Those who have not visited the clubhouse recently will not have seen the poster illustrating this year’s heirachy. A nice photograph with which to launch this month’s edition?
The original time sheet, in anticipation of yet more rain, allowed entrants to drop out by midday on the Monday if they also feared the heavens would douse Campo America on the Tuesday 6/3. Several did so but 13 ladies and 25 men sallied bravely forth – and were rewarded. The first dry day for some time, and not too chilly. No buggies on the course, understandably, and favourable comment from some corners, the softer surface being more friendly than the bone hard recent conditions.
Both categories were decided on handicap difference but only two handicaps were adjusted southwards. Gerry Rippinger 0.6 = 14.3 and Joop Peters 0.8 = 24.4
Jing Kruppa’s 29 earned her first place in the Ladies, but Monique Peters had a similar score. Helena Widegren emerged from the shadows to claim third spot with 28.
Gerry & Joop each notched up 36 points, to finish in that order first and second, whilst mighty Mike Fisher came in with a 34 encouraged by the good news about his daughter’s health.
If you should wish to enlarge the photographs all you need is to click on them. Easy.
Come Sunday March 11th,and under the Captains’ Choice umbrella was organised La Cala Residents v Rest of the World. 4 ball better ball matchplay format. Conditions overhead were not promising but use of the word umbrella, above, was to prove very relevant. Travel was restricted to the buggy paths, which meant exposure to the elements was more prolonged than usual. The rain, a regular visitor of late which has more than outstayed its welcome, allowed players a few dry holes but then started in earnest. The competition was abandoned after nine saturated holes. Not being personally present it is nice to be able to include an alternative review from our reporter on the spot, Richard Hinds.
Was the Medal. Everyone’s favourite. Especially on Europa, Without buggies. On the 13th. A reasonably populated field, and not too many NR’s, but only one player suffered a handicap reduction. Laura Thompson cut 0.4 = 21.5
She headed the Ladies’ leaderboard with 71, with Ursula Wetzel’s 74 just pipping Sonya Foster’s similar score on handicap.
Immediate Past Captain Peter Edstrom’s 73 earned him a place in the October finals, with David Wilson edging out Hans Linderborg, on handicap, with both on 76.
Comment on the course was generally kind, although there were very wet areas explaining the buggy use decision.
La Cala Resort invites you to the TaylorMade Custom Fitting day on April 7th, at La Cala Golf Academy, where you will be able to try the new range for 2018.
Click on the image to book your appointment.
New rules have been approved on both sides of the pond and will be warmly welcomed by most. Removal of the double hit penalty. Dropping from knee height instead of shoulder. Use of longest club when taking relief. For example. David Wilson has already announced Teach Ins for later in the year but, quicker off the mark, our Ladies have organised their own seminar this month. It will be spearheaded by Susanne Valentin, a very experienced and informed person where such matters are concerned.
(Later) The event is now history as the following pictures show. Please note the serious expressions and empty wine glasses. A brief report from within the camp has this to say:-
Not averse to mentioning West Ham FC from time to time it would be cowardly of me not to acknowledge that the happenings on March 10th., were unacceptable and upsetting. Apart from the result which was depressing in itself! It remains to be seen what punishment will be forthcoming from the Football Association but, from one harbouring many fond memories of Upton Park, and who has yet to visit the London Stadium, my sympathies are with the majority of fans who, rightly or wrongly, feel cheated and deprived.
If some people listened to themselves more often, they might talk less?
A brave paragraph heading if ever there was one? But in a month embracing Mothers’ Day, International Women’s Day, and Women’s History Day it would be churlish to avoid this very topical subject. Not that taking sides is in mind, let it be hastily added. One knows one’s place in the order of things. It is good that inequality of pay is being addressed, and the much mentioned glass ceiling pushed away, albeit slowly but, on the domestic front, the contribution, support and power of women surely cannot be denied. Which is why we love them.
This annual thanksgiving is a bit early this year with Easter Monday, as we know it in England, not recognised here in Spain. Indeed Jose will be engaged with your editor that very afternoon, putting the finishing touches to another newsletter. Meanwhile though, the team hopes that everyone will have enjoyed the special weekend. And reading the newsletter!
The Ladies have one, but not the men? A thought for the committee perhaps? This is the year of initiatives? Another chance to meet socially and discuss something other than handicaps, rules, and the price of cucumbers. Am happy to be counted in if anything comes to fruition. Meanwhile, thanks to Helena Widegren who lent it to me, “A tall man in a low country” has just been enjoyed. Written by an Englishman, Harry Pearson, who has a great sense of humour, it tells us all about Belgium and the Belgians. A country unkindly seen as boring by many but has managed to give us, in the UK, chips, bitter ale and pigeon-racing. This is a read you can dip in and out of without losing the plot, and leaves you with a better appreciation of this small and most maligned country. Plenty to make you laugh as the author, his wife and young child, travel very slowly and thoroughly around the tiny country.
Going back to the Ladies for a moment it can now be reported that there was a very well attended ‘Farewell Jenny Chesterton’ gathering of the bookworms at which the departing Secretary and enthusiast was presented with a bracelet by way of thanking her for all her efforts. In addition there was a card signed by all the members, including those not able to attend, like Karen O’Connor and Anne Hannam
The Book Club meets every two months and agrees on two books to be read. New members will be most welcome so if any of you are interested please get in touch with Carol Rees or Alison Moore for more details.
Three days before the event there was some understandable gloom and despondency in the camp. Entries were low and the weather forecast not encouraging. Some thought was given to possible cancellation but Pedro, Flavio and the team stood firm.
Doubtless relying on the Luck of the Irish, of whom there were just four down to play, so it was a brave call. Their reward was a field of eleven four balls from whom the newsletter has gleaned nothing but favourable comments. Considering the weather of late Asia was in “surprisingly good condition”, with greens coming in for particular praise. Not everyone escaped the rain but it didn’t hit hard until towards the end of most rounds. What did prevail throughout though was a strong, gusty wind, Overall then testing conditions, but the complimentary and almost obligatory pint of Guinness, coupled with “a Spanish/Irish stew which was very tasty”, followed by “a delicious banana tart with ice cream to match” meant everyone was warmed and relaxed by the time the prize giving began.
There are always mumbles from members about dubious Spanish handicaps but there was an honest +1 in action this year and we don’t see too many at that level amongst us. No, they didn’t win but fourth was commendable. The good news is that James Reid & Roger Dew earned first place with 43 points, just nicking the main prize on handicap. This is not the first time James & Roger have won this event which prompted one of them to voice the opinion that “Form is temporary but class is permanent”. There’s modesty for you? James, it seems, was in great form, including an eagle at the 5th and a net eagle on the 13th. Overall they successfully “ham and egged it”, which is so important in this sort of competition.
Not a million miles away, in third place, were Liisa Lindstrom and Seppo Jaaskelainen with 40 points. Caz Rosselli won Nearest the Pin. Mervi Linderborg was voted “best decorated” or “dressed”, which is slightly different?
Barely recovered from Saturday’s “international” competition and the course was called upon for the usual Tuesday Stableford 20/3. No less than 60 players on parade, and in sunny conditions too, which made a very welcome change. Those going out last (1140) might just have caught a little shower but otherwise it was a nice day to be playing. Especially for Iain Macaulay and myself, both inactive for a month. Not because of illness, injury or non-availability, but due to the buggy restrictions. Mutual frustration overcoming common sense we agreed to share a buggy, stick to the paths like good members, and pick and choose the holes we could physically manage. Needless to say no cards were submitted but, and this is the important thing, we both enjoyed the fresh air, companionship, and being able to hit a few golf balls again, even though our bodies might well protest tomorrow! A “thank you” to Connie Maphar and Joop Peters, our playing partners, for being so understanding and helpful.
Not only is David a very good golfer but a computer expert too, and it is he who is largely responsible for the new Members Signup System. As from April 15th clubhouse notice board sheets will disappear. Putting your name down for chosen dates/competitions will have to be done on line. This may well strike fear into the hearts of those not IT minded but worry not, there is a 14 page “manual” available on line to help you through the process. Further comment in due course. So far this member has just got as far as printing out the guide book.
Way back in 2006 David Peace’s “The Damned Utd” was published and was a great success amongst English football fans. It is a novel technically but dealt in detail with the career of Brian Clough, himself a good player, even better manager, and someone who would today have made Mourinho seem quite retiring. Modest he was not. A heavy smoker and drinker he was. Aggressive and foul mouthed. Having just revisited the book it surprises me that he restricted himself to “damned” in the title. A count up over three random pages suggests that a popular 4-letter word appears about 3000 times in all. Got very boring after a while. A difficult to like character, very self centred, selfish, and indulgent. But in real soccer life an outstanding achiever and character.
A full 18 holes, on Asia, on a buggy, on grass, and happy to observe Ashley’s 90 degree doctrine. Sunshine too would you believe. Everyone came well wrapped up against a cold and biting early morning wind but most of these were discarded long before the round’s end. Tuesday 20th. A day to remember.
My buggy was shared with Iain Macaulay and we agreed not to mark cards, and take a rest if conditions got the better of us. Not so Connie Maphar and Joop Peels, our playing partners, who may have been a bit distracted by looking after two elderly gentlemen, but showed no sign of it. Smiles and friendship ruled. They deserved to score well and both were to figure in the top three.
Jill Davies headed the ladies with 35, Connie second on 34, and Caz Rozelli on 31.
Roger Dew followed up his St.Patrick’s Day success with 36 points to lead the men’s board, but only by a whisker, on handicap, from Seppo Jaaskelainen. Seppo’s photo has been appearing regularly of late? Ever cheerful Joop came in third with 33.
Every year on the River Thames in England there is a four day kayak race from Devizes to Westminster. Within this is a 24 hour marathon involving 2-man teams. My nephew, close to 50 years of age so should know better, has participated in recent years and has been training hard this year in the most tortuous of conditions. Six hour stints in torrential rain, very choppy water, strong winds, and icicles hanging from his cap. One might have expected he and his partner to be relieved when the event was cancelled at short notice because the conditions were too dangerous, but no, they were disappointed! Victory was not a realistic expectation but they were keen to beat their best time of 22 hours 54 minutes and, of course, the charity suffered. And we complain about 4/5 hours on a damp and chilly golf course!!
Word from South Africa comes in the form of a daring tale related by Judi Lentelink.
The first of three planned events took place in The Picasso Room on Wednesday evening, the 21st. Despite the publicity member support was disappointing, but the 20 or so who attended enjoyed the evening which, for a few, was a long one!
Sergio Taboada, the Sommelier at La Cala, had the seating set out nicely, with four glasses per person, and gave an interesting lecture on the whole process of wine making, from grape to bottling. His choice of wine for the evening was from the Rioja region. The chosen four represented a wide variation in taste, and cost, as the list below shows.
– Rioja Mitarte Maceracion €72 per carton of 12
– 4 Gotas Joven €75
– Rioja Monteleiva Crianza €108
– Rioja Carlos Serres Reserva €120
The prices include delivery to the clubhouse. 128 bottles were sold on the night. Members can order via Thomas Widegren, the organiser.
Any evening spent learning something whilst enjoying a sip or two is worth spending, so let us hope the next one will be better supported. June 12th at 1900 is the date and this time the target will be the Ribera del Duero region.
We are indebted to Alan for the following report and Thomas for the picture. At least our team enjoyed the meal if not the result.
What is a golf club without mumbles? Of late the absence of the Stableford Leagues, to give them their formal title, has been a regular subject matter. Basically, where are they? David Evans, the organiser and statistical master, explains :-
On Sunday 27th Europa hosted an AM/AM/AM the prizes for which were generously supplied by Ron & Jenny Chesterton, departing Past Captains and central figures in the club since the day they arrived 12 years ago. There was a very healthy turnout to bid them farewell or, hopefully, just au revoir.
The two central characters not only provided the prizes but presented them as well, each of them making a short but sincere speech with the accent on their enjoyment of having been part of “our second family”. There were 17 teams playing and everyone got a treat. They announced them as “The winners and 16 RunnerUps”. Names were not initially forthcoming but then, in response to audience demand, the team finishing 17th and starting on hole 17 was revealed. For some reason they seemed reluctant to have their picture taken! These were all household names and more used to stepping up to the winners’ rostrom.
The overall winning team, with a margin of 11 points over their nearest rivals, was captained by Mike Fisher, and included Laura Thompson, Mervi Linderborg, and Michael Krupa.
In second place with 97 points were Joop Peels, Gerry Rippinger, Caz Rosselli, and Pearl Fisher.
Jill Davies won Nearest the Pin (Ladies) whilst John Brooks won the Mens’ version by virtue of his hole-in-one!! The second in about a month or, as he prefers to put it, the second in 35 years.
Iain Macaulay said some nice things about Ron & Jenny and was followed by Pedro Batista, genuinely sad to see them going and armed with an engraved silver salver which he presented to them. Unfortunately this, and the two crystal glasses, also engraved, which the members gave them, are on the way to Woodstock in the back of a furniture lorry so we have not been able to get close up pictures. Yet.
What with cava from John Brooks, wine from the Chestertons, and tapas from the Management, it proved a very enjoyable and friendly day. One for the Chesterton memory book. Ours too.
According to the time sheet for Tuesday 27th’s Stableford on America, the last group out, a classy 3 ball at 1140 was just one of 16, another healthy turnout. Chancing to see them leaving the 16th we were intrigued to see that ‘Big’ Bill Field had joined them. For someone who has played little golf of late he certainly doesn’t shy away from the best competitors. His adversaries drove off from the 17th and then Bill stepped forward. He then stepped forward again and hit a provisional.
Body language suggested both balls were lost which, it was later learned, they were. All of which makes it harder to believe that he finished with 42 points and was cut 2.8 to 17.4
Well done indeed, big man.
Derek Steele was second on 39, cut 0.9 to 14.2 whilst Cees Lagerwerf, fresh back from his Thailand training camp, was just a point behind but cut 0.6 to 12.1
Another to hit the ground running after a lengthy holiday was Pauline Hilliard who showed no sign of rust in amassing 35 points. Just pushing her into third place was Mrs Consistency AKA Laura Thompson. Not for the first time Monique Peels showed her talent with 39 points which earned her first spot amongst the ladies.
The frogs have been on romantic song for a while but now the Los Altos based kestrels are at it. We residents are very happy for them and wish them success in their efforts. Keeping pigeons at bay is a very welcome bonus, but just seeing these birds sweeping and diving and you know what-ing is a joy.
This subject was touched on last month, since when two things have happened. Dustin Johnson has set a new PGA record of 489 yards(445 m) and Bob de Boef has become a member.
This very likeable and engaging young man hails from Holland where he is a member of the Amsterdam Old Course. He plays off 5 handicap and is a fitness freak. Admitting to 41 years he claims to “feel like 25 with an additional 16 years of experience.” His “significant other half” is Simone Franken who doesn’t play golf. They have just bought an apartment in La Mairena. Bob is a bundle of energy and speaks near perfect English.
The link between Bob and Dustin is the long driving because Bob plays on the Long Drive European Tour (www.europeanlongdrivers.com) where he competes with some of the best in the world. Through this he gets to play golf and compete all round Europe, his highest ranking thus far being 7th in 2016. His personal best is 407 yards but on the flat. Nobody told us what Dustin’s fairway was like?
When not working out (daily!)in the gym, and seeing to his business, Bob plays the piano. For more than 20 years he has been in the health and leisure industry, now as General Manager for large fitness and wellness clubs, including hotel, tennis, spa, etc.
He and Simone chose Andalucia for the climate and the beach, plus the golf, food, Spanish way of life, and proximity to their home country. Andalucia, they claim, is an ideal place for their home away from home.
A warm welcome to you both, and get that Golf Federation query sorted, Bob!
Here follows a self told tale of weight watching on the high seas.
When the format was changed from Easter Rainbow Scramble to Soft Bramble my suspicious mind immediately thought someone was planning a joke or prank. Unfortunately the assumption proved groundless, the official explanation simply being that most members don’t like Rainbow Scrambles. So there. Easter Sunday, April 1st, on America turned out to be a lovely day for golf with a full time sheet of 16 teams competing. Everyone will have enjoyed themselves, except perhaps Laura Thompson who had a buggy accident whilst in the underground tunnel leading to the 14th tee. Her right ankle took on the concrete wall – and lost. Puffing up quickly it was painful when weight bearing but even so her three male teammates insisted on giving helping arms to enable her to at least putt. Who ever said winning wasn’t important?
Winter Rules will continue until May 1st.
When Summer Rules do come into play members should look out for the white GUR lines around the irrigation channels on Asia’s fairways.
When America is closed – approximately June 19th to the end of August – Knock Out matches should be played on Europa.
Another reminder that the Cudeca Cup day is June 2nd and efforts are already underway to try and ensure a bumper donation as well as an enjoyable occasion. Judi Lentelink is collecting any items suitable for the raffle. Derek & June Steele are looking for tombola items. Damien Murphy needs items he can auction, and Cees Lagerwerf is looking for sponsors for 54 tees at 50 euros each,
The Captain’s Away Day support has suffered because of the date change so he would love to hear from anyone now available to join the party. The location and course sound excellent. Almerimar 16-18th May. Email Thomas for further details.
Felima O’Callaghan, our Ladies captain is also short of numbers for her day at Marbella GC on May 23rd. Please get in touch if you will be here and can make the date. The clubhouse and food are excellent.
Before April 15th all members should update their personal details on the new sign-up system website. After this deadline clubhouse notice board sign up sheets are deceased.
Did you know there is a Ladies’ Bridge Club within our fraternity? They too would welcome more players. Libby Robinson seems to be the centre point and would be delighted to provide further details.
A recent meeting with Pedro Batista was quite uplifting because here we have a leader full of ambition for our courses, with all kinds of ideas waiting for the right moment to action. Plus the right funds, of course! We have all had to face such challenges in the past?
The subject of Blue Flags came up. Not surprisingly when you think how many times buggies have been confined to their tracks recently. Two things cannot be disputed. For 95% of most years we are free to roam where we will, wherever our wayward balls are thought to have gone. Secondly, this has been an exceptional year as far as weather is concerned. We have quite a few Blue Flaggers, being a club of senior members in the main, so to have allowed them the freedom denied others would have been both unfair, as well as causing damage which the greenskeepers are trying to avoid. Even they can’t get some of their equipment out at the moment. So, we must be patient. The sun will surely return soon and we can go frolicking about like lambs at Spring time. Interestingly, very few of the BF’s drop out when denied full transport facilities? A handful just can’t play, said he to end on a biased note.
Your editor may not be playing in five years time but hopefully will be around to see what has been accomplished by then. Bermuda grass, satnav/scorecards on buggies, bunkers with proper sand in them, complimentary water, and more. Here’s wishing Pedro and his team all the support they can get from HQ.
As explained last month, when the full draw sheets were included, the aim of the exercise is to help members make arrangements from afar. To that end the winners to date(3/4)are as follows.
No action Round One
Anne Mills Round Two
ROUND ONE IN DRAW ORDER
Paul, Chris, Rob, Merv, David, Richard, Derek, Vic, Thomas, David W
Two matches were not played by the ¼ deadline and, presumably, will be decided by the Committee.
Jack & David
NO ACTION ROUNDS ONE OR TWO
Seppo & Liisa, Alan & Wendy, Vic & Pauline, Geoff & Laura, David & Mary.
Rob & Caz, David & Marie
If you are stopped by the police, shut off your engine and put your mouth in neutral.