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Newsletter January 2015

The Jury’s Verdict

Whilst the Chinese seem a bit confused as to whether 2015 is the Year of the Sheep or Goat, there is no doubt this will be the Year of the Great British Cherry, making a strong comeback after years of imports. In addition this is the year of a new club Scribbler who pleads guilty as charged for the last issue, and has been anxiously awaiting the outcome of his trial.

Apart from one mild threat of legal action my first stab at the Newsletter seems to have been quite well received, which is a relief, thank you. One senior member did issue a warning though. “Don’t use too many long words” was his advice. I refuse to consider the possibility that this is a reflection on the readership at large, so have taken it as a personal criticism.

The idea of giving this monthly missive an identity, a name, also met with support but, said he carefully, none of the titles suggested really worked. Others have been promised but not delivered yet. Nudge, nudge Derek! Meanwhile, on further consideration, an understandable argument against change exists. Irregular web site browsers would see the word Newsletter and know what it is likely to be. “Jack’s Jottings”, or whatever, might not mean too much? Could even be a deterrent?

Since the December issue I have met with the La Cala production duo, David and Jose, who were charming, welcoming, helpful, educational and, quite important really, interested in the Newsletter. I found our little meeting very encouraging and am certainly feeling better informed about the mechanics of the task than when I last sat at the word machine.

Talking of which my learning curve with the iMac appears to be getting steeper! I am indebted to Messrs Moody, Farmer and Wershoven for their patience and assistance. (Apologies to my advice giver but it wasn’t me gave Johan a nine letter surname.)

I am not quite a believer in the “A picture’s worth a thousand words” brigade but they have been a traditional part of the Newsletter so I apologise in advance if there are a few more than normal this month. This is simply because a few, worthy of inclusion in December, were left out due to my technical inadequacies. (Oops! Another long one.)

Ladies in the Limelight

January Newsletter

Coming third in a league of eight teams may not seem such an outstanding achievement but, I am assured by those who have competed in the Senior Ladies League for many years, it was a considerable one. Captain Filema O’Callaghan was rightly proud of the distinctive trophy presented to mark the success. Those who supported her throughout the season included Suzanne Valentin, Karen O’Connor, Carol Rees, Maggie Coombes, Hazel Gilchrist, Pauline Hilliard, Ritva Hagglund, Ann Mills, Mary Evans, Cecelia Massey, Kathy Gulay, Sue Young, Sylvia Robbins, Linda Jackson, Cornelia Mapher, Alison Kirk, Lotta Syversen, and Jenny Chesterton.

Turkey Trot Re-visited

A few relevant photographs could not be included in the last issue so, to complete the pictorial record, here they now are.

Newsletter JanuaryStrong Contenders
03---040‘Hoho’Buggy Winners
Hampered but happy

San Miguel Trophy Winners

The very noteworthy achievement in winning this competition was duly recorded last month but a photo of the proud winners was not then available. It is now. Albeit not a very clear one.

Newsletter January

A new golfing year begins

Asia course was the setting for the first competition of 2015. January 3rd., to be precise. A Pairs Betterball which produced some excellent scores and the following prize winners;

1st. Libby Robinson & Brian Farmer 46
2nd Ritva Hagglund & Martin Whelan 45
3rd Anne Hannam & Alan Jewett 42

The winners

Things got more serious on Tuesday 6th., Europa course, simple, straightforward Stableford. Lovely weather, no holdups, no pressure from behind, good company, pity about my golf.

Ladies’ Results
1st Carol Rees 40
2nd Anne Hannam 38
3rd Libby Robinson 34

Carol was cut 1.2 to 12.0; Anne 0.6 to 17.1; whilst Libby retained the status quo.

Mens’ Results
1st Bobo Syversen 38
2nd Gordon Edwards 38
3rd David Evans 37

January newsletter
Familiar prize collector

Inevitably, apart from the bottles of wine, handicap reductions were also handed out. Bobo 0.4 to 7.1; Gordon ).4 to 9.6 and David 0.3 to 16.7

Four Clubs and a Putter

Many players make their decisions the previous day, or before leaving the garage, and after that there are no decisions to be made really? Remarkably, and reliably, the scores are always good, and January 10th on America, produced the familiar trend. Libby Robinson appears to have started the year on a roll and finished well ahead of the field.

1st Libby Robinson 41
2nd Hazel Gilchrist 36
3rd Bobo Syversen 35

January Newsletter
Lady in form

Come January 13th and the action swung to the Europa, again.

Ladies’ Results
1st Lotta Syversen nett 71
2nd Jill Davies 72
3rd Connie Maphar 73

First to qualify

Handicap adjustments Lotta 0.6 to 12.3.

Mens’ Results
1st Peter Hannam nett 69
2nd Arthur O’Connor 72
3rd Bobo Syversen 75


Adjustments for Peter 1.2 to 14.8 and Bobo +0.1 to 7.2 an unusual direction for him?
So, already we have Lotta & Peter qualifying for the Medal Winners’ Final on Tuesday October 20th. Well done both.

Residents v Rest of the World

This eagerly anticipated and fiercely fought battle is in Matchplay format. Teams of two, better ball scoring. On Saturday the 17th this year. A bottle of wine is not the issue at the end, although few refuse the opportunity to stock up. Why? Because this is a Trophy event. The outcome, beamingly announced by Captain Brian Farmer, who lives just up the road from the clubhouse and might be accused by some of being slightly biased, was a resounding win for the Residents 9 matches to 4.

January Newsletter
Forlorn Gordon presents the trophy

There were two talking points in the bar afterwards. Neither of great seriousness. How come pairs who lost but were in the winning team got a bottle of wine, whilst winning pairs in the losing team didn’t? Furthermore should someone living just next door in Mijas Costa High Street be an appropriate captain of the ROW team?!!

January Newsletter

My playing partner for the day was the indomitable, usually all conquering Les Wicks, whose many fans would hardly have recognised the man who assessed his own form as not being able to hit a cow’s backside with a banjo. Except he didn’t say backside.

January Newsletter
Musical Cowboy


Influence from Afar

As if the knowledge that there were only 345 shopping days left to Christmas wasn’t enough, the distant Rain Goddess(Ladies’ Vice Captain Pauline Hilliard for the benefit of those who missed the December bulletin), in her temporary nautical home, sitting above millions of gallons of water, decided that her friends and fellow members should suffer. Tuesday January 20th was chosen, with America course the prime target. Her cold, wet minions could be seen rapidly approaching from the direction of Coin, and play soon became a race against time. For the early starters at least, of which I was one. We made it to the 16th before the rain got us. I doubt we will ever play the last two holes so quickly ever again. Even so, when we reached the warmth and shelter of the clubhouse it was to find at least half the field there before us. The coffee machine was on turbo charge, with many a frozen finger thawing out with the aid of a clasped Americana, or the like. No sign at all of chilled Vina Sol.

Medals for bravery and persistence were eventually earned by;
1st Connie Maphar 32
2nd Alison Kirk 31
3rd Karen O’Connor 31

1st David Moody 32
2nd Peter Edstrom 31
3rd Les Wicks 31

January Newsletter
Humble David

It was good to see David Moody head the day’s leaderboard, and accept his prize with such grace and humility. Known in gastronomic circles as “The Blender”, David is relatively new to golf and an interesting partner on the course, providing he is not driving your buggy. His attention does tend to wander a bit as he regales anyone in distance with his latest “cracked it” theory. However, it is a relief to report that text books, manuals, videos and lessons galore are very gradually losing ground to the less complicated ‘step up and whack it’ approach, and the pleasing results are there for all to see. Well done, David. At least you have shown her you fear not the Rain Goddess.

Bramble Time Again

A popular return to this “Captain’s Choice” format took place on Europa on Saturday January 24th when it was a pleasure for me to meet and play with Jill Hornsby and Cees Lagerwerf for the first time. Under the shrewd, informed, quote laden captaincy of Roy Davies we fancied our chances after the first nine holes, but expectancy slowly diminished until we were out of sight when the winners crossed the line. They were;
1st Jill Davies, Bobo Syversen, Jan Debrauwer and Tomasina Costello 101
2nd Les Wicks, Johan Van Wershoven, Ron Chesterton & Wendy Hinds 99 points
3rd Arthur O’Connor, John Mills, Alison Kirk, & Maddie Brooks 98

January Newsletter

January Newsletter
January Newsletter

Happy Bramblers

Remarkably good scoring and a tight finish. My memory of the day will be the shot Cees hit into the 4th green from a way back fairway position. Awesome is the word that springs to mind. Not quite a tap in birdie but close. We were all very happy with his three points.


What happened to Romance?

Fans of “Come Dancing”, those who still like to trip the light fantastic, and all with a hint of romance in their soul, will be disappointed by the decision to cancel St.Valentine’s Day Ball.. Lack of support is perhaps understandable, with many of those of a foxtrot, waltz or quickstep background, and era, being away in the land of the rand. On the other hand, as I recall, it was billed as having an 80’s theme so maybe my theory is suspect. With musical memories of well known artists like Milli Vanilli, Tone-Lec and The Miami Sound Machine there may just be an alternative explanation?

January Companions

I am told that culo is Italian for buttock. Mike Bernardo told me this as he slapped himself on the backside after getting an eagle on Europa’s 8th. His first ever. Buttock touching or slapping apparently brings good luck. What he didn’t make clear was whether one can wish another person good luck?

Iain Macaulay shared a buggy with me one day, before his fall from grace, or wherever it was, and was a very Happy Bunny because he had re-discovered his swing. He has been frustrated for a while, but has put in some extra mileage and his practise shows. Obviously wishing to share his happiness with others he persisted in trying to tell me an obscure joke involving yellow golf balls and an Irishman. I don’t think we ever got to the punchline, at least I didn’t, but he never stopped laughing. Must be Outer Hebridean humour I guess?

On a more serious note, and as many will know, he has had two falls. One damaged his hand and the other didn’t do his artificial hip much good. Fortunately there was no breakage. He is currently having regular physiotherapy and hopes to be back in golfing action in 3 to 4 weeks time. Meanwhile he is also adjusting slowly to the loss of the Page Three girls.

It is surely not coincidental that John Crombie’s internet address is at Unbeknown to many he has a passion for the planets, the meteorites, the solar system, and outer space generally. Don’t mention UFO’s though. These do not count in his book. Footjoy and Haley are safer grounds for discussion. Equally should criticism of Newcastle United FC be avoided if his wife Lilian is around. Funny family?

Dean Moore is a new member, coming to the club via El Chaparel and Alhaurin. A former accountant, he retired early and came to live in Spain some years ago, since when his handicap has reduced considerably. He hits his middle irons a long way and has a Gilchrist putting style. Ambidextrous and somehow odd looking. Especially as he switches so quickly.

January Newsletter
Course company in action


Ritva Hagglund does it again

January Newsletter
Remarkable Ritva

During the Stableford Competition on Asia, Tuesday January 27th.,this remarkably consistent, regular prize winning member and “Two’s” specialist, set her personal bar even higher by getting a Hole-in-One at the 3rd. Her ninth would you believe!! It would be interesting to calculate how much this has cost her in Cava over the years? Meanwhile, those of us also playing on the day, were more than pleased to drink a toast to her considerable and enviable achievement.

Lest it be thought that Ritva’s talents are confined to the tennis court and golf course, let it be known that she also has green fingers which help to produce a bountiful supply of juicy, red grapefruits, which she generously distributes to fellow members. I shouldn’t be eating this particular fruit but can admit they were rather special.

Ritva’s latest achievement was a reminder of a rare score card experience about a year ago. Johan, then off about 26, holed out with his tee shot on America’s 4th. Remarkable in itself, but what made it more so was my recording 1 for 6 points!!


Faulty stimpmeter?

It’s only a meter long strip of aluminium so when it comes up with frightening results perhaps is the time to invest in a new one? Members who played in the Stableford competition on Asia, Tuesday January 27th would support the motion I suspect. Clubhouse tales of 3 and 4 putting were many, and the final scores rather confirmed that the greens were too fast for all but the very best. Most golfers in my experience prefer their greens fast rather than slow though, so if this is a sign of things to come, perhaps we should look upon it as a challenge and period of adjustment?

Honesty requires that also admit to one 4 putter, the only thing making it worthy of mention being it was in a bunker!

The day’s stars were:
1st Ritva Hagglund 31
2nd Wendy Hinds 30
3rd Val Wicks 28

1st Mike Tait 31
2nd David Wilson 29
3rd John Brookes 29

January Newsletter
So near and yet so far


Data Protection Act

It is an understandable law that private contact details should not be bandied about without the permission of the owners. A Directory of Members’ telephone numbers and email addresses is published by the Club at intervals and I understand a new one will be forthcoming after Ladies’ Captain Sonya Foster returns from holiday. However, this is not a complete list of all members because some have yet to authorise use of their internet address. My reason for mentioning the subject at all is because I am more than happy to receive emails, especially if they provide food for comment in future issues. It would be nice to “introduce” new members to everyone for example, but for that I need a few details first. If you are not already on the list but would like to be, please get in touch. (


Last day of the first Month

Aeolus, the God and Ruler of the Winds, must have got out of bed the wrong side, or had a late night, because today’s Waltz competition took part in very demanding conditions on Europa, which is enough of a challenge on a nice day. The wind was fierce and chilly. Johan Wershoven did well to stay home and entertain his visiting parents. Not his kind of day at all.

The draw for teams saw Arthur O’Connor and I together for the first time in ages. Not exactly cohorts. More co-shorts. Bob Rainbow may have worn long trousers, of a kind, but had bare arms. At the other end of the clothing scale was the fourth member of our squad, Felima O’Callaghan, whose dislike of the cold is well known. She came dressed like a cuddly polar bear. We had fun together but came off disappointed with our total, only later to find we were but two points off the Wine Distribution Ceremony. The more successful teams were:

January Newsletter

1st Bobo Syversen, Joy Garvey, Heimo Kupso & Penelope Berends-Sheriff 81 points
2ndMike Robbins, Yvonne Post,David Moody & Karen O’Connor 81 (on handicap)
3rd Lotta Syversen, John Brooks & Roy Davies 79

January Newsletter

January Newsletter
January Newsletter

January’s last winners


La Cala Golf Academy’s Monthly Junior Tournament

On the last Saturday of every future month there will be an event for Under 16’s on the par three course. Played over 12 holes the format will be Stableford and, as well as a welcome gift for all taking part, there will be prizes for the top three scores on the day. Furthermore, the monthly competition will enter the players into a ranking system which will also earn rewards for the top three at the end of six months. This is a positive step in an effort to encourage the younger family members and get them interested in the game we all enjoy so much.


Wednesday Clinics

These once popular events are making a come back. Every Wednesday morning at 10.00 instructor Borja Mariscal will be on hand for an hour and covering all the basics of the game, from driving to putting and in between. This shared tuition requires a minimum of four people and costs will be”
10 euros per person for 8 or more
13.50 for 5-7
20 for 4
A cost effective way to better your game and hone your skills with the help of an excellent coach.

The La Cala Octagenarians’ Blues

With apologies to Ella Fitzgerald

Erling Johnsen, Iain Macaulay, the departed(only to Kinsale)Brian Elmore and I, were the first to embrace the idea of being allowed to play off the Blue Tees. About a year ago. I had just bought some new clubs, which might appear a bit optimistic at my age, and we all began to enjoy our golf once more. It prompted me to write a little ode which, as the party piece requested of all at the Seniors’ Dinner, it was my intention to recite. Unfortunately the event was cancelled because of “lack of support” so perhaps I might be allowed to present it now?

There are some of ancient vintage who do battle every week
They play for fun and friendship, no bottles do they seek
Some play in woolly hats, some with exposed knees
Despite the cooler weather they never seem to freeze

They may have lost the golfing knack
And suffer pain in hips and back
Yet never waver, never crack
Or rush off quick to see the quack

Someone on high, but not the Pope
Decided to revise the Slope
New life was offered the veteran crew
The chance to use the tees of Blue

They may be old but they’re no fools
Let’s act before the offer cools
Then one invested in new tools
With which to tackle the new rules

Swinging clubs with all his might
He failed to hit balls “out of sight”
Greens in regulation, not quite
Forget about using tees of white

As suggested by James Reid
Who likes to sow a lively seed
On which discussion can then feed
But this time will just prove a weed.

Enough of tees and wandering boars
Or this might just provoke some snores
Enjoy your golf and get good scores
Shake the youngsters to their core


Seniors’ Dinner

Please note that, undaunted by last year’s set back, plans are firmly in hand for this year’s event which will be held on Thursday February 26th. Full details can be found on the notice board or from Captain Brian Farmer. The only two qualifications are that you should be male and 50+.

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