This year will be celebrated the 25th Anniversary of this popular fund raising competition at La Cala. Thanks to the hard work of many, both management and members, substantial sums have been forthcoming hitherto. Now the aim is to set the bar even higher to mark the occasion. Meetings have already taken place. Jobs apportioned. Targets set. Sponsors need to be recruited. Notices prepared. Prizes collected for the Tombola and Auction. Volunteers sought. Saturday June 2nd will be the big day but there is much to be done meanwhile. Please start collecting those copper coins, those items for tombola and raffle, and keep the date free. The golf will be fun, as always, but the satisfaction of handing over a big fat cheque at the end of the day will mean a lot to us all, but even more to those whose lives depend on Cudeca’s efforts.
So the time sheets tell us but this is not intended as a weather warning. It could be though. The cold spell continues and shorts remain in the wardrobe. The new month began in earnest with a Round Robin on America, 12 squads setting forth on Saturday 3/2. It is probable that Team 12, who started on Hole 12, finished 12th., so poor were their results. Fortunately there is no booby prize for finishing last or there would have been an embarrassing picture of Derek Steele, Danny Rees, Loraine Murphy and myself. Despite the absence of any consistent play we nevertheless managed to enjoy ourselves, although Danny’s exasperation limits were fully tested, but with not a hint of industrial language.
Those from a different skills planet, and to whom the path to the wine table is well worn, included:
Loraine Murphy kindly deputised as duty shutterbug, produced some good clarity pictures, but got a bit carried away on subject matter. Normally the newsletter doesn’t focus on the 2’s but Brian Farmer looked so happy after picking up 15 balls it seemed a shame not to include his beaming features.
Some members are still using Lady Captain Felima O’Callaghan’s outdated internet address. Please change your records and note that her current and especially relevant address is now – email@example.com.
Just too late for inclusion in the last issue it should not be overlooked that we were again delighted to host one of the Winter Professional Tour events over two days 29-30/1. David Krajny, one of our members and current holder of the Champion’s title, was in the field this year but got off to a wretched start and withdrew after a mere six holes.
The ultimate winner was Juan Carlos Osorio whose 69-72 = 141 left him two ahead of the joint runners up.
All our photographs can be enlarged with a simple click. This doesn’t work with imported pictures normally.
Two photos taken more than ten years ago were recently submitted together with a challenge to name the holes. Which we did, and were correct! Now it is your turn.
Last month reference was made to a long established golf club, the article provoking this response from Geoff Thompson.
To return briefly to a January topic one would like to touch on the subject of lingerie once more. Bras doesn’t look right to me? The word itself. In fact so strange did it seem as the keys were struck that advice was sought. In one sense a bra is a bra. One unit, thus singular, albeit serving a double purpose. Pronounced “bra’s” the word sounds like the noise a sheep might make, whereas “bras” suggests a phonetic change? More north countryish? “bras” is grammatically correct, for sure, but still sits uneasily in mind. Thought we’d just get that off our chest, so to speak.
Let it be admitted right from the start that the paragraph heading is by way of a confession. A colder morning cannot be remembered than Tuesday 6/2 as players gathered in the car park with obvious reluctance, all dressed as though ready to emulate the feat of the six army ladies just back from walking across Antartica. Earlybirds, off at 10.00 we stood on America’s first tee, teeth chattering, fingers being wrung to improve circulation and, in at least two cases, to keep atrial fibrillation from having a field day. Then an icy drizzle turned up, albeit briefly as things turned out, but a decision had to be made, and was. The fortuitous arrival of a young marshall in an otherwise empty buggy proved too tempting, so excuses were made to my playing partners, and ten minutes later Lilian was startled when she saw me home – so early. My three colleagues in their Michelin Man outfits went bravely forth. The drizzle didn’t last long and by midday the sun was shining. However, a fierce wind arrived to nullify these benefits so never really warm did it get. Mind you, these two photos suggest otherwise?
The grapevine reported “several” players retiring after nine holes but the hardy souls kept going, restricted by their winter woollies, inspired by mental images of red and white wine bottles. Connie Maphar-Massar’s 32 points earned her first place, followed very closely by Margaret Fotheringham(31) and Loraine Murphy(30).
Chris Slattery is beginning to show encouraging signs of his former self, his 34 points off 6 in tricky conditions saw him finish just behind Geoff Thompson(36)and marginally ahead of a resurgent Mike Robbins on handicap(34). Geoff was the day’s only player to have a handicap chop – 0.6 to 15.4 Downwards and downwards he continues to go.
None were available to be shot at prize giving. Unfortunately an uninvited dose of conjunctivitis explained Geoff’s absence, which was a double pity because he would also have featured for having the third hole-in-one of his golfing career. The latest was during the RollUp on Asia when his 60 degree wedge obediently rolled back down the slope and into the waiting hole. Previously the 16th on America had similarly succumbed whilst, going back in time, the 12th at Royal Montrose started him off. With close to 40 RollerUppers on parade it is likely this latest feat will have been the most expensive. He deserves a picture?
The annual matchplay competitions do tend to favour those who live here most of the year. Dates for occasional visitors aren’t always easy to arrange and last year there were more than the usual number of walkovers, which is not desirable if often understandable. It has now been suggested by two knowledgeable sources that including up to date results might at least help others fix/arrange their dates more readily. So, always anxious to please, we will give it a whirl. This month we merely show the five draws. For those interested this will be like having your own notice board to hand. Henceforth the month’s results will be posted in each issue. We hope it helps.
Not in any other sense than their prize day pictures were not available for the January issue. Deserving of recognition for their successful play were
The financial services company bearing the name of its founder has been sponsoring the annual England v The Rest of the World match since 2007, and the owner, Andrea Speed, was on parade at the comfort stop, assisted by her daughter Danielle. Afterwards she was to make a short but purposeful presentation of the company’s services.
Also helping out was Lady Captain Felima O’Callaghan who looked as though en route to the Winter Olympics.
It was to prove England’s day. What with the demolition of a good Welsh rugby team elsewhere, and a convincing 8-3 triumph over the ROW, fittingly on Europa! Felima was in sole charge of the prize giving, and is seen below presenting Monique Peels with a bottle of champagne. No skill or indeed effort was required by our regular photo subject, other than standing, walking forward, and smiling sweetly. It is hoped that she will remember who it was that drew her name from the hat!! Mrs Speed shares the picture.
As she does with Felima and James Reid, proud captain of the winning team and suitably dressed for the occasion.
The usual bottles of wine were not presented to the winning team as such, but to the winning pairs, of which there should have been eleven, the photo below suggesting that some had already left to watch the midday soccer match on TV, or didn’t realise what was happening! Nevertheless a happy looking group.
Mahatma Gandhi, it is reported, once said “There is more to life than increasing its speed”. Maddie Brookes is clearly unaware of this. In less time than it takes some to consult their distance gadget, Maddie has addressed her ball and whacked it away. In so doing she admirably demonstrates how to keep your head down, to such an extent that she invariably needs others to tell her where the ball went. Would that more played with her swiftness, and she is a delightful companion in a buggy too. As indeed were our adversaries, Ralf Johansson and his sister-in-law Elizabeth Stahl, both capable of near perfect English, great sense of humour, and no mean golfers. Thank you all for the pleasure of your company in conditions which gave hope that “winter” was retreating.
The monthly medal took place on Asia, Tuesday 13/2 whilst my time was being spent trying to reach San Antonio hospital via Malaga’s aggravating one way systems. By the time success was registered, after three complete circuits of the city centre, one would have preferred a cardiologist to the orthopaedic surgeon!
Meanwhile there have been no comments or feedback about golf so straight into the bare facts. Paul O’Callaghan showed plenty of life for a mature canine by winning with a highly commendable nett 71, whilst also waving the flag for the longer lifers was Mike Robbins with 73. Joop Peels, who seems to be figuring a lot recently, was third but a way back on 76. Still a good performance though.
Addressing now the Ladies one must diplomatically steer away from the age theme and merely congratulate Connie Maphar for finishing ahead of the field – again – with 73. Memory suggests that she has already qualified for the Medal Finals, which might be good news for Laura Thompson whose 75 earned her second place. Maddie “Speedy Gonzales” Brookes was third with 77.
Quite a few handed in Nil Return cards so conditions cannot have been that easy?
Jing and her husband Michael might rightly claim to be the Yin and Yang of La Cala GC.
Our hard working Secretary is on holiday in South Africa from whence she has sent this group picture – but without text. Which is unusual. She is normally more than erudite. One can only assume the group of familiar faces(even the one hiding behind shades) were raising a glass to newly elected Cyril Ramaphosa? Or perhaps attracted by the nearby notice?
Re-visiting the source of this photograph it is noted that it was titled “Sundowners at Simola” which sort of solves the “reason” mystery. Subsequently it has been learned that drinks were followed by “a fabulous braai(South African for BBQ)on the terrace looking across the beautiful Simola golf course”.
Whilst on another continent it seems the water problem there is more severe than here in Andalucia. Strictly controlled usage. This picture shows what is usually a vast reservoir lake at Franschoek.
Previous reference has been made in these columns about John Crombie’s passion for the universe. Since a young lad his dream has been to one day be an astronaut. Now a picture has come to hand showing “A giant step for John Crombie” as he poses for his grandson in a real space suit. Young Lucas obviously approves.
Sometimes the newsletter is a struggle. What to write about. The sex life of a turnip would be inappropriate one suspects?. Fortunately, out of the blue, as one sits blankly before the screen, arrives a picture of Past Captain Vic Hilliard enjoying his own private Strictly Come Dancing. Where, when, and why in shorts is not known.
Actually there is nothing wrong with having nothing to say – unless you insist on saying it. So that’s it for today.
Let us politely record that the Mini Shotgun on Asia, Sunday 18/2 began and ended in some disarray. The official time sheet said 0930 start, whereas recently it has been 1000. On arrival players were told it was a mistake and should be 1000. Muttering as they do, most retired to the clubhouse for coffee, only to be disturbed mid-cup by the arrival of David Moody with news that it should be 0930 after all! Nobody believed him at first but when he took gentle umbrage and said “OK. Don’t shoot the messenger” reality set in and there was a scramble back to cars, to change, and get to the tee.
Jumping ahead, to the prize giving, which was switched to the courtyard because of a wedding, and where some sort of microphone/sound system would have been a great help to softly spoken Lady Captain, Felima O’Callaghan, organiser for the day.Further misunderstandings were at hand. It is not currently clear what happened but the late submission of one card didn’t help matters, plus queries over handicaps arose, leading at one stage to the suggested withdrawal of bottles from the team announced in third place with a seemingly creditable score of 105 points! Not quite bedlam – but close.
Finally it was all agreed and the bottle claimers lined up as follows;
Somehow, to add to the kefuffle, no picture was taken of the team who finished third with 111 points, which was Peter Penney, Carol Rees, Damien Murphy, Maddie Brookes.
Instead, the team who were third for five minutes or so, then fourth but still grasping their ill gotten gains, were captured on camera albeit with the aid of outside help, successful this time.
By very slow play and the absence of patrolling marshalls. Mind you the two Davids, Moody and Millar, were pleasant enough company, which was just as well because we had ample time to stand around and natter. Our scores were nothing to write home about but concentration was near impossible to maintain.Nice to be playing in warm sunshine again though.
Like elsewhere, there is much work being done on Campo America, so it looks a bit scruffy in parts. Bare wire netting behind the 11th tee opens us up to the passing world, whereas the hedge, now deceased and gone, gave us some privacy. The courses are all going through a period of change, and certainly will be lighter, but there is still much clearing up and “prettifying” ahead of Pedro and his team.
Bumped into a swarthy Stuart Bewley, now back in action after operations on both hands. By coincidence the following article crossed my desk later the same day.
Once off 5 handicap, now 11, events on the day suggest he may have started the climb down again. We wish him well. Another showing a flush of form recently is Mike Robbins. Also good to see. More lessons or injections, Mike? His 39 points saw him clear at the head of the final leaderboard, followed by Damien Murphy(35)and the aforementioned Stuart(34).
Val Wicks, a familiar name in first place, was there again with 36 points, whilst Caz Rosselli(34) and Laura Thompson(33)were others ahead of the field.
It seems there have been two matches against this friendly 9 hole club, both of which we won. 2-1 away and 3-0 at home. Those wearing our shirts, and under the leadership of David Moody, were Thomas Widegren, Alan Jewett, Bob Rainbow, Peter Robinson, John Brookes and Roy Davies, although not all at the same time. To complete this “report” (?) came a handful of photographs, mostly of the opposition and thus unlikely to be of great interest to our members. However, a few crumbs are welcome when there are no loaves around.
Our Senior Ladies League team sprang into competitive action with a home game against Anoreta. Conditions were chilly to kick off with but then the sun came out to transform it into a glorious day. Made the more so by us winning 2-1 with Loraine/Wendy and Dorothee/Caz chalking up big margin victories. Lunch on the terrace (!) rounded off an enjoyable day.
Word reaches us from Peru, where else, that the maritime nomads Vic and Pauline Hilliard, are planning two Away Days this summer. Room for 32 golfers at each. Torrequebrada on July 5th and La Canada on August 23rd are the venues. Both are Thursdays, which will please David Wilson no end? Our nautical twosome will be back in dock here from March 26 but interest can be expressed by email meanwhile.
Dean Moore is now Captain/Organiser of our Mens’ team and was faced with severe selectorial difficulties for the opening game of the new season, versus Marbella GC away. Little wonder perhaps that the result was a complete whitewash with no report or intimate details forthcoming. The return is probably going to be just too late to include in this issue but a review of both encounters has been promised, with revenge threatened. Meanwhile photographic evidence shows the two teams whilst the clubs excellent restaurant indicates that some aspects of the day managed to provide enjoyment and satisfaction.
Whilst familiar with the chosen Campo some were puzzled by the name of the day’s competition. However, printed rules were to hand on Sunday 25/2 and it all became reasonably simple. Providing you got the correct six holes. In the past it has been known for teams to record the first six played as opposed to the first six on the card! So, for the benefit of those not there the rules required teams to record two scores on the card’s first and last six holes, and three scores on the middle six. Hence Stableford Sandwich!!
Overall it was a nice day to be playing and at the end Best of Show were
The newsletter is always pleased to welcome new members and today it is the turn to say “Hello” to a Danish family of four, often holiday makers in this area, but now residents in the Miraval community. They play a lot of golf but have yet to join in any of our weekly competitions, a situation which Captain Thomas Widegren is addressing, relating as it does to Federation issues. Plus the fact that both parents are still very active in their respective careers. Father Per Sand is a partner in an IT company. Mother Solveig, of Norwegian origin, is a Supply Manager in a Medical company. Their sons, Anders 19 and Frederick 16 are still at school. Despite these distractions their all their handicaps are enviable, being 9 10 4.5 and 6 respectively! Clearly a lot of natural ability to which we look forward to seeing close at hand, perhaps at Easter when their next visit is due. Meanwhile we wish them a happy life here at La Cala, and hope they will soon be familiar faces at our golf and social events. A warm welcome to all four.
Tuesday 27/2 saw 15 groups of four searching for good individual Stableford scores on Asia. Inevitably, some were more successful than others. Xherdan Shaqiri has an unusual name, a low centre of gravity, twinkling feet, and a great burst of speed. None of which Iain Macaulay nor this editor can claim. It was nightmare time for the sociable Scot who, for a while, dreaded the thought that he might hand in his worst ever score since coming to Spain. Fortunately the Outer Hebridian gods were in sympathetic mood and he was better able to enjoy his post match beers than at one stage seemed likely. The famous Curate’s Egg comes readily to mind when thinking to describe my own round, so it was truthful to tell Lilian later that a handful of good shots had been hit. David Moody, another member of the first out group, began well but began to fade, inexorably and finally completely, after mysteriously losing his ball on the 12th, Meanwhile, walking briskly and trundling his obedient trolley, Dean Moore went quietly about his business, his precise hitting and dependable short game earning him 35 well deserved points. Having faced the bright early morning sun directly into our eyes, but enjoying no rewarding warmth, we were later assailed by a high speed Beast from the East wind which took command both of hats and balls. Those going out later will have been blown to pieces. All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
Indefatigable Connie Maphar seems to be on a hot streak this year. Today’s 34 points eased her into first position amongst the ladies with Carol Rees just getting her nose ahead of Jill Davies for second place. Both scoring 33 points.
Burly Damien Murphy took centre stage amongst the men with 36 points, aided by a buggy, just ahead of Dean Moore, without a buggy, on 35. Not often up there with the big boys Michael Costello also registered 35 but was pipped on handicap.
Unfortunately relevant photos will have to wait until our next edition because of the cancellation of competition/prizegiving scheduled for Sunday 4/3.
The Captain’s Away Day(s) outing has changed its dates to May 16-18. Those interested should contact Thomas Widegren if they haven’t already done so. The destination, format and schedule remain as originally published.
Members may well be familiar with this innocent looking but highly dangerous object. Beware. It has a life of its own and can strike at any moment. It goes under the disarming name of “David Moody’s water bottle” but, given his temporary absence from the buggy, it can become ferociously active, leaping from under the dashboard where it has been noisily rolling back and forth, and lashing out at whichever part of the driver’s anatomy is closest. Its appearance is very deceptive because, unlike the average water bottle, made of lightweight plastic, incapable of hurting anything other than fish, David’s constant companion is made of heavy metal. Having suffered attacks to my feet more than once, this warning is prompted by the suffering of a new target area, my right knee, from which, elatedly, the blue beastie leapt from the buggy and went rolling off down the path ahead. Eventually, tired but not unhappy or apologetic, it lay prone and satisfied. Thus allowing the photograph to be taken.
Our imaginative committee has planned a programme of three wine tastings, the first of which will be on Wednesday March 21st at 1900 in the hotel’s Bodega Bar. Presentations will cover three major growing regions and cultures. Rioja will be the first. Ribera del Duero and Catalunya & Otras will follow on dates yet to be fixed. The cost is set at 20 euros per person which, of course, will include the wine and cheese. Ideally orders should be for a minimum of six bottles per label. Prices will be competitive.
A talented three man team from Sunbury GC in snow swept Surrey arrived in good time for their 1130 tee off on America Friday March 2nd. Ready for the fray and itching to go was our team of Thomas Widegren, John Brookes and Alan Jewett. Curiously none were in golfing attire when we all met up in the clubhouse. The fact that the 72 hour deluge continued, the fierce wind was angrily battering the trees, and all three courses were unplayable, may have had some bearing on the choice of clothing. Coffee was consumed and friendly conversation substituted for ball striking. A very pleasant group whom we hope to see back again for a return match sometime.
The time sheet for Sunday March 4th was available on line during Friday, which was efficient, but ended with a notice in white text on dark red background, informing participants that “Based on the weather and the outlook the decision is taken to cancel the Sunday competition. Have a nice weekend.”
Incidentally, one weeps for webmaster Jose and his young family who have been on holiday this week. My delayed meeting with him explains why the beginning of March overlaps the tail end of February in this edition.
Death is the Number One killer in the world. Life is sexually transmitted. Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die. Health freaks are going to feel sorry some day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing.
Towards the end of March two very popular members will depart the scene. There is bound to be some sort of special gathering to bid them well in their future life but it is obviously too early to be reporting on whatever it may be. Meanwhile though, for those not familiar with their early history, here is an extract from a 2007 newsletter about Ron and Jenny Chesterton.
It is worthy of note that they achieved their stated ambitions. A decent command of the language. Considerable contributions to Committee, not least as Captains, and always at the heart of social functions. For which they are congratulated.
For 37 years Chicago has hosted the EquiTrust International Squash Championships, a sport which for many competitive years provided me with exercise and enjoyment. At our club in Kent we had a six times World Champion as coach, an Egyptian of mind blowing skills. Happy memories came flooding back as one watched the latter stages of this years Chicago action. Not really a good sport for TV unless you are a fan and know that what may look quite easy and even boring at times – isn’t! This year a young lady with the name of Sarah-Jane Perry caught my attention – wonder why? – but she just got eased out in the semi-final. Thanks to Catch Up this sporting stroll down nostalgia’s lane made me want to search out my old racquet and take to our little used court in the clubhouse!! But my body said “No”.
An unavoidable subject with which we are all well and truly fed up just now. Persistent and prolonged spells of rain, winds stronger than usual, some intermittent sunshine but lacking any consistent warmth, temperatures all year thus far lower than those to which we are accustomed. As this is being written all three courses have been unplayable for 72 hours and our Sunday competition has already been cancelled – 48 hours in advance. Play, it can be seen, has resumed (3/3),but it can’t be much fun putting on sodden greens, walking on soggy fairways, and trying to fish your ball from a bunker half filled with water without a proper retriever? Pearl Fisher, the fount of considerable knowledge on most subjects, informed that the rain would start again at 1400. She was a couple of minutes adrift but it is now pouring again, making the Captains’ decision about tomorrow(Sunday)a very sensible one.
If you have any which might be of general interest we would be pleased to see them. Especially if relevant to golf and/or members.
More enviable news comes from a South African winery called Eikendal where the Lentelinks, Gilchrists, and Youngs met for lunch and made another small but important contribution to the local drought conditions. They drank wine instead of water.
Was a wash out here. Competition cancelled but exercise not forsaken. By a few anyway. Whilst the male members may not have been too dismayed by having to stay indoors, externally dry, warm, and endless soccer and rugby matches to watch from the comfort of their armchairs, a few of our ladies
“worked out” in the gym together with a number of others whose faces are unfamiliar and names unknown. It must be said that they all look very happy? Very loud Spanish music is involved in whatever routine they were pursuing but, if it does them good,so be it.
Last month we mentioned how close Dustin Johnson, World No 1 right now, came to a hole in one on a par 4 430 yards or so. Since seen on TV and we are talking inches! This led to a bit of research and the discovery that a 29 year old from St.Andrews has just won the first of this year’s Long Drive World Series, played on a flat and not flattering surface, clearly maked out like a javelin or shot put area. James Tait by name, he drove the ball 390 yards. He, like most of the other competitors, is not an especially good all round golfer. To keep things in perspective Dustin’s average for 2017 was just over 300 yards.
Looking for special feats led me to Mike Austin who, back in 1974, at Las Vegas, drove his tee shot 515 yards!
Modesty prevents the mention of details but older members of ASGA may recall a special long drive award which came my way some years ago. Roger Dew reminded me recently! Those more currently aware of my length off the tee will understandably be amazed.
A look at Hole-in-One stats amazingly revealed that the longest recorded is 517 yards(473 metres)in Denver, Colorado. Well the air is very thin there?
Men take on average 24 years of playing before getting one, a handicap of 14, and an age of 50-59. Womens’ similar stats are 15 years and age 55. No mention of handicap!
Someone reckoned the odds against a Double Eagle were about nine million to one but a voice of authority disagreed.
“Dean Knuth, who was senior director of the handicap department at the USGA from 1981 to 1997 and now a Golf Digest contributing editor, says they’re lower than that but still great, about a million-to-one shot.
That makes your chances of becoming one of the couple of hundred golfers a year to make a double eagle (as opposed to 40,000 aces) better than being killed by a shark (1 in 350 million) or dying from a dog bite (one in 18 million) but worse than being struck by lightning (one in 555,000) or, for a woman, having quadruplets without the aid of fertility drugs (one in 729,000).
“They’re definitely far more rare than aces,” Knuth says. “Someone has to hit two great shots. You have to have length and ability. Only a small percentage of golfers, less then 10 percent, ever reach a par 5 in two. That means 90 percent of golfers don’t have a chance of making one.”
Finally we get to a Condor. Who knows what it is? It’s a par 5 in one and has only been recorded four times! The last by a 16 year old Australian boy in 2007. 547 yards(467 metres). No mention is made of the conditions of the courses. Off the yellow tees America’s 18th demands 491 metres(540 yards) and quite a few of our lads have been pin high recently – before the rains came. Eagles have been almost commonplace but-don’t mention the slopes?
Jose is back and our 16.00 meeting is confirmed for this afternoon(5/3). His holiday weather was kinder than here so he should be raring to go and get this newsletter to members in the next couple of days.
Meanwhile this picture of the home of golf seems the right note on which to end.