A paltry two rounds of golf during almost two months away from La Cala’s summer heat should have led to a burst of compensatory activity. At very least a resumption of one’s three times a week routine. Instead circumstances, health based, have led to a continuing absence from the beckoning fairways. As a result this is the third edition in a row created without the customary and invaluable personal contact. Captains are beginning to contribute more detailed match reports, Les Wicks and others have helped out with the picture taking, but of “club gossip” there has been nothing. Also, said he still singing from the well worn hymn sheet, there is seldom any reaction. In conversation with Irene Grek recently she described the content as “irreverent” , in which case one might have expected to offend or provoke a member or two? Disrespect is not the editorial aim though. No Pete Willett here! Perhaps she meant “irrelevant”? Which is another matter!
Almost all the pictures herein can be enlarged by simply clicking on them.
1st. 69 Mike Robbins, Vic Hilliard
2nd. 63 George Kirk, Pauline Hilliard
3rd. 62 Louis Lentelink, Carol Rees
The day’s best individual score by a lady was recorded by Carol Rees, with 35 points. Carol knows the way to the rostrum better than most but for a wildly exuberant Vic Hilliard it was almost an unmade path. His remarkable 41 points excusing his kangaroo like approach to collect his deserved prize.
Please do not park in the short, narrow “in-out” road connecting the main carpark to the smaller inner one. This recently caused serious delays to golfers on a loaded coach which could not exit. Please treat it as a double yellow line zone.
Following the extended closure during the very hot summer months, and the work which has taken place, the course was in excellent condition. The opposition were full of praise for the course, and the meal which followed. It was good to hear. There is a close but friendly rivalry between the clubs and all three matches were keenly contested. We were represented by Roy Davies, Derek Steele, Arthur O’Connor’ David Lansdowne, David Evans and Cees Lagerwerf.
It may not be a club record, but it could well be, and certainly nothing better has been reported in this editor’s reign. It has even been suggested that Tuesday be re-named Deansday after his staggering performance. One over par gross off 13 handicap! 48 Stableford points and, wait for it, a handicap cut of 5.6 to 6.5. An emphatic performance, and one which has been trying to come out for some time now. Congratulations are indeed in order. Believe it or not though, Dean reckons he missed 8 very short putts!
1st. 42 Lotta Syversen (cut 2.0 to 10.8)
2nd. 40 Karen O’Connor (cut 1.2 to 16.6)
3rd. 36 Laura Thompson
In normal circumstances one would be raving about Lotta’s score. Any score of 40+ deserves special mention? Unfortunately her limelight was stolen this time but she deserves a round of applause. Will she become another single figure handicap Lady? Wouldn’t bet against it.
1st. 48 Dean Moore (Cut 5.6 to 6.5)
2nd. 37 Peter Penney (cut 0.3 to 14.4)
3rd. 36 Derek Steele
Expecting success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted. Dean applies himself assiduously, especially his short game, and deserves his rewards.
This BetterBall event is a team game and this year was followed by a sit down meal which, according to comments received, was very good and rounded an enjoyable day off nicely. The Captains’ team asserted their authority, winning 7-4, and afterwards were more than happy to demonstrate their winning blue shirts.
By all accounts we did well to get anything out of this match. Alan Jewett and George Kirk fought really hard to edge home 2 & 1, but Roy Davis & David Millar were beaten by the same margin. Bobo Syversen & David Lansdowne were seven down after nine holes but staged a brave comeback against opponents playing way above their handicaps. The course was in poor condition generally, especially the greens, and there was evidence of much wild boar damage, with which we are only too familiar? The return match is here on the 21st.
Meanwhile a special mention for David Millar who pipped this editor to the 84 mark by less than a month yet still managed to walk the course in conditions which were both hot and demanding. Well done,that man!
In form Paula Lansdowne made her team debut, partnered with experienced Anne Mills, and on the receiving end of 16 shots. Little wonder they won. Unfortunately the rest of our team fared less well so the match was lost 1-2. Dorothea Schmidt & Sylvia Robbins, plus Pauline Hilliard & Maggie Coombes completed our lineup. It seems playing conditions might have been better had the fairways not been treated with sea water! Consistent they were not. However, these things seldom detract from the main them of such matches which is to fraternise and enjoy each other’s company which, from all accounts, everyone did.
1st. 28 Jill Davies (on handicap)
2nd. 28 Paula Lansdowne
3rd. 27 Carol Rees
1st. 38 Iain Macaulay
2nd 34 Michael Costello
3rd. 33 Dean Moore
It is said that success breeds success and cartainly Dean’s score off a handicap of 4(on the day)suggests that adjustment to his new, dramatically reduced handicap, might not be beyond him. In this sort of form he will be harder to beat than Gennady Golovkin.
However, the big story of the day was Iain’s winning 38 points, a triumph for the veteran member, and one which he will be able to celebrate fully whilst Alla is away!
It will be of little interest to anyone to learn that this was your editor’s 30681st day on earth. Or 4383 weeks. It was back in 1932 as I recall my birth which came as something of a shock to my mother who was expecting delivery of a new stove at the time. Statistically my arrival made little impact in global terms, there being 272000 other babies born that day.
Eighty two players participated in this well organised annual event. There would have been 83 but for your editor being temporarily blinded. Conjunctivitis was diagnosed but is not to be recommended. Life without being able to read clearly, watch TV meaningfully, drive(at the wheel or off the tee), becomes a real challenge. Only a lifelong relationship with the QWERTY keyboard, and the ability to sit with nose close to the Apple screen, enabled one to keep in touch with the world. Treatment continues as these words are written and one is hopeful of a return to the game by the time this edition appears. Meanwhile, of course, personal commentary on this special occasion is not possible.
From the grapevine and recovering participants (it was not an early night for some) comes word of enjoyable golfing conditions, close competition, excellent refreshments, a “Look into the Future” speech from CEO David Kelly, a flamenco dancing display, lively music and further partying including dancing not for display.
A precise statistical breakdown is not available but a look down the start list suggests that about 20/25% of the players were Owners but not Members. Which possibly explains why none of them featured at the prize giving ceremony. Les Wicks was officially crowned “Property Champion 2016” by virtue of his to-handicap best-of-the-day score. But only just!
1st. 35 Lilly Castellano (On handicap)
2nd. 35 Paula Lansdowne
3rd. 34 Alison Kirk
1st. 36 Les Wicks
2nd. 35 Michael Costello (On handicap)
3rd. 35 David Lansdowne
This was quite an investment on the part of Management with an understandable accent on property sales. Doubtless their will be a formal statement coming from the CEO so for the moment let it just be mentioned that work on the areas immediately below Los Altos, and along the spine of Europa, are next up for development.
This might be defined as Wicks’ Week as our solid new Champion led his team to victory yet again. Thus presenting himself with a small problem in his other role as acting-deputy cameraman.
1st. 104 Vivienne Youngs, Jing Kruppa, Iain Macaulay, Les Wicks.
2nd. 101 Pearl Fisher, Geoff Thompson, Tim Syversen, Bobo Syversen
3rd. 99 Mike Fisher, Hazel Gilchrist, Michael Kruppa
4th. 98 Louis Lentelink, Irene Grek, Peter Robinson, Simon Rivers.
Two individuals were especially pleased as they made their way home. Vivienne Youngs registered her fifth Hole-in-One with a Hybrid 5 on the 16th., the flag being right at the back.
Arthur O’Connor chose a 5 iron rescue club on Hole 4, pitched his ball on the left side of the green, and watched it roll down into the hole. Just as it should. This was his second Hole-in-One, the other being at Tadmarton Heath, Oxfordshire, back in 2005, when he was Captain. He still recalls the use of a 9 iron on the 10th hole during a Foursomes KO match.
Well done both. And congratulations to George & Alison Kirk who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. To which end a bottle of wine was forthcoming from the Captains’ bottomless cache.
Monday evening Padel tennis bookings at Calahonda have begun. Usually starting around 1800. Any member interested in playing should contact Arthur O’Connor.
We have been advised by La Cala Golf that their team has been instructed to enforce the Dress Code. Members’ attention is directed to the details which appear in full on the web site. Most are quite reasonable and should be acceptable. Please do have a look because word is you will not be allowed to play if improperly dressed. Shorts below the knee, let alone with extra pockets, have already been targeted. Don’t forget to tell your guests too. This is going to lead to some lively discussions but some curb on inappropriate dress is long overdue.
One of the frustrations of creating the newsletter monthly is the almost total lack of response. “Almost” is inserted because the August edition provoked a rebuke from none less than our Vice Captain Bobo “Mr.Emojis” Syversen. He took issue because one of the pictures in the Olympics montage showed a yacht. Naughty Jack. Woe is me.
It seems yachts do not take part in Olympic Games. Now Bobo knows a bit about yachts, and sailing, so no argument was forthcoming from this montage creator. Bit technical though? Hair splitting almost. Anything with a sail is a yacht surely?
Bobo Syversen & David Lansdowne won, as did Alan Jewett & George Kirk, but Captain-for-the-day Roy Davies & venerable David Millar were swept away, Mumbles about handicaps could be heard but everyone joined sociably in the meal afterwards, described as “exceptional” by some. Compliments to our kitchen.
The reasons for making reference to the late Bobby Furber are two-fold. Such men of quiet success are inspirational, and our paths did very occasionally cross when playing at Royal Blackheath Golf Club, claimed to be the oldest in the world at over 400 years. He wouldn’t know me from Adam but was always courteous and self effacing. Which, considering his achievements, was quite something.
Mike and Pearl Fisher were recently in Mallorca for a week, basically to see their eldest daughter, but the visit coincided with the arrival of a cruise liner bearing two former Los Altos residents, Barry and Carol Kumins, Americans, who many members will remember. Keen golfers and party lovers who keep in touch with several of the Old Brigade, and still follow events via this newsletter. They sent their greetings by proxy.
On Monday 12/9 our team of Connie Maphar & Alison Kirk, Carol Rees & Karen O’Connor, and Lotta Syversen & Sonya Foster entertained their opponents on Campo America. The powerful due of Lotta & Sonya chalked up a victory but it was to be the only one. For the return match on 19/9 Lilly Lagerwerf & Kate Bradley replaced Karen & Sonya and all three pairings registered wins. So 4-2 overall and joy in the camp. So much so that Karen, noted for her talent as a songstress, entertained all at table with a couple of songs. At this juncture information is possibly un-reliable. The Dolly Parton number sounds OK but “Autumn Leaves’” has a slightly sad ring about it after a good win? Whatever the truth it is very reliably reported that both songs were enjoyed by all.
Such was the pleasure of Wendy Hinds, 70 on the 18th., and her husband Richard, the culmination of a motoring tour of northern Spain, southern France, and northern Italy. All of which reported by text and picture via an almost daily blog, on which Richard is to be complimented. A suggestion that he might contribute a “column” to this newsletter each month has yet to solicit a response.
Instead of the usual house martins we have been blessed this year with hordes of their cousins, the much more colourful and distinctive swallows. At least for a few days. By now they are probably in Africa or wherever their migration target may be.
This year’s finalists are as follows:
Val Wicks & Karen O’Connor beat Wendy Jewett & Mary Evans 1 up. Sounds like a taught struggle. The ultimate winners led from the start until Mary par-ed the 15th and eased her side ahead, but not for long, Karen responding with a similar achievement on the next hole. These are four tough, experienced ladies, so the tension could be felt mounting. Step forward Val Wicks who hit the 17th in regulation and two putted. Holding the lead going down the 18th doesn’t always mean victory but in this case it did. The hole was halved and the match ended.
David & Mary Evans v Danny & Carol Rees
Andrew Park & David Moore v Roy Davies & David Evans
David Wilson v Jack Perry
Lotta Syversen beat Pauline Hilliard – at the 18th. This sounds like a nerve stopper. “Tight match” seems an appropriate description. Lotta established a 3 hole lead early on despite conceding her opponent 15 shots. Quite a hurdle? Pauline is a fighter though and at 17 they stood all square. Off the tee she found the middle of the fairway with a perfect drive. Lotta found a bunker. Not for nothing has she been taking bunker lessons recently though. A well struck 9 iron cleared all the trees and, slope assisted, the ball found its way to within 55 metres of the green. A par seemed likely and proved to be. Pauline meanwhile met with problems and was forced to admit defeat after a double bogey finish. Well done both Ladies.
Our hosts are going through difficult times at the moment but it doesn’t stop their teams being doughty opponents and friendly hosts. They beat us 2-1 in this return fixture, Arthur O’Connor & David Lansdowne being our only success story, by the same margin. Roy Davies & Derek Steele found themselves 5 down after 8, got back to just 1 at the 14th., but then ran into some excellent play before going down 3 & 2. David Evans & Cees Lagerwerf lost by a similar score with local knowledge playing a key part right at the end. Despite the reversal our Captain described it as “A great day with great hospitality afterwards”, which is what it’s all about really?
Being the penultimate opportunity for qualifying for the Medal Finals Day next month, competition was fierce and reflected in some good scores. It was also nice to see Ursula and Manfred Wetzel back after their extended holiday absence.
1st. 72 Carol Rees
2nd. 76 Kate Bradley (on handicap)
3rd. 76 Mary Evans
1st. 74 Phil Van Parys
2nd. 75 Les Wicks (on handicap)
3rd. 75 Derek Steele
Good to see a new name at the head of the Mens’ leaderboard. Phil joined the club with a good historic track record but struggled for a while to regain his decent form. Looks like he might just have succeeded.
What would have been a Ladies’ Social Day anyway took on a slightly different complexion on Thursday, the 22nd. Traditionally, when the Men are off on their Away Day their loved ones gather together for a “party” in someone’s home after golf. This year the revised Mixed format denied them this opportunity so, rather than let history falter, they went ahead as usual. It is unlikely any photos will be forthcoming, or indeed a coherent report and, chances are, the cats will have themselves a ball while the mice play?
Late in the proceedings the Traffic Light Cats returned. No prizes for guessing the owners of the protuberancies
No sooner were hangovers forgotten than it was party time again. The mice rose to the occasion though, albeit in the company of the cats, and seemed a happy enough garden party bunch as depicted below.
65 white ones were ordered, advertised in the newsletter, and sold out quickly. Captains Hilliard are putting together a new order so if you would like one please email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
The shirts are white Adidas Climalite (plain examples can be seen in the pro shop currently) and those for ladies can be sleeved or sleeveless. Pauline will need to know size and quantity.
A great deal of hard work and expense has gone into the three courses this year. There is still more to do but, unfortunately the weather hasn’t helped appearances. World wide this has officially been the hottest summer on record so we are not alone. In addition the wild boars have been working overtime, as can easily be seen everywhere. They are the bane of the groundsmens’ lives, and have even started to behave a bit aggressively, as early morning dog walkers report. Photographs suggest that families of 15-20 are sleeping between America’s 15th and 17th, and between the 2nd and 8th on Asia.. Permission to hunt them at night is still awaited from the Junta de Andalusia.
Letting the grass grow a bit higher beyond the fringes of the fairways has given birth to mumbles about the “rough”, a term which might have a hint of exaggeration about it. Certainly it more clearly defines the fairways, and their direction, so that’s a plus. Finding and getting your ball back into play are new skills to be learned!
What with the property currently being developed, and that to follow in the near future, the vistas are certainly changing but Pedro and his team are committed to making this a desirable place to play golf. One always leaves the monthly meeting with a feeling that our affairs are in the hands of ambitious golfing enthusiasts. The small finishing touches will test them in due time.
Thirteen groups made a spread out start at 0930 but took very different time spans to complete their round. Conditions were favourable, not too hot, bit of a breeze at times. Five prizes were up for grabs and eventually claimed by –
1st. 99 Jill Davies, Bobo Syversen, Brian Farmer (on handicap)
2nd. 99 Sylvia Robbins, Mike Fisher, John Brookes, Elizabeth Stahl
3rd. 97 Pearl Fisher, Phillip Shute, Ursula Wetzel, John Mills.
4th. 96 Lotta Syversen, John Younfs, Roy davies, Louis Lentelink
5th. 95 Irene Grek, Danny Rees, Michael Kruppa, Vivien Shute.
Personal pleasure was not score related but two-fold. Good to be back in action again and with such nice partners. First time out with Staffan Sahlstrom, a very good golfer and most interesting buggy companion. Plus the ever reliable, knowledgeable, experienced Carol Rees, whose putting was a joy to watch, and Penelope Berends-Sheriff who kept changing from one person to another in golfing terms, but remained her usual friendly self throughout, We may have gone home wine-less but we had enjoyed ourselves.
Asia is not in the first two when listing favourite courses for our Ladies, a view shared by the visitors, all regular players here. The contributions were quite different this time, although our line up was the same. Paula Lansdowne & Anne Mills could not reproduce the magic from the away game, whilst Sylvia Robbins & Dorothea Schmidt secured victory at the 18th. Maggie Coombs & Pauline Hilliard also reversed things with an emphatic 3 & 2 win. What is getting to be a repetitive refrain is “The food served at the club was excellent and a good time was had by all”. Not original but meaningful.
The last qualifying competition of the month and well supported. Play was painfully slow and one could sense the early competitiveness slowly oozing away. In some ways it was pleasant to be able to maintain a conversation with the group immediately behind but often on the same tee, waiting?
The day was notable for the spotting of a drone! It seemed to be following our group for a while but then probably got bored and hovered instead over the construction site which it apparently found more interesting.
The competition organisers have to change the provisional results every week because of problems with handicaps and card completion.
You are responsible for ensuring your handicap and slope calculation are correct, this is very simple:
(ED. The current slope lists are dated February 2014 and supersede those dated May 2013.)
Not to be overshadowed by the goings on in Minnesota our Captains and Vice Captains decided to organise a similar match, albeit on a smaller scale, spread over two days not three, and viewed by rather less spectators. This newsletter is not aware of any television rights.
Both days were on Campo Europa and in lovely conditions. Thursday 29/9 saw 15 groups in action playing Betterball Matchplay in pairs. No nationalistic selections here. Just red shirts led by Captain Vic Hilliard v blue shirts with Bobo Syversen at their head. There were no halved games but four were decided by a one hole margin. Some of the other scores were, shall we say, less close! Overall the Blues won 9-6 and will be quietly confident waiting for Sunday’s second leg.
In due course Sunday arrived and another 56 players shirted up and went to friendly war. This time though they were handicap matched. 28 head to heads which resulted in 5 halved matches but, this time, the Reds staging a comeback with 13 wins which, amazingly really, meant an overall final result of 21.5 v 21.5 Honours even arithmetically but, in true Ryder Cup tradition, the Reds were declared winners on the basis of being the holders.
Individual winners got gold medals, runners up silver, and everyone got sausages, burgers, chicken and chips. It all sounds like a lot of fun.
“He represented everything that is great about golf. The friendship, the fellowship, the laughter, the impossibilities of golf, the sudden rapture moments you never forget, that’s Arnold Palmer in spades. He’s the defining figure in golf.”