowledgeable and authorative captain, Carol Rees, for making the right decisions at the right time and (almost) ensuring that we broke off our conversations in time to play our shots. The fourth member of the team, David “The Cup” Lansdowne, was in tech-speak mode throughout. Shades of David Moody! Will one of them be the first to order graphene clubs it is now wondered?
There were five prizes up for grabs and the ultimate recipients of the traditional bottles- of wine were:
1st. 95 Carol Rees, John Crombie, Jack Perry, David Lansdowne.
2nd 93 Vic Hilliard, Bill Field, Heimu Kupsu, Pauline Hilliard
3rd 92 Mike Robbins, John Brooks, Liisa Lindstrom, Sonya Foster
4th 91 James Reid, Erling Johnsen, Karen O’Connor, Dorothee Schmidt
5th 91 David Evans, Ritva Hagglund, James Thomas, Joop Peels. (on handicap)
Never far from a headline Peter Penney was presented with the usual certificate for getting a Hole in One on Thursday the 11th. This was the second in his illustrious golfing career but rather more pleasing for him, not least because nobody saw his first one go in the hole. The scene was Asia’s third hole this time but, note this, off the white tees in the Thursday Roll Up. When asked the inevitable question the Man of the Moment volunteered “a gentle 9 wood”. Peter acknowledged the deserved applause from the gathered members in much the same way Lady Gaga did at the Super Bowl. Certainly his cousin will be very proud of him.
For some unaccountable reason Bill Field comes to mind as chubby little Cupid goes about his winged business, clad in nothing but his bow and arrow. How such a little fellow can be the God of Desire, erotic love, attraction and affection, is hard to fathom even though he hails from a fair old family tree. Mum was Venus and Dad no less than Mars, the war god.
The Committee showed their thoughtful side by giving all the ladies present at Prize Giving a heart shaped box of chocolates, many of which never got as far as the car home!
The very thought of playing a medal on Asia in normal conditions is enough to give most members a sleepless night. Throw in fierce winds, a starting temperature of 9 degrees, and a biting chill factor and you have potentially the Round from Hell. In your editor’s case this potential was realised. Probably the worst score since getting a handicap!!
Everyone was well wrapped up although Past Captain Brian Farmer seemed to be in two minds? It will have been torture for Felima O’Callaghan who feels the cold more than most.
1st 79 Connie Maphar-Massar
2nd 79 Monique Peters (on handicap)
3rd 80 Jill Davies
1st 76 Bruno Schaeffer
2nd 77 Peter Edstrom (on handicap)
3rd 77 Vic Hilliard (cut 1.2 to 21.0)
Those who enjoyed the review of the away fixture will be thrilled to read what our on the spot reporter had to say about the home match.
“Unfortunately no picture. The match was played on Europa, a course completely different to the one at El Condado which reflected in the result. This time a 3-0 win as opposed to the complete opposite in the away match.
O’Connor & Hilliard won 5 & 4; Moore & Lansdowne won 2 &1; Jewett & Chesterton won 4 & 3”
Next up is Alcaidesa when it is hoped a more descriptive contributor will be available. No offence but Tash Aw would weep.
If handicaps are honest and are to mean anything it is puzzling to some why there has to be a mathematical adjustment to the team’s score at the end of the round? Anyway, there was, but it would be interesting to know if the following results would have been different off full handicaps?
1st 57.4 Derek Steele, Kia Borjesson, Mike Robbins
2nd 59.0 John Brooks, Wendy Hinds, Paula Lansdowne, Danny Rees
3rd 59.3 Roy Davies, Maddie Brooks, David Moody
4th 61.8 David Wilson, Helena Widegren, James Reid
5th 62.8 Les Wicks, Ritva Hagglund, Bill Field
For those not familiar with the Rainbow format this is a colourful version of the standard Texas Scramble, made so by everyone playing off the same tee and switching from red, to blue, to yellow and even to white. Each player to contribute four drives to the score card.
During the course of the round my buggy companion surprised me with a request to be dropped behind some bushes because he needed to “Strain the spuds”, a phrase with which I was not familiar. I rightfully assumed that it translated into “Pointing Percy at the porcelain” or “Seeing a man about a dog” but it did prompt further investigation, the American Urban dictionary leading one into a whole plethora of similar similies, most of which are not repeatable in this family newsletter.
After yesterday’s sand storm there was a cropped and fertilised fairway with which to cope, plus greens which set new standards for difficulty. On the plus side though, the weather was more like we expect down here on the Costa del Sol and by 1030 shirt sleeves were the order of the day. For the first time in years there was only one buggy in our fourball, both Les Wicks and Dean Moore electing to walk. The former carrying and the latter with an electric trolley. Full marks to them both, not least for not once causing a hold up in play.
Henceforth known as The Day of the Hilliards this competition will go down in the record books. Both Captains won. Husband and wife won. Only two players with improved handicap changes. How nice as Valentine’s Day approaches? Well done Pauline & Vic.
1st 37 Pauline Hilliard (cut 0.8 to 23.6)
2nd 35 Mary Evans (on handicap)
3rd 35 Val Wicks
1st 36 Vic Hilliard (cut 0.4 to 20.6)
2nd 35 David Wilson (on handicap)
3rd 35 Johannes Peels
This month’s format was AM AM AM with 24 participating and Jenny Chesterton organising. Nearest the Pin winners were Jill Davies on the 9th and Carin Ollson on the 14th. 100 points proved enough to win with Jill Davies, Helena Widegren, Sue Young and Paula Lansdowne the contributors to that total. Lunch was rather unusually described as “very pleasant”, with no hint of the customary indulgences. Perhaps because the special guest for the occasion was our new Golf Operations Superindent Alfredo Calle. Best behaviour time?
This barely warrants a heading! We won at home but lost away and overall. Team names are not known but the occasions were sociable, incident free, and nobody had a camera. So there.
Technically this was Andalucia Day, although the Bank Holiday reward was held over to the Monday. Equally, being precise, St.David’s Day is March 1st but the Committee, current policy of largesse still to the fore, agreed to allow, indeed encourage, those of a Welsh background to celebrate 48 hours early. This proved a wise and popular decision, the products subsequently on offer proving more than acceptable to the players as they passed by the fuelling area between the 9th green and the 10th tee. In fact most came by twice, undeterred by the musical background, described variously as funereal or dirge like. Welcome to the Hillsides ad infinitum. Full marks though to the Welsh hosts for coping with this for more than four hours, and, more important, for all the effort which obviously went into presenting an interesting assortment of Red Dragon country delicacies. Maybe not the right word for hot cockaleekie soup, nor perhaps the solid fruit cake, heavy but mouth watering, from the Fred Evans recipe book. The soup sold out early partly because it was so tasty but also because the playing temperature was uncomfortably cold. This was another example of what an enjoyable time we all have here in La Cala golf club. At the prize giving the Captain did thank “the Welsh team” for their efforts but it is a pleasure to repeat his words for the benefit of a wider audience. (Said he hopefully?)
One might have expected fewer players for a Greensomes, it not being everyone’s cup of cockaleekie soup, but there were 16 married couples in a field of 50. Doubtless the addition of the “party” attracted some, as might have done no less than six prizes, the final recipients being;
1st 38 Peter Edstrom & Lous Karlsman
2nd 38 Wendy Jewett & David Moody (on handicap)
3rd 37 Ritva Hagglund & Dean Moore
4th 37 David & Marie Wilson (on handicap)
5th 36 Bob & Jackie Rainbow
6th 34 Iain Macaulay & Karen O’Connor
Teams played off half their combined handicaps, rounded off.
Space must be found to include the report on the last action of this extended month.
“We won 2-1. Arthur & George 5 &3: David & Thomas 2 & 1: Alan & Jewett lost 3 & 2”
There was also a photograph taken of the two teams at lunch and carefully arranged Unfortunately it was shot against a bright background window so one had to question the value to readers of twelve silhouetts.
Meteorologically, and immediately, there is talk of higher temperatures and sustained sunshine. Let’s hope they are right. We have had enough of louring skies and welcome the returning mimosa and dog roses now appearing to brighten our landscapes. Fingers crossed for a nicer March and the decease of the chill factor wind of late. Meanwhile
LOVE IS IN THE AIR.
email@example.com – 29.Feb.2016