Search engines invariably include this optimistic phrase about England in July. What statistical evidence there is to support the contention is unclear. Today, as these words appear on the screen before me, it can be reported that rain is falling with the ferocity of a Remain voter thwarted by the recent UK decision.
Julius Caesar, in whose honour this month was named, would not have approved of the weather but would have consoled himself with a game of cards with Marc Antony, or found some other form of indoor entertainment with Cleopatra.
The difficulties and frustrations of producing this newsletter whilst not in the thick of things is immediately obvious as one turns to factual matters. Which particular convolution of the ubiquitous Bramble is not known. It is, however, reported that Jan and Connie van der Valk turned up at 1100 and were surprised to find nobody else there. Play having started at 0930 as advertised. We do have some scores though and hopefully some pictures before we go to press.
1st. 92 Elsbeth Stahl, Vic Hilliard, Bobo Syversen, Peter Edstrom
2nd. 91 Peter Bradley, Kate Bradley, Colleen & Ken Rice(guests).
3rd. 89 Merv Coombes, Les Wicks, Iain Macaulay(three only)
4th. 89 James Thomas, Gordon Edwards, Peter Penney, Pauline Hilliard (on handicap).
(Later. Apparently it was a Soft Bramble, although why Soft was the chosen adjective has not been explained. Another brainchild of our Captain, Vic, who further decreed that only 3 drives were needed by 4 balls, whilst 3 balls needed four. Perverse is a word that comes to mind.)
Marriages can be threatened in a variety of ways but when one of a golfing couple finishes with the best score of the day, and the other with the worst, the list gets potentially longer. Not with our Captains though. Thick and thin comes to mind? Hubby seems to be on a bit of a roll at the moment, always nice to see. Isn’t it Pauline!
The Champeen Blue Boy, Peter “Birdseye” Penney, is now known to be both colour blind and administratively suspect. Contrary to expectations he played off the yellow tees, recorded an incorrect score, and disqualified himself. As befits a man of honour. Hope his cousin doesn’t hear the story.
Very unusually play didn’t begin until 1130 today.
1st 42 Paula Lansdowne (cut 3.8 to 30.5)
2nd 38 Kate Bradley (cut 0.8 to 19.3)
3rd 37 Connie Maphar-Massar
1st 38 Vic Hilliard (cut 0.8 to 20.8)
2nd 37 Arthur O’Connor (cut o.2 to 9.9)
3rd 37 Peter Robinson(on handicap & cut 0.3 to 18.1)
Word has it that Vic had accumulated his 38 points by the 16th and then blobbed the last two holes. (No nasty thoughts, please!) Who knows what might have been? Perhaps another 42 to match the Ladies’ winner? A great performance by Pauline but still work to be done to back up her swing. 3.8 cut is a lot to mentally cope with for now though?
Thank goodness for computers and television without which our UK visit would be less eventful than it has been to date. If you discount visits to the surgery, supermarkets, pharmacist, etc. Wimbledon threw up some great matches and a popular outcome here in England.. It made up for a disappointing Euro 2016 in which little Portugal finally achieved something noteworthy, and deservedly so. They now have new supporters whose faces will be familiar to most of you, even though suffering a bit from Selfie distortion.
Apart from the sport though Pokemon Go has been discovered, through which many are getting to love Squirtle and his/her antics. But for the rain one might never have gone geocaching. Interest was sparked by reading that 20 million people are playing this game in America. Thinking that one might be ahead of the pack over here, research took place, only to discover that the game was launched in the UK this very week and already downloads exceed those for porn!!
There is a whole family of strangely named characters but one’s interest came to an abrupt end when learning that it is a mobile phone app. Having read some of the chaos and potential injuries caused by the game one is quite happy not to possess the necessary tool.
The following is from USA TODAY. “A woman chasing Pokemon found herself up a tree in New Jersey cemetery Tuesday night. Unfortunately no bulbassaurs, squirtles or wortortles were up there with her. Stranded and embarrassed she called 911 for help. East Greenwich Township Fire and rescue brought her and her phone safely down by ladder.”
We are all familiar with and accustomed to playing mixed golf, which doesn’t happen much elsewhere, and certainly not in the professional game. However, the PGA and LPGA have been working hard towards simultaneous events aimed at raising the profile of the womens’ game, and thereby their rewards and income levels. The withdrawal of so many top men from the Rio Olympics will have set back the process and caused no little anger in the female ranks.
Thinking about women one inevitably draws up an image of their attire in our sport. It gets increasingly feminine but would certainly not have gone down well in America some years back. In 1927 in Utah, the State Legislation considered sending women to prison, not fining them but imprisoning them, if their skirts showed more than three inches above the ankle!
Another lady who comes to mind for the wrong reason is our own Jackie Rainbow, our resident cartoonist, who is again absent due to pressure of work. In her temporary absence two cribbed cartoons are included.
This match up was advertised as featuring a Rest-of-the-World team but the organisers had to settle for Pensioners, which narrowed a choice already decimated by absent members. Looking down the team it is reasonable to assume that all qualified, which, forgive me, is more than can be said for the Youngsters, a title chosen in a purely comparative sense one assumes. Chris Park excluded. Marginally.
The result? Oh yes. 3.5 v 2.5 in favour of the youth.
It may have been previously mentioned in passing but Richard Hinds, Dave Moore and your editor share a love of West Ham United, being of East London extraction. If you get the drift? Know wot I mean, John? Once was when players had names of five letters, easily pronounceable and no problem for commentators. Most of them lived in East London or, when they had made a few bob, Chigwell, in psuedo Tudor mansions. How times have change?. As part of the not-getting-wet-outside routine the editor’s Search engine has been turbo charged. The ‘Ammers, as East Enders would call them, now boast such as Sofiane Feghouli, Havard Nordtvelt and Cheikhou Kouyate to name but three of many. Do us a favour. Leave it out, mate! (Translations available upon request.)
Somewhat surprisingly comes news that our former manager, “Big” Sam Allardyce, is to become our national team’s supremo. Although he never quite managed to win over all the fans at Upton Park he did a good job there, as he has at most of his career clubs. Unfairly criticised by some it will be interesting to see what he makes of the England job, Just hope he gives up chewing that gum.
It is now two weeks away from Los Altos, no golf, very mixed and unreliable weather, with prospects about as bright as those of ever getting fibre optic cable installed.
Self deprecating Libby Robinson’s photo appears with considerable regularity in these pages, and this month claims centre spread amongst the lady players. The front page though goes to Joop Peels which, in contrast, is not a name often seen at the top of the day’s leader board. Well played indeed, Joop.
1st 70 Libby Robinson (cut 1.0 to 29.2)
2nd 75 Sonya Foster
3rd.76 Mary Evans
1st. 68 Joop Peels (cut 2.5 to 24.9)
2nd.72 Cees Lagerwerf (cut .2 to 11.1)
3rd. 74 David Lansdowne (cut .3 to 16.4)
Unfortunately five of the prize winners were missing from the following Sunday’s prize giving so Libby really does get centre page!
It would be a serious omission from a golf club newsletter if no mention was made of this year’s quite remarkable final day? 20 under par on one of our island’s notoriously difficult links courses! The eventual margin of victory looks comfortable as a mere statistic. Those gripped by the TV battle know better. It was golf of a standard seldom, if ever, seen before.
“Soft” , having crept into our vocabulary rather insidiously, now finds itself promoted to competition title status. Readers of earlier pages, if any, will be familiar with this format so let us get on with the results? The field, let it be said, was the smallest for a long, long time.
1st. 100 Dean Moore, Vivienne Young, Peter Robinson
2nd 95 Sylvia Robbins, Derek Steele, Alan Jewett, Jill Davies
3rd 94 Vic Hilliard, Judi Lentelink, Peter Penney.
The day was a special one for Iain Macaulay, a very well worn part of the club’s fabric, who celebrated his 85th birthday. Members gave him a communal card and a couple of bottles which brought a warm smile to his seasoned features. Less happy did he appear when the bill for the drinks he bought in return was presented. Being from the far flung north of kilt and bagpipes land his inner pockets, like many of his countrymen, are not so well worn.
Tuesday July 19th, saw an end to your scribe’s golfing inactivity and had been eagerly anticipated. By chance the Paper Agents’ Golfing Society were holding their Summer Meeting at West Byfleet GC which is within comfortable driving distance, and dates back to 1906.
It was a course new to him and thus a name to be added to his record list which, from memory, passed the 500 courses played mark some years ago. It was a glorious afternoon, too hot for some would you believe! The Brits are always complaining about the weather, whatever it may be,but after so much recent rain one might have expected an appreciative word or two. For us heat hardened and largely resistant La Cala members the conditions might be described as pleasantly warm. Furthermore there were hundreds of trees so plenty of shade in which to shelter. In addition the course was perfectly flat and there was no rough! All rather English and to be approached with considerable optimism. The Starter gave us his well practised introduction and advice, whilst also warning that the course was “home” to a family of roe deer. Some hours later, as we headed for the Spike Bar, it was rather demoralising to have found that the same playing errors persist whatever the conditions. Which is why no final score is admitted here! It was also rather dampening, but on reflection not surprising, to find most of the other faces on parade were unknown. Mind you it is almost 20 years since working days ended, and probably nearer 30 from when one was Captain of the Society. Tempus fugit indeed.
Whilst it is not entirely clear whether he wielded a golf club as well as a paint brush, there is at least now a definitive answer to the question of exactly how much of Vincent’s ear was severed. All of it is the answer. Given in Provence to Gabrielle, a girl handicapped by a withered arm, who nevertheless managed to work as a cleaner in a brothel. The ear was given to her by VG as a token of his love and in the belief that it would heal her.
The Hilliards will probably argue, being steeped in the more tradional range of singers and musicians, but why not give others a chance? Have a listen to the Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, Shuggie Otis and/orCowboy Junkies. (Featured!)
This musically adventurous listener knows not whether it is Grunge or Garage music but is rather different. After which you may well wish to join the “Bring back Will Jackson” movement, or stay in the old fashioned groove with our Captains.
Mention of roe deer earlier reminds us to mention that we have had such friendly and graceful animals in the field over which we look most early mornings this trip. Also, at the other end of the day, and just inside the main security gates, hundreds of rabbits can be seen munching away at the lush green grass, or just lazing in the dying sunshine. Fortunately we are never here when it happens but there is a necessary annual cull of these friendly, furry creatures, who also manage to do a lot of damage. Minds go back to youthful days when many children provided homes for at least one domestic rabbit, deriving great pleasure from feeding it, and watching as it frolicked in the garden for a while before being cuddled and returned to its hatch. Happy days.
Humidity was on meteorological duty today, backed up at one point by half an hour’s rain, so not very comfortable conditions, the men coping a little better than the girls it seems?
1st. 34 Mary Evans
2nd. 28 Joy Garvey (on handicap)
3rd. 28 Carol Rees
1st. 36 Les Wicks (cut 0.3 to 12.3)
2nd. 35 Arthur O’Connor
3rd. 34 Johan Van Wershoven
Staffan Johanssen has a very nice, 14 year old, Edward, who he encourages at our game and is already showing distinct signs of promise. Playing with strangers is part of the learning curve and, as we have all experienced, can be intimidating. Especially if they are Johan and Dean. They can frighten older players! Edward got off to an unfortunate start from which he recovered, got used to the adult banter, and began to strike the ball really well. We wish him well, Staffan. Keep up the coaching.
Unfortunately, again, attendance at the relevant prize giving prevented Brian Farmer from getting fuller photographic coverage. (Editor. Thank you, Brian, for covering for me . Appreciated.)
It is interesting to learn that it has been decreed in the UK that Latin abbreviations should no longer be used in public notices. Goodbye to etc., QED., and even e.g which, forgive my ignorance, but has always been typed as eg. This is all to the dismay of language purists who rightfully claim that Latin is the base of our tongue, but interesting because it comes from a Department entitled GOV.UK
“Etc” is a word used to make others believe that you know more than you actually do. Comes in useful. As does correct punctuation, as this example demonstrates.
Only 34 contestants on this hot day of little wind and Campo Asia to test the best. 5.94 strokes a hole not only deserved to win but meant the day’s victors finished well ahead of the field. Guess who was in the team? You are right. Libby “Her Again” Robinson to whom reference has been made earlier. Every team needs a Libby?
1st. 107 Libby Robinson, Chris Meuleman, Peter (54) Bradley, Louis Lenterlink.
2nd. 100 Damian Murphy, Marie Wilson, Les Wicks, Iain Macaulay
3rd. 99 Mike Fisher, Louis Roberts(guest), Wendy Hinds, Pauline Hilliard
4th. 96 Vivienne Youngs, Johan van Wershoven, Mary Evans, Roy Davies
Unconfirmed reports have it that ambitious Les Wicks had his best ever gross score, which will have pleased him no little, and is no more than his hard work rate deserves. If only those people ahead wouldn’t keep moving he would probably be a professional by now!
It will be apparent to regular readers, if such a species exists, that this month has been a struggle for the editor. Expectations were not high, based on experience, but one did hope for at least a trickle of contributions, club related stories, comment on competitions other than the bare scores, but it was not to be. Hence the pictures are a little larger and the non-golf content a bit disproportinate . Sorry about that. Another month ahead too!
Enough to drive a man to drink.
Having said which ———–
Members may well be relieved and delighted by the absence of the editor’s camera this month. Instead we have some reminders of other very active events.
A special mention for Paul Broadhurst who did so well at Carnoustie to win the Seniors’ Open but, did anyone notice that Joe Durant (USA) played with a yellow ball? It would be interesting to know what make it was? Anyone with better eyes than mine?
Pity “our” Miguel stumbled at the finish? At the end of day three, and with his experience, few would have bet against him winning? Ah well, with a new and younger wife, no shortage of red wine or giant cigars, one doubts too many tears were shed?
A PARTING REMINDER FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL MEMBERSHIP.