The traditional rites of this month required us to be drinking, feasting and dancing. Coloured tapes on the Maypole for the children. Electing Queen of the May. Dressing almost feminine style for the Morris Dancing. Thomas Dekker, a 16th century poet from whom this paragraph heading was plagiarised, also wrote of “Sweet Peg” but it is doubtful he had in mind somewhere to rest his ball momentarily. Which is what we have all been able to enjoy this month without the “rough winds which do shake the darling buds of May” quite often in these parts!
Sorry but nothing to report. Trouble with making only mental notes is that the ink fades so fast these days.
Not being of a technical disposition I know not the name of the single seater mobile “gadget” which travels sideways back and forth on the greens. Nor is it known what it actually does, but it’s fun to watch, and must be great to ride. Bit like the cackhanded bike doing the internet video rounds at the moment.
The keepers of our greens need a little light relief after the heart breaking damage done by wild boars this month. We are accustomed to dug up areas along the fairways, as these nocturnal beasts seek water, but to attack the compacted surface of greens is new, and worrying.
La Cala’s signature hole, America’s 16th, has had the attention of a six man team working on the waterside green. Puncturing, sweeping, feeding, and finally sanding. Should be a delight when the course re-opens.
Most will have noticed that the tee blocks everywhere have had a make-over and now look rather smart.
Some of the new buggies have large rear view mirrors, the purpose of which has prompted debate. On the assumption that they are not aids for the application of cosmetics, or combing of hair, safety heads the leader board of suggestions. In which case why no wing mirrors? It would be nice to think the mirrors are an interim measure to be replaced by computerised course guides and score cards.
Much lower down the score ladder one miserable male claimed to have played his golf like Picasso sang rock & roll.
Mrs. Fisher is quietly proud of her ”pearl.com” accolade, but was less cheerful about a photograph taken recently in Malaga marina and sent to her by a “friend”?
A rare and welcome appearance by Henk & Veronique Hesen, both seasoned golfers and a very sociable couple. It is hoped to see them more often.
Viviene Shute’s second win on successive Tuesdays, Must be her day of the week?
Other people’s golf bags often offer items of interest. Like this putter cover.
Never heard of Scott Cameron? Well, he is a highly successful club maker, based now in Carlsbad, California but with a museum about to open in Japan. Amongst those who have achieved great success using his putter are Tiger Woods, David Duval, Phil Mickleson, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Jordon Speith. Johan van Wershoven has one too.
This was another increasingly popular Bramble which, following the usual prize giving, came tapas and wine courtesy of club funds. Those who most deserved this reward were:
I shall have to consider taking a small tape recorder with me to prizegivings so I can jot down thoughts as they occur. Here again I have no real memory of events so, as I can’t be kind, better to be vague. Or silent.
We had a very enjoyable day and, despite it being a very legitimate draw, I managed to get myself onto the winning team of Connie, Lilly and Pearl. We played Bramble format as it is proving very popular with everyone and were chased hard by the team of Carin, Kate, Libby and Maddie. Ritva won nearest the pin on the 17th hole and was also in the hunt for top double points but since she, Connie and Maddie had already won a prize Thomasina triumphed! Similarly Maddie and Libby had birdies but were pipped to the prize by Carla – a new member and neighbour of Ria’s – welcome Carla.
Everyone thought La Cala had done us proud with an excellent lunch and copious wine (special thanks to ouor attentive waiter Todd who looked after us extremely well). The next ladies social golf day will be on Thursday 25th June – see you all there.
We know him as a keen and enthusiastic golfer, a Past Captain of note, an international businessman with a love of and interest in coffee. What was not known by this newsletter, until recently, was his skill as a bread maker. In return for a modest favour Lilian and I were rewarded with a colourful and delicious loaf. Arguably the best bread tasted since we came to Spain in 2003. The “Ploughman’s lunch” just after golf was a special occasion now safely stored in the gastronomic memory bank. Thank you, Ron Chesterton.
Few members are ambivalent about this course. It’s either love or hate. Most agree though that a Medal on Europa would not be top of many wish lists. To find themselves putting on newly aerated greens today merely added to the misery, as the number of Nil Returns later indicated. 43% of the players failing to register a score.
On the plus side though it was a special day for long standing member, Past Captain, bagpiper, true Blue, Iain Macaulay who recorded a highly commendable nett score and thus qualified for the Medal Day Final in October for the very first time. After umpteen years of trying so there is hope for us all yet.
1st 71 Kate Bradley
2nd 72 Ria van Westerhoven
3rd 73 Connie Maphar-Massar
1st 71 Iain Macaulay (cut 0.8 to 24.9)
2nd 72 Roy Davies
3rd 73 Richard Hines (on handicap)
2.5 – 0.5 was the seemingly comfortable margin by which our team of Roy Davies/Cees Lagerwerf, Arthur O’Connor/Alan Jewett, and Gordon Edwards/Dean Moore beat the visitors before entertaining them to dinner in the tradional manner. There is now a lull in proceedings until September.
Twice recently buggies have been observed ON the America’s 16th white tee. This is not only ridiculous, irresponsible, but dangerous?
A tale has also been heard of two buggies and their four occupants posing for a photograph by the flag in the middle of a green!!
Nightingales have been seen and heard of late, a welcome improvement on the coo-ing and poo-ing of pigeons. Thank goodness for the kestrels, families of whom we have hosted in recent years. The hoopoe bird is a bit monotone though. Reminds me of the drummer in The Dave Clark Five way back.
Did you know that 92% of golf shots fall within a 30 degree cone of the intended line?
For some reason I am reminded of David Moody but, just back from his adventures in Peru, and golfless for a spell, he still managed to get his first ever eagle this month. 8th hole on Europa. Ridiculously long, slope assisted drive, mere wedge and a most unlikely putt. All counts though?There is no substitute for incomprehensible good luck. (More recent news is that he did it again 30/5 so, as Tina Turner might have sung “What’s luck got to do with it?”
For many of us the Royal Spanish Golf Federation is a bit like the Royal & Ancient in that we know it’s there and that’s about all. Now we have been asked to include a fact sheet which provides a little more insight into what we should expect for our annual subscription. Personally I have never seen a newsletter in 10+ years of membership? However, membership is not only advocated but essential, and not just for the insurance cover. Did you read the story in the UK press about the golfer fined £10,000 after an errant drive hit and damaged a player on the adjoining fairway!
Stuart Bewley is a relative newcomer and a rare beast in these parts. A smoking golfer. Don’t see many of those around these days? He came to the club via La Chapperal, where he retains an interest. His career as a fur broker requires him to travel widely and almost continuously, his passport a patchwork quilt of visas and border control stampings. He has plenty of interesting tales to tell, that’s for sure. Meanwhile, despite not being able to play regularly, he still boasts a 7+ handicap. A welcome addition to our ranks.
Others to introduce this month are Erik Faes and Sabine Faes-Van de Sande who bought into Altavista 1 about three years ago. Although already golfers they didn’t get to join the club until last December. Now they are converts from the flat homeland courses, keen to improve their games which, it must be said, are more than respectable already. With a family of 3 boys and a girl, plus a seven year old granddaughter, it is easy to understand why they choose to divide their time between La Cala and Antwerp.
Sabine retired from her career as an ENT specialist during which she focussed on children, whilst Erik spent all his working life as VP HR in multinational companies, his educational background having been in psychology and behavioural sciences. Apart from their golf Sabine has accepted the challenge of the Spanish language, whilst Erik has turned to writing crime novels! Two of which have already been published. The third is in the creative pipeline and, it is understood, has a local setting.
They have both embraced Andalucia, its life style, history, culture, never boring scenery and, not least, gastronomy. Welcome to you both and to the I Love Andalucia Club.
(This unedited report received at the eleventh hour but better late than never?)
Everyone was being very nice to Pauline Hilliard as players hesitated in the car park, looking up at the gathering clouds, and feeling the spots of early rain. Fortunately she was in a good mood, members thought positive, play took place and the rains never really came. Thanks Pauline, O Rain Goddess.
Mind you, weather was not the only concern. Understanding the format was a real mental test. It took some several holes of being pointed into relevant action before there was even a glimmer of understanding. All made tougher for those off the Blue tees which led to High’s becoming Low’s.
Prizegiving was delayed for unclear reasons, especially as, with only 40 minutes between first and last out, it was hard to understand why some were coming in so far behind. Prizegiving was also prolonged because of a results backlog caused by computer and Spanish Federation handicap problems.
This team event was won by the High’s by 9 points/wins to 6 thus qualifying for a bottle of wine per person. All were invited to collect their prize at the same time, possibly an error of judgement on the Captain’s part, as the temporarily reduced Members’ Area quickly transformed into Waterloo Station in the rush hour, Will Jackson appeared from the scrum bearing two bottles and smiling broadly. How come, Will?
Fortunately there was a diversion to entertain whilst members drummed their fingers and/or had that extra glass they hadn’t planned. A wedding. This newsletter is not aware of the true facts but somehow four members had been invited after just a few days of friendship and a round of golf with the groom. Another member was not officially at the ceremony (like this scribe!) but was asked to attend the reception by a female friend of the bride’s, a lady he had known for at least three full days and to whom, it is said, he had taken a shine, as we say in England. The wedding itself was interesting, different, quite informal, as was the attire.
Going back to the golf there was an unusual occurrence during play when David Lansdowne got quite cross with himself because he couldn’t file his misbehaving club back in his bag. Closer investigation revealed that his umbrella, for some unaccountable reason parked right in the middle of the bag instead of down the side, had burst out of its elastic band and all the spokes had caught up under the rim of the bag!! In the absence of Paula to help, David was last seen considering options, including cutting a hole in the bottom and pulling the troublemaker out that way.
1st 34 Jenny Chesterton
2nd 32 Ritva Hagglund
3rd 31 Elizabeth Lagerwerf
1st 38 Arthur O’Connor (cut 0-8 to 9.2)
2nd 36 Roy Davies (cut 0-4 to 10.2)
3rd 34 Chris Slattery
As has been said many times new members are greeted with open arms. A fresh injection of lifeblood. When the newcomer is both young and talented there is even more reason to rejoice. Adam Tinkler is just 18 years of age and plays off 8+ handicap. He has only been a member for five minutes but has quickly established a reputation for being a polite and pleasant young man. His parents live here in La Cala but home is in Kildare where, lucky lucky Adam, plays at The K Club, home of the 2006 Ryder Cup. He played a mean game of football too but had to chose future direction. Golf won and we look forward to seeing him in action here for a good while to come.
Arthur & Karen O’Connor’s children have always been encouraged to play golf and, once they had shown considerable talent and desire, they were supported beyond the call of normal duty. As daughter Cathy in particular, started to climb the success ladder, so were Mum and Dad at hand to caddy and cheer. On May 19th., at the Vale of Llangollen GC., Cathy won the Welsh Ladies Amateur Championship, and the parental cup runneth over. It was a matchplay event involving three rounds before the final. Cathy disposed of her opponents 7 & 6 5 & 4 3 & 2 before beating Chloe Williams, the favourite, 2 & 1. Mum was her caddy throughout the tournament. As a result of this triumph Cathy has been selected to play in the European Team Championships in Denmark in July. Hearty congratulations, Cathy.
For reasons beyond editorial control there is no report on the Ladies’ Social Day nor, more importantly, the Captain’s Away Day(s) trip to Cadiz. It is hoped to include them next month.
When the ball just won’t do as it is told, the putts don’t drop, shanks appear uninvited, the bounces go against you, and you get to visit previously unknown areas, just be grateful because life might have been worse.
Jenny Chesterton’s description and below is a picture of the lady with the results of her labours to date. No less than 307 euros gathered in from generous club donors. But, there is still plenty of time to swell the coffers, 27 days at time of typing, so please keep the funds flowing. It could hardly be in a better cause.
This is a very long standing two day event which rewards the winners with a trophy and their name on the club notice board. Perhaps more importantly it helps to raise funds for Cudeca, not least through the “betting book”, this year organised and run by Gordon Edwards.
More than 120 euros was the reward for Cudeca.
Play was first on Asia and then Europa, both days very hot and mostly windless. At the end of Day One Claus Ramer & Rosa Hatz headed the leader board with a nett 67 but the Edwards/O’Connor, Rees/Reed, Fisher/Perry combos were all breathing down their necks on the 68/69 mark. In fact, bearing in mind the volatility of play amongst players of our ilk, and the fact that most of us don’t attempt two consecutive days of medal very often, any one from the closely following pack could emerge victorious. In this we were not disappointed.
It has been a rewarding month in the Lagerwerf household, with Elizabeth especially on a hot streak. They put together a best of the day round of 63 to finish joint first with the overnight leaders. Good enough though to earn both a trophy and a place in history on the clubhouse walls, handicap difference being the deciding factor. Not the best way to win or lose – but they will happily enjoy it! Well done, indeed.
The proceedings came to an end with a Gala Dinner and reliable reports have it that the meal was excellent. It was nice to have Joan Stock in attendance, as ever, and she was presented with a bottle of champagne for her continuing support and interest.
Prize giving and photo shoot followed and brought the following results.
ENTERING THE BACK NINE OF LIFE
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHAN!
MAKE SURE YOU DON’T MISS THE JUNE EDITION IN WHICH WILL APPEAR AN EXCLUSIVE REPORT ON THE MENS’ CAPTAIN’S AWAY DAY(S) WITH ILLUSTRATIVE PICTURES.