Only the 2nd and off we go again. Or some anyway. The weather was iffy, as we say in England, so scoring was not spectacular, if you exclude Michael Kruppa. Which eventually is what had to be done! Our German freund is not Federated, it seems, so his 39 points earned him a consolation bottle of wine but nothing more. It’s not painful Michael. Ask Mike Tunnell when you next meet. He was a late convert too.
The legal players who finished high on their respective leaderboards were;
Maggie Coombes(34), Pauline Hilliard(33), Hazel Gilchrist(32)
David Gilchrist(34), Peter Penney(33), Merv Coombes(32)
Readers may be assured that both Captains will not appear in every photo in future. A bit tricky to correct on the day but the subject has now be aired and cleared.
The traditional Drive In took place on Saturday 6/1 and began with 0830 breakfast in the clubhouse hosted by the new Captains, Thomas Widegren and Felima O’Callaghan. Let us begin by thanking them for their hospitality and wishing them an enjoyable and successful year in office. It promises to be an interesting one with Thomas’s ideas already beginning to spill over the edge of his glass.
(ED. Jumped the gun a bit there! For “took place” please read “should have taken place”.)
At about the time that our much heralded Rain Goddess was setting sail on the first leg of her latest aquatic adventure the heavens above us opened and washed out what should have been a notable occasion. Players reported in but dressed in protective clothes not normally associated with golf. Somehow breakfast didn’t taste the same but sighs of relief heavily out weighed protests when the cancellation was announced. Now, a couple of hours later, the sun is back on parade and golfers can be seen in action. Thomas, who is Swedish, was very philosophical about things. Apparently rain on an event day, like your wedding for example, is seen as a sign of good fortune. So, if the distant Rain Goddess had anything to do with this, Thomas owes her one. Meanwhile members dispersed and spent the rest of their suddenly changed day actively DIY-ing perhaps, or, more likely at a guess, in couch potato mode.
At time of writing the third successive day of rain is upon us, snow can be seen on not too distant mountains, not including Sierra Nevada. It was 8C in the garden centre yesterday, very colourful but devoid of customers. Wonder why? Probably time to get a blanket out of its winter hibernation?
(Ed, Since writing which we have had hail stones! Not a very good photo but, for a short while, America’s 16th green and 17th fairway changed to white.)
Let it be admitted that Andy Murray is not my favourite sportsman. His application, skills and achievements can only be admired, but his demeanour, personality, scruffy stubble, and funereal dress sense detract from the overall image. In this humble view. However, having “been there, done that” one can only sympathise with him if the current hip diagnosis proves correct. Pain and loss of movement often occurs as a result of femoracetabular impingement which, in layman’s terms, means a lump of extra bone has developed and reduces the range of movement. Both my hips have suffered this set back, after successful surgery, and now the right ankle is trying to get into the act. Near the other end of Andy’s ladder it was possible to keep playing tennis into my mid 70’s , but one still lingers for a return to the courts! Meanwhile, one can but wish a great player well.
January looks like starting late for your frustrated editor. 2/1 missed because of Xanit appointment. 9/1 absence indirectly caused by ordinary looking young woman who molested me in Butibamba territory and in so doing relieved me of my Omega watch, a gift from Lilian in South Africa back in 1985. As part of the investigation my presence was “requested” in Fuengirola police station to view pictures of possible suspects on the computer system. What was amazing was the number of choices available. All mid European women of nondescript appearance but not one familiar to me so a wasted journey and, one suspects, the end of the story. What it cost me was a round with three of the fittest and most competitive members whose company is never less than enjoyable.
One uses the plural because this is not the first time the SGF’s computer has let them down. Results for Tuesday 2/1 were delayed a week. An irritating hiccup! When they did eventually reach our web site it was immediately clear that the new year continues where the old one left off. At least for Monique Peters, whose 38 points on Europa left her 3 clear of Mervi Linderborg, with dependable Connie Maphar in third on 31 points.
Unlike the soccer team we both love Richard Hinds kicked off the new season with an excellent 38 points, closely followed by Derek Steele(35) and Gerry Rippinger(33).
Monique was slashed 1.2 to 22.9 and Richard 0.9 to 15.3 both good starts to another campaign.
Former Captain, youthful eminence grise, gin connoisseur, impatient golfer, backroom force, cricket and long ball enthusiast, seasoned traveller, ex-pat with a capital E, and much featured in the newsletter photographic archives. Not often flatteringly. There is a tendency to appear bored or disinterested so it came as a pleasant surprise to get the shot below. It is included for no other reason than it is a nice one of a solid club member.
As has already been reported in these columns Brian Farmer is to retire as organiser of our Mens’ Inter Club team after four years of efficiency and enjoyment. Replacement volunteers were not exactly falling over themselves to take on the task but then Vice Captain Dean Moore stepped forward. Via Brian and Dean some of the fixtures have already been finalised, and details follow.
Regular and occasional players have already been advised but if you would like your name added to the circulation list, please advise Dean – email@example.com
There is currently a school of thought advocating a fresh approach to our weekend competitions. Particularly on the Captains’ Choice dates. Reading between the lines the search would seem to be for a more light hearted atmosphere, less complicated scoring, inspiring for all handicap levels, not too competitive, and enjoyable by mixed sex teams. Ideas are being sought so if you have any please email them to Monique at firstname.lastname@example.org. Already formats such as Metoo, Canadian Gruesome, and Bingo, Bango, Bongo have emerged but, having some experience of these variations, one must question their complication qualification!
Thoughtco.com might be of interest to you, Monique?
January weekend pin positions might also provide food for thought? To say nothing of the yellow v blue tee positions, a long overdue review of which is not expected any time soon!
Thursday July 5th to be exact. An Away Day at Torrequebrada is scheduled. Details much nearer the time though.
Reminds me to remind all members that the Hotel Golf Almerimar will host the Captains’ Away Day May 23-25th.Those who have yet to register interest should contact Thomas Widegren.
News that Dustin Johnson came within inches of a Hole-in-One on a 433 yard par 4 Hawaiian course recently lends support to those who argue that technology needs to be reigned in. We have members who can drive Asia’s second, and we envy their ability, but it’s a mere 252 yards!
Almost equally hard to believe is that golf heads the list of boring sports. See insert below
Athletics topped the popularity chart, three places clear of soccer. Cricket, darts and snooker aren’t rated highly either. Funny old world?
It may have been cold but at least it was dry for those participating in an AM.AM competition on Saturday the 13th, Campo Europa hosting the action. This time the day was breakfastless, the budget having been expended on the washed out initial date. Much of the team sheet appeared unchanged though and there was a certain familiarity about those successful teams stepping up for their traditional bottle. In order of achievement these were;
At time of writing the scores are a secret, locked away in the Captain’s Bible, with the worthy gentleman away in Gstaad. Hopefully they might emerge before we go to press so as to complete the story.
The day was special in a variety of ways. The first time it was my pleasure to share a buggy with Allan Fotheringham. His first time to play off the blue tees. The first time blue logs have been seen, albeit just on one hole? Strange, but encouraging perhaps? Time the disadvantage of their absence was removed. Finally it was a special day for Sonya Foster and Gerry Rippinger, it marking the occasion of their birth.
Above all though it was a very special day for Thomas Widegren and Felima O’Callaghan who, at last, got to experience their Drive In. It being the 13th it was unlikely to go without a hitch and, sure enough, come the actual event, the overcast sky decided to jettison some weight by releasing stored rain, not exactly torrential but enough to dampen the spirits a bit and deter many from stepping out from cover to watch our two captains in action. The scene of this was also special in that, instead of being way down the 18th and hitting towards the audience, they drove from a mat on the astro turf alongside the clubhouse. Poor Felima, who feels the cold more than most and would have understandably felt happier if at home by her log fire, was also fearful of hitting the glass “fence” which fronts the area. Clearly nervous, and shivering, she safely cleared the hurdle twice but her third shot hit the wall supporting the “fence” and rebounded to the back of the area behind her. A feat for which she was rightly applauded, even though it did little for her distance records.
Thomas was at the other end of the spectrum, not worried a bit about the rain, being Swedish, full of confidence and raring to go. He hit three great shots to even more applause.
Dean Moore had been busy getting members to bet on the length of the drives, all the proceeds in aid of Cudeca, with Maggie Coombes emerging a winner even though underestimating Thomas’s 221 metre effort, 200 being the longest available on the sheet! Felima had a more than respectable 118 with the winning guesstimate being that of George Kirk. All of which left Cudeca 242 euros better off. A worthy effort by our team.
Woven into all the proceedings were tapas and prize givings for January 2 and 9, the results appearing elsewhere.
One couldn’t help feeling a bit sorry for the Captains, vice captains, and others who played a part in organising the entire day.The change in the weather spoiled the whole mood of the congregation, many of whom, unusually, ordered hot coffee when they came in from the golfing plains. The clubhouse, or extension thereof, lacks gemutlich and especially when it is chilly. The upright heaters were on this day but not enough in terms of quantity or emission level to restore blood temperatures. Had it been the normal, sunny, warm weekend afternoon, with wine or beer flowing, the very original idea of announcing the draws for all five knockout competitions might have been better received. Thought had gone into the operation and “the team” worked hard to make it all work but it was a struggle to retain the interest of a lot of members. Indeed, Thomas had to sternly rebuke those heading for the salida before things got going. Despite all the efforts attendance had noticeably diminished by the time the last names came out of the hat.
The Captain v The Editor in the singles should provide something to scribble about in due course?
Going back to the team effort for a while. It had been thought out well. Even members were conscripted, Dean moving amongst them and inviting them to draw a number from his bag. This was communicated verbally to Alan Jewett(i/c name list)who shouted the relevant information to, first, Thomas and later Monique who wrote the names on the notice board. Felima was the Gofer and Helena the treasurer, taking in and counting the gambling stakes.
It was nice to see Arthur O’Connor, back for a brief visit, and still wearing shorts. His talented daughter Kath is currently in the sunshine playing in the South American Ladies’ Amateur Championship. Keep us posted, Arthur?
It is rumoured that those occupied with rules and the conversations thereon will be disappointed, in one respect, by the demise of foliage once surrounding the drain hole on Europa’s 8th. Long has it troubled minds but now no longer. One assumes? GUR perhaps? Free drop? Penalty point drop? It certainly looks a more friendly area, in terms of ball finding, but we must now await the ruling so we don’t get ourselves disqualified.
(ED. A more recent visit reveals the fitting of red stakes round the entire circumference of the drain area, so a decision appears to have been made.)
Circumstances denied me the customary first slot on the time sheet, now 1000 v the traditional well established 0930? Instead it was 1130 before action began, in company with Paul O’Callaghan, Joop Peels and David Moody. By then it was comfortably warm but we were behind a group with two walkers so our pace was less than fast. Made worse at Asia’s 3rd hole where the similarity to a fairground Crazy Golf stall was freely commented on. The pin position was suicidal and we watched in horror as one ahead, who shall be nameless, gave up after 8 or 9 of his putts failed to drop. The distance covered by his ball must have set some sort of record too. Our impatience was tempered by understanding sympathy. We were not surprised when our watches told us we had been out there for five hours.
David Moody, who comes in for a fair amount of friendly stick, played well today and deserved better than to have just one bad hole on which his three drives failed to re-emerge from wherever they landed and he couldn’t bring himself to play another provisional. Understandably, seeing it was a medal round! Even so he finished with 38 Stableford points so will doubtless suffer a small handicap reduction. As Leg-puller- in – Chief it has never been an area of doubt in my mind that one day David will be a very useful player.
(ED. “Small” was the wrong adjective. David was cut 2.3 to 18.1 so will soon have to face that dreaded first experience of not having a shot on a hole !! It is just possible that had he taken a fourth drive on the 12th he might have won the medal comp!)
Those who stuck to their guns on Asia 16/1 were;
Jill Davies(78), Anne Mills(80) on handicap, Laura Thompson(80)
David Evans(75 and cut 0.3 to 17.4), Les Wicks(76), Roger Dew(77)
The official result sheet subsequently showed 50% of players were disqualified. As one of those listed it warranted my further investigation because no wrong had been done. No rule broken. It transpired that all 50% had merely handed in a “Nil Return” card which, according to the SGF software is termed disqualification. So, a language problem, and everyone moved up 0.1 anyway.
Your editor was wandering around the lingerie department in Marks & Spencers recently, as one does on non golfing days, when he bumped into Vice Captain Dean Moore. Fortunately we were both in trail of our wives or the embarrassment might have been serious. Never having been a student of women’s bras it was interesting to observe the different shapes and moulds indicating, as if life wasn’t full enough of such examples, that all that glitters is not gold. It did strike me that “Platform” was an un-romantic trade name for one range.
The South African migration would appear to have begun, judging by the lowish numbers on Saturday 20/1. However, the field did include three new members in Annie Perignon, Bo Aulin and Alain Reuter, all of whom were welcomed during prize giving and about whom it is hoped to report more in due course.
The day marked another first for me in that my group included Geoff “Mr.Consistency” Thompson. The first time we have played together. He made a positive captain, supported by the experienced Jackie Rainbow, whilst Paul O’Callaghan, with whom a buggy was shared for the second time in one week, merely muttered to me when decisions didn’t meet with his approval. Only a couple of times but earning my endorsement. Not that it made a world of difference. Our 85 won us nothing. But we were a happy team. The laughs were many. Geoff is well “e-quip-ped.
Scores were good and there were few strangers in the march to the wine distribution centre, run and organised this week by Dean Moore in the absence of the piste bound Captain.
Good to see Gerry playing again despite his serious eye problem. There is much sympathy for this in the Perry household, Lilian having been declared “blind” in her left eye due to macular degeneration and untreatable.
Our long serving Marshall drew alongside my buggy in the middle of the fairway. He smiled.
“Not too keen on right angles then, Jack?”
“Quite happy when applicable, Ashley.”
“Always applicable, Jack.”
“Nobody said anything when we checked in, Ashley.”
“No need, Jack, been a rule for three or four years now>”
“Well, I didn’t know that, Ashley, but will bear in mind in future.”
“Same as no buggies at all on par 3’s, no continuing beyond roped off areas.”
“These instructions used to appear inside the buggies, Ashley. And what ever happened to Blue Flags?”
“Must be going now, Jack.”
“Would if help if something appeared in the newsletter, Ashley?”
“B—-y good idea, Jack.”
18 holes later, having watched golfers use acute and obtuse angles but very few right angles, blissfully unaware of the dictate, one felt obliged to draw attention to the matter. As promised, Ashley!
Felima O’Callaghan, our current Lady Captain, wishes it to be known that her internet address is now – email@example.com – but her home telephone number remains 952492777
One suspects New Year Resolutions have a part to play, coupled with the return of decent warm weather, but the ranks of those carrying or pulling clubs is on the increase. Good for them. Such days are gone for some of us and, speaking personally, they are greatly missed. It is a different and more enjoyable game when the course can be walked. Tuesday 23/1 would have been a perfect day for such exercise. Lots of shorts on display as trousers are filed away for a while. Said he optimistically!
Never far from the headlines David Moody was in vociferous mood today as he worked his way round with a mixture of the occasionally sublime and the more frequently wayward shots. Included in this latter category was his tee shot on America’s 8th which travelled about ten metres in the right direction, hit one of the logs, and rebounded down onto the 7th fairway beyond the green!! It was a moving moment, although not quite in the same category as Kimmy Skotoa singing “Ave Maria”.
Les Wicks has made no secret of his ambition to become a single figure golfer, to which end he has worked tirelessly and with admirable focus. Now it looks like he might just be on the threshold. His 39 points today earned him first place and a 0.6 cut to 10.2 Good on yer, Les. Can’t wait for next Tuesday’s score! Johannes Peel, Joop to the rest of the world, registered a 38 and was duly “punished” by an 0.8 cut reducing his burden to 24.9. One shot behind on 37 came George Kirk who also suffered a cut, 0.3 to 12.2. Despite the difficulty of our courses we are building a goodly number of low handicap golfers?
On the feminine side of the fence it is hard to think of three players more often at or near the head of the Ladies’ leaderboard. 39 from Jill Davies saw her cut 0.9 to 14.4 a handicap which leaves her hot on the heels of husband Roy. 37 got second place for Isabella Rippinger plus a cut of 0.4 to 18.4. A few hurdles back came Anne Mills whose quite reasonable 32 points altered her handicap status not one jot, but a bottle of wine will be most welcome in the household.
An octogenerian is a person between the ages of 80 and 89 and our number of qualifiers continues to grow. Last month Peter Robinson and now John Crombie who has crept quietly in, unheralded thus far, but deserving of our congratulations. He would like it said that he doesn’t look his age, and a new comb-over encourages one in that direction. Certainly his golf would have you agree that he appears an unlikely candidate for the OAP section. Welcome, John, and may the years ahead be filled with UFO’s, meandering comets, hurtling meteors, Super full moons, darkening eclipses, and nice nights at the pictures!
As a golf club we have done a lot for Cudeca over the years, and continue to do so as the following “Thank you” letter explains. The money this time came mainly from the Two’s Competition so called because it costs players two euros to enter and if they come back with a two on their card they get balls, the quantity depending on the number of entrants and the number of achievers. It varies considerably but, not too surprisingly, the winners tend to be regular collectors. Short game enthusiasts.
In 1856 Charles Kingsley wrote an historical novel linked with the Armada but just eight years later, close to the Devonshire seaside town of the same name as his title, a golf club opened. The Royal North Devon GC remains the oldest course in the UK in continuous use. One can report from personal experience that it is a scenic and challenging links course now in the headlines because of coastal erosion. Parts are falling into the sea. Fortunately there is space to re-create the smitten areas – but it won’t be the same. Naughty Mother Nature.
Well, perhaps not quite, but those of us in action on Asia, Saturday 27/1 were Waltz-ing on rock solid surfaces and beset by fierce, bitterly cold winds, which never relented. Post match observation suggests there were more café con leche orders than members’ wine or cold beer. On top of which play was less than quick, mainly because of the ball searching interludes. Occasionally impatience got the better of tee dwellers. Our team were driven through on several occasions.
Peter “Double Header” Penney(*), Derek Steele and Caz Roselli made up our quartet and it was my pleasure to share a buggy with Caz for the first time in ages. A slender but powerful player, calm, concentrated, good humoured and knowledgeable. She did more than her fair share of points winning for us.
(ED. * – He wore two hats as well as multi layers of clothing and sun glasses. Visible bare flesh was minimal.)
Any team with Richard Ledgard in their ranks must fancy their chances but, or so it is gathered, it was Anne Mills who earned most of the plaudits, the rest of the squad twinkle toe-ing its way to first place with an amazing tally of 89 points being Wendy Hinds and Iain Macaulay.
Dancing more sedately round the course, but gathering in 78 points en route to the runners-up spot were
Darcy Bussell might have struggled to enthuse about the third placed team but by comparison with the rest of the field they did well to claim third place.
The best thing about playing in such unfriendly conditions is getting out of them. A warm lounge, your favourite armchair, and a chance to watch the replay of the Ladies Singles Final in Melbourne. What a wonderful display it was? Simona Halep rightly commands the No 1 slot in world tennis because she is so very hard to beat. Somehow, her tiny frame brought back memories of Zola Budd, the bare footed middle distance runner from South Africa who never looked as though she could run to the bottom of our garden let alone beat everyone on the tracks. Playing her part in this enthralling encounter was Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark, who looks like the athlete she is and just about deserved to win her first Grand Slam title. Greatly entertaining as has been quite a lot of ladies’ tennis recently.
Still on the court and not the course it is quite easy to embrace the equalling gripping battle next morning when a new record was set in the Perry household. Never have we sat together, after breakfast but still in our dressing gowns, and watched television for almost four hours! Our hearts were finally heavy for Cilic but how incredible is 36 year old Federer? 20 Grand Slams during a period including Nadal, Djokovitch, Murray and a whole bunch of younger aspirants of the highest ability. Fantastic.
Only Wigan spoiled the weekend for me. Plus our disgraceful spitter.
Following discussions between Pedro Batista and our Committee it has now been electronically organised whereby with your receipt for purchases in the pro shop, including single green fees, the balance of your account will be shown midst all the other details. This will save having to ask for statements to see how much is left on your account. If you run one.
Tuesday 30/1 was at least dry, despite what the forecasters promised, but it was cold again, the sun only working its magic at rare intervals. My buggy partner was Joop Peels, a man of much laughter, and good company. A determined and ambitious golfer but doesn’t take it too seriously. The Dutch are nice people, wrongly accused at times of having no sense of humour, but that is not my experience. Any nation who can produce Father Abraham singing “Small café by the harbour” is one to be appreciated.
1 Sylvia McGarvie 34
2 Monica Peters 32
3 Isabella Rippinger 31
1 Rob Garner 39
2 Alan Jewett 37
3 Chris Slattery 34
These scores have yet to be ratified by the SGF but meet with the approval of Flavio and Dean, to whom thanks are due for getting them to me so quickly.
Please note, Ashley, that my email address is at right angles to the edge of the page.