Earlier than usual, or so it seems, September is upon us again. The harvest month as some decree. Forget-me-nots in full bloom. Reservoirs at worryingly low levels. Wild boars marching the streets and pavements in Torrenuevo in search of green pastures to plunder. An eventful month here at La Cala, highlighted by a splendid Owners’ Day.
For those of us who qualify under the Virgo umbrella it is nice to read that we are “intelligent, patient and humble, quick thinking, observant, and analytical”. Certainly patience plays a part in your Editor’s life. Waiting for reports on matches stretches the nerves a bit. Libra lovers speak of their “quest for fairness, peace and harmony” which makes one wish the world leaders were all from the Libra ranks?
Your vice captain, Felima O’Callaghan, would like you to know that the Away Day next year, by then her year of office, will be on May 23rd at the Marbella G & CC. Tee times from 1120. More details to follow nearer the time. This, by the way, is the same date as the Men are away at Almerimar. Looks like La Cala GC will be a lonely place for a while.
Back in the year 2000 Sue Youngs proposed and organised the event which was to have become an annual golf match between the sex’s followed by a genteel social gathering. The Ladies duly won but another year elapsed before the competition resumed, the men winning in 2002 and 2003. Far be it suggested that a period of sulking then ensued but the fact is it was never played again. Ten years later the trophy was returned to Sue, the clubhouse cabinet in need of space.
Anne Ashe, then Lady Captain, resurrected the idea, albeit rather impolitely under the “Gents v Ladies” title. But the health of her husband Peter, and later her own, again ended in the return of The Ashe Tray to its donor.
Fast forward a few years, into the world of abbreviations and text talk, and along came WAM. Women Against Men which, to those of an earlier era, paints a different sort of picture to that which Sue envisaged. Almost tribal, one might say? Having said that though, it has proved a very popular day in the social calendar. Sunday 3rd, saw its 6th consecutive appearance. Played on Europa with 44 players taking to the tees in a 10am shotgun start.
Incidental prizes(a bottle of gin to each)went to Murdo McCorquodale and Dorothea Schmidt for NTP success.
Beautiful flower baskets went to Sonya Foster(43 points) and Lilly Lagerwerf(a magnificent 45). From the Mens’ ranks Campbell McGarvie(42), Dean Moore(41), and Richard Hinds(40)earned themselves an El Soto voucher. All this was of little consequence however, because the most important score of the day was Women 34.75 average v Men 32.75 average. (Our informant described this latter score as “pathetic”, thus, of course, betraying her own sex but maybe overlooking the fact that the Men still lead 4-2 in the series!)
The formal proceedings concluded, the players made their way to Villa Romanza, home of Vic and Pauline Hilliard, organisers extraordinaire. It was a self catering, self seating occasion BUT the hosts had a real treat in store for their guests and fellow music lovers of a like genre. Tribute performers of the highest order. This being an area of entertainment unfamiliar to your editor it is perhaps better to quote from one of the reports received.
“Basically there were three male singers who rang the changes in style, both dress and act content. Robbie Williams began and was followed by a 72 year old Neil Diamond whose “Sweet Caroline” had all the ladies rocking on the grass. Star of the show was David Bowie, dressed up with wig, face paint, outlandishly striped costume, and red boots. He really sounded like the real McCoy risen from the dead! Finally came Michael Jackson, who was just brilliant. He attracted the attention of everyone and very few ladies didn’t have their photograph taken with him.”
It seems fair to say that a great time was had by all present even though Glen Campbell couldn’t make it.
Whilst on the subject of alternative competitions one is reminded of the Lentelink Trophy which was presented by, and organised by Louis and Judi back in 2005. In 2009 the responsibility, and cost, fell into the hands of James Reid and Sonya Foster, the trophy remaining the same. It has not been played for this year. Although Greensomes format is not everyone’s cup of tea, it is a pity not to showcase it once a year. Perhaps a self financing day but even so a volunteer organiser would be needed. Don’t all rush at once.
Come Tuesday 5th, Europa opened its arms to 11 quartets all in search of a good score and a bottle of wine. Conditions were favourable but the scoring not exceptional, even though there was a triple finish amongst the ladies.
1st. 36 Jill Davies (on handicap)
2nd. 36 Wendy Fretwell (on handicap)
3rd. 36 Wendy Hinds
No handicap changes.
1st. 37 Campbell McGarvie (cut 0.3 to 13.8)
2nd. 36 David Moore
3rd. 35 Martin Hornsby (on handicap)
A nice warm, friendly name but a considerable responsibility when it’s your turn to play it. Asia hosted the 10/9 competition for which there were eleven teams entered, the best three proving to be:
1st 162 Vic Hilliard, Mike Tunnel, Mervi Linderborg, Wendy Fretwell.
2nd 159 Danny Rees, Jill Davies, Wendy Hinds, (3 only)
3rd 158 Linda Jackson, Geoff Thompson, Ron Chesterton, (3 only)
Captain of our Mens’ Interclub team, Brian Farmer, reminds us that the Alcaidesa Trophy was first contested in 2008, and won by us, La Cala. Since when it has remained in the hands of our annual two-match opponents. Hopes were high this time round but a 2-4 away loss (7/9) set the bar just too high for a 3-3 home draw (14/9).
At least we can look at a picture of the cup beyond our reach.
If you want to enlarge a picture just click on it. Imports might not respond.
Let it be admitted at the outset that my personal view of 13/9 might just be a little biased, it being my 85th birthday. But only a little. It was a great day for all.
The weather could hardly have been better for the 84 participants on Campo Europa, 35 of whom were Owners but playing their golf elsewhere. The format was individual Stableford. There were prizes for three categories(Ladies, Men, Family/Friends), three prizes per category, plus the usual Nearest-the-Pin rewards. Flavio Papa was our front of house organiser and did it all very well, from start to finish.
Players dispersed after their exertions, re-grouping from 1930 on Terraza Laurel, cleansed and very smartly casual for the most part. Thereafter, and throughout the evening, the Food & Beverage team excelled themselves. Actually, food and beverage understates their contribution, and it was nice that we were able to see some of the backroom boys for a change. The supply of canape’s and tapas was inexhaustible, creatively varied, and supported by bottomless bottles of wine and carafe’s offering liquids to suit all palettes.
Ken Flockhart set the evening rolling with his introductory remarks. Flavio continues to grow into his role as Master of Ceremonies and David Kelly, all the way from Ireland, addressed the assembly with his annual summary of progress and future horizons. Later he made himself available to all and sundry but may well have been depressed by the number of owners questioning the decision to abandon Andalucian architecture.
There were, of course, breaks for the prize giving’s and later, as darkness surrounded us, came music, singing, and a lovely, colourful display of flamenco dancing by a small troupe of young women.
FIRST THREE LADIES WERE
1st 40 Susan Southgate (on handicap)
2nd 40 Lisa Paterson
3rd 38 Connie Maphar-Massar
1st 41 Gerry Rippinger
2nd 40 Brian Farmer
3rd 38 John Mills
Gerry was thus crowned as Champion for 2017 and, as is customary, said a few words of thanks on behalf of all present.
Pearl Fisher and Richard Hinds stepped up for the NTP prizes.
At my age birthdays tend to come and go without the fuss of earlier years, but this was an exception, and a memorable one. It transpired that young Connie Maphar shared the same birthday as mine so we were both pleasantly surprised to be invited to the stage and presented with a gift from Management. A very thoughtful and kindly gesture. It was a simple pleasure for me to take the proffered mike and register a few appreciative words. Hardly back at my table than a large birthday cake appeared, coated in green marzipan and decorated with semi golf balls, plus an edible label proclaiming “Happy Birthday Jack”. The calorie content doesn’t bear thinking about. Suffice to say it was delicious and enjoyed by many.
Connie and myself have already requested that the Owners Day be on 13/9/2018.
On a slightly more serious note it is interesting to speculate why so many owners are not members? Perhaps we should do more to encourage them to swell our ranks? Over to the Committee. Just food for thought.
Playing fun competitions on a Tuesday and serious stuff at the weekend leads to mental confusion. Especially when one team sheet said “Tuesday 17th September” when in fact that date was a Sunday! Prior to that hiccup though, on the 12th to be exact, there was an AM/AM/AM on Asia which produced the following prize winners:
1st. 103 Carol Rees, Vic Hilliard, Simon Rivers, Iain Macaulay
2nd. 101 Richard Hinds, Tracey Ledgard, Peter Edstrom(only 3)
3rd. 99 Derek Steele, Laura Thompson, Richard Ledgard, Darren Edwardes(guest)
Play could have been faster but these three flights gathered on Tee 11 were happy to chat and pass the time away.
Finally arrived, was a Sunday, but instead of jollity and banter it was try-not-to-lose-your-ball time. The deadly Medal demanding concentration of the highest order. Some achieved better than others, and certainly David Evans will have gone off to Las Vegas with Mary and a smile on his face. (By the way, his holiday absence explains why there are no Stableford League tables in this edition.)
1st. 71 Jill Davies
2nd. 72 Pauline Hilliard
3rd. 76 Ursula Wetzel
There were no handicap changes.
1st. 69 David Evans (cut 0.9 to 15.5)
2nd. 70 Mike Fisher (cut 0.3 to 17.6)
3rd. 72 Campbell McGarvey
Mike Robbins was cut 1.3 to 25.2 although not qualifying for the leaderboard.
Next up, datewise, was the annual Captains v Vice Captains’ team event, played out on Asia on the 19th and followed by sit down tapas and liquid refreshment. All courtesy of club funds. Each team was led by a Swedish gentleman and the sense of rivalry was clear. 13 individual match play better ball pairings took to the Asia course where the determination to provide a point for your team was quite apparent. Excitement mounted in the clubhouse as each group reported in but in the end the margin of victory was substantial. For the first time in 12 years the Vice Captain’s team proved victorious, as was obvious from the high-fiving, cherubic faced Thomas Widegren’s antics. These were slightly interrupted by the need for Peter Edstrom to distribute other prizes, but then Thomas was on his feet again, loving every minute, and insisting that his team come forward, pair at a time, to receive their momento of the occasion, the inevitable bottle of vino.
255 years was the equally shared age of the first group out(Erling Johnsen, David Millar, and your editor). The average would have been less but for the late withdrawal of David Moody with gout. Not something one usually associates with such a younger being? Play was on America where there was much evidence of wild boar damage. How frustrating it must be for our green staff? It was a bit sticky at the start but gradually the sun dried out the atmosphere, albeit never to an unbearable degree. Conditions were not easy though, the closely cut fairways not favouring those who like to nip the ball off the grass.
During and after play one picked up on regular use of the phrase – “the yellow people” – confirming the kaleidoscopic change here. White, yellow, blue, red, and pink to come?
There were 60 members on America’s playground, on the 24th and it was especially nice to see Gordon Edwards amongst them. His health in recent times has been a burden for him but he is forever chirpy, which always helps. The day’s leading scores were:
1st 40 Liliane Castellano (cut 1.6 to 19.2)
2nd 37 Marie Wilson (cut 0.4 to 23.5)
3rd 35 Jill Davies
How nice to see Liliane back in action, and stepping up for the main prize, a sight not see very often of late.
1st 39 George Kirk (on handicap) (cut 0.9 to 11.7)
2nd 39 Dean Moore (on handicap)(cut 0.6 to 9.1)
3rd 39 Campbell McGarvie (cut 0.9 to 13.0)
David Wilson’s repeated pleas for more clarity, neater writing, better accuracy, is having some impact on members but one wonders whether it will ever become an art form? Could we see a time when calligraphy lessons come into play? Could there be prizes for the best score card, let alone the score? Can one foresee illustrated cards? Whatever the eventual outcome please keep up the good work meanwhile. Who knows, the David Wilson Scorecard Trophy may not be too distant?
The clubhouse BBQ’s have been well attended and earned favourable comment. They have also encouraged guests to attend, although non paying and transient.
Freshly painted yellow lines outside Mercadonas haven’t stopped the usual four or five cars parking there illegally. There is seldom a policemen in sight. Much the same in our own parking areas unfortunately. Plus, when it comes to dress code, it is clear that more Ashley’s are needed. After last month’s bikini clad coffee drinker comes sighting of a player, male, bloated, with a brightly multicoloured shirt which would have made Vic Hilliard’s collection look positively beige, at best. No waistband, outside his 27 pocket calf length “shorts”(?), he should never have been anywhere near a golf course. Even if he did play off scratch, which he didn’t. Pity the editor had no camera available.
Formula1 car racing is not something which attracts my lengthy attention usually but, after the recent Singapore result, examination of the figures led to the conclusion that this is a heavily biased sport. Biased in favour of the engines rather than the drivers. Of the 14 Gran Prix’s this season 11 have been won by just two drivers. The leaderboard shows 23 drivers 19 of whom have yet to record a win.
After twenty years of vacationing in Spain Richard and Tracey Ledgard have recently joined our club. Seasoned expats they have just finished four years in Indonesia, which followed three in Kuwait. They are not expecting to find our July/August heat a problem.
Richard has played golf longer than his memory allows him to recall, whilst Tracey finally gave in and started playing two years ago in Jakarta. Richard speaks highly of Indonesia as a golfing paradise. Great weather and so many courses from which to choose. He is still a member of The Jesters, reason for name unclear, who play 5 rounds of competitive golf in 3 days twice a year in Bali!! Tracey entered the Bali Masters last year, for the first time, competing in a field of two ladies and the rest men.
Both hail from Huddersfield, which has posed a problem for Richard being a staunch Manchester United fan, having worked in the city for some time. With historic Huddersfield Town now elevated to the Premier League Tracey will have much fun watching to see if Richard’s allegiance shifts.
Tracey is looking forward to playing with all our members providing she can avoid Richard. His claim that teaching your wife to play golf is like teaching your children to drive, a statement well known amongst men, led to the conclusion that the task is best left to expert. Clearly a couple with a nice sense of humour, Tracey retorted – “If he tells me to watch my alignment one more time I will realign him.”
Richard has been a member of Crosland Heath Golf Club for many years, where he holds the record for the shortest captaincy ever, having to leave for Kuwait four months into the role. His friends never let him forget it, either.
The family is completed by three children. Ellen, 22, lives in Amseterdam where she is finishing her Masters. James, 19, is in Truro studying archiology and Tess, just 7, is often seen in the clubhouse with her parents.
New member Tina Garner is in hospital in England following a fall going down the slope towards the buggy ranks. A simple accident but a complicated outcome. An operation saw the successful insertion of pins and plates in her ankle. She had three separate fractures, one of them spiral, which nessitated the op. She now has two weeks to wait before they remove the stitches, then four weeks in a cast, followed by a similar period in a protective boot. It is hoped she will be able to walk unaided by Christmas but, obviously, golf is on a back burner until the new year at least. Not deterred by her first hospital lunch Tina looks cheerful enough in the picture below? On behalf of all members we wish her a successful recovery.
It is known that our ladies have been in action more than once this month but, for reasons unclear at time of writing, no details or pictures are forthcoming.
LATER – at the eleventh hour came this picture of our Ladies Liga team who had two splendid matches v Malaga Parador Club. Both teams won 2-1 at home so shared the final outcome. Our Ladies are in white, of course.
The mens’ reporting is a bit better, but only just. Names and scores are fine but a bit of descriptive cover would be welcome. As would photographs. One recognises that members may consider just being Captain, and responsible for organising, is enough but surely someone in each team could manage a few lines? Without having to be chased. Meanwhile, meatless bones which can be offered are as follows.
The Seniors played La Siesta at La Cala on 11/9 and won 3-0. David Moody & Roy Davies finished one up after a tight game. George Kirk & Peter Edstrom eased home comfortably 4 & 3. Another untroubled win came from Alan Jewett & Cees Lagerwerf 5 & 4. A team photo was taken, apparently, but has disappeared.
Los Arqueros are the current league leaders and take things rather seriously, picking teams on merit and not rotation which is more our pattern, in theory. Our lads travelled there 18/9 and were beaten 2-1 whilst acquitting themselves with some degree of honour. Especially David Lansdowne and David Moody who won 2 & 1. Peter Robinson had a good day and was largely responslble for he and Roy Davies only conceding on the last hole. Peter Penney & George Kirk will not wish to dwell on the memory of their 4 & 3 reversal.
“A great but tough course, nice people(although there were two Arsenal supporters present), a very good meal and excellent hospitality”. (Quote.)
The usual six low handicap stalwarts turned up in their Los Arqueros colours for the return fixture here at La Cala on Monday 25th. The result? Same as last week although we had one change in our line up. David Wilson taking the place of David Moody. A change of necessity rather than strategy but it paid off because, thanks to an eagle on the 18th by David Wilson, he and David Lansdowne chalked up our only win. Roy Davies and Peter Robinson had a close and enjoyable battle but, again, George Kirk and Peter Penney struggled. Perhaps saving themselves for the Macaulay Blues Cup?
Bill Field was in shorts, a black tank top, sweating profusely and sipping alternatively coffee and water. He had just finished walking America but without clubs. It is a while since he played golf. Since then his life has changed direction and he is a better person for it. Not that there was anything to dislike about the old person but his eratic golf, unusual single life style, put him at variance with most of us who live settled, routine lives. When I met with him it was shortly after 9am and he had very obviously been doing his early every morning walk with enthusiasm.
Bill’s life story makes for interesting listening but, briefly put, he is originally from the West Midlands but grew up and built his life in America. A very good allround sportsman, he married, had four sons, and then suffered a stroke at the age of 41 when his company was flourishing and he self reliant. The stroke took years out of his life, led to the breakup of his marriage and, eventually a return to Europe, specifically La Cala. He is a very positive person with clear ideas as to his way forward. He is actively looking to create a new career. There is also a steadying influence in his life, a German lady of whom he speaks with feeling.
Many moons back a surfing accident in California led to dislocation of a shoulder, and it has been troublesome ever since, popping out from time to time. Fed up with this Bill finally sought further medical attention and, just seven weeks ago underwent new surgery at the Xanit Hospital. Regular theraputic exercise is gradually winning the day, and the daily 7000 metre sunrise hike can’t be doing any harm either. It is a year almost since golf figured in Bill’s schedule so let us hope, whatever direction his life takes, it will allow him to rejoin our ranks.
It was good to spend some time with Bill, after his prolonged absence from the club, and one wishes him well in the future.
A quick return visit to America on Tuesday 26th offered a 2-4-1 opportunity for all male participants of a certain age. The “yellow people” had but one Stableford choice. Today saw the second holding of The Macaulay Trophy, presented by the ancient golfer and eminence grise himself. All the men who have been playing off the blue plates every Tuesday qualified. Sad to say, the 255 trio of Sunday, again failed to defy the signs of anno domini. However, most of the 45 males on parade played well, eleven of them to their handicap or better. In fact the scoring at the top of the leaderboard was wonderful, with the top three excelling and deservedly earning pride of position – and a further handicap cut.
The ladies were less in numbers, just 24, but a name which has been very prominent this season, again led the queue for wine with a better than handicap performance, Potentially Mrs Consistency 2017 was not far off Isabella’s heels, whilst Dorothea Schmidt is a name with which we are all noting more often. Well played everyone.
1st 38 Isabella Rippinger (cut 0.8 to 18.8)
2nd 35 Laura Thompson (on handicap)
3rd 35 Dorothea Schmidt
1st 43 David Wilson (cut 1.7 to 5.8)
2nd 41 Alan Jewett (on handicap & cut 1.1 to 9.9)
3rd 41 Roy Davies (cut 1.7 to 12.2)
Most of the day’s attention though was focused on knowing who Mr.Blue 2017 would be. Which golden oldie would emerge triumphant. Now we know. Popular Dutchman Louis Lentelink will be rewarded by his name being second on the new cup presented by Iain Macaulay. Congratulations from all your fellow Blue Brigade, Louis.
Less than 24 hours to publication and here comes reliable David Evans with the latest consistency statistics. Must be something in the Thompson diet worth asking them about?
Now living in Florida Past Captains Paul & Cecelia Massey are making a welcome return visit to the club at the moment. This photo was taken at a party given to mark their appearance at a recent private gathering of old friends here.
Come December it will be three years since my involvement with the newsletter began. Maybe long enough? Maybe time for a change of style and presentation? Not quite as easy as it sounds because Management have set rules about colour coding, type faces, layout, and so forth. However, the text is down to the Editor, and can be changed given a fresh face/volunteer. This is not a letter of resignation on my part but simply a recognition of the facts. We get about 200 “hits” every month, which isn’t bad, but how much of the newsletter is actually read is another matter. Contributions are virtually nil. Scores are out of date come the end of the month, and will have already been seen by many on the web site. Facebook and the social media mean that pictures whizz around the membership immediately after events and, apart from the prize giving, there is little exclusive in the month end gallery. A weekly newsletter would be better, and preferred by this editor, but Management work load then comes into play. Mind you, the Marketing team must always be looking for a fresh approach, a new way of attracting attention, so perhaps we can find a way forward together? One lives in hope.