Nov 21 til Nov 25 2022

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Nov 262022
 
November 21st.
Monday, November 21st
Royal Hills, Blue tees
Day 1.
1st Craig Dows (5) 40 points
2nd Paul Smith (1) 38 points
3rd Brendan Hartnett (16) 36 points
4th Kob Glover (20) 35 points
Near pins Paul Smith, Keith Norman, Dave Stockman, & Craig Dows.
For the second time this year, the Bunker Boys made the trip up to Nakon Nayok to play the beautiful Royal Hill Hills course on consecutive days. As is often the case some had a casual drive up on Sunday while others choose to make the trip on Monday with an early departure from Pattaya arriving in time for a mid-day tee time
As always the course was in excellent condition and off the blue tees provided a real test of golfing ability with every hole offering a different challenge. Despite that most rose to the challenge and some excellent scores were returned. In his second week back from Oz and having shown little in that time Craig Dows had an excellent day top scoring with forty points. Paul Smith wasn’t too shabby either taking second place with thirty-eight points off a one handicap. Brendan Hartnett who never seems to be out of the frame took third with thirty-six points while Kob Glover rounded out the scoring with a solid thirty-five points, Peter Bottrell looked like he was going to shine with an opening birdie and twenty-one points on the front nine only to fade out of contention on the back. As expected two on the winner’s list, Paul Smith and Craig Dows got near pins each with the other two going to Dave Stockman and Keith Norman.
Day 2
Royal Hills
1st Paul Smith (1) 33 points
2nd Dave Stockman ((5) 32 points
3rd Les Cobban (😎 32 points
Near pins Dave Stockman, Keith Norman, Brendan Hartnett, & Les Cobban.
A more leisurely second day at Royal Hills with everybody on hand for a 10.00 am tee time. The day dawned bright and sunny but with the course surrounded on all sides by mountains there was an eerie stillness in the air and only the sound of birds to be heard. As we entered the clubhouse we found one of the staff busily searching for a snake among the flower beds out front, suffice to say we had no volunteers offering their services in the quest for the elusive reptile, farangs and reptiles don’t mix well.
The Royal Hills course proved to be no easier on the second day, quite the contrary with scores on average well short of the previous day. Paul Smith was top of the leaderboard with thirty-three points and leads the standings after two days of competition. Dave Stockman took second place with thirty-two points and also came within a whisker of an ace on one of the par threes. Les Cobban took third place with thirty-two points and also bagged himself a near pin. The remaining near pins went to Keith Norman and Brendan Hartnett. With one game left of this tour at Lam Lu Ka the race is on the see who can overtake Smithy.
Day 3.
Lam Lu Ka. A & B Yellow tees
1st Kob Glover (20) 37 points.
2nd Bil Richardson (16) 37 points
3rd Niall Glover (14) 31 points
Near pins Craig Dows, & Mike Smith X 2.
Playing off the yellow tees at over six thousand six hundred yards proved a real handful today at Lam Lu Ka particularly as the fairways were a bit damp and there was no run. Fair to say most enjoyed the day nonetheless although a few were frustrated by the scourge of golf i.e. slow play. One feels too many people watch too much golf on tv and copy what they see there forgetting that they are playing recreational golf and not making a living from the game.
Kob Glover took pride of place today with a fine thirty-seven points beating Bil Richardson on countback. Niall Glover took third also on countback with a modest thirty-one points. Three near pins were taken with Craig Dows getting his usual one and Mike Smith taking two.
Yesterday we wondered if anyone could challenge Smithy for player of the tour and sure enough, someone did with Bil Richardson leapfrogging him into first place with a three-day total of one hundred and two points. Paul did manage to take second place with a hundred points while Mike Smith took third with a ninety-six point total.
Friday, November 25th
Silky Oak, White tees
1st Michael Brett (17) 36 points
2nd Gary Smith (9) 35 points
3rd Keith Norman (15) 32 points
4th Niall Glover (13) 32 points
Near pins Gerry Cooney, Niall Glover, Michael Brett, & Keith Norman X 2.
A combination of several players having already played three games this week, some more not in love with the course, and the threat of inclement weather all conspired to keep numbers down for today’s game at Silky Oak. The course was surprisingly wet with mudballs common, casual water in many places, and absolutely no run on the fairways. Wind, which was a bit flukey also played a part in keeping scores down.
Not only was the golf difficult, but the trip back into Pattaya was also even more difficult with roads chocked with traffic as Pattaya was holding two nights of fireworks, luck had to be on your side not to be tempted to take a shortcut which many did leading to even greater chaos.
After an extremely long period of low scores with the occasional decent nine, today’s winner Michael Brett managed to string together two decent nines to top score with thirty-six points albeit off an embarrassing seventeen handicap. As usual Gary Smith was in the mix and took second place with thirty-five points. A couple were locked on thirty-two points where Keith Norman prevailed over Niall Glover on countback. With five par threes on offer, all were taken going to Michael Brett, Gerry Cooney, Niall Glover, and Keith Norman X 2.
This week we welcomed back to the bunker John Hughes for a prolonged period this time, and Tony Robbins after several months in Australia following a medical procedure, we believe he is optimistic about returning to golf early in the new year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Nov 14 til Nov 18 2022

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Nov 202022
 
Monday, November 14th
Royal Lakeside
1st Keith Smithson (2) 32 points
2nd Niall Glover (13) 32 points
3rd Brendan Hartnett (16) 32 points
4th Gary Smith (10) 31 points
Near pins Peter Bottrell, Keith Smithson, Niall Glover, & Craig Dows.
A first visit back to Royal Lakeside since high season pricing kicked in where the all-in fee was now eighteen hundred baht and the walking price was fourteen hundred baht. Those with a PSC member card got a two hundred baht discount and a voucher valid till the end of December for an all-in fee of fourteen hundred baht which is quite reasonable compared to other courses so we will return again next month.
Playing off the blue tees and with a strong wind blowing conditions were difficult and this was reflected in scoring which was low by normal standards with nobody really coming to terms with the extra distance and the wind. In his first gamer back since pre-COVID days, Keith Smithson took first place on countback from Niall Glover. Also on the same score, Brendon Hartnett took third and never seems to be out of the frame. Gary Smith rounded out the scoring one stroke adrift. One near pin each to Peter Bottrell, Craig Dows, Keith Smithson, and Niall glover
The weather gods smiled on us today as threatening rain didn’t come until we were back in the clubhouse. On the way back to Pattaya we ran into an enormous storm which made driving hazardous and difficult while it lasted.
Wednesday, November 16th
Greenvalley.
1st Niall Glover (13) 39 points
2nd Paul Smith (2) 36 points
3rd Gary Smith (10) 35 points
4th Kob Glover (19) 33 points
5th Jay Mitchell (22) 32 points
Near pins Craig Dows, Bil Richardson, & Gary Smith.
To our great surprise today we found the walking fee at Greenvalley was nine hundred baht as opposed to the all-in fee of sixteen hundred so many people took the opportunity to get some exercise and walk. By any measure seven hundred baht for a cart feels excessive, no doubt a more reasonable fee would have garnered more revenue for the club
What started out as a very pleasant day for golf with mild temperature and no wind turned ugly by the middle of the front nine with thunder and lightning all around and intermittent rain, once heavy enough to force a quick rain break. As always the course was in good condition.
In a rich vein of form recently Niall Glover took first place with thirty-nine points. Paul Smith took second place three strokes back, with Gary Smith a further stroke back in third, Gary set off in a rush with three birdies in the first six holes and twenty-three points on the front nine only to fade badly on the back. Kob Glover took fourth with thirty-three points and in a rare appearance Jay Mitchell rounded out the scoring with thirty-two points. Three near pins went to Craig Dows, Bil Richardson, and Gary Smith.
Friday, November 18th
Pattavia
1st Brendan Hartnett (16) 35 points
2nd Paul Smith (1) 35 points
3rd Keith Norman (14) 33 points
4th Craig Dows (5) 33 points
5th Gary Smith (9) 32 points
Near pins Brendan Hartnett, Geoff Williams, & Paul Smith X 2.
The Pattavia course had received a lot of rain since our last visit a week ago and greened up quite a bit. Fairways were a bit softer with little or no run and mudballs were common. The greens were weird, to say the least, much slower than we are used to and had been scarified leaving virtual tramlines running in all directions making for difficult putting.
Rain threatened all day and by the close of play it looked like we would get a drenching, luckily we finished just in time before it hit.
Steady Eddie, Brendan Hartnett took the honours again today with thirty-five points off his very generous sixteen handicap edging out Paul Smith on countback. Keith Norman and Craig Dows also finished with the same score of thirty-three points with Gary Smith rounding out the winner’s list with thirty-two points in fifth place. All the near pins were taken with Geoff Williams and Brendan Hartnett taking one each and as usual Paul Smith took two.
A split round for next week with at least fourteen golfers making a flying visit to Royal Hills for two games with a further game booked for Lam Lu Ka on the return trip. Those that are staying in Pattaya are making their own arrangements with games scheduled for Crystal Bay and Mountain Shadow, two courses we haven’t played for a long time so we will be interested to get their feedback on both courses.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nov 7 til Nov 11, 2022

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Nov 112022
 
Monday, November 7th
Greenwood C & B.
1st Travis Kim (14) 40 points
2nd Jay Mitchell (23) 39 points
3rd Brendon Hartnett (17) 37 points
4th Paul Smith (2) 37 points
5th Niall Glover (14) 34 points
Near pins Paul Smith, Jay Babin, Jay Mitchell, & Gez Williams
A round two dozen, the biggest field so far this year for the first game of the week at Greenwood. Conditions were just about perfect for golf, a course in very good condition, and a most pleasant day weatherwise. One of the side effects of high-season pricing is that many more people and now walking instead of taking carts and getting much-needed exercise. Today’s green and caddie fee of one thousand and fifty baht walking was very reasonable.
For some reason, a few groups got disconnected from those ahead of them and thereby allowed some other groups to jump in between, all of which resulted in a slow round for those in the last groups, the message was clear, keep up with the group in front.
Playing his last game of this tour and having a two-stroke cut in handicap Travis Kim topped the winner’s list with forty points. After a couple of weeks without golf, Jay Mitchell made his return today in fine style taking second place with thirty-nine points. Brendon Hartnett took third place with thirty-seven points off a handicap of seventeen, a cut is in store for Brendon as his UK handicap is believed to be much lower. Paul Smith also had thirty-seven points in fourth place on countback with Niall Glover taking the final place on the leaderboard with thirty-four. The near pins were shared with one each to Jay Babin, Jay Mitchell, Paul Smith, and Gez Williams.
Wednesday, November 9th
Treasure Hill,
1st Kob Glover (20) 40 points
2nd Jay Babin (22) 39 points
3rd Brendon Hartnett (17) 36 points
4th Niall Glover (14) 36 points
5thMike Smith (20) 36 points.
Near pins Dave Ashman, Richard Baldotto, Ken Davidson, & Brendon Hartnett.
Not much to be said about the Treasure Hill course that hasn’t already been said many times before. Whilst in very good condition it is the first course we have seen in a very long time that is starting to turn brown, a good shower of rain would be most beneficial at this time. There was a lot of run on the fairways and the greens were very quick and a bit tricky.
A decent field of twenty was on hand and with a few of our regular drivers absent it was a bit of a squeeze getting everybody to the course, nevertheless, we managed. On a notoriously difficult course where low scores are the norm, we had some of the best scores that anyone can remember, some of the tees were a bit forward of their normal position which no doubt helped. Kob Glover took pride of place at the top of the winner’s list with a fantastic score of forty points.
Jay Babin was just one adrift in second place with a three-point gap to third where we found three locked together on thirty-six points, Once again Brendon Hartnett found himself in the winner’s circle edging out Niall Glover and Mike Smith on countback. If one had a mind to they could smell a rat in the near pin competition with three of the four being taken by the last group, the only one not in the last group was Brendon Hartnett, the remaining pins went to Dave Ashman on his favourite course, Ken Davidson, and Richard Baldotto.
Friday, November 11th
Pattavia Medal.
1st Neil Griffin (28) Net 68
2nd Niall Glover (14) Net 69
3rd Paul Smith (2) Net 70
4th Brendon Hartnett (16) Net 71
5th Neil Chawke (16) Net 71
6th Geoff Parker (21) Net72.
Near pins Brendon Hartnett, Neil Griffin, Dave Ashman, & Michael Brett
A hot and windy day for the last game of the week at Pattavia where a field of thirty rolled up to play, the biggest group in three years. The course was in good condition but the greens were treacherous, very quick and just about every put had some break in it to really test people’s putting skills. Played at a decent pace with most completing the round in about four hours which was acceptable.
Medal format is not to everybody’s taste as just one wayward hole can make a mess of your card, nevertheless, some very good scores were returned. Top of the heap with a very generous handicap Neil Griffin took first place with a net sixty-eight. Niall Glover took second a stroke adrift. Paul Smith is still powering along on his two handicap taking third with a net seventy. Brendon Hartnett has never been out of the winner’s circle since his return and took fourth place with a net seventy-one despite a one stroke in handicap, anothet cut is surely imminent. On debut, Neil Chawke took fifth also on seventy-one and Geoff Parker rounded out the scoring in sixth place with a net seventy-two. All the near pins were again taken with one each going to Brendon Hartnett, Neil Griffin, Dave Ashman, and Michael Brett. Bil Richardson had one of the more unusual rounds of the day with three birdies, two nines, and an eleven-pointer. Our Irish visitors encountered a snake on the course and were heard to ask “where is St Patrick?” when you need him.
Just one week to go to our next away mini trip to Royal Hills and Lam Luka, at this stage we have fourteen confirmed to travel, anyone else wanting to go needs to be quick so transport can be arranged.
 
 
 
 
 

Oct 31 til Nov 4, 2022

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Nov 072022
 
Monday, October 31st
Emerald
1st Kob Glover (20) 37 points
2nd Joe Park (16) 33 points
3rd Gary Smith (10) 32 points
4th Travis Kim (16) 32 points
Near pins Kob Glover, Jay Babin, & Paul Smith X 2.
The last game of October and also the regular season was played at the Emerald course in bright sunny conditions. From tomorrow new high season pricing takes effect so we will be watching with great interest to see how this pans out, particularly courses that increased their pricing by what many consider an inordinate amount. It is understandable that after two years of low prices during COVID they would want to recover some of the low income of that time, however, raising prices above what the market can support may have the opposite effect, one always has to keep an eye on the law of unintended consequences. Today’s game at the all-in price of one-thousand and fifty baht was very good value all things considered.
The Emerald course was pretty much in the condition we have come to expect, the rough was brutal, the fairways were ok, but the greens were very substandard., slow and bumpy and many found them difficult to handle resulting in overall low scores. Only one golfer, Kob Glover returned a very good score of thirty-seven points under the conditions to take first place. In his last game of this trip, Joe Park took second with thirty-three points. Gary Smith took third on countback from Travis Kim, both on thirty-two points. All the near pins were taken with one each to Kob Glover and Jay Babin and as usual Paul Smith took two.
As always on the last game of the month, we look for the golfer of the month, and this time we didn’t have to look very far with Paul Smith taking it again by a margin of ten points, his fourth for the year to add to his tally of seventy-four near pins. Fortunately, we have someone back next week in the form of Craig Dows who should be able to offer Paul a bit of a challenge, no pressure Craig.
Wednesday, November 1st
St Andrews.
1st Paul Smith (3) 41 points
2nd Les Cobban (9) 39 points
3rd Kob Glover (20) 34points
Near pins Richard Baldotto, Paul Smith, & Les Cobban X 2.
The first game at high season pricing was played at St Andrew’s in bright but windy conditions. An all-in fee of seventeen hundred baht (including a one hundred baht voucher) was reasonable given the previous high season pricing for this course. Overall the course was in good condition and playing off the white tees was much easier than our previous visit off the yellows.
It seems like everyone is playing for second place these days with Paul Smith blitzing the field once again. After a poor start where he wiped the first two holes, he went on the record six birdies, missing three eagle putts from inside ten feet to amass an unbelievable total of forty-one points off a three handicap, truly impressive golf. Les Cobban put in a very decent shift to take second place with a fine thirty-nine points. In a bit of a mixed round, Kob Glover who also had a couple of birdies as well as a few wipes took third place with thirty-four points. All the near pins were taken with Les Cobban taking two, missing an ace by a whisker, Richard Baldotto and Paul Smith got the other two.
Friday, November 4th
Eastern Star.
1st Paul Smith (2) 35 points
2nd Brandon Harnett (17) 33 points
3rd Niall Glover (14) 30 points
Near pins Mike Smith, Paul Smith, & Travis Kim X 2.
The evidence of crazy high-season pricing was clear to see today with Eastern Star charging seven hundred baht for a cart, needless to say, most people walked with an eleven hundred baht green/caddie fee much more acceptable. The course was in nice condition with lots of run on the fairways making a difficult course slightly easier. As usual, a strong breeze was blowing and constantly kept changing direction making life just a bit more difficult.
Low scores seem to be a regular occurrence with nobody really coming to terms with the course. Whilst not reaching the lofty heights of his Wednesday score Paul Smith did enough to take first place with thirty-five points. Brendan Harnett in his first game of this tour took second place with thirty-three points. Niall Glover rounded out the scoring with thirty points. All the near pins were taken with the Smiths, Paul & Mike taking one each, and Travis Kim taking two.
 
 
 
 

Oct 24 to; Oct 28, 2022

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Oct 302022
 
Monday, October 24th.
Treasure Hill
1st Gary Smith (9) 34 points
2nd Ken Davidson (28) 32 points
3rd Paul Smith (3) 32 points
Near pins Ken Davidson, Gary Smith, & Les Cobban X 2.
Treasure Hill was as tough as ever today, with all the usual obstacles (trees) in place, some would say all the wrong places, the saving grace being the course condition which was very good. Despite it being yet another holiday in Thailand green fees were not too bad when compared to many other courses.
Today we had the pleasure to welcome a first-time visitor to Thailand from Donegal in the Emerald Isle, Sean O Gallchoir playing off an eight handicap. Not only could he play golf but also turned out to be a mean pool player, a skill he demonstrated late in the night being one of the last to leave the bar, if only gambling was allowed in Thailand he would have cleaned up.
Nobody really mastered the course today with the top score being a modest thirty-four points by Gary Smith. Ken Davidson took second on thirty-two albeit from a very generous handicap of twenty-eight. beating Paul Smith into third on countback. All the near pins were taken with one each to Ken Davidson and Gary Smith and two to Les Cobban.
A rare sight indeed for Treasure Hill with a huge troupe of monkeys massing on the seventh tee, reminiscent of Bangpra although this lot seemed much more shy and moved away as we approached.
Wednesday, October 26th
Greenvalley
1st Paul Smith (3) 39 points.
2nd Travis Kim (16) 37 points
3rd Mike Smith (20) 36 points
Near pins Richard Baldotto, & Paul Smith X 2.
After a four-year absence, one of the Bunker Boys longest standing members Richard Baldotto made his long-awaited return for today’s game at Greenvalley.
We would seem to be through monsoon season now with no threat of rain today and no need for the pick, clean, and drop rule to be applied, although some did experience the odd mudball. Overall the course was in very good condition and some very nice scores were returned.
It seems a matter of time before Paul Smith returns to scratch from his current three handicap. Just missing an eagle putt by a whisker on the first he set a cracking early pace and followed up with three more birdies to top the leaderboard with thirty-nine points. Another likely to receive a cut was second-placed Travis Kim who was in the frame again with a very respectable thirty-seven points. Mr consistency Mike Smith took third place with thirty-six points, he is now a regular fixture in the winner’s circle. A very curious pin placement on the extreme right of the green on the third par three must have tricked everyone with nobody from the four groups on the green on what is normally an easy par three. Richard Baldotto got one near pin with as usual Paul Smith taking two.
Today we were finally able to Present Travis Kim with his near-pin trophy after several failed attempts. So far this year we have had four near pins the others being Paul Smith, Raleigh Gosney, and Les Cobban, will we see another by year-end?
Friday, October 28th
Khao Kheow C & A
1st Travis Kim (16) 33 points
2nd Neil Griffin (27) 33 points
3rd Gary Smith (9) 32 points
Near pins Neil Jones, Mike Smith, & Paul Smith X 2.
A painfully slow game today at Khao Kheow where we were allocated the C & A nines. We were out behind a group that didn’t have any understanding of speed of play or much golf etiquette and held up the whole field all day. The course was in decent condition apart from the greens which were very slow despite looking quick, not only that they didn’t take any break which meant two and three putts were common resulting in low scores.
Travis Kim took the honours today with a lowly thirty-three points. On hole C 8 where he had a first-ever ace, he went close again today but didn’t sink the birdie putt. Neil Griffin took second place again on thirty-three points of his very generous twenty-seven handicap, surely a cut is coming his way soon. Gary Smith took third a stroke adrift. All the near pins were taken with one each to Neil Jones and Mike Smith, and as usual Paul Smith took two. Normally a very assured putter Paul was another who fell victim to the difficult greens.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Oct 17 til Oct 21,2022

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Oct 292022
 
Monday, October 17th
Pattavia
1st Paul Smith (3) 32 points
2nd Michael Brett (14) 30 points
3rd Geoff Parker (21) 30 points.
Near pins Ken Davidson, Les Cobban, and Paul Smith.
A magnificent Thailand day for golf to start the week at Pattavia, clear blue sky, brilliant sunshine, and a nice cool breeze to keep the temperature comfortable. The Pattavia course was remarkably dry given recent rain with more run on the fairways than we have seen for months. The greens were curious, very quick down grain, but very slow into the grain, most were caught out by this resulting in very low scores.
As always Paul Smith was in the mix taking first place albeit with a low score of thirty points. Michael Brett took second place on countback from Geoff Parker. Missing out by a point was Ken Davidson on twenty-nine points, although he could console himself with two very tidy tap-in birdies, needless to say being the generous soul that he is Ken rang the bell back at the Sports Lounge. Pattavia is never an easy course so with the wind and the tricky greens scores were not as bad as they might seem.
Wednesday, October 19th
St Andrews. yellow tees.
1st Paul Smith (3) 34 points
2nd Niall Glover ((14) 32 points
3rd Geoff Atwell (23) 31 points
Near pins Paul Smith & Mike Smith
Playing off the yellow tees at over six thousand and eight hundred yards today proved too much for most with yet another round of low scores. Not only was the course too long for most but a stiff breeze made it even more difficult, with some not even making it to the fairways from the tee. Our third group finished a least an hour after the group ahead of them having spent much time looking for balls that hadn’t made it to the fairways. The general consensus was that we should play from the white tees in the future.
The course was in ok condition apart from the greens which were well below what we would expect from a course with such a reputation. The bunkers are continually being improved but still not up to the standard we would expect.
Once again Paul Smith took the honours with a modest score by his standards of thirty-four, nevertheless, he had a round sprinkled with birdies. Second, went to Niall Glover with thirty-two points while the sheriff of Nottingham Forest Geoff Atwell took third a stroke back. Not surprisingly only two near pins were taken with two over two hundred yards long. The Smiths were in the frame here with Paul and Mike taking one each with two going to the delinquent fund a very worthy cause.
Friday, October 21st
Silky Oak
1st Mike Smith (21) 38 points
2nd Travis Lee (16) 37 points
3rs Joe Park (16) 35 points
Near pins Graeme Mullins, Joe Park, Bil Richardson, & Paul Smith X 2.
It looked like we might get a drenching for the first time in weeks and it did rain a little on the first hole, thereafter it was fine all the way.
The Silky Oak course was in decent condition apart from the greens which were a bit bumpy and dry. Scores returned were of a good standard with a breakthrough winner Mike Smith taking first place with a fine thirty-eight points.
Travis Kim made a long-awaited return to take second place a stroke back, no hole-in-one this time although he did manage to birdie the index one hole. His compatriot on debut from Korea, Joe Park took third with thirty-five points. All five near pins were taken with one each to Joe Park, Graeme Mullins, & Bil Richardson, and as usual Paul Smith
 
 
 
 
 

Oct 10 til Oct 14, 2022

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Oct 162022
 
October 10th
Monday, October 10th
Royal Lakeside Blue tees
1st Paul Smith (3) 38 points
2nd Niall Glover (13) 32 points
3rd Jack Best (12) 30 points
Near pins Dave Stockman, Les Cobban, & Jack Best
After a weekend of torrential rain when Pattaya flooded for the fifth time in a month the prospects for golf looked grim. Rain was falling as we assembled at the Sports Lounge and as we drove to the course it looked to be getting heavier, however, as we neared the course the rain subsided and by the start of play, it had stopped completely. As the game progressed the sky turned blue and it became quite a pleasant day for golf.
The course was sodden in places and once again the search for plugged balls was on, many balls couldn’t be found and just about every ball was a mudball, the constant searching made for another slow round.
Playing off the blue tees at over six thousand six hundred yards proved difficult for all but the longest hitters as there was simply no run on the fairways. Curiously the opposite was true of the greens which were very hard and quick, many found great difficulty getting the ball to hold on the greens
One of the longest hitters Paul Smith didn’t seem to have any problems and returned a remarkable score of thirty-eight points to take first place. Niall Glover took second six strokes adrift with Jack Best rounding out the winner’s circle with thirty points. Jack also managed to bag himself a near-pin with Les Cobban
and Dave Stockman also taking one each.
We were pleased to welcome back Ken Davidson for the high season and also newcomer Frazer Davie.
Wednesday, October 12th
Burapha A & C
1st Neil Griffin (27) 36 points
2nd Michael Brett (14) 35 points
3rd Mike Smith (21) 33 points.
Near pins Mike Smith, Paul Smith, & Michael Brett.
Most Pattaya golfers believe they live in Thailand. If some of the high season green fees being proposed recently are adopted courses will believe they now live in Disneyland. Some of the prices being suggested are simply outrageous, it’s hard to see how they will work for courses and may have the opposite of the desired effect. The Bunker Boys high season roster will look very different from that which we have used all year.
It was nice today to play in bright sunshine on a course that was dry, given recent weather, with only a couple of wet spots on the C-nine. A curious course today with the A and C nines chosen. The greens were a bit quick and bumpy on both nines. In his second game since his return, Niall Griffin added a first place to his second of last week with thirty-six points off a twenty-seven handicap, could be a cut in handicap is coming. Second place went to Michael Brett a stroke back after a poor finish when a good score looked there for the taking. Mike Smith took third two strokes back. Near pins went to Paul & Mike Smith with Michael Brett taking the third with one unclaimed.
Friday, October 14th
Eastern Star
1st Alam Bertram (14) 33 points
2nd Gary Smith (9) 31 points
3rd Mike Smith(21) 31 points
Near pins John Ryalls, Michael Brett, & Frazer Davie X 2.
Three days in a row when we had very pleasant conditions for golf with bright sunshine, no threat of rain, and a gentle breeze blowing. The Eastern Star course was quite busy today with the consequence we had a slow round of four hours and twenty minutes, not to everybody’s taste, The course was its usual difficult self which was reflected in the scoring.
A breakthrough win today for West Australia Alan Bertram who had a steady round of thirty-three points. Gary Smith beat Mike Smith on countback to take second both on thirty-one points. All the near pins were taken with one each to John Ryalls and Michael Brett with Frazer Davie taking two. Last game of this tour today for Jack Best who returns to work in the North sea hopefully back again in March of next year.
We have a good number of members around Pattaya at present but for some reason, people are finding things to do other than golf, increasing prices may also be affecting numbers.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Oct 3 til Oct 7, 2022

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Oct 092022
 
Monday, October 3rd
Greenwood C & A
1st Paul Smith (3) 38 points
2nd Kob Glover (20) 33 points
3rd Dave Stockman (😎 31 points
Near pins Dave Stockman, Les Cobban, & Michael Brett.
The Greenwood course was close to unplayable for today’s game, the first game of a new month. Many areas of the course were just like a bog, the rough hadn’t been mowed for weeks due to the weather and every ball was a mud-ball. One player lost three balls in the first five holes, they just could not be found thereby putting paid to any chance he had of posting a decent score.
Rain fell at different stages throughout the round but the heaviest kept away till the last hole, it seems we are destined to endure a month more of monsoon before we can look forward to a bit of sunshine.
Despite the tough conditions Paul Smith was able to post a remarkable thirty-eight points to take first place, continuing on from where he left off last month, will someone challenge him before he wins everything? Kob Glover took second place with thirty-three while Dave Stockman took third with thirty-one. Dave also got himself a near pin as did Les Cobban with Michael Brett taking a third with a tap-in birdie on A2, after all this time a hole-in-one is as elusive as ever.
Wednesday, October 5th
Pattaya Country Club, Blue tees. Medal
1st Kob Glover (20) Net 68
2nd Mike Smith (21) Net 72
3rd Michael Brett (14) Net 74
Near pins Sam Gershon, Kob Glover, & Paul Smith
The medal round of the month was played at Pattaya Country Club in some of the best weather conditions we have had for weeks. The course was remarkably dry given the amount of rain that has fallen in recent weeks, nevertheless the pick clean, and drop rule was applied luckily as mud balls were common.
Playing off the blue tees made for a very different course as it threw out all the club selections people were used to nevertheless, a few decent scores were returned. Kob Glover topped the winner’s list with a very tidy net sixty-eight points in a round that contained her first eagle on hole fifteen, needless to say, she also got a near pin with the red tees well forward of the blues on a few of the par threes. Mike Smith is starting to find his feet and is becoming a regular in the winner’s circle taking second place with a net seventy-two. Third place went to Michael Brett with a net seventy-four beating Niall Glover on countback One near pin on the difficult sixth wasn’t taken with the other two going to Paul Smith and Sam Gershon. Sam making his first appearance at the Bunker in over three years. Amongst other returnees are Niall Jones, Graeme Mullins, Bil Richardson, and Dave Ashman so it looks like a decent high season ahead.
Friday, October 7th
Pattana B & C white tees.
1st Gary Smith (9) 33 points
2nd Neil Griffin (27) 28 points
3rd Michael Brett (14) 25 points
Near pins Bil Richardson, Gary Smith, & Alan Bertram X 2.
Much of the joy of golf is missing in Pattaya, at least for the present. Courses are so wet and so much time is spent in vain looking for plugged balls on fairways and in the rough, rounds are increasing slow and there is no possibility to establish any type of rhythm or continuity in play leading to lots of frustration. Today’s round started in bright conditions and finished after sixteen holes when the course was hit by the mother of all thunder and lightning storms. After the siren sounded people could be seen rushing to the clubhouse from all directions.
Courses are starting to edge up their green fees as high season approaches and the added cost of replacing several balls per round is only adding salt to the wounds. It seems courses have the expectation of large numbers over the holiday period, increasing airfares may put a dent in those expectations.
The course double-booked our tee time so we began on the B nine while the other society started on A, both groups were scheduled to play the C nine second so the inevitable happened with both groups coming together almost at the same time, luckily we had to wait for only one fourball to play before we could resume our game. This delay probably resulted in us failing to finish before the storm hit.
Gary Smith was leading after sixteen holes with thirty-three points and was declared the winner. Straight off a plane Derbyshire native Neil Griffin got straight down to business and took second place with twenty-eight points, no settling-in period for him. Third went to Michael Brett on twenty-five points. All the near pins were taken, one each going to Bil Richardson and Gary Smith with Alan Bertram taking two.
One of the longest-standing members of the Bunker Boys Richard Baldotto whom we haven’t seen for at least four years has been seen around town but not yet on the golf course, we need to find a way to lure him out of his lair, hopefully, he will find his often missing swing.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sep 26 til Oct 3, 2022

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Oct 072022
 
Monday, September 26th
Bangpra
1st Niall Glover (13) 30 points
2nd Mike Smith (21) 25
Near pins Niall Glover & Gerry Cooney X 2.
A very small group for the game at Burapha, recent experience where large groups of locals flooded the course after low fees kicked in, inserting themselves into the game wherever they could rather than start from the first tee put off many. As always the weather was a factor during monsoon season with the prospect of a wet round also deterring people, Pattaya has already enjoyed/endured three floods in the last two weeks.
Scores were the lowest for a long time with Niall Glover taking first place with only thirty points. Mike Smith made it into the winner’s circle for the second time taking second place with only twenty-five points. Three near pins were taken with one going to Niall Glover and two to Gerry Cooney.
We are expecting a lot of seasonal visitors to return shortly to swell numbers, we have a couple of away trips coming up, the first is a double-up with Royal Hills slated for two games followed by a long-awaited return to Kabin Buri. Early in the New Year, we undertake our annual pilgrimage to Soi Dao.
Wednesday, September 28th
Burapha, C & D, White tees
1st Paul Smith (3) 35 points
2nd Kob Glover (20) 33 points
3rd Jay Babin (21) 33 points
Near pins Niall Glover, Gerry Cooney, & Paul Smith
Once again inclement weather kept numbers down for today’s game at the popular Burapha Course where we played the C & D nines. It seems Thailand is
is in the grip of a serious monsoon season this year with Pattaya experiencing its fourth flood in three weeks, how we long for a bit of global warming when we might get to see the sun once in a while.
More often than not we play the A & B nines at Burapha but for a change, we played the C & D nines again. Scores were up markedly on Monday’s results
with Paul Smith taking first place with thirty-five points. Kob Glover took second on countback from Jay Babin in third. All the near pins were taken with one each to Niall Glover & Gerry Cooney, as usual, Paul Smith got two
Friday, Oct 3th
Emerald
1st Dave Stockman (😎 37 points
2nd Paul Smith (3) 36 points
3rd Jay Mitchell (23) 35 points
Near pins Geoff Parker, Jay Mitchell, Paul Smith, & Niall Glover.
With widespread monsoonal rain all over Thailand for over a week, it was remarkable that The Bunker Boys managed to complete three games this week. We are hoping for better weather in the coming weeks although not too optimistic about the prospect. When looking at the Dunhill Links Championship from Scotland we feel blessed we didn’t have to endure those conditions.
The Emerald course was pretty much as we have come to expect, best not to stray from the fairways as the rough is aptly named and very punishing. As expected the course played long due to the dampness and lack of run, nevertheless some decent scores were returned Top of the heap was an infrequent visitor Dave Stockman who shot a very respectable thirty-seven points. As always Paul Smith was in the frame and took second with thirty-six points while the ever-improving Jay Mitchell took third with thirty-five points. Jay also bagged a near pin as did Geoff Parker, Niall Glover, and Paul Smith.
The race for the golfer of the month was won in a canter by Paul Smith who lead from start to finish, his third for the year.
Any groups planning a trip to Kanchanaburi should factor in a game at the magnificent Suwan Course in Nakon Pathom either on the way up or back, an absolute gem of a course in perfect condition. Also In Kanchanaburi, the Nichigo Course has changed its name to Aritaya and is undergoing major renovations both to the course and clubhouse. The course is in magnificent condition apart from the bunkers which are not yet filled with sand and are played as “ground under repair”. The locker rooms are not yet finished either so no showers are available but people should not be deterred by those things as the course more than makes up for those drawbacks and at an all-in fee of nine hundred and fifty baht represents excellent value.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sep 19 til Sep 23, 2022

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Sep 242022
 
Monday, September 19th
Royal Lakeside, Blue tees.
1st Jay Mitchell (24) 36 points
2nd Paul Smith (3) 32 points
3rd Les Cobban (9) 28 points
Near pins Gerry Cooney, & Paul Smith X 2.
The Royal Lakeside course was in sparkling condition for the first game of the week. It seems that improvements to the course are neverending and work crews were toiling away again today. In particular, much work is being done on the bunkers which are now amongst the best anywhere,
As always at Lakeside the wind was blowing quite hard at times and with us playing off the blue tees a real challenge was instore which was reflected in the scoring. Only Jay Mitchell managed to return a decent score of thirty-six points to take first place. Paul Smith took second with thirty-two with a further four-point gap to third which was filled by Les Cobban. Gerry Cooney took one near pin and Paul Smith took two.
Whilst it’s a longer than normal drive to Lakeside the all-in fee of fourteen hundred baht plus the quality of the course made the extra travel worthwhile so we are scheduled to make a return visit in a month’s time.
Wednesday, September 21st
Greenvalley, White tees
1st Paul Smith (3) 35 points
2nd Mike Smith (21) 32 points
3rd Niall Glover (12) 32 points
Near pins Les Cobban, Michael Brett, & Paul Smith X 2.
Another very pleasant day for golf at Greenvalley where once again we found a course in very nice condition. No threat of rain again today and with little or no wind it was perfect for golf.
A few people were hampered slightly by having trainee caddies who were of little to no help, so it was all up to the individuals to make their own decisions about distances, lines for putts, etc. A good caddie can be very helpful whilst a novice caddie can cause a poor mindset for someone who relies heavily on them for distances and reading greens, Greenvalley greens have some very subtle breaks that many find hard to read.
Once again Paul Smith took first place today with thirty-five points, he is always in the mix. Mike Smith had one of his better games to take second place on countback from Niall Glover. All the near pins were taken with one each to Les Cobban and Michael Brett and two to Paul Smith.
Friday, September 23rd
Pattana A & C White tees
1st Paul Smith (3) 37 points
2nd Niall Glover (13) 33 points
3rd Ross Schiffke (21) 32 points
Near pins Paul Smith, Niall Glover, & Les Cobban X 2
On recent visits to Pattana, we played off the yellow tees which in many instances had been moved forward to almost the reds so today we decided to play from the whites, and wouldn’t you know it many of them had also been moved forward to where the yellows should be so it was difficult to know the actual distance we played today.
The course was damp underfoot so we played pick, clean, and drop which turned out to be a wise decision as mud balls were everywhere, as expected there was no run on the fairways.
For the second game in a row, Paul Smith took the winner’s spot with a well-compiled thirty-seven points. Niall Glover took second on thirty-three points. There was a log jam for third with Ross Schiffke taking it on countback. All the near pins were taken, one each to Niall Glover and Paul Smith with Les Cobban taking two.